A New Oscar Contender on the Horizon
I’m hearing word from a couple of sources that a film that has been on the fence for the 2010 season for a long time has now been confirmed for a release that puts it in competition for this year’s Oscars. I could not be more thrilled.
That film is “The Way Back” directed by Peter Weir. Weir is the mastermind behind such brilliant films as “Witness,” “The Truman Show,” and “Master and Commander,” and this film is said to be a great addition to that list of prestige.
The film tells the story of a group of escapees from a Siberian gulag (or prison) during World War II making their way back through harsh climates and enemy territory back to their home country. The film boasts a great cast with Colin Farrell, Jim Sturgess, Mark Strong, Saoirse Ronan and Ed Harris. Also a strong technical pedigree with an Oscar Winning cinematographer (Russell Boyd) and editor (Lee Smith). The film was a huge hit at the Telluride Film Festival and will surely build up a great campaign leading up to January.
It might be a little late in the game for this relatively unheard of film to stage a coup against such awards monsters as “The Social Network” or “The King’s Speech.” However, this release is phenomenal news for one person in particular, one of my absolute favorite actors of all time: Ed Harris.
It would be a crime to call this year’s supporting actor race weak, for there are so many phenomenal actors with great roles already in the running. However, Ed Harris entering at this point is a game-changer. Right now, the category is filled with a lot of young actors who are just now looking for their first nomination, and one veteran who already has an Oscar under his belt. Yet, the Best Supporting Actor Oscar has been a long-used tool for awarding older actors in return for snubbing them in the past (Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, James Coburn, Robin Williams, Martin Landau, Jack Palance, Sean Connery, the list goes on and on…..) and not many individuals meet that pedigree more than Ed Harris.
He has been nominated four times, and at least two of those times, he was kind of a snub (Apollo 13 and The Truman Show). This is a great opportunity for the Academy to correct the mistakes of the past and award he who is widely considered the most overdue man in Hollywood before its too late. My predictions have been updated accordingly.