“Can We Talk About?” is a weekly series delving into whether or not a weave can end racism—it cannot.
Welp, the Oscar nominations were announced this week and I’m so bored I didn’t even send my annual threatening letter to Academy members for not giving Angela Bassett her trophy 25 years ago for What’s Love Got to Do With It—because some injustices never heal. For some reason Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody still keep getting nominated for things despite both being actually terrible—and also actually the worst. But there were a few bright spots, the brightest perhaps being Glenn Close’s seventh nomination, this time for The Wife. Because this. Is. Her. Year. God. Dammit.
Like most people, I haven’t seen The Wife, but I’m sure Glenn Close deserves the Oscar for Best Actress because it’s Glenn Fucking Close! The woman has been burning a hole in our silver screens for four decades. The fact that she didn’t snatch all the awards for Fatal Attraction or, my personal favorite, Dangerous Liaisons, is a matter of national shame.
Without the Marquise de Merteuil we wouldn’t have Sarah Michelle Gellar sniffing cocaine out of a cross.
Fun fact: Cruel Intentions was just an updated adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons with Buffy taking over for La Close.
Yes, I know Cher beat out Glenn for Fatal Attraction with her wonderful turn in Moonstruck, and I’m the last person to talk shit about Cher—let alone a comedic role eclipsing some dramatic heavyweights because most years it feels like the Academy is hellbent on awarding the most ACTORLY performance—but the woman boiled a fucking rabbit. In a perm! What more do you want?!
And Glenn lost for Les Liaisons Dangereuses to Jodie Foster’s universally-acclaimed performance and universally-panned Kajagoogoo wig in The Accused. Foster’s was ranked as one of the greatest performances of all time by the now-defunct Premiere magazine in 2006.
But that’s what’s so frustrating about the Academy Awards. Some years are just incredibly tougher than others. How else can you explain Jennifer Lawrence stumbling away with the Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook? Because she didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Gay Hell for her arguably superior performance in Winter’s Bone during one of the toughest Best Actress years in recent memory, 2011: perennial MVP Nikki Kids in Rabbit Hole; the serially-snubbed Annette Bening in The Kids Are Alright; salt-of-the-earth Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine; and eventual winner Natalie Portman in Black Swan.
Settle down—you were very good, but it could’ve gone to anyone.
Then, there was the following year and Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady, which—and as an avowed homosexual, I live for Meryl—is a shit movie. It was a ’meh’ year, with Glenn Close putting in solid work in Albert Nobbs; the divine Viola Davis phoning it in for The Help; Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; and Michelle Williams, again, turning in one of her finest performances in My Week with Marilyn. But did anyone really stand out? Not with Meryl giving Academy voters a wig, false teeth, an accent, and a historical figure—the recipe for surefire Oscar success.
Sometimes—as with Meryl in Iron Lady, or Julianne Moore (who always deserves) in Still Alice, or Gary Oldman in Iron Lady II: Darkest Hour—the Academy throws out an award for a body of work after years of nominations bearing no fruit. The fact that Meryl already had two Oscars by the time she picked up another for Iron Lady is neither here nor there, but, again—not a great year.
This year, however, we’re having fun. Lady Gaga will probably win Best OG Song for “Shallow,” but I don’t think she has the range to take Best Actress. Melissa McCarthy was absolutely fantastic in Can You Ever Forgive Me? but it’s a darkly comedic performance that has mostly flown under the radar. Olivia Colman has been having quite the run, but her chances look slimmer by the day—and you can ask Glenn about the Academy’s fondness for a period piece. Meanwhile, if you want to remember what feeling human is like, watch first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio’s reaction to her nomination.
That being said, she, most likely, won’t win. Of course, every once in a while you have an unknown like Marion Cotillard coming out of nowhere and snatching everyone’s wig on their first try. But while the Academy loves an ingénue, they rarely give a big award like Best Actress to someone who’s never acted before. Which brings us back to Glenn. Fucking. Close.
With her seventh nomination, she’s officially become the most nominated actress without a win, just above one Miss Amy Adams (if you want to talk about fucking range), who just got her sixth for Vice. Here’s hoping that both end their losing streaks on February 24 when the 91st Academy Awards hobble onto the air.