For more than a hundred years actors who are also movie stars have played a huge part in attracting audiences to movie theaters. Here are three stars who are hoping their newest work will earn them Oscars.
Michael Keaton, who plays the man who turned McDonald's into a fast food empire in THE FOUNDER.
Ben Affleck, who plays a reluctant gangster in LIVE BY NIGHT, the film version of a popular novel by Dennis Lehane.
And finally, Isabelle Huppert, a French actress who's already won a Golden Globe for her work in ELLE.
Huppert is 63, but that doesn't stop her from playing a femme fatale even though she's also a victim of sexual assault.
Man at dinner: What did the cops say? (pause) You didn't report it.
Woman at dinner: Michelle, you have to report it right away.
Michelle: What for?
Woman: What for!
Michelle: It's over; it doesn't need talking about anymore.
Huppert's character, Michelle, is basically a sociopath, the daughter of a mass murderer. She goes after any man she's attracted to including her married neighbor and the husband of her best friend.
The movie is a surprising story of how she finds out who assaulted her and takes a unique form of revenge. ELLE will be disturbing for many people, but film buffs will be fascinated.
Micheal Keaton as Ray Kroc: I know what you're thinking'. How the heck does a 52 year old over the hill milkshake machine salesman build a fast food empire with 1600 restaurants and an annual revenue of 700 million dollars? One word: persistence.
In the excellent eye-opening movie called THE FOUNDER, Michael Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the determined hustler who basically stole the McDonald's franchise from the two brothers who actually started the restaurant.
Kroc: Franchise, franchise, franchise. McDonald's can be the new American church and it isn't just open on Sundays, boys.
Keaton is such a likable actor that it's shocking to watch his character trample anyone who gets in his way.
Ben Affleck wrote, directed, and starred in LIVE BY NIGHT as Joe Coughlin, a former soldier who becomes an outlaw in the1920's.
Joe: We all find ourselves in lives we didn't expect.
Joe doesn't want to be in a gang, but ultimately that's what his life of crime demands. He may be reluctant to kill people, but he does what must be done.
Affleck's performance feels wooden. It almost like he's posing.
Another flaw in the film is its unfocused plot.
And yet, LIVE BY NIGHT is always great to look at. The production design, action scenes and cinematography are superb.