Fassbender the frontrunner and Brie Larson for Jennifer Lawrence?
Two Oscar frontrunners were on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon last night — Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs – click here for my review from NYFF) and Brie Larson (Room – click here for my review from TIFF). It’s only October, but already, the two are both top contenders in their respective Best Actor and Best Actress categories according to the LA Times’ Gold Derby. Oh, and their movies hit theatres this month.
But this is the type of talk show appearance you expect to see during the height of campaign season, in January or February when the two are trying to woo voters or boost their film’s box office take by presenting themselves as more relatable. Instead, it’s happening in October, so both are keeping their awards season trump cards close to their chest.
Fassbender did a straight-up interview and was not there to create a viral moment. No games, just sports …
Except here, the sport was selling the strength of his performance. Fassbender joked about how he had to speed talk to get all the Sorkin-on-acid dialogue right:
And Fallon tried to liven him up by talking about their shared experiences as altar boys:
So he’s saving the good stuff for later, and maybe he’ll be more willing to play during the high fever of awards season. As Lainey has written time and time again, Fassbender’s still sour from his Shame Oscar snub, and is not one to smile for the cameras, or kiss babies for Oscar. However, his part in Steve Jobs is the best male performance all year, and is willing to just show that if he wants the trophy, it’s his. Yes, he’s more impactful than Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl.
This talk show appearance is a step in the right direction for Fassbender. As Bloomberg recaps – in the Sony hacks, a pre-production Sorkin said: “I don’t know who Michael Fassbender is, and the rest of the world isn’t going to care.” Now, they might, since he’s already willing and able to do the rounds. So far.
As for Brie? Well, she’s young and fun, and much more Fallon-friendly. Of course she’s down to play the “Whisper Game” or talk about how she chose her last name based on an attachment to her old American Girl doll. Unlike Fassbender, there’s barely any movie talk aside from the requisite one-minute pre-clip introduction. This was a chance for audiences to see Brie’s fun side, and in that case, it was a definite success.
Also, speaking of Brie, in my review of Room, I wrote about how Brie is “absolutely peerless” and delivers a performance as strong as or stronger than any of Jennifer Lawrence’s. Funny that, after her appearance on Fallon, Variety is reporting that Brie is in talks to play the lead role in the film adaptation of The Glass Castle – a part that JLaw had held and developed for years until it stalled in development hell.
Coincidence, or conspiracy?