Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The 1st Annual Pretentious Film Awards: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Welcome to the first annual Pretentious Film Awards. I will be doing a steady rollout, announcing my nominations in each of the major categories through posts this week. The first category I will be announcing is my nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:

And the five women are:

Hiam Abbas in The Visitor
Richard Jenkins performance draws a lot of its power from her sympathetic portrayal. The film's emotional punch can't exist without her.

Penelope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
For her fire and quickness. She inhabits Maria Elena in one of her most vibrant, lived-in performances to date.

Viola Davis in Doubt
You may not agree with Mrs. Muller's reasons. But Davis commands for her one scene, stealing the show and giving the best performance in the film.

Rosemarie Dewitt in Rachel Getting Married
A wonderfully etched portrayal of love, envy and bitterness. So sisterly and so pitch perfect. A great supporting turn.

Lena Olin in The Reader
Like Davis, she only has one big scene. And like Davis, she turns the entire narrative on its ear. Powerful and compelling.

Runners Up: Dianne Wiest, Samantha Morton and Michelle Williams were each wonderful in Synechdoche, New York...but who to single out? Debra Winger spins gold with very little screentime in Rachel Getting Married. Allison Pill was great in Milk. Misty Upham gives a wonderfully natural turn in Frozen River. Abbie Cornish handled a thankless role with aplomb in Stop-Loss. Marisa Tomei gives a great supporting turn in The Wrestler...Oscar-worthy? Perhaps not. But compelling nonetheless. Kathy Bates clearly having fun in Revolutionary Road.

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