By Scott Feinberg from "And the winner is..."
There has been much discussion about the obstacles in the way of a Best Actress win for Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose). To name just a few: she is the least familiar name and face among the nominees in her category; she is being considered for a movie from France that features features; and her movie is not nearly as great as her performance within it. Additionally, it is extremely rare for a foreign actor in a foreign language film to win an acting Oscar—only two, Sophia Loren (Two Women) and Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful), have previously managed the feat. Naturally, this begs the question: Is there any reason to believe Cotillard could make three? I think there might be...
Amidst the flurry of discussion about presumptive front-runners Julie Christie (Away from Her) and Ellen Page (Juno), I think we are forgetting there are also a number of key points in her favor...
She is a stunningly beautiful young woman (see this sexy clip sent in by a reader) portraying a jarringly unattractive character—keep in mind that the Academy seems to love nothing more than attractive women de-glamourizing themselves for serious roles (consider the recent Oscar wins of Roberts, Kidman, Berry, Theron, Mirren, etc.).
She is the star of a bio-pic about a well known, complex, real person, and we know how much the Academy loves to reward those sorts of performances (consider the recent Oscar wins of Swank, Roberts, Kidman, Theron, Witherspoon, Mirren, etc.), especially when it comes to musicians (Spacek, Lange, Witherspoon)
At thirty-two, she is precisely at the average age of Best Actress winners, unlike her two main rivals—Christie would be much older than usual at 66 (and also already won an Oscar back when she was 24), and Page would be much younger at 21 (she'll turn that age on the 21st)
Even though Christie won the SAG Award, she and Cotillard both won Golden Globes, and by my count Cotillard is very competitive with Christie and Page for the lead of most honors from key critics and awards groups
She has the admiration of her peers. Consider the following praise...
Cate Blanchett: "Marion Cotillard in La Vie En Rose was absolutely astonishing, and the synthesis of the performance with the whole film is superb. As much as inhabiting Piaf, she was also creating a creature, and I thought that was astonishing and inspiring... one of the most remarkable things I've ever seen."
Ryan Gosling: "Not only did she craft a flawless impersonation of a famous personality, but Marion's humanity elevated her performance to a devastatingly honest and yet seemingly effortless personifcation of integrity and grace. To me,this is more than just a great performance; it's a document of this actress' overwhelming ability to love.
Keira Knightley: "I think that's one of the most extraordinary performances I've ever seen."
Oprah Winfrey: A "transcendent performance."
Forest Whitaker [asked who he expects to hand the Oscar to]: "Marion Cotillard! Did you not see her in La Vie En Rose? She's transforming! That's it!"
So, can Cotillard follow in the footsteps of Simone Signoret (A Room at the Top) and become just the second native of France to win an acting Oscar? To quote Henry Fonda in Twelve Angry Men, "I'm not saying yes. I'm just saying it's possible!"
Source (click here for some nice pics accompanying the post)
Needless to say, I wholeheartedly agree.