For me, part of it has to do with the characters they are playing. I didn’t find Clooney’s character (or even Pitt’s character) all that compelling when compared to some of these other characters. Whether you liked Michael Shannon or not, I think you’d have to acknowledge his character was more interesting that Billy Beane. And Michael Shannon nailed the character in making it interesting. I don’t think Clooney is a bad actor and I think there have been times when he’s given a great performance. But with The Descendants, part of the issue is the material itself, which I don’t think is all that deep, and his miscasting in the material, which I think needed a stronger actor to bring more depth to the lacking material.
In the case of Fassbender, Shannon, and Oldman, all three characters they are portraying are intensely fascinating to me. Add to that pitch perfect performances and you got the cat’s pajamas.
I haven’t seen Fassbender’s performance yet………and I personally didn’t find Oldman’s character in Tinker Tailor Boring Spy all that compelling. He was more compelling as Commissioner Gordon…..heck..he was more compelling as Dr. Smith in Lost in Space……
LOL……I guess I deserved that Booo…….
Is the performance worthy of a second Oscar? No. But I don’t mind seeing him got nominated. If he won, that’d make him over-rewarded when there are actors giving better performances than him in 2011. Michael Shannon, Fassbender, and heck Peyman Moadi in A Separation is better than him.
I wouldn’t mind if he won only if he wasn’t such an arrogant man that people brownose. Even then, I still wouldn’t consider him for the Oscar, because his performance is not strong enough to beat Fassbender, Shannon, Oldman, who play more complex characters, that require more body and soul into their performance. Clooney just plays an everyday man with two daughters. What’s so intriguing about that ?
Also it would be interesting to note that while Clooney won the most critics awards, he did not win important awards, and the awards he did win were those that awarded him in the past. NYFC, and National Society of Film Critics went to Pitt, LAFC went to Fassbender, a Best Actor award that went to all the past Best Actor winners since circa 2004, and the Cannes went to DuJardin. to name a few. If this were a just world, Clooney’s weak performance would not have a snowball’s chance in hell to win.
Also another reason why Clooney should not win, is because actors like him are prone to make political statements at entertainment awards. He did the same thing when he won for Syriana and did not thank any other person. It just seems so selfish. When that happened with Sean Penn for “Milk” I couldn’t help but feel that the betterl performances by less selfish actors, who keep their mouths shut towards politics are snubbed. The Academy ought to feel ashamed for these decisions and learn from these mistakes instead of making more of them.
^ I agree. Americans expressing their opinions make me sick.
Even Woody Harrelson knocks it out of the park in Rampart compared to Clooney and Pitt.
Come on, Woody Harrelson is great in whatever he does.
Tonight at around 10:30 EST, see if the Foreign Press makes the same mistake as the BFCA in awarding Clooney the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. Chances are, they are a bunch of brownosers like everyone else this awards season.
And the Golden Globe for dullest performance goes to George “Brownoser” Clooney. Man this guy must have bribed, or screwed voting members to win. What CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seeing Rupert Murdoch and Alexander Payne hugging made me a little nauseous.
I didn’t recognize Murdoch. He sure has aged. It’s a shame that Payne won for probably his worst film. Sideways was infinitely better even though he did win an Oscar and Golden Globe for the film.
Is this classless imbecile really gonna be known as a 2 time winner? Only in a strange world like this could anything be possible.
Hilary Swank has the same amount of Oscars as Meryl Streep so anything is possible.
Jean Dujardin just won the SAG award. Looks like Clooney is losing steam.
I agree with your comments above about Oldman in Tinker Tailor. After seeing that I rewatched the original BBC Tinker Tailor, and Guiness’s take on Smiley was so much more human and wonderful to watch. Oldman’s Smiley is empty perfectionism, but Guiness’s was clearly a compassionate man who just happened to have extraordinary powers of self-control. Maybe it was the direction, but Oldman’s Smiley left me with nothing. That said – among the Oscar noms, he deserves the win.
I thought Clooney’s performance in Descendants was quite good. His character seems to me a typical Payne creation, resigned and drifting through life until some big life event changes things around him – and I thought Clooney did a creditable job of it, while injecting appropriate bits of humour along the way. I could understand his motivations in the film and his anger. Whether it’s an Oscar-worthy performance, I am not sure – I haven’t seen any of the other nominees.
Is Ben Kingsley up for a nomination? I did see him in Hugo and thought he was good as always – but again, I don’t know if it’s Oscar material.
I find it hard to imagine Brad Pitt getting an Oscar – I have seen him in too many awful roles, eg. Interview With the Vampire, 12 Monkeys.
The SAG win makes Dujardin the favorite for the Oscar. I believe the Acting Branch is the largest voting branch of the Academy. Either prospect is dismal in my opinion. Clooney’s self depracating smile as he caresses the Oscar or Dujardin playing the role of the lovable, idiosyncratic foreigner as he holds the Oscar while making his acceptance speech silently.
Who will win doesn’t interest me at all but I’d rather the lesser known get honoured. Mediocre or even better than average Hollywood A-listers, in this case Clooney and Pitt, don’t need more publicity. I think I have enough of them smirking on posters, red carpet photos, even in the metro station where trailers of their films are repeatedly shown, together with those “2/3/4 Oscar/Golden Globe nominations”… lines.
Among the 4 I have seen, I like Dujardin and Oldman although The Artist as a whole bare Dujardin’s infectious smile is really quite forgettable (but so are The Descendants and Moneyball) and I have roughly the same reaction towards Oldman’s Smiley as MIASMA, and towards Tinker which I thought is a fine piece of craft but too narrative-driven it left me cold.
