George Clooney’s latest film, JR Moehringer’s adaptation The Tender Bar, opens in select theaters the week before Christmas and will be available to stream on Amazon in early January. It’s George Clooney, it’s a Christmas premiere, it’s a movie for the family, the community, and coming of age. So of course there are Oscar chances. And it could be a huge Oscar nomination possibility as an actor for Ben Affleck.
I’ve been writing about this as soon as it was announced last year, because the Clooney and Affleck combination sells itself. They won an Oscar for Best Picture together, so the expectations are there. And this time, it’s George directing Ben, two of the biggest movie stars in the world, one directing the other. That is the story. And on top of that, The tender bar it’s a great story. Let’s start with the trailer:
This is one of my favorite books, and if you have visited this site over the years you will know that I have been putting it on my list of best personal books since it came out in 2005. The way they have established it In this view Previously, it’s exactly how I feel about the book: tangible, just as tangible as the real-life people who were part of Moehringer’s upbringing. When you are reading The tender bar You can almost smell JR’s house, you can definitely smell the bar, but more importantly, you can HEAR the bar and all the sounds of the goers at a neighborhood pub. This trailer is giving me those feelings back. The bar looks exactly as I envisioned it. Christopher Lloyd is perfect as a grandfather and we’re already getting a glimpse of the collection of locals that would become JR’s cheer squad and support system: Bob the Cop, Cager, Colt, Jimbo, Smelly, Fast Eddy (is there a Fast Eddy in every pub?), and other names that I can’t remember right now, but I’m sure you can already imagine them.
And then there’s Uncle Charlie, played by Ben. He is perfect. Uncle Charlie is the guy who, you understand, could have made it but didn’t. For the most part, he seems happy bartending, but you always wonder, what else? And yet he is not bitter, or at least he will never show you, but there is a lot of experience he can share, a lot of pain that he may not have fully processed yet, but he is there for JR as a sounding board, a guide, and maybe even a warning.
This isn’t exactly Ben Affleck, the person, but there are intersecting parts of him, that you can probably understand well, about decisions and mistakes, about hard-earned wisdom that should be passed on, and he would certainly have some common sense. how support and guidance feels when you feel lost.
George and his producing partner Grant Heslov did an interview with Deadline recently and talked about why only Ben could play this role:
“CLOONEY: I was hungry for this, and Ben is a better actor than he’s ever had the parts. He walked in and all you had to do was point everyone in the right direction and leave them alone, because they were all really accomplished actors. He has a great role, so he can show what he can do.
HESLOV: It’s a performance that reminds you of his work on Good Will Hunting.
CLOONEY: But it’s been a while, and a lot of the parties haven’t asked you that much.
HESLOV: What’s interesting is, Good Will Hunting, these are the parts that I should have been doing the whole time. But he always wanted to play Batman, he wanted to be that guy instead of being …
DEADLINE: I’m sure you can relate to that, George. You came to the conclusion that you did not like the fit of the swimsuit, and from there you walked a path with different priorities and choices …
CLOONEY: Plus, they offer you those roles, and you go where the bread is buttered, and sometimes they don’t slather your bread with Good Will Hunting. He was in the right place when we went to see him, because they don’t pay him much here. We got this call from him and we got this text message that I still have. It would take you half an hour to read it, but it was about what he was going to do with his part. This was just from reading the script for the first time. Hey, all in. “
So george added later that Ben is “reaching the age in which you get to grow in certain parts. I am at the age where you far exceed them, but he is becoming them. This was exactly the right time for Ben and he was the first person we thought of [for the film]. “
For months, started by Bennifer Summer, we have been seeing the latest rebound of Ben Affleck, and if you follow what George says, about him “he will reach the age where you can grow in certain parts”, it seems as if his personal aspects and professionals were optimizing at exactly the right time.
In addition to this role in The tender bar, his performance in The last duel it has also been well received. So it’s just a matter of which performance has the best chance of getting him that first acting nomination. Because the support is clearly there. George Clooney is obviously campaigning for him.
But now I wonder about the category. The tender bar is, apparently, the story of JR. However, Ben is playing A LOT in this trailer. That may just be a marketing decision – he’s a big name, along with Clooney, and that’s how you build interest; he will be the main cast member. As we’ve seen at previous Oscars, certain actors often have better chances in the supporting categories, even if they actually have lead or co-starring roles in their films. You’ll notice in the trailer, Ben is billed first on the same title card with Tye Sheridan:
The first and highest billing usually means a leading role, so is it possible for the studio to feature Ben in the Best Actor category? Right now that race seems open. If there is a favorite, it is Benedict Cumberbatch in The power of the dog. Will Smith could also be a factor in King Richard. Beyond that, I don’t know if anyone else has come up in a serious dispute. So right now, at this point in the season, Ben could do it. And if that’s the case, if you’re really going for leadership, your performance in The last duel which is definitely supportive, it could be a bonus for their best actor contention … or they could go for a double nomination and see if their name appears in both categories.
Now imagine the brilliance of JLo if that happens.
Deputy – George Clooney in New York last night.