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« Stocking Stuffers (of Our Dreams) | Main | Beauty vs Beast: Beard vs Bumble »
Monday
Dec222014

Best Actress Battles: Juli vs. Jen?

A recent headline, suggesting 'ways in which Jennifer Aniston could win the Oscar' (I shan't quote it directly but it's here if you must look upon it) didn't raise my eyebrow. Didn't even cause a twitch! If you've followed the Oscar game your whole life and especially if you've followed it in the past ten years when the internet has amplified all of the minutea you'll know that journalists are always looking for fresh angles or, with or without those, highly fantastical angles sold as plausible to use for click bait. So though the articles (I'm sure they are plural though I haven't actually read them) didn't worry me at first -- I believe that Julianne Moore will win gold -- but the immediate enthusiastic social media response to the idea that Jennifer Aniston might have an Oscar coming in February is what finally shoved my unwilling eyebrow up.

"Consider..." that here are two movies (Still Alice and Cake) that virtually no one outside of the press & industry has seen since both opted for one week qualifying releases. Yet they're the two that the fans are getting emotionally invested in in terms of "should/will win" arguments. It serves as a useful reminder that around Christmas-time each year the narratives truly begin to take over, media "battles" are created, and the actual films and performances are left far far behind...

For some awards runs this 'hide your movie and thus prevent any discussion about it that does not revolve around its Oscar viability' is extremely useful. That's particularly true if the film is forgettable or disappointing (see August: Osage County's bizarre release last year).

But if a film is actually good, hiding it or waiting until the last possible second to really get it out there can cause problems. I think this is what A Most Violent Year is going through right now but we'll see. (It could rally since it has strong elements but not really an awards narrative and thus hardly needs to or can benefit from hiding). In some cases hiding your film will utterly destroy its Oscar viability. Grand Budapest Hotel, an indisputable example as its so atypical, and even arguably Boyhood, would likely reap zero nominations if they were to have only been released last week and then promptly pulled while asking for nominations. They just wouldn't have the personal attachments, Oscar hooks, or prestige momentum without the fact of their actual quality staring everyone down for months on end.

Which brings us to the highly visible Julianne Moore and Jennifer Aniston and their highly invisible films Still Alice and Cake.

Julianne Moore needs only to conquer Hollywood's ageism to win. Her inarguably still dazzling looks will sure help, but ageism is a pernicious evil in the world and amplified further by Hollywood, an image-making business. Yes, the voting body skews elderly but they're statistically very resistant to aging women, preferring to give actresses their gold statues during years of great promise rather than their years of "have already proven themselves" (the opposite is the case for those with penises). The Oscar race is particularly tough on women in their late 40s and all through their 50s, those perilous years between Mythical Movie Star Beauty and Grand Dame Genuflection. In the latter period an actress can win... usually provided she has already won, like an endurance victory lap (see Hepburn & Streep). But winning after your mid 40s is tricky in the Best Actress category. In fact, only one 50something has ever won the top female prize and that was Shirley Booth in her film debut Come Back Little Sheba (1952). 

Despite those terrible odds Julianne Moore has the pedigree, the goodwill, and the actual performance to win (she's brilliant in Still Alice) with echoes of some of her great screen work in this woman who is slowly dissipating from early on-set Alzheimers. The only thing she might not have is the movie. I personally like Still Alice but it is inarguably a modest star vehicle, streamlined to the point of minimalism to key in on Julianne's performance.

So where does the Jennifer Aniston talk come from? From narrative and narrative only (since, remember, very few people have seen the film) but time tested narratives they are. Lest I sound like I'm dissing Jennifer Aniston, who I think is very good in Cake, I should make it clear that I retweeted and agree with this notion from TFE's friend and fabulous actress Melanie Lynskey:

 

 

But despite that deserved applause, I don't actually think quality of performance is why Jennifer Aniston has won her Oscar nominee traction. Call me a jaded pundit, but I think she's won traction on this quadruple whammy alone:

 

  1. Smart campaigning - her team saw an opening and hit the promotional trail hard
  2. Perceptions of a "weak actress year" (which it wasn't but we've discussed that to death) and the only strong competition left standing being an actress that everyone agrees is brilliant but who the Academy hasn't proven very interested in after their fling with her in 2007.
  3. That famous, disappointingly reductive "whoda thunk it" narrative (remember this Sandra Bullock story?) that is almost always trotted out for fine comic actors when people notice they also have dramatic skill. (The fact that comic skill alone isn't respectable is a more troubling problem but not the topic of this piece)
  4. And, finally, the dread "De-Glam" factor.

