I met Clive Owen a few years back to interview him for Derailed, his thriller with Jennifer Aniston, and found him to be perfectly pleasant but not the most vibrant guy in the world. But when he showed up for his OscarWatch interview for The Boys Are Back, there was an undeniable light in his eyes from the moment he walked in the door. Owen has reason to be enthusiastic—he gives the most nuanced and emotional performance of his career in the drama directed by Scott Hicks (Shine) about a sportswriter trying to raise two boys after the sudden death of his wife. Because the role is so quiet, he’s not exactly a slam dunk for his first Best Actor nomination (he scored a supporting nod for Closer) but he’s definitely “in the conversation,” as they say. The film opens tomorrow; in the meantime, he talks about why he wanted to play a dad, how he bonded with his 7-year-old costar, and whether his two daughters wish he were more like his carefree character. Check out the interview after the jump. READ FULL STORY »
Tag: Best Actor Oscar (61-70 of 94)
Now that the Toronto International Film Festival is officially over, here are the five movies, actors, and filmmakers who got the most potent shots of Oscar adrenaline from their time up north.
1. Up in the Air. Of all the films that premiered at Toronto or Telluride, Jason Reitman’s dramatic comedy emerged as the strongest across-the-board contender. At this point, nods for picture, director, actor (George Clooney), supporting actress (certainly Anna Kendrick, possibly Vera Farmiga as well), and adapted screenplay seem like sure things. Watch me and Missy Schwartz discuss the film in our Toronto weekend wrap-up.
2. Gabourey Sidibe (pictured here). With her attention-grabbing costar Mo’Nique absent from the festival, the titular star of the audience award winner Precious (a certain Best Picture nominee) had her chance to shine…and saw her Best Actress chances soar.
3. Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. The never-nominated Brit and our own four-time nominee share a knockout centerpiece scene in Tom Ford’s gorgeous drama A Single Man. Harvey Weinstein, who definitely has a eye for Oscar-baiting performances, liked what he saw and bought the film for a December release. Here’s Part 1 of my OscarWatch interview with Firth.
4. Clive Owen. His leading-man turn in The Boys Are Back is decidedly on the subtle side, but fabulous trade reviews out of Toronto put the past Supporting Actor nominee (Closer) squarely in the running for a Best Actor nod. Watch me and Missy talk about his chances here.
5. Joel and Ethan Coen. Two years after winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country for Old Men, the brilliant brothers raised some eyebrows by going the star-free route with A Serious Man. But their surprisingly personal film was extremely well-received by critics and audiences alike. Especially given the relative dearth of Best Original Screenplay candidates this season, they could find themselves with a return invite to the Kodak.
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Photo credit: Mark Blinch/Reuters/Landov
By now about a million of you have seen The Informant!, the fifth collaboration between Matt Damon and Steven Soderbergh as actor and director. In the last installment of our OscarWatch interview (check out Part 1 and Part 2 as well), Damon talks about how the Oscar-winning filmmaker guided him through the comedy’s most pivotal scenes. Watch the video after the jump, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for updates all season long. READ FULL STORY »
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since Matt Damon’s first and only Oscar nomination for acting, for 1997′s Good Will Hunting. But even though he’s delivered several strong performances since then (The Talented Mr. Ripley, anyone?), the Academy doesn’t seem to have noticed. I’m curious to see whether his riotous performance in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! (in theaters today) changes any of that. True, it’s a comedy, so that’s one strike against his chances. But he is playing a real guy, and of course there’s the weight gain in his favor. But most of all, it’s a uniquely funny performance that took real guts to pull off. Here’s more of our OscarWatch interview, after the jump. And the obligatory “follow me on Twitter” (@davekarger) request. READ FULL STORY »
I met with a jet-lagged Colin Firth yesterday in Toronto, fresh from his Best Actor victory at the Venice film festival for his impeccable lead performance in Tom Ford’s A Single Man. In the drama, Firth, best known for his roles in Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones’s Diary, plays a college professor, mourning the loss of his partner, who considers ending his own life. At the InStyle/Hollywood Foreign Press Association party tonight in Toronto, Harvey Weinstein told me he intends to release the film on Dec. 4; in the meantime, here’s Firth talking about his career-best performance.
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The Weinstein Co. has bought Tom Ford’s directorial debut A Single Man in a seven-figure deal, with the intention of giving it an Oscar-qualifying release this year. The ultra-stylish drama, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, had its North American premiere last night at the Toronto International Film Festival. Weinstein already has Nine, Inglourious Basterds, and The Road on its Oscar slate. I’d call Firth (Best Actor) and Moore (Best Supporting Actress) the two strongest shots at nominations from the film.
When I had the chance to chat with Matt Damon about his hilarious performance in The Informant! (out this Friday), I couldn’t resist asking him two burning questions: 1) Is he really going to play Liberace’s boyfriend opposite Michael Douglas in an upcoming biopic? And 2) how does he intend to slay his pal and Best Actor competitor George Clooney during the Oscar season? Hear about all his evil plans below. And follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for instant Oscar updates.
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I’m just out of the press and industry screening of Up in the Air, and I have to say the movie lives up to all the hype. It’s equal parts comedy and drama with extremely timely themes and fantastic performances, especially from George Clooney and up-and-comer Anna Kendrick. To my surprise, Kendrick seems to have a bigger role than the also impressive Vera Farmiga, who plays Clooney’s love interest in the film. The humor in Jason Reitman’s third film is quite sharp (I can’t recall the last time a joke elicited applause from a group of journalists), but it definitely gives way to a more somber tone near the end. Particularly with this season’s 10 Best Picture slots, Up in the Air seems like a great bet for a nomination at this early date.
Hot off its triumphant debut at the Telluride Film Festival, the comedic romance Up in the Air—directed by Juno‘s Jason Reitman and starring George Clooney—is definitely the movie to see in Toronto. I grabbed a few minutes on the phone with Reitman to discuss his latest film-fest success. Here’s part of our conversation:
OscarWatch When did you get the sense that your Telluride screening was going so well?
Jason Reitman There’s a scene in the movie with George, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick in which the two women talk about what what they look for in a man at 23 versus 37. It’s my favorite scene in the movie, and it just killed. That’s when I knew we had ‘em.
OW Is there part of you that now wishes the film were coming out in October instead of December?
JR No, actually. These films take time. You’ve got to give people a chance to really hear what it’s about and understand why they want to see it. It’s not the easiest film to describe. In one sense, it’s a movie about a man who fires people for a living. In another sense, it’s a movie about a man who collects air miles excessively. In another sense, it’s about a man who meets a woman who’s so similar to him that even though they both believe in the idea of living solo, they begin to fall in love. We’re on the Juno schedule and I think it’s going to work perfectly for us.
I’m excited to see the film in Toronto this Friday. Check back on OscarWatch and follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for my reaction. In the meantime, in Part 3 of our Toronto preview, Missy Schwartz and I discuss the movies we’re most looking forward to at the festival, including the Coen brothers’ latest film and fashion designer Tom Ford’s directorial debut.
I’ve had a chance to see three Toronto films that could end up factoring into the Best Actor race: The Road (Viggo Mortensen), The Informant! (Matt Damon), and The Boys Are Back (Clive Owen). I’ll be conducting OscarWatch interviews with all three guys at the festival; in the meantime, in Part 2 of our Toronto preview, Missy Schwartz and I assess their chances. And please follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for instant updates during the festival and beyond.
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