The Best Actor Award is one of the most anticipated categories at the Oscars ceremony. This year had its demands, but you cannot tell it by the powerful performances of these amazing lead actors.
It has been a rather challenging year for the movie industry as well. The pandemic closed movie theatres and changed the whole film production industry. Streaming has never been more successful – big, A-list films have been streamed on laptops, TV screens and even mobile phones. But besides all the challenges, this year gave us some amazing pieces of movies, and some truly memorable performances.
Let’s see the nominees for this year’s Best Actor:
Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix) – a fiery young, tortured, ambitious trumpet player who gives “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” its tragic grace notes.
Anthony Hopkins – “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics) – an elderly British man waging a Shakespearean battle with an unseen enemy taking away his memory.
Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios) – a heroic struggle of a heavy-metal drummer, who is going deaf and facing the loss of his livelihood.
Steven Yeun – “Minari” (A24) – a young father and aspiring farmer who risks everything to transplant his family from Korea to America.
Gary Oldman – “Mank” (Netflix) – a portrait of famous social critic and alcoholic Hollywood screenwriter – Howard J. Mankiewicz, who helped filmmaker Orson Welles write his masterpiece, “Citizen Kane”.
Three of the 5 nominees have never been nominated for the Academy Awards before (Boseman, Ahmed, Yeun). The other two nominees, well, I don’t think they need an introduction. Anthony Hopkins was nominated 5 times and he won the Best Actor Award with 1991’s “The silence of the Lambs”. Gary Oldman was nominated twice, and he also had 1 win of the category with the 2017’s “Darkest Hour”.
Steven Yeun and Riz Ahmed make history with their nominations as Yeun is the first Asian American to be nominated in the category history while Ahmed is the first Muslim lead actor nominee ever. Anthony Hopkins is the oldest nominee in the history of the Oscars at the age of 83, while Chadwick Boseman, who unfortunately died of colon cancer last year at the age of 43, is the first Black posthumous acting nominee.
A proper recognition would be if Boseman got the Award, as his performance is seen as remarkable and outstanding by many of the critics. And he really gives an all-in performance as he delivers the role of the passionate and complicated jazz trumpeter. He will be hard to beat.
To have a little insight of the history of this category, Daniel Day-Lewis has the most wins in this category with three, while Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Fredric March, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Spencer Tracy all have two each. Henry Fonda is currently the oldest winner at 76 for “On Golden Pond,” while Adrien Brody is the youngest winner ever for “The Pianist” at the age of 29. Brody’s mother was born in Hungary, Budapest, so the actor has strong Hungarian roots.
Other winners in this category who have Hungarian background are Lukács Pál / Paul Lucas who won the Best Actor Award in 1943 for the movie “Watch on the Rhine”. Paul Newman whose mother and father were of Hungarian and Polish descent, received the Oscar Award as Best Actor in 1987 for the film “The Color of Money”.
Sources: Variety, Hollywood Reporter