Chewing on Best Actress

Have started what will be an ongoing dialogue with Thelma Adams and USA Today’s Susan Wloszczyna.  Up first is the notion of Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn and whether this will be the role everyone is talking about this year, or not.  Head on over to check it out. This is our first go-round.

Oscarwatch: Best Actress Heats Up

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Glenn Close accepts Prix Donostia at San Sebastian

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  1. Vitaliy
    September 18, 2011

    Sasha. Out of all the performances you mentioned, I will tell you that Viola has absolutely no chance. It’s a standard performance.

  2. Vitaliy
    September 18, 2011

    Sasha. Out of all the performances you mentioned, I will tell you that Viola has absolutely no chance. It’s a standard performance.

  3. steve50
    September 18, 2011

    At this point, my heart is in the Williams/Redgrave camp, too. Thought MW deserved more kudos for Wendy & Lucy and BV – if she gives a good performance this time (and she’s got the Weinstein machine behind her), it’s hers for the taking. Not buying into P Law directing Streep and I have a gut feeling that Close will continue waiting. Redgrave taking supporting would make my decade.

  4. steve50
    September 18, 2011

    At this point, my heart is in the Williams/Redgrave camp, too. Thought MW deserved more kudos for Wendy & Lucy and BV – if she gives a good performance this time (and she’s got the Weinstein machine behind her), it’s hers for the taking. Not buying into P Law directing Streep and I have a gut feeling that Close will continue waiting. Redgrave taking supporting would make my decade.

  5. KB
    September 18, 2011

    Really, Vitality? You know all the Academy members? Anyways, Viola Davis’ performance is far from “standard”. If anything, she elevates the writing and the character.

  6. KB
    September 18, 2011

    Really, Vitality? You know all the Academy members? Anyways, Viola Davis’ performance is far from “standard”. If anything, she elevates the writing and the character.

  7. Simon Warrasch
    September 18, 2011

    Michelle Williams will win! I’m sure about that! My heart says she will win! Everyone say Glenn Close will win, because she is due for a win, she is such a great actress both in TV and in Movie, but in 2008 everyone said that Cate Blanchett will win for her stunning work as Bob Dylan in I’m not there! And who won? Right! No Cate Blanchett! Michelle Williams is definitely one of the best Actresses working today! She was absolutely phenomenal last year in Blue Valentine! And with her performance as Marilyn Monroe she will be for sure the Frontrunner!

  8. Simon Warrasch
    September 18, 2011

    Michelle Williams will win! I’m sure about that! My heart says she will win! Everyone say Glenn Close will win, because she is due for a win, she is such a great actress both in TV and in Movie, but in 2008 everyone said that Cate Blanchett will win for her stunning work as Bob Dylan in I’m not there! And who won? Right! No Cate Blanchett! Michelle Williams is definitely one of the best Actresses working today! She was absolutely phenomenal last year in Blue Valentine! And with her performance as Marilyn Monroe she will be for sure the Frontrunner!

  9. Simon Warrasch
    September 18, 2011

    My predictions right now for Leading and Supporting Actress are:

    Leading Actress

    Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn
    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
    Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Kate Winslet – Carnage

    Supporting Actress

    Viola Davis – The Help
    Sandra Bullock – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
    Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus
    Carey Mulligan – Shame

  10. Simon Warrasch
    September 18, 2011

    My predictions right now for Leading and Supporting Actress are:

    Leading Actress

    Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn
    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
    Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
    Kate Winslet – Carnage

    Supporting Actress

    Viola Davis – The Help
    Sandra Bullock – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
    Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus
    Carey Mulligan – Shame

  11. John
    September 18, 2011

    God bless you, Michelle!

  12. John
    September 18, 2011

    God bless you, Michelle!

  13. GoOnNow
    September 18, 2011

    @Vitaliy !?!?!

    Sandra Bullock did not deliver a standard performance in “The Blind Side” ?

  14. GoOnNow
    September 18, 2011

    @Vitaliy !?!?!

    Sandra Bullock did not deliver a standard performance in “The Blind Side” ?

  15. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    i dont see how kate winslet will make the cut, i have no doubs that she was awesome in carnage as she usually does, i like her very much but this year is too crowded and there are better performances than her…i would be very happy if she gets snubbed for carnage i mean its the same thing with O.L. streep we all know she is the better actress alive or one of them, but she is not giving always one of the five best performances…michelle williams and glen close seems to b the only locks for me with elizabeth olsen behind, i have my crossed fingers to see streep gettin snubbed, but ill be satisfied to see her losing again, like i know she will….

    this keira and viola thing with the campaign couldbe very bad, but i think both will make it in suppoting….
    i have so much faith to see my OSCAR WINNER sandra bullock gettin het second nomination this time with better acting…

  16. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    i dont see how kate winslet will make the cut, i have no doubs that she was awesome in carnage as she usually does, i like her very much but this year is too crowded and there are better performances than her…i would be very happy if she gets snubbed for carnage i mean its the same thing with O.L. streep we all know she is the better actress alive or one of them, but she is not giving always one of the five best performances…michelle williams and glen close seems to b the only locks for me with elizabeth olsen behind, i have my crossed fingers to see streep gettin snubbed, but ill be satisfied to see her losing again, like i know she will….

    this keira and viola thing with the campaign couldbe very bad, but i think both will make it in suppoting….
    i have so much faith to see my OSCAR WINNER sandra bullock gettin het second nomination this time with better acting…

  17. September 18, 2011

    I thought William’s Marilyn was going to be more behind-the-scenes, not necessarily the Marilyn we have come to know through the media, but a more intimate portrayal. That was my impression from listening Williams talk about the role. Ergo, the mimicry isn’t going to come into play as much as everyone seems to be expecting it to. I’m not saying there isn’t going to be any attempt at it, but it sounds like she was being “an out” as far as “nailing” “Marilyn Monroe.”

