Melissa Leo received her second Oscar nomination for playing Alice Ward in The Fighter.
The Fighter offers many cliches, and the two supporting ladies get to play stock characters - a slutty, yet understanding girlfriend and an eccentric, trashy yet understanding mother. It's up to the actresses to take their characters to another level, a three-dimensional level where we can feel the character's feelings and needs. In the past, it has usually been the girlfriend part that has gotten more recognition from the Academy and it's interesting to see this year, more then likely, the winner will be the trashy mother.
However, Melissa Leo's performance does not win me over. When she is on screen, I feel the "craziness" that is apparent but never shown, should have been more played out. Her character is very easily overshadows and unapparent, especially when she tries to stand out. What do we take away from Alice other then that she really loves her kid behind her facade - and for me, I couldn't even see the facade. The manipulative nature of her character is only shown in a very few seconds, and Leo looses grips on that consistently. Still, she has her moments, and she's very enjoyable in her trashy moments. Just not enough to call it a great performance.