Future Oscar Winners: Men

It’s the role that wins the Oscar, not the actor. Always remember that!

— Peter Sarsgaard I’ve never seen him repeat himself yet, yet he is always truthful. I think he’s amazing. I mean – the difference between the character he plays in Boys Don’t Cry and the guy he plays in Shattered Glass: Is that the same actor? He’s a chameleon.)

— Philip Seymour Hoffman He’s excellent. There’s already Oscar murmurs about his Truman Capote but we’ll just have to see what happens next year. I can’t wait to see it – I’m going Saturday with Allison!

— Johnny Depp. I think he’s pretty much a shoo-in. Love the guy. I get sick of his “oh, I’m so over Hollywood so I show up at awards shows with scruffy goatees” poses. Because I believe it is a pose. If you were REALLY ‘over Hollywood’ you wouldn’t show up at all. Right, Johnny? But that’s neither here nor there. The guy is wonderful, a truly inventive surprising actor. I think he is bound to win some day

— Jack Black. In my opinion, the guy is a mass of talent along the lines of … Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman. He’s one of my favorite actors working today. I think he’s Oscar caliber already. If Woody Allen put him in one of his movies – and made him the star – I bet he’d at least get nominated. I thought he should have been nominated for School of Rock, frankly.

— Jeff Bridges. He’s my favorite actor. Everyone AROUND him gets nominated because HE is the one who makes everything so easy. Only he doesn’t get nominated. It’s a shame. He’s like Cary Grant. Cary Grant wasn’t nominated for Philadelphia Story. Kate Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart both were and Jimmy Stewart won. Grant wasn’t nominated? He breezes through that movie, a demented puckish Cupid, but without his performance, neither of the other two stars would be HALF as effective. Jeff Bridges is like that. The fact that he was not nominated for Door in the Floor (although I could list probably 10 other roles that I think he should have been nominated for) – is unbelievable. You don’t see acting as good as what he did in Door in the Floor on an everyday basis. It is special. It is heightened. It raises the bar for everyone. And so – naturally – it is ignored. It makes eveyrone else realize: “hmmm, maybe we’re not so awesome as we think we are.” I think Jeff Bridges is the #1 actor in America today – and it is my hope that some day he gets the prize. But even if he doesn’t, he’ll be in good company. He can hang out with the likes of Cary Grant.

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41 Responses to Future Oscar Winners: Men

  1. JFH says:

    Philip Seymour Hoffman, I believe, is the William H. Macy of Generation X.

  2. Emily says:

    You know what I don’t get about people like Johnny Depp who want to project that they’re oh-so-un-Hollywood? Why do they invariably believe that this entails dressing like a feckin’ slob? When did grooming yourself and looking nice while you’re making a public appearance become “phoney”?

    That being said, he’s a terrific actor. Captain Jack Sparrow is one of my favorite movie characters of all time. I really hope they don’t screw up the POTC sequels by resting on their laurels and pushing the production too quickly to cash in, like they did with The Matrix. It would be a shame to see that character in a crap movie.

    The best movie entrance I can think of in a long time.

    That would be a good post…great character entrances into movies.

  3. DBW says:

    Just wanted to concur about Jeff Bridges. He is incredible. Name a bad performance, or uninteresting character, on his resume. He may have one, but I am not aware of any off the top of my head. He chooses, or is offered, quirky and unusual roles, and he is always, always real and intriguing. He never seems to go for the blockbuster roles, which is an obstacle in the race for an Oscar, but he is one actor who is reliably great in everything he does. Not to mention he is a modern Renaissance Man–musician, artist, actor, etc. Enough gushing, but he is one of my favorites.

    As for movie entrances, Orson Welles in The Third Man comes to mind.

  4. red says:

    DBW – It’s hard for me to choose a favorite Jeff Bridges film. It’s a toss-up between The Fisher King and Fearless. But there are so many others.

    Big Lebowski – The Fabulous Baker Boys – Oh, and I loved him as the redneck sweetheart in Morning After.

    And of course Star Man. Wow. He’s just amazing.

  5. red says:

    Actually, JFH – come to think of it – William H. Macy should be on this list as well. Isn’t he just incredible???

  6. Stevie says:

    Ewan MacGregor, anyone?

  7. red says:

    Yeah, he should be on there too. He’s fearless. He can do ANYthing. I respect his career so much.

  8. jean says:

    Sheila – quick question – was saarsgard the big brother in stand by me (the one with the scarred eye, river phoenix’ older bro)? I just watched it last night and I swear it was him….

  9. red says:

    Jean – I wasn’t sure so I looked it up – I think his name is Eyeball Chambers, right? It’s not Sarsgaard – I think he’s too young. He would probably have been River Phoenix’s age then.


  10. Stevie says:

    Oh, River Phoenix – SOOO good, so touching. In Running on Empty, he was heart wrenchingly good.

  11. Laura says:

    I agree with the opinions on Depp. The “I’m not Hollywood” act is pretty thin, but the guy can act. What I love about him are the roles he picks. Not standard “normal” things, but odd and eccentric characters, and he transforms himself flawlessly. As disappointed as I was with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I don’t blame Depp. for whatever reason Tim Burton wanted Willy Wonka portrayed in a particular way, and Depp did it marvelously. He’s fabulous in the various Burton movies he’s done (even providing the voice for Corpse Bride), and to this day Edward Scissorhands is one of my favorites. I don’t think I ever had more fun watching a movie than I did for Pirates, between him and Geoffrey Rush, the movie was just plain awesome. Usually if I see a movie come out with Depp, I try to see it. Even if the movie itself sucks, Depp at least somewhat salvages it with his incredible acting skills. I was really hoping he’d win an Oscar for Finding Neverland, but alas. Someday he’ll get something though, he just HAS to.

  12. kevin says:

    Depp in Benny and Joon was outstanding. Ed Wood, Don Juan Demarco. He is always working too,

    Jeff Bridges is great of course. How about some over rated actors. Al Pacino has been phoning it in lately.

  13. red says:

    Ed Wood is one of my favorite Johnny Depp performances ever.

  14. red says:

    Oh, and I’m sick of Al Pacino’s schtick. Because that is what it has become.

    Here’s the schtick (it used to be unpredictable back in The Godfather days, and his early roles – but now it’s tired):

    He speaks in a very very quiet ominous controlled-anger voice and then SUDDENLY HE EXPLODES INTO SHOUTING.

    Whatever, Al. It’s tired now. Find some new schtick.

    The last thing I liked him in was The Insider – thought he was very good in that (although he did have a couple of “now I am speaking quietly and controlling my anger AND NOW I AM SCREAMING” moments). But I really liked him in that.

  15. red says:

    That picture I found of Jeff Bridges, by the way, looks so much like an old flame of mine that it is actually CREEPY.

    Mitchell – when you arrive – doesn’t that picture of Jeff Bridges look like M.S.?

  16. Jen says:

    AHH Love Phillip Seymour Hoffman! In everything! I actually met him in London when he was directing a play there on the West End and actually hung out. God, what a nice person- so genuine.

    Johnny Depp can be as aloof and anti-Hollywood as he wants. To me, it’s rather a breath of fresh air than all the posing, going on “Access Hollywood” wannabes that are infesting the movies these days.

  17. red says:

    Jen – I think his anti-Hollywood crap is a kind of posing, though. I don’t see it as true, or real. It’s just as pretentious as the more obvious kind of posing.

  18. red says:

    But again: I don’t care. If he was a bad actor, it would be even more annoying. But he’s terrific, so whatever.

  19. Chrees says:

    I was never a Bridges fan until I saw Starman. An incredible performance, I thought. Everything was just slightly off…

  20. Barry says:

    I’ve never seen (or even heard) of Peter Sarsgaard in anything before I saw him the other day in Flight Plan – and it distracted me the whole movie that his eyes were always about half-shut. Is this a normal affectation of his? It made the character of the air marshall always seem to be half asleep in the scenese, which was annoying. Is it just me?

