Road To The Oscars: Best Actress Showdown

Thursday, February 3 by

This week we throw our Best Actress contenders into the Thunderdome, arm then with cudgels and see who among them has the fortitude to grab blood-smeared victory.  Of course I meant metaphorically, but am I the only one sporting chub right now? And speaking of boners, were this category decided by the turgidity of my cervix-hammer alone it would be a “hard” choice to make.  Because unlike some of last year’s nominees (*cough* Gabourey Sibide), our 2011 contenders, oiled-up and bikini clad, would make for a fine Maxim spread.  You’ve got Grade-A Kosher Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and her bodacious bod, barely legal babe Jennifer Lawrence, MILFerific Nicole Kidman, and rounding things out in the cougar category, Annette Bening. Though my loins love them equally, on Oscar night there can be only one winner.

FRONTRUNNERS:

NATALIE PORTMAN

Pro: Hype is certainly on her side, and not undeservedly. As I stated in last week’s column, Black Swan was the performance of Natalie Portman’s career… although frankly, that ain’t saying a lot. Yeah, she’s nice to look at, but her previous actressing turns have run the gamut from “decent for a movie-of-the-week” to outright embarrassing. I have no idea how she managed to become leading lady du jour for many of today’s “serious” directors (at least when Scarlett Johansson wasn’t available); she acts about as well as ScarJo sings. However with Black Swan, Portman finally earned some credibility and proved that she’s ready to be taken seriously.

Con: She’s pregnant, and no one is more loathed than a pregnant woman. Men hate them because they’ve been tainted by another man’s seed. Women hate them because of jealousy and because they wish they could have babies too. Also: If she wins, there’s the risk that she’ll laugh again like at the Golden Globes. I’d rather hear the death rattle of my own child than that hideous cackle.

ANNETTE BENING

Pro: The other half of our Sapphic showdown. In The Kids Are All Right, Bening took a decidedly more realistic approach in her portrayal of a lesbian character, looking like someone you’d actually see at an Indigo Girls concert (whereas Portman’s bi-curious ballerina was the sort of lesbian that exists only in my Jergen’s fueled three-way fantasies). Bening is a seasoned veteran and an excellent lesbian thespian. In the scene where her character discovers her partner’s infidelity, Bening showed more range with subtle facial expressions than Portman has shown with an entire career of overacting.

Con: The Kids Are All Right’s strength was its ensemble cast, and to give an award to Bening and not Julianne Moore (who didn’t even get nominated) or Mark Ruffalo (who’s a long shot going up against Batman Bateman) would be a slight to her co-stars. Also: I know it was what you were going for, Annette, but couldn’t you have prettied it up just a little? At first I thought I was watching a Chuck Klosterman biopic.

LONG SHOTS

MICHELLE WILLIAMS

Pro: Underrated, underutilized, underappreciated… these words apply not just to Michelle Williams’ breasts but to Williams herself.  She’s an incredibly talented young woman who’s capable of showing her prodigious skills without getting all up in your face with it (like Portman).

Con: People often confuse her with Brian Williams. And for all the controversy, the sex scene that earned Blue Valentine its NC-17 rating was about as hot as scrambled Skinemax softcore. My penis was not pleased.

NICOLE KIDMAN

Pro: This Oscar veteran already has a shiny gold dude on her mantle. The Academy knows she can handle Oscar glory.

Con: Unfortunately, Kidman’s actressing has been seriously hampered by the large amounts of Botox that have virtually eliminated her facial expressions. In The Rabbit Hole she looks like she’s wearing a Nicole Kidman Halloween mask. Also: No one saw Rabbit Hole.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE

Pro: The Academy does love their ingénues. Think Anna Paquin, Tatum O’Neil, Jean Benet Ramsey… they’re like dancing monkeys. Dance little monkey!

Con: Hailee Steinfeld is already a lock for the Junior Achievers category.  And Steinfeld is only 14; which means that at age 20 Jennifer is practically over-the-hill. But the good is she’s bang-legal. In your face, Chris Hansen!

ADVANTAGE: Natalie Portman

COMMENTS

  1. February 3, 2011 4:33 pm

    Vas

    quite unkind what you wrote about one the best perfomance of the year AKA Becca Corbett, made by one of the greatest actress of our history AKA Nicole Kidman.
    When people will notice how much stupid and superficial this story was they will also understand how much they wasted to talk about the “nothing” instead of a great, amazing actress like Nicole Kidman is and will remain forever, with or without botox.
    try the next time, to be a serious journalist.


  2. February 3, 2011 4:33 pm

    ml

    Awful article.


  3. February 3, 2011 4:33 pm

    eo

    Kidman is an Academy Award winner, you think she is going to cry if she does not win another one? puhlease. She got an Oscar nomination for a film she produced. Nobody saw Rabbit Hole but she got the award. Her face is botoxed up but she gave a greater performance than actresses deem natural looking who can’t act their way out of a paper bag.

    She lives in a mansion, will never worry about not paying rent, eating or not having enough to feed her kids. She is about to play Martha Gellhorn and star in a Tennessee Williams play all this with that mask she has on her face.

    For some reason, I think Kidman won this round.