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.
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