Let's get right to it. From worst-to-first, here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actress. It should be noted that this order doesn't necessarily reflect who I think will win. It reflects who I think most deserves the Oscar.
5. Penelope Cruz - Nine
I don't want to put Penelope Cruz's Oscar chances at 0%, but I might as well for two reasons. 1) She won Best Supporting Actress last year, and 2) She starred in one of the biggest cinematic disappointments of the year.
Before I saw Nine, I noticed there were 7 Oscar wins and 19 total nominations amongst the cast. Inexplicably, the best casting choice in Nine is Fergie. That should tell you what a disappointment the film is. Fergie did exactly what I was expecting her to do. She sang, danced and looked hot. Perfect casting! I don't want to hear Daniel Day-Lewis sing. I don't want to hear Dame Judi Dench sing. I don't want to hear Penelope Cruz sing. I want to see them act because, get this: they are all actors.
Saying Penelope Cruz was one of the top five supporting actress performances this year is just dumb. And how Marion Cotillard got snubbed (I saw Nine after I made my "Snubbed" list) I'll never know. Cotillard can act AND sing. She belongs in musicals moreso than Penelope Cruz, and she definitely deserved a supporting actress nod above Cruz.
Side note: I really hope Marion performs "Take It All" come Oscar Night. HOT.
4. Vera Farmiga - Up In the Air
Up In the Air was one of my favorite movies of the year and one of the reasons was the banter between George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. She played the powerful CEO/modern woman to perfection and although I probably should have hated her at the end of the movie...I didn't. Very few people, if any, could have played this role as well as she did.
Unfortunately, she's going to be overlooked by the Academy because of somebody else on this list.
3. Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Heart
I either really love Maggie Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Stranger Than Fiction) or really hate her (Mona Lisa Smile, The Dark Knight) so I was as up in the air as George Clooney when it came to her performance in Crazy Heart. I mean, did you SEE her in The Dark Knight? She was even worse than Bale's Batman voice. Watching the scene between Heath Ledger and Maggie when he crashes the party was like watching Michael Jordan vs. Craig Ehlo. Technically they're doing the same thing, but one's just so much better than the other.
But her performance in Crazy Heart was different, and kind of confusing. I think the easiest thing for me to do is break it down in the movie's chronological order.
- Maggie as a reporter: Boring
- Bad Blake creeping on Maggie: Awkward
- Maggie making out with Bad Blake: Creepy
- Maggie with her kid: Realistic
- Maggie when her child is missing: Heart-wrenching
- Maggie mad at Bad: Amazingly powerful
The more I think about it, the more I loved her in this movie. And although I was questioning it at first, this is an extremely well-deserved nomination...but Oscar's not for her this year.
2. Mo'Nique - Precious (Based on the blah blah blah...)
Let's get this out of the way: Mo'Nique is going to win Best Supporting Actress. I know it. Everybody else knows it. But she shouldn't. Everybody is loving Precious: Based On the Novel Push by Sapphire and the Title keeps on Going For No Reason and It Never Fits on the Marquee but I'm not. I liked the last scene she was in and that was it.
The rest of her performance is just her being a bitch, and I don't consider that to be difficult or extraordinary acting. But Mo'Nique has won every award there is, and she will win the Oscar. Any Academy members who were on the fence were most likely swayed in her direction when she gave her speech at the Golden Globes. It was a pretty f-ing awesome speech.
1. Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
This is the best supporting performance of the year, male or female. I'm saying that right now. In this role, Kendrick is powerful, yet unsure of herself. Serious, yet funny. Awkward, yet sexy. Unfortunately, there are three things preventing Anna Kendrick from taking home Oscar:
- She's splitting votes with Vera Farmiga.
- Mo'Nique is very smooth and has the aforementioned momentum.
- Anna Kendrick also stars in the Twilight series, lessening her credibility.
Fortunately for Anna, when the Academy chooses to be kooky with their votes, it's usually for supporting categories so I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.
The Oscars are March 7th, but until then, get ready to read more of my previews. Peace.