- Title: USA: Hollywood film critic talks Oscar Best Actor nominations
- Date: 20th February 2008
- Summary: BURBANK, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (RECENT) (REUTERS) ACCESS HOLLYWOOD FILM CRITIC SCOTT MANTZ WALKS BACKSTAGE (SOUNDBITE) (English) FILM CRITIC SCOTT MANTZ SAYING: "In terms of Best Actor for the Oscars, I really think Daniel Day-Lewis is going to win cause he was so over-the-top as this ruthless oil driller, in a performance that was not that much different from the performance he did in 'Gangs of New York' five years ago. And that was also nominated Best Actor. But he's really been getting a big push, it's a very intense, committed performance. And voters love to see that kind of a commitment when actors just give their all."
- Embargoed: 6th March 2008 12:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVAAUJJQ4SA05TNOYS9ISI6F3RIW
- Story Text: With the writers' strike resolved, the countdown to the 80th Annual Academy Awards is underway. The red carpet will be rolled out on scheduled and the show will take place on Sunday, February 24, 2008 as planned.
In the Best Leading Man category, Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") and George Clooney ("Michael Clayton") seem to be out in front.
Scott Mantz, a film critic for the entertainment program Access Hollywood, recently shared with Reuters his thoughts about each of the actors favored to win.
"In terms of Best Actor for the Oscars, I really think Daniel Day-Lewis is going to win cause he was so over-the-top as this ruthless oil driller, in a performance that was not that much different from the performance he did in 'Gangs of New York' five years ago. And that was also nominated Best Actor. But he's really been getting a big push, it's a very intense, committed performance. And voters love to see that kind of a commitment when actors just give their all."
Day-Lewis earned the nomination for his portrayal as Daniel Plainview, a ruthless oilman who stops at nothing to build his wealth and maintain his power in "There Will Be Blood." He is also sweeping the awards season with wins for the intensity which he plays his role in this epic film set at the turn-of-the-century.
He has taken home Best Leading Actor at the BAFTA Awards, Best Actor at the Critics' Choice Awards, a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, and a Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, among others. His trophy count is reportedly nearing 20.
The 50-year-old actor is known for engaging in lengthy preparations for each role, which has led to long gaps between movies. "There Will Be Blood" is only his fourth movie in a decade. He won his first Oscar for playing a man who overcomes cerebral palsy in the 1989 movie "My Left Foot."
Although the odds seem to be in favor of Day-Lewis, Mantz believes Clooney is a strong contender and may give Day-Lewis a run for his money.
"But you know George Clooney was in a terrific film 'Michael Clayton' and it got nominated for seven Oscars. It's a very, very smart film that doesn't cater to its audience. It expects the audience to rise to its level. Now that kind of momentum, it's a better film I think than 'There Will Be Blood' which Daniel Day-Lewis is nominated for. And I think Clooney deserves to win, because he's never given a better performance. He just keeps getting better with age and he really topped himself, even his performance from 'Syriana,' for which he won an Oscar, with his performance in 'Michael Clayton'. But I think Daniel Day-Lewis probably will win, because there's just been a lot of momentum behind him."
In "Michael Clayton," 46-year-old Clooney plays an attorney trying to cope with corruption that threatens to implode his law firm, and a boss who appears to be suffering a mental breakdown. The movie has earned seven Oscar nominations in total.
Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd"), Tommy Lee Jones ("Into the Valley of Elah") and Viggo Mortenson ("Eastern Promises") are also in the running for a Best Leading Actor Oscar this year.
The 80th Annual Academy Awards will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday, February 24, 2008.
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