This is a new column that I pitched to Eric a few weeks ago, basically because I have a lot of pent-up frustration about award shows. Thank you Eric for letting me “freelance” while all I’m really doing is venting.
WINNER: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
- Colin Firth (A Single Man)
- Morgan Freeman (Invictus)
- Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
- George Clooney (Up in the Air)
This was one of the most painful Oscar losses in my life. I had seen each of the films for which the men were nominated—as I always do—and pretty much called the nominations after I saw the performances, long before they had been announced. For me, it was an instant no-brainer that Colin Firth should win for has truly amazing performance in “A Single Man.” It was, and still is, I believe one of the most well-done films in recent years.
When nominations came out, I was so bummed that Tom Ford didn’t even get a directing nod, but don’t get me started. I had only seen Firth in romantic comedies like “Bridget Jones Diary” and “Love Actually,” and find myself in awe each time I watch this performance, which I truly believe to be brilliant.
But, as far as nominations went, I would’ve been satisfied—or at least less upset—with two of my other favorite performances of the year, George Clooney for “Up in the Air” and Jeremy Renner for “The Hurt Locker,” both of which were on my short list of best performances of the year.
I wasn’t surprised that Morgan Freeman was nominated for his role as Nelson Mandela in “Invictus,” but knew he was out from the get-go. I had seen the movie, had said previously that Morgan Freeman was born to play Nelson Mandela, and came away unsatisfied in all ways. But I definitely knew it would get him nominated.
Which brings us to Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart.” I saw the movie. I liked it. It wasn’t something to write home about. Do I think that Jeff Bridges was “overdue” for an Oscar and this was his way in? Absolutely. But I pity for the loss of Colin Firth and his brilliant performance.
It was impeccable, without flow, heart-wrenching, and all kinds of adjectives good. Not only that, the film itself was fantastic and expertly done by Tom Ford– it made his appearance as a middle-aged gay professor all the more enhanced.
I don’t know that Colin Firth will be nominated for an Oscar again ever, which makes it doubly disappointing. It’s an overlooked performance, and film for that matter, and I’m so bummed that it didn’t get the buzz it really deserved.
Bridges accepted the statue—which I think was granted him not necessarily for the singular performance, but for an entire body of work—and I understood the politics in that, but it was mighty heart-wrenching to see such a fantastic performance go by unnoticed. Makes me wish that “Crazy Heart” was released the year before. But, what I’m trying to get at here is that
THE AWARD SHOULD HAVE GONE TO: COLIN FIRTH (A SINGLE MAN)