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« Podcast: The Smackdown Companion | Main | Interview: The Emotionally Resonant Visual Effects Work in "Avengers: Infinity War" »
Tuesday
Feb192019

Smackdown 2018: Amy, Emma, Rachel, Marina, "and..." Regina King

Presenting Oscar's Chosen 'Supporting' Actresses of the Films of 2018.

Two warring ladies of the royal court, two desperate mothers, and an amoral ambitious politician's wife. That's the 'supporting' actress roll call for the 91st Oscars, though two of the characters are leading ladies. Still, we're here to talk performances, first and foremost. Who wowed us, whose take on their characters left us wanting, and are these actresses making the most of what's in their screenplays? [Sad Disclaimer: Unfortunately since we did not receive screeners this season (moving/address problems) we were unable to do the normal screentime count portion of the Smackdown though we're just as curious as you surely are about how the screentime in The Favourite actually measures up from actress-to-actress. We won't trust any report till we do our own because we've heard conflicting statements, so we will eventually do the count.]

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS   

Here to talk about these five nominated turns are actress Ginny O'Keefe, blogger Robin Write (Filmotomy), two senior Film Experience contributors Murtada ElfadlChris Feil, and your host Nathaniel R.  The final collective panelist is the Readers (hey, that means you!!!) who took the time to send us their votes. Okay, let's go!

2018
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN  

 

Amy Adams as "Lynne Cheney" in Vice
Synopsis: The driven wife of a directionless man inspires him on his journey to become a notorious power-hungry politician.
Stats: 44 yrs old, 36th film, 2nd billed. 6th nomination. 

Murtada Elfadl: Even a few minutes after seeing Vice I couldn’t remember much of Adams’ performance. The film throws so much at us, and Bale is going so big it was hard to remember Amy. But then it came back to me, in bits and pieces. The faux Shakespeare scene, when Lynne shakes down Dick, going all Lady Macbeth at the party in the White House. And that’s how this performance is, piecemeal, bits and pieces of brilliance here and there. But does it cohere fully? I don’t think so. Not her fault, more the film’s. She’s giving it her all when the films remembers Lynne. ♥♥♥

Chris Feil: I will need Dr. Louise Banks to travel trough time and (after making sure that Arrival nomination happens) remind voters that we don't have to give Oscar nominations to our greatest performers for their worst performances just because they haven't won yet. In fairness to Adams, she commits to following where the bad direction leads her, but it's depressing to watch her left so at sea in the film's gaucheness. Ever the professional, but for the first time, we see the strings as her Lynne is stuck in the exclamation points of the screenplay's mechanics. Why would Adam McKay ask a performer so gifted with nuance to simply bark empty nonsense? 

Ginny O'Keefe: Okay…I’m going to start off by saying I love Amy Adams. But if I could swap this nomination for Actress in a Leading Role for Arrival back in 2017, then I would. This performance isn’t a bad one, it just happens to be a performance in a bad movie. She gives off great Mama-Bear energy as her character, Lynne Cheney, and she is ready for anything that might come her way. The power she exudes is amazing, and it’s all from a good place in her heart. She wants the best for her husband and her girls. She makes this politician’s wife seem more human. But she still shouldn’t win for this. ♥♥♥

Nathaniel R: Here's a conundrum: The Master (2012) is my least favourite Amy Adams Oscar nomination but while I bought her far more as Lynne Cheney in Vice than in her previous rendition of Frighteningly Ambitious Totally Amoral King-Maker Wife, this technically more successful performance is far less aesthetically gutsy. No amount of political canvassing or airwave saturation could change my vote in this regard: I'm just not that into it. She's fine, I guess, but can we please quit with the default nominations, AMPAS? She's a very fine actress on the regular but your generosity when she's merely adequate (roughly half of her nomination count) provokes ungenerous feelings within me... and I hate feeling ungenerous! ♥♥

Robin Write: The Amy Adams overdue status was somewhat inflated this year. Her role in Vice was rather slight, though not knocking Adams' consistent onscreen presence, it would be pretty ridiculous if she wins for this. Especially given the competition. A couple of strong scenes for sure, but there were far better, heftier supporting performances that could have gotten in instead. ♥♥♥

Reader Write-Ins: "Dominates the early section. Does what she can with a thinly conceived, thankless role " -Milton T (Reader average: ♥♥¼)

Actress earns 14¼  ❤s 


 

Marina de Tavira as "Senora Sofia" in Roma
Synopsis: A harried mother of four leans hard on her maid/nanny when her husband leaves her.
Stats: 44 yrs old, 14th film, 2nd billed. First nomination. 

Murtada Elfadl: Is this a great or merely a good performance? The difference lies in Alfonso Cuarón’s observational way of filming. His camera is almost always at a distance from the actors, preventing us from deeply feeling their performances. Take the scene at the new year’s party where Sofia rebuffs the advances of a drunk. We hear them but they appear as shadows in the distance so we can’t see what Sofia is feeling. Yet de Tavira conveys it in her voice. Even her big scene towards the end where she tells her children that their father left the family, a conundrum the film been’s hurtling towards for all its running time, is shot from a distance, sometimes her face is even obscured. Again we feel it all in her voice. I just wish we got even one close up. ♥♥♥

Chris Feil: A fascinating opposite to Yalitza Aparicio's performance in many ways. Her pain mostly (and rightly) on the periphery as we focus on Cleo, not shying away from Señora Sofía's privilege as she reveals her humanity. The delight in this surprise nomination is that she probably should have been showing up all season long! Though she's playing some version of the director's mother, there is a lack of preciousness to de Tavira's rendering. Bonus points for brilliant drunk acting!  ♥♥♥

Ginny O'Keefe: In the beginning, I thought that Tavira’s character was going to be another witchy, rich housewife with little empathy for those who she thought of as “less” than her. Boy, I am glad I was proven wrong. She makes the role more human and the messiness of makes Sofia more understandable. This character is going through a crisis and she becomes a better person because of it. Three words: the beach scene. Tavira’s character, Sofia, comforting Cleo and reassuring her that she and her children love her was both a punch in the stomach and a warm blanket being wrapped around me. ♥♥♥♥

Nathaniel R: I'm of two entirely different minds on this performance. On the one hand I think she's doing (by far) the best acting in the film -- personal preference but I will just always dig what professional actors are doing more than non-actors guided by a strong director (aka everyone else in the cast). On the other hand is she doing too much? Her attention to detail is admirable -- note the way Sofia's head is almost never in the room (so authentically distracted by her personal tragedy) and sometimes just the direction she's staring in is perfect actorly business. But other times it feels like maybe a lot of ACTING within a film where everyone else is merely existing as part of the glorious images. Torn between 'too much, pull it back, Marina!' and 'Not enough of her, Cuarón. She'd slay a closeup or a subplot if you gave her one!'  I'm landing on the inbetween of 'just right! Can't wait to see her in something else more interested in her soon'. ♥♥♥

