Tonight, the Icon Awards will be distributed to five sensational women in Hollywood by Premiere Magazine. Specifically, the awards will go to Cate Blanchett, Sofia Coppola, Sally Field, Annette Bening and Evan Rachel Wood. In the interests of cinematic justice, I'd like to provide a little fair and balanced context for each recipient:
Ms. Blanchett -- Obviously, the high point of her career at this moment is her dead-on portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in The Aviator, for which she deservedly won an Oscar. I reluctantly cite The Missing for balance, not because she was bad in it, but because the movie can only be described as desperately cheesy, and I wonder what convinced her to do the project after reading the script.
Ms. Coppola -- I think we're all in agreement regarding the high point of her career so far, but I'd like you to note I have high hopes for Marie Antoinette (confessing I've yet to see it), because the trailer is so ebullient. To balance the context, I direct you to her bit part as Kathleen Turner's little sister in the otherwise delightful, infinitely re-watchable Peggy Sue Got Married. (She was a drag in another of daddy's projects a few years later -- one that doesn't count, and is not the third film of a trilogy, but rather a tragic epilogue to two masterpieces).
Ms. Field -- I really liked her in the underappreciated Soapdish, where she played America's Queen of Misery, Celeste Talbert. (A role she sort of reprised in Homeward Bound, in which she voiced the bitchy cat.) She totally chewed scenery in Forrest Gump, a movie I grow less appreciative of every year (because, dude ... where was the love for Shawshank, huh?! Where was the love for Tarantino that Oscar night?).
Ms. Bening -- Rather than cite a rather polarizing movie that won an Academy Award for Best Picture (which I still love and respect, while acknowledging it's dated), I offer Being Julia as Ms. Bening's masterpiece and a role every actress should study carefully. I offer What Planet Are You From as a prime example of how one should not just drink the Mike Nichols kool-aid every time he offers you a cup.
Ms. Wood -- A toast, I hope, is in order tonight to a long and prosperous career that took off with a remarkable performance in Thirteen. I'm definitely looking forward to her work with Bening in the much-anticipated Augusten Burroughs biopic this season. I will refrain from citing the balancing context, except to say it relates to the balancing context offered above for Ms. Blanchett.
Now, readers, go forth and watch every movie I've cited favorably and comment.