Last Year's Winner - Kate Dollenmeyer
Hanna Schygulla - Il Futuro e Donna
The only Thespian repeat from the 2007 Couchies, Schygulla once again has to settle for a nomination. What an extraordinary talent. I've yet to see any of her collaborations with Fassbinder, but the two movies I saw her in this year - Il Futuro and The Edge of Heaven - demonstrated a formidable range. In the former, she is beautiful, outgoing, and (sort of) expecting her first child; in the latter, she is conservative, cautious, and in danger of losing her daughter. It's an amazing set of performances and, fortunately for her 2009 Couchie chances, I'm making it a mission to work my way through Rainer Werner's oeuvre this year.
Samantha Eggar - The Brood
Technically, only Sean reviewed this one, but since I saw it and commented on the Cronenberg lecture that preceded it, it's fair game. As the expression of Cronenberg's hatred of his ex-wife, Eggar is all wrath and vindictiveness. Not only is she a woman, but she is pregnant too! Look out. Though the movie as a whole suffers from the director's myopia and structuring its narrative around stereotypes of women from the sixteenth century, Eggar is pretty damn scary.
Cate Blanchett - I'm Not There
For someone who liked this movie, I wasn't as high as others on Blanchett. Sure, she was playing a guy, but Dylan circa 1965 ain't exactly a real stretch into machoville. Dylan had the peacock strut and an almost divaish feel as inhabited by Blanchett, and one I'm not sure was justified. She definitely looked like Dyaln, but that probably had to do more with weird 60s fashion and Dylan's frail body than anything Blanchett did. So wait, why is she even listed? I can't remember, but we have to move on.
And the winner is...
Nicole Kidman - Margot at the Wedding
This one should not be a surprise, at least for anyone who read our review of this film last March. Kidman's Margot is a force of nature, a writer armed with as much sarcasm as any ofNicolson's many misanthropes. At a crucial moment in her sister's life, Margot is torn between her general disapproval of her family and her need to exploit the same family for her art. The result is many many painfully funny and heartbreaking moments, as only Baumbach seems capable of grasping. Margot often seems on the verge of alienating her sister and, more importantly, her son, but Kidman never lets her become a monster.
Next Up...Best Supporting Actress