Kudos for Albert Brooks

At The Great Wall

Missing on this year’s list of Oscar nominations: Albert Brooks!

Brooks was named Best Supporting Actor by the Chicago Film Critics Association in December for playing” Bernie Rose” in Drive. Now I actually hated Drive, but Brooks was so surprising—and so good—in this role that he almost makes this otherwise excessively violent mess worth watching.

Here’s what I said in my blurb about Brooks’ performance for the CFCA Awards Ceremony at the Broadway Playhouse on Jan 7:

“Now it’s your turn to clean up after me, Izzy.”

From his first scene eating take-out at Nino’s Pizzeria (“Where are the chop sticks? Bring me chop sticks.”), to his final attempt at negotiation in The Great Wall (“The girl is safe. No one knows about her.”), Albert Brooks creates a thoroughly unique character in Drive.

A Jewish mensch who knows the game, Bernie Rose still tries to retain some compassion for life’s losers. Amazing all of us who still thought of him as a nebbish forever “Lost in America,” the CFCA proudly names Albert Brooks our Best Supporting Actor of 2011.

Note this wasn’t just the local opinion. Applause for Brooks’ performance in Drive was widespread. He was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category by critics in London, San Diego, and Toronto, and he won the award from critics in Austin, Boston, Florida, New York, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington DC. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe award and an Independent Spirit Award. So not seeing his name on the Oscar list yesterday was a huge surprise 🙁

The Driver: “My hands are a little dirty.”
Bernie Rose: “So are mine.”

Photo Credits: © Richard Foreman Jr

Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Ryan Gosling with Albert Brooks in Drive.

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