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June 25, 2015 at 9:08 am #188832
For me, this is a no-brainer: Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” waltzed off with the award because we were all fooled into thinking she did most of the dancing. That her overwrought acting won over Oscar voters makes me question their taste in talent.
Her over-the-top performance edged out finely-tuned turns by a previous Oscar champ (Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”) and two past nominees — Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”) and Michelle Willams (“Blue Valentine”) — as well as newcomer Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”).June 25, 2015 at 9:19 am #188834
^Ooooof, I completely disgaree. I think Portman’s is one of the best wins in this category, a performance that to me has gotten even better with repeat viewings.June 25, 2015 at 9:23 am #188835
Cher beating her fellow nominees. Jodie Foster beating Glenn Close. Marlee Matlin beating Sigourney Weaver. Jennifer Lawrence beating Jessica Chastain. Hilary Swank’s second Oscar. McDormand beating Blethyn.June 25, 2015 at 9:23 am #188836
I’m probably going to get some hate for this, but I really can’t understand how Cher won for Moonstruck. Hunter or Close would have been far more deserving than her for the totally stilted delivery of her lines, and ludicrous overacting. I get that it’s part of the charm of the film that the acting is absurd, but I don’t think it should be considered even remotely Oscar-worthy.June 25, 2015 at 9:56 am #188837
Wow, Paul. We’ve had some peculiar opinions around these parts, but that is one gauntlet-throwing outlier of an opinion if I’ve ever read one. Completely disagree.
I think if you’re talking about “questions in taste”, you don’t have to look any further than the winner from the year before. I like Sandra Bullock in a lot of things (including Gravity), but woof. I just cannot get behind The Blind Side as an Oscar-contending film, even taking into account how big a year 2009 was for her commercially.
I think even with some of the other maligned Best Actress winners (Paltrow, Roberts, Cher), I’ve actually enjoyed their performances and the films themselves. But, I really don’t like The Blind Side, and I don’t think even Sandy could elevate it enough. She was charming as hell on the awards circuit, so at least that was nice.
That said, there are also a whole lot of pre-1980 Best Actress winners that I haven’t caught.June 25, 2015 at 10:03 am #188838
I love Portman’s performance but somehow feel the excellent cinematography made everthing apper more complex(and attractive) than it actually was.
As for worst, I think in recent years no win was really bad.
Sandy wasn’t great given her competition.
Hilliary was excellent but the competition was tough (would have given it to Winslet, Imelda Staunton or maybe not).
Burstyn vs Roberts (Burstyn)
Blanchett over Gwyneth
PaltrowJune 25, 2015 at 10:05 am #188839
Ugh Kate Winslet in The Reader. I wanted to claw my eyes out and still want to over the fact she beat Meryl for Doubt and Angelina Jolie for Changeling (LET THE HATERS BEGIN)June 25, 2015 at 10:23 am #188840
To name a few:
Cher for Moonstruck
Sandra Bullock for The BlindSide
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Gwenyth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love
Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line
Nicole Kidman for The HoursJune 25, 2015 at 10:29 am #188841
Natalie Portman’s Oscar win for “Black Swan” was one of the best the Academy has thought to bestow, and at least top three calibre in the past ten years of this category.June 25, 2015 at 10:52 am #188842
Probably Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare In Love. I haven’t even seen Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth, who almost everything thinks should’ve won, but I certainly didn’t see an awards caliber performance from Paltrow. She was fine but any actress could’ve done that role justice.June 25, 2015 at 11:01 am #188843
I will defend Paltrow. Although I too was upset initially at her win. With time I have come to appreciate her performance and win. Blanchett is a Streepian level juggernaut with 2 wins and 6 nominations and counting. Cate will win Best Actress again putting her in the company of Streep and Bergman.June 25, 2015 at 12:56 pm #188844
There are definitely a handful of winners over the years who aren’t agressively bad, per se, but shouldn’t have gotten anywhere close to an Oscar. For me, the all-time worst offender is Loretta Young’s buttoned-up, bland and nearly anonymous Swedish housekeeper-turned-Congressional candidate in the otherwise harmless dandelion puff that is “The Farmer’s Daughter.” There’s only one truly great moment in the performance, and it comes far too early for its own good- a lecherous “Samaritan” offers Young a lift, only to have his car “break down” in front of a motel. Young gets a vivid closeup where the naive farm girl shows she’s onto the scheme, and quietly knocks the engine back into gear. It is literally the only moment in the performance where I can catch a breath of something that might have seduced an Oscar voter. Beyond that, nothing.
And for the record, I found Portman far and away the weakest link of her lineup that year (I oscillate between Kidman and Williams for the win, although Lawrence gives a very sturdy account of herself in “Winter’s Bone.”)June 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm #188845
First, I will like to say that I do not see how some can consider Natalie Portman performance in Black Swan as one of the best. I’m sorry but Barbra Hershey stood out for me. The idea was great and so was the dancing but the acting was nothing to brag about. I think Kiera Knightley would have done a better job. As for some winners I do not agree with, id say…
- Sandra Bullock 2009: Un-nominated Shohreh Aghdashloo (The Stoning of Soraya M.)
- Gwenyth Paltrow 1998: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth)
- Nicole Kidman 2002: Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven)
- Jodie Foster 1988: Glenn Close (Dangerous Liaisons) or Meryl Streep (A Cry in the Dark)
- Cher 1987: Glenn Close (Fatal Attraction)
**** The Absolute worst is Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. By far the worst win. She did absolutely nothing. People only praise her because of the film itself.June 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm #188846
^Ooooof, I completely disgaree. I think Portman’s is one of the best wins in this category, a performance that to me has gotten even better with repeat viewings.
I also think Natalie portman’s performance in Black Swan is one of the best, along with Charlize Theron in Monster and Marion Cotillard in LA Vie en Rose.June 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm #188847
The only performance that I think was truly terrible (not just undeserved) was Gwyneth Paltrow for “Shakespeare in Love.” She also gets worst acceptance speech for that insulting sobbing mess in which she insinuated that her and her fellow nominees were not worthy of a win if they’re nominated against Meryl (It’s true but why allude to that? Everyone’s already thinking it).
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