January 31, 2010

MOVIES: Best of 2009: Supporting Actress

The nominees:
  • Catherine Keener, Where the Wild Things Are -- not a lot of screen time, but a spot-on depiction of a frustrated working mom, juggling to balance career and kid, love and annoyance
  • Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air -- her discovery that it is indeed possible to be too efficient is far more interesting (and more convincingly played) than Clooney's "gotta fall in love" epiphany
  • Julianne Moore, A Single Man -- Charley and George have both lost the love of their lives, but Charley's the one who still has to see him every day and go on being his friend; in the end, all of the flirting and the breezy small talk can't hide the pain
  • Rosamund Pike, An Education -- Helen may not have the book smarts of Carey Mulligan's Jenny, but she knows exactly where Jenny's relationship with David is going to end up, and her frustration at not being able to help is palpable

And the winner:

  • Mo'Nique, Precious -- Mary is so monstrous a creature that she's barely human at all, and the performance (like the movie) sometimes comes perilously close to camp -- so it's even more astounding that in that final horrific, deluded, twisted monologue, she almost manages to win the audience's sympathy.

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