WEB EXCLUSIVE: Best Actress Pick

Unless the Academy throws a serious curve ball, Helen Mirren will most likely win this award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth in ‘The Queen.’ Mirren transformed beautifully into the Queen. Despite the movie being a little boring and proving that, shockingly, Americans really don’t care that much about the English royal family, the Academy likes to award an actor’s ability to actually become someone else, and maybe for good reason.
If we had the power, we’d give the award to Penelope Cruz for her role in Pedro Almodovar’s excellent film, ‘Volver.’ Why this movie wasn’t nominated for best foreign film is beyond us. But Cruz’s nomination is an important recognition that almost makes up for it. Cruz has never been on my wish list of actors, but Almodovar pulled a classic performance out of her, one that could be described as an ‘inspiring mix of humor and deep-seeded pain.’