And the Academy selected:
- Kathy Bates in About Schmidt
- Queen Latifah in Chicago
- Julianne Moore in The Hours
- Meryl Streep in Adaptation
- Catharine Zeta-Jones in Chicago
5. Catharine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in Chicago
It's the flashiest part this year, but also holds the distinction of being the weakest. Catharine Zeta-Jones playing the murderess superstar/uber-bitch Velma Kelly. The problem with the performance is how superficial and surprisingly unconvincing and boring Jones is. It's perhaps more of Chicago and her director's fault, but Renee Zellweger was able to overcome this limitations, why not Jones? There's just not a ton of effort at hand and not alot of talent to be found either.
4. Queen Latifah as Mama Morton in Chicago
Some of the same limitations are also found in Queen Latifah's performance as the tough and occasionally funny head matron Mama. Latifah's own distinct (if cliched) acting style mostly helps her out, relying on wisecracks which usually works and is very well done, if again, cliched and entirely expected. Still, a nice, entertaining performance that Queen Latifah carries.
3. Kathy Bates as Roberta Hertzel in About Schmidt
It's amazing how much better and deeper Kathy Bates gets on a review of About Schmidt. It's an extremely brief performance but it shows how Bates became such a famous character actress, who can quickly turn a small part into a memorable part of the film. Here, her Roberta is a quirky extreme creation and she lights up the screen with her comedic timing and delivers a terrific and surprising performance. It's more then a nude scene :)
2. Meryl Streep as Susan Orlean in Adaptation
Adaptation is such an odd film that a lesser actress could handle the small quirks and large neuroses of Susan Orlean terribly, but Meryl Streep obviously knew what she was doing. Even when she is off-screen, I could feel her presence and was more interested in her then anyone else - the tenderness of Susan and the quick, initial way she handles new found romance is amazing. It only shows how Streep can take a tricky part and makes the best out of what she is given.
1. Julianne Moore as Laura Brown in The Hours
It's such an epic performance, bursting full of emotions and showing the true, sometimes underrated talent of Julianne Moore. The depressed and suicidal 50s' housewife Laura Brown is my favorite part of The Hours, mostly because of Julianne Moore - she handles everything so excellently, so imaginatively, I fell totally under her spell. Lots of layers and tons of depth turn this performance into pure and terrific gold.
Honorable Omissions: None.