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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

2013 Oscar Preview: Best Actress

Click here for my introduction

  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
  • Qu'venzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
  • Naomi Watts (The Impossible)


JESSICA CHASTAIN: I like Jessica Chastain as an actress but I'm conflicted about her performance. Mainly because I wasn't blown away by it like everyone said I would be. Partially, that is because Zero Dark Thirty is not a character piece. It's a movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and it just to happens to follow this female CIA agent. Chastain doesn't get a lot to work with which in turns gives us a very reserved performance.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE: I love, love, love Jennifer Lawrence. In fact, I may or may not be responsible for all the Lawrence content on (OK, I'm not but I still like her). Lawrence was excellent in SLP as a recent widow who struggles to cope with her late husband's death and deal with Bradley Cooper's Pat Jr and his bi-polar disorder. The main criticism I've heard about Lawrence in Playbook is that she is too young to play the character David O. Russell wrote. While that may be true, that thought didn't cross my mind once when I was watching the film because Lawrence was so great in the film.

QU'VENZHANE WALLIS: Wallis was five when she filmed Beasts. That's pretty impressive because she gave a pretty good performance but I just can't overlook the fact that she was FIVE. For me, it was hard to take her seriously because every time I heard her voice made it seem like she was asking for a lollipop.

EMMANUELLE RIVA: I have not seem Amour. But that's OK, neither have you.

NAOMI WATTS: A few more people have seen The Impossible than Amour but I am still in the majority in that I have not seen either. The Impossible seems like a movie that is too depressing and something I'd just cry through the entire time.

  • Emily Blunt (Looper)
  • Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
  • Ann Dowd (Compliance)
  • Rashida Jones (Celeste and Jesse Forever)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)

  • WHO SHOULD WIN (OSCAR FIELD): Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • WHO SHOULD WIN (ENTIRE FIELD): Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  • WHO WILL WIN: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)


Former screen and television writer and now ESPN personality Matthew Berry has said that
screenwriting is one of the hardest things to do. He says (and I’m paraphrasing) that little kids have
gotten nominated for Oscars for acting all the time. But do you ever see a little kid get nominated for
Oscar for writing? Never. Qu'evenzhane Wallis was five years old when she made Beasts of the Southern Wild. While she’s good in it and I did like her in it, she was FIVE. The Oscars nominated a five year old girl. Think about that. That’s pretty ridiculous.

I have always had a problem with the nominations for Best Actress at the Oscars. It is not because I
am sexist, but because Hollywood is. I have a theory on Meryl Streep and why she has so many Oscar
nominations. While a big factor is that she is a great actress and she always does great work, the reason Meryl gets to do this great work is because there are so few scripts in Hollywood that have a great and complex female character as its lead. When a script does come along that has a great, strong, and complex female character as its lead, that part is always offered to Meryl Streep first. Of course (or seemingly of course) Streep will take the part and then end up earning an Oscar nomination for it.

However, because few of those scripts get greenlit and because the Oscars have four more spots they
need to fill for their Best Actress category, the nomination field of Best Actress always tends to be weak. OK, maybe “weak” isn't the best term. Rather, the nominations tend to be from movies you have never heard of, never seen, or have no desire to see. This is not only my excuse to why I have only seen three of the five nominees from this category but also my reason to why we find it acceptable to nominate a five year old.


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