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Sep 14 2015

Best Actress Happenings at TIFF

To quiet my nerves that you've all vanished --you know how Tinkerbell dies if you don't clap for her and believe in fairies.That!only with comments-- a topic that always gets you talking: BEST ACTRESS.I'll say more about these movies soon but for now,an Oscar checklist.

Cate Blanchettis a wonder inTruth.Again.As I said on twitter I used to think she was all technique with no soul but lately she's on fire with both.In the film's first scene she chatters away about downing a xanax which immediately bringsBlue Jasmineto mind but Mary Mapes's righteous fury,smug pride,and sense of humor quickly register her as an entirely different character,love of booze and xanax notwithstanding.

I feel as warmly towardSaoirse RonaninBrooklynas the sun does in that first beautiful teaser poster for the movie.There are some who feel the movie is too "soft"for Oscar play or too romantic and old fashioned but I am keeping the faith because it has cumulative power and the end credits are out of focus...what's that?No?Well they appeared that way through my wet eyeballs!

They're called the "Amandas"and this year the top prize went toIne Marie Wilmannwho stars in an incest drama calledHomesick.(More on that one soon including a film she's got lined up that sounds very promising.)

It's true I passed on seeingEmily BluntinSicario,Sandra BullockinOur Brand is CrisisandJulianne MooreandEllen PageinFreeheldhere in Toronto but there are hundreds of movies playing here that one might never see again and those three movies all have release dates coming up very soon!I only allow myself a few of those each festival and those were not the few.

The Danish Girl(s).Emphasis on the plural.

I'll be sharing more thoughts onThe Danish Girlsoon but it hasn't yet fully settled.For now this tidbit: For the first 15 minutes or soAlicia Vikanderappears to be playing her character Gerte as far too modern and manic.Yet as the story develops you begin to see her more clearly as a woman ahead of her time and,in turn,she becomes our surrogate window to Lili,too (Eddie Redmayne) since her trans husband can't see herself so clearly at first.Vikander is marvelous at upping the emotional ante and registering Gerte's arc while also dovetailing it with her unchangeable steel as a life partner.The Supporting Campaign,if it comes to pass,is entirely obnoxiousandunfortunate.She has as much and possibly more screentime than Eddie and the film is just as much the portrait of their unconventional marriage as it is about transitioning.Since there is,as of yet,no clear frontrunner for Best Actressshe could actually be a threat to win.Whichever category she ends up campaigning in late this year,she will be be nominated given a) the year she's having,b) her youth and beauty (remember how they cherish crowning the new girls),c) the juiciness of this role,and d) being in a film that will undoubtedly rack up the nominations.

"About to"being relative to when you're actually dropping by the site to read this:Brie LarsoninRoom.

I'll end with a personal favorite.It's early still and we should all weigh these things until the last moments before declaring our definitive top fives on any ballot but this much is obvious:45 Yearsgets a tremendous amount of its weirdly chill power fromCharlotte Rampling's complex work.She plays a woman who begins to question the foundation of her nearly half-century marriage when a bizarre message arrives from Switzerland.Two time Oscar nominee Tom Courtenay (Doctor Zhivago,The Dresser) as the husband is also terrific but it's really Rampling's film.She hasn't had this fine a showcase sinceUnder the Sand(for which she should have been nominated).The British legend is still waiting on her first Oscar nomination but she's had the kind of enduring expansive international career (80+ films for multiple countries,including France,Italy,the UK,and the US) and consistently high quality work that really ought to make her an attractive proposition on ballots.

Will AMPAS make it happen or is the racejust too thick with contestants?

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Reader Comments (43)

Don't forget Maggie Smith :D

But seriously,c'mon Academy - it's time you gave Rampling the recognition she has earned.45 years was just brilliant!

That being said,what a year this is shaping up to be!

In a dream world,it would be Blunt,Smith,Ronan,Rampling & Lawrence (I love her - so sue me),but who the hell knows!More years like this one please.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMorganisaqt


I'm really looking forward to 45 years.I know I'm gonna love that movie

Blanchett is the Queen of everything so of course she is AMAZING in Truth.And since Carol is the more 'flashier' movie and role,Blanchett is gonna be nominated for Carol in the Best Actress category

My fab fav 5:

Cate Blanchett - Carol
Emily Blunt - Sicario
Rooney Mara - Carol
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

I agree re: Rampling.I thought she was excellent in 45 Years.

Vikander's role sound similar in size and function to Felicity Jones's in The Theory of Everything,for which she was rightly placed in Best Actress rather than in support.So hopefully they'll do the right thing this time too.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

How is Elisabeth Moss in Truth?

September 14,2015 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I'm just glad there are already so many good performances.Too many choices is a good thing!

