Tuesday, February 5, 2008
In this year's Best Actress race, two performances really stand out among the five. I love that Ellen Page was nominated for Juno - her performance cannot be overrated - but she is the youngest nominee and has the least-showy role of the five. Likewise, Laura Linney is outmatched for her role in The Savages by more high-profile films. Perennial Oscar record-breaker Cate Blanchett is now the first woman to be nominated for the same role in two different movies (1998's Elizabeth and this year's Elizabeth: The Golden Age) but, like its predescessor, this sequel is more a showcase for its costumes and sets than its performances. That leaves two ladies standing: Marion Cotillard, who absolutely inhabits the role of Edith Piaf from the ages of 20 through 60 in La Vie En Rose, and Julie Christie as an alzheimer's patient in Away From Her. On one hand, Cotillard physically transformed herself and threw herself into a turbulent role, but on the other hand, Julie Christie has won nearly every acting award so far this year. I'd love to see Cotillard's name called, but I think voters will feel that the movie is too over-the-top and melodramatic and will go with Christie's more understated, brave performance.