Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Oscars 2006: Actress In a Leading Role

Best Actress In a Leading Role

Penélope Cruz - Volver
Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren - The Queen
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet - Little Children

Who should win?
When looking at this category, you really can't help but admire the quality. Even if it does seem to be the same women who make the Academy's shortlist again and again, their consistent brilliance is undeniable. Perhaps with the exception of Winslet, all five of these performances would be worthy of this Oscar, especially when you look at the state of last year. Having said that, I must admit to finding Helen Mirren's performance slightly overrated (still excellent but this isn't the greatest thing anyone's ever done).

The other three performances in this category are exceptional, and I'd be delighted if any of them were to claim glory (I have to dream, don't I?). If I'm honest though, I think the one who has the most difficult job of selling their character is Penélope Cruz, who also has to align herself completely with the sensationalist blackness of the film, which she does so effortlessly with fiery dynamic gumption.

Who will win?
Without the need of a crystal ball, rune stones, tarot cards, or any other predictive instrument, I can confidently say (along with the rest of the world) that Helen Mirren will be crowned Queen of the Oscars.

Ever since this performance (or at least the role) first emerged into being, her buzz has soared and soared, and still won't be reined in despite the film having been released over four months ago. Playing the Queen has its advantages, both in terms of Oscar preference, and media interest. Never have I seen the media take a performance and put it on so high a pedastal, and never has Helen Mirren had as high a profile as she does right now.

Mirren is Queen of the critics too, garnering nearly thirty prizes, and losing just ONE, to the unflinching vicious Ellen Page in Hard Candy. Fairly astonishing considering what an excellent year it was for actresses. Still, her motor through the precursors has killed off any competition. This is no contest.

1 comment:

Kamikaze Camel said...

Agreed on Mirren. She's pretty great, but there were better.