Based on the title of this, I guarantee you a good 95% of the readership will initially think I'm referring to Mia Goth and her incredible, starring turn in the slasher movie Pearl as the eponymous character. I agree she, too, should've garnered real Best Actress consideration. Alas, she was left off the Oscars nomination list that just dropped.
But I'm not talking about Pearl. PLOT TWIST. NOPE. Not the movie Nope. Just nope as in that movie Pearl and that actor and that monologue — which was tremendous, exceptional, etc., no doubt — isn't the one I'm about to dive into. But you can see it here if you so desire. Only clipped version I can find and it's bootlegged but oh well. Spoiler warning for Pearl because it's pretty much the primary scene the entire film hinges on.
The clip I took the time to, um...clip...was THIS ONE from the B.J. Novak-written-and-directed Vengeance.
Ashton Kutcher. ASHTON. FREAKING. KUTCHER. SERVING.
I don't think i'm overreacting to this. Part of me likes this monologue better than Pearl for the simple reason that it's wayyyyyyyyy shorter. The length of the Pearl one almost feels too on the nose. But then again that kind of fits with some of the thematic material of it.
I watched Vengeance on the plane on the way to a wedding in Colombia over a month ago. Obviously watched it back again since then to see if I was crazy. IDK. I have a pretty optimistic overall view of entertainment in general. I enjoy a lot of different things. Every genre pretty much appeals to me. Also, YA BOY studied acting and achieved a master's degree at a world-class drama school, so I feel like I'm a decent estimator of good acting when I see it.
And I'll be damned. A god-tier Ashton Kutcher monologue stuck with me THIS HARD. I've never been the Ashton Kutcher hater that many others are. If anything, I've always thought he's an underrated actor. You might assume by that I mean one of those "so widely overrated he's actually underrated" phenomenons, but no. I think that's an undue backhanded compliment. All that said, I don't think I quite expected something like this in Mr. Kutcher's bag.
You can stream Vengeance on Amazon Prime Video. I feel like this movie deserved a lot more love on the awards circuit. And the arc Ashton Kutcher's character goes on even after an epic intro leads to one of his more layered, nuances performances. It may change your whole perception on who this guy is.
Do I think Ashton Kutcher was worthy of a Best Supporting Actor campaign? The fact it's even arguable blows my mind. At the very least, Novak deserved original screenplay love, or you could've allowed an indie Best Picture nom to the flick that just so happened to match the working title of The Batman.