WATCH: One Reason Tommy Lee Jones Should Be Nominated For An Oscar
Tommy Lee Jones has played a lot of curmudgeonly sons of bitches over the course of his career, but his latest is his something to behold. The actor's portrayal of the rapier-tongued Pennsylvania congressman Thaddeus Stevens is one of the cornerstones of Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, and now that Disney has released a clip of one of his key scenes, you can see for yourself why he's generating Oscar buzz.
In addition to being the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee during the CIvil War, Stevens was a staunch abolitionist and the kind of orator who was known for verbally decimating his opponents with searing invective. (As he does in this pivotal scene.) At the New York screening where I saw Lincoln, audience members applauded this and other scenes where Jones opened a can of whoop-ass on his pro-slavery rivals. New Yorkers love an inspired put-down when they hear one.
What's not apparent from the clip is how tightly controlled, complex and palpable Jones' performance is overall. Hobbling around with a pronounced, painful-looking limp and looking at the world through bag-laden, world-weary eyes, his anger and his disdain for those who oppose abolition come at you like 3D fists when he's on screen.
Check out the clip below and tell me whether you agree that this is a performance worthy of an Oscar nomination.
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