Sunday, June 24, 2007

Halfway Point: Best Supporting Actress (So Far)

2007 is (almost) halfway over. Time to recalibrate those Oscar predictions...
But first, a few thoughts on where we've been and the sidelined women who helped us get there. If I voted today on my film bitch awards, the five Supporting Actresses would be drawn from this group of eleven. Evening pulls into harbor very soon with about that many actresses in tow. But I don't feel like waiting...

Those eleven turns skew towards comedic and genre work but they're all good stuff. If the Oscar voters had to choose from this year's slim pickings in January ~ June I'm guessing (it's always guesswork) that you'd see these women as the shortlisters
  • Dukakis -Away From Her (former winner)
  • Fonda -Georgia Rule (legend. they'd demote her to support)
  • Mann -Knocked Up (comedic spot & hit film)
  • Thomson -Away From Her (empathetic ... and to avoid the genre perfs)
  • Weaver -The TV Set (comedic spot & celebrity)
I'm guessing (perhaps näively) that they'd avoid Felicity Huffman (Georgia Rule) even though she's got the baitest supporting role yet this year as an alcoholic mother -- only Dukakis's longsuffering spouse rivals her for bait --on account of the suck factor. Boy was she bad in that movie. I hope she's working the steps in Overactors Anonymous even as I type.

But let's be real. The AMPAS voters don't vote halfway through the year and none of these women will survive to make the Oscar cut come January. The fates of supporting performers are very dependent on the overall reception of the picture they appear in and the lead performances they enhance. We haven't seen one of our Best Pictures yet.

Do you have a favorite 2007 supporting actress yet? If so sing her praises in the comments. Make your case. [My updated Oscar predictions]

P.S. StinkyLulu & gang are also talking supporting actress (albeit for 1978). It's a real sibilant spectacle: Stinky's Seventies Smackdown: Streep. Stapleton. Smith. Check it out. I hope to return to that smackdowning party next month.


Anonymous said...

Atwell's an interesting choice. She's been quite good in her recent television work and definitely deserving of some more work, but in a year that seems stuffed with "breakthrough" work (Abbie Cornish, Romola Garai) in more baitier work.

As for Huffman... she's got a leading role coming up in "The Politician's Wife" - a remake of a great miniseries. We may see her turn up in leading instead. Whouldathunkit?

RahulB said...

Bollywood actress Tabu in The Namesake. Her and Irfaan Khan were the best parts of that great film. I deeply enjoyed it (maybe, because I'm an Indian immigrant in this country as well).

Anonymous said...

If there is to be a double nom for Atonement in this category I'm pretty sure Saoirse Ronan will have to be one of them. She also has the most screen time of the three actresses playing that character.
Redgrave's part is supposedly a very small one.

Edward Copeland said...

As of now, my two favorites are Kristen Thomson and Leslie Mann. I also liked Laura Linney in Breach, though she could do that role in her sleep.

Chinese Odyssey said...

So far, beside Dukakis and Mann, I will say Deborra-Lee Furness in Jindabyne, Carrie-Anne Moss in Snow Cake, and Laura Linney in Breach.

Love these three performances that are both understated and passionate,just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

My favorites are King and Dern in year of the dog...great performances that I can definitively say are supporting

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the vast majority of these films/perfs. From my screenings thus far, I'd perhaps single out Chloe Sevigny for Zodiac. Good, ego-free, solid support, and made me care with all-too-brief screen time.

Slim pickings for me though...


adam k. said...

Um, Rose McGowen was very much the female lead of Planet Terror. As far as I could tell. The only way you could call her supporting is if you're saying it's an "ensemble" with no leads, but since they focused mainly on the love story, I'd say McGowen is definitely one of the film's two leads.
Anyway, sorry, that just stuck out.

Aside from her (really liked her in that), I remember really enjoying Regina King in Year of the Dog. I just found her hilarious, and rather inexplicably so. I always love her, but for me, she was totally the highlight of that movie.

And I liked Dukakis a lot, too. Don't you think she has a shot to survive till the end of the year? People were talking about her a lot when that came out. Since Christie and the script will get attention, she WILL be on their radar screen, and like you said, it's a baity role. Maybe not exceedingly likely that she'll make it, but it's certainly possible.

Anonymous said...

