Best Actress 2014

Who was the best actress of 2014?

Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night
10
38%
Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything
0
No votes
Julianne Moore in Still Alice
11
42%
Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl
4
15%
Reese Witherspoon in Wild
1
4%
 
Total votes: 26

mojoe92
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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby mojoe92 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:46 pm

My my have I missed this. As it has been over a year since my last posting into this outing of great debate. Let's get into this shall we?

Best Actress line up of 2014 is by far the WORST lineup for this category ever. And in my opinion the worst line up of any year ever for any category. This years ceremony and celebration was dull throughout the entire season and gave nominations to one of the worst years of film ever.

Let's get this straight, Julianne Moore did not win best performance but a career Oscar. If the Academy were to nominate a performance of hers for 2014 that was truly great it would have been for Maps to the Stars. Also if they really wanted to award her the gold for a great performance they would have back in 2002 for Far From Heaven. While Moore is not the worst in the category, she definitely isn't the best.

Marion Cotillard- Hands down the best performance in the bunch, while I don't think her turn as Edith Piaf was award win worthy, she truly showed me why she did win back in 2007 with her haunting and real life performance here. I truly felt connected and touched by her as Sandra. I also thought she had the best shot to win as her nomination was such a surprise ( she wasn't even campaigning for this film, she was campaigning for The Immigrant) so the shock of her nomination I was certain was a lock for the win, and boy, what a surprise that would have been

Felicity Jones- What a crap nomination. Filler doesn't even work as the right word for this. The Theory of Everything like Boyhood were two of the worst films of 2014. Neither deserved nominations unless it was razzies. Worst of the bunch

Rosamund Pike- Another nomination for an unworthy performance. While Gone Girl did boast two great performances, neither were from Pike. Pike was HORRIBLY miscast. The quaker accent for modern america was truly distracting. Rooney Mara was the original choice for the character and like the mistake of Zero Dark Thirty, would have been the better option

Reese Witherspoon- The second best performance of the bunch behind Marion. Raw with emotion and truly great. While bored at some times and with the actual character development I was kept intrigued by her relation to her mother and Reese came back to the Academy a woman scorned.

Who Should Have Won?- Marion Cotillard

Who Should Have Been Nominated?
Leslie Mann- The Other Woman
Melissa McCarthy- St. Vincent
Jessica Chastain- A Most Violent Year
Rinko Kukuchi- Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
Sally Kirkland- Archaeology of a Woman

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Mar 07, 2015 9:54 am

Reese Witherspoon is OK if somewhat miscast in Wild, but I think she would have been better in Gone Girl which she co-produced and was originally set to star in. I think she would have brought nuances to the role that Rosamund Pike lacked. I never for a moment bought Pike as anything other than what she ended up being and I hadn't read the novel. Witherspoon, on the other hand, I suspect would have kept me guessing.

Felicity Jones had basically a thankless role as the dutiful wife of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne). I found her supposedly chaste scenes with Charlie Cox as the choir director to have more heat and passion than any of her scenes with Redmayne. Maybe that was the point. Maybe she was trying to convey something that wasn't in the script. Or maybe she (Jones, not her character) was more attracted to Cox than Redmayne. In any event, I didn't think she was one of the year's top five any more than Pike was.

I can't say that Hilary Swank was robbed, considering she already has two Oscars and we could all name at least a dozen former winners and non-winners who deserve two Oscars more, but her performance in The Homesman is so astonishingly good that it should have gotten her another shot at the gold.

Amy Adams has five Oscar nominations for essentially also-ran performances so I can't say she was robbed either, but she was better in Big Eyes than she was in some of her nominated work and certainly better than Rosamund Pike.

In the end, though, it comes down to Cotillard and Moore. Cotillard won my own award because she never won before whereas Moore had. With the Oscars it's the reverse, so in this poll I vote for Moore.

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:57 am

For me 2014 is one of the best ever years of Best Actress candidates.

However, this is partly due to the fact that I don't go by American release dates but prefer to use first general release world release date (usually the country or origin but there have been exceptions where a film as received a general in another country then from it's country of origin).

My top five were:

Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Isabelle Huppert (Abuse of Weakness)
Julianne Moore (Maps to the Stars)
Sarah Snook (Predestination)
Keira Knightley (Begin Again)

Also of major note and worthy of top five inclusion were:

Desiree Akhaven (Appropriate Behaviour)
Essie Davis (The Babadook)
Anne Dorval (Mommy)
Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin)
Sarit Larry (The Kindergarten Teacher)
Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Birte Schroeink (Amour Fou)

And two youngsters:

Anna Lou Castoldi (Misunderstood)
Lea van Acken (Stations of the Cross)

There is also Del Hebert-Jane in 52 Tuesdays who from what I understand Del does not consider him/herself to be either male or female so Del is in limbo where categories broken into the sexes comes into play. You will need to see 52 Tuesdays to appreciate Del's point of view on this.

