Archive for July 30th, 2009

oscaroscarIn a recent article I listed the last ten best picture Oscar winners along with the film I would have given the award.  Whilst replying to a comment on that article I suggested if I did a similar list for best actor category I would probably go for Russell Crowe for The Insider over Kevin Spacey for American Beauty.  So I started looking at the winners of best actor over the last ten years:

  • 2000: Kevin Spacey: American Beauty
  • 2001: Russell Crowe: Gladiator
  • 2002: Denzel Washington: Training Day
  • 2003: Adrien Brody: The Pianist
  • 2004: Sean Penn: Mystic River
  • 2005: Jamie Foxx: Ray
  • 2006: Philip Seymour Hoffman: Capote
  • 2007: Forest Whitaker: The Last King of Scotland
  • 2008: Daniel Day-Lewis: There Will Be Blood
  • 2009: Sean Penn: Milk

The conclusion I came to, I agreed with the academy in all but two years, this year I think Frank Langella in Frost Nixon was marginally better than Sean Penn in Milk and 2000 was an impossible year to choose between the nominations who where all brilliant, they where:

Kevin Spacey American Beauty

  • Sean Penn Sweet and LowdownThe Hurricane  Denzel WashingtonRussell Crowe The InsiderRichard Farnsworth The Straight Story


  • Kevin Spacey: American Beauty (winner)
  • Sean Penn: Sweet and Lowdown
  • Denzel Washington: The Hurricane
  • Russell Crowe: The Insider
  • Richard Farnsworth: The Straight Story

 Then add to that great performances by:

  •  Matt Damon: The Talented Mr. Ripley
  • Al Pacino: The Insider
  • Johnny Depp: Sleepy Hollow
  • Edward Norton and Brad Pitt: Fight Club
  • Ethan Hawke: Snow Falling on Cedars
  • John Cusack: Being John Malkovich

I think Russell Crowe for The Insider is more deserving than Kevin Spacey in American Beauty but my vote goes to Richard Farnsworth for The Straight Story. 

A note on the other nominees to show the quality of the actors:  Sean Penn (twice), Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe went on to win Oscars later in the decade.  The Straight Story was sadly Richard Farnsworth last film although it was a fitting final film!


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