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2011 Oscars: Actress

  • Feb 23, 2011
One would think that the lead actress role would be locked up by now, but some people in the industry are seeing a late surge that could change some voters’ minds late in the game. Before that let’s look at the supporting actress category.

Amy Adams, "The Fighter"
Helena Bonham Carter, "The King's Speech"
Melissa Leo, "The Fighter"
Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"
Jacki Weaver, "Animal Kingdom"

First let’s get a couple of these out of the way. The King's Speech is as patriarchal as you can get. This movie is all about the men, and while The Queen Mum has an important place in history, she had little or nothing to do in this film, so she's out. Not everyone takes their role of Academy voter as seriously as Sir Elton John so if there is a movie people are going to sit out it will probably be the Australian import Animal Kingdom. If you haven't had a chance this movie is definitely worth a spot on your Netflix queue. Then it comes down to two movies The Fighterand True GritMelissa Leo did fantastic in the movie and I thought her performance would go unnoticed behind that of Christian Bale but boy was I proven wrong with that. Melissa Leo has already won Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe gold for her performance as the selfish mother. She has been acting since the eighties and has paid her dues. But then comes along this little 14-year old girl to muck the whole thing up. Hailee Steinfeld not only held her own in True Grit but at times outshines two past Academy winners. One could argue that she isn't really a supporting actress but rather the lead with Jeff Bridges. I doubt she had much say in the whole thing as this is only her FIRST MOVIE (I think at 14 I was growing a mullet). Compound the fact that Melissa Leo took out ads for herself just as people were starting to talk about the kid. Put the performances next to each other and I think Hailee Steinfeld did more to help Jeff Bridges grow as a character than Melissa Leo did for Wahlberg. All the big blogs out there go with an upset pick. So I'm going with Hailee Steinfeld to upset the veteran actress.

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

This was supposed to be a lock, no one has been hotter than Natalie Portman and frankly that helps. Usually the Academy will deal out Oscar to the next big PYT (read: Hallie Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Charlize Theron). Natalie Portman has been steaming up the scene ever since The Professional (that's a joke people). She has gone from child actress, to blockbuster starlet, to indie queen and this Sunday she seems poised to grab the statuette. And rightfully so, the performance is frightening and the movie will stay with you long after you have left the theater. But recently there has been an upswing in support for Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right. Now I personally thought that Julianne Moore had the better performance in this movie, but this time Bening won't be competing against her co star because Moore was not nominated. While the Academy tends to not support comedy movies they do love gay movies, as one Hollywood observer noted "If you play gay or retarded you get an Oscar. I'd take in the ass for an Oscar." The now four-time nominated actress will eventually win the award, but this is not her night. Portman's performance is too captivating to go unrewarded plus Oscar also loves to break up marriages (read Hallie Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Sandra Bullock). The recently engaged and knocked up Portman may walk away a winner Sunday, but the tabloids will make sure to bring her back down within a couple of years.

Tomorrow we'll look at the men. Who do you think will win for Best Actor (hint: it rhymes with Colin Mirth). What about this category, do you smell upset? Let me know what you think.

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February 26, 2011
Helena Bonham Carter all the way
February 23, 2011
Great write-up! I'm in it for Portman for sure and completely agree with you that the film stays with you after you've left the theater. Thanks! I can't wait to read the actor's post! I agree with your hint, I think that he's in line and has been favored to win, at least from what I hear.
February 23, 2011
very very awesome write up. Thank you! Please let me know how many more you'll be doing on this, so I can do a highlight on them before the Oscars....
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