Circuit Considerations 2017: Sam Elliott in ‘The Hero’ for Best Actor

1

Oscar ballots were sent to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, or better known as the Academy members, on Friday, Jan. 5.  We’ll be using the next week to remind the voting membership of our favorite films and performance of 2017 that they should consider when filling out their ballots!  If you missed one, then please click on the “Circuit Considerations 2017” tag.  You can also check out the “Best of 2017” column where the Editor cited the year’s best.  Oscar ballots are due on Friday, Jan. 12.

____________________________________________________

Film: “The Hero”
For Your Consideration: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Director: Brett Haley
Screenplay: Marc Basch and Brett Haley
Realistic Nominations: Best Original Song
Oscar Scene: “Lone Star Barbecue Sauce. The perfect partner for your chicken.”

Among character actors or supporting players in Hollywood, few are as good at what they do as Sam Elliott is. Kevin Smith calls this sort of talent the marrow that holds a film together. That describes Elliott perfectly. Whether in just one scene like in “Grandma” or in a prime supporting role like in “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” he elevates what he’s involved with. So, a great deal of credit goes to filmmaker Brett Haley (who also helmed “I’ll See You In My Dreams”) and his co-writer Marc Basch for designing a rare leading role for Elliott. He takes “The Hero” and makes something truly memorable, doing the best work of his career in the process.

Taken on the surface, everything about what Elliott is doing should be something that results in Oscar glory. In fact, we’ve been saying this since our initial rave review hit back in the summer. This is a veteran actor playing a veteran actor, with shades of his own past woven into the fabric of the movie. Think a kinder and gentler version of what Mickey Rourke did in “The Wrestler” and you have something akin to Elliott’s turn. “The Hero” gives him emotional beats to hit that we’ve rarely seen from the man before. Add in the sheer joy that comes from seeing a character actor given his own star vehicle and this is a celebration of all things Elliott. Academy members who look to fete veterans of the industry should look no further when filling out their ballots. Elliott is your guy.

“The Hero” is sadly really only in play for a long shot Best Original Song nomination, though an Oscar morning shocker nomination for Elliott would be delicious. The entire precursor season has snubbed him, and that’s a true shame. When you look at what the man accomplished here, as well as what he’s done throughout his career, it’s what voters should take notice of. That he’s been ignored is one of the year’s crueler outcomes, at least awards-wise. Elliott gives the performance of the year in “The Hero” and should be contending to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards for it. He won’t, and in all likelihood won’t even be nominated, but that’s what this Circuit Consideration is for. Consider this man. Consider Elliott’s work. If you seek it out, there’s no doubt that you won’t be blown away.

Who are your picks for Best Actor at the Oscars? Share with us in the comments.

CLICK THE CATEGORY TO SEE THE OSCAR PREDICTIONS:

MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |
FOREIGN LANGUAGE | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE |

ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT |

  • Joey Magidson

    Of all the potential long shot surprises on nomination morning, this is the one I really wish happens the most.