Mo’Nique in “Precious”
Penelope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up In The Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up In The Air’
Who Will Win?
There will be no gasps or surprised looks from any of the other nominees when this award is announced, Mo’Nique will almost certainly win this award. There may have been more than a few raised eyebrows though if you’d have suggested a year ago that the rapper/comedienne would even be in the running for an Oscar. But Precious is a film that has shocked people, a film starring Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey garnering a handful of nominations…I’m still reeling myself (have you seen Glitter?). Mo’Nique, though, is the out and out best thing about the film, her final scene breakdown is what I’m sure will have the Academy voters falling over themselves to tick the box next to her name. Like Christoph Waltz she’s won every award going so don’t expect her to fall at the final hurdle, and like Waltz, she’s the most deserving nominee too.
The Dark Horse?
It’s hard to pick a front-runner from the rest of the pack, but at a push I’d have to plump for Anna Kendrick. The young star may still be best known for her part in the Twilight films, however, this breakthrough performance which will secure her the tag of ‘proper actress’ – a label some of the ‘bigger’ names of the vampire franchise may never achieve. Her peppy performance benefits greatly from the snappy, smart dialogue you’re guaranteed in a Jason Reitman film, and boy does she make the most of it. She manages to be effortlessly cute, funny and annoying from scene to scene, and even manages to steal of those scenes from right under Glorious George’s nose.
And The Rest?
Maggie Gyllenhaal seems to be carving out a career that will be littered with nominations from the Academy in the coming years. She’s been better before in the likes of Secretary and Sherrybaby than she was in Crazy Heart, she may not win tonight but a statuette in the future is not beyond her. Vera Farmiga was the second Up In The Air star to be nominated for this award but was outshone by her younger co-star, Kendrick. Finally Penelope Cruz was bizarrely nominated for her role in Nine which required her to roll around in her underwear and pout. It’s strange that the Oscars are willing to nominate her for English language films but ignore her stronger output under Pedro Almodovar.