September 14,2015 | Unregistered Commentercash

There's so much to look forward to,how exciting!I haven't seen the film,but it would be great to see Rampling get a nomination,it's crazy to me that it's never happened.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

I can't wait to see 45 Years.Charlotte Rampling is a treasure.And she doesn't get credit for consistently being one of the world's most fearless and riskiest actresses...I mean The Night Porter.The Damned.Swimming Pool?C'mon!The only other contemporary actresses working today who can hold a candle to her in regards to range and taste are Marion and Tilda,IMO.

I'm happy to hear that Alicia Vikander is very good in The Danish Girl.All I've heard from the screenings are Eddie,Eddie,Eddie!I hope they campaign her as Lead.

And there seems to be a trend of acclaimed performances in so-so films coming out of Toronto.Maggie Smith,Sandra Bullock,and Julianne Moore have all been highly praised for their performances in The Lady in the Van,Our Brand is Crisis,and Freeheld,respectively,but the films have received mixed reviews.Will be interesting to see how that plays out with Oscar.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I can see Rampling happening rather than Tomlin as the career tribute nomination,Bafta will flip over it,Please you over in the USA Bafta holds sway now..

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

Blanchett gave an amazing multi-layered performance as a reporter in Joel Schumacher's Veronica Guerin.I wonder if/how it compares.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterAdamA

All I want is Charlotte Rampling's name called nomination morning.So very ridiculous that she has never been acknowledged.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

It is too thick,but boy would I be cheering if it did happen for Rampling.Rampling + Tomlin + Fonda in the same year?I haven't been good enough to deserve that.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

I'm just so happy that the word out of TIFF is so positive for Truth.I have been looking forward to the Redford/Blanchett/Moss team ever since this film was announced.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I haven't had a chance to see "45 years",but love the attention that Rampling is getting.
Fingers crossed she gets the nomination she deserves.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Larson!

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterConMan

I was so suspicious of Trurh.Glad to hear Cate is great in it.And 45 years cannot arrive heer soon enough.Why isn't it playing NYFF?

September 14,2015 | Registered CommenterMurtada Elfadl

With the raves she's getting for "Truth",I think she's gonna be nominated for Best Actress from this instead.This movie is more Academy's catnip.This is like "The Blood Diamond"all over again.

Best if she still wants to get nominated for her passion project for "Carol",she will have to go supporting there.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterGolden

I want to add my love to the Charlotte Rampling pep rally here at The Film Experience.亚博主页

September 14,2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

How exciting.Another year where Cate Blanchett is nominated.Yawn.And no to Sandra Bullock.Yes to Brie Larson and new people.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJono

WithTruthlooking like it could easily score Cate Blanchett a Best Actress nomination,do you think this could be a sign that Weinstein will give her the supporting push forCarolso as not to compete with herself,as well as to boost Rooney Mara's chances of a nomination?

Because if that's the case,I really think Cate could be a double nominee this year,and unless I'm forgetting someone,wouldn't that make her the first person to ever be a double nominee twice in her career?It would also make her the most nominated living actress aside from Streep.She stands to make history this year.

September 14,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I would say double-nominate Cate all the way:)))

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Edwin: If Jane Fonda gets nominated as well for Youth—which some think it could happen—,it would be Fonda and Blanchett sharing that distinction of being the most nominated living actresses outside of Streep.

Jono: Let Blanchett be nominated if she's that good.No need to be antagonistic for the sake of it.Yes to Brie Larson,and Vikander and Rampling and Ronan.This would be a truly stellar lineup.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Oh,and Kate Winslet is getting her 7th,so she's getting close as well.I have no doubt Winslet and Blanchett will duke it out in a few years from now.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJones

I'm afraid we're gonna see a lot of great performances by actresses go nomination-less this year.Let's hope the critics groups,the SAG's,the Globes and the Baftas will spread the wealth.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Nice to see Nicole getting genuinely nice raves for The Family Fang!

September 15,2015 | Unregistered Commentermorganlambert

Edwin & Jans -- but double nominating her would be lying since she's the star of both films.

James T -- great point.we really need this to happen because there's already so much worth honoring.

Jono -- i agree that it would be nice to have some fresh blood in the lineups (when worthy)

Jones -- I am one of those that believes Jane Fonda will be nominated as I said on Twitter the other day.She only has 1 1/2 scenes in YOUTH but the movie makes a very very big deal about her arrival.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Mara goes lead I think,Blanchett goes supporting.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

Rampling is incredible in 45 Years,possibly my favorite acting performance from this decade.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRami

So many of these that I really wanted to's hoping that Alicia Vikander gets nominated in the right category - after the year she's had,she has definitely earned it (I personally think she deserved a nomination for Ex Machina,but I'm not so idealistic to assume that could ever happen).

