Can Eddie Redmayne Win The Oscar For 'The Theory Of Everything'? He's Closer To The Gold Than Ever
At this point, it almost seems like a sure thing that Eddie Redmayne will win an Oscar for his performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything. But what are his chances? With this role, his time may finally have come. While this is his first nomination, Eddie Redmayne has been hovering around an Academy Award for the last few years, appearing in acclaimed films such as Les Miserables, The Good Shepherd, and My Week With Marilyn. So far this season, Redmayne has won the Screen Actor's Guild Award as well as the BAFTA for Lead Actor and the Golden Globe for Lead Actor in a Drama. This is an impressive resume leading up to the Academy Awards and puts the odds in his favor.
However, we should always be prepared for an Oscar surprise and the Best Actor category has given Eddie Redmayne great competition in Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Carrell, Michael Keaton, and Bradley Cooper. Can he pull it off?
Actors in biographical fllms almost always do well at the Oscars. That's one of the (many) reasons why David Oyelowo's snub was so surprising and upsetting, especially considering there hasn't been a "biopic" about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. until Selma. For reasons I don't always agree with, the Academy is impressed with actors "capturing the spirit" of a real person. The Theory of Everything took that one step further with technology — they were able to use Stephen Hawking's actual voice, which is copyrighted. Then again, it doesn't hurt that The Theory of Everything is an incredible story that transcends who Hawking is as a person. He could be a fictional character and we would still be throwing awards at Eddie Redmayne for his performance.
I don't want to suggest that the Academy Awards are a pageant or a popularity contest, but Eddie Redmayne is also so darn charming. He's got that "befuddled Hugh Grant" thing down pat. In the past few years, the Best Actress in a Leading Role award has gone to young actresses, including Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, and Lupita Nyong'o, as well as young nominees Quvenzhané Wallis and Rooney Mara. However, we haven't seen as many younger actors in their corresponding category. Redmayne is the youngest Best Leading Actor nominee since Jesse Eisenberg and James Franco were nominated in 2010. His win would bring some youth to the category, which may be an advantage.
In the end, I think the Best Lead Actor award comes down to The Theory of Everything and Birdman. Keaton also won at the Golden Globes and practically swept the Critics Choice Awards all by himself. Who will The Academy choose? Will they recognize Keaton, who explored the very craft of film and theatre and what it means to be an actor? Or will they give the trophy to Redmayne for his impressive take on real events? Redmayne has a good shot, but we're going to have to wait until Sunday night to see.
Image: Focus Features