I'm counting on Evan Rachel Wood to be great in In Bloom.
I also am going with the kid, Saoirse Ronan for Atonement instead of Garai.
Cornish seems a good bet.
No Boleyn Girl actors please! I think this project is overrated....and neither of those girls can do a good accent, let's face it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rahulb. This year i Liked very much Tabu. I'm not really rooting for THE NAMESAKE, but I think Tabu's performance is excellent and nuanced. Besides I love indian cinema, Tabu is one of the most respcted indian thespian, so I'd like she will be the first to enjoy consideration by the american awards circuit when we'll be at the end of the year. Let's hope...

Mirko S.


rahul --thanks for the reminder. Yeah, i shoulda had Tabu in my list to draw from (forgot. oops)

adam --good point on McGowan. honestly i keep thinking of Planet Terror as half the movie. hence i didn't even notice that. i notice IMDb considers Grindhouse to be one movie. i wonder if they'll change their pages when they are released on DVD as separate films?

Anonymous said...

I certainly agree with the mention of Tabu...I really wasn't a fan of the movie, but her performance was very respectable (one of my favorites thus far).

Oh, and most certainly Laura Dern for "Year of the Dog."

J.D. said...

Actually Death Proof has a separated page for the international release. Planet Terror has no set release, so no separate page.

Glenn Dunks said...

"I will say Deborra-Lee Furness in Jindabyne"

You made my night Chinese Odyssey. I would hope that if voting was held today that the studio would send out screeners for Jindabyne and Furness, Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne would all get in in their respective categories.

Can somebody else go see this movie please.

Andy Scott said...

A Leslie Mann nomination would be nice.

And we must never speak of Felicity Huffman's awful performance again. Georgia rule!

Anonymous said...

Leslie Mann! Pleaseohplease.


i regret that i waited to see it. it's gone from NYC now. i tried to see it this weekend (when i ended up at fantastic four -sigh) but it wasn't anywhere

i shoulda acted quicker

StinkyLulu said...

I haven't seen all the nominees on your list -- and I blinked & missed Jindabyne for the 5 days it screened here -- but this morning I'd pick the following with a presumptive nod to Furness or the La Vie lady for the 5th slot.

Laura Dern
Leslie Mann
Kristen Thomson

Glenn Dunks said...

Oh well. Jindabyne is a film that works well on DVD (it's intimate and dialogue heavy) but you won't get the feeling of Deborra-Lee Furness quite literally swallowing you hole and spitting out your bones.

The only supporting female performance from this year that will get anywhere close to my final five is Katie Wall from Noise. And if she makes it then I guess it'll be a weak year. She was very good, but not "I need to nominate her!" worthy. I guess a Chloe Sevigny nod for Zodiac wouldn't be terrible, but that would merely be because there's nobody else.

Neel Mehta said...

Loving the Indian love -- about damn time, people -- but Tabu is a lead in The Namesake. In the book, the parents are supporting characters, but Mira Nair wisely elevated them for the movie.

I can see Irffan Khan (who, with glasses, looks like an Indian version of Rainn Wilson) going either way, judging from the limited screen time. But he was great.

J.D. said...

For some odd reason, Jindabyne is still in my area. Should I see it. Keep in mind it's 25 miles away and it's R, so, yeah. I wish I could too.

Anonymous said...

technically speaking it's true Tabu is (more or less) a leading lady in the film, but I think it will be better for her to be campaigned as supporting.
I don't wanna be perceived as pro-fraud category, but actually I think it would be a thing much more acceptable than the JAMIE FOXX for COLLATERAL thing, as everybody can remember...
For example even put her in the supporting category

Mirko S.

Anonymous said...

I definitely think this years Best Suporting Actress cateory will be filled with young guns, you have Garai (clear front runner on many sites), Wood and Corish.

Every review coming out suggests Romola Garai outshines everyone in Atonement and the actress has been on the brink of stardom for a long time and this year might be her due.

I will put Garai in instead of Ronan.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen any reviews that suggests Garai outshines everyone in Atonement.
Not that there have been any proper reviews at all, strictly speaking.

But the movie was screened for parts of the British press last week. These are the reactions I've seen:
The Daily Mail
The Observer
Heat Magazine
All extremely positive, but none of them singling out Garai. (Or Ronan, for that matter).

