And we're back at the 2014 Matty Awards, the awards show that honors the best of the best in film.
We are in the fourth round of a five round fracas, this time pitting the men against each other. (Round 3 was a humdinger of a battle between the ladies with Adele Exarchopoulos delivering the knockout punch with her performance in "Blue is the Warmest Color").
Now it's time for the men to start tossing bombs. And it's a stacked class for this melee. So let's get right to it.
And the nominees for "Best Actor in a Feature Film" are:
Christian Bale, (American Hustle). If you are a follower of "Matty's Movies" then you know what I think of this man when it comes to his acting. I think he is one of the best in Hollywood, without a doubt. He consistantly delivers great performances. He picks his roles well, and he immerses himself into his characters. (See: "The Fighter," "3:10 to Yuma," "The Machinist," and even "Newsies.") In "American Hustle" he again delivers a Matty caliber performance worthy of a Golden Nose statuette. But will he receive the coveted nostrils? You'll just have to read on.
Bruce Dern, (Nebraska). Mr. Dern had been flying under my radar for some time now. So much so that I completely forgot he was in one of my favorite movies of 2012, "Django Unchained." Hey, to me that's a good thing. He did so well with his acting that I was swept up with his character and not his name. (Plus, there were a whole slew of other great actors in that film too.)
Well, he didn't slip under my radar this time. Dern's portrayal of Woody Grant in "Nebraska" was mesmorizing. He played an old man, possibly in the early stages of dementia, hooked on the booze, and out to find his fortune. You couldn't help but fall in love with Woody. And Mr. Dern's role as Woody made that happen. Excellent performance.
Leonardo DiCaprio, (The Wolf of Wall Street). LEO! Like I said in the beginning, this is a stacked category. So many great performances, so many great actors. Leo (like Bale) knows how to pick a role. He so good at picking roles, he should be working at Subway. Dicaprio doesn't miss when he chooses a project. Give me something bad he's been in. "J. Edgar?" Sure, I didn't like it too much, but still, he delivered a powerful performance and his presence in the film alone kept me in the theatre. He's a box office draw. In "Wolf" he kept me in my seat because of two things. 1.) The film was incredibly interesting... and 2.) DiCaprio once again delivered a knockout performance. The man is a stud. The man is an animal.The man is what I WISH
I was. I've said so much about this man in my columns that if I praise him anymore people might start getting the wrong idea about us.
Moving right along.
Chitewel Ojiofor, (12 Years a Slave). Okay now, this man can flat out act. Sometimes it's easy to see (like in his supporting role in "Inside Man"). Sometimes you have to look for it (like in "2012" where he excelled in a mediocre film). In "12 Years a Slave" both pieces of the puzzle are connected perfectly. This film is an incredible masterpiece and you will not find a more moving and powerful performance than the one Ojiofor delivers. It is a hard film to watch but it is a film that most definitely needs to be seen.
Matthew McConaughey, (Dallas Buyers Club). Move over Leo, Pitt, Bale, Carrot Top, the "Matty Man Crush Train" may have to hitch his caboose to the McConaughey steam engine. This man is on fire. He couldn't miss this year with me. He had a bit part in "Wolf of Wall Street." He starred in a great film called "Mud" that seemed to go under the radar for some reason. He is in a miniseries on HBO called "True Detective" that I absolutely love. (It's the only TV show I watch). Now he's up for a MATTY for his role as Ron Woodroof in "Dallas Buyers Club." McConaughey plays a man with AIDS who tries to find treatment for himself (and others) in this gripping film. McConaughey had to slim down for this role to make himself look sick. My God, did he look sickly. But his performance was anything but. He carried the film, and he carried it with ease. (Which must've been tough, because it was a heavy film.) Spendid performance.
Right about now I usually give my Awards Show a "Snub Vote." You know, I nominate someone who I think got looked over by the many of the other awards shows. But honestly, this category is so stacked that I don't think it needs to be overcrowded with another nominee. (But if I had to pick one it would go to Chadwick Boseman for his portrayal of Jackie Robinson in the film "42.") Oops, it looks like I just nominated someone after all. Well, it's MY Awards Show and I can do whatever I want, so "Way to go, Chadwick Bo!"
There's your SIX nominees for this year's "Best Actor."
And THE MATTY goes to:
This was not an easy choice for me. There were so many great performances. Any one of these six actors could've received THE MATTY and it wouldn't have been an upset. I just think that (for me) Ojiofor's performance in such a heavy film put him over the top... This is just one man's opinion.
Who WILL win the Oscar: Chitewel Ojiofor.
Who SHOULD win the Oscar: Chitewel Ojiofor. (But I won't be disappointed at whoever wins. They are all deserving.)
There you have it, four down, one to go. There's only one battle left, and it's the main event: Best Picture!
I'm going to head on down to "The Matty Academy" right now, tally up all the "Best Picture" votes and get crack-a-lacking on the final category of THE MATTY'S."
Thank you for joining us and we'll see you later this week for the main event.
Matty W. Kelley, A Seat Apart Productions, reporting.