Saturday, January 18, 2014

2014 Academy Awards

Robert Redford in All Is Lost

I was saddened to hear that Robert Redford was not nominated for an Academy Award for his tour de force performance in the film,  All Is Lost.  I think he gave a stellar performance and one that is to be remembered.  

His craggy good looks and his one man performance I think stand out above and beyond the rest of those nominated.    That he is still able to hold our attention and engage us in this story with virtually no dialogue is amazing.  I believe he was wrongly overlooked by the Academy.  He definitely deserves an award for his great performance of a man stranded and lost at sea and how he copes with loneliness, fear, and oncoming death.

I hope he wasn't overlooked for his age, although to me he is still sexy and handsome at what, 76 years of age?  Not many men that age have aged so well.  To have overlooked his performance because of age would be age discrimination.  I am sure that is difficult to overcome in youth obsessed Hollywood.  But, his nuanced performance totally charmed me.

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Another remarkable film performance this award season is Christian Bale in the film American Hustle.  Not much as been said about his performance which I consider outstanding.  We keep hearing about Amy Adams, of course, Jennifer Lawrence, and Bradley Cooper, but everyone has been mum on Christian Bale.  

I believe it is Christian Bale's performance that is at the center of this film and holds the entire film together.  Interestingly, he is also in the center between the Jennifer Lawrence character and the Amy Adams character.  I can see his character with both women and feel his frustration as he tries to move on in his life.

He oozes a smarmy type of charm that is just a thin line above creepy.  I can see why he is attracted to Amy Adams both sexually and intellectually.  She is his intellectual equal while his wife is not.    He is sexually attracted to both of them, but wants to move on in life with his new woman, but does not want to lose his relationship with his adopted son;  hence the hanging on with his wife.

The whole comb over hair thing is hilarious and adds to his character's life on the margins of con men.  What I like about the character is he knows who he is, what he is and he doesn't care.  It is only when he meets the Amy Adams character that he begins to question what he has been doing with his life.  She gives him class and he gives her confidence and so the two have found the right relationship for them to take on the world.

Bale also gives quite a nuanced performance as we can feel  him sweat as this FBI sting spirals out of control just as his wife spirals out of his control also.  We also feel his pain when his one friend, the mayor of Camden, is arrested by the FBI and it is because of his betrayal.  

While so much has been said about the great performances of Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, and they are great performances, Christian Bale's performance seems to have been overlooked by the media. Thanks goodness the Academy did not overlook his nuanced performance as he is my choice for Best Actor for this year's Academy Awards.

Christian Bale in American Hustle

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