We're ten months away from finding out what films from 2010 the Academy decide are worthy enough to join the lofty ranks of Best Picture nominees - /snark - but by this time last year we had already been advised that Mo'Nique was going to win an Oscar for a movie that co-starred Mariah Carey and that a British unknown was poised to steal thunder and glory from the likes of Meryl Streep. Only one of those things came true, but it bears repeating, so it's never too early to start the For Your Consideration campaign for someone who is completely and utterly deserving.
That someone is Jacki Weaver as "Janine Cody" in Animal Kingdom.
I saw David Michôd's debut feature a couple of weeks ago now and it is very good. So good, in fact, that it has been picked up for American distribution by an actual distributor with cash flow and resources and the ability to market something to more than just a few 60-seat arthouse cinemas in New York City (that would be Sony Pictures Classics)! Animal Kingdom is a Melbourne-set crime drama revolving around a family of armed bank robbers and the young teenager who gets drawn into their dirty deeds.
Jacki Weaver, a sort of acting legend here in Australia, plays the family matriarch who has a creepy need to pash her sons (and grandsons) on the lips to show her unflinching devotion. What makes Weaver's performance so delicious is how she spends much of the first half slowly building her character's persona as the quiet, ever-smiling, loving mother. All that changes as the film's second half brings about a twist and lovely ol' Mrs Cody becomes an embodiment of evil, unleashing her puppet master skills as she tries to blackmail, cover-up, extort and manipulate those around her into dancing to her tune.
I wrote in my review that Weaver's performance is "sure to be remembered as one of the finest displays of acting ever committed to an Australian film", and it reminds me of the recent towering performances of Mo'Nique and Javier Bardem. This lady will give you nightmares.
Nathaniel ranked Ms Weaver as a long shot for Best Supporting Actress honours at the Academy Awards based on, I imagine, the buzz that came out of Sundance and from people such as myself who couldn't shut up about her. I walked out of the cinema wanting to shout "Jacki Weaver just won the Academy Award!" but I didn't because she's old, she's foreign and features in a movie that will probably go way too underseen to really make much of a charge, but boy would it be sweet to see this 62-year-old unknown actress ("unknown" in the grand scheme of Academy things) plow right on through to an Oscar nomination.
So I, right here, put forth a year long FYC campaign for Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom. It's released in Australia on the 3rd of June and will hopefully see an American release sometime later in the year. But enough about me and my wishes, I'd love to know if any readers out there have seen anything that they think strongly merits a studio plonking down the cash for a FYC campaign. The Ghost Writer? Shutter Island? Hot Tub Time Machine? A Razzie FYC for the latter, I'm sure.