Sweeney: Oscar pre-party continues! Today we’re sharing all our feels on the actors in leading and supporting roles. As always, share your thoughts and feels and squees and all that with us, all right?
Lorraine: YAY BOYS. Sorry. I’ll be more useful than that, I swear.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bradley Cooper / Silver Linings Playbook
Sweeney: Four for you Glen Coco! Who else was surprised to see Bradley Cooper’s name on a list of Oscar nominees? It can’t just be me. ANYWHO. I mentioned this elsewhere, but Cooper made some decisions in his performance that took the role to a campy place that it should not have gone. I should back up and say that the book was like a caricature of mental illness. The film does a much better job, though it’s not without it’s problems. In short, I felt like there were periods in the film where Cooper was drawing more from the book than from the vastly improved script.
That’s my rant. Otherwise, I enjoyed the movie and his performance. I don’t fault this nomination, but I’d take issue with a win, which is almost certainly not going to happen so it’s irrelevant.
Lorraine: Yeah, I’ll admit that while I was watching The Hangover, this is not the direction I thought his career would take. I think Bradley is showing up with no expectations on Oscar night, and it would be a massive surprise if he won this. Then again, I’ve been totally disappointed by his winning things before. 2012 Sexiest Man Alive? PFFT. I mean, he’s cute, but no.
What was I saying? Best Actor? He was good, but no.
Daniel Day-Lewis / Lincoln
Sweeney: DANIEL DAY-LEWIS. Is anybody else even going to bother to show up to this thing? They probably shouldn’t bother. I don’t really want to see this movie take home much of anything else that’s it’s nominated for, but HOLYSHIT. Daniel Day-Lewis owned this role so completely it was unreal. I have nothing to say besides DANIEL DAY-LEWIS FTW.
Lorraine: Absolutely. It helps that he’s in a historical Spielberg film with cool costumes and make-up. Not to take at all away from his performance because this is the kind you get lost in. I complained yesterday about Helen Hunt always being Helen Hunt. There wasn’t a moment you looked at the screen and thought about Day-Lewis. He was Lincoln, and he deserves to walk away with this award.
Sweeney: Also, while we’re here, this is a thing that happened:
Hugh Jackman / Les Misérables
Sweeney: Also incredible, as is the general expectation/theme for being nominated here. I admit that there were things that I didn’t care for in this movie, but Jackman did a great job. It’s a shame he’s up against Daniel Day-Lewis, because I will legit rage out if DDL doesn’t win. I think Hugh Jackman might be among the more likely contenders. But, you know. Nope, sorry.
Lorraine: I think I enjoyed the film a lot more than Sweeney did. Jackman was wonderful. There were some people who had issues with some of his singing, in particular in “Bring Him Home,” but I enjoyed even that. Anyhow, Jackman did a lovely job bringing Valjean to life and by the end of the movie, and in his final big scene, he brought me to ugly tears. That all said, nope. Sorry.
Sweeney: To be clear: I did enjoy this movie. I just had such insanely high expectations that some disappointment was inevitable. Mostly I don’t think I can forgive it for not making One Day More everything I dreamed it would be.
Joaquin Phoenix / The Master
Sweeney: I’ll mention it again later, but this movie reminded me of Fifty Shades on several occasions and it was so distracting. I AM SORRY WE MENTION BEING RUINED SO OFTEN BUT THAT’S WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE RUINED. Anyway, Joaquin Phoenix was incredible, though it probably doesn’t hurt that I’d buy him as a cultist or sufferer of complicated mental shit, just from seeing interviews with him. I didn’t care much for this movie, but this role required a lot from him and he rose to it consistently. I don’t have much else to say. I do wonder how much time he had to spend practicing making imaginary girlfriends out of sand.
Lorraine: I’ve seen lots around the Internet about Phoenix deserving this award more than anyone else. NOT ON THIS INTERNET THOUGH. Yeah, that’s all I have to say too.
Denzel Washington / Flight
Sweeney: I have so many problems with this movie, too, namely the absurdity of its premise and also some issues with the way some of these characters were written. HOWEVER, I have no faults with the way any of it was acted. I rooted so hard for Alcoholic Denzel Washington to get his shit together and maybe do a little less cocaine and also maybe get away with flying a plane while high on cocaine. I wanted all of that for you, Alcoholic Denzel Washington.
Lorraine: YEP. And, this is another prime example of my “distinct actors” theory. Because then entire time I was rooting for ALCOHOLIC DENZEL WASHINGTON. You don’t quite get as lost in his role the way you do with a Day-Lewis or Jackman. Still, he did make us see ALCOHOLIC and not just Denzel Washington.
I think I may have stopped making sense, but the point is that this isn’t the winner here.
Sweeney: DANIEL DAY-LEWIS. FOREVER.
