Saturday, 18 February 2017

Best Leading Actress 2016: Emma Stone - La La Land

Okay, I loved La La Land. It‘s a wonderful cinematic experience that is so real, that it will make most of the cynical people cry. Damien Chazelle has proved himself to be a director, whose next film will be highly anticipated.
I‘m not gonna be writting down bullshit, before exposing the truth. So here it is. One of the reasons La La Land was such a wonderful experience is Emma Stone. That‘s it. That being said, I have never been a huge fan of her. She has a speech defect, while she also doesn‘t have a perfect body holding. But after La La Land I understood, why people love her so much. Her on-screen charisma is beyond compare. Despite the flaws she might have, she is able to be so charming, charismatic and most of all an adorable woman. That is something beyond my understanding. During the film I was in a way attracted to her.
The best thing about it is that she is great at acting, too. All of her emotional moments seem so effortless, yet they never become boring. On the other hand she‘s able to elevate the moments that on the first sight don‘t offer her most of an acting opportunity. Yet, she never once is boring. She just is there on the screen and we believe her everything.
Emma was even able to overcome the occasional pathos of the screenplay. The way she delivers the singing line ‘Maybe this appeals to any girl, who feels there‘s some chance for romance‘ is wonderful, as she gives an overview to the whole situation and it seems as if she was making fun of the pathos under these words.
She also has a great chemistry with her co-star Ryan Gosling. This chemistry seems so effortless, one might take it for granted. That‘s a mistake. For example there is a scene of dinner, at which the two have an argument. It‘s as if they had known each other for a long time, as if they had really lived through this relationship. It‘s so heartbreaking and lovely at once. Never for a moment do we doubt about these two loving each other.
Stone is really the heart and the soul of the film. She dances well, sings great and acts flawlessly. This performance might be hated in the future as a weak winner (Gwyneth Paltrow, anyone?), but I don‘t give a shit. Because she does exactly what was required from her and she elevates the entire film (that even otherwise would have been great).

Monday, 6 February 2017

Next Year: Best Leading Actress 2016

The Nominees:
Emma Stone - La La Land
Isabelle Huppert - Elle
Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins
Natalie Portman - Jackie
Ruth Negga - Loving

What do you think about the nominees? What is your ranking? Who are you rooting for? What are your nominees? What do you think will be my ranking, or nominees? Tell us in comments! 

Best Leading Actress 1981

5. Susan Sarandon - Atlantic City
Sarandon is very fine the subtle moments of the film, but they don't very much fit the context of the film. The explosive moment are too overacted, on the other hand. But her chemistry with Lancaster is great and she had some very fine moments here and there.

4. Meryl Streep - The French Lieutenant's Woman
Meryl had recently said that this is a performance she is the least satisfied with. And I might in fact agree with her. She was miscast at the time and she simply failed to bring the required charm and energy to the screen. It's technically a fine performance, yet it misses the needed spark.

3. Marsha Mason - Only When I Laugh
Mason is a wonderful leader of this film and her chemistry with her co-stars (especially James Coco and Kristy McNichol) seems so effortless one might take it for granted. On the other hand she overacts some moment too much in the moments it's a bit distracting. 

2. Diane Keaton - Reds
Keaton is wonderfully leading this film without a help from her co-lead, which is quite impressive. She even managed to create some chemistry with Beatty, as well as with the rest of the cast. When she is on screen with Nicholson, it's a pleasure to watch. On the other hand the subtle moments are mostly too dormant.

1. Katherine Hepburn - On Golden Pond
Hepburn is such a delight in this film. I know, it's not her best performance, it's not even the best performance in this category of the year, but nobody can say it's a bad performance. She makes a wonderful couple with Henry Fonda and she made a believable mother to Jane Fonda. And that was an achievement! 

My Nominees:
1. Kathleen Turner - Body Heat
2. Sally Field - Absence of Malice
3. Katherine Hepburn - On Golden Pond
4. Bernadette Peters - Pennies from Heaven
5. Faye Dunaway - Mommie Dearest (guilty pleasure of mine, such a pleasure to watch)

Best Leading Actress 1981: Diane Keaton - Reds

Reds is a very well directed film, but it's utterly protracted. Luckily it's supported by some very good performances and the above-mentioned directing.
It's not easy to lead the film that lasts more than three hours. Diane Keaton had Warren Beatty to help her, but as an actor he wasn't very helpful.
The role of Louise Bryant is a difficult, yet very complex and good character to play. It's one of those that rarely happen for actresses these times. She is a feminist, she's an intelligent woman, who has her opinion and knows exactly what she wants. Though most of the time this is a very subtle portrayal, it is very convincing and strong. It's exactly the scenes, where Louise has to stand for what she wants, that Keaton shines most in. It doesn't matter if it's a court scene, where she must sustain her opinion, or it's an argument scene with Beatty. She handles all of them quite well.
It's interesting that though she is the leading character of the film, there are moments, in which she is pushed into corner and the true leader of that particular moment is Warren Beatty. However, Keaton handles these situations quite well, because despite she only has two short cuts to her face, we know what Louise is currently thinking about the main action taking place right now.
Keaton is also very good at having a good chemistry with her colleagues. And having a good chemistry with Beatty is a tough thing to achieve, but Keaton is good even at this. (Alright, their chemistry si not perfect, but it's as good, as possible.) But she has the best chemistry with Jack Nicholson. When these two have a scene together, it's a pleasure to watch. Both of them are really great, as both of them fully understood the character and they somehow fulfill each other's performance.
The only blame I'd have against Keaton would the above-mentioned fact that there are scenes, in which she doesn't have many things to do. Sometimes it's not just scenes, where she doesn't have anything to do, but the scenes that she is present in for the whole time and she has an opportunity to play something. She somehow underplays them. I don't know, if it's the result of Beatty's self-centeredness, or it's Keaton, who is to blame here, but that's the way I see it. On the other hand I think it's not only Beatty's fault, because she underplays some reactions even in scenes without Beatty. A because it happens often throughout Reds, I had to lower down her score.
The chances of winning an Oscar: Since Hepburn's win was not expected, I'm going to say that it was a fight between Streep and Keaton, which was won by someone third.