Towards the 2024 Oscar, among the actresses there is a competition between the favorites Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone


Towards the 2024 Oscar, among the actresses there is a competition between the favorites Lily Gladstone and Emma Stone

Finding themselves together at the main awards ceremonies of the season led Emma Stone (Poor Creatures!) and Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon) to become great friends complete with mutual gifts and constant exchange of messages. The race for the Oscar for best leading actress on the night of March 10, 2024 seems to be mainly among them. A competition (in which Margot Robbie's failed candidacy for Barbie made waves) where the other three nominees appear to have decidedly less chance: Sandra Huller for Anatomy of a Fall which also won a good number of supporters; Annette Bening arrived with both the emotional and physical proof offered in Nyad, her fifth Oscar nomination and Carey Mulligan in the role of Felicia Montealegre, Leonard Bernstein's wife in Maestro. So far Stone has won, among a long list of awards, the Golden Globe for the comedy and musical category, the Critics Choice Award and the Bafta while Gladstone, among others, the Golden Globe for the Drama category and the Sag (Screen Actors Guild) Award, which in the last two years has always coincided with the Oscar winners for leading actors.

The challenge between friends-rivals Emma Stone and Lily Gladstone

This year, actress Emma Stone , already winner of an Oscar for La La Land, is competing in two categories (best leading actress and best film, being one of the producers) due to her partnership with the Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (already three films together, from The Favorite to the already ready Kinds of kindness) with Poor Creature!, a project which took six years to develop. The film, Golden Lion in Venice, is a visionary dark comedy, with references to Frankenstein, in which the actress born in Arizona 35 years ago offers an extraordinary performance in the role of Bella Baxter, the creature to whom the scientist Godwin ( Willem Dafoe) has given new life, which takes an astonishing journey of formation, ideally from early childhood to adulthood, for physical, emotional, cultural and sexual liberation. “At the beginning I thought it was an incredibly difficult role – Stone explained to The Wrap -. Then I realized that the challenge was precisely its simplicity” because “it required removing instead of adding”. Here it was “a question of eliminating as much shame and self-judgment possible to see everything through his eyes.”
Lily Gladstone 's journey with Killers of the Flower Moon by Martin Scorsese is a journey of firsts: born in 1986, of Piegan Blackfeet and Nez Perce origins on her father's side, and European on her mother's side, Gladstone, who grew up until the age of 11 in the Montana reservation of the Blackfeet Nation, she is the first Native American actress to have won a Golden Globe (and at the award ceremony in homage to her culture she gave part of the acceptance speech in the Blackfeet language) and the first in competition among the protagonists at the Academy Awards. Goals arrived with an intense and introspective performance as an actress, in the noir drama based on a shocking true story, the serial murders of which at least 60 members of the Osage nation were victims in the 1920s, after the discovery in their reserve of enormous quantity of oil. Gladstone plays a real-life character Mollie Kyle, a young Osage whose family is exterminated, married by the greedy Ernest (Leonardo DiCaprio), one of the perpetrators of the murders. For a character who constantly goes through mourning and suffering, including physical suffering, “sometimes I needed time for myself, in my caravan – Gladstone told The Guardian -. But there was a strong Native presence on that set: the cast, the crew, the extras. And when you bring many natives together in one space, it's always just laughter. So I felt like that was a way that I could support myself and step away from this traumatic story for a little while.”

Outstanding outsiders Sandra Huller, Annette Bening and Carey Mulligan

After the extraordinary Nina Hoss (who, however, has not yet received an Oscar nomination), Hollywood has quickly been conquered by another great German interpreter, Sandra Huller , born in 1978, who entered the shortlist with the film Palme d'Or Anatomy of a Fall by Justine Triet but also in the spotlight for her performance in another of the films nominated for best film, The Zone of Interest by Jonathan Glazer. In Triet's legal thriller, Huller (who also won the Efa and the Cesar for the role, among others) gives face to the complexity of Sandra, a famous writer who is suspected for the death of her husband, also a writer in the remote chalet mountain in the French Alps, where they live together with their 11-year-old son. “I like my life. I like my apartment. I like my daily routine. Nothing missing that I needed to fill. I didn't expect this to happen – Huller explained to the New York Times – speaking of the sudden global popularity. But it means that people now believe that I can do things that perhaps they hadn't considered me for before.”
It is an extraordinary true story, which has become a film for Netflix, Nyad – Beyond the Ocean directed by Oscar-winning documentarians Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, to be screened again in the competition for the statuette by Annette Bening , in the part of Diana Nyad, the former swimmer marathon runner, who at the age of 64 swam the 170 kilometers of open sea between Cuba and Florida in 2013. A fifth nomination for Bening (after those for Risky Habits, American Beauty, Diva Julia and The Kids Are Fine), still without victories, for a role with a great personality that also required a lot from a physical point of view: “I'm quite athletics, I did diving, I'm not afraid of the water but the first time I entered the pool to train I cried – she said – thinking about what I had to make credible. However, I had an Olympic swimmer Rada Owen as a coach and by working and by working, we got there.” Also winning over audiences and critics is the duet with Jodie Foster (candidate among the supporting roles), in the role of Diana's best friend and coach, Bonnie Stoll who has a relationship with the protagonist with the contours of a platonic love.
Arriving at her third nomination (she had already been in the running with An Education and A Promising Woman) is Carey Mulligan , the versatile British interpreter who in Maestro, the wishful film about Leonard Bernstein made by Bradley Cooper (producer nominee for Best Film and among the leading actors) as director and protagonist, gives humanity and character in the role of Felicia Montealegre, actress and wife of the great conductor, mother of his children and free woman, who had to deal with personality and choices, also linked to her and her husband's bisexuality. “There were so many fascinating things about her,” Mulligan explained to Variety, “a sense of a life not lived. There was an imponderable element in what his path might have been if he hadn't met Lenny: a bit like a “Sliding Doors”. She came to New York with a passion and desire to act, and has followed that path with great success. Then he met Bernstein and they became each other's world.”

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