- Annette Benning in “The Kids Are All Right”
- Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
- Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
- Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
- Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”
I didn't see RABBIT HOLE-but I'm sure Kidman was good.
The other three women were all outstanding too. None of the movies they starred in would have been the same without their performance. To me that is a key question, can you imagine anyone playing the role better. Which is why Maggie Smith will always be Jean Brodie to me and Vivien Leigh, Scarlet O'Hara.
I loved BLACK SWAN but playing someone going mad seems easier than playing the quieter role of someone trying to save her family or someone falling out of love. Did you ever see a movie about insanity where the actor didn't impress you?
Jennifer Lawrence was terrific in WINTER'S BONE, which was my favorite movie of the year, but her part did not call for the emotional resonance of Michelle Williams' in BLUE VALENTINE. It was a flat, straight forward performance, which suited the tone of the book however.
Williams in BLUE VALENTINE had to fall in and out of love and show you why this happened with subtlety. She had to age five years without any physical change. She did these things expertly and although I doubt she will win, she would be my choice. (It is a crime Ryan Gosling, in an equally great performance, was denied a nomination).
I know I am the only one who sees a movie a week so let's go backwards. Who was the best pick ever for the Best Actress Oscar? My vote goes to Meryl Streep for SOPHIE'S CHOICE.
Here's a list to save you time.