…And the nominees are…
Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
Chicago is one of my favorite movie musicals, so I was very excited that Rob Marshall was making another movie musical. “Nine” had an all-star cast, but didn’t have the spark and audience appeal of Chicago. Marshall has managed to hand-pick some of the world’s best actresses to star in his movie. But only Penelope Cruz received a nomination for her performance as Guido’s longtime mistress, Carla. Penelope goes through so many emotions in the course of the movie. She is seductive in her musical number, pathetic as she begs for Guido’s attention and poignant in her suicidal scene in the hotel room.
This is Penelope’s third Oscar nomination. She was nominated for: VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA in 2008 and won for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in VOLVER in 2006.
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Vera Farmiga is the frequent flying woman, Alex Goran. She meets Ryan Bingham (gorgeous George Clooney) in an airport bar and develops a romantic relation with him by comparing their frequent flier status and airline miles. They continue their no-strings attached relationship between flights at various airports and hotels across the country. Alex and Ryan are made for each other, because neither of them wants any emotional attachments.
This is Vera’s first Oscar nomination.
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Jeff Bridges has won not only rave reviews for his performance as the self-destructive country-western singer ‘Bad’ Blake in Crazy Heart, but he has also won the Golden Globe, SAG Awards as well. But Maggie Gyllenhaal who plays the writer, Jean Craddock, who comes to town to do a story about his for her newspaper and changes his life. Even though there is a bit of (ok, quite a bit) an age difference, Jean and Bad become romantically involved.
Maggie received great reviews for her role in Secretary and many people thought she should have won an Oscar for that movie.
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
You might recognize Anna Kendrick as Jessica Stanley from the “Twilight” movies. In “Up in the Air” she plays Natalie Keener, an straight-laced, all business, all the time young woman learning ins and outs of corporate downsizing from George Clooney’s character Ryan Bingham.
Anna Kendrick was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance in High Society on Broadway.
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
In my review of Precious, I told you about the powerful performance that Mo’Nique gave as Mary Jones, Precious’ mother. Not to discount any of the performances by the other actresses nominated in this category, but I would not be the only person who would be surprised if Mo’Nique did not win an Academy Award this year.
Mo’Nique’s performance as the horrible, ghetto mother from hell, Mary Jones is chilling. We have seen Mo’Nique in other movies and as a comedienne. But as Mary Jones, she went ’somewhere else‘. It was RAW. That is the only word I can think of that describes her performance. Mary Jones is a woman who allows her boyfriend to molest her young daughter and blames the daughter for ’stealing her man. Her only feelings for Precious and her grandchildren are attached to the welfare check they represent. Mo’Nique has already won the Golden Globe and the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance and if there is any justice, she will take home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar as well.
Actor in a Supporting Role
I am ashamed to say that I have not seen ANY of these movies. The Chick Flicks kept me pretty business last year. But after all, isn’t that why we have Netflix. I have heard good things about Invitctus and The Last Station. If you have seen any of these movies, please leave a comment about your pick for Best Support Actor.
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”