Penelope Cruz for Nine
Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air
Mo’Nique for Precious
Filling up three paragraphs on this category is going to prove difficult, hence the start of this section being guarded with meta-waffle about the difficulty of writing this column. The reason it’s difficult is precisely the same reason it is difficult to fill three paragraphs on any complete inevitability. I could probably waffle on for even longer about such inanities, but I’ll get stuck in now. Mo’Nique will win.
For me, Mo’Nique doesn’t give the best performance of the actresses here, partly because her’s fits to closely with the motifs and styles the director Lee Daniels used, all of which extracted me from the film. She is a huge character and it’s a huge performance, but I could never believe what was happening on screen in the way I needed to, meaning that all her ferocious intimidation and her tear-strewn denouement just felt manufactured. No doubt though that, if you liked the film and ‘got’ its style, that it’s an incredible performance. For that reason, I can’t see anyone else winning.
Penelope Cruz continued her streak of looking phenomenal on screen in Nine, but that’s not enough for an Oscar. Vera Farmiga is understated and sexy in Up in the Air, Anna Kendrick is sweet and nails her big scenes. Neither is big enough to take on Mo’Nique. Gyllenhaal too, not enough. Her nomination, though coming at the expense of some other deserving names, does at least make up for the lack of attention she has suffered in past years. She has no chance here though, partly because of being overshadowed in her film by Bridges, and partly because of the awards bulldozer Mo’Nique has been. If there’s a dark horse, I suppose Kendrick or Farmiga. Won’t happen, though.
Predicted Winner: Mo’Nique for Precious