Thursday, November 14, 2013

Oscar Season Chat : Best Supporting Actress

Jose and I talk about Best Supporting Actress, as we do at this time of the year.

Oprah in The Butler
Murtada: So Jose our favorite time of the year, Awards Season is almost here. Can’t wait to see all the couture gowns but let’s start with who we think is going to be invited. I think most prognosticators agree on Oprah Winfrey (The Butler) and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) for best supporting actress. I loved Oprah and thought she was the best thing in her movie. She was surprisingly subtle and gave a fun flirty – dare I say it – even sexy performance. While it’s hard to suppress her larger than life persona and the baggage that brings with, I thought she was convincing as an everyday woman. She even gets a big Oscar clip moment – you know the slap heard around all the movie screens “everything you are and everything you have is because of that butler”. Lee Daniels is really a fantastic actress director – Monique, Gabby, Nicole and now Oprah, who knew?
As for Lupita a she is what everybody wants to talk about the minute her movie ends. It’s a great part – sympathetic, soulful and very touching – but her performance is fantastic too. And let’s not forget the Cinderella factor – everybody loves a newcomer who just hits it out of the park. I think she can go all the way, and if she starts winning early there is no stopping her.
So what are your thoughts on Oprah and Lupita? Who else do you think will be nominated?
Jose: Unlike the rest of the world I simply don’t get Oprah. I never got her as a celebrity and I certainly don’t get her as an actress. Other than respecting her for being a powerful woman, I don’t see what’s so special about her and I was once again scratching my head about what was so special about her in this movie. My major problem is that to me she never stopped being Oprah (it didn’t help that at one point a woman screamed “show that ratchet bitch, Oprah!” to the screen while everyone else cheered) and therefore, if everyone in the theater was thinking the same, I can’t consider it good acting. She distracted me from the story more than anything.

Lupita is perfect and there’s nothing more I can say about her without gushing.  I guess the most surprising thing about her performance is that it’s her first film! Apparently Yale trains great actors…I have never liked predicting who will be nominated, there are people who do this much better (and care more about it too) so I’ll have to plead the fifth for that one. Now if you asked me who were my favorites that would be a game I’d like even more…

Nyong'o and Woodard in 12 Years a Slave

Murtada: I like predicting so I’ll predict one more: June Squibb in Nebraska. I personally didn’t care much for the performance and found it one note. However she gets the best lines and wrings genuine hearty laughs out of them so she’s in. And another Cinderella story albeit a different one – the veteran toiling away on the sidelines for too long until she finally gets a big part.
But let’s talk favorites; we both loved Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine – her “curtsie” moment when introduced to Alec Baldwin is an example of a gem of a performance full of such quirky, lovely moments. She managed to be noticed against the full force of Cate’s dominating Jasmine. Lea Seydoux – sex on a stick in Blue is the Warmest Color and Alfre Woodard providing the only bit of levity in 12 Years and nailing her one scene with a funny and lived in performance. 12 Years is chock full of fantastic performances including Adepero Oduye who I thought was a bit too hysterical the first time I saw it. However by my second viewing I was impressed by the honesty she brought to her deep despair. Also Julianne Moore finally waking up from her long nap of a decade of uninspiring performances to bring heart and soul to Don Jon. Clearly JGL inspires her.
Your turn to gush about some lovely ladies……..

Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

Jose: I’ve yet to see Nebraska so I’ll hold my thoughts on June for now. I see your Alfre and raise you a Sarah Paulson. Her performance was absolutely chilling and she’s been on such a roll lately with Game Change and all those awful American Horror Story-s where she’s the only one worried in seeing beyond camp and delivering performances with any real human traits.
In terms of awards, I don’t think any of my favorites in anything (other than Queen Cate) will be nominated for anything this year, so indulge me as I stray from awards specific talk, into favorites of the year talk...I loved, loved, loved Kristin Scott Thomas in Only God Forgives (the scene in the restaurant!), Jennifer Garner in Dallas Buyers Club (the only one who wasn’t “ACTING!” in that movie), Amy Adams in Her, Joanna Scanlan in The Invisible Woman (weeks later I can’t stop thinking about her character), Michaela Watkins in In a World..., Vera Farmiga in The Conjuring (my go-to exorcist from now on), Janet McTeer in Hannah Arendt, Emma Watson in The Bling Ring and Octavia Spencer in Fruitvale Station (talk about someone who can do a lot with a small part) with my absolute favorite so far this year being Cameron Diaz in The Counselor.
But yeah, the number of nominees coming out of that pool will be minus all of them, except for Octavia maybe...Granted, I’ve yet to see Julia and J.Law in their movies and I’m expecting them to impress me as usual.
Murtada : I'm excited for American Hustle and August Osage County too. Although I’m more about Margo Martindale maybe finally finding a fantastic big screen role. Also Naomie Harris got a lot of raves in Toronto but I can’t say I’m looking forward to Mandela as that trailer is dullsville but I hope it leads to bigger things for her.  And how could you not mention your girl Rooney Mara in Her , her Sofia Coppola was dead on. I think it’s a great year for this category.
Any final thoughts?
Jose: I love Rooney but even I am objective sometimes. I did forget to mention how impressed I was by Eva Mendes in “The Place Beyond the Pines” though.  I can’t think of anything other than that...

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