Thursday, September 9, 2010

Oscars of the Aughts: Best Supporting Actress 2007

So, one year down, eight more to go. 2007 was a very eclectic year, particularly in the acting categories: only Michael Clayton produced more than one acting nominee. So who were the nominees for Best Supporting Actress?
Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Ruby Dee, American Gangster
Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
The winner: Tilda Swinton
I have to say that this category is so packed with talented actresses in superior performances, its hard to pick just one of them. Dee, a longtime veteran of stage and screen, picked up the first nomination of her career with this film, and even though she packs a wallop into every scene she's in (and steals the film from heavyweights Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe), those scenes are too few to justify a win here. Ronan demonstrated immense talent beyond her years in a film that was supposed to be all about James McAvoy and Kiera Knightley, and her performance as Briony Tally is very good for a child actress. However, the film itself wasn't too strong, and Ronan doesn't really match the performance level of the next three ladies (though Ronan has delivered on her promise; critics be damned, she was excellent in The Lovely Bones). These ladies are really difficult to choose an order for, since they all deliver phenomenal, Oscar-worthy performances. Blanchett was stunning as Jude, a variation on Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' brilliant, unconventional biopic. She exudes the mystery of Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" years, and she's the standout in a cast that includes Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, and Christian Bale. Swinton, a goddess of an actress, plays steely resolve and personal collapse like as such, and its fantastic that she won the Oscar for this role, since most of her films are not typical Oscar bait (which is a true abomination, but such is the way of the awards season). Personally, I loved Gone Baby Gone, and Ryan's performance never fails to impress me. It would have been easy to make her character into someone that we can't stand and judge, but instead she turns her into a deeply (and I mean deeply) flawed, sympathetic human being who is unfortunately human. Its a heartbreaking, beautiful performance, and though I never like to go against Tilda, I'd have to say Ryan's is the best from this year.
My ballot:
1. Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone
2. Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton
3. Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
4. Saoirse Ronan, Atonement
5. Ruby Dee, American Gangster


Kimeh said...

I'd say Cate Blanchett, but I never saw her performance....

Jason H. said...

That's a shame. Its a fantastic film. A bit difficult, but excellent.