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You know the drill.  Oscar nominations out on the 10th, I’m taking a look at the big eight categories.  This time: Actress.


  • Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty isn’t out here yet, and while I can totally appreciate the strategy, it still cheeses me off that Oscar nominations for 2012 movies will be out before the vast majority of people had a chance to see the movie.  I like playing along, you know?  Anyway, Jessica Chastain has a nomination for The Help and seems like a sure bet in this presumably two women race, assuming enough people saw the film.  I thought Lawrence was absolutely fantastic in Silver Linings Playbook and she absolutely deserves to be a front-runner.  She, of course, has a prior nomination for Winter’s Bone and that red dress.




  • Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
  • Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
  • Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
  • Naomi Watts, The Impossible
  • Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea

If you have any confidence in predicting this category, you are a braver person than I.  Riva is supposed to be fantastic, and director Haneke is essentially an arthouse cult figure at this point.  The question that everyone is asking is whether enough people managed to see the film in time.  Also, is there enough room in the category for two ladies speaking French?  Marion Cotillard sure hopes so.  I still maintain it is a supporting role.  As Adam surely remembers, Cotillard has an Oscar win for La Vie en Rose.  Having seen Hitchcock, I want to say Helen Mirren is in the weakest position of the lot.  Except, you know, it is Helen freakin’ Mirren, who has nominations for The Madness of King GeorgeGosford Park, and The Last Station, and a win for The Queen.  I haven’t gotten to The Impossible, partially because ugh.  But Naomi Watts is hitting her precursors and had a well-publicized endorsement from Reese Witherspoon.  She has an Oscar nomination for 21 Grams.  I’ve got Beasts of the Southern Wild at home from Netflix.  Wallis is supposed to be quite memorable, but the indie film has had a little bit of trouble navigating the Oscar race, and some people will have trouble voting for a nine year old who, apparently, doesn’t seem like she’s Acting.  The Deep Blue Sea came out months ago, was little seen, and is kind of not good, none of which bodes well for Rachel Weisz.  She did get the Globes nom, but the movie is in the Globes’s wheelhouse.  She’s pretty great in the film, though, which might be the most important factor of all.  Weisz has an Oscar for The Constant Gardener.


  • Judi Dench, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
  • Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina

Count Judi Dench or The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel out at your own peril.  I think the Grouches have had like six different email threads about going to see Anna Karenina, but it just hasn’t happened yet.  The film seems likely to get some technical nominations, so maybe Knightley can squeak through, even without any major precursors.  She has a nomination for Pride and Prejudice.


  • Carla Gugino, A Girl Walks Into a Bar
  • Michelle Williams, Take This Waltz

I saw Rust and Bone as part of an epic movie-watching day with Brian.  I got a head start on my own, watching Mr. Baseball in the morning, and as it turns out, I probably should have stopped there.

Marion Cotillard is fantastic – She’s incredibly beautiful, obviously.  But she’s also a heck of an actress.
Except she keeps starring in terrible movies – Good lord.  I mean, this is no La Vie En Rose, but easily one of my least favorite films of the year.
But she has been part of some great movies – There’s her Christopher Nolan pair (Inception and Dark Knight Rises), Midnight in Paris, and Contagion.  And this definitely not me getting sidetracked because I can’t think of much to compliment in the movie.


Marion Cotillard as an underground MMA manager with two artificial legs is like the greatest thing ever No seriously.  I would watch the heck out of that movie.
Unfortunately that’s only one of the film’s dozen different subplots – None of which seem to go anywhere, really.  I just didn’t care about any of the characters or any of the stories.  Other than Marion Cotillard, underground MMA manager.
Did I mention the part where Marion Cotillard is an underground MMA manager for part of the movie? – Because that was awesome.


Matthias Schoenaerts wasn’t bad – I haven’t seen Bullhead, but I’m more interested now.  I mean, sure, I’d rather Tom Hardy in the role.  But I’d welcome seeing Schoenaerts in some action movies.  Maybe as one of the main henchmen?
Seriously, what movie are people seeing? – The film matched none of my expectations, based on what I had previously read.  Or maybe I was too distracted by the sheer inanity of the movie to notice anything else.
Um, Marion Cotillard is pretty? – Kinda running out of nice things to say about the movie.  I apparently have stricter classifications than most, because while I agree she gives an Oscar-worthy performance, it is clearly a supporting actress role to me.

If the movie were a sandwich, it would be: One of those deli sandwiches with like six different types of meat, except as served by a school cafeteria.

February 2020
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