Thursday, July 29, 2021

Alternate Oscars: Best Actor and Supporting Actor of 1991 (Re-Do)

Anthony Hopkins's performance in The Silence of the Lambs is iconic, deservedly so, one of the greatest villains in movie history. In fact, his Hannibal Lecter is so memorable, you forget how little time he's actually on the screen. Thus, I've dropped him into the supporting category where I think he belongs.

Which leaves a bit of a mess in the lead category. I've nominated the five guys who ran closest to Hopkins in the various alternate Oscar lists I follow. Of them, I opted for Kevin Costner in JFK as my winner, as much a career win as for the individual performance, although I still think he's better than his competition.
By the way, do I buy into the conspiracy theories touted in JFK? Not for a second. I think in 1963 we couldn't wrap our heads around the notion that a pissant like Lee Harvey Oswald could kill the most powerful man in the world, the beloved John F. Kennedy, and came up with all sorts of elaborate explanations for such a heinous crime. But if there's anything that we've learned over the six decades since, it's that one man with a gun can murder multitudes. In retrospect, the only surprise is that Oswald didn't take out half the street.

Nevertheless, I enjoy a paranoid thriller about JFK's assassination — e.g., James Ellroy's The Cold Six Thousand, Stephen King's 11/22/63 — as much as the next guy, and Costner is at the heart of this one. That the film falls flat during its earnest third act isn't his fault.

But as always, you decide.

My choices are noted with a ★. A tie is indicated with a ✪. Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔. Best foreign-language picture winners are noted with an ƒ. A historical winner who won in a different category is noted with a ✱.

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