Plummer threatening to break into lead actor race

Posted by · 5:07 pm · September 10th, 2011

I’ve been hearing for a little while about “Barrymore,” Erik Canuel’s adaptation of a one-man show featuring Christopher Plummer as the great actor John Barrymore. Assuming a distributor gambles on the film in Toronto (it’s tough to sell a one-man show, no doubt), it’s entirely likely Plummer will be thrust into the Best Actor field (depending on who picks it up, naturally).

Jeff Wells is singing the film’s (and Plummer’s) praises (with another big helping of definitives):

[A]fter seeing Plummer charm and electrify and ham it up and speechify in gloriously boozy Shakespearean fashion in Barrymore, which I saw a couple of hours ago at the Bell Lightbox, I’m all but convinced he has the Oscar in the bag…As long as the Academy sees this low-budgeted Canadian film, that is. Once they all see it, the game will be pretty much over.

Here’s a collection of quick clips from the stage production:

And here is Atom Egoyan’s impressions of the stage performance from February, courtesy of The Montreal Gazette. Egoyan moderated the Q&A with Plummer following the film’s afternoon Toronto screening today:

More on this (though briefly) Monday, as the Off the Carpet column addresses the massive amount of double- and triple-dipping performers this season.

[Photo: Playbill]

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

19 responses so far

  • 1 9-10-2011 at 5:12 pm

    will said...

    I don’t really see a movie like this making much of a dent for him in the Best Actor race unless that category is especially lacking in contenders this year, BUT I’m sure it can’t hurt his chances in Supporting Actor to have another strong turn from the year in his back pocket (as well as visibility/reason to be out and about during Oscar season for ‘Dragon Tattoo’ promotional duties).

  • 2 9-10-2011 at 5:16 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    That’s kind of how I feel. Unless, of course, an Oscar-serious studio grabs it and forces the issue. I mean, come on, IT’S CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER!

  • 3 9-10-2011 at 5:19 pm

    Mr. F said...

    At the very least it will give him more exposure, and it will help him get farther with Beginners.

  • 4 9-10-2011 at 5:24 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Wow. I also think that if he doesn’t get in Lead for this, but gets in Supporting for ‘Beginners’ (with the added exposure), than Supporting would most likely be his.

  • 5 9-10-2011 at 6:36 pm

    Arty said...

    Save it for next year so that Plummer’s in the conversation from the get-go. Seemed to work for ‘Beginners’, after all. And if he’s nominated this year for that film (likely) but doesn’t win (just as likely), it will only add fuel to the fire for a lead push in 2012.

  • 6 9-10-2011 at 6:46 pm

    Maxim said...

    If you said that ‘A Dangerous Method’ “didn’t have a cinematic bone in it’s body” I can only guess what you’ll say about this.

  • 7 9-10-2011 at 6:52 pm

    Mitchell said...

    I’m confused. Is Wells saying he has the Oscar in the bag for Beginners or Barrymore?

  • 8 9-10-2011 at 7:22 pm

    Andrew M said...

    I agree with Arty. Plummer will already have enough exposure with the nom. for Beginners and the box office/media with Dragon Tattoo. If he doesn’t win, that’s even more reason for him to be nominated next year.

  • 9 9-10-2011 at 8:23 pm

    Beau said...

    Well, Philip Baker Hall was nom’d for ‘Secret Honor’. Stranger things have happened.

  • 10 9-10-2011 at 8:33 pm

    Beau said...

    Wait… Never mind. He should have been though. I could’ve sworn!

  • 11 9-10-2011 at 8:35 pm

    Dean said...

    @Beau, no he wasn’t

  • 12 9-10-2011 at 9:01 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Yeah, this sets him up rather nicely for a Supporting Actor win. And it would be a feasible victory, too, given that category’s history.

    Good to have something else to add to the list though, as usual.

  • 13 9-10-2011 at 10:43 pm

    Beau said...

    Beat you to it Dean ;)

  • 14 9-11-2011 at 8:51 am

    The Great Dane said...

    Still unbelievable that he only got his first nomination for “Last Station”.

    “The Insider” pops to mind first, thinking of snubs. He was even worthy for “Dolores Claiborne” which remains a MYSTERY to me how Kathy Bates, Jurdy Parfitt and the still-un-nominated Leigh weren’t nominated for that. Bates deserved to WIN for that film. And it remains an true forgotten classic to this day.

    Anyone looking for the next-best Stephen King adaption ever (after Shawshank) – go look up Dolores Claiborne. A haunting, dramatic, touching and suspenseful mystery with three powerhouse female performance that all deserved award recognition.

  • 15 9-11-2011 at 8:51 am

    The Great Dane said...

    Jurdy = Judy :)

  • 16 9-11-2011 at 2:31 pm

    John-Paul said...

    I’m with the consensus here: he’s not getting in for Best Actor. Not this year, anyway. It does, however, help his chances immensely in the Supporting Actor race.

    This may just be a strange thought, but maybe Barrymore will be picked up by a TV station instead and he’ll end up an Emmy winner rather than an Oscar nominee. Remember when The Life and Death of Peter Sellers was circulating the film festivals and people were talking up Geoffrey Rush as a potential Oscar contender while expressing reservations about the film’s chances for distribution? Well, it just seems like a similar case to me. That’s all.

  • 17 9-11-2011 at 2:40 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    Ooh, that’s an incredibly smart thought, John-Paul. Makes a lot of sense. I remember reading about Bernard and Doris when it was intended to be a cinema film, and wondering what chances Fiennes and Sarandon might have. (Way before, during pre-production or something, probably.) And then it wound up on HBO, but achieved numerous Emmy noms and some Globe nods as well.

    Either way though, if Barrymore does head to TV, it could only bolster Plummer’s Oscar chances for Beginners. I’m not sure they’d be able to fit it in before this year ends, but as a TV movie, it works. The timing was much different, but it only helped Dame Mirren when she won the Emmy for Elizabeth I.

  • 18 9-11-2011 at 2:40 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    …And nearly went ass over tit ;).