Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Final Conclusion - Best Actress 2012


So the much anticipated ranking is:

5. Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild
This may not be a brilliant performance and probably Quvenzhané doesn't fully understand the technical part of acting yet, but I never felt her inexperience for a moment. On the contrary, she understands the character and makes her much more complex than I expected from her. Quvenzhané is much more conscious than most of the child actors that I've ever seen, never coasting on her charisma and always doing what's best for her character.

4. Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
I'm just astonished by the beautifully detailed, layered and understated performance of Jessica Chastain. She develops a characters from little bits of scenes and moments and affects without much dialogue, screen time or showy Oscar scenes. She has a lion share in making Zero Dark Thirty the shocking and stunning masterpiece that it really is. But I wish I could forget that shouting...

3. Naomi Watts in The Impossible 
Naomi Watts gives a really effective performance in The Impossible, which may not have blown me away, but I was still impressed by it. She does the best she can with her character and has a lion share in making the movie as dramatic and devastating as it really is. I just feel that besides the physical and dramatic part, there wasn't much going on with the character and that's probably the reason why she's not more of a contender for the actual award.

2. Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook 
Contrary to all the Oscar reviewers and just like everyone else in this world I've totally fallen under the charms of Jennifer Lawrence who gives an unbelievably amazing, beautiful performance and creates a three-dimensional character with such extraordinary passion and depth that it sets the screen on fire and makes you fall in love with her characters despite (or maybe even because of) her flaws.

1. Emmanuelle Riva in Amour
This performance is nothing like I've seen in the Best Actress category and comparing it to other Oscar nominees seems really weird as a result. She may not win the Oscar for this stunning, career-crowning achievement, her performance (and Jean-Louis Trintignant's) will go down in movie history, as it should be. A deeply haunting, disturbing, depressing, mesmerising and amazing performance by an often overlooked, great talent.

So I can proudly announce
that the winner is...
Emmanuelle Riva
 Je vous aime, Mademoiselle Riva.

Final thoughts: A truly amazing year. The Academy makes some shitty safe choices in Best Picture, Actor and the rest, but they keep compensating with outstanding Actress line-ups every year so I'm happy at least about that (and also the Directors' gutsy, almost original set of nominees). Initially, choosing between Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva was so damn difficult, my head said Emmanuelle, my heart said Jennifer (for subjective reasons). I feel that eventually, I made the right choice. That being said, I was equally happy for Jennifer and really I hoped this would be a tie (as they will come right after each other in my ranking). Jennifer Lawrence, say what you want, almost rivals Kate Winslet's Clementine in my mind and that's why I'll keep defending her win, even though Emmanuelle Riva is my choice, eventually. But seriously if anyone of my Top 3 had won, I wouldn't have been disappointed at all (I could have accepted a Naomi upset as well). So this year was better than alright, even though Marion Cotillard definitely deserved a nomination.:(  

  • Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone
  • Judi Dench in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games
About the next year: First, I'll finish 1999 and then... well, I'll let you know.

What do you think? Any thoughts on your mind?


joe burns said...

I'm a little disappointed that Emanuelle lost, but like you said, it was basically a tie. Jennifer is great too, so.....

mrripley said...

before you start again on 99 would you tell us your thoughts on this years b/supporting actress race.

Louis Morgan said...

Well since this a great year for nominees you really could not pick a bad choice. Lawrence is not my number one but she is certainly a fine choice.

I would not be quite so hard on the Academy in terms of Best Actor as I am sure your issue is that they forgot Trintignant, but really so did many many other groups. If they had forgot Phoenix than I would have to agree.

Nic said...

I agree, very strong year for female performances :)

Like you, I can't decide whether Jennifer Lawrence deserves it or Emmanuelle Riva deserves it. Right now I actually hope Emmanuelle Riva wins just as a big F U to those Chastain vs Lawrence debaters. I really can't stand their idiotic comments about how Lawrence/Chastain's performance is better than Chastain/Lawrence. I get that it's normal to have a preferred performance but to insult the other actress is really just childish and juvenile. Why can't they accept the fact that all these performances are good?

anyway, great reviews :D Are you going to reveal your picks in the other categories?

dinasztie said...

I am going to reveal all my picks today. :)

Michael555 said...

And Jennifer won the Oscar!

dinasztie said...

And I'm so happy, she's wonderful in SLP and she's such a sweetheart. Love her. :)

Michael555 said...

Me too! :) I was rooting for her ever since I saw SLP at an early screening.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

^ LOL. Um. No.