Toronto Film Fest: Best Actor Nominees

HollywoodNews.com: It’s weird to think, but it does seem like all the Best Actor nominees may already be at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival. And even weirder considering that George Clooney, who is sublime in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants,” has also directed Ryan Gosling to a potential nomination in “The Ides of March.” That would make the first time a director was nominated as an actor in someone else’s film, but directed another actor also to a nomination.

Clooney and Gosling are not alone here. Jean DuJardin in the unique and clever “The Artist” is also on the Oscar short list. That makes three. Add in the fourth potential name, Brad Pitt, who could actually win the gold statue for his breakout work in “Moneyball.” Pitt is so good as real life Oakland A’s manager Billy Bean, it’s astonishing. “Moneyball” opens soon, and it’a homerun for Pitt and director Bennett Miller. It’s the best baseball movie since “Field of Dreams” or “The Natural.” It’s breathtaking, and Pitt finally transcends himself, his star persona, and everything else that encumbers him.

So that’s four of five. Who else? Ewan MacGregor is superb in Lasse Hallstrom’s “Salmon Fishing in Yemen,” although the film was just shown last night for the first time to thunderous applause. It has no American distributor yet, but my guess is someone will snap it up for the Oscar season. It’s a huge hit waiting to happen. MacGregor and Emily Blunt are charming, but not lightweight by any means. The Simon Beaufoy script makes the difference.

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