The 91st Academy Awards are less than a week away and while the focus right now is more on the controversies around the Oscars than the nominees, the conversation will hopefully change after the ceremony. Oscars are primarily about honouring the artists and technicians who put in their hard work in creating cinema that will be cherished for years to come and this year too, five actors delivered some noteworthy performances to get nominated in the Best Actor category.
The nominees for Best Actor this year include Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born, Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody, Viggo Mortensen for Green Book, Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate and Christian Bale for Vice.
In my opinion, Bradley Cooper is a strong frontrunner in this category this year. Cooper played Jackson Maine, a famous country singer, in A Star Is Born. His character is struggling with alcohol when he meets Lady Gaga’s Ally and is on a downward spiral throughout the narrative of the film. Bradley’s ruggedly handsome looks combined with his great singing makes you believe why someone like Ally would fall for him.
In a standout scene in the film, when Jack apologises to Ally for embarrassing her, Cooper’s gives one of the best scenes he has ever delivered and it’s even more noteworthy since he has directed the film himself. Going up against Lady Gaga in vocals is no joke and Cooper managed to share the stage with her, and that too, convincingly.
Rami Malek’s performance for Bohemian Rhapsody has received a lot of honours including the Golden Globe and BAFTA and there is a strong chance that he might take away the Oscar this year.
Bohemian Rhapsody was largely criticised for weak storytelling but the only box that the film ticked throughout was Malek’s performance as Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury. Ever since the first look of his character came out, the visual resemblance got people talking. In the film, Malek plays Freddie as an eccentric musician but taps into his emotional side just as well.
The physical transformation, especially the teeth, are a little distracting at first, but one gets used to them as Malek lifts an otherwise weak script.
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Among the other nominees, even though Viggo Mortenson put up a good show as Tony ‘Lip’ in Green Book, he probably put himself out of the race when he said the N-word while promoting the film and given the current scenario, the academy is not likely to pat him on the back.
Christian Bale went through another physical transformation to play Dick Cheney in Vice but this year too, he will miss the coveted trophy. Willem Dafoe has also been nominated for playing Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate.
The 91st Academy Awards will take place on February 24.