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Streep, Close, Williams, Swinton, Theron, Mara and … Davis

Jeff Wells has gone to bat for Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady:

You can dribble the Viola Davis basketball all over the court and shoot swish shots to your heart’s content, but that won’t change the fact that Meryl Streep’s freakishly dead-on performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady (Weinstein, 12.30) seems like a much more likely winner of the Best Actress Oscar right now. As far as I’m concerned it’s a Streep vs. Michelle Williams (i.e., as Marilyn Monroe in My Week With Marilyn) contest with Davis half-elbowed aside.

There is no doubt that Streep turns in yet another brilliant impersonation with The Iron Lady. At some point while watching her in the film you forget completely that you’re watching Meryl Streep doing Margaret Thatcher and you feel like you are really watching Margaret Thatcher — and all of the good and bad that goes along with that. It’s sort of the same quandary Leonardo DiCaprio finds himself in in J. Edgar. We believe he’s J. Edgar. But then we have to deal with our feelings about J. Edgar.

The other problem with the Iron Lady is that the movie keeps distracting us from Streep. She is the reason to watch and yet the camera cuts away from her during her best scenes and makes us watch things we don’t really care about, like Thatcher as a youngin’. That makes it a somewhat confused biopic – it doesn’t really seem to know how it feels about Thatcher, therefore it doesn’t really take a strong point of view. On the other hand, there’s Streep to marvel at — and one cannot deny the power of her intelligence as an actress and her ability to completely alter herself to play another person. It’s truly astonishing. She and Glenn Close are the two vets this year who disappear in their roles and unearth characters who are brilliantly played but not exactly the kind you warm to. And that, in the end, might prove difficult where the Oscars are concerned.

To my mind, it’s tough to choose between Glenn Close and Meryl Streep this year in terms of who gave the more impressive transformative performance. You can’t really say Streep is better than Close this time. It’s perhaps the first time that situation has ever occurred. They are both working at the very top of their game — accents and makeup, posture and vocal inflections — they are both lost and stuck with an inability to express themselves. And yet both seem a bit hindered, too, by these constraints – with Streep, the makeup seems to pen her in too much – she is at her best when she’s got her own skin on and is playing Thatcher as we remember her. Close is at her best when she can strip herself of her Albert Nobbs costume and the real woman emerges.

They both play characters who aren’t warm and fuzzy. My own hatred for Margaret Thatcher made me not want to watch the movie, frankly. I tend to watch Meryl Streep movies over and over again. But I had to realize that I only watch the ones where I like the character. It was great to see Phyllidia Lloyd not try to smooth out the rough edges of Thatcher but even still, it’s hard to forget. Hard to remember. Hard to watch.

And then there is Michelle Williams as Marilyn – Williams is also a good mimmic — and seems to capture what Marilyn Monroe had in some ways, and yet form her own character in other ways (I still haven’t seen it but I’m going by what I’ve read).

Tilda Swinton is probably the next in line here, and will get competition from Rooney Mara for the dark character in the group. Mara utterly transforms herself for Dragon Tattoo in a way that is going to be, I suspect, too big to ignore. Charlize Theron is the third in this group for consideration. One of these three will probably get in.

There is no urgency to award Meryl Streep a second Oscar – she holds the record for the most nominations and had won two already. She will come out again with yet another brilliant performance next year and the year after that. You have to ask yourself, why this year? Michelle Williams also seems to have many more opportunities laid out for her. And finally, Glenn Close is the only one who should be in the conversation for winning, to my mind. She has never won. She should have over the years.

But the one actress who still shines brightly this year is the one whose film will be a strong Best Picture contender, one of 2011’s most profitable films, led by an all-female cast, and starring a girl who grew up so poor they couldn’t afford heating or even a telephone. An unlikely frontrunner, Viola Davis still stands out. It isn’t just that she great in The Help – it’s that it’s the flipside of The Blind Side. In that film, another very profitable one, the “Whitey” that Saves All ended up with the Oscar. In The Help, Emma Stone isn’t the one who’s headed for the Kodak; Viola Davis is. I can’t tell you the amount of goodwill that will fill the house if Davis is called up there to accept this, the second Oscar given to a black actress in 84 years of Oscar history. She just has to get close enough for that to be a possibility. And if it’s a possibility, it can be a reality.

Of course, nothing the Academy does surprises me anymore — it’s possible Viola Davis won’t even be nominated. Obviously if that happens it gets back down to Streep vs. Close.

138 Comments on this Post

  1. I tend to agree with Jeff. I’m pretty sure that Streep is going to get #3 this time around – they aren’t going to deny her again. It is likely a 3-way race, with Williams and Davis, and judging from what I have seen, my heart goes with Williams, but my brain says Streep.

  2. I tend to agree with Jeff. I’m pretty sure that Streep is going to get #3 this time around – they aren’t going to deny her again. It is likely a 3-way race, with Williams and Davis, and judging from what I have seen, my heart goes with Williams, but my brain says Streep.

  3. Davis has this one in the bag, IMO. It has too much rhetoric already built into it. The overall feeling with Streep is that she’s the most awarded actress ever (which is obviously not true if you look at the numbers) so I always think that the Academy feels good enough by nominating her; I think she’ll win when she’s in another Best Picture contender (when was the last time she was nominated for one of those, Out of Africa?)

  4. Davis has this one in the bag, IMO. It has too much rhetoric already built into it. The overall feeling with Streep is that she’s the most awarded actress ever (which is obviously not true if you look at the numbers) so I always think that the Academy feels good enough by nominating her; I think she’ll win when she’s in another Best Picture contender (when was the last time she was nominated for one of those, Out of Africa?)

  5. I’m excited for the category as a whole. A good year for Best Actress.

  6. I’m excited for the category as a whole. A good year for Best Actress.

  7. … and Colman (I´ll take every bet)!

  8. … and Colman (I´ll take every bet)!

  9. Tero Heikkinen

    That’s very good. For the average voter: “…my heart goes for Close, my brain for Streep and my penis for Williams”.

  10. Tero Heikkinen

    That’s very good. For the average voter: “…my heart goes for Close, my brain for Streep and my penis for Williams”.

  11. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    The only character you root for is Viola Davis in The Help. That makes a big difference. Margaret Thatcher is hard to care for – it ain’t Helen Mirren in The Queen, for instance. Put it this way – if you loved The Help you aren’t going to not vote for Davis. On the other hand, if The Help doesn’t get nominated for Best Pic it’s possible it will be greatly weakened….

  12. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    The only character you root for is Viola Davis in The Help. That makes a big difference. Margaret Thatcher is hard to care for – it ain’t Helen Mirren in The Queen, for instance. Put it this way – if you loved The Help you aren’t going to not vote for Davis. On the other hand, if The Help doesn’t get nominated for Best Pic it’s possible it will be greatly weakened….

  13. the only contender i’ve seen so far for this year is elizabeth olsen in martha marcy may marlene. it would be a crying shame if she did not get nominated but i have not yet seen any of the other films.

  14. the only contender i’ve seen so far for this year is elizabeth olsen in martha marcy may marlene. it would be a crying shame if she did not get nominated but i have not yet seen any of the other films.

  15. “The only character you root for is Viola Davis in The Help.”

    True. I wonder why male villains have an much easier time at winning oscars than less-than-sympathetic female characters. You certainly don’t “root for” Day Lewis in TWBB, Javier Bardem in NCFOM, etc, but we give them oscars. Glenn Close has created one of the most lethal villainesses onscreen – and they went with Cher. So you may have a point, Sasha. But these are extraordinary circumstances this year, I think.

  16. “The only character you root for is Viola Davis in The Help.”

    True. I wonder why male villains have an much easier time at winning oscars than less-than-sympathetic female characters. You certainly don’t “root for” Day Lewis in TWBB, Javier Bardem in NCFOM, etc, but we give them oscars. Glenn Close has created one of the most lethal villainesses onscreen – and they went with Cher. So you may have a point, Sasha. But these are extraordinary circumstances this year, I think.

