Viola Davis? Meryl Streep? And What Ever Happened to Kirsten Dunst? The Yahoo! Best Actress Roundtable Dishes
Photo by Weinstein Company/Walt Disney
I enjoy sitting around with my friends and chatting about Oscars -- the discussions tend to be knowledgeable and irreverent. For our first Yahoo! roundtable I welcome my colleagues Jonathan Crow and Matt Whitfield, as well as actress-director Jordan Bayne, "Movie Mom" Nell Minow, IndieWire blogger Melissa Silverstein, Oscar obsessive Nathaniel Rogers, and the Hot Pink Pen blogger Jan Lisa Huttner. Now that the Oscar nominees have been announced, we unscrewed the top off our virtual bottle of Chardonnay and began…
Thelma Adams: When I first looked at this race last September, I wondered whether Viola Davis was going to be considered as a leading role for "The Help," and now she's the front-runner after taking the SAG award last Sunday night. As for me, I adore Meryl -- 29 years since her last Oscar win! I also feel that if she can live with Viola Davis winning, so can I. One of them will come out on top next month, but I'm really mourning Kirsten Dunst getting completely shut out. Could that be why she was canoodling with Chris Hemsworth last week at Sundance?
Jordan Bayne: Streep deserves to win for this performance in "The Iron Lady." Taking nothing away from any of her other remarkable performances, even I had to struggle to remember this was Streep and not Margaret Thatcher in front of me. Not even an Oscar can hold a candle to her talent.
Matt Whitfield: A few weeks ago, I was convinced Michelle [Williams] had it in the bag. Then I boarded the Meryl train. Now, I'm thinking Rooney [Mara] has a legit shot. The academy loves an ingénue.
Thelma: Rooney Mara? I know the academy loves an ingénue, and Mara looks terrific in black on the red carpet, but in my mind she makes Kristen Stewart look expressive as Bella in the "Twilight" series. I feel like Rooney is constantly looking out from under her lashes for the approval of some Daddy at the corner of the screen and, in the case of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," that Daddy is David Fincher.
Matt: We should be talking about Kirsten Dunst vs. Charlize Theron because they delivered the two best performances of the year. Both were robbed.
Thelma: I'm totally with you there, Matt.
Nathaniel Rogers: Thelma, I'm wearing black all this week as I'm also in Kiki mourning. The way she let her innate dreaminess as an actress curdle and sour for [Lars] von Trier's vision in "Melancholia" Is amazing! But, happy thoughts. "Momentum" is powerful in the awards games, and two straight years of acclaimed performances for Dunst should help her next time. I mean, look what three straight years of acclaimed work did for Tilda Swin … oh, wait!
As for who is still in the game: Streep always amazes, but I'm distraught that even the great Streep has to do biopic mimicry to gain winner's heat. Is that the only type of acting achievement they love? Give me Viola's soulful nuance. She truly elevates her film, while Meryl's Oscar grab remains her film's only reason for even existing.
Jonathan Crow: Dunst, Theron, and [Tilda] Swinton got robbed, but then when was the last time the winner of the best-actress category actually was the best actress of the year? (The same goes for the other top categories, too by the way..) Heck, Jessica Chastain deserved a nom for "Take Shelter."