Albert Brooks Oscar Pedigree


12 September 2011| No Comments on Albert Brooks Oscar Pedigree     by Sean Chavel


I didn’t say much about Albert Brooks’ performance in Drive. It took me a few days to consider that he really has played outside of his own persona to inhabit his character Bernie Rose, a racketeer who has crime family clout. He was once a legit producer but now has his dirty hands in all sorts of shady businesses, and invests in half a million dollar ventures like a betting man. You have never seen Brooks sashay a barber’s knife with intent of wrath before. His eyes pop out suddenly as if he’s in altered states.

Known primarily for writing and directing neurotic comedies like “Real Life” (1979), “Lost in America” (1985) and “Mother” (1996), Brooks has no doubt played neurotics in other peoples’ movies. In 1987, he received his only career Oscar nomination for “Broadcast News” where he played neurotic and lovesick news reporter Aaron Altman. He is known for voicing Marlin in “Finding Nemo” (2003) and Russ Cargill in “The Simpsons Movie” (2007). He has done interesting dramatic work as a wealthy fall-guy in “Out of Sight” (1998) and as a fastidious solitary man in Christine Lahti’s “My First Mister” (2001). His worst career film was for playing an angry and neurotic film producer in James L. Brooks’ “I’ll Do Anything” (1994).

He has at least another half a dozen parts down the same vein, and has often been called the West Coast W00dy Allen. He is really good at what he does but he just isn’t the type to transmute into Oscar material.

Perhaps that should change with “Drive.” It’s not even the best performance of the film – Ryan Gosling head and center is once again the hot property. But I was surprised of Brooks’ concealed remorselessness and implacable rule over those who work under him. I was surprised, in an oddly incredible way, in the way he works with props (that barber knife is part of his character’s collection). When he has a one-on-one table conference with the Driver (Gosling) he lays down the odds for him and elucidates the prospects of his girl acquaintance’s immediate prospects in a way that’s as sinister as Alan King or Paul Sorvino doing it. Except it’s eerier coming from Brooks who comes abetted with added intellectual superiority. Which is why I think he probably deserves a best supporting actor nomination.

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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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