Thursday, February 22, 2007

Low Res Oscar Week: The Supporting Performers

Why, yes, it IS Oscar week. So glad you asked. I promise to to my level best to provide six full days of content, leading up to the big show on Sunday. It's my chance to pretend I'm a real, live blog.

So anyway, there are enough places on the internet where you can find analysis of the current Oscar nominees and who's going to win. Places that do it much better than I do. So while I plan on tossing up a predictions column by the end of the week, the bulk of my postings will be presenting my own personal ballot for the best of the year. Why? Because this blog is all about meeeeeee!

And if you thought I could resist calling these Low Res movie awards the Rezzies, well, you obviously overestimated me.

This installment: Supporting Actor and Actress

Steve Carell - Little Miss Sunshine
Greg Kinnear - Little Miss Sunshine
Sergi Lopez - Pan's Labyrinth
Stanley Tucci - The Devil Wears Prada
Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

Matches with Oscar: 0/5, though Oscar liked Whitaker's performance enough that they bumped him up to Best Actor and are probably going to give him the statue for it. Which is nice.

Past Rezzie Winners: 2005: Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale); 2004: Clive Owen (Closer); 2003: Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai); 2002: Paul Newman (Road to Perdition); 2001: Ian McKellan (Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring)

Why These Five? Whitaker's been named "Best Actor" by many groups, and while I think you could credibly classify him either way, the fact that it's Garrigan's story means Amin is the secondary character, no matter how big and unforgettable the portrayal is. As a supporting performance, it's a knockout. Lopez may not have been an unambiguous villain, but what a villain. Tucci was unexpectedly affecting, bringing warmth and humor to a character who might have been aloof and condescending in other hands. Kinnear and Carell gave the two best performances in an excellent LMS ensemble.

Who Wins? It's tough to not reward the Little Miss Sunshine boys, who worked hard and were brilliantly funny. But Forest Whitaker's Amin was scary, convincing, and unforgettable

Adriana Barraza - Babel
Emily Blunt - The Devil Wears Prada
Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine
Meryl Streep - A Prairie Home Companion
Emma Thompson - Stranger Than Fiction

Matches with Oscar: 2/5. The Academy went with Rinko Kikuchi, Jennifer Hudson, and Cate Blanchett, rather than Blunt, Streep, and Thompson.

Past Rezzie Winners: 2005: Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener); 2004: Natalie Portman (Closer); 2003: Patricia Clarkson (The Station Agent); 2002: Meryl Streep (Adaptation); 2001: Carrie-Ann Moss (Memento)

Why These Five: Here's a better question: why not any of thirteen others? This year was ridiculously deep in award-worthy supporting actress performances, and any of the following women would have made more than worthy nominees: Frances McDormand (Friends With Money), Frances De La Tour (The History Boys), Lola Dueñas and Carmen Maura (Volver), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Stranger Than Fiction), Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine), Edie Falco (Freedomland), Lindsay Beamish (Shortbus), Vera Farmiga (The Departed), Catherine O'Hara (For Your Consideration), Maribel Verdu (Pan's Labyrinth), Lily Tomlin (A Prairie Home Companion), and Mia Kirshner (The Black Dahlia).

Who Wins: Coming out at the top of that pile is worthy of a win in and of itself. My choice, ultimately, is Emma Thompson, who was brilliant as ever playing the depressed and prescient author.

No comments: