Rope of Silicon’s Brad Brevet pinged a few of us useless Oscar bloggers yesterday wondering about Lesley Manville’s chances if she ran in supporting or lead. You can read all of the responses over at Rope of Sil. My main point is that she’s great in the movie so she really ought to be remembered in either category. I think my exact quote was something like “they should follow her to the ends of the earth.”
The Academy ultimately decides where a contender ends up. Floating the info in order to herd voters into one stall sometimes works, as it did when Steven Soderbergh was up for two movies in one year. Instead of awarding either Ridley Scott for Gladiator or the truly deserving Ang Lee for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, they went with Soderbergh for the big win with Traffic. I think that was not a great choice because both Erin Brockovich and Traffic were pretty good movies. But neither of them was as good as either Crouching Tiger (which we appreciated then) or Gladiator (which I appreciate now).
Finally, Another Year is really about Lesley Manville. Ruth Sheen and Jim Broadbent are the supporting characters. But I can dig it either way. Juliette Binoche won for Supporting in The English Patient when she was clearly the lead. And Marlon Brando won for The Godfather when he was a supporting character (despite the film’s title).