As for the actual nominees with the exception of Felicity Jones the other four nominees are great to respectable choices by the Academy.

Though Moore's performance in Still Alice was not in my final five for the year it was a very deserving win in it's own right and I don't view it in any way as a career award. She was magnificent in a year of a large number of great lead female performances and most definitely award worthy.

Needles to say I voted for Pike in this poll but if I way an Academy member I would have given serious consideration to Moore.
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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby Sabin » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:40 am

Haven't seen Wild but I'm voting anyway. I don't feel passionately about Julianne Moore or Rosamund Pike. The latter may not overcome the ridiculous plot twists of Gone Girl but her role in Gone Girl is incredibly difficult and she's more than up to the task. I've enjoyed her for years and I've already voted for Julianne Moore.
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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby dws1982 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:33 pm

Part of me wants to vote for Jones out of protest, who I think does quote a lot with her role, and is mainly hampered by the fact that the movie doesn't care much about her. She's an anchor, in a thankless role, and I hope she gets some roles that showcase her better in the future. I certainly preferred her to Witherspoon, whose character is an insufferable egomaniac that Witherspoon never humanizes, and Pike, who can't get beyond the ridiculous plot twists she has to sell.

So between Moore and Cotillard, I go with Cotillard. I like both performances a great deal, letting the fact that Cotillard's film is (much much much) better than Moore's serve as the tiebreaker.

I don't know that I've even got a satisfactory list of five I could come up with. Still have several films left to see though, including several that have prominent female roles.

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:42 am

The Original BJ wrote:
CalWilliam wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:CalWilliam, could the word your looking for be "smug" or "entitled"? Not that I agree, but it seems that that is what you are trying to say.


Thank you, Big Magilla. Smug fits perfectly. Don't misunderstand me. I like Reese work, she's a perfectly competent actress, with two performances I really like I mentioned above, but yeah, she's smug, though she's entitled for this nomination.


Maybe it's just because I have a different take on the performance -- I like her work here a lot and think she absolutely merited a nomination -- but I can't say I entirely understand your criticism. Is it just because she also produced the project that makes it seem like some sort of Oscar desperation bid? I mean, all actors are looking for great roles, for vehicles that will allow them to showcase their abilities. Those who are lucky enough to reach the fame level of Witherspoon have the option to develop projects for themselves to star in, and I see no reason why someone in her position wouldn't want to play this kind of role, that would allow her to really shine as a performer. I just feel like it's not really fair to hold actors to some kind of standard of selflessness -- is it such a character flaw that she would want a great part that could bring her acclaim if she performed it well?


Yes, maybe it is because she's the producer also, and no, it's not such a character flaw her desiring to be in the conversation again. At least she does more things on her own than other Oscar winners like Nicole Kidman or Charlize Theron, who seem to be less ambitious nowadays. Nevertheless, it's interesting how Reese fought for Gone Girl too this year (she's a producer also) and David Fincher openly told her that she wouldn't play Amy Dunne. And she appears in Inherent Vice as well. Smug or not, she's clever, and I think she wants to be much more respected than other colleagues.
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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:55 pm

CalWilliam wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:CalWilliam, could the word your looking for be "smug" or "entitled"? Not that I agree, but it seems that that is what you are trying to say.


Thank you, Big Magilla. Smug fits perfectly. Don't misunderstand me. I like Reese work, she's a perfectly competent actress, with two performances I really like I mentioned above, but yeah, she's smug, though she's entitled for this nomination.


Maybe it's just because I have a different take on the performance -- I like her work here a lot and think she absolutely merited a nomination -- but I can't say I entirely understand your criticism. Is it just because she also produced the project that makes it seem like some sort of Oscar desperation bid? I mean, all actors are looking for great roles, for vehicles that will allow them to showcase their abilities. Those who are lucky enough to reach the fame level of Witherspoon have the option to develop projects for themselves to star in, and I see no reason why someone in her position wouldn't want to play this kind of role, that would allow her to really shine as a performer. I just feel like it's not really fair to hold actors to some kind of standard of selflessness -- is it such a character flaw that she would want a great part that could bring her acclaim if she performed it well?

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:18 pm

Big Magilla wrote:CalWilliam, could the word your looking for be "smug" or "entitled"? Not that I agree, but it seems that that is what you are trying to say.


Thank you, Big Magilla. Smug fits perfectly. Don't misunderstand me. I like Reese work, she's a perfectly competent actress, with two performances I really like I mentioned above, but yeah, she's smug, though she's entitled for this nomination.
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light". - Dylan Thomas

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Mar 04, 2015 6:23 pm

CalWilliam, could the word your looking for be "smug" or "entitled"? Not that I agree, but it seems that that is what you are trying to say.

