Today we saw Philomena which features Judi Dench's Oscar nominated Best Actress performance. Dench's was the last Best Actress nominee for us to see, so I now feel I can give an opinion on this category.
I loved American Hustle and though Amy Adams was just wonderful, she is overshadowed by others even in that movie. A share really; in a different year this might have been enough to win. When you see these clips you realize how amazing she was:
I am a big Gravity fan, and thought Sandra Bullock's performance is the glue that binds that startling story together; the amount of time she is the only thing on the screen must have been frightening to consider. But, I needed a little bit more from her than I got. I'm not sure what that would have been, but just a little something more. Hard to find a clip that showcases Bullock's range in this film, but just know that the emotion you are getting in most of these scenes is transmitted through her eyes and her voice; nothing else is even real.
Judi Dench was spectacular as the real life Philomena and in a normal year, she might win for this amazing performance that is funny and poignant and vulnerable and all so real.
But through it all one performance kept pulling me back. Kate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine jut blew me away. As the widow of a Bernie Madoff type character who has lost everything, she is nothing short of spectacular:
So for me that was it, a slam dunk for Blanchett. And then I saw August: Osage County and Meryl Streep just killed it. Every time I think I have seen everything that Streep can give us, she gives us something new, something more. This is not the best scene in the film by far, but you can surely see here that she is on top of her game.
So my choice for Best Actress is the incomparable Meryl Streep.