I was goofing earlier when I put forth EVE as an Oscar contender for "acting" although the love and sentiments expressed (beyond the double joke regarding categorization) were completely sincere... yet I was appalled to notice that nobody in Stinky's big blog-a-thon had touched on either Rachel Getting Married co-star Rosemarie DeWitt or Debra Winger. To briefly correct that, a few words about DeWitt's performance.
From a cold hearted punditry standpoint it's intriguing and not entirely surprising that Dewitt's fate in the Awards race seems to be mirroring her character Rachel's fate in the movie (awards often chase "roles" in a more obvious way than they follow "performances" if you know what I'm saying). Which is to say that though Rachel is the title character and the entire plot theoretically revolves around her moment... her thunder is repeatedly stolen. Her groom stays focused on her but literally everyone else in the movie --including, most tellingly, Rachel herself --shoves her to the side whenever her narcissist sister Kym (Anne Hathaway) needs the slightest bit of attention or care. This need, as you can imagine, appears frequently. This abandoning is there in the filmmaking, too, which gives Rachel/DeWitt a wonderful thank you gift of a final scene but otherwise leaves her whenever Kym needs story time. This, as you can imagine, also happens frequently.
From a acting fan's standpoint this mirrored fate for DeWitt (who has missed out on valuable precursor awards support) is not intriguing at all but upsetting. Anne Hathaway's performance is a brilliantly cut thing, all self-serving charisma (it had to be a movie star in the role) and moments of lucid realization of her own toxicity. Hathaway deserves the Oscar nomination, no question, but what of the valiant support and noteworthy acting choices from the actors playing her family members? The movie, blessed by strong screenplay and direction, would work without ace performances orbiting the star but thankfully it doesn't have to. DeWitt has a tricky task in the movie. Like Hathaway, she has to sell a complex character, but unlike Hathaway who is free to stay all tied up in Kym's head, DeWitt has to illuminate the spaces outside of Rachel, too. Kym's sickness is partially that she can't inhabit these spaces but in Rachel we have to see a distinct personality (DeWitt doesn't sugar coat Rachel's own disagreeable traits, which adds beautiful ambiguity to the conflicts) and the painful/loving/continually renegotiated space between them. Kym has to be Kym. Rachel has to be Rachel and Rachel with Kym.
The star is the star is the star. But this supporting actress sure helps her shine.
For more on Rosemarie DeWitt, check out the Film Experience interview.