Amy Adams American Hustle
To be honest, the Best Actress category is full of underwhelming performance. While I did not hate any of these performances, I just felt it was an overall weak category. For instance, Amy Adams is average in American Hustle and not ‘Oscar-worthy.’ In fact, Sydney Prosser and her terrible British accent is one of the weaker aspects of the film. Again, I really love Amy Adams and felt she deserved a Supporting Actress nomination for Her, but in American Hustle she is nothing more than an eye-candy con artist who mopes around for half the movie. With that said, this is Amy Adams fifth nomination, and even if she does not win on Sunday, she is bound to win one in the future.
Cate Blanchett Blue Jasmine
As many readers know, I am not the biggest fan of this film. I despised the characters because they were terrible people doing terrible things. I sat in this film for seventy-minutes and realized that the praise critics had for this was unwarranted. In fact, I bet that years down the road people will completely forget this film. With that said, Cate Blanchett does play a spoiled brat really well; her character, who is slowly losing her mind throughout the film, radiates a niggard personality. However, the audience is supposed to feel empathy for the character because she is unstable and slowly becoming deranged: perhaps other people feel empathy for her, but I felt the character got what she deserved.
Sandra Bullock Gravity
The true weak link in an already weak category, Bullock gets praise because she is the only character through majority of Gravity. However, this does not mean she gives a great performance; between her exposition heavy dialogue and shrieks of terror, I found her performance suitably average. She was not the reason why I went to see Gravity, just like Sam Worthington was not the reason I saw Avatar: I saw these movies for the beautiful visuals. And to all the people who say she gives a ‘tour de force’ performance, which is a common expression for movies with one character, watch Robert Redford in All is Lost.
Judi Dench Philomena
A good performance in an okay film, Judi Dench’s acting is hindered by the middling Philomena. I just recently saw this (the review will be posted soon) and when it finished, it left a ‘bad taste in my mouth.’ The reason for this feeling is the naivety of the character Philomena in regards to the subject matter; now, sometimes naivety works like Woody Grant in Nebraska. And Philomena is just as, if not, more likable than Bruce Dern’s character; but the way she sticks up for people that have scorned her really bothered me. Perhaps this is a bias opinion, but to me there was no satisfaction with the outcome of the story. With that gripe out of the way, I can truly say that out of these five performances Judi Dench was my favorite. Again, Judi Dench is an important Hollywood staple, yet she disappears into the innocent role of Philomena.
Meryl Streep August: Osage County
Perhaps my least favorite Meryl Streep role ever, she is so over the top evil that I thought Dr. Evil’s laugh was going to play in the background. She chews so much scenery throughout the film that I am surprised the set remained standing. It just bothers me that Streep is a ‘shoe-in’ for a nomination every year, when other actresses should be nominated. No one is arguing about the legacy of Meryl Streep, but it feels like every one of her performances is considered great. But they are not because Streep is human like everyone else: if you want proof watch The Iron Lady, Julia & Julia, and Music of the Heart. These are good performances but nowhere near ‘Oscar-worthy,’ yet because of the Streep brand these performances are raved about.
Well I think it is time to bring this rant to a close; other actresses deserved this last spot and it obviously bothers me that Streep gets the automatic nomination.
As previously stated, I believe that the 2014 Best Actress category is very weak. With that said, my favorite performance last year was Judi Dench in Philomena, however, she has no shot to win. The Best Actress category has always been Cate Blanchett’s to lose, and even the late rumblings of Amy Adams as a dark horse, cannot derail that victory.