Jacki Weaver’s Oscar Campaign Buoyed By NBR Win

No doubt, Jacki Weaver’s exceptional performance as the amoral matriarch of a Melbourne crime family in David Michod’s Animal Kingdom was both profound and unforgettable. We knew that. But when 21-year-old Caitlin Stasey beat out the 63-year-old actress for her turn in Tomorrow When the War Began at last month’s IF Awards, we were left scratching our heads (not to get elitist but that’s what happens at publicly voted awards). Our hopes slipped further when Weaver revealed an inability to commit to an Oscar’s publicity campaign due to her role in Uncle Vanya. I guess we’re just pessimistic like that.

Rest assured, it seems that Weaver may be in serious contention for an Academy Award yet as she’s just been named as 2010’s best supporting actress by the National Board of Review (NBR). The NBR’s picks of the year signal the beginning of Hollywood’s award season and is as reliable an Oscar litmus test as any. While the organisation, made up of film critics and historians isn’t formally connected to the film industry, it is widely considered a major indicator to success at the Academy Awards.

Unfortunately Weaver’s commitments to the Sydney Theatre Company means she won’t be able to promote herself in the US as much as she could hope. Also, while Animal Kingdom did receive critical recognition, it still only grossed $US1 million at the US box office, so her marketing strategy will need to be somewhat efficient. We all have our fingers crossed however, because this is one woman who deserves international acclaim; especially after a career that’s spanned 48 years.

NBR Winners:

Best Film of the Year: The Social Network
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Best Actress: Lesley Manville, Another Year
Best Supporting Actress: Jackie Weaver, Animal Kingdom
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay: Buried
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 3
Best Ensemble Cast: The Town

By Kellie Hill