Gary Oldman has emerged as a serious contender for the Best Actor gong at next year's Academy Awards after critics lauded his performance in the spy thriller 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'.
The actor, 53, plays British spy George Smiley in the adaptation of John le Carre's gripping Cold War novel and although he stars alongside Colin Firth and John Hurt, Oldman steals the show. Writing in Rolling Stone magazine, critic Peter Travers said, "Gary Oldman is one of the best actors on the planet. Feel free to pay homage at Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the devilishly clever film version of John le Carre's iconic 1974 spy novel", while Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal offered, "This version of "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" turns on the presence of Mr. Oldman, and he is an actor of great experience and accomplishment". Previously an outsider for the award, Oldman has now been installed as the 6/1 fourth favorite to win Best Actor at the 2012 Oscars. Although he is almost certain to be nominated, he'll have to beat the likes of Leonardo Dicaprio, Jean Dujardin and frontrunner George Clooney to get his hands on the award come February.
Le Carre's spy creation George Smiley has often been noted as a particularly difficult character to play and Oldman acknowledged the role needed careful attention. Speaking to the Washington Post, the actor said he was required to make Smiley interestingly enough while also capturing his reserved manner, saying, "It's a bit like rubbing your tummy and tapping your head at the same time.One hopes, just by the fact that one's an actor, that you have some charisma, that when you're on the screen people want to watch you. But then you're trying to play someone who has anti-charisma".