Robin Write: When I finally saw Roma, given the glorious praise beset on it from all sides, one of my immediate reactions was - why is nobody talking about Marina de Tavira? Yalitza is very good, a non-actor in a central role, but there is far more gusto and emotion through de Tavira's layered performance. Exquisite, underplayed acting, juggling numerous life obstacles. Not to mention, the camera loves her.   ♥♥♥♥♥

Reader Write-Ins: "My favorite surprise nomination and one I've appreciated more ever since. Her warm embrace of Cleo after the latter reveals her pregnancy is the moment that opens up ROMA emotionally for me. Accesses a wide range of feeling, scaled to the size of a real woman, inside a film so gargantuan that such an achievement seems impossible to imagine. " - Nick T. (Reader average: ♥♥♥)

Actress earns 22 ❤s 

 

 

Regina King as "Sharon Rivers" in If Beale Street Could Talk
Synopsis: The resourceful mother of a young pregnant girl fights to keep her future son-in-law from a terrible prison sentence.
Stats: 48 yrs old, 21st film, 11th billed but with an "and..." notation. First nomination. 

Murtada Elfadl: King is center of gravity for the film. All the other characters gravitate towards her, and the other actors’ performances are enhanced by hers. She gives Colman Domingo a warm sexy sparring partner to play with. She grounds her scenes with Kiki Lane in a loving warmth. She recedes to give Emily Rios space to express her rage, elevating those scenes and making them heartbreaking for both characters. Yet Jenkins is smart to give her a showcase scene all hers, and never has trying on a wig on screen been more electrifying. ♥♥♥♥♥

Chris Feil: The single element of If Beale Street Could Talk that most embodies its inherent empathy and steadfastness in a racist world that wishes to diminish both. Imagine some of her more rosy speeches in the hands of a lesser performer or one that pushes rather than trusting the text - but, oh wait, you can't because that's the indelible stamp King leaves. Even the iconography is commandingly her own as she stares down into camera and into us: her weariness before Tish's news, that gorgeous arrival to Puerto Rico, applying her wig in her hotel. The weight of her impossible mission, of resilience, of love - all beautifully and equally centered in King's performance. ♥♥♥♥

Ginny O'Keefe: King’s role could have easily been a forgettable one in the hands of another actress. But in the hands of King, it is the best performance in the entire film. The warmth, the love and the ferocity that she brings out is one of a great mother. There were times watching the film, when I wanted her to hug me and tell me everything is going to be all right. I believed every single word she said in the film. She is strong, but soft in all the right ways. I want her to be my mommy. ♥♥♥♥

Nathaniel R: Love this actress so much. While Beale Street doesn't give her the kind of foregrounded intricate psychology OR vivid scene-stealing flamboyance that mark some of her other best roles (think American Crime, SouthlandRay, Year of the Dog, Boyz n the Hood, etcetera), it knows exactly how to harness her innate warmth and authenticity. She rescues the film from its sometimes heavy-handed style by embodying something far more conceptual than a specific character: maternal resilience, faith (not the religious kind), and community. She'd totally get my Oscar vote if I had one to give right here. ♥♥♥♥

Robin Write: Certainly the most passionate character in a rather subdued display of story-telling (and that is not a flaw). So by default, King gets to sink her teeth in the deepest. A compelling screen presence for years and years, it is not hard to see why King was one of the most popular front-runners this awards season. Didn't hit as hard with me as it did with many others, though.  ♥♥♥

Reader Write-Ins: "I think I’m most struck by King’s innate warmth, she is such a charismatic, maternal presence on-screen, and such a great match for Jenkins’ swooning, straight to camera close-ups. Her scene with Tish in the kitchen and then with her family, sharing the news, are such lessons in how an actor can have confidence in simply being present and listening. Her Puerto Rico scenes are probably what is winning her the awards, but I was sold in the first moments. Just hearing her say ’that child is your grandchild’ is like a knife straight to the heart. " - Arun W. (Reader average: ♥♥♥♥)

Actress earns 25 ❤s 

 

Emma Stone as "Abigail Marsham" in The Favourite
Synopsis: A servant girl, eager to work her way back into the nobility, plans to usurp the position of the queen's favourite, a position long since filled by her cousin. 
Stats: 30 yrs old, 22nd film, 2nd billed. 3rd nomination, 1 previous win. 

Murtada Elfadl: Stone is not getting enough credit for how perfectly modulated the performance is. Technically brilliant with an impeccable English accent. With the perfect pose, walk and gestures that enhance every frame she’s in. Emotionally - aided by the script giving Abigail the clearest arc - she charts the journey so well that the audience can see what Abigail is thinking even though she herself is not sure where she’ll end up. And in a film praised for being anachronistic rather than a stuffy fuddy duddy period piece, hers is the most modern performance. She brings a wry sprite physicality and perfect comic timing that gives the film modernity. ♥♥♥♥♥

Chris Feil: It says something that she's the one of The Favourite women that is most difficult to imagine any other actress in her respective role. Stone has proven uncommonly gifted at playing difficult traits - a balance of innocence and strength, a conscientious sense of calculation, a serpentine ability to play a character who "performs" - and The Favourite not only uses all of them in tandem but also turns them on their head for something deliciously nasty. She's the most clearly selfish and destructive of its characters, and yet Stone makes us feel Abigail's ultimate tragedy. But sure: demerits for being a lead performance.  ♥♥♥

Ginny O'Keefe: I fully believe this is the best Stone has ever been. In the beginning of the film I really wanted her character, Abigail, to have it all. Then by the end of it, I wanted her to rot where she stood. Stone’s perfect balance of doe-eyed innocence and maliciousness make this character all the more entertaining. You can see the devil and the angel on her shoulders whispering in her ears and you can tell that it isn’t easy for her character to do the things that she does. But she is desperate for a better life and desperation makes you do terrible things. But Weisz still outshines her. ♥♥♥♥

Nathaniel R: Is any actress more on fire right now than Emma Stone? After a handful of years in the wilderness of uneven work after that star-making brilliance in Easy A she's been pushing herself to greater heights for three consecutive years now with rangier and often dazzlingly rewatchable star turns that also double as whip-smart character-work. At this rate, if she keeps topping her own personal best every damn year she'll give the greatest performance of all time by 2031. She's flawless and fascinating and funny as the complicated Abigail Marsham and what's more she makes it all seem effortless and spontaneous, like Abigail is gambling her life at all moments, winging it as she maneuvers through treacherous waters learning to outviper other vipers. That said this is inarguably, a leading role so I have to remove a heart. ♥♥♥♥

Robin Write: If Olivia Colman's Queen has the decline, then Emma Stone's Abigail has the most fascinating character arc in The Favourite. Stone plays every facade and exchange with so much subtlety, she sizzles with underlying electricity. And she is the lead here, if we have to pick one. Stone is yet again proving herself to be one of the most diverse actresses in the business ♥♥♥♥♥

Reader Write-Ins: "The best she's been since "Easy A". That wedding night scene with Joe Alwyn is the most memorable part of the movie that doesn't involve Queen Anne." - Rebecca H. (Reader average: ♥♥♥½)

Actress earns 25½  ❤s 

 

 

Rachel Weisz as "Lady Sarah" in The Favourite
Synopsis: The Queen's right-hand woman attempts to rule the royal Court while also struggling to keep her clandestine relationship with the monarch alive in the face of a threat from her young ambitious cousin. 
Stats: 48 yrs old, 42nd film, 3rd billed. 2nd nomination, 1 previous win. 

Murtada Elfadl: Weisz should give lessons in how to drop a cutting line. In how to walk with determination. In how to play chilling, intimidating and vulnerable all at the same time. Most of all though she should start a workshop in how to get Lanthimos’ tone just right. If Stone embodies the physicality and comical gestures of Lanthimos’ deadpan tone, then Weisz is the verbose embodiment of it. I was so delighted watching and enjoying every line reading. She’s scrumptious. ♥♥♥♥♥

Chris Feil: "Sometimes a lady likes to have a little fun" and Weisz has a lot here. She is tasked with making Sarah's seeming contradictions all be true at once: hard and compassionate, loyal and manipulative, advantageous of her own interests and also justified. The film's central tragedy is the duality of Abigail's ambition and Anne's need for affection leaving them both ultimately unfulfilled - yet somehow, despite her seeming cruelty we mourn that Sarah's tragedy is that she's the one screwed over. And it's because Weisz is divine and hilarious, earning our sympathy through Sarah's rigorous (and CORRECT!) honesty. ♥♥♥♥

Ginny O'Keefe: Weisz has always been an actress that is loved but not nearly loved enough. This role as Lady Sarah gives her a great chance to shine and it has to be the best performance of her career. For me, this is Weisz’s film. She knows how to manipulate, and she knows what is really at stake here. She is one of the two “vipers” of the film, and maybe that is why she sees Stone’s character as an enemy. Weisz could have been walking with the crown on her head the whole movie and I wouldn’t have cared about the inaccuracy, because it would have fit so well on her. ♥♥♥♥♥

Nathaniel R: The best work she's ever done. Of course there's the way she moves through the court with the kind of confidence that's not remotely a facade but deeply earned. Better still is the absolute meal she makes of every delicious bite of dialogue. Best of all is how cannily precise she is at carving out Sarah's tender feelings (only for Anne) from what initially appears to be an impenetrable block of ice where a heart might theoretically be located. That that slowly exposed heart reads as almost as much of a tragic surprise to Sarah as it does to us is the inspired dessert of this truly gourmet meal of a performance. (But this is a leading role so I have to remove a heart.) ♥♥♥♥

Robin Write: Of course, one of three exhilarating female performances from The Favourite - each a little bit different from the last. Weisz's role is the most directly venomous - especially the first half of the film. You certainly sympathize with her in the latter parts, and Weisz does exceptional work, even in moments of less dialogue. Though, she also has some of the best lines in a film chock-a-block with brilliant dialogue. ♥♥♥♥♥

Reader Write-Ins: "If acting were like figure skating, Rachel's got a planned technical content of multiple quad jumps; and she lands them perfectly. Her role is the most difficult. You have to believe that she is the same woman who could charm a queen in private and charm a room of male politicians. Her voice work is marvelous. While another actress might waver into sassiness or waver in their degree of confidence in the line reading, there's only command and control from Weisz because that's the only way Sarah can take care of the Queen and her country. But there's more! She's also delivering many of the screenplay's funniest lines. Her timing is impeccable, but just as easily as she lands a quip, she can be there with a candle, in a dark corridor, pleading for her life and breaking your heart. 5 vajujus out of 5." -Peter C (Reader average: ♥♥♥♥)

Actress earns 28  ❤s 

 

We'll find out who wins the Oscar this Sunday but while Emma and Regina put up a valiant fight for runner-up honors, Rachel Weisz wins the Smackdown! 

 

We hope you enjoyed this event.

Want more? Listen to an hour on this topic on the Podcast!

Previous Smackdowns: 1941, 194419481952, 1954, 196319641968, 19701973, 197719791980, 1984, 19851989, 199419952003, 2016, and 2017 (prior to those 30+ Smackdowns were hosted @ StinkyLulu's old site)

NEXT UP? 1972 feat. Butterflies are Free, The Heartbreak Kid, Fat City, Pete n' Tillie, and The Poseidon Adventure. Spring date TBA

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Reader Comments (54)

Loved Weisz and Stone !!! Starting to think Weisz might grab the Oscar.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

It kind of breaks my heart that Amy Adams got such a low score. Maybe she would win for Junebug when we do that year in a Smackdown.


I haven't seen Vice. With the current state of politics, I just can't stomach it right now. Later down the road, I will watch it.

Marina de Tavira- Roma
At first, you believe that Madame Sofia (played by de Tavira) is a telenovela reject. Her expressions are a little bigger and she holds her husband a little longer than most. However, we soon discover that Sofia's husband has basically abandoned her and her children and she is trying to keep everything together. The best scene with de Tavira is when Cleo, her maid tells her she is pregnant. While Sofia is trying to get her children to write letters to their father, another bombshell is dropped in her lap. Sofia calmly tell Cleo she is not mad and not a doctor appointment must be set up. And while this conversation is happening, her children come in and out of the scene interrupting. De Tavira is juggling so much in this scene, I couldn't even cover it all. But I saw the woman trying to keep calm, to keep the turbulent waters are bay but barely holding the dam together. There are times when de Tavira slips into bigger gestures and cliches, but the quiet moments (like this one and the scene on the beach "We all love you, Cleo.") are wonderful. 3 hearts.

