Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Best Actress 2003: Keisha Castle-Hughes in Whale Rider





Keisha Castle-Hughes received her first Oscar nomination and became the youngest Best Actress nominee ever for playing Pai, a young girl who yearns to prove herself as a warrior, in Whale Rider.



Keisha Castle-Hughes was supposed to be put in the Supporting category for her performance, but instead was voted into Leading. I don't really see how she's Supporting, even though she doesn't fill every frame of the movie, because her character is indeed the main character and we see the story mostly from her point of view. Anyway, Keisha Castle-Hughes is very good in this movie. She plays Pai very subtly, showing her stuborness and longing to prove to her Grandfather that she could be a great warrior. She's very convincing and realistic in the role and considering how young she was at the time, that's saying something. Like Samantha Morton, Castle-Hughes uses her face to show what she is feeling and she does it beautifully as we totally see the raw emotion on her face. A big plus to her performance is when she is giving a speech at her school concert and is crying through it because her grandfather didn't show up. She is simply heartbreaking. Another highlight is when she and her father are talking about how they can't be what their father/grandfather wants and Castle-Hughes again plays it beautifully.


But her performance is not perfect. A character like Pai should have been played with more fire and sometimes she is too subtle and underwhelming. She stays like this for most of the movie and I wish the screenplay had given her more chances to shine. But she is still very good and I decided to give her

18 comments:

Louis Morgan said...

Seems like she will be second or third, Theron looks like the guaranteed winner as she should be.

joe burns said...

Keaton or Watts could surprise, though. Have you seen they're performances?

Louis Morgan said...

I have seen Keaton.

Fritz said...

Diane was charming but, for me, doesn't even come close to touching Charlize.

joe burns said...

Louis Morgan: What did you think of her?

Fritz: What would you rate her?

Louis Morgan said...

I thought she was okay but did not really deserve a nomination.

joe burns said...

We''ll see how she does tomorrow. Do you need a link to 21 Grams?

Sage Slowdive said...

I'm guessing the whole supporting thing came from "you're a kid, therefore you are inferior" thing that has been stuck with the Academy.

joe burns said...

Yes, but they nominated her in lead anyway! I love surprise nominations, even if I don't neccearily like the performance or film.

Louis Morgan said...

No Joe. I have it but I have not gotten around to watching it, which I need to do for Del Toro's performance.

Robert said...

I love Keisha! I'm probably in the minority, but she's my pick for the year. Too bad she hasn't really done anything notable since this though.

Sage Slowdive said...

I'm guessing it's fair to say Charlize Theron is underrated in the realms of the internet...

joe burns said...

Robert: Yeah, I haven't seen any other movies of hers that I know of.


Sage: Most people are with Theron when it comes to this year, but not everybody is, if that's what you mean.

Fritz said...

Joe, I have another great Wicked-link for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPpMDcvg4Vg

Twister said...

Is Hughes the only teenager to have gotten a lead nomination?

Fritz said...

Oh, and I shouldn't forget that the Stuttgart Cast of Wicked also had the best Glinda EVER!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyHfVngA2cQ&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNqn_-UfTqI

joe burns said...

Fritz: Thanks! She was great, though I prefer Idina though, but she certainly was great anyway.

And thanks again! I just watched Popular and it was wonderful. I'll watch the third link after I'm done with this, lol.


Twister: Yeah, I'm pretty sure that she is.

Twister said...

Oh what Isabelle A. in 1975 was 19!