OscarsⓇ Nominated Role: Sylvester Stallone plays Rocky Balboa, a former heavyweight champion who is persuaded to come out of retirement to train the son of his late best friend.

Forty years after his groundbreaking turn as Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone returns to star in Ryan Coogler’s (“Fruitvale Station”) passion project, “Creed,” which passes the torch in the most honorable of ways. Playing the character that he wrote, Rocky has never been a very complicated character in general. He’s a brutish boxer who falls on some luck and uses hard work to prove himself in the ring. These themes are carried through six (and now seven) films. Even after nine years, Stallone brings the heart and soul of Rocky Balboa to all new heights in “Creed,” as he meets and decides to train his deceased best friend’s illegitimate son, Adonis Creed, played by Michael B. Jordan. Working through his retirement, some health issues, and some crisis of faith, Rocky even works through some of the issues that are set up in the previous films, like his relationship with his actual son (“Rocky Balboa” (2006)) and his lack of trust in those that he trains (“Rocky V” (1990)).

Who’s his competition? On most pundits lists, Sylvester Stallone is the surefire win in this category. However, lacking even a Screen Actors Guild nomination is enough to put some definitive doubts on the table. If Stallone does win, I believe most of the Academy and Hollywood will applaud loudly. Stallone is a gracious actor that has yet to really be honored for his contributions and even though as of late he has fallen into the action star shtick, he has always had talent for launching his personal characters onto the screen. With all that, this would definitely feel like an honorary Oscar. But Mark Rylance (“Bridge Of Spies”) is a formidable competitor, having the Screen Actors Guild nomination to back him up as well as a majority of the critics awards wins earlier in the season. You can look at Stallone’s lack of a nomination in two ways, however. Either his nomination represents the Academy pushing for him to win, going beyond the SAG nominations, or you can see it as honoring him by nominating him, while giving the award to someone like Rylance. The SAG went to Idris Elba (“Beasts Of No Nation”) who isn’t even nominated for an Oscar, so the SAG prerequisite is not necessarily the end all, be all. My personal opinion, I hope Stallone takes it.

Previous nominations? This is the third Academy Award nomination for Sylvester Stallone. He was previously nominated for:

  • ROCKY (1976)
    Nominee, Actor in a Leading Role
  • ROCKY (1976)
    Nominee, Writing (Original)

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// Produced by Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff, Charles Winkler, William Chartoff, David Winkler, Kevin King-Templeton, and Sylvester Stallone //
// Directed by Ryan Coogler //

// Dated Viewed: Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 // AMC BURBANK TOWN CENTER 6 //  14 films – 20 days //

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