|Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook|
When the New York Film Critics circle announced it's winners this past week, most the winners seemed...well...not surprising. Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty best picture seemed safe choices. They veered into some unique territory in their runner's up, but generally it was not surprising, except to me the selection of Rachel Weisz for the British play adaptation The Deep Blue Sea.
|Rachel Weisz, Deep Blue Sea|
Jennifer Lawrence was the runner up (the New York Film Critics cited both Silver Linings Playbook and The Hunger Games).
A little over a month ago, I did a post regarding the popularity of the male leads in this years Oscar race, while the female leads were in the shadows. Rachel Weisz is certainly a more popular name, of other potential contenders (more for The Mummy, or even her previous Oscar win in the supporting category for The Constant Gardner). Yet, certainly the film here is not a box office hero.
And so, it may seem though, that the critics, and maybe the Academy themselves is on the search for the the performance that can displace Jennifer Lawrence's front-runner status.
While Rachel Weisz might not be the actress to do it, it seems that every critic award Lawrence doesn't win pushes her into the pack of "likely nominee, non-winner."
|Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty|
And if it were up to me to decide today, it seems that the current front-runner (especially looking at how this might play out in weeks ahead) is Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty. After busting onto the scene in a big way last year, Chastain certainly would love to follow up her supporting actress Oscar nomination from The Help with a lead nomination (and a win) in a film it would seem that award bodies will love this season.
Chastain did receive the National Board of Review best actress designation, and over Lawrence as well, when the NBR clearly liked Silver Linings Playbook (honoring Bradley Cooper as best actor and David O. Russell for best adapted screenplay).
It's hard to tell if Weisz is a viable contender for a best actress nomination this year (it would seem a few more critics awards would help keep her in the conversation), but regardless, it seems like there's some early apprehension in calling Jennifer Lawrence this year's best actress.