Take This Waltz is a movie that unfolds, for better and worse, in heavy sympathy with its central character. Like Margot it can be elegant and lovely; it can also be over-precious and awkwardly speechy.
Close is frozen, timid and fearful as Albert Nobbs. There is nothing felt about the performance. She stays on the surface. Was she nominated just for dressing up as a man? Is that all it takes?(3)
Blue Valentine was notorious long before it actually opened, thanks to a ratings controversy: The film had been threatened with an NC-17 rating due to a couple of frank sexual scenes. Harvey Weinstein, whose company, The Weinstein Co., is distributing Blue Valentine, registered an objection in his typically aggressive manner, railing against the ridiculous hypocrisies in the MPAA system as it stands. (He declared to Entertainment Weekly, “How did Piranha 3D get an R and Blue Valentine gets an NC-17? … It’s ridiculous—a penis got coughed up in the movie by a piranha! They show more in four scenes [in that movie] than we do in [all of Blue Valentine]! And ours is a serious love story.”)