Oscar History

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« Podcast: Neighbors & Godzilla | Main | Oscar Predictions & Curiousities : Visuals & Score »

Beauty Vs Beast: To Covet A Heart

JA from MNPP here, with perhaps one of the least cut-and-dry editions of our "Beauty Vs Beast" competition yet -- in honor of Cate Blanchett being awesome at Cannes let us compare and contrast the beauties and the beasts (mostly the beasts) within the two wicked school-teachers at the heart of 2006's Notes on a Scandal.

Let's get our moral compromise on...


Well which is it gonna be, folks? The flighty pederast or the cruel closet-case? Choices, choices, choices. And please let us know what your reasons are for choosing what you choose in the comments. It's an up-hill battle loving either of the ladies.

PREVIOUSLY Last week we we were riding in hot on the back of Zac Efron (full stop) ... and Seth Rogen in the comedy-hit Neighbors - where did your loyalties fall? At 60% of the vote we kept it high and tight and Hollywood pretty with Efron, although Seth definitely put up a good fight - he's got surprising stamina, that one. MeIAmMariahTheElusiveChanteuse (aka Greatest Name Ever) captured the crude center of the conundrum:

"My heart is saying Seth, but my hole is saying Zac. So conflicted."

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Reader Comments (13)

Still can't fathom how Judi lost the only Oscar she richly deserved.

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

but 2006 was a very competitive year. Still I can't choose between Barbara Covett and Miranda Priestley, two wonderful iconic performances.

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterferdi

mark -- simple: she'd already won and there's almost nothing "likeable" about Barbara. She's not even "a villain you love to hate". I'm not sure there'd be a precedent for that win in all of the best actress category. but yeah, she's just incredible in the movie. Dench's best work by a mile.

May 19, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I agree - definitely my favorite Dench performance. What other actress has captured bitterness and acidity in a character study like Dame Judy painted in her portrayal of Barbara?

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

Judi should have gotten that Oscar, no offense, Helen. But Cate was nearly her equal in a very difficult role. That climactic confrontation really packs a wallop.

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Voting against Barbara feels like an action of self-loathing. But voting for Sheba feels like advocating pederasty. Oh dear...

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAM/PM

Yes it is hard between her and Meryl but Meryl is just so quotable,Winslet seems even more like filler now and seems miscast and ill at ease,i used to love her in LC and Helen in TQ,wished they had showed Gyllenhaal and Bening some love

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

well, the wispy novice does get to bang a hot piece of jailbait but barbara comes up with lines like "wispy novice" and "pig in knickers"


May 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Well Sheba is hot and all, but apart from being immoral, she is so superficial and selfish that you cannot help but find her grating. It is like she has never mature and still thinks she is a young girl without nothing to worry about. And she is guilty of her own downfall (though she still thinks herself blameless).
Barbara in the other hand is just a sociopath and a weirdo, but she's still aware of the effects of her actions (for better or for worse). So there's that at least.

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArmando

Judi Dench was AMAZEBALLS. Still can't decide between her or Meryl that year.

May 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMia

Wow, what a great choice for this segment. These two performances were so good it's hard to choose. I think I have to go with Team Barbara for the creepy factor. Also, Dench's performance in this film proved to me beyond a doubt that she (not Mirren, not Streep, not anyone else) is the Queen of actresses in terms of versatility and believability.

May 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Underrated Blanchett. I adore every second of this performance.


May 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

How difficult was 2005? All were deserving, and I was Mirren-crazed at the time. But Dench nails Barbara to the wall and the only performance I think it can be compared to is Bette Davis' in "Baby Jane." Today, after multiple viewings of all the performances, I'd give Dench Best Actress and Blanchett Best Supporting Actress. And runners up would be Mirren for lead and then Streep for supporting. National Society of Film Critics got that one right.

May 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

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