Please Give Adam Driver the Oscar He Deserves

Everyone’s jaws dropped when Martin Scorsese recently proclaimed at the Telluride Film Festival that Adam Driver was one of the greatest actors of his generation. You don’t hear praise like this from Scorsese too often about anyone, though it’s not so surprising for those who’ve watched Driver evolve in his intense TV and cinematic performances.

He’s one of those who started in indies, was persuaded to join the most successful sci-fi franchise of all time, yet still managed to maintain involvement in other Oscar-worthy projects.

Some have even suggested Driver should have been nominated for playing Kylo Ren in the new Star Wars trilogy. Stranger things have happened, but there’s one film he’s almost a shoo-in for currently sweeping the film fest circuit.

The true greats seem to come from the stage

Adam Driver
Adam Driver | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Netflix

Considering Driver is about 6’2″, he was probably fairly commanding on a theater stage when starting his acting career there. His training for the stage likely helped him project and learn how to harvest energy in the moment for a compelling portrayal.

Because of this, it’s also made him uncomfortable watching himself on the big screen since he always figures he can do something better.

He somehow managed to transition from the stage into television by winning a role on The Unusuals 10 years ago, followed by several guest-shot roles on other popular dramas.

There wasn’t any attempt to make a movie until two years later when Clint Eastwood hired him to play a small role in J. Edgar. Perhaps Eastwood saw something in Driver former figured would prove a major stepping stone.

Not until 2012 did Driver manage to find a steady gig playing Adam Sackler on Girls where he finally stood out. Along the way, he played co-starring roles in some interesting indie films like Frances Ha and Tracks (with Mia Wasikowska).

‘Star Wars’ changed everything

Once Driver became Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, the offers for some of the best movies in Hollywood came pouring in. Critics took notice when he starred in Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, not including acting in Martin Scorsese’s Silence. Latter made Scorsese realize he was working with an Oscar-caliber actor, something he might have wished could have continued in the director’s upcoming The Irishman.

Things really shifted into overDriver, though, when Adam filmed The Last Jedi and BlacKkKlansman back-to-back. If many thought Driver deserved real award recognition for his role as Kylo Ren, acting in Spike Lee’s epic and important film was by far more essential.

Driver’s Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor portraying Detective Philip “Flip” Zimmerman in BlacKkKlansman placed him on a fast streak to top of the A-list.

Now 2019 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year with several films most actors would die to have in just 12 short months.

2 notable films at film festivals, plus ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

Any of you who pay attention to the fall film festivals leading up to Oscar time know that Adam Driver is becoming the toast of the films being screened there. His performance in Scott Z. Burns’ docudrama The Report already received plenty of buzz at places like Telluride. However, it’s Marriage Story from Noah Baumbach garnering most of the attention.

Most people are betting Driver will be nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars alongside Joaquin Phoenix for Joker. Ultimately, it might come down to the battle between two of our generation’s finest actors portraying a troubled married man and a crazy, chronically single man.

How Oscar voters decide this will be the acting decision showcase of the ages. Our bet is on Driver, who manages to be compelling and real without going off the deep end like Phoenix often does.

Then again, maybe we’ll all be shocked and his potentially final performance of Kylo Ren in The Rise of Skywalker gives Driver a double Best Actor nomination. Having all of this in one year is probably a pinch-me moment for Driver, despite never showing it with his focused Marine-like expressions.