Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Julie Christie (Away from Her), Marion Cotillard (La Vie en rose), Laura Linney (The Savages) and Ellen Page (Juno).
Who Should Win: Marion Cotillard (La Vie en rose)
I hate biopics, and seldom am I impressed with the actors who place themselves in them (exception of course given to Helen Mirren), but Marion Cotillard's performance as the tragic French singer Edith Piaf is shattering. There's a sincere distinction between her Piaf versus, say, Jamie Foxx's Ray Charles in that she's not delivering an impersonation; she's literally possessed. I haven't seen such a rapturous transformation portrayed anywhere since I saw Christine Ebersole on Broadway as Little Edie in Grey Gardens.
The WTF? Nominee: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
I understand the Academy loves Cate Blanchett to death, even more so than Kate Winslet as Ms. Blanchett has a trophy to her name... but nominating her for Elizabeth: The Golden Age? Ridiculous. Not only was she better in the original, but she's... dare I say... kind of hammy in the unnecessary and stale sequel. And not hammy in a good way, like she was during that scene in Notes on a Scandal. Whether you agree with the hamminess or not, you have to admit, from an actress as ranged and talented as she, her Elizabeth was Blanchett on autopilot.