  17. I know the context is Best Actress in a Leading Role, but phrases like “there is no urgency to award Meryl Streep a second Oscar” and “the second Oscar given to a black actress in 84 years of Oscar history” is lazy writing and plays like bad fact-checking given that it would be so easy to qualify these statements appropriately.

  18. I know the context is Best Actress in a Leading Role, but phrases like “there is no urgency to award Meryl Streep a second Oscar” and “the second Oscar given to a black actress in 84 years of Oscar history” is lazy writing and plays like bad fact-checking given that it would be so easy to qualify these statements appropriately.

  19. You totallllllly root for the vulnerable Marilyn of Michelle Williams. With reviews like Rex Reed’s (see below on this site) setting the tone of ACADEMY members to PAY ATTENTION to “My Week with Marilyn” which I can’t stop raving about since I saw it at the tumultous press screening at the New York Film Festival.

    Michelle was there, too, for a brief Q&A afterwards, and upon her entrance(a tad uncharacteristically late)she was nearly FLAAAAATened by the ovation from the assembled NY critcs. She did a little fluttery gesture of her hand over her heart. It was VERY moving.

    And talk about rooting for a sympathetic character, Marilyn Monroe has that in spades. Marilyn, in her time, never won or was nominated for an Oscar. Michelle’s been nominated twice.

    And talk about tragic backstory! Michelle’s got that, too. Heath Ledger’s untimely death is something that nearly killed her, too. And they’ve given HEATH, an Oscar posthumously, for “Dark Knight”….

    And if the reviews keep coming in from MWWM that are on par with Rex Reed’s(and mine) MWWM may get a best picture nod, too!

    Viola Davis, people keep saying to me, as good as she is and she’s brilliant is NOT a leading character. If they put her in Supporting, she’d win.

    And black female professionals STILL are enflamed about her playing a maid. Of course, there’s virtually NO BFP’s in the Academy, sadly…

    But there’s a lot of people in the Academy who REMEMBER Marilyn and keep saying that Michelle got it right.

  20. You totallllllly root for the vulnerable Marilyn of Michelle Williams. With reviews like Rex Reed’s (see below on this site) setting the tone of ACADEMY members to PAY ATTENTION to “My Week with Marilyn” which I can’t stop raving about since I saw it at the tumultous press screening at the New York Film Festival.

    Michelle was there, too, for a brief Q&A afterwards, and upon her entrance(a tad uncharacteristically late)she was nearly FLAAAAATened by the ovation from the assembled NY critcs. She did a little fluttery gesture of her hand over her heart. It was VERY moving.

    And talk about rooting for a sympathetic character, Marilyn Monroe has that in spades. Marilyn, in her time, never won or was nominated for an Oscar. Michelle’s been nominated twice.

    And talk about tragic backstory! Michelle’s got that, too. Heath Ledger’s untimely death is something that nearly killed her, too. And they’ve given HEATH, an Oscar posthumously, for “Dark Knight”….

    And if the reviews keep coming in from MWWM that are on par with Rex Reed’s(and mine) MWWM may get a best picture nod, too!

    Viola Davis, people keep saying to me, as good as she is and she’s brilliant is NOT a leading character. If they put her in Supporting, she’d win.

    And black female professionals STILL are enflamed about her playing a maid. Of course, there’s virtually NO BFP’s in the Academy, sadly…

    But there’s a lot of people in the Academy who REMEMBER Marilyn and keep saying that Michelle got it right.

  21. What about Elizabeth Olsen ? If we consider the Streep-Close-Davis-Williams quartet locks (WOW, could we already have 4 locks ?), there is only one slot left…and if there is any justice that will go to Tilda Swinton…having said that, I do think the Theron-Olsen-Mara trio could be a serious threat in the end.

    I think the interesting part here is whether any early bloomers could get back in the game thanks to some unexpected criticsawardslove…Dunst, Knightley ? Both of their films got Awards-friendly release dates and critics seem to like/love both films and performances.

    I guess the other two Sundance darlings shouldn’t be overlooked, either BUT Oduye’s Pariah seems to be too small/indie for the Academy and Jones shares half the film with her co-star, meanwhile MMMM is all about Elizabeth Olsen.

    As much as I would love to, I can’t seriously consider the Wasikowska-Ronan-Bello trio, their films are probably forgotten by now, too bad, because Jane Eyre could have been a rather strong player for Focus, had it been released later, and with the stunning raves Saoirse Ronan received, she could have stolen a lot of critics awards, too.

    Olivia Colman probably has a better shot at a supporting nomination for ‘The Iron Lady’. If Lesley Manville didn’t make it last year, unfortunately I don’t think Colman could.

  22. What about Elizabeth Olsen ? If we consider the Streep-Close-Davis-Williams quartet locks (WOW, could we already have 4 locks ?), there is only one slot left…and if there is any justice that will go to Tilda Swinton…having said that, I do think the Theron-Olsen-Mara trio could be a serious threat in the end.

    I think the interesting part here is whether any early bloomers could get back in the game thanks to some unexpected criticsawardslove…Dunst, Knightley ? Both of their films got Awards-friendly release dates and critics seem to like/love both films and performances.

    I guess the other two Sundance darlings shouldn’t be overlooked, either BUT Oduye’s Pariah seems to be too small/indie for the Academy and Jones shares half the film with her co-star, meanwhile MMMM is all about Elizabeth Olsen.

    As much as I would love to, I can’t seriously consider the Wasikowska-Ronan-Bello trio, their films are probably forgotten by now, too bad, because Jane Eyre could have been a rather strong player for Focus, had it been released later, and with the stunning raves Saoirse Ronan received, she could have stolen a lot of critics awards, too.

    Olivia Colman probably has a better shot at a supporting nomination for ‘The Iron Lady’. If Lesley Manville didn’t make it last year, unfortunately I don’t think Colman could.

  23. I agree with you about Davis, Sasha. I think she is the front-runner for many reasons including the fact that THE HELP is a beloved film, that she is terrific in the film and that it would make a great moment.

    My personal fave so far (have not seen Streep, Theron or Mara) is Swinton. Hers is a brilliant performance as a very flawed mother. Alas, she may not even be nominated. Ditto Michael Fassbender who just blows everyone away this year in SHAME.

    As far as Williams goes, she should be happy if she’s nominated (and she probably will be with TWC behind her)

  24. I agree with you about Davis, Sasha. I think she is the front-runner for many reasons including the fact that THE HELP is a beloved film, that she is terrific in the film and that it would make a great moment.

    My personal fave so far (have not seen Streep, Theron or Mara) is Swinton. Hers is a brilliant performance as a very flawed mother. Alas, she may not even be nominated. Ditto Michael Fassbender who just blows everyone away this year in SHAME.

    As far as Williams goes, she should be happy if she’s nominated (and she probably will be with TWC behind her)

  25. Am I the only one who wanted Streep to win for Doubt? She was acting for the gods in the highest balconies but she was grand. I didn’t want Kate Winslet to win for The Reader.

  26. Am I the only one who wanted Streep to win for Doubt? She was acting for the gods in the highest balconies but she was grand. I didn’t want Kate Winslet to win for The Reader.

  27. I still think the odds of Meryl winning a third best actress Oscar are almost too daunting. She has been nominated so many times that people don’t think she needs (or deserves?) to win. And it’s not like a Julia Roberts or George Clooney is standing up and saying, “I don’t want to live in a world where Meryl Streep does not have a third Oscar.” Hollywood expects her to do well and they love her and they reward her with a nomination (they want her at the party, but not as the winner). Even if she was in a best picture nominee that was wildly successful, people would still find reasons not to give her the award and choose someone younger or who had never won before. Age may give her another supporting award but for best actress so they don’t feel mean, but it’s tough for her in best actress because of her decades of always nominated baggage.

  28. I still think the odds of Meryl winning a third best actress Oscar are almost too daunting. She has been nominated so many times that people don’t think she needs (or deserves?) to win. And it’s not like a Julia Roberts or George Clooney is standing up and saying, “I don’t want to live in a world where Meryl Streep does not have a third Oscar.” Hollywood expects her to do well and they love her and they reward her with a nomination (they want her at the party, but not as the winner). Even if she was in a best picture nominee that was wildly successful, people would still find reasons not to give her the award and choose someone younger or who had never won before. Age may give her another supporting award but for best actress so they don’t feel mean, but it’s tough for her in best actress because of her decades of always nominated baggage.

  29. Voters don’t seem to like evil women, that’s true. At least not enough to win.
    But, as always, Meryl seems to be on the dot of her performance, no matter what.
    And while I don’t admire Thatcher, I’m really fascinated how that woman who seems to be hated so much was still able to rule Britain as PM eleven years long.
    She did not have anything like the SS or Gestapo at her back…. So how could that happen? She was reelected three times!
    No, she was not the Queen, but there had to be something that made this all possible. And I hope the film shows that a little.

  30. Voters don’t seem to like evil women, that’s true. At least not enough to win.
    But, as always, Meryl seems to be on the dot of her performance, no matter what.
    And while I don’t admire Thatcher, I’m really fascinated how that woman who seems to be hated so much was still able to rule Britain as PM eleven years long.
    She did not have anything like the SS or Gestapo at her back…. So how could that happen? She was reelected three times!
    No, she was not the Queen, but there had to be something that made this all possible. And I hope the film shows that a little.

  31. “No urgency to give Streep another Oscar” Yet they gave Nicholson his third for playing a variation of himself. It is the sexism I hate.

    Let’s not forget, EVERYONE remembers 2 years ago when Streep should have won but Hollywood embraced Sandra Bullock and THANKED her for making tons of money for them. In the after glow, voters know they shortchanged Streep. She will win this year as a make-up win, career win, and because she is deserving in a full blown star turn.

    Sorry, Davis is being overestimated. If she couldn’t win for DOUBT she surely will not win for more inferior performance.

    Streep will win the BAFTA, SAG, DD Drama, and Oscar. THE HELP will win SAG ensemlbe. Mark my words.

  32. “No urgency to give Streep another Oscar” Yet they gave Nicholson his third for playing a variation of himself. It is the sexism I hate.

    Let’s not forget, EVERYONE remembers 2 years ago when Streep should have won but Hollywood embraced Sandra Bullock and THANKED her for making tons of money for them. In the after glow, voters know they shortchanged Streep. She will win this year as a make-up win, career win, and because she is deserving in a full blown star turn.

    Sorry, Davis is being overestimated. If she couldn’t win for DOUBT she surely will not win for more inferior performance.

    Streep will win the BAFTA, SAG, DD Drama, and Oscar. THE HELP will win SAG ensemlbe. Mark my words.

  33. Actually there are many who said it right away and I tend to agree – William’s problem is that she simply doesn’t capture Marilyn’s sex appeal and her charisma. Streep really was mesmerizing in her movie and I believe Harvey will do anything he could to secure that Oscar for Meryl. Harvey is wise and Meryl is a beloved figure. MIchelle Williams – though a wonderful actress, has something of the same problem Close had. She seems cold and some people mistake it for arrogance. s

  34. Actually there are many who said it right away and I tend to agree – William’s problem is that she simply doesn’t capture Marilyn’s sex appeal and her charisma. Streep really was mesmerizing in her movie and I believe Harvey will do anything he could to secure that Oscar for Meryl. Harvey is wise and Meryl is a beloved figure. MIchelle Williams – though a wonderful actress, has something of the same problem Close had. She seems cold and some people mistake it for arrogance. s

  35. Silrone Lima

    This love for Viola Davis is a collective delusion. I really doubt that she has a chance.

  36. Silrone Lima

    This love for Viola Davis is a collective delusion. I really doubt that she has a chance.

  37. Why do you always leave out at least one strong contender when you write articles like these? Elizabeth Olsen should be mentioned if you are going to list those seven other women.

  38. Why do you always leave out at least one strong contender when you write articles like these? Elizabeth Olsen should be mentioned if you are going to list those seven other women.

  39. If Kate Winslet had been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “The Reader,” Meryl Streep would have won her 3rd Oscar and second as Best Actress for “Doubt,” and we wouldn’t be hoping she’d win now….

    If Meryl Streep had been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “The Devil Wears Prada,” she might be going for a 4th and tying Katherine Hepburn during this Oscar campaign;

    If Glenn Close had won Best Actress for “Fatal Attraction,” instead of Cher for “Moonstruck,” we wouldn’t be hoping she’d win now…As much as I loved Cher in her role, Close was mesmerizing……..

    If Cher would have won Best Supporting Actress for “Silkwood” or Glenn Close for the “The Big Chill” instead of Linda Hunt for “The Year of Living Dangerously,” we wouldn’t be hoping that Glenn Close would win now.

    If Glenn Close would have won Best Supporting Actress for “The World According to Garp,” instead of Jessica Lange for “Tootie”–she would later win again for “Blue sky,” we wouldn’t be worried about this now…..

    and most importantly, if Glenn Close would have won Best Actress for “Dangerous Liaisons,” instead of Jodie Foster for the “The Accused.” Foster would later win again for “Silence for the Lambs.”

    Therefore…….if Sandra Bullock, Reece Witherspoon, and Julia Roberts win Best Actress awards because they will not likely produce another Oscar-nominated/worthy performance in the future………..then the time is now to award Glenn Close!!!

    I absolutely loved Viola Davis in “The Help” (and will be rooting for silently) and i’m sure Meryl Streep (should have been nominated/won for “The Hours”) is worthy of a 3rd Oscar; however, both actresses, along with Michelle Williams will have other opportunities…………Glenn Close may not!

    Award her now for “Albert Nobbs,” but really it’s for ————-“Fatal Attraction,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” and “The World According to Garp,”—-each of which she was favored by critics and could have won, but did not!!!!

  40. If Kate Winslet had been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “The Reader,” Meryl Streep would have won her 3rd Oscar and second as Best Actress for “Doubt,” and we wouldn’t be hoping she’d win now….

    If Meryl Streep had been nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “The Devil Wears Prada,” she might be going for a 4th and tying Katherine Hepburn during this Oscar campaign;

    If Glenn Close had won Best Actress for “Fatal Attraction,” instead of Cher for “Moonstruck,” we wouldn’t be hoping she’d win now…As much as I loved Cher in her role, Close was mesmerizing……..

    If Cher would have won Best Supporting Actress for “Silkwood” or Glenn Close for the “The Big Chill” instead of Linda Hunt for “The Year of Living Dangerously,” we wouldn’t be hoping that Glenn Close would win now.

    If Glenn Close would have won Best Supporting Actress for “The World According to Garp,” instead of Jessica Lange for “Tootie”–she would later win again for “Blue sky,” we wouldn’t be worried about this now…..

    and most importantly, if Glenn Close would have won Best Actress for “Dangerous Liaisons,” instead of Jodie Foster for the “The Accused.” Foster would later win again for “Silence for the Lambs.”

    Therefore…….if Sandra Bullock, Reece Witherspoon, and Julia Roberts win Best Actress awards because they will not likely produce another Oscar-nominated/worthy performance in the future………..then the time is now to award Glenn Close!!!

    I absolutely loved Viola Davis in “The Help” (and will be rooting for silently) and i’m sure Meryl Streep (should have been nominated/won for “The Hours”) is worthy of a 3rd Oscar; however, both actresses, along with Michelle Williams will have other opportunities…………Glenn Close may not!

    Award her now for “Albert Nobbs,” but really it’s for ————-“Fatal Attraction,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” and “The World According to Garp,”—-each of which she was favored by critics and could have won, but did not!!!!

  41. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    “No urgency to give Streep another Oscar” Yet they gave Nicholson his third for playing a variation of himself. It is the sexism I hate.

    True enough. To win a third Oscar, I believe, you have to play a likable character. We’ll see. Who knows!

  42. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    “No urgency to give Streep another Oscar” Yet they gave Nicholson his third for playing a variation of himself. It is the sexism I hate.

    True enough. To win a third Oscar, I believe, you have to play a likable character. We’ll see. Who knows!

  43. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Am I the only one who wanted Streep to win for Doubt? She was acting for the gods in the highest balconies but she was grand. I didn’t want Kate Winslet to win for The Reader.

    She was GREAT in Doubt, great in Devil Wears Prada, great in Julie & Julia….great great great. Her Thatcher is also magnificent. Gotta give props.

  44. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    Am I the only one who wanted Streep to win for Doubt? She was acting for the gods in the highest balconies but she was grand. I didn’t want Kate Winslet to win for The Reader.

    She was GREAT in Doubt, great in Devil Wears Prada, great in Julie & Julia….great great great. Her Thatcher is also magnificent. Gotta give props.

  45. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I know the context is Best Actress in a Leading Role, but phrases like “there is no urgency to award Meryl Streep a second Oscar” and “the second Oscar given to a black actress in 84 years of Oscar history” is lazy writing and plays like bad fact-checking given that it would be so easy to qualify these statements appropriately.

    You’re right – it is lazy writing. I can only blame it for being kind of sick of late. Nonetheless, the first statement is opinion, the second is fact.

  46. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I know the context is Best Actress in a Leading Role, but phrases like “there is no urgency to award Meryl Streep a second Oscar” and “the second Oscar given to a black actress in 84 years of Oscar history” is lazy writing and plays like bad fact-checking given that it would be so easy to qualify these statements appropriately.

    You’re right – it is lazy writing. I can only blame it for being kind of sick of late. Nonetheless, the first statement is opinion, the second is fact.

  47. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    You certainly don’t “root for” Day Lewis in TWBB, Javier Bardem in NCFOM,

    Both strong Best Picture contenders. NCFOM WON.

  48. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    You certainly don’t “root for” Day Lewis in TWBB, Javier Bardem in NCFOM,

    Both strong Best Picture contenders. NCFOM WON.

  49. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I absolutely loved Viola Davis in “The Help” (and will be rooting for silently) and i’m sure Meryl Streep (should have been nominated/won for “The Hours”) is worthy of a 3rd Oscar; however, both actresses, along with Michelle Williams will have other opportunities…………Glenn Close may not!

    I think Davis has it but if she doesn’t win let it be Glenn Close. Talk about overdue. Talk about groundbreaking. Her performance in Albert Nobbs is every bit as good as Streep, maybe better. Okay, better. There I said it.

  50. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I absolutely loved Viola Davis in “The Help” (and will be rooting for silently) and i’m sure Meryl Streep (should have been nominated/won for “The Hours”) is worthy of a 3rd Oscar; however, both actresses, along with Michelle Williams will have other opportunities…………Glenn Close may not!

    I think Davis has it but if she doesn’t win let it be Glenn Close. Talk about overdue. Talk about groundbreaking. Her performance in Albert Nobbs is every bit as good as Streep, maybe better. Okay, better. There I said it.

  51. I am particularly interested in the British response to “The Iron Lady” since Thatcher was the most iconic, controversial, and probably important, politician of the last 60 years. From the left and right the reviewers and many others who saw the film were almost unanimous in their praise for the magnificence of Streep’s performance. I think this will count for something.

  52. I am particularly interested in the British response to “The Iron Lady” since Thatcher was the most iconic, controversial, and probably important, politician of the last 60 years. From the left and right the reviewers and many others who saw the film were almost unanimous in their praise for the magnificence of Streep’s performance. I think this will count for something.

  53. There has been one tie for Best Actress in 1968 (Hepburn/Streisand)….

    Here’s hoping that the Academy has a 4-way Best Actress tie:

    Viola Davis
    Glenn Close
    Meryl Streep

    *Michelle Williams (will likely win); has the bio-pic, Weinstein company behind her, beloved character portrayal, 3rd/should have been 4th/5th nomination,sexual portrayals work best—even though she will second Oscar later ala Hiliary Swank, Jodie Foster, Jessica Lange, Meryl Streep, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, etc.

    5th Slot: Elizabeth Olson

  54. There has been one tie for Best Actress in 1968 (Hepburn/Streisand)….

    Here’s hoping that the Academy has a 4-way Best Actress tie:

    Viola Davis
    Glenn Close
    Meryl Streep

    *Michelle Williams (will likely win); has the bio-pic, Weinstein company behind her, beloved character portrayal, 3rd/should have been 4th/5th nomination,sexual portrayals work best—even though she will second Oscar later ala Hiliary Swank, Jodie Foster, Jessica Lange, Meryl Streep, Sally Field, Jane Fonda, etc.

    5th Slot: Elizabeth Olson

  55. dinasztie

    Viola is wonderful and yet I have trouble imagining her winning. Nomination, for sure but not a win. Moreover, I just can’t see them voting against Great Glenn if she’s nominated once again. You said (my favorite sentence): “Glenn Close is the only one who should be in the conversation for winning, to my mind. She has never won. She should have over the years.” I think many of the Academy members have to find that out and they will (just look at the trailer, same tactic they used for Crazy Heart). They will be more than willing to vote for her for these reasons. Early in the 2009 season, George Clooney (=Meryl) and Colin Firth (=Viola) won the critcs’ awards, they were expected to battle at the Oscars (with Jeff being fifth, fourth and such on experts’ charts á la Great Glenn). In the end, there came Jeff Bridges, the overdue, beloved “underrated” actor, got some great reviews, had a trailer emphasising 4 Time Academy Award Nominee Oscarless Jeff Bridges and that it’s the performance of a lifetime (and now watch the Albert Nobbs trailer).

    And above all: she’s Glenn Freakin’ Close! If she goes on a talk show (Why isn’t Oprah here when she’s needed???) and admits that she wants to win an Oscar, she’ll 100% sure win the Oscar. They love the huge overdue moments with the standing ovation, tears in the audience, celebration. It will be a true crowning moment. For another example, just see Whoopi and Geraldine Page. Whoopi was like Viola, people were hoping for a black actress to win, they had these inspirational characters and in the end, the overdue lady triumphed.

    For Meryl: She will be brilliant, everyone knows and if Glenn is not nominated I expect a fierce battle between her and Viola. The Academy is NOT that keen to give Meryl a third (if they were, they would have given it to her for Julia). Julia might have been a comedy role but she was loveable, which Maggie Thatcher isn’t (to many).

    Michelle: not happening.

  56. dinasztie

    Viola is wonderful and yet I have trouble imagining her winning. Nomination, for sure but not a win. Moreover, I just can’t see them voting against Great Glenn if she’s nominated once again. You said (my favorite sentence): “Glenn Close is the only one who should be in the conversation for winning, to my mind. She has never won. She should have over the years.” I think many of the Academy members have to find that out and they will (just look at the trailer, same tactic they used for Crazy Heart). They will be more than willing to vote for her for these reasons. Early in the 2009 season, George Clooney (=Meryl) and Colin Firth (=Viola) won the critcs’ awards, they were expected to battle at the Oscars (with Jeff being fifth, fourth and such on experts’ charts á la Great Glenn). In the end, there came Jeff Bridges, the overdue, beloved “underrated” actor, got some great reviews, had a trailer emphasising 4 Time Academy Award Nominee Oscarless Jeff Bridges and that it’s the performance of a lifetime (and now watch the Albert Nobbs trailer).

    And above all: she’s Glenn Freakin’ Close! If she goes on a talk show (Why isn’t Oprah here when she’s needed???) and admits that she wants to win an Oscar, she’ll 100% sure win the Oscar. They love the huge overdue moments with the standing ovation, tears in the audience, celebration. It will be a true crowning moment. For another example, just see Whoopi and Geraldine Page. Whoopi was like Viola, people were hoping for a black actress to win, they had these inspirational characters and in the end, the overdue lady triumphed.

    For Meryl: She will be brilliant, everyone knows and if Glenn is not nominated I expect a fierce battle between her and Viola. The Academy is NOT that keen to give Meryl a third (if they were, they would have given it to her for Julia). Julia might have been a comedy role but she was loveable, which Maggie Thatcher isn’t (to many).

    Michelle: not happening.

  57. dinasztie

    Sasha, I always felt/knew Glenn is better than Meryl. :)

  58. dinasztie

    Sasha, I always felt/knew Glenn is better than Meryl. :)

  59. Yeah, that “statement of fact” (without qualifying the specific category) makes it sound like you forgot Whoopi, Mo’Nique & Jennifer Hudson.

