When you look over the list of acclaimed actors and actresses who haven’t even received an Academy Award nomination let alone won one the names are startling. In fact, you’ll probably swear there’s been a mistake somewhere. Mia Farrow must have been nominated at least once for “Rosemary’s Baby,” right? Martin Sheen was honored for “Apocolypse Now”? John Cusack was honored for “Being John Malkovich,” “High Fidelity” or “Bullets Over Broadway” wasn’t he? Nope, none of them were. And you can add another eye-popping name to that list, Gary Oldman.
The 53-year-old actor is revered by his peers for his roles in films such as “Sid and Nancy,” “Prick Up Your Ears,” “The Contender,” “JFK,” “True Romance” and, most recently, as Commissioner Gordon in “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.” Unfortunately, years of playing the bad guy in blockbusters such as “Air Force One,” “The Fifth Element,” “Dracula” and “Lost in Space” may have paid the paychecks, but kept him out of the more quality prestige pics that tend to provide actors the kudos they deserve (fellow Brit Alan Rickman understand this as much as anyone).
Enter Oldman’s role in Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of John le Carre’s “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” Starring alongside Tom Hardy, last year’s best actor winner Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds and John Hurt, Oldman plays classic le Carre character George Smiley, a retired MI6 intelligence agent who is brought back into the fire to help uncover a mole in the agency.
Focus Features is releasing the Working Title feature in the U.S. this November, but because it is scheduled for release in the UK this September, a new trailer has hit the web giving us our first look at the thriller. Immaculately cut, the preview shows that Tomas Alfredson’s masterful style in “Let the Right One In” wasn’t a fluke. It also teases that Oldman may have found that showcase role the Academy could easily embrace. And if not, he’s got John Hillcoat’s “The Wettest Country in the World” in the can. That drama is scheduled for 2012, it could easily slip into a December release date. Either way, don’t expect Oldman to go unrecognized by Oscar much longer.
Watch the trailer embedded in this post and share your thoughts below.
For year round entertainment commentary follow Gregory Ellwood on twitter @HitFixGregory.