Yesterday I posted a praise piece about Adele Exarchopoulos‘ wide-open, mesmerizing performance in Blue Is The Warmest Color (IFC Films/Sundance Selects, 10.25). I called it “Historic Performance, All-But-Guaranteed Best Actress Nomination.” This morning Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone posted the following in the comment thread: “[Exarchopoulos getting a Best Actress nomination is] certainly possible…but the one to really look out for is Brie Larson in Short Term 12. If anyone is going to break through big-time this year, it will be her.
Blue Is The Warmest Color star and Oscar hopeful Adele Exarchopoulos.
Short Term 12 star and possible Oscar contender Brie Larson
My response: Brie is rooted, steady and true in Short Term 12 (and congrats to her, by the way, for winning that Best Actress prize at the Locarno Film Festival). If she lands a nomination, great, but one of the reasons it will happen is because she’s part of the American WASP community and they’ll want to bring her along. SAGsters and Academy members will be saying to themselves, “She’s one of us and we need new blood so let’s launch her so that she can topline the kind of adult relationship dramas that we like to make and see…the kind of roles that Meryl Streep is too old for now.”
Plus Brie’s name is much easier to pronounce and remember than Adele’s, so the lazy milquetoasts in the Academy will be inclined to favor her on this basis alone.
But good for Brie if she’s nominated…fine. No one is a bigger fan of Daniel Deston Cretton Chatsworth Osborne, Jr.‘s film than myself, but — I have to say this — Brie’s work in Short Term 12 is, no offense, ALMOST DWARFED by Adele Exarchopoulos’s performance in Blue Is The Warmest Color. And I’m not putting Brie’s work down in the slightest. Really, I’m not. I’m just saying you can’t talk about these two performances in the same breath.
You haven’t seen Blue yet…right, Sasha? Don’t let those dismissive feminist/lesbian rants against Abdellatif Kechiche and the “male gaze” steer you off-course. You undervalued Silver Linings Playbook‘s Jennifer Lawrence because her character supported Bradley Cooper‘s arc and therefore wasn’t a full-fledged, stand-alone ‘I am woman’ character. Don’t let yourself get lost in feminist-Stalinist anti-“male gaze” theology. Be a humanist. Be a poet. Watch the movie as a human being, not as a feminist ideologue.