    No worries. I hope you’re feeling better and keep up the good work!

  60. Yeah, that “statement of fact” (without qualifying the specific category) makes it sound like you forgot Whoopi, Mo’Nique & Jennifer Hudson.

    No worries. I hope you’re feeling better and keep up the good work!

  61. As far as the “2nd black actress in 84 years” bit, it’s more accurate to say second LEAD black actress, since Hattie and Halle got supporting and lead respectively.

  62. As far as the “2nd black actress in 84 years” bit, it’s more accurate to say second LEAD black actress, since Hattie and Halle got supporting and lead respectively.

  63. Scott (the other one)

    1. I agree with whoever said that if Davis didn’t win for Doubt, she won’t win for The Help. In Doubt, Davis had five minutes and burned a hole right in the screen. One of the most intense and moving acting moments in film in the last 10 years.

    While The Help has been popular, I do not think there is a single man in the entire Academy who will vote for it for BP or Best Actress. If that sounds sexist, it’s because the Academy is sexist. So all of Davis’s votes have to be drawn from the female membership.

    2. Streep, on the other hand, can draw from the entire voting bloc, including older voters some of whom may even regard Thatcher positively, in the same way they view Ronald Reagan.

    Also, I think there will be a bloc of voters who just think, “give Meryl a frickin second BA Oscar already, so that we can stop talking about this”.

    3. I think that to say Streep does not play a likable character in The Iron Lady is prejudging the film before any of us have seen it. By all accounts, the film gives a mixed/balanced portrait of Thatcher, so it will probably present her to some extent as a likable no-nonsense trailblazing woman in politics (as well as a mean-spritied ideological villain). If the UK critics, who MUST be pretty divided over
    Thatcher as a person, are all going gaga about Streep, then I think there must be something that is appealling about the Thatcher it presents. Also, the film portrays Thatcher now, very old and suffering from dementia, and it will probably pull the heartstrings for that.

    4. There is NO WAY that Glenn Close-But-No-Cigar is winning. She may not even be nominated. The field is too crowded this year. By all accounts, Albert Nobbs is a huge bore, and Close’s performance is so low-key as to be almost no-key.

  64. Scott (the other one)

    1. I agree with whoever said that if Davis didn’t win for Doubt, she won’t win for The Help. In Doubt, Davis had five minutes and burned a hole right in the screen. One of the most intense and moving acting moments in film in the last 10 years.

    While The Help has been popular, I do not think there is a single man in the entire Academy who will vote for it for BP or Best Actress. If that sounds sexist, it’s because the Academy is sexist. So all of Davis’s votes have to be drawn from the female membership.

    2. Streep, on the other hand, can draw from the entire voting bloc, including older voters some of whom may even regard Thatcher positively, in the same way they view Ronald Reagan.

    Also, I think there will be a bloc of voters who just think, “give Meryl a frickin second BA Oscar already, so that we can stop talking about this”.

    3. I think that to say Streep does not play a likable character in The Iron Lady is prejudging the film before any of us have seen it. By all accounts, the film gives a mixed/balanced portrait of Thatcher, so it will probably present her to some extent as a likable no-nonsense trailblazing woman in politics (as well as a mean-spritied ideological villain). If the UK critics, who MUST be pretty divided over
    Thatcher as a person, are all going gaga about Streep, then I think there must be something that is appealling about the Thatcher it presents. Also, the film portrays Thatcher now, very old and suffering from dementia, and it will probably pull the heartstrings for that.

    4. There is NO WAY that Glenn Close-But-No-Cigar is winning. She may not even be nominated. The field is too crowded this year. By all accounts, Albert Nobbs is a huge bore, and Close’s performance is so low-key as to be almost no-key.

  65. I don’t think you have to root for the characters the actors play, but you do have to root for the movies. What I mean to say is it’s more important that a movie in the running end with the right (righteous) ending than it is for an actor to be transformed or good or even decent. In fact I think villains have a good track record of picking up the acting awards. Look at Charlize Theron’s win for Monster. I mean she’s wasn’t very cute and she killed lots of people. She won. And Kate Winslet won as a Nazi pervert. I don’t think it matters if you root for them or not. In the last five years only Sean Penn and Colin Firth won Best Actor for playing good guys. Unless you’d hire Idi Amin, Daniel Plainview and Bad Blake to run a day care. I’m not even gonna crack open Supporting.

    But movies definitely benefit from an uplifting ending. Look at what that tacked on dance number did for Slumdog Millionaire.

  66. I don’t think you have to root for the characters the actors play, but you do have to root for the movies. What I mean to say is it’s more important that a movie in the running end with the right (righteous) ending than it is for an actor to be transformed or good or even decent. In fact I think villains have a good track record of picking up the acting awards. Look at Charlize Theron’s win for Monster. I mean she’s wasn’t very cute and she killed lots of people. She won. And Kate Winslet won as a Nazi pervert. I don’t think it matters if you root for them or not. In the last five years only Sean Penn and Colin Firth won Best Actor for playing good guys. Unless you’d hire Idi Amin, Daniel Plainview and Bad Blake to run a day care. I’m not even gonna crack open Supporting.

    But movies definitely benefit from an uplifting ending. Look at what that tacked on dance number did for Slumdog Millionaire.

  67. Rufussondheim

    I was disappointed by Viola Davis in Doubt.

    I saw a workshop production of a scene from Doubt in a run down elementary school by a local Philly actress that puts Viola Davis’s performance to shame. This woman, whose name I sadly do not know, was fearless in portraying this unlikable woman who wanted to believe she was doing the best for her son.

    When I heard how good Davis was in the film, I was excited. Because I knew the role was brief but probably the most affecting part of the movie. Davis tried to come off as too sympathetic, I think and dampened what should be a completely harrowing sequence of scenes.

  68. Rufussondheim

    I was disappointed by Viola Davis in Doubt.

    I saw a workshop production of a scene from Doubt in a run down elementary school by a local Philly actress that puts Viola Davis’s performance to shame. This woman, whose name I sadly do not know, was fearless in portraying this unlikable woman who wanted to believe she was doing the best for her son.

    When I heard how good Davis was in the film, I was excited. Because I knew the role was brief but probably the most affecting part of the movie. Davis tried to come off as too sympathetic, I think and dampened what should be a completely harrowing sequence of scenes.

  69. Just for fun !

    Meryl Streep accepting the Emmy for ‘Angels in America’ and giving a lovely shout-out to her friend, Glenn Close, who was also in her category :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhEK3mEofPo

    Meryl Streep accepting the SAG Award for ‘Doubt’ and urging Hollywood to finally give Viola Davis a lead role :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToJyYswq4Is

    Bottom line : Although we will be bickering about the Best Actress race for the next few months, I think it’s fair to say that in case Meryl Streep loses AGAIN, she would be probably happy to lose to an actress she truly respects and admires. Having said that, after watching these classy, hilariously funny acceptance speeches, I can see why we would be ALL rather sad in case she lost…AGAIN.

  70. Just for fun !

    Meryl Streep accepting the Emmy for ‘Angels in America’ and giving a lovely shout-out to her friend, Glenn Close, who was also in her category :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhEK3mEofPo

    Meryl Streep accepting the SAG Award for ‘Doubt’ and urging Hollywood to finally give Viola Davis a lead role :
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToJyYswq4Is

    Bottom line : Although we will be bickering about the Best Actress race for the next few months, I think it’s fair to say that in case Meryl Streep loses AGAIN, she would be probably happy to lose to an actress she truly respects and admires. Having said that, after watching these classy, hilariously funny acceptance speeches, I can see why we would be ALL rather sad in case she lost…AGAIN.

  71. I think it is a bit presumptuous to assume that My Week or Iron Lady wont do well in the box office. Also, I bet My Week will be nominated for Best Picture. The

  72. I think it is a bit presumptuous to assume that My Week or Iron Lady wont do well in the box office. Also, I bet My Week will be nominated for Best Picture. The

  73. …Academy would probably like a movie about making movies.

  74. …Academy would probably like a movie about making movies.

