Best Actor 2014

Who would you pick as Best Actor of 2014?

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher
3
10%
Bradley Cooper in American Sniper
5
16%
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
3
10%
Michael Keaton in Birdman
19
61%
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
1
3%
 
Total votes: 31

FilmFan720
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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 1:54 pm

Playing catch up here, although there isn't much to get excited about in this category.

This was a year with so many wonderful leading male performances, many of which were in films that were in the Oscar conversation. Then, somehow, all of their films fell off of Oscar's radar, and instead of Jake Gyllenhaal, Oscar Isaac, Joaquin Phoenix and Timothy Spall, we get this dreary lineup. That isn't including other wonderful candidates in films that managed to pick up Best Picture nominations like Ralph Fiennes (my personal pick for the win), David Oyelowo, Miles Teller or even Ellar Coltrane. I would also like to throw out mention to John Lithgow and Alfred Molina in Love Is Strange, a lovely film with two fantastic central performances that soar above anything on this list.

For the actual list, it is hard to gather up too much excitement, but here goes. First off for me is Steve Carrell, whose work here is so shallow and dull, and ultimately ineffective in the grand scheme of the film. Bradley Cooper is interesting at least in American Sniper, but not nearly as interesting as his work with David O. Russell has been in the last few years.

I see that I am in the gross minority on this board, but I have a hard time getting excited about Michael Keaton in Birdman. The performance is everything grating about Michael Keaton devoid of his greatest assets: the sense of humor and the charm. Like everything else in the film, he is one-note, overly angry and condescending. I wouldn't be opposed to a Michael Keaton Oscar, but not for this at all.

I may be alone on this, but I think the two best performances here are the most Oscar baity: the two biopic scientists. Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch are both talented young actors, and while I think both are capable of a lot more than their middling films offer them, they both come away from their films with work the films don't deserve. I will give the edge to Cumberbatch, if only because his script is much better and he manages to find some interesting shades to a paint-by-numbers biopic, but I don't begrudge Redmayne his Oscar at all. I see I am alone in this.

My top 5:
1. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. John Lithgow, Love is Strange
3. Alfred Molina, Love is Strange
4. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
5. Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner
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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby jack » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:32 pm

Big Magilla wrote:
jack wrote:Michael Keaton. I hope he gets another shot with this years Spotlight.

If he does it will likely be in support. Mark Ruffalo has the lead role.


Support seems like the likely place for Keaton to win.

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:02 pm

jack wrote:Michael Keaton. I hope he gets another shot with this years Spotlight.

If he does it will likely be in support. Mark Ruffalo has the lead role.

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby jack » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:22 pm

Michael Keaton. I hope he gets another shot with this years Spotlight.

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:52 am

Okri wrote:When did "Oscar bait" become a perjorative phrase?

I've been holding off on answering this, because I wasn't sure of my memory, and I wanted to get it as right as possible.

The earliest usage of the phrase I can recall is from, I believe, MovieLine Magazine, which, along with Premiere and Entertainment Weekly, used to be the upper tier of mainstream film coverage (south of Film Comment, but well north of all-out fan swill). They weren't using it as full-on pejorative, but something of a snide tone was implied -- MovieLine was the most populist/commercial-leaning of this group of magazines, and they seemed to view Oscar-contending movies as the snooty part of the business (this was before the near-complete divorce of the mainstream and the Oscar movie we take for granted today).

I wouldn't say the term became common usage overnight, but it stuck around, and, like "politically correct", it's morphed a bit over time ("politically correct" started out as a way liberals gently mocked other liberals, but eventually became a club used by the right to sneer at anything progressive). The Oscar bloggers -- Tom O'Neil and the early gang, back in the late 90s -- began using it regularly, and mostly in a full-on negative way: it meant not just an Oscar-competing movie, but one that, by subject matter and middlebrow orientation, appeared designed specifically to appeal to the most retro Academy voters. The fact that Harvey Weinstein, especially from Chocolat on, seemed to relentlessly target this group probably contributed to both the spread of the term and the fully negative connotation it has today.

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby Okri » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:04 pm

When did "Oscar bait" become a perjorative phrase?

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby mojoe92 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 3:32 pm

Okay, 2014 Best Actor, while out of the line-up it belonged to Keaton hands down, the best actor of 2014 was without a doubt Bill Murray for St. Vincent

Benedict Cumberbatch- What a great performance, in a great film. Truly awesome. I never was a huge BC fan until this film, my late dear friend worked with him on August: Osage County and told great stories but his acting I wasn't convinced until I saw this. I wanted him or Keaton to win but Benedict was my runner up of the group.

Eddie Redmayne- STOP REWARDING OSCAR BAIT ROLES!! Fuck me man! A first grader could have seen this nomination coming. And this win must have chapped Cumberbatch's ass more than Keaton considering BC played the same role 10 years earlier. Everything about The Theory of Everything was god awful, especially Redmayne. While nowhere as near as bad as Felicity, Redmayne was pretty bad. Distracting, and not worthy of a nomination let alone a win

Michael Keaton- Poor Keaton, the comeback of the decade only to be swatted down in the final lap. His role in Birdman is one that actors dream of, a full range of emotions that resembles the male version of Three Faces of Eve. Truly magnificent acting.

Bradley Cooper- I was/am Anti-American Sniper due to it's content and what it represents. With that said, I went to watch the screener of Sniper with an open mind for Cooper. His gritty blue collar version of himself is good but convincing? Eh? Pass

Steve Carrell- An awful performance in an awful film. It took me 4 tries to get through this movie. Carrell was so bad, in his speech, to his movement, to his acting. Candy Clark who is a friend of mine is an Academy member and took me to a Q&A with Carrell, there I asked him if he practiced that voice as I found it distracting to his performance, his response " It's not for everyone".... so where did it come from?







