Aaron Eckhart has plum supporting roles in “Bleed for This” and “Sully”

Aaron Eckhart 600x300
Late last week, we got two Trailers for what appear to be serious Academy Award contenders in Bleed for This and Sully. They have almost nothing in common, except for one actor…Aaron Eckhart. He’s a main supporting player in both films, with potential Oscar consideration on the horizon. Eckhart has come close to his first nomination on at least two occasions, for Rabbit Hole and especially Thank You For Smoking (with some also being quite fond of his turn in The Dark Knight), but this is his probably his best shot in some time. Both with Bleed for This and Sully, he has the sorts of parts that voters often tend to fall under the spell of. We’ll see if Eckhart can woo them successfully this time around, but he’s certainly got a chance. You’ll see him in the Trailers for both below, but first, a bit on both movies and their overall awards prospects. Onward!

Bleed for This is a fact based sports drama, centered on former champion boxer Vinny Pazienza (Miles Teller), who managed to stage an incredible comeback after a car accident nearly left him paralyzed. Told he initially may never walk again, Pazienza wouldn’t take no for an answer and defied the odds. Ben Younger writes and directs this tale, with Eckhart playing trainer Kevin Rooney, one of Pazienza’s main partners in the unlikely comeback attempt. In addition to Eckhart and Teller, the cast here includes Ciarán Hinds, Ted Levine, and Katey Sagal, among others. With a Thanksgiving release date, hopes are definitely high for this one.

Sully is also a true life tale and biopic, looking at the Miracle on the Hudson and its famous pilot Chesley Sullenberger (Tom Hanks). In the aftermath of his heroic handling of a failed flight and ability to save all 155 souls on board, Captain Sullenberger (or Sully, as he’s called) faces heavy scrutiny over the choices he’s made. Here, Eckhart plays co-pilot Jeff Skiles. In the director’s chair is Clint Eastwood, with Todd Komarnicki penning the adaptation. In addition to Eckhart and Hanks in this one, the supporting cast includes Jerry Ferrara, Anna Gunn, Sam Huntington, Laura Linney, Mike O’Malley, and more. Once again, Tom Stern serves as Eastwood’s cinematographer. This appears like a showcase for Hanks, but Eckhart definitely has a chance to come along for the ride if voters go nuts over this one.

Again, what both have in common is Eckhart in a supporting role (or at least that’s what I’m focusing on right now). Playing both a boxing trainer and a co-pilot make for potentially juicy parts. Neither is a slam dunk for a nomination, but will undoubtedly be helped by possibly strong campaigns. Awards wise, each are players for sure. The former is perhaps a dark horse of sorts (though Oscar does love boxing), with the latter much more of a traditional contender through and through. Bleed for This will probably focus heavily on Teller in Best Actor, but Eckhart in Best Supporting Actor could certainly come along for the ride. The same could be said for him in Sully, with Hanks the focus in Actor, though there we’ll have a large overall campaign, including Best Picture, Best Director (for Eastwood), Best Supporting Actress (for Linney), Best Adapted Screenplay (for Komarnicki), and Best Cinematography (for Stern), to name a few. If either is a hit, look for Eckhart to be in the thick of things.

Overall, while this was a great excuse to catch up on a pair of Trailers, it also just highlights how this could turn into Eckhart’s time. You can see first looks at both Bleed for This and Sully below, and keep an eye out for Eckhart. Hanks and Teller may be the focus, but he’s there too, with a candidacy primed to begin this fall. Sit tight for plenty more on both films, but consider this just step one. Trailers for each movie are up next, so be sure to check them out. Could this be the year of Eckhart? We soon shall find out…

Here’s the Trailer for Bleed for This:

Here’s the Trailer for Sully:

Stay tuned to see how Eckhart winds up faring in both projects!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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