Regina King- If Beale Street Could Talk
King plays Sharon, a mother about to become a grandmother. Her daughter is young and her son-in-law is in jail on false charges. Sharon is the calming and reassuring presence in the movie. King is believably happy about the new baby, apprehensive about her daughter's future, and exhausted knowing that battle to keep her family intact is one that she may not win. Sharon goes through a lot in the movie and King's gestures and posture and movements seem exactly what Sharon would be doing. 3.5 hearts

Emma Stone- The Favourite
As Abigail, the usurper who could teach Eve Harrington a few things, Stone may be giving her best performance. What I like about it particularly is how she uses her humanity as a weapon. When Abigail first comes to the castle, she has just literally been thrown into the dirt. Stone wears Abigail's ambition on her sleeve even then. Abigail wants to better herself, that is all. But she is still a human being- her genuine emotional reaction of learning that the queen as lost 17 children is so touching. I don't believe there was any scheming going on there. Just two people connecting through their grief. Stone taps into this emotional well she has and later uses her expressive face and eyes to turn and twist the humanity in her to get advantages. I distinctly remember the scene where she burns the letter. Abigail knows that this action essentially will burn her last shred of humanity. She is destroying two people with this action. Stone weeps one single tear that reflects the firelight. It is a stunning scene. We are watching a woman burn away into a statue, something unfeeling. Stone displays the genuine and phony in her character very well- and as a bonus point is not afraid of the audience not liking her or even rooting for her. But it is a lead performance. So minus a heart. 3.5 hearts

Rachel Weisz- The Favourite
My Favourite. The moment Weisz starts speaking as the sharp tongued and witted Sarah, I knew this movie belonged to her. Weisz breezes through the political and court scenes as a woman used to getting her way and carrying power. Sarah almost seems bored with her opponents, she withers them so easily. Weisz just projects a confidence of someone who could talk into a room and everyone knows to bow to her. Only when Abigail starts to gain favor and power does Sarah start unraveling. But Sarah has become so used to her position and so underestimated Abigail that her entire equilibrium is thrown off. The scene in which she discovered the queen and Abigail together in bed and then slinks off into the passage with only a candle for light, I truly Weisz was going to fall over as you could almost see her heart breaking. A younger rival with no enemies at court is going to take her place and Sarah knows it. In order to keep what is hers, she clutches it closer, but like clutching sand tighter, it only slips more from her fingers. Sarah slowly looses everything but Weisz refuses to let Sarah loose her dignity. In the end, we know that Sarah was the real special one. She kept the kingdom going and soon things go off the rails. Weisz honestly keeps the movie going her me. Colman and Stone were fantastic and I loved their performances, but Weisz was simply the best. As I said, my favourite. 4.5 hearts

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom G.

Love Weisz but please oh please let Regina King win that Oscar.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Still haven't managed to see Beale Street (likely going to take care of that tomorrow), but of the other 4 I'll have to break with the pack:

1. Stone
2. Weisz
3. De Tavira
4. Adams

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I still havent seen Roma, but Rachel Weisz almost went Blanchett next level in this. The only reason I want Regina King to win the Oscar is because Im Wakandan, she’s never even come close before, and Kate Winslet’s secret cousin already has an Oscar.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterkris01

If you take "Team Experience's" opinion it is one lead. You may disagree, but enough of your near and dears consider Weisz supporting, so begrudgingly you may be in the minority on that opinion.

Or if you take Dancin' Dan's opinion, four leads, but Weisz is correct to be voted for as supporting? Yes, it is confusing.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterWhitney

You couldn't find some ho with screeners to add screentime/percentage? JK, was a bit jarring not to see it there was all.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterUrkel

Category fraud aside, Emma is my winner.

It's also wonderful (and refreshing) to see her, her work and her choices celebrated in this post. People are so quick to throw shade if someone's career dips post Oscar but not as quick to give praise should they improve, as Emma undoubtedly has.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

As Weisz and Stone are in a category fraud, I understand Adams' low score, but it can not be accepted...

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeri

If evaluating solely on performance (and not category placement) then I tend to agree with this pick, I think Weisz is brilliant in The Favourite, and as much as I am rooting for King to win, I won't be mad if Weisz won.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Wow! I thought Regina had this in the bag.

I also removed a heart from Stone and Weisz. Those are leads with a capital L.

I really hope Marina gets a career after this. A Latin Melissa Leo. She's got a decent English.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

You know how amazing a lineup is when the worst score is 22 and is called Amy Adams :)

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGC

I’m glad you guys didn’t go Zellweger on Amy Adams. She didn’t give a great performance; but I’d say she’s more a victim of bad direction and an even worse film than anything else. Vice may actually get my vote for the worst movie of 2018. It was awful.

Regina King is the very definition of a 4-star performance. I love her in anything; however I do think people watching Beale Street 20 years from now will be like “oh...okay?” if she wins.

Rachel Weisz blew the competition out of the water, even if she is a leading actor.

My ranking:

01. Weisz
02. Stone
03. King
04. de Tavira
05. Adams

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge

For me

01. Stone
02. Weisz...
but both are leads.

De Tavira is very good, but not nom worthy IMO. Adams is MEH. The only performance I'm OK with winning is King because it happens to be the actual best SUPPORTING performance in this category.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSid

My ranking of the nominees (lead performances are instantly downgraded even though I give them more hearts than other true supporting performances):

01.Marina de Tavira as Sofia in ROMA – 4 hearts
This surprise nominee would be my pick for the way she manages to weave a tapestry of contradictions in the way this upper-class mother relates to the maid and nanny who may seem like she’s part of the family but is always separated from them by race, class and professional barriers. De Tavira manages to be both funny and heartbreaking, a sympathetic figure drunkenly proclaiming the cosmic loneliness of women in a man’s world as well as a privileged harpy showering needless, sudden cruelty on the only person she has power over in her own household.

Ideal Oscar clip: When Cleo reveals she’s pregnant and one can almost feel how being kind to a woman in need is something that makes Sofia feel like a better person in a time of crisis. She may be kind to her maid, but that kindness is shadowed by power and privilege and de Tavira never lets us forget that complex dynamic.

----

02.Regina King as Sharon Rivers in IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK – 4 hearts
A small, but powerful role that allows King to show why she’ one of the best in the industry. Initially she is a necessary calming presence in the storm of emotional and sensory overload of the script and its formalistic approach, cutting through that marvelous family meeting with lightness, a touch of humor and the firm righteousness of a mother protecting her child. Later, on her trip to Cuba, she is a woman on a mission whose unease and obvious distress are always hand in hand with her desperate determination to save the ones she loves. My eyes still water at the thought of her panicked and heartbroken reaction to a traumatized woman’s screams and what they mean for her family.

Ideal Oscar clip: The silent scene when she tries on the wig, putting on a facade of glamour as an uncomfortable armor to act as a warrior trying to save her daughter’s future and the life of an innocent boy. One can almost tell how long it has been since Sharon last tried on such a look by the way her hands can’t stop fidgeting with that wig or how her body never seems comfortable in the beaded dress. Absolutely brilliant.

