Best actor virtual roundtable – In an alternate universe, Jack Black beats Daniel Day-Lewis?
In this week's virtual roundtable, we return to Best Actor -- and, yes, Daniel Day-Lewis as "Lincoln." Could anyone possibly beat the two-time Oscar winner? What is it about this performance that stands head and shoulders above all others (or doesn't)? And, if you could add one actor's name to the list from the year, whose would it be?
Jonathan Lisecki (writer/director, Independent Spirit nominee "Gayby"): I don't think people gave Jamie Foxx enough credit for his work in "Django Unchained."
Thelma Adams: I always thought it was odd that his picture was prominent on the poster, he has the title role, he's won an Oscar before -- and yet all the awards buzz was about the white guys, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio. What about Foxx's performance worked for you, Jonathan?
[Related: Click here to get the lowdown on the Oscars]
Jonathan Lisecki: I feel like the showier performances of the film were great and easy to note, but if you didn't buy the central love story, the movie wouldn't have worked at all. And Foxx and Kerry Washington sold it with their subtle, truthful work.
Carla Stockton (freelance writer): Ah, the DDL question. There are icons in our culture, deservedly so or not, who are permanently affixed to the pedestal of our idolatry. Day-Lewis has been among the smallest group of iconic actors since "My Left Foot," and perhaps deservedly so. But in "Lincoln," I was so utterly aware of "The Work" that I didn't see a character so much as an actor straining to project a character, and thus I was unable to suspend my disbelief and embrace Lincoln.
Thelma Adams: So, if not Day-Lewis, then who?
Carla Stockton: Who else? How do we define what constitutes an award-winning performance? Is it a career high point? If so, DDL has not delivered that, in my view. Bradley Cooper has, and he has shown what the guidance of a real actor's director can do to push the delivery to that pinnacle state.
Nell Minow (Movie Mom): really wanted to see John Hawkes nominated for best actor for "The Sessions."
Thelma Adams: He was an early contender since the film remiered the Sundance Film Festival last year. He got Golden Globe and SAG nominations. I don't love the movie, but I loved his performance in it. And it's ironic that Helen Hunt got the Oscar nomination in supporting but Hawkes fell off the list. What about Hawkes's performance made it so outstanding?