Entries in Best Actress (341)
Manuel here. Michelle Williams has been surprisingly absent from our screens since she played Glinda in Oz the Great and the Powerful (2013). Though if you were abroad you apparently got to see her alongside Kristin Scott-Thomas in something called Suite Française? (No, it never opened in the US). That looks to change this year. The actress has two projects that will be unveiled at Sundance next month.
First up we'll see her reunite with Wendy and Lucy director Kelly Reichardt in Certain Women. Adapted from Maile Meloy’s short stories, the film will make its debut at Sundance and follows three intersecting stories of women in Montana. It co-stars Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, James Le Gros, Jared Harris, and Lily Gladstone.
She also has a role in Kenneth Lonergan's follow-up to Margaret, Manchester by the Sea. The fillm follows Lee (Casey Affleck) as he returns to his Boston suburb hometown after a family death, coming to terms again with his estranged wife (Williams). Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges also star.
It'll be a nice one-two punch of a return for the actress, especially coming from two such exciting writer/directors; Williams thrives in these low-key indie films so welcome her back with open arms. And, of course, if either of these films get her glowing reviews, might the actress be angling for Oscar nom #4?
Just for silly quick fun I thought we'd list our most popular tweets this year. Not necessarily the best but the ones that caught on somehow. It's like a very quick 140 character scrapbook of the film year.
Our 15 Most Popular Tweets of 2015 after the jump...
Opening Twitter. pic.twitter.com/2s2JKHoco4— Kyle Stevens (@cinementalist) October 12, 2015
Being the calm in a storm is not as easy a dynamic to render on-screen as it looks. That’s what Mya Taylor is tasked with in Tangerine—playing the careful, contemplative counterpoint to Sin-Dee’s (Kitana “Kiki” Rodriguez) turbulent rampage through the streets of East Hollywood. When considering the two performances, both accomplished but in very different keys, I immediately thought of Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Sadie and Mare Winningham’s title character in 1995’s Georgia (previously discussed here). Though both Alexandra and Sin-Dee’s lives aren’t exactly as diametrically opposed as Georgia and Sadie’s, there’s a similar thread of calm vs. irrational running beautifully through both films. Like Winningham, Taylor gifts her film with an unfussy balance of quiet observation and brimming, longstanding frustration. [More...]
Murtada here. Charlotte Rampling’s performance in 45 Years is a quiet storm of volatile emotions, holding attention with understated intimations that hint much more than show. Inexplicably left off both the Golden Globe and SAG nominations list, she might become this year’s Marion Cotillard, missing the early nominations and getting in at the Oscars. She’s already won the LA Film Critics Association best actress award and here’s hoping more regional critics notice her in the coming weeks. We will talk about the movie and performance once the movie is released.
One glorious result from being in the awards conversation is that Rampling was in Hollywood and New York recently giving good quote. And unlike her 45 Years character, Rampling is not holding back and is quite candid in these interviews.
It's been an enormously busy week with precursor decisions confusing and clarifying in equal measure. Even if you don't put much stock in the Critic's Choice Awards (also known as the BFCA, an organization that includes your host) it'll be interesting to see what they come up with since ballots were due today and so many questions remain. Though the organization prides itself on Oscar predictive power (a very weird thing to pride yourself on unless you're a pundit rather than a critic) the confusing nature of the race won't make things easy on any pundit.
While I've been accused of overthinking various races often (who, me?) such is the curse of punditry and Oscar obsessiveness. Here's where I think we stand now...
PICTURE & DIRECTOR If this race we're taking place in 2008 with the old school five-wide race it would obviously be Spotlight, The Martian, Carol, The Revenant, and Room at this point with one of the directors jettisoned for Mad Max's overachievement by George Miller. Beyond that it's so complicated both because we don't know how many nominees we'll get and because seven other pictures still seem plausible as a Best Picture nominee for one reason or another though they had shakier reactions in these first two precursor weeks. For instance: Creed hasn't been doing all that well but I still think it's a big Oscar possibility. Am I crazy or just concussed? And speaking of...
ACTOR While I don't imagine we'll see a repeat of Will Smith's Globe nominated Concussion performance on the Oscar shortlist it's one of about ten performances that still seem to be in the race. You'll have to cleave that in half in January. DiCaprio, Redmayne, Fassbender, and Cranston all have the key nominations (Globe & SAG) but each year at least one or two people across the four categories with that combo miss and you need #1 votes given the Academy's nomination tallying system. So which performances or beloved actors have the most passion behind them? This is why I still think Michael B Jordan or even Sir Ian could surprise despite the lack of SAG or Globe love; it's always important to remember that those voting bodies are quite dissimilar to Oscar's acting branch.
SUPPORTING ACTOR Precursors have coalesced around Michael Shannon, Idris Elba, and Mark Rylance but because the former two weren't what people widely expected, CHAOS REIGNS. Sly Stallone still feels like a potential winner IF he's nominated. And will Oscar really deprive anyone from Spotlight of an acting nomination? That would be so weird for such an actor's friendly Best Picture frontrunner.
ACTRESS & SUPPORTING ACTRESS We'll have to list these two together because of the ongoing controversy surrounding Rooney Mara (one half of Carol's brilliant romantic coupling) and Alicia Vikander (who has two films splitting supporting honors Ex Machina and The Danish Girl, even though she's the leading lady of both). The discussions around these two have sucked so much oxygen out of the room for other women (in both the leading and supporting races) that I imagine they're both still getting nominated for Supporting DAMNIT since voters likely haven't thought through their other options . The solution: quality longshots should be working their asses off for the next two weeks to remind people of their existence (We're talking to you: Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Banks, Julie Walters, and Cynthia Nixon) since Academy voters don't get their ballots until the end of the year. Over in lead actress only four women feel secure (yes, that includes Charlotte Rampling. Come at me!) which means it's a true free for all for the fifth-slot. This week I chose Lily Tomlin as the lucky lady but it could be anyone from the second tier of the chart (or Mara or Vikander).
The other category charts will be updated this weekend -- SAG & Globe choices tell us virtually nothing about Oscar tastes when it comes to the other categories so we can think awhile longer on it.
Investigate the new charts and report back. What does your crystal ball say?