Categories One-by-One: Actress

For the films of 2014
Big Magilla
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:20 am

Had Julianne Moore won for Far from Heaven and Marion Cotillard not won for La Vie en Rose this might have been a suspenseful race. If might have been a more interesting one if Hilary Swank had been nominated for The Homesman and Amy Adams for Big Eyes.

The reason I didn't like Rosamond Pike in Gone Girl, aside from the fact that the part was ridiculous, was that I kept picturing Reese Witherspoon, who was originally supposed to do it, in the part. I think Witherspoon would have brought more nuance to the character than Pike who struck me as pure evil from the get-go. I think Witherspoon would have kept me on her side up to the point she, well, you know if you've seen the film. Previous winner Moore, non-winner Cotillard, two-time winner Swank, perennial nominee Adams and Witherspoon in Gone Girl, rather than Wild, might have made this a hum-dinger of a race, but it is what is and anyone who bets against Moore had better be prepared to lose big.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby dws1982 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:16 am

Mister Tee wrote:About Felicity Jones, the most to say is that she sure picked the right year; last time out she’d have never survived the preliminaries. Of course, it’s possible in that year she might have angled for a supporting nod. We could grateful for her honesty in campaigning here – if only she were good enough to earn that gratitude.

I liked her better than Pike or Witherspoon personally. Her problem is that she's in a movie that doesn't care about her character; Jones is stuck trying to carve out an arc that the movie never grants her character, trying to reconcile the film's approach to the (oddly-portrayed) game of musical-spouses, and even if she doesn't quite get there, I'm not sure of an actress who could.

Is it the fact that Two Days deals with proles while Still Alice is viewed as a tony West Side movie? Or do the mere presence of subtitles – and the filmmakers’ reputation -- elevate the one over the other?

I may be alone, but I think that in pure filmmaking terms, the Dardennes absolutely blow away the Still Alice duo, and that may be part of it. But as BJ said, since Moore was widely considered the frontrunner from the start, the critics may have back Cotillard because they felt she needed the push.
Last edited by dws1982 on Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Okri » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:52 am

I think it's worth remembering too that The Immigrant was ignored by Harvey Weinstein (he didn't even run a campaign!!!) and give the run of Harvey decisions (Snowpiercer's obstacles to release) I agree that there was a bit of advocacy.

I had actually seen Cotilard prior to La Vie En Rose in this cracked "romantic" comedy called "Love Me If You Dare" and thought she was quite good. I frickin' hated her as Edith Piaf.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby The Original BJ » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:03 am

I won't do the whole run-down of the performances -- I'll save that for the inevitable Best Actress poll that I assume we'll do post-Oscars. But speaking as someone who was just crushed by the outcome of Best Actress 2002, this weekend will offer a lot of us the most rewarding corrective Oscar since probably Martin Scorsese. And truly, given the fact that Moore's been out of the Oscar race since then (even for performances that might have just landed nominations, like A Single Man or The Kids Are All Right), I wasn't sure this moment was ever going to come around for her again, especially given how difficult it tends to be for those over the age of 50 to win the Best Actress Oscar. That it's for a performance that I'm perfectly happy to see win the prize is icing on the cake.

I assume she'll get a standing ovation -- by all accounts she's very well-liked personally around town -- and I, for one, will be happy to cheer for her.

One additional thought: I wonder if the critical push for Marion Cotillard so heavily was partly buoyed by advocacy. Julianne Moore was pegged the Oscar frontrunner almost the moment her movie appeared. Cotillard, on the other hand, was pretty much fighting for a spot in the race, due to the nature of her movies (foreign in one case, low profile in both). It's very possible that critics rallied around Cotillard in part to give her an extra boost come Oscar time, and in fact, if that was the case, the dream paid off -- I think there's no way she would have gotten the nomination had she not been so rewarded with critics' prizes.

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Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:43 am

Obviously, there’s not a great deal to say about this probable-non-race, but every category deserves a thread, so, a few thoughts:

The nominees:

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wiild

About Felicity Jones, the most to say is that she sure picked the right year; last time out she’d have never survived the preliminaries. Of course, it’s possible in that year she might have angled for a supporting nod. We could grateful for her honesty in campaigning here – if only she were good enough to earn that gratitude.

Rosamund Pike and Reese Witherspoon can wonder, in years to come, which of them would have been the choice had Julianne Moore not made her surprise entry. Neither’s film made any serious showing (each, in fact, lost a gettable screenplay nod), but it’s possible that, with a likely best actress as focal point, one of them might have managed a stronger campaign.

I like Marion Cotillard’s performance quite a bit – far more than her La Vie e Rose, or Rust and Bone. But I have to wonder how she became such a major critics’ alternative to Julianne Moore, especially for those who declared themselves unable to vote for Moore owing to her film’s lack of depth. Because, honestly, I don’t see Two Days, One Night as plumbing hugely greater depths than Still Alice. In fact, I see them as quite similar films: each lays down its primary subject early on, and sticks to it almost monomaniacally, relying on a formidable female star to carry the action virtually alone. Neither film bothers with much in the way of narrative invention; the one stab each makes at heightened drama turns out to use the exact same device (with essentially the same outcome). I’m not complaining about this in Two Days; I thought it worked for the story set out by the filmmakers. But I also thought it worked for Still Alice, and I’m puzzled why one is touted so much more highly by critics (Cotiillard beat Moore at the National Society 80 to 35). Is it the fact that Two Days deals with proles while Still Alice is viewed as a tony West Side movie? Or do the mere presence of subtitles – and the filmmakers’ reputation -- elevate the one over the other?

To answer a question Italiano asked a while back in another thread, the only one who mocked Cotillard during the La Vie en Rose year was (surprise) Damien – and even he recanted after seeing her later work. For most of us, it was simply of matter then of thinking her film wasn’t very good, and her performance was being inflated way out of proportion simply because of the flamboyant nature of the role (in short, the same objections some of us have to Eddie Redmayne this year). She’s clearly a good actress, and, were Julianne Moore not on the roster, I’d probably be (futilely) rooting for Cotillard this year.

But Moore is in the running, for a performance that, if it’s not quite Far from Heaven or Boogie Nights, it’s quite excellent in its own right, and well-deserving of the honor everyone thinks she’s about to receive. Assuming the Academy doesn’t deliver a gut punch to the actress and her many fans, she’s a certain -- and very worthy -- winner.


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