Olsen, Spencer, Jones, and Colman – One Role, One Movie, This Year

A star is born in Elizabeth Olsen.  Although many on the fest circuit have already seen Martha Marcy May Marlene, and therefore not much is being written about her performance but it’s well worth mentioning that it’s rare to have such a spectacular debut from someone coming from utter obscurity (okay, so being an Olsen sister isn’t exactly obscurity but you get the idea).  She reminds me of Carey Mulligan’s debut — Mulligan just gets better and better, clearly not satisfied with being the “it” girl for a second, she’s now built an impressive, diverse body of work that should make this year’s graduates hopeful for their future; Hollywood so often takes the pretty young things, uses them up, spits them out and by the time they hit 30 there is nothing left of them.

Steven Soderbergh said once that talent and hard work equal luck: be ready when it happens. I think he said that. If he didn’t say that exactly he said something along those lines.  Mulligan was ready when it happened to her.  Already this year she’s turned in two magnificent supporting performance, each completely different from the other — what they share is her unmistakable vulnerability.  She steals Drive as the literal “girl next door,” and in Shame, she plays someone so wrecked internally she can barely make it through the day.  There is no doubt Mulligan is something special.

Will this be Elizabeth Olsen’s fate?  Here is what the NY Times says about her (he’s mixed on the film in general – but even those who are mixed are sure about her):

Whatever her name, and whatever her mood — it ranges from vaguely unsettled to acutely anguished — Martha is played by Elizabeth Olsen, a very pretty actress whose on-camera presence is at once vivid and interestingly blurred. Her features seem to shift, appearing sharp from some angles and soft from others, and her body can look alternately sturdy and frail, depending on the circumstances.

Ms. Olsen’s performance is both the key to the film and the source of its sometimes frustrating opacity. Like Todd Haynes’s “Safe” (though with less ambition or intellectual rigor), “Martha Marcy May Marlene” is, in part, a psychological case study of someone whose inner life is permanently out of reach, if it even exists at all.

And Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly:

Olsen — the younger sister of famous twin performing pros Mary-Kate and Ashley, but possessed of striking talent and beauty that need no familial hook — plays Martha. And also Marcy May. As well as Marlene, since all three names describe the same malleable woman. Martha was her name in girlhood. Marcy May is her nom de cult, given to the newcomer by the group’s paternalistic, seductively twisted leader, Patrick (Winter’s Bone‘s John Hawkes, adding to his impressive collection of skinny, charismatic, dangerous men). Marlene? Well, that’s a variation on her Marcy May disguise.

And Anthony Lane, The New Yorker:

The camera holds on her, in a faint breeze, and, for a few seconds, becomes helplessly—and dangerously—complicit in his wiles: all of a sudden, Elizabeth Olsen, who until now has seemed fragile and doll-like in her prettiness, seems overwhelmingly beautiful. He has, indeed, made her into “just a picture,” framed for his monstrous convenience, and the miracle of Olsen’s work in this film is that she both bows to that imposition, as befits her character’s vulnerability, and also struggles against it, as if to shout, “No, that is not all. He can’t watch me forever. I can be free.” She could almost be a movie star under the whip of a demonic director, and the battle to cling to her coherent self is as touching—and, depending on how you read the final shot, as undecided—as Elisabeth Shue’s portrayal of another victim, in “Leaving Las Vegas.” In Martha’s slow, stunned movements, which persist even in the refuge of her sister’s home, we see what it means to be colonized in spirit, and “Martha Marcy May Marlene” is not so much a religious parable as a private war film: Patrick versus Martha, the conqueror against the virgin land. It should be a great escape, too, but I fear the worst.

Another breakthrough female this year is Octavia Spencer in The Help. Her supporting turn in the film is one of the reasons The Help did well, money wise, but also why it’s being talked about an “Oscar contender,” which I guess just means it’s good enough to be “worthy” of their votes.  One has to be specific about these things, to be clear about what the Oscars themselves really mean.  But that is neither here nor there – the point is, Spencer bursts forth from The Help – and that is no easy feat with the kinds of supporting actresses in the film with her.

