Sunday, February 10, 2019

Performance Review: Jennifer Jones in The Song Of Bernadette

Jennifer Jones received her first Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Bernadette Soubirous in The Song Of Bernadette. Bernadette is a young woman who sees a vision of the Virgin Mary which results in her  becoming  the subject of worship, ridicule, and religious persecution only to come out almost completely unfazed.

Jennifer Jones appeared to have been For Whom The Bell Tolls's star Ingrid Bergman's main competition  for Best Actress in 1943 with the latter being expected to triumph but given the strength of The Song Of Bernadette with the Academy (it got twelve Oscar nominations!) and Jones's Golden Globe win I wouldn't call her win an upset but hey I wasn't there so I couldn't tell you for sure :)

The Song Of Bernadette is a very admirable film although overly long and somewhat uncomfortable to watch. It is truly an awful and abhorrent thing to witness the town government   conspire to destroy Bernadette's life as well as her borderline emotionally abusive parents trying  to squash her faith. I also think it spends too much time on the conspirator's storyline; we get their motivations and their personalities right from the start so why do we have to spend so much time on them? Still the script is very strong, the acting also excellent, and its beautifully made in addition to being a highly engaging story.

Bernadette is another very interesting character from this category and arguably one of the most challenging. Bernadette needs to come across as sincere, steadfast, sweet, shy, strong, but polite and never terse. Playing someone with such unusual  religious faith and devotion is tricky to get right but Jennifer Jones is able to do the trick. She imbues the character of Bernadette with a wonderful purity and innocence without making the character too sweet or saccharine. Jones adds such dignity, strength, and quiet fervor to her character that it makes it beautiful to watch as well as captivating as she is so beautiful that she lights up the screen. Bernadette is so wonderfully honest, innocent, sweet, and subtly strong that you don't wonder why so many people put their faith, their reputations, and their belief in her hands. As the film nears its end, Jones  makes us feel her character's intense emotional struggle to leave her home and the possibility of a happy love life behind due to her knowing that she has been chosen by God as a vessel of wonder and faith meaning that she must leave her life behind and become a nun. The one issue with the performance is that it is a bit one note due to the nature of her character(therefore that is the point) but the last 45 minutes or so gives Jones more opportunities  to portray different sides of Bernadette such as her genuine feelings of pity and compassion that she has for Sister Vazous's jealousy of her gifts, her pain as she begins to waste away on illness,  her anger towards the men that continue to harass her about her faith. and her near loss of faith when she is on the brink of death. These scenes should have been a lesson to the filmmakers to cut some of the corrupt politician scenes and expand Bernadette's character a little more but Jones is still terrific.

It's a very captivating, strongly played, and luminous performance that is the center of the film.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Performance Review: Loretta Young in The Farmer's Daughter

Loretta Young received her first Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Katherine  Holstrom a young farm girl who moves to the big city to become a nurse only to then become a maid to a wealthy political family whose bright young congressman poster boy(Joseph Cotton) ends up falling in love with her. Eventually she gets persuaded to run for office against her love interest's political party and becomes a dark horse in the race.

Loretta Young apparently didn't have a chance in hell of winning Best Actress this year but she won beating all the odds. In a field which seemed to be filled with dramatic heavyweights it's not too surprising Young's charming and romantic performance pulled off an upset in addition to the fact that everybody loves an underdog which fit her character and her status in the race which  voters must have been won over by.

The Farmer's Daughter is a pretty hokey film that like To Each His Own is pretty implausible but is still interesting and entertaining. It's a bit simplistic and rather dated but it still holds up today at least for me.

Young portrays Katrin with charm, intelligence, and radiance. She presents Katrin as a strong independently minded person who is blunt and straightforward simply because she's never known anything else. Her dedication towards becoming a nurse as well as her determination to make a better life for herself are aspects of her character that Young plays very well even though the film ends up throwing them out due to wanting a romance between Young's character and the male lead Glenn. Despite this rather old fashioned plot change Loretta Young still is wonderful to watch showing a radiance and beauty that inhabits Katrin as she falls in love with Glenn whether it be  her excitement at seeing him after so long or  her feelings of pleasure and longing when the two spend time together. Both she and Cotton have good chemistry on screen due to the obvious contrasts in their characters given  how each of those contrasts compliments the other. She also captures Katrin's sense of integrity and strength when it comes to politics even if it is clear that she definitely is not a political climber and only wants to run out of an obligation for what she thinks is right. When things go downhill for her and when her  relationship with Glenn goes south Young makes us see her character's pain and hurt at her love's betrayal and then afterwards her joy at expressing the love she has for Glenn at last in addition to her joy of being given his love in return.

