Miyazaki or Tsai? Dench or Johansson? What to expect from tomorrow's prizes
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Vopi Cup for Best Actress
It's been six years since a household name won this award, a stat which tempts me to buck consensus and predict German actress Alexandra Finder, a Jessica Chastain type who is put through the physical and emotional wringer as the titular battered spouse in Philip Groning's gruelling "The Police Officer's Wife." But where Finder has her own unpopular film to overcome, Judi Dench stars in the most broadly well-liked film of the festival. For all the copious applause it has received, I suspect "Philomena" is too middlebrow for this rather serious-minded jury to consider for the bigger prizes; rewarding Dench for her gently moving title turn, however, would mean they don't have to ignore it outright. (If she wins, meanwhile, she could follow the Venice-to-Oscar pathway that Helen Mirren did, for another Stephen Frears film whose title escapes me, in 2006.) At the opposite end of the stardom spectrum, Scarlett Johansson could take the prize if the jury's in a more adventurous mood; hers is the most transformative and physically expressive performance in contention, though just how divisive is that film within the jury?
Will win: Judi Dench, "Philomena"
Should win: Scarlett Johansson, "Under the Skin"
Other possibilities: Alexandra Finder, "The Police Officer's Wife"; Mia Wasikowska, "Tracks"; Lise Roy, "Tom at the Farm"