Final Conclusions - Best Actress 2009
It took forever for these final conclusions, because of me not having The Last Station. In the meantime, Irene Dunne was crowned the 1937 champ. But here we are:
Quite an interesting year, with 2 obvious favorites for me and Meryl very close-by. It feels good to give a 5 star rating after quite some time. I must mention that I did edit Sandra’s performance profile and she went from 3 stars to 2, because that’s how I feel right now. I considered I was entitled to do the change considering I didn’t post the conclusions.
#1 is quite the obvious choice, #2 was easy to pick, so was #3. There was a bit of a competition for second-to-last, and I’ve now changed it twice before posting. :) All the performances gravitate in the drama area, because I’m not buying Julie & Julia as a comedy. Meryl gets her… 16th nom and maybe it’s better she didn’t win because it brings her this huge likeability factor, as we’re all on her team for a 3rd Oscar.
Here is how I’ve appreciated them (just my opinion, no universal truth). If you want to go back and read more, just click on their names:
A star is born! Yes, yes, yes! The performance or maybe just her pretty expressive face brought so much joy everytime I saw An Education. It’s not the looks; it’s the talent and this fresh innocent honest way of taking over a character. Can you doubt her casting?! When did I last see a performance that felt this natural, believable and sweet? This is how a winner should feel like!
The highlight: [how can one choose?] confronting the headmistress on the subject of education.
In this case, I don’t believe a star is born! But I believed in this one magnificent performance that an inexperienced actress was privileged to deliver. The role is a one in a lifetime chance and she didn’t back down. Gaby acted from the heart and, while to me she’s not the star of the film, she definitely feels like the right person at the right time delivering the right performance. Which happens to be a great performance.
The highlight: the “Nobody loves me!” scene.
Portraying Julia Child is a tricky thing: you are one step away from creating a caricature, a mess, instead of a real, relatable character. Having Meryl in the equation, it obviously equals success. I liked her performance, even though I understand the haters. What I did see was the brilliant actress taking on another challenge and succeeding yet again. She had fun and created such an emotional, warm environment.
The highlight: touching her red paper heart while listening to her husband describe their romance.
Sandra gets her Oscar for a performance with almost no Oscar moments. She would’ve deserved a big crying scene and much much better writing. But what she does do it to take a difficult character and create a believable, relatable person. I can understand this woman, I know her and that’s important. Sandra is 200% above the material.
The highlight: Big Mike never having a bed of his own.
She nails the quiet dramatic moments much more efficiently than the oh-too-often scenes of hysteria. But hard to blame her, as it’s mostly the screenplay’s fault. She fails in creating a full believable, relatable character, but still has bits of greatness, as she is the great dame after all.
The highlight: Staying by Tolstoy’s side till the very end.
We knew Sandra was gonna win from the moment The Blind Side was announced as a Best Picture nominee. Unfortunately this is, in my opinion – cause we don’t have the numbers, the 4th time in a row Meryl has to settle for the second place (after Adaptation., Devil Wears Prada, Doubt – though this one’s debatable considering Melissa Leo). Meryl deserves her 3rd Oscar, it’s an universally acknowledged statement. So, I guess Meryl was runner-up, Gaby was a close 3rd, Carey 4th and Helen with the least chance of winning.
Other Best Actress years discussed so far:
Up next: posting my favorites of 2009 next week and then finally getting to “lottery winner” 1978.