Kate Winslet – Revolutionary Road
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a pretty weak year and most of the nominees are quite good, but not great. One of them gave two great performances and even if the Academy chose the wrong one to spotlight, she was still the front runner.
5. Anne Hathaway
4. Angelina Jolie
3. Meryl Streep
2. Melissa Leo
1. Kate Winslet
5. The Reader – Really liked the way that they essentially tell two completely different stories here; one a story of young love and the other how one deals with knowledge about the past. Winslet is great here and definitely deserved her Oscar for Best Actress for this role because it is both sensual and also horrific at the the same time once you watch things unfold. I’m not convinced that this film deserved a Best Picture nomination, because it isn’t as good as one would hope for it to be and due to the fact that it was the weakest of the 5 nominees that year while there were two excellent films overlooked by the Academy: Wall-E (2008) and The Dark Knight (2008). The moral issues brought up in this film are ones that can be pondered over for a long time after watching it.
4. Frozen River – Very interesting idea of a film because it presents a little known idea that can show how tempting illegal activities can be when one wants to try and support a family. The main character played by Leo is developed really well and we can easily sympathize with her situation. Leo deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for this role. This film can easily be classified as a crime thriller despite the fact that it doesn’t move along at a fast pace. The Christmas-time setting along with the wintery atmosphere works really well to add so many more dimensions to the story.
3. Rachel Getting Married – Interesting premise that works because they are able to give us some very well developed characters based solely by their interactions with other characters and via the great dialogue. Hathaway is great in the lead and really allows us to see and feel the vulnerability of this character as we slowly begin to get a clearer understanding of the repercussions of her actions. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here. The film gives the viewer a very “homey” atmosphere throughout which helps leave the impression that anyone could be a part of a family like this which helps make things even more enjoyable to watch unfold.
2. Doubt – Excellent portrayal of an accuser and suspect situation where we never know the truth and either side can be successfully argued. Amazing cast led by Streep, Adams and of course the wonderful Hoffman who does a great job trying to profess his innocence in the midst of high suspicion. Dialogue is impeccable and it gives us even more depth to the characters and storyline.
1. Changeling – I was blown away by this film once again. Not a fan of Jolie, but she is excellent here. This film is further proof that Eastwood is an amazing director and much better behind the camera than he ever was in front of it. Always been a fan of Straczynski and was so happy to see him give us yet another great story. Definitely among Eastwood’s best films as a director. Loved how the story slowly evolved as it moved forward.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! In a fairly weak year, KW gave a powerful performance even if it wasn’t the best she’s ever given, even in this year.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!