Also,I'm just saying what everybody else has already said,but a nom for Charlotte Rampling would be amazing.Given that I haven't seen too many of the buzz-y films (and that I'm really just speaking from what I've read elsewhere),the five I would hope for are:
- Brie Larson (Room)
- Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
- Cate Blanchett (Truth - I've heard the role in Carol is a bit chillier,so the Academy might lean towards this)
- Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)
- Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

Which would then leave out Fonda,Tomlin,Blunt,and Mara...and Moore...and really is a packed field already.I love it!

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Nat,I know it'll be category fraud if Cate were to be nominated twice next year but it's hard to contain that excitement having read all the raves she'd been receiving for both Carol and Truth.

Btw,have you watched Charlotte Rampling in the 2nd season of Broadchurch?She was's hoping she finally gets her nomination.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJans

Vikander is sort of uneven for me so far.Great in ex machine but completely listless in UNCLE.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered Commentersummer

If only the final five were ever the final five I wanted.....

September 15,2015 | Unregistered Commenterjamie

Biggest "That wasn't nominated?Really?"when it comes to Rampling is The Verdict.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Biggest "That wasn't nominated?Really?"when it comes to Rampling is The Verdict.

Someone has not seen Stardust Memories.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Rob -- Fonda is a supporting prospect.Tiny part with big impact.

summer -- agreed on Man From UNCLE but that's her only dud performance so far.

Jans -- i hear you.i loved when it was Kidman getting raves for both Moulin Rouge!and The Others but at least back then no one tried to pretend that she was supporting in one of them.This cancer is spreading every year ;)

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think the only way to really combat category fraud is by allowing actors to be nominated multiple times in the same category.They do it at the Baftas

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterRami

Nathaniel - it's crazy to think that if those two movies came out in this climate,she'd have been pushed as supporting for one of them,and probably for Moulin Rouge (where they could attempt to pretend that Ewan is the lead,and she is supporting his performance.)
Long live honesty!

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Rami -- there's an easy solution to be found just over at the Tony Awards where a small committee makes rulings on who is considered "lead"and who is "featured"-- it wouldn't take much effort at all to do it for Oscar,too.It would be just like that Executive Committee that's there in Foreign Language Film to keep things somewhat sensible.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Speaking of Kidman (as one does naturally),have we given up all hope that Queen of the Desert might prove to be an Oscar vehicle?

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Saoirse Ronan getting raved feels so gratifying because for her first true adult role holds such greatness over the next decade if Ronan continues to get this great roles throughout her 20's and really set herself above all her peers.I saw 45 Years 2 weeks ago and Rampling is indeed brilliant and I really could see her receiving the Riva type nomination which would be richly deserved.Courtney is also great and I hope he happens too but fear he'll be looked over similar to Jean-Louis for Amour.While some have been mixed on Blanchett for years I have always loved her and with her work in 2015 (Cinderella,Carol,Truth) she seems again to set herself above the likes of Winslet and Kidman as the most versatile.I believe so much Mara will be pushed lead by critics causing Harvey to move her into lead with the first double acting nomination in 24 years feeling so right for Carol (sight unseen).

It's such a competitive best actress race without Vikander and Mara and with them it becomes even more competitive.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

Nathaniel - I do like the idea of borrowing the Tonys' committee to rule on category placement.It does feel like a bit of a monumental task as the list that voters receive names 300+ films and every actor appearing in each one.That's a lot of movies to view and a lot of rulings to make (especially frustrating when only around 10% of that list will ultimately land a nomination).There's nowhere near that number of Tony-eligible productions opening in any given season.I suppose rulings could be made quarterly or by some similar way as movies become eligible,but again we run into just how much time is being spent on something that voters themselves have every opportunity to correct (and occasionally have as demonstrated by someone like Winslet showing up in lead in '08 or Sarandon landing a lead nom in '81).It's a fun thought experiment,though.

It has seemed through recent history that BAFTA is much more willing to go against prescribed campaigns.Supporting contenders Berenice Bejo,Hailee Steinfeld,Rachel Weisz,Kate Winslet -for The Reader AND Finding Neverland in separate years,and Kate Hudson all landed leading nominations in their years dating back just to 2000.On the male side we saw Steve Carell demoted to supporting just last year and Jim Broadbent promoted to lead for the same performance that won him a supporting Oscar.What are they doing across the pond that this can occur so regularly,even in the face of campaigns telling their members to vote otherwise?I'll grant that it could be the part of the BAFTA voting block that does NOT overlap with the Academy's is perhaps somewhat insulated away from American campaign shenanigans,but it just feels like some sort of different education and empowerment has to be leading to these category switcheroos.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterBobby S

You don't have to list every single actor in the eligible movies.Just name the leads and everybody else is supporting.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Weinstein campaign Mara in Supporting:

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Vikander was a fun and charming in UNCLE;easily the saving grace in a really awful movie.The scene where she dances to Cry To Me is hands down my favorite scene of the year so far.

Ok,admittedly,Debecki,whom I firmly believe will be the next Cate Blanchett,was also pretty fun to watch.

September 15,2015 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

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