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Best Actress Finale: Dresses, Reactions, Questions

Like we did with supporting actress, I've displayed the most lauded ladies of 2010 in the order of your preference: Natalie Portman stabbed all competition with a nail file "IT'S MY TURN" to the tune of 47% of your votes; Annette Bening (19%) just barely edged out Nicole Kidman (18%) in the last day of voting for second place and second place is always where Bening seems to end up (more on that tomorrow); Michelle Williams (11%) and Jennifer Lawrence (2%) followed. But look at Lawrence. She doesn't care. She had a grand time at the Oscars apparently, turning heads in the red tank dress and relaxed enough to quip to the press about bringing her brother as her date.

I'm from Kentucky, so that's normal.

It's interesting that her distinction  "Second Youngest Best Actress Nominee Ever" has been so ignored by the media; She's only 20. We might be seeing a lot more of her on Oscar's red carpet. She's already too old to nab the "fastest to two nominations in any acting category" since Angela Lansbury was 20 when she accomplished that. But theoretically Lawrence could still beat Joan Fontaine's record of fastest to two Best Actress nominations (Fontaine did the double by 24 and won) if good lead roles come soon. Up next are three supporting roles: The Beaver, Like Crazy and X-Men First Class.

Reaction shots, questions for readers and Portman's speech after the jump.

Jeff Bridges didn't waste any time opening the envelope so there was not a lot of dramatic reveal in terms of those tiny but mythic faces in the little boxes.

Natalie was ready to go, and I don't think anyone was expecting anything else. Bening, for as much as she's been pegged as Regal Bitch in the public imagination at times due to a few theatrically brittle roles, always seems to take these things in stride.

What was more interesting was their responses to their own clips, don't you think?

 Annette winked and mouthed something to the camera (obviously intended for someone watching) but I couldn't make it out. Anyone know what she said?

 Nicole Kidman shrugged her shoulders like "it's no big deal" which is so weird because her Rabbit Hole performance is A VERY BIG DEAL. Gold medal.

 Michelle Williams is either:

  1. the definition of serenity
  2. terrified at public events
  3. above it all
  4. bored
  5. eager to get back on set to go about her real calling in life.

Which do you think it is?
Her expression never changes in public though onscreen she's quite expressive.

Darren Aronofsky kept glancing between Jeff Bridges on stage and Jennifer in front of him, two shows going on at once. Jennifer seemed delighted by the clip they chose and it was a goodie. My favorite thing about her Winter's Bone performance (and it shows in that clip) is the flinty no-nonsense intelligence and wit which give you a dry-eyed but sad indication that if Ree Dolly had real opportunities like an education, moving away, a career goal, she could really bloom. But it's not going to be. This is her world.

About Natalie's Speech
It went like so.

thank you thank you so much Thank you so much to the Academy. This is insane and I truly sincerely wish that the prize tonight was to get to work with my fellow nominees, i'm so in awe of you. I'm so grateful to get to do the job i get to do. I love it so much. I want to thank my parents, who are right there, first and foremost for giving me my life and giving me the opportunity to work at such a young ag. and showing me every day how to be a good human being by example.... [series of names] ....

My friends who are everything to me no matter what's going on in my career. And everyone who has ever hired me: Luc Besson who gave me my first job when i was 11 years old; Mike Nichols who has been my hero and my champion for the past decade; and now Darren Aronofsky. You are a fearless leader, a visionary. I am blessed to have just gotten to work with you every day for the period of time that we did.  [A series of names that helped her train]. And my beautiful love Benjamin Millipeid who choreographed the film and has now given me my most important role of my life.

Also there are people on films that no one ever talks about that are your heart and soul every day: Marjorie who did my hair and makeup; Nicci who dressed me; Kate and Laura Mulleavy who designed the beautiful ballet costumes; Joe Reidy our incredible first AD and our camera operators; Stacey and Steve, you gave me so much soul behind the camera every day. You gave me all of your energy.

Most importantly my family, my friends, and my love. Thank you so much.

