Misty Upham and Melissa Leo in Frozen River
It seems strange to say an actress is on the rise when she’s been in 70 film and television productions including 21 Grams, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and most famously TV’s Homicide: Life on the Streets, but buzz is building around Melissa Leo.
She stars in Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River, which won the grand jury feature prize at Sundance last January and opens in limited release on Friday. Sasha Stone took an early reading of the Oscar tealeaves at Awards Daily last week and threw Leo’s name out there as a Best Actress contender. After screening the film, Stone says that Leo “is going to be among those left standing by year’s end if anyone with half a brain is paying attention.” She also links to an NY Times profile on the actress.
Oscar is a dirty word around LiC this time of year, but the monkeys and I like to see the spotlight shine on the little guys – the earlier the better. If the film is as good as advertised, I wonder if Courtney Hunt could also get a screenwriting nomination. The glass ceiling on that award seems to have been effectively smashed last year with nominations for Tamara Jenkins (The Savages), Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl) and of course the win for Diablo Cody (Juno).
Oscar or no, we can’t wait to have a look at Frozen River which tells the story of a struggling single mother who turns to smuggling illegal immigrants from Canada accross the frozen St. Lawrence river to make ends meet. Watch the trailer at Apple.
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