  18. September 18, 2011

    I thought William’s Marilyn was going to be more behind-the-scenes, not necessarily the Marilyn we have come to know through the media, but a more intimate portrayal. That was my impression from listening Williams talk about the role. Ergo, the mimicry isn’t going to come into play as much as everyone seems to be expecting it to. I’m not saying there isn’t going to be any attempt at it, but it sounds like she was being “an out” as far as “nailing” “Marilyn Monroe.”

  19. September 18, 2011

    I also sounds like this year’s campaign is going to be more about he narrative and less about the performance if Streep and Williams don’t excite audiences.

  20. September 18, 2011

    I also sounds like this year’s campaign is going to be more about he narrative and less about the performance if Streep and Williams don’t excite audiences.

  21. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    by the way where is rachel weisz in the whistleblower ???? SHE IS AMAZING , one of the best performances of the year for sure….

  22. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    by the way where is rachel weisz in the whistleblower ???? SHE IS AMAZING , one of the best performances of the year for sure….

  23. September 18, 2011

    Talk about synchronicity! MY TIFF interview with Thelma Adams just went up on my You Tube channel seconds ago!!!. And we did not discuss this particular topic, only in the general sense.

    I hate to say it but after what I heard at TIFF from all sides(and I didn’t get in to see it myself) “Albert Nobbs” is AT BEST a nomination. People, esp. men, where not digging it AT ALL, I’m really sorry to report. It’s an achievement in that Glenn Close got it made and wrote it to, but it’s not going to be popular.

    And so we then have Michelle Williams whom EVERYone likes. And her tragic back story with Heath Ledger…It’s not going to be Meryl or Glenn(who might not even get nominated) or Tilda (same problem) and while I think Viola Davis will be nominated and in lead…this is looking like it’s Michelle’s to lose…AND this will be her THIRD nomination…

    The super exclusive NYFF has “Marilyn” as their center piece. And they wouldn’t’ve have put it there if they didn’t think it was important. I”m seeing it there next week. And I have high hopes for Michelle.
    Michelle is a beloved figure these days. Glenn not so much.

  24. September 18, 2011

    Talk about synchronicity! MY TIFF interview with Thelma Adams just went up on my You Tube channel seconds ago!!!. And we did not discuss this particular topic, only in the general sense.

    I hate to say it but after what I heard at TIFF from all sides(and I didn’t get in to see it myself) “Albert Nobbs” is AT BEST a nomination. People, esp. men, where not digging it AT ALL, I’m really sorry to report. It’s an achievement in that Glenn Close got it made and wrote it to, but it’s not going to be popular.

    And so we then have Michelle Williams whom EVERYone likes. And her tragic back story with Heath Ledger…It’s not going to be Meryl or Glenn(who might not even get nominated) or Tilda (same problem) and while I think Viola Davis will be nominated and in lead…this is looking like it’s Michelle’s to lose…AND this will be her THIRD nomination…

    The super exclusive NYFF has “Marilyn” as their center piece. And they wouldn’t’ve have put it there if they didn’t think it was important. I”m seeing it there next week. And I have high hopes for Michelle.
    Michelle is a beloved figure these days. Glenn not so much.

  25. amanda
    September 18, 2011

    Michelle should have won last year for Blue Valentine. She is the best young actress working today.

  26. amanda
    September 18, 2011

    Michelle should have won last year for Blue Valentine. She is the best young actress working today.

  27. brace
    September 18, 2011

    Michelle Williams is young, respected actress and Academy likes young actress’. In the last twelve years or something only Helen Mirren was over 50, Sandra Bullock over 40. All the others were younger. So I think Michelle has good chances to win, if she does not totally disappoint, which I can’t imagine.

  28. brace
    September 18, 2011

    Michelle Williams is young, respected actress and Academy likes young actress’. In the last twelve years or something only Helen Mirren was over 50, Sandra Bullock over 40. All the others were younger. So I think Michelle has good chances to win, if she does not totally disappoint, which I can’t imagine.

  29. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    @ amanda

    as much as i love michelle williams andi truly believe she will get an oscar, there was no way in hell that she was better than natalie portman in black swan… her performance is one of the remarkable performances of the new generations, i even can say one of the better wins in best actress history not in the first 10 but maybe in the first 20

  30. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    @ amanda

    as much as i love michelle williams andi truly believe she will get an oscar, there was no way in hell that she was better than natalie portman in black swan… her performance is one of the remarkable performances of the new generations, i even can say one of the better wins in best actress history not in the first 10 but maybe in the first 20

  31. Vincent
    September 18, 2011

    I’m confused. In this article someone says that Michelle Wililams isn’t ready yet; however, I keep reading on this site that Viola Davis is “overdue.” How can two time nominee and outstanding actor, Michelle Williams, not be ready, yet, one time nominee with not much else to show for herself in the way of note-worthy film work is overdue? Ass kissing…total ass kissing.

  32. Vincent
    September 18, 2011

    I’m confused. In this article someone says that Michelle Wililams isn’t ready yet; however, I keep reading on this site that Viola Davis is “overdue.” How can two time nominee and outstanding actor, Michelle Williams, not be ready, yet, one time nominee with not much else to show for herself in the way of note-worthy film work is overdue? Ass kissing…total ass kissing.

  33. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    sasha and her wishfull thoughs

  34. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    sasha and her wishfull thoughs

  35. Mark
    September 18, 2011

    Meryl Streep with Harvey should pick up the win…

  36. Mark
    September 18, 2011

    Meryl Streep with Harvey should pick up the win…

  37. amanda
    September 18, 2011

    @jorge IMO there was absolutely nothing special about Portman’s performance last year. Williams performance felt real and was totally heartbreaking, Portman had none of that.

    @Mark Williams has Harvey also.

  38. amanda
    September 18, 2011

    @jorge IMO there was absolutely nothing special about Portman’s performance last year. Williams performance felt real and was totally heartbreaking, Portman had none of that.

    @Mark Williams has Harvey also.

