Gary Oldman finally gets his first Oscar nomination, and it’s definitely long overdue. The character actor has given many performances worthy of at least a nomination, but he received his first recognition from the Academy for his role as George Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
The many times Oldman has appeared onscreen, one almost always needs a double-take to know it is indeed him. Oldman is a chameleon, disappearing into his roles like only few actors can. Like the great Daniel Day-Lewis, he is a commanding presence and completely embodies his characters, but unlike him he rarely gets the recognition he deserves.
â€œIt is extremely humbling, gratifying and delightful to have your work recognized by the Academy,â€ said Oldman.
Oldman normally chews up the scenery in magnetic fashion, taking on characters that are sinister, chaotic forces, but with Smiley, he shows a powerful subtlety that works just as well. Smiley is a mild-mannered British Spy agent that looks harmless, but is completely lethal. Oldman, as Smiley, speaks every one of his words with finality, looks at the world with scrutinizing eyes, using knowledge as ammo, but there is also a loneliness in his performance that stings. Overall, the recognition is well deserved for a subtle and layered performance.
They passed him up for his amazing performances in Sid and Nancy, Immortal Beloved, Leon: the Professional, the Contender and JFK. The man was once, which wasn’t too long ago, on the top of everyone’s list for amazing actors that have never received an Oscar nomination, and he finally gets checked off that list.
â€œI’m not on the list anymore. It’s finally happened. I’ve broken my own record,â€ Oldman told Entertainment Weekly.
Even though the Academy Awards don’t really matter, in a sense, as a performance will still be great regardless of recognition, the warm spotlight still feels nice, especially for overlooked actors like Oldman.
He’s going to be up against some tough competition with George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Jean Dujardin, and Demian Bichir. If Gary Oldman swapped roles with any of these gentlemen, he’d probably be successful in portraying each character, but could the same be said for any of the other four actors?
The Oscars ceremony will be held on February 26, 2012.