Saturday, March 27, 2010

Smackdown


2006 Best Actress. This is one of the Smackdowns when picking #1 is as easy as it can be, but the rest is awfully hard to decide. Three of them (almost) completely control their movies and two of them easily could have been pushed supporting. My pick is very obvious because it's one of the greatest performances ever given.
So:

1. Judi Dench in Notes on Scandal: When you first hear Barbara you don't know much about her, she just seems to be an old snobbish spinster complaining about how the world has changed. BUT, in time you realize that she's a manipulative old bitch ruining other people's lives while saying it's the best for them and acting like a good guy. Many say that she plays a crazy lesbian, but I think this is not the case (at least not completely). Barbara became crazy because of her loneliness and is desperate to have some connection to someone. But no matter what you think about Dame Judi's character, we can agree that she's brilliant (even more brilliant than the usual).
My Grade: *****(*****)

2. Kate Winslet in Little Children: Little Children was an excellent movie even with its flaws, but Kate Winslet completely shines in her role as the adulterous and bored housewife, who is simply frustrated in her life. I think this performance could have been campaigned supporting, because the movie is not really about her (at least not only about her), she probably a co-lead, but personally I would have given her a supporting win. However, she's (by all means) amazing. That scene where she's watching Patrick Wilson and his family from the car and then stars sobbing is so breathtaking that Kate would immediately get my vote if it wasn't for Dame Judi.
My Grade: *****

3. Helen Mirren in The Queen: I love Mirren in everything she does and I can understand why everyone (including me) went crazy for this performance when The Queen came ot. It's one of the most subtle performances ever with absolutely no showy moments in it. The first thing is that comes to my mind about this performance is dignity. Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth II with such respect and yeah dignity, that it's simply magical and I'm very happy that she received the nomination, I just feel she should not have won (at least not over Dame Judi).
My Grade: ****

4. Penélope Cruz in Volver: Hmmm, this movie is delicious. I watched last Saturday for the third time and I enjoyed it so much. I'm always saying that Penélope gave her greatest performance in All About my Mother but she's also brilliant as Raimunda, the hard-working single mother (actually she's not single at the beginning). There's everything in her performance which one needs: comedy, drama, grief and tits. OK, I'm just kidding, comedy is not that important XD. But seriousy, Cruz may not have been fully deserving of her supporting Oscar last year, but no one can deny that she's a great actress.
My Grade: ****

5. Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada: The Devil Wears Prada is a movie that I would avoid (under normal circumstances), but when Meryl is in it, it makes me think if it's a movie worth watching. Well, it isn't. But Meryl is simply magnificent in her role as the bitchy editor of a fashion magazine.She could have been pushed supporting, yeah, but she totally commands the screen every time she appears. Meryl's great sense of humor and subtle acting makes this performance one of the greatest comedy nominees.
My Grade: ****

I'm eager to read your thoughts.

3 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

I didn't think Barbara was a crazy lesbian either...she really would have reached out to anyone I'm thinking.

joe burns said...

I agree with Sage about Barbara. I'm actually doing a profile of this year on my blog. Mirren and Winslet's profiles are up. Judi is my pick right now, but that might change.

joe burns said...

And I definitely don't think that Winslet is Supporting. I think she's the center of the film and that she leads it to it's conclusion. But I can see that it is an ensemble piece though.