October 21, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

Julia Robert lobbies for a Javier Bardem Oscar nom

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Talk about an Oscar vote of confidence!

Recently, when we interviewed Javier Bardem and talked in depth about his hauntingly brilliant “Biutiful” performance, we mentioned the A-list colleagues who were stepping up and throwing their support behind the actor’s award campaign. We talked about Sean Penn hosting a SAG Q-and-A with Bardem, of Ben Affleck saying Bardem “is on another level from the rest of us,” and Ryan Gosling openly campaigning for a Bardem Oscar nomination.

Add Julia Roberts’ name to the list of celebrities who will be furious of Bardem does not receive an Oscar nomination for his work.

“He’s so raw and completely open to sharing every emotion this character has,” Roberts said to EW during a screening of the film Roberts held for a select industry crowd.

When asked why she thinks Bardem has not been recognized yet by SAG or the HFPA, Roberts said, “I think the movie hasn’t gotten the exposure. You don’t know where it is. It’s like this hidden little jewel. Especially in this particular season, people don’t hunt for things. They just take what you throw in their face.”

And, in her most blunt statement, Roberts basically came out and said if a performance as remarkable as Bardem’s gets overlooked, then the industry is “f—ed.”

It is fairly remarkable that Bardem is being overlooked by the major awards groups and the critical community. Yes, “Biutiful” is a difficult film to watch because it is bleak, but Bardem was routinely singled out by reviewers who praised his immersive performance.

And all of the oversights will be wiped clean is Bardem can secure the most important nod – the Oscar nomination. I honestly can’t remember the last time this many actors came out and openly lobbied for another actor to nab a nomination for a particular role. Is Roberts in time? Will the pleas of Bardem’s colleagues be heard? We’ll know soon enough.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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