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Best Actress Rewind: 2003

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Tuesday, Sep 14, 2010
Oscar-watcher Matt Mazur dips into the history of this category and compares the Academy nominees with his own (frequently better) nominees!

Oscar Nominees


Keisha Castle Hughes ... Whale Rider
Diane Keaton ... Something’s Gotta Give
Samantha Morton ... In America 
Charlize Theron ... Monster
Naomi Watts ... 21 Grams


Mazur Nominees


Jennifer Connelly … House of Sand and Fog



  
Jamie Lee Curtis … Freaky Friday


Meg Ryan … In the Cut


Charlize Theron … Monster


Uma Thurman … Kill Bill Volume One


Oscar Winner: Theron.


Mazur Winner: In a year that most Oscar experts consider one of the weakest of the decade, Theron takes the win in a walk. This is one of the few times I actually agree with the Academy—as famed serial killer Aileen Wuornos, the actress changed everything familiar about herself to disappear into the mind of a madwoman. Theron’s is a performance that is pitched very high, that relies heavily on the makeup, costume, and the physical aspects (the voice, the mannerisms, 30 extra pounds packed on by the actress).


Never before in her work had she gone to a place of such impeccable craft and by essentially covering up everything most people love about her—the charm, the beauty, the intelligence—Theron gave one of the finest performances of the entire decade. It always surprises me that voters went for such a bleak, risky performance. Those are the kind that usually don’t even get nominated, so kudos must be given to voters this year, and of course to Charlize for committing to such a challenging role. Theron’s win for Monster is one of the most well-deserved Oscars I can think of in recent memory.

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