And the Academy selected:
- Amy Adams in Doubt
- Penelope Cruz in Vicky Christina Barcelona
- Viola Davis in Doubt
- Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
- Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler
5. Taraji P. Henson as Queenie in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
Benjamin Button lasts way too long with it's Forrest Gump message, but Henson may be one of the biggest problems. She does everything the role asks of her, but she exaggerates everything terribly. There's also the blandness that follows her throughout the film combined with her overall badness, the performance is truly all over the place. Boring and bad is not a bad combination.
4. Penelope Cruz as Maria Elena in Vicky Christina Barcelona
Talk about obvious acting, everything about Penelope Cruz in this movie screams bad. It's not just because I can't stand her, it's because the tight, little pretentious role of Maria Elena is hardly an accomplishment of anything (maybe of cliches) and Cruz does nothing at all for me to elevate the character. She constantly screams in Spanish and English and evidently that's Oscar worthy, but she does nothing else to earn anything.
3. Marisa Tomei as Cassidy/Pam in The Wrestler
Marisa Tomei swoops into The Wrestler, ready to be a bad cliche, but working with Rourke and Arranofsky surely gave her alot of advantages and ended up turning in a terrific performance. Pam is the older woman trapped by her lifestyle and ready to leave and Tomei turns her vulnerability into a fabulous, stunning performance. Everytime she is on-screen, the movie becomes a little bit better because of her.
2. Viola Davis as Mrs. Miller in Doubt
It's the perfect example of an actress getting recognized for one scene that changes and betters her film. Viola Davis plays the worried, but strange minded mother Mrs. Miller who butts heads with Meryl over her son. She injects the right amount of down to earth sensibility that makes perfect sense for the character and of course her big scene is worth the nomination alone. An amazing performance in such a small role.
1. Amy Adams as Sister James in Doubt
Even though I thought long and hard between the two, Amy Adams still does so much with her character that it is hard to ignore. Sister James is the kind, on-looker of the story and herself is doubtful on where to turn between the situation. It could have been done in so many wrong ways, but she undeniably turns it into the best thing possible. Tricky in many ways, but she is able to turn this character into an exhilarating, evocative creation.
Honorable Omissions: Judith Light in "Save Me".