Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Big Names, Little Names & A Suprisingly Crowded Best Actress Race

The picture above is of Melissa Leo from the Sundance winning film Frozen River.

Yea, I've never heard of Melissa Leo before, either. Yet, according to imdb.com this 48 year old actress has 10 acting credits to her name alone in 2008. Her biggest acting credit up to this point seems to be a regular role in the TV show Homicide: Life on the Streets.

Yet Melissa Leo is one of the names that is getting thrown around as a buzzed-about Oscar contender for this years Award season. Her role in Frozen River is about border smuggling between New York State and Quebec on a Mohawk Indian Reservation. This small film, and her role in it, is just one of the buzzed performance by lesser known actresses who are already getting buzz.

Another "smaller names" getting buzz at this point are names like Sally Hawkin's in Mike Leigh's Happy-Go-Lucky.

Or there are also some bigger names in smaller films, like Michelle Williams in Wendy & Lucy, Kristin Scott Thomas in the french-language film I Loved You So Long, and Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married.

There are also the constant names we expect to hear heading into award show...including frequent "shoe-ins" Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Meryl Streep (Doubt), Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road), and Nicole Kidman (Australia).

Always on the fringe of a potential nomination is Angelina Jolie (Changling). And as you'd expect there is some buzz for Emily Blunt (Young Victoria), and Keira Knighley (The Duchess)

I also still think Sophie Okonedo (Skin) has a chance as well, but I haven't heard anything about a release date.

The point is, at this point I've been wanting to put together a top 5 prediction list, but it honestly is really hard...it's a tough year at this stage in the game to balance these big names, with the big buzz, and try to find out what's going to come together in the end.

Perhaps there's not a lot of roles for actresses in Hollywood these past couple years, but that doesn't mean the list of potentials, at least at this stage in the game, is short.

Do you think there's anyone I've missed? Do you have any thoughts on this years race or these films/performances?

I will try to take a leap and make some predictions soon. Honestly, it was much easier to predict the lead actor race at this stage in the game.


Barry said...

Right now, for me it's:

Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Sally Hawkins - Happy-Go-Lucky
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Meryl Streep - Doubt
Kate Winslet - Revolutionary Road

Magnus said...

Melissa Leo is good actress. I 've been re-watching Homicide and noting just how good she was on that show.

RC said...

@ barry...

good list...i'm starting to feel more confident about hathaway, and less confident in sally hawkins.

i also feel like i'll have more faith in the possiblity of a melissa leo nod when i hear more people talking about frozen river for an original screenplay nod...

I know they're hardly connected, but i just feel like Frozen River needs that type of buzz to propel Leo in a tough contest.

Michael Parsons said...

I think you have mentioned most of the potential top 5 nominees here. At this point in time I can only really say the Meryl will definitely be nominated. 'The Chageling' has been getting some mixed reviews, as has Angelina which is troubling.
I think Sophie Okonedo has a shot, but I cannot think of any other black actress aside from Whoopie Goldberg, who has gotten a second nomination. Is there one?

Will said...

Wasn't Melissa Leo in 21 Grams? I thought she was great in that, and have been surprised that I haven't seen more of her in recent years. Good for her on this role.

I'm glad we're getting to the time of year when you start your predictions. I always enjoy these.

Lorna said...

I have always loved Melissa Leo. She was my hero on Homicide, which, although sometimes too gritty for comfort, was always excellent.

I think we need another whole set of awards so that Keira Knightley can be feted for her gorgeousness and Cate Blanchett for her bravery and Angelina Jolie for Best Turnaround of a Beautiful Flaky Person I'd like to save the Best Actress Award, in perpetuity, for Felicity Huffman or the daughter in American Beauty