Is Anne Hathaway Guaranteed an Oscar Nom?

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Anne Hathaway as Kym in Rachel Getting Married
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

So, I saw Rachel Getting Married yesterday and while the film received plenty of praise during the festival circuit I won’t be as quick to jump on the bandwagon. The film is well made by director Jonathan Demme and well acted by everyone, but on a whole it just isn’t all that pleasing to watch. However, I will save my opinion of the film itself for my review. The discussion here is Anne Hathaway, whom we just learned has signed on to star as the White Queen in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, but it is her portrayal of Kym in Rachel Getting Married that is the buzz today.

After the Rachel screening I was sitting around with a pair of fellow Seattle critics discussing the film in which they both said Hathaway would be getting a Best Actress nomination for her role. I disagreed for a couple of reasons.

First off, Hathaway isn’t any better than anyone else in the film and her acting, good as it may be, has a lot to live up to. When asked who else would be getting a nomination in her place I was surprised I was able to list enough actresses that could actually fill the five slots off the top of my head. They are as follows: Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), Kristin Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long), Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road or The Reader), Angelina Jolie (Changeling) and Meryl Streep (Doubt). Hawkins and Thomas are all but a lock at this point while I would be willing to put money down on the other three based on pedigree and early buzz well before Hathaway.

Should those names not be enough the second tier list includes Nicole Kidman (Australia), Melissa Leo (Frozen River), Kate Beckinsale (Nothing but the Truth), Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Michelle Williams (Wendy and Lucy). Hathaway’s performance is certainly worth some buzz, but Rosemarie DeWitt is just as good, if not better, as Rachel in the film, but it looks like she is going to have to battle it out with Elsa Zylberstein (I’ve Loved You So Long) for one of the final spots in the Supporting category as both seem to be getting overlooked. Apparently that is the price of being a lesser known, yet better, actress in Hollywood.

One thing is for certain, this year’s crop of roles for actresses is far better than anything we have seen in recent history.

For the last three years picking the Oscar winner for Best Actress has been like shooting Alaskan wolves from a helicopter, this year it seems as if it may be a bit harder to make a decision. Of course, several of the names I listed above are listed purely based on pedigree and previous performances, but if Streep doesn’t get a nom for Doubt and Winslet doesn’t nab a nom between her two films I would be extremely shocked.