In decades of tracking the Academy Awards, I honestly can’t recall any category, in any year, when a race was as fiercely, thrillingly white-hot competitive as this year’s Best Actor race. Just think about it: Not one, not two, not three, but four of the nominees each stands a very real chance of winning. Consider each scenario, and you’ll realize it’s true. When Jennifer Lawrence gets up to present the Best Actor award and tears open that envelope, if she ends up saying, “And the Oscar goes to…Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave,” it will not be a shock, because Ejiofor, playing a man who endures the torments of the damned, and must hold in his emotions (even as he shows them to us), and must somehow, on top of all that, figure out a way to keep his faith burning, has been justly acclaimed for being incredible beyond words in that movie. If Lawrence says, “And the Oscar goes to…Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club,” it will not be a shock, because McConaughey, this year, is the official front-runner, and has been justly coronated for giving a tough, sinewy, moving, and anger-singed performance that is widely viewed as the culminating act of his 20-year career in Hollywood. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Bruce Dern (1-10 of 13)
Were you stoked to see Bruce Dern scowl his way through Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western The Hateful Eight? Bad news, hombre: A source close to Tarantino confirms that after learning that the film’s screenplay has leaked, Tarantino has decided to shelve the project.
The Oscar-winning writer/director tells Deadline that he found out about the leak when his agent, Mike Simpson, started to get calls from other agents who wanted to pitch their own clients for Hateful Eight roles. And though it’s unclear exactly how the script got out, Tarantino has a few ideas: According to that same Deadline interview, Tarantino gave The Hateful Eight‘s script to “six people,” including “three motherf—ing” actors — specifically Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, and Tim Roth, all of whom have appeared in previous Tarantino projects. He believes that either Madsen or Dern then passed the script to his agent, “and that agent has now passed it on to everyone in Hollywood.”
“I don’t know how these f—ing agents work, but I’m not making this next,” Tarantino continued. “I’m going to publish it [as a book], and that’s it for now. I give it out to six people, and if I can’t trust them to that degree, then I have no desire to make it. I’ll publish it. I’m done. I’ll move on to the next thing. I’ve got 10 more where that came from.”
Reps for Roth, Madsen, and Dern haven’t yet responded to EW’s requests for comment.
Bruce Dern has confirmed that he spoke with Quentin Tarantino about the possibility of appearing in the director’s next movie. “We had a conversation,” said Dern, who yesterday received a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance as delusional alcoholic Woody Grant in the film Nebraska. “I mean, he hasn’t hired me yet or anything. But we had a conversation about the material, yes we did.”
Screenwriter Bob Nelson is having a good day. “I got an email from Sears saying I got $5 in points,” he explains. “So that was pretty good.” Anything else happen? “Oh yeah, the Academy Award thing,” he deadpans.
If there is a more touching Oscar nominations day story than that of veteran thespian June Squibb — who has been given the nod in the Best Supporting Actress category for her performance in Nebraska — we’re not sure our hearts, or our tear ducts, can take it.
The way Bruce Dern tells it, the moment he learned he had been nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance in Nebraska sounds remarkably like a scene from the film itself, which stars Dern as a befuddled alcoholic named Woody who mistakenly believes he has won a fortune. “I have to sleep with a mask on sometimes,” says the actor, who was previously nominated 35 years ago in the Best Supporting Actor category for the drama Coming Home. “So, the Lone Ranger mask was still on. I was stumbling down the hall to go to the latrine. And when I got there, somebody said, ‘No, don’t go in there! Come out here, come out here!’ And there was Laura (Dern, his daughter), and my wife, and my business partner Wendy and I was absolutely thrilled. And a little bit stunned to tell you the truth.”
The National Board of Review announced its 2013 honorees on Dec. 4, with Her, Nebraska, and Fruitvale Station claiming some of the top prizes. That meant the only real suspense last night at the organization’s New York City gala was who would win the crowd and earn the best howls. Rob Reiner nearly stole the show, but it was Meryl Streep who brought down the house at Cipriani’s on 42nd Street. Streep, presenting the Best Actress award to Emma Thompson for Saving Mr. Banks, left her friend “nauseous with gratitude” with a heart-felt introduction that also took swipes at Walt Disney and the Disney brand. READ FULL STORY
Daniel Day-Lewis spoiled us. Last year, the Best Actor race was an easy call, but this time around, it’s the hardest of the Oscar fields to predict. The race is jam-packed with worthy contenders, each with an equally strong chance of finding his name in that winning envelope on March 2.
With a month to go before voting opens we could still see some shifting. Who could still sneak in? Forest Whitaker for The Butler or Joaquin Phoenix for Her have the potential to rise in the ranks. So does Oscar Isaac for his musical, downtrodden turn in Inside Llewyn Davis.
Most Academy members haven’t seen the ’70s grifter drama American Hustle yet, but since it began screening for the press earlier this week reactions have been ecstatic. Expect to see that film in as many as eight Oscar categories this year, including each of the acting fields.
Christian Bale’s comically seductive, balding, pot-bellied con artist from that film should soon be joining the list of Best Actor contenders. The question is: Who will he knock out?
Right now, if you ask voters to pick front-runners, they almost always name the five below. Each delivers an impressive performance, but also have a compelling backstory, which can help make the difference in a tough race.
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With our apologies to Tolstoy, every family is awkward in its own way too, and the Grants of Hawthorne, Nebraska, are no exception.
In Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, an unexpected accident on Woody Grant’s (Bruce Dern) trip to Omaha finds him thrust back into his hometown for an unwanted stay with his extended family. Needless to say, his visit is full of extended silences and clumsy sincerity as a group of near strangers connected by blood and marriage and a general idea of a social contract attempt to uphold some sense of kinship amidst the mundane realities of their lives.
And boy does it get awkward.
Bruce Dern, the Oscar-nominated actor who’s generating awards buzz for his starring role in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, will receive the Career Achievement Award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 4.
“Bruce Dern is truly a one of a kind performer,” said Festival chairman Harold Matzner, in a statement. “His skill at capturing the essence of a character, no matter how complex or unorthodox, is unique and unparalleled. In over 80 feature films, this talent is vividly reflected in such classic roles as the deranged pilot plotting a mass attack in Bloody Sunday, or the scarred Vietnam vet who returns home to find his wife embroiled in an affair with another man in Coming Home. In his latest cinematic endeavor Nebraska, certainly deserving of award recognition, Dern brings his consummate acting gifts to the role of an inscrutable elderly father who, with his son, journeys to claim a million dollar prize, while ultimately coming face to face with his past.”
Dern was nominated for an Oscar in 1979 for his supporting role in Coming Home. He also starred in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The King of Marvin Gardens, The Great Gatsby, The ‘Burbs, and Django Unchained, among others. His current role in Nebraska has already been honored by the Cannes Film Festival and he’s in the conversation for an Oscar nomination.
Nebraska opened in a few theaters on Nov. 15. The Palm Springs International Film Festival runs Jan. 3-13.
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