Gary Oldman, Christian Bale get jump on Oscar competition at Tellruide

They seem to exist under glass. Darkest Hour is out Nov. Here, the two are working in a similarly dark key, but there are also moments of grace to be found too. To be even more honest, he’s starred in a lot of junk in the past decade. But the biggest draw is watching Bale do so much with seemingly so little. You immediately understand who this man is (for better and worse) and what he’s grappling with. Then he’s assigned to take a dying imprisoned chief (Wes Studi) back to his Montana home where he can die on his native tribal soil. And his work in Scott Cooper’s brutal and beautiful new Western, Hostiles, ranks with some of his best. And the country, under a failure of leadership, leans on the controversial and bigger-than-life Churchill. He’s the rare actor who can say more with his eyes and facial expressions than most others can with the longest and most florid for-your-consideration monologues. Over the years a lot of great actors, have tackled Churchill: Albert Finney, Brendan Gleeson, Rod Taylor, Richard Burton, Timothy Spall, Bob Hoskins, and most recently John Lithgow in The Crown. move, and Blocker wants no part of it, but he has no choice. Cooper, the director of Crazy Heart and most recently Black Mass, teamed up with Bale once before in 2013’s little-seen Out of the Furnace – a harrowing movie that I adored and put on my 10-best list that year. Every gesture feels authentic and real. He’s a career officer famous for his ruthless and bloody subjugation of Native Americans. Show Full Article I’m a critic. Hitler’s invasion of France means that his next stop is Britain. It’s both a relief and revelation to see him get the chance to swing for the fences again. In my first post from this year’s Telluride Film Festival, I focused on three films with stand-out performances from female actors: Emma Stone’s portrayal of the trailblazing Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes; Saoirse Ronan as a teen finding her voice in Lady Bird; and Sally Hawkins as a mute cleaning woman who falls for otherworldly creature in Guillermo del Toro’s best-of-the-fest sci-fi fantasy The Shape of Water. Shot in New Mexico and Colorado, the film is stunning to look at. Wright, a director I like, has a tendency to make films that feel a bit too painterly and self-aware. It’s painting a portrait of a great man by working in miniature. I don’t think we’ll ever see anyone else do Churchill this well again unless the man himself comes back from the dead. I understand that Westerns are a tough nut to crack for some, but Hostiles is one of the finest examples of the genre since Unforgiven. Darkest Hour isn’t quite as great a film as Spielberg’s, but it does have a central performance from Gary Oldman that will likely draw comparisons to Daniel Day-Lewis’ as the American president due to how invisibly and seamlessly the actor inhabits and loses himself in the man he’s playing. It’s remarkable. In the festival’s second half, there were two performances that I saw that knocked me out and I think are going to be undeniable contenders. With a small group of soldiers, he transports the chief and his family across the plains through deadly encounters, picking up a lone woman (Rosamund Pike, superb) on the way after her family has been massacred. The film follows the pitbull British prime minister during one crucial month in the early stages of WWII. Along with del Toro’s The Shape of Water, it was my favorite film at Telluride. As for the movie, it’s very good. Lorey Sebastian, Le Grisbi Productions/Waypoint Entertainment
The other acting performance that blew me away during the second half of the festival shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Jack English / Focus Features
By zooming in on one month of Churchill’s life, Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) is very much working in the mold here of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. If you liked Dunkirk as much as I did, this will make a perfect companion film since it partially tells the story of that evacuation from the other side of the Channel, in the cigar-smoke-filled parlor rooms of Parliament and 10 Downing Street. First, as a caveat, let me be clear that I’m not an Oscar prognosticator. I’ll be honest, Oldman hasn’t been this good for a very long time. But remember, this is the actor who played Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy and was so hypnotic (and often scary) in Prick Up Your Ears, State of Grace, JFK, The Professional, True Romance, Immortal Beloved, and The Contender. But not quite on the level of Oldman’s squalling performance. I’m going to make a comparison to Dances with Wolves, but don’t let that turn you off – this film isn’t nearly as preachy, but it does touch on similar themes of racial hatred and eventual understanding between white men and Native Americans, albeit with a lighter, more artful and nuanced touch. The first is Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill in Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour. And you’re always aware of the director when you should be swept up in the story. Hidden under pounds of latex jowls, pear-shaped body padding, and flawless aging make-up, Oldman is Churchill. I’ll leave the ins and outs of that particular annual horse race to my colleagues who track the shifting winds and tea leaves of Academy voters. After all, any time Christian Bale is in a movie, it’s an event. It’s a P.R. And just when you thought that you’d seen every weapon that an actor like Bale had in his arsenal, he somehow manages to surprise you yet again. That would be May 1940, when the countries of Western Europe are falling like dominoes to the Nazis. 22; Hostiles does not yet have distribution or a 2017 release date. Still, I liked it a lot. Like Day-Lewis in Lincoln, it takes about 30 seconds for you to forget that you’re watching an actor and just believe. But Oldman’s Churchill seems to go beyond acting into a sort of conjuring act. Bale plays Captain Joe Blocker, a haunted soldier in the untamed west in 1892. Now, let’s take a look at a couple of leading man turns that are likely to end up in the Best Actor mix when Oscar season roles around. But since Telluride has become such an influential launching pad for those films gunning for statuettes, it’s hard to be here and not get swept up in the handicapping. And not only the look, but the mischievous wit, the twinkle in the eye, the rousing oratory, and the crippling self-doubt when he most needed to project confidence.