Tuesday, 26 October 2010
OSCARS 2010 REPORT #3: BEST ACTRESS
While last year's Best Actress race featured four excellent performances – and Sandra Bullock! - this year has proven to be one of the best for females leads in quite some time. So much so, that there may need to be some category fraud just to honour them all.
ANNETTE BENING/JULIANNE MOORE – THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT*
Both are being campaigned for Lead, a tactic which hasn't succeeded since Thelma and Louise (1991), with neither Sarandon or Davis winning that year. Most believe Bening will get in, and is the slight favourite to win. Here's hoping Moore isn't overlooked as both perfectly portray the film's married couple. Moore in Support, perhaps?
NATALIE PORTMAN – BLACK SWAN
Apparently undergoing 10 months of ballet training before filming, Portman's role, of the ballerina cast as the lead in Swan Lake, in Darren Aronofsky's psychological drama/thriller is said to push the actress to the limits. Think The Wrestler in a tutu!
NICOLE KIDMAN – RABBIT HOLE
Bought at this year's Toronto Film Fest on the proviso it get a 2010 release, Kidman (who is also a producer) is said to give her best performance in years as one half of a couple grieving the loss of their child. Hard to believe it's already eight years since her win for The Hours.
JENNIFER LAWRENCE – WINTER'S BONE*
This little known actress could be the surprise packet of the awards season. Winter's Bone is a film critics adore, and so, too, the performance: a teen girl in a struggle to save her family home with dogged determination. It's not showy or emotive but its quiet power stays with you.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS – BLUE VALENTINE
Said to be one of the most emotionally wrenching films of the year, Williams plays one half (Ryan Gosling the other) of a married couple, one-time high school sweethearts, whose marriage is now falling apart.
HILARY SWANK – CONVICTION
Box office may not be good but mostly good reviews could see Swank (much to the chagrin of Bening) back at the Oscars. It helps that she plays real life mother Betty Anne Waters, who put herself through law school to defend he brother, imprisoned for murder.
LESLEY MANVILLE – ANOTHER YEAR*
Manville could very well go Supporting for her performance which is said to tower over Mike Leigh's film. But given that she is the one everyone is raving about, Lead is also likely.(Note: if she goes Supporting she wins! Nov. 10)
SALLY HAWKINS – MADE IN DAGENHAM*
If the Academy falls for the considerable charms of this film about the fight for women's equal pay, then Hawkins (surprisingly overlooked in 2008 for Mike Leigh's Happy Go Lucky) could sneak in.
Diane Lane (Secretariat), Naomi Watts (Fair Game)* and Tilda Swinton (I Am Love)*, who learnt to speak Italian with a Russian accent for her role, are, methinks, outside long shots at this point.