  39. September 18, 2011

    Never underestimate Harvey Weinstein. Many did last year. And look what happened with “The King’s Speech”. It wowed Toronto, then HW kept it deep under wraps until Thanksgiving. And voila!

    He helped get Michelle that nomination last year for “Blue Valenine” which was BRILLLLLIANT! I totallly agree and Michelle is a great, great young actress one of the best. She’s POISED for a win this year. POISED. And ready. Harvey WILL get her that nomination, and it will be her third. Did any one see her in that mutliple Bob Dylan movie? She played Edie Sedgwick and while the role was tres small, Michelle was very, very good in it, and super-sexy. When she lets that sex kitten side of her go…she’s hot, hot, hot.

    And then there’s young miss Rooney Mara…Wish I had seen those magic seven minutes at TIFF, but again, I did not.
    And then there’s the always brilliant Rachel Weisz in the beautiful “Deep Blue Sea” an Academy movie if ever there was one. But will people see it? That’s the question.

    After Natalie Portman wow-ing all last year and trouncing Annette Bening who is on the Board of Goveners!(?!) of the Academy, for Cripessakke! Even with alllll her influential friends at court, as it were, Annette couldn’t pull out the win.

    And Glenn is much less liked than Annette. And nobody likes “Albert Nobbs” sorry to say. I hope I do when I see it.

    The buzz on that movie at TIFF was pretty bad. There, I’ve said it. And people were comparing it to Madonna’s movie “W.E.” Again I didn’t see it. I couldn’t spare the two hours. Whereas I WANT to see Albert Nobbs. I’m hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

    And Tilda’s movie…They’ll never watch it.

  40. September 18, 2011

    Never underestimate Harvey Weinstein. Many did last year. And look what happened with “The King’s Speech”. It wowed Toronto, then HW kept it deep under wraps until Thanksgiving. And voila!

    He helped get Michelle that nomination last year for “Blue Valenine” which was BRILLLLLIANT! I totallly agree and Michelle is a great, great young actress one of the best. She’s POISED for a win this year. POISED. And ready. Harvey WILL get her that nomination, and it will be her third. Did any one see her in that mutliple Bob Dylan movie? She played Edie Sedgwick and while the role was tres small, Michelle was very, very good in it, and super-sexy. When she lets that sex kitten side of her go…she’s hot, hot, hot.

    And then there’s young miss Rooney Mara…Wish I had seen those magic seven minutes at TIFF, but again, I did not.
    And then there’s the always brilliant Rachel Weisz in the beautiful “Deep Blue Sea” an Academy movie if ever there was one. But will people see it? That’s the question.

    After Natalie Portman wow-ing all last year and trouncing Annette Bening who is on the Board of Goveners!(?!) of the Academy, for Cripessakke! Even with alllll her influential friends at court, as it were, Annette couldn’t pull out the win.

    And Glenn is much less liked than Annette. And nobody likes “Albert Nobbs” sorry to say. I hope I do when I see it.

    The buzz on that movie at TIFF was pretty bad. There, I’ve said it. And people were comparing it to Madonna’s movie “W.E.” Again I didn’t see it. I couldn’t spare the two hours. Whereas I WANT to see Albert Nobbs. I’m hoping for the best but expecting the worst.

    And Tilda’s movie…They’ll never watch it.

  41. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    stephen what are ur thoughs about Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia???

    i havent seen im not there, ill watch it anytime soon…

  42. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    stephen what are ur thoughs about Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia???

    i havent seen im not there, ill watch it anytime soon…

  43. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    but i disagree with u i dont see how old lady bening is more likeable than close???
    close is way too better than old lady bening…

  44. jorge
    September 18, 2011

    but i disagree with u i dont see how old lady bening is more likeable than close???
    close is way too better than old lady bening…

  45. brace
    September 18, 2011

    Arguing about who’s better actress or whose performance is better is totally ridiculous.It is all the matter of taste or whatever. There are millions of reasons why somebody votes for somebody. And there is over 5000 members of Academy and they have their reasons, many of them have nothing to do with the particular performance.

  46. brace
    September 18, 2011

    Arguing about who’s better actress or whose performance is better is totally ridiculous.It is all the matter of taste or whatever. There are millions of reasons why somebody votes for somebody. And there is over 5000 members of Academy and they have their reasons, many of them have nothing to do with the particular performance.

  47. Matt
    September 18, 2011

    Williams was fantastic in Blue Valentine, but Portman in Black Swan was one of the finest performances by a female actor in decades. So the Academy definitely voted the right way last year.

    My one concern about Williams in Marilyn is where does that leave Andrew Dominik’s Blonde with Naomi Watts? I hope it isn’t ignored as a result…

  48. Matt
    September 18, 2011

    Williams was fantastic in Blue Valentine, but Portman in Black Swan was one of the finest performances by a female actor in decades. So the Academy definitely voted the right way last year.

    My one concern about Williams in Marilyn is where does that leave Andrew Dominik’s Blonde with Naomi Watts? I hope it isn’t ignored as a result…

  49. julian the emperor
    September 18, 2011

    If Michelle Williams delivers a great performance I cannot see what should stand in her way come Oscar time. Close has got a muted response, Streep is not gonna win a third time unless she delivers something spectacular (which isn’t likely if that trailer is anything to go by), Viola Davis is a supporting role in a bad (yet popular) movie, Olsen appears in a small indie gem. Michelle on the other hand is very much overdue and everybody seems to adore her. An Oscar at this point in her career seems an obvious next step. Besides; the Academy loves to hand out the statuette to a hot, young star. It’s going to happen; I can just feel it…

  50. julian the emperor
    September 18, 2011

    If Michelle Williams delivers a great performance I cannot see what should stand in her way come Oscar time. Close has got a muted response, Streep is not gonna win a third time unless she delivers something spectacular (which isn’t likely if that trailer is anything to go by), Viola Davis is a supporting role in a bad (yet popular) movie, Olsen appears in a small indie gem. Michelle on the other hand is very much overdue and everybody seems to adore her. An Oscar at this point in her career seems an obvious next step. Besides; the Academy loves to hand out the statuette to a hot, young star. It’s going to happen; I can just feel it…

  51. chan
    September 18, 2011

    Sasha is totally underestimating Michelle williams.