---

03.Rachel Weisz as Lady Sarah Churchill in THE FAVOURITE – 5 hearts
Weisz almost reminds me of the great divas of the 30s and 40s who knew their way around a good line, making poetic insults feel like sharp blades that stab and delight in equal measure. The most impressive part of all of it is how Weisz wisely shows how Sarah’s cruel barbs are both the way she asserts her power and her defense mechanism against showing the vulnerabilities born out of her love for queen and country. Weisz calibrates with the skill of a master the gradual process by which the audience comes to understand the genuine feeling hidden beneath a hard shell of meanness. Her devastated state at the end, realizing everything she lost (and for nothing for there’s no winner) is some of the best acting I’ve seen this decade.

Ideal Oscar clip: There are so many options. Still, if I was forced to choose I’d probably pick the iconic (at least in my mind) shooting scene that appears in the trailer. “I do fear confusion and accidents” is said with such unrepentant glee that I almost laugh just reading the lines. At that moment she is a proud lioness who thinks she has confirmed her superiority. Little does she know.

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04.Emma Stone as Abigail in THE FAVOURITE – 5 hearts
Stone has the challenge of mirroring Weisz’s arc, slowly revealing to the audience that what first appeared to be one way is actually the opposite. The process is reverse with Abigail who must start as a beacon of precious naiveté in a darkened snake pit and then reveal, by the end, she is a gigantic, merciless and desperately hungry cobra. Not only is her performance technically flawless (accent, sharp delivery, comic timing, those angry reaction shots), but the audience can almost feel how much fun she is having with the whole affair. Such joy is what makes her tragic fate, destroying everyone’s lives in a search of social freedom to just end up as the sexual slave of a dying gargoyle, so sad even when we realize it’s all her fault.

Ideal Oscar clip: The most unenthusiastic handjob in Cinema History!

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05.Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney in VICE – 2 hearts
A messy, seemingly aimless attempt at creating a character out of a script that is incapable and unwilling to consider the interiority of its players. The result is a nebulous characterization that doesn’t benefit from the sort of generous screen time that allows her leading man to create a character through the absence of charisma, of humanity, a black hole of frightening nothingness. Adams has her moments, usually as a reactive presence and one can feel how much she is trying, but trying isn’t enough. Also, while Bale does a great job portraying the physical changes in posture as time passes, Adams has decided to ignore such questions of physicality which is understandable when working with such a wordy, ideas-based script, but also a terrible misstep.

Ideal Oscar clip: I honestly don’t know. Maybe the Shakespearean scene, though that feels awfully gimmicky despite being an interesting acting exercise.

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My ideal nominees would have been:
Elizabeth Debicki, WIDOWS
Cynthia Erivo, BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
Jeon Jong-seo, BURNING
Haley Lu Richardson, SUPPORT THE GIRLS
Dolly Wells, CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCláudio Alves

Drag Lamy and that awful performance!

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJb

I'm shocked that Dolly Wells didn't get any attention for Can You Ever Forgive Me. That's a no-brainer when I think about my favorite supporting actresses of the year (along with Debicki, who's been discussed at length on TFE). Wells was so exquisite, giving literal support and such a complex emotional arc. When you first meet that character you have no idea how deep you'll go with her—and she goes really, really deep!

Say what you want about the lineups and category placements; This was a really phenomenal year for actresses. Our cups runneth over.

My favourite performance of this bunch is Weisz. But she may have given my favorite performance of the year in any category (give or take Richard Grant).

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

My two cents...

Marina de Tavira, Roma - four hearts

Among the year’s most lived-in turns, de Tavira leaves a vivid impression, painting a woman who exudes great compassion whilst grappling with a most exasperating marriage. At the heart of this splendid picture is her rapport with leading lady Yalitza Aparicio, a relationship that proves more and more captivating as the film progresses. She’d be a marvelous upset winner.

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite - four hearts

As the increasingly irrelevant Sarah Churchill, Weisz turns in career-best work. Co-star Olivia Colman may not allow an inch of scenery to go unchewed as the volatile Queen Anne but she rarely upstages Weisz, whose more muted approach is a welcome sight in an otherwise pompous picture.

Amy Adams, Vice - three hearts

If Vice marks the weakest of Adams’ half dozen nominated turns (a close call between this and American Hustle), it’s still a performance not without its merits. She skillfully captures Lynne’s heartlessness, perhaps most palpably when daughter Mary comes out of the closet. But Adams is also saddled with some of the film’s most unfortunate dialogue and she overplays the occasional scene, like when Lynne delivers hard-drinking Dick an ultimatum early on in their courtship. Intermittently compelling but rarely riveting, this is decidedly no Joan Allen in Nixon-level performance.

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk - three hearts

King can do no wrong, even in the most modest of fare (hello, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous), so when she’s handed a project on the level of her talents, it’s the most splendid of sights. Yet, as reliably engaging she is in the Barry Jenkins film, it never has the feel of career-topping work, with astonishing leading man Stephan James walking away with the picture. She’s in solid form but, if pressed to honor this film with a Best Supporting Actress nom, count me as partial to Aunjanue Ellis, who hits Beatrice Straight heights in her lone scene.

Emma Stone, The Favourite - two hearts

Where Weisz strikes all but a pitch-perfect tone, Stone is less convincing as conniving cousin Abigail. The performance feels strained vis a vis her co-stars’ lived-in turns and while Weisz especially is able to convey so much through so little, Stone’s turn is more extravagant, yet less full of surprises.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

Huh, for me Weisz was the least memorable of the three "Favourite" ladies - certainly not bad, but the most expected performance with the least to do. I just don't get the same thrill. I suppose I'm due for a second viewing.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

If we disregard the category fraud, Rachel Weisz gets my vote.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

As Instagram genius dublin_zoetrope calls this category: ABBA. Any Body But Amy.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBil

I completely forgot to send in my ballot, but here's what I think:

AMY ADAMS, VICE (3 hearts) - Her first scene, reading Dick for filth early in their marriage, is her best, but she never tries to give anything more than what the script asks of her, a disappointingly surface read on a woman who seems to be far more fascinating than this script lets her be. After that scene, the film barely cares about her, except for that faux-Shakespeare scene, which only makes me think of what Adams could do with actual Shakespeare with a stronger director.

MARINA DE TAVIRA, ROMA (4 hearts) - She's constantly fascinating to watch in the background of scenes, but what I remember most is the scene where her husband leaves for good. The way she holds on to him is a BIG gesture, but she plays it restrained, JUST enough so you know what's going on, but not so big as to feel out of place in the overall quiet tone of the film.

REGINA KING, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (5 hearts) - The warmth. The love. The fire. King's performance is perfectly, gorgeously modulated in each and every scene. It's also wonderfully layered work. When Tish tells the family, you can tell Sharon is happy for her, but the concern never goes away completely. She's also deliciously loose in the next scene with the future in-laws, dancing with her husband and reading Aujanue Ellis and her daughters for all they're worth. But that short film of her own in Puerto Rico... DAMN. She rewards the film's attention so beautifully it's impossible to not root for her - her character, even though her mission is doomed, and the actress, even though there may be better work in this category.

