Wednesday, 25 January 2012

2012 Oscars Rundown: Part Three- Best Actor

With Awards season upon us our Culture Editor Nick Huffington-Paint takes a look at this year's nominees and gives us their chances of success

In part three we look to Hollywood's leading men and rate their chances of success.

Best Actor

Ryan Gosling, Drive

The Academy often give out accolades for true stories so, Ryan Gosling’s performance as Top Gear’s Richard ‘the hamster’ Hammond is a shoo-in for the gong. Portraying Hammond’s struggle to recover after a tragic drag racing accident, Gosling captures Hammond’s single minded determination to get well so that he could film more adverts for Morrisons, then travel to India to make jokes about turbans at the behest of Jeremy Clarkson (Bryan Cranston). Hammond’s struggle to get out of the hospital and back behind the wheel shows real, well, ‘Drive’.

Oscar-O-meter 7/10

Champion, War Horse

The Academy loves an accomplished first time performer and Champion is certainly that. Playing the grizzled and cynical Sgt. Jack McKracknahan, Champion manages to bring notes of pathos and sadness to what could have been a fairly rote character of a badass green beret horse with nothing left to lose. Equally convincing blowing away Nazis with a mounted Browning machine gun or sharing reminiscences about the foals he left behind in England, Champion chews scenery and cud throughout the film

Oscar-O-meter 6/10

Adam Sandler, Jack and Jill

Taking a break from his goofy funnyman schtick, Sandler bravely undermines his persona as a man whose psyche is torn apart by the death of his sister. Struggling to cope with the loss, Sandler’s Jack takes on the mannerisms and personality of his dead sister in a performance that asks us to consider the boundaries of memory, grief and even death. As Sandler becomes consumed by the need to resurrect Jill by substituting his own mind the boundaries of identity blur and Sandler’s eventual fall into psycho-sexual violence, cross dressing and dating Al Pacino are a tour de force of acting

Oscar-O-meter 10/10

Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

Owen Wilson plays a man monumentally depressed by how wonky his nose is. A fractured and suicidal man, Wilson conjures a powerful performance as a charismatic man torn apart by the bulbous flesh conker sitting on his face. The tragedy of the early half is so affecting that when, in the second half of the film, Jackie Chan shows up to cheer him up by beating up thugs with a bicycle while keeping several fragile vases from falling over, there is surely no dry eye in the house