  75. And Knightley… and by the way ADM is coming out tomorrow with incredible reviews for Keira’s performance by the likes of Pete Travers, Todd McCarthy, AO Scott ( Dargis liked it too after TIFF), Andrew O’Hehir..so let’s now forget!

  76. And Knightley… and by the way ADM is coming out tomorrow with incredible reviews for Keira’s performance by the likes of Pete Travers, Todd McCarthy, AO Scott ( Dargis liked it too after TIFF), Andrew O’Hehir..so let’s now forget!

  77. Tero Heikkinen

    Roel, it’s fun playing IF-games. I do that, too. But they don’t work. It is rewriting history.

    Actress A (veteran, previous winner) wins over B (veteran, overdue), A gets offered another great role that B would’ve gotten had she won. B waits for three more years to get her chance, only to find out that C is now equally overdue. B loses once again… etc…

    Oscar wins matter here like this.

    Example: I can’t remember how it went with Jodie Foster, but are we sure she would’ve been offered the role of Clarice Starling had she not won a couple of years prior?

  78. Tero Heikkinen

    Roel, it’s fun playing IF-games. I do that, too. But they don’t work. It is rewriting history.

    Actress A (veteran, previous winner) wins over B (veteran, overdue), A gets offered another great role that B would’ve gotten had she won. B waits for three more years to get her chance, only to find out that C is now equally overdue. B loses once again… etc…

    Oscar wins matter here like this.

    Example: I can’t remember how it went with Jodie Foster, but are we sure she would’ve been offered the role of Clarice Starling had she not won a couple of years prior?

  79. Sasha, Sterling meant by “lazy writing” that “the second Oscar given to a black actress in 84 years of Oscar history” is wrong because it would be the second LEAD ACTRESS OSCAR for a black actress, and also, it would not be Meryl Streep’s second Oscar but her third, only the second in a LEADING ROLE.
    (So, neither is an opinion nor “a true statement”).

    Anyway I would really not mind an Oscar for Viola Davis, because far too few Afro-American actresses have been awarded yet… But an Oscar for Close, of course, would be an incredible satisfaction, since she was so shamelessly snubbed in the 80s over and over again, especially for two iconic, classic, utterly brilliant performances in “Fatal Attraction” and “Dangerous Liaisons”.

  80. Sasha, Sterling meant by “lazy writing” that “the second Oscar given to a black actress in 84 years of Oscar history” is wrong because it would be the second LEAD ACTRESS OSCAR for a black actress, and also, it would not be Meryl Streep’s second Oscar but her third, only the second in a LEADING ROLE.
    (So, neither is an opinion nor “a true statement”).

    Anyway I would really not mind an Oscar for Viola Davis, because far too few Afro-American actresses have been awarded yet… But an Oscar for Close, of course, would be an incredible satisfaction, since she was so shamelessly snubbed in the 80s over and over again, especially for two iconic, classic, utterly brilliant performances in “Fatal Attraction” and “Dangerous Liaisons”.

  81. Can’t wait for you to see “Marilyn” Sasha. It really is going to be a three way race. Don’t count Williams out yet. She’s that good. I look forward to your piece if you write one up on the performance and/or film.

  82. Can’t wait for you to see “Marilyn” Sasha. It really is going to be a three way race. Don’t count Williams out yet. She’s that good. I look forward to your piece if you write one up on the performance and/or film.

  83. So Sasha the last movies you haven’t seen that are considered ‘big’ are My Week with Marilyn and Young Adult? (not including the ones alot haven’t seen, (War Horse, Extremely Loud, Dragon Tattoo, Blood and Honey, and We Bought a Zoo.

  84. So Sasha the last movies you haven’t seen that are considered ‘big’ are My Week with Marilyn and Young Adult? (not including the ones alot haven’t seen, (War Horse, Extremely Loud, Dragon Tattoo, Blood and Honey, and We Bought a Zoo.

  85. DavidCappi

    The Academy owes it to Davis after they royally snubbed her for her work in Doubt. She’s got this one in the bag as far as I’m concerned.

  86. DavidCappi

    The Academy owes it to Davis after they royally snubbed her for her work in Doubt. She’s got this one in the bag as far as I’m concerned.

  87. “Both strong Best Picture contenders. NCFOM WON.”

    Damn, you’re good, Sasha. OK – Gig Young (Horses), Jeremy Irons (RoF), Denzel (Training Day), Spacey (Usual Suspects). Evil, evil, evil, evil! I know, I grasping at straws here.

  88. “Both strong Best Picture contenders. NCFOM WON.”

    Damn, you’re good, Sasha. OK – Gig Young (Horses), Jeremy Irons (RoF), Denzel (Training Day), Spacey (Usual Suspects). Evil, evil, evil, evil! I know, I grasping at straws here.

  89. Michelle should not be nominated. It’s a hollow performance in a bad movie. And I love Michelle.

    Viola was great… but I wouldn’t put her in my top 5. The movie was lackluster.

    My top 5 would be:

    Kirsten dunst in Melancholia
    Tilda swinton in We Need to Talk…
    Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs
    Ellen Barkin in Another Happy Day
    Olivia Coleman in Tyrannasaur

    If were awarding the best acting of the year ….. those would be your 5

  90. Michelle should not be nominated. It’s a hollow performance in a bad movie. And I love Michelle.

    Viola was great… but I wouldn’t put her in my top 5. The movie was lackluster.

    My top 5 would be:

    Kirsten dunst in Melancholia
    Tilda swinton in We Need to Talk…
    Glenn Close in Albert Nobbs
    Ellen Barkin in Another Happy Day
    Olivia Coleman in Tyrannasaur

    If were awarding the best acting of the year ….. those would be your 5

  91. “They both play characters who aren’t warm and fuzzy. My own hatred for Margaret Thatcher made me not want to watch the movie, frankly.”

    I really don’t think this is an obstacle–AT ALL–to win an Oscar. Idi Amin was one of the most despicable human beings who has ever set foot on this planet, and yet Forest Whitaker was completely riveting in The Last King of Scotland that he won an Oscar.

    Heck, Natalie Portman’s Nina Sayres wouldn’t be a joy to be around either. Mo’Nique, Christoph Waltz, Javier Bardem, Daniel Day-Lewis, Heath Ledger, Tilda Swinton, Kate Winslet…all of them won Oscars for playing morally ambiguous or downright awful characters.

    I think likability on the campaign trail might have a bit to do in winning an Oscar (as unfortunate as that sounds) and it also helps if your film is universally beloved (as in getting a best picture nomination), but I don’t think character likability is a major factor in winning an Oscar.

  92. “They both play characters who aren’t warm and fuzzy. My own hatred for Margaret Thatcher made me not want to watch the movie, frankly.”

    I really don’t think this is an obstacle–AT ALL–to win an Oscar. Idi Amin was one of the most despicable human beings who has ever set foot on this planet, and yet Forest Whitaker was completely riveting in The Last King of Scotland that he won an Oscar.

    Heck, Natalie Portman’s Nina Sayres wouldn’t be a joy to be around either. Mo’Nique, Christoph Waltz, Javier Bardem, Daniel Day-Lewis, Heath Ledger, Tilda Swinton, Kate Winslet…all of them won Oscars for playing morally ambiguous or downright awful characters.

    I think likability on the campaign trail might have a bit to do in winning an Oscar (as unfortunate as that sounds) and it also helps if your film is universally beloved (as in getting a best picture nomination), but I don’t think character likability is a major factor in winning an Oscar.

  93. I think Octavia Spencer is much better than Viola Davis in The Help. But that’s just me. Love to see Glenn Close winning.

  94. I think Octavia Spencer is much better than Viola Davis in The Help. But that’s just me. Love to see Glenn Close winning.

  95. The academy will have to give Streep a 3rd Oscar at some point. This seems like the appropriate time with her towering and astonishing performance in the Iron Lady. Viola Davis seems an unlikely winner with what is really a supporting role.

  96. The academy will have to give Streep a 3rd Oscar at some point. This seems like the appropriate time with her towering and astonishing performance in the Iron Lady. Viola Davis seems an unlikely winner with what is really a supporting role.

  97. It should be Close’s year, I’m sure Streep and Davis churns out good performances in their respective movies but an Oscar for Close is overdue.

