Saturday, January 10, 2009

My Supporting Actress Ballot

I hope you were here last Sunday for my ode to EVE in WALL•E as one of the best female "performances" of the year. I was joking but I'm completely serious about that great film's achievements... in multiple areas, too (I am sad that it will be passed over for a Best Picture nomination in two week's time. I've seen WALL•E three times and each time it improves). So, let's get serious now and talk Best Supporting Actress ballots ...sans robots.

For the Oscar race, I'm predicting Penélope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Viola Davis (Doubt), Taraji P Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler) and Kate Winslet (The Reader). It'll be a respectable list. But it's not my list.

The awards season races are always interesting but they can be so misleading when it comes to representing a film year. The field gets narrowed very quickly... and there are usually more than five noteworthy everything in a year. This is why I love StinkyLulu's annual blog-a-thon so much -- it honors so many women. In the interest of overkill, here's a grid of my 20 favorite Supporting Actresses performances this year (in no particular order)

But here's what I finally settled on for my ballot.
___________Return and tell me what yours would say.

This weekend: Actor, Director and Supporting Actor


RJ said...

Donde esta?


it's there. sorry. fixed.

Bernardo said...

Haha I'm so much better at predicting the FilmBitches than the Oscars...

So far... 5/5 in Supporting Actress and Adapted Screenplay
4/5 in Picture
...:( 3/5 in Original Screenplay

Sam Brooks said...

Is that a Charlize Theron I spy?

You mean somebody remembers pre-Dark Knight?


Bernardo said...

Oh and Nat I love that you have Ari Graynor in Nick and Norah's in your Top 20. I thought she was awesome: one of the best comic turns of the year and the only part I thoroughly enjoyed of the film

Anonymous said...

I still have 6 or 7 movies to see to round out the year (Rev Road, Gran Torino, Wrestler, Frost/Nixon, Christmas Tale, The Class) so this list isn't complete...but here's who I would have on my ballot, in no order:

Taraji P Henson, Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Amy Adams, Doubt
Misti Upham, Frozen River
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Emma Thompson, Brideshead Revisited

If I followed category fraud, Winslet would replace Henson. Honorable mentions: Samantha Morton, Synecdoche, New York, Rosemarie Dewitt, Rachel Getting Married, Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man, and Toni Collette, Towelhead

Cluster Funk said...

Hmm...I don't see Rosemarie DeWitt in that grid. Was sure she'd be in the top 20.

Cluster Funk said...
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Dominique said...

Yeah, I'm with Cluster Funk. No DeWitt?

Dominique said...

Oh wait, just saw the top 5. Still, why not in the grid?

gabrieloak said...
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gabrieloak said...

I'm voting over at Awards Daily.
I'm trying to vote for some actresses who haven't been promoted this Oscar season. So my tentative list of five includes Hiam Abbass, Samantha Morton, Hanna Schygulla, Emma Thompson, and Kate Winslet (my one exception).

RahulB said...

You have a tough choice in the coming days (weeks?) ahead...fantastic list.

Anonymous said...

I wish Winger had made the cut but awesome lineup all the same.

I especially love the comment you made under Tomei (regarding her line reading). I felt the exact same way.

Anonymous said...

My nominees…

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
The Dark Knight
Rachel Getting Married
The Wrestler

Viola Davis- DOUBT
Marisa Tomei- THE WRESTLER

The Class
The Dark Knight
Savage Grace

4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days
Rachel Getting Married
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
The Wrestler

Nick M. said...

Well, we have one crossover. Here's my line-up:

Sally Hawkins, Cassandra’s Dream
Flo Jacobs, Momma's Man
Samantha Morton, Synecdoche, New York
Tarra Riggs, Ballast
Hanna Schygulla, The Edge of Heaven

Anonymous said...

Good call on Samantha Morton. I'm shocked you didn't nominate Patricia Clarkson! She's still the pro! I LOVED her in Elegy. "Why don't you stick it on your bagel and eat it?" Patty's so witty =)

Glenn said...

In a sad admission, only one of your final five supporting actress ladies has seen a release in Australia. However, by the end of the month Doubt and The Wrestler will be out, Rachel in Feb and SNY doesn't have a distributor here. :(

I don't think I'll ever quite get the Taraji Henson love. I just won't.

Film Knower said...

