Wednesday, 4 November 2009

2007: Supporting Actress

The supporting women were good, though some gave great supporting performances in less than stellar films – they each had something to offer though. It was a nice group.
                     
TIER ONE
Jennifer Garner in Juno
It’s one of the better performances she has given. The treatment of her story grated at times, but surprisingly she was able to hold her own and even rise above the material in some instances. It was impressive, and taking note of the Juno love that everyone was under it’s surprising she didn’t pick up traction.
                   
Catherine Keener in Into the Wild
To be honest, I would not have minded if she had knocked Ruby Dee off the list, although it would have been her third shot at having no chance of winning. Like Mark Ruffalo [but perhaps better] she’s a great supporting actress and with her limited screen time she gave quite a lot to the film. It’s a good performance from her which would have picked up in a weaker year [2005, 2003, 2008]
                         
Michelle Pfeiffer in Hairspray
Her Velma Von Tussle was a delight. It’s a pity they couldn’t have used her more, or at least stuck to the more positive [and believable] Broadway ending, but she’s good nevertheless. She’s perfectly comical in 'Ms. Baltimore Crabs' and sizzles in her reprise of 'Big, Blonde & Beautiful'. It was great seeing her sing again, even if it was in such small doses.
               
Julia Roberts in Charlie Wilson’s War
I did not dislike this performance as others were wont to, and the Golden Globe nod was a pleasant surprise. The accent maybe is what turned most off, but her performance was more than that. She did a good job playing this interesting role. I think audiences missed the point that this movie was at the end of the day a comedy.
               
Vanessa Redgrave in Atonement
It would have been cool to see her pull a Howards End [although it was not as good] but as mentioned earlier, this was a good year for the women. She lends so much to those last few minutes and a lesser performance could have completely broken the film. But she’s an exceptional actress, so all’s well.
                    
TIER TWO
Tilda Swinton in Michael Clayton
I know they are many on the internet who adore this performance, and I liked it in its way. She definitely elevated the role and did a good job with what she was given; and not once did I feel angry that she won. It’s a good performance, not my favourite but still good.
                   
Nicole Kidman in The Golden Compass
I really hope they do the sequel to this. She takes the stock villain and turns it into something beautiful and terrible [not unlike Tilda in Narnia] and she was lucky to have such good costars and overall a good movie. She made her mark on Hollywood in a somewhat similar character in To Die For, so it was nice seeing her return to known territory.
               
Leslie Mann in Knocked Up
Like so many of the women here she turned her role into something wonderful. I remain convinced that Apatow doesn’t know what to do with women. Her role is shrewish and often one note, but she pulls it off., all the while making us like her. It leaves you wondering what she can do if she ever gets presented with something better. Someone needs to give her a slick comedy role [Woody Allen, or James L. Brooks if he goes back to his heyday]
                         
Jennifer Jason Leigh in Margot at the Wedding
It’s not difficult to see why the performance [and the film] didn’t catch on with the voters but she did stellar work here. She and Kidman went toe to toe and she even made Jack Black seem like a promising performer. Even Winslet making a valiant attempt couldn’t do as much.
             
Imelda Staunton in Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix
She turned Umbridge into more than just the comical stock villain she could have been. The casting was inspired and her line readings and sinister smile were on point. The showdown with Maggie Smith was a perfect [if short] orchestration of British talent. It was a trifle of a character exceptionally played.
            
The Nominees


Cate Blanchett in I’m Not There
Such a subtle performance this was. Much has been said about that last irreverent look she gives the camera, which I love. She plays her part well. She’s not supposed to be playing THE Bob Dylan. Her character is Jude, just a vignette of what Dylan really is and she does what she’s asked for and plays it wonderfully.
                         
Romola Garai in Atonement
There’s a scene when Briony leaves Cecilia’s apartment and goes into the train as the ominous score begins and we focus on her face. I love that part of the movie. Romola Garai has some really expressive eyes and that’s what helps her along this performance. Interestingly enough both Redgrave and Ronan also have these communicative eyes and it’s another brilliant observation about this movie’s casting.
              
Saoirse Ronan in Atonement
It’s not the interrogation scene that strikes me; it’s the less remembered scenes like her first scene with Cecilia, or that scene at the dinner table. She is not faultless but she has some great sensibilities that Joe Wright is able to capture. It’s a great performance, child or otherwise.
              
Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone
Along with a well played cameo in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead she did stellar work in this. What a woman she was, you could see the wheels turning in her head after every line she said. She’s not that popular, so the deglam points probably weren’t coming from all angles, but she really plays this role with raw emotion and she plays it well. Well deserved nomination.
                
Marisa Tomei in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
She begins the movie in a less than admirable position, but she handles the performance well. She’s such a vacuous woman and it’s that last scene where we truly see how silly she is. But Marisa is smart enough not to her make her overbearing or comical. It’s just all very sad. It’s arguably the best thing that’s she’s done yet.
                                  
So come on - rail me for not loving Tilda enough. Tell me what you think of me having two Atonement ladies. Is this really Marisa at her best? What did you think of Amy? Sound off below.

5 comments:

Univarn said...

I barely got through Michael Clayton (boring), back when I was on RT that year I began a list of all the movies that were better than Michael Clayton that deserved the best picture nomination. Didn't care too much for Tilda Swinton's performance, Tom Wilkinson was about it for me. I thought Amy Ryan was good but not in the film enough to get the win. I was sort of championing the long shot in Saoirse Ronan.

The Mad Hatter said...

I dug Tilda, but would have voted for Saoirse myself (of course, nobody gave me a vote). I'd never rail on ya for having both of the ATONEMENT girls in your nominees...the only problem is that when two actors get nominated for the same film in the same category, neither of 'em win...right?

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

The Mad Hatter: Why are you feeling me out for my winner. Wait till Sunday.

Univarn: Thank you about Michael Clayton...though I won't say boring. But not as good as it seemed to be.

Twister said...

I actually really enjoyed Michael Clayton, and I ADORE Swinton's performance.

But thank you for mentioning Jennifer Garner, who on the second time around grasped my full attention. She really does make some thing great out of a piffle of a part, and she definetley deserved a nomination.

But Swinton has to get the win!

joe burns said...

I really liked Michael Clayton too and I think Swinton deserved her nomination. But I would have picked Ryan for the win. My lineup: Blanchett, Garner, Ronan (Silver), Ryan (Gold), Swinton (Bronze).