Best Actress 2013

Who among the nominees should have won the Oscar for Best Actress of 2013?

Amy Adams - American Hustle
2
7%
Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
21
75%
Sandra Bullock - Gravity
1
4%
Judi Dench - Philomena
3
11%
Meryl Streep - August: Osage County
1
4%
 
Total votes: 28

nightwingnova
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Re: Best Actress 2013

Postby nightwingnova » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:11 am

I quite admired Dench's work in Philomena. Her character was so simplified it could have easily been a caricature. Dench breathed life into the character so that it was believable - the simple, sweet, not soft in the head - but not a mental giant, older woman who tends to be religious.

After seeing the movie, I read Philomena's true story in the British press. The adaptation was a lot of crock. Why I avoid biographical films. Philomena was nothing like she was portrayed. She definitely was more worldly and independent-minded.


Big Magilla wrote:
SalantBeau wrote:I enjoyed Philomena for what it was but found it to be nothing Oscar-worthy. Dench doesn't give bad performances but she practically sleep-walked through this one. I did like many of her scenes towards the end when she meets her son's adoptive sister and later forgives the nun that made her give her child away (even though it requires massive suspension of disbelief to believe that nun would still be alive).


I may have missed something, but although the nasty nun is involved in giving away the boy I don't think she was in charge in 1952, although she may have been. She could have been in her 30s at the time, in her 80s in 2002 when the confrontation takes place. She is played by 83 year-old Barbara Jefford, the legendary raunchy Molly Bloom of 1967's Ulysses, an Oscar nominated film (for Adapted Screenplay) so notorious it was not allowed to be shown to the general public in Ireland until 2000. The confrontation, though, never happened. Like everything else in Coogan's self-serving screenplay, the scene is added to give his character more to do than Martin Sixsmith actually did in real life. The scene came about as a result of Coogan asking Philomena if she forgave the nun. She said "yes". It was her daughter who was sitting next to her who said "I don't".

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Re: Best Actress 2013

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:18 am

SalantBeau wrote:I enjoyed Philomena for what it was but found it to be nothing Oscar-worthy. Dench doesn't give bad performances but she practically sleep-walked through this one. I did like many of her scenes towards the end when she meets her son's adoptive sister and later forgives the nun that made her give her child away (even though it requires massive suspension of disbelief to believe that nun would still be alive).


I may have missed something, but although the nasty nun is involved in giving away the boy I don't think she was in charge in 1952, although she may have been. She could have been in her 30s at the time, in her 80s in 2002 when the confrontation takes place. She is played by 83 year-old Barbara Jefford, the legendary raunchy Molly Bloom of 1967's Ulysses, an Oscar nominated film (for Adapted Screenplay) so notorious it was not allowed to be shown to the general public in Ireland until 2000. The confrontation, though, never happened. Like everything else in Coogan's self-serving screenplay, the scene is added to give his character more to do than Martin Sixsmith actually did in real life. The scene came about as a result of Coogan asking Philomena if she forgave the nun. She said "yes". It was her daughter who was sitting next to her who said "I don't".
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Re: Best Actress 2013

Postby SalantBeau » Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:36 pm

Judi Dench is the first one out for me. I enjoyed Philomena for what it was but found it to be nothing Oscar-worthy. Dench doesn't give bad performances but she practically sleep-walked through this one. I did like many of her scenes towards the end when she meets her son's adoptive sister and later forgives the nun that made her give her child away (even though it requires massive suspension of disbelief to believe that nun would still be alive). Dench deserved her long-awaited seventh nomination one year earlier for Skyfall, her slot this year should have been taken by a more deserving contender. I can't help but think that had the Weinstein Company not pushed this film hard, it wouldn't have even made a dent in the awards race.

It would have been easy for Sandra Bullock to get lost in the sea of visuals that is Gravity but she makes such an impact that it's difficult to ignore. Her performance likely would have been better had she been given more character to work with, though it's well-known that the script is not Gravity's strong point. Essentially her performance was mostly physical, something that Bullock and Cuaron worked together very well on perfecting. Definitely far better than her work in The Blind Side though still not win-worthy. This is an irrelevant point but I would have been thrilled to see a minority actress in Bullock's role. It's a racially neutral character, and would have done wonders for the struggling career of someone like Halle Berry, Regina King or Sandrah Oh. Or maybe Cuaron could have reached back and brought up Julianne Moore (with whom he worked on Children of Men and gotten her that Oscar that is eluding her).

