It is with great honor that I direct you to this Sunday's edition of StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Smackdown. Looking at this year's batch of Oscar nominees, the result is kind of...inevitable. You'll see it on there, of course, but for me, it was no contest. Thanks, of course, to StinkyLulu for once again graciously inviting me to take part in this most exciting of Smackdowns.
I wanted to see how my ratings for now compared to my initial reactions.
My lowest score, one heart, went to Maggie Gyllenhaal. As I wrote:
Maggie Gyllenhaal is fine, playing a vulnerable young woman who always seems to be attracted to the wrong guy. She does not want to love Bridges, but she falls for him, and takes the risk. Sometimes, though, she looks like she wishes she could do more. It doesn't help that the editing, or maybe the screenplay itself, seems to cut most developments, including what attracts her to Bad Blake.
Two hearts to Anna Kendrick, whose nomination still flummoxes me. When I first saw her movie:
Kendrick has certain moments where she shines, reminding me why I like her in Rocket Science and tolerate her in the Twilight movies. But her Natalie Keener is shrill, whiny, and cliched. Some of her dialogue, God help me, sounds like lines written for the middle daughter in Dan in Real Life. As for that breakdown scene midway through the film? Yikes. Talk about overplaying the comedy. She is the least consistent out of all the actors, and there seems to be no throughline for her character. It's all moments. While I didn't hate her, and while I definitely (DEFINITELY) still love the movie, Kendrick's Natalie gets a shake of the head from me.
Penelope Cruz, upon reflection, got three hearts. As I said in my review of her film:
Penelope Cruz is, naturally, sexy and funny, and also surprisingly vulnerable as the mistress. "Call from the Vatican" is a hot number as it is, but Cruz just sizzles. Bring the vapors.
I gave four hearts to Vera Farmiga. My initial reaction:
Vera Farmiga is smart, sexy and confident as Alex, who describes herself to Ryan Bingham as "you, but with a vagina." You love her. You must. I certainly fell for her, and so of course I'm rooting for the coupling all throughout. There are sweet moments between her and Clooney that are charmingly understated. Farmiga gives one of the most relatable, believable performances of the year.
Of course, in lock-step with the Globes, Critics and SAG, my five hearts were awarded to Mo'Nique:
Mo'Nique is her mother Mary. Ho. Ly. Crap.... Mo'Nique...is the mom from Hell. I had chills. Her first monologue, raw and abusive, dropped my jaw. Her final monologue gave me goosebumps. Mark these two on your ballots, people; they're in.
I think my opinion of Gyllenhaal lowers the more I reflect on the movie, whereas after a second viewing, Mo'Nique just gets better and better. Please also note: this is the first time I've ran th whole gamut of hearts. An interesting year, this.
But why read all that when you can just see what the Smackdowners have to say?