“From an awards-season perspective, Christopher Plummer has everything going for him,” Grantland‘s Mark Harris observes. “He has been chronically underrecognized by Academy voters — it’s still inexplicable to me that he wasn’t nominated for his brilliantly acidic portrayal of Mike Wallace in The Insider. And his second-billed (but really supporting) role in Beginners feels laboratory-designed for awards:

“Getting to play a stoic gay man who doesn’t come out until he’s 75 and then learns he’s dying of cancer is a little like bowling a strike after getting spotted nine pins, which makes the fact that Plummer’s portrayal is so understated and simple the true mark of his talent.”

Harris goes on to say that Plummer’s “chewy” supporting role coming up in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo as well as Barrymore, the one-man stage performance film that just played in Toronto, may present complications. No, they won’t. As I wrote a week ago, they’ll be strictly backup — i.e., momentum fuel — for Beginners.