This weekend, in terms of Oscar, is going to end up being pretty slow. 127 Hours is coming out in limited release, but we know that it is good, and is already on most people's top ten list. The wide releases had some potential: Megamind (Animated Feature), For Colored Girls (Acting), and Due Date (Golden Globes), but so far, their critics ratings are pretty measly, meaning that most likely none of them will have any impact on the Oscar race. So I decided to do a little look back at the first half of the year, and some of the great performances that have been forgotten, but were really great.
1. Leonardo Dicaprio "Shutter Island" and "Inception" - After starring in two of the biggest movies of the year, and being a previous three-time nominee, and one of the best actors in Hollywood, you would think that Leonardo Dicaprio would be a top contender for the Best Actor prize. Unfortunately, while he is still somewhat in the conversation, many pundits (including myself) think that he has a very small chance of actually grabbing a nod, which is a shame, because he was simply brilliant in both.
2. Marion Cotillard "Inception" - With the Supporting Actress race as weak as it is, and Incpetion, being a top contender for Best Picture, you would think that the widely praised performance of a previous Academy Award winner would make huge waves in the Oscar race. Once agian, she remains as a top ten contender on most people's lists, but for some reason is continually left out of the top five. Hopefully precursor awards will give her the recognition she deserves.
3. Annette Benning, Kerry Washington, and Naomi Watts "Mother and Child" - I know that Garcia's Mother and Child wasn't exactly a blockbuster (or even a decent hit for that matter), but the women in that movie gave some of the most stunning performances of the year, and despite early talk, have faded from most people's memories. Washington, particularly, was fantastic (as she always is), and is destined to win an Oscar someday.
4. Casey Affleck "The Killer Inside Me" - I was actually a big fan of this movie, although I can completely understand how people would despise it. It was incredibly sexist, although it was intended to be to showcase just how awful Affleck's character was. But whether you liked it or not, it is hard to deny that Casey Affleck was fantastic in the lead, and completely scared the shit out of most people who actually saw the film.
5. Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, and Rebecca Hall "Please Give" - I personally thought this movie was hilarious, and its three leading ladies did a fantastic job. I wish it had been released closer to Oscar time, cause it could have been the perfect quirky comedy during the Oscar season. But alas, its release date and nonexistant box office had doomed its entire wonderful cast.
6. The cast of "The Town" - It got raving reviews, it still is in the top ten at the box office, and was proved that Affleck wasn't a one-trick pony. However, outside of Jeremy Renner (whose buzz is there, but minimal), none of the other cast members are even being talked about, and the film, which should be in Best Picture consideration, is being left out cold. I still have faith though that maybe, just maybe, somebody will remember this film when their Oscar ballots come out.