Owen Gleiberman says about her (and her co-star, Ms. Davis):

Set in Jackson, Miss. — the middle-class heart of the Deep South — The Help is Aibileen’s story, and it’s also the story of her best friend, Minny (Octavia Spencer), a pixie-faced rascal of a housekeeper/cook who’s as feisty and contemptuous as Aibileen is circumspect. Davis and Spencer are both brilliant, etching these women’s hopes and broken dreams with every line, and between the lines, too. The film is also about their comrades, and about the women they work for — a group of eager, perky housewives (they’re like Southern-fried Betty Drapers) who are just the sort of bridge-club-and-benefit types that the movies love to caricature.

Spencer is more likely to earn a Supporting nod than Mulligan or Olsen because hers buzz and prominence is not up for debate and there aren’t many if any in line in front of her.  Mulligan has been to the big show and truly deserves to be there again for both of her performances in Drive and Shame, but doesn’t that mean that they will split the vote?  Elizabeth Olsen seems headed for recognition but she’s got many strong performances to contend with – sure, she could probably knock out a vet, given that she’s young and very pretty, and Oscar voters like that…Of the five actresses who seems to be currently in the Best Actress race, they are all vets except for Michelle Williams, who sits alongside  Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, and Tilda Swinton.  With performances by Keira Knightley in A Dangerous Method, Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and, if Jeff Wells has his way, Olivia Colman from Tyrannosaur.  Olsen has as good a shot as any of these.  It’s never easy picking and choosing.  The choices will be made for us once awards season in in full swing.

The final actress in our spotlight is Felicity Jones, who won girl I’d most like to sleep with Best Actress at Sundance, which set her up for a decent Oscar run.  But again, in such a competitive year, it’s hard to imagine her getting in there.  On the other hand, none of that should negate the great leap forwards she’s gotten with this film this year.  Jones must play an array of emotions and levels of maturity as she goes from besotted college girl to world-weary adult.  She’s caught between worlds.  She wants to hold onto the temporary magic of right time/right place love and yet she pulled back to reality when things don’t work out as expected.

Like Crazy is a movie that will either captivate you or depress you, depending on where you sit on the love scale.  Are you disillusioned by love? Are you hopeful about love? Do you believe in true love? Do you believe in giving up everything for love?  Are you stuck on the same person from your past that you can’t let go of?

The beauty of Like Crazy is that it doesn’t answer these questions for you.  This is what I loved about it.  Now that I’m heading out of my youth and into middle age (kill me now) I do see love differently.  But I also remember what it’s like to be caught up in an impossible, undeniable whirlwind. I know what it is to cling. I was impressed with Like Crazy because it didn’t give us what we wanted. It didn’t give us the satisfying happy ending of lovers running to each other to live happily ever after.  It didn’t do that.  It reminded me of The Graduate where the two young ones are just sitting there wondering what is about to happen next.

But that kind of ending, that kind of ambiguity leaves people feeling uncomfortable, which probably explains the mixed response the film has been getting since Sundance.  For me, it has only grown in my admiration as I’ve thought about it.  If I didn’t go for it immediately after seeing it, I have found that it stuck with me.  Its unpredictable storytelling, truthful acting, and willingness to face some kind of truth about love itself makes me admire it all the more.

And that is why I think its star, Felicity Jones, deserves to be in the conversation.  The film has yet to be reviewed by the major critics, so I’ll wait before assessing her Oscar chances.  More than that, though, she’s certainly carved out a place for herself with this one role this year, like Olsen and Spencer, and of course, Olivia Colman.

Whether Jeff Wells’ campaign proves successful or not, there is little doubt that a star has been born with Olivia Colman as the abused wife in Tyrannosaur.  Although the film’s yet to be reviewed over here by the major press, it has gotten ink in England.

