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Entries in Best Actress (570)

Monday
Jan142019

FYC: Nicole Kidman in "Destroyer"

Eric here, with a brief plea for Oscar consideration for a dark horse candidate for Best Actress:  Nicole Kidman for Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer. For harmony in numbers, here’s five reasons why Nicole should be one of our final five when nominations are announced next Tuesday...

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Monday
Jan142019

Interview: Toni Colette on horror, grief, and her prismatic performances

by Nathaniel R

Toni Collette gives one of the year's great performances staring into the abyss of her own life in "Hereditary"Toni Collette doesn't like horror movies. We relate but there are exceptions: horror films starring Toni Collette are events. Her resistance to the genre,  she refers to both of her biggest horror hits as "classic dramas", may be the strange key to why she's so superb in them, grounding them in emotional truths while simultaneously having the kind of stylistic range as an actor that can lift right off with them into otherworldly places. 

We recently sat down after an encore screening and lively Q&A of Hereditary. Her sole Oscar nomination came early in her career as the grieving mother of little Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999) and in a way, twenty years later, she's bookended that great early success with another very different grieving mother. This one's much harder to love but the performance is even better. Even if you don't love horror movies, it's impossible to miss the fact that her Annie, a self-indulgent artist and resentful mother, is a tour de force performance from an actress at the top of her game. Annie's life is traumas stacking up on traumas but Toni's performance keeps stacking brilliance upon brilliance.

Though she's played her share of narcissists or flighty women, the actress herself comes across as generous and grounded, thrilled by the collaboration of filmmaking. She rolls her eyes about herself and other actors if anyone gets too precious or self-involved about the craft. Though she loves acting dearly, she hilariously refers to it as her "day job" as we're making small talk before the interview.

In a rare turnabout, as we sat down, Toni asked the first question. So we'll begin right there....

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Saturday
Jan122019

FYC: Thomasin McKenzie in "Leave No Trace" for Best Actress

by Abe Fried-Tanzer

A good number of pundits agree that Thomasin McKenzie has an outside shot at scoring a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance as a teenage girl living on the outskirts of civilization with her father in the critically-acclaimed Leave No Trace. I’d like to posit a different theory – that she may end up as a surprise nominee for Best Actress.

Now, I don’t think this is likely, but I’d be ecstatic if it happened. Nathaniel is very big on calling out category fraud when he sees it, and there’s more than enough of that to go around this year. It’s actually just as puzzling to see McKenzie called a supporting actress as it is to see her costar Ben Foster classified as a supporting actor. They’re both leads, sharing screen time and the focus of the narrative...

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Friday
Jan042019

Months of Meryl: An Epilogue

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

Meryl has been a superstar for 40 years now

MATTHEW: You never forget the performers who first reach out to you from an illuminated screen and lay claim to your gaze, mind, and devotion. Before I knew anything about the art of screen acting, I knew about the miraculous and almost mythic marvel that is Meryl Streep. Months of Meryl was an undertaking that exhausted and aggravated me without end: for every unparalleled Silkwood in Streep’s filmography, there are at least two The House of the Spirits; for every forgotten or underrecognized gem like The Seduction of Joe Tynan, One True Thing, or A Prairie Home Companion, there are at least three Still of the Nights, Primes, or Dark Matters. But, more importantly, this project illuminated a great deal about a veteran artist whose empathetic interest in the lives of others moved me at such an impressionable age and will never cease to do so.

Watching and writing about Streep’s films side by side by side for well over a year has not taught me a single overarching lesson, but only deepened my appreciation for her mastery...

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Thursday
Dec272018

Months of Meryl: The Post (2017)

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


#52 — Katharine “Kay” Graham, pioneering Washington Post publisher who authorized the printing of the Pentagon Papers.

JOHN: Since it was first announced in March of 2017, deep into the first hundred days of the Trump presidency, The Post moved at a breakneck speed from rewriting to shooting to post-production before it quickly arrived in theaters in December of that year. Spielberg had paused production on his historical drama The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara and after reading a spec script by Liz Hannah, set the gears into motion on The Post, assembling his usual team (cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, composer John Williams, editor Michael Kahn, among others), along with two screen legends who had never before shared a single frame. This urgent sense of timeliness is palpable in The Post, which is both a riveting period piece about a landmark historical moment and a rousing paean to the free press in our distressing present...

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Wednesday
Dec192018

Podcast: Ben is Back, Beale Street, Vice, and those pesky SAG nods

Nathaniel R and Murtada Elfadl welcome special guest Alfred Soto to talk new films & SAG fallout


Index (61 minutes)
00:01 SAG nomination leftover feelings
05:00 None of us liked Vice and the reviews are mixed. We still think it's an awards contender so we discuss the question of latebreakers in each awards season. 
11:45 Randomness: Ethan Hawke, Bohemian Rhapsody, and the Florida Film Critics Circle
20:40 Ben is Back starring Lucas Hedges (with sidebars of Boy Erased and Beautiful Boy)
33:40 If Beale Street Could Talk
45:00 Reader Q: A fine element of a buzzy movie that's not being talked up
49:17 Reader Q: Is Best Actress actually set already?
51:00 Reader Q: If there wasn't Category Fraud this year what would be happening in Supporting Actress?
53:30 Reader Q: Reassign an Oscar win - what's the cascading effect?
59:40 Wrap up

Further Reading / References
Murtada's If Beale Street Review
Nathaniel's If Beale Street Quick Take
Alfred's controversial review of Roma
Alfred's Florida Film Critics ballot
Best Actress Race 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Beale St, Ben is Back, Vice