Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The film that many consider the most intelligent of the big summer blockbusters, ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ will be arriving on BluRay and DVD on December 2nd, just in time for Christmas.  And once again, the highlight of the movie was Andy Serkis’ gripping and magnetic motion-capture performance as lead Ape Caesar.  Serkis is basically the king of motion-capture, having also performed as Gollum in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Hobbit’ movies, King Kong in the 2005 remake and as Baloo in the upcoming live action ‘Jungle Book’ and undisclosed roles in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ and ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’.  There was a lot of fan buzz that Serkis deserved an Academy Award nomination for his role in ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes,’ but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has dragged its feet in allowing motion-capture performances to qualify in the weighty acting categories.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Andy SerkisBut 20th Century Fox has chosen to aggressively campaign to get Serkis some golden bald guy love for his chilling turn as Caesar in the latest ‘Apes’ installment.  But there’s a caveat.  The studios choose which categories to champion their “for your consideration” talent and perhaps to hedge its bets– since this is new ground– Fox has decided to push the major cast across the board in the “Best Supporting” categories.  This includes Serkis, despite him possibly having the largest role in  the movie, as well as Toby Kebbell who played Koba (also a motion-capture role), Jason Clarke as human lead Malcolm, Keri Russell as Ellie and Gary Oldman as Dreyfus.

Unfortunately, big summer blockbuster movies tend to get the cold shoulder from the Academy.  They usually only register in the technical categories like Best Sound Editing, Best Special Effects, Best Costumes and Best Makeup.  Of course there are rare exceptions, for instance Heath Ledger’s posthumous win for Best Supporting Actor as The Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ but– and not to take anything away from his gripping performance– many have to wonder if the fact that he was considered so gifted but died so young influenced voters.

What do you think?  Is it time that the Academy steps into the 21st century and recognizes motion-capture performances in the major acting categories?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter