Happy New Year everybody! It feels a little weird typing 2012, but I'm sure I will get used to it.
The Best Actress category is going to be one to watch this year. I saw three, if not four, films that should garner nominations for the actresses in them:
Brandon (Michael Fassbender) has a problem. For someone who cannot get enough sex, he sure doesn't seem to enjoy it. He doesn't appear to like himself much, much less other people. His sister (Sissy, played by Carey Mulligan) comes to stay with him and he is less than thrilled...especially when she walks in on him when he is having some private time. It is quite evident that both siblings have emotional issues. We never find out why or how they came to be how they are. Shame is rated NC-17 for good reason. It is worth seeing just for Carey Mulligan's performance. She should get a nomination. Michael Fassbender was pretty good too. It is a depressing movie, though, and not for everybody.
Run...Don't walk to see My Week with Marilyn. It is based on the true story of Colin Clark talking his way into a job on the set of The Prince and the Show Girl, that starred Lawrence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn (Michelle Williams) was married to Arthur Miller at the time. Olivier (Kenneth Branaugh) was married to Vivien Leigh. Miller leaves for a week, and Monroe pals around with Clark (hence the title). Michelle Williams should win the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance. She was incredible. She will be up against Meryl Streep in Iron Lady. If they figure out a justification to nominate her for Best Supporting Actress, (after all, the main character is technically Colin Clark) there will be no problem in winning in that category. Seriously though, I think her performance just about rivals any of Meryl Streep's. What I cannot understand is why they made Julia Ormond (who played Vivien Leigh) look so old and matronly. Leigh was only supposed to be 42 at the time. I really liked this movie.
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo should also be nominated for an Oscar. You have to see her as herself to really appreciate her talent. She plays a person 180 degrees different from her, and she does it in quite a convincing fashion, in my opinion. The movie is a pretty good adaptation of the book with the same name by Stieg Larsson. Daniel Craig also stars. There is a scene in the film that is pretty graphic (and the 2009 Swedish version is supposed to be even grittier) and hard to watch, but aside from that, i thought it was a pretty good movie. I wonder though, if someone hasn't read the book, would the movie be as good? Hmmm...I don't know, but I was quite entertained by Mara's performance.
Charlize Theron plays Mavis, an unlikeable character, in Young Adult. She is a former beauty queen who has become a ghost writer of a successful book series for young adults. The people back home look up to her as someone who has made the big time, when in reality, her life in the Mini Apple isn't as glamorous and wonderful as people think. In many ways, she acts no differently than her high school characters, although she is in her thirties. She leaves the big city of Minneapolis to return to her hometown when she finds out her high school flame and his wife have just had a baby. In her mind, he and she were meant to be together, and she aims to get him back. Alcohol fuels her delusions. Matt, an unpopular character from her high school days tries to help her see the error of her ways. It was a cute little movie - funny, yet sad. Depending on the rest of the field, Theron might get a nomination for her performance.