Look at that picture up there of Robert Downey, Jr..
He’s standing there, doing nothing, and practically deserves to win an Oscar for Best Actor. Or Best Supporting Actor. Or Adapted Actor in a Supporting Role. Hell, give the guy a belated Oscar for Chaplin or one for playing an asshole in Weird Science. Or, for that matter, his role in about a thousand (actual # TBD) movies where he’s transcended “acting” and simply “become”.
Avengers: Endgame represents a watershed moment for young Downey, Jr., who has been honing his craft for decades (and for most of our lives) and single-handedly was responsible for getting most of the free world interested in seeing Iron Man, which became the Lynch pin for a twenty-two movie monopoly that made theater owners millions in concessions.
[Insert Martin Scorsese opinion about concessions and the concessions he had to make now that super hero movies took over theaters…here.]
There’s a lot of actors who people will put on their lists for this year’s Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories. They’ll talk about Christian Bale, Robert Pattinson, Adam Sandler, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Adam Driver and many more. But when I look at that list, and lists like it, and think about the body of work and genuine craft Mr. Junior exhibits in his roles; especially the one referred to as Mr. Tony Stark; well… Don’t you think he deserves it?
No, you say. Because Avengers: Endgame is just a superhero movie.
If you’re in the industry, and your on those pesky, lucrative Awards Screener lists, or you’re just someone who pays attention to the Awards advertising and For Your Consideration banners atop your favorite entertainment website, you’ve seen something curious about the Endgame ads. They’re not colorful like the key art from the movie’s advertising. They’re not covered in bright, Captain Marvel colors, looking like a comic book and all. They’re muted. Black and white. Focusing on the artistry and craft that was truly on display throughout Endgame and the twenty-one other films that came before it…perhaps with the exception of The Incredible Hulk and Thor 2.
Still. Disney is zigging when they’d normally be zagging, to ensure that voters focus on Sir Downey in a way she should be evaluated.
As a thespian. An actor. A one man exuding-machine.
But will the advertising and FYC banners convince people enough that Downey deserves a nod? Or will they simply give Endgame the visual effects, sound mixing and editing awards? Well, they shouldn’t. They should consider RDJ, beginning with this sequence from The Avengers from 0:40 seconds forward. Watch how RDJ acts without speaking. Using his eyes, his breath…even a napkin. Then come back and we’ll keep talking.
This isn’t satire. This isn’t us pulling your leg. We actually do believe that RDJ deserves some recognition for not only being the glue that held together the MCU, but for being a really significantly-great actor throughout. His performance in Endgame is worthy of tears.
Big superhero, Marvel tears.
That should be big superhero, Oscar tears.
When it comes down to considering an actor worthy of awards, it should come down to one very specific set of guidelines. Did the actor embody a character and make you believe? Did the actor engage? Did they tug at your emotions? Were they someone who kept pulling you back into the Universe they were a part of, time and time again?
Check. Check. And check.
So give the guy the Oscar already. Nominate the motherfucker. Give RDJ his due.
After that Chaplin snub, isn’t it time we made it up to him?