Is Leonardo DiCaprio really a Best Actor contender? – AWARDS ALLEY
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Earlier this week, we received our first official look at Clint Eastwood’s anticipated biopic “J. Edgar,” courtesy of a two-and-a-half minute teaser that was released to Access Hollywood before being posted online.
The reactions from Oscar trackers was swift. And – if you ask me – some of them were unfair.
Based on the brief snippet of footage (and whatever information being fed behind the scenes), one Oscar commentator felt comfortable enough to admit “sensing a possible fall-off down the road” for the film based on the “dicey” trailer.
It’s not just the unenthusiastic reactions that have me scratching my head, however. A handful of sites that post official “predictions” in chart form have Eastwood’s drama on the list of potential Best Picture contenders. One chart has “J.Edgar” leading the list of Best Picture contenders ahead of Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” and Tate Taylor’s “The Help.”
The last one I understand. It’s a beloved blockbuster, the type of film the Academy loves to recognize with multiple nominations … and possibly a few wins.
But how can “J. Edgar” or “War Horse” be in the lead on any chart? No one has seen either film, so far as I know. “Predictions” made in September are stone cold guesses based on past accomplishments of those involved.
Speaking of coasting on momentum, Eastwood’s star – Leonardo DiCaprio – leads George Clooney (“The Descendants”) in the Best Actor race according to these expert charts. Again, how? DiCaprio has been fantastic in other films. He has been nominated before. He could be amazing in this. I’ve actually seen Clooney in “The Descendants.” His performance deserves a nomination. Please tell me, though, that we’re not basing DiCaprio’s chances on a brief trailer … on a tease!
Shouldn’t experts wait until they’ve seen the films to make such predictions? What does it serve, shining a spotlight on a film before it’s actually been screened? If anything, it creates harmful hype – and potential backlash — if a film or a performance can’t live up to being named a “frontrunner” by a panel of experts.
I hope DiCaprio delivers an Oscar-worthy performance in Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.” I honestly do. But I’d prefer to wait until I’ve actually seen the film, and the performance, before stating otherwise.
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