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Friday, February 14, 2014

2014 Oscar Preview: Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress

Nick Davis tweeted recently:
This year's Best Picture nominees covered 16 of the 20 acting nods, the most since 1943. Pic, Dir, Acting races comprise of only 11 titles.
This inspired's Grantland's Oscar expert Mark Harris to write an excellent article about how expanding the Best Picture race has hurt the chances of outsider nominations. As a casual movie goer, I do my best to see all the Oscar nominated films that I can, but as a result, I fall victim  to what Harris talked about in the article- I really only see the films that "I have to see". As a result, when I'm searching through films to watch between January and March, I really only watch films that have multiple Oscar nominations.

Films like Blue Jasmine and August: Osage County make up 40% of these two categories, but they have only one other Oscar nominee among them outside of these categories. Needless to say, I missed both films because I feel I could (and both look boring anyways).

Basically what I'm trying to say, is that I have not seen many of these nominations, and for that, I apologize. Every year the Female Acting categories are easily my weakest category to write about, and this year is no exception. 


- Amy Adams (American Hustle)
- Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
- Judy Dench (Philomena)
- Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
- Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

SHOULD BE HERE: Scarlett Johansson (Her)

Screw Hollywood and their pompous attitude against solely voice acting. Her falls apart without Johansson's terrific performance. And if Hollywood thinks anyone can do voice acting, think again. Johansson actually replaced Samantha Morton after director Spike Jonze realized Morton was not right for the part. What Scarlett Johansson did with her voice alone was better than what most actors did with their entire body in 2013.


AMY ADAMS: Adams was a four time Oscar nominee before 2014, but all of her nominations were for Best Supporting Actress. Adams finally gets to add a Best Actress nomination to her resume. Amy Adams was really good in American Hustle, but nothing she did screamed, "You have to give me the Oscar!" in her performance. She deserves a nomination, but doesn't necessarily deserve a win. One day my girl, and easily the best actress in Hollywood currently working, will win this coveted golden statute, but March 2, 2014 won't be that day.

SANDRA BULLOCK: Gravity, a.k.a. Sandra Bullock breathing heavily for an hour and a half, was excellent. The film solely centers around Bullock's character and the film and the story doesn't work without her. When great films are really the product of only one actor, you can't praise the film without praising the actor (you hear me Life of Pi?). All the technical achievements aside, Gravity is just an entertainingly simple story that was marvelous because of how good Bullock was- and she had to do it in front of a green screen and dangling from wires. 

CATE BLANCHETT: No way I'm wasting either time or money to see a Woody Allen flick that isn't entitled Annie Hall. I've heard Blanchett is excellent in it, and deserved to win on merit, but the lady also already has 4 prior nominations with a win in there. Let's share the love! #FreeAmyAdams

JUDY DENCH: I don't care that Philomena is nominated for Best Picture, I'm still not going to see it before March 2nd. 

- Amy Adams (American Hustle)
- Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby)
- Lake Bell (In A World...)
- Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
- Scarlett Johansson (Her)


WHO SHOULD WIN: Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
WHO WILL WIN: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)


- Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
- Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
- June Squibb (Nebraska)
- Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave)
- Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

SHOULD BE HERE: Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler)

If you strip away the talk show, the billions of dollars, and the fame and fortune of Oprah, and you also strip away the horrible stunt casting of presidents, the melodramatic and clearly fictional B story line, and Forrest Whittaker's oddly not-so-good acting of Lee Daniels' The Butler, and you get one helluva performance by Oprah Winfrey that clearly deserves to get nominated, if not win. Oprah plays the wife of the titular character (played by Whittaker) and she's fantastic. I would actually recommend you see this below average movie, solely because of how good Oprah is in it.


JENNIFER LAWRENCE: There's something weird, yet incredible about Jennifer Lawrence's performance in American Hustle. On one hand, her character was completely useless. If her character was cut from the film, I don't think that it would have mattered at all. On the other hand, she was so great and incredible during her time on screen that I want her to win her second Oscar. She was so damn good!

LUPITA NYONG'O: There were so many great females performances in 12 Years A Slave, that I wouldn't have been shocked if Sarah Paulson as Micheal Fassbender's jealous wife or Alfre Woodard also received a nomination in this category. But there was one female performance that really stood out- and that was newcomer Lupita Nyong'o's performance as Patsey- Fassbender's character's "favorite" slave.

SALLY HAWKINS: This post would have been a lot more entertaining if the Academy had done the right thing and given this nomination to Oprah in the first place "as opposed to" Sally Hawkins. Then you would have gotten to read how great Margot Robbie was in The Wolf of Wall Street in the "Should Be Here" section. Stupid Oscars have to ruin everything.

JUNE SQUIBB: I love June Squibb's character in Nebraska. The film is about a son taking his sick and elderly father to Lincoln, Nebraska because the dad thinks he's won a million dollars. However, most of the film takes place in a small, rural town (as a detour) where the father and the mother were born, raised, and met. Squibb plays the mother and she's a feisty, outspoken elderly woman that you just can't help but root for. Or maybe it's just because she reminds me so much of my mom. Despite her age, she brings wonderful energy to the screen and makes the most out of the film's one "fuck".

JULIA ROBERTS: Is there anything Julia Roberts can do that Sandra Bullock can't do better?

- Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
- Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years A Slave)
- Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street)
- Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels' The Butler)
- Sarah Paulson (12 Years A Slave)


WHO SHOULD WIN: June Squibb (Nebraska)
WHO WILL WIN: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Which actress gave your favorite performance of 2013?

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