Monday, September 22, 2008

Final Conclusions - Best Actress 2000

Due to personal sh!t (that unfortunately I’ll keep in mind for the rest of my life), 2000 took much longer than expected. I’m certainly more willing to move faster and I already have a new year chosen and ready to jump for the movies.

But back to Best Actress 2000, a couple of things noticed:
  • Bjork was snubbed of both nomination & win – but I guess that didn’t need saying :)
  • It’s a way better year than I remembered it to be. So it’s safe to say that this category was vastly underrated and one of the best of the decade regarding Best Actress.

  • Julia Roberts should have won a popularity contest, but not the Oscar. Oh, wait: aren’t these the same? Ha ha. No.

  • I think that Julia Roberts won because she’s in every scene of Erin Brockovich. I know Laura Linney was probably the runner-up, but I’d like to think that Burstyn actually had a chance. Julia Roberts had 115 minutes of screentime, while Ellen Burstyn only 35 minutes. You do the math.

So here's how I scored these ladies (based on the analysis made in previous posts) and a small recap:

1. Ellen Burstyn, Requiem for a Dream

With the biggest story arc of them all, she takes the character from nice old lady to an unexpected drug addict monster. It could have easily been a boring one note performance or overacting like hell, but Burstyn embraces the loneliness of Sara, creating a warm, sad, believable character. Her gestures in the monologue scene are gold and she sells every sequence she’s in even the crazy ones.

2. Laura Linney, You Can Count on Me

Can one scene bring the Oscar? It seems not. But, although a bit too tight at first, Linney shows dramatic range and lots of fun playing this almost desperate housewife. She’s so natural, it’s just crazy and you have to fall for her. I love the reading of Because I feel sorry for them, when justifying why she sleeps with men. And the last important scene of the film makes you understand the entire performance.

3. Joan Allen, The Contender
There’s lots of political talking in this movie and Miss Allen (as always) lives up to the challenge. She’s serious, incredibly natural, she looks sharp, smart and has a strong grip on the vulnerabily of the character. Joan is flawless and totally adequate for a mostly restrained role.

4. Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich
She’s in every scene of it, playing white trash woman turned human rights hero. She has a big mouth, a willing to fight and a certain charm to attract the audience. Julia mixes a bit of vulgarity with tons of hotness to create an effective performance, that unfortunately has too much of a Hollywood feel on it.

5. Juliette Binoche, Chocolat
I love the character to death and those red shoes alone deserve some kind of an award. But she’s meant to be nice or sad and she has only a scene or two that show some fierce power. Almost delicious to look at, she’s there 100% when the script asks her to.

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J.J. said...

Burstyn deserves all the praise you've heaped on her. Roberts, though, was just playing her likable self. The Oscar that year was a gross injustice.

Alex in Movieland said...

it was also a gross injustice in 2 other categories: Best Actor (IMO it should have went to Geoffrey Rush - by far) and Supporting Actor (Willem Dafoe is fabulous)

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

Ellen Burstyn ROCKED IT in "Requiem for a Dream." Her performance was so unsettling, and that last scene with her so disturbing, that both stayed with me for weeks after. That is the kind of acting that deserves Oscars. All Julia Roberts had was a foul mouth and a push-up bra. Puh-lease. Giving her that award was a travesty.