Monday, January 14, 2008

Best Actress Will Make History

I'm jumping the gun here since Oscar nominations aren't announced until next Tuesday. But barring a shocking snub we know who the three frontrunners for Oscar's Best Actress are.

The Globe wins (Christie/Cotillard) last night didn't clear up the central combative mystery regarding this race. Will Oscar's love of mimicry and biopics bring Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) the win or will AMPAS voters stick with the frontrunner, the legendary Julie Christie (Away From Her), who also has an Oscar friendly hook (alzheimers) and has been winning the lions share of the precursors. The third scenario, given the rising public popularity of Juno is that the battle of these two heavily dramatic star turns makes room for a surprise win for (fictionally) pregnant Ellen Page. In each case, history will be made.

Julie Christie enchanted Oscar voters at that dazzling sunshine girl in 1965's Darling and should Away From Her bring her second win, it'll mark the longest time between acting wins for anyone. The current record holder is Helen Hayes who won Best Actress for The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) and then again in the supporting category for Airport (1970). Most dual winners actually win their second within a decade of their first.

If Marion Cotillard wins it'll mark only the second time a foreign language performance has won Best Actress. And that happened even longer ago then Julie Christie's first triumph. The one and only recipient: Sophia Loren for Two Women (1961)

If Ellen Page wins for Juno, she'll become the youngest Best Actress winner ever. She turns 21 three days before the Oscars which will be held (we think [gulp]) on February 24th. That makes her the youngest. Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God, 1986) currently holds the record for youngest lead actress win. She was also 21 but 2/3rds of the way to her 22nd birthday.

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51 comments:

Brodie said...

And if Christie/Page, Day-Lewis, Ryan and Bardem win, it'll be the first time since 1998 all four winners played fictional characters

Anonymous said...

Which would be amazing if it were Swinton instead of Ryan.

NATHANIEL R said...

oh an all fictional lineup would be so nice. I'm so sick of "true stories!" blech

Boyd said...

And if Christie/Cotillard, Day-Lewis, Bardem and Blanchett/Swinton all won actor trophies, would it be the first time that all four went to non-Americans?!

Jimmy said...

OMG - Helen Hayes in "Airport" - probably the absolute worst Oscar-winning winning performance of all time! It's so bad - it's bad. She was even worse than Goldie Hawn, who for some odd reason won the year before. "Airport" is pretty horrible as well - can you imagine walking on a plane & there's Dean Martin, your pilot!

I hope Julie Christie wins - she was just terrific.

Anonymous said...

I need help.
Everyone arount seem to hate Keira Knightley's performance telling shit about her using the same ummm... "jaw moves" or God-knows-what-do-they-call-it in every single movie. I suppose they are simply surprised that she didn't carry the film which was promoted by her face. And that they think she overplayed everything by her speed-of-sound talking or are confused by boredom on her face, but that's only about a quarter of the film. I just can't stand it because I really like the performance but I have no idea how on earth I should defend it.
Does anyone know?
Howler

NATHANIEL R said...

I thought she was quite good myself. Believeably period (I know the clipped vocal cadences annoyed some people but I liked them --and in particular I liked the way that she and Saorsie were believeably sisters and believably the daughters of the onscreen mother. everyone sounded snooty ;) plus that scene where she pulls McAvoy out of his fury? Beautifully handled.

Anonymous said...

That's such damned bias. Marion Cotillard gets an afterthought mention, while Julie Christie is glmaourized here for her nothing performance. Meh.

Andy Scott said...

Hasn't it been years since 2 former Best Actor and Best Actress winners won Oscars in the same year? I glossed Wikipedia last week and I had to go back to the 30s to find another time it happened. I could be wrong, though, but it's an interesting piece of trivia nonetheless...assuming Day-Lewis and Christie both win.

Anonymous said...

hmm isn't the longest span between oscars another of miss Hepburn records?
Morning Glory 1933 - On Golden Pond 1981

Alfred Soto said...

I keep thinking that Christie won't win because it's such a small film that not many saw, but then I remember 1994, and Jessica Lange's win.

jimmy said...

hepburn won in 67 - guess who's throwing up dinner....34 year gap.

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous 9:37 --other than the photo (i couldn't resist) i fail to see how telling the truth and giving each of the three leaders a paragraph of their own is playing favorites?

but, yes, since you brought it up: I want CHRISTIE to win. She's a legend (deservedly so I hasten to add) the performance is amazing and heartbreaking and, besides, I make no ridiculous claims (never have) that I don't have personal preferences.

Frankly, I don't understand people who claim not to have preferences or biases. It seems, how shall I put this, inhuman (if true) and self-deluding (if not true but stated anyway). how can you not have a preference in the oscar races if you love the cinema? and furthermore why would you want to not have a preference? It's a contest. It's about defining "best". Don't you wanna have your say about what "best" constitutes?

Ideally we wouldn't personal feeling affect our actual predictions but since we are all human I actually think it's important to reveal them.

I personally am not so sure that Christie will win. I just want her to.

Jimmy said...

nathaniel - you're really quite persistent, aren't you? :)

I've seen away from her 3 times.

daveylow said...

I am so sick of hearing about Cotillard possibly winning the Oscar. So many wonderful foreign actress performances have not won who have been nominated, including ones by Liv Ullman, Isabel Adjani, and Catherine Deneuve.

I really think it's between Christie and Page and that the Academy will decide it's a bit too early to award this whippersnapper an Oscar yet. She's not Paltrow, who is the daughter of an acclaimed actress. And Page's performance is a comedic one. They rarely award actors to comic performances.

And if anyone watched that clip of Christie from Away from Her, they would give her the Oscar pronto.

Anonymous said...

Other foreign language performances losing out has nothing to do with this year's race. It's between Marion Cotillard and Julie Christie for the Oscar win after "Juno"'s disappointing Globes run, and you not "liking" to hear about Marion Cotillard very well winning the Oscar is irrelevant.

adam k. said...

Well I think Nat will get his wish... I don't see this as much of a contest anymore. Christie won the BFCA and drama globe, and most critics awards, and there's just no reason to believe Cotillard would win at this point. I mean, as a foreign actress, if she can't win many critics awards, she most likely can't win the oscar. And Christie's film seems to be more universally liked. Page is too young, and Juno's oscar will be in screenplay.

Hepburn seems to hold the record for longest time between oscar wins, period (33-81). But Christie would hold the new record for longest time between consecutive oscar wins (65-07). Different thing.

Alfred Soto said...

if Christie wins SAG, she's a lock to win the Oscar.

J.D. said...

And the idea of Christie losing the SAG is almost completely ludicrous. So, next Sunday, this race will be so easily sewn up that doubt will become insanely pointless.

Go Christie!

Anonymous said...

Christie received much more of a feature here than anyone else did, including that ridiculous young/old spread, which is some blatant bias. She isn't locked to win the SAG either. It could easily go to Marion Cotillard instead.

Anonymous said...

Keira made me cry during the cafe scene! It may look all surface and not much was said, but that scene was about everything that was not said. Heartbreaking.

adam k. said...

I actually think that if anyone beats Christie to the SAG, it'll be Page. She's a serious contender who MANY more of the wide SAG voting populace will have seen. But my money's still on Christie.

Robert said...

and correct me if I'm wrong but if Angelina Jolie wins, it'll be the first time someone in blackface has won.

so...um...there's that too

mrripley said...

any1 notice how bad american actors were represented 2 brits,a spaniard an aussie,a french actress and director,poor depp.

i like her "oh you idiot" line reading when the piece of porcelain is dropped in the water and the library scene is wonderfully played by kay kay her dropping of her wall and the way she looks a v v underrated turn and i am a nurse and have never seen any1 with alzheimer's as glam as christie looked and that is why cotillard is my choice a complete immersion in teh aprt yes you can clap the make up people but if she is playing piaf she has to look like piaf not some glam screen queen..

Anonymous said...

Nat, I just wanted to know your detailed opinion about what consititues a musical/comedy performance. Many, myself included, wouldn't call Marion Cotillard's performance either/or, but does that mean all music-based biopic performances should be classified as dramatic? It just seems confusing since more and more of the performance are getting nominated, like Reese Witherspoon, Jaime Foxx, and Joaquin Pheonix. For that matter, does a movie with lots of music make the performance musical? I think in the Globes case, the ambiguity lies in the verbage of the award titles. They are Best Performance IN so and so forth. So it seems while the performance itself may not be comedic or musical, if they film that its in IS, then that's where they will nominate it. So confusing...

- Adam

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot.
I love the way she tells him to "Come back" in that very scene. "Come back" is used soo many times in the movie, but this particular means just more than just coming back to her, but being the one she loves.
BTW I'm glad to see Tommy Lee Jones mentioned in your supporting actor awards. I never really liked his work but I love the way his character leads us through the film and surrenders in the end just like the film itself.

Howler

mrripely said...

i am actually more interested in the 5th spot please not cate b any of these linney,berry,keira,adams even helena just not her although for im not there she deserves to win!!!!

i agree nat,i don't agree about your body of work for pfeiffer although she is currently no 4 on my best supp actress list for hairspray i think thats your worshipfulness gone astray,i do have a thing for siggy weaver but have not had her in my top 5 lists since 99 best actress for a map of the world pushing reese w out for election although she has had 3 nom worthy perfs in snow cake,imaginairy heroes and the guys since 99.

prefernce is prefernce i do have a preference in each acting cat this year for a nom mcavoy,berry,finney,pfeiffer.

NATHANIEL R said...

adam I'm not claiming that all musical biopic performances don't belong there. For example: Reese Witherspoon & Joaquin Phoenix. It's fine to have them there. They did their own singing. Those are musical performances (even if they aren't comedic... the category is not musical comedy but musical OR comedy)

I just don't like the notion of people winning this award when they are neither. For the same reason that I object to lead players in supporting category. It's completely disrespectful to the people who belong in the category who typically have less rewards for their efforts than big stars do (comedic performances basically only win Globes and supporting actors often toil for years without recognition and when they're possibly up for something they might easily be snubbed to make room for a lead movie star.)

Anonymous said...

any1 notice how bad american actors were represented 2 brits,a spaniard an aussie,a french actress and director,poor depp.

-julian is an american director.

Anonymous said...

Whats with this obsession with pointing out nationalities? Alot of these 'foreigners' are very well trained in the performning arts, and can pull of heavy drama. Few American actors train at that level. Its simple.

mrripley said...

isn't acting a performing art or did i get that wrong,i was just saying that americans were not big winners that is a fact or would u disagree i found it odd that's all.

Anonymous said...

As in all the performing/classical arts. Actors vary in their levels of skills and well trained actors are taught specialist skills that allow them to do Shakesperean as well as modern pieces. So they are great for doing period and other heavy dramas, which has practically become their niche.

mrripley said...

true but i hardly think christie,day lewis ,bardem,cotillard & blanchett were doing shakespeare!!!!

mrripley said...

true but i hardly think christie,day lewis ,bardem,cotillard & blanchett were doing shakespeare!!!!

mrripley said...

the 5th best actress spot who will it be

the obvious default choice blanchett

a well liked turn in a popular film and new star amy adams

the big pic actress knightley

or a surprise linney or bonham carter

Anonymous said...

I'm talking about the skills that actors develop through studying things like Shakespeare. Those skills obviously enable them to perform very well in dramatic roles, which is why they tend to dominate award races. Thats all i'm saying.

It's not a nationality issue, as some are trying to make it out to be. Its about skill. Look at Meryl Streep and P.S. Hoffman. Both very well-trained American actors who always do well during award seasons.

Charlie said...

Nat - I honestly don't care who wins best actress.

Christie wins? Great! She was in Darling and that alone warrants two (or three) Oscars!

Cotillard wins? Great! I think she is really rather wonderful playing an unlikeable and misunderstood pathetic character.

Page wins? Great! How deliciously charming is she in Juno?

I even think Anjelina is pretty good in A Mighty Heart. You have to give her props for dialing back a performance that could have gone way over the top.

Then you have at least 4-5 other ladies who in a weaker year would get a nomination.

Give it up for an above-par year for the ladies honestly. Let's hope that ladies' roles get even better in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Bonus points:

*If Blanchett will win (for INT), she became the second actress in this category and the history for playing a male caracter
*If Marion Cotillard will win (I hope so), she's the first actor (Male or female) for winning for a performance in a foreign language what isn't the italian language. Only the three top foreign langugae performance winners are in italian: Sofia Loren, Robert De Niro and Roberto BEnigni. And she became the fifth star who won a Golden Globe and the first who won in her category at the Golden Globes. Only Alberto Sordi, Anouk Aimee, Marcello Mastroianni and liv Ullmann did it, and neither of them won the Oscar.
*if Ellen Page will win she became the first actress since Diane Keaton who won for a complete comedy caracter, because Frances McDormand, helen Hunt and Gwyneth Paltrow's performances are in dramedies films...

The races of 2001, 2002 and 2003 are good examples of intersting best actress race:
2001: Sissy Spacek won BFCA, Golden Globe, and many awards but Halle Berry won the SAG and who won the Oscar?...
2002: Julianne moore won every award except three importants: NSOC (Diane Lane) Golden Globe (nicole Kidman) and SAG (Renee Zellweger)
2003: Only three top actresses were nominated, with two important surprises: the WTF keisha Castle-Hughes and resources by ashes Samantha Morton.

In a "normal" competition, the top three actresses could be weak and they're not favorites.

1. All the three actresses are foreigners.
2. Julie Christie is only real option from a small canadian film. Oscarish role but very indie and limited release...
3. Marion Cotillard's performance is in french and her movie isn't favorite in the foreign category. OScarish role and physical transformation but the movie likes but not love...
4. Ellen Page is too comedy for the AMPAS. They're like young actresses in dramas or dramedies: Matlin, Paquin, Paltrow, Swank, Theron. Plus, it's too "simple" to the AMPAS. Evan Rachel Wood curse??

The SAG determinate the lock for a win, my perception: It's between Cotillard and Christie.

Anonymous said...

And I forgot the star factor:

I think is between Cotillard and Christie because two important facts:
*The star factor:
-Christie is a legend and her beauty, talent and determination are symbols of admiration by many people in the industry
-Cotillard is relative unknow in America (but she has the success of A very long engagement and the influence of a big star like Russell Crowe), but she's a star in Europe and a future icon in Hollywood like Catherine Deneuve and Juliette Binoche...
*The step of the SAG:
the two actresses will have importants records:
-If Cotillard will win she became the second actor who win after the sucess of Roberto benigni
-If Christie will win she became the oldest actress who win in the film category...

Ric said...

A BIG problem this year in the movies and acting categories is that there are so many wonderful choices... sometimes there are zero to really earn the award.

I definitely loved Knightly, but I don't see it as an Oscar nominating role.

I think Christie will win the Oscar, But I think Cotillard deserves it more. She carried a lousy movie with a great performance... whereas Christie had a good script and a great supporting actor!

Nat, I understand your love for Michelle, but over Christian Bale is hard to understand.

adam k. said...

I do think Christian Bale deserved a spot in the "body of work" lineup.

But did someone just call Gordon Pinsent a supporting actor? Oh the humanity...

ric said...

I did not mean it in a nominee category sense... to me all acting should be one actor supporting another one.... You guys take this "stuff" too seriously.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah, i guess i just didn't love any of the performances. the second time through I was less impressed with his i'm not there work. I thought he was uneven in rescue dawn and dull in 3:10 so... what other choice did i have? ;)

still love him though. Just want more since I know he's capable of it.

mrripley said...

nat come on pfeiffer riffed on old ways in stardust,she was a an enjoyable villainess but that and hairspray are what pfeiff does best,i think it is simply you not removing the fan glasses !!!!

NATHANIEL R said...

me not removing the pfan glasses would've been putting her in the supporting actress lineup ;)

Ric said...

Nat, Stick to your guns about Michelle ... I was obsessed for years with NAtalie Wood and argued that she was a fantastic actress.. She was ( in a handful of pictures ) ... as an adult I have seen her movies at least 2 and 3 times each and realize she was not that good without a good director.

Vertigo's Psycho said...

I'd give it to Christie on performance alone. Having your second Oscar win 42 years after your breakthrough Oscar win also makes for a great story, but I haven't seen anyone really top Christie's work in Away From Her, either. If she wins, it certainly will land on the list of "warranted" Oscar victories.

It's fairly rare to have a tight three-way race, which makes me a little unsure of the Christie victory I'm hoping for, as visions of Judy Holliday topping Swanson and Davis in 1951 dance in my head. I agree a win for Christie at the SAG Awards might help clarify things, but Juno's a big hit and Page is great in it, and Cotillard's Piaf work still looms large, especially after her Globe win.

Anonymous said...

Watch this:

http://www.awardsdaily.com/?p=1169

She's gorgeous, smart, outspoken, truly private, and doesn't suffer fools gladly.

Julie Christie for the win!

Anonymous said...

Some clearing up on Katherine Hepburn, Oscar wins (four of them, by the way).

After winning for Morning Glory in 1933. There was a a 34 year gap before she won her second Oscar for Guess Who's Coming To Dinner in 1967. This was followed by a win the following year which is the only known tie in Oscar history. Hepburn in The Lion in Winter tied with Barbra Streisand's Funny Girl. Hepburn won her last nomination and Oscar for On Golden Pond in 1981 followed by a 13 year gap.

NATHANIEL R said...

i'm not sure why people keep bringing up Hepburn. She didn't wait as long as Christie (assuming she's about to win) between Oscar wins.

Cissa said...

I'm a bit sad about the Keira Knightley non-nomination, though I shouldn't. She's got the best performance of her career which also happens to be one of the best performances of the year. As much as I'd like to see her nominated again, not being there doens't take credit away from her work, in fact, I believe a lot of people now will repect her much more than ever before. On the other hand, in a way it was good she didn't get nominated, for I'm sure there'd be alot of haters and trolls saying the same thing they did when she got nominated for P&P.