For the most part Anne Thompson‘s assessment of the Best Actress Oscar race isn’t politically wrong. In all likelihood The Wife‘s Glenn Close, The Favourite‘s Olivia Colman, A Star Is Born‘s Lady Gaga and Can You Ever Forgive Me‘s Melissa McCarthy will be Oscar-nominated. No argument there.
But I’m not sure about Roma‘s Yalitza Aparicio. Because I don’t think she really steps up to the plate and performs her role as Cleo, the saintly maid — I think she very believably inhabits this passive character but she’s not really swinging the bat like Hank Aaron or Willie Mays — she’s not bringing her Vivien Leigh or Geraldine Page or Jo Van Fleet. She’s a little too quiet and still. The only time Cleo really steps up to the plate is during that third-act seaside sequence when SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER.
The actress who really and truly deserves the fifth slot is Cold War‘s Joanna Kulig. Her performance in Pawel Pawlikowski‘s period drama reignites the spirit of Jeanne Moreau in Jules and Jim along with a spritz of Gloria Grahame. A femme fatale songbird, an emotional force of nature, trouble from the word go.
I’ve had Kulig in my Gold Derby Best Actress roster for several weeks now, and the same status quo fuddy-duds who told me for weeks that Ethan Hawke‘s First Reformed performance could never land a Best Actor nomination until they were proved wrong are the same who’ve been telling me that Kulig can’t happen either.
Maybe she’ll make it and maybe she won’t, but I know Kulig is far more deserving of that fifth slot than Aparacio. And Thompson doesn’t even have Kulig listed as a long shot! C’mon!