EMMA STONE, THE FAVOURITE (5 hearts) - Yes, it's a leading performance, no I don't really care. Even as a lover of Stone, I never would have guessed she had this performance in her; every facial expression, every line reading, every movement is so perfectly calibrated that it's impossible to imagine how the performance could be improved. She steals so many scenes from her fantastic scene/sparring partners it's obscene. God bless Lanthimos for this casting, knowing just how to use Stone's innate likability and wide-eyed, elastically expressive face, and bless Stone herself for repaying her director, cast, and audience with the best performance of her career.

RACHEL WEISZ, THE FAVOURITE (5 hearts) - The performance in The Favourite that took me the longest to fully appreciate, but on subsequent viewings, it only reveals more and more brilliance. Everyone knows Weisz can deliver a cutting line with a sniper's precision in her sleep, but the way she unfolds the layers of Lady Sarah's character pays rich dividends, offering possibly the best reason to keep coming back to The Favourite - and the film is full of such reasons! It's her body language that impressed me most the last time through, how subtle shifts in her carriage and the angles of her body communicate her change in mood even before she starts speaking. This is perhaps the role Weisz was born to play, a culmination of her entire career thus far.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

Love Regina King and hope she wins, however i wouldn’t be disappointed or surprised if Rachel weisz won.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCurtis C

When Marina de Tavira was nominated, the only thing I could remember of her performance was her hugging the father as he left the home (and even this may have been because it was shown in screencaps). I was reminded later that she has the scene in the cafe by the beach, which I guess makes for an Oscar clip, but I still find it kinda shocking that she was nominated for her role in a film that finds her so peripheral.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I think this is the first time I have found myself agreeing with all 5 of your assessments. Essentially the smackdown group was very much in sync. I'm just going to give a shout out to Ginny O'Keefe for writing exactly how I reacted to Emma Stone's performance. That arc from underdog to twisted bitch we loathe is tricky, and Stone did it perfectly. A very "All about Eve" arc.
Perhaps that's why we all love Rachel Weisz. She wears that great wardrobe of riding clothes with panache and lays down those lines much like Maggie Smith or Kristin Scott Thomas would.
In fact she reminds me a lot of KST in this role, which is the highest praise I can give.
Smackdown chose the right winner, but Oscar will go to Regina King who is no slouch.
Thanks for all this.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Ranking the nominees

Wiesz
De Tavira
King
Adams
Stone is last only cos she's a Lead otherwise she'd be 3rd.

My nominees

Wiesz
De Tavira
Yeoh
Wells
Foy.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Yay Weisz! I was rooting for King, but credit where credit is due, I guess. And the only "lead" there is Stone in my view. Colman is fraudulent in Lead: Stone is fraudulent in supporting. Weisz is where she belongs. Taking away hearts for "lead" performances is pretty dumb though. It's the category. Deal with it. de Tavira received more hearts than I expected. Poor Damy. Your time is coming, girl, be patient!

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterYancey

Wow, I was surprised to see The Favourite ladies come out on top. Loved reading the write-ups. Below are mine:

OVERALL: A respectable set of performances, even if none of them makes me gush with excitement.

Amy Adams, Vice ★★
She’s doing solid and dependable work, but it’s not what I would want to see Amy win an Oscar for. It pales in comparison to the beautiful and more complex characterizations she crafted in Junebug, American Hustle, The Fighter, or even Sunshine Cleaning.

Marina de Tavira, ROMA ★★★
I admit that I love the nomination more than I love the performance itself. I think she does a beautiful job of coloring Cleo’s story without ever getting in the way of Cuaron’s film. She wins extra goodwill from me for being a truly supporting performance –– commendable that she never calls attention to herself. That said, she was never a threat for my own personal ballot, nor did I think much about her until they announced her name.

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk ★★★
I wanted to love this performance given all the hoopla surrounding it. Just like Ethan Hawke’s in First Reformed, though, I find myself deeply admiring the actor and the work put into the role without quite "getting" what’s so undeniable about it. King is moving and resourceful, but I don’t think she did anything that another actress wouldn’t have done the same way.

Emma Stone, The Favourite ★★★
Good for Emma for diving into the part with such gusto and for being willing to experiment and take risks with her voice and body. It’s exactly the kind of adventurous work one wants to see from an already Oscar-crowned actress. My one complaint is that some particulars in the performance feel off, and I don’t think she manages to sew all the threads about her character together by the end.

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite ★★★1/2
I see why some people are willing to justify categorizing her as the one supporting actress from the trio. For the first half of the movie, she quips great one-liners and storms in and out of rooms with such over-the-top confidence, though not much else. It’s not until she senses Abigail becoming a real threat halfway through the film that Weisz starts to dig deeper into Sarah. I respected her for resisting to sentimentalize situations and for sticking to her guns about the character's “love is brutal honesty” belief. If I was forced to pick someone from the nominees, she'd be the one.

My Ballot
Sakura Ando, Shoplifters (my winner?)
Kayli Carter, Private Life
Mackenzie Davis, Tully
Elizabeth Debicki, Widows
Dolly Wells, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

BVR I agree on your assessments of King,Stone and Adams,no one wants to see her win for Vice and I appreciate the Dolly Wells love.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Since they're also getting mentioned a lot...

Dolly Wells: I liked the movie a lot but I don't get it. Completely unmemorable performance in my opinion.

Elizabeth Debicki: In everything I've seen her in, it's like she's enshrouded in a caricature that prevents any real personality to come through. Maybe she just always plays characters that have to please others. But all I can think of her is she's a real "try hard." A wannabe Meryl. Yet to see anything she does with any truly moving substance.

Sakura Ando: So amazing. Should've been nominated for sure.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

You see? Category fraud doesn't matter if people love your performance.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMahershala Ali

Agreed on Debicki what was she playing in Widows.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

In revisiting all the performances aside from Amy this is a rather fine list of nominees. Rachel is outstanding but I just cannot give her my number one vote as she is not supporting. When people say things like "she had so little screentime" & "she was barely in the film" about nominees like Amy (not a fan) and Regina I have to laugh because being a SUPPORTING performance means smaller screen times than leads. I'll be thrilled to see Regina pick up the oscar because she's like a Janney/Metcalf actress who is just wonderful and deserves this type of recognition.

In terms of my choices I'd go
Mackenzie Davis, Tully
Elizabeth Debicki, Widows
Anne Hathaway, Ocean's Eight
Jong-seo Jun, Burning
Regina King, Beale Street

My personal winner is Debicki who is an actress I've loved since she shone in Lurman's Great Gatsby. I've been waiting five years for her to get this type of role and I'm thankful that she was marvelous in it. My supporting actress list this year more than any shows actresses I've been fans of for a while given roles that are challenging and completly different than any role they've performed before.

