Both David Poland and Jeff Wells are going forth and pushing Zoe Saldana for an acting nod. Poland says:
When I first saw the film, the remote possibility of Ms. Saldana getting a nomination for her performance was tantalizing. I rationalized that Sigourney Weaver‚Äôs turn, part CG and part human, was more likely to be the breakthough nomination. But I have been struck by how many people, Academy members included, have remarked on the emotional weight of Saldana’s performance holding the movie together. She is both very physical and very raw emotionally‚Ä¶ something we have not really seen since Ms. Weaver in Mr. Cameron‚Äôs Aliens.
I’ve been feeling more and more persuaded over the last couple of weeks that Zoe Saldana deserves a Best Actress nomination for her motion-capture performance as Neytiri in Avatar. In the manner of a silent-film actress Saldana’s emoting is necessarily broad, and I understand the uninformed suspicion that it’s not she who deserves the credit as much as the motion-capture tweaks that fine-tuned her performance, but my heart knows what it feels. Saldana got me.
I’m not buying it, though. I appreciate their sentiment but what we saw with Saldana was unprecedented combination of technology and performance capture – but in the traditional sense, it is not acting. To the actors, it diminishes them as 100% of the performance. Zoe Saldana makes for a moving and beautiful Avatar – one of the most memorable characters of the year. But no can say for sure that it is 100% her and not this beautiful technology along with it.¬† If they are going to go for it, though, Saldana should be in the supporting category.
Still, I appreciate the sentiment. Kathryn Bigelow winning for Best Director will be history in the making.