Categories One-by-One: Actress

For the films of 2011
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Sabin » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:22 pm

I think I've seen fewer nominees in this lineup than any other, and it's a shame that I have little desire to check out my blind spots because I could fill two lineups with possible nominees like Juliette Binoche, Monia Chokri, Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Leila Hatami, Elizabeth Olsen, Anna Paquin, Charlize Theron, and Michelle Williams (Meek's Cutoff), and I haven't even seen Tilda Swinton, Yun Jeong-hie, or countless others. But I have so little desire to endure My Week with Marilyn or The Iron Lady, both of which seem to be films with the same tag: "She's great, the film ain't."

We'll know early in the evening if it feels like Meryl Streep's homecoming. Then again, I doubt that an evening could feel like it's going to rally around Viola Davis because she's so constantly poised, articulate, and somehow guarded. I forget where I read this but Viola Davis always plays individuals who are defined by their occupations. Her characters are always possessed by their roles, right down to the way that her duties as a capital-M Mother in Doubt.

Whatever possible spoiler status Michelle Williams had seems like a memory at this point. It's between Meryl Streep and Viola Davis...who are friends. I can't really see Davis not winning. Every handicap works in her favor. Her role is small. Yes, but every scene is an emotional speech, and she gets the last one in the film. Meryl Streep won the BAFTA. Yes, but she did so playing Margaret Thatcher! All Viola Davis needed to do in my mind was win the SAG, and she did. She's going to win.

Of the films that I've seen this year, I'd say that Glenn Close gives the worst performance. Not entirely her fault but there it is. Until I watch My Week with Marilyn and The Iron Lady (and schedule that one root canal I've been meaning to get to), Rooney Mara is my choice.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Jefforey Smith » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:58 pm

No doubt, the most contentious race. Initially, I sensed that two-time Tony Award-winning Viola Davis has the sort of legitimate pedigree the Academy would choose to honor. And she was certainly the runner-up to Penelope Cruz (Davis' DOUBT nomination). Yet I now sense Meryl Streep's momentum, especially after her BAFTA win. Too close to call, although the undertow stateside might still be siding with Davis.

Certainly the most competitive race.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:07 am

Reza wrote:
Snick's Guy wrote:The two actresses I wish were in contention are Olsen and Swinton (and omit Mara and Close).


I agree and Swinton would have been my choice for the win. However, the race is between Davis and Streep and I'm having a hard time zeroing in on a guess as to who will win as it is such a close race between the two. I have yet to see Williams as Marilyn.


I just got back from watching My Week With Marilyn and Michelle Williams is very good in it. I went it with low expectations and have never been a fan of Monroe in the first place. It is more then 20 years since I have even watched anything from Monroe's filmography. I think part of Williams success in the role is that she plays Marilyn first and foremost as a person, rather then the 'Marilyn Monroe' we know from films, though there is some of that there too.

The film was a pleasant surprise and I really should not have been surprised that Williams would pull it off because she has been impressing me since I first saw her in Dick.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Reza » Thu Feb 16, 2012 7:26 am

Snick's Guy wrote:The two actresses I wish were in contention are Olsen and Swinton (and omit Mara and Close).


I agree and Swinton would have been my choice for the win. However, the race is between Davis and Streep and I'm having a hard time zeroing in on a guess as to who will win as it is such a close race between the two. I have yet to see Williams as Marilyn.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:02 am

Certainly a very close raise here between Viola Davis and Meryl Streep. I'm inclined to lean towards a Davis' victory for a number of reasons: the popularity of her film, a possible historic moment in Oscar history with both lead and supporting actress going to Afro-American actresses, despite being a very fine actress Viola Davis may never get another opportunity to compete for an Oscar again given low number of good roles for Afro-American actresses (she is after all only the seconded colored actress to receive two Oscar nominations).

On the other hand Streep will continue to have opportunities for a third Oscar. Personally I thought Streep did an outstanding job of impersonating Thatcher, but that was all she could do with a very shallow and skimpy screenplay.

I haven't watched an Oscar broadcast in over 20 years but I'm encouraged this year by some of the potential victories. A victory by Streep will have me turning off the television and heading off to the gym. Needless to say my personal choice of the 4 (haven't seen Williams - I'll be seeing the Marilyn film tonight) is Viola Davis.

Just one more thing. What does Tilda Swinton have to do to get a leading nomination. She has been outstanding in a couple of lead roles over the last few years (Julia, I Am Love, We Need To Talk About Kevin). It's particularly galling this year when adequate Rooney Mara gets a nomination for a recent remake of a better Swedish film with a better lead performance that was ignored. I suspect the Academy find Swinton's choices 'troubling', and in particular, Kevin.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Snick's Guy » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:08 pm

The two actresses I wish were in contention are Olsen and Swinton (and omit Mara and Close). I also thought that Davis was in the lead until the past few weeks. I think Streep is going to eek out a very popular win here, and very well-deserved!

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 15, 2012 8:44 pm

If this were based on performance alone, Streep would win it hands down but with politics and popularity added to the mix, it could be either her or Davis. A week ago I was ready to concede it to Davis who has the momentum, but now I'm beginning to think it might be Streep after all. One thing's for sure, it will be one or the otehr.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby bizarre » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:27 pm

I always enjoy visiting old threads and seeing the lists of those who were in the running for a nomination but fell short of the final five - so I'll do it here. Closest to a nomination were probably Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin, Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene, Charlize Theron in Young Adult, Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids, Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia and Felicity Jones in Like Crazy.

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Categories One-by-One: Actress

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:19 pm

The nominees:

Glenn Close - Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis - The Help
Rooney Mara - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep - The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn

It says alot about what a year it was for lead actresses that not one of these nominees is undeserving -- their films may be seriously lacking, but each one of these performances rate the mention -- yet many of us would choose someone not on the list as our favorite on the year. Time and financial limitations have forced me to do triage this season -- mostly limiting myself to actual nominees -- but even I can cite Elizabeth Olsen as someone I'd vote for over the actual nominees. Others would no doubt make arguments for Tilda Swinton, Kirsten Dunst or Charlize Theron. That adds up to almost enough for two full slates, either of which would easily surpass the group from 2005 or 2009. Keep that in mind the next time we have a weak year for actresses, and people start moaning there are never any roles for actresses.

As to the actual nominees:

I'd thought, sight unseen, Glenn Close was getting in on pre-season buzz alone. But I found her performance affecting, even if it's not the blockbuster, Finally-an-Oscar-for-Glenn! work for which Oscar mavens had hoped upfront. She's a worthy contender, but the film is too small for her to actively contend.

Rooney Mara is solid in a role that we've now seen enacted twice. But she's a newbie, in a commercial-not-serious film, and she has pretty much no shot.

Michelle Williams is the conundrum of the season: very accomplished and very highly praised -- winner of the plurality of those minor-league critics' groups I hate so much -- but she never seemed more than a second-tier thought once the final-stretch awards began. She's certainly set up for a win in the near future, but she appears to be out of this race.

Barring major upset, the competition seems down to Meryl Streep and Viola Davis, which is as close to an apples/oranges choice as we've seen in a long time. Streep is, technically, pretty close to phenomenal in those dementia scenes -- she reminds us of just how proficient a technician she is, and probably also evokes the "isn't it time Streep won again" vibe, which is significant for her at this point.

Viola Davis' appeal is more direct: she flat-out emotionally grabs people, dragging a thoroughly middle-brow soap opera into territory that somehow means more, by sheer force of her presence. Sentiment would seem to be on her side, as well as her film's popularity.

I think a good many Academy members, if asked, would say they'd love to see a tie here -- but, of course, while the wish for a tie is emotional, the fact of a tie would have to be coldly mathematical. Likely, someone triumhps outright, if only by a little, and my instinct says it's Viola Davis. But this is one envelope I'm genuinely looking foward to having opened.


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