Musicals are divisive in nature, but they can hit a great spot with award-winning cast with the right cast and cast. Andrew Garfield leads the charges over Lin-Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut, “Tick, Tick … Boom!” With tender vocals and a heartfelt vulnerability, Garfield could emerge as a definitive contender for the award for best actor who has seemed destined for Will Smith for “King Richard.” If achieved, Garfield would be the first leading actor from a musical to win in over 55 years.
Garfield’s Jonathan Larson is sensitively constructed and harmoniously performed through his sweet arrangements and vocal inflections, especially in the songs “Why” and “Sunday”. One of these two is probably his “Oscar clip” (which will hopefully be reintroduced in the ceremony).
Tony-nominated Robin de Jesús provides a tangible balance and an emotional anchor to the story as Jonathan’s best friend and roommate Michael. The Latino eruption star could ride a guiding wave into the supporting cast category if the film’s magic is received warmly.
When it comes to the women, especially Vanessa Hudgens and Alexandra Shipp (who deliver yet another crucial turn in George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar”), they seem to each have a stage to land a slam dunk nomination for birolle. Hudgens, like the musical actress Karessa, has two crucial moments that make her a worthy entrance. Her bid for “Therapy,” which she shares with Garfield, feels comparable to “We Both Reached for the Gun” from “Chicago” (2002), with its playful humor and catchy melody. However, the central track “Come to Your Senses”, which the whole film builds towards, differs from the stage production sung. While I was sitting, one could see the bones in an Oscar clip if done differently.
“Tik, tik … Bum!” also proves to be a top candidate for the cast ensemble award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. But again, that could be an easy task for inclusion with theater and TV actors like a funny Judith Light, a songbird like Joshua Henry and a stoic Bradley Whitford like Stephen Sondheim.
Miranda’s management and artisan assembly are remarkable. With a feel of a 90s home movie, thanks to yet another bombastic outing by film photographer Alice Brooks (please, Academy, recognize this woman), the director branch could fall in love with his detailed eye. As we have seen with many first-time feature film directors such as Bradley Cooper, Regina King and others, they are a very changeable group and love to get people to “wait their turn.” However, the DGA first-time director category may get its first solid frontrunner.
So can Garfield, who was once nominated for his trip as a conscientious objector in “Hacksaw Ridge” (2016), reach the Oscar podium?
Netflix has a flurry of price hopes this season, especially in the lead role, including Benedict Cumberbatch from “The Power of the Dog”, Jonathan Majors from “The Harder They Fall” and an unseen unit in Leonardo DiCaprio from “Don’t Look Up. Garfield’s playbook could follow Eddie Redmayne’s winning streak for his trip as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” (2014). Pundits and journalists wrote off Redmayne because of his age, relative newcomer status in the awards ceremony and the fact that Keaton came in with an impressive work leading up to his first nomination, nor did it hurt that his film also fought hard for the best picture award. , which Redmayne’s film was not.
Fast forward to the night of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Redmayne made an astonishing disruption to Keaton as a male actor in a lead role, creating what I like to call “the turnaround” that SAG awards have typically made for late-coming acting winners ( i.e. Jean Dujardin for “The Artist” and Sean Penn for “Milk”). When he went to the SAG Awards, the Golden Globes, which split his film categories into two genres, had rewarded Redmayne with best actor in a drama, while Keaton got best actor in a comedy. The teachers did not think about it. It was expected. When SAG first came around and Redmayne got the home court advantage at the BAFTA Awards, there were no stops for him on Oscar night. Garfield could draw some of the reverse of this and possibly turn it around for himself at the SAG and / or BAFTA Awards. He faces some historical obstacles.
The last major appearance to win an Oscar for a musical was Rex Harrison’s turn as Professor Henry Higgins in the winner of the best picture “My Fair Lady” (1964). The last man to win any acting category for a musical performance was Joel Gray as master of ceremonies in “Cabaret” (1972). The last two nominees – Johnny Depp (“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”) and Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) – both did not come close despite their Globe victories. Coincidentally, they both lost to a winning Daniel Day-Lewis performance (“There Will Be Blood” and “Lincoln”). It should also be noted that Garfield also campaigns to support the actor for his turn opposite Jessica Chastain for “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” which could suck some votes.
“Tik, tik … Bum!” distributed by Netflix and opens in theaters on November 12, before being released on the streaming platform on November 19.