With the 2015 Cannes Film Festival all wrapped up and the winners declared, one thing stands out: There are some very impressive performances by some very famous women this year. That statement may seem a bit obvious, but the reviews coming out of Cannes are always Oscar indicators and the critics love the following ladies:
Rooney Mara - Carol
Mara shared the Festival's Best Actress award with Emmanuelle Bercot (Mon roi) and she seems poised to return to the Oscar stage (she was nominated in 2011 for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) for her performance in Carol. The film has earned comparisons to Brokeback Mountain for its story of a New York socialite (Cate Blanchett) who falls for a retail clerk (Mara). Set in the 1950s, the film deals with the familiar theme of dangerous love in intolerant times. Word is Mara's performance is a lead role, but The Weinstein Company will likely submit her for Best Supporting Actress so she's not doing battle with...
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Blanchett plays the socialite in Carol, the title character whose life is upended by a young paramour. Blanchett is simply great in everything so her success at Cannes is no real surprise. But the lesbian love story will raise eyebrows for its guts, and may draw comparisons to Notes on a Scandal, another story of illicit love that won Blanchett an Oscar nomination in 2006. Expect the veteran star to be nominated for Best Actress.
Jane Fonda - Youth
One of the most talked-about performances at Cannes was Jane Fonda's short, but memorable, cameo in Youth, the new film from Italian legend Paolo Sorrentino. She plays a bleach blonde, hostile former star and word is, she steals the film right out from under the noses of lead actors Michael Caine and Harvey Keitel. She only has one scene though. Could it be enough for Oscar? Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor despite short screen time in The Silence of the Lambs so there is precedent. And Fonda is just the type of beloved veteran actress the Academy looks to feature.
Emily Blunt - Sicario
On the other end of the performance spectrum lies Emily Blunt in Denis Villeneuve's Sicario. She plays a police officer who travels to Mexico with two mercenaries to hunt down a drug lord. The film has drawn comparisons to Traffic, the 2000 Oscar winner, which should bode well for its award hopes. Blunt has been terrific in action films before (Looper, Edge of Tomorrow), but the combination of Villeneuve's direction, a great supporting cast (Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin), and a topical storyline may have Blunt envisioning gold statuettes next year.
Charlize Theron - Mad Max: Fury Road
Like Blunt, Theron blew audiences away in an action film at Cannes: Mad Max: Fury Road. The movie screened out of competition, but the praise has been near universal for George Miller's fourth Mad Max entry and Theron is a big reason why. It's not the type of movie that typically gets nominated in the acting categories (it seems a lock for Best Cinematography, Visual Effects, and maybe Best Picture) but Theron is so good, and so respected within the industry, a nomination for Best Actress could happen.