Tuesday, 27 October 2009

2008: The Leading Ladies

Being a fool or something akin, I accidentally deleted this post...so here it is again with some alterations. I was mixed on quite a few of the critical darlings, but let’s take a look. [alphabetical order]
The Semi Finalists
Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married
Yes readers, I was unimpressed with this performance. It’s not just because there’s no love lost between the two of us, but she wasn’t given enough to work with and she couldn’t rise above the material.
Scarlett Johansson in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Scarlett Johansson is not the greatest actress of her age or whatever but I think this performance was vastly underrated. It’s an atypical role for her, she doesn’t wear her sexuality like a flag, but there are some moments that are quite good and some line readings are particularly profound.
Emma Thompson in Last Chance Harvey
Sure it’s a pretty lightweight role, especially for someone of her talent. But it’s not unsatisfying and she is charming as per usual.

The Finalists
Rebecca Hall in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Incidentally she was the most rounded character, so she was much luckier than her co-stars. I realised I had seen her popping up in lots of films, but it’s the first time I really focused on her. She could go far.
Sally Hawkins in Happy Go Lucky
Poppy grew on me and I ended up appreciate her performance. Sure I didn’t mind her not getting an Oscar nomination, but it’d be nice to see what else she can do.
Nicole Kidman in Australia
Sue me; I enjoyed her in this movie. Sure it was a bit too schizophrenic for its own good, but she went with the flow of the film and the development of the character despite being ludicrous seemed realistic in its own twisted way.
Melissa Leo in Frozen River
She stood out from the middling film. She was not my favourite, but I was pleased to see her nomination. I hope that even though it's late in the game that her career can build some sort of momentum.
Meryl Streep in Doubt
Her role was tailor made for awards attention so at some point you have to wonder if she was really that good. But I didn’t hate the performance like some of her detractors and after getting past the accent there were some really good scenes. The characterisation was a bit too bizarre at times but oh well, it’s her style.
The Nominees

Cate Blanchett in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
I don’t believe anyone else could have done this role. Cate was just marvellous; sure it wasn’t anything I didn’t know, but reaffirmation is always nice.
Angelina Jolie in Changeling
It wasn’t as good as her excellent turn in A Mighty Heart, but still. And sure, most persons seemed to hate it and it did get a bit generic at times, but I was impressed.
Frances McDormand in Burn After Reading
She has some wicked comedy timing in this and she manages to sell even the most outrageous parts of the story.
Kristin Scott Thomas in I’ve Loved You So Long
Damn those American awards. Why couldn’t she get some recognition? It sucks that the Globes were the only ones to show her any love.
Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road
It’s not exactly a stretch for her, but she captures April so wonderfully and we are able to understand and even empathise wit her. Dare I say it…? The best of her generation?


Danny King said...

I really wish that Scott Thomas would have gotten a nomination. Not only was it an underrated performance -- perhaps her best ever -- but it was an underrated film in general.

Alex in Movieland said...

So what you're saying is that you would've voted for Angelina, considering the actual nominees. Or does Kate from your supporting list get your vote?

I go SALLY HAWKINS all the way! Magnificent. And Meryl from the actual 5 (even though Anne was perfect in certain scenes)

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Alex: I would've gone with Kate in The Reader. I didn't even realise Jolie was the only nominee who made it into my nominees. It's funny, cause I remember your lack of love for the perf.

Anonymous said...

Good, list I think we agree on a few things, like Kate Winslet was nominated for the wrong film and that Scarlett Johansson was good in Vicky Cristina Barcelona but far from the best actress in the film.

I think you are a little harsh on Anne Hathaway I said at the time she should have won the Oscar for Rachel Getting Married but that was before I saw I’ve Loved You So Long now I’m leaning towards Kristin Scott Thomas.

Alex in Movieland said...

oh, but I adored Angelina in some scenes!!! Really!

However, no consistancy. Flaws here and there.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Alex: I think Angie is the perfect example of an actor. She depends on the director to guide her, and that's not a bad thing. Not every actor likes to take the proverbial reigns. I just hope she keeps working with good directors so she can grow as an actress.

Anonymous said...

It was Kristin Scott Thomas for me all the way! Meryl was okay, but nothing special and that horrid scene at the end ruined it for me, Jolie along with that film was a complete mess (she was MUCH better in A Mighty Heart like you said), Leo was the prize in her film, I felt Hathaway really for the first time immersed herself in the character and played it with all her might--I was impressed, Sally Hawkins was endearing and really touching, Cate was typically brilliant but lost in a thankless role, Winslet I felt had a FAR better performance in ESOTSM or Little Children than both of these hideous films! I'm as big a Winslet fan as anyone else, but I thought she was WAY too OTT in Rev Road, the whole performance just felt off and too hysterical to really get inside that morbid character...and the Reader wasn't necessarily anything to right home about. I hate to say it, but Kate disappointed me for the first time in her career last year and I wasn't thrilled for her Oscar win. She really stole it from Thomas, but what can you do when the "I owe you" Oscar is being touted? Hmph.