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by Peter Knegt
October 16, 2012 10:25 AM
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For Your Consideration: 10 Underdog Actors That Deserve Oscar's Attention This Year

Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum, Magic Mike
Matthew McConaughey could have been listed here for a wide variety of performances in films released this year, which has clearly been a remarkable one for the actor.  From "Killer Joe" and "Bernie" to "The Paperboy" and "Magic Mike" (not to mention the as-yet-unreleased "Mud," which premiered in Cannes), McConaughey surged back into critics' good graces after a decade of mostly mediocre work in rom coms like "Failure To Launch" and "The Wedding Planner." His best bet to cap the year off with an Oscar nomination is definitely the unexpectedly excellent summer hit "Magic Mike." The Steven Soderbergh-directed film has him playing Dallas, the proprietor of a male strip club, and features McConaughey giving some of the most hilarious, electrifying monologues in recent movie history.  At one point it seemed like a good bet for an Oscar nod, but the supporting actor category has got very crowded recently with the more typically Oscar-friendly likes of Robert DeNiro, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Tommy Lee Jones. It would be a huge shame if they push out McConaughey's work in "Mike," and they should also give consideration to Mike himself, Channing Tatum. Not only does Tatum give us some incredible dance numbers, but for the first time (in my opinion, at least) proves he can truly act with an earnest, incredibly charming performance as a stripper who wants to better himself. In a less-crowded year it seems Tatum could have managed a John Travolta-in-"Saturday Night Fever" kind of nomination, but that seems unlikely given his competition. So hopefully at least McConaughey gives "Mike" a little bit of Oscar magic.

Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour
We mentioned Trintignant's "Amour" co-star Emmanuelle Riva in last week's column as one of the best performances of the year and surely deserving of an Oscar nod. But we also mentioned nominations for foreign-language performances are few and far between, so the chances of both Riva and Trintignant making the cut for Michael Haneke's French-language Palme D'Or winner is fairly unlikely (especially with Marion Cotillard also in contention for a French-language performance). But hopefully that's not the case, as 81-year old French legend Trintignant's role as a retired music teacher who takes care of his wife after she suffers a stroke is -- like his co-star's -- a performance for the ages. It would also be a great way to celebrate a career that spans seven decades, from Éric Rohmer's "My Night at Maud's" to Bernardo Bertolucci's "The Conformist" to Krzysztof KieĊ›lowski's "Red."

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  • Sean | October 18, 2012 6:56 AMReply

    Why has nobody mentioned Denis Lavant? His multiple performances in 'Holy Motors' deserve to be remembered as a true masterpiece.

  • randall gerber | October 16, 2012 8:36 PMReply

    except for mr trintignant you can for get the rest for an oscar nomination.

  • Amy Scripps | October 16, 2012 8:01 PMReply

    What???? No Frank Langella from Robot & Frank? Major oversight. Way more magic than Magic Mike actors.

  • Greg | October 16, 2012 7:08 PMReply

    Wait until you see Matthias Schoenaerts in RUST AND BONE. An amazing, powerful, heartbreaking performance. The John Garfield of his generation.

  • Analee | October 16, 2012 3:16 PMReply

    You had me until you included the men of Magic Mike... that movie was terrible, and the performance were certainly not Oscar worthy.

  • rose | October 16, 2012 5:04 PM

    if was so terrible how come it is critcally acclaimed and has 80 percent on rotten tomatos by top critics?

  • Roger | October 16, 2012 3:00 PMReply

    I would have included Matthias Schoenaerts in your list for RUST AND BONE. He is in true revelation in that movie.

  • Ryan | October 16, 2012 2:43 PMReply

    Where is Robert Pattinson's name?

    He's a critical if not commercial underdog and his performance in Cosmopolis was astonishing.

  • Pat | October 16, 2012 2:39 PMReply

    And Christopher Plummer in 'Barrymore'!

  • Alex | October 16, 2012 1:49 PMReply

    Anders Danielsen Lie in Oslo, August 31st.

  • Mike | October 16, 2012 9:12 PM

    Amen for this. Definitely one of my fav male performances this year.
    How about Liam Neeson in The Grey?
    Didn't they send early screeners for Bernie? Sometimes early campaign for indie film works the charm. I wouldn't mind and be surprised if Jack Black got nominated.

  • Mitchell | October 16, 2012 12:12 PMReply

    "Spring Breakers" is actually getting a late 2012 release specifically to ensure that Franco's performance qualifies for awards consideration.

  • Katy | October 16, 2012 11:37 AMReply

    Over the course of the last 18 months while reviewing movies, I have found Channing Tatum to be a very decent actor. With each performance I like him more and more. Although I am not sure he should be nominated for his role in Magic Mike. I would have thought his performance in The Vow was far better. Oh well.
    I would also like to put it out there: Sam Rockwell in Seven Psychopaths deserves some nominations for that part. Brilliant acting by that man! :-)

  • jess | October 16, 2012 11:33 AMReply

    really Channing Tatum? lol. What about Penn Badgley in 'Greetingf from Tim Buckley' his performance (acting/singing) as Jeff Buckley is getting rave reviews.

  • ray | October 16, 2012 12:48 PM

    I would laugh it off too But He was really good in Magic mike. No deny it.