Sunday, 19 December 2010

Oscar Talk: Leading Ladies

A few weeks ago when Lesley Manville won Best Actress at the NBR for her work in Mike Leigh’s Another Year I think Oscar prognosticators – myself included – may have gotten a little carried away. I’ve yet to see the film, but Maville’s sudden appearance turned the race into something of a freefall – and considering that the NBR is generally a respected community it seemed that she was a serious threat for the race to Oscar. Of course, that was before the Golden Globes and the SAG gave out their nominations. As it stands Manville still has a chance of breaking into the top 5. The race isn’t as closed off as, say, the very bland 2006 race (where Annette Bening’s seminal Deidre Burroughs still managed to not make it onto the shortlist).
                         
We have four women who look more and more like locks – tier one is Bening in The Kids Are All Right and Portman in Black Swan. These are the two who look like they actually have a chance of winning the Oscar, then tier two comprises Kidman in Rabbit Hole and Lawrence in Winter’s Bone, they’ll be nominated but their chances of winning seem especially slight...and who’s lucky #5 going to be? Gun to my head, I’d say Julianne Moore’s name even though I’m not certain that AMPAS members will fall in love with The Kids Are All Right she’s probably behind Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine), Manville and perhaps even Hilary Swank (Conviction) as far as a nomination. Sure she has a Golden Globe nod, but so does Anne Hathaway for Love & Other Drugs.

Swank’s SAG nod was a bit of a surprise, are the actors’ guild that determined to see a Bening/Swank reunion? I’m not sure if there’s any place we could glean some tangible clues as to who that fifth nominee will be. It’d be interesting if Halle Berry (surprise Golden Globe nominee) makes it in, but the very last minute push for her film doesn’t make it all that likely, I’m moved to place my bets – for the moment – on Harvey Weinstein, because even if Nine was (unfairly, I say) shut out from last year’s race he still has the power. And if all that reviews are accurate, it’s the performance of a lifetime. Really, I’m dubious about claims like that...and I’m not sure if they’re going to go with three women under 30 to fill up their Best Actress slot. I’ll stick with Bening/Kidman/Lawrence/Moore/Portman for now, though I’m sure I’m wrong.

(How I wish a surprise like Patricia Clarkson in Cairo Time or Rachel Weisz in Agora could surprise us. Or why not a push for Sally Hawkins in Made in Dagenham or Helen Mirren in The Tempest (which I’ve yet to see)?

Which actress would you like to make it in who doesn’t have a shot? Which of the “assured nominees” would you be backing?

8 comments:

Walter L. Hollmann said...

I'm surprised that Made in Dagenham doesn't appear to be making any impact anywhere. Why can't Sally Hawkins cut a break? I've never believed Manville would make it in Lead. That always seemed silly to me. I'd put money on Moore or Swank right now. But ya never know, as they say...

joe burns said...

I thought Manville had a shot, but no sag nomination, globe, or critic's choice nomination really hurts. She needs really good word of mouth, plus a bafta nomination to get in, but sadly, she might not.

I'm going to say the last spot will go to Williams, who has been reportdly strong work since she was nominated way back in the 2005/2006 oscars and I have a hunch she'll make it.

Meme said...

I would like the 5th spot to go to Julianne Moore. I thought her character (Jules) was so interesting, because she creates and holds the main arc and tone of the story throughout the movie, yet Jules is so completely lost that she doesn't really understand what is going on with her and why she is behaving so self-destructively until the very end. The duality of having to continue the plot but seem so disoriented and disenfranchised with her character's actions is only one of the things that I find impressive about her performance.

Patricia Clarkson would be a fun surprise, too...

I REALLY don't think that Swank's Conviction or Nicole Kidman's Rabbit Hole were particularly noteworthy, unique characters for them... Kind of more of the same ol' stuff. I enjoyed Winter's Bone, but I thought Jennifer Lawrence's performace was the weakest thing in that movie... of course, everything (locations, script, directing, shooting) and everyone else was so strong that statement isn't really fair.

Robert said...

I would love to see Julianne Moore fill that last spot, though it would be nice to see Michelle Williams get a nomination...even if as just a makeup for the Wendy and Lucy snub. Grrr. I hope Kidman can keep the momentum going and get a nomination!

But at this point, unless I see a better female performance it's Natalie Portman who I think should win this. She was so, so, so, so unbelievably good and I don't know if she'll ever have an opportunity to top Black Swan.

Runs Like A Gay said...

I'm backing Manville all the way - I wasn't a fan of the film but her performance totally owns it and Bafta will certainly give it a nod.

Manybe the British members of Bafta will be enough to tip the balance.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

walter ya, never know - indeed. still, i was hoping that made in dagenham would get some if only because i was hoping that rosamund pike and miranda richardson could pick up some potential supporting love. alas, no.


joe yeah, williams does seem like a valid guess at this point.

meme i'd want to julianne to get a nod too, but not over nicole whom i love in rabbit hole.

robert i wonder what i will think of portman in black swan. i'm really intrigued by the VERY effusive praise.

runs like a gay leigh doesn't do it for me often...in fact since secrets & lies i don't think he has...but i'm still anxious to see what manville does. do you think she's more leading than supporting?

Ryan T. said...

I'm hoping for Michelle Williams to get a nod and a shock decision to snub Bening and instead nominate Moore. Yeah, a boy can dream. Though HELL YEAH on mentioning Rachel Weisz for Agora. Such an underrated movie and performance.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

oh, ryan! a boy CAN dream, but when that dream comprises the shafting of the bening i cannot support you.