Alright everyone… Our final acting MAJOR Award of 2012, the Leg Lamp for Best Actress. The actress in a leading role who submitted the best performance of the year!
The nominees are: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”, Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”, Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”, Quvenzhané Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, and Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”.
Click through to see which of these phenomenal actresses takes the title!
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
In “Zero Dark Thirty”, Chastain plays Maya, a CIA agent dedicated to the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. We see her as she first joins the team, and is exposed to some of the morally questionable techniques being employed to obtain information… namely, torture. As abhorrent as it is, Maya is driven by the desire for justice. She’s obsessed with the apprehension of the world’s most dangerous terrorist. But it’s her determination that eventually lead to the famous “pre-dawn raid”, as she steadfastly refuses to abandon the critical intel which lead to Bin Laden’s hideout.
Chastain portrays all of this in an even-handed fashion, following a (mostly) low-key path to victory. As her quest progresses, she gains confidence and authority. She also expresses the toll that such a line of work would take on such a person. From the personal sacrifices that they would have to make, to the risks to their own safety they would have to take, and ultimately to how weary it make someone. Chastain never overplays her hand, yet manages to express every ounce of pain, every bitter moment, and eventually, the exhaustion which slowly seeps into her.
The others were fantastic as well. Jennifer Lawrence played someone simultaneously disturbed and down to Earth… as much as we could see she was crazy, we could also relate to what she’s feeling, what she’s going through. Helen Mirren held her own and then some playing up against Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock. Quvenzhané Wallis was incredible in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, a six-year-old phenom. And Naomi Watts puts us through the ringer right along with her character, making us feel all the pain, fear and anxiety of that traumatic event.
But none of them could top Chastain, who showed us what toughness and determination were all about as she tracked down the world’s most wanted criminal.
Jessica Chastain, the FMR Major Award winner for Best Actress, 2012.
Nice choice. She was freakin awesome. Her performance was so subtly good that I didn’t even realize how good it was until I went back to write my review of the film. Especially impressive when you compare it to her totally different character but equally awesome performance in The Help. Just saw Amour though, and dang. Riva’s gonna be tough to beat.
Dammit!! LOL… I hate “Amour”!!
Seriously, I hope that movie gets blanked just for not opening anywhere near me. 😦
I hope Chastain gets it. I want to see the award go to one of our Hollywood stars, you know?
I didn’t like it too much… I mean I can see why it’s all acclaimed and all, but it feels like a “critic’s movie” to me that I need like a phd or something to understand fully. The woman had a crazy hard part, though, and pulled it off.
I get what you’re saying, though. I’m like “ok… who’s this Riva person?” I haven’t seen The Impossible yet (this weekend though for sure) but I’d want it to go to Chastain or Lawrence first. I like both of them and they did really well. Wallis was great too, but I still can’t get over the fact that she’s a kid.
Yeah, that did hold me back a bit here too (Wallis being a kid). Reallllll hard to get around that, even though she was so awesome. Plus, I just get hit with the well, its an honor just to be nominated at that age. 😀
Hey, if Riva is that much better, she’s better. But last year when Dujardin won, I kept thinking how much I had wished it was Clooney getting the award instead… 😦
I like this choice, but I think you’d get a kick out of lady_sati’s thoughts today (that also cover Anne Hathaway, did I spell that right? ;-)).
Ohhhhh trust me. LOL. I know Sati’s not on board with this. LOL. I’ve seen her railing against ZDT already.
I havent swung by there today though, I’ll have to see what she’s up to, eh spotted one? 😀
I suppose she’s not a bad choice, though this year was a particularly weak year for actresses I felt, especially lead actresses, and I had a hard time coming up with 5 people who I was impressed enough with to mention myself.
I personally thought Kara Hayward from Moonrise Kingdom would be the standout lead female performance of the year, though she’s been getting ignored pretty much across the board. 😛
I had less struggle in the lead category than I did in the supporting category, Chris. But I will back you up… there’s no alternates here, really. LOL It’s not a deep bench if one of these ladies were to pull a hammy you know?
I dont want to dis Hayward, but Ive heard a couple of people singing her praises, and I was like… ehhhhhhh….
I know hardly no one that sees this will have seen Amour, but when you do you will realize how silly this selection is in the face of Emmanuelle Riva and how Bigelow’s glorified trite wars stories pale against something that deals in real humanity.
Yes! Agree on all the points with one addition. This may be the strongest feminist role of the year as well. At every turn she encounters male opposition and resistance. She just isn’t believed because she’s a woman. All her superiors are stubborn jackasses making it more difficult to do the job. In a room full of male agents, she’s the only one that votes 100% that it’s Osama! If this woman really exists, why hasn’t she been showered with accolades? I believe sexism is still at work regardless of the movies’ fame.
I didn’t get any of the sexism from the film that you apparently saw. I don’t recall a single instance of people giving her a hard time due to her gender. It was due to the overall uncertainty, and earlier on in the film, the fact that she was new at this, not because she was a woman.
Sure, males DID give her a hard time, but if her role was played by a male under the same exact circumstances, then I couldn’t see the movie playing out any differently at all as a result.
A strong female character is allowed to exist without a feminist agenda at play.
Thanks for handling that one for me Chris. [Wrestling tag team hand slap tag back in] LOL. Couldnt have put it better.
Raymond, not quite as strong as your “The Grey” is an environmentalist film, bub. LOL. My sexism detector never went off. I’ll keep an out next time to double check, but my initial take is that you’re off base. 😉
This is just one article of many, many iterating the feminist points in ZDT. So don’t take my word for it. Tag team indeed.
What’ve I, got homework now? Cmon.
Yup. Any other choice would earn you rendidtion to a black ops house in an unnamed country.
Ohhhh ho, SHIT!
Phew! And to think of how close I came to picking Quvenzhané Wallis!! 😀
I am jealous that you’ve already been able to see this.
Zero Dark Thirty? I think it went wide last week, no? Should be around if you look out for it Ian!
Hopefully going Sunday.
I’ll be seeing this one tomorrow. Can’t wait!
Hope you enjoy, I definitely thought it was one of the years best. 😀
Congrats Jessica! She’s worked so hard. This musta bn kinda hard to choose as there were some great nominees!
Yeah, kind of tough between her and Wallis, really… I was super impressed with that kid. 😉
Chastain wasn’t the lock that some of the more recent winners have been, but she’s still a solid pick.
Can’t believe young Wallis didn’t take this. I demand a recount. 😉
I agree Mark. I didn’t truly love *Beasts of the Southern Wild*, but Wallis, you know, from what *I’ve *seen, was the best of the category.
She certainly WAS great, but its super hard to vote for a kid that young. You’ve got to think the director is really pulling strings, setting up scenes that work to what the kid can give, and picking and choosing from her best moments. It’s just really really hard to fully credit her with her own performance as much as you would a grown actress.
Thats where Im coming from here at least, and I did think she was great. She and the film both made my best of lists….
My big thing about the age argument is that we’ve seen tons of child actors that aren’t that good on screen. They’re wooden, robotic, emotionless, or just plain flat. Wallis was none of those things. Now I do give Zeitlin a lot of credit because he has to work within the bounds of his young actress’ range, but man Wallis was something else.
Huh. nice counterpoint Keith. I think its still a tough call, though. For me at least.
Plus even without a penalizing Wallis, Chastain gave a great performance that’s tough to beat.
LOL. That’s fine, its no imposition, certainly wont take long…
There. Yup. The vote was accurately tabulated. 1-0-0-0-0 in favor of Chastain. LOL
Well deserved. If ZDT was just that last shot of the film, it would of cemented the win in of itself for me lol.
Well… cmon now, the last shot needed SOME context. You cant just be like, hey, what’s the mopey woman on the plane all about? LOL 😀
You are feed the context intravenously before hand haha jk
Gotta love a performance where the conflict is largely internalized. Great choice.
Totally true. Then the moments where she did blow her stack stood out all the more. 😀
Thanks for the support of the choice. 😉
This is the year of Jessica. Great choice.
You think she’ll take it home? We’ll see, man…. we’ll see…
No surprise and no arguments or crying here. Chastain was really, really good and she should be getting her acceptance speech ready for Oscar night!
Yup… well, of course, unless Emanuelle Riva is as good as all the people who have been raving about Amour say she is. I dont know.
I’d be pissed though.
I can get behind this one. Finally saw ZDT a few days ago and agree that Chastain was really good. I might have went with Lawrence myself, but no complaints here. Nice work, Fogs!
Thanks Eric! You know, Lawrence was good, no doubt (thus the nom). But I had to go Chastain, I just thought there was more weight to the material and to the performance. It was tough to top, even though Lawrence was really good.
Tough choice but a good one. Chastain drove this story forward; her character willed it. She definitely had some choice scenes like the send me back to Washington one or the I’m the one who found him scene; just great. Nice pick and explanation Fogs.
“her character willed it” Yeah, exactly… and Chastain got every ounce of that determination across to us. It was a great role for her.
It was a tough choice though, the others were awesome too. I dont know that there’s anyone that would make me unhappy if they won come Oscar Time. 🙂