Two of the candidates for this year’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar are really extraordinary old people.
Christopher Plummer shines in Mike Mills‘s Beginners as the father of the Mills character (played by Ewan McGregor), who comes out of the closet at 75 and really starts to live.
Plummer himself is in his ’80s, has had a distinguished career on stage and screen, and was nominated once before (for supporting for The Last Station).
I’ll forgive him the time he looked at me like I was a pile of crap when I asked him about The Sound of Music. (I had no idea he loathes it. Double shame on him!)
Another contender is Warrior‘s Nick Nolte, who also plays a father going through a crossroads — this one a recovering alcoholic who totters back into his sons’ lives pleading for forgiveness and redemption.
At first, I thought, “Another mumbly performance from Nolte,” but his work has real grit to it, and in one particular confrontation scene with son Tom Hardy, he tears your heart out, throws it to the ground, stomps on it, and puts it back in.
Nolte, 70, has been nominated twice before, for Best Actor (The Prince of Tides, Affliction), but he has never copped the gold.
So which one will get the prize?
I’d say definitely …
Probably Plummer. Beginners is his new beginning, and besides, Nolte’s Oscar mojo has been going down a bit in the last few months.
It’s all in the timing!
And let’s not rule out Albert Brooks, Kenneth Branagh, and Max von Sydow, either.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 12, 2011