This year's field is certainly better than last year's (Kate Winslet was horribly miscast in The Reader, and Angelina Jolie was atrocious in the endlessly unbearable Changeling). There's a great variety of roles, too, ranging from a teen mother who's illiterate and abused (Sidibe) to the famous Julia Child (Streep).
- I'm not Sandra Bullock's biggest fan, and I don't think she was particularly amazing in The Blind Side. I guess its nomination-worthy, but its certainly the weakest performance in the group.
- Carey Mulligan was wonderful in An Education. Her beyond-her-years cleverness balanced well with her youthful innocence in a glorious performance.
- Gabourey Sidibe was the revelation of the year, with her heartbreaking, powerful performance in Precious. I hope she gets superb roles outside her stereotype as the overweight minority in the future.
- Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren seem to always be reliable. I'm not a huge fan of a good number of Streep's performances (Music of the Heart and Mamma Mia come to mind), but she's been on something of a winning streak lately (The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, and now Julie & Julia). Mirren has a gift that's hard to ignore, especially when it comes to playing strong women (look no further than The Queen).
It took me a lot of internal debate to formulate my final ballot, particularly amongst the fantastic top three. I finally came to these conclusions:
- Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
- Helen Mirren, The Last Station
- Carey Mulligan, An Education
- Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
- Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Agree? Disagree? Comment please.