  52. chan
    September 18, 2011

    Sasha is totally underestimating Michelle williams.

  53. sean
    September 18, 2011

    Lol ok, everyone doubting The Iron Lady since Lloyd is the director are killing me! lol The woman directed one movie, Mamma Mia, and what did everyone expect from a film version of MM, a Oscar award winning picture? lol All this will help Lloyd because even if the film is remotely good, everyone will have expected something tragic and be like “wow, that was better than I thought”

    Williams will not win, period. Her role is more supporting and truly no big Oscar scene. She is outshined by Branaugh. Williams is also a very peculiar duck. She has an odd personality and not a loving girl like Witherspoon or Bullock. She is not due and will not win this year, if nominated, it will be in supporting.

  54. sean
    September 18, 2011

    Lol ok, everyone doubting The Iron Lady since Lloyd is the director are killing me! lol The woman directed one movie, Mamma Mia, and what did everyone expect from a film version of MM, a Oscar award winning picture? lol All this will help Lloyd because even if the film is remotely good, everyone will have expected something tragic and be like “wow, that was better than I thought”

    Williams will not win, period. Her role is more supporting and truly no big Oscar scene. She is outshined by Branaugh. Williams is also a very peculiar duck. She has an odd personality and not a loving girl like Witherspoon or Bullock. She is not due and will not win this year, if nominated, it will be in supporting.

  55. September 18, 2011

    Sean, good points about Lloyd and The Iron Lady. I made similar comments regarding her debut in Mama Mia! in the “Best Actress Heating Up” post.

    @ Mark
    I couldn’t agree more that with the backing Streep will be getting from the Weinstein Co it will be highly unlikely that she doesn’t get a nod. I would not be able to go as far as you did, in that she’ll win because of it. They really worked it for The King’s Speech, but I doubt they’ll be able to pull off a WIN for Streep. Not that she won’t be a contender, and we should see a 17th nod, but coming out on top will be a surprise to me.

  56. September 18, 2011

    Sean, good points about Lloyd and The Iron Lady. I made similar comments regarding her debut in Mama Mia! in the “Best Actress Heating Up” post.

    @ Mark
    I couldn’t agree more that with the backing Streep will be getting from the Weinstein Co it will be highly unlikely that she doesn’t get a nod. I would not be able to go as far as you did, in that she’ll win because of it. They really worked it for The King’s Speech, but I doubt they’ll be able to pull off a WIN for Streep. Not that she won’t be a contender, and we should see a 17th nod, but coming out on top will be a surprise to me.

  57. Alex
    September 18, 2011

    I’m *sure* Close and Streep will get nominations this year. I think it’s pretty obvious. Unless the movies totally tank, (most likely in Streep’s case) or everyone develops a severe distate for the performance (more likely in Close’s case) I think that they’re in.

    I *do* however, feel that everyone gets all wishywashy on the other three spots. The way I see it, Williams is already an academy darling and if the movie turns out “good” – maybe not spectacular but good – she’s a shoe-in, especially if the movie gets other nominations, like for Branagh or make-up or something.

    I still think I’m the only one convinced that Mara will pull off a nomination. She seems clear-cut for a nomination, and if the movie turns out well (which I very much expect it will), then she has a big chance of landing not just a nomination but straight into the frontrunner spot.

    The last spot then is up in the air …. i seriously doubt Davis will make it in, unless some other really great dark horse emerges in the next few months. If that doesn’t happen, then I think Swinton and Dunst are still in the race, *maybe* Olsen if her performance shines and she gets a bunch of indie awards, and *then* Davis, who I have a strong feeling will be campaigned in supporting, in which case she would be the clear front-runner…after all, Weisz and Connelly and countless others were really leads when they won their statuettes.

  58. Alex
    September 18, 2011

    I’m *sure* Close and Streep will get nominations this year. I think it’s pretty obvious. Unless the movies totally tank, (most likely in Streep’s case) or everyone develops a severe distate for the performance (more likely in Close’s case) I think that they’re in.

    I *do* however, feel that everyone gets all wishywashy on the other three spots. The way I see it, Williams is already an academy darling and if the movie turns out “good” – maybe not spectacular but good – she’s a shoe-in, especially if the movie gets other nominations, like for Branagh or make-up or something.

    I still think I’m the only one convinced that Mara will pull off a nomination. She seems clear-cut for a nomination, and if the movie turns out well (which I very much expect it will), then she has a big chance of landing not just a nomination but straight into the frontrunner spot.

    The last spot then is up in the air …. i seriously doubt Davis will make it in, unless some other really great dark horse emerges in the next few months. If that doesn’t happen, then I think Swinton and Dunst are still in the race, *maybe* Olsen if her performance shines and she gets a bunch of indie awards, and *then* Davis, who I have a strong feeling will be campaigned in supporting, in which case she would be the clear front-runner…after all, Weisz and Connelly and countless others were really leads when they won their statuettes.

  59. Alex
    September 18, 2011

    not to beat a dead horse or anything (no pun intended considering the movie I’m going to mention), and this has nothing to do with the vein of the comment board but since i was talking about lead “supporting” nominations … Steinfeld should have TOTALLY won supporting actress last year, even though she was definitely a lead role … if not *the* lead role.

  60. Alex
    September 18, 2011

    not to beat a dead horse or anything (no pun intended considering the movie I’m going to mention), and this has nothing to do with the vein of the comment board but since i was talking about lead “supporting” nominations … Steinfeld should have TOTALLY won supporting actress last year, even though she was definitely a lead role … if not *the* lead role.