Here is some of the praise for Colman:

Part of the film’s powerful sadness – and it really is a tough watch – lies in the way it shows how Hannah’s whole martyred existence is a self-created mythology she has built up around her to explain away the shame of tolerating abuse. Her earnest volunteering at the charity shop, her putting up with things, even her faith itself, is all a way of giving meaning to her humiliation and pain. The Christianity could simply be a delusional sham, part of the abuse and co-dependency, and a sham in which even James himself sickeningly participates. Colman’s Hannah has created a gravitational aura of self-harm, that draws Joe in. But their relationship may still create a kind of escape for them both, even a redemption. And it develops in a very unexpected way.

I have heard Tyrannosaur criticised as a movie that comes too close to miserablist cliche, but that isn’t true: it’s a visceral, considered dissection of abuse and rage and the dysfunctional relationships that rage creates, which, in turn, perpetuate that rage, and an examination of people who create their own eco-system of anger and unhappiness. The performances of Mullan, Colman and Marsan are excellent and create a compelling human drama. Tyrannosaur is far from a love story, but it is not a simply a hate story, either; it is certainly a very impressive debut from Considine.

The Guardian

Meanwhile, a second, much more straightforward plot line charts Joseph’s confrontations with a pit bull-toting scumbag who lives across the road. Shot with a kind of spaghetti western bombast, these scenes – extraordinarily brutal as they are – offer a welcome break from the much harder-to-watch domestic violence sequences. After seeing Colman being punched, tormented, spat at and much worse, a middle-aged Scottish alcoholic swinging a sledgehammer at a goon in a tracksuit is comparatively light relief.
Thematically, Tyrannosaur is rooted in the British kitchen sink dramas of the 1960s — it’s filmed in Leeds, everyone’s miserable — and it also shares some common ground with Nil By Mouth, the harrowing 1997 spousal abuse drama written and directed by Gary Oldman. In fact, this connection runs deep since Considine wrote Dog Altogether, the Bafta-winning short on which Tyrannosaur is based, while working with Oldman, who offered him advice on the scripts for both the original film and this expansion of it. In terms of craft, however, it’s got more in common with the work of Considine’s long-time collaborator Shane Meadows — specifically, his knack for puncturing grisly social realism with lighter moments.

The lion’s share of these come via Colman. Rare as it is here, her smile could toast marshmallows, and her brave, unguarded performance should (and hopefully will) net her a best actress nomination at the Baftas. Mullan, meanwhile, is typically excellent in a familiar-ish role and Marsan turns in a performance of florid and convincing horribleness .

The Telegraph

When you find yourself wondering what good the awards race can do – you need only look at these actresses. What it does for them is what it also can do for writers, animators, designers, musicians, directors and producers. Buzz, attention, accolades, these are the forces that impact the evolution of movie making. Would these same forces exist without awards? Hard to say. We seem to have the need to decide who’s best, which, of course, always comes down to a matter of opinion. What awards do is prove consensus. And the buzz around them feeds the beast.

52 Comments on this Post

  1. Adam Lewis

    Colman is such a major talent! Just watch her hilarious turn as the mother in Beautiful People to see her amazing range. I wonder if Meryl will start pushing her for Oscar too after they worked together on The Iron Lady.

  2. Adam Lewis

    Colman is such a major talent! Just watch her hilarious turn as the mother in Beautiful People to see her amazing range. I wonder if Meryl will start pushing her for Oscar too after they worked together on The Iron Lady.

  3. EnglishCrumpet

    I’ve been a fan of Colman for years, mostly for her brilliant work in the UK TV show Peep Show. It’s great to see the buzz building around her, I can’t wait to see Tyrannosaur and would LOVE to see her get some awards love. Fingers crossed!!!

  4. EnglishCrumpet

    I’ve been a fan of Colman for years, mostly for her brilliant work in the UK TV show Peep Show. It’s great to see the buzz building around her, I can’t wait to see Tyrannosaur and would LOVE to see her get some awards love. Fingers crossed!!!