 

It's this fourth Oscar hook that worries me most, as a longtime very committed Julianne Moore fan. Oscar voters have historically had a very hard time resisting beautiful women who were "brave" enough to appear uglier than they are on screen... often with the aid of prosthetics or, before prosthetics became the norm, dumping costuming. Deglam is such a potent allure that the great beauty Grace Kelly even nabbed the Best Actress trophy not just from her competitive set but from one of the greatest performances of all time (Judy Garland in A Star is Born).

So can Jennifer Aniston take the Oscar? My guess is no and that this is your typical 'everyone needs something to talk about' Oscar situation. But the immediate bandwagon enthusiasm about this possible upset serves to remind us of just how popular deglam performances are and just how resistant the whole system is to giving great screen actresses their due IF they aren't lucky enough to win during their years of "shows great promise!"

Though the combination of Jen's deglam advantage (she wears prosthetic facial scars as a suicidal woman with chronic pain from a before-movie accident) and Hollywood's ageism (which might be a non issue since Aniston is 45 herself) do worry me a smidge my guess is that this still won't be enough once people start actually watching the films. Cake isn't big or showy enough to be an "Oscar winning" film and Aniston doesn't have the advantage that some actresses had with minor triumphs in that she wasn't having a great year that it punctuated (Grace Kelly's impossible-to-imagine Garland beat down in 1954 was due in large part to the fact that she had multiple smash hits that year and that her star vehicle was also a Best Picture contender).

So there's little to worry about, unless of course people (i.e. the media and industry) are just really bored and just don't want Julianne to have one.

I hope this "can she win?!?" fervor dies down because media-created battles where there shouldn't be one breed ill feelings. I'd rather celebrate both women to be honest. Though I think an Oscar nomination will be generous to say the least (given Johansson Cotillard etcetera) Aniston's grieving bitch in Cake deserves applause. In some ways her new character is akin to the depressed women she played in The Good Girl and Friends with Money but those were duller cousins. It's as if Aniston finally understood that you don't have to smother your star charisma to successfully play a depressed person. Better to let your light blaze to illuminate the specificity of the depression. I am personally enjoying imagining that she learned this from Julianne Moore herself who has always excelled, nay, absolutely dazzled while playing extremely depressed women. Depressed people in real life are rarely intoxicating to look upon but there's no reason they can't be that onscreen while still reading as authentically sad. That's the alchemy and the magic of great screen acting. 

 

HAVE YOU: Liked us on Facebook? Followed Nathaniel on Twitter? Tis the Season
NEXT: BEST ACTRESS BATTLES: FELICITY VS REESE
RELATED: BEST ACTRESS CHART & All Current Oscar Predictions

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Reader Comments (93)

Great piece. Thank you.

Anniston is also second gen Hollywood royalty and daddy is still working.....and she does commercials for sick kids....and she survived being dumped for home wrecker Jolie........and Brad's mother is still in touch.........which adds up to.....people like her a lot.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

I think - to your point- after people see the movie, not only is Jen no competition to Juli, she won't even get nominated

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMurtada.

No! Julianne Moore needs the Oscar more than Bore-niston.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Haven't seen either movie but even so I would go with Juli regardless. Aniston is great when she has good material but most actresses do . My problem with her is that she does what she does year after year after year and somehow it's enough to come up with a good one and everybody trips over themselves to give her an Oscar. How about Julianne Moore who didn't give a bad performance even when she was in crap movies?( well, almost never ). There's no competition here , people.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteradelutza

Should these two elderly actresses split (something I don't really believe in) the "ailment" vote*, someone recently commented here that there is no precedent for a Felicity Jones win (non-celebrity playing a long-suffering wife as a lead). But we do know that there is precedent for a win by either Witherspoon or Pike.

*assuming Aniston and not Swank steals Cotillard's nod

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

So, I actually think it's legit that she has soared to the #2 position and could potentially win. I said in another thread, I can see her winning the drama Globe and Juli getting the comedy one.

Credit to her team -- they saw that she had the opening. Reese Witherspoon was never going to win, so the other American Sweetheart is out. No one else is a big enough star to get the column inches, so here comes Jen Aniston -- ready and willing to hustle her ass off and put that Friends money to some good professional use for an A+ campaign.

The hype is one thing, but she seems to have some major goodwill out there. Not on the Sandra Bullock level, but it's out there. And I'm sorry to say, but things are too quiet for Julianne Moore right now.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

When I think of true Best Actress upsets, it seems like the "upset" star already has an Oscar -- Bullock over Streep, Berry over Spacek, Cotillard over Christie. I can't quite picture Aniston over Moore, given Juli's past nominations, strong body of work and general all around appeal. Plus, isn't she rather de-glammed in Alice, too?

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

As a Moore fan, I'm a little bit more concerned about Pike (more) and Witherspoon (less) than Aniston at the moment. Of course, if Aniston (or anyone but Julianne) wins the Drama Globe, that changes everything,. But right now Pike piling up these critics awards seems to be the biggest threat to the Overdue Genius.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

@Bia: Moore can afford to be quiet now, as she's assured a nod. Aniston has to work it now to secure one. Once the nominations are announced, expect money to be spent and glamour to be exuded in Moore's campaign.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I was thinking of the same thing as well when Aniston's name kept popping from major awards nominations announcements. It got me scared really, she could pull off a Bullock (only Blind Side was a commercial hit and Cake aint).

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Papa

I think Moore and Anniston are the only locks for a nomination and Jen has to be taken seriously as a contender. Obviously her campaign is working and if Crash can win best picture over Brokeback................

I think this should be called the weak year for award campaigns rather than a weak year for Best Actress performances.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Good grief. Even the notion.

I love Jen more than most and think she deserves more credit for doing what she has done so well over the years, but not winning this before Julianne.

I do wonder what Marion has to do to get another nomination, I really do not see how she has missed the boat so many times and looks likely to do so again :(

You should do a Top Ten of one nominee wonders and pray like hell that Marion doesn't end up on that list :D

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMorganLambert

Best Actress this year is weak because the contenders are not exciting in and of themselves. Sure we all want Moore to be Academy Award Winner Julianne Moore. And winning Best Actress would be sweet revenge for the times she was passed over for the contender with the stronger narrative instead of the stronger performance. But Moore winning now is like Jessica Lange winning for Blue Sky---she was denied for better work and her rivals have either been taken care of (Reese, Marion, Hilary) or nobody cares (Pike and the rest).

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I have a feeling that Moore still takes this, but there is a fifth bullet for Aniston that I think is worth noting. I have a sneaking suspicion that, based on interviews both she and others have done about her that she's a genuinely very nice and likable person, and let's not pretend that doesn't help. It helps particularly with her because the internet is disproportionately vicious to her, and sympathy is a powerful thing. I do think that the nomination is hers for the taking-this mirrors 2009 in a lot of ways in that the same five women dominate throughout the cycle.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

You know about Aniston? She is still too television to win. She is not a MOVIE romcom queen. She is sitcom. Nobody cares about giving her an Oscar.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

It's strange that the Variety article thinks it's a given that Julianne Moore will be in the race again. Everyone knows she does good work, but it's been 12 years since her last nomination! Hardly an assurance that she's always in the race.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichael C.

@cal roth: To me, it's actually a plus that her filmography is light on the standard rom-coms. It's by no means a great filmography, but it's a pretty diverse one.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I think Jen has more goodwill than Sandy did in 09 at the start of the race, and arguably a better performance too.

Once Jen ups the campaign, I wouldn't be surprised to see a win.
All she needs to do is win one award and do an awesome speech and it's on. Speeches won it for Sandy.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

With a majority of movie goers not having seen the movie- who knows? If Bullock can beat Streep... Why not Aniston beating Moore? At least Moore will get nominated again- this may be Aniston's only shot. Some say that it not even Moore's strongest work... ? And Moore has been the front runner (sight unseen) for months- maybe now at least there is a competition.

