As of this afternoon, I have seen all twenty acting performances nominated for an Academy Award this year. Sadly, Meryl is not included in the list, and I briefly thought about making this a "snub" post but I'll need that to marinate a bit longer. I do believe Meryl should fit into the top five, however. I'd definitely put her performance in Hope Springs above that of both Quevenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild and Naomi Watts in The Impossible. Not to take anything away from their fine performances, but Meryl in a non-baity role is still usually going to be top five.
The last of the films I finished was Amour. I have to give Emmanuelle Riva kudos for what was in my opinion the best performance by an actress this year. My overall run down on ranking the lead actress nominees based on quality of performance is as follows:
1. Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
2. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
3. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
4. Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
5. Quevenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Fairly big gap between Riva and Chastain and very small gap between Chastain and Lawrence. After the Globes, my predictions for who will actually win goes like this:
Small gap between Lawrence and Chastain. It'll be very interesting to see what happens next weekend at the SAGs and then at the BAFTAs on Feb 10. Riva is not nominated at the SAGs but is as BAFTA. I'm already wondering about the possibility of Riva pulling an Adrien Brody, who was not expected to win in 2003 for The Pianist over Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt and Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. Staying tuned.