Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Rosamund Pike – I Care A Lot
My Overall Thoughts:
This is the one acting category this year that never had a real front runner and up until Oscar night, at least 3 of the nominees have been seen as having the chance of taking home Gold.
5. Viola Davis
4. Andra Day
3. Frances McDormand
2. Carey Mulligan
1. Vanessa Kirby
5. The United States vs. Billie Holiday – Great premise that unfortunately doesn’t resonate well enough. Audra Day does a wonderful job in the lead role, and was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for her debut role on screen.
4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Intriguing story that hinges on the amazing dialogue. The characters are slowly developed during the course of the film and we get to see the tension gradually rise in the tone of their voices. The characters are fascinating to listen to due to the various experiences that we learn about their lives. The cast is great and both Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman give powerful performances here. Unfortunately tho, the story itself leaves things a bit too open that causes things to not be as powerful from a storytelling perspective as one might hope for.
3. Nomadland – Intriguing film that is even more powerful due to the fact that it is based on people who really live like this. McDormand is superb in the lead role and manages to help make things feel even more realistic as the story unfolds. They are able to give us some great characters who each have their own tales of how they came to this kind of lifestyle and it actually helps make things even more powerful to see how they all live their lives. The film does a wonderful job showing the plight of people who’s lives have been changed by the economic situation, yet find ways to deal with it and still be content with the way they lead their lives. The cinematography is spectacular and shows some really gorgeous views of the country for us to savor.
2. Promising Young Woman – The film is quite clever in the way that it plays out in a methodically planned out way. The characters are mostly superficial besides the lead one played really well by Mulligan. The pacing is slightly off and there are a few points where the story drags and lingers a bit too much. The story itself is presented in a very choppy manner which is done in order to conceal some of the surprises along the way.
1. Pieces of a Woman – Fascinating look at how people deal with tragedy in their own ways. The story is told in a deliberately slow way which works so well in helping establish the various characters. This helps develop these characters in a very powerful way because we can feel their pain as the story unfolds. The film does a great job giving us some very diverse characters who allow for the debate to be expanded with varying viewpoints on the situation. The cast is great with Kirby doing a stellar job with this role. Burstyn also stands out as her mother and has a few great scenes.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! FM is great in this role and her win goes along with the way that Nomadland was able to get some momentum in order to win the most awards of the evening with three awards.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!