I rarely bring Oscar up, but I have written about him before. Back then I warned against premature Oscar "buzz" for a certain performance.
Now, I am questioning the readers of this blog: which performances have sufficient "buzz" at this juncture to be considered as possible nominees come winter?
I primarily ask because it seems like this Oscar season has been the quietest, most barren in a long time. We still have more than two months, but on the whole, this seems like a rather weak year for speculative Oscar hype, especially in terms of destined-for-Oscar performances.
The only three probable "locks" I can think of at this time are Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight (best supporting actor), Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (best supporting actress) and, despite not having been seen by yours truly, Angelina Jolie for Changeling (best actress--it's Eastwood, many think she should have been nominated last year for A Mighty Heart, etceteras).
Possible contenders would include Melissa Leo for Frozen River, Richard Jenkins for The Visitor, Anne Hathaway for Rachel Getting Married (unseen by yours truly yet again, so take this with an extra tiny grain of salt) and Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler as well as possibly Marisa Tomei for the same (again, unseen, so, please, do not take these glorified hunches particularly seriously).
I almost never bring Oscar up, but I am doing so now in the context of performances this year that were memorable, or Oscar-friendly. One of my favorite performances of the year was Andrew Garfield in Boy A, an ostensibly impossible long shot to be recognized.
It seems like no one is bringing up "Oscar" yet, and it's intriguing. Aside from the push to have The Dark Knight recognized, and a few of these aforementioned performances, it does not seem like there is much to fight over this year. Ironically, I will likely not bring Oscar up for a long time here, as others are able to follow the horse race with greater enthusiasm, passion and awards group-by-awards group coverage and analysis. It's seldom brought up here, and I tend to enjoy writing about it more as a reflection of the year, and the zeitgeist of that year.