Keegan is right- if Aniston wins one and makes a great speech- all bets are off. This is the same woman who divorced Pitt and is still not married- she deserves the gold man. Typical Oscar narrative.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Given all this Aniston "Oscar" talk, I'd love nothing more than for her NOT to be nominated. The 4 reasons you mention for her nomination Nate are spot-on, especially the fact that her people are pushing for it, recognizing it's a "weak" year for actresses. That nomination belongs to Cotillard!!!

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRich

haha, I love how a post about how no one has seen these two performances has all the comments saying that Aniston shouldn't be nominated and/or win - for all we know, she's better than Moore!

I really like this article, and how 'traction' and things other than the performances themselves, in both the case of Moore & Aniston, are really what is driving the buzz and awards considerations.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

When I think about all the other actresses who don't even have a single nomination (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Johansson, Monroe, etc), it makes me sad thinking that Jennifer Aniston could get a nomination. Truly nothing against her but my wound from last year's Matthew McConaughey win is just starting to heal, an Aniston in Cake nomination would totally add salt to injury.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLyndee

I fear having to call Jennifer Aniston an Oscar winner. She makes Sandra Bullock look like Liv Ullmann.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTy

Jamie & Michael C - except with Streep the perception that she would be there again was not basically proveable fact (since she always is). Moore has a much harder time getting nominations and in her 50s now the big roles will be drying up in 3...2...1... (since everyone knows that only a couple of few movie star women get to keep working in their 60s and those are the oscar winning divas who are perceived as bankable (dench, streep, mirren) to a degree. Moore is not among that group since she's never been a bankable star and also isn't an Oscar winner.

I see this as her last shot and frankly i'm surprised it came along at all (thrilled but surprised)

Paul -- yes and actually light filmographies support wins more than great ones because then you can employ the "whodathunk it" move. Julianne has been brilliant so often that she's taken for granted. That's always the problem with brilliant actresses and why they need to win young before their talent is taken for granted and they lose the "hot new thing" advantage.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Your take on actresses playing moody/depressive is so on point. It's why I will always defend Gwyneth Paltrow's immense gifts onscreen. There are things she can't do, but hardly anyone can register moody resignation as brilliantly as she can, and has done in half a dozen roles.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

Hayden -- thank you! i always thought i was smart on this subject ;) a rarely discussed one but it really bugs me when actors play depressed as "dull"... no no not. that's what it can look & feel like in real life but the cinema is there to stylize and illuminate. Boredom is a no-no.

December 22, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

People are bored with Moore being the frontrunner. That's why these dumb articles are popping up. Aniston will be lucky to be nominated. I'm still betting on Marion. Julianne has this.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I am glad for this post. Actually, I was just thinking yesterday that for a year with Julianne in the running, Nathaniel has been relatively silent about her. Anyway, I agree that Jennifer's big triumph will be a nomination, and I agree that if anyone is breathing down Julianne's neck for the win it is Rosamund Pike. Gone Girl is surely going to win more nominations than Still Alice, and she's the most obvious way to recognize the film with a big win. Of course, we're all probably overthinking what goes through voters' heads when they sign their ballots...

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDusty

LeJend Anuston will shit all over WHOlianne WHOore ha Oscar dream. <3

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChanteuse

That's a GREAT analysis of onscreen depression, Nathaniel. And it just flabbergasts me again that Jennifer Connolly got no awards traction in 2003 for beautifully articulating depression in House of Sand and Fog.

December 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJase

I can't see how Moore loses. Isn't this pretty much like when Winslet won except for she's also playing someone with a disease?
I can see why people might play the Aniston card as a way of drumming up interest. Why would they give Reese a second Oscar if Moore is right there? Pike and Felicity are total, the nomination is the reward nominees. And since there seems to be groups of people that are obsessed with Aniston and overinflate everything she does, it's not surprising we're getting those kinds of stories.
Honestly, I don't even think she'll get nominated. I'd say Cotillard gets the last slot in a similar fashion as Javier Bardem's nomination for Biuiful.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJustin

I think Aniston is second right now as well, only because she will get the most #1 votes after Moore for a nomination.

Aniston has worked with a ton of actors throughout her career, and I have a feeling that a lot of the comedic ones (Bateman, Sudeikis, etc) will vote for her.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike B.

Is Sudeikis even a member of AMPAS?

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Aniston can definitely be compared to Bullock: both are America's sweethearts who have steadily worked for over a decade putting a lot of money in people's pockets and working the campaign trail very well. But I am more worried about Pike winning ( as I have been since this year started). Pike also campaigns well, is starting to pick up more critic group wins, and has the highest grossiing movie out of any possible actress nominee. But most importantly, I think her performance is the one that will be studied, debated, and dissected by future movie lovers the most. People will remember Pike for this role. Aniston will always be remembered for "Friends" first. With Moore, is this the performance we will still be talking about in 10 years, or will we still be discussing her earlier work?

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commentertom

The media is just being mischievous.

They want headlines like " Jennifer nominated. Angelina snubbed.", 'Brad to boycott Oscars over Angelina snub". 'Revenge for Jennifer".

And if Jolie is nominated for Best Director - headline like "Will Jennifer sit next to Brad and Angelina at Oscars?'

It'll be very juicy stuff. And despite many negative reviews of Aniston's performance she is a lock for a nomination. As is Moore.

But who will fill the final 3 spots? Cotillard? Jones? Pike? Witherspoon?

And remember folks Redford was predicted a lock for All is Lost last year so don't think Witherspoon is a lock this year.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Even if I think Julianne will have another shot next year with Freeheld, - if the movie turns out to be good - I still hope she can finally win this year. 2014 has been her year: she is the best thing in Mockingjay (so subtle and nuanced), absolutely heartbreaking in Still Alice and even greater in Maps To The Stars which I think is one of the top performances of her career along with Safe, Far From Heaven, Magnolia, The Hours and Boogie Nights. But sadly, Havana Segrand is the total opposite of an Oscar-friendly role and there was no campaign at all, which is a total shame. Three performances that are so rich and diverse... it seems three different actresses. No other actress this year can claim this goal.
C'mon guys, even if Aniston is really good in Cake, no one better than Moore deserves to win this year. I will be very, very upset.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFerdi

It's not Moore's last shot, not at all. She is gonna be in the next race playing

a) a dying gay
b) a dying gay with cancer
c) a dying gay with cancer and a shaved head

If she somehow loses this year, there's no way she loses again for Freeheld. This is the most evident sight unseen win since Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I thought Rosamund Pike was the only serious threat, and deservedly so since to me she gives far and away the best performance out of all these ladies in contention. I haven't seen Cake and am obviously and unfortunately excluding Marion Cotillard, Scarlett and a slew of other really good performances who never really had any chance here.

But the way so many blogs have bitten into Aniston's campaign bate it does seem that she'll be the true rival. Maybe she's great in Cake. I certainly wasn't impressed at all with Julianne Moore in Still Alice. It's an effective performance but hits every single note I expected her too, and not in a good way. The whole movie seems to exist for the sole purpose of qualifying for and winning her an Oscar, and that's kinda sad. I don't think there would've been this campaign if the road was so evidently easy this year for her to finally win.

I don't think anyone will remember Still Alice in a few years aside from the fact that it will be the movie for which one of Hollywood's most beloved actress finally won her Oscar after years of far superior work.

As a movie lover, what got me into the Oscars as a kid in the first place was how they used to serve as a briefing about what was so great about a specific year in movies, the trends and styles that were being noticed and so forth. I do believe that what Rosamund Pike did in Gone Girl is truly special and a performance that, not only due to the uniqueness of the role but the remarkable choices she made as an actress throughout the movie, doesn't come around often. As tom said a few posts above, it is THE most talked about performance of the year and the one that will be dissected the most. I just also happen to think she was absolutely genius in it.

I can't think of a better (mainstream) performance to reward this year. I would love her to have a shot at it.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterZV

Nat didn't another Shirley win in 83 for Terms Of Endearment,think she was 50.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Also Susan Sarandon turned 50 just few months before her Oscar win back in 1996.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterFerdi

Mark & ferdi - MacLaine was a couple of weeks shy of 50; Sarandon was 49 1/2 (her burthday's in October.)

I just woke up from a dream that Witherspoon was nominated for The Good Lie instead of Wild, so you're probably gonna want to update your chart. ;)

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Ugh, now y'all have me all worried over Julianne Moor possibly losing the Oscar.

Today's gonna be a bad day.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip H.

Mark & Ferdi -- what Mike said. Both of those actresses were 49. Very late wins. SHIRLEY BOOTH is the only 50something in the category's entire 87 year history (to date) to win

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Well, the press needed a battle and they created it. Let's hope Julianne gets a better post-Oscar career than my beloved Susan Sarandon.

I still can't believe she's the frontrunner. It's kind of marvelous.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I find it funny that everyone is going on and on about every Best Actress contender except Felicity Jones. Someone decided that she's going to be the stock British nominee and the rest of us just went 'OK'. Seriously, nobody is excited about her performance despite it being quite good.

I'm not particularly good at predicting nominees but.. what if the hoopla around seemingly weak Best Actress field hurts Jones? I know that she's supposed to be this year's ingenue but usually those nominations come from more eccentric and succesful films. "The Theory is Everything" is a by-the-numbers biopic (and a boring one to boot). She doesn't have her own 'contender narrative', rides Redmayne's coattails and is overshadowed by flashier performances and women with star power. Her inclusion represents one of the most boring aspects of the race: 'let's nominate this girl and then forget that she's even there'.

What if her name just doesn't appear on the list? Would there be a backlash? I don't think so. Would it hurt her career? Not at all. Maybe I live in a fantasy world but there might be room for Aniston AND a performer that film lovers actually care about (Marion).

Just a thought.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterflatbeat

Moore and Moore I keep thinking of a Jones snub a la Thompson last year Kidman in 2012 and Swinton the year previous to that.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

I don't really believe that it's been discussed that Aniston can beat Moore. Let's be serious: She can be good in "Cake" but not to surpass Moore or Cottilard, and we don't even know if she will be nominated! It's Moore time. It's Moore year! I can't see 6.000 members voting for Aniston (Angelina for exemple), but I can see most of them voting for Moore. The nomination (if it happens) is Aniston reward (like Felicity Hoffman in 2005). I can see Moore easily winning the Critics Choice, Globe, SAG, BAFTA. But let's be honest: Can you really se Aniston winning all these prizes and mainy the BAFTA?

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

It just goes to show how much the media influences the Oscar race to such an unfortunate and unfair degree particularly since we're not even talking about their performances, really, but extraneous things such as star power, campaigns, like ability, overdue-ness, etc, etc that happens every year.

Personally, I think Julianne is more akin to Kate Winslet in 2008 than Bening or Streep, for instance, in 2010 and 2009, respectively. No one thought Winslet's performance in The Reader (or Rev Road for that matter) was remotely close to career-best work for her but she campaigned her ass off and the "she's overdue" narrative clicked with voters (ironically she also had two praised lead performances in one year like Moore. It helps.)

Jen Aniston simply hasn't had the year Sandy had in 2009. Not only was The Blind Side a massive hit by this time in 2009 but she also had The Proposal which was a huge international summer hit. 2009 really was a career rejuvenation for her. Trust me, No one will be lining up in droves to see Cake. Plus, let's be real, Sandy has had more of a true impact and legacy on film than Aniston has, by miles! While You Were Sleeping, Miss Congeniality, Speed, etc, etc, are standards. Aniston's contribution to this industry really is her television work, regardless of some of the modest successes she's had at the box office (but nothing compared to Bullock).

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I also think it's important to remember how unanimously ALL the awards bodies threw themselves behind Julianne Moore for Game Change. Sure, that was TV and her vehicle was unrivaled in many ways, but the goodwill is real.

December 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

Hayden & Aaron - good points

flatbeat -- i'm just about to post a thing on Felicity but it's funny how sometimes you dont even need personal heat/buzz if your film has it. Focus has done a superb job lifting THEORY OF EVERYTHING from a Redmayne possibility to a contender in all ways. .

December 23, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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