By Jonathan Edmondson
Arts & Entertainment Edtior
In recent years, the Academy Award for best actress in a leading role has gone to some of Hollywood’s biggest names, such as Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock.
This year, the women who were nominated prove that they deserve a spot among those aforementioned legends.
Felicity Jones for “The Theory of Everything” and Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl” are hardly household names, yet they give intimate performances in stunning films. Pike is wildly psychotic and sickeningly sweet as Amy, the central character behind “Gone Girl,” and Jones is a visionary as Jane, the husband of the famous physicist Stephen Hawking.
Then there’s Marion Cotillard, who snuck into the race for her portrayal as struggling factory worker Sandra in the little seen, but well-received “Two Days, One Night.”
Perhaps the real race, however, is between veterans Julianne Moore for “Still Alice” and Reese Witherspoon for “Wild.” Moore is a tour de force as a professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, while Witherspoon portrays Cheryl Strayed, an author who embarked on a 1,000 mile hike to find herself.
While all the women are superb, I have to give this one to Moore. With four nominations and no wins, she is more than overdue for a win. While the other women may be princesses of their own genres, Moore is the queen of them all.