Friday, February 19, 2010

Best Actress: 2010 Oscar Preview

Note from Luke: This post was written by Bighead, resident film guru at Common Vents. Check out his other Oscar preview posts using the links below.

[Top 10 Snubs]
[Supporting Actress]
[Supporting Actor]

5. Gabourey Sidibe - Precious

As I've mentioned before, everybody is loving Precious except for me so this nomination was pretty much guaranteed for Gabourey Sidibe. (SPOILER ALERT) She plays the overweight, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her father's second child and the punchline of the movie is that she has AIDS. I don't know what a good performance is in that type of plot line.

Did I feel bad for her? Yes. Was it difficult to watch? Yes. Did I like it when people such as her teacher were actually nice to her? Of course. But I'm pretty sure I would have felt the same way if a broom played the part. I'm not saying that because Sidibe is a horrible actress. She's not. But the content just made her performance seem secondary.

Personally, I wouldn't have given her the nod for Best Actress, but her road to the Oscars has been a nice story and I hope she has a blast on the red carpet. But that's likely the most she's going to get.

4. Helen Mirren - The Last Station

The Last Station was the movie I knew the least about going into the Oscar buzz, but I really enjoyed the film. One of the main reasons was Helen Mirren.

She plays Sofya Tolstoy, the wife of War and Peace author Leo Tolstoy (Christopher Plummer, nominated for Best Supporting Actor) and complements his mundane approach to perfection. Somehow she was able hate him more than anything in her life while still being completely in love with him.

This is Mirren's fourth nomination (she won the Best Actress Oscar three years ago for The Queen), so obviously, she can act. But Best Actress is probably the most competitive acting category this year so she's won't be a two-time winner in 2010. She was great in The Last Station, but this year there's a better British performance and also a better veteran actress performance, so Helen is out.

Side note: She's really hot for 64.

3. Carey Mulligan - An Education

The next three names on my list have been swapped back and forth so many times that I've lost count. I had Carey Mulligan bringing home Oscar the entire week before I wrote this, and I'm glad she's getting all of the recognition, but I'm sad to say I copped out by playing the "she'll get her chance later in life" card. I'm mad at myself. But if I had to pick one person that I would most enjoy seeing Oscar with when the night is over, it'd be her.

Shia LaBeouf is a lucky man. I'm pretty sure if any British woman showed any interest in me whatsoever, I'd marry her on the spot. I just get mesmerized for some reason. I may need professional help to stop this feeling. I'll run down the list of British women who could have complete control over me if they wanted:
  1. Carey Mulligan
  2. Rachel Weisz
  3. Kristin Scott Thomas
  4. Kate Beckinsale
  5. Emily Blunt
  6. Kate Winslet
  7. Helena Bonham Carter
The list is way, way longer but we need to move on.

Mulligan is one of the hot new things in Hollywood and her performance in An Education has been getting very worthy hype since it premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah last year. And although she was indeed amazing in it, any awards she is given should have an "Assisted by Peter Sarsgaard" sign on it. To see why, keep your eyes peeled for my Best Picture preview.

2. Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

Julie & Julia was boring, predictable and altogether stupid...and then Meryl Streep came on screen. She's the best.

The memories I have of Julia Child are watching her on TV and barely moving while I stayed home sick from elementary school. She would kind of just stand there and make comments while some more mobile cook actually did the work. However, that was her in the later part of her life so let's just say I was pleasantly surprised at Streep's energy and charisma while she cooked, ate, and talked... and talked...and talked. When she and Stanley Tucci were on screen I had a smile on my face that wouldn't go away. Even though she may very well walk away with her third Oscar, I copped out again by playing the "she's had her statue. give it to somebody else" card. I'm mad at myself again.

FUN FACT ALERT: This is Meryl Streep's 16th Oscar nomination. Let me put this accomplishment in perspective for you. Including their nominations for this year, the nine other women nominated for Oscars in 2010 (Best Supporting Actress, Best Actress) have 14 combined career nominations, which happens to be TWO LESS THAN MERYL STREEP. Between nine people. Three of the best male actors of all time, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington and Robert DeNiro, have 16 combined nominations, tying Meryl. Oh, and this is her third nomination in the last four years, so she's not really showing signs of slowing down. She's pretty good at what she does. And because she's really down to earth and totally badass, she'd be the first to say that she also has the most losses in history.

Watch Streep in Doubt (in which she got a nomination for last year) and then watch her in Julie & Julia and see the very noticeable range she has.

1. Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side

I really want the Oscar and Razzie for Best/Worst Actress to go to the same person this year. Sandra is nominated for each.

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis was a book that had Michael Oher as its protagonist. I don't know if the movie script was originally written as it turned out on screen, but the film did not center on Michael Oher. It was about Leigh Anne Tuohy saving Michael Oher, and Sandra Bullock owned the screen the whole time. Something that I initially figured would be, at best, a nice, feel-good summer movie now has its lead actress as the front-runner for this year's Oscars.

Bullock and Streep have swapped every award this year (they even tied at the Critics' Choice Awards with a very memorable lip lock to seal the deal) and this one is still up in the air. I'm just picturing most Academy members who are on the fence saying "Meryl Streep has two Oscars. She gets nominated every year so we'll probably give her another chance next year anyway. She doesn't need it. Sandra Bullock may never be nominated again." So my guess is that we'll hear: "And the Oscar goes too...Sandra Bullock!"

She is known for making C-minus romantic comedies, so to see her take control and capture a real life character so well was a breath of fresh air, and she deserves the Oscar for her surprising, uplifting performance.

The Oscars are March 7th, but until then, watch for more of my previews. Peace.



    I pooped my pants when Meryl said that in Doubt. So scary.

  2. her first line of the movie... i sat up straight right after she said that

  3. Thanks, Bighead. The last two movies are the only ones of the five which I've seen (I guess I don't get out much!) and I agree with your assessment. Sandra Bullock owned "The Blindside". Meryl Streep was very good in Julie & Julia (Amy Adams was really whiny,) but she was less than half that movie. Maybe if Streep were up for a Supporting Actress nod, she'd get that?

    14 days til Oscar night.