Monday, April 27, 2009

The conclusions - Best Actress 2008

I have to be fair: this line-up wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. On the contrary: the biggest pleasant surprise was that I found elements of excellency in each and every one of the performances. My favorite, Sally Hawkins, was not nominated :( but I won't bitch about it anymore. At least she won a Golden Globe.
Kate's win was quite predictable. Even if her performance didn't make my Top 3 out of 5, I love Kate so much (as an actress and she does seem like such a good person) and IT WAS her 6th nomination, so the win is satisfying in more than one way. Is it because I'm used to the best performance not winning?! Maybe not, so I'll put the blame for my resignation on Kate's super charm :D I believe Melissa was the runner-up for the win with her Indie Spirit award and actors' support.
It was not an easy ranking. And of course I AM subjective. And, yes, I know I am always very generous with my stars/rating. My biggest problems were with the #1 spot and #4. These are performances I'll go back to over the years; I can tell that. So here they are; you can click on the name to get to that certain performance.

I might just be blinded by some of her decisions. Sorry, haters, but I loved that she was in control of the character and knew exactly where to take it. To me, it’s greatness at work. The dragon power she releases could be equalled only by her vulnerability and quiet despair at the end.
I loved the honesty that she puts into the character and the undeniable connection you can feel between her and Kym. A troubled soul & a very difficult character to play. The detail she puts into the performance is both subtle and impressive, if you have the eye to see it.

It’s deglam done properly. Embracing the spirit of the independent film, Melissa loses all vanity and gives us an honest portrayal of a woman struggling against all odds to offer a better life to her children. A well-balanced performance with one or two well-thought teary moments.

What starts in mediocrity ends up in greatness. It’s the trickiest character one could have, but Kate doesn’t know her that well. The flashy dramatic moments or the smart-ass wicked ones are done properly, but her subtle-wannabe, grumpy take in the beginning is almost a failure.

***EDIT: As stated at the 100th profile celebration (HERE), Kate's performance has been upgraded to  . ;)

Angelina provides some of the best & the worst acting moments of the 5 nominees. The direction and the screenplay are working against her and her rushed acting decisions kill the potential of this Oscar-baity performance. But when she’s good… oh boy. And that makes it the shiftiest biggest disappointment of them all.

Yes, I would've voted for Meryl, and not just out of sentimental reasons :)
Other Best Actress years discussed so far:


Nikola said...

It was obvious Kate was gonna win, and I am so glad, although I thought 'The Reader' was not at all that fascinating... But it was about time!

And kudos for what you said about Angelina! :)

Amazing blog!

Fernando Moss said...

I would have voted for Hathaway...

Streep, for me, was really overacted. And outshined by Amy Adams and Viola Davis.

Alex in Movieland said...

Fernando, I hear you! But I know Meryl's performance is one people can't agree on. It worked for me; a lot. I thought it had just the right amount of overanything to make it shine.

Viola was very good. Amy was excellent.

Fernando Moss said...

Well, I agree that maybe that was the tone chosen by the director/Meryl or whatever, but still, not really of my taste, altough I can really see why some people love that perf and why some people hate it. I don't love it nor hate it, just don't think it was that worthy.

RC said...

What other years would you have given Meryl the prize...I guess we'll know when you're done with this project.

Alex in Movieland said...

that's hard to tell, as I will need to rewatch Meryl's performances and ALL the nominees from those BA categories. :)

I suspect 1982 for sure. Can't say about the rest: although I don't think I'll have her as #1 5 or 6 times :) I LOVE her performances, she IS the best living actress (next to Redgrave, Fonda), but I think she will get lots of #2s on my ranking list. And that's just because she's never had an easy year.

Rae Kasey said...

Kate Winslet deserved to win last year, but for Revolutionary Road. She was stunning in that one.

In second, Sally Hawkins, but I've wasted plenty of breath complaining about that one too.

Of the actual nominees, Hathaway would have had my vote.

Alex in Movieland said...

well, I found it very hard to choose between Meryl and Anne! Anne was probably better (many say), but I prefer Meryl both because I don't think she was overacting, and also because I have a weak spot for Doubt, which I've seen many times and Meryl and Amy really make it an excellent movie

Tom said...

I would have given it to Meryl, but I too feel Sally Hawkins was snubbed. She should have at least been nominated - this is a wonderful movie, "Happy Go Lucky". Also I think Meryl should have won the Oscar in 1995 for "Bridges of Madison County". She was brilliant.

Alex in Movieland said...

1995 is complicated. I myself am/was a Sharon Stone - Casino die hard follower