Where are all the Best Actresses?

1413__walktheline_l"Imagine if there were no Best Actor and Best Actress categories at the Oscars and the Academy simply nominated 10 contenders in a coed Best Performance race. How many nominees would be male and how many would be female?"

That’s the question that Entertainment Weekly’s Dave Karger and Missy Schwartz ask in this week’s issue, claiming that while there are an embarrassment of riches for the Academy among the male-centric casts of Cinderella Man, Hustle & Flow, and Brokeback Mountain, the ladies haven’t exactly distinguished themselves in great numbers — either with the critics or audiences. So who’s on their list of possible nominees? Warning: It’s a short one.

Judi Dench, Mrs. Henderson Presents
Felicity Huffman, Transamerica
Gwyneth Paltrow, Proof
Charlize Theron, North Country
Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line (above)

Anyone we forgot? Holla back!


Comments (133 total) Add your comment
Page: 1 2 3 9
  • Heidi

    Renée Zellweger for Cinderella Man

  • Louie

    Huh… how about Claire Danes who was so vulnerable, mesmerizing, funny, and charming in the much under-appreciated SHOPGIRL. Her performance was so natural and effortless that it made me wonder why this woman isn’t a bigger movie star. I hope her name is on the ballot when Oscar time rolls around.
    And I must also mention Miranda July for her great work in Me You and Everyone Else. Although she might only be recognized in the writing category for her quirky and extremely refreshing screenplay.

  • scott

    Zhang Ziyi for Memoirs of a Geisha

  • Fred

    Agreed there are not that many great roles…by far the weakest category. Just give Ms. Witherspoon her Oscar. However, your list overlooks Keira Knightley, Claire Danes, Joan Allen. My greatest hope for a first time nomination is Ziyi Zhang who has certainly earned a nod after Crouching Tiger, the Road Home, Hero and House of Flying Daggers.

  • MrExcitement

    Laura Linney for The Squid and the Whale

  • Ron

    How dare anyone overlook Joan Allen and her performance in The Upside of Anger. Along with Reese she is as sure a bet as there is for a nod. As some leading experts have noted, the Best Actress category is the most forgiving to early-birds, and more to the point the Academy LOVES her.
    Natasha Richardson could be surprise bait in The White Countess, but if the voters get real desperate you could see someone like Meryl Streep nominated for the loathsome Prime or perhaps even Renee Zellweger (gasp!) for Cinderella Man — it did seem like she would get Oscar traction initially with this one.

  • Raoul

    Joan Allen should walk away with this. Was I the only one who thought Reese Witherspoon’s performance in Walk the Line was nothing special?
    And there’s absolutely no reason to include Ms. Paltrow on there–her performance in Proof was rote and boring.

  • eddie

    realistically the only other ones who have a shot are keira knightley for pride & prejudice – which i think is likely because she shocked people by not only not sucking but being quite good – and Joan Allen for The Upside of Anger. BUt while PRide & Prejudice is riding high right now, The Upside of Anger has come and gone – however the academy has shown love for Allen in the past even in films that haven’t lived up to their potential like The Crucible and The Contender. Clare Danes is a true longshot, because that movie really needs to make some noise (at least for Steve Martin’s screenplay – the Academy loves high profile screenplay nominees/winners – Matt & Ben, Emma Thompson). Ziyi Zhang has yet to convince me (I WANT A LIFE THAT IS MINE!!!)anyone?) that either she or Memoirs of a Geisha is going to be any better than say Snow Falling on Cedars or All the Pretty Horses or anyone of a dozen recent prestige book to film transfers that have fizzled recently. I think Gwynnie might get the shortside of the stick again in looking for a follow-up nomination after her big win in 1998 for Shakespeare in Love (she was severely overlooked for The Talented Mr. Ripley and Sylvia), cause I just can’t find anyone who liked (saw) Proof. If you switch her up with Ms. Knightley or Allen, and you have your race (and by race I mean a B-line to the stage for Reese Whitherspoon).
    But my question is: What’s wrong with this list – yes there aren’t ENOUGH great performances/roles but there are 5 (or 6 – poor Gwynnie) GREAT onces. Wouldn’t that be better than having say, Sean Penn nominated for something like I Am Sam?

  • djm

    I finally saw “The Upside of Anger” on dvd Monday night and all I can say is – EEECH. That was one of the lamest movies I have seen in a very long time. Joan Allen is a wonderful actress, but it seemed to me as if she was just going through the motions spouting off stupid lines with no conviction. If she is nominated for Best Actress for this particular role it will be the surest sign that the race this year is beyond weak. Now if they had released “The Bourne Supremecy” this year I’d be all for a nom for her – she was great in that movie.

  • Emily

    I’m hoping that Rent will be good enough to get some Oscar love, though with an ensemble cast, it’s hard to say who would deserve it over someone else. Also, Laura Linney in The Squid and The Whale would be nice. Another wonderful actress to watch who has yet to win. Who knows, maybe Scarlett Johansson has a shot with Match Point…it’s getting a buzz already.

  • Matt47

    Paltrow won’t be nominated, but Theron could be. The other 3 you mentioned are basically locks. Your biggest omission, though, is Ziyi Zhang for MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. Rosario Dawson could get in for RENT, even though reviews have been mixed, she has been getting some really good reviews. I’d personally love to see her nominated, though I don’t think it’ll happen. Maybe at the Globes, but probably not at the Oscars. Keira Knightley is another possibility, thanks to the raves PRIDE AND PREJUDICE is getting. Renee Zelweger and Joan Allen could both get in, and though she’ll probably be forgotten, don’t forget about Toni Collette. She’s being pushed in this category for IN HER SHOES. You also have Natasha Richardson. As for the person who mentioned Scarlett Johansson, she’s being pushed for Supporting Actress. There are a few FYC ads over at http://www.oscarwatch.com that confirms that, as well as what I said about Toni Collette’s push.

  • GOB

    I think we can all agree that it’s high time the academy recognized that talent that is Tara Reid. She really shined this year in “Alone in the Dark” and was horribly overlooked last year for her stellar turn in “My Boss’ Daughter.”

  • Marco Montalvan

    Gwyneth Paltrow,Reese Whiterspoon,Charlize Theron,Claire Danes,Renee Zellweger,Joan Allen,Felicity Huffman and Rosario Dawson,Laura Linney

  • michelle

    How can you even compare any of those women to Judy Dench! None of them could possibly live up to her! PERIOD!!!!

  • william kittelsen

    ziyi zhangfor memoirs… and michell williams for brokeback mountain and keira for pride & prejudice

Page: 1 2 3 9
Add your comment
The rules: Keep it clean, and stay on the subject - or we may delete your comment. If you see inappropriate language, e-mail us. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

When you click on the "Post Comment" button above to submit your comments, you are indicating your acceptance of and are agreeing to the Terms of Service. You can also read our Privacy Policy.

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP