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SAG Best Actor: It's Oldman vs Denzel

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  • distain
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    #1202452701

    Critics do their thing. So do the Globes (I won’t even bother handicapping that one. It’s a pure crapshoot. They could give it to anyone from Hanks to Chalamet).

    But I believe I have some slight insight as to how actors (whom make up the bulk of SAG-AFTRA) think and vote in this particular category. And it’s primarily based on degree of difficulty. How hard is it to pull this off technically? Could I do this myself? How much range is needed? Am I moved?

    I’ve finally seen every lead actor nominated for SAG, so I can do a process of elimination, without having to rely on “pundits”, so-called experts and messageboard mavens telling me who is hot and who is not.

    Kayluua gives a very reactive performance. It serves his movie well, but the degree of difficulty might be considered limited. The technical element is primarily an American accent (for a British actor), which I don’t think is enough.

    Franco gives a committed an amusing turn, but it’s essentially and extremely one note. And it’s comic in nature. An extended SNL sketch character. Or a Borat type of thing. Technically, it’s impressive at first, but it hits the same self-amused beats till the very end and loses impact. The only precedent this century for a performance of Franco’s nature winning this category is Johnny Depp in Pirates Of The Caribbean. Also a one-track comic turn, but by a beloved (at the time) mostly indie star lacking in previous recognition, who starred in a film that made a billion dollars at the box office. Plus, that was an original creation, wheras Franco was working off Tommy Wiseau footage. Franco is not Depp circa 2004, and he’s not winning here.

    Chalamet does terrific work, and it’s an ideal breakthrough performance for a young actor. But he appears to be very simply well cast, like Armie Hammer. The Chalamet we’ve seen on press junkets appears very similar to the character of Elio. Chalamet himself is a bilingual, well educated charasmatic young man like his character. He’s playing a bisexual character, though I don’t think that in itself is considered hard to act. It’s basically an ingenue performance, whose equivalent might stand a chance in lead actress, but is much more unlikely in lead actor.

    Denzel is a very familiar actor (the most nominated movie lead Actor in SAG history, so yeah, they really like him), giving a very uncharacteristic and unfamiliar performance. He has to play someone on the autistic spectrum and convey those very specific tics. He has to move differently. It hits a lot of technical beats, requires him to show enormous range as a known quantity, but also is emotionally affecting and dramatic. In other words, if people are watching screeners and not voting on “buzz” or whom the blogosphere or critics want to win, it’s a serious threat with this specific awards body for a lot no.1 votes. I genuinely think a lot of people playing down the threat level of this performance don’t understand actors and how they see the craft. Actors dream of doing work at this level, and most never will.

    Oldman has a technically audacious role. He has to sound like Churchill, and give emotionally resonant speeches. He’s helped enourmously by the make-up and a fat suit (which actors can find gimmicky), but he still has to move and adapt his mannerisms to Churchill. Some people may find the performance overbearing, but actors should generally eat this up.

    I think Oldman probably has this. There’s also a feeling that he’s a great veteran character actor and maybe it’s “his time”. But Denzel’s performance is catnip for the main voting body of SAG, so if Oldman falters even slightly, I actually think he’s next in line. From an actors perspective, Oldman and Denzel have by far the hardest roles to play. And they also happen to be the most respected actors in the field.

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    forwardswill
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    #1202452725

    Lol Denzel has no chance. It’s Oldman’s to lose unless Chalamet pulls a Redmayne

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    distain
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    #1202452728

    Denzel apparently had no chance to be nominated at SAG either. People really don’t learn their lesson.

    I’ve watched all the performances. Actors will vote for Denzel a lot. The performance is so specific, unexpected and with such a high degree of difficulty, that people who actually do this for a living will take note. Oldman is the only other performance nominated with a comparable degree of difficulty from an acting perspective.

    These are (mostly) their peers voting now, not critics. I give Oldman the edge, but that’s how I see things at SAG.

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    Kwame
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    #1202452744

    C’mon man, you need to delete this thread. Love Denzel and kind of admire your dedication to stanning him given this forum’s weird obsession with hating the man but 

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    distain
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    #1202452748

    C’mon man, you need to delete this thread. Love Denzel and kind of admire your dedication to stanning him given this forum’s weird obsession with hating the man but

    Thanks pal, but I don’t need to delete anything.

    I’ve watched ALL the performances. And I’m going entirely off that. I know how actors judge acting. If I hadn’t actually seen everything, and simply went off “buzz” I’d have been like “it’s Timmy vs Gary” (and everywhere else, it might be).

    People continually and foolishly underestimate the level of respect/awe Denzel has among his peers, which is why everyone was apparently shocked that he was included by SAG, despite critics awards deciding he was surplus to requirements this year. Denzel wasn’t simply being namechecked. It’s the sort of performance actors specifically will adore for technical and other reasons, which is why to my surprise (based on said lack of buzz), I think he’s only behind Gary at SAG.

    He’s weaker everywhere else, but I would absolutely not be shocked if he was an upset winner at SAG. I don’t think he has a hope in hell at the Globes, where “buzz” matters more than the actual performance.

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    eQuals91
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    #1202452774

    This is completely unrealistic.

    Denzel is lucky to even get nominated

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    sofan
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    #1202452781

    It would be quite amazing if Denzel actually pulled off a back to back win, ngl.

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    EmmyWinner
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    #1202452795

    Just delete it, just do it…

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    Miles
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    #1202452801

    I agree to a certain extent but there are many other factors at play. The biggest problem is that Denzel just won last year. They’re not going to award him again. I think what saying about how actors judge actors based on if they could do it is very interesting. Is there evidence of that though?

    Looking through SAG upsets you can find some evidence of that, like Eddie Redmayne and maybe Idris Elba. But most of the time upsets can not be chalked up to that, like Tommy Lee Jones or Ruby Dee or Paul Giamatti. According to your logic, why did Viola Davis win over Meryl Streep?

    SAG doesn’t usually tend to stray from the pack so while your idea is interesting I think it’s a very little factor in choosing the winner, like narrative and buzz and precursor performance. All things that apply to Oldman, not Denzel. Denzel is a pipe dream. Oldman’s probably got it and if not him, Franco. (I disagree with your assessment of Franco’s performance and I think he fills Denzel’s spot in your lineup)

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    distain
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    #1202452830

    I agree to a certain extent but there are many other factors at play. The biggest problem is that Denzel just won last year. They’re not going to award him again. I think what saying about how actors judge actors based on if they could do it is very interesting. Is there evidence of that though?

    Looking through SAG upsets you can find some evidence of that, like Eddie Redmayne and maybe Idris Elba. But most of the time upsets can not be chalked up to that, like Tommy Lee Jones or Ruby Dee or Paul Giamatti. According to your logic, why did Viola Davis win over Meryl Streep?

    SAG doesn’t usually tend to stray from the pack so while your idea is interesting I think it’s a very little factor in choosing the winner, like narrative and buzz and precursor performance. All things that apply to Oldman, not Denzel. Denzel is a pipe dream. Oldman’s probably got it and if not him, Franco. (I disagree with your assessment of Franco’s performance and I think he fills Denzel’s spot in your lineup)

    Good points. I definitely have Oldman quite a bit out in front, for all the reasons you mention. I don’t know how particular SAG is about handing out back to back awards though, as they do it all the time on the TV side (Alec Baldwin has something ridiculous like 7 straight male comedy lead actor SAG awards for 30 Rock. You’d have thought they might have gotten bored and given it to someone else in one of those years).

    I think the Outstanding Lead Actor SAG since the start of the century, more than any other category, has been about visible effort and technical prowess. That’s the expectation on leading men who win this one. You need to be performing some sort of trick. Last year, Affleck was very naturalistic and simple in MBTS, but Denzel was doing some crazy and very visible technical stuff in Fences, like delivering 8 page monologues without seemingly taking a breath. So he had the advantadge.

    Not sold on Franco as the alternative to Oldman at SAG. I thought it was a fun performance, but it just feels too one-note and lightweight for SAG to go for. He is performing a trick though, so it’s not impossible. He’ll probably win the Comedy Actor Globe though.

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    Stegeo
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    #1202452909

    Denzel deserves an Oscar nom for Roman Israel imo and he’s probably gonna get it, but the thread is unrealistic; it’s Oldman v Chalamet all the way in any awards

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    PJ Edwards
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    Nope. Oldman is going to win so it doesnt make any difference who you think may be in 2nd.

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    distain
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    Denzel deserves an Oscar nom for Roman Israel imo and he’s probably gonna get it, but the thread is unrealistic; it’s Oldman v Chalamet all the way in any awards

    I can’t think of a single performance like Chalamet’s that’s ever won SAG lead actor. They don’t vote for that type of languid, naturalistic performance in that category. Like, ever. It’s a critics performance, that could possibly win at most other places. I’m giving Chalamet a compliment when I say he makes it look easy, but that actually works against him at SAG, I think.

    So much premium is placed on visible technique to win the lead actor SAG, and usually for a dramatic role. Oldman fits the bill, as does Denzel. I’m almost tempted to agree with the other post by Miles, that even if you want to swap Denzel out, Franco (plenty of visible technique, though comedic) might have greater odds of being the Oldman alternative at SAG, not Chalamet, whom I can’t see winning there at all.

    I can see Chalamet winning the Globe easily though. Especially if they want to stick it to Oldman.

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    Atypical
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    #1202452936

    It boils down to whether or not SAG voters will hand Denzel consecutive Male Actor Drama wins, which is something they’ve never done in ANY of the film categories before (it’s rampant in the television categories). I don’t think it’s happening here either. It’s Oldman’s race to lose this year, as his entire film is practically an Oscar clip.

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    Bee
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    #1202452937

    Throw this shit away.n

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