Portman has taken a lot of flak over the awards season for her girlie giggly unusually personal-life-exhibiting  speeches but if you ask me she did brilliantly on Oscar night. It was professional but also emotional. The mention of her fellow nominees was distinctive, it was very classy to include Luc Besson and Mike Nichols (Nicole Kidman taught her well. Remember the note about choosing directors in the Hollywood Reporter Roundtable?). Finally, wasn't it especially interesting that she went so far down the metaphorical call sheet in her name-dropping. She wasn't thanking the heads of departments (some of whom were nominated) or even her co-stars but camera operators, dressers, trainers. Methinks she wins big fans among the crew members on every set.


  1. The Williams / Bening Questions above.
  2. Do you think Nat will pull a Gwyneth and disappear post-win? I mean, she's peaked right?
  3. Best Dressed?
  4. "It's My Turn!" which young actress (not these women) do you think is hungriest to have it be Her Year right quick?

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Reader Comments (75)

I think Michelle had THE best dress of the night.
I WISH La Portman would disappear.
In my "parallel universe" La Benning won on Sunday night.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Amy Westcott must be pissed that Natalie gave Rodarte the credit for the costumes. Again!

So Natalie's already worked with la Bening, so it's her, Nicole, Michelle and Jennifer. Someone pitch that movie right now!

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

1. Bening - no clue, sadly

Williams - serenity defined

2. I believe so, unfortunately

3. Portman. This was her first/only dress of the awards season - of what I saw at least - that I didn't have a single problem with

4. Emma Stone. I think she'll be in next year for "The Help," but I can't imagine her actually winning the Oscar

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulian Stark

I don't know why I'm always surprised that Michelle Williams is drop dead gorgeous and yet I always am taken aback when I see her in these events. While Portman probably had the best overall look, there's something unforgettable about Williams' look. But to answer another question... I think MIchelle is, all of the above to be honest, though with Busy Phillips are her date, I actually doubt she was bored.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I'm still amazed that Lawrence got awards traction for this role at all. It's just not showy, not flashy, and based on hiding emotions rather than showing them. It's impressive work, just not what I think of as Oscar work. I think she knew that, too.

Now can someone write a buddy comedy for Jennifer Lawrence and Gabby Sidibe to star in?

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOtherRobert

4. I think Scarlett Johansson knows how royally she's fucked up the credibility of her career/talent. If she could nail another great role (a la 2003) you know she'd milk that campaign as hard as she could. I think Claire Danes would be poised for an epic key change if she found a Temple Grandin-quality role on the big screen. She loved all the attention on the TV circuit. And I will always root for Kiki Dunst to catch fire in a big way.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W

I think Michelle Williams might be nominated next year for playing Marilyn Monroe, so all the campaigning she's done this year wasn't for nothing (Colin Firth anyone?!) I think she defines adorable when it comes to actors from her generation, and it seems like people really like her, as a person. and we know that counts.

I hope Annette continues to give great performances, because Meryl needs competition for the Queen of them all status.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex in Movieland

stjean -- i bet you get your wish by the end of 2011. (in the meantime she has too many movies coming out)

otherrobert -- best idea ever. buddy comedy with Jenn & Gabby!

Hayden -- you think so? I always feel like ScarJo gives off an above it all vibe the kind where she wouldn't notice if people no longer thought much of her acting.

March 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I just love Jennifer Lawrence in person. She clearly thinks a lot of the questions she gets asked are ridiculous. Her interaction with Maria Menounous was golden. Girl doesn't have an ounce of b.s. in her body. She'll say whatever.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWill

I have a feeling that Portman isn't going anywhere... but I could be wrong. I mean, the past couple of decades don't exactly instill much confidence in the career of a young actress coming off the back of a best actress win. Witherspoon would be another precedent of a hard-working, well-liked young actress who peaked with Oscar and then seemed to fade - or Berry, a bit more spectacularly. I wouldn't be surprised by a short-term lull in Portman's career, but she's been in the game, front and centre, for a long while, and has already taken a hiatus for her education. She navigated that tricky transition from child to teen to adult without crashing and burning like Christina Ricci (Come back to the five and dime, Christina Ricci, Christina Ricci - I miss you!), and, unlike Paltrow, Berry or Witherspoon, she already had an oscar nomination under her belt, which implies that the Academy members at least have been interested over a number of years. It's hard to see a backlash working in quite the same way. In a nutshell, her career management has seemed pretty smart so far, and as long as her upcoming work like Thor can avoid being Catwoman bad, then I think she'll be back after a decent maternity leave, and around for a long time to come. Don't forget - she takes advice from Kidman, who's been negotiating peaks, troughs and backlashes for twenty years about as impressively as any film actress ever has.

I think Michelle Williams may have sent an anime blow-up doll in her place, so she could get on with the work.

You know who I reckon really wants an Oscar but will probably never see one? Eva Mendes. I'm not kidding - she even co-produced that 'Network' ripoff with herself in the Dunaway role. She's ambitious, that one.

And for once, they were all dressed brilliantly.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLaika

1. No idea what Bening said, but I wish I could have partied with her i.e.

Williams - serene, bored and eager to get back to work.

2. Hopefully Portman will stop choosing craptastic films after her maternity leave.
3. They honestly all looked beautiful! Very fitting with all of their personalities.
4. Anne Hathaway

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily

I guess we should be on the lookout for Mia Wasikowska this year. Hopefully "Jane Eyre" will not disappoint. We know what roles like this did for Kate Winslet, Winona Ryder, and Keira Knightley. I'm expecting big things from Amanda Seyfried and Rebecca Hall, as well.

Natalie was definitely the best-dressed of the nominees.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I think that with Heath Ledger's death something inside Michelle Williams died as well and that's why she has that look of presumed serenity/ boredom/ whatever you want to call it surrounding her. Sad but probably true.

Portman had a string of bad performances leading up to Black Swan. Just like Paltrow she'll star in a few rom-com movies (someone has to support Mr. Millepied after all) but will not be able to follow this career peak.

Best dressed? Tie between Williams and Bening (whom I have grown to like a lot over the last few weeks even though it should have been Julianne Mo... but enough with that.)

Lawrence's dress looks too Baywatch-ish for me.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLara

Anyone feel williams dress was inspired by marilyns jfk b'day dress.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermark

I'm 60% sure she said something about Julianne Moore. At least when I watched the only word I thought I made out was "Moore". It would make a lot of sense and I'd like to think THE BENING would give a shout out to her partner in lesbian crime.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrady

1. I dunno but i LOVE Bening. Michelle Williams, above it all. This is a controversial comment especially with Kidman and Bening in the mix but for me Williams more than any of them has more integrity and creativity within her work, shes one of our best.
2. I think Natalie Portman (god forgive me for wishing this on her) will be more Hilary Swank than Gwyneth, or even like Charlize Theron. She'll work forever and now and again give a great performance and show up at The Oscars.
3. Michelle Williams or Annette Bening. Compare Bening's to other mature Actress'. Melissa Leo anyone? Bening is a style hero.
4. Anne Hathaway.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

I think Michelle is terrified. She always sounds very uncomfortable on red carpet interviews.
She will win very soon. Slate that this fantastic article about the category and they said - not excact quote - in 60 years people will be wondering Michelle lost? Who are the other 4?

The hungriest young actress is probably Anne Hathaway. You can tell she wants it really really bad. And she will get an oppurunity soon, maybe not Selina Kyle. Judy Garland? If that doesn't happen she will find a role.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMurtada

God, I love Michelle Williams. I was hoping she would pull off the Indie Spirit, unlikely though it was. She'll have hers eventually. If only she were a little more media-friendly and effusive, Hollywood would be all over her considering how petite and cute she is (and partly because she's actually good!).

As for next year: If her films are good next year, Mia Wasikowska will score a nom, though I think she's too young to win (Hollywood likes its women around Natalie's age). If Glenn Close makes it on the Oscar ballot, she has a great chance, though I'm afraid the crass fogeys in the Academy might not feel as strongly as we do about her being so overdue. Meryl will probably get a nom--I know we're worried about the Thatcher film, but she's proved time and time again that she can defy skeptics. I have faith!

And as for hot young things that the Academy will drool over next: Anne Hathaway, Amy Adams (though she's not that young anymore!), Keira Knightley.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPercy

I've already talked at length about how I feel Portman's performance was actually the weakest of the five. I gotta add though that her backlash (as Nick Davis predicts) is going to be bittersweet for me. Natalie's grown on me so much this season with her classiness and refusal to be the bubbly innocent ingenue Hollywood wants her so badly to be.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPercy

Can you imagine the furor if Anne Hathaway beat someone like Glenn Close?

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPercy

Anne Hathaway is clearly the hungriest (and openly hungry) actress out there-- not because of greed but because, as she showed during the telecast, she loves the Oscars as much as we do. And I want an Oscar badly for the person who gave me Kym Buchman and the "SHUT. UP!" line from The Princess Diaries.

I wouldn't call her hungry, but as someone else said, Mia W. will surely be up there soon. I expect Keira Knightley and Carey Mulligan will be returning soon and I hope Sally Hawkins will be getting some attention soon, too.

Out of this year's five, the likeliest to return soon is Michelle for the Marilyn Monroe biopic. She could be facing off against Keira next year.

Best dressed: Natalie > Jennifer > Michelle >> Annette > Nicole. All look good or great, but I wish they'd gone a little outside their comfort zone. Only Annette and Nicole really took risks and I'm not sure those risks paid off as they might have. I do hate Michelle's hair and makeup, though-- she looks frail and boyish.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

1. Dunno, but I love Bening and when live-blogging the telecast via Facebook, my younger cousin couldn't believe that she has yet to win./All of the above. If there was ever an actor who seems almost solely about the work, it is she.

2. Considering she was a nominee prior to this year's hooplah, there appears to a foundation already laid for some type of longevity. What she needs to do after this year is disappear for a while (maybe even do some stage work to gain some street cred) and then come back with a real meaty, against-type role.

3. Portman with Bening a close second. Didn't ScarJo wear a similar dress to Lawrence's a few years ago?

4. Hathaway, most definitely. I certainly saw some kind of look in her eyes when the camera returned to her after Portman's win. In fact, lately I've been wondering what Hathaway would/could have done as Nina Sayers.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H

Btw, I'm originally from Kentucky and as excited I was for a hometown girl to get an Oscar nom, J-Law has been a terrible representative of that state with all the incest jokes. Besides, she's from the largest city in the state, one which feels like any other Mid-American urban area.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Anne H is waaay too tall and gangly to be a convincing prima ballerina. She just doesn't have the body type. She has a model body type instead (which is fine). Other than that, she would've been an interesting Nina, thought this is one of those projects that was always meant for one actress and that one only. No one else ever had a chance.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Keller

Just saw the Wikipedia page for Michelle Williams's Marilyn Monroe movie. Judi Dench is playing Dame Sybil Thorndike ... so I guess we know at least one of the five Supporting Actress nominees!

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPercy

1. I just don't think Williams cares that much. "I know I'm not going to win, so can I just go home now?" As for Bening, I think it was something about Julianne.

2. Gwyneth was definitely new kid on the block, and I think there's a sense that Natalie does somewhat deserve it (she almost got it for Closer, after all). Her win is much more Julia Roberts, I think. People want her to be up there and feel good that it's happened even though she beat Ellen Burstyn (Annette Bening) and Laura Linney (Nicole Kidman), both of whom definitely had their diehard partisans despite the open and shut nature of the race. There will be backlash, but it won't be nearly as bad as Gwyneth's.

3. I actually like all the dresses except Nicole's. Actually, I liked the dress, she just looked so awkward in it. Her arms just wouldn't go down. She was like the little brother in A Christmas Story.

4. Oh, Anne definitely wants it. Badly. But I'm getting the sense that Amy's getting hungry too.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Kidman is totally chanelling Zellweger as the Oscar-Origami Bride. Not a good look!

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Natalie may go away for awhile simply because she's going to have a kid. But I don't really see her career taking the Gwyneth path. She's smarter than Gwyneth and more talented as well. She also picks a lot of her roles based on a love for the project, so we may yet see more interesting choices along the lines of "Free Zone" in the future.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

1. ?
2. I hope not, but Thor ang Your Highness herald that Gwyneth case may repeat (I don't like her singing at the Oscars by the way).
3. Michelle, definitely.
4. Anne Hathaway, I hope. She has talent, charm, beauty but needs right roles (like next Lone Scherfig's film maybe???).

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterP.J.

1. I think Michelle is above it all in the right/positive way,
No idea about Bening. We should hire Lola Dueñas.

2. I think she will.

3. Williams and Lawrence

4. Anne Hathaway. Boy she's intense!

Portman's clip was perfect. I would have prefered Annette's singing to Joni Mitchell.

No comment on the Garfield/Kidman being in the same frame?

PS How are you feeling dear? If I were near I'd be delighted to bring you some thyme for that nasty cold

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Lily -- i love you for that link. that's going in the next link roundup.

everyone -- just like wth the supporting actress these are fun to read for the variations in opinion. Though everyone seems to feel roughly the same about Michelle Williams. She has really soundly decimated her origins. You don't even hear people say Dawsons Creek that much anymore and people definitely still say American Idol when they see Jennifer Hudson, you know?

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel Rogers

I completely agree that Natalie's performance was the worst of the five, and at the same time I dont think she will ever top that, even though I dont think it was anything special. I dont know if she will have a career like Reese's post Oscar, but I think she has peaked and wont ever top that.

I think Michelle was THE best dressed of the event, and the dress suited her perfectly. She looked angelic, romantic, ethereal, lovely. To answer your question, I'd say "all of the above". I think she is super shy, very reserved and quiet, very low key and doesnt feel confortable in such events. She is clearly not a media horse like Natalie herself and Anne hathaway are. I think this whole award show parade doesn't suit her personality and I dont think she is at all confortable with this sort of attention. At the same time, she comes off as someone who is very mature and knows what really matters to her- she was a single mom ata very young age, she must have her priorities straight- and doesnt ler herself get carried away by the whole fame nad glemour thing. I think she has her feet on the ground and knows what makes sense to her and what doesn't.

I think Anne is so hungry its getting embarassing. She was trying so ridiculously hard at the Oscars it got unconfortably annoying and over the top. She is always trying so very hard to come off as a sweet heart, as a cutie, adorable, warm and lovable that it seemed forced, phony and fake- she got to the point of acting lika a teenage fangirl- what was with all the "wooooooooo", and the "breathing the same air as she is", it was all so affected and overbearing in its girliness that it was the kind of behaviour you could expect from someone like Haille Steinfeld who is 14 and just arrived, not someone who's twice her age and has been around for a while. She was acting like a cheerleader "woooooooing" everyone she introduced and not like a mature guest. She acted the same way during her opening monologue in SNL and i was equally embarassing, waaay too cutesy, girly and equally over the top. I think she wants it badly and she is very much about this whole game in a way Michelle isnt, but she should tone it down a bit. Its making her seem childish and needy.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

1. I couldn't really tell what Annette was seeing. She looked so beautiful and classy though. As for Michelle, she is DEFINITELY terrified of public events. Did no one see her interview with Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet??? By far the most awkward red carpet moment of the night, for me. She doesn't seem really comfortable with promoting herself and dancing with the media....which is why I LOVE HER...she is the complete antithesis of Anne Hathaway--who, I am sorry to say, is starting to get on my everlasting nerves. She was one cracked-out Barbie at the Oscars. Ugh.

2. I don't think Natalie will be like a Gwyneth at all. It's hard to say how her career will go, but I would say after this year she'll probably be absent for a year and a half to two years to start her family, but will return with a really dramatically baity film and a promising commercial one. She's a very smart girl, so I think her career will definitely flourish. And I don't think she's as annoying/self-delusional/tacky as Gwyneth Paltrow to make her same mistakes.

3. Michelle Williams was best dressed by far. She looked like a pixie goddess. Natalie Portman very close second. Jennifer Lawrence and Annette Bening looked gorgeous too. Nicole Kidman...what was that dress??? One of my least favorites of the night. She usually wows.

4. Anne Hathaway wants an Oscar BADLY. I thought she looked a little jealous after Natalie won, considering it was one of the few times she actually looked a bit severe in the show. But as far as which young actress has the best shot for Oscar, I'm thinking Michelle Williams or Amy Adams (even though she's in her late thirties now). Both of them seem genuinely well-liked and are admired for their talent and hard-work and dedication to their craft. I think Williams has a great shot next year if My Week With Marilyn is well-received....I also think Mia Wasikowska has a great future ahead of her (I actually see her mirroring a career akin to Michelle Williams)

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I believe Michelle will definitely be nominated again, because she is uber talentede and clearly serious about her choices, I dont think she will ever win, because she doesnt play the game and she's not the type. Each year, it gets clearer and clearer that some actresses just dont win and I think Michelle suits the type that doesn't. She wont ever win for stuff like "Wendy and Lucy", no matter how brilliant she was in it- and she as fantastic. I think its precisely the "Anne hathaway" type that wins, and therefore I'm not so confident Michelle ever will.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

With Williams, I think it's a combination of being shy, knowing she's not going to win, and being serene. She just a very calm person.

I don't know if Natalie will ever find another role that will fit her as well as Black Swan did. She's young, so I can see her being nominated again, but winning? She's too hit and miss. She'll need another amazing character/director.

Best dressed = Williams; but Kidman is looking DIVINE lately. Her hair and makeup have been stunning.

Anne Hathaway is no doubt the hungriest - I think she has been most people's answers on here, and I don't think it's necessarily a good thing. It's one thing to have the role and have already gotten excellent reviews for it, but it's another when you are obviously trying so hard to be liked. But I'm biased because she just annoys me.

Mia Wasikowska will probably receive her first soon, but in a supporting role methinks. Jane Eyre is getting a too early release and this year looks strong for Best Actress.

I imagine Carey Mulligan will be back eventually.

Keira Knightely has a great chance this year with A Dangerous Method, as does Williams with My Week With Marilyn.

As for Jennifer Lawrence being the youngest to get back-to-back leading nominations, I don't see it happening. I can't really see her in a prestigious period piece, so I think her character range might be limited. Plus, it took Natalie 6 years between nominations and Williams five.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

The Dresses:
Natalie Portman-Very becoming both in color and style, it's not always easy to look elegant when you're that pregnant.
Michelle Williams-Shimmery beauty. Fancy without being flashy and the platinum blonde hair is a perfect compliment to the dress.
Jennifer Lawrence-Maybe to simple for an Oscar dress but quite striking and when you look like her something that can easily be carried off.
Annette Bening-Bless her because she does try but the dress is the wrong color for her and the piping accentuated her figure flaws rather than hiding them.
Kidman-What, did she come fresh from an origami class and decided that the big napkin display she just made would serve as a dress? And get that damn hair out of your eyes!
Natalie will probably be gone for a least a year or so with the new baby but she seems more like a working actress than a star so she be back.
I'd say given the opportunity Amy Adams would chase the next nomination relentlessly to a win if possible.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I think Michelle is just awkward at Public events, I mean I've seen a lot of her public appearances and she's always a bit weird. She's still my fav actress though. I do think Her and Amy are likely to retrun. Though, I think it'll be for Take This Waltz for Michelle. I can see that Slice of Life Marilyn movie bombing.

Anne is the most hungry and I'm sorry the most annoying.

I hope for good thins for miss Dunst too.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Aaron, we made the same comparison: Williams x Hathaway. In the Oscars they were like reversed mirrors of each other. They came off as totally diferent personalities, almost polar opposites.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

"Though everyone seems to feel roughly the same about Michelle Williams. She has really soundly decimated her origins. You don't even hear people say Dawsons Creek that much anymore..."

