During a recent Q&A, following a screening of Zero Dark Thirty, actress Jessica Chastain commented how one of the things that made her fall for this screenplay was discovering that a woman had played such a key role in the hunt and eventual assassination of Osama Bin Laden. She praised her character Maya, as being a woman who is not defined by her relationship with a man and thought that she was a perfect representation of the women of this generation.
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I love the Best Actress race, even though in recent years, it has been a relatively tame and predictable category. What was our last honest-to-God surprise? Keisha Castle-Hughes, the New Zealand child actress who won over the Academy with her devastating performance in Whale Rider? Maybe Laura Linney for The Savages? For the most part, the five women who get nominated are recognizable, beloved stars rolling on high-budget campaigns and hit films. There’s no other way to explain Sandra Bullock winning.
Well, it happened. The National Board of Review, one of the most notable early entries on the awards season calendar, announced their picks. There were a few surprises—Leonardo Dicaprio won Best Supporting Actor for Django Unchained, Bradley Cooper won Best Actor for Silver Linings Playbook. I’m sure we here at Statuesque will cover the implications of these surprises as well as other implications thoroughly but for me, the biggest surprise, though, had to be the strong showing of Looper.
In last year’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ezra Miller played Tilda Swinton’s demonic offspring. His evil glances and soulless detachment in no way prepare you to his vibrant turn as Patrick in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. In fact, you might even wonder if you’re indeed seeing the same actor. Essentially what Miller proves in Stephen Chbosky’s film is that he’s not just a pretty guy with killer bone structure. His turn in Kevin seemed like a dress rehearsal for a high fashion photoshoot (“be serious”, “fishface”, “wicked, mysterious smile”) but his performance here is so full of life that the viewer becomes truly swept up in the magic and romance of the film.
Every time an Oscar norm is broken, for a bit, people assume that it might set a precedent of things to come…
OMG, Halle Berry won Best Actress…here come Oscars for Angela Bassett and Viola Davis!
OMG, ten Best Picture nominees! All the superheroes will get nominated!
OMG, Sandra Bullock won an Oscar!
OMG Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig got Oscar nominations!
OMG the Oscars love comedy!
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