Lorraine: Daniel Day-Lewis with a quiet head nod toward Hugh Jackman from my musical loving self, and because he is pretty.
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Alan Arkin / Argo
Sweeney: Alan Arkin, I love you, but you are the weakest link in this chain, not because you aren’t capable of being a stronger player, but because this role just isn’t quite as epic as the other four. I actually would prefer to have William H. Macy’s role in The Sessions rounding out this list. That said, Alan Arkin is amazing and were it another year and his competitors less amazeballs, I might have more awesome things to say on his behalf, because he did a great job and I’m trying really hard to wind this into a clever inclusion of the line “Argo fuck yourself” but I can’t do it. So that will have to do.
Lorraine: Agreed. Arkin’s role in Argo was glorified comic relief, which he did very well. The more I think about it, though, the less I feel like he should’ve been nominated. The role just wasn’t any acting heavy lifting, but I guess “Argo fuck yourself” goes a long way. (I said it too! BAM.)
Robert De Niro / Silver Linings Playbook
Sweeney: I don’t know how much credit the book deserves for my Robert De Niro love, because this character is at the top of my list of significant improvements from the book to the movie. LIKE SO MUCH. SO MUCH. I’m going to spare you the differences between book!dad and movie!dad and cut right to how wonderfully De Niro played the balance between his own crazy issues and the actual love he does possess for his family underneath all those issues. He was incredible and gave the best performance in this movie by a long shot.
Lorraine: Seriously, Silver Linings has to win something, right? FOUR FOR FOUR.
Sweeney: And this is the most deserved nomination of the four.
Philip Seymour Hoffman / The Master
Sweeney: I would join a cult headed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. There is a brilliant scene in the middle of the movie where some guy crashes their little cult party and basically calls out PSH (lol, what an acronym!) for being a cultist. AND THEN HE TOTALLY GETS LAWYERED BY PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN. I mean, not really at all, because he’s a crazy cult leader, and his argument isn’t actually sound, but he does prompt Joaquin Phoenix to throw shit at the guy, so that was cool. It’s also the precursor to the Amy Adams scene I mentioned in the last post. And more importantly, the guy with the logical critique of the crazypants cult convinced nobody of anything because he was going toe to toe with Philip Seymour Hoffman and what did he think was going to happen? Anyway, all the talk of MASTER this and MASTER that made me antsy, because thanks to Fifty Shades, I am ruined forever. FOREVER.
Lorraine: I feel like I’m a leaning toward a Hoffman win, but probably because after seeing him in The Master I think he’ll know if I don’t say that. And because all the experience Sweeney and I have with “masters” has taught us that those guys will track your cell phone or follow you to Alaska if they are unhappy, I want to be better safe than sorry.
This quickly spun out of control.
Sweeney: Ruined for life.
Tommy Lee Jones / Lincoln
Sweeney: I lied. I don’t know what I was talking about in my aforementioned comment about Lincoln. I already said I want to see Sally Field win and I absolutely want DDL to win. So that’s at least two of Lincoln’s awards. I guess what I meant to say was, “I really don’t want Lincoln to win Best Picture or Best Director, even though I’m pretty sure it will win at least one of the two and maybe that’s even part of why I don’t want it win.” I don’t think Tommy Lee Jones is my first choice in this stacked category, but I’d be happy if he won.
Lorraine: LOOK AT THAT WIG. It deserves an award. (S: Truth.) I think Lincoln will get Best Picture, which I think might lessen the chances of the actors in these individual categories. I may have just made up that piece of Oscar logic, but I’m sticking to it.
Christoph Waltz / Django Unchained
Sweeney: I love him. He has the misfortune of being the last person I write about here, meaning I’m all burnt out on this, but he’s probably my favorite on this amazing list. I chose this picture mostly because I want nothing more than to go get a beer with him. Doesn’t he look like he wants to get a beer with me too? Yes, of course yes.
Lorraine: He’s even lifting his glass in salutation. This is another movie that will probably not get any love in any other categories. It would be nice to see Waltz walk away with it, and then promptly phone Sweeney for details on getting that beer (#oscarheadcanon) but I’m not sure it’s entirely likely.
Sweeney: This is the best #oscarheadcanon ever. You should come get a beer with us.
Sweeney: This category is really fucking difficult. These guys are all incredible and I’d be happy to see any of them take it. I don’t even know who to predict, either. I think Alan Arkin is my least preferred, and if I have to pick one as my personal-if-I-got-to-choose-victor, I’d give it to Christoph Waltz. Or Robert De Niro. Truly, though, they are all deserving.
Lorraine: I think it’s an open category. My feeling is that De Niro and Hoffman are the front runners and Sweeney will probably not be getting a beer with Waltz.