Oscar Watch: Pieces of a Woman

Certain Netflix viewers know Vanessa Kirby best as Princess Margaret on the hit series The Crown. Action fans recognize her from her participation in two huge franchises with her roles in Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Hobbs & Shaw. Now Kirby may get on the radar of awards voters with Pieces of a Woman, which has screened at the Venice Film Festival.

The drama comes from Hungarian filmmaker Kornel Mundruczo, perhaps best known stateside for his 2014 feature White God. Kirby stars alongside Shia LaBeouf as an expectant couple whose joy turns to sorrow as a result of a home birth situation. Costars include Ellen Burstyn, Jimmie Fails, and Molly Parker. The most high profile name is its executive producer Martin Scorsese.

Critics have been careful not to let loose many spoilers in their reviews, but the Rotten Tomatoes score is a solid 88%. The write-ups seem to agree that this is a breakout role for Kirby. As to whether she can contend for a nod, questions abound. Will Woman pick up domestic distribution by the submission deadline? Is this subject matter too grim for this to pick up steam with the Academy? There’s also the matter of The World to Come. It also features the actress, screened at Venice, and is also picking up some chatter (it will be my next Oscar Watch post).

Bottom line: Kirby has entered the mix in Venice, but a lot of uncertainty surrounds her potential inclusion. I would also add that Burstyn could potentially get mentions in Supporting Actress though it’s feasible that Kirby will get the bulk of attention. Burstyn is, of course, a legendary performer who’s already won an Oscar (for 1974’s Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) and received five other nominations. Her previous nod came 20 years ago for Requiem for a Dream. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

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