September 18, 2015 | Posted in:Social TV

great performances

Alicia Vikander gave a unique, bold, and memorable performance in Ex Machina.
Photo courtesy of A24

By Jackson Murphy

Awards season is upon us, which means every movie opening between now and the end of the year will fight for recognition. And, it also means, in true “out of sight, out of mind” tradition, that practically every quality film and all the performances from earlier this year will get overlooked. Here are four fantastic performances that, due to the nature of this beast, will NOT get serious nomination consideration. (Note: these are not necessarily my favorites of 2015 so far):

Best Actor – Benicio Del Toro (Escobar: Paradise Lost)

The Oscar winner is excellent as notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar in this indie action/thriller. Escobar is portrayed as both ruthless and sympathetic, with Del Toro balancing both quite nicely, while also going toe-to-toe with Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson, who gives a career-best performance. But hardly anyone saw this film and Del Toro seems to be picking up some momentum in the Supporting Actor category for Sicario, which co-stars Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin.

Best Actress – Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina)

This highly original sci-fi drama is one of the pure gems of 2015. It’s unique, bold, and memorable. The same can be said for Vikander’s performance. She plays an A.I. robot named Ava. I do think Ex Machina has a chance to sneak in the Original Screenplay race (if voters still remember this movie in December), but chances are Vikander won’t be honored for this performance. However, early reviews of The Danish Girl, in which she stars alongside Eddie Redmayne, claim she makes the movie, putting Vikander in a good position for some Best Actress nominations.

Best Supporting Actor – Harrison Ford (The Age of Adaline)

If you thought Ford’s career has taken a downfall over the last several years, and that his big comeback will be in the new Star Wars film, I have a question for you: Where have you been? In 2010, he gave effective and charming performances in the little-seen drama Extraordinary Measures and the TV news comedy Morning Glory. And in 2013, Ford deserved an Oscar nomination for playing Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42. In Adaline, Ford pours his heart into the role of an astronomer who unexpectedly reconnects with his former sweetheart. It’s a showcase for the legendary actor, opposite a lovely Blake Lively. But Adaline didn’t get much attention when it was released in April, and his performance is sure to be overlooked amongst a crowded category.

Best Supporting Actress – Maggie Smith (The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)

Smith received a SAG Award Supporting Actress nomination for the original Marigold in 2012. But she’s even better in the lighter yet more powerful sequel. Smith gets a lot of screen time (you could argue more than star Judi Dench) and her character, Mrs. Donnelly, goes through the most pivotal arc of all of the characters. However, this sequel did not perform as well as the original at the box office and wasn’t as loved by critics. Smith may also be at a disadvantage for recognition with this performance, as she could contend for Best Actress honors for the dramedy The Lady in the Van, which opens in December.

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Thanks, Jackson!

abcPhoto Credit:

Film critic Jackson Murphy of Lights-Camera-Jackson
Photo Credit: Jackson Murphy

Jackson Murphy (a.k.a. Lights-Camera-Jackson) has been a film critic/entertainment reporter on TV and radio since the age of 7 1/2. He currently appears weekly on WFLY radio (Albany, NY) and his reviews appear in The Record (Troy, NY) newspaper.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) 2tvchicks: Ahhhh…if only

Deborah J. Mitchell

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Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email  

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