After last years’ predetermination at the BAFTA’s, with Julianne Moore winning the prestigious Best Actress award for Still Alice, a film that hadn’t hit UK cinemas at the time of the ceremony leaving the choice of winner solely in the hands of preview-screened critics, the Oscar’s soon followed suit and awarded Moore with her first award after many nominations for films such as Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights and Far From Heaven. Completing this years’ nominations is a variety of talent ranging from rising stars to cinematic gems with each film definitely getting the vote of confidence from here at Black Ribbon, even Joy, the newest release from David O. Russell, which although features a riveting leading performance from Jennifer Lawrence has been regarded by many as a limp entry into the impressive canon Russell has already established, with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook doing particularly well at the prestigious ceremony in previous years. Could his and Lawrence’s success at the Oscar’s continue this year? Let’s ask the people in the know.
In the wise eyes of the bookies, Brie Larson is set to carry on her success at the BAFTA’s with her being odds on to pick up the Oscar for Best Actress in Lenny Abrahamson’s simply brilliant Room, a film which manages to carry the balance of the dark and the twisted yet ultimately proclaims itself as a life-affirming drama, featuring a world-class performance from young Jacob Tremblay who along with Larson brings the brilliance of the film to light, resulting in the rare occasion whereby I completely agree with the Academy. Sure, Cate Blanchett is rather flawless in Todd Haynes’ Carol and Saoirse Ronan continues her streak of being perfect in every way possible (CRUSH INCOMING) within the beautiful Brooklyn, but Larson is the stand-out, pulling in a performance that those at the Oscar voting table love; no make-up and a lot of crying. It might just be the start of something magical. Cringe.
Next Time: Best Director
Best Supporting Actress
Following on from the nominations for Best Supporting Actor at this years’ Oscar ceremony is the esteemed category of Best Supporting Actress, a category developed in order to not only distinguish the difference in gender, but to adhere to the notion that maybe the dated nature of the ceremony itself has failed to catch up with the times in a society where distinction is a much more delicate and diverse subject matter and can not only be distributed between one or the other. Maybe it’s time to scrap the Actor/Actress thing overall and instead focus on just a leading/supporting role as well as perhaps an award for Best Cast? This would definitely suit a film like this years’ Spotlight, a film which although has many nominations in the acting categories, depends mainly on the ensemble of a cast rather than certain individuals. An argument for another time maybe, but for now we have nominations for Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl, Rachel McAdams for Spotlight, Rooney Mara for Carol, Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs and of course Jennifer Jason Leigh for her blood-spattered performance in Tarantino’s western thriller The Hateful Eight.
As for the bookies and their infinite wisdom, favourite to win the award is Alicia Vikander for her role in Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl, contradicting Kate Winslet’s win most recently at the BAFTA’s whilst being fundamentally strange with Vikander’s role in The Danish Girl no doubt being much more than one that is just supporting. You are a strange bunch you Oscar voters you. As for those who have been overlooked over the course of the past year or so, Vikander herself should have been recognised for her portrayal of Ava in the brilliant Ex Machina as either leading or supporting actress depending on your POV, whilst Marion Cotillard and Rebecca Hall both gave rip-roaring performances in Macbeth and The Gift respectively and could have easily been noted by this years’ ceremony. But hey, they can’t always be right can they? The nominations this year are: