Oscar 2012: Best Actress Race

Over the next few weeks (when I feel like it and get through the remainder of the Oscar nominees) I will examine each of the races in the top eight categories. I am in no way trying to keep this objective or subjective; like with everything else in this blog, I’m writing what I think and don’t really filter it.

The Nominees
Glenn Close – Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis – The Help
Rooney Mara – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams – My Week with Marilyn

This will probably the shortest of these columns; the Academy actually got it right this time. The five women listed above are the five best lead actress performances of the year. Any of the five are deserving; all of them were truly transcendent performances; spread the five over different years, all could take home the top prize.

Will Win: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady. Everything I said above is true, but Streep actually turned into Margaret Thatcher. Had you have put the former in 10 Downing Streep, I sincerely doubt that anyone could really tell the difference. There’s a lot of buzz surrounding Viola Davis given that The Help is far superior movie, but at the end of the day, the Academy won’t be that crazy.

Should Win: Streep, hands down. Michelle Williams and Rooney Mara were the next closest; Williams didn’t so much clone Monroe as breathe new life into the icon and Mara went to a very dark place to challenge Lisbeth Salander.

Snubbed: I am perfectly good with all five. However, there were three performances I heard about but missed this year just to provide some names: Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Elizabeth Olson (Martha Marcy May Marline) and Charlize Theron (Young Adult).

Overhyped: Frankly, Viola Davis, The Help. If I ranked these performances top to bottom, the list would be Streep, Mara, Williams, Close, Davis. All five are incredibly close though.