Jeff Wells says it’s Downey Jr. vs. Ledger

Posted by · 5:16 pm · July 23rd, 2008

Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic ThunderIn a review of Ben Stiller’s “Tropic Thunder” this afternoon, Jeffrey Wells has brought the “O” word into the conversation, specifically for Robert Downey Jr.’s performance as an actor who undergoes a pigmentation makeover to play an African American in the Vietnam film-within-the-film.

Here’s what he has to say:

It also feels to me like an Oscar-level thing for Downey. I know — who gives a hoot about Oscar nominations when a film is this funny? But Downey is amazing in this. This plus Iron Man — what a year for the guy. The Best Supporting Actor race is already down to Downey vs. Ledger.

Obviously he forgets that Downey still has a role as Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez in Joe Wright’s “The Soloist,” due out later this year, which, judging by the subject matter and the fact that you’ve got the same studio pushing that film for awards fodder, may turn out to be his best shot at Academy recognition.

Of course, we’ve been calling it the year of Downey Jr. around these parts for a few months now.  Not that it isn’t the most obvious aspect of the season.  And indeed, it is the story of the year.  Such a rise from the depths and into the spotlight as a star with impact yet again.

I’m really looking forward to “Tropic Thunder,” as well as “The Soloist,” for that matter.  And I’d be lying if I didn’t say it had a lot to do with Downey Jr.

→ 6 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

6 responses so far

  • 1 7-23-2008 at 6:41 pm

    Neel Mehta said...

    I agree that this is RDJ’s year, whether an Oscar nom is in the works or not. He’s a shoo-in for Entertainer of the Year awards, and he didn’t even have to release another album!

    But it’ll be sad to see all these forthcoming RDJ love-fests leave out “Charlie Bartlett,” which was finally released in February and is easily the funniest movie I’ve seen so far this year.

  • 2 7-23-2008 at 6:45 pm

    Casey said...

    I am also very much looking forward to Tropic Thunder, but can I ask wat the deal is with The Soloist is? I’ve always been a fan of Downey’s work, and i enjoy Joe Wright’s films; but this just seems like really lame Oscar bait the whole way… I mean there had to be an Oscar Bait checklist; if not for the entire production at least for the Jaime Foxx role.

    1. Mentally Ill/disabled (Oscar gold)
    2. poor, homeless underdog
    3. (semi?) Biographical
    4. Uglying up the lead
    5. British director who is due for some recognition
    6. Lead actor who just won for playing a disabled musician
    6. Red hot comeback star in a supporting role

    someone please explain this to me, because I’m just getting lameness out of the prospects

  • 3 7-24-2008 at 2:35 pm

    Frank Lee said...


    It’s my understanding that the voting system used by the Oscars benefits someone like Robert Downey, Jr., at least this year in the supporting category. I’ve read that an actor cannot be nominated against himself in the same category, so if, say, he gets 500 nomination votes for “Tropic Thunder” and 600 nomination votes for “The Soloist,” he eventually will be creditted with 1,100 votes for “The Soloist.” Is that your understanding as well?

  • 4 7-24-2008 at 8:45 pm

    Silencio said...

    Ha, if Wells is correct, I can say I mentioned that showdown before he did :)