Categories One-by-One: Best Actress

ITALIANO
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Postby ITALIANO » Sun Feb 27, 2011 12:24 pm

One last thing. In case - it won't happen, but JUST in case - Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress, it's not, as that drag queens says on her board, because of a split between Portman and Bening (what do these two have in common to talk about a split?!).

It's more simple: the one from the "fifth slot" Best Picture nominee wins. And it will be Portman or Bening or, less probably, Lawrence.




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Postby rudeboy » Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:24 am

Nice to have an Oscar year where only one of the acting frontrunners seems assured of a win. While its still very possible that Portman/Bale/Leo will all come out on top, at least there's a little suspense to enjoy. I can absolutely see Bening taking this, whatever the media have decided (I haven't been following the American press, but the Brit media have pretty much called it for Portman).

Would like to have seen Steinfeld here where she belongs - and in a tight race I wouldn't have counted her out - and would rather see Julianne Moore here than Annette, but if its truly down to Bening-Portman, I'd go with Bening any day.

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Postby mashari » Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:09 pm

I agree that it's one of the strongest line-ups in years and I also agree that a big factor to come into play will ultimately be how much BS & Kids are liked . Annette's getting a lot of last-minute love in the community and her film most likely would have made the final cut over the more strange than good BS. If she does miss out you do have to wonder what the heck this woman has to do to win an Oscar? (Too bad Mother & Child went completely unnoticed).

On the other hand, Natalie had considerably more screen time and played such a vital role in BS' success. This helped Marion Cotillard edge out Julie Christie a few years ago. Here we are in another tight race, but something tells me some voters will grow wary of the hot babe factor and throw a bone to the older, respected vet like they did in 2000 in the BSA category. I'm sticking with Annette.
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Postby Sabin » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:20 pm

Great lineup. We can't expect the Academy to honor Birgit Minichmayr, Hye-ja Kim, or Giovanna Mezzogiorno...or be able to. I'll take these five over anyone last year.
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Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:17 pm

To start, let me agree with flipp on two counts. I'm astonished anyone could dismiss this year's line-up, which consists of five fully-qualified/no-filler performances, and didn't have room for Julianne Moore or a properly-placed Hailee Steinfeld (not to mention any of the non-English-speakers, who would only have had a prayer of nomination in a lackluster year). I think this is the strongest slate since '06, and my impression is that's a fairly widespread opinion.

Second, I, too, would be voting for Jennifer Lawrence. Which leaves me as a somewhat detached observer of the main event between Portman and Bening.

No doubt, Portman's glide through the TV phase of the season makes her appear invulnerable (and causes most to forget she won not a single serious critics' prize). I can't fault anyone for thinking she's a shoo-in.

But, two things:

First: Black Swan did so surprisingly well in the prelim nominations (Broadcast, Globes, SAG) that most haven't focused on how relatively disappointing its Oscar haul was. Cinematography and editing were good gets, but costumes, make-up, screenplay and supporting actress seemed well within range until nominations day. Dave Karger's been flogging it hard, but it's worth noting: Black Swan's disappointing five nods is only one more than The Kids Are All Right. And it's possible the ten-nomination field prevents our seeing an even worse-for-Portman omen. Black Swan, with all the nods it missed, seems a classic lone-director candidate. Suppose, in a pre-'09 set-up, it had missed best picture, and The Kids Are All Right had nailed the spot; we'd see things very differently, wouldn't we? Last year, the expanded field tipped us off to Sandra Bullock's film's strength; this year, it may have over-estimated Black Swan's.

Second: though Oscar night can now too often seem merely ratification of what preceding groups have done, there's still a possibility of a unique-to-AMPAS outcome. In '02, The Pianist had enough support for its art and its director to get nominated most places, but only in AMPAS did it have that decisive demographic that continues to obsess over the World War II/Holocaust period. That special sauce turned a film that had been strictly also-ran elsewhere into a shockingly successful winner at AMPAS.

For Annette Bening, her long-time Hollywood presence is the special sauce. It, combined with her three previous nominations, could manage among 6000 voters something it couldn't among the scattered multi-thousands of SAG or the small coteries of BAFTA or BFCA. I'm not saying it's the way to bet. I'm just saying there's a way it could happen.

