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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2015 Oscar Preview: Best Supporting Actress


- Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
- Laura Dern (Wild)
- Kiera Knightly (The Imitation Game)
- Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)
- Emma Stone (Birdman)

WHO SHOULD BE HERE: Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer)

I really want to nominate Missi Pyle for her Nancy Grace-esque portrayal in Gone Girl and her personification of everything wrong with the 24/7 news media nowadays, but it's tough to justify a nomination for a role as small as hers. So instead, I'll go with the great Tilda Swinton. Snowpiercer is a science fiction dystopian action piece from South Korea helmed by a first time director. Despite the individual city critics praising the film and Swinton (and rightfully so), I can easily see why The Academy didn't nominate Swinton. I wonder if they even saw the film. If films like Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler can't get a Best Picture nomination, then there is just no way a film like Snowpiercer would garner any nominations from an elderly trending Academy. However, if Oscar voters would have seen Snowpiercer, then they would have seen a tremendous performance by an Oscar winning actress. Swinton plays a politician in charge of keeping down the poor, and her job of both being a master of propaganda as well as saying what she can to stay alive after the poor revolt is the work of a true master.

Click here to read my full review of Gone Girl


KIERA KNIGHTLY (THE IMITATION GAME): Kiera Knightly had one helluva year creatively. She first starred in Begin Again and her beautiful voice was a huge reason why the songs, and thus the film itself, worked so well. She then went to co-star in the Oscar-bait-tastic The Imitation Game where she plays the love interest to Benedict Cumberbatch's Alan Turing. Knightly brings such a warmth to this performance that while it may seem vanilla was still Comfort Food for me. Everyone played their job well in the film, but only Knightly's and Cumberbatch's performances stuck out to me as being awards worthy. Maybe other actresses in Hollywood could have done what she did, but no other actress ended up doing what she did.

Click here to read my full review of The Imitation Game

PATRICIA ARQUETTE (BOYHOOD): There's a weird sexism that goes on with the Academy Awards where if a female "goes ugly" then she's considered to give a "brave" performance and thus will automatically garner an Oscar nomination, or even better: a win. It's worked for Charlize Theron (Monster), Salma Hayek (Frida), and Nicole Kidman (The Hours) and it's mainly the reason Patricia Arquette is going to win this award. By allowing herself to "age naturally" on the screen thanks to the 12 year film schedule, she "went ugly" and thus made herself the favorite in this category. Despite the fact that Arquette gives zero fucks about how she ages (nor should she), and the fact that she looks just as good now as she need when Boyhood began shooting, we're still going to give her the win in this category because of what she actually did. Personally, I'm judging this performance solely on Arquette's acting, and when you do that then you see her portrayal as a single mom struggling to raise her two kids nomination worthy, but not necessary within the Guaranteed-Lock-To-Win realm.

Click here to read my full review of Boyhood

EMMA STONE (BIRDMAN): I'm conflicted about this nomination. On one hand, Emma Stone can do no wrong and it's about time she can add "Oscar Nominee" in front of her name. Plus, it's not like she truly stole someone else's nomination as this was a pretty weak year for this category. On the other hand, Stone gets this nomination solely because of one scene where she yells at Michael Keaton's Riggan Thomson. That may not necessarily be a problem here, but it will be a problem down the line because The Academy will continue to nominate performances like Stone's for dumb reasons. Plus, in a film where Michael Keaton is cast as a washed up former on-screen superhero and Edward Norton is cast as a thespian who cares too much about his "art", Emma Stone and her good girl image is sort-of miscast in this role. I hate to say this, but Emma Stone's role as a cynic and a former drug addict is perfect for Lindsay Lohan. Lohan may not (scratch that, definitely does not) have the range to play even a part as small as what Stone played, but this role was written for Lohan.

Click here to read my full review of Birdman

MERYL STREEP (INTO THE WOODS): When we look back at all of Meryl Streep's best work and best movies, we will find Sophie in Sophie's Choice, Karen Silkwood in Silkwood, and Miranda Preistly in The Devil Wears Prada. We will absolutely not see The Witch from Into The Woods. Not only do I truly not see where this nomination comes from outside of the fact that it's a pretty weak year for quality supporting females and this is Meryl fucking Streep, but even if Streep were one of the five best supporting actresses in 2014, let's give it a rest already. I'm sick of her at this point in Awards Season. She now has 19 nominations and 3 acting wins including two for Best Actress. What more do we really need to do? At this point, Streep could take a dump on screen for an hour and half and she'll earn an Oscar nomination for it. I'd rather see almost anyone else get a nod over Streep at this point in her career. She's great, she's a living legend, but let's move on shall we?

LAURA DERN (WILD): I remember a few years ago when I was watching The Fighter. I had seen it around this time in 2011(probably a little earlier) so Awards Season was just getting started, but it was not yet in full swing. I was keeping an eye out for My Girl Amy Adams when something crazy happened- my eye started wandering towards Melissa Leo's performance. While Amy Adams was getting all of the awards buzz, Melissa Leo was over here to the side giving her incredible performance. As Academy voters started watching The Fighter, they also noticed Melissa Leo and eventually gave her an Oscar. That seemed to be what happened with Laura Dern. As Academy Voters watched Wild to give praise to its Lead Actress Reese Witherspoon, they seemed to notice Dern's performance and eventually gave her a nomination. The problem is that not only did Laura Dern deliver a pretty bland and generic performance, almost any actress in Hollywood who was the right age could have done what Dern did. Hell, why not cast Melissa Leo in that role?

Click here to read my full review of Wild


- Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
- Kiera Knightly (The Imitation Game)
- Missi Pyle (Gone Girl)
- Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer)
- Naomi Watts (St. Vincent / Birdman)

WHO SHOULD WIN (ACTUAL NOMINEES): Kiera Knightly (The Imitation Game)
WHO WILL WIN: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)



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