Friday, January 25, 2008

The Oscar Race: Best Supporting Actress

Check out the clips first:

Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There

Ruby Dee, American Gangster

Saoirse Ronan, Atonement

Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone

Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

That Michael Clayton clip is actually a better clip for George Clooney than for Tilda Swinton, but it was the only one I could find of her. Cate Blanchett is the front runner in the race for her portrayal of "Bob Dylan" in I'm Not There. This clip makes the movie look a lot better than it is, as it was probably the coolest scene in the film, owing a bit to the great bit part by Michelle Williams. Blanchett was fantastic in the movie, probably the best thing about it, but she won 3 years ago for The Aviator (also playing a real person). This award is notorious for upsets--Marcia Gay Harden over Kate Hudson in 2001, Juliette Binoche over Lauren Bacall in 1996, Anna Paquin over Wynona Ryder in 1994, etc. So being the front runner in this race is a shaky prospect. That means I wouldn't rule out the other two competitive actresses in this race--Tilda Swinton and Amy Ryan. Swinton was fabulous in Michael Clayton as the blood-stained corporate lawyer who George Clooney takes down. She first caught our notice in the 1992 foreign film Orlando. Amy Ryan was also very very good in Gone Baby Gone, as the hard-to-sympathize-with neglectful mother whose daughter is kidnapped. The other two actresses are the ones who are lucky just being nominated. Saoirse Ronan was great in Atonement, but she's very young, and given the guilds backlash against her film was lucky to show up here. Ruby Dee was the most memorable supporting character in American Gangster, but with about 5 minutes of total screen time, does she really deserve to be considered for the award?

Were I a member of the academy, I'd probably cast my vote for Tilda Swinton, but as a betting man, I'd probably say that Cate Blanchett is most likely to win this award.

No comments: