It seems that every once in awhile a film is so good, or the buzz is so strong, that an actor in their very first film simply blows everyone away and is nominated for an Oscar.
My question is, how can you tell if a person, in their very first film, is a great actor or if the casting director was simply a really great casting director and found someone who fits the role perfectly in real life? What if this is the one and only role they will ever play so convincingly, because the role was perfect for that person?
In other words, if it is their first and only film, how can we determine if the performance is due to their great, Oscar-worthy acting ability?
Not to pick on her, but Gabourey ‘Gabby’ Sidibe is getting a lot of buzz for her performance in Precious. Now I haven’t even seen the film but have heard it is excellent. I happened to catch Gabby on Conan’s show the other night and she seems like a great kid, with a fantastic personality and I really, really liked her.
However, she admitted that not only is this her first hit film, this is her first-ever acting gig!
Assuming she does get nominated for an Oscar for this role, is it fair to put her up against, for instance, Meryl Streep who has played hundreds of roles from drama to comedy to musicals and puts forth a convincing character every time?
And assuming Gabby wins (which I wouldn’t begrudge), does that mean she is a better actor than Meryl?
I know that many great actors knocked it out of the park on their first time out - but there are many other cases of actors being nominated/winning and pretty much never being heard of again.
I have mixed feelings and wanted to know what others think; Do you think first time actors should be nominated/win an Oscar based upon one performance in one film?