In “Designated Guilty” by Kevin Macdonald, Tahar Rahim forcefully embodies a Mauritanian prisoner tortured by mistake in the Guantanamo military camp. A role that earned him a nomination for the Golden Globes and the Bafta. Can he hope to win the Oscar for best actor?
Despite a year marked by the coronavirus pandemic, the year 2021 seems to smile on the comedian, he has already received a César in 2010 for his performance in “A prophet” by Jacques Audiard. After having played in the historical drama “Marie Madeleine” by Garth Davis, with Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix, in 2018, then given the reply to his wife, the actress Leïla Bekhti, in the series “The Eddy” by Damien Chazelle on Netflix, Tahar Rahim has become the new darling of Hollywood cinema. And this is confirmed with his performance in “Designated guilty” which earned him rave reviews across the Atlantic.
This feature film is inspired by the true story of Mohamedou Ould Slah, this man delivered by his country to the United States after the attacks of September 11, 2001, who spent fourteen years behind bars, before being released in October 2016. Throughout his captivity, his lawyer Nancy Hollander – played by Jodie Foster on the screen – fought for this Mauritanian to have the right to a trial and thus be able to prove his innocence.
Producer Leah Clarke was looking for an actor who could play in Arabic, English and French to play her. Tahar Rahim, born in 1981 in Belfort and of Algerian origins, seemed to be the ideal candidate. “He is of North African origin, he is an incredibly charming and sympathetic person and he has an extremely broad playing register which allows him to embody all the emotions required by this role. It was obvious to me, ”recalls the director Kevin Macdonald who had already turned the actor in“ The eagle of the ninth legion ”in 2011.
Convinced that “this story absolutely had to be told”, Tahar Rahim got involved body and soul in this project, going so far as to lose several kilos in a short time, staying in a cold cell or testing torture by simulation of drowning. Essential experiences for the success of the film. “He is an actor of great intelligence. He is the perfect point of convergence between what was on paper and everything we had perceived from Mohamedou by talking to him, ”underlines Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Lieutenant Stuart Couch.
An acting game hailed by the profession
On February 28, the Frenchy was in the running for the Golden Globe for Best Actor alongside Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins, Riz Ahmed and the late Chadwick boseman. It was the latter who posthumously won the award, much to the chagrin of Tahar Rahim fans.
Gary Oldman – Mank
– Golden Globe Awards (@goldenglobes) February 3, 2021
But nothing is lost yet since he has just been appointed to the Bafta (British equivalent of the Caesar, editor’s note), whose ceremony will be held on April 11. Also in focus are the Oscar nominations to be announced on March 15. And the predictions give Tahar Rahim as one of the favorites.
The six names in the Leading Actor category are
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Adarsh Gourav – The White Tiger
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Mads Mikkelsen – Another Round
– BAFTA (@BAFTA) March 9, 2021
“I don’t prefer to think about it. If I think about it too much, I will not be in the present, and what is happening now is exceptional, ”admitted the person concerned in an interview with Eastern Republican.
In France, spectators will be able to form an opinion in a few weeks. Subject to a reopening of cinemas, “Designated Guilty” will be released on April 7.
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Tahar Rahim: nominated for the Golden Globes and the Bafta, can the actor win an Oscar?