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Paul Mescal is the surprise golden boy of this year’s Oscar nominations – the Academy Awards feel exciting again

Adam White


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Paul Mescal in Aftersun

Paul Mescal in Aftersun

Paul Mescal in Aftersun

Paul Mescal’s ascent to Oscar glory should be studied. Emulating the career paths of, say, Leonardo DiCaprio and, more recently, Timothée Chalamet, the 26-year-old Irish actor skirted inevitable superhero parts in the wake of his star-making turn in Normal People and signed on to an emotional indie from a first-time director.

That movie, Charlotte Wells’s haunting father-daughter drama Aftersun, has now earned him a Best Actor nod – a reward for the laser-focused thoughtfulness that has gone into his trajectory so far.


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