Sunday, December 16, 2007

Best Actress Oscar Contenders: Christie vs. Jolie

Over the past couple of days I have caught up with a couple of Big Names competing for this years Best Actress Oscar: Julie Christie in Away From Her and Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart. Both actress are nominated for the Best Actress in a Drama Golden Globe and will be duking it out with Cate Blanchett, Jodie Foster and Keira Knightley.



I saw Christie first, so I'll start with her. While the film was, admittedly, kind of slow and Gordon Pinsett's quiet suffering got on my nerves, Julie Christie was fantastic. Where she could have went loud, overdramatic and "Look at me, I have Alzheimer's!", Christie is subtle but has enough fire that she doesn't become Nicole Kidman in The Hours boring. Even while she's slowly losing her mind, she is just as sexy as she was in Darling 42 years ago- that's something I thought I would never see. My favorite moment of her's has to be when she's watching the news and during footage of the Iraq War she utters, "Have they forgotten Vietnam?" Not only is it a haunting moment in the film, it scares the fuck out of me because even a woman with Alzheimer's can see the problems with the war.


Jolie, on the other hand, wants you to know that she isn't just playing Mariane Pearl, but she is also ACTING. Every gesture she makes, every accented word, every worried expression seems like a calculated attempt to prove that Jolie can act. Even that scene where Jolie finds out the fate of her husband is done more as a showcase for her to show us she's ACTING than because it fits in the film well. Her ridiculous screaming, which goes on for a minute straight, gets so awkward and overly-dramatic that all you can do is laugh at her. I don't know why she's trying so hard because we've already seen her do great work in Girl, Interrupted and last year's The Good Shepherd.

2 comments:

Vertigo's Psycho said...

Dead-on observation regarding Christie's superb turn in Away. In a role rich with opportunites to let the world know what a great actress you are, she simply shows Fiona slowly becoming out-of-touch with her surroundings, without once overplaying the role to illustrate the character's memory loss. It's beautiful work in a beautiful film.

Sure, Christie's been around as a top star for a long time, but (similar to her work in Darling) the Oscar is warranted based on her performance alone (without any extra points for career longevity), and I hope she gets it. Most of the critics have got it right, and hopefully the Golden Globe's next for Julie to win (she's never received a Globe, BTW).

On an unrelated note, I'm envious you were able to catch 1951's The Mating Season recently. It was playing at Christmas on TCM and I stayed in front of the TV trying to stay awake to watch it, but I dozed off. I saw it years ago and still remember how great Oscar-nominated Thelma Ritter was in it. Hope it comes out on DVD someday.

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