2015 Calvin Awards: Best Supporting Actress
By David Mumpower
February 12, 2015
In the Best Supporting Actress category this year, there was Patricia Arquette in Boyhood and then there was everyone else. In fact, Arquette’s candidacy was so strong that the only existing debate surrounded whether she should be listed in Actress or Supporting Actress. She theoretically could have won either way.
Boyhood has been the passion project of BOP fave Richard Linklater over the past 13 years. During that time, he has assembled the same cast for a few weeks each year, asking them to update their story to reflect the immediate as well as the long term direction of each character. As the adult overseer, Arquette provided the baseline for everyone else in the cast, including a pair of kids under 10 when the project began.
As a devout mother with horrible taste in men, Arquette’s Olivia suffers from perennial disappointments both personally and professionally. She never has enough money to raise her children as she would prefer, yet she always somehow manages to offer the kind word that sends everyone she contacts down the right path in life. Arquette herself went through a couple of high profile break-ups and a pregnancy during the extended shoot, but her apparel is the only clue that any of this transpired. As the everywoman mother who holds it all together, Arquette inspires from start to finish. Boyhood was the most ambitious release of 2014, and she is the glue that supports everything around her, making her the easy (and literal) choice for Best Supporting Actress.
In most years, a BOP fave like Emma Stone would be a slam dunk in this category for a role like Birdman. Stone plays the put upon daughter of a former superstar actor. The pressures of being raised in the spotlight have riddled her with insecurities as well as a chemical addiction. As she tries to overcome previous mistakes in her life, the harried personal assistant finds herself drawn to a bad boy actor even though his girlfriend is a part of the same play employing them. Stone has never played such a vulnerable character before, which makes her work all the more noteworthy. Ordinarily, she would be the winner for Best Supporting Actress with a point total in excess of 100. This year, she will have to settle for second. Maybe if she had slept with Ed Norton, she would have elicited enough sympathy from the voters.
Keira Knightley earns yet another selection this year. This time, the role is for The Imitation Game, and its placement mirrors her third place finish in Best Actress for Begin Again. Suffice to say that we believe that there were at most four actresses in 2014 who honed their craft at least as well as Knightley. In The Imitation Game, Knightley portrayed second class citizen Joan Clarke, who had the audacity to be born as a woman. As such, she was deemed unfit to help the World War II effort in any significant way right up until she passed one of Alan Turing’s tests. At that point, he vouched for her and she rewarded him by providing valuable insights into German coding practices. As a woman who gets her kicks above the waistline, sunshine, Clarke was even willing to marry a gay man in order to advance both of their causes during the war. Knightley earns BOP love the way that laundry machines get quarters but even by those standards, she was absolutely brilliant in 2014.