This week’s official pumpkin ride casts Noomi Rapace as Goth Cinderella in a dress rehearsal test-drive to the Oscar ball. The notion first took root when Nikki Finke reported that Raplace’s new agent likes her a lot. A whole lot.
Her new agents at UTA and managers at Magnolia¬†are comparing her to Marion Cotillard, who appeared in a small foreign film, came out of nowhere to be nominated and then win the Best Actress Academy Award, then landed big¬†roles in major studio tentpoles.¬†”You can¬†have that same journey. You speak English better than she does,” she’s been told.
The Deadline article is interesting from a career-building standpoint and primarily tells me that Noomi Rapace is The Girl With the Aggressive New Agent. (and I do realize that’s nothing to scoff at.)
Let’s step back and look at the recent history of top overseas imports in their “journey” to Best Actress.
Actresses have been delivering fine foreign films across US borders for decades, but even the most popular don’t always generate Oscar attention.
- Franka Potente in Run Lola Run (1998)
- Audrey Tautou in Amelie (2001)
- Ivana Baquero in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
- Audrey Tautou in Coco Before Chanel (2009) Hye-ja Kim in Mother (2009)
- Fernanda Montenegro in Central Station (1998)
- Catalina Sandino Moreno in Maria Full of Grace (2004)
- Penelope Cruz in Volver (2006)
- Marion Cotillard in La Vie en Rose (2007)
On the other hand we have these recent Oscar nominees who flew in as stars in foreign films and successfully broke through the language barrier.
Among which set of actresses in international crossover films does Noomi Rapace and the worldwide phenomenon of Lisbeth Salander fit most comfortably?¬† The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has been well-received, but is it worth pointing out that Marion Cotillard didn’t do a back-to-back Piaf trilogy with diminishing returns?
While I’m drawing up lists for comparison, let’s not forget the set of names with the most relevance to this season’s showdown. The other actresses already making waves speaking plain ol’ American English: Annette Benning, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Hilary Swank, Helen Mirren, Tilda Swinton, Robin Wright Penn, Julianna Moore, Keira Knightly.¬† And two more in a movie from Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel, the co-stars of Miral, Freida Pinto and Hiam Abbas.¬†
From that vantage can we agree that Noomi Rapace as everybody’s favorite Swedish Sherlock has a tough trail to hack?