April 22, 2020 at 11:36 pm #1203442664
I wanted to simply see what you guys look for in choosing a Best Performance winner.
I spoke with a few friends and we’ve discussed our different reasons and it was an eye opening conversation. We would pick a year and then select our preferred winners and then we would say why.
Some of their honest reasons (and mine) were…
-The actor did something no one else could have done.
-Weak category/easy pick
-The actor had the most challenging role of the bunch
-There was a physical and vocal transformation
-The actor was the most believable
-The actor has been the most consistent and needs an Oscar.
-The actor was a true scene stealer
-The actor was of color
-There was one particular scene that was unmatched
-The actor had multiple nominated worthy performance in a year
-The actor was in a bigger film
-I hate the actor that won
What are some things you look for when selecting a preferred winner? Is it any of these listed or something else? Pick a year, category, and preferred winner and tell me why.
I think this could be fun and informative.April 23, 2020 at 9:19 am #1203443571
Big ones for me:
•Evoked emotion from me
•Can effectively communicate nonverbally
•Did their own stunts/hard things like that
•When biopic acting, actually felt like the real-life person
•Had good chemistry with other actors OR carried film all by themselves
•Liked movie itself
"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in an argument." - William Gibbs McAdooApril 23, 2020 at 9:50 am #1203443654
I think Liking the actor at the moment has played a big role in some wins.April 23, 2020 at 9:56 am #1203443668
I like the old tried and true “the actor played their role well.” Usually knocks out most of the performers nominated and make choosing my personal winner much easier.April 23, 2020 at 10:28 am #1203443722
– The amount of nuance they put into their words/lines but also into their nonverbal language.
– The chemistry they have with other actors. You can tell it’s great when the dialogue flows smoothly and you are simply captivated by their conversations and interactions.
– That one scene that it’s truly breathtaking.April 23, 2020 at 10:37 am #1203443740
The most famous actor, the actor with tendency to always be nominated.
It’s actually funny how varied our preferences can be on any given year.
For example, I would give Oscars to Jodie Foster and Emma Thompson for their roles in 91 and 92 but in 1990, I go for Kathy Bates. While the first two are very subtle, Bates was mainly a bombastic villain character.
Some years I might say someone did nothing in a role and opt for a more flashy performance while in others I seem to go for something more subdued.
I think in the end it comes down to a certain screen presence and if that actor brings something to the material I feel may not have otherwise been there with another actor.
To bring up Bates in MISERY again, that role honestly could’ve been a true trainwreck due to how it was written but thankfully she found the right balance of menace and humor so that it didn’t come off as too campy.
Foster and Thompson both were very subtle but a lot of their internal feelings seemed to radiate through their eyes and facial expressions. They managed to find ways to pop despite having more subdued roles.
“The art of making art is putting it together...”April 23, 2020 at 11:54 am #1203443904
To further add to what I was saying, you have those particular years where the category may just be very weak.
This is when it becomes more superficial.
At that point, I take into account if I may love a certain film more or if I feel like a film deserves to be honored somewhere…and perhaps an actor may be overdue and it just seems like a good chance to toss them a prize.
Laura Dern winning this year seemed like that kind of scenario but I disagree highly because Florence Pugh was far and away the best performance in that category.
A year like Jessica Lange winning a prime example because she was a respected actress who never won in Lead but none of the other nominees were that beloved…so in the process, you can just toss her an Oscar.
Even this year’s best actress category was, in my opinion, practically as weak as 1994. I don’t even know who I’d personally vote for.
You could even take this mentality in races in which you don’t have a clear winner but you still really really like multiple performances.
In the 2008 Supporting Actress race, I tend to lean towards Swinton because she is good in the role but I also love her film and the chance to reward it something while also acknowledging a good career Swinton has. Then again, Amy Ryan is there in a lesser film but she is that film’s highlight and she is great in the role. I can make a case for either.
“The art of making art is putting it together...”April 23, 2020 at 12:09 pm #1203443924
For me it’s when they bring something so special to that part that you can’t picture someone else doing it. You can tell the actor really gets and loves the character they’re playing. It oozes out of every part in the movie.April 23, 2020 at 3:17 pm #1203444248
I like this question. For me:
-Nuanced/subtleties over “one-note” over-the-top performances. I don’t mind over-the-top in a scene but if it doesn’t build to that or have any type of range (ie, I personally prefer Laurie Metcalf over Allison Janney)
-Transformative roles, where actor/actress visibly changes their gait, mannerisms, voice, posture, etc.
-Having that “big scene” that is super memorable or emotional.
-Good timing. This one might be controversial but if someone has multiple notable performances, movie and/or tv in a given year, has been previously nominated, and is in a BP contender, to me the stars have aligned for them and I don’t mind them winning. I guess along the lines of a career Oscar.April 23, 2020 at 4:56 pm #1203444369
watch I May Destroy YouApril 23, 2020 at 8:33 pm #1203444626
One of my favorite things is trying imagine if someone else could have played the role if the competition is too strong.April 24, 2020 at 9:01 am #1203445385
Whether I liked the performance or not. That’s all that is.
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