Discussing Best Actress Oscar Race with Tom O’Neil and Pete Hammond

For the past two or three years — okay, except for last time when Sandra Bullock took home an Oscar… nothing against Sandy B., but really? — the race for Best Actress has always been the most interesting. Especially when Marion Cotillard battled it out against Julie Christie. Umph! That one was epic.

And here there are O’Neil (Gold Derby) and Hammond (Deadline Hollywood) discussing this year’s Best Actress race.

To be honest, I was completely enamored by Natalie Portman on Black Swan — not that I needed any help to fangirl — even though I was quite adamant in supporting Korean actress (now that she’s legible) Hye-ja Kim for a Best Actress nomination for her role as the fiercest woman on Madeo (Mother).

Sure, it’s a very… very, very long shot. There’s no budget to campaign for Kim and Madeo, and I am pretty sure Kim doesn’t speak a word of English, but still, it would be nice and pretty amazing. Just asking for a nomination. If a nomination does happen, my faith in the Academy will be restored xD

And look! She’s gorgeous!!

Anyway, if we’re discussing shoo-ins, we’ve got Portman who’s campaigning hard. You can tell. If you follow the race and you’re a Portman fan, you know she wants it bad and she’s playing the game. We all want to believe — deep, deep down inside — that the Oscars are about the film and talent, but it’s really not it. Oscars also play on ratings, and play on how memorable a win can be.

Although I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember that Sandra Bullock won last time for the Blind Side, once I Googled it up and went, “How could I have forgotten that!” I immediately remembered the reasons: 1. The film was a surprise hit, 2. Bullock was on the tabloids, and 3. She adopted a baby boy. It’s a happy ending for a very likable Bullock. Even if she did win Best Actress and Worst Actress — now, that’s pretty memorable. LOL

This year, we’ve got Portman. No one wants to say this, but her pregnancy announcement IS perfect timing. She’s all over in the people’s magazine articles, and she’s got Bible-thumpers on her online forums saying she’s a sinner for getting pregnant before marriage. We got the tabloids covered.

And for those of you saying being pregnant doesn’t change a thing, it does now. In an age where C or D or F-list celebrities do press releases saying they’re pregnant or that they just had babies, Natalie Portman being pregnant is a huge deal. Society seems obsessed with celebrity pregnancies.

Then there’s Black Swan, which is a box office surprise. No one believed it would happen, but the film’s been pretty commercial. To top that off, critics pretty much love the film and Portman in it. So it beats the Blind Side on that one. xD Portman is literally breathtakingly mesmerizing in that supreme last scene of the film. No one is going to begrudge her for winning for Black Swan. If this is her one chance to win, this is the film to win it for.

Then there’s Annette Bening, whose role on The Kids Are All Right seemed to be well-received early in the year. However, her campaign has been non-existent. The best thing in Bening’s favor is that it could be a “gay & lesbian” landmark win, besides Milk ;P And while Jennifer Lawrence is a shoo-in for a nomination, Winter’s Bone lacks the budget — and star power — of the rest on this list.

Kidman seems to be a wildcard. Rabbit Hole has been well received and she knows how to play. The coolest thing for a Kidman Oscar win would be a triumphant comeback.

The fifth spot is up for grabs. I’m still crossing my fingers for a Korean take-over ;D


YAM Magazine editor, photographer, blogger, translator and part-time web designer. Film junkie, music junkie… and lately series (a.k.a. TV) junkie.

19 Responses

  1. Julili says:


  2. "Especially when Marion Cotillard battled it out against Julie Christie."

    I thought that was Marion Cotillard vs Ellen Page based on the hype back then and the way people fapped hard about Juno (which I thought it was a great film, but also overrated at the same time).

    • YAM Magazine says:

      No Ellen Page vs. Marion Cotillard was created by the Page fans. Julie Christie was winning half the awards that year, and everyone thought Cotillard a longshot because it wasn't a role in English, but she won the other half of the critic awards. Then came GGs which went to both, BAFTAs which went to Cotillard, and SAG which went to Christie. Epic battle was epic.

      • Julili says:

        Omfg what a race it was! Me and Amy were on the edge of our seats! We wanted Marion to win so bad!

        • Amy says:

          And then the following year when Kate Winslet won, I was on a live chat at Living Cinema. We all really thought Dorothy (or was it K?) had fainted when Winslet won and Cotillard handed her statue… because, remember? There was a Best Actresses group handout. It was too much fangirly spazz.

    • Amy says:

      I love Ellen Page, and I love Juno… but come on, Elle Page fans! Get real! Gonna say this one again and again… seeing La Vie en Rose in a Swedish cinema with non-readable subtitles in a non-understandable film and still feeling something speaks volumes for Marion's performance. xD

  3. Castor says:

    The Academy loves performances like Natalie Portman’s in Black Swan. Although it’s a one-note turn, it’s raw and strained and that makes Portman a lock for the Oscar.

    PS: Why is every comment being printed twice?

  4. yam magazine says:

    Had issues with the comments, and had to re-import some of them…

    I agree with your assessment on Portman’s role. As far as campaigning, she does seem to have it all perfectly aligned… by chance or not xD

  5. Robert says:

    Ah, wouldn’t a nomination for Hye-Ja Kim be fantastic? She was so wonderful in that movie. I’m rooting for a Natalie Portman win though I think it would also be absolutely amazing to see Emma Stone get a nomination for Easy A…though that will never in a million years happen. :)

    • amy says:

      @Robert, it would be an amazing Oscar miracle. Since there’s only one spot up for grabs, though – I’m going to have to go with Kim instead of Stone though.

      My ardent Portman fan years are passed behind me, but I’m still going to be proud when she stands there. She’s smart, so she should be able to prepare a nice speech.

      But Hye-ja Kim xO_Ox just a nomination!! xD

  6. ghost says:

    So… you were right. Portman wants it bad. Desperately bad, it’s kinda… sad. Hope it’s not a bittersweet win.

  7. Dan says:

    I’d like to see Portman get it to be honest. I think she deserves it.

    • amy says:

      @Dan, Yeah, I think the ending in Black Swan alone would merit Portman with the Oscar. And if we’re talking about buzz, she’s got it on her side, I think.

      Unless we go for a Jeff Bridges win for Annette Bening.

  1. January 6, 2011

    […] Amy discusses the Best Actress Oscar race (Yam Mag) […]

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