Saturday, December 08, 2012

Rachel Weisz & Other Jennifer Lawrence Thunder Stealers

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
It seems like this year, all sorts of names get thrown around for an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, but the consistent front-runner has seemed to be Jennifer Lawrence, for Silver Linings Playbook. As a previous nominee, a young rising star, in a quirky film with a respected crew the shoe has seemed to fit. Although, hesitantly...there's been room for someone to break through.

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. 


Anonymous said...

It's a little too soon to claim that anyone is stealing anyone's thunder at the moment...especiallly concerning Jennifer Lawrence. It might interest you to know that the Academy doesn't pay that much attention to the early critic awards winners. Lawrence and Chastain tied at the NYFCC awards and that's why Weisz won on the fourth ballot. Let's see how many more awards Weisz wins...the LAFCA release their awards winners Sunday morning and Glen Whip recently tweeted : "I think it's safe to say that the LAFCA will not be falling in line with the ZDT brigade". Now, I don't know what film they will choose, but it's not going to be ZDT nor will Chastain win, I'm guessing.

I also believe that jennifer Lawrence gave the better performance than Chastain ( a very good actress but all she does is look pensive and occassionally grit her teeth) Lawrence at 22 (!) actually rose above the material given to her to create a character that was far more than what even Russel had envisioned...a heartbreking, deeply layered performance. I do believe that there is as Whip wrote, a "ZDT brigade"...critics and bloggers who seem almost militant about Lawrence not winning the Oscar...well, that might might not but, here's the thing that sets Lawrence apart from every actress in her generation, and that's the fact that this will be Lawrence's SECOND nomination as Best Actress in only a couple years (as well as all the sucess she's having) and that scares the shit out of other actresses, I think (there's already way too much competition out there) and Lawrence has proven that she can play characters her age as well as a decade older.
Anyway, it's still early yet, let's wait to see how the guilds vote and rememebr that last year, Michelle Williams won EVERY single critics award but still lost out for Best Actress...the Social Network won every single award the awards people hand out and still lost Best Picture. The Academy can be hard to predict....they may go for ZDT/Chastain they may not. But, again, considering all the success Lawrence has earned and the fact that this will be her second nom, NO ONE is stealing her thunder.

Anonymous said...

So many typos. My apologies.

Anonymous said...

I have seen Lawrences's film and I did not think much of her performance. Rachel Weisz how ever was amazing in " The Deep Blue Sea". And while Weisz is a long shot for an Oscar, she in my mind gave a better performance.