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Oscars 2017: Denzel Washington’s swing for the Fence or Ryan Gosling’s La La moves?

Oscars 2017: The Best Actor in a leading role nominees are an eclectic mix of performers

Written by Samarpita Das | New Delhi |
February 26, 2017 7:57:56 pm
from Ryan Gosling dancing to tunes in La La Land to Denzel Washington's moving performance we enjoyed everything Hollywood had to offer. From Ryan Gosling dancing to tunes in La La Land to Denzel Washington’s moving performance we enjoyed everything Hollywood had to offer.

We saw great performances from male lead actors. Some stunned us into silence, some left us in contemplation, some hooked us from the first sight and a few left a lasting impression. 2016 has been a great year for movie buffs because we had a great variety of performances to enjoy — from Ryan Gosling dancing to tunes in La La Land to Denzel Washington’s moving performance. There have, of course, been noises that one actor who should have been nominated was Ryan Reynolds for his performance in Deadpool. It was love at first sight for fans, but the board had other ideas. Here are the nominees that they have chosen!

Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

casey-affleck

A man loses his children during a house fire. The man couldn’t help the kids because he was intoxicated and the wife blames him for the fire. Unable to deal with the guilt, the man even tries to shoot himself. But, as fate would have it, he fails. Lee Chandler leaves his hometown to settle down in Boston, angry, lonely and a bitter man. The news of his brother’s heart attack from Massachusetts takes Lee to the hospital, but his brother passes away before he could reach. He leaves behind his son. Lee is surprised to find himself named the legal guardian of his nephew, Patrick.
The way Casey portrays the role of a father who lost his children, and after years, becoming a father figure to his nephew due to circumstances is impressive. While everyone would have expected the nephew and uncle to retire to a life that is ‘happily ever after’, the movie ends on a bittersweet note. Casey’s portrayal of this lost man is en pointe, in some places even surreal for an actor to showcase such empathy.

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Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)

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Most of us know him as Spiderman from The Amazing Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield’s role in Hacksaw Ridge was, however, nowhere close to the superhero. Desmond Doss’s childhood experience, when he almost killed his brother, changes him.

His upbringing, as a Seventh-day Adventist (a protestant Christian denomination) and living under the same roof as his father who is a World War I veteran is the root cause of Desmond’s decision to become a medic.
Andrew’s role, though well played, is not a surprise. The way the character develops through this biopic keeps the audience interested, but the role itself did not leave a lasting impression. It was more of a passing thought, a mere nod of appreciation.

Ryan Gosling ( La La Land)

ryan-gosling

Ryan Gosling’s nomination came as a surprise for what we saw on screen was a charming man, a man who was trying to succeed at something, but failed miserably. A man who fell in love with a girl, an aspiring on stage actor. There are beautifully choreographed song sequences, the backdrops are amazing, and the songs memorable.

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However, Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) was just another name to the many times Ryan Reynolds played a male lead in a romantic movie. The casting was great, and the role fits him like a glove. It is just that this glove is a little worn at tips and we want to see something new before handing him an Oscars.

Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)

viggo-mortensen
Ben Cash (Viggo Mortensen) is a father to six children and a loving husband to wife Leslie. Ben and Leslie are disillusioned Americans who are frustrated with the American life and capitalism. The family leads a life in Washington’s wilderness and learns about left wing politics, develop survival instincts and philosophies — all without technology. Their life takes a sharp turn when Leslie is diagnosed with bipolar disorder and she eventually commits suicide.
She had always wanted to be cremated, however, Leslie’s father plans a traditional burial. Ben takes his children on a road trip in an attempt to stop his father-in-law from going against the wishes of his wife. The kids who see the outside world for the first time, start doubting their father and fight with him. How the family manages to stay together, especially, after bruising each other’s feelings is an interesting watch. While the movie was entertaining enough, the nomination doesn’t seem justified.

Denzel Washington (Fences)

denzel-washington

The film is about Troy Maxson’s (Denzel) life in the 1950s in Pittsburg. As the name suggests, the film is about a man who has built a fence around himself — one that has caused tension between him and his son, one that led him astray from his wife Rosie, and the one that resulted in his belief that his failure at playing professional baseball was because of his skin colour. In fact, he believes that his son will also face the same failure, or worse, he could succeed at something that Troy himself had failed at.

Also read: Oscars 2017: Will Mahershala Ali win for Moonlight in Best Actor in Supporting Role category?

This is not the kind of performance that you could term just impressive. This is the kind that draws a hook into you, the kind that makes you live the struggles of the actor as you watch it on screen. This is the kind of performance that leaves a lasting impression.

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