This year's supporting actress contest (new predictions!), if you believe early hype, is down to Mo'Nique vs. ummmm? She's way out front for her abusive mother role in Precious. But with Julianne Moore's supposedly vivid contribution to Tom Ford's A Single Man newly exciting festival auds, we could see the redhead goddess nab her 5th career nomination. That's quite an honor, even if she never wins that elusive statue.
A couple of years ago I asked readers who the next Deborah Kerr would be. Which modern important actress will be forever appreciated but never fully embraced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? Back then Kate Winslet was sort of gunning for the honor. Now that the English Rose has noisily moved into the winner's circle, the imaginary competition is back on. Although maybe it's no competition at all. The honor (?), at this point, thoroughly belongs to Glenn Close. She's much further away from winning an Oscar now than she ever was before, having abandoned anything like a substantial movie career.
Julianne may have another golden opportunity in the near future as the lead of the western drama Boone's Lick (previous post) but by the time the next next Oscars roll around she'll be 50. And we all know how unlikely it is for women over 50 to win Best Actress. It's only ever happened 8 times in 81 years and 3 of those times the woman's name was Katharine Hepburn, furthering lowering the statistical odds for women of a certain age. Since Julianne so often toggles between supporting roles and lead parts, maybe we should call her the next Deborah Kerr (6 Lead Actress noms / 0 wins) AND Thelma Ritter (6 Supporting Actress noms / 0 wins) combined.
Either way, it's just an honor to be nominated. And a pretty substantial honor to be nominated so many times. Even if you should, like Julie Ann, already have 2 gold boys on the shelf. If Moore pulls off this fifth nomination on February 2nd, 2010 she'll be in the very elite club of actresses to have been honored 5 times or more.
The Top 27 Oscar Women
- Meryl Streep (15 noms, 2 wins)
- Katherine Hepburn (12 noms, 4 wins) deceased
- Bette Davis (10 noms, 2 wins) deceased
- Geraldine Page (8 noms, 1 win) deceased
- Ingrid Bergman (7 noms, 3 wins) deceased
- Jane Fonda (7 noms, 2 wins) out of retirement - yay! Now where are the Big Drama roles?
- Greer Garson (7 noms, 1 win) deceased
- (tie) Jessica Lange and Maggie Smith (6 noms, 2 wins)
- (5 way tie and all of them are still working regularly -- someone will break this tie) Sissy Spacek, Vanessa Redgrave, Judi Dench, Kate Winslet and Ellen Burstyn (6 noms, 1 win)
- (Oscarless tie) Deborah Kerr & Thelma Ritter (6 noms, 0 wins) both deceased
- (tie) Elizabeth Taylor and Olivia de Havilland (5 noms, 2 wins) both retired
- (7 way tie) Cate Blanchett, Audrey Hepburn deceased, Shirley Maclaine*, Anne Bancroft deceased, Jennifer Jones retired, Susan Sarandon Norma Shearer** deceased (5 noms, 1 win)
- (Oscarless tie) Glenn Close & Irene Dunne deceased (5 noms, 0 wins)
**Norma Shearer could also be considered tied for 9th depending on how you count her double nomination.
Actresses with fewer nominations are too plentiful to list... but Julianne Moore, Emma Thompson and Frances McDormand are looking like the current (only?) threats to the esteemed company above. That should give you a clue as to how rare 5^ nominations truly is in Oscar's 81 years.
Think Julie will pull it off on February 2nd?