Saturday, May 18, 2024

Movies: Great Unheralded Performances of Oscar Season — Julianne Moore, Frank Langella, Etc.


If you’re going to the movies this weekend, here are some people to look out for.

Barbara Hershey–plays Natalie Portman‘s maybe crazy, maybe crazy as a fox mother in “Black Swan” vividly. Hershey should have won an Oscar years ago for her work in “Portrait of a Lady.” She’s one of our finest actresses, and never talked about enough.

Dustin Hoffman–plays Paul Giamatti‘s father in “Barney’s Version.” This is an Oscar worthy performance, and Academy voters should note it. Hoffman, like Mary Tyler Moore, can turn the world on with that sly smile. Bravo.

Jennifer Ehle–is Geoffrey Rush’s wife in “The King’s Speech.” Ehle is the daughter of famed actress Rosemary Harris, and a star herself in London on stage. As Mrs. Lionel Logue, she nearly steals her scenes from players Rush, Colin Firth, and Helena Bonham Carter when she discovers the King and Queen of England in her kitchen.

Julianne Moore–you can rent, download, upload, whatever “The Kids Are All Right” now. Moore is being pushed with co-star Annette Bening for Best Actress. They should each be nominated. For all of Bening’s character’s serious business, it’s Moore–playing with Mark Ruffalo–who shows comic genius and brings extra radiance to the fine film.

Frank Langella–two movies, and nowhere to slot this former Oscar nominee in this year’s races. Langella was absolutely brilliant in “Wall Street 2.” Now watch him as Seymour Durst head of a powerful New York real estate family in Andrew Jarecki’s surprisingly effective “All Good Things.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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