Daniel Day-Lewis? Ben Affleck? Denzel Washington? Who made the cut?
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Bill Murray - 'Hyde Park on Hudson'
Pro: The legendary comedic actor was nominated in 2004 in this same category for "Lost in Translation." He won the BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award and an Independent Spirit Award and was nominated for a SAG Award for his performance. He also received numerous critics' honors and nominations for Wes Anderson's "Rushmore." Murray's turn as F.D.R. is a fine portrayal that avoids many of the notable cliche's many actors succumb to when playing the 32nd President of the United States (mostly his speaking style).
Con: There is an unfortunate scene towards the beginning of "Hyde Park" (that you don't need to see to believe) that will likely turn off a lot of Academy members. More problematic, Richard Nelson's script and Roger Michell's direction provide little insight into Roosevelt's alleged infidelities that are at the center of the film's main storyline. And no matter how hard Murray tries, it makes the whole endeavor somewhat hollow.
- Gregory Ellwood