Movie Stars and Gossip
With the dearth of well-written roles for woman over the last few decades, Best Actress commonly isn’t the star-studded affair it use to be when you had the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Olivia De Havilland, and Ingrid Bergman competing for the Oscar. The movies from which the Best Actress nominees come from now are also typically smaller, lesser known films than the films their leading male counterparts are nominated for. In fact, over the last twenty years, only two Best Actress winners have belonged to films that won the Oscar for Best Picture (Shakespeare in Love and Million Dollar Baby) and eight times the winner of Best Actress came from a film that wasn’t even nominated for Best Picture.
The lineup of actresses nominated for Best Actress in 2010 proved to be no exception, because while the performances themselves were relatively strong, with the exception of the winning actress’ film, very few people actually saw most of these films. Despite the small exposure these films and performances received, it is a pretty solid lineup and there aren’t really any substitute performances egregiously snubbed that I would propose for replacement with one great exception: Lesley Manville in Another Year.
Of course, as is almost an annual occurrence for some “bubble” performances, the likely reason for Manville’s absence from Oscar’s big party was category confusion. It was hard for many people to decide whether Manville belonged in the Best Supporting Actress category or as a lead in the Best Actress category, and her lackluster campaign did not really get a clear message across as to which category people should have voted for her. Her role in the film is a genuinely tough one to categorize, but had I been able to vote, I think I would have included her as a Best Actress nominee. Either way, it really is a shame she was not included in one of the two categories though, because she gave the best performance of any female of 2010.
The only other performance that I might have included instead of some of the other nominees is Julianne Moore in The Kids Are All Right. While her partner, Annette Bening (who did give the better performance in my opinion), was nominated, a large part of the film was about the interaction between the two women, so it would have been fitting for both of them to have received nominations. Getting two lead nominations from the same film though is an extremely rare occurrence, so it was not too surprising only one of them received a Best Actress nomination.
That’s enough speculating about the “could of”s and “should of”s, let’s get on to the actual nominees.
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