When you’re the daughter of two opera singers, and spent your childhood observing your parents onstage in classic melodramatic fair, it’s safe to assume that you know how drama and suspense work. Actress Rosamund Pike is the aforementioned daughter of two opera singers, and it seems as if her flair for the dramatic has helped her with her latest project, Gone Girl. Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s best-selling 2012 novel of the same name, the movie is just as suspenseful as the book. Not only that, but Pike’s performance as the complex Amy Dunne is astonishing to watch. Nominated this year for both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award for her role, Rosamund Pike gives a performance few actors would be able to achieve. Amy’s nuances and complexities are accompanied by the fact that viewers never really know which aspects of her personality are truthful. British-born Pike, plays New York native, and Missouri transplant Amy Dunne to a tee. Without giving away major plot points, I will say, that she plays all the layers so perfectly that for the time being, it’s hard for me to not vote for her for the SAG Awards. She legitimately plays an honest-to-goodness sociopath, and it’s fascinating to watch her transformation. Director David Fincher has always been one of my favorites, and he doesn’t disappoint. However, with both Flynn’s novel and her screenplay (which she adapted herself), I will ask her this: What’s up with that ending?
Want to know more? Gone Girl is currently available On Demand, Amazon Prime, and also stars Ben Affleck and Neil Patrick Harris. Gillian Flynn’s novel is available both online, and at your local bookstore.
As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, I am able to vote in the SAG Awards. Below are my choices for each award.
The Screen Actors Guild Awards air Saturday, January 18th on TNT & TBS at 8p.m.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A CAST IN A MOTION PICTURE
Nominated: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, August: Osage County, Dallas Buyers Club, Lee Daniels’ The Butler.
Voted for: August: Osage Countyseems to me to be a true ensemble piece in itself, but with these specific actors, they gave performances that helped move the film along as a whole. As an ensemble. Plus, filming dinner scenes are actually extremely complex.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Voted For: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave):I was so impressed with his performance. It’s truly amazing because it has made me want to become a better actor. To learn as much as I can. Although, I was impressed with Matthew McConaughey, I thought the depths that Chiwetel Ejiofor had to go to in order to give a complete portrayal of his character were so much deeper. *Side note, he’s BRITISH and does one of the best American accents I’ve ever heard.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Nominated: Meryl Streep (August: Osage County), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine). Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
Voted For: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine): It was a toss up between Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett for me once I narrowed my choices down. Ultimately, I thought the arc of Blanchett’s character was played beautifully, her performance as Jasmine simply impressed me more than the others. Although, it was extremely difficult NOT to vote for Meryl Streep (BECAUSE she’s MERYL STREEP)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominated: Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), James Gandolfini (Enough Said), Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
Voted For: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club): He truly immersed himself into this character and the power of his performance, for me, is undeniable. Although, before I saw it, I was convinced I would be voting for Michael Fassbender because there is nothing forgivable about his character, and it’s extremely difficult to play the bad guy well. Leto blew the competition out of the water for me.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Nominated: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska), Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)
Voted For: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave):She truly gave a supporting performance and was so visceral in the process of playing Patsey, that I felt I had so other choice but to vote for her. I was blown away by her skill and talent. Although, there were pleasant surprises from Julia Roberts and Oprah, but Lupita is one to watch. She was fantastic.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, Homeland.
Voted For: Breaking Bad
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominated: 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Modern Family, The Big Bang Theory, Veep.
Voted For: Modern Family
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones), Kevin Spacey (House of Cards), Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
Voted For: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) *There was no contest. Seriously.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven), Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey), Claire Danes (Homeland), Kerry Washington (Scandal)
Voted For: Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) *Side note, this was the most difficult decision I had to make this year. I love them all.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominated: Alec Baldwin (30 Rock), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Don Cheadle (House of Lies), Ty Burrell (Modern Family) Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)
Voted For: Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nominated: Tina Fey (30 Rock), Julie Bowen (Modern Family) Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)
Voted For: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Nominated: Matt Damon (Behind the Candelabra), Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra), Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy), Al Pacino (Phil Spector), Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
Voted For: Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra)
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES
Nominated: Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta), Helena Bonham Carter (Burton & Taylor), Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake), Holly Hunter (Top of the Lake), Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
Voted For: Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
OUTSTANDING ACTION PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Nominated: All is Lost, The Fast the Furious 6, Lone Survivor, Rush, Wolverine.
Voted for: Wolverine.
OUTSTANDING ACTION PERFORMANCE BY A STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY OR DRAMA SERIES
Nominated: Boardwalk Empire, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Homeland, The Walking Dead.
Voted For: Game of Thrones. Due to the sheer amounts of stunts in this series, for me, it was a clear choice. Plus, it seems like they would have more fun. Voting for stunt ensembles is really difficult.
The good thing about being in the Screen Actors Guild is that we often get to see films before they are released into theaters to the general public. Last night I had the pleasure of viewing Alexander Payne’s Nebraska (separate review coming) and the adaptation of Tracy Lett’s 2008 Pulitzer Prize and Tony winning play, August: Osage Countyin the comfort of my own home. I loved the movie, I really did. However, I think that both the play version and the movie version are two separate entities. Oftentimes, I kept finding myself comparing it to the stage version, but then I realized that the majority of people who will be viewing the film have never seen the stage play. That being said, as a stand-alone film, August: Osage County can almost put the mirror up too close the nature. At the same time, the family dynamic is actually believable which makes it a refreshing change from the cookie-cutter family movies out there. At the helm is the matriarch of the family, played by none other than the magnificent Meryl Streep. She’ll probably beat her own record again with Oscar nominations for this one. And, as a pleasant surprise, Julia Roberts gives a solid performance as Barbara Weston, a role for which Amy Morton garnered a Tony nomination. Roberts’ portrayal, as well as Streep’s are worthy of the SAG nominations they received. In the supporting cast, you have the likes of Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Misty Upham, Abigail Breslin, Julianne Nicholson, Bendedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, and Juliette Lewis. Sam Shepard is the pivotal role as Beverly Weston. Each and every one of the cast members are great actors, so to see them all together in one film is a real treat. Taken out of the confines of the stage and put on location, the film still has the element of a frustrated and fractured family, sometimes more so because the characters are actually put into the elements of the Oklahoma county in which it takes place. Streep’s vocal and physical transformation is a far cry from the woman who danced and sang her way through Mamma Mia! or took home the Oscar for playing one of England’s toughest women. There’s a weakness, fragility, and all out strength that Streep brings to Violet Weston that makes the film 1000 times better. In the hands of a lesser actress, it would just be another film about a dysfunctional family. The film opens on January 10th everywhere and needs to be seen for its sheer verisimilitude.