MSN.ca—It’s an honour to be nominated for an Oscar, but of all the awards the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences gives out, the most coveted of them all for an actor are those given for Best Actor and Actress. This year is proving to be a tight race as each performance was stellar in their own right.
From a dad trying to cope with family issues, to a silent film star making noise, to women proving they can do a man’s job — this year’s nominees had us forgetting who they really were as we got lost in their characters. But isn’t that what fine acting is all about?
Here are my picks for Best Actor and Best Actress:
Best Actor: My pick is George Clooney for The Descendants.
He may be known as ‘Gorgeous George,’ but George Clooney is proving he’s not your standard Hollywood hunk. He’s no stranger to the Oscar race, earning a total of seven Oscar nominations in his career and winning one for Best Supporting Actor for Syriana in 2006. This time, he’s again up for Best Actor but for a role we haven’t seen him play before: a father. In The Descendants, Clooney plays Matt King — a real estate lawyer and heir to Hawaiian royalty — who finds his life in peril when his wife ends up in a coma after a boating accident, leaving him to deal with his two daughters, and well, life. Clooney’s performance may seem subtle, but it has such a huge impact emotionally that you can’t help but lose yourself in his character and those of his co-stars. With this, Clooney is favoured as one of the top two contenders in this category to win the Oscar.
The Descendants is also nominated for Best Picture.
Best Actress: My pick is Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady
Can Meryl Streep do no wrong? Time and time again, the Oscar-winning actress has shown us what acting is all about. Not only can she look the part, she can also sound the part with her innate ability to nail any accent she takes on. Her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady has been getting buzz since its release late last year, and has now earned her a 17th Oscar nomination. With her Golden Globe win and her stunning portrayal of this controversial Prime Minister will no doubt earn her another Oscar — unless Michelle Williams or Glenn Close creep in to surprisingly steal the top prize.
—By Toni-Marie Ippolito, for MSN.ca.