The annual awards cycle is a contentious time, regardless of the year. Academy politics, fan and critic favorites, and varying momentum usually add up to a frame of few months that can be arduous or exemplary depending on what you make of it.
This year’s awards season has been plagued with scandal, Academy backfooting, and general confusion and disdain all around. Still, there have been sparks of joy interwoven throughout. With the Oscars only a few days away, we invite you to take a sigh of relief, for while the past few months may have turned off some film lovers, cinephiles, and pundits to the industry we collectively report on or obsess over, there has been one saving grace. And his name is Richard E. Grant.
Grant’s awards season journey has been rife with joyous social media posts and interviews. This is the first time in the 61-year-old actor’s career when his work has earned such accolades and awards consideration. Mind you, he didn’t just pop-up out of Swaziland and onto the screen for one of the best films of the year. Grant made his way as many actors do, patiently and with consistency.
But it is his role as Jack Hock in Marielle Heller’s solitary and thoughtful Can You Ever Forgive Me? that truly showcases his decades of work. At once tragic and flighty, the next charming and mischievous, it’s a performance that never falters and demands attention. And, oh, did the performance receive attention. From BAFTA, Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, and Critics Choice Award nominations to an Academy Award nominee with the outcome to be decided on Sunday night, it has been a banner season, to say the least.
While the success of Can You Ever Forgive Me? and Grant’s well-earned nominations at this stage of the actor’s career are a familiar narrative, it is the way the actor has handled his accolades that makes it easy to root for him. Following his Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Screen Actors Guild, Grant posted a video of his humble reaction:
Cannot be blasé about this nomination for the @SAGawards voted for by members of @sagaftra for @cyefm alongside [email protected] in crime @melissamccarthy nominated for Best Actress. Yippity doo daaaah! pic.twitter.com/43Kplkltmq
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) December 12, 2018
The slew of nominations culminated in a personal, touching moment when Grant received word of his Oscar nomination. Standing outside his former one-room apartment, the actor reminisced on his luck. The video speaks entirely for itself:
Am levitating at this astonishing news. Thank you to @TheAcademy for this nomination in such incredible company. I’m indebted to so many people but most of all @melissamccarthy & Marielle Heller @cyefm ❤️@SearchlightUK pic.twitter.com/CIdJSMLkj1
— Richard E. Grant (@RichardEGrant) January 22, 2019
In the thick of awards season, nomination after nomination, Grant has been nothing but properly, blissfully flummoxed. To take a look at the actor’s Twitter feed and Instagram posts is to find snapshots of well-earned delight. Not only pure joy of recognition but a humble reflection of validation. Even the most jaded can’t help but lift the corner of their mouth only slightly; a coy smile to match the effervescence of Grant.
The actor hasn’t simply harnessed social media in the last few months to tout his achievements. The actor’s Twitter has become a window into the ride of a lifetime. Fans, followers, and passive social media users have been swept up in the exuberance of Grant, who has rarely faltered and bred any contempt on the road to Oscar Sunday.
And it is not only through the power of social media that Grant has showcased the grand time he has been having. Interview after interview seems to be an account of how to revel in your time during awards season. With such an inexhaustible amount of enthusiasm, Grant would likely host the Oscars, reveal the winners, produce touching speeches and conduct the orchestra without breaking focus or tensing up. That’s the kind of passion and joy he exudes.
Now that the Oscars are only a few short days away, film lovers and pundits alike will look back on a rather frustrating year with some umbrage. But Grant has done what feels like the impossible. What the actor has been able to do through his platform is showcase his absolute guileless, unadulterated charm and genuine enjoyment of the arduous past few months. Grant has and is enjoying every single minute of awards season, reminding many of why, through the frustration and disappointment, we still love this time of year.
Paying honor to visual artistry carries with it complicated feelings of elitism or a distance between art and entertainment. Yet, with such a tumultuous year as 2018, Grant has seemed to beam as the Patron Saint of Film. Like Grant, we simply cannot be blasé about this; his verve is infectious, his utter euphoria a marvel. With his humble core and vivacious spirit, Grant has saved awards season for many who may have sought to wander away.
Therefore, here’s to Richard E. Grant our Savior of Awards Season whose unpretentiousness and tenacity has reminded many why they dedicate their attention to awards season and gives us all an idea, a feeling; a person to root for come Sunday.