Musicals are divisive by nature, but they can be a sweet spot with award voters with the right cast and crew. Andrew Garfield leads the charge on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” With soft vocals and a hearty vulnerability, Garfield could emerge as a definite challenge to the Best Actor award that was prioritized to Will Smith for “King Richard.” If achieved, Garfield would be the first leading actor of a musical to win in over 55 years.
Garfield’s Jonathan Larson is sensitively constructed and harmoniously executed through his sweet arrangements and vocal inflections, especially in the songs “Why” and “Sunday.” One of the two is probably his “Oscar clip” (which will hopefully be reintroduced back into the ceremony).
Tony nominated Robin de Jesus, who gives a palpable balance and an emotional anchor to the story, as Jonathan’s best friend and roommate Michael. The Latino breakout star could pass a guiding wave in the support actor category if the magic of the film is warm.
When it comes to the women, particularly Vanessa Hudgens and Alexandra Shipp (who deliver another decisive turn in George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar”), they all seem one scene before landing a slam dunk nomination for supporting actress. Hudgens, like the musical actress Caressa, has two pivotal moments that make her a worthy entry. Her take on “Therapy,” which she shares with Garfield, feels comparable to “We Both Reached for the Gun” from “Chicago” (2002), with its playful humor and catchy tune. However, the pivotal number “Come to your senses,” to which the whole movie is built, is different from the stage production song. When I sat down, you could see the bones of an Oscar clip if done otherwise.
“Tick, tick … boom!” Is also emerging as a top contender for the cast ensemble prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. But, again, it could be a no-brainer for inclusion with theater and television actors such as a hilarious Judith Light, a songbird like Joshua Henry and a Stoic Bradley Whitford like Stephen Sondheim.
Miranda’s direction and artisan assembly are remarkable. With a feel of a 90s home movie, thanks to another bombastic outing by cinematographer Alice Brooks (please, academy, recognize this woman), the director’s branch could be loved with his detailed eye. As we have seen with many first time film directors like Bradley Cooper, Regina King and others, they are a very moody group and love to make people “wait for their turns.” However, the DGA first-time director category may have been his first solidified frontrunner.
Could Garfield, once nominated for his turn as a conscientious objector in “Hacksav Ridge” (2016), make his way to the Oscar podium?
Netflix has a barrage of awards hope this season, especially in lead actor including Benedict Cumberbatch from “The Power of the Dog,” Jonathan Majors from “The Harder They Fall” and an unseen entity in Leonardo DiCaprio from “Do Not Look Up.” The playbook for Garfield could follow Eddie Redmain’s winning run for his turn as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” (2014). This year, Redmayne comfortably ran the awards season as an excellent secondary option for the presumed front runner Michael Keaton (“Birdman”). Pundits and journalists have dismissed Redmayne due to his age, relative newcomer status in the awards space and the fact that Keaton was coming up with an impressive body of work that led to his first nomination. It also did not hurt that his film was too heavily contending for the best picture prize, which Redmayne’s film was not.
Fast forward to the evening of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Redmayne pulled a stunning upset over Keaton for male actor in a leading role, creating what I like to call “the turn” that the SAG Awards have typically done for late-coming acting winners (Ie Jean Dujardin for “The Artist” and Sean Penn for “Milk”). Best actor in a comedy.the fans did not think of it at all.it was expected.Once SAG came around, and Redmayne nabbed the home field advantage at the BAFTA awards, there was no stopping him on Oscar night.Garfield could draw anything from a On the contrary, it might turn out to be the SAG and / or BAFTA Awards, as it faces some historic hurdles.
The last major actor performance to win an Oscar for a musical was Rex Harrison’s turn as Professor Henry Higgins in the best picture winner “My Beautiful Lady” (1964). The last man to win any acting category for a musical performance was Joel Gray as the Lord of Ceremonies in “Cabaret” (1972). The last two to be nominated – Johnny Depp (“Swiney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”) and Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) – both are not close despite their globe wins. Coincidentally, both of them lost to a winning Daniel Day-Lewis performance (“There Will Be Blood” and “Lincoln”). It should also be noted that Garfield is also campaigning for support actor for his turn against Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tommy Fey,” which could siphon several votes.
“Tick, tick … boom!” Is distributed by Netflix and will open in theaters on November 12 before release on the streaming platform on November 19.