Earlier this week, Adam Driver appeared opposite Scarlett Johansson in dueling trailers to promote Noah Baumbach’s upcoming Netflix marital drama, the very succinctly titled Marriage Story. And two days later, it would appear Driver’s Oscar campaign has kicked off with the trailer for prestige political thriller The Report.
I am a sucker for Oscar-bait films, and The Report promises all the elements we Academy groupies look for in a status project: a sort-of true story about an idealistic but charismatic young guy unraveling a mystery that goes straight to the top promising a lot of pithy dialogue, a supporting cast of people I recognize, and at least one impassioned monologue.
In this variation on the archetype, Driver plays a staffer to Annette Bening’s Senator Dianne Feinstein investigating the lengths to which intelligence agencies went to destroy evidence of torture amidst the fear-mongering and paranoia of a post-9/11 America. The music is somber. Driver’s monologue, which is succinct enough to be played during the wind-up to the Best Actor announcement, promises to be forceful. The supporting actors are all favorites of people who also enjoy watching awards shows: Bening, Jon Hamm, Maura Tierney, and Michael C. Hall. This looks solid.
Between the marriage drama, the political thriller, and a Jim Jarmusch-directed zombie comedy co-starring Bill Murray that I was informed by the comments came out in June, it is clear that Adam Driver is working very hard to entertain us this fall. I see no reason this shouldn’t be the year we give him his Oscar.