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Entries in Best Actress (554)

Thursday
Nov152018

Honors Keep Piling up for Glenn Close

by Nathaniel R

One of the sneakily quiet Oscar campaigns that's really been working for maximum January presence is Glenn Close's for The Wife. Close has distracted herself from all the hoopla with an acclaimed performance Off Broadway in Mother of the Maid, but future honors keep lining up so she'll be busy once that plays shutters just before Christmas.

In January she'll be honored at both the Palm Springs and the Santa Barbara film festivals (which are basically elaborate Oscar-courting events because the A-listers and the Academy members come out in droves) and now comes word that the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens New York will have a screening program called "Getting Close: Ten Great Performances by Glenn Close" which runs November 23rd through December 2nd. All six of her Oscar-nominated performances will be screened plus Reversal of Fortune, 101 Dalmatians, Cookie's Fortune (interesting choice) and, of course, The Wife. (If Close is nominated for The Wife, which we fully expect her to be, she'll be tough to beat. Only two performers in Oscar history have ever remained "losers" with a record of 7 or more nominations: Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.)

The movies are affordable but the celebration ends with a "Salute" dinner with cocktails, film clips and speeches from Close's friends and colleagues. You can also attend the glitzy dinner provided you have $1500 to burn on a ticket. It's for a good cause, though, as the proceeds benefit this worthwhile museum's many exhibits, screenings, and community engagement programs.

Thursday
Nov082018

Months of Meryl: August Osage County (2013)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep.  

#45 —Violet Weston, the cancer-stricken, drug-addicted matriarch of an Oklahoma family.

MATTHEW: Tracy Letts’ high-octane, Pulitzer Prize-winning family drama August: Osage County was the toast of the 2007-2008 Broadway season, which made a cinematic adaptation all but inevitable and the star involvement of Meryl Streep an equally foregone conclusion. The vituperative, pill-popping Violet Weston is the crowning achievement of Letts’ play and arguably the meatiest dramatic role to come along for sexagenarian actresses in the past 15 years. The part has been previously interpreted on stage by the Tony-winning Deanna Dunagan (who originated the character in the initial Steppenwolf production), Estelle Parsons, and Phylicia Rashad, any one of whom could have bowled us over in an alternate film, as might have rumored candidates like Jessica Lange, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This isn’t to take away a single merit from Streep’s no-holds-barred work, but rather acknowledge that Streep herself is the rare and defiant exception who proves the rule that actresses over the age of 50 are anathema to Hollywood’s gatekeepers.

Before falling in love with the eye of the camera, Streep was first and foremost a creature of the theater...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov042018

Does Box Office Matter to Best Actress Hopefuls?

by Nathaniel R

Helen Mirren's The Queen was in many ways a completely standard win... a solid success before the nomination and an even bigger hit afterwardsDoes Box Office matter to Oscars? It does and it doesn't. And how much it matters varies from year to year and from category to category. It obviously matters, regardless, if you're either a flop or a big hit but anything inbetween (where most movies fall) is up for speculative debate.

For instance, just this year people have debated whether The Wife's box office take is strong enough for a Best Actress nomination for Glenn Glose (hint: it totally is... though winning will be harder) and whether it will matter that Roma won't really have that much of a theatrical presence (it might. it might not. The streaming only/mostly thing is relatively uncharted territory) or if the major success of A Star is Born will make a win possible for Lady Gaga (it won't hurt!)

For fun let's look at how much the Best Actress nominees films made before they were nominated for the past fifteen years and see what patterns emerge. The films in red won Best Actress Oscars.

BOX OFFICE RANK OF BEST ACTRESS FILMS
BEFORE THE NOMINATIONS 
(2003-2017)
AND WHERE THIS YEAR'S LEADING ACTRESSES CURRENTLY FIT...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct252018

Months of Meryl: The Iron Lady (2011)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

#43 —Margaret Thatcher, the polarizing British prime minister.

MATTHEW: After decades of heavy speculation about when, not if, Meryl Streep would finally win her third Academy Award, the most widely admired actress of all time picked up another trophy for a performance that may best be remembered as a textbook study in How to Win an Oscar. Despite stiff, down-to-the-wire competition from The Help’s eminently deserving Viola Davis, who transcended lackluster material in much the same way that Streep herself did in her most acclaimed tour de force, the actress sailed to victory after a season’s worth of ovations and exposure. The months preceding Streep’s first Oscar win in nearly 30 years found the acting legend accepting her eighth Golden Globe, her fourth New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress, her second BAFTA Film Award, her very first Vogue cover story, a Kennedy Center Honors lifetime achievement tribute, and endless publicity concerning one of the most challenging roles of her late career, that of Margaret Thatcher in what should rightfully be called Phyllida Lloyd’s The Iron Lady, but might just as suitably be described as Meryl Streep’s The Iron Lady. And when one truly considers the sheer size and notoriety of the role, who could have possibly topped Streep that year? Conversely, when truly considering the actual performance that returned Streep to Oscar glory, away from all the myth/history-making hubbub that surrounded it, one could be forgiven for wondering, Is that all there is?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct232018

Top Ten Quickie - Best Horror Performances?

Eeek! We have planned absolutely nothing for Halloween on the blog just yet so in case we don't here is an impromptu list (mostly off the top of my head) for discussion fun. Since horror is not my preferred genre, it was actually quite hard to come up with the male actors list but the female list was easy but for the difficulty of narrowing it down. Can you believe I had to leave the Exorcist women off the list? 

10 Best Lead Actresses in a Horror Film

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct182018

Carey Mulligan Shines in 'Wildlife'

by Murtada Elfadl

Carey Mulligan always impresses. She gave the best performance I’ve seen on stage in Skylight in 2015. Earlier this year I was again astounded by her stage presence in the one woman show, Girls and Boys. It was an emotionally devastating theater experience, thanks to her command of the stage and of the language inflections. But despite being biased for her, I wasn’t ready for how blazing she comes out in Paul Dano’s Wildlife.

This is her shining moment. It’s her Blanche Dubois moment.

Click to read more ...