A Crowded Field of Double Male-Lead Movies is Resulting in Awards Season Splits Between Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor10/23/2019
Grab your Dracula cape, bust out the candy corn, and light all the pumpkins. It’s the spookiest season of the year! I’m talking, of course, about awards season. As 2019 draws to an end, we’re rolling into awards season, where some of the year’s best films will be recognized by voters across the board. This awards season is resulting in a surprisingly large amount of potential awards movies featuring two male leads – Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, The Lighthouse, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ford v Ferrari. This has resulted in the respective films (and their respective stars) having to decide which filed to campaign in: Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor. The results may surprise you. Or they may not surprise you at all, since some of them seem a bit obvious once you see the movies in question.
What an interesting year it’s been for movies with two male leads. We’ve somehow ended up here, where films that feature actors that could both be considered leads having to decide who gets to be the star, and who gets to settle for supporting. There’s a choice to be made: the actors could both campaign for Best Actor, forcing the actors to go head-to-head – a move that usually ends up disqualifying both of them.
That’s what’s happening with Ford v Ferrari, which finds Christian Bale and Matt Damon both competing for Best Actor. I’m no Oscar voter, but having seen Ford v Ferrari, I can tell you that Damon is slightly more of a lead than Bale in the film. That said, Bale gives the better performance. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider Damon’s performance in the film to be that great, and I’ll be surprised if he even gets a nomination.
Then we have Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The Quentin Tarantino film features both Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt both delivering fantastic work. DiCaprio is top-billed, but the case could be made that Pitt’s Cliff Booth character gets a lot more focus. But in the end, sensibility prevailed, and Pitt is going to campaign for Supporting Actor while DiCaprio goes for the lead. I won’t be surprised if both get nominated – nor will I be surprised if Pitt happens to win.
While Robert Pattinson‘s mustachioed timberman turned lighthouse keeper is our entry into the world of The Lighthouse, he and Willem Dafoe share almost every scene together. Still, Pattinson will go for Best Actor and Dafoe for Supporting. In a just world, Dafoe would definitely be nominated for his work here, but I’m having a hard time believing a movie as batshit crazy as The Lighthouse is going to get any major Oscar recognition. We’ll see!
When more people get to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, all they’ll talking about is Tom Hanks‘ portrayal of Mr. Rogers. But even though it’s Hanks-as-Rogers who is plastered all over the marketing material, the movie’s main focus is actually on a journalist character played by Matthew Rhys. Because of this, Rhys is going to compete for Best Actor while Hanks goes for Supporting. I personally think the Supporting race is going to come down to either Hanks or Pitt, and I’d be fine to see either win, as both are great in their respective roles.
The other double male lead movie that isn’t getting as much attention but could still be a contender is The Two Popes. The film tells the story of the transfer of power from Pope Benedict (Anthony Hopkins) to Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce). Since Pope Francis is apparently the “hero” of the story, Pryce will aim for Best Actor and Hopkins will hope for Supporting.
How will all of this play out? We’ll know for certain when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 13, 2020.
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