Amy Adams gives the best performance in American Hustle and rightfully received her long-awaited first nomination in the top category. Adams could have easily went supporting and won with this, but thankfully she maintained her integrity and went in the right category. I thought her transitioning between her fake british persona and her real American persona was sublime, and the way she said so much with her eyes proves that she's one of the most dynamic actresses we have working. A real shame she had to compete against this field of nominees (if American Hustle was released a year earlier she would have easily won and probably would have been a double nominee as well). Hopefully her first lead nomination will encourage more directors and studios to put her in the lead roles she deserves.

Streep gets a lot of criticism for being "hammy" in August: Osage County though I find this criticism to be taken out of context. When looking at the character she is playing and the circumstances she is playing them in (a drug-riddled woman with terminal cancer whose husband has committed suicide with a visiting dysfunctional family, especially a daughter who brings out the worst in her) one could argue that she actually toned down the role. I agree that had Friedkin directed Letts' script again it would have been a far superior film, but I did think that the efforts of the cast were worthy regardless. Had Streep (who won two years earlier) not played this role and it instead went to a different actress (particularly one due for Oscar recognition) like Glenn Close, Sigourney Weaver, Judy Davis or Debra Winger...or an old Oscar favorite who hasn't been on the radar in a while like Jane Fonda, Liza Minnelli or Susan Sarandon, it would have been a very different race.

But Cate Blanchett runs away with this one. She gives in my opinion one of the greatest performances by an actress of all time. Essentially playing two characters (spoiled Jasmine and poor Jasmine), she nails every single nuance and tic of both women while acting fabulously off of Sally Hawkins' foil to her work. We are essentially flies on the wall watching Jasmine's downfall, constantly challenging ourselves to choose whether or not we want her to get what she deserves or we want her to better herself and live a healthier life. There are few actresses I could picture handling the role as well as she did and it was a joy watching her sweep through the awards season like a janitor.

Of the unnominated I would have loved to see Julia Roberts nominated here instead of supporting for a performance that I disagree with much of the criticism of (I know I'm probably alone). Brie Larson gave the type of performance in Short Term 12 that, in a weaker year, might have broken through with a stronger campaign (like Catalinda Sandino Moreno and Felicity Huffman) but luckily this performance gained her visibility as she has numerous upcoming projects and will hopefully find herself in the Oscar race soon (she's young and has plenty of time). And of course the biggest revelation of this awards season was the marvelous Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue Is the Warmest Color who at age 19 brought back memories of Isabelle Adjani in The Story of Adele H. Hopefully, like Adjani, she'll be able to return to the Oscar race eventually. Another honorable mention hoes to Julia Louis-Dreyfus who finally took the big step to film with Enough Said. I was surprised by how thin her film work is, though she has appeared in some good ones (notably Hannah and Her Sisters).

Of the nominees:
1. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
2. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
3. Amy Adams, American Hustle
4. Sandra Bullock, Gravity
5. Judi Dench, Philomena

Personal lineup:
1. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
2. Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
3. Meryl Streep, August: Osage County
4. Amy Adams, American Hustle
5. Sandra Bullock, Gravity
----------------------------------------------------------
6. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
7. Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color
8. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
9. Judi Dench, Philomena
10. Kate Winslet, Labor Day (I actually kinda liked this film...)

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Re: Best Actress 2013

Postby mlrg » Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:01 am

voted for Blanchett

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Re: Best Actress 2013

Postby ksrymy » Tue Apr 15, 2014 11:45 pm

Only one of these women deserved to be nominated. Cate Blanchett gives a remarkable performance in one of Woody Allen's best creations (the character, not necessarily the movie). And I'd have to argue with Magilla - though I can certainly see how Jasmine is a literary concoction, she's so self-righteous and pompous that she probably views her life through the lens of an author. The world revolves around her anyway. But, about the performance, Blanchett's raving, roving monologues are too great, and she knows it. She eats up the scenes with a savage grace.

Philomena was probably the worst of all the Oscar-nominated films this last year; there was, however, one bright spot - Steve Coogan. Judi Dench, on the other hand, is playing an easy role she could play in her sleep (or dead, for that matter). Now, I admit, the script is the biggest hindrance. Do we really need to see Philomena discovering what nachos are? If it were any kind of relevant to the plot, I'd forgive that. Through it all, Dench does absolutely nothing to get my attention.

I may have lied. August: Osage County may have been the worst of all the nominated films. Had Friedkin directed Letts for a third time, I firmly believe the film would have been better. Streep is godawful in probably her worst role ever (from what I've seen). She screeches like a harpy though the whole film, but, since she's Meryl, the Academy thinks it's great work.

Sandra Bullock certainly does her career best here, but even her career best isn't Oscar or nomination worthy. She has great speeches, and her funny bits are done really, really well. For what it's worth, it's something that makes the film great, but it certainly isn't up to par with everything else in the film.

Amy Adams was probably the best part of American Hustle. She's an actress I've admired for a long time, and watching her career grow has been a treat. I was glad to see her given the leading lady treatment. And she deals with it quite well. Her scenes where she breaks into American dialect are done simply but convey a whole lot.

The best performance of the year in this category was definitely Adèle Exarchopoulos'. What a brilliant coming-of-age performance! I hope her career takes off because she's certainly a talented woman.

Also robbed of slots were Greta Gerwig for her fantastic single girl in the city in Frances Ha, Brie Larson as a camp counselor for troubled teens with problems of her own in Short Term 12 (the most underrated film of the year), and Shailene Woodley who gives the "different" high school girl a fresh makeover in The Spectacular Now. It was truly a year for young adult performances.

Also worth noting are Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said, Julie Delpy in Before Midnight, Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring, and Amy Seimitz for Upstream Color.

Best Actress
01. Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color
02. Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
03. Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
04. Brie Larson, Short Term 12
05. Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now

06. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
"Men get to be a mixture of the charming mannerisms of the women they have known." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

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Re: Best Actress 2013

Postby Sabin » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:19 pm

If Amy Adams wasn't nominated, this would be for me one of the worst years ever. I'm not sure she qualifies as a lead in American Hustle and I think that's one of the biggest problems that the film has. It's a very admirable piece of work that never finds its center. Instead, it has four tones that are shaped by its four nominated performers, and the movie that Adams tries to turn the film into is a good one. I may enjoy Bradley Cooper's mad romantic energy but Adams, I think, truly understands the game of masks that David O. Russell is playing. She wouldn't make my short list but she gets my vote.

Haven't seen August, Osage County. Sandra Bullock is not remotely believable in Gravity. It's not really her fault. I would argue that if Cuaron had actually cast Natalie Portman or Angelina Jolie as he had intended, then Gravity would be a better film overall because it would more easily identify itself as what it is: a bracing work of science-fiction. Sandra Bullock's energy is all wrong for science-fiction. Similarly, Judi Dench playing doddering feels wrong. She captures none of Philomena's infectious experiential joy and her character becomes whatever every scene asks her to be. Her worst nominated performance in a movie that's close to meaningless as pulled off. Cate Blanchett is not recognizably human in Blue Jasmine although her performance is not without good moments. And yet I found it difficult to begrudge her Oscar juggernaut because she is a strong actor who was going to win another Oscar eventually and it didn't look like she was going to rob anybody especially amazing.


My Picks
1. Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color
2. Suzanne Clement, Laurence Anyways
3. Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
4. Greta Gerwig, Frances Ha
5. Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver

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Best Actress 2013

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:27 pm

Oscars for Best Actress, especially in the 21st Century, tend to go to the actress doing the most acting as opposed to the best acting. This year it actually went to the actress doing the second most acting among the nominees when in my opinion it should have gone to the actress doing the second most minimalist acting among the nominees.

As usual, there were performances that should have been nominated, but weren't, just as there were performances that were nominated that shouldn't have been.

The most exciting discovery of the year was Adele Exarchopoulos whose performance in Blue Is the Warmest Color might have made it if the film had toned down the sex, making it more palatable to the masses who vote for these things. She was certainly more deserving of a nod than Amy Adams whose minimalist performance in American Hustle was nothing to get excited about. At the other end of the spectrum, Adams' two film co-star Meryl Streep let all the stops out to screech and harangue everyone and everything in sight in August: Osage County. If Adams' performance was too slight, Streep's was too much. Emma Thompson should have gotten her former winner's slot for her much more nuanced performance in Saving Mr. Banks.

I have no argument against the other three nominees. Sandra Bullock does what she was supposed to do in the blockbuster Gravity, giving the kind of performance that is occasionally nominated but never wins.

Cate Blanchett gives a technically excellent performance as the clueless entitled formerly rich bitch in Blue Jasmine, but the character seems more like a literary concoction to me than an actual person. Much more real is Judi Dench's real life Philomena despite the fact that the screenplay portrays her as something of a simpleton. Coogan's screenplay even turns the real life Philomena's love of murder mysteries into a love of sappy romance novels. But in Dench's hands, less is more and that's all we need. She gets my vote.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire


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