a film-etc blog
wow. i can't express my frustration that Felicity Huffman keeps getting listed. I think it's a terrible performance. Way too calculated and fussy. and just.ew. blech.
Oh dear. I will say that she's by some distance the fifth of my five, and those retching sounds you're making may reflect more accurately on what a paltry year it's been for leading ladies (ie. any other year...). But. I thought she was very disarming all the same, in a movie I couldn't otherwise give much of a damn for. Yes, the perf's a stunt, in all sorts of ways, but I found it a surprisingly effective one, and its very awkwardness served the character rather well, no? (Better than the screenplay did, if you ask me.) This may all sound like special pleading, but I didn't mind a certain actorly fussiness in her interpretation, either, since she is, after all, playing someone in the process of constructing, gesture by gesture, a new identity for herself, and as such the line between perf and persona kept blurring intriguingly: it was the only particularly interesting thing about the movie. All femininity is drag &c &c.Then again, I saw it back in Toronto, when there was very little buzz on the film or on Huffman, so I'm giving her credit for kind of stealing up on this whole race and at least wholeheartedly owning the film she's in contention for. (The same can't quite be said for any of my other actress nominees, except maybe the fantastic Bening, and certainly not for the likes of the apple-pie-sweet but weirdly overrated Witherspoon in the broader race.) Love it or hate it, Huffman's is a properly out-there, centre-frame piece of acting, in a year when far too many movies relegated their most valuable distaff players to glorified bit parts.So I'll keep her. That said, still no sign of The Upside of Anger on these shores, so by all means mentally fill this slot with Joan Allen's name if it will make you feel any better! x
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