For Your Consideration: Hal Holbrook
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As I was watching last night's Critics Choice Awards broadcast on VH1, when they were showing clips of the Best Supporting Actor nominees, as Hal Holbrook's clip from Into the Wild was shown I started crying.
It reminded me of just how good he really was. Nothing against Javier Bardem's performance in No Country for Old Men, he was wonderfully creepy and he created a great character. But Holbrook's performance comes straight from, and goes straight to, the heart.
The scene they showed was the scene that touched me more than any other part of the film, when Holbrook's lonely widower Ron asks Chris if he could adopt him, and become grandfather to the grandchild he never had. Of all the scenes that brought tears to my eyes in Into the Wild, that was the one that really made me lose it. Holbrook's performance is nothing short of heartbreaking. He may not show up until two thirds of the way through the film, but he leaves the strongest impression of anyone.
For all the gloating last night by the BFCA about how many of their winners went on to win Oscars (which got really annoying after a while), I really hope that they were wrong about Supporting Actor. Like I said, Javier was great. But he's won every award under the sun for that performance. Holbrook deserves the Oscar. It is a career-capping performance that resonates more than anything I have seen this year.
To quote the film's new campaign slogan: go with your heart. Vote for Holbrook.
It is probably the finest acting in any category this year, and that he did it with so little time on screen with such simple lines says all the more