In death, James Gandolfini may accomplish what he could never do while alive — win a major film award. He took home a shelful of trophies for TV’s “The Sopranos” including three Emmys, six SAG Awards and a Golden Globe. Now, the late actor, who died June 19, is a leading contender at the Golden Globes for his final film appearance in the romantic comedy “Enough Said.”
Currently, he is in fourth place for Best Comedy/Musical Actor. If he reaps a bid on Dec. 12, sentiment might push him into the winner’s circle based on the strength of his performance coupled with a realisation and desire by Globe voters to acknowledge this iconic actor one last time.
In a recent video chat with Gold Derby (embedded below), his co-star Julia Louis-Dreyfus described his performance as “very dear and he plays the… slightly sad but ultimately loving guy who means extremely well… I think it’s a character very close to who he really was. And I think people are going to be really surprised to see the performance he gives… It’s a very touching performance.” And she revealed: We became very good friends … I really felt like I was working with somebody like Marlon Brando. He is an amazing actor. I’m saying what everybody knows except to sort of be, you know, this close to it and to see it in his eyes was just something I will never forget.”
His departure from the Tony Soprano archetype in “Enough Said” showcases Gandolfini’s range as an actor. However, this kind of nuanced work lacking in melodramatic fireworks often gets overlooked over by awards groups like the Oscars and SAG which do not differentiate between drama and comedy performances.
At the Golden Globes, which do make this distinction, his biggest competition is: Ben Stiller who directed himself in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” veteran Bruce Dern for Alexander Payne‘s “Nebraska” and 2005 champ Joaquin Phoenix (“Walk the Line”) for Spike Jonze‘s “Her.”
Louis-Dreyfus is a strong contender for Comedy/Musical Actress for her measured but more energetic performance in “Enough Said.” If “August: Osage County” collapses and Meryl Streep‘s chances drop, she’s the one to beat.
And if “Enough Said” can reap a Best Comedy/Musical Picture bid (we currently have it in sixth place, thus just missing a nomination) the odds for both performers should get even better.
Regardless of the awards outcome, Louis-Dreyfus admits to being “just so happy that he made this film, not just because I love to work with him, but also am so happy that people can see this performance.”
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