Oscar 2014: Best Actress

Standard

My last look at the acting categories for this year’s Oscars is Best Actress, which has absolutely no drama, and I’m okay with that because it means Julianne Moore will finally win an Oscar.

This is only Moore’s fifth nomination, but it seems like she’s been nominated a lot more times and is always gracious about losing. She’s one of the few performers who have lost twice in one night–in 2002 she lost for Far From Heaven and The Hours (she was also nominated for Boogie Nights and The End of the Affair). I haven’t had a chance to see Still Alice yet, in which she plays a linguistic professor with early-onset Alzheimer’s, but by all accounts this will not be a pity Oscar.

Is there anyone else who could shock us all and win? No, not really. Reese Witherspoon, if she hadn’t won before, might have a shot with her role as the woman out to walk away her troubles in Wild. Witherspoon produced the movie and the role was an arduous one, but the movie didn’t impress as expected. Similarly, Marion Cotillard might have more of a chance if she hadn’t won before. Her role as woman on the brink of losing her job in Two Days, One Night is powerful stuff, but there’s no way she’s winning twice for a French-speaking role.

Felicity Jones plays a standard Oscar type–the dutiful wife to the great man–in The Theory of Everything. But she’s not a faithful wife. This may be the only romance I’ve seen where the couple get divorced. She’s fine, but I’m not sure it’s Oscar-worthy.

Perhaps the only actress here who has a distinct shot at beating Moore is Rosamund Pike, for her richly-layered portrait of Amy, the villainous wife in Gone, Girl. Given that this is the only thing that film got from the Academy, she is what the voters liked most about it (and they really, really hate David Fincher). If the film had about eight nominations I’d give her a decent chance, and she may finish second, but no one knows what except the Price Waterhouse guys.

Will win; Julianne Moore

Could win: Rosamund Pike

Should win: (reserving my vote until I see Still Alice)

Should have been nominated: Shailene Woodley (The Fault in Our Stars)

About Jackrabbit Slim

Location: Vegas, Baby! I’m much older than the other whippersnappers here, a baby boomer. I tend to be more snobbish about film, disdaining a lot of the multiplex fare for “cinema.” My favorite films: Woody Allen’s oeuvre (up until about 1990), The Godfather, The Graduate, A Hard Day’s Night, Pulp Fiction. Politics: Well, George McGovern was my political hero. I’m also a prickly atheist. Occupation: Poised to be an English teacher in Las Vegas. For many years I was an editor at Penthouse Magazine. My role on this blog seems to be writing lots of reviews and being the resident Oscar maven.

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