Posted by · 8:16 am · November 16th, 2009

Jeff BridgesSo yeah, I cropped poor Gordon Willis out of the photo to end up with the image to the right here, but I can’t help wondering whether it’ll be a familiar sight come March 7.

Of course, some folks have their panties in a twist at the gall of predicting winners this early, so I won’t go there again.  But it really does feel like things are going to go Bridges’s way this Oscar season.  It’s all just…too difficult to argue with.

Jeffrey Wells recently saw the film in New York and is on board.  Steve Pond, Anne Thompson, Gregory Ellwood, Patrick Goldstein, there is little resistance.  No one likes an obvious race, but let’s call it what it’ll likely be: a Jeff Bridges victory lap, ebbing and flowing waves of applause for Duane Jackson, Lightfoot, Kevin Flynn, Terry Brogan, Preston Tucker, Jack Lucas, Max Klein, The Dude, Jackson Evans, Charles Howard, Ted Cole and finally, Bad Blake.

Of course, as David Poland hints, another category switcheroo (or voters deciding to go against a studio campaign’s grain, as they did with Kate Winslet last year) for Christopher Plummer is potentially the biggest threat to said victory lap.  Some might say George Clooney and Morgan Freeman, despite very recent Oscars for supporting performances, are due for lead recognition.  Fine points all.

I’m just sayin’…

My lead actor analysis felt a bit uneven, somehow incomplete, in fact, a few weeks back.  Ever since “Crazy Heart” landed, things have just felt a little clearer.  And an image like the one above?  Feels right.

→ 33 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

33 responses so far

  • 1 11-16-2009 at 8:22 am

    Patrick said...

    Colin Firth? I surely think he is number one or two at the moment.

    The lead races love a mature British veteran! Or do you think the film is losing steam? I noticed you seem far from convinced on even a NOM for Moore in supporting. Interesting perspec.

  • 2 11-16-2009 at 8:27 am

    Sawyer said...

    If he’s as good as everyone says, he’s the default “due” pick for sure. Haven’t really had one since Helen Mirren in ’06.

  • 3 11-16-2009 at 8:28 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    How am I far from convinced on Moore? I think she’s pretty locked in. I love Firth in the role. Amazing performance. But it’s a bit passive. Nothing wrong with that, I just think it’s not commanding enough to register a win.

  • 4 11-16-2009 at 8:31 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Patrick: I think you’re confusing my views with Kris’s when it comes to Moore.

  • 5 11-16-2009 at 8:36 am

    "Julianstark" said...

    The sight in the cropped picture (good job btw. I wouldn’t have known that it was cropped unless you had said something) will probably become a reality March 6, but he’s still not the absolute winner just yet.

    He’s arguably the frontrunner, but he’s not without competition. Firth and Freeman will probably give him a run for his money. Granted, I still think he’ll win.

  • 6 11-16-2009 at 8:46 am

    Stéphane said...

    I think he’ll be much prettier…

  • 7 11-16-2009 at 9:33 am

    david said...

    If Invictus gets great reviews then I think Freeman would have to be considered the front runner. Bridges may be more deserving (and he’s certainly due for an Oscar), but he’s in a very “small” film by comparison. I thought Javier Bardem deserved an Oscar for his work in Before Night Falls, but it just didn’t happen.

    I hope Bridges wins, however. He is one of my personal favorite actors.

  • 8 11-16-2009 at 9:34 am

    Patrick said...

    Oh sorry Kris, I was reading the other day an article here which mentioned Moore as an ‘underdog’ contender in the Supporting race, and how this might not be too far from the truth. I gather now that it was a piece by Guy. Apologies.

  • 9 11-16-2009 at 10:00 am

    leonardo said...

    With the exception of Mo’Nique, that looks like the sure winner in the suporting actress category, i think that the rest of the acting categories is all about the veterans: Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci.

  • 10 11-16-2009 at 10:19 am

    geha714 said...

    Count me in for Jeff Bridges. It’s his time.

  • 11 11-16-2009 at 10:42 am

    N8 said...

    Bridges seems like a reasonable pick, but I’m certainly not gonna bet the bank on it just because his win would be a good story and because Freeman/Clooney have won recently. It’s that kind of thinking that compelled me to go with Mickey Rourke instead of Sean Penn, and we all know how that turned out. I’m being especially mindful of Freeman in this category. Never underestimate the appeal that playing a real life person has to Academy voters.

  • 12 11-16-2009 at 11:37 am

    Suzanne said...

    I hate to make a sweeping generalization, but there are noticeable similarities to Mickey Rourke’s character in The Wrestler. Not sure what that could mean, and it may have been said already, but it’s on my mind.

  • 13 11-16-2009 at 11:42 am

    "Julianstark" said...

    Well, I’d think that it gives him even more leverage.

    It is a similar role. Plus, Mickey Rourke almost won due to “comeback” status. Veteran status > comeback status.

    And not trying to be negative or whatnot, but was Rourke prominent enough in the industry before to ride a “comeback” wave? I mean, I understand that it was integral to his Oscar campaigning, and I know that he had all the drug problems and such, but was he that prominent beforehand?

    Just wondering…

  • 14 11-16-2009 at 11:49 am

    Anonymous said...

    Bridges is a great actor, but he has been nominated for an Oscar four times already. Unless this movie is a best picture contender, he probably won’t be nominated this year in such a crowded category. I think this year’s best actor is going to go with a best picture sweep. Probably Jeremy Rener for “The Hurt Locker.”

  • 15 11-16-2009 at 11:52 am

    JJ said...

    I have to say, while I’m no huge Clint Eastwood fan (stil like him), and while I wasn’t woo-hoo about the trailer when I first saw it, I just saw it on the big screen (before seeing ‘Precious’), and the ‘Invictus’ trailer actually seemed better/bigger/more subtantial/more impressive on the big screen. I hope it’s actually good.

    p.s. – ‘Precious’ … very good. Not Earth-shattering. But very, very well acted, neat edits, well done.

    I see a BP nom, Sidibe, Monique (wow), writing, & maybe another noms here or there.

  • 16 11-16-2009 at 11:53 am

    JJ said...

    Yeah, the last post – which started about ‘Invictus’ – was meant to comment on the topic at hand.

    I think it’s a 3-way battle btwn. Freeman, Firth, & Bridges.

  • 17 11-16-2009 at 12:01 pm

    Suzanne said...

    Julianstark, I never bought his comeback campaign. From my understanding, it’s more of a situation where an actor who had made nothing but crap before turned in a surprisingly wonderful performance (like Monique this year, as JJ suggested).

    I could be wrong, though, having never seen one of Rourke’s older movies.

  • 18 11-16-2009 at 12:14 pm

    Marshall said...

    I’m so fed up with Bridges and “Crazy Heart” already. So we can just move this movie to 2009 and he is just guaranteed an Oscar? We have been tossing and turning over this race for months and all of a sudden it is over? Where’s the fun?

  • 19 11-16-2009 at 12:17 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Suzanne, we think alike.

  • 20 11-16-2009 at 12:24 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    “I could be wrong, though, having never seen one of Rourke’s older movies.”

    Indeed, Suzanne, you are wrong. Go check out “Diner” (for which he won a National Society of Film Critics Award), “Barfly,” “Angel Heart,” “Rumble Fish” and “The Pope of Greenwich Village,” and then see what you think.

  • 21 11-16-2009 at 12:31 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***with the image to the left here***

    My computer is messed up or my eyes are playing tricks on me…?

  • 22 11-16-2009 at 12:38 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Yes, your eyes are deceiving you … you should probably have them checked.

    I kid. Corrected.

  • 23 11-16-2009 at 12:42 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The air must have been getting to me at 20,000 feet.

  • 24 11-16-2009 at 12:54 pm

    Suzanne said...

    Ah, well. Hope I didn’t offend anyone!

  • 25 11-16-2009 at 1:23 pm

    Stephen P said...

    one word: viggo.

  • 26 11-16-2009 at 1:52 pm

    billybil said...

    Yes, and I think Bridges and Streep will provide some wonderful Oscar night winner photos!!!

  • 27 11-16-2009 at 2:13 pm

    BerkeleyGirl said...

    David, Bardem was certainly deserving for Before Night Falls, but he was criminally denied even a nomination for The Sea Inside – one of the finest performances I’ve seen, period.

    As for Bridges/Rourke comparisons, Guy and Suzanne are both correct. Yes, Rourke has done fine work in fine films, but that’s where the comparison ends. None mentioned were made within the last 20 years. Bridges received his first nomination when he was barely legal to drink – The Last Picture Show (1971). Here are only a few of the films he’s done since: Fat City, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (Oscar nom), Starman (Oscar nom), Tucker: The Man and His Dream, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Fisher King, Fearless, The Big Lebowski, The Contender (Oscar nom), Seabiscuit, The Door in the Floor, Ironman. If Rourke was deserving, Bridges is owed.

  • 28 11-16-2009 at 2:56 pm

    Jamieson said...

    Speaking of previews, aren’t we supposed to get a Crazy Heart trailer today?

    And yes, Bridges is definitely owed and not much could make me happier this season than him holding a little golden fella.

  • 29 11-16-2009 at 3:51 pm

    harry medved said...

    Tapley, when Bridges finally gets his Oscar, you will get credit as the man who told ya so…Academy voters claim they do not consider the history of previous Oscar winners and losers (which which explains why Mickey Rourke lost to second-tme-winner Sean Penn)…but you’re right…this one does feel right…especially, if Bridges’ performance is truly the year’s best performance by a lead actor…and not just some “lifetime-achievement-award”-style performance by someone who’s overdue…like Lauren Bacall’s turn as Stresiand’s mom in THE MIRROR HAS TWO FACES (which coincidentally co-starred Bridges)…

  • 30 11-16-2009 at 5:14 pm

    Patryk said...

    Freeman, Day-Lewis, Clooney and Firth will all be happy to be invited to see Jeff Bridges finally win.

  • 31 11-16-2009 at 5:26 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    The trailer will hit Apple any moment now. I have to shove off, so keep an eye peeled.

  • 32 11-16-2009 at 6:10 pm

    Puchika said...