The Oscar for best actress: between the expected Blanchett and the unexpected Yeoh

Washington (USA), Mar 9 (EFE).- Diverse in their origins, in their careers and also in the roles for which they are nominated. This is how the five candidates for the Oscar for Best Actress are: Ana de Armas, Andrea Riseborough, Michelle Yeoh, Michelle Williams and Cate Blanchett, who starts as a favorite after having won almost everything.

The reincarnation of the Marilyn Monroe myth in her darkest and most intimate hours; an alcoholic fighting against herself; an eccentric mother of a family who formed a movie genius; a housewife who ends up kicking kung fu between parallel universes and an orchestra conductor who moves like a shark in a man’s world.

Five very different roles played by five actresses with diverse origins: one Latina (De Armas), one Asian (Yeoh), one British (Risenborough), one Australian (Blanchett) and just one American (Williams).

Although Blanchett starts as a favorite, according to the season’s awards history, the Hollywood Academy, with its eagerness to bet on diversity, could also elevate the first Malaysian woman to be nominated in history, Michelle Yeoh, for her role. in the film that is clearly the favorite of the night, “Everything everywhere all at once” with 11 nominations.

But the most predictable thing is that Blanchett emerges victorious in her eighth nomination. Since “Tár” was released at the last Venice International Festival, awards and praise have not stopped raining down on the Australian -who already has two Oscars-, a fundamental pillar of a psychological drama that was not so successful in theaters.

Under the orders of Todd Field, Blanchett becomes Lydia Tár, the first conductor of a prestigious German orchestra, a role that earned her the Volpi Cup in Venice and the Golden Globe for best drama actress, among other awards.

A passionate, somewhat obsessive, cultured and cold woman, whose life is turned upside down after several complaints for abuse of power.

The fiction takes place mainly in Berlin and there are hardly any scenes in which Blanchett does not appear, who learned to speak German, conduct orchestras and play the piano.

At 53, the also protagonist of “Carol” has, in addition to her two Oscars, three Baftas, three Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild awards, among others.

This last award from the Actors Guild was, however, this year for Michelle Yeoh, star of the acclaimed film “Everything everywhere all at once” by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

At 53 years old and with more than four decades of prolific career under her belt, Yeoh was chosen in 2022 “icon” of the year by Time magazine.

The Asian star plays Evelyn Wang, an immigrant in the United States overloaded with work and family tasks who must save the world by jumping between parallel universes, to the rhythm of kung fu kicks.

The actress has dedicated herself in interviews and speeches to making a plea for racial diversity in the cinema and for roles for middle-aged actresses, narrating the obstacles she has had to face to break through in Hollywood.

Another of those facing her first nomination is the Spanish-Cuban Ana de Armas, for her spectacular transformation into the icon Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde”, which has earned her nominations for several prestigious film awards and her consecration in Hollywood.

Born in Cuba, De Armas moved to Spain, the land of her grandparents, when she was 18 years old, where she became popular with the series “El internado.” Years later she decided to make the leap to the United States, where she has participated in projects such as “Knives Out” -for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe- “Blade Runner 2049” or the latest James Bond.

“Blonde” goes through intimate moments in Monroe’s life, such as her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, or her supposed three-way relationship with Charlie Chaplin jr. and Edward G. Robinson jr., or her affair with President Kennedy. For De Armas it has also meant a personal struggle, that of rejecting the stereotype of a Latina that existed in Hollywood.

This is the fifth nomination for Michelle Williams and the pools indicate that she will not be victorious this time either, despite her masterful performance as Mitzi Fabelman, an eccentric family mother with a vocation as an artist in the United States of the 50s and 60s inspired by in Leah Adler, the mother of Steven Spielberg.

One of the most important roles of her life, according to what the actress told Efe in an interview prior to the premiere.

While the nomination of the four actresses mentioned was on schedule, Andrea Riseborough’s was a surprise and full of controversy due to the excessive promotion on social networks of the independent film “To Leslie”.

There were many Hollywood stars who talked about this tape whose collection was very low and the great performance of the protagonist.

A situation that part of the industry interpreted as “aggressive” promotional tactics and that has led the Academy to change the rules of the promotional campaigns for the tapes.

Beyond the controversy, Riseborough plays Leslie Rowland, an alcoholic mother who spends all her prize money and ends up destitute.

Paula Escalada Medrano

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