I love forward to the podcast and hearing a lot of gushing over this great actress performances.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

Was Jennifer Tilly as surprising a nom in 1994 as Marina De Tavira here? I think so. Aside from the oft-discussed Marcia Gay Harden nom/win, that seems like the best analogue of the past 25 years.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterParanoid Android

@Paranoid Android: I'd say so, though she did have an American Comedy Awards nom which was at least one thing. Marisa Tomei also had a similarly meager track record the year she won. Harden had some attention at critics awards including NYFCC. De Tavira had absolutely nothing, though. Zero.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

"Rachel Weisz wins the smackdown."

Gosh, I've been waiting YEARS to read that ever since StinkyLulu's smackdowns... Was always so disappointed 2005 was never a smackdown year, as I find that to be an intriguing supporting actress roster, and, well, it also has my one and true favourite, Weisz herself.

I am in Heaven this awards season.

I've never bothered much with category fraud, so y'all do what y'all do, but despite the beauty in Regina King's work, and how much I actually loved Tavira's performance in ROMA (which is more an exercise than a film, to the detriment of the acting, if not the picture), and how impressed I am with Stone's ability to command a role like Abigail's without losing her British accent and formalism (even if they kept the performance from feeling fully natural, but not her fault) AND have killer scenes like the handjob...

Weisz's role is a pinnacle of all her talents, and her hard work as an actress, and a testament to her subtle diversity, witnessed in contrast with Disobedience, which is ALSO Weisz at the top of her game. Lady Sarah won my heart, and one suspects, Lanthimos's, as she gets a beautiful grace note at the end of the film. Indeed, she may be the only one to have any semblance of a "happy" ending.

If nothing else, it'd be lovely to see the Academy awarding Weisz a second time if only as final confirmation that yes, she is a capital A actress, and no one's, much less a poor man's, Kate Winslet.

The Year of the Rachel.

Just heaven.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterManny

Thank you for quoting me! I'm psyched for the series to get back into full swing. Very very happy that Weisz won the Smackdown, though I'm still rooting for Regina to win the Oscar! My write-ups:

Amy Adams, Vice: Hard to love, since I didn't buy her first big scene and cuz McKay never gives her a scene that big ever after. One wonders why no one went full Nixon and let Lynne be just as scheming and stiffed as her husband. Still, she's compelling with Bale, interesting to watch, and gives the part as much of her own touch as she can. (Two Hearts)

Marina de Tavira, ROMA: My favorite surprise nomination of the broadcast, and one I've appreciated more ever since. Her warm embrace of Cleo after the latter reveals her pregnancy is the moment that opens up ROMA emotionally for me. Accesses a wide range of feeling, scaled to the size of a real woman, inside a film so gargantuan that such an achievement seems impossible to imagine. (Three Hearts)

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk: I'm not sure King takes as many opportunities to specify Sharon as she might, but this is still gorgeous, textured emotional fulfillment of a very moving character, exemplifying Beale Street's ideas about love and families and what one does to keep them together as powerfully as Henry embodies its political ones. (Three Hearts, and my winner of this lineup)

Emma Stone, The Favourite: The most freewheeling performance in a Lanthimos film, feeling spontaneous and improvisational in a film whose tone might not seem to accommodate such an approach. Admittedly, Stone sometimes comes off as too uncontrolled or uneven, but she largely nails the film's biggest arc. (Three Hearts)

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite: A more intentionally limited range than Stone's approach, though I'm not sure The Favourite exploits and merges the contradiction of her romanticism and remove as well as The Lobster. Still, Weisz is delicious and versatile with her line readings, displaying a remarkable amount of color and depth without breaking from key she chooses to play. (Three Hearts)

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

Emma Stone gets my vote. But really tough call all around.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Emma Stone is amazing here, but it's an obvious lead performance and just feels wrong in this category.

My vote goes to Rachel, followed closely by Regina. Rachel feels more supporting (especially since her role in the last fourth is diminished). But her line readings and characterization are perfect, and she never plays the emotion she has for Anne, even though we can feel that it's there.

And, the dance scene is amazing.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I just watched Shoplifters and was completely in awe of Sakura Ando's performance. Definitely the best supporting performance I've see in a while. She never ever played a scene or an emotion the way the script probably asked her to do it. She elevated the already great material and gave the movie so much complexity by not relying on easy answers in her characterization and creating a character that was rich and heartbreaking. Just wanted to sing her praises because she so deserves it. Nothing against Tavira, who tried to add depth as much as she could to a script that gives her a soap opera role, but to me Ando is the real foreign performance who deserved recognition.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDeb32

@Yancey, “Taking away hearts for lead performance is pretty dumb though. Its the category. Deal with it”

100% agree. This is a smackdown between five performances.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Yancey & Anonny --but it's also a smackdown that was created to celebrate the achievements of Supporting acting and it's such an unfair advantage when you have an entire film, entire arc, and tons of time to build a great character within. One of the great joys of supporting work is watching terrific actors manage to do a lot and make vivid impressions with very little. That's just not remotely the same kind of achievement as giving a great lead performance.

but at least Weisz has, I *think* though i'm not certainwithout doing the screen count time, the smallest role among the three leads so it doesn't bother me as much as Stone being here.

BUT ANYWAY enough category fraud talk. I really enjoyed the smackdown and I especially enjoyed reading the robust ballots from everyone who sent them in. So happy that people are sharing some of theirs here.

February 19, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It's a strong category when Amy Adams is the lowest scorer of the group! For me, De Tavira's performance felt too at the margins.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

Nathaniel, when the dust settles can you please do a screen time count for the divas of The Favourite? It'd be fascinating : Emma Stone with 82 minutes of screen time! Would love to see it.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

love this, and this lineup. And thanks again, Nathaniel, for including my two cents.

I really do like almost all of this lineup.


- I think I’m most struck by King’s innate warmth, she is such a charismatic, maternal presence on-screen, and such a great match for Jenkins’ swooning, straight to camera close-ups. Her scene with Tish in the kitchen and then with her family, sharing the news, are such lessons in how an actor can have confidence in simply being present and listening. Her Puerto Rico scenes are probably what is winning her the awards, but I was sold in the first moments. Just hearing her say ’that child is your grandchild’ is like a knife straight to the heart.

2. Emma Stone (5 hearts)

-Totally beguiling, whip-smart, career-best work. I was so nervous about her presence but she truly masters the duality of the role. As actors, we sometimes tend to telegraph information and intention a little too much for the audiences, underlining what should be left as subtext, and I loved that she avoids this. You totally buy why everyone around her is falling for the rouse. Plus points for that handjob monologue, but minus points because SHE IS A LEAD. Ugh.

