In an article in the Los Angeles Times, they opined on Meryl Streep’s win. They concluded that a major factor was that actors playing real people usually win because the Academy can compare the performance to the real person. I also think it would be useful to compare the performance to to the nonperforming actor and this was a problem for Viola Davis.
I don’t remember most of Viola Davis’s parts and I don’t think that I am alone: the CIA Director in Knight and Day – which I sort of fast-forwarded through on the TV – a social worker in Traffic, a doctor – I have no idea what kind – in State of Play. (I do remember her as Mosella in Out of Sight but that only because Out of Sight is one of Michele and my favorite movies and we have seen it more than several times.) Going into The Help, I read about how everybody in Hollywood thinks she is great but I didn’t have anything to contrast her against.
Watching the Academy Awards, I did notice the stunning chick sitting on the aisle when Octavia Spencer got up to accept her award, but I had no idea it was Viola Davis. If only I had seen the real Viola before I saw her as Aibileen in The Help, I would have been much more impressed.