Thursday, September 14, 2006

2006 (So Far): Best Supporting Actress

In the year so far happy postings this week, I've covered lead actor, lead actress, supporting actor --all of the acting categories but this. Now, we come to a screeching halt. For how on earth can I choose without more time to mull this over? I sometimes think that StinkyLulu was right to choose "actressing on the edges" as his #1 film obsession: supporting actresses are often the most enjoyable colors on a directors palette.

How can I choose five when this year is rich with possibility. Oh, sure I'll have to once the Film Bitch Awards roll out but for now, I don't want to part with any of the supporting ladies I love.


So I'm planting my feet and I aint budging. Let me enjoy these women awhile long before I'm forced to boot some or all of them out of the way to make room for the Fall season girls who manage to blow my mind.

My favorites thus far
Emily Blunt as "Emily" in The Devil Wears Prada Comedic bliss.

Abigail Breslin and Toni Collette as "Olive" and "Sheryl" in Little Miss Sunshine As ever Collette is 100% real and winning, even in the least juicy of roles. Abigail proves herself one of the best child actors working.

Edie Falco in Freedomland. Joe Reid already said what I wanted to say.

Maggie Gyllenhaal as "Elaine" in Trust the Man (already discussed) and "Allison" in World Trade Center. She's on fire this year. The Year of Jake (also known as 2005) must have lit a fire under her. We reap the rewards. Add these women to her Sherrybaby and you'll see three very different characters, all more impressive than the films which house them.

Catherine Keener and Frances McDormand in Friends with Money. I already discussed them here and a bit in my review.

Danny Perea as "Rita" in Duck Season who is charming and matter-of-fact funny as a bored neighbor whose birthday is forgotten. Why haven't any of you seen this yet? How much have I begged? No more excuses: You can get it on DVD.

Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin as "Yolanda and Rhonda Johnson" in A Prairie Home Companion They gave us an enticing taste of their sister act at the Oscars (video) but the real thing was even better. I love this film more than most.

*

Which supporting actress did it for you this year?

Tags: Meryl Streep, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Oscars, films, Academy Awards, movies

37 comments:

Kamikaze Camel said...

The two actress categories are always the best. It's always so hard to narrow it down, whereas the actor categories are hard to find five performances that I truly couldn't live without.

So far there's been a few supporting gal turns I've liked. Jodie Foster in Inside Man (scene chewing yes, but I loved every second), Deborah-Lee Furness (and to a lesser extent, Leah Purcell) in Jindabyne, Wendy Hughes in The Caterpillar Wish, Deborah Mailman in The Book of Revelation, Gillian Jones from Last Train to Freo and I am a big fan of Parker Posey's movie-stealing (not just scene-stealing, she took the whole movie from everyone else) in Superman Returns.

Anonymous said...

I did try Duck Season this weekend, but I found it incredibly dull and lifeless. In the end, I was reminded of a much better movie, Y Tu Mama Tambien. I wasn't a big fan of that movie, either.

Erik

StinkyLulu said...

I'm somewhat alarmed at how few shockingly good supporting turns I've seen this year. But of what I have seen, I'm still stuck only on Seema Biswas in Water and Emily Blunt in Prada. And I would nominate Virginia Madsen before any of her co-stars in PHC. MacDormand was the best thing in FWM but she's become this era's Thelma Ritter so I'm holding that against her a little. Collette and Breslin are by far my favorite actors of their respective age/gender but. I haven't seen any of the Maggie G movies, but I'm all for a "Year of the Maggie"...

And, remember kids: January will bring a Supporting Actress Smackdown for 2006. Good times.

adam k. said...

I LOVE Abigail Breslin.

And based on the picture, I actually thought that last nominee from Duck Season was actually from Edie Falco from Freedomland. Oops.

I also loved Meryl in Prairie (and your little illustration of her here), though I found the film a touch forgettable and incohesive. Maybe I should see it again?

Actually I loved all these women who I've seen. It'll be hard to choose in this category at the end of the year.

