Thursday, February 05, 2009


StinkyLulu makes a very fine case for Penélope Cruz as a "should win" at the Oscars (less than three weeks away now, kids).

<-- Maria Elena tells it like it T-I-is

Okay okay... so technically Lulu, the high priestess of supporting actressness, is rooting for one Viola Davis but this particular write up tipped the scale for me, it did. Give Cruz that naked gold man, Academy peeps. You know she's on a real roll. Think about it. Career peaks don't last forever. Strike while the iron she is so freaking hot!

[This FYC is brought to you by a sudden unplanned Cruz tear here at the Film Experience. She's everywhere in these blog posts.]


Anonymous said...

Give me all Cruz, all the time. I can't get enough.

If she doesn't win (and I don't think she will), I'm going to be verrrrrrrrry sad :(:(:(

gabrieloak said...

I'm still rooting for Marisa. And if she wins, which she probably won't, I think people would be fine with it because she's that good in the film.

adam k. said...

I loooove Cruz in this film. It's still so memorable after all this time. My lebsian artist best friend who was rather disappointed with the film as a whole - it was her first Woody Allen, she had high expectations - looked over to me shortly after Cruz appeared and exclaimed "she. is. BRILLIANT. in this." She really cuts through the Woody crap and transcends the limitations of the film.

I watched Viola's one Doubt scene on YouTube - haven't yet seen the whole thing - and I gotta say, at this point, I'm still firmly in Cruz's camp. I love Viola, but nothing she did topped the marvel that was Cruz.

I'm starting to worry for her. Cruz, I mean. Winning the oscar. I feel like they'll give it to Viola to give Doubt something, and to show their racial tolerance (again), and to avoid doing the obvious thing, and to avoid seeming like their whoring for the Javi/Penelope moment. And then justify it with the notion that she could win it next year, or whatever.

But I hope I'm wrong.


gabriel -- i agree that nobody would be horrified by a second Marisa win. But I also don't think it's likely.

RahulB said...

A Marisa win would be pretty unexpected though...

And I genuinely think that some shocking wins are upon us. It just seems destined you know - when almost everything is sealed up...a couple of curve balls to throw everyone off their game.

I do think this telecast will have the lowest ratings - and not because of any TDK/Wall-E nonsense, but I just don't think people are interested in seeing "glamor" when they don't have a job.

Lucas Dantas said...

"alex in movieland" commented this there:
Alex in Movieland said...
such a beautiful & honest performance.
Unlike any of the other nominees, Penelope does seem unreplaceble. I can't think of someone who could've done a better job playing Maria Elena.

and that's exactly what i think about this year's best supporting actress oscar race. don't get me wrong, 'cept for henson in benjamin button, i have seen and love them all. but honestly, no other has stayed with me so longer [during and after the film] like cruz's maria elena. the first thing i thought on her very first scene in vcb was: SHE'S A FORCE OF NATURE!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Penelope Cruz for the Oscar! It took you long enough to get onboard. I was there in August of 2008. I adore her so much in "VCB". Maria Elena just pops every single time she's on the screen, and Cruz's performance captured me in a way that none of the other nominees did or even came close to doing. There's no other comparison in the category to me this year.

Anonymous said...

I agree. There is no comparison in this category. Cruz's performance is simply riveting and electric. I was on board for an Oscar win back in August. I knew I had seen something truly special. Cruz has also been campaigning brilliantly, so hopefully it will all pay off later this month.

Anonymous said...

@ Adam K

or maybe they would just vote for Viola because they liked her performance more? To rationalize it to that reason demeans both her and her performance. It's a little insulting.

I honestly would be happy if any of the three won Cruz/Davis/Tomei but I think Cruz will win on feb. 22. She's coming off another recent nomination and another great performance in Elegy and she has Weinstein by her side.

Anonymous said...

Also Viola didn't get a Bafta nomination but Amy did which leads me to believe her votes will split.

Glenn said...

Sam, Nat has liked Pene for this role since he saw it too... unless I misread what you wrote.

I hope she wins too. It shocks me to learn she's only in 15 minutes worth of the movie. I guess they spend so much of the first pre-arrival talking about her that it feels like much longer.

And my non-film-obsessive fans also loved Cruz in this. Even those who wouldn't know an Allen film from an Almodovar film simply adore her.

StinkyLulu said...

Thanks, Nat, for the link.

I've said for a long time that it's Cruz's trophy to lose and, for a while there, it did seem like LaKate was going to make that happen.

Now that the field has been cleared of the incredible force of the Winslet, we're sorta back to where we were before the precursors began...with Penélope the near sure thing.

