IT'S MARION COTTILARD VS. JULIE CHRISTIE FOR BEST ACTRESS (LA VIE EN ROSE/ AWAY FROM HER)
There’s a lot of Oscar buzz being generated after Marion Cottilard and Julie Christie won the Golden Globes for Best Actress for a Musical and Drama respectively.
I've seen both films, LA VIE EN ROSE and AWAY FROM HER.
I saw Marion's performance first and I must admit I was totally blown away. The process that she undertook to be able to get into Edith Piaf's character was just amazing. It was a difficult role and she was able to really nail it. LA VIE EN ROSE, more than anything, was about Marion Cottilard's haunting and able performance. There were so many parts in the movie where you can't help but admire her acting. You just can't miss her wonderful performance as an actress, back in your mind you know how it must have been difficult for Marion to undergo such transformation, the precision of her calculations, and the nuances that she tried to put up, to be the legend EDITH PIAF.
Then, I saw Sarah Poley's poignant domestic drama - AWAY FROM HER. I sat throughout the whole movie quietly. Unlike LA VIE EN ROSE, it was a subtle moving film where the different elements really gel well. The different disciplines - like the acting, the script, the direction, the cinematography, nothing really stood out from the other, they were all great. There was nothing too grand but when you put them all together what you have is one of the best domestic dramas ever created for the screen. It was painful and heartbreakingly beautiful. Poetic really, and it’s surprising that it came from a very young director like Sarah.
I actually didn't see Julie Christie as the actress, what I saw and experienced was her character - Fiona Anderson, a wife who's slowly suffering from Alzheimer's. Her journey was just so cathartic and it was so painful to watch. What I saw was not Julie Christie acting, but the character that she was playing, the nuances of her character was just so real that long after you've seen the movie her character still lingers.
MARION's portrayal was difficult and she was able to pull it off magnificently. Though you can't help but separate Marion Cottilard and her portrayal of Edith Piaf - you know that she's doing her best to get that powerful but sometimes too calculated performance. Julie Christie's wasn't performing, her characterization was seamless. She was in the end what Fiona Anderson's character was all about.
Marion and Julie's performances were definitely the best of the year. Marion's performance is definitely Oscar worthy because of the difficulty of her role. But if we're talking about performance as a narrative function, Julie Christie's though was more effective.