  5. Simon Warrasch

    If i have to predict right now my personal Oscar picks – Actresses i think that they will be nominated – i would predict:

    Actress in a Leading Role

    Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn
    Viola Davis – The Help
    Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Actress in a Supporting Role

    Carey Mulligan – Shame
    Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus
    Berenice Bejo – The Artist
    Octavia Spencer – The Help
    Jessica Chastain – The Tree of Life (or The Help)

  6. Simon Warrasch

    If i have to predict right now my personal Oscar picks – Actresses i think that they will be nominated – i would predict:

    Actress in a Leading Role

    Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn
    Viola Davis – The Help
    Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene

    Actress in a Supporting Role

    Carey Mulligan – Shame
    Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus
    Berenice Bejo – The Artist
    Octavia Spencer – The Help
    Jessica Chastain – The Tree of Life (or The Help)

  7. julian the emperor

    As of now, I totally agree with you, simon. Except for one thing: I would replace Redgrave (does anyone really like that movie?) with Woodley (from a clearly beloved film AND a major contender in other categories)

  8. julian the emperor

    As of now, I totally agree with you, simon. Except for one thing: I would replace Redgrave (does anyone really like that movie?) with Woodley (from a clearly beloved film AND a major contender in other categories)

  9. Tero Heikkinen

    ^Those nominees seem like solid guesses now.

    Out of the four in this article (Olsen, Spencer, Jones and Colman)… I have not seen any of these films yet, but Colman’s film interests me the most.

    I should probably go see The Help before it leaves from theaters.

  10. Tero Heikkinen

    ^Those nominees seem like solid guesses now.

    Out of the four in this article (Olsen, Spencer, Jones and Colman)… I have not seen any of these films yet, but Colman’s film interests me the most.

    I should probably go see The Help before it leaves from theaters.

  11. Jenna suisy

    Please don’t make felicity jones happens. Her performance was annoying and not so convincing. Btw I agree with the rest of the actresses (spencer, colman, and especially olsen)

  12. Jenna suisy

    Please don’t make felicity jones happens. Her performance was annoying and not so convincing. Btw I agree with the rest of the actresses (spencer, colman, and especially olsen)

  13. haqyunus

    @julian the emperor.

    redgrave have quite brilliant reviews. in fact if you take out viola davis and success of ‘the help’ out then redgrave has much greater chances of getting in than spencer. specially given the fact that the movie has not being released (though it is a consistent presence on the festival circuit) and that she (redgrave) has managed to maintain the buzz since february of this year!

    having said that, i do agree that no matter how coriolanus is as a movie, it is quite inaccesible being shakespeare (and that too a lesser known one) and with just mix-to-good reviews it can hurt redgrave’s chances. but given her track record, narrative and strong reviews i think she will pull through.

  14. haqyunus

    @julian the emperor.

    redgrave have quite brilliant reviews. in fact if you take out viola davis and success of ‘the help’ out then redgrave has much greater chances of getting in than spencer. specially given the fact that the movie has not being released (though it is a consistent presence on the festival circuit) and that she (redgrave) has managed to maintain the buzz since february of this year!

    having said that, i do agree that no matter how coriolanus is as a movie, it is quite inaccesible being shakespeare (and that too a lesser known one) and with just mix-to-good reviews it can hurt redgrave’s chances. but given her track record, narrative and strong reviews i think she will pull through.

  15. The year thus far seems to be lacking in the Picture department, but who knew it would turn out so incredibly for the ladies?! There hasn’t been a year like this since 1995 or 1996 – Brava!

  16. The year thus far seems to be lacking in the Picture department, but who knew it would turn out so incredibly for the ladies?! There hasn’t been a year like this since 1995 or 1996 – Brava!

  17. Michelle

    I would like us to stop going Oscar crazy every time a young woman arrives on the scene. Shailene Woodley is good…and you are right, probably more apt to get nominated then Redgrave….but wtf. It is about Best performance, not best performance in the most popular movie by a young ingenue who we all want to be the new it girl.

    And excuse me…how insulting “the girl I’d most like to sleep with?” Keep that shite to yourself, and she’s not a girl, I believe she’s a woman. I bet you thought it was great when Adrien Brody grabbed a former Oscar winner and kissed her without her permission on Network television? Oh, but she’s hot….so…..

