Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit)
Margot Robbie (Bombshell)
Annette Bening – The Report
My Overall Thoughts:
This is yet another category this year that has one consistently dominant performance that has been leading the way during the Award season. The other 4 nominees are also great, but none come close to being as dominant as the front runner.
5. Kathy Bates
4. Margot Robbie
3. Florence Pugh
2. Scarlett Johansson
1. Laura Dern
5. Bombshell – Fascinating story that is so shocking to see how things are shown. Theron leads a great cast and show how toxic the environment got at Fox News and how long it took for the women who were harassed to come forward and report what happened. The story starts off like atypical film about the #metoo movement and turns into something much bigger along the way. The strongest performance here tho is by Lithgow who is almost unrecognizable both physically and verbally as the bulldozer Ailes. The fact that this film is based on real events helps make it even more impactful.
4. Little Women – Great adaptation of this classic story. The way that they chose to tell the tale in a non-linear fashion actually enhances things so much more because we don’t have to wait so long to see how events affect one another. The cast is superbly chosen and they give us some really talented actresses to play the main roles which adds so much more to the impact of events. The story is told in a very modern way which works in helping make things feel even more accessible to a modern audience. Gerwig knows how to put together a film like this really well and makes it even more curious to see what she has for us in the future.
3. Jojo Rabbit – Brilliant idea that is executed so well by Waititi. The story starts off seeming like a normal film about Nazis, but quickly makes the turn to show us the absurdity and silliness of it all. I can understand the backlash that this film has gotten, especially from the Jewish community (my own), but when one looks deeper into this film, they see that it doesn’t glorify at all what the Nazis did and gives things a very unique spin which is actually a very powerful one. The story unfolds in a great way and allows us to see how the main character’s viewpoints are slowly changed as he begins to see the truth that goes on around him. The film wisely gives us everything from a child’s perspective because that helps make it much easier to accept the truth of it all. Johansson, Rockwell and especially Waititi help enhance the message of this film.
2. Richard Jewell – Eastwood once again shows how even at his age, he is such a great director. The story is presented really well and we get a clear idea of both sides of this story’s debate. The characters are developed really well which also allows us to wonder about everything that is transpiring. The standout in this film is obviously Hauser in the title role, but both Rockwell and Bates help keep the story grounded and focused the whole way through. Bates was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in this film. As a story about how the media has always sensationalized the news, this film works on a very deep level in gaining the understanding of how much influence the media has on the public’s perception of people and events.
1. Marriage Story – Unique film that takes a very touchy subject and doesn’t sugarcoat it at all. Both Johansson and Driver give career defining performances here and both deservingly were nominated for Oscars for their performances. Unfortunately, neither will be taking home Gold on Sunday night for these roles and the question actually remains as to whether this film will manage to walk away with any of the 6 Oscars it is nominated for. Its best bet is Dern for Best Supporting Actress who seems like a shoe in, but might be the category that will surprise everyone. The story moves along at a great pace and the attention to detail with the characters and the scenarios that they encounter help enhance this film so much. In addition to Dern, Liotta and Alda are also both great in supporting roles and show the true face of what people need to deal with during a divorce that slowly gets out of hand. Not an easy film to watch since it presents too many situations that are all too real, yet that is part of what makes this film so powerful.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – For Sure! LD is superb in this role and easily outshines all 4 of her competitors here.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!