It's seeming more and more likely that I will be wrong when it comes to my Best Actor Oscar predictions. I have been a sole supporter of Brad Pitt's bid to get his second Oscar nom for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I don't particularly know why I've supported that pick, but I guess it just seemed like a "nominateable" performance from a film which certainly looks "nominateable". But the tide has been changing, and now a new (well, not so new) horse has been thrown into the race, and that's Clint Eastwood. That's right, the filmmaker who has seen a renaissance in his career this decade is becoming a super strong contender to win his first acting Oscar for the film Gran Torino.
I wasn't too excited about Torino after finally seeing the trailer (truth is, I'm still not really that excited), but ever since it appeared the buzz for Eastwood has been building slowly and surely. The trailer poses the storyline as almost like a Dirty Harry 6: Retirement's A Bitch. Like he has in most of his recent screen performances, he snarls and growls, almost like WALL-E, except without any of the redeeming qualities. In a year where actors like Sean Penn, Frank Langella, and Mickey Rourke seem like locks, the on-the-fence nominations (i.e. Richard Jenkins, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt) seem like the ones who will have to make space for Eastwood's career achievement nomination.
Guess which one has enough gravitas to credit an Oscar nom?
But really, as much as everybody loves Clint (and I mean loves Clint), doesn't it seem like the annual parade of recognition is a bit gratuitous? As fellow blogger, Nathaniel, stated in his blog The Film Experience, The New York Times is actually making a case that Clint deserves the award for simply never having won an acting Oscar. They seem to forget the fact that Clint has also won four other Oscar statues as a director and producer. I don't really know how you can make the case that Clint deserves more.
"Well, I guess as long as I'm here, I'll take a few more."
I should probably hold my complaining until after I actually see the film, but I wouldn't be surprised if all this worship turns into some serious backlash.