Patrick Stewart gives one of the performances of his career in “Logan”
Among the many cinematic crimes that exist in the world, high up among them is that Patrick Stewart has never been cited by the Academy. Despite decades of strong work, he remains one of the most respected actors in the industry never to be nominated for an Oscar. Without question, if you were to ask folks on the street if Stewart had been nominated before, most would assume yes. He has that sort of implicit cache to his name and resume. As good as it already is, that resume now has another sterling credit with Logan, the best film of 2017 so far, featuring Stewart turning in perhaps the year’s best supporting turn to date.
Obviously, Stewart has multiple characters that he’s played time and time again, gaining a following all over the world. He is beloved not just for the role of Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise. He’s also iconic for his portrayal of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation on television and then in a series of Star Trek films. Let us not forget his voice work on television either, where he’s amusing millions. This is an actor almost in a class by himself. That goes without saying. Now, with Logan, he’s upped the game once again. It’s one of his crowning achievements, bar none.
For those who are somehow living under a rock, Logan is his newest project and one of the best superhero movies of all time. The film is the latest in a long line of X-Men sequels, while also functioning as a third solo Wolverine flick. It’s a loose adaptation of the Old Man Logan storyline, set in the future and following Logan (Hugh Jackman), formerly the X-Men team member known as Wolverine. It centers around an older Logan, one in the future who doesn’t have the same healing abilities that he once did. Logan is taking care of a feeble Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) along the Mexican border, in relative anonymity. That is short lived, however, when a young girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) with very special abilities comes into their orbit. Her presence puts the three of them on the run, hoping to find sanctuary and evade the evil forces pursuing them. James Mangold co-writes with Scott Frank and Michael Green, as well as directs this film. Also in the cast are Richard E. Grant, Boyd Holbrook, Eriq La Salle, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, and more. Marco Beltrami contributes the score, while John Mathieson handles the cinematography. It’s top notch work all around.
Stewart is astonishing in the film. The emotion and pathos on display is absolutely riveting. Even reduced to a shell of his former self, Charles is still a force to be reckoned with, which is a true credit to Stewart. His chemistry with Jackman is the most moving that it has ever been. Over the last couple of years, you could make the case that he’s doing the best work that he ever has. If nothing else, Stewart is having a bit of a third act career resurgence. Closing out this character in such a profound way has many calling for him to be recognized at long last.
To reiterate, Stewart has zero citations from the Academy. Not for Green Room last year. Not for the truly underrated Match the year before. With well over 100 credits to his name, there has been opportunities, none of which have come to fruition. Those were overt snubs, so he’s clearly overdue. That could come in handy here. Now, can he actually get nominated for Logan? That remains to be seen, but Stewart seems like the best bet for a major nomination for the film. Last year, Deadpool set the R rated superhero template on the precursor circuit, so with even better reviews this time, we could see a similar run, boosted by Stewart being a player in Best Supporting Actor. It’ll be hard to pull off, but if he can do it, who’s to say that he can’t then pull off the upset win?
For now, the continued success of Logan can only help his case when the precursors begin in the winter. Critical acclaim, healthy box office, it’s doing every single thing that it needs to right now. We’re a long ways off from knowing how it will do there, but if it’s alive at all, Stewart should be right there during the precursors with it. This narrative is one of the most compelling ones that could come about in 2017. It’ll be one to follow closely, especially considering how satisfying it would be to see Stewart finally hear his name called on Oscar nomination morning. Sit tight for more…
Stay tuned to see if Stewart can catch on during the awards season later on this year for Logan!