April 16, 2014

Fox says it will push “Apes” star Andy Serkis for Oscar – AWARDS ALLEY


By Sean O’Connell
hollywoodnews.com: There was a debate raging behind the scenes at the Southeastern Film Critics Association (of which I’m a member) as to whether Andy Serkis can and should be considered in the group’s Best Supporting Actor category this year for his work on Rupert Wyatt’s surprising summer blockbuster “Rise of the Planet of the Apes.”

Supporters were pointing to a supplemental feature on the recently released Blu-ray that highlights the amount of work that went into Serkis’ performance so as to be able to capture Caesar, the brilliant ape who triggered the money revolution. Detractors weren’t sure whether they’d be able to differentiate between Serkis’ and the contributions of the motion-capture artists working with Serkis’ efforts … but possibly taking his performance one step further.

But even those who weren’t convinced enough to put Serkis on their ballot at least admitted that Serkis absolutely deserved to be considered for a Best Actor nomination, which is excellent news for 20th Century Fox.

The studio’s co-chair and CEO, Tom Rothman, admitted to THR that they planned to push the actor’s performance in the ongoing Oscar race, believing Serkis could finally be recognized after being overlooked for his work on Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

“I think we may be at the place where we will see a first-ever in Hollywood this year, which is to see Andy Serkis get nominated for a best supporting actor for ‘Planet of the Apes,’ even though his face never actually appears,” he said while attending the Gotham Independent Film Awards. “But his performance appears, so we are going to push that hard.”

“The emotionality – what you see and what you feel – he did it,” Rothman continued. “I saw him. I watched him. Then they digitally overlaid – you can think of it as a costume – the skin and the hair of an ape. But I tell you the thing that people felt – and a lot of people where moved when they saw the movie – is because of his performance.”

This could be a year of “firsts,” or at least a return to historical form for the Oscars, which could potentially honor a black-and-white, largely silent film in “The Artist” or nominate CGI, mo-cap features like Steven Spielberg’s “The Adventures of Tintin.” But I’m thrilled to hear Fox plans to put its weight behind Serkis, who continues to amaze in a field that’s still developing, yet accomplishing enough to catch the Academy’s attention.

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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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2 Comments

  • Dylan
    November 29, 2011 | Permalink |

    why are they wasting time pushing him for an Oscar nomination those are for the real actors and the real performances

  • November 29, 2011 | Permalink |

    You wouldn’t consider Serkis a “real” actor?

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