2009 Best Actress Nominees

I’m not going to waste to much time writing an intro for this or the other acting awards; there aren’t any special concerns about this category.

  • Charlotte Gainsbourg- Antichrist: Aside from mischief making, the thing Lars Von Trier is most known for is his ability to elicit great performances out of women under what some would call torturous circumstances.  This might be the zenith of that skill, because Gainsbourg’s performance here is really intense as her character is put under increasing psychological stress from the death of a child and from her demeaning husband.
  • Carey Mulligan- An Education:  If there was a “new artist” category in the Golden Stakes like there is at the Grammys, Mulligan would probably win it, because An Education is a legitimate breakthrough.  Playing a smart young girl who realizes she’s not as smart as she thinks she is, Mulligan’s performance reminded me a lot of Ellen Page’s work in Juno a few years back, while others have gone so far as to compare her to Audrey Hepburn.  I hope Mulligan capitalizes on her breakthrough, because if she does the world is her’s.
  • Mélanie Laurent- Inglorious Basterds: Mélanie Laurent may not have played as large a part in the film’s advertising as Brad Pitt did, but her character is just as important to the film.  Even more than Diane Kruger’s role, she fits in with a long lineage of strong women in Tarentino films; but unlike say, The Bride, the character is really a pretty ordinary person who must rise to the occasion in order to alter the events of the film.  Plus, that laugh of hers at the end just might be the most memorable thing in the whole movie.
  • Gabourey Sidibe- Precious: Most people come out of Precious thinking that a big part of the film’s success was the discovery of Babourey Sidibe, someone who give such an authentic performance that she must have experienced much of the pain of her character.  Those who thought that were wrong, Sidibe is a middle class- college educated young woman who’s said to talk like a genuine valley girl in real life.  So how did she manage to look so authentic in the film?  It’s called acting.
  • Kim Ok-bin- Thirst: Playing a seductive vampire hellcat, Kim Ok-bin delivers a pretty sweet performace in Park Chan-wook’s Thirst.  Her character is pretty dangerous, but there’s also a comedic side to her work here.  Also, she doesn’t start out the movie like this, there’s actually a pretty subtle change throughout the film that makes her character the way she is and Ok-bin is largely responsible for pulling it off.

The Golden Stake goes to…