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Postby criddic3 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:01 pm

I only missed the Kidman performance in this category. Portman is very strong. I like Annette Bening, and she was good in her movie, but I felt a stronger connection to her character in Mother & Child. Michelle Williams was really fine, but her film is too small and probably can't get the votes. Lawrence is young and, if she chooses the right roles, could be nominated again someday. Think it goes to Portman. The only way Bening wins is on the "she's due" bandwagon, which could happen.
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Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:05 am

OscarGuy wrote:I have rarely seen anyone who praises Natalie Portman who hated her film.

I've actually come across quite a few people who didn't like Black Swan but at least respected what Natalie Portman gave to the role.

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Postby flipp525 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:43 am

Precious Doll wrote:Urgh! The limpest line up of the acting categories and the second worst line up ever behind 2005.

Limp? I think it's a rather strong line-up.

From what I've heard, Williams and Kidman turn in solid work (I have yet to see their respective films). Natalie Portman commits herself wholeheartedly to the character of Nina Sayres so much so that, even if you truly deplore what Black Swan is doing (or trying to do), you can't really fault her for giving it the full treatment. Annette Bening is at the top of her game in The Kids Are All Right and kills the scenes at Ruffalo's house. Besides her actual performance, she could get in on career points or the fact that her speech will be a highlight of the night.

In my mind, though, Jennifer Lawrence ought to be soaring right above this crew with a performance that feels so lived-in, so naturalistic, I can hardly even call it acting. There are simply no strings to her work in Winter's Bone and when you finally arrive at the devastating scene in the boat (that, my friends, is an Oscar clip), the true weight of her character's entire life is telegraphed in one piercing scream. What a great spoiler her surprise win would be.




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Postby dreaMaker » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:53 am

I really loved Black Swan, but Annete Bening deserves her Oscar more than Natalie.

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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:45 am

Then there are those who aren't crazy about either film who may vote for one of the other nominees or go with Bening on career points. Portman is clearly the front-runner, but she doesn't have it in the bag.

It will be interesting to see if this ends up another give it to the prettiest girl in the group kind of night and how the media plays it if she doesn't win.

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Postby OscarGuy » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:18 am

This honestly comes down to the question "Do you like Black Swan or not". I have rarely seen anyone who praises Natalie Portman who hated her film. Black Swan is so integrally tied to Natalie Portman's performance, that it almost seems like anyone who didn't like Black Swan, didn't like Natalie Portman and there's no middle ground whereas with Bening, you have people who like the movie but not her performance.

The secondary question is, which is better respected Black Swan or Kids Are All Right. This is the only category either film has a chance of earning its only reward. So, take the Black Swan supporters and pit them against the Kids Are All Right supporters and you have your race.
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Postby Precious Doll » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:05 am

Urgh! The limpest line up of the acting categories and the second worst line up ever behind 2005.
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Postby Big Magilla » Thu Feb 24, 2011 1:02 am

I was not impressed with Black Swan though I thought Portman did well enough with what she had to work with and was generally deserving of a nomination, but not a win.

I am not one of those who believe that Bening is due. She's done well enough in her career that she doesn't need an Oscar to prove anything. If she wants to look at one she can look at her husband's. I do think, however, that she deserves to win for creating the most real character in the category this year. Although it's not a consideration, and shouldn't be, I also think she's capable of giving a thoughtful, maybe even provocative acceptance speech, unlike Portman who will only bore us once again by reminding us that's she been acting she she was 14 and is pregnant by her film's choreographer, now her finance, who wouldn't sleep with her in the film, but obviously did in real life. Or if for some reason she doesn't show up, we can count on Darren Aronofsky to smirkingly tell us once again that he is responsible for her being knocked up without actually knocking her up.

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Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:22 am

I guess one could definitely argue that Bening is due and is Hollywood royalty but I think Natalie Portman's way too far ahead for that to happen. It's still possible but not likely.

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Postby anonymous1980 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 12:20 am

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine


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