Yeah pretty good lineup. I'm surprised Henson missed the cut, I thought you were full in love with that performance.

this is my top ten in supporting actress:

1. Rosario Dawson, Seven Pounds
2. Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
3. Toni Collette, The Black Balloon
4. Samantha Morton, Mister Lonely
5. Clémence Poésy, In Bruges

6. Gemma Ward, The Black Balloon
7. Abbie Cornish, Stop-Loss
8. Tilda Swinton, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
9. Alexis Zegerman, Happy-Go-Lucky
10. Tilda Swinton, Burn After Reading

It kinda sucks you didn't see The Black Balloon or Seven Pounds before you announced this. Maybe 2009 Supporting Actress?

J.D. said...


My nominees atm:

Hiam Abbass, The Visitor
Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
Kate Winslet, The Reader

I wish I could find room for any of the Christmas Tale ladies (especially Mastroianni) or even Rachel Weisz (MBN), but I can't. Ah, well.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there's no Victoria Winge for "Reprise" even in honorable mentions. I didn't love the film half as much as you did, but I think her work is great.
My list: Clarkson for "Elegy", Preis for "Four nights with Anna", Winge for "Reprise" and two boring ones: Cruz for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Tomei for "The Wrestler".
Though I haven't seen "Synecdoche...", "The Edge of Heaven" and probably a lot of worthy supporting roles.

Anonymous said...

here are my top 5 in no particuular order

1 - marisa tomei -the wrestler
2 - misty upham - frozen river
3 - rosario dawson - seven pounds
4 - penelope cruz - vicky christina barcelona
5 - charlize theron - sleepwalking

Anonymous said...

nat i don't recognise some of the 20 can you list them.

Anonymous said...

Hiam Abbass, "The Visitor"
Patricia Clarkson, "Elegy"
Samantha Morton, "Synecdoche, New York"
Kate O'Flynn, "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Michelle Williams, "Synecdoche, New York"

It pains me to give any nomination to a film as dreary as "Elegy," but Clarkson's work in it is so precise and witty, she seems to have been beamed in from another universe.

Morton wins this by a mile, though.

Pivo said...

I recognize it's polemic and we could spend hours discussing it, but... I think DeWitt's "Rachel" is a leading role. A 'second' leading or a co-leading, but still a leading role.

James Colon said...

I think I'm the only person who thinks Debra Winger's short window in RACHEL GETTING MARRIED as the Best Performance by a Supporting Actress. I know she's only on screen for a handful minutes, but can't you say the same thing about Viola Davis in DOUBT?

Anonymous said...


you don't think Theron deserves a mention at the very least ?

traitor !!


she's in the grid!

Oh and for whats it's worth the grid is from left to right:

henson -button
thompson -brideshead
clarkson -elegy
cruz -vicky
emmnauelle -a christmas tale
graynor -nick & norah
chiari -a christmas tale
adams -doubt
morton -synecdoche
saurrate -last mistress
dana -roman de gare
tomei -the wrestler
deneuve -a christmas tale
abbas -visitor
wiest -synecdoche
henderson -miss pettigrew
davis -doubt
dewitt -rachel
theron -sleepwalking
winger -rachel

AND YEAH, i totally forgot DeWitt... (how embarrassing)so i added her back in!

Preiss from Four Nights With Anna isn't on there because films without release I don't consider eligible for prizes.

Anonymous said...

I hope Rosemarie doesn't take the Gold Medal.

Anonymous said...

because I think Samantha Morton deserves it. 'Synechdoche' is an underrated work.

Anonymous said...

yeah nat why were u takes with theron.

gabrieloak said...

So what about Hanna Schygulla? Why isn't she in the grid?

Anonymous said...

My Current Ballot:

Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Catherine Deneuve, A Christmas Tale
Ronit Elkabetz, The Band's Visit
Frances McDormand, Burn After Reading

.... although I have yet to see The Wrestler and Rachel Getting Married, so Tomei and DeWitt could unseat some of those women.

Pablete said...

Why many people are describing Penelope cruz as "Latina" when she is from Spain. In any case, the Spaniard is a Latin, just like the French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.

Spain is in Europe! I do not want to invite angry and ugly disputes, but we (Spaniards) do not describe ourselves as such. When we come to the USA, we are described as "White/Causian".

Thank you! I hope I am not offending anybody. "Latino/a" is a very confusing term. Central and South Americans should decide how they want to be referred to as well. It is very mixed down there, just like in the USA. It is also important to notice that being "white" is ethnical as well because it relates to a common background and ancestry, a European one. We (white people) should be more sensitive to this matter when approaching our vision of other cultures and our own.

Kurtis O said...

