2009 Calvin Awards: Best Actor

February 12, 2009

Should I drunk dial David Frost again?

Finishing out the top five is yet another of this year's Academy Award nominees, Richard Jenkins. The Visitor is a quiet movie, but one that is full of impact. Most of this is due to Jenkins' portrayal of Walter Vale, a professor who goes to New York for a conference to find a couple in his apartment who don't belong there. Rather than toss them out, he becomes involved in their lives - and the relationships that ensue become quite special. Throughout the movie, Vale is a thoroughly likable soul, but the viewer always has the sense that there is an undeniable sadness and loneliness surrounding him. It's wonderful to see a longtime character actor like Jenkins finally get his due.

Sixth place goes to the yin to Langella's yang in Frost/Nixon. We've been impressed by Michael Sheen before - most especially for his portrayal of Prime Minister Tony Blair in The Queen. He continues to display versatility and adaptability in Frost/Nixon, as he slides into the skin of playboy entertainer David Frost with ease. More importantly, he really holds his own against Langella, who could easily have run away with the movie in a scenery chewing way.


Our next two positions are held by actors from the same movie. In Bruge's Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell are both remarkable in the film, playing hit men who have been sent to the historic city in Belgium to lay low for a bit. Gleeson is the older, experienced bloke who delights in the sights of the city, while Farrell is the newbie n the business, complaining all the way about his displeasure at being forced to hide out in such a crappy location. Both men have a distinct humor about them, but when things get more serious, they're up to the task as well. Gleeson has been impressive in a number of movies, but it's nice to see Farrell doing something more complex than a paycheck flick.

Closing out our top ten are actors who have mostly seen their props come in the Supporting Actor category, but we felt their roles were so crucial in their individual movies that Best Actor seemed more appropriate. Dev Patel is our ninth place finisher, and it is thanks to his perspective that Slumdog Millionaire succeeds so mightily. We see a world-weary young man who has been through so much in his time that the only thing that can truly make him spring to life is the possibility of love. And in our final spot, Philip Seymour Hoffman is amazing as always as Father Flynn, a man accused of something horrific. The ambiguity required to pull off this role is significant, and it is to Hoffman's credit that we're never entirely sure what the truth is about his character. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Best Actress
Best Album
Best Cast
Best Director
Best DVD
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Best Videogame
Breakthrough Performance
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

Top 10
Position Actor Film Total Points
1 Frank Langella Frost/Nixon 101
2 Mickey Rourke The Wrestler 95
3 Sean Penn Milk 84
4 Robert Downey Jr. Iron Man 79
5 Richard Jenkins The Visitor 74
6 Michael Sheen Frost/Nixon 72
7 Brendan Gleeson In Bruges 52
8 Colin Farrell In Bruges 47
9 Dev Patel Slumdog Millionaire 41
10 Phillip Seymour Hoffman Doubt 32

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