Canon King ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Contributor
It seems pretty clear that Johnny Depp has been a roll… a bad, stinky, rotten roll. One could argue and give his role in into Into the Woods credit, but I could counter that and raise up The Tourist, Pirates of the Caribbean Parts 2 through 4, The Rum Diary, Jack and Jill, Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, Transcendence, Tusk, and the awfulness that was Mortdecai. In all honesty, Depp needs something to spark him back to life. But will Black Mass bring an end to his midlife crisis?
The answer seems to be a resounding: yes. Depp has already played a true-life gangster in Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies, however he wasn’t nominated for either of these. That’s not to say he did a bad job, just saying it was not Academy worthy. Retrospectively, third times the charm, right?
Right. One could dare to say Depp has never transformed more for a role than he has for this film. Yes, he has transformed physically many times into eccentric characters in many Tim Burton movies, but never has he changed to look so much like a real life character. Ever since that first trailer dropped, audiences have been watching the footage with one thought in mind: “How in the world is that Johnny Depp?” Now physical transformations won’t just get you nominated for an Oscar, but it goes a long way with the voters.
The other thing that Depp has in this gangster film that he hasn’t had before is an all-star, A-list cast. The list includes Joel Edgerton, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, Kevin Bacon, Academy Award nominated Benedict Cumberbatch, David Harbour, and Dakota Johnson, with Depp leading. If there was an Oscar for best ensemble cast, this movie would have already locked a nomination.
What is the immediate competition for Depp? So far, the Oscar race for Best Actor is looking shaky and unpredictable. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant looks like a lock, but after that, who is there? Michael Fassbender? Eddie Redmayne, maybe? Possibly Tom Hardy or Matt Damon? Most of the early buzz about most of their films are coming out as disappointing, but one name remains the same in the rave: Johnny Depp.
All the planets are seeming to align for Depp. This movie is already getting hype from most critics and seems to be one of the best Oscar-bait movies of the year. If he doesn’t receive the nomination, general audiences may go into shock.
Black Mass will be released on Friday, September 18, 2015.