I wasn’t fortunate to watch the Academy Awards live this year but i’ve seen reports about the show. Neil Patrick Harris’s performance as the host, Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech, John Legend and Common’s Glory performance that made Chris Pine cry and Lady Gaga’s wonderful rendition of songs from THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I want to say that i don’t even have a problem with most of the winners of awards this year.
I think Eddie Redmayne totally deserved to pick the statuette for best actor, and JK Simmons, Birdman, Inarritu, Whiplash, Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette and Big Hero Six were deserved winners. That’s not what i want to talk about anyways. I want to talk about the Best Actor Category.
Since 2002, the best actor category has been won by an actor who portrayed a historical character 9 times. Only in 2007, 2009 and 2011 did Daniel Day-Lewis, Jeff Bridges and Jean Dujardin win for portraying fictional characters. I don’t find it weird, I just feel that it seems that the actors portraying real characters already have a sort of template to work with. It doesn’t make the performance any easier, I just feel it’s harder to create a character from scratch than to learn to mimic an existing one.
This year for instance I believe Michael Keaton did a great job as Riggan Thomson in BIRDMAN but what chances did he have with Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking, Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle, Steve Carell as John Dupont and Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing? All these other guys could be rated as great or more believable because we know the characters they played; they are real people, people we can compare their mannerisms and performance with. People like Michael Keaton don’t have such luxuries.
There’s nothing fishy about it though, these are just my thoughts. It would be nice to at least be able to make this argument in the Nigerian Movie industry, but are performances are sadly not good enough to even raise the thought in the most minute portions. Anyways I think it’ll all get better when we start taking film making as a serious art and serious business.