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:25 pm

[quote="The Original BJ]

I'm not sure what the comment about this being a "selfish" performance means, especially because what I liked most about the performance was her generosity to her scene partners, the way she radiates a very humane sense of kindness to the people she meets along the way, while not shying away from Cheryl's deep immaturity and imperfections. Not a grand acting showcase, but perfectly respectable work.[/quote]

Yes, her character is not selfish, but I have the feeling Reese was desperate for a new Oscar nomination. I have even checked the meaning of selfish in order to know if I was right writing that word (problems of writing not in your own language), and my feeling is that Wild is just a very strong vehicle for Reese to obtain that desired distinction again. It's subjective. When I saw Wild I could see Reese thinking all the time: "Look what I'm able to do!", or that "Do yo know who are you talking to?" altercation she had with the police. That's what I intended to mean with "a selfish performance". She adores Hollywood and she adores being adored. That doesn't have anything to do with acting, I know, but her performance is not that good anyway.
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light". - Dylan Thomas

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:01 pm

For all the talk about how this was a weak year for actresses, I think what voters came up with here amounts to a pretty solid list. I'd pitch Agata Kulesza as alternate -- I could see an argument for support, but I don't think she'd be out of place in lead either.

No need to keep beating up on Felicity Jones, but I find her a boring presence in a role that basically amounted to Eddie Redmayne's sidekick.

Rosamund Pike's cool, calculating femme fatale really commands the screen throughout much of Gone Girl, juggling a lot of different identities along the way with intrigue and intelligence. I think her character is the one most let down by the script, though -- in the last reel, the movie really just goes into ludicrous land, and it became difficult for me to reconcile her actions at the end with much of what had come before.

Witherspoon is a very solid center to Wild, and the movie marked a nice return to form for her. I'm not sure what the comment about this being a "selfish" performance means, especially because what I liked most about the performance was her generosity to her scene partners, the way she radiates a very humane sense of kindness to the people she meets along the way, while not shying away from Cheryl's deep immaturity and imperfections. Not a grand acting showcase, but perfectly respectable work.

Marion Cotillard's nomination was one of the classiest of the morning, and in praising her work, I have to disagree a bit with what Sabin wrote in his review. I was most impressed by the way such a familiar face (and a very beautiful one at that) fit in so well with the Dardennes' rough-and-tumble working-class milieu. I didn't really see "international star" here, I saw an actress fully immersing herself in her character's struggle in a manner that felt almost effortlessly natural. It's easy to see why so many critics went for her, and why she has gotten so many votes here.

But I was obviously rooting pretty heavily for Julianne Moore, and it wasn't just on career points. I think Still Alice is a completely impressive entry in her career, for all of the reasons I cited in my review of the movie. She has one stellar scene after another, and brings to the role both the great technical facility that has marked much of her more stylized work like Far From Heaven or Safe along with the deep emotionalism that made something like The End of the Affair so heartfelt. I've already voted for her twice, but I think she's just undeniable this year as well.

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby mlrg » Tue Mar 03, 2015 3:38 pm

Whiterspoon

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Re: Best Actress 2014

Postby CalWilliam » Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:56 pm

Not many things to say here.

Felicity Jones does her job, that means, she does what she has to do. What an overrated performance.

Rosamund Pike may be pleased. The Academy hated her movie but she was rescued anyway, though this is not a memorable villain, but an enough charismatic one that may wake some sympathies. As I see it, her performance seems less than it actually is (Ben Affleck's inability to act works as a contagion to everyone else), but it's a solid, entertaining turn to watch, and utterly more solid than Gone Girl itself.

I prefer Witherspoon's work in Election and Walk the Like better. She has many things to do in Wild, and she does them well, but this is one of the most selfish performances I've ever seen.

So, this is of course between Marion Cotillard and Julianne Moore, and I easily voted for the former, because she plays a true and believable human being with her eyes and her physical language with no false steps. A really beautiful performance I'm happy to root for, and as a European, I love when great "not in the English language" performances are cited. Besides, she's far better here than in La Vie En Rose. On the other side, as good and dependable as an actress Julianne Moore is, it's fantastic she has finally won an Oscar, but Still Alice is an almost average movie which works as a perfect vehicle for her winning an Academy Award. She's very good, but in spite of playing a true and believable human being, it seems artificial and I cannot quite explain why. Just watch the film and you'll understand. It's just an instinctive feeling. She has won so easily... But in our memory there's Still Far from Heaven.
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Best Actress 2014

Postby Kellens101 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:50 pm

Who was the Best Actress of 2014?


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