Now that the Oscars are two days behind us, most of us have probably gotten over the ingratiating charm of Sandra Bullock enough to begin to feel a little resentment that she pulled off the Oscar upset. To be sure, Bullock’s win was nothing on the level of Crash, but it was well undeserved, all the same. She really was doing a pale imitation of Connie Britton on “Friday Night Lights,” and if someone could just do a little creative video editing over on YouTube, everyone else would realize that.
It wasn’t like she won an Oscar in an off year for female performances, either: Meryl Streep’s Julia Child was one of the best performances in her long career; Carey Mulligan gave the female breakthrough performance of 2009 (and, in my opinion, it was second only to Christoph Waltz’s in all acting categories); and I was a lot more impressed with Gabourey Sidibe’s performance after seeing more of her in real life and concluding that she was far from playing herself.
Still, I won’t deny — from a pure entertainment standpoint — that Bullock enlivened the Oscars considerably and that, as speeches go, she was the best part of the evening (and that speech was twice as good considering the Razzie speech she gave the night before). She’s likable; she’s charming; and apparently, she wins the award for the female with whom most people would want to have a beer (I remember the last time someone allegedly qualified for the person you’d most want to have a beer with; his name was George W. Bush, and he nearly drove the country into the ground).
But there are other women who have had long and successful careers, and though many of the females below have been nominated for an Oscar, all have yet to give an Oscar speech. Some of the women below are included because, well, they really fucking deserve an Oscar, and a couple of them are included because, though they are not necessarily the most talented actresses, I think they’d give an even better speech than Bullock.
And so, I give you: Five Oscar-Less Women I’d Prefer to See Give an Oscar Speech Over Sandra Bullock
5. Catherine Keener: Keener has been nominated twice already, both times in supporting roles (Capote and Being John Malcovich), but I’m fairly certain she was an afterthought in both competitions. Keener has gone largely underappreciated in her nearly 25-year actressin’ career in both mainstream films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, indies like Nicole Holofcener’s flicks, and even those in between, like Where the Wild Things Are. Now that Parker Posey has gone off the deep end, Keener is the most prominent indie queen remaining. She’s also obscenely cool, and I could totally see her lighting a cigarette during an acceptance speech.
4. Sigourney Weaver: Thrice nominated for work in Working Girl, Gorillas in the Mist and Aliens, Weaver has thus far been shut out. A victory for Weaver, however, would represent something a little more special, I think, as she’s been the epitome of the bad-ass female action star most of her career, something few other (if any) actresses could boast. And wouldn’t it be nice to see her take home the gold, at age 60-something, in a role that would essentially solidify her as the genre actress of our lifetime? And for a taste of what we might could expect from a Sigourney Weaver Oscar speech, here’s a great and moving speech she gave on gay rights a couple of years ago:
3. Drew Barrymore: Basically, Drew Barrymore is on this list because she’s the only other actress I can think of besides Sandra Bullock that could give a speech that would make us temporarily forget that she wasn’t all that talented. To be fair, however, she was great as Little Edie in the HBO version of Grey Gardens, and she is as good a comedic actress as Sandra Bullock. Plus, Barrymore has been in the business even longer, and has managed a fairly tumultuous career. She’s likable as hell, and though there’s hardly a scenario that I could envision where she’d actually deserve an Oscar, I’d probably dig on seeing her give a speech. I mean, if she could give a speech this fun for a Golden Globe, imagine what she’d do for an Oscar.
2. Betty White: Betty White has something like 16 Emmy Nominations and four wins, dating all the way back to freakin’ 1951. She’s undoubtedly a great actress, and if she could hang on long enough, I think she’s got a great dramedy performance left in her. Mostly, though, like everyone else in the world, I’m in love with Betty White, and I’d give my left testicle to see her give an Oscar speech. Seriously. If it’s anything like this speech, it could very well be the highlight of Academy Award history. Really, people. Really.
1. Sarah Polley: You know, I have no idea if Sarah Polley would give a great Oscar speech. Truthfully, I don’t care. I can’t think of an actress who deserves an Oscar more than she does. She’s brilliant. She’s well-spoken. She’s savvy and self-aware. She’s unfathomably talented. And she’s the antithesis of Hollywood actress. I just have an immense amount of respect for Polley, as both an actress and a writer/director, and I think that an Oscar would give her the recognition that she deserves but never seems to seek. She’s just really amazing, and to give her an Oscar would — at least temporarily — restore my faith in the Academy.