Typecast as an aristocratic corset-wearing English rose, Helena Bonham Carter has broken free of that to become a versatile screen actress. This may finally be the year she is recognized with some big awards.
She stole the show as the Red Queen in partner Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” and has serious Oscar buzz for the upcoming “The King’s Speech” where she plays Queen Elizabeth, the kindly wife of Colin Firth’s George VI. And she will also reprise her role as Bellatrix Lestrange in the first part of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Having more than one award-worthy performance in the same year should boost her chances as voters watch her versatility. This double feature propelled Jim Broadbent (“Iris” / “Moulin Rouge”), Sean Penn (“Mystic River” / “21 Grams”), Jamie Foxx (“Ray” / “Collateral”), George Clooney (“Syriana” / “Good Night and Good Luck”), Kate Winslet (“The Reader” / “Revolutionary Road”) and Sandra Bullock (“The Blind Side” / “The Proposal”) to Oscar gold.
Since her breakthrough in 1985’s “A Room with a View,” Bonham Carter has notched up an Academy Award nomination for “The Wings of the Dove” which also won her many critics prizes, as well as 5 Golden Globe, 3 BAFTA and 2 Emmy nods without a win.
She received the best supporting actress award at the Hollywood Film Awards and delivered a wry acceptance speech that played well to the crowd of insiders. She contends for Best Actress at the International Emmy on Nov. 22 for her portrayal of cold-hearted children’s author Enid Blyton in the BBC film “Enid.”
Photo: Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Co.)