The Oscar Bowl 2015: Men’s All-Star Team
by Stella Braintree
Well, if the dungeon’s a rockin’ – Y’all come knockin’ — cause it’s 50 Shades of Oscar!!!
Gee, I’m giddy just anticipating all the potential craziness! Like, which actress will beat the red carpet presenters into submission? What if some actor forgets his safety words? It’s sure to be a night filled with tortured nerves and quavering egos. I’m so excited I almost forgot to talk about the All-Star Nominees:
Team Best Actor
Eddie Redmayne – “The Scarlet Whip”
London-born Eddie Redmayne displayed theatrical prowess early. At twelve he played a “workhouse boy” in a West End production of Oliver. He attended Eton College, later graduating with a History of Arts degree from Trinity College, Cambridge. He resumed acting, winning Outstanding Newcomer for his stage work in Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?.
With his red-maned good looks (Hey, bad puns don’t write themselves, people!), Eddie soon found himself playing romantic leads in TV mini-series such as Tess of the D’Urbervilles. He continued in features: The Other Boleyn Girl; Robert De Niro’s The Good Shepherd; Savage Grace (with Julianne Moore); and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
In 2010, he took home a Best Featured Actor Tony for Broadway’s Red.
All those years led to starring as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. His performance as the British physicist (who has Lou Gehrig’s Disease) has critics raving, and places Redmayne at the head of the class.
Will Eddie win the big prize? Can’t say. But I’ll make an educated guess: He’d better clear some shelf space – He’ll be needing plenty of it!
Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Master”
Quick! How many cookies in a Cumberbatch? Du-du-du-du… Time’s up – The answer? Beats me, but it sure is fun to play with his name. After all, his many female fans happily call themselves Cumberbitches. But enough about his moniker. What you really want to know is, who exactly is this hot Englishman?
Benedict Cumberbatch trained at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and immediately found television work (he played Stephen Hawking years prior to pal Eddie Redmayne’s turn); I first saw him in the TV mini-series Tipping the Velvet (worth seeing, btw).
In 2010, Cumberhunk’s role as TV’s captivating Sherlock garnered enormous attention. He soon appeared on the big screen again in August: Osage County; Oscar-winner, 12 Years A Slave; and played Julian Assange in 2013’s The Fifth Estate.
The Imitation Game (a true story based on a mathematician’s attempts to crack The Enigma Code during WWII) gives Benedict yet one more chance to share his tremendous talent, and earned Cumberluscious an Oscar nod!
Whether he takes home a statuette is probably not his biggest concern this year. Wishing Benedict and Sophie a healthy and happy Cumberbaby!
Bradley Cooper – “The Blue Dom”
Bradley Cooper earned an MFA in acting from Actors Studio Drama School, and like most actors, spent a few years pounding the pavement. His first break was a small role in Sex and the City. In 2001 he got a bigger break when cast in TV’s Alias. Bradley snapped up several film roles during the show’s run (i.e. Wedding Crashers), but he wouldn’t become a household name until 2009’s The Hangover. The comedy was enormously successful and spawned a trilogy.
David O’Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook gave Cooper’s acting chops a big bite. The unique romantic-comedy about a man learning to live with both mental illness and the craziness of love brought him a Best Actor nom (and a win for co-star Jennifer Lawrence).
The following year, Bradley took a hilarious turn in American Hustle, playing a Jheri-curled FBI agent during 1970s ABSCAM trials.
Currently, he can be seen in box-office-behemoth American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. His outstanding portrayal of real-life Navy Seal Chris Kyle earned Cooper a third Oscar nod!
As for his other projects, if you’re lucky you can score tickets to see him in Broadway’s The Elephant Man.
Steve Carell – “The Switch”
Newton, Massachusetts native Steve Carell toyed with a law career, but decided show biz was much more appealing. After graduating college, Carell packed up for Chicago to perform with Second City’s Comedy Troupe (alongside Stephen Colbert).
He found his way to L.A. and found roles in TV comedies; in the meantime he was a correspondent for The Daily Show through 2005.
The same year, Carell took a role in TV’s long-running, The Office (which later earned him a Best Actor Golden Globe).
He tinkered with more serious fare, but we didn’t see him full-on dramatic until Foxcatcher. Steve’s takes on the role of real-life millionaire Jon du Pont, a man who tries to help two brothers, both Olympic champion wrestlers, finally win glory. Carell is a rare actor who plays comedy and drama with equal aplomb. While his physical appearance was altered significantly — it’s his riveting portrayal of this eccentric man that makes him Oscar-nom worthy.
Can’t wait for Freeheld (co-starring Julianne Moore)!
Michael Keaton – “Night Pilot”
Michael John Douglas grew up in Pennsylvania, and knew from an early age he wanted to act. His first flight into the biz had him in a comedy duo on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. From there, Keaton flew to Hollywood, seeking a TV career. Just one problem – A famous actor had already used the name. Michael decided Keaton (an homage to Buster) fit the bill, and it became his own. He did stand-up comedy, and quickly found work in TV shows, such as The Mary Tyler Moore Hour. After a few dips, his career got a strong gust in 1982’s Night Shift; Mr. Mom followed and he was cruising along nicely. Things really picked up speed in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice. From there, Michael voiced Chick Hicks in animated Cars and Ken in Toy Story 3.
While Keaton’s turn at Batman showed his capacity for darker characters, his recovering addict in 2001’s Clean and Sober gave fans a yet more intense view of his dramatic skills.
In Alejandro Gonzalez’ Birdman (a has-been super hero movie actor hopes to revive his career via Broadway), Keaton’s dizzying performance brings him to a new altitude. The rest of the cast (Edward Norton; Emma Stone; Naomi Watts) makes a stellar addition to this unique film’s magic.
Don’t miss him in the upcoming Spotlight!
Keep soaring Michael! We look forward to many more of your flights!!
If you enjoyed this piece, please check out The Oscar Bowl 2015: Women’s All-Star Team.Tags: Benedict Cumberbatch, Best Actor Nominees, Bradley Cooper, Eddie Redmayne, Hollywood, Michael Keaton, Oscars, Stella Braintree, Steve Carell