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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Who will the Oscar Best Actress and Best Actor nominees be?

Over the past two weeks, the members of the Online Film Critics Society were polled about which performances we thought will be the Oscar nominees for Best Actress and Best Actor. These are the performances we collectively predicted (in alphabetical order; links go to my reviews):

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabby Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

Your turn: Do you agree with the OFCS critics? Did we miss a performance that’s certain to be nominated? Did we predict a nomination that’s ridiculous? Who will the Best Actress and Best Actor nominees be?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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  • funWithHeadlines

    Best Actor is easy: Jeff Bridges, without a doubt. Maybe it was the best performance, maybe it wasn’t, but this is the one that Hollywood will use to honor him.

    Best Actress is harder. For a while it was going to be Carey Mulligan, but sentiment might shift toward Gabby Sidibe, but probably not. An honor just to be nominated, blah, blah, blah. Streep was excellent, Farmiga might be ready to be honored in what was a great performance, Bullock was fine in a TV Move of the Week that made good, but if Bullock gets it it’s all about the money. So in the end, I say Mulligan.

  • I’m a bit surprised Robert Downey Jr. isn’t on your list for Actor: he’s liked and respected in Hollywood, and his performance of Sherlock Holmes was the big draw to that film. I’m willing to bet it’ll supplant Colin Firth’s nom.

  • johnr

    Surely Vera didn’t do enough work in Up in the Air to merit a BA nomination. What about supporting?

    I loathed Blind Side, and Sandra Bullock usually bores me silly, but goshdarnit if she wasn’t entertaining and even sorta kinda believable, in a film that put a stake through the heart of believable.

  • Chris

    Mary Ann, your association screwed up. Both Vera and Anna are up for supporting nominations, not lead actresses.

  • MaryAnn

    Only the Academy can decide in which category to vote for someone. The OFCS didn’t “screw up” — we made a judgment call. Paramount may well be pushing Farmiga for Best Supporting Actress, but there’s no reason why the Academy can’t nominate her for Best Actress.

  • Lisa

    Vera Farmiga is far too intelligent and good an actress to be given an academy award

  • Michael

    Exactly why “The Blindside” was loathed or why some say it was a made for t.v. movie astonishes me. The fact is Sandra Bullock gave a good performance and has so far been honored with a Critics Choice and Golden Globe. Why do some think a victory for Sandra is about money. Can’t she be an actress who has chosen to do comedic films none of which has ever lost money, and still do a fantastic job that gains critical recognition. I believe she was part of the ensemble of best picture Oscar winner “Crash.” I suppose her part can be overlooked by naysayers because she alone cannot claim credit for the win. Why not let her break out and as she said in her Golden Globe speech, “cross over to the other side.” Sometimes an audience favorite deserves to win an Oscar.

  • MaryAnn

    Can’t she be an actress who has chosen to do comedic films none of which has ever lost money

    Er, no, she can’t, because at least one of her romantic comedies didn’t even earn back its budget, and it’s likely this is true of more of her romantic comedies, except we can’t tell because their budgets have never been revealed.

    Sometimes an audience favorite deserves to win an Oscar.

    The Oscars are theoretically about the best, not the favorite, though clearly this is often not how it falls out.

  • Dokeo

    I didn’t see The Blindside, but when I first saw the trailer, all I could think was, there’s one word for Sandra Bullock’s performance: Oscarbation.

    (And I generally like Bullock)

  • Alma

    Carey Mulligan all the way. It’s been 3 days since I saw ‘An Education’ and I’m still thinking about her performance.

  • doa766

    clooney was good but he was playing himself, as usual, and I’m pretty Anna Kendrick had more screen time than Vera Farmiga on Up in The Air

    why can’t she get a leading nom then?

  • Muzz

    Yeah Sandra Bullock might be a good call. From what I hear it’s a decent enough serious performance from a beloved light-comedic actress (didn’t I hear she was the most profitable female actress ever or something recently? With Julia Roberts still working too. Dunno if that’s true though.) in a tearful schmatzfest about racial unity.
    In the year we expect them to give all and sundry to Avatar, just because, that’s an easy one it seems.

  • MaryAnn

    Oscarbation

    Bwahahahaha!

    didn’t I hear she was the most profitable female actress ever or something recently?

    More like *The Blind Side* is the highest-grossing movie ever that’s headlined by a woman. I’d hate to see an Oscar go to someone as an attaboy — or, in this case, an attagirl — for making X amount of money. But I suppose AMPAS’s decision to go to 10 Best Picture nominees means they’re making a deliberate effort to be more populist, and obvious about it.

    It’s not like the Oscars ever really were about rewarding the best of anything — they just stopped pretending.

  • Fridge

    I’m surprised Christopher Waltz is not there.

  • doa766

    Vera Farmiga should be disqualified for using an ass double

  • LaSargenta

    Then Jeremy Renner should be disqualified for having a stunt double.

    ;-)

    Lots o’ reasons to have a double…

  • Ide Cyan
  • Thera Pitts

    I’m surprised Christopher Waltz is not there.

    Christoph Waltz would more likely qualify as a supporting actor.

  • funWithHeadlines

    Exactly why “The Blindside” was loathed or why some say it was a made for t.v. movie astonishes me.

    I don’t loathe “The Blindside,” but I was the one with the made for TV comment, so I’ll explain: The subject matter was typical feel-good, made-for-TV-movie stuff. It might have been made with more skill than a TV movie, but the subject matter is the subject matter.

    The fact is Sandra Bullock gave a good performance and has so far been honored with a Critics Choice and Golden Globe.

    Ah, but even you, the defender of Bullock, only claims she gave a “good” performance. To win an Oscar, against the kind of competition she will be up against, requires a great performance. Re-read the reviews of the film, written before everyone did a double-take on the grosses it would later pile up, and see how many reviewers called her performance “great.”

    Why do some think a victory for Sandra is about money.

    Because if “The Blindside” had settled in at $50-$60 million gross, we wouldn’t be discussing Bullock. This is all about the money.

    Can’t she be an actress who has chosen to do comedic films none of which has ever lost money, and still do a fantastic job that gains critical recognition.

    Yes, she can, and she is, but the Oscar race is very political in nature, and she never would have gotten this recognition without the great grosses. You can get nominated with small grosses, but that requires extraordinary performances that get called such in the original reviews (see “Precious” or “An Education”). If you don’t have those sorts of performances, you have to make the dough instead (see “Avatar” or “The Blindside”).

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