News / USA

Emotion Could Propel Lead Actress to Top in Oscar Race

Veteran Meryl Streep faces fierce competition from first-time nominee Viola Davis for Hollywood's top honor

TEXT SIZE - +
Penelope Poulou

Five leading ladies are competing for the Oscar for best actress in a leading role. All have offered weighty performances but some are a cut above.

In "My Week with Marilyn," Michelle Williams captivates as Marilyn Monroe.

The film chronicles one week in the Hollywood icon's life while she filmed the musical “The Prince and the Showgirl” with Laurence Olivier in England.

Michelle Williams shines as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn."
Michelle Williams shines as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn."

The story is told from the perspective of assistant producer Colin Clark, who falls in love with the charismatic but mentally-fragile Monroe.

Williams exudes energy and sexuality while capturing Monroe's vulnerability.

But that might not be enough.

In "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Rooney Mara delivers a compelling performance as Lisbeth Salander, a punk computer hacker who helps journalist Mikael Blomkvist search for a woman who's been missing in Sweden for 40 years.

Rooney Mara Rooney as Lisbeth Salander, a punk computer hacker in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
Rooney Mara Rooney as Lisbeth Salander, a punk computer hacker in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

Salander has suffered abuse from men.

Mara turns her into a dysfunctional but brilliant investigator who spares no one.

Fury drives and empowers her.

Mara earned the nomination, but Lisbeth Salander is an unsavory character and could cost Mara the award.

Glenn Close, nominated for her performance as Albert Nobbs, could face similar challenges in the Oscar race.

Glenn Close (right) portrays a woman masquerading as a man in "Albert Nobbs."
Glenn Close (right) portrays a woman masquerading as a man in "Albert Nobbs."

Nobbs, a woman disguised as a man seeking a better life in male-dominated 19th century Ireland, is awkward and pathetic.  

Many say Glenn Close offers the performance of a lifetime.

But she is up against formidable opponents.

Meryl Streep, for one. She offers an intimate portrait of the aging Margaret Thatcher.

Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”
Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”

Streep gives us a frail old woman trying to keep her dignity while battling dementia and, in flashbacks, the harsh and unyielding leader of a nation.

Streep masters Thatcher’s mannerisms and intonations for the role and the resemblance is uncanny.

Her character carries the film.

Streep has won two Oscars - the last one 30 years ago - and has been nominated another 17 times.

Many feel she is long overdue for a third.  

But her Oscar-worthy performance as "The Iron Lady" may not prevail because of our antipathy toward the real character she portrays.

Her strongest competition could come from Viola Davis, who plays Aibileen Clark in "The Help."

Viola Davis (left) plays Aibileen Clark in "The Help."
Viola Davis (left) plays Aibileen Clark in "The Help."

She's an African-American maid who risks her life to help publish her story and that of other black maids working for white families in 1960s Mississippi.   

Davis delivers a gut-wrenching performance as the all-suffering black woman who raises white children while her own grow up alone.

If she nabs the award on Oscar night, she won't be standing alone.

She would validate all of the African-American maids who toiled for whites.

And that might be difficult for the motion picture academy to overlook.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid