Who will be among the nominees?
James Gandolfini - 'Killing Them Softly'
Pro: There’s a lot of strong supporting work in Andrew Dominik’s hard-bitten thriller – Ben Mendelsohn, Scoot McNairy, Richard Jenkins and Ray Liotta all have great moments – but it’s the former Tony Soprano who takes best-in-show honors as a schlubby, sleazy hitman: a familiar role for him, sure, but an eye-catching one all the same. Well-loved for his TV work, the multi-Emmy winner is finally having a big-screen breakout year, with prominent work in “Not Fade Away” and “Zero Dark Thirty” also coming up – he seems primed to take a number of critics’ awards for his 2012 body of work.
Con: Critics can award an actor for multiple performances, but the Academy can’t: will Gandolfini cancel himself out of contention, or will this turn rise to the top? On the one hand, this brooding, violent genre piece isn’t really to the Academy’s taste; on the other, it has Harvey Weinstein behind it.
- Guy Lodge