11 February 2011
  what were you thinking, melissa leo?

okay, imagine that you are an oscar nominee in the only acting category that isn't completely sewn up at this point. you have won the golden globe and sag award and are definitely the one to beat for the big prize, only a couple weeks away. what do you do? i know-- take a couple incredibly tacky photos of yourself, paste the mysterious word "consider" on them and send them out to a bunch of online publications. umm, yeah. . .

i really want to defend melissa leo for her absolutely bizarre self-funded oscar campaign, but i am finding it difficult. these photos show such a complete lack of taste, tact and common sense, that i really wonder about her as an acting professional. i mean, there is no doubt that her performance in the fighter is outstanding, but all of a sudden there is a kernel of doubt as to whether or not this is the kind of person we want to award with an oscar.

obviously oscar voters shouldn't be voting for actors that they like, but rather they should be focusing on what performances are most deserving. unfortunately, this just isn't entirely realistic. the problem for me is that the best supporting actress lineup is really competitive this year, and there are several ladies that i would like to see win this category. on the one hand, i really want to see melissa leo win an oscar (even though i'd like to see her win it for frozen river) but at the same time i really want to see amy adams and helena bonham carter win one as well. my point is that when there are several deserving performances and several actresses voters would like to see win, doing something completely reckless like leo has done can be the thing that tips the scales in another actor's favor.

frankly, i don't know exactly what i want to happen here at this point. i had been in leo's camp for a while, as i do legitimately admire her performance, but also her larger body of work. however, now i am thinking that any of these five nominated ladies could possibly win the category and i would probably be satisfied regardless of who wins. i mean, hailee steinfeld is definitely the lead actress in true grit, but she is fantastic, she is 14, and wouldn't it be cool to see her take home the statue?
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