  21. red says:

    Barry – I think it might just be how his eyes are. Or it’s just you. I have no idea. Whatever.

    Boys Don’t Cry.
    Shattered Glass

    — all completely different characters. And then he did this wild 2-person movie called Center of the World that nobody saw but me – Cliched plot – man falls in love with prostitute – but he is riveting. Riveting.

    And then he’s almost unwatchably ominous in Boys Don’t Cry.

  22. Mitchell says:

    Garden State…Saarsgard is in Garden State..he’s awesome…yes that pic looks like M.S…remember Nadine?

  23. red says:

    Mitchell – Nadine!! Love that movie! We saw it in the movie theatre together … are we the only ones on the planet who truly appreciate how wonderful that movie is??

    A throwback to screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s … I need to see that again. LOVED it!!!

    And thank you for arriving and validating my Jeff Bridges/M.S. moment.

  24. Mitchell says:

    of course..also can we take a moment to say that Jeff Bridges is not only a wonderful actor..but one of those men who just continue to be sexy at every stage of life..so young and pretty…then tough and mannish..now craggy and wise..and yet sexy at every turn!!!

  25. Carrie says:

    What do you think of Chris Cooper (Lone Star)? Anything?

  26. Mitchell says:

    love Chris Cooper…in Adaptation..great! my fave obscure actor is Dan Futterman..he was on Judging Amy for a long time..some films..but i think he’s wondrful and underused..altho’ if im not mistaken he wrote the screenplay for the Capote film.

  27. red says:

    Chris Cooper is incredible. He was my favorite thing in Sea Biscuit. And then also his work in American Beauty. He is so so good.

    And yeah – Lone Star. What a performance he gives!!!

  28. red says:

    Oh yeah – and Adaptation. How can a man be so sexy without his front teeth? I have no idea. But he is.

  29. Emily says:

    “Then one day, I woke up and said ‘fuck fish. I RENOUNCE fish.'”

    I don’t know why I still think that line is so damn funny. “I renounce fish.”

  30. red says:

    hahahaha Such a great character

  31. red says:

    Mitchell – and yeah. Jeff Bridges is damn sexy. Always has been, always will be.

  32. Lisa says:

    Chris Cooper will always be July Johnson to me.

  33. Imminent Rue-age Watch

    Sheila and the Chai-rista are both waxing enthusiastically about Philip Seymor Hoffman today. Of course, regular readers of our little opus will remember that one of my guiding principles in life is “What Would Dusty Do?” (Incidently, The Big…

  34. tracey says:

    Oh, I just LOVE Jeff Bridges!! He’s so unself-conscious and natural and quiet, almost, about what he does. He’s got to be my favorite, too.

    Why am I thinking he was nominated for “Baker Boys”?

  35. Just1Beth says:

    Tom always reminded me a bit of Jeff Bridges. But don’t tell him- it will go to his head!

  36. red says:

    Tracey – I do believe he has been nominated many times. Tucker was another one of his nominations … he just hasn’t won the prize yet!! He’s the best!!

  37. And The Oscar Should Go To…

    I think Don Cheadle should be added to this list, and Emily Watson and Emma Thompson should be added to this one. But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong….

  38. Independent George says:

    I just can’t believe Tara Reid didn’t make your list.

  39. Alex says:

    I am so utterly exhausted by this FANTASTIC list! I love every inch of it! Genius Sheila. Pure, liquid genius.

    Phillip Seymor Hoffman?????


  40. red says:

    I would love to hear your list, Alex!!

  41. "dave" says:

    Philip Seymour Hoffman — amazing! The first time I saw him, I think was in Scent of A Woman — and then he kept showing up in these small roles – and I so wanted to see more of him on screen.

    There’s a Canadian movie – Owning Maloney — a true story about some banker dude from Toronto who embezzled millions to play Atlantic City (he was only caught by accident). And it is this slower simmering tension through the movie that just completely hooks you — it’s the first lead I’ve known for Hoffman — really worth the watch.

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