  61. September 18, 2011

    I don’t see the argument for Natalie Portman’s oscar win. All frail vehemence and vein pulsating with little to no depth whatsoever. Even her character arc is shower puddle shallow with her being very looney at the outset and slightly more so in the third act. It’s not that she’s particularly bad in the part, but neither was she anything special; she merely acts as an extension of the film’s artistic direction, which is to say she was ham-fistedly literal with emotions spelt out in the most garishly broad manner possible. And I don’t buy her physical training as justification for the win either. I for one lost seventy pounds in 2009, yet no Oscar statuette came out of it.

  62. September 18, 2011

    I don’t see the argument for Natalie Portman’s oscar win. All frail vehemence and vein pulsating with little to no depth whatsoever. Even her character arc is shower puddle shallow with her being very looney at the outset and slightly more so in the third act. It’s not that she’s particularly bad in the part, but neither was she anything special; she merely acts as an extension of the film’s artistic direction, which is to say she was ham-fistedly literal with emotions spelt out in the most garishly broad manner possible. And I don’t buy her physical training as justification for the win either. I for one lost seventy pounds in 2009, yet no Oscar statuette came out of it.

  63. September 18, 2011

    Rachel Weisz in “Deep Blue Sea” ASTOUNDING. And right in the Academy’s Brit-o-philic comfort zone. Based on a classic “beloved” Terence Ratigan play that, I, living in England and working there and going to school there NEVER HEARD OF, it’s VERY stagey. But for a Terence Davies movie, it’s got a LOT of emotion and movement. It reminded me of Dr. Zhivago. All about doomed love in chilly places. It starts out IN THE FIRST MINUTE, with Rachel Weisz preparing to KILL HERSELF, by turning on the gas fires they had in those days and blowing out the fire so the gas will just seep into the room and kill her. And that’s the first MINUTE! She lies down comfortably in a wooly blanket to rest and of course the scene is incredibly picturesque and romantic and as she’s losing consciousness her life flashes before her in a series of brief scenes that don’t make any sense until later.

    I guess anything else is a spoiler, but she’s immenesely sympathetic and brillant, brilliant, brilliant…Ah! If only the Academy sees it!

    And then there’s Elena Anaya, who has got the most AMMAAAAAAZING part(which he probably wrote for Penelope Cruz, but she got pregnant, or was doing “Pirates of the Caribbean” or something) in Pedro Almodovar’s cracker-jack of a new movie “The Skin I Live In.” The academy voters will see, but Anaya is new and acting in her own language in a toud-de-force Almodovarian woman’s role…but will there be a big enough campaign for her? A newcomer and an unknown, and Sony Pictures Classics has got it’s hands full.

    And I heard NO=thing about Kristen Dunst in the way of buzz. I kept hearing that “Melancholia” is close to three hours…and it’s Lars (“I could be a Nazi”) Von Trier. This doesn’t sound like an Academy-friendly recipe to me. It’s at the New York Film Festival which starts press screenings tomorrow and I will have to sit through it there…

    If Michelle’s Marilyn ends up in Supporting she may win that category. But he’s got TWO Best Actress contenders it seems in Michelle AND Meryl. And
    he’s got Vanessa in Supporting for “Coriolanus.”

    He’s got his handsful.

  64. September 18, 2011

    Rachel Weisz in “Deep Blue Sea” ASTOUNDING. And right in the Academy’s Brit-o-philic comfort zone. Based on a classic “beloved” Terence Ratigan play that, I, living in England and working there and going to school there NEVER HEARD OF, it’s VERY stagey. But for a Terence Davies movie, it’s got a LOT of emotion and movement. It reminded me of Dr. Zhivago. All about doomed love in chilly places. It starts out IN THE FIRST MINUTE, with Rachel Weisz preparing to KILL HERSELF, by turning on the gas fires they had in those days and blowing out the fire so the gas will just seep into the room and kill her. And that’s the first MINUTE! She lies down comfortably in a wooly blanket to rest and of course the scene is incredibly picturesque and romantic and as she’s losing consciousness her life flashes before her in a series of brief scenes that don’t make any sense until later.

    I guess anything else is a spoiler, but she’s immenesely sympathetic and brillant, brilliant, brilliant…Ah! If only the Academy sees it!

    And then there’s Elena Anaya, who has got the most AMMAAAAAAZING part(which he probably wrote for Penelope Cruz, but she got pregnant, or was doing “Pirates of the Caribbean” or something) in Pedro Almodovar’s cracker-jack of a new movie “The Skin I Live In.” The academy voters will see, but Anaya is new and acting in her own language in a toud-de-force Almodovarian woman’s role…but will there be a big enough campaign for her? A newcomer and an unknown, and Sony Pictures Classics has got it’s hands full.

    And I heard NO=thing about Kristen Dunst in the way of buzz. I kept hearing that “Melancholia” is close to three hours…and it’s Lars (“I could be a Nazi”) Von Trier. This doesn’t sound like an Academy-friendly recipe to me. It’s at the New York Film Festival which starts press screenings tomorrow and I will have to sit through it there…

    If Michelle’s Marilyn ends up in Supporting she may win that category. But he’s got TWO Best Actress contenders it seems in Michelle AND Meryl. And
    he’s got Vanessa in Supporting for “Coriolanus.”

    He’s got his handsful.

  65. Amon
    September 18, 2011

    christiannnw, Oh for god’s sake, give it up! You’re wrong and it’s offtopic. Portman was the clear frontrunner and she’s one of the most deserving winners in years.

    Ontopic: If Williams doesn’t blow it she will win. She’s a perfect fit for that category, age- as well as lookwise and with her third nomination she would be quite overdue.

  66. Amon
    September 18, 2011

    christiannnw, Oh for god’s sake, give it up! You’re wrong and it’s offtopic. Portman was the clear frontrunner and she’s one of the most deserving winners in years.

    Ontopic: If Williams doesn’t blow it she will win. She’s a perfect fit for that category, age- as well as lookwise and with her third nomination she would be quite overdue.

