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Oscars 2011: Best Actor Nominees and Alternative Movies

The Oscars aka SuperBowl for movie nerds is quickly approaching. Everyday leading up to it, I hope to post a Oscar-themed movie list leading up to my predictions before the show and hopefully live blogging of the event itself. For my first list, I chose something to do with the great roster of Best Actor nominees. All five of them are some favorite of mine. so, to show people how great some of these actors are, I’ve picked some of their most underrated works that people should check out.

Colin Firth – When Did You Last See Your Father?

I caught this little seen indie British film on Netflix. The film is a short, cliche, awards-bait dramatic showcase for famed actors Firth and Jim Broadbent. The film is based on a memoir about a British man who returns to his childhood home to visit his dying father and reflects on his childhood and his turbulent relationship with his unfaithful, playboy father. Not the most original work, and maybe I’m a sucker for father-son dramas but the ending had me tearing up like a drunk girl on Prom night, mostly thanks to Firth’s acting.

Jesse Eisenberg – The Hunting Party

I sometimes think I’m the only person to have ever seen/heard of this movie. The film is a semi-factual story about three reporters (Richard Gere, Terrance Howard, Eisenberg) who search for a European War Criminal. The film is a hilarious satire mix of politics and journalism. The three main actors play off each other brilliantly, making for some hilarious exchanges and memorable scenes. Eisenberg especially displays talent as a young reporter who tags along with longtime cameraman/reporter team of Gere and Howard. The movie feels real in its absurdity and even tells you what was truth and fiction at the end of the film.

Javier Bardem – The Sea Inside

People always recognize Javier from his memorable turn as the villain Anton Chigruh, but he gained critical acclaim from this Foreign Language Best picture/true story about Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who fought for his own euthanasia rights. The film is carried by Bardem’s brilliant performance, a character that is insightful, tragic, and inspiring. Whether or not you believe in Euthanasia, you can’t help but we transported into this beautifully shot, heartbreaking story.

Jeff Bridges – Arlington Road

One of my favorite underrated thrillers. Jeff Bridges stars as a widower college professor who beings to suspect his new neighbor, Tim Robbins, of being apart of a terrorist organization. Maybe its because I love thrillers that involve paranoia and obsession, but this is one well-made intense thriller that relies on great cat-and-mouse game between Robbins and Bridges. The two actors play off each other phenomenally that culminates with one hell of a twist ending.

James Franco – Flyboys

As much as I love Franco, he has starred in a lot of shitty movies. Flyboys isn’t particularly shitty, but it isn’t particularly great either. Franco stars as the leader of American pilots who help out the French Air Force during WWI. The movie’s acting isn’t memorable but it is worth seeing for the story, especially for war/history buffs. The other most memorable part is the aerial dogfight sequences which are the highlight of the film and worth investing your time in seeing.


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