The Best Actress Oscar race was looking like it was going to be a one-woman show for a while – until Zero Dark Thirty screened for Oscar voters and pundits this weekend. Now, Awards Daily is reporting that with the accolades that ZDT is getting, it is likely that Jessica Chastain [who plays the lead role in the film] may have overtaken Jennifer Lawrence [for her lead role in Silver Linings Playbook] for the first position.
Sasha Stone from Awards Daily as well as Drew McWeeny from Hitfix both say that Chastain gives one of the strongest female performances of the year, in what pundits are calling a taut, well acted, brilliantly directed film. It was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, both who previously collaborated on ‘Hurt Locker’. As we know, the ‘Hurt Locker’ ended up winning Best Picture and Best Director, and it wouldn’t be a complete shock if ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ managed to do the same.
However, the biggest change in the race with the screenings right now definitely has to be Best Actress. While Jennifer Lawrence has the backing of Harvey Weinstein [Silver Linings Playbook is distributed by the Weinstein Company], Jessica Chastain is older and has a performance that is said to be equally as strong as Lawrence’s, if not stronger. And if there’s one thing Oscar voters hate, it’s giving an Oscar to young people – and Jennifer Lawrence is only 22 years old.
Jessica Chastain, on the other hand, as the same amount of industry recognition, is equally as respected in industry circles, and definitely has the acting talent to match [she has already been nominated for an Oscar last year, for her supporting role in the ‘Help’].