With the Academy Awards less than a week away, I thought I would dedicate this post to the revived Oscar tradition of ten best picture nominations rather than five. Do dedications always have to be a supportive act, however? Maybe so, but I must admit I am less than thrilled with 10 nods. It feels much more commercial, less special, and quite unnecessary--especially for a year in which the films were so sub-par. And even with 10 slots, those Academy voters still couldn't get it together to slide in some "Bright Star." Clearly, the 10 nods resulted in some missed opportunities.
Originally, I had planned for my Oscar Countdown blog feature to be a top ten list of my favorite films of 2009. In rebellion of the 10 best pic nominations decision (why, oh, why, Academy???), I will list my top ten favorite performances of the year. Yes, it's greedily doubling as a most adored film list, but when it comes to measuring a film's excellence, I consider the lives of the characters and how such tales are portrayed on screen to be of the utmost importance.
In no particular order (oh, well, I might have saved the best for last, who knows...), here is a list of my favorite cinematic performances of 2009.
10. Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria.
9. Valentino Garavani as himself in Valentino: The Last Emperor.
8. Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia.
7. Meryl Streep as Jane Adler in It's Complicated.
6. Grace Coddington as herself in The September Issue.
5. Jeremy Renner as SSG William James in The Hurt Locker.
4. Juliette Binoche as Adrienne Berthier in Summer Hours.
3. Gabourey Sidibe as Claireece 'Precious' Jones in Precious.
2. Christoph Waltz as Colonel Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds.
1. Abbie Cornish as Fanny Brawne in Bright Star.