  18. Michelle

    I would like us to stop going Oscar crazy every time a young woman arrives on the scene. Shailene Woodley is good…and you are right, probably more apt to get nominated then Redgrave….but wtf. It is about Best performance, not best performance in the most popular movie by a young ingenue who we all want to be the new it girl.

    And excuse me…how insulting “the girl I’d most like to sleep with?” Keep that shite to yourself, and she’s not a girl, I believe she’s a woman. I bet you thought it was great when Adrien Brody grabbed a former Oscar winner and kissed her without her permission on Network television? Oh, but she’s hot….so…..

  19. I think Rooney and Elizabeth will get their spots. I’m not convinced that Tilda is in at all, even if she is a past winner. I don’t feel the heat for her.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I didn’t think Carey Mulligan did anything in Drive…that was a performance? Shame, yes…Drive, no.

  20. I think Rooney and Elizabeth will get their spots. I’m not convinced that Tilda is in at all, even if she is a past winner. I don’t feel the heat for her.

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I didn’t think Carey Mulligan did anything in Drive…that was a performance? Shame, yes…Drive, no.

  21. Why no mention of Theron when discussing the Best Actress race? I’m not particularly interested in the film, but even to me it seem like she has a chance at a nom.

  22. Why no mention of Theron when discussing the Best Actress race? I’m not particularly interested in the film, but even to me it seem like she has a chance at a nom.

  23. Tero Heikkinen

    “I don’t know about everyone else, but I didn’t think Carey Mulligan did anything in Drive…that was a performance?”

    I don’t think people are predicting her. You are right, she had next to nothing to do. Nicolas makes MAN-films.

  24. Tero Heikkinen

    “I don’t know about everyone else, but I didn’t think Carey Mulligan did anything in Drive…that was a performance?”

    I don’t think people are predicting her. You are right, she had next to nothing to do. Nicolas makes MAN-films.

  25. julian the emperor

    I think Mulligan stand a much better chance of getting a nomination on behalf of Shame. And from what I’m hearing that would be very much a deserved nomination (can’t wait to get to see that film)!

    I have only been reading mediocre reviews for Corialanus so far, that’s why I’m skeptical about Redgrave. But granted, she is a force to be reckoned with even if she stars in a bad movie. I don’t want to come off as to cynical, but people in the business might like to see her getting positive attention after that very public personal tragedy of hers…just saying: it doesn’t exactly hurt her chances. But it shouldn’t affect a vast majority of voters, surely?

    Btw: who cares if Woodley is the “it girl” of the moment? It only counts if people really like her performance, otherwise there should be plenty of other nice “it girls” to pick from. I don’t fully buy into that kind of thinking. Woodley is either deserving of the praise or she will probably not be in contention. I actually think it is more like the other way around: a renowned veteran like Judi Dench will automatically be in talk of a nomination every season (almost, anyway) just because she delivers a short supporting role in some movie or another. Her age alone lends the parts a certain gravitas that voters buy into.

  26. julian the emperor

    I think Mulligan stand a much better chance of getting a nomination on behalf of Shame. And from what I’m hearing that would be very much a deserved nomination (can’t wait to get to see that film)!

    I have only been reading mediocre reviews for Corialanus so far, that’s why I’m skeptical about Redgrave. But granted, she is a force to be reckoned with even if she stars in a bad movie. I don’t want to come off as to cynical, but people in the business might like to see her getting positive attention after that very public personal tragedy of hers…just saying: it doesn’t exactly hurt her chances. But it shouldn’t affect a vast majority of voters, surely?

    Btw: who cares if Woodley is the “it girl” of the moment? It only counts if people really like her performance, otherwise there should be plenty of other nice “it girls” to pick from. I don’t fully buy into that kind of thinking. Woodley is either deserving of the praise or she will probably not be in contention. I actually think it is more like the other way around: a renowned veteran like Judi Dench will automatically be in talk of a nomination every season (almost, anyway) just because she delivers a short supporting role in some movie or another. Her age alone lends the parts a certain gravitas that voters buy into.

