As hopeful as I was back in February when I first saw Logan, I knew that Patrick Stewart would probably be a long shot when it came to earning any formal recognition this awards season. And unfortunately, I wasn't proven wrong. So far, the great thespian has received a few nominations from some of the smaller critic associations, but has essentially been shut out of the larger award groups. While much of the conversation earlier in the year had focused on Hugh Jackman's final outing as a character he started portraying back in 2000, the same could be said of Stewart and his immortalized turn as Charles Xavier. And not to take credit away from Jackman's fantastic performance in Logan (because he really was amazing), but Stewart's performance was also quite phenomenal. It was equal parts heartbreaking and joyful watching him transform a relatively sedated portrayal of a character that he defined 17 years earlier, into something with such restrained intensity.
And to say that it was a kind of Professor X we've never seen before almost feels like an understatement, because I don't think even Stewart himself could have predicted this kind of characterization beforehand. The Charles Xavier in Logan was someone who was even further crippled by time, but still maintained his trademark hope for both human- and mutant-kind alike. What he does in Logan is truly special, and the spectacle of seeing a master teach new tricks to an older version of himself is some next level stuff. Surprisingly, Logan did manage to nab a writing Oscar nomination (the first for a superhero movie, ever), which was certainly a pleasant surprise. Awards can be pretty meaningless, I know, but what a joy it would have been to see Stewart earn some nominations.