The Dampness

I disagree with Stu Van Airsdale‘s latest Movieline/Oscar Index assessment of the Best Supporting Actress race. The back-and-forth political weathervane stuff is bullshit. All that matters is whether or not a supporting actress’s performance has sunk in…period. Not if she’s been charming or funny or histrionic or anguished, but whether you felt her soul or not. Nothing else.

In this regard the only contenders are Vanessa Redgrave (Coriolanus), Shailene Woodley and Judy Greer (The Descendants), Janet McTeer (Albert Nobbs), Jessica Chastain (Take Shelter) and Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method) for a total of six.

Octavia Spencer has her uppity “shit pie” moment in The Help and I understand that she’ll probably be nominated, but I was more amused than moved, due respect. Berenice Bejo‘s Poppy Flopsy Mopsy Cottontail performance in The Artist is perky and spirited, but she doesn’t really reach in. Melissa McCarthy was great in Bridesmaids, but her performance was more of a personality bust-out than anything else. Mia Wasikowska was too subdued in Albert Nobbs. Marion Cotillard didn’t really stand out in Midnight in Paris. No Sandra Bullock action from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close until after 12.2.

  • LexG

    Two crazy long-shots that are SO worthy of consideration but don’t seem to be in the discussion: Evan Rachel Wood in IDES OF MARCH, and, yes, Elle Fanning for SUPER 8– that was a star is born performance that was better than the entire rest of the movie.

    Hey, come to think of it, if the five nominees were: Shailene Woodley, Evan Rachel Wood, Elle Fanning, Keira Knightley, and Jessica Chastain, that would be the prettiest lineup of nominees in film history.

    BTW, Shailene is my favorite in this category and my new most awesomest actress ever, but isn’t the annual “Best Supporting Actress Who’s a Total Newcomer” kind of a career hex? And as always, you gotta feel for a Janet McTeer or Vanessa Redgrave being told they’re somehow not as good an actress as a Hailee Steinfeld or Gabby Sidibe or Shailene Woodley, it’s all so ridiculous it’s comical.

  • RobbyH

    Well Keira is being campaigned in Lead so I guess we know Well’s Top 5 now (:

    1. Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

    2. Judy Greer – The Descendants

    3. Janet McTeer – Albert Nobbs

    4. Vanessa Redgrave – Coriolanus

    5. Jessica Chastain – Take Shelter

    Another name being kicked around alot is Carey Mulligan for Shame which you didn’t mention.

  • JR

    @LexG:

    I agree with you on Elle Fanning, but there has been zero conversation; her time will come for something more substantial.

    I think Jeff is thinking wishfully on Greer. Woodley, yes. Greer…not quite there.

    But he is correct on Keira Knightley – she is in it. And I agree on McTeer.

    Haven’t seen Redgrave, but I have doubts about Chastain making it in over Spencer or Bejo. I do agree with Jeff in dropping Spencer down – so many more recent performances with much more resonance. I like Bejo here because she will be swept in with the surge for The Artist.

    Woodley, McTeer, Redgrave, Knightley, and Bejo.

  • http://www.franklin-et-marshall.net franklin marshall

    didn’t really stand out in Midnight in Paris. No Sandra Bullock action from Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close until after 12.2.

  • Gabe@ThePlaylist

    Bullock is GUARANTEED to be in there somewhere.

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