HOLLYWOOD—Last week we talked about the contenders for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress and I gave my picks. Now we move on to Best Actress and this one is a major toss up in my opinion. Why? People who we suspected to be in the race: Viola Davis “The Woman King” and Danielle Deadwyler “Till” are not. Those women were not nominated which completely opened the race in my opinion as Michelle Williams “The Fabelmans,” Andrea Riseborough “To Leslie” and Ana de Armas “Blonde” are all nominated against the two frontrunners: Michelle Yeoh “Everything Everywhere All at Once” and Cate Blanchett “Tàr.”
We’ll talk about Yeoh and Blanchett later, so let’s talk about the other three first. Look “Blonde” is a terrible movie; plain and simple. All those Razzie nominations the movie recently earned it deserved. The movie should be rated X and I just found it God awful. Rarely, and I mean rarely do you see a terrible or really bad movie land a nomination for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor or Best Supporting Actress, because the acting tends to go with the narrative which is never a good thing.
So while Armas does I guess a somewhat decent job as the iconic movie star, she doesn’t have a chance of winning. If she does it would be the greatest shock in Oscar history since “Crash” defeated “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Then you have that crazy campaign for Andrea Riseborough who found a way to earn a nomination for a movie that almost no one knew about. I mean when you have A-listers like Kate Winslet pushing for you to earn a nomination that says something.
Now, I have not seen the movie and it is indeed on my list, but I would be honest Andrea is the darkest of dark horses in this race, so with all that support from actors in the Actors branch wanting her to receive her flowers for her performance she could deliver an upset in this category no one expected. Let’s talk about Michelle Williams who is a phenomenal actress who has been nominated several times for an Academy Award. First as Supporting Actress for “Brokeback Mountain,” then two times for Best Actress for “My Week With Marilyn” and “Blue Valentine” and most recently for Best Supporting Actress for “Manchester by the Sea.”
In my personal opinion she is long overdue. She was epic in “My Week With Marilyn” and the same sentiment I have to echo for “Blue Valentine.” I loved and I mean loved her in “The Fabelmans” and I was ecstatic to see her boosted from what many considered Supporting Actress to Lead Actress because what she does in this drama is amazing. She is the heart and she really resonates on the screen. I want to see Williams win, but this race is so unpredictable I don’t know if she has enough backing to win.
That brings me to Yeoh and Blanchett. Look, I didn’t love “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” It is not an easy movie to follow and plays a lot with the notion of the multiverse and changing narratives that can absolutely lose the audience at times. However, that doesn’t take away from the meaty acting that Yeoh delivers in this movie that is stellar and a standout. Then you have Blanchett, who has already won two Oscars, one for Best Supporting Actress for “The Aviator” and then Best Actress for “Blue Jasmine.” Beyond that she has been nominated multiple times: Best Actress for “Elizabeth,” “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” and “Carol.” She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Notes on a Scandal” (she should have won then also people) and “I’m Not There.”
There is no denying when Blanchett is on the screen she resonates and I absolutely loved her in “Tàr” that is a slow burn, but she has those epic moments of acting that just stuns you in a way that is hard to describe with words. That opening monologue with the students in the opening, that climatic scene with the orchestra during her big moment; just epic, it screams Oscar for me.
If I’m betting now, the Oscar is Blanchett’s to lose, her momentum is strong, but the Screen Actors Guild is going to be important. If she wins that prize, I think she is a lock for Oscar, however, if Yeoh wins or if one of the other ladies Davis or Deadwyler who aren’t even nominated for Oscar, we could be in for a nail biting moment come March 12, 2023 when we await to hear the name called when that envelope is opened. Guess what, I love every moment of it because a predictable awards season is a boring one.