Still the underdog
Please tell me you’ve seen Creed. Creed was my favourite movie of 2015. It was on Sarah’s Top 10 of 2015 – click here if you missed that. And it was a box office success, honouring the Rocky franchise’s legacy and introducing it to a new generation. That’s not just a Star Wars accomplishment.
Creed isn’t just about the fight though. There’s a scene in Creed – if you’ve seen it, you know – where Michael B Jordan and Tessa Thompson are in bed together and he’s helping her with her braids. That, to me, is the quiet strength of the movie. Everything you need to know about Ryan Coogler, the director, is in that moment. Let’s talk more about it once more of you have seen it. This is me nagging you: GO SEE CREED.
Michael was named Best Actor earlier this week by the National Society of Film Critics. He’s a long, long, longshot though for an Oscar nomination. Leo’s locked up, Eddie Redmayne probably is too, and between Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Will Smith, and Michael Fassbender, there just isn’t enough room. It’s Sylvester Stallone who has the best chance of being honoured by the Academy. And still, he’s still an underdog. At least right now. Right now I think Mark Rylance is probably the frontrunner in the Best Supporting Actor category, and the Spielberg influence is not insignificant.
But I’ve been saying it since November: Hollywood loves a sentimental favourite. And Sly is the heavyweight (ha!) of sentimental favourites this season. Even Matt Damon isn’t immune. Last night during the NBR gala, Matt revealed that Sly was his inspiration for how Good Will Hunting came together, and therefore deserves credit for his and Ben Affleck’s careers because the studio didn’t want them to act in a film that they’d written. And they kept looking at Sly’s example in the original Rocky as motivation.
Sly was the mentor in Creed, the veteran. And as a Hollywood veteran, of course he knows how to play this. He played it perfectly last night on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Watch this interview. Come on. This might be an underdog but he’s comfortable there. SO comfortable.
Jim Spellman/ Dimitrios Kambouris/ Jamie McCarthy/ Getty Images