Movie awards season is bearing down on us and cinema buffs the world over are eagerly awaiting this year’s Academy Award nominations.

While the film world’s best and brightest will undoubtedly receive their due at Hollywood’s night of nights, A Guy Thing once again takes the opportunity to single out the best male performances from 2007:

• Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men: Bardem’s brilliant turn as the psychotic Anton Chigurh in the Coen brothers’ adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel is a virtual lock for an Oscar nomination with his thrilling blend of gruesome violence, cold detachment and lack of remorse that, at times, bordered on the ridiculous.


• Viggo Mortenson, Eastern Promises: Mortensen’s devotion combined with Canadian director David Cronenberg’s creative rawness — the film’s bathhouse fight scene being a perfect example — breathes new life into the gangster genre.

• Josh Brolin, No Country For Old Men, American Gangster: At a point when even Brolin thought his career had all but disintegrated, gritty turns in two of the year’s best films brought about a reversal of fortune.

• Steve Zahn, Rescue Dawn: Zahn shines with his electrifying performance as a beaten-down U.S. POW.

Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, American Gangster: The two Oscar winners should be mentioned together for their one-two dramatic punch as a Harlem drug kingpin (Washington) and the detective looking to bring him down (Crowe).

• Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly: Amalric instills limitless emotional energy into a character whose communicative abilities are limited to a series of eyelid blinks.

• Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There: Blanchett embodies the androgyny of icon Bob Dylan and brings the complexities of his most influential decade to life with Oscar-worthy creativity and flare.

Chris Atchison has been working as a journalist for the past seven years in both freelance and full-time capacities. A Guy Thing, his take on the everyday travails of the urban male, runs bi-weekly.

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