Who Should Have Won?- Michael Keaton

Who Should Have Been Nominated?
Michael Keaton- Birdman
Bill Murray- St. Vincent
Chadwick Boseman- Get On Up
Benedict Cumberbatch- The Imitation Game
Nate Parker- About Alex

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:59 am

Big Magilla wrote:Changed my vote to Benedict Cumberbatch after seeing The Imitation Game a second time. Keaton may be better overall, but I don't think his performance is so great that he should run away with the voting. Cumberbatch should have more than one vote, so there.


I can see where you are coming from Magilla. Cumberbatch has been impressive for a number of years now. He has made my own personal top five in the the supporting actor category twice, once for a Michael Apted film about the abolition of slavery of England (sorry but the name of the film escapes me) as the young William Pitt and for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy but I was underwhelmed by his performance in The Imitation Game that didn't even warrant consideration for a nomination but I can live with it based on his overall career achievements. It's ironic that Cumberbatch lost to an actor playing a role that Cumberbatch played himself so much better years earlier for telivision.
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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Fri Apr 03, 2015 4:00 am

Big Magilla wrote:Changed my vote to Benedict Cumberbatch after seeing The Imitation Game a second time. Keaton may be better overall, but I don't think his performance is so great that he should run away with the voting. Cumberbatch should have more than one vote, so there.


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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:20 pm

Changed my vote to Benedict Cumberbatch after seeing The Imitation Game a second time. Keaton may be better overall, but I don't think his performance is so great that he should run away with the voting. Cumberbatch should have more than one vote, so there.

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Tue Mar 17, 2015 1:23 pm

I'm totally with Mister Tee on Redmayne's assessment. Why Cumberbatch's performance is so underrated is something I don't understand. And comparing both performances in terms of which one is the most audience-pleaser is kind of pointless, no disrespect meant.

Redmayne is fine and nothing more, and it's a waste of an Oscar. Cumberbatch is a much better actor than Eddie, and that's evident also in The Imitation Game. Being successful with such a superficially written character is not easy if the actor is not that good.

By the way, Redmayne was good in Les Misérables as well, but his "Empty Chairs and Empty Tables" number shows his tears were as phony as Bradley Cooper's plastic baby in American Sniper.
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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:57 pm

dws1982 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:as I see it, Redmayne as an actor almost completely avoids risk, by practically begging the audience to love him.

Love you, Tee, and I know we fundamentally disagree about Redmayne's performance (and his abilities as an actor), but I don't get how you can straight-facedly level this criticism at Redmayne and then give Cumberbatch a pass for playing Alan Turing as a higher-functioning Raymond Babbitt who's also just a harmless little victim of the system.


I'm on Mister Tee's side in this debate. I don't remotely view Cumberbatch as begging for affection -- if anything, the abrasiveness in his work is a main factor in contributing to one of the movie's more interesting ideas, that one can in fact be an anti-social jerk and still be a hero. (Whether or not one can be gay and be a hero is something the movie is a lot more uncomfortable with.)

I did really like Redmayne in Les Mis, though -- I thought his big number was nearly as good as Hathaway's.

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby flipp525 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:58 am

Mister Tee wrote:For me, Bradley Cooper's work meets the definition "solid" -- he carries the film without effort, making his character feel fully lived-in. But he (properly, I believe) has no breakout scenes, and best performance of the year requires at least something of that, for me. I'm quite interested to see what he does next, but hold back on him, here.

I thought his Oscar clip, in which he loses it when the nurse isn't attending to his newborn baby, was pretty close to a breakdown scene. (LOL, I just saw that you said "breakout" not "breakdown." Nevertheless, I think the scene I just cited as well as the one where he realizes that he doesn't have to shoot the kid are both standout scenes.)

And I agree with dws that you kind of miss the mark with your critique of Cumberbatch's performance. It was far worse than Redmayne's (which is saying a lot).

Big Magilla wrote:[Fiennes'] performance pales in comparison to those he should have been nominated for but wasn't in Quiz Show, The End of the Affair and The Constant Gardener.

His work in Budapest is better than all of those performances.
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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby dws1982 » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:10 am

Mister Tee wrote:as I see it, Redmayne as an actor almost completely avoids risk, by practically begging the audience to love him.

Love you, Tee, and I know we fundamentally disagree about Redmayne's performance (and his abilities as an actor), but I don't get how you can straight-facedly level this criticism at Redmayne and then give Cumberbatch a pass for playing Alan Turing as a higher-functioning Raymond Babbitt who's also just a harmless little victim of the system.

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Re: Best Actor 2014

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:55 am

Mister Tee wrote:Redmayne, to me, just coasted on the natural sympathy for Hawking's condition, and batted his eyelashes in puppy-dog cuteness.


I think that was the fault of the screenplay, rather than the actor, though I do agree his performance doesn't hold a candle to Day-Lewis' work in My Left Foot.

I still haven't seen Spall, Isaac or Phoenix's performances so I may in the end agree that they nominated the wrong five altogether. Certainly Gyllenhaal and my particular favorite, Brendan Gleeson, deserved nominations more than all the nominees except maybe Keaton who was the only one who should have been considered here. Ralph Fiennes does a good job in Grand Budapest Hotel. but his performance pales in comparison to those he should have been nominated for but wasn't in Quiz Show, The End of the Affair and The Constant Gardener.

For the record, I voted for Keaton here.


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