Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Best Actress 2006:Judi Dench in Notes On A Scandal

Judi Dench recved her sixth nomination (and third in Best Actress) for playing Barbara Covett, a lonely spinster who befriends Sheba (Cate Blanchett) , who has an affair with one of her students which Barbara finds out about. But instead of reporting it to the authorities, she tells Sheba that she will tell no one, thinking that this will result in a close friendship between the two which does happen. But Barbara becomes obsessed with Sheba and this will lead to terrible consequences for both women. All I can say, is just brilliant! Dench makes Barbara a fascinating character, incredibly manipulative and borderline evil, but I still felt sympathy for her. As someone who has felt very lonely, I could also identify with her. Another amazing thing is how deep she goes with it. She completely shows her character's bitterness and isolation and those diary entries! As I said, brilliant! She and Cate Blanchett both work so well together. It's just fantastic to see them play each other off. This is a very hard role to play since we have to feel sympathy for Barbara and it could have been played way over the top, but, god, Judi Dench nailed it. A great actress in an outstanding film which, of course, gets

Monday, March 29, 2010

Best Actress 2006:Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada

Meryl Streep received her fourteenth nomination for her performance as Miranda Preistly in The Devil Wears Prada. Miranda is the boos from hell who is constantly demanding impossible things from her assistants (Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt) and is downright cruel at times. But Miranda is no one note bitch. Streep invests nuances in this role which other actress's couldn't. She could have been over the top, but instead she underplays it wonderfully. Her delivery and timing are perfect. She also shows that Miranda is an ambitious person who does what she can to get on top at all costs and who expects the best out of those around her. Streep also humanizes the character and keeps us interested in Miranda from start to finish. The only problem is that her role feels more like a Supporting role. Anne Hathaway is the main focus of the movie and I wish there more time spent time with Miranda since I loved every moment she was screen. Still, a great performance by one of the best actresses ever which gets

Friday, March 26, 2010

Best Actress 2006: Helen Mirren in The Queen

Helen Mirren won every acting award available in the Best Actress category for her performance as Queen Elizabeth the 2nd in The Queen. Mirren really nails the spirit and personality of this woman. I don't know anything about the real Queen, but I can tell that she captured the way a person of royalty would act. Her best moments come when she is showing the Queen's vulnerability, The scene when she sees the Elk is a very beautiful moment and is executed very well. Her talk with M.r Blair at the end is also great and Mirren does an exceptional job of showing the internal struggle that the Queen is going through, either to deal with Princess Diana's death in a closed off way or to make it public and personal. She also adds a lot of wit and humor to the part which I enjoyed. But the problem I have is that The Queen is a film that is too small of a story. I mean, nothing much happens and it felt to me that this affects Mirren's performance. Meaning that there could have been more of an arc with her character then just that and I also thought it came across as mimicry at times, but not that much. So, a very good performance overall, which might not have deserved to win over four fantastic performances, but still nomination worthy and worth watching which gets

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Best Actress 2006:Kate Winslet in Little Chidren

First of all, Kate Winslet is probably my favorite actress ever. I just think she's brilliant. And all of her nominations (Except for The Reader) all made my favorite nominees list's. And this is one of her best performances. She plays Sarah Pierce, a bored housewife and bad mother who feels trapped by her husband and the horribly perfect suburban housewife's in the neighborhood. But then she meets Brad, a stay at home dad, who without thinking, hugs and kisses Sarah, shocking the other women in the park. She and Brad develop a friendship with him and her daughter and his son also become friends. They soon begin an affair, but Sarah knows that she can't bear it being like this for long and she longs have a permanent life with Brad. What a tricky role to play! We could despise Sarah for having an affair and for not being a good mother and not care about her at all, but Winslet makes us care and we are even fascinated by Sarah. It's a very subtle performance and Kate is so real and believable. She makes us feel Sarah's emotions so wonderfully. I love the moment when after finishing her daily run, she sees her friend at the door and we feel her happiness at seeing her. It's a great moment. I also really like the part when she is gazing at Brad in the swimming pool, her eyes filled with desire and fascination. Both she and Patrick Wilson work well together, even though Wilson isn't very good overall, in my opinion. Sarah is the center of the film and Winslet is the one we care about the most.I remember reading in Entertainment Weekly in the article when the Oscar voters say who they're voting for that one voter said that Winslet was able to get inside of her character which is what acting is and that is a perfect way to describe it. Overall, a beautiful performance, by an amazing actress, in a great film (which is an even better book!) which gets

Best Actress 2006

The nominees were:
Penelope Cruz in Volver

Judi Dench in Notes On A Scandal

Helen Mirren in The Queen

Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada

Kate Winslet in Little Children

Kate is first. Who do you think is the best?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Judy Garland in A Star Is Born (performance review)

After having been fired from MGM, legendary singer and actress Judy Garland decided to have a comeback and to do it, she proposed to do a remake of the 1937 film A Star Is Born. Judy plays Ester Blodgett (Her name is changed to Vicki Lester once she becomes an actress) a singer who is traveling on a tour with a male band. After saving Norman Maine, a washed up movie star who drinks too much, from public embarasment, she and the band practice at a local nightclub. She sings "The Man That Got Away", which becomes the theme of the film. Let me just say that this is one of the most moving songs you'll ever hear. Just enchanting. And the way Judy sings it, just wow. Norman realizes that she has great potential to become a star and he promises her to get her a screen test at the studio. She eventually does and when a star backs out of the picture, she is cast instead. Both she and Norman attend a preview of it, which of course, is "Born In A Trunk". This is just a stunning showcase for Judy. She does everything in this number. And that final "In Pocatella, Idaho" is mindblowing. I mean, how did she do that? After that, Vicki has offically become a star. She and Norman get married and she is nominated and wins an Academy Award. But the drunken Norman upstages her speech and embarasse's her and everyone. We then see her working on a production number for the film she is working on. After that is over, she takes a break in her dressing room and her boss comes to see her. During this scene, Vicki completely breaks down since Norman's drinking problem has gotten so bad that he has to go to a facility to cope with it. This is a devastating scene. What I like most about it is all the conflicting emotions that Judy conveys. Sadness, biterness,anger, desperation, hope. And it's brilliantly acted by her. After Norman is arrested after being released, she decides to quit pictures and move out of America with Norman, hoping that this will make things better. Her boss tells her that Norman is empty and that he will never be what he once was. Norman overhears this and shortly after, commits sucide. Heartbroken, Vicki holes up in her house and refuses to speak to anyone. But she is convinced by her old band member that she is doing what Norman dreaded. Wasting her career. She decides to go to the benefit at the Shrine and before she sings she states "Hello everybody. This is.... Mrs Norman Maine". A truly heartbreaking moment, perfectly delivered by her, and is followed by a standing ovation, which is the end of the film. Overall, one of the best performances I've ever seen and one of the Academy's biggest mistakes. Grace Kelly was great, but snubbing Judy was a crime. But Judy now has something greater then the Oscar. She is loved and remembered all over the world and her talent will always be cherished