Part 4 of 4
Statistics show that each year produces at least 2 acting nominees prior to the fall film arrivals. Who will they be?
Here's a quick look at the 5 likeliest nominees (according to my idea of AMPAS tastes)if the year ended on August 31st. This is the final category. If you've doubted each and every candidate in each and every category, check yourself. Someone will make it through the final four-month stretch of 2005.
Jessica AlbaFantastic Four
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality 2
Nicole Kidman Bewitched
Lindsay Lohan Herbie: Fully Loaded
Jessica SimpsonThe Dukes of Hazzard
Let's try that again... (Slim pickings so far this year, huh? )
Joan AllenThe Upside of Anger
Glenn Close Heights
Jennifer ConnellyDark Water
Radha Mitchell Melinda & Melinda
Rachel Weisz The Constant Gardener
You can love the performances of many of these gals listed and the unlisted ones like Nathalie Press (the star of last year's Oscar winning Short Film Wasp) who is beautifully natural in My Summer of Love or Connie Nielsen's grieving wife in Brothers or Miranda July's precocious performance artist in Me You and Everyone We Know but people actually have to see the movies (and love them) to get the buzz going. Oscar voters don't seek contenders out for themselves. They need buzz to reach them.
If you accept my premise that the five women above are the leaders for now... which one of them has a marathon sprinter in her? Obviously Jennifer Connelly is out. The Academy doesn't like horror. Next we drop Glenn Close for Heights. If you've seen the picture you may have felt like genuflecting to this semi-lost actress. Hollywood has lost interest but she's still a riveting presence. The movie is also a true ensemble.
Pros & Cons
That leaves us with a murdered activist wife, a funny/sad neurotic mess, and a drunken abandoned wife --Lots of anger in this category. Radha Mitchell is a rising actress (+) in a Woody Allen film (+) with an interesting character (+) but it's not the mindblowing performance it needed to be to elevated the good but not great film (-) the film didn't breakout (-) and given the very competitive comedy category this year she seems unlikely to get a boost from a Globe nomination (huge -). Joan Allen hit it out of the park three times in a row with envy-inducing reviews for Yes, Off the Map and The Upside of Anger (enormous +) and she's due for an actual statue (big +) But the movie wasn't a big hit (-) and she might suffer a wee bit of vote splitting for the artier Yes (-) . Rachel Weisz is all the rage at the moment (+) and getting loving notices for an acclaimed drama The Constant Gardener (+) but she needs the picture to stay in the race for true play (-) and she's not as famous as many upcoming competitors nor is she 'due' (-) .
Most Likely to Survive?
Unless The Constant Gardener reaches maximum density of AMPAS interest, Wiesz loses this one to Joan Allen who seems a very likely nominee IF any precursor awards go her way to remind people of how great and unexpectedly funny she was in Upside. It also can't hurt that she's never held an Oscar in her hands despite a rich filmography and three prior nominations.