News / Arts & Entertainment

    Five Leading Men Vie for Best Actor Oscar

    Penelope Poulou

    The Academy Award nominations have confirmed the buzz about sure bets, but also added some surprises. In the category Best Actor in a Leading Role, some of the five nominees were expected to be in the mix.  Others were upsets.

    In The Descendants, a bittersweet family drama directed by Alexander Payne, George Clooney plays Matt Smith, a successful lawyer who finds himself at life's crossroads.

    After a boating accident, his wife is in a coma and is to be taken off life support. Overnight, Matt becomes a single parent to his two daughters. As if that is not enough, he finds out that before the accident his wife was cheating on him.

    In portraying Matt, Clooney loses his Hollywood persona. Matt is frumpy, and he's awkward with his kids and everyone else around him. He appears lost as he tries to make sense of what is happening to him.  

    With six Oscar nominations and one Oscar award under his belt, Clooney represents the status quo in Hollywood, but in a good way. He's as attractive as he is talented.

    However, his performance as Matt King is reminiscent of Ryan Bingham, the driven businessman dealing with loneliness and middle age that Clooney played in Jason Reitman’s 2009 drama Up in The Air.

    Clooney received a nomination for that role but did not win the Oscar. So, the question is will he get an Oscar this time around for a similar performance.

    Oscar nominee Jean Dujardin does something quite different.  He offers a tour de force performance as George Valentin, a 1920s silent movie star who loses fame and fortune with the advent of the "talkies."

    In The Artist, by Michel Hazanavicius, Dujardin exudes star power. His elegance, expressiveness and infectious smile represent what was alluring in silent films. Dujardin could reap the Oscar unless voters opt for the more wholesome and down to earth character of Los Angeles gardener Carlos Calindo, played by Mexican actor Demian Bichir in the drama A Better Life.

    Carlos Calindo is an illegal alien and a devoted father. He wants a better life for his son.

    Bichir offers a multilayered performance tackling a subject that speaks to many.

    But, as the underdog among the contenders, an award for Bichir would be a surprise.

    The Academy's voters could instead be swayed by the all-American character of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland As baseball team, played by Brad Pitt in Moneyball.

    Pitt gives a solid performance as the man who employs unorthodox methods to build a baseball team headed for the play-offs.

    But the deck could be stacked against him. There's also Gary Oldman, who towers over Pitt in a fine-tuned performance as super spy "Smiley" in the thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

    But Gary Oldman's British reserve could alienate voters in the Academy, who might feel that his character is too arcane for the American palate.

    All bets are on George Clooney's name in that famous envelope or maybe Monsieur Dujardin.  For sure, Oscar night will be interesting this time around.

    You May Like

    Former US Envoys Urge Obama to Delay Troop Cuts in Afghanistan

    Keeping troop levels up during conflict with both Taliban and Islamic State is necessary to support Kabul government, they say

    First Lady to Visit Africa to Promote Girls' Education

    Michele Obama will be joined by daughters and actresses Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto

    Video NYSE Analyst: Brexit Will Continue to Place Pressure on Markets

    Despite orderly pricing and execution strategy at the New York Stock Exchange, analyst explains added pressure on world financial markets is likely

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures