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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