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Joanne Soh
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

Showbiz

Man, it's Oscar season already?

The New Paper | Joanne Soh | Friday, Sep 26, 2014

Movie Still: Eddie Redmayne in The Theory Of Everything

The sunshine of summer is over for Hollywood.

We're now entering the sombre, stuffy fall-movie period otherwise known as "Oscar-bait" season.

Time to set aside eye-boggling effects and nonsensical plots for actors bringing out the big guns and film-makers pushing their films at various high-brow film festivals.

But unlike this year's awards seasons, when we were treated to awesome performances by the fairer folks such as Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, the 2015 party belongs to the men.

So who are the ones likely for a Best Actor nomination?

EDDIE REDMAYNE

MOVIE: The Theory Of Everything (Jan 8)

OTHER POSSIBLE NOMINATIONS: Best Supporting Actress

COULD BE THIS YEAR'S: A Beautiful Mind (inset)

Here's another biopic that could be right up the Oscar voters' alley.

The story of Stephen Hawking has everything they like: real-life personality, love against the odds and disability.

Adapted from the autobiography of Jane Hawking, Stephen's college sweetheart turned wife, 32-year-old Redmayne turns in a powerful performance in this film about the early life of the physicist and how he battled motor neurone disease.

The Hollywood Reporter likened the Brit's soulful and physically gruelling performance to that of Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot (1989), which led to Day-Lewis' first Oscar.

Pundits have also placed bets that Felicity Jones will have a shot as supporting actress as the long-suffering Jane.

MICHAEL KEATON

MOVIE: Birdman (Jan 22)

OTHER POSSIBLE NOMINATIONS: Best Director, Best Picture

COULD BE THIS YEAR'S: The Wrestler

The Academy loves a comeback and Michael Keaton as an actor trying to reclaim past glory is the perfect vehicle.

Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu is no stranger to the Oscar game. His previous four films - Amores Perros (2000), 21 Grams (2003), Babel (2006), Biutiful (2010) - all received Oscar noms, including Best Director and Best Picture.

In the film, Keaton plays a version of himself, battling ego and family trouble. It's similar to Mickey Rourke, whose comeback in The Wrestler (2008) also had that mix of self-effacement and pathos that almost won him the Best Actor Oscar.

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