Christoph Waltz is absolutely the hero that audiences root for in “Django Unchained.” His dialogue, his actions, his presence on the screen would almost in my opinion place him in the Lead Actor race, but that’s an argument for another time. The problem with Waltz is that some would argue his co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson were equally terrific in the picture as well. Even though they’re not nominated they are characters the audience buzzes about much more.
Robert De Niro is an actor who has proven time and time again if given the right role he will do wonders with the character. “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” “The Godfather Part II” and “
Phillip Seymour Hoffman is relentless in “The Master.” Hoffman infuses a wit to an egotistical teacher who pushes his students to the limit. To say that the character is intense would be an understatement, but Hoffman hits just the right texture points for the character. At times you hate him, at other times you love him. He’s a villain who’s also a hero and balancing those characteristics is not an easy task, but Phillip does so effortlessly.
Alan Arkin portrays an over the top film producer to the ‘T.' In laments terms, he’s one of the reasons “Argo” works so well because he becomes a character that the audience will synonymously identify with. This is that egotistical, brass and foul-mouthed producer who believes he controls the world and that his every demand must be met without question. Arkin is a delight on the screen to watch, as he makes the other actors in the picture Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman shine.
Tommy Lee Jones rounds out our list of nominees with his performance as abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens. Jones absolutely commands the screen each and every time he appears. He exudes a passion into a character that is quite intense as he goes toe-to-toe with our 16th President. He’s not afraid to back down, and he speaks the truth no matter how harsh it may be to the other party.
In my personal opinion, I think the Oscar will come down to two high-caliber actors: Tommy Lee Jones “
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