Best Actress - Catalina Saaveda
Well the raves have been pouring in for some time, but no one is noticing.
Perhaps is has to do with her being an unknown.
Perhaps is has to do with the fact she is not a Glamazon.
Perhaps it has to do with the fact it is a foreign language performance.
Or, perhaps, it is a combination of all of the above.
Whatever the reason, one should not ignore a performance that has been garnering so many raves.
Catalina Saavedra, ever since Sundance (where Carey Mulligan and, to a lesser extent, Gabby Sibide hogged lead actress buzz) has been getting the type of reviews that would make most Hollywood actress salivate.
“As Raquel, the housekeeper for an affluent Chilean family for 23 of her drab 41 years, Catalina Saavedra conjures a performance of such unflinching intensity and naked bravery in The Maid that at times it's painful to watch.” Lisa Schwarzbaum – Entertainment Weekly.I mean with raves like this, an Oscar Campaign should already be in motion, but alas I doubt there will be much of one.
“Saavedra's brave, unrestrained performance as the strange and self-destructively territorial Raquel (which earned her a well-deserved best actress special jury prize at Sundance) is both understated and forceful, combining incrementally revealing facial expressions and increasingly hostile body language to reveal an intensely lonely and conflicted character.” Justin Lowe – the Hollywood Reporter.
“Saavedra is riveting as a servant whose unblinking focus on her routine masks a profound loneliness.” Justin Chang – Variety
“In a remarkable performance that won her a special award from the world cinema jury at this year's Sundance Film Festival (which also gave Silva's film its Grand Jury Prize), Chilean television vet Saavedra goes through one of the most uncanny psychophysical transformations I've ever seen in a movie without the benefit of obvious makeup or other prosthetics.” Scott Foundas – The Village Voice
“Saavedra, in an incredibly vanity-free performance, never shies away from Raquel’s darkest edges and still forces us to empathize with the frustrations and stunted loneliness of a life lived in servants’ quarters.” Time Out New York
Unless you are a sexy, well known actress, breaking the foreign language barrier can be a tough one.
Perhaps she can pull off a Fernanda Montenegro!