And the Academy selected:
- Jennifer Connelly in A Beautiful Mind
- Helen Mirren in Gosford Park
- Maggie Smith in Gosford Park
- Marisa Tomei in In The Bedroom
- Kate Winslet in Iris
5. Helen Mirren as Mrs. Wilson in Gosford Park
It's a cold, uninvolved performance much like her movie - Helen Mirren's performance as the head caretaker Mrs. Wilson is quite an odd performance. Her ice performance can almost be felt through the screen, as she gives orders and has a few mysteries on the side. Some may praise the performance for the amount of icy mystery she actually brings to the screen, but for me, it's just not a performance I can neither connect too or be impressed by.
4. Maggie Smith as Constance Trentham in Gosford Park
Maggie Smith sort of almost gives performances like the one of Constance Trentham, a rich countess who ends up at Gosford Park with her maid. Smith brings her usual wit and charm to the part, showing a huge amount of charisma in the part. She can't successfully make Gosford Park an interesting film, but whenever she is on-screen she adds a nice little touch to it, bringing a nice mix of charm and British humor that she is known for.
3. Jennifer Connelly as Alicia Nash in A Beautiful Mind
Jennifer Connelly is a really terrific actress - she brings the right amount of realism and charm to her performances which are usually very surprising. Her performance as Alicia Nash is another one of these, a girlfriend and eventual wife of a troubled math genius. It's not to say the performance is perfect; in the beginning especially, the seams of her performance are so obvious it's terrible, but the latter performance makes up for it, showing the troubled mind of her character and the need for acceptance. It's a mixed performance with mostly lows, but it's still very interesting nonetheless.
2. Kate Winslet as Iris Murdoch in Iris
I wish I liked the performance more, because Kate Winslet truly brings so much to the role of the young Iris Murdoch. With her own actressing abilities she manages to turn even the maudlin material into her own gold, the thing that killed Judi Dench in the same film. But, she still manages to be in the same league - it's just not material that any actress, even Winslet, can manage to make something incredible out of. She has her good moments of course, but again there is not much she can actually do.
If only In The Bedroom had included more of Marisa Tomei's Natalie after the murder, her performance might have become a masterpiece. I prefer the storyline of the parents, but Tomei manages to give a great performance with the little she is actually given here. At first light and romantic, and later bereaved and depressed. She sticks out, no matter how bad her exit, and only Tomei can give a stellar supporting performance that few others could actually become that touching in.
Honorable Omissions: Rachel Miner in "Bully".