Oscar History

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« Oscar Day: The Key Nail-Biter Categories | Main | Talking "Amour" on CNN »

Film Bitch Awards: Best Actor, Best Actress, Medal Ceremony!

I hate to ask anyone to pay attention to this site's own infamous Film Bitch Awards on the same night as the Indie Spirits (we'll discuss very soon) and the day before the Oscars (so late I am!). I'll get hoarse from the look-at-me shouting. But here, finally, is my Best Actress and Best Actor list, the latter of which is remarkably like Oscar's best actor list, with only Bradley Cooper missing the cut... though I think he's the best thing in Silver Linings Playbook and a worthy Oscar nominee. This rarely happens so it's a kind of a special treat for me. Actress, our marquee category each year, is always trickier. I wanted to name seven nominees but even then only two of the Oscar nominees  (Emmanuelle Riva and Jessica Chastain) make the cut. 

These nominations complete this year's traditional category Film Bitch Awards, so while we're at it, start playing those national anthems film scores for the medal ceremony. I've named gold, silver and bronze medalists in (almost) all of the Oscar-mirror categories. It has to be done before the Oscars! The "extras" like Best Scene, Diva of the Year, and Best Cameo and more are still to come but I promise they're already partially written. I realize that that smells of danger for those of you with long memories (what about 2011 for f***'s sake) but I shall prevail and find a third wind next week and try to wrap up before March. I can already feel that 2013 will be kinder to The Film Experience. I'm finding the faith after a difficult year.

But until we get to the 2013 film year, celebrate these great films and performances in the comments. Or, you know, bitch about them with "agree to disagree" tact. 

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Reader Comments (23)

Yay!! This is like Christmas for me LOL

My Best Actor ballot is almost like yours, but instead I substituted Cooper for Jackman.
Medalists for me go...Phoenix (Gold), Day-Lewis (Silver), Trintignant (Bronze)

My Best Actress ballot is a little bit different.
Cotillard, "Rust and Bone"
Knightley, "Anna Karenina" bronze
Lynskey, "Hello I Must Be Going"
Riva, "Amour" silver
Streep, "Hope Springs" gold

with honorable mentions to Seydoux (Farewell, My Queen), Wallis ("Beasts"), and Hunt ("The Sessions")

Also, I just checked in IMDB and "Ginger and Rosa" is technically a 2013 release upon Oscar eligibility. At least in the US, it only opened in festivals during 2012.

Anyway, Wonderful to see the FIlm Bitch Awards completed. Awesome choices, and I am putting it up for your consideration to give Kruger the gold-medal, who is just astounding and captivating. I just thought she had the hardest task of your five nominees, and that's saying something!

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Lovely choices. I'm a little surprised Quvenzhane didn't rank higher, but the debate on child acting rages on. Actor this year reminds me of Actress 2006 with Mirren - such a stellar line-up, it seems strange only one person is taking all the prizes.


Actor - Day-Lewis, Jackman*, Lerman, Tatum (for Magic Mike AND 21 Jump Street), Washington

Actress - Chastain, Cotillard, Knightley (loved your note on her), Wallis*, Watts

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

THANK you Nat, this has made my life.

Actor for me is:

Jean Louis Tritignant
Mads Mikklesen
Joseph Gordon Levitt
Channing Tatum
Dwight Henry

Actress: Nicole (I consider her a lead)
Kara Hayward
Lea Seydoux
Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan & Kiki (joint special prize)

But your choices are excellent, most pleased to see your love for Marion shine :)

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermorganisaqt

Nathaniel, what did you think of Dwight Henry? I am a bit surprised that he's no where to be found.
Also interestingly, you seem to have swapped Tritignant and Lavant's placement at the last min. According to one of the podcasts, he was your sixth choice. I quite love his performance, even more so than Riva's.

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRic

Great lists! My picks:
Actress--1. Chastain, 2. Riva, 3. Lawrence, 4. Cotillard, 5. Wallis
Actor--1. Day-Lewis, 2. Cooper, 3. Jackman, 4. Washington, 5. Hawkes

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Interesting to see Denzel there, his work while awarded seems critically ignored to me, but I'm glad to see him there he was really good! My own lineups are pretty different, but I like yours! (except for Chastain, the praise for her work continues to puzzle me)

1. Joaquin Phoenix - The Master
2. Jean-Louis Trintignant - Amour
3. Matthew Goode - Burning Man
4. Melvil Paupoud - Laurence Anyways
5. Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables

1. Emmanuelle Riva - Amour
2. Katharine Isabelle - American Mary
3. Naomi Watts - The Impossible
4. Jenn Harris - Gayby
5. Suzanne Clement - Laurence Anyways

February 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrodie

For some strange reason i though that you didn't like Cotillard's performance so much. Perhaps its only cos you weren't predicting her. So sad she missed out. My noms are pretty similar to yours!

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBroooooke

Best Actress:
1. Nina Hoss - Barbara
2. Suzanne Clément - Laurence Anyways
3. Marion Cotillard - Rust & Bone
4. Emmanuelle Riva - Amour

Best Actor:
1. Gael García Bernal - No
2. Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook
3. Jean-Louis Trintignant - Amour
4. Matthias Schoenaerts - Rust & Bone
5. Jude Law - Anna Karenina

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterA

No John Hawkes?

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Nice work.

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

So great! Thank you, again, Nathaniel!

One thing: Isn't what you say about Riva's perf the same as what is true about Dench's perf in Iris? Yet you don't like that perf a lot.

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Trintignant deserves the gold. The fact we're mainly actressexuals doesn't imply we can't complain about the Academy ignoring the best male performance two years in a row.

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Poor Weisz, not even here

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

So happy to see Trintingant here !

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJulien

I've seen the pictures of riva arriving in la, in a wheelchair. does she need that often? or was it the long ride?

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

Here are mine in the big 4 * winner


cooper*,day lewis,washington,phoenix,hawkes




mcgregor,hoffman*,law,henry,de niro



February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

Actor: Lavant, Phoenix, Trintignant, Day-Lewis and McConaughey

Actress: Riva, Weisz, Chastain, Gerwig, and Vikander

Supporting Actor: McConaughey, Hoffman, Clarke, McNairy, and Willis

Supporting Actress: Dowd, Ehle, Temple, Kidman & Huppert

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Also loved your note on Chastain, Nathaniel. I think that performance has gotten a bit of bum wrap. Some of which I think may be at trying to find some flaw in the film so the criticism is not about torture but that is just my theory.

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Great list! I really wish Rachel Weisz had made it, but ah well.

My picks:

Jessica Chastain
Helen Hunt
Quvenzhane Wallis
Naomi Watts
Rachel Weisz

I had been debating on Hunt being lead or supporting, if I had put her supporting, Emmanuelle Riva would've made it. She was the best thing about Amour, but I wasn't a fan of that film (I know, I'm the only person).

Bradley Cooper
Daniel Day-Lewis
John Hawkes
Hugh Jackman
Denzel Washington

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Nathaniel, would you consider posting your awards after the Oscars in the future? You get so busy at this time of year, and I love the detail you put into your awards (which I've practically memorized). I love them either way and have no problem with when you do them, though.

Favourite mentions

Greg Frasier: Seriously, what does he have to do to get a nomination? Such a terrific lenser and his work on Zero Dark Thirty is beyond magnificent.

Seamus McGarvey: We can adore the costumes all we want, but it's his rapturous camera choreography that makes this film that madly passionate tour de force it is.

Howard Shore/Metric: Their work here is so sexualized and erotic. Love it

Still haven't seen: Too much

Wish NAME had made it: Matthais Schoenharts for Rust and Bone. I would love to see how many times a traditional two-lead (one actor, one actress) nets nominations for one/the other/both. It really seems like in these situations the man can get left out more readily than the lady. Beyond gender dynamics, I think there's at least one obvious reason - that you're likely to get more solo-man oscar bait entrants than solo-female ones, but still rather curious about the results).

February 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Wow! Loved that you silver-medaled Helen Hunt. Awesome performance there!

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Not all of the acting categories are marked with gold, silver, or bronze stars. Are you still deciding on those category winners, or is my browser wonky?

No Quvenzhane in lead actress. That is not okay.

February 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRicky

Arkaan -- ideally i'd do them in January, because i specifically enjoy them BECAUSE of the detail. I like thinking about what i'm responding to. so yes it's too much of a glut to do tthem during oscar week. but the problem is the day job. this year i thought i'd be able to just do the writing but it's still not there yet in terms of financial stability.

Ricky -- i'm not quite finished yet. the Oscars came rushing at me and i was undecided on a few things.

February 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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