- Rosemarie DeWitt, "Rachel Getting Married"
- Rebecca Hall, "Vicky Crisina Barcelona"
(Lead, my butt, HFPA. Her face didn't even land on the poster.)
- Viola Davis, "Doubt"
- Hiam Abbass, "The Visitor"
- Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"

*Honorable Mention:
- Vera Farmiga, "Nothing but the Truth" and "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"


pablete --i changed it. And I understand. In fact, we had the discussion right here about Latina / Hispanic / Spaniard back in 2006 and I just spaced...

I was trying to get at the stereotype of the exotic foreigner... i wasn't necessarily thinking of Spain or Latin America or whatnot. In fact, I was actually thinking of Penelope's Sophia Loren/Anna Magnani phase... which is Italian even (not Spanish or Latina)... so i apologize. i was publishing in a hurry before sleeping.

Anonymous said...

That top 5 is some kind of sexy... I haven't gotten to see The Wrestler yet, but I'm excited for Tomei. Love it!


isn't it?

god i love the actresses

Pablete said...

Thank you very much for understanding, Nathaniel! I thought you were trying to establish a comparison between Penelope Cruz and the legendary Sophia Loren. I assumed that it was your intention to relate to the exotic North-American vision of the Southern Europe (Italy, France, Spain...),focusing mainly on its culture and understanding of live. Thank you for the change!

Anonymous said...

@ pablete

I don't want to go on or heat up a non-cinematic discussion. But I think in the case of actors, musicians, etc, it's themselves (or their managers, etc) who market themselves as such because the latino slot is much wider than the Spaniard one.

As far as supporting actresses go, I loved Cruz in VCB (haven't seen most of the others), and it made me wonder if sometimes leading thespians shouldn't take more supporting roles from time to time, as a kind of acting work out to get muscle.

Anonymous said...

lovely line-up!
I give Dewitt the win,I hope you do too.
And Tomei two years in a row! glad to see this recognition,I love her.
And I think you are loving her too.

Anonymous said...

Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler
Rosemarie DeWitt, Rachel Getting Married
Hanna Schygulla, The Edge of Heaven
Thandie Newton, W
Catherine Deneuve, A Christmas Tale

I refuse to put Winslet on this list for THE READER because she should get her Best Actress nomination for that and NOT for REV ROAD.

And, Nathaniel, sorry but I really thought Newton was splendid. She could have been in a Preston Sturges picture.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping that Penelope Cruz gets a Film Bitch double nomination! I think her Elegy performance is really stunning. Hope it pans out that way.

- Adam

Anonymous said...

my list is same as yours... however, I did not see Samantha Morton's performance ( a fine actress )... so I reluctantly am putting Winslet in the fifth slot, even though I don't care for the performance that much.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised there's no Rosemarie Dewitt's lead rah-rahing here. I haven't seen Samantha Morton, so I'd replace her with Amy Adams. Hiam Abbass should have been cited somewhere too. I might have placed her over Viola Davis. She's awesome and all, but something about that scene didn't sit well with me.

Anonymous said...

Why many people are describing Penelope cruz as "Latina" when she is from Spain. In any case, the Spaniard is a Latin, just like the French, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.

This doesn't make sense. Which one is it? She shouldn't be called Latina b/c she's from Spain, but your next sentence says that "a Spainiard is a Latin."

Anonymous said...

Sorry to see that Taraji P Henson didn't even make your finalist list. :( I thought she gave one of the performances of the year.

Anonymous said...

thank god no taraji p henson one of those that gets me every year loads of buzz praise and noms i think she will be booted at the oscars in favour of tomei,anyone feel the supp actress line up may be winslet,davis,dewitt,tomei,cruz.

Anonymous said...

there has to geot to be a tommy lee jones wtf nom come oscar morning.

pic - the reader
dir - daldry
act - dicaprio
ass - blanchett
s/act - fiennes - the reader
s/ass - dewitt

Anonymous said...

Taraji P. Henson was excellent in "Benjamin Button". Better than Tilda Swinton. I'd love to see Henson break the final five.

Anonymous said...

Kate Winslet was amazing in The Reader I think she will, but I think Viola Davis should win she was brilliant in Doubt. Ur blog rox my sox.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

My Ballot:
1. Penélope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2. Sienna Miller - The Edge of Love
3. Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4. Emma Thompson - Brideshead Revisited
5. Kathy Bates - Revolutionary Road

Anonymous said...

i'm glad that Chiara Mastroianni is in your top 20. she was my personal favorite female performance in "a christmas tale"

Anonymous said...

My line-up:

Penelope Cruz … Elegy & Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Marisa Tomei … The Wrestler
Misty Upham … Frozen River
Hanna Schygulla … The Edge of Heaven
Debra Winger … Rachel Getting Married