It'll also be hard to choose one Maggie Gyllenhaal perf to nominate her for, amongst all the good perfs in "meh" movies.

JA said...

I am all up in Abagail Breslin's business. LOVE.

And I love Toni too, but she really didn't have enough to work with in LMS for me to rave about her there. I mean, she always makes so much more out of whatever she's given, but she was given so very little of anything in LMS to work with it merely raised it to "fine".

Emily Blunt was, on the other hand, given a bounty of bon mots and she bit the heads off of every one of them with insanely-entertaining glee.

Steve said...

Count me in on the Prairie love. The last scene excepted, I thought it was absolutely wonderful.

NATHANIEL R said...

JA -well, Emily Blunt takes the prize from me this early. But i didn't really want to axe anyone so early. let me bask in the love.

what a great supporting actress year and we haven't even really started. think about the possibilities coming up...

it's going to be heaven.

NATHANIEL R said...

Erik,

I should've mentioned this in one of my Duck Season mentions but for all it's lowbudget b&w'ness i'm sure it plays better on the big screen where patience is easier to come by. A lot of the jokes have really slow builds and if you're at home, able to pause, snack, answer telephones or what have you the movie is probably tougher to love.

Arun said...

That's a pretty damn impressive list...even if it were the end of the year. My heart belongs to three women: Blunt, McDormand and Keener who were all so damn good.

I also loved Evan Rachel Wood's work in 'Down in the Valley' and I still haven't seen Prairie Home Companion- damn living in fucking SL.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel,
I agree about watching at home vs. the theater. I would prefer the theater, but sadly I didn't have time when Duck Season first played here.

From the beginning, the movie seemed... boring. For the first five minutes, there were static shots of urban Mexico. I felt that the director was intentionally making the film longer. Also, I was put-off by the camera shots. The camera didn't move - it stayed in one spot and filmed the scene. There were a few cuts and then back to the same shot. This was most noticeable when the boys were playing video games at the beginning.

And then, the characters didn't behave as I feel normal people would. The introduction of the pizza delivery guy seemed just so absurb.

At the 45 minute mark, the film, I lost interest in the film and I wasn't able to get it back.

This is a shame, really. Along with Duck Season, the only other foreign-language film that I've seen this year is Tsotsi, which I hated! It seems as the quality of foreign-language films has decreased while the quality of documentaries has increased. Why can't they both increase?

Erik

Beau said...

Gyllenhaal was good in WTC, but just decent in "Trust The Man". (which i personally felt was an abomination, i could not stand that picture.)

LOVE:
Emily Blunt - DWP (BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL WORK)
Virginia Madsen/Meryl Streep (Prairie Home Companion) (Haunting and humerous/Hilarious and homey. And oh-so-gee-darn sweet.)
Jodie Foster - Inside Man (Jodie Foster as a bitch. Can you think of a better thing to watch? I can't.)
Nora Zehtener - Brick (even despite the fact that the woman is a ravishing beauty, she takes this role and puts everything she has into it. Highlights? "The Moon and I" and the finale. Perfection.

...and no one else has had a better line delivery this year. "Keep up with me now.")

Anonymous said...

Nat, you taunt me (and tempt fate) when you say "think about the [supporting actress] possibilities coming up...it's going to be heaven." Because it seems to be hell with all of those blasted 'Black Dahlia' ads trumpeting and reviews giving major props to Hilary Swank as the femme fatale. How do you combat such a beast as she?

Marco

Anonymous said...

My pick is Carmen Maura in Volver. Delicious.

Rob

NATHANIEL R said...

marco -bite your tongue on the 'tempt fate' thing. I was just saying to myself last night: thank god that hilary will be the worst thing about the black dahlia since she can't do "period" to save her life.

but if she gets raves i dunno what i'll do. ARGH.

Ali said...

I doubt any performance (sold in this category) will top Emily Blunt's for me. I've seen Prada twice and despite excellent ensemble work all around, she's the film's MVP.

etslee said...

