Not that this category needs a whole lot of introductory words but I am happy to be able to make an announcement after having finally watched Whiplash (review pending) …

Robert Duvall – The Judge

There is no doubt that Robert Duvall is a great actor who has been part of some fantastic movies in the past 40+ years. Despite not even having watched the judge, I am pretty sure that this nomination had more to do with Duvall being a well deserved acting capacity in Hollywood than with the quality of this movie – The Judge.

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

When I watched Boyhood all the hype the movie had made was basically over (sorry living across the pond doesn’t make this job an easy one). As already posted in my review, I thought Boyhood was a wonderful and very ambitious project which does deserve recognition from the Academy (and will most certainly receive it). And Ethan Hawke’s dad role was certainly an important element of the film but it was not THE element and thus does not deserve a golden statue.

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

Despite being probably one of the most bleak (love this word) movies of the season, I was in such awe with Foxcatcher. Mainly because of Steve Carell’s breathtaking performance but also in part because of Mark Ruffalo. Having watched a few interviews of the real Dave Schultz afterwards, he really did a great job portraying him and for that the nomination is very well deserved. Being in a field with (obviously) very strong contenders does not help … it’s a nay.

Edward Norton – Birdman

Of all the movies I have watched in my preparation for the Oscars (at this point Whiplash, American Sniper and Selma still have not been released in Germany), Birdman has been my favorite movie of the year. And of course, it is the sum of all things which elevates the movie to its greatness but obviously one big element is the acting – and well a big element in the acting is Edward Norton. I just love this actor, he has been staring in some of my favorite movies of all times (Fight Club and American History X) and for that Norton has a special place in my heart. And having seen him in Birdman felt like an awakening after having stared in lots of rather average films in the past years, this acting performance in all its weirdness and its method-in-method-acting shows us yet again what a fantastic actor Edward Norton is. He is most certainly one of the top contenders.

J.K Simmons – Whiplash

I am just coming out of the theater as I am writing so every whip of Whiplash is still fresh. And man, what a great movie, what a great and riveting performance. And the part feels as if it was written for J.K. Simmons, he can act out the terrible psychotic asshole who just pushes Miles Teller beyond any limit. He is brutal, demeaning and just an absolute terrible human being. It is a long time since I have despised somebody so much on screen, it even reached Joffrey Baratheon level at times. But his acting was only so good because the role was written “for him”. He can completely live out the role of Fletcher – and he only does for the greater good of music, right? Loved this movie, loved J.K. Simmons … he has to win. [toggle title=”And the Oscar goes to”] Whiplash-6613.cr2J.K. Simmons – Whiplash: A truly outstanding performance as the psychotic sociopath who puts his student through hell. I enjoyed watching every second of it; his “supporting”performance was most definitely the best – and that says something if you are in the running with Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke. A deserved win without a doubt and a pretty certain call to make.  [/toggle]

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