Who's going to be in the Hollywood Gold Rush? We'll find out early tomorrow morning when the Academy Award nominations are announced. It's expected that the sensational Viola Davis will be a Best Actress Oscar® nominee for The Help. She'd better get that nomination if that Academy knows what's good for it! I may have had problems with the movie but I had none with her honest-to-the-bone portrayal of the maid calling out years of racial degradation and humiliation to free her soul.
That nomination alone would be Oscar-history making for Ms. Davis. It would make her the second African-American actress to have more than one nomination to her credit. Viola's first was in the Best Supporting Actress category for her excellence as the complicated Catholic mother in Doubt opposite Meryl Streep as a strict, suspicious nun. Streep is also expected to be in tomorrow's Best Actress quintet.
, that acclaimed 2002 Todd Haynes film about 1950s codes and values, she played a maid. Not bluntly, extremely mistreated like the Southern maid in The Help, that character becomes almost invisible to the Connecticut couple played by Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid. A different kind of humiliation and exclusion. And a different Viola Davis performance. Different and fine.
even though she had a Best Actress Oscar nomination on her resumé. He saw every other Black actress but her. I think Zucker even let RuPaul screen test for the role of psychic Oda Mae. But Patrick Swayze pulled his star weight and forced them to let Whoopi test. She got the part, helped make Ghost a big box office hit and took home the Hollywood Gold as Best Supporting Actress of 1990.
Tomorrow morning, Viola Davis could share a sweet record with Whoopi Goldberg. P.S. I also think Mary J. Blige will get an Oscar nomination tomorrow. For Best Song from The Help.