Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, The Deep Blue Sea
Certainties: Zero Dark Thirty‘s Jessica Chastain is a lock. Marion Cotillard’s work in Rust & Bone seems to be getting there, too. Although The Impossible was largely overlooked, Naomi Watts’ gripping performance as a mother trying to help her son survive the 2004 tsunami got a welcome nod. The odds seem to be against her, however. Many voters feel mixed on the movie, but this coupled with her SAG nomination provides Watts with some much-needed momentum. It’s one of my favorites performances of the year, so I’m rooting for her.
Surprises: Helen Mirren’s turn as the director’s secret-weapon wife in Hitchcock got a lot of early buzz, and a SAG nomination yesterday offer her some strong momentum. Rachel Weisz’ work in The Deep Blue Sea hasn’t been on the radar of many Academy voters, so that film about a torrid love affair received a much-needed boost.
Snubs: The oldest and the youngest contenders — 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis of Beasts of the Southern Wild and 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva from the end-of-life love story Amour. If each gets an Oscar nomination, they will set opposite age records for the category. A Globe mention for either was vital, and missing out — especially since there is a comedy category that potentially widens the drama field — is a blow to their chances.
NEXT PAGE — Winners, losers, shocks: Comedy/Musical Film