  27. Gareth Madrid

    This year there are some great performances by Brit actresses but I have a feeling none of the following will be nominated:

    Carey Mulligan
    Tilda Swinton
    Felicty Jones
    Olivia Coleman
    Rachel Weisz
    Janet McTeer
    Keira Knightley
    Judi Dench

    I think only Vanessa Redgrave will represent the UK in the acting categories.

  28. Gareth Madrid

    This year there are some great performances by Brit actresses but I have a feeling none of the following will be nominated:

    Carey Mulligan
    Tilda Swinton
    Felicty Jones
    Olivia Coleman
    Rachel Weisz
    Janet McTeer
    Keira Knightley
    Judi Dench

    I think only Vanessa Redgrave will represent the UK in the acting categories.

  29. Gareth Madrid

    Femaling acting categories I should specify!

    Gary Oldman and Kenneth Branagh are also looking good.

  30. Gareth Madrid

    Femaling acting categories I should specify!

    Gary Oldman and Kenneth Branagh are also looking good.

  31. Just came from the screening of Tyrannosaur here in Moscow. Movie is very good!!! Performances are even better!!! But for me Colman is definitely supporting. All film is about Peter Mullan’s character and he has done a great job. Until this “crying” (Oscar) scene – I preferred his performance over Colman’s. As for the awards – I think it’s not fair to promote only female performance from this strange love story. And Colman just has no chance in Lead category – it’s not that kind of movie – the story is not about her (The same with Williams, but c’mon, she is playing the real person from the movie tittle).
    Only chance for Colman is to try play the Jacky Weaver card – “unknown stranger in supporting that we can’t ignore”. Otherwise it’s a waste of money and time.

  32. Just came from the screening of Tyrannosaur here in Moscow. Movie is very good!!! Performances are even better!!! But for me Colman is definitely supporting. All film is about Peter Mullan’s character and he has done a great job. Until this “crying” (Oscar) scene – I preferred his performance over Colman’s. As for the awards – I think it’s not fair to promote only female performance from this strange love story. And Colman just has no chance in Lead category – it’s not that kind of movie – the story is not about her (The same with Williams, but c’mon, she is playing the real person from the movie tittle).
    Only chance for Colman is to try play the Jacky Weaver card – “unknown stranger in supporting that we can’t ignore”. Otherwise it’s a waste of money and time.

  33. Tero Heikkinen

    Nixon, this is new for me. If you were the other Nixon I wouldn’t even believe you.

    I want confirmation here – Colman is lead or supporting?

  34. Tero Heikkinen

    Nixon, this is new for me. If you were the other Nixon I wouldn’t even believe you.

    I want confirmation here – Colman is lead or supporting?

  35. I say “Good Luck” to Jeff Wells and his crusade on behalf of Olivia Colman. Let’s see if the VERY opioninated AMPAS will even listen….Jeff will be at every screening, I am so sure. And will be noting every single attend-ee. Being in NYC I can’t go. But this movie “Tyrannosaur” sounds more like a NY kind of art house movie, than in L.A.

    But one thing’s for sure. Jeff has certainly put Olivia Coleman on the map. So that’s a good thing.

    And since she seems to have a big role in “The Iron Lady” as Meryl’s daughter, she may be the recipient of some very big scenes, if she, Colman, is the main one who has to cope with her mother’s oncoming alzheimer’s and dementia.

    Also, will the Academy pay attention to the screenings of an Oscar blogger? This is a first in more ways than one. We shall see.

    But kudos to Jeff for fighting the good fight for something he believes in.

  36. I say “Good Luck” to Jeff Wells and his crusade on behalf of Olivia Colman. Let’s see if the VERY opioninated AMPAS will even listen….Jeff will be at every screening, I am so sure. And will be noting every single attend-ee. Being in NYC I can’t go. But this movie “Tyrannosaur” sounds more like a NY kind of art house movie, than in L.A.

    But one thing’s for sure. Jeff has certainly put Olivia Coleman on the map. So that’s a good thing.

    And since she seems to have a big role in “The Iron Lady” as Meryl’s daughter, she may be the recipient of some very big scenes, if she, Colman, is the main one who has to cope with her mother’s oncoming alzheimer’s and dementia.

    Also, will the Academy pay attention to the screenings of an Oscar blogger? This is a first in more ways than one. We shall see.

    But kudos to Jeff for fighting the good fight for something he believes in.

  37. Not Harrison Ford

    It looks like we have a really intense race for actresses this year.

    For Actress in a Leading Role I would say the top 5 would be:
    Viola Davis
    Michelle Williams
    Rooney Mara
    Glenn Close
    Meryl Streep or Elizabeth Olsen

    And for Supporting Actress:
    Octavia Spencer
    Bernice Bejo
    Vanessa Redgrave
    Shailene Woodley
    Melissa McCarthy

    This of course isn’t even mentioning Theron, Swinton, Dunst, Bullock, and plenty more.

  38. Not Harrison Ford

    It looks like we have a really intense race for actresses this year.

    For Actress in a Leading Role I would say the top 5 would be:
    Viola Davis
    Michelle Williams
    Rooney Mara
    Glenn Close
    Meryl Streep or Elizabeth Olsen

    And for Supporting Actress:
    Octavia Spencer
    Bernice Bejo
    Vanessa Redgrave
    Shailene Woodley
    Melissa McCarthy

    This of course isn’t even mentioning Theron, Swinton, Dunst, Bullock, and plenty more.

  39. In my dream world the nominees would be:

    ACTRESS
    Olivia Coleman – Tyrannasaur
    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia
    Tilda Swinton – We Need To Talk About Kevin
    Charlize Theron – Young Adult

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    Jessica Chastain – The Help
    Charlotte Gainsbourg – Melancholia
    Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
    Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
    Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus

  40. In my dream world the nominees would be:

    ACTRESS
    Olivia Coleman – Tyrannasaur
    Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
    Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia
    Tilda Swinton – We Need To Talk About Kevin
    Charlize Theron – Young Adult

    SUPPORTING ACTRESS
    Jessica Chastain – The Help
    Charlotte Gainsbourg – Melancholia
    Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
    Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs
    Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus

  41. Tero Heikkinen

    Gainsbourg cannot be seen as Supporting. Did you even see Melancholia? If she is Supporting, then Dunst is, too.

  42. Tero Heikkinen

    Gainsbourg cannot be seen as Supporting. Did you even see Melancholia? If she is Supporting, then Dunst is, too.

  43. Tero Heikkinen

    OK, Dunst had A BIT more screen time, but it was Gainsbourg who was the driving force to me…

    Anyway, neither should be nominated. This was the one time when LvT didn’t get the best out of his actresses. Dunst is mediocre IMO and she did her best here. Still not nomination worthy.

    What are you saying? An American actress shows tits and she’s brave? Wake up, Europe already did.

  44. Tero Heikkinen

    OK, Dunst had A BIT more screen time, but it was Gainsbourg who was the driving force to me…

    Anyway, neither should be nominated. This was the one time when LvT didn’t get the best out of his actresses. Dunst is mediocre IMO and she did her best here. Still not nomination worthy.

    What are you saying? An American actress shows tits and she’s brave? Wake up, Europe already did.

  45. Oscarcrazy

    Octavia Spencer has the strongest buzz of anyone in supporting, and will doubt carry that buzz till the end.

  46. Oscarcrazy

    Octavia Spencer has the strongest buzz of anyone in supporting, and will doubt carry that buzz till the end.

  47. I think Octavia Spencer has the most buzz out of anyone in supporting actress right now, but I just don’t see her winning. Viola Davis–possibly, since she is everywhere right now and people really love her performance. Not to mention, if the films from Close, Streep, and Williams under perform critically and financially, then Davis might just eek out a win.

    I really have no idea who will end up in supporting actress, because it’s all so foggy right now (which is a good thing).