  98. It should be Close’s year, I’m sure Streep and Davis churns out good performances in their respective movies but an Oscar for Close is overdue.

  99. Is Glenn Close being sent to a home after this year’s ceremony? lol Why does everyone think it’s now or never for her?

  100. Is Glenn Close being sent to a home after this year’s ceremony? lol Why does everyone think it’s now or never for her?

  101. Deena Jones' wig

    The Michelle Williams fans are campaigning non-stop on these threads. Hilarious!

    Keira Knightley gets my vote for the best performance of the year. The word tour-de-force is overused in cinema but that was the only adjective I could think of when I watched A Dangerous Method. I hope she sneaks in, in either the lead or supporting category.

  102. Deena Jones' wig

    The Michelle Williams fans are campaigning non-stop on these threads. Hilarious!

    Keira Knightley gets my vote for the best performance of the year. The word tour-de-force is overused in cinema but that was the only adjective I could think of when I watched A Dangerous Method. I hope she sneaks in, in either the lead or supporting category.

  103. I don’t think it’s right to award Viola Davis an Oscar just because she’s black. Sure, if she gives the best LEAD performance, but I see her as supporting. I honestly can’t see the Academy turning Streep away, yet again. She hasn’t won in 30 years and has tons and tons of good will and she reportedly gives an astonishing performance, a towering performance. I honestly don’t see how she loses. It’s time.

  104. I don’t think it’s right to award Viola Davis an Oscar just because she’s black. Sure, if she gives the best LEAD performance, but I see her as supporting. I honestly can’t see the Academy turning Streep away, yet again. She hasn’t won in 30 years and has tons and tons of good will and she reportedly gives an astonishing performance, a towering performance. I honestly don’t see how she loses. It’s time.

  105. Meh. There have still been a grand total of zero East Asian lead nominees.

    It would be the 3rd black lead acting win in a Best Picture nominee.

    I can totally see Streep losing. It’ll be yet another nom in a movie w/o a BP nom, and yet another movie (probably) she’s a lead in w/o a B average. However, it’ll be her first Bafta nom for a film without another lead since 1985 (Doubt on Broadway won awards for PSH’s character in lead.). And this will be 33 years since her 1st nom to score win #3, vs. 28 for Nicholson, 31 for Bergman, and 35 for KHep, so based on history it looks around her time.

  106. Meh. There have still been a grand total of zero East Asian lead nominees.

    It would be the 3rd black lead acting win in a Best Picture nominee.

    I can totally see Streep losing. It’ll be yet another nom in a movie w/o a BP nom, and yet another movie (probably) she’s a lead in w/o a B average. However, it’ll be her first Bafta nom for a film without another lead since 1985 (Doubt on Broadway won awards for PSH’s character in lead.). And this will be 33 years since her 1st nom to score win #3, vs. 28 for Nicholson, 31 for Bergman, and 35 for KHep, so based on history it looks around her time.

  107. I’m still not comfortable putting Viola Davis in the leading actress category when she’s supporting in The Help. She would easily win in the supporting actress category.

    Even though her character is very important in the story, she does not have that much of screen time to be easily considered lead. Viola is the least supporting of the supporting actresses, but she’s still supporting.

    I only watched The Help once, but I had the impression that Octavia Spencer has more screen time than Viola (of course that should be measured). Look, I’m not saying here that screen time is the only item that defines who is supporting and who leads, but it’s damn significant.

    In my mind, The Help has only one lead performer, which is Emma Stone.

    By the way, I believe Octavia Spencer is being way overrated. Her performance is not that much as a stand-out. In my mind, Jessica Chastain should be getting the raves people are giving to Spencer.

    Regarding the best actress race, it’s so undefined and I really don

  108. I’m still not comfortable putting Viola Davis in the leading actress category when she’s supporting in The Help. She would easily win in the supporting actress category.

    Even though her character is very important in the story, she does not have that much of screen time to be easily considered lead. Viola is the least supporting of the supporting actresses, but she’s still supporting.

    I only watched The Help once, but I had the impression that Octavia Spencer has more screen time than Viola (of course that should be measured). Look, I’m not saying here that screen time is the only item that defines who is supporting and who leads, but it’s damn significant.

    In my mind, The Help has only one lead performer, which is Emma Stone.

    By the way, I believe Octavia Spencer is being way overrated. Her performance is not that much as a stand-out. In my mind, Jessica Chastain should be getting the raves people are giving to Spencer.

    Regarding the best actress race, it’s so undefined and I really don

  109. Regarding the best actress race, it’s so undefined and I really don’t know who will win. I’d put my money on Meryl, but I’ll keep an eye on Michelle Williams.

  110. Regarding the best actress race, it’s so undefined and I really don’t know who will win. I’d put my money on Meryl, but I’ll keep an eye on Michelle Williams.

  111. Meh. There have still been a grand total of zero East Asian lead nominees.

    It would be the 3rd black lead acting win in a Best Picture nominee.
    —————
    That still sounds horrible in 84 years. wow

    I love Michelle, but I did think Knightley and Dunst were better.

  112. Meh. There have still been a grand total of zero East Asian lead nominees.

    It would be the 3rd black lead acting win in a Best Picture nominee.
    —————
    That still sounds horrible in 84 years. wow

    I love Michelle, but I did think Knightley and Dunst were better.

  113. What does it matter that you have to play a sympathetic character to win an Oscar? Was Hannibal Lecter a sympathetic character? Nurse Ratched? Am I missing something here? I believe a great performance whether the character is sympathetic or not should win the award.

    I liked Viola Davis in The Help, but sorry, I just don’t see her winning. Not gonna happen.

  114. What does it matter that you have to play a sympathetic character to win an Oscar? Was Hannibal Lecter a sympathetic character? Nurse Ratched? Am I missing something here? I believe a great performance whether the character is sympathetic or not should win the award.

    I liked Viola Davis in The Help, but sorry, I just don’t see her winning. Not gonna happen.

  115. alan of montreal

    I saw Elizabeth Olsen in MMMM and was really impressed by her performance. I don’t think she can be counted out.

  116. alan of montreal

    I saw Elizabeth Olsen in MMMM and was really impressed by her performance. I don’t think she can be counted out.

  117. Question Mark

    As noted by others in the thread, Streep’s problem is that she keeps being nominated against performances that are a) better or b) have a better ‘narrative’ to them, i.e. a winner that is overdue or a breakout star or something of that nature. It’s Streep’s bad luck she isn’t getting nominations in more open years for Best Actress (1994, 1997, 2002) where there isn’t a clear-cut favourite.

    It’s just a matter of time before Streep gets Oscar #3 and this could in fact be the year. I think the Davis and Close buzz has kind of burned out — the only possible challenges left are Williams and Charlize Theron, imo, and Theron is hampered by the fact that she already has a win.

  118. Question Mark

    As noted by others in the thread, Streep’s problem is that she keeps being nominated against performances that are a) better or b) have a better ‘narrative’ to them, i.e. a winner that is overdue or a breakout star or something of that nature. It’s Streep’s bad luck she isn’t getting nominations in more open years for Best Actress (1994, 1997, 2002) where there isn’t a clear-cut favourite.

    It’s just a matter of time before Streep gets Oscar #3 and this could in fact be the year. I think the Davis and Close buzz has kind of burned out — the only possible challenges left are Williams and Charlize Theron, imo, and Theron is hampered by the fact that she already has a win.

  119. Pierre de Plume

    If My Week With Marilyn were a best pic contender, then Williams would have more of a chance. But the film, while good, probably won’t make the cut. I’m with Sasha on Viola Davis. A case can be made for either supporting or lead, but it would be foolish to campaign for supporting when she has such a strong chance of winning in the lead category. The Help will probably get a best pic nod, the politics of the film will probably appeal to the Academy, and Davis is very strong in it. She has a standout performance under her belt in Doubt, and I bet even Meryl will say Davis deserves it.

    Lady Thatcher is not the kind of role to generate an Oscar win. Streep will need more of a standout role to win another Oscar.