I would only add Shareeka Epps in Half Nelson. She was acting against Ryan Gosling and just as good.

Sam said...

I loved Emily Blunt and she's the only one on my list. I thought she gave a classic Best Supporting Actress performance. It was the sort of performance the category was created for; she wasn't the protaganist, but she stole every scene she was in and when I walked out of the theater I couldn't forget her.

brad said...

I feel about Maggie Gyllenhaal the same way you feel about Hilary Swank. I. Don't. Get. Her.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to break your plate but (so far) La Swank is getting the lion's share of "Best in Show" notices for the film, which is not getting as warm a reception.

Village Voice said she was "glamorously unrecognizable...giving the movie's sparkiest performance."

I take heart in knowing that at the very least -- come next March -- there's no way we'll have to see Phillip (gag) Seymour (barf) Hoffman (retch) on stage giving Swank another Oscar since hers is most definitely a supporting (albeit juicy) role...sigh.

douglas said...

Mine goes like this:
- Danny Perea (Duck Season)
- Emily Blunt (The Deiv Wears Prada)
- Parker Posey (Superman Returns)
- Carmer Maura (Volver)
- Meryl Streep (A Prairie Home Companion)

Felix said...

Abigail Breslin- Little Miss Sunshine
Jodie Foster- Inside Man
Lily Taylor - Factotum
Maggie Gyllenhaal- WTC

and fianally:
La Streep- The Devil Wears Prada (say what you will about this role and it's placement but it supports it female lead, Hathaway, and in no way is Streep the catalyst for the plot and the sooner Streep realizes this the sooner she'll have her 3rd oscar cause she ain't winning in lead this year.

adam k. said...

I actually don't think Streep could win in supporting either. Jennifer Hudson would stomp her.

I think what will end up happening is DWP will simple increase the "give her the third oscar" momentum, which will finally pay off with Dirty Tricks or First Man.

NATHANIEL R said...

i don't think she's out of the race for this year people. I'm not saying she'll win BUT what we're in right now is naturally the lowest point of her buzz... the public and media have been raving about it for months. it's basically gone from theaters. other things are opening exciting people. and it's not on DVD yet.

mark my words: Oscar or no... major resurgence in Streep buzz coming as we get closer to awards season.

Aldo said...

Temporada de Patos (Duck Season), Danny Perea
Batalla en el Cielo (Battle in Heaven), Anapola Mushkadiz
Te doy mis ojos (Take my eyes), Rosa Maria Sarda
Miami Vice, Gong Li
Douches Froides (Cold Showers), Florence Thomassin

adam k. said...

Well, Streep is a major threat for both the comedy globe and the SAG, so if she takes both of those, people will obviously talk her up for the oscar win.

Honestly I think she will win the SAG no matter who the real oscar frontrunner is at that time... actors love her and have all seen her movie, and anytime a perf from $100+ million film is in the mix and isn't seen as totally lightweight, it wins.

I think the globe will actually be harder for her. If Streep, Bening, and both the Dreamgirls girls are in the mix, I have no idea where they'd send it.

Vinícius P. said...

Minhas favorita são Maggie Gyllenhaal e Meryl. Contudo, também achei a perfomance de Emily Blunt encantadora.

vince said...

I wish I had the time to watch all the films you guys do. I used to. It's so hard to keep up. You guys are so HARDCORE. Jealous much? Yeah, totally. Anyway, once 2006 DVD's start coming out, I'll actually have SOMETHING TO SAY. Meanwhile ...

I'm on the fence with Foster. She was okay. I love me some Foster, but she doesn't have the widest RANGE. Her choices as of lately are OKAY. I love how she works only when she wants to and is basically one of the only major players still around who hasn't done a SEQUEL (Lambs doesn't really count) for the money. HANNIBAL case in point. And props to her for doing only the TYPES of films she wants. (I thought PR and FP were actually OKAY films) So her stint in Inside Man was OKAY, only worth consideration because it's so early in the awards season.