@ Danny Bailey: O’Reilley is full of it and so are you.
of course taking this dicussion any further requires taking the history “Milk” deals with seriously AND taking Sean Penn as an actor seriously
which you don’t
So there’s really no point in continuing.
This entire thread is an exercise in Liberal-baiting.
George is a liberal. His politics are not uncommon to that of the vast majority of American despite the best efforts of coporate-fed propagandists to make one think otherwise. He’s quite interesting as a director — though I think ‘The Ides of March" didn’t quite work.
As an actor he’s without peerwhen it comes to making subtle interiroized states manifest.
This year of course he doesn’t have a chance next to the grotesque mugging of Jean Dujardin — this year’s Roberto Begnini.
Danny Bailey, why are you so concerned with these awards? All of us notice them and every once in a while nod ‘yay’ or ‘nay’ to the results, and we even all agree they can be used as cultural reference markers, but nobody takes them as seriously as you seem to other than studio accountants and all those people who put out Entertainment Tonight and those fan magazines.
I’ll repeat a story I’ve posted here previously. When the great George Stevens finally won his first Oscar, he said, “Well, really, we’ll know how good this film is in about 15 years.” That’s the best way I can convey as to how to treat these yearly awards. The respective critics’ groups at least try to give them a boost of class, but most of them are so rooked it’s not even funny, and the Oscars are some of the worst of all.
Most definitely not. The film itself together with his performance is extremely “standard” at best. It’s just George going through the motions.
The film is okay (I gave it 3/5 stars) his performance is okay. But not oscar worth at all.
(Personally I think there should be a thread discussing the fact that Jonah Hill got an oscar nom for Moneyball!!! jeez. good film but Jonah really wasn’t spectacular enough for an oscar nomination!)
In my view, outspoken liberal actors are less deserving of awards for one or both reasons:
-They lack acting skills that more modest actors possess
-If they win, then it could be seen as favortism, on account of their liberal ideas rather than the performance itself (eg. Vanessa Redgrave Julia)
So, in a nutshell the fact that George Clooney and Sean Penn won for less than stellar performances due to politics, also covers the realm that they beat better performances played by actors who are not outspoken. It’s pure liberal bias that unfortunately plagues the Academy. Hopefully, the Actors Branch will make the right decision and award Jean Dujardin the Oscar for 2011’s Best Actor.
P.S. I know all about the history of “Milk”. Dan White killed Harvey Milk out of sheer jealousy for beating him in the election, and not because he was gay. That’s liberal manipulation for you.
Wow, Danny, you really make a lot of assumptions. I’m not sure if it’s worth unpacking all of this above but anyone who knows anything about acting agrees that Sean Penn is one of the best Hollywood actors of his generation so the fact that he won two Oscars is not a big surprise (the real question is why Tom Hanks won so many) so your point that Penn “lacks acting skills” is ridiculous. Clooney’s acting skills are more a matter of debate. You don’t like him. Good for you. Others think he’s a fine studio actor. The idea that their politics somehow influenced the decision is nonsense. In fact, the Academy openly disdains actors or filmmakers who express political attitudes (so hence why Michael Moore will never win another Oscar). Anyway, to say that Jean Dujardin is a great actor whose performance is notably better than Clooney’s is utter nonsense.
And if you can’t connect the dots between Harvey Milk’s assassination and homophobia, there’s not really much hope for you.
>>-They lack acting skills that more modest actors possess<<
Does this apply to outspoken conservative actors as well?
Do you find a lot of great actors can generally be described as “modest”?
Yeah, Marlon Brando was an outspoken liberal to make up for his lack of acting skills.
“The idea that their politics somehow influenced the decision is nonsense.”
Of course. I think this goes without saying. I know a lot of conservatives who loved Penn’s performance in Milk and think he deserved that Oscar. Yet I’m a progressive and I wouldn’t have voted for him. The whole idea that liberal politics plays a part in these awards is silly. Now if you want to get mad at Cannes for giving the Palm d’Or for Farenheit 9/11, now that’s something I can get behind.
Whether it’s Jane Fonda or Vanessa Redgrave or Marlon Brando, these are all first class actors who won not because of their politics but because people liked their performance and they had the momentum to win come Oscar season. It’s all pretty simple and not that complicated. Dujardin could win and if he does, it’s not because the Academy wants to give the French guy a statue, it’s because his performance and The Artist has the momentum right now. Ditto on if Clooney wins.
I don’t know why people get so wrapped up and in a twist over famous people and their politics. Who cares what their political positions are? I could care less that Dennis Miller is Bill O’Reilly’s bitch; I still think he’s probably the best Weekend Update host SNL has ever had. Why didn’t Tim Robbins’ film, Cradle Will Rock, sweep the Academy Awards, since he apparently is the mouthpiece for all things lilberal? This is all just crazy talk to justify why someone you don’t like wins something.
//I know a lot of conservatives who loved Penn’s performance in Milk and think he deserved that Oscar.//
That being said Milk was definitely what I refer to as an agenda driven film. I didn’t find many sympathetic characters in the film (including Harvey Milk) with maybe the exception of Scott Smith (James Franco). I felt it was a film made to idealize Milk (who from what I understand was not always Mr. Nice Guy) and his cause. I would have been interested to see exactly what he accomplished while in office…what kind of politician was he? Did he champion any other causes that did not promote the gay agenda? This film does not really address any of this. Ok…so he was the first elected gay official in San Francisco…..but was he a good official?
But Penn delivered the performance of his career….he shed the usual Oscar mugging he does in films like Mystic River and I am Sam and just played the character. Yes he deserved the Oscar. The one he earned for Mystic River…not so much.