The Oscars, Analysed, Best Actress

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It’s a week and a bit now till the Oscars, and we now reach the big 4 categories, starting off with the Actress in a Leading Role category…

The Nominees:   Jessica Chastain  ‘Zero Dark Thirty’;  Naomi Watts  ‘The Impossible’;  Emmanuelle Riva  ‘Amour’;  Jennifer Lawrence  ‘Silver Linings Playbook’   and   Quvenzhane Wallis  ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild;.

As I said earlier in my Supporting Actress entry, this year has been pretty average for female performances. There plenty of great roles, but little shining, and that’s more to do with the movies than the actresses themselves. Chastain’s role in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ was an anchor, which director Kathryn Bigelow used to draw her themes around. The other 4 were also accomplished performances, with a 2 of them standing out for me. Watts performance in ‘The Impossible’ is excellent but for me she came as a supporting character.

Keira Knightley for ‘Anna Karenina’ and Marion Cotillard for ‘Rust & Bone’ are some notable snubs, but they are still nothing to get angry about. The final five are just about right. One performance, however, which I loved to have seen there, is Alicia Vikander’s for ‘A Royal Affair’. It’s a Danish movie, nominated for Best Foreign Language movie, and she had a role in ‘Anna Karenina’ as well. I would’ve liked her there instead of Naomi Watts.

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Who Should Win: Quvenzhane Wallis ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’. Some say the acting ability a child has comes naturally sometimes, and that’s fair enough. Wallis turn in “Beasts” is the definition of fiery. She lights up that movie. And most of the time a child actor getting a nomination Is just about the prize itself, I’d love it if the Oscars just give it to her, since she gave the best and most natural performance. My other preference would be Riva, for her turn as a dying wife in ‘Amour’.

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Who Will Win: Chastain won a Golden Globe, but that’s been her only major award, and as I said, she dominates her movie, but she is still not the centre of attention in it, which is not her fault, or anybody’s, it’s just how the movie is. She has a chance here, but I doubt she’ll take it. Jennifer Lawrence however, has Screen Actors Guild in her bag, and so far I’d say she’s the favourite. But I think the Oscars will honour Emmanuelle Riva for ‘Amour’. The BAFTA’s last week threw Riva into the mix, and I think the Oscars will follow suit, as they might give Riva her last chance in the limelight. Lawrence still has a chance, the SAG usually has an edge, but I’m tipping Riva.

Yazen Al Samen

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