The Anthony Hopkins thing at the Oscars 2021 it was, in part, something unforeseen. One of the awards that seemed the most sung was that of best leading actor for the American Chadwick Boseman, who died of cancer in August 2020 at the age of forty-three. In fact, for his work as trumpeter Levee in The mother of blues (George C. Wolfe, 2020) have been recognized with at least thirty awards.
By contrast, his British colleague, Welsh to be exact, solo had received seven trophies for acting as his namesake from The father (Florian Zeller, 2020). And as, on many occasions, the Hollywood Academy has delivered statuettes without much sense due to the very nature of its commercial dynamics and undemanding to the rigor of each vote, we supposed he would repeat it.
Do not misinterpret this matterHowever, that also occurs in the Spanish Film Academy and in the rest of the state ones. Above all, because the selection of films for each category of the Oscars is made by professionals of cinematographic analysis who gobble up all the candidates. Not like the other thousands of academics, industry workers in any section and level, for the final vote.
And the deceased Chadwick Boseman is thrilled as Levee in The mother of blues, with the power of this musician’s fireproof and stormy personality, his passion, his castles in the air, the terrible weight of his personal drama and his gloomy evolution. And the lovely nuances it brings to every phrase and every gesture deserves to be awarded.
The truth of Anthony Hopkins in ‘The father’
But not if he competes with the Anthony Hopkins of The father. Not because Chadwick Boseman can’t be considered a talented performer. Critics took him into account since his Jackie Robinson for 42: The True Story of a Sports Legend (Brian Helgeland, 2013), for its protagonists in I Feel Good: La historia de James Brown (Tate Taylor, 2014) y Marshall (Reginald Hudlin, 2017) and by Norman Holloway of Da 5 Bloods: Brothers in Arms (Spike Lee, 2020).
And what about your correct T’Challa in Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018) is, in short, a case of overestimation due to the success and influence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this matter, the crux lies in what you get with your sick old man the veteran British performer.
Because his character is not simply believable, which would already be an achievement like Chadwick Boseman’s Levee. In the interpretation of Anthony Hopkins for The father, with the support of the script written by Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton, there are truth. What he offers us is astonishing accuracy in the experience of an old man suffering from senile dementia.
In a different league
Not only has he built a character wonderfully and you believe him for his verisimilitude, like his doctor Lecter in The silence of the lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991), Hannibal (Ridley Scott, 2001) y The Red Dragon (Brett Ratner, 2002), but his constitutes that kind of overwhelming understanding of the essence of a human experience. And the late American actor had not reached such a triumph, until we lost him.
It is what we find in the best films of Ingmar Bergman, such as the most painful Secrets of a marriage (1973); in Luis Martín-Santos’ chilling portrait of misery and innopia in the novel Time of silence (1962) or in the horror of a painting like the Guernica by Pablo Picasso (1937). It’s what a lot of people don’t understand: the absolute lucidity of an artist in what he does best, by which he becomes someone who is in a trance so recognizable that it excites and hurts to attend.
Despite this, Anthony Hopkins declared to The Guardian: “Acting is a third-rate art. They pay us too much and pay too much attention to us. I like the attention and the money, but I feel like a scammer. ” Modesty aside and no doubt yours on The father is front row.
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Why it’s okay to give the Oscar to Anthony Hopkins instead of Chadwick Boseman