    I would say Octavia Spencer, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Redgrave, Sandra Bullock, and maybe Jessica Chastain for The Help (if the Academy really loves the film) or Shaileen Woodley for The Descendents. I don’t see Janet McTeer happening nor do I see Judi Dench happening for J.Edgar (although it’s probably dumb to not include Dame Dench, who is always a presence to recognize with). Berenice Bejo could be a possibility, but I see Jean Dujardin hogging the attention.

    At the end of the day, Redgrave’s highly acclaimed performance + career + legendary status + past family trauma + Shakespeare (intense difficulty) may be enough to pull off a win, even if the reviews for the film are mixed.

  48. I think Octavia Spencer has the most buzz out of anyone in supporting actress right now, but I just don’t see her winning. Viola Davis–possibly, since she is everywhere right now and people really love her performance. Not to mention, if the films from Close, Streep, and Williams under perform critically and financially, then Davis might just eek out a win.

    I really have no idea who will end up in supporting actress, because it’s all so foggy right now (which is a good thing).

    I would say Octavia Spencer, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Redgrave, Sandra Bullock, and maybe Jessica Chastain for The Help (if the Academy really loves the film) or Shaileen Woodley for The Descendents. I don’t see Janet McTeer happening nor do I see Judi Dench happening for J.Edgar (although it’s probably dumb to not include Dame Dench, who is always a presence to recognize with). Berenice Bejo could be a possibility, but I see Jean Dujardin hogging the attention.

    At the end of the day, Redgrave’s highly acclaimed performance + career + legendary status + past family trauma + Shakespeare (intense difficulty) may be enough to pull off a win, even if the reviews for the film are mixed.

  49. I wonder about Octavia S. There is a pivotal moment in the film that involves her, which I won’t spoil, but it is the kind of moment that does NOT get an Actress an Oscar.

    Those who have seen the film know what I mean and it involves cooking skills…

    It’s more like the Academy to Award as said above by Aaron Shakespeare+family tragedy + legendary status…why am I re-typing all this? You can look just above here ^ and see what I mean.Vanessa R. of course.AND Harvey W.

    And if you think back to “Timon of Athens” and double Oscar winner Jessica Lange being overlooked for her terrific, frightening MOM who gets her two sons served to her in a PIE, well, that kind of pie thing ended in no nom for Jessica, but with two Oscars already she doesn’t need it.

    And then there’s an unknown French actress, Berenice Bejos, and HARVEY W. again….if the voters want to give “The Artist” SOMEthing and other films are in the ascendant, THIS is where they could reward it.

    This category is where historically Harvey has always triumphed…It’s like HIS category. So look for one of his two fillies or filles this year to win it, IMHO. Vanessa or Berenice…

    If she moves to L.A. and turns out to speak better English than her co-star Jean Dujardin, who doesn’t…then…as David Poland said this week, AND Scott Feinberg..it could be Berenice.

    When have two such different people as David Poland and Scott F. EVER been in agreement?

  50. I wonder about Octavia S. There is a pivotal moment in the film that involves her, which I won’t spoil, but it is the kind of moment that does NOT get an Actress an Oscar.

    Those who have seen the film know what I mean and it involves cooking skills…

    It’s more like the Academy to Award as said above by Aaron Shakespeare+family tragedy + legendary status…why am I re-typing all this? You can look just above here ^ and see what I mean.Vanessa R. of course.AND Harvey W.

    And if you think back to “Timon of Athens” and double Oscar winner Jessica Lange being overlooked for her terrific, frightening MOM who gets her two sons served to her in a PIE, well, that kind of pie thing ended in no nom for Jessica, but with two Oscars already she doesn’t need it.

    And then there’s an unknown French actress, Berenice Bejos, and HARVEY W. again….if the voters want to give “The Artist” SOMEthing and other films are in the ascendant, THIS is where they could reward it.

    This category is where historically Harvey has always triumphed…It’s like HIS category. So look for one of his two fillies or filles this year to win it, IMHO. Vanessa or Berenice…

    If she moves to L.A. and turns out to speak better English than her co-star Jean Dujardin, who doesn’t…then…as David Poland said this week, AND Scott Feinberg..it could be Berenice.

    When have two such different people as David Poland and Scott F. EVER been in agreement?

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