Toni Collette – Little Miss Sunshine
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 4 very good performances by the nominees and one amazing performance that blows the others out of the water.
5. Kate Winslet
4. Judi Dench
3. Penélope Cruz
2. Meryl Streep
1. Helen Mirren
5. Volver – Film that does a great job balancing the various themes so well. The cast is great and each of the characters have their own cliches and superstitions which help the story move along at a really nice pace. The story is a comedy, drama, mystery and even a crime thriller that constantly switches its tone depending on the current scenes. The way that all of these various themes come together by the end is done so well since it makes it all come across so believably which in turn makes it feel very plausible. Cruz was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this film but being that the year had such a great field of performances, she unfortunately didn’t have much of a chance despite being among the best of the performances.
4. The Devil Wears Prada – Really fun film that works on numerous levels. Both Streep and Hathaway are perfect for these roles and they give us so much to savor with their performances. Streep was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here and it’s quite deserving. The story is able to say so much about what can happen when you unexpectedly get drawn into a new profession and how it can take control of your life if you aren’t careful. Not knowing much about fashion, much of those aspects of the film went right over my head but I could get a general understanding of what they are trying to say about the industry throughout. The movie is mostly a drama but is peppered with lots of humorous moments that help keep things grounded.
3. Notes on a Scandal – This is quite an interesting premise because it deals with lots of secrets and lies and how people use information to try and get what they want. Dench and Blanchett are both great here and you never really know exactly where things are heading because they both do such wonderful jobs in these roles. The themes dealt with here are partially taboo, but they still keep things to a point where it seems somewhat plausible.
2. Little Children – Powerful film that shows the complexities of suburban life while also showing the cracks along the way. Winslet and Wilson have great chemistry together throughout so even when there may be moral questions that arise, they still seem so great onscreen together. The way that the story moves in and out of personal lives and community issues works very well and Haley is the perfect actor for tackling the creepy role he is given and was quite deserving of his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here. The voice over narration is a bit annoying and the film might have been even better of it had been omitted even though it’s somewhat understandable why it was used here.
1. The Queen – Excellent performances by Mirren and Sheen. Great way that the film shows these real life events and portrays them in a very realistic fashion.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! HM is superb in the role of the Queen and is the most powerful of the 5 nominees.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!