Charlize Theron‘s captivating turn as a self-centered author in “Young Adult” has emerged as a serious contender in the Golden Globe race for Best Comedy/Musical Actress. This would be Theron’s first comedy nomination, following a Globe win for Best Drama Actress for “Monster” (2003) — for which she also won the Oscar — and nods for “North Country” (2005) and the TV movie “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” (2004).
Theron’s mean-spirited, oblivious character is Mavis Gary, a woman who returns to her hometown to seduce her now-married high school sweetheart. Though Mavis has a sympathetic moment or two, her uncaring, ruthless nature may be off-putting to Globe voters. They tend to favor warmer, fuzzier performances in Best Comedy/Musical Actress, as proven by recent winners Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right“), Meryl Streep (“Julie & Julia”), and Sally Hawkins (“Happy-Go-Lucky”).
However, the Globes may not be able to ignore abrasive performances this year. Four-time Globe nominee Cameron Diaz plays a similarly caustic character in “Bad Teacher” and competitor Kristen Wiig is none too sympathetic in “Bridesmaids.” But both of those ladies are in romantic comedies where they get the guy at the end; Theron does not have that luxury.
Even if the Globes snub Theron, she should look to the experience of Laura Linney in 2007. Linney was snubbed by the Globes for playing the self-pitying, pathetic Wendy Savage in “The Savages” but reaped an Oscar nomination. One of her rivals at the Academy Awards was “Juno” star Ellen Page whose film was penned by “Young Adult” writer Diablo Cody.
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