Let Stanley Tucci’s march through the season begin

Posted by · 12:19 pm · September 1st, 2009

Stanley Tucci in The Lovely BonesOne of the highlights of Nora Ephron’s “Julie & Julia,” which I was quick to point out when discussing the film last month, was Stanley Tucci’s refreshing, heart-warming portrayal of Paul Child Julia Child’s loving husband.  The film is just opening in the UK and a piece in The Guardian has me turning over Tucci’s Oscar prospects more and more.  But not for Ephron’s film, of course.  For Peter Jackson’s “The Lovely Bones.”

It isn’t the most original idea in the world right now, of course, to consider Tucci a formidable contender as the villain of Jackson’s film.  We’ve had him on the bubble on our charts for a number of months now.  But when I read things like “effortless scene-stealer,” I begin to wonder whether the buzz is collecting at just the right moment.

David Thomson calls Tucci’s work in “Julie & Julia” opposite Meryl Streep “the great performance in [the film],” and goes on to note the chemistry the two actors have displayed once already in “The Devil Wears Prada.”  He also compares Tucci to James Mason and even proposes a film about the making of “Eyes Wide Shut” with Tucci as Kubrick (I’d line up for it).  While that might be a bit fanciful, the crux of his piece is that Tucci is an actor condemned to supporting roles who knocks them out of the park each and every time.

Here’s a taste:

[Streep’s] performance deserves a red carpet, fore and aft. Ephron and Streep know that and get on with it, with as much modest grace as they can muster. They have one mercy, one substantial fringe benefit: while doing their duty in delivering Julia as a knicker-bocker glory, they have the pleasure of being able to behold and sip the dry martini that is Stanley Tucci as Julia’s husband, Paul Child.

Obviously, I couldn’t agree more, and while I truthfully believe Tucci’s work in “Julie & Julia” deserves awards recognition on its own, I think we’re seeing a perfect storm developing behind the actor that could lead to a nomination for “The Lovely Bones,” should he deliver there and keep the conversation on his dual performances sustained throughout the season.

Food for thought.

→ 19 Comments Tags: , , | Filed in: Daily

19 responses so far

  • 1 9-01-2009 at 1:36 pm

    Silencio said...

    I’m all for it. Since first seeing him in “Shall We Dance.” I’ve been a fan. He deserves it.

  • 2 9-01-2009 at 2:04 pm

    Derek said...

    I’ve had him at the top of my radar for supporting actor ever since reading The Lovely Bones. Should be a meaty role for the gifted actor – great casting, too.

  • 3 9-01-2009 at 2:34 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    He could win for Lovely Bones, if not him then Waltz, its a two man race I feel

  • 4 9-01-2009 at 2:42 pm

    JAB said...

    hahah it took you long enough! :-p

  • 5 9-01-2009 at 2:50 pm

    greg said...

    god I have loved tucci in every movie he is in. he is always consistent and the best thing about most movies.

    Based off the trailer, I think he has a good shot for oscar glory for the lovely bones- when he is featured in the trailer, there is this quiet evil about him that just scares the hell out of me… and considering he did “ugly up” for the role and the AMPAS loves that. And I get the feeling that everyone likes in hollywood and would love to honor him for it (alan arkin anyone?).

  • 6 9-01-2009 at 3:02 pm

    Sound Designer Dan said...

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Tucci as Flanders if they ever make a live-action Simpsons.

  • 7 9-01-2009 at 4:00 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    JAB: What do you mean? Like I said, he’s been very much on the radar all year. I’m just pointing out the fact that buzz can be built on pieces such as this.

  • 8 9-01-2009 at 4:54 pm

    Vito said...

    Tucci is the man. I’d love to see him get some Oscar love.

    Also, if anyone is gonna be Ned Flanders in The Simpsons, it’s William H. Macy, Sound Designer Dan. Haha. Though, Tucci isn’t a bad choice.

  • 9 9-01-2009 at 5:25 pm

    Cory Rivard said...

    One of the great actors of our time. Underappreciated or not.

  • 10 9-01-2009 at 7:19 pm

    Marlowe said...

    I still think Tucci as Frank Nitti in “Road to Perdition” was one of the great “knows its place” supporting performances in recent years.

  • 11 9-01-2009 at 9:47 pm

    JAB said...

    Kris i meant nothing harsh, I just felt this to be an amazing casting call and am excited to see the wheels beginning to turn on his campaign!

  • 12 9-02-2009 at 3:53 am

    sally p said...

    Stanley Tucci is one of the all time greats. I agree he is always consistently brilliant. Tucci is one of the rare thespians that can easily go back & forth from theatre to feature films. Also, Stanley can equally do comedy & drama with very little effort.

    It amazes me how he has become a big star on Broadway, but never a big name on t.v. or on film. Yet, he is incredibly sexy , appealing, extremely good looking, and he has aged very well.

    Tucci has had so many memorable performances: tv show “Murder One”, wonderful guest starring role on “Monk”, wickedly funny in “Devil Wears Prada”, ridiculously goofy in “Undercover Blues” , and his excellent scenes with Tony Shalhoub in ” Big Night ” ( one of my all-time favorites) .

  • 13 9-02-2009 at 5:42 am

    John H. Foote said...

    If Tuccie does with his role as the killer in “The Lovely Bones” what I expect him to do, “and the Oscar goes to….” is in his future — one of the great character actors working film today — he also directed a goofy farce a few years back called “The Imposters”, even managing to get Woody Allen to do a small role for him — had the immense pleasure of interviewing him in ’98 and ’00, what a gentleman and very, very funny man —

  • 14 9-02-2009 at 5:47 am

    John H. Foote said...

    Sorry — Tucci —

  • 15 9-02-2009 at 7:08 am

    RJNeb2 said...

    A great underrated actor who you get the feeling is about to cross the threshold and come out from under the radar.

    And let’s not forget he’s also in the running for an Emmy for his excellent turn as Dr Moretti in ER’s penultimate season.

  • 16 9-02-2009 at 7:11 am

    CCA said...

    I love Stanley Tucci’s work, besides finding him very sexy.. and I would love seeing him win the Oscar, but I’m not sure the academy will give the Oscar to a psycopath / killer role for a third year in a row (after Bardem and Ledger)…

  • 17 9-21-2009 at 8:23 pm

    Luanna said...

    Stanley Tucci is the best of the best. (And he is hot! )

  • 18 10-04-2009 at 7:01 pm

    Jo Kopatich said...

    Saw him last night in Aspen where he received the Aspen Film Festival’s Independent by Nature Award. During the question and answer session he was gracious, funny, honest, and yes, HOT!

  • 19 9-25-2010 at 12:58 pm

    nck said...

    People used to say I look like stanley tucci. I used to get sooooo bummed out. Now, since I’m older, I take it as a compliment.

    Loved tucci in the big night and did you know he was first considered for the role of Monk before TS? As much as i like tucci, I can’t imagine that role going to ANYONE else by TS>