If Star Wars: The Force Awakens was going to win anything at the last Oscars outside of the technical awards, the only legitimate award that could have been handed out would have been to Adam Driver for his galvanic supporting performance as Kylo Ren. All the acting was surprisingly solid but Driver went the extra mile and mixed his character’s fury with just the right notes of madness, dark humor, and sensitivity. John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, and Oscar Isaac deserved to have more scenes such as the one where Kylo freaks out and slashes up a console, or when he attempts to first interrogate Ridley’s Rey. That’s your problem now, Rian Johnson!
Regardless, 2016 may be the year that Driver at least secures a nomination and possibly wins the whole damn thing. His lead performance in Jim Jarmusch‘s upcoming, lovely Paterson is the kind of seemingly easy feat that only works as well as it does because of Driver’s subtle attention to emotional details that Jarmusch has embedded in his empathetic, wise screenplay, as well as those he hasn’t. Even more promising than that film’s performance, however, is his first performance under the direction of Martin Scorsese in the upcoming Silence, in which he plays half of a duo of Jesuit priests that go searching for their master in Japan in the 17th century.
The other priest is played by Andrew Garfield, who you can also see in the first image of Driver in Scorsese’s hugely anticipated, long-gestating latest. You can take a look at the image below, which features the diptych talking to Japanese citizens in a small hut of sorts. It gives us absolutely zero context for the narrative or where in the story this image is taken, but Driver’s very presence is what so often makes him memorable in movies and he immediately draws the eye in this image. Okay, that might be because it’s the first time we’ve seen him, but my gut tells me that he will be giving Garfield and co-star Liam Neeson, two tremendous performers, a run for their money in this movie.
Silence hits theaters on December 23rd for a limited, Oscar-qualifying run.