Sony Pictures Classics has two and arguably three of the top Best Actress contenders under its roof right now — Kristin Scott Thomas in I’ve Loved You So Long, Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married and Melissa Leo in Frozen River. They have, it can be argued, a special heat in that their performances are urgent and hurting — each telling the story of a hard-luck underdog coming from a place of desperation — and are not highly toned, massively-funded Oscar turns with expensive key-light halos around their heads.
And with this comes a very delicate political dance in which SPC can’t be seen as pushing one actress over another, even slightly. Which Sony Classics co-president Michael Barker says is absolutely not an issue. “There’s no such thing as divided loyalties in a situation like this,” he says. “It s incumbent upon us to pursue anyone whom we feel has a shot, and these three do, and we’re very proud of each one.”
Barker is also cranked about potential Best Supporting Actress nominations for Rachel Getting Married‘s Rosemarie DeWitt and I’ve Loved You So Long‘s Elsa Zylberstein. Other contenders in this category are Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler).
A week ago The Envelope‘s Pete Hammond called the ’08 Best Actress race the hottest in years. In addition to the SPC contenders Hammond has added Meryl Streep‘s performance in Doubt (likely), Kate Winslet‘s in Revolutionary Road (yet to be determined) and The Reader, Angelina Jolie‘s in Changeling (possibly), and Cate Blanchett‘s in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button.