Since the start of the award season, Mo’Nique has been steamrolling her way to a not-entirely-undeserved Oscar win for her performance as the shark in Lee Daniels’s ghetto remake of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, though you have to wonder if she’s entirely sealed the deal given her recent “performances” at the Golden Globes and SAGs. I ran the New York Marathon in less time than it took Mo’Nique to reach the stage at both events, and she had me feeling like Jane Lynch in Smiley Face by the time she was through with her
sermons acceptance speeches. Only a week ago I was taking umbrage at some of the more vile Oscar coverage out there suggesting Mo’Nique should be schmoozing a little more for her prize, respecting the actress’s presumably earnest belief that she should win for her performance in the film and not for her behavior on the red carpet and talk-show couches, but you have to wonder if her self-righteousness isn’t working to corroborate her alleged diva antics behind the scenes.
Mo’Nique might want to pull it waaaaayyy back before she loses the Oscar, but she’s at least a lock for a nomination, as are George Clooney’s sounding boards from Up in the Air, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick. The last two spots are something of a crapshoot. We could opt for a combination of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Samantha Morton, and Julianne Moore, but while all three give buzzed-about performances in roles inextricably bound to those of their male co-stars (and sure bets in the actor categories for nominations), it’s hard not to notice Gyllenhaall’s lack of precursor attention, Morton’s failure to connect with more than just a few regional film critic groups, and Moore’s failure to translate her Golden Globe nomination to a SAG one. We could play it safer, ensuring a higher scoring average by supporting some combination of Marion Cottillard, Penélope Cruz, and Judi Dench, since all three beloved Oscar-winners escape the clutches of the star-fucking bad time that is Rob Marshall’s Nine relatively unscathed.
But we can play it even safer than that, aligning ourselves behind a combo that would please not just Harvey Weinstein, but us too: Diane Kruger and Mélanie Laurent. Nominations for both may be unlikely in this particularly clusterfucky award season, but the scenario is justifiable given Inglourious Basterds’s box office clout, well-deserved critical acclaim, SAG ensemble triumph, Kruger’s own solo SAG nom, Laurent’s more significant critical acclaim, and most important of all, the nature of their Oscar-appealing parts: one an actress, the other an art-house proprietress, both with Nazi bloodshed on their minds.
Will Be Nominated: Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air), Anna Kendrick (Up in the Air), Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds), Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), and Mo’Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire)
Should Be Nominated: Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds), Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), Mo’Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire), Samantha Morton (The Messenger), Gwyneth Paltrow (Two Lovers)