Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Best Actress 1993: Holly Hunter in The Piano
Holly Hunter received her third Oscar nomination and won for playing Ada McGrath in The Piano. Ada has been a mute by choice for nearly all her life and she and her daughter Flora travel to a strange island because Ada has been engaged to a powerful man (Sam Neil).
Without speaking a word, Holly Hunter is able to convey so much. She captures Ada's stubborness and sadness when her piano is taken away from her and we see the soul of Ada onscreen. Hunter and Anna Paquin are superb together- totally convincing as a mother and daughter and both show their love and anger for each other. Whenever Ada plays the piano, Hunter shows us so much passion on her face and it's an odd, yet fascinating thing to watch. Another thing that works so well about this performance is that Ada always remains a mysterious woman- we learn a great deal about her, but never know her completely or why she is so strange. Her scenes with Keitell are also very interesting- She is at first disgusted by him and the fact that he wants to sleep withy her, but Hunter lets the audience know that Ada is also fascinated and even turned on by the arangement. Holly Hunter also gets Ada's odd physical gestures and movements right, which must have been difficult to do. A beautiful, striking performance which gets