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Oscar Watch: Ed Harris Talks Challenges of The Way Back

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 18, 2010 at 2:45AM

The Race thinks Ed Harris has a shot at a supporting actor Oscar for his role as the sole American Siberian Gulag escapee in The Way Back. So do I---as I told Kris Tapley in our recent Oscar Talk (I have now added Harris to my Oscar Predicts Chart).
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Thompson on Hollywood

The Race thinks Ed Harris has a shot at a supporting actor Oscar for his role as the sole American Siberian Gulag escapee in The Way Back. So do I---as I told Kris Tapley in our recent Oscar Talk (I have now added Harris to my Oscar Predicts Chart).

Why? Because as director Peter Weir told me the other night after an all-Guild screening in Sherman Oaks, Harris has an iconic masculine American grace. The camera loves him; he brings something extra to everything he does. In a large ensemble that Weir did not permit star turns, Harris provides the emotional spine. The Way Back is a long, long trek movie--across mountains and deserts and through clouds of mosquitoes. Subtly and sturdily, Harris carries the picture. "There's a lack of sentimentality," says Harris. "There's never an emotional release of any kind. It's about the group dynamic, the survival."

Besides, Harris is due: he's been nominated four times and never won, once for Weir's own The Truman Show.

Check out my flip-cam interview with Harris at L'Ermitage below.

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This article is related to: Directors, Genres, Headliners, Video, Interviews , Period, Drama, Biopics, Books


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.