February 19, 2009

The Academy Awards are Nearing, Part II

Here are a few thoughts from '08 MFA Acting Alum Michael Woods about the Oscar nominees. Read on!

Best Supporting Actor? "Heath Ledger. They will never be able to give him another award, and (that aside) his performace was the most specific, layered, and captivating showing from a supporting actor. And with few nominations for The Dark Knight already, Heath Ledger is as much as a sure thing as we can get."

Best Supporting Actress? "Penelope Cruz was completely unihibited in her role in Vickie Cristina Barcelona. She didn't hold anything back and we saw a dangerous and hilarious performance. Viola Davis is the only other one I would cross my fingers for. It is a rare thing to shine out among established stars, and shine with very little screen time. But Davis knocked it out of the park. Cruz or Davis. . . It's a toss up."

Best Actor? "My heart yearns for Mickey Rourke to walk away with the Oscar for his devestatingly beautiful performance in The Wrestler. However, Sean Penn is equally strong in Milk and living in a post-Prop 8 world may lean some votes in that direction. It's a toss up."

Best Actress? "Come on, Kate Winslet! When people hear that she has never won an Oscar, they cannot believe it. Meryl Streep deserves an Oscar for her performance...but she has been nominated more than any other actor and she has two statues on her mantle already. Will that be enough to sway votes? Again, it's a toss up."

Best Picture and Director? "Everyone predicts Slumdog Millionaire, and I must agree. The film explores new territory in a somewhat cliche story. Performances are powerful, the cinematography is captivating and the location of Mumbai is absolutely breathtaking. Danny Boyle is a fantastic director and he has a brilliant ability to direct children, capture beautiful camera shots, and to keep a story moving--a rare trait in many directors."

Do you agree with Michael's predictions? Comment and let your opinion be known!


  1. I agree whole-heartedly about Slumdog--it was a beautiful film. As for Supporting Actor though, what about Philip Seymour Hoffman?!

  2. Best Supporting Actor? I agree whole heartedly with Woods…Heath Ledger all the way. Just a magnificent supporting performance…he’s a shoe in.

    Best Supporting Actress? Although Viola Davis was brilliant, I have a hard time choosing her because it was just ONE scene. I have to go with Penelope Cruz…she hit a home run….”unhibited”, “didn’t hold anything back”, yep, spot on! By the by, I can’t think of a bigger casting error in Marisa Tormei for her role in “The Wrestler”… the part of an “over-the-hill stripper”….she’s isn’t over any hill…ridiculous.

    Best Actor? I believe Mickey Rourke to be the favorite, and so he should be…it was a brilliantly raw and poetic performance. However, I must say, my heart yearns for Richard Jenkins. IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN “THE VISITOR”, YOU MUST…you’ll see what I mean. I don’t want to say anything about it….just watch it.

    Best Actress? I think it could be Kate Winslet’s year. Although, Meryle Streep is at the top of her game with “Doubt”.

    Best Picture and Director? In complete agreement…Slumdog Millionaire and Danny Boyle. One of the best films in the last 10 years in my opinion…completely original, and yet it’s the age old theme of “destiny”. It’s hard enough to make a great film in your own country; with your own crew…I can’t imagine the undertaking in a third world nation. Kudos! Boyle. And the thing is…This film is so good, it doesn’t need to win. It some ways, it’s beyond ceremonial accolades.

  3. Well,

    I say yes to Ledger. Brilliant performance.

    Slumdog is in.

    I really loved doubt. It was masterfully acted. Although Streep is always on top, I think this is one of her best performances.

    I am also hoping for Mickey Rourke. Love that guy and word is out that he will actually be wrestling in the WWE. Talk about method!!! Weird thing with his style of method acting is that he seems to really get into the role AFTER the film has come out, most actors do it before. God bless ya' Mickey and your backwards, method-acting ways.