Amelie girl in Da Vinci is even worth mentioning less than Foster. She was so FORGETTABLE.

Okay, so here are my picks (based on limited viewing) ...

1. Parker Posey (SR) She actually has delivered one of the best perf's in a film based on a comic book. It was completely three dimensional. It's a small, carefully paced delivery with her own story arc. The arc itself is basic, but she gives it AMAZING substance. I'm already a POSEY fan, but I think this is definitely one of her top five perf's. It's of the same caliber as her work in Dazed, Guffman and Scream 3.

2. Abigail Breslin (LMS) She's the new Anna Paquin! That scream when she's listening on the phone call is BEAUTIFUL.

Okay, that's it. Kate Bozworth was okay. I'm not sure if she was lead or not. She was almost forgettable. And, don't be me wrong, I think Toni Collette is AMAZING, but her role in LMS was kind of just there. My roommate said that everyone in LMS had their moment, but now that I think about it, did Collette really have hers? Yeah, you could say her performance was subtle. But, I would have to watch it again to catch any serious nuances. She was the glue that held the family together ... yeah, I should watch it again and reconsider her perf.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Considering Johnny Depp won the SAG, they obviously don't care if your movie is an entertaining popcorn movie, so yeah, Streep is definitely in with a big shot at that one.

amir_uk said...

OK, so I'm expecting a lynching from all sides, but Hilary Swank was superb in The Black Dahlia and is up there with Carmen Maura (Volver) as my fave two supporting actress perfs of 2006 so far. She sizzled in an unconventional femme fatale role. She won't ever be nommed ever ever ever again (it'll be like Sally Field in spite of all the baity work she kept doing) - which imo is a bit of a shame - but she deserves it here, methinks.

And while we're on The Black Dahlia - what did everyone else think? At first I was like, this is pretty awful. But the film grew with me as it progressed and now, a day later, it's grown even more. There's beauty to be found in those set pieces despite the convoluted plot - 3 stars I'd say.

Scarlett Johansson was TOTALLY wasted in the movie though! Why did she take that role? I never thought I'd ever see it, but I was watching a bad Scarlett performance. Couldn't believe my eyes - but I guess the script wasn't exactly kind to my ScarJo.

Anonymous said...

Have you read the reviews for Aurora Borealis? I never thought Juliette Lewis was big with the critics, but all of them praised her performance and some of them even raved about it. I´d love to see at least a Globe nomination coming her way!

Orrin K said...

First of all, my site hasn't been updated in a while, but feel free to look at it.

Second, I think that Toni Colette was the best female performance I've seen so far this year. She was the glue that held the family together so it was an important part and i'd even put her in lead. I think she was great. Abigail Breslin is only a kid, and i just would hesistate to give acting awards to kids (even though this is imaginary).

I also think Meryl Streep was teriffic and the entire cast was great in Prairie Home Companion. Tomlin gave her character an interesting, sassy personality but she was somewhat weak as a singer and the part required singer.

I did not like Devil Wears Prada but I'd give props to Emily Blunt. She might have been the only good thing in the movie.

Although animated films require far less acting chops, Bonnie Hunt in Cars might be #2 behind Toni Colette for me. I thought she was really cute and sparked a lot of chemistry.

adam k. said...

I just realized that your favorite actresses in this category were listed in alphabetical order (by last name), and still the ones in pairs were together. All three pairs (the Little Miss Sunshine, Friends With Money, and Prairie Home Companion girls). How funny.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I keep seeing that picture of Edie Falco and think it's either Bebe Neuwirth in Lilith-mode for Felicity Huffman in Transamerica.

Anonymous said...

Hilary Swank in "Dahlia" was laughable... she looks like someone dressed in her mother's clothes and acted with the skill of a high school senior... of course, what could be done with such a horrible script?

Anonymous said...

Sigourney Weaver in Infamous

Carmen Maura in Volver

Emma said...

I'd say...

Carmen Maura & Lola Duenas in Volver, Catherine Keener in Friends with Money, and I guess that's it at the moment.

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