I’ll just level with you now that I had some interesting acting choices, and by interesting I mean strange. Strange for the reader, of course, normal for me. So take a look and tell me how shocked you are at the omissions and inclusions.
Maria Bello, The Cooler
Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider
Kirsten Dunst, Mona Lisa Smile
Alison Lohman, Big Fish
Joan Plowright, Bringing Down the House
Sure Keisha Castle-Hughes ended up with that Oscar nomination and all that. Whatever. I really didn’t see her as leading, and as good as it was there were a ton more deserving contenders – but that’s all old news.
Shoreh Aghdashloo, House of Sand and Fog
Maggie Gylenhaal, Mona Lisa Smile
Jessica Lange, Big Fish
Miranda Otto, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Sarah Paulson, Down With Love
Arwen will always be my love, but I can’t deny the awesomeness that was Miranda Otto of I am no man fame. Awesome. Maggie Gylenhaal had a throwaway role in a throwaway movie and made it work, as did Jessica Lange. I wasn’t that keen on Shoreh, but I can see how she got nominated. Paulson is underrated, but it’s no surprise. Everyone hated Down With Love.
Helena Bonham Carter, Big Fish
Patricia Clarkson, Pieces of April
Marcia Gay Harden, Mystic River
Naomi Watts, Le Divorce
Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain
Yes, I like Le Divorce. I’m not even going to try to justify that. Not now, at least. But yeah, I was impressed with Watts’ performance in this quasi comedy of sorts. Of course my clear winner was Marcia Hay Harden for her turn in Mystic River followed by Clarkson in Pieces of April. I’m not certain about the third place finisher – either Zellweger or Bonham Carter, but I haven’t seen Big Fish in a while...
Jennifer Connelly, House of Sand & Fog
Katie Holmes, Pieces of April
Helen Mirren, Calendar Girls
Julia Roberts, Mona Lisa Smile
Renee Zellweger, Down With Love
2003 was actually a good year for the women. Roberts, Zellweger, Holmes and even Mirren took stock roles and turned them into something worthy of appreciation. Connelly’s performance was quite good, but stiff competition prevented it from going further.
Jamie Lee Curtis, Freaky Friday
Kate Hudson, Le Divorce
Samantha Morton, In America
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill
Naomi Watts, 21 Grams
I know RC is a fan of Morton, but unfortunately she didn’t reach my top 5. Watts and Thurman were on the brink of the top 5. Jamie Lee Curtis had some incredible comedic timing in Freaky Friday, and as much as Kate Hudson is hated I thought she was fine in Le Divorce.
Cate Blanchett, Missing
Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation
Diane Keaton, Something’s Gotta Give
Nicole Kidman, Cold Mountain
Charlize Theron, Monster
So I have two of the nominees here. Charlize was deglam at its best and she completely sold her performance, but she still was not my favourite. That was Diane. I really can’t deny how much I loved this performance, I think I even preferred to her Annie Hall. Scarlett was my third pick, and that was a hard snub considering she was getting so much momentum and stuff. Sure Kidman and Blanchett aren’t really hard up for Oscars and critic support, but their work in these films has been unfairly maligned, as far as I’m concerned. Kidman should have gotten her third nomination with this and Cate does some good work even when the script is all over the place.
So, who were your favourite women back in 2003?