  67. Pierre de Plume
    September 18, 2011

    The handwriting seems to be on the wall about Viola Davis. She’ll win whichever category she runs in, and I think she’ll end up in lead so the other actress (I forget her name) can run in supporting.

    Michelle Williams is wonderful — and was great in I’m Not There — but I think her time is farther down the road.

  68. Pierre de Plume
    September 18, 2011

    The handwriting seems to be on the wall about Viola Davis. She’ll win whichever category she runs in, and I think she’ll end up in lead so the other actress (I forget her name) can run in supporting.

    Michelle Williams is wonderful — and was great in I’m Not There — but I think her time is farther down the road.

  69. Chen
    September 19, 2011

    Williams was not ready last year! This year is hers. I have faith that she will blow everyone away. Those people who saw the test screening and says it was too lightweight probably one of those haters. there’s also people thought it was good. go research for positive reviews from that test screening. u”ll find it exist. Last year, some people even hated portman’s performance and she still win.
    Williams is leading. the whole story was about her.

  70. Chen
    September 19, 2011

    Williams was not ready last year! This year is hers. I have faith that she will blow everyone away. Those people who saw the test screening and says it was too lightweight probably one of those haters. there’s also people thought it was good. go research for positive reviews from that test screening. u”ll find it exist. Last year, some people even hated portman’s performance and she still win.
    Williams is leading. the whole story was about her.

  71. Mark
    September 19, 2011

    Where has Oscar Poker disappeared to?

  72. Mark
    September 19, 2011

    Where has Oscar Poker disappeared to?

  73. September 19, 2011

    Amon, if you’re going to try and attack my opinion at least back yourself up with a discernible one of your own instead of a variation of “omg she was so good”. Thanks.

  74. September 19, 2011

    Amon, if you’re going to try and attack my opinion at least back yourself up with a discernible one of your own instead of a variation of “omg she was so good”. Thanks.

  75. Nic V
    September 19, 2011

    I think this is the toughest of the top categories. I think Streep has a good shot at this point, but if The Iron Lady doesn’t transcend into box office this could be a miss for her.

    I’m still not buying into the Michelle Williams/Marilyn Monroe deal. Marilyn is over done and with that said Michelle is going to have to find something to make herself stand out besides the appearance. And if Branagh doesn’t pull off a very believeable Olivier this could end up dead in the water. Honestly I’m more interested in seeing Branagh do Olivier than Williams doing Monroe. Olivier was dealing with two women who were psychologically challenged at the time Vivien Leigh and Marilyn. I find his piece in this a lot more interesting.

    I still don’t think Viola Davis belongs in the lead category but I won’t belabor that fact. There have been others who didn’t belong in the lead category but found themselves there. Whatever category Davis end’s up in she the force to reckon with. Since I don’t feel she belongs in this category she’s not in my five.

    If you had to force me into this right now I’d go with Close, Streep, Knightley, Williams, and Swinton. Close because it’s another one of those challenging performances that she excels at, Streep because no one can cap a bio like she can, Knightley because she busts out of the box, Williams only because she has all the money riding on her right now, and Swinton because she deserves to be nominated. I don’t think any of them are a lock right now.

  76. Nic V
    September 19, 2011

    I think this is the toughest of the top categories. I think Streep has a good shot at this point, but if The Iron Lady doesn’t transcend into box office this could be a miss for her.

    I’m still not buying into the Michelle Williams/Marilyn Monroe deal. Marilyn is over done and with that said Michelle is going to have to find something to make herself stand out besides the appearance. And if Branagh doesn’t pull off a very believeable Olivier this could end up dead in the water. Honestly I’m more interested in seeing Branagh do Olivier than Williams doing Monroe. Olivier was dealing with two women who were psychologically challenged at the time Vivien Leigh and Marilyn. I find his piece in this a lot more interesting.

    I still don’t think Viola Davis belongs in the lead category but I won’t belabor that fact. There have been others who didn’t belong in the lead category but found themselves there. Whatever category Davis end’s up in she the force to reckon with. Since I don’t feel she belongs in this category she’s not in my five.

    If you had to force me into this right now I’d go with Close, Streep, Knightley, Williams, and Swinton. Close because it’s another one of those challenging performances that she excels at, Streep because no one can cap a bio like she can, Knightley because she busts out of the box, Williams only because she has all the money riding on her right now, and Swinton because she deserves to be nominated. I don’t think any of them are a lock right now.

  77. September 19, 2011

    here ya go, Mark.
    Fresh out of the oven last night
    http://www.awardsdaily.com/podcasts/oscarpoker/episode48.mp3

  78. September 19, 2011

    here ya go, Mark.
    Fresh out of the oven last night
    http://www.awardsdaily.com/podcasts/oscarpoker/episode48.mp3

  79. Unlikelyhood
    September 19, 2011

    I forget which astute ADer talked about the correlation between Best Picture nominations and Best Actress wins, but whoever did was very wise indeed. Check the history. Really, the only time a woman wins this category without a BP nod is if none of her competition had BP nods either. And the history has led to some shocking upsets where the winner had the BP nod and the favorite didn’t (Paltrow dench, Kidman Moore, etc etc). All this is to say that because Streep, close and Williams won’t get BP nods, they’re sitting ducks for any nominee that does – even Swinton for her #2, but probably Davis.

  80. Unlikelyhood
    September 19, 2011

    I forget which astute ADer talked about the correlation between Best Picture nominations and Best Actress wins, but whoever did was very wise indeed. Check the history. Really, the only time a woman wins this category without a BP nod is if none of her competition had BP nods either. And the history has led to some shocking upsets where the winner had the BP nod and the favorite didn’t (Paltrow dench, Kidman Moore, etc etc). All this is to say that because Streep, close and Williams won’t get BP nods, they’re sitting ducks for any nominee that does – even Swinton for her #2, but probably Davis.

