Continuing our series on movies not to forget come awards season, Flickreel takes a look at five actors worthy of an Oscar nomination.
Sam Elliott: The Hero
Sam Elliott has been doing strong work as a character actor since his film debut in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, but he’s never quite gotten his due. He gives the performance of his career in The Hero as Lee Hayden. A role that feels tailor-made for Elliott, Lee is an aging Western star struggling to remain relevant in today’s film industry. When he’s diagnosed with Cancer, Lee attempts to stage a comeback while also reconnecting with his estranged daughter (Krysten Ritter) and forming a romance with a young comedienne (Laura Prepon). Elliott breathes life into this character with great pathos, grit, and humor, reminding us why he’s one of our most underappreciated actors.
Woody Harrelson: War for the Planet of the Apes
Since a lot of people don’t even understand how motion-capture works, Andy Serkis’ stunning performance as Caesar probably doesn’t have a chance in hell at a nomination. What about Woody Harrelson, though? As the Colonel, Woodelson created one of the most chilling villains of recent years, possessing the complex nature that’s practically Shakespearian. Like the rest of the cast, Harrelson manages to get so much across without saying a word. Of course when the time does come for Harrelson to give a lengthy monologue, he hits it out of the park.
Hugh Jackman: Logan
Although Hugh Jackman has played Wolverine time after time, his performance in Logan was unlike anything we’ve ever seen from him. Jackman completely erased our memory of this character’s previous incarnations, delivering the most vulnerable, empathetic, and human depiction of Wolverine to date. Since it’s a quote unquote comic book movie, a Best Actor nomination may not be in the cards for Jackman. Then again, Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his performance as the Joker and Al Pacino earned a nomination for his work as Big Boy in Dick Tracy. One can only hope that Jackman will join this exclusive club for his final outing as Logan.
James McAvoy: Split
Nobody thought it was possible, but M. Night Shyamalan has made a significant comeback with Split. Much of the film’s success can be attributed to James McAvoy’s performance as Kevin Wendell Crumb, a kidnapper juggling 24 different personalities. This role easily could’ve come off as too silly or too ridiculous, but McAvoy hit just the right note with each of his personas, maintaining a haunting presence throughout. On one hand, a character with dissociative identity disorder may seem like an Oscar bait role. On the other hand, the Academy overlooked John Goodman for a similar performance he gave in 10 Cloverfield Lane. So only time will tell is McAvoy can break through in the Best Actor race.
The Cast of Dunkirk
Okay, so I’m kind of cheating because this means the list technically has more than five actors, but the entire cast of Dunkirk is worthy of recognition. Christopher Nolan’s war epic had powerful performance across the board from Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance, and Cillian Murphy. Harry Styles in particular turned in surprisingly emotive work as a private fighting for his life. To think, Nolan wasn’t even aware of his singing background when he cast him in the role. While it’s hard to say which actor deserves to be singled out the most, at least one deserves an acting nomination.
Be sure to check out our roundup of all of the articles we’ve written on subjects pertinent to the Oscars 2018.