The 2017 #AcademyAwards are drawing near and it's time to look back on the rise of the best actor and actress nominees of 2017. This year, the nominees for best actor are #CaseyAffleck (Manchester By The Sea), #AndrewGarfield (Hacksaw Ridge), #RyanGosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), and #DenzelWashington (Fences). The nominees for best actress are Isabelle Huppert (Elle), #RuthNegga (Loving), #NataliePortman (Jackie), #EmmaStone (La La Land), and #MerylStreep (Florence Foster Jenkins). While some of these actors are new to the scene, some are more experienced. In this post, we will see their first and their worst, all the way through to their latest and greatest.
Casey Affleck's career has always been eclipsed by Ben Affleck's and Matt Damon's, but this year he has broken away and earned his first nomination for the Academy Awards and Golden Globes as best actor (something his brother has never done). His on-screen career started in 1997 with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's Good Will Hunting (top left) alongside Damon, Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, and Robin Williams. Christopher Nolan's Interstellar (top right) reaches an impressive IMDb rating of 8.6 and is Casey Affleck's highest-rated film so far. Stephen Carpenter's Soul Survivors, however, hits an astonishingly low rating of 3.9 on IMDb and is an all-time career low for the youngest Affleck brother. Affleck's first film as the leading role, for which he has been recognized (Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester By The Sea), has been nominated for Best Picture as well as Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor.
Andrew Garfield has had a rather sudden rise to fame through the Amazing Spider-Man films and has become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood today. Having only had minor roles in films before his run as Spider-Man, Garfield first starred in Boy A (top right) and was soon cast into Lions for Lambs (bottom right) next to Tom Cruise, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Michael Pena. Though holding an impressive cast list, Lions for Lambs is Garfield's worst-rated film of his career, hitting a less-than-impressive (though not awful) rating of 6.2 on IMDb.
In the last year, however, Andrew Garfield's career has shot massively uphill. Starring in two of the biggest films of the year and nominated for multiple awards, Garfield has become one of the most sought-after actors of today. Starring in Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge (top left) and Martin Scorsese's Silence (bottom left), Garfield has starred in award-winning performances and his highest-rated film to date, #HacksawRidge.
Though Ryan Gosling has swept the award season away and achieved his highest-rated performance yet with La La Land (top left), he did star in Frankenstein and Me (top right) at the age of 16, the worst film of his career at an incredible IMDb rating of 5.6. His career does, however, look to be moving forward in a good direction with Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 (check out my trailer breakdown here) and the fairly unheard of film Song to Song, in which he will star alongside Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett and Haley Bennett. Val Kilmer and Benicio Del Toro are also rumored to be joining the already star-studded cast. He will also be starring as Neil Armstrong in a Damien Chazelle-directed biopic on Armstrong's life.
One of the most underrated actors on this list, Mortensen has always had a career in the shadows. Starting his career with Peter Weir's Witness (bottom left) he moved on to star in Carl-Jan Colpaert's The Crew and hit an all-time low rating score on IMDb of 4.1. He quickly turned his career around, however, famously starring as Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings trilogy (top left) and hitting a high point in his career with John Hillcoat's The Road (top right). Finally, he has been brought back into the limelight and awards shows this year with Captain Fantastic (bottom right).
Denzel Washington first starred in Wilma (bottom left) at 23 years old and soon went on to star in The Preacher's Wife (top left), which earned an IMDb rating of 5.5 (the worst of Washington's career). Soon after this, however, he starred in Edward Zwick's Glory and hit an all-time high on ratings. He then went on to star in a series of great movies from The Equalizer to Training Day and is rumored to star in The Equalizer 2 late next year. He has, however, been nominated for Fences (top right), an adaptation of the Broadway play of the same name in which he had previously performed.
Meryl Streep started her career at age 28 with Fred Zinnemann's Julia (top right) and starred next to Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken in the highest-rated film of her career, Deer Hunter. Susan Seidelman's She-Devil, however, is the lowest-rated film of her career, hitting a rating of 5.4 on IMDb. Though she is nominated for an Academy Award every year she stars in a movie, Streep has been nominated this year for Florence Foster Jenkins, in which she stars alongside Simon Helberg and Hugh Grant as Florence Jenkins, a rich, wannabe singer in New York.
Emma Stone's career has blown up massively in the last couple of years. From starring in movies like Superbad (top left) and Marmaduke (which has an impressively low IMDb rating of 4.2) to the award-winning La La Land (bottom left) and The Help (top right). La La Land is her latest and greatest and she will be moving on to star in Battle of the Sexes (bottom right) next to Steve Carell, in which she will act as Billie Jean Riggs in the historical 1973 tennis match against Bobby Riggs (Carell) that became the most watched sports event of all time.
Though her career started with her highest-rated film to date — Leon The Professional, and starred in Heat the next year — Natalie Portman has won many awards and starred in just as many impressive roles since then. From V for Vendetta to Black Swan, Portman has done it all. Though Rebecca Zlotowski's Planetarium hit a career low on ratings for Portman, she went on to star in Jackie later last year and has earned herself an Oscar nomination. It would be fair to say her career has had some lows (though even the lows weren't bad) but it looks to be good in the upcoming year with the aforementioned #SongToSong being added to her impressive list of movies.
Ruth Negga first started her on-screen career with Billy O'Brien's Isolation (bottom right) before starring in a series of short films. One of these short films — Things He Never Said, top left frame — was her highest-rated piece of film so far, with an incredible IMDb rating of 9.4. She finally got a big role early last year as Tulip O'Hare in Preacher (top right) and Lady Taria in Warcraft, both alongside Dominic Cooper. Though still really at the beginning of her career, Negga has been nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Jeff Nichols's Loving (bottom left) and will go on to star in Season 2 of Preacher next year.
Isabelle Huppert, though unknown, has had an impressive career, with only one movie scoring less than 6.5 on IMDb. Her career started with Cesar and Rosalie (top right) and The Lacemaker (bottom left). These were both very highly reviewed and earned Huppert a role in Ma Mere, which ended up being less than expected. After this, it was several years until Huppert was recognized by foreign award boards, though her movies were good, and she has now been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Paul Verhoeven's Elle.
Want to know who's on the nominee lists for every Oscar category? Check out the video below to find out:
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