3. Rachel Weisz (4 hearts)

-Great, fierce, fun. She understands Lanthimos’ rhythms and oeuvre so well and is clearly just having a ball chewing up those lines. And seeing her say "Harley is a fop and a prat and smells like a ninety six year old French whore's vajuju” to her son(!) from About a Boy is such joy. Ultimately, I don’t know if it goes much deeper than the wit and dexterity but she provides delicious fun.

4. Marina de Tavira (3 hearts)

-Wonderful if sometimes uneven work. The shouting at Cleo after the slapping is maybe keyed into a different register than rest of the film, but it seems churlish to complain since there’s so much else to love. Her scene with the children in the restaurant where she finally breaks the news about their father, with a smile plastered across her face, never breaking, even when one of her children breaks down is such a great choice. It speaks so honestly to how parents try desperately to be positive around their children in the face of despair, even when they perhaps shouldn't.

5. Amy Adams (2 hearts)

Meh. Uneven, and saddled with a film that doesn’t really care about her. Also, we’ve seen her do this trick before, and I didn’t buy in The Master and I buy it even less here.

My lineup:

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
2. Elizabeth Debicki, Widows
3. Jung Jong-seo, Burning
4. Alba Rohrwacher, Happy As Lazzaro
5. Shayna McHale, Support the Girls

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterArun

Finally it's nice to see that the Film Experience has fully embraced Weisz..
I have always maintained that she is the same league as Kate and Emma Thompson...and terribly underrated... If she wins her second this Sunday it will be a win richly deserved and will also be a testament to the class and pedigree (vis-a-vis acting) that she represents...


Coming to the nominated performances (I won't buy so much the "category fraud" argument because its a thin line, it has happened in the past and will again happen this year with Ali) my favourites are-

1) Weisz (with a clear lead)
2) Stone
3) King
4) Tavern
5) Adams

Amy Adams I find a good actress, but mostly nominated randomly (I echo Nathaniel's opinion here that Almost HALF of her nominations are redundant, a reason probably why she has never won!) whereas her one really great performance ("The Arrival") was snubbed.. This is clearly a lukewarm performance in (sorry to say) a terrible movie. (1 ⭐)

Marina de Tavira I liked and thought that her acting style presented a stark and deliberate contrast to Aparicio and maybe that is how Cuaron envisioned it.. The scene where she drives in drunk was pretty memorable (3 ⭐s)

Regina King I thought gave a great performance in the limited screen time she had... However, I never really connected to her and unlike Mo'nique and Lupita Nyong'O in their Academy-Award winning roles, the performance failed to leave a lasting impact on me (3 1/2 🌟s)

Emma Stone I loved, loved, loved! (much more than I loved her in "La La Land") I think her Abigail Masham represents the pinnacle of her acting capabilities.. she embodies vulnerability and Machiavellian cunning exquisitely! The wedding-night scene with Joe Always is hands-down brilliant! (and her English accent is perfect!) Still Weisz outshines her! (5 ⭐s)

Rachel Weisz (and Olivia Colman) simply gave TWO of the best on-screen performances of 2018, hands-down! Whereas Anne is childlike, often ludicrous and unreasonable, Sarah is in control, calculating and seemingly ruthless... Weisz chews and spits out those one-liners (" Would you like a bite of my new maid before you leave?!" and "Your mascara is running, if you would like to go fix it maybe we should continue this later?") with unparalleled bitchiness! And yet, as the movie progresses, she imbues Sarah with a poignancy (the scene where she speaks across the door to Anne is my favourite)... in the hands of a lesser actress, these multivalent shades of Sarah may have been lost! (5 ⭐s and MY absolute " Favourite " pick for Sunday's Academy Award!)

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTintin

Finally it's nice to see that the Film Experience has fully embraced Weisz..
I have always maintained that she is the same league as Kate and Emma Thompson...and terribly underrated... If she wins her second this Sunday it will be a win richly deserved and will also be a testament to the class and pedigree (vis-a-vis acting) that she represents...


Coming to the nominated performances (I won't buy so much the "category fraud" argument because its a thin line, it has happened in the past and will again happen this year with Ali) my favourites are-

1) Weisz
2) Stone
3) King
4) Tavira
5) Adams

Amy Adams I find a good actress, but mostly nominated randomly (I echo Nathaniel's opinion here that Almost HALF of her nominations are redundant, a reason probably why she has never won!) whereas her one really great performance ("The Arrival") was snubbed.. This is clearly a lukewarm performance in (sorry to say) a terrible movie. (1 ⭐)

Marina de Tavira I liked and thought that her acting style presented a stark and deliberate contrast to Aparicio and maybe that is how Cuaron envisioned it.. The scene where she drives in drunk was pretty memorable (3 ⭐s)

Regina King I thought gave a great performance in the limited screen time she had... However, I never really connected to her and unlike Mo'nique and Lupita Nyong'O in their Academy-Award winning roles, the performance failed to leave a lasting impact on me (3 1/2 🌟s)

Emma Stone I loved, loved, loved! (much more than I loved her in "La La Land") I think her Abigail Masham represents the pinnacle of her acting capabilities.. she embodies vulnerability and Machiavellian cunning exquisitely! The wedding-night scene with Joe Alwyn is hands-down brilliant! (and her English accent is perfect!) Still Weisz outshines her! (5 ⭐s)

Rachel Weisz (and Olivia Colman) simply gave TWO of the best on-screen performances of 2018, hands-down! Whereas Anne is childlike, often ludicrous and unreasonable, Sarah is in control, calculating and seemingly ruthless... Weisz chews and spits out those one-liners (" Would you like a bite of my new maid before you leave?!" and "Your mascara is running, if you would like to go fix it maybe we should continue this later?") with unparalleled bitchiness! And yet, as the movie progresses, she imbues Sarah with a poignancy (the scene where she speaks across the door to Anne is my favourite)... in the hands of a lesser actress, these multivalent nuances of Sarah may have been lost! (5 ⭐s and MY absolute " Favourite " pick for Sunday's Academy Award!)

SHOULD win: Rachel Weisz
WILL win: Apollo alone knows!

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTintin

I remember earlier in the season the favourite of The Favourite was pretty evenly split, first between the three, and then also between the two "supporting" ladies. Funny how most have gravitated toward Weisz now. Maybe rewatches?

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHmm

May I ask how people are getting star emojis to work here? I thought emojis were disabled? Are you copying and pasting from Word files?

Anyways, it's Sakura Andô, and then everyone else. The wasted slot of Marina De Tavira should have gone to her instead.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKiley

If Rachel Weisz wins on Sunday, she'll be the first actor to win two supporting Oscars for lead roles.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

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