Magazine article Variety


Magazine article Variety


Article excerpt

Though their films might not make the final Oscar cut, these thesps and scribes are among those who continue to circle kudos contention


Is this the year for Richard Gere? The question has lingered for months and hasn't gone away, with his "Arbitrage" perf remaining a leading possibility to end his career-long Oscar drought. But the lead-actor compeüsh could hardly be stronger, from major and minor films alike. Anthony Hopkins brought Alfred Hitchcock to life, Bill Murray has long been touted as the pride of "Hyde Park on Hudson," and Jack Black has earned major plaudits for "Bernie." Alan dimming is compelling in "Any Day Now," and the work by Liam Neeson in "The Grey" is also not to be forgotten.


Matthew McConaughey is | the awards hope for the spirited "Magic Mike," having received not one but two Indie Spirit noms (the other for "Killer Joe") along with New York Film Critics circle honors. Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken each offer compelling awards cases for their perfs in "Seven Psychopaths," though Walken might have an even stronger case as the eldest member of "A Late Quartet." In addition, "End of Watch" earned high marks, not the least of them for the supporting actor performance by Michael Pena.


Some have dismissed this as a weak year in the lead actress category, but there are numerous great performances bubbling beneath the surface of glossier films. Marion CotUlard is dazzling in a challenging role in French film "Rust and Bone," while Helen Mirren nearly turned "Hitchcock" into "Alma." Two other awards vets also lurk: defending champ Meryl Streep in "Hope Springs" and Maggie Smith as an opera singer adjusting to the finale of her career in "Quartet." But don't forget the newcomers: Emayatzy Corinealdi was a revelation in "Middle of Nowhere," already earning a Gotham Award and an Indie Spirit nom, while Mary Elizabeth Winstead, a tour de force in "Smashed," also has an Indie Spirit nom. without the benefit of a campaign, Rachel Weisz came out of left field to win New York Film Critics Circle honors for "The Deep Blue Sea"


While the campaign for Jack Black might give the illusion that "Bernie" was a one-man show, Shirley MacLaine scored as his psuedoparamour/antagonist, and it's not a stretch to see her as a worthy supporting actress nominee. …

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