Tuesday, June 2, 2009

GOOD THINGS DON'T ALWAYS COME IN TWOS


Random question alert: Is Cate Blanchett's relationship with Oscar doomed?

Today I was thinking about Cate (for no particular reason -- as I often do), wondering if she'll ever get her coveted leading-actress Oscar. Earlier this year, that other acclaimed Kate (Winslet) finally got hers, but so far, Cate with a C has had to settle for a supporting-actress statue for her fascinating impersonation of quadruple Best Actress Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn in 2004's The Aviator. Surely "the new Meryl Streep" must have a statue for a leading role in her future, right?

Wrong.

The odds are actually a little bit against her. And not just because her only upcoming role of note is as Lady Marion in the billionth remake of Robin Hood. Blame it on her 2008 double nomination -- and double loss -- for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and I'm Not There. Sure, being nominated twice in one year in the acting categories should mean that you'll probably go home with at least one prize: It happened for Jessica Lange in 1983, for Holly Hunter in 1994, and for JamieFoxx in 2005.

But not every double threat has been so fortunate: Sigourney Weaver, nominated for both Gorillas In The Mist and Working Girl in 1989, was the first double acting nominee ever to go home Oscar-less (despite winning Golden Globes for both Oscar-nominated performances), and since then, she has never again been invited to the Academy Awards as a nominee.

That's also been the case for more recent double loser Julianne Moore, Sigourney's costar in the 1999 drowned-baby drama A Map Of The World, for which at least Sigourney should have scored a Best Actress nod. Since being recognized for both Far From Heaven and The Hours in 2003, Julianne has see her Oscar clout all but fade away.

Of course, Cate's fortune could turn out more like Emma Thompson, a 1994 double nominee (like Holly Hunter) and loser (unlike Holly). She'd already won her first time at bat the previous year for Howard's End. Despite her 1994 losses, she rebounded two years later and was twice-nominated again, this time for Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay for Sense & Sensibility, taking the latter award.

I think Emma's uncited-by-the-Academy take on the free-spirited eponymous artist in love with her best friend, gay author Lytton Strachey (the egregiously overlooked Jonathan Pryce) in the 1995 biopic Carrington would have been more deserving. Carrington features one of my favorite performances by Emma, who, since 1996, has only made sporadic appearances onscreen. The nude scene was shocking indeed, but even more so was the film's wordless denouement, which, disturbingly, made suicide look almost poetic. See for yourself below.

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