[16 November 2010]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
Oscar has an affinity for Australian actors when it comes to giving up the gold: Cate Blanchett, Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, Heath Ledger, and Geoffrey Rush among the recent winners from down under. Animal Kingdom‘s Jacki Weaver, who is appearing in the Sydney Theater’s production of Uncle Vanya, is positioned to be the next performer to uphold the tradition this year for her bravura turn in the noirish film.
Playing Janine ‘Smurf’ Cody, the cunningly sweet matriarch with a heart of steel, Weaver seems to be shoe-in for an impending slew of trophies and critical hosannas. But will Academy voters bite? History is on Weaver’s side, Aussie heritage aside, playing a variation of the bad mother trope has won the top prize for Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden), Shelley Winters (A Patch of Blue), and most recently, Mo’Nique (Precious). If I were a Best Supporting Actress contender, I’d watch my back.
Check out this exclusive scene from Animal Kingdom to see Weaver in full-throttle action. It would work perfectly as an Oscar clip as well.