Jacki Weaver received her second Oscar nom in this category for playing Dolores Solitano, mother of a son with a mental illness and wife of a man who is also potentially suffering from a minor illness. Can I just begin by saying that when Jacki’s name was called out in the nominations, that I was surprised? I’m pretty sure people were expecting Nicole Kidman in the Paperboy or even Ann Down for Compliance (what a great performance!) but we got Jacki Weaver.
I was so excited when Jacki got her nom because I thought that she played her character to the best of her abilities with the little dialogue that she had. To be honest, she may have only gotten the nom because of the all the Best Picture buzz SLP had. I have often said that although she had little screen time, she had a big presence on-screen (with or without dialogue). All of the scenes, she’s in, she works her character in to trying to keep the peace in this family that’s bordering on being completely dysfunctional.
The only other movie I have seen with Jacki Weaver is Animal Kingdom and I loved her in that, so I don’t have much to go off of when reviewing her acting abilities. In this movie, rather than play a manipulative matriarch of a family of criminals, Jacki plays a caring mother who strives to keep her family together. I know that the Academy has a thing for actresses who play mothers, since that year that Jacki was nominated Melissa Leo won for playing Alice mother to Micky Ward.
The scene when she picks up Pat from rehab center is one of my favorites because, it sets up how her character would be right from the get-go. Dolores is a caring mother who cares deeply for her family. Although there is no major character development as the film progresses, there is a consistent feeling that comes from watching Dolores on screen.
One of my favorite scenes from the film is when Pat is looking for his wedding video and then he accidentally knocks her down. Then, Patrizio comes in, starts fighting with Pat and Dolores is just yelling at them to stop and I was amazed at how well you could see her trying to keep her family together although they’re far from being together.
Although her character was likable, I don’t think that she had that many “Oscar scenes”. In most of the scenes she’s just shown smiling or looking worried but I got the sense that she was being genuine, which is something I love in a performance. I was surprised that they managed to dig one up for when they were announcing the nominees at the Oscars. I think Jacki probably came in last in voting and she never really had a chance at winning seeing as she missed many of the important noms (GG, SAG) I did think that by the time the Oscars came that we all knew who was going to win.
In conclusion, I think that this performance was great, even though she had little screen time. Jacki was ableto make her character extremely likable and play the part extremely well although it wasn't extremely demanding. She managed to convey so much emotion just by being present in a scene doing something as simple as smiling or looking worried. Had this year not been full of so many great performances and had she more screen time, Jacki might have been able to win. All in all, a great performance that was lucky just to be nominated.
How'd I do for my first review? Comment, please.