Mark Ruffalo is an incredibly gifted actor, and that special skill has been recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. While he has not yet gone home with a trophy, he has been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar® an impressive three times: first in 2011 for THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, again in 2015 for FOXCATCHER, and then most recently in 2016 for SPOTLIGHT.
This year is notably different, however, in that thanks to his fascinating and captivating turn in the new drama DARK WATERS, Mark Ruffalo could very well wind up scoring his first Best Actor nomination. And what’s more, a strong argument could be made for his deserving of the actual prize.
Directed by Todd Haynes, DARK WATERS is based on a true story and stars Mark Ruffalo as Robert Bilott, a lawyer who begins the film working for a firm that defends chemical companies. That all changes, however, when he meets West Virginia farmer Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp), who has essentially seen his entire livelihood destroyed ever since his brother signed a deal with DuPont that allows non-chemical dumping on his property.
After discovering the unbelievable damage done to Tennant’s farm, Bilott begins his own investigation into what it is that DuPont has been burying on the property, and it’s a truth that he’s horrified to discover. After all, not only does he learn that the Tennant farm has been poisoned, but also that the company has poisoned tens of thousands of people in nearby communities.
Playing a character of true conviction who repeatedly demonstrates remarkable fortitude in the face of adversity, Mark Ruffalo delivers one of the best performances of his career, and what could absolutely be called Oscar-worthy work. It’s a powerful turn that truly accentuates the horrifying reality of the story being told, and the actor keeps your eyes gripped to the screen as he fights his multi-year battle for justice in what is a real David vs. Goliath tale.
Admittedly, Mark Ruffalo is not lacking in the competition department when it comes to stars vying for Best Actor nominations at the Oscars® in 2019. This year has been filled with spectacular performances from some of the best in the industry, including Eddie Murphy (for DOLEMITE IS MY NAME), Michael B. Jordan (for JUST MERCY), Adam Sandler (for UNCUT GEMS) and Christian Bale (for Ford V FERRARI). Still, there’s no underselling Ruffalo’s work in DARK WATERS, and he has as good a chance as anyone to secure one of the five available slots.
DARK WATERS is now playing in theatres, and the nominations for the 2020 Academy Awards® will be announced in January.