These Oscars predictions have been going strong and now we’ve made it to the Acting Academy Awards! Ladies first…
Best Actress Nominees
Dean – Brie Larson
An overwhelming favourite, and righly so. Brie Larson showed incredible maturity and range in a role that demanded a very young woman to take on the role of nurturing mother who will do whatever it takes to ensure her son not only gets to live a normal life, but is able to transition from the unfortunate sheltered existence he has known his entire life.
Larson isn’t part of the Academy Awards furniture like Jennifer Lawrence, but she should take the best actress award, partly because I don’t think any of the other nominees out-did her performance, but mostly because he owned this role and I probably won’t confuse her with Mary Elizabeth Winstead anymore. Probably.
Stephen – Brie Larson
Carol was mundane, Joy was not as great a film or performance as Silver Linings Playbook, and while Charlotte Rampling provides a beautifully subtle performance in 45 Years, I think the front-runners in this category are Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn, and Brie Larson for Room.
And out of those two my bet is on Brie Larson. She’s already swept up a number of top awards for the role, including a Golden Globe and a SAG award for Best Actress.
Looking at her performance in Room, the most captivating thing is that while the entire story is from her character’s child’s point of view, you get the sense of what she’s going through by her facial expressions and the way she conveys ideas and details to him that a mere child can obviously not grasp. Clearly very little of what is going on is addressed directly because of the film being predominantly from a child’s POV. So much of the details are portrayed in action or through metaphors.
Tendai – Brie Larson
There is something about being a mother, and fighting against the odds that gets people teary eyed. After watching Larson, you get this need to pick up the phone and speak to your mother. When a role is played so well and is that powerful, to make you think and miss your own mother, you have to give the actress the credit she deserves.
I was blown away by Larson and to be honest, I did not know who she was until Room. She made it seem so natural and her ability to care for a child that was not her’s (in terms of acting the role), made Room not a movie, but real life. This is what a parent, a mother would do for the children they love. Brie Larson was a mother and we all know how hard it is to be a mother.
So, there’s clearly a pattern here. Now let’s see what the supporting actress academy award predictions look like:
Best Supporting Actress Nominees
Dean – Jennifer Jason Leigh
Quentin Tarantino is no stranger to writing really strong and memorable female characters. Kill Bill and Jackie Brown showed he could write for a damaged heroine that everyone is rooting for. But then he wrote Daisy Domergue and what’s more importantly, he cast Jennifer Jason Leigh.
As the catalyst for the story, we know that Daisy is a crazy criminal set to be hung, so she was never going to be a fringe character but the focus does shift towards the male actors of whom she is severely outnumbered. She does not take a back seat though. Her performance is most compelling at the end, when she manages to switch between gruesome gangster and desperate detainee looking to make a deal. Phenomenal range shown through a character that, in the wrong hands, would not have been half as memorable.
Stephen – Jennifer Jason Leigh
For me this is a toss-up between Alicia Vikander, Rooney Mara & Jennifer Jason Leigh. I may have hated Carol, but Mara’s performance was so great, displaying her acting range in its full glory.
Vikander complements Redmayne so beautifully in The Danish Girl, but I think she should have received a Best Actress nominations instead for that part. Content that deals with the process of someone having a sex change doesn’t always go into this much detail exploring the emotions of those closest to the person undergoing the change who are also affected by the change; in this case the protagonist’s wife. And this is a very important story that needs to be told, and was told beautifully and gracefully by Vikander.
But my money for this category is on Jennifer Jason Leigh. Daisy Domergue is such an interesting character, thanks to Tarantino, which allows Leigh to bring multiple dimensions to the character with pure acting talent. Right from the start, Leigh brings this detail to the character in the way she fidgets, her facial expressions, and the utterly unique inflections in her voice.
The most impressive change was near the end when she shifts completely from manic captive to threatening gang member. You know this woman is dangerous, as she sits there, threatening her captors with a face caked in brain and blood.
Tendai – Alicia Vikander
A wildcard pick considering Rachel McAdams is the front runner for this award but I feel Vikander took her performance a step further than McAdams. The hardest thing to do is be in love because it requires you to take in the flaws of the other person. Vikander had to love a man that believed he was a woman, trapped in a man’s body. First it was a joke but in every joke, there is an element of truth. Vikander’s husband was a woman (brilliantly played by Eddie Redmayne). Not only that, her paintings progressed her career because of her husband being a woman.
The moral dilemma – the love of your life wants to be a woman but you married a man or let your husband be a woman so that your career flourishes?
Vikander portrayed what love is, stuck by her husband right through to the end and I believe that is the hardest thing to do considering the selfishness of mankind.
What is your prediction for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress?
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