Alec Baldwin: Jim Sheldon
EW Staff
January 20, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Alec Baldwin is among this year’s Award winners

FOR ”The Cooler”

WHY? It’s apt that Baldwin’s return to form came in ”The Cooler,” a movie about a loser (William H. Macy) whose bad-luck streak comes to a dramatic and unexpected end. For maybe a decade (ever since he gave up the role of Jack Ryan to Harrison Ford), Baldwin has been his own cooler, starring in flops or taking paycheck supporting roles in dismal movies (like this year’s ”Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat”). But his performance as ”Cooler”’s old-school casino boss — a character Baldwin reveals as a vicious, manipulative, ultimately tragic dinosaur — proved Baldwin can command the screen with a brutal, incisive presence in a way that he hadn’t done since his powerful cameo in ”Glengarry Glen Ross.” As we say at the blackjack table, hit us again.

(Golden Globe nomination: Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture)

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