Friday, 25 December 2009

2002: Women in Film

The two acting categories were quite uneven. The Supporting Actress race was overstuffed with big and small [but good] performances from women, but the leading race was devoid of any exceptional work other than from a few constant few women. Here’s a rundown of my favourites that year.
Supporting Actress
Runners Up: Lisa Meryl Streep in Adaptation, Claire Danes in The Hours, Miranda Otto in The Two Towers
Tier Two
Patricia Clarkson in Far From Heaven
Toni Collette in The Hours
Cameron Diaz in Gangs of New York
Alison Janey in The Hours
Michelle Pfeiffer in White Oleander
Obviously, I was no fan of Meryl in Adaptation, but that wasn’t really her fault. I was not a fan of the film. Cameron Diaz earned a Golden Globe and SAG nod and still turned up empty handed at the Oscars. Sucks to be her. Patricia Clarkson and Michelle Pfeiffer gave strong performances that went unnoticed by most that year. Collette and Janey couldn’t make it with all the good work done in The Hours; but I was a fan.
The Nominees
Queen Latifah in Chicago
Julianne Moore in The Hours
Samantha Morton in Minority Report
Miranda Richardson in The Hours
Catherine Zeta-Jones in Chicago
It was only this year that Julianne equated with Catherine’s Velma. I won’t choose between the two women. I am a big fan of both great performances, no matter what many seem to think of the latter. Miranda Richardson gave the best performance [minus the trinity] in The Hours and I was really impressed by her Vanessa Bell. Samantha Morton was outstanding in Minority Report in an understated performance. Spielberg directed her to greatness. And Queen Latifah was just right as the Matron in Chicago. Altogether, each of these women impressed me much.
Leading Actress

Tier Two
Jennifer Aniston in The Good Girl
Jodie Foster in Panic Room
Goldie Hawn in The Banger Sisters
Salma Hayek in Frida
Alison Lohman in White Oleander
I’m sorry that Hayek had to miss my top five. She’s head and shoulders above her peers in Tier Two, not that Alison Lohman’s turn in White Oleander didn’t impress me much.
The Nominees
Nicole Kidman in The Hours
Diane Lane in Unfaithful
Julianne Moore in The Hours
Meryl Streep in The Hours
Renee Zellweger in Chicago
It’s an exceptional bunch of women, it’s almost difficult to choose. Almost. Lane is fifth, but her good performance is not to be underrated. I’m all the more happy that such an atypical performance saw Oscar love. The remaining four are real head-scratchers and I’m tempted to make it all a tie. But no. Julianne comes in at fourth, it’s not my favourite of hers. But it’s still outstanding. As is Zellweger’s Roxie Hart – which is my favourite of hers. It’s a good performance, regardless of what you think of her singing. That leaves Streep and Kidman who are almost equal in their goodness. It’s my favourite Streep performance of the decade [and maybe the last one, too]. I wouldn’t have minded if they went all fraudulent and put her in Supporting for this, but it’s just my luck that the performance I like is the one they ignore. Eventually Kidman wins it, just for the chemistry she has with Richardson AND that pivotal train station scene. Still, I’ll say it, Meryl is golden here.


joe burns said...

Thank God, Julianne got nominated for Best Actress. Glad to see that you like Zeta-Jones enough to give her a tie with Moore. We actually have the same Best Actress lineup.

Twister said...

God, how I hate Zeta-Jones' performance. But you know all about that. I thought Latifah was great, as well as Moore, but Streep is my pick (duh).

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

joe julianne is awesome but that was quite a year for the leading actresses. interesting that we have the same lineup.

twister i always try to reassess streep, but i still don't like it, or the film.