Friday, March 7, 2008

One Category at a Time - Part 5 - Supporting Actress

Bear in mind that these five are only the tip of an iceberg of possibilities for 2008's best supporting actress. They will change a hundred times before next January's nominations, but here they are anyway:

Amy Adams for “Doubt”
Amy Adams won't have long to bask in the Disney-princess afterglow of her star making turn in Enchanted. She's already back in theaters with a more adult (though still light-spirited) performance in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. That should be enough to keep her in everyone's minds by the time Doubt rolls out in December, wherein she'll be playing a nun at a Catholic school in 1964 New York. Amy Adams in black? Will people react as strongly to her when she's not singing to happy woodland creatures? For now, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt (no pun intended).

Kathy Bates for “Revolutionary Road”
Since she was last nominated for About Schmidt in 2002, Kathy Bates has been well off of Oscar's radar, popping up in duds like Around the World in 80 Days, Failure to Launch, and Fred Claus. But she looks ripe for another nomination in the highly anticipated Revolutionary Road, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (most people have failed to mention that this movie actually reunites three Titanic cast members). Ashamed as I am to admit it, I have not read the Yates novel, so I don't know what to expect from Bates just yet, but call it an instinct. I say she'll get in.

Cate Blanchett for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
Blanchett plays Daisy in the film... and that doesn't mean much, actually. I've just read the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald and found no character named Daisy, so I'm not sure what sort of part Blanchett is lined up to play. I guess I'll just have to wait. But that doesn't matter. You could nominate this fine actress every year, for any of her performances, even if it's in a movie as bad as Elizabeth: The Golden Turd. Plus, the plot of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button spans a long period of time, which means good things for all the principle actors who get to show off in “aging roles” (always popular with the Academy).

Kate Winslet for “The Reader”
The recent exposure of on-set photos from this movie have made a strong impression. It just looks like an Oscar movie. Kate Winslet being who she is (Kate Winslet!), we can assume she'll knock it out of the ballpark, and voters will look for any opportunity to nominate this terrific acting talent. If she's billed as supporting for this picture, she could pull off the leading/supporting double nod from the Academy, since her performance in the aforementioned Revolutionary Road looks enticing as well.

Michelle Williams (or any actress) from “Synecdoche, New York”
Just check out the cast of ladies who'll be orbiting Philip Seymour Hoffman in this newest Charlie Kaufman original:

Hope Davis
Catherine Keener
Jennifer Jason Leigh
Samantha Morton
Emily Watson
Dianne Wiest
Michelle Williams

Damn! And I'll say it again: Damn! That's one impressive lineup. Any of these performances could be outstanding. In fact, they could all be outstanding, which would be a worse-case scenario, because then the Academy won't know who to pick. Still, I think it's likely that at least one of them could get in (I just watched Brokeback Mountain yesterday, so I have a temporarily stronger feeling about Michelle Williams).

Which actresses have I inexcusably omitted? Let me know.

Next category, art direction.

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