March 5, 2010

MERYL, SANDRA, MERYL, SANDRA???




Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), Helen Mirren (The Last Station),
Carey Mulligan (An Education), Gabourey Sidibe (Precious),
Meryl Streep (Julie and Julia)

The only tie ever in the best supporting or best actress categories happened 1968 between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand, for their respective performances in The Lion in Winter (1968) and Funny Girl (1968).  I honestly would like that record broken
Sunday evening and I’d die and go to casting couch heaven if both Meryl Streep and Sandra bullock were honored with the statue.

I am so tired of listening to film critics compare Meryl’s “Julia” performance with her Oscar-winning turn in Sophie’s choice.  I thought the annual competition was between the actors who acted during that year, cal me crazy.  And it does seem that Sandra ‘
S taken the lead thanks to winning the screen actors guild award (almost the same folks who vote for Oscars).  She has been an underappreciated actress from the beginning because she started with action and thrived in comedy. Those snooty bastards who think comedy is easier to do than drama simply should have their voting privileges sent to a funny farm.  So the odds on favorite is Sandra by a few inches…but let me refresh…in 2008 the odds-on favorite going into the telecast was veteran and come-back kid Julie Christie for her stunning performance as a woman, who has been married to the same man for 45 years is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and falls in love with another man – oblivious that her life partner even existed.  Heartbreaking and beautiful.  There also was Cate Blanchet, Laura Linney and newcomer Ellen Page whose star-turn in Juno was a revelation.

(Yes and there was this little foreign film about singing legend Edith Piaf whose portrayer was nothing short of awe-inspiring…but she was French and it was a foreign film.) No one thought she stood even the most remote chance of winning.  But I did because that performance was life altering to watch. I knew she should win it and I went against the grain and I predicted she would.  My prediction --and I understand anything can happen – based on what I think (or perhaps hope) the voters are thinking – Meryl has been nominated for a record 17 times now and has only won twice – her body of work far exceeds the Oscar jewelry she’s been given.  On the other hand, Sandra Bullock, finally receiving the respect of Hollywood that she so rightly deserves, but many may think – it’s enough for Sandra to be nominated this year.  That’s a big step.  She has more in her like this.  With Meryl I think Academy voters are asking when else will they be able to recognize this woman who in an already milestone career year takes on, embodies and humanizes one of the most beloved caricatures in our pop modern history – a year when Streep, at 62 is playing romantic leads and scoring at the box office too -- and doing musical comedy and grossing $100 million plus per film.  Kids, she’s earned it. She deserves it.  Sandra I love you and have worshipped you frantically since Speed.  You have more in you I know…Meryl this year is your year – a year that you’ve devoured all expectations and continued to become, is it even possible, a better actor along the way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG95Weln6oA