Categories One-by-One: Best Actress

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Sabin
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Best Actress

Postby Sabin » Tue Feb 18, 2014 7:35 pm

It'd be far too much to demand a nomination for Suzanne Clement in Laurence Anyways, but Julie Delpy for Before Midnight, Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Color (or as I've taken to calling it in front of my lesbian lawyer, Blue is the Warmest Scissor), and Greta Gerwig for Frances Ha seemed on the cusp of a nomination were these damn mainstays not in their way. Given a fifth nominee this year (with much left to see) I'd teeter between Amy Acker in Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing (one of my favorite Beatrice's ever, and the only part of the film that truly works) or Amy Seimetz for Upstream Color. Or perhaps Lake Bell, such a charming rom com headliner in In a World... . Or maybe Brie Larson in Short Term 12, though her part lets her a bit down. Or Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now. Or had Catherine Keener flopped roles with Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said, for sure Catherine Keener.

If you were to ask me what Sandra Bullock and Judi Dench both have in common a few years ago, I wouldn't have a clue. Now it's that they both poorly anchor the films they headline. I've yet to see Mrs. Henderson Presents but right now Philomena is easily my least favorite Judi Dench nominated performance. I have yet to see Meryl Streep in August, Osage County and that will likely remain. I've eased to the notion of Cate Blanchett winning the Oscar for her ridiculous part in Blue Jasmine because half of her performance is quite good and because it's not like it's her choice. It's a terribly written and directed role. At her best, she evokes Judy Davis, Faye Dunaway, and Gena Rowlands, but at her worst she evokes the parts of them I dislike. To separate Blue Jasmine from Cate Blanchett is impossible to think about it. It's a watchably silly film and I actually rather enjoyed it. So, give her another Oscar.

Amy Adams for me is the only clear choice of this group. In a big dress up movie, Adams' character takes her role-playing very seriously. If it seems that she takes it too seriously, it's because her dancing partner (Christian Bale) is no Fred Astaire and it makes her seem all the more brittle. Adams winning a wholly unexpected Oscar would be one of the highlights of the night.
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Re: Categories One-by-One: Best Actress

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Feb 18, 2014 11:45 am

FilmFan720 wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:Worth noting: she will have two Oscars, courtesy of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen -- the two directors who've racked up the most actor-nominations and actor-wins in their era. Should DiCaprio win for Wolf, it'd be the 6th actor to win under Scorsese; Blanchett's win will be the 7th guided by Woody -- only one behind Elia Kazan for second place all time.


Actually two behind Kazan, who directed 9 winning performances. And don't forget Clint Eastwood, who like Scorsese has directed 5 Oscar-winning performances.

As for nominations, Scorsese has directed 22 nominated peformances, third all-time and the most of his generation. Woody has 18, but is tied with contemporaries Sidney Lumet and Mike Nichols.

I could hem and haw and say I viewed Lumet & Nichols as of a different era, given their decade head-start -- but the reality is, I relied on memory, which is more hazardous than ever lately. I also forgot Celeste Holm under Kazan.

Eastwood's five is really impressive, since it's from only 12 total nominations (at least aqccording to my IMDB math).

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Best Actress

Postby Okri » Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:27 pm

Indeed, this line-up is more interesting for Tee's "Who'll Be Back" Survey more than for the race itself, but there were so many narratives at play this year that they didn't come to fruition is almost disappointing. Adams being the sole non-winner; Streep + Weinstein + epic bait; Dench with her sympathy story... even Bullock's confirmation of respect.

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Re: Categories One-by-One: Best Actress

Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:35 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Worth noting: she will have two Oscars, courtesy of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen -- the two directors who've racked up the most actor-nominations and actor-wins in their era. Should DiCaprio win for Wolf, it'd be the 6th actor to win under Scorsese; Blanchett's win will be the 7th guided by Woody -- only one behind Elia Kazan for second place all time.


Actually two behind Kazan, who directed 9 winning performances. And don't forget Clint Eastwood, who like Scorsese has directed 5 Oscar-winning performances.

As for nominations, Scorsese has directed 22 nominated peformances, third all-time and the most of his generation. Woody has 18, but is tied with contemporaries Sidney Lumet and Mike Nichols.
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Categories One-by-One: Best Actress

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:07 pm

Let's give this one the two minutes of thought it deserves. The nominees for the surest Oscar race this side of visual effects are:

Amy Adams, American Hustle
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

Amy Adams is simply angling for her annual spot in my Who'll Be Back? survey. Yeah, she's the only non-winner in the group. Doesn't help a bit.

If Sandra Bullock hadn't won four years ago, she might have had a narrative of roughly "we love her/she makes us a ton of movie/she'll never be better than this/she carries the movie and the movie's a smash" Which might have made things interesting.

If Meryl Streep hadn't had her somewhat unexpected win two years ago, the pressure to award her now, for such a Tony-pedigreed role, might have been fierce, especially in Harvey's hands. It's even possible some of the more impressionable critic-bloggers might have been persuaded to rate the performance more highly than they have (I know: shocking such things might happen). It could have been a race.

As for Judi Dench...I suppose there are others, like our Magilla, who deeply desire a Dench win in lead, and this sentimental offering might have been a big enough vehicle...in a year without a nearly-unanimously praised performance.

Unfortunately for all of the above, there WAS such a performance this year -- one that leaped out in front pretty much from the moment the trade reviews first appeared. Cate Blanchett's performance of course has detractors -- nothing gets unanimity in our hyper-connected world. But she's achieved a higher level of consensus than I can remember since, I guess, Mirren in The Queen. She wins by acclamation.

Worth noting: she will have two Oscars, courtesy of Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen -- the two directors who've racked up the most actor-nominations and actor-wins in their era. Should DiCaprio win for Wolf, it'd be the 6th actor to win under Scorsese; Blanchett's win will be the 7th guided by Woody -- only one behind Elia Kazan for second place all time.


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