At first it looked like Country Strong would be bumped to 2011, but apparently it is coming out this year. It hardly seems possible that another contender can sneak in there, but make way, a star is coming.
If Paltrow manages to get in, we could be looking at one of the most exciting Oscar races in years – why, because the Best Pic race, the Best Director race, the doc race, and now the Best Actress race will be not only incredibly stiff, but very very big stars will be involved. That means better ratings for the telecast and more focus paid to the race in general by people who don’t usually care.
Does that mean Paltrow is in? There isn’t much word out there that I could find about her performance, but traditionally, that type of role gets attention and then some.
When I first started covering the Oscar race back in 1999, you really couldn’t get nominated if you weren’t already a big star with a few exceptions along the way – a GREAT performance could get in — but for the most part, it was a star’s game and much press was made if an unknown got in. Now it’s the norm. Things have changed, though, and become more indie focused. This was born out of necessity, of course, seeing that mainstream films simply weren’t featuring great stories about women. When Sandra Bullock won last year it reminded me the old Oscar days, before the indie revolution. That is a major power play, the kind of thing Oscars were intended for – a money making actress, over 40, making good on her promise. Paltrow is poised to follow that road. It’s important to make the distinction. She isn’t necessarily following Jeff Bridges, which is what it looks like at first glance.
So if we were to do a Big Star five it would look something like this:
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Gwyneth Paltrow, Country Strong
Naomi Watts, Fair Game
Or something like that.