While this is true, I think her role in DC was nothing to be shameful about. In fact her arc in the series finale is probably one of the most heartbreaking things I've seen in all of TV. And I watch a lot of TV. I think her and Joshua Jackson really did well for themselves post-DC.

And I forgot to answer your fourth question, but I think Amy Adams. I think she even felt that she had a chance this year which really showed. Didn't she say to Seacrest that this is the first time she actually felt nervous at the Oscars? That's telling. And I say this tongue-in-cheek, but anyone else waiting for that inevitable Oscar nod down-the-line for Dakota Fanning? It's bound to happen someday right?

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

1. No idea about Benning. Wiliams just looks terrified.
2. Natalie Portman will stick around for a while. As someone above me said, she'll keep working and occasionally give a good performance to earn another nomination.
3. Jennifer Lawrence!
4. I can see Williams coming back next year. Meek's Cutoff will draw attention and the Monroe movie will earn her the nomination. Lawrence will be back within the next five years, I hope. Also, I can see Anne Hathaway, as everyone else seems to agree, wanting an Oscar and eventually getting one. Next year, though, I think we'll also see Kirstin Dunst up for her work in Meloncholia (I hope/wish). Also, while Naomi Watts doesn't exactly count as a young actress anymore, she's gotta be wanting an Oscar by now.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJasper

I remember thinking back then that Dawson's Creek was uber bad (I'm a bit younger than the cast) and hating it with a passion, but I remember in the few episodes I watched that Michelle stood out, but I couldn't tell, back in the day when we were both teens, that she would one day become the actress she is today. I do recall her doing theather and small indie films in her time off, but looking back at her eighteen year old self she really came a long way, deservingly so.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

I think Michelle Williams is just happy to be at party. She was supposedly sick the night before so she may be serene on medication.

I think Williams will be back next year and she may even win. She's in another Weinstein production. Harvey is going to prepare her for her big moment. And her acceptance speech will be much more fun and genuine than anything Portman has to say.

Portman is such a limited actress that I don't know if she'll be back. But she does have that work ethic like Swank so maybe she'll find another Oscar bait role. I do think having a baby is going to force her to do less work. I wish she wasn't in two movies I want to see because I would like to avoid her.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel Oak

I think Annette Bening is saying "MWAH!"

I hope Natalie sticks around (indifferent to her before Closer, but loved her since. In that break-up scene with Jude Law.... "You're lying. I've been you"..).

Unfortunately i agree that it will inevitably be 'Anne Hathaway's year' in the near future. I don't get the love for her. Did anyone see that film where she went all 'bad girl' and gang banged Freddy Rodriquez and his friends (well almost ;))? Ugh. Plus the whole "I don't know.... how...." speech for something a few years back. Blergh.

I wonder how Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia will be received. Von Trier got some wonderful performances from actresses, i can imagine it injecting some life back into Dunst's career. I'm also hoping Abbie Cornish has another 'Bright Star' in her future somewhere, one that gets her to the Kodak ;).

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

Choog you beat me to it, Bening is totally saying mwah! Like blowing a kiss minus the hand action. This for some reason makes me love her even more.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLily

Choog, I remember that speech. It was plain lame. It was when she won the Critics Choice Awards in a tie with Meryl Streep who wasn't there so Viola Davis, her "Doubt" co-star, to accept in her place. Anne did this whole "I know how to wear tiaras not to win awards" scene, then she did something even worse- she said "it is so fitting for me to win this award with Meryl because she sets the bar so high" which came off as if she were saying that she thinks she is as good as Meryl. it was embarassing. The cherry on top of everything was that she finished this speech by saying that she "deserved the love of a good man", right after her boyfriend ahd gone to jail, which came off as a "pity me" move in order to make people see her as a victim, a poor little girl wronged by a bad man - who's afraid of the big bad wolf- and maybe they'd feel sorry for her, sympathize with her and maybe give her an Oscar. It was a "pity me" speech.

And she left Viola Davis just standing there forever while she waited to accept the award for Meryl, as if she had not notice that Viola was there as well and also had something to do/say.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

2. Portman will be fine. I also think it should be noted that she's the first of the younger generation of actresses to win, fitting since she was the first of them to act.
3. Portman was beautiful. A timeless look which is good.
4. I think Michelle Williams has a good chance at a nom, but ive started to hear if it will be in lead or supp, since the film is about Eddie Redmayne's week with Marilyn.
Also it is clear Anne Hathawy wants an Oscar. And I think becuase of her asscension to the title of America's sweetheart, I can see her winning if the Judy Garland biopic happens, a la Gwyneth Paltrow.

Personally, Im hoping Keira Knightley sweeps supporting actress next year.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

This is really random. but I've just realized in during all three of his major awards, Christian Bale received the Best Supporting Actor award from an actress he'd previously worked with (ScarJo at the Globes, Susan Sarandon at SAG, and Reese Witherspoon at the Oscars). He is such a weird person. Obviously he's a huge acting veteran (he's worked with half of these people at these award circuits - Winona, Nicole Kidman, Lisa Cholodenko, Nolan, etc.) but is considered somewhat of an outsider because he never goes to any big events and you get the feeling that he's not really "friends" with a lot of Hollywood people - definitely not BFFs with Reese or Scarjo by any means. Even as an Oscar winner he's not really part of the crowd. It's so interesting.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

Also, The King's Speech is Colin Firth's third BP movie - isn't that crazy? And also the second one that has both him and Geoffrey Rush (first was Shakespeare in Love). And of course, Guy Pearce is officially the new Oscar cameo guy.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

Well, as far as the direction Natalie's career is heading, I think she has done a couple of very shrewd things that I would never have assumed to be a good idea. The first is No Strings Attached, which immediately had people comparing it to Norbit and Eddie Murphy's Oscar miss, and I was puzzled by its release timing. The film became a box office hit though, and I'd name Natalie's current streak as a benefiting factor. Not to mention... she's a producer on the film. By releasing it when she's on top (which was thanks to Black Swan, a film that certainly didn't make her much money), she literally cashed in on her own success. Smart.

Then there's the slew of films, many of which look potentially awful, coming out in the next few months. I have no idea how much of a hand she has in them - maybe I'm overestimating her pull - but if she IS helping push these films out, it's a great way to avoid the disappearance from film we see from so many Actress winners. Part of the reason the Oscar curse is so damning is many people make a big deal about the next project, ready to pull it apart. Well, these are not films where we'll be seeing "Academy Award Winner" before her name. It's a reminder that she's a movie star, that she's hot, and that she won't only be doing "Oscar films." Even if I don't want to see most of these films, I think even one of them being a semi-hit could be a great thing for her career. Plus, that'd be three box office successes in a matter of months.

I've seen the comparisons to other actresses - I could actually see her career heading the direction of another young, pretty actress that was underestimated for years: Elizabeth Taylor. That's one hell of a compliment. Let's hope Portman completely throws herself into another role and we get something close to Taylor's triumphant turn in Woolf? before she dies.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Portman's always chosen her roles like an actress who doesn't take her work too seriously than as a movie star. Mostly supporting roles or co-leads, and with often long periods of time between projects. She seems, of any actress working today, like she'd be fine walking away from it all.

People said she wouldn't give another acclaimed performance after Leon/Beautiful Girls/Heat because she mostly did either small roles or small films. But then Closer/Garden State happened. Then a string of films before Black Swan/No Strings Attached happened. And the thing about her is: her performances are critically acclaimed more often than not. Directors seem to think highly of her. Portman has worked steadily for 17 years. She took a break for college and had to deal with the fallout of the craptastic SW movies and her craptastic performances in them. She usually sticks around and finds her way back. If she disappears after 2011 for a while I couldn't confidently say it was the result of some kind of career peak or backlash. She tends to do that.

I think Portman's career will carry on as usual; her financing little films like Hesher and doing more movies like Free Zone with maybe the occasional V for Vendetta/Thor/Your Highness tossed in, and she'll do a Leon/Black Swan/Closer whenever she can.

March 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSara
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