2013 Calvin Awards: Best Actress
By David Mumpower
February 21, 2013
The 2013 Calvin Award for Best Actress represents some of the oddest voting in the history of the awards. 89% of our voters locked in on two particular performances. Each actress received at least seven times as many first place votes as anyone else eligible for a nomination. In other words, this was a two-horse race with all other contenders being reduced to also-rans.
The actress who received the largest total of first place votes this year is the winner in the category. I recognize that this sounds like an obvious statement. I can assure you it is not. The actress who finished in second place actually appeared on more ballots. Only two voters excluded this candidate from their voting while four chose not to laud the eventual winner. What all of this means in layman’s terms is that a single point represents the difference between first and second place this year. Conversely, the difference between second and third place equals 86% fewer votes. We had two favorites; while the other candidates selected are all great, the two we love are placed on the highest possible pedestal.
BOP’s selection as the Best Actress of the year is Jennifer Lawrence. At the tender age of 22, Lawrence is already in the conversation for the biggest female superstar in the world. Over the past 18 months, she has played a key role in the reboot of the X-Men franchise, become the face of The Hunger Games and earned her second Academy Award nomination. During the same time frame, she has also starred in three movies that grossed at least $100 million. The three of them in tandem have accrued $1.2 billion in worldwide box office.
Accurately or not, our staff likes to brag that we were earlier than most in recognizing her talent. Lawrence finished second in our voting for Breakthrough Performance in 2011 for her work in Winter’s Bone. She also finished third in this category, Best Actress. Somehow, Winter’s Bone already feels like forever ago now as Lawrence will be Katniss Everdeen from now until the end of time. That is not, however, the performance we have chosen as the best of the year.
In Silver Linings Playbook, Jennifer Lawrence portrays Tiffany Maxwell, who is an unemployed bisexual widow seeking a cure for her loneliness. During an awkward family dinner with her sister, Tiffany believes she has discovered a kindred spirit in Patrizio Solitano Jr. Perhaps she would have better luck in the dating world if she chose men who were not bipolar, but who am I to judge?
Over the course of the movie, Tiffany woos Patrizio via a strange combination of good-hearted deceit and wanton sexuality. There is also quite a bit of dancing thrown in for good measure. Lawrence may wind up inexorably linked to the role of Katniss for the rest of her career, but her better 2012 performance – in fact, THE best 2012 performance is as Tiffany. This character sees what she wants and she goes for it, ex-wife obsessions, meddling parents and strange friends be damned. Rare is the mainstream Hollywood movie that demonstrates the female lead targeting and seducing the male lead yet this is exactly what transpires in Silver Linings Playback. The entirety of the story is so engaging because everyone on planet Earth would fall for Tiffany Maxwell. That is because of Jennifer Lawrence, the Best Actress of 2012.