The picture above shows the four ecstatic acting winners from Sunday’s Academy Awards. The Class of 2013 was an interesting one, and one we haven’t seen for a while. We have a rock star and method actor winning for his performance as a transgender woman, an unknown Kenyan actress who rose to the top, a beloved actress who wins her second Academy Award, this time in lead and a former pretty-boy romcom actor who has turned his career around and become a bona fide great actor. Here are my thoughts on these winners:
BEST ACTOR: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
This award is one of the most prestigious of the ceremony, mainly because the winner is the man who actually took the term “leading man” to new heights. For me, only two performances of the ones nominated did this – Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street and Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club. The latter won, and it was probably the most deserving since 2000, when Kevin Spacey won for his remarkable performance in American Beauty. I hope this doesn’t fizzle out and remain McConaughey’s one and only win and nomination, because that happens sometimes – Forest Whitaker, Jean Dujardin, Adrien Brody etc. (although to be fair, Dujardin only won two years ago). But if he continues on this winning streak, we will definitely be seeing him back at the Dolby Theatre, and possibly back on the stage, accepting another award.
BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Probably the greatest actress of her generation, Cate Blanchett finally wins her overdue Best Actress award. She previously won in 2005 for playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator, but Cate never really felt like a supporting actress. She won for a Woody Allen film, which is notable because he is notorious for being a fantastic director of female roles. I hope she can win a third one day, but I’d prefer for it to be in her golden years as opposed to so soon again.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Leto’s performance was impressive, and his win deserved. However, this does feel like it will be an isolated win and nomination (like Chris Cooper and Cuba Gooding Jr.) but the good news is every single winner since 2004 (with the exception of Heath Ledger, who left us too soon), have had more than one Oscar nomination, and all of them ,except Christopher Plummer, earned them after winning. I think Jared Leto will make a few more appearances at the Dolby Theatre as a nominee, and maybe will one day win again. But for now, he should concentrate on earning that EGOT, because he certainly has the talent and versatility to do so.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
As much as I didn’t like this performance, Nyong’o has genuine class and sophistication and I think she is the next big actress – smart, beautiful and talented. She should try some prestige projects, maybe even working with Woody Allen one day, and she will certainly be back as a Best Actress winner very soon
So this year was an interesting year for acting winners, and hopefully next year we will see a combination of seasoned veterans, actors trying their hands at something new and unknowns rising to the top and winning acting Oscars