Monday, February 23, 2015

AFT Awards: Best Actor in a Leading Role

This is the first category of the 8th Annual AFT Film Awards to be announced. The AFT Awards are my own personal choices for the best in film of each year and the best in television of each season. The AFT Film Awards include the traditional Oscar categories and a number of additional specific honors. Nominees are pictured in the order I’ve ranked them and drawn from a pool of approximately 156 films. Click here to see previous years of this category.

Honorable mentions:
Ben Schnetzer (Pride), Ben Wishaw (Lilting), Bill Murray (St. Vincent), Billy Crudup (Rudderless), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Brendan Gleeson (The Grand Seduction), Channing Tatum (Foxcatcher), Daniel Fraser (Frequencies), David Oyelowo (Selma), Domnhall Gleeson (Frank), Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood), Gael Garcia Bernal (Rosewater), Ghilherme Lobo (The Way He Looks), Jack O'Connell (Starred Up), Jack O'Connell (Unbroken), Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler), Jake Macapagal (Metro Manila), James Corden (One Chance), James McAvoy (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby), Jan Cornet (Tasting Menu), Jeremy Renner (Kill the Messenger), Jesse Eisenberg (The Double), Jim Broadbent (Le Week-End), Josh Wiggins (Hellion), Jude Law (Dom Hemingway), Logan Lerman (Fury), Mark Ruffalo (Begin Again), Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear), Matt Mider (Forev), Matt Walsh (Hits), Matthew McConaughey (Interstellar), Michael C. Hall (Cold in July), Michael Shannon (Young Ones), Michel Bouqet (The Little Bedroom), Miles Teller (Two Night Stand), Miles Teller (Whiplash), Paul Eenhoorn (Land Ho), Peyman Moaadi (Camp X-Ray), Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Romain Duris (Chinese Puzzle), Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge), Taylor Kitsch (The Grand Seduction), Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), Tom O'Brien (Manhattan Romance), Tom Schilling (A Coffee in Berlin)

Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
Tom Hardy (Locke)
Toni Servilla (Viva la Liberta)
Michael Fassbender (Frank)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)

The winner:
Earl Lynn Nelson (Land Ho) was consistently hilarious and at ease playing an older man on vacation with no inhibitions, an impressive feat for the non-actor doctor from Kentucky.

Other nominees:
Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year) inhabited his role with an intensity that demonstrated his sincere conviction and sense that what he was doing was right, coupled with an unbreakable determination, an unusual departure for a talented actor used to playing less confident parts. Nicolas Cage (Joe) got serious for his first solid performance in years, one filled with rage and a gritty acceptance of the way the world works. Jason Schwartzman (Listen Up Philip) was just the right person to play a self-involved writer who couldn’t be bothered with the unimportance of those around him and not entirely relevant to his priorities. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) was simply superb as a brilliant mathematician well aware of his own abilities and constantly striving to complete his defining achievement.

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