There's also a poster on who claims to have seen an early version back in March. He gave it 10 out of ten and did single out Ronan as being particularly good.

I seem to remember a poster on what used to be the forums raving about Ronan as well.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure whther Meryl Streep would be considered Supporting for Lions for Lambs?

Anonymous said...

My favorite has been Margo Martindale's performance in Alexander Payne's segment for Paris, Je Taime. She delivers a monologue that is even better then Virginia Madsen's in Sideways.

Anonymous said...

Delighted to see Jennifer Jason Leigh moved up to first place on your Supporting predix. She looks like a scene-stealer in the trailer and she was raved in the test screening review:

Anonymous said...

If Knocked Up really wants some Oscar gold it should put Katherine Hiegl in supporting!!! That's the way to do it...

Beau said...

Rose McGowan - Grindhouse
Marley Shelton - Grindhouse
Juliette Binoche - Paris Je T'aime
Catalina Sandino Moreno - Paris Je T'aime
Margo Martindale - Paris Je T'aime

No, I did not catch 'Namesake', 'TV Set' or 'Year of the Dog', school prevented me from doing so. Yes, I've seen 'Away from Her', 'Knocked Up' and 'Zodiac. I've loved Mann for years now, but something about the character itself was just off-putting to me. I thought it was very strong work, but didn't scream Oscar! for me. The best perf in that entire film was Paul Rudd, hands down. Easily one of our strongest comedic actors working today. Chloe Sevingy added nothing to 'Zodiac', but I thought the film was brilliant (one of, if not the best released so far) and she was perfectly adequate. 'Away from Her' belongs to Julie Christie and, to a lesser extent, Gordon Pinsent. Dukakis and Thomson were fine, but neither particularly overwhelmed me.

I'm going for the girls in 'Grindhouse' simply because that has to be one of the most difficult things for an actor to achieve. You're in a genre that has to be played straight even though the events surrounding these individuals are completely ridiculous, and they step up to the plate and hit home runs. I particularly loved McGowan's 'Fuck' bit with Rodriguez, and Shelton's needles. Both were perfection in their respective bits, and when after six months of films, theirs are the ones that stick in my head most vividly? It says something. It says a hell of a lot.

The ladies of 'Paris Je T'aime' were amazing in their own right as well. Granted, each only has five minutes to fill, but in those five minutes lay more opportunity than the majority of roles given to women this year. Let's start with Catalina. Woman KILLED in 'Maria Full of Grace' and has wisely strayed from commercial crap since. All she does her, essentially, is one song twice, under different circumstances and to two very different individuals. How she sings them, though, is what makes this performance sparkle. With subtlety and sadness, she makes this one of the more memorable parts of the film.
Margo Martindale creates a life in seven minutes. 'Nuff said.

Were I to give the award out now?
It's Juliette Binoche.
Hands down.
I'm not even going to tell you what happens in her segment, I'm not even going to dare. All I'm saying is that I saw 'Paris Je T'aime' twice, and both times I came dangerously close to shedding tears because of this woman. On repeat viewing, I generally don't react the same to a certain scene the way I did before because, naturally, I've already viewed it. Not the case here. The woman broke my heart in two. Fantastic.

And anyone who thinks her performance was overwrought had better speak up, because we've got some talking to do.

Anonymous said...

Catalina Sandino Moreno has a good chance with Love in the Time of Cholera,a movie people are still underestimating.

And having seen a screeing of Atonement months ago I say Romola Garai is the breakthrough star of the year. Redgrave's appearence is nothing more than a cameo and for only 10 minutes tops. Ronan was good but I found her a bit too wooden for my liking in portraying Briony's emotions during the important scenes.
Garai nailed it in latter scenes especially during her apology to Robbie and Cecilia (by far the BEST scene in the movie)

Can't wait for In Bloom as well, I still haven't recovered from Evan's Thirteen snub in favor of Keisha Castle Hughes.

Anonymous said...

"Every review coming out suggests Romola Garai outshines everyone in Atonement and the actress has been on the brink of stardom for a long time and this year might be her due."

Are you kidding me? That's a crock of crap and you know it. If anything it;'s the other way around Romola Garai isn't even on the freaking Radar blip for this movie. If anything it's a Knightley McAvoy machine.