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Entries in Best Actress (375)

Tuesday
Mar222016

Tues Top Ten: Best Performance of the Decade (Thus Far)?

Today's top ten was inspired by Robert MacFarlane who asked what the greatest performance of the decade was on twitter to a quick flurry of responses involving some usual suspects: Phoenix, Hoffman, Cotillard, Blanchett and some unusual suspects: O'Connell, Culkin, Pitt. But the question naturally lingered because who doesn't love ranking such unrankables?

Let's do this!

BEST PERFORMANCES OF THE DECADE (THUS FAR)
Ranking likely to change tomorrow. Oscar nominated roles marked with asterisk. Oscar winning roles with double asterisk 

Honorable Mentions (No Particular Order): Binoche in Certified Copy, * Keaton & Norton in Birdman, * Riva in Amour, ** Day-Lewis in Lincoln, ** Bale in The Fighter, * Rampling in 45 Years, and many others...

10 James Franco, Spring Breakers (2013) --look at his shittttttttt
09 * Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night (2014) --transcendent
08 * Cate Blanchett, Carol (2015) --daringly stylized, mesmerizing
07 * Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom (2010) --she did a great thing, sweetie
06 Charlize Theron, Young Adult (2011) --the layers. the layers
05 * Viola Davis, The Help (2011) --smart. kind. important. (and other wonderful adjectives)
04 Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike (2012) --lawbreaker in the house
03 Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy (2012) --Bless Charlotte Bless
02 ** Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine (2013) --from airplane to park bench, perfection
01 Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)


What are yours? 

Saturday
Mar192016

Oscar Whisperer: Have we seen any nominees yet?

Though we all know that the bulk of Oscar nominations come from the last quarter of each and every year, have we seen any awards players yet? Here's a tricky thing about punditry -- if you start too early people say you're part of the problem in "narrowing" the field but if you don't start early how are you going to be of service in keeping the entire year in play and offering perspective on which film should be watched so that it's not all about "cramming" at the end of the year which leads to all that last quarter focus. So we start early.  Here are first quarter possibilities if the Academy has longer memories than usual this year and if they surprisingly generate excitement later in the year by way of top ten lists or second wave releases (Bluray, streamin, etc...)

January
Kung Fu Panda 3 (Animated Feature)
Both of the previous films about the round warrior "Po" (Jack Black) were nominated for Best Animated Feature. Will Dreamworks go 3 for 3 with this series? The reviews are right in line with those of the previous films but franchises often outstay their welcome when it comes to "Best of Year" accolades.

The costumes in Hail Caesar (courtesy of Mary Zophres) are great fun

February
Deadpool (Visual FX, Makeup and Hairstyling)
Hail Caesar!
(Original Song "No Dames" and Any Category, really) 
The WWitch (Sound, Supporting, and Any Category, really) 

Deadpool will surely surface for the Saturn Awards but good luck with the standard awards bodies considering that superhero films don't fare well even in VFX nominations... and Deadpool is a bit bargain bin aesthetically, however popular it may be with audiences.  An extreme longshot but it will surely attempt Oscar recognition in both VFX and Makeup bakeoffs.

As for Hail, Caesar! and The VVitch, they're the most prestigious of the year's mainstream releases thus far by way of being from beloved filmmakers or inspiring critical fervor, respectively. But will any voters remember them or take them seriously enough given traditional resistance to comedy and horror? The first step in taking any film seriously is to actually watch it; conscientous voters should watch these two films. 

March
April and the Extraordinary World (Animated Feature)
Batman v Superman (Visual FX)
Krisha (Best Actress)
Zootopia (Animated Feature) 
Hello My Name is Doris (Best Actress) 

Zootopia is by far your best bet for early bird Oscar glory given the outstanding reviews and audience love and Disney being a power player in the animated feature category. Can Sally Field's Doris generate good Golden Globe will? Will Krisha develop a following (it won the Cassavettes at the Spirit Awards for 2015 but the Spirit Awards have different eligibility rules -- festival showings sometimes count for them).

Of the two attempts at reviving the Superman franchise (Superman Returns in 2006 and Man of Steel in 2013) only Returns won Oscar favor (Visual FX nomination). Will Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice be ignored or embraced for its effects? It all depends on its future competition but it's worth noting that, for whatever reason, Batman is the favorite superhero of groups that traditionally resist superheroes. Batman films have won 3 Oscars from 15 nominations. 

What will you hope for or count on from the first quarter?

Sunday
Mar132016

Review: Hello, My Name is Doris 

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

In a perfect world we would always have room for our Best Actresses as they age but in the world we actually live in only British Dames and Meryl Streep are allowed to do that. And Tilda Swinton but she lives inside her own space and time continuum. The expiration date on female movie stars — their “last f***able day” (thank you Amy Schumer) — before they disappear into thankless supporting roles used to be 40 and now it’s thankfully extended until about 50. But at some point in most star careers the lead roles all too abruptly stop.

That’s why it was a joy last summer to see Lily Tomlin ace a rare film-carrying job in Grandma and why it’s nice to have a spiritual sequel just months later in Hello My Name is Doris. The two films are nothing alike but for their creative foundation

They’re both star vehicles for a senior citizen legend carefully crafted entirely around her specific gifts. Which is to say that with Grandma we got an acerbic feminist politically savvy LGBT comedy and with Hello My Name is Doris we get a cutesy boy-crazy romantic dramedy because Lily Tomlin and Sally Field are very different performers. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar112016

Posterized: Hello, her name is... Sally Field 

M'lynn. Gidget. Norma Rae. The Flying Nun. Sybil. Edna Spalding. Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs Gump. We know her by many names but the one we'll always love best is "Sally Field," perfectly stage-name appropriate for instant recall and audience adoration... and also her real name since birth. 

Though she's been famous for literally half a century (!) she hasn't always been properly appreciated... a common fate for stars whose work looks effortless and who excel in "light" genres like dramedies and romantic comedies. But we like her. We really really like her. Don't you?

Her biggest hits: Forrest Gump, Mrs Doubtfire, Hooper, Lincoln, Steel Magnolias, and literally every film she made with Burt Reynolds from 1977-1980 -- audiences couldn't get enough of them together back then. Most frequent co-stars: Burt Reynolds (4), Jeff Bridges, Michael Caine, Dom de Luise, Tom Hanks, Ed Harris, and Tommy Lee Jones (2). Awards haul: 3 Emmys, 2 Oscars, 1 SAG, 2 Golden Globes, 2 NYFCC, and for Norma Rae a bunch of one time prizes... Cannes, NSFC, NBR, and LAFCA

But let's talk about you + Sally. Do you   ? How many of her film roles have you seen? All 30 are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar032016

If these were offered as doll sets each year...


yes, that's the whole decade* thus far

 

 

...I would need a bigger apartment.

... Also I would go bankrupt. (Especially when trying to hunt down 1950, 1973, 1961 and 1939)

(On a Related Note: Did you see Jose's Best Dressed List?)

 

* Well, not quite the whole decade. Judi Dench was the sole no-show for her nomination for Philomena so that's 59 of the 60 nominees above as they were be-gowned on Oscar night. If you could only afford 1 of these 6 doll sets which year would it be?

Friday
Feb192016

Podcast: Favorite Past Films & Performances by this Year's Nominees

It's just Nathaniel and Nick for this week's podcast. We're talking at length about the toughest categories to predict as well as a reader suggestion (thanks Ryan!) to choose our favorite work by the current nominees before this season. 

43 minutes 
00:01 Introductions, Blind Spots, Foggy Memories
03:45 Iñárritu and The Revenant
09:00 George Miller plus Babe and Mad Max sequels
14:00 Tough Categories to Predict and Why
27:45 Best Actress - who is best?
30:00 Saoirse Ronan
31:17 Charlotte Rampling
34:15 Cate Blanchett
36:22 Brie Larson
38:00 Jennifer Lawrence

We discuss a lot of different titles obviously since we're choosing their best work before the current nomination. We'd love to hear your choices for this same question in the comments. You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Previous Best Work - Actress/Directors

Wednesday
Feb102016

Silence of the Lambs Pt 3: Quid Pro Quo

image via FangoriaTeam Experience is revisiting 1991's Best Picture, Silence of the Lambs for its 25th anniversary.

In Pt 1 We met Clarice and Hannibal and heard about the horrifying Buffalo Bill case.
In Pt 2 The FBI's investigation picked up steam with the discovery of another victim and The Death's Head Moth. Finally, we met Buffalo Bill and his latest victim Catherine, now "the girl in the pit." When we left her she was a disembodied voice shouting for help. Why won't you answer me please?

Answers are coming but not without a price. 

Pt 3 by Nathaniel R

00:49:50 A smartly judged sharp cut takes us from the dark abyss of Bill's pit to the brightly lit FBI training facility. It's like blinking from too much sun when you leave a movie theater in the middle of the day. Though Silence of the Lambs deals with gruesomely complex psychology its binaries of good and evil are the lifeline for mass appeal I think. (Craig McKay was nominated for Best Film Editing, losing to JFK's collage and barrage of characters and information)

The students. Demme never gets any credit for his multi-ethnic casting but he was doing it long before people were hating on Hollywood for *not* doing it.

00:51:34 A news broadcast about Buffalo Bill at the training center attracts a large group of students. Turns out the Girl in the Pit is actually a US Senator's daughter so there's yet more pressure to get this case solved. Ardelia whispers to Clarice that it's so smart what the Senator is doing, repeating Catherine's name so often; get her would be killer to see her as human and maybe he'll show mercy.

00:51:35 Another jarring cut and we're back at the asylum. Chilton has had it with Clarice's secrecy. Jodie Foster's performance is so sharp in this movie. You can see our heroine getting bolder and more confident each time she steps out; her body language is more confrontational, too. [More after the jump...]

Click to read more ...

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