  81. Aaron
    September 19, 2011

    I just don’t understand the alternate universe Sasha lives in to think that Davis is more “overdue” than Williams. Yes, she is older, but Williams has two very well-deserved Oscar nominations to her name, plus she was robbed of at least another two nominations for Land of Plenty and WENDY AND LUCY. Davis was relatively unknown to cinema-goers until her great performance in Doubt three years ago. Yes, she’s been prolific on stage, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to films. Ultimately, I think Davis will be pushed in supporting and she may end up being the frontrunner there (although I have had a feeling all year that Vanessa Redgrave might win her second Oscar this year for her performance in Coriolanus).

    My predictions for best actress are

    1. Michelle Williams
    2. Meryl Streep
    3. Elizabeth Olsen
    4. Charlize Theron
    5. Glenn Close
    Alternates: Tilda Swinton, Rooney Mara

    Judging by the mixed and lukewarm response to Albert Nobbs, I really am not entirely convinced that Glenn Close will pull of a nomination, and most certainly not a win. Rooney Mara may end up being the surprise of the season.

  82. Aaron
    September 19, 2011

    I just don’t understand the alternate universe Sasha lives in to think that Davis is more “overdue” than Williams. Yes, she is older, but Williams has two very well-deserved Oscar nominations to her name, plus she was robbed of at least another two nominations for Land of Plenty and WENDY AND LUCY. Davis was relatively unknown to cinema-goers until her great performance in Doubt three years ago. Yes, she’s been prolific on stage, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to films. Ultimately, I think Davis will be pushed in supporting and she may end up being the frontrunner there (although I have had a feeling all year that Vanessa Redgrave might win her second Oscar this year for her performance in Coriolanus).

    My predictions for best actress are

    1. Michelle Williams
    2. Meryl Streep
    3. Elizabeth Olsen
    4. Charlize Theron
    5. Glenn Close
    Alternates: Tilda Swinton, Rooney Mara

    Judging by the mixed and lukewarm response to Albert Nobbs, I really am not entirely convinced that Glenn Close will pull of a nomination, and most certainly not a win. Rooney Mara may end up being the surprise of the season.

  83. September 19, 2011

    I just don’t understand the alternate universe Sasha lives in to think that Davis is more “overdue” than Williams.

    Setting aside the possibility that Sasha never made such a stark comparison of who’s more overdue (as far as I know) — I don’t understand how anyone can be predicting Michele Williams as the frontrunner for a movie when we’ve only seen a handful of stills in Vanity Fair.

  84. September 19, 2011

    I just don’t understand the alternate universe Sasha lives in to think that Davis is more “overdue” than Williams.

    Setting aside the possibility that Sasha never made such a stark comparison of who’s more overdue (as far as I know) — I don’t understand how anyone can be predicting Michele Williams as the frontrunner for a movie when we’ve only seen a handful of stills in Vanity Fair.

  85. September 19, 2011

    most interesting factoid of the day:

    The only time a woman wins a Best Actress Oscar without a BP nod is if none of her competition had BP nods either. ~ Unlikelyhood

    Winning an Oscar
    Step One: Get Academy members to watch your movie.

    Doesn’t matter how brilliant and devastating Tilda Swinton was in Julia. If nobody saw the movie, then the performance is for her devoted aficionados only.

    Most men just don’t watch a lot of movies in which men aren’t the focus. That’s why it’s called being a dick. Before an actress can win an Oscar, she’s got to be in a movie that makes the dickish 50% of the Academy want to break the seal on the screener.

  86. September 19, 2011

    most interesting factoid of the day:

    The only time a woman wins a Best Actress Oscar without a BP nod is if none of her competition had BP nods either. ~ Unlikelyhood

    Winning an Oscar
    Step One: Get Academy members to watch your movie.

    Doesn’t matter how brilliant and devastating Tilda Swinton was in Julia. If nobody saw the movie, then the performance is for her devoted aficionados only.

    Most men just don’t watch a lot of movies in which men aren’t the focus. That’s why it’s called being a dick. Before an actress can win an Oscar, she’s got to be in a movie that makes the dickish 50% of the Academy want to break the seal on the screener.

  87. Allie
    September 19, 2011

    Right now my predictions are: Streep, Close, Olsen, Knightley and Williams, yet I still don’t feel like (so far) either of them have enough buzz to pick an actual winner. To me, Davis is supporting, and if she does get nominated in that category, I do believe she will win, though in my opinion it was a woefully uninspired performance.

  88. Allie
    September 19, 2011

    Right now my predictions are: Streep, Close, Olsen, Knightley and Williams, yet I still don’t feel like (so far) either of them have enough buzz to pick an actual winner. To me, Davis is supporting, and if she does get nominated in that category, I do believe she will win, though in my opinion it was a woefully uninspired performance.

  89. Unlikelyhood
    September 19, 2011

    True dat Ryan. I probably shouldn’t present that rule as an absolute, but
    I’d bet cashola that it’s more true of that category than the other three acting categories. Probably woody Allen has skewed supporting actress (with so many wins without BP nods).

  90. Unlikelyhood
    September 19, 2011

    True dat Ryan. I probably shouldn’t present that rule as an absolute, but
    I’d bet cashola that it’s more true of that category than the other three acting categories. Probably woody Allen has skewed supporting actress (with so many wins without BP nods).

  91. Aaron
    September 19, 2011

    @Ryan

    True, Michelle Williams as a frontrunner is definitely a bit premature at this stage…I’m only basing my notion on the fact that A) she is the right age for many best actress winners B) she is a two-time nominee C) Harvey Weinstein is backing her D) she is pretty (I know that’s petty, but we all know, sadly, that it often factors in with actresses and Oscars)…but most of all she is playing a beloved, Hollywood icon…and from past history we know that the Academy responds VERY well to actors playing famous people in prestige films…aka Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, Reese as June Carter, Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote, and the list goes on and on. We’ll see how the film is as a whole, but Michelle Williams is one of the best actresses working today (in my opinion) and if she pulls it off and is widely acclaimed, she has a lot of things going for her to pull off a win.