The second half of the film does get a bit too ridiculous and simplistic but it's so harmless and charming that it doesn't really effect Young's performance. I don't want to overpraise the performance as it really isn't anything that grabs hold of the screen but it's a charming and well played performance with wonderful simplicity and just the right amount of depth for material like this. An unfairly disliked performance at least to me.

Performance Review: Brie Larson in Room

Brie Larson received her first Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Joy Neesham, a young woman who was kidnapped by an older man at around eighteen or so and then subjected to sexual abuse by her kidnapper. She eventually got pregnant by him and had a son who she has been living with inside a  live in  shed for five years.  Joy  has shielded her son(whose name is Jack)  by making him believe that the room  as well as it's day to day activities are the only thing real in the world.

Larson was the hands down frontrunner for the Best Actress Oscar three years ago although this was not always the case. Before the release of Joy as well as the official start of the awards season, Jennifer Lawrence was a definite possibility in regards to being the  eventual winner given her popularity in Hollywood and the expectations surrounding her performance in the film. Once Lawrence became an also ran who had to  struggle  to be nominated, the race narrowed down to Larson and Saoirise Ronan in Brooklyn who gave a beautifully subtle performance in a very good film. Larson ended up getting the edge over Ronan with the precursors due to stronger industry popularity in Hollywood as well as the fact that her role is more dramatic although not by as much as one would think. Once the nominations were released Room snagged  a Best Director nomination which strengthened Larson's chances enormously and after SAG and BAFTA awarded her there was no real chance that she would lose.

Room is a beautifully made film with a tough subject matter that is handled well by the filmmakers- it is largely the story of the boy Jack and how he sees the world in the child like wonder perspective that his mother has given him and how that slowly is shaken by the unfolding of the events surrounding him. I think it is a strong film that is worthy of praise although it doesn't delve deep enough into some aspects of the subject matter that I feel would have helped the film.

When we first meet Joy, she is a very depressed and withdrawn woman. I personally have read about real life examples of people in her situation and Larson convincingly plays a person who has become so accustomed to the horrors of her situation that there is almost no real life in her with the exception of the love for her son. Larson plays each scene with her son convincingly by portraying the true love that she has for him, her sadness of him not having a better life, and her frustrations with the reality of her situation. She and Tremblay both work extremely well together with both being believable as a mother and a son with the viewer naturally connecting with  as well as rooting for them the whole way. Once things start to escalate Larson makes sure the  very high stakes of her character's desperate struggle to escape come across to the audience in addition to displaying how much Joy is sacrificing for her son and how painful and fearful the mission she gives him is for her. Despite these strengths I have to say that personally I am not in love with Larson  as an actress even though she does what is required of her in this film. Judging somebody's performance is so subjective that sometimes it just comes down to whether or not you find the character/the actress  likable in the most fundamental way. I have to say that I don't even though that does not mean that I don't respect her work.

Moving on,  once the two escape from Old Nick's(the kidnapper) clutches Larson is equally effective although the flaws in the script or perhaps the inherent nature of it become more apparent. The film is largely Tremblay's story which means that Joy's emotional journey and backstory are in the background to Jack's as well as serving as  supplements  to Jack's character arc instead of standing on their own. The film's vision and intentions are beautifully realized but  both of those things are primarily involved with  showing Jack's transformation in how he sees the world both  outside and inside of the room. More details surrounding her family life, the relationship with her father, the abuse she had to withstand for all those years, and the day she was kidnapped are all things that were needed to create a fully rounded and developed performance. It's also difficult to sympathize with some of Joy's actions in the 2nd half without those details being shown(in addition to my dislike of the character) and the changes in her feel  a little abrupt although still convincing.

It's a very real, authentic, and emotionally strong portrayal that fulfills the expectations of the role by executing the script's portrayal of this character well. If the film had developed Joy's backstory more and focused more on her the performance could have been on a much more powerful emotionally charged  level then it is. But even with these complaints Larson is still very strong in this film and her win isn't anything to rip your hair out over even though there was stronger performances that year that should have been honored instead. A very competent and admirable performance that is just  a little underwhelming.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Performance Review: Olivia De Havilland in To Each His Own

Olivia De Havilland received her third Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Jody Norris a woman who is forced to let her son live a life without knowing she is his mother in To Each His Own.

Given the legal victories that De Havilland won for herself and the industry against Warner Brothers and her pedigree as an actress it”s easy to believe that De Havilland was the favorite this year especially considering the fact that she had never won an Oscar before. I”d have to check some resources but I”m pretty sure now that it would have been an upset if she was overlooked in favor of someone else.

To Each His Own is a very typical soapy melodramatic movie from the 40s- none of the plot lines are really that credible and the movie isn”t really noteworthy even if it is entertaining and well crafted. The only real reason to watch it is for Olivia De Havilland who commands the screen while carrying the film completely without letting it”s implausible  plot drag her down.

Jody is a very interesting character- she appears to be a strong willed, independent, and dominating woman  who hides a great degree of loneliness and emotion underneath. De Havilland captures all of this extremely well in addition to technically playing the older Jody flawlessly- it”s amazing to think that this woman also was a southern belle in Gone With The Wine and a rich heiress in Tbe Heiress. As the movie enters into its flashback phase, Jody is shown as a very young woman. Practical and strong but also vulnerable, inexperienced, and romantic. We see her faith in finding the right happiness in her life as well as her passion for adventure. There is a great sense of spirit, of confidence and maturity that De Havilland brings to Jody that makes her wonderful to watch. As the film goes on we see Jody get pregnant with her dead lover”s child, her excitement and determination towards having the baby as her own, and her heartbreak over the loss of the child to an old friend of hers who will now always be known as his mother. Granted, Jody is a little bit selfish and overzealous in her attempts to become the baby”s mother(so much to the point that she bribes her friend into letting her have her son who becomes so lonely he gets sent back to her) but De Havilland wonderfully displays  how Jody”s powerful love for her son motivates her to create a better life for herself and for him. Despite the ridiculous almost uncomfortable nature of the way the film portrays this woman De Havilland makes it believable and effective  every step of the way even with the clunky script and  sometimes unsympathetic nature of Jody.

It”s a terrific performance that rises above her film when another actress could have made it a complete disaster. Luckily, Olivia De Havilland had the right instincts and the technical as well as the emotional skills of a quality actress to pull it off making it something memorable. A deserving winner.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Best Actress 2008: Meryl Streep in Doubt

Meryl Streep received her fifteenth Oscar nomination for playing Sister Aloysius, a domineering nun who suspects that a  priest (Phillip Seymour Hoffman)  is sexually abusing a young  black boy and enlists the help of a somewhat reluctant young nun named Sister James in order to help her put an end to the priest's actions.

Meryl Streep was always a shoo-in to be nominated for this film, but a win seemed to be somewhat of a long shot, given that Kate Winslet was considered extremely overdue for an Oscar at this point and Anne Hathaway was gathering great praise and accolades for her performance in Rachel Getting Married. Streep tied with Hathaway for the Critics Choice Award, but her absence from the ceremony didn't really make this seem like a big win and after losing the Globe to Winslet, her chances of winning her third Oscar  didn't look that promising . However, she pulled off a Best Actress  win at SAG leaving Hathaway in the dust (Winslet won in Supporting for The Reader) and Hollywood was  widely   reminded that it had been quite a while since Meryl had graced the Oscar stage. Her chances increased greatly after that, but I don't think she had any real chance of winning due to Winslet being too strong of a contender to beat.

Doubt is an excellent film-powerfully executed and extremely compelling. Is it a little too overbearing with it's symbolism and devices ?  Yes. Is it a little stagey? Yes. But the film's compelling moral dilemma is too strong to resist. There is fabulous acting throughout and the writing is fantastic(besides the storm stuff lol).

The character of Sister  Aloysius is one that is often felt to be a caricature or a vileness. To my mind, she most certainly isn't: She's someone who greatly believes in her faith and in her responsibility as Mother Superior as well as Principal of the school at large. She is someone who sees evil everywhere and believes in strict adherence to rules and to appearances. But she does have a heart and I honestly believe that it was in the right place the whole time. Little is known about her past besides the intriguing fact that she was married before joining the church. In my opinion, Sister Aloysius's certainty probably comes from some sort of past experience or trauma that makes her unwilling to even openly consider the possibility that he is innocent, at least that is how I interpret Streep's interpretation of the character.  Streep plays this nun  as a woman on a crusade,   driven to stamp out all evil  at all costs and is driven to setting a high moral standard for everyone to follow,  especially Sister James, who is rather naive and oblivious to any possible wrongdoing by her pupils.

Streep's character may seem one-dimensional, but Streep shows us that she is strong, determined, caring, and extremely intelligent. Streep understands her character perfectly and nails all of the aspects of her- her vulnerability, her humor, her strength, her natural mistrust in others. She and Phillip Seymour Hoffman play extremely well off of each other as do she and Amy Adams and of course  Viola Davis(in an incredible performance BTW). In her final scenes, she superbly shows how her strength is shaken by Father Flynn's resolve and how SPOILER ALERT that she is not sure that she has done the right thing by finally removing him from the school and the church. For me,  it was easy to   identify with her character more then anyone else in the film due to also seeing evil in many places where others may not believe it to be there. Streep is also very specific and detailed in many of her characterization, either it be her line delivery or her body language, showing us the Sister's reactions and thought processes wonderfully.

All in all, I find Meryl Streep's performance in Doubt to be extremely high in  quality even though the material she is working with has it's flaws and her Bronx dialect can be a bit overly mannered at times. She gets 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Best Actress 2008: Kate Winslet in The Reader

Kate Winslet received her 6th Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing Hanna Schmitz, a German woman who has an affair with a teenage  boy  named Michael(David Kross) and through the eyes of the later,  is eventually revealed to be a former SS guard.

When thinking ahead to the 81st Academy Awards 10 years ago, I had this image in my head of Kate Winslet's name being called as Best Actress was announced and receiving her long overdue recognition from the Academy. But for Revolutionary Road, which was one of the most anticipated films of the year that ended up coming out too late in the season to gain any traction in the BP and BD races. Still, Winslet's performance was considered to be a near-lock for a Best Actress nomination as was her candidacy in the Supporting Actress category for The Reader, a film that was mixed in terms of reception, but was doing fairly well all the same, especially for Winslet who garnered the Broadcast Critics Choice Award as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress. Trouble was is that she also picked up the Leading Actress in a Drama award for RR, which made people wonder which film would she be honored for or would she somehow be shut out? Well, it turned out that the Academy made the decision to put her performance in The Reader in the Leading Category, snubbing her RR performance and making her the de-facto frontrunner for Best Actress, especially after triumphing at SAG and The Reader getting surprise nods for Best Picture and Best Director. Winslet was clearly overdue and Meryl was great in Doubt, but her momentum came too late to best Winslet, while Anne Hathaway was hampered by her film's lack of support as well as the fact that she had other chances ahead of her. Neither Melissa Leo or Angelina Jolie had any chance of winning.

The Reader is actually a film that I greatly admire- Unlike a lot of Holocaust films that are honored at the Oscars, the film explores the aftermath of the Holocaust itself and the way that post World War 2 Germany views the actions of those who took part in and stood by the Nazi regime and how those two generations try to communicate in order to understand Nazi Germany's actions. The film is extremely well directed and well acted all around and is a powerful story, although too simplistic at times.

Anyway, Winslet plays Hanna, a woman who is very cold and calculated, yet also passionate, strong, authoritative. In the first half of the film, Winslet shows us her many shades both unlikeable and like-able- her somewhat callous treatment of Michael, her love of stories, her passion for romance and intimacy. Hanna is an enigma in many ways, but is also very close to us: We understand why Michael falls in love with her and why she falls in love with him. There are many superb moments in Winslet's portrayal of Hanna in the first half of the film, particularly the church scene which takes place on a trip that she and Michael take together. She is luminous and fascinating to watch.

The middle half of the film presents us with a much different view of Hanna, although it does not appear that she has changed much since she ended her affair with Michael. She is on trial for war crimes, that she allegedly committed in the course of her work as an SS guard. Hanna is the only woman out of all the guards who openly admits her actions, which eventually lead to her being scapegoated by her fellow defendants.  Winslet is quite riveting here, showing sides of vulnerability that we have not seen the full extent of in Hanna before as well as Hanna's  strength and reserved nature.

The third act of the film  is where she is sadly held back a little by the ridiculous age makeup(LOL), but Winslet still shows Hanna's internal changes and reflections. Her choices and morals are still a mystery, but Winslet makes the character of Hanna Schmitz mesmerizing to watch. A fascinating and beautiful portrayal. She gets

Best Actress 2008

The next Best Actress year I'll be doing is 2008 and the nominees were: 

Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married 

Angelina Jolie in Changeling 

Melissa Leo in Frozen River 

Meryl Streep in Doubt 

Kate Winslet in The Reader 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri And The Shape Of Water

Three Billboards Outside Of Ebbing Missouri: I came into this film knowing it would be good and did not disappoint: The film is a harrowing, extremely funny film with such perfectly funny details and an extremely good balance of comedy and drama throughout.  The cast is filled with fantastic acting and it tells a strong impactful story that holds it's power all the way through.  McDormand gives an extremely brave, powerful performance which is both extremely funny and riveting. You see and identify with her pain and her being at the end of her sanity with truly nowhere to latch onto. Harrelson is terrific as the police Sheriff dying of cancer, but still sympathetic and wanting  to help Mildred(McDormand's character), but she won't have any of it.  Sam Rockwell's character Dixon is perhaps the least sympathetic and most irritating at times, but he is great and progressively more like-able as the film goes on.  Pretty much everyone in the whole cast is excellent. My problems with the film though are somewhat numerous: It stretches reality a little too much with all the violent actions the characters do and no consequences for them and the progressive violence goes a bit too over the top after a while and repetitive, but that doesn't bother me. The ending is also pretty flawed too, but I think that was the purpose of it. Still, it's a great film, even though it's problems make me frustrated with it because it could have been a masterpiece.  It's still the best film I've seen all year though so far.

The Shape Of Water: This was the first Oscar contender I saw and it was certainly a beautiful achievement. The film is wonderfully directed and filled with such strong, great moments telling a really great love story that's unconventional, but entertaining. Still, the film's story is flawed: Michael Shannon's character is overall great throughout, but I thought he needed more backstory to his character or perhaps a different way of handling his character arc as the film ended because it came across as a little too much. Also, the Soviet storyline is really unclear and not well executed and  (slight spoiler) the Doctor's choice at the end isn't credible to me. But the film is a luminous love-story that is also a great thriller with great acting. Hawkins gives a moving,  well-developed, radiant performance and the aforementioned Shannon, Jenkins, Stuhlbarg,Spencer(although her character is like Minnie  from The Help decided to move to Maryland)  and Doug Jones as the  mysterious creature are all excellent. I hope it gets honored somewhere on Oscar night and I hope it gets a bunch of Oscar nominations on Oscar Nominations morning. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Best Actress 1987: Holly Hunter in Broadcast News

Holly Hunter received her first Oscar nomination for playing Jane Craig, a T.V Network producer who finds herself caught between the handsome new news reporter  Tom(William Hurt)and her best friend Aaron(Albert Brooks) in Broadcast News.

Broadcast News is surprisingly a kind of WTF movie for me- I couldn't really tell what the hell was going on for a lot of it and it's kinda stuck in the 80's LOL, but it still has its merits.  The acting is overall quite strong, with both Hurt and Brooks turning strong work. Hunter, despite winning the N.B.R award for this film, probably didn't have much of a chance at winning  the Oscar given  her stiff competition. She was too new to Hollywood at the time and Cher took the romantic comedy votes away from her and  Moonstruck overshadowed Broadcast News for these same reasons in the general Oscar race.  Not to mention Kirkland and Close had more passionate supporters. So , I think Hunter came in fourth with Streep bringing up the rear.

Holly Hunter is an actress who I like a lot: I personally love her   southern  voice and she  has great acting instincts and a real presence on screen. Here, she does a lot of great work. Her best moments are when she is listening to her co-stars during a scene or reacting/feeling on her own: With her facial expressions, she communicates exactly what Jane is feeling and  we can read her like a book. She makes us care about Jane, admire her for her spirit and intelligence, and even love her when she is radiant and happy about her love life with Tom. She is beautifully natural and fiercely present at the same time, never making her work become too subtle, but letting the character  speak for itself. She is perfectly cast in the role:  who else can you  imagine in this part?  And she has great chemistry with Hurt and especially Albert Brooks. Their  scenes together are probably the best in the film because the two  character are so a like and have such a strong, passionate relationship that is extremely funny and moving.

But the problem that Hunter can't get out of  is the fact that the character's whole purpose is just wondering whether or not she's good enough for Tom and the conflicts that she has over both him and Aaron.  We definitely see her commitment to her work and to her job in the beginning, but in my opinion, we don't see enough of it. I wanted to see more fire in the character, more of a love/hate relationship between her and Hurt, and that just doesn't seem to come across. Jane Craig could have been a lot more opinionated and less needing of a man to define her, but the script cheats us out of this. It could have been a lot worse, but the writing and the acting is just three levels or so above this that it doesn't sink the film or Hunter's performance. But it still could have been  better.

Still, though Hunter gives a luminous portrayal that is both funny and touching and beautifully captures the full range of her characters emotions and quirks, in the end creating an extremely  memorable   character.  She gets

Monday, July 24, 2017

Best Actress Overall Winners: Part 6

Moving right along to the finish line! Please  feel free to comment on and check out Part 5 below! I updated it to include Fritz's, Dinasztie's, Alex's, and my own choices for the years in which I've/they've  done profiles on and which races I have opinions on who I think the winner should have been  currently even though I have not done a profile yet. I would have included all of Sage's too, but since she deleted  some of her Best Actress posts/rankings and a great amount of time has passed since she posted all of her rankings when she concluded the category, I can't  definitively  consider   the majority of them her choices anymore, unless I get clarification from her. Anyway, we miss you Sage and hope you're doing well!!

Best Actress 2008: This one is hard, because I haven't heard too many opinions on the race in general- Some dislike Winslet, others don't, so I'd say she's split down the middle. Streep has more detractors then supports and Jolie even more so. That leaves Hathaway and Leo- I guess I'll go with Leo? Fritz picked Winslet, Alex picked Streep, I need to rewatch all of them to get a definitive opinion on my thoughts.

Oscar Winner: Kate Winslet

Overall Winner:  Melissa Leo

Best Actress 2009: Sandra Bullock's win is one of the biggest WTF winners in many  people's minds, but on a rewatch of a chunk of the film a few weeks ago, I personally liked the performance film much more then when I saw it the first time all those years ago. Who would have thought? Anyway, she still is no overall winner. I'll go with Mulligan, despite strong support for Sidibe and Streep. Dinasztie went with Streep, Alex went with Mulligan.

Oscar Winner: Sandra Bullock

Overall Winner: Carey Mulligan

Best Actress 2010: It's getting to the point that the more recent the winners become, the harder it is to judge who is the most popular winner these days. This is a strong lineup though, so I think you could find any of the nominees being someone's pick. I'll just go with Portman for now, but feel free to help me on this guys!  Dinasztie went with Portman , Alex went with Portman, and  although I never completed this year officially , I think Kidman was the best of the nominees.

Oscar Winner: Natalie Portman

Overall Winner: Natalie Portman

Best Actress 2011:  Ah, the year Meryl finally won her third Oscar. I think you can find people that both love and hate the performance, but despite some support for Williams, I think Davis is the overall winner here.  Dinasztie picked Meryl, Alex picked Meryl as well.

Oscar Winner: Meryl Streep

Overall Winner: Viola Davis

Best Actress 2012: Lawrence's win is largely disliked now it seems, unfairly IMO, but there you go. I think Chastain has some love out there, but Riva probably is most people's pick nowadays. Alex picked  Riva, Dinasztie picked Riva as well. Sage has stated Chastain is her pick.

Oscar Winner: Jennifer Lawrence

Overall Winner: Emanuelle Riva

Best Actress 2013: Cate Blanchett won the Oscar and her win is hugely popular.  Alex  went with Blanchett and for me it's a tossup between Blanchett and Adams, with a nod to Streep.

Oscar Winner: Cate Blanchett

Overall Winner: Cate Blanchett

Best Actress 2014: I get the impression most consider Julianne's win a makeup award, but I don't think she is disliked for her win. I'll go with Pike as the overall winner.  I haven't seen Witherspoon yet, but both Pike and Cotillard are amazing. I think Cotillard deserved it the most. Sage stated her choice is Julianne Moore.

Oscar Winner: Julianne Moore

Overall Winner: Rosamund Pike

Best Actress 2015: This is the second to most recent win, so it's hard to say who the overall winner is. Certainly not Jennifer Lawrence or Cate Blanchett. I'll just give this one to Rampling, lol. Alex picked Rampling.

Oscar Winner:  Brie Larson

Overall Winner: Charlotte Rampling

Best Actress 2016: Stone's win seems destined to become unpopular, but as I've noted again and again, it's a bit too soon to be definitive about who most think should have won this year. I'll pick  Portman  and Huppert in a tie for now. Louis gave his personal Best Actress award to Emma Stone and Alex picked Streep.

Oscar Winner: Emma Stone

Overall Winner:   TIE- Natalie Portman & Isabelle Hubbert

So, that's it!! Feel free to comment on your thoughts about these years and who your personal winners are, if you disagree with me, and more!

You Go Olivia Colman!!!!