  120. Pierre de Plume

    If My Week With Marilyn were a best pic contender, then Williams would have more of a chance. But the film, while good, probably won’t make the cut. I’m with Sasha on Viola Davis. A case can be made for either supporting or lead, but it would be foolish to campaign for supporting when she has such a strong chance of winning in the lead category. The Help will probably get a best pic nod, the politics of the film will probably appeal to the Academy, and Davis is very strong in it. She has a standout performance under her belt in Doubt, and I bet even Meryl will say Davis deserves it.

    Lady Thatcher is not the kind of role to generate an Oscar win. Streep will need more of a standout role to win another Oscar.

  121. Geez, I really think Meryl is beyond Oscar already….
    Although, remember that Sophie’s Choice was NOT nominated for Best Picture. So was Monster, La Vie en Rose and a few others.
    When you look at it, half of the best actress winners the last decade were not in best picture nominees. A BP nomination can help you, but it’s not safe for a win at all.
    A performance can overshadow a whole movie easily, if it’s great. And I think playing Margaret Thatcher IS a standout role and it seems Meryl has nailed her, as expected.
    I just don’t see Meryl winning, because she’s always taken for granted. Next time, always next time… I really hope it’s over one day.

  122. Geez, I really think Meryl is beyond Oscar already….
    Although, remember that Sophie’s Choice was NOT nominated for Best Picture. So was Monster, La Vie en Rose and a few others.
    When you look at it, half of the best actress winners the last decade were not in best picture nominees. A BP nomination can help you, but it’s not safe for a win at all.
    A performance can overshadow a whole movie easily, if it’s great. And I think playing Margaret Thatcher IS a standout role and it seems Meryl has nailed her, as expected.
    I just don’t see Meryl winning, because she’s always taken for granted. Next time, always next time… I really hope it’s over one day.

  123. Profile photo of Beth Stevens

    I’m rooting for Glenn Close and Elizabeth Olsen. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Viola Davis win – though I didn’t much care for her movie, she gave a very affecting performance. As for the Thatcher debate, I noticed that most of the villains mentioned were fictional characters (apart from Idi Amin and Ailene Wournous). Seems as if a famous real-life person who was widely hated like Thatcher might constitute a serious obstacle to winning. But, like Sasha, I recall Thatcherite Britain with strong emotions, so I’m biased. Since the Academy consists largely of older folks, maybe they’re biased too. We’ll have to wait and see.

  124. Profile photo of Sasha Stone

    I’m rooting for Glenn Close and Elizabeth Olsen. But I wouldn’t mind seeing Viola Davis win – though I didn’t much care for her movie, she gave a very affecting performance. As for the Thatcher debate, I noticed that most of the villains mentioned were fictional characters (apart from Idi Amin and Ailene Wournous). Seems as if a famous real-life person who was widely hated like Thatcher might constitute a serious obstacle to winning. But, like Sasha, I recall Thatcherite Britain with strong emotions, so I’m biased. Since the Academy consists largely of older folks, maybe they’re biased too. We’ll have to wait and see.

  125. 1) sasha it seems disappointing you’ve left out elizabeth olsen and olivia colman from the race.
    2) what if viola davis ends up like julianne moore for far from heaven, i think so she’ll go on to win many critics choice awards but would end up losing the majors. i really want to see another actress win over, she was good but not the best. I haven’t seen other contenders but tilda swinton looks best.
    3) rooney mara should be kicked out for good, if noomi rapace was nominated she shouldn’t be either. it seems she got the whole ready made standard she had to surpass. not fair.

  126. 1) sasha it seems disappointing you’ve left out elizabeth olsen and olivia colman from the race.
    2) what if viola davis ends up like julianne moore for far from heaven, i think so she’ll go on to win many critics choice awards but would end up losing the majors. i really want to see another actress win over, she was good but not the best. I haven’t seen other contenders but tilda swinton looks best.
    3) rooney mara should be kicked out for good, if noomi rapace was nominated she shouldn’t be either. it seems she got the whole ready made standard she had to surpass. not fair.

  127. Slightly OT, since this is a Best Actress-section, but I agree with Duke, if there is any justice, Jessica Chastain will be SERIOUSLY considered in the supporting category for ‘The Help’, the acting range she delivers in that role with such limited screentime is simply fantastic and definitely Oscar-worthy. I would love to see her win, because she not only had an outstanding year, I just simply can’t see how any other actress deserves the Best Supporting Actress Oscar MORE, than the one who delivered at least 4 (!) performances that could be SERIOUSLY considered in the category : The Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter, Coriolanus.
    Whatever happens, I firmly believe she should be the frontrunner by now…I also believe she has an excellent shot at becoming THE actress of her generation : the outstanding raw talent, the classical training, one of the most cinematic faces I’ve ever seen are all factors that could help her reach that level.

  128. Slightly OT, since this is a Best Actress-section, but I agree with Duke, if there is any justice, Jessica Chastain will be SERIOUSLY considered in the supporting category for ‘The Help’, the acting range she delivers in that role with such limited screentime is simply fantastic and definitely Oscar-worthy. I would love to see her win, because she not only had an outstanding year, I just simply can’t see how any other actress deserves the Best Supporting Actress Oscar MORE, than the one who delivered at least 4 (!) performances that could be SERIOUSLY considered in the category : The Tree of Life, The Help, Take Shelter, Coriolanus.
    Whatever happens, I firmly believe she should be the frontrunner by now…I also believe she has an excellent shot at becoming THE actress of her generation : the outstanding raw talent, the classical training, one of the most cinematic faces I’ve ever seen are all factors that could help her reach that level.

  129. Guys, am I the only one who thinks that Meryl Streep looks like Glenn Close as Sonny von Bulow in the ads on this page for The Iron Lady? Seriously. Where she’s got the blue suit and hat and blonde hair. Thatcher was blonde That’s kinda funny.

    On topic, I don’t get all the Michelle Williams hype. I’ll admit I’m not a fan but I have no desire to see anyone play Marilyn. How many movies have there been about her? We really needed another one? If there are enough people like me, then she won’t get the viewership to be nominated. Then beyond that she has to be perfect because we all know Marilyn like the back of our hands. Everything is starting to seem like people are grasping at straws to me. I think people like her, for whatever reason, but I don’t think she’s an amazing actress who should be thrown into the mix every time she’s got an eligible movie. Most people haven’t seen it right? If people have seen it and think she’s great then that’s another thing. But including her by default? Nah.

  130. Guys, am I the only one who thinks that Meryl Streep looks like Glenn Close as Sonny von Bulow in the ads on this page for The Iron Lady? Seriously. Where she’s got the blue suit and hat and blonde hair. Thatcher was blonde That’s kinda funny.

    On topic, I don’t get all the Michelle Williams hype. I’ll admit I’m not a fan but I have no desire to see anyone play Marilyn. How many movies have there been about her? We really needed another one? If there are enough people like me, then she won’t get the viewership to be nominated. Then beyond that she has to be perfect because we all know Marilyn like the back of our hands. Everything is starting to seem like people are grasping at straws to me. I think people like her, for whatever reason, but I don’t think she’s an amazing actress who should be thrown into the mix every time she’s got an eligible movie. Most people haven’t seen it right? If people have seen it and think she’s great then that’s another thing. But including her by default? Nah.

  131. Would anyone find it ironic if after Meryl shouting at the SAG’s in 2008 “MY GOD GIVE THIS WOMAN A MOVIE” re viola davis, Viola went and won the oscar off Meryl…

  132. Would anyone find it ironic if after Meryl shouting at the SAG’s in 2008 “MY GOD GIVE THIS WOMAN A MOVIE” re viola davis, Viola went and won the oscar off Meryl…

  133. The Prime Minister is going to win this time. :)

  134. The Prime Minister is going to win this time. :)

  135. Meryl Streep all the way. OMG, at least now I am convinced that she can now win her 3rd Oscar!
    I was half convinced with Julie Julia, had doubts in Doubt, almost there in Prada. Now with Iron Lady, it’s hers to lose.

  136. Meryl Streep all the way. OMG, at least now I am convinced that she can now win her 3rd Oscar!
    I was half convinced with Julie Julia, had doubts in Doubt, almost there in Prada. Now with Iron Lady, it’s hers to lose.

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