  92. Aaron
    September 19, 2011

    @Ryan

    True, Michelle Williams as a frontrunner is definitely a bit premature at this stage…I’m only basing my notion on the fact that A) she is the right age for many best actress winners B) she is a two-time nominee C) Harvey Weinstein is backing her D) she is pretty (I know that’s petty, but we all know, sadly, that it often factors in with actresses and Oscars)…but most of all she is playing a beloved, Hollywood icon…and from past history we know that the Academy responds VERY well to actors playing famous people in prestige films…aka Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, Reese as June Carter, Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote, and the list goes on and on. We’ll see how the film is as a whole, but Michelle Williams is one of the best actresses working today (in my opinion) and if she pulls it off and is widely acclaimed, she has a lot of things going for her to pull off a win.

  93. September 19, 2011

    Aaron

    Anything can happen! I admire everything Michelle Williams has done thus far, so there’s no reason to expect she won’t maintain and possibly surpasses he own high standards this year. I’m certainly not ready to write anybody off in movie that hasn’t even been screened yet.

    The only thing to give me pause is the relatively quiet hum of buzz surrounding this movie. Maybe that’s smart strategy if they’re confident it’s going to be a knockout. But it seems like now’s the time to be making more effort to assert the strength of the movie and this role for serious consideration.

    I agree with everything else you say. Just didn’t want to leave the impression that we’re overlooking an important role — because it’s not possible to overlook something we haven’t been able to look at yet.

  94. September 19, 2011

    Aaron

    Anything can happen! I admire everything Michelle Williams has done thus far, so there’s no reason to expect she won’t maintain and possibly surpasses he own high standards this year. I’m certainly not ready to write anybody off in movie that hasn’t even been screened yet.

    The only thing to give me pause is the relatively quiet hum of buzz surrounding this movie. Maybe that’s smart strategy if they’re confident it’s going to be a knockout. But it seems like now’s the time to be making more effort to assert the strength of the movie and this role for serious consideration.

    I agree with everything else you say. Just didn’t want to leave the impression that we’re overlooking an important role — because it’s not possible to overlook something we haven’t been able to look at yet.

  95. chen
    September 19, 2011

    If Reese as June Carter can win. I am pretty sure Williams can too. Reese was the worst of the bunch during that year.

  96. chen
    September 19, 2011

    If Reese as June Carter can win. I am pretty sure Williams can too. Reese was the worst of the bunch during that year.

  97. chen
    September 19, 2011

    By the way Aaron, Williams is not pretty compared to Knightely and others. I like her just because of her talent.

  98. chen
    September 19, 2011

    By the way Aaron, Williams is not pretty compared to Knightely and others. I like her just because of her talent.

  99. Alex
    September 19, 2011

    Why does everyone knock off Witherspoon the year she won? Because she’s a young, pretty, popular actress who starred in Legally Blonde (which she did awesome in, btw)?? She’s no less great an actress than any other winner. Saying that “she was the worst” or knocking her with phrases like “if she can win, anyone else can” doesn’t constitute any argument in my opinion …. By contrast, everyone seems to support the (still young and pretty) but “indie” and less-mainstream actress Portman, who’s performance was, while still great, nothing totally out of the ordinary…..

  100. Alex
    September 19, 2011

    Why does everyone knock off Witherspoon the year she won? Because she’s a young, pretty, popular actress who starred in Legally Blonde (which she did awesome in, btw)?? She’s no less great an actress than any other winner. Saying that “she was the worst” or knocking her with phrases like “if she can win, anyone else can” doesn’t constitute any argument in my opinion …. By contrast, everyone seems to support the (still young and pretty) but “indie” and less-mainstream actress Portman, who’s performance was, while still great, nothing totally out of the ordinary…..

  101. AnnaZed
    September 20, 2011

    I think Michelle Williams is lovely and talented, just wonderful. Still, I doubt that she will pull-off Marilyn Monroe. For one think troweling on a pound or two of make-up does not a Marilyn Monroe make or every actress of her generation would have done it. Michelle Williams has none of Marilyn Monroe’s distinctive physical characteristics. She’s nothing like the sexy jello on springs that Jack Lemon marveled at in Some Like It Hot. Like most modern actresses, Williams is bony, and her body is like that of an early teen girl with the walk and mannerisms that the body type presents. If she looks like any star from another generation it’s Mia Farrow. To a very large extent Marilyn Monroe was her body. By today’s standards she would be called fat. I know that this has been said many times before. Still, no amount of acting talent can change these simple facts.

  102. AnnaZed
    September 20, 2011

    I think Michelle Williams is lovely and talented, just wonderful. Still, I doubt that she will pull-off Marilyn Monroe. For one think troweling on a pound or two of make-up does not a Marilyn Monroe make or every actress of her generation would have done it. Michelle Williams has none of Marilyn Monroe’s distinctive physical characteristics. She’s nothing like the sexy jello on springs that Jack Lemon marveled at in Some Like It Hot. Like most modern actresses, Williams is bony, and her body is like that of an early teen girl with the walk and mannerisms that the body type presents. If she looks like any star from another generation it’s Mia Farrow. To a very large extent Marilyn Monroe was her body. By today’s standards she would be called fat. I know that this has been said many times before. Still, no amount of acting talent can change these simple facts.

  103. September 20, 2011

    @ Alex: I’m with you on your post about Reese Witherspoon. Her’s is an unexpectedly quiet and nonchalant portrayal of June Carter Cash, but I definitely think that Reese infused her with a charisma and spunkiness that elevated the character above an otherwise blandly written part. She was definitely the best nominee in an admittedly weak year for leading actresses.

  104. September 20, 2011

    @ Alex: I’m with you on your post about Reese Witherspoon. Her’s is an unexpectedly quiet and nonchalant portrayal of June Carter Cash, but I definitely think that Reese infused her with a charisma and spunkiness that elevated the character above an otherwise blandly written part. She was definitely the best nominee in an admittedly weak year for leading actresses.

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