That said, I'm still of the mind that Adams is the real spoiler in this race. My reasoning? Basically, Henson (as good as she is generally) is this year's coaster and in the "honor just being nominated" zone. Tomei's entered the 3+-noms sorority, which actually makes it harder to win for simply doing reliably excellent work. Davis is the "outta nowhere breakthrough performance" and all, and a real contender, but I just don't see it. Adams, it seems to me, is poised to snag the Hollywood business bias and her publicity machine has been priming the pump for her win since last year's ceremony at least. So, if there's any kind of lapse away from Cruz, my gut tells me it will be to Amy's benefit.

But -- all told -- I'm not dismayed by any of these nominees. All are excellent actresses. Each does interesting, diverse work. All are still building brilliant careers. And each of them contribute invaluably to their respective films.

adam k. said...

Well obviously if she won it would be largely because of her performance. But it's silly to think people don't think about other things, too, when voting, or even vote on other things subconsciously. There are always other factors. Just like if Cruz won, it would be partially because of Volver, because of Javier, etc.

Actually part of what I love about Viola is that she seems incredibly cool and chill as a celebrity and seems like she wouldn't be insulted by those things but would just recognize them as part of the biz and go with it. Maybe that's presumptuous but whatever. It's a complement.

I love both actresses, but have a special attachment to this Cruz performance and really think it's her time, so I'm pulling for her. And of course that means I'm finding reasons to doubt her win.

gabrieloak said...

I know this is crazy but I think in this case the Academy may not vote for Cruz because she really doesn't need an Oscar for her career.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this the most exciting lineup of Supporting Actress nominees since 1999/2000 (Collette, Jolie, Keener, Morton, Sevigny)? Such a diverse, now reliably excellent group.

Anonymous said...

look to bafta this weekend to tell us.

Anonymous said...

i like the nominees and am rooting for adams or cruz but i would have preferred dewitt over henson.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post, Nathaniel. It gives me the chance to congratulate and thank StinkyLulu for her Supporting Actress Sundays series. I love it. And as I can't comment there, this is the perfect occasion to do it here.

I linked myself to this excellent piece on Cruz a few days ago at AD. I hope StinkyLulu doesn't mind. ;)

I wholeheartedly agree with everything she says on Cruz's performance.

I'm rooting for Cruz, but I'm afraid she won't get it, backlash hasn't been too noisy, but continuous for some weeks now (I guess you can't be a contender for so long without suffering from it). It's funny to see how she was the first clear contender in this category, then Winslet entered the race and instantly became the frontrunner, then people switched to Viola Davis once Winslet became lead, and now it seems Tomei is getting more love. So, maybe from today to the 22nd Feb, there'll be time for Adams and Henson.

I really liked a lot Davis in Doubt, it was my favourite performance in that movie (a movie I don't love, though admittedly, a movie that can recover from starting with a sermon should be above average), which I'm not sure is saying something positive on her performance or speaks more about the rest of the cast... But I don't think she'll get it either, because I think awards for one scene performances are reserved for screen legends or legendary roles.

Tomei would have more possibilities if she were in a movie with more nominations (imo), I think the Academy is becoming more reluctant to give second Oscars and even in spite of recent cases, I think there must be a sort of perfect planet alignment for this to happen. And I don't think it's the case. Not even Penn, a far more respected actor has it in the bag and Milk is a BP contender.

So, all this to say I think Adams will be the upset in this category, even though personally, I didn't like her character (and so somehow, the performance*). But she's got almost all the external factors Cruz has: similar age, similar hotness(!?), similar residual love for past performances, she just doesn't have a Javier on stage. But she's got probably the most important factor: not being the frontrunner.

*Isn't it a co-lead in fact?

Anonymous said...

Sam, Nat has liked Pene for this role since he saw it too... unless I misread what you wrote.

I meant predicting her for the win, not simply liking Cruz when "VCB" came out. I remember Nate liking the performance.

Anonymous said...

Urgh! All this talk leaves me so disappointed I missed "Doubt" when it came to The Peg. I have no opinion of my own when it comes to Adams and Davis' performances. On my way to rent "VCB" tonight, until then I'm firmly in Tomei's camp. Although, that means she'd be on par with Shelley Winters and Dianne Wiest....hmmm........whatever. Until I see the other two movies, Tomei for the win!
P.S. I would be tickled pink if Taraji won, been a fan of hers since "Baby Boy", and I think she was totally snubbed in 05, I thought she was better than Keener, McDormand or Williams that year.

Anonymous said...