Monday, February 18, 2008


I was going through my notes for the UMA Awards (which I'll get around to eventually, once I've seen the films I wanna see) and was contemplating something: Should Keira Knightley be a supporting actress for Atonement? I have her name listed under lead and supporting. She would probably make the top five of supporting, but lead would be a no-hoper. I really did love her in it - her line reading of "come back to me" haunts me - and I just don't know. She was placed as lead for actual awards (like the Oscars, Globes, etc) for a reason (competition), but... hmmm...

Also, it turns out Persepolis has been pushed back - for a reason I can't quite fathom - from February to July so buh-bye. That's a shame.


J.D. said...

I have her as lead, if only because of habit, FYCs, and the fact it's so ambiguous. For me (either way) she's like way down the list.

Neither is really right, but neither is really wrong. [shrugs] Glad to be of help. :P

DL said...

That's so weird that I've never actually thought of this before, probably just because she's top-billed and all. But come to think of it, Cecilia is by no means the main character (that would be Briony -- even though she's played by three separate actresses, none of whom have enough screentime to be properly called lead). And James McAvoy, having as much screentime as he does, is definitely lead.

Hmmm... well, I guess I would still keep Keira in Lead as well. But I think I would stick with Nathaniel's reasoning behind Supporting or Lead (I think it was Nathaniel...) Anyway, I guess you just have to ask yourself, when the actor got the part and phoned their mom, would they have said "omg! I got a lead role in ____" or "omg! I got a great supporting role in _____". I think Keira would've gone with the former, so gah. I guess that's where I'd put her.

And that may have been the longest comment I've ever written.

adam k. said...

It's a leading role.

In my book, when you've got a straight-up epic romance, the two romantic leads are the two lead roles. If James is a lead, then she is, too. Sometimes one of the leads is just more passive, because the story demands it. But the story is no more about James than it is about her. It's about the two of them together.

If Briony had been only one actress, she would've been a lead as well, and would've overshadowed Keira... in that case, James and Keira could both be considering to be supporting Briony. But as it is, the two of them are the leads in the love story, which is the heart of the story in Briony's mind.

Like Kristin Scott Thomas in English Patient, when she's onscreen, Keira feels like the lead actress. It doesn't matter that she's not onscreen the whole time. It's about the love between two people and she's one of them.

I think the lead categorization this season was a wise one, since it got Keira a Globe nom and Saorsie an oscar nom, which is all that could be expected, given the reception. If Atonement had been received like The English Patient, both leads may well have been nommed.

Now THAT is a long comment for ya.

Joel said...

Yeah i think Briony is the lead character, but since she's played by 3 actresses it makes it tough.
I guess because Keira plays the character all the way through she gets classed as a lead?

Anonymous said...


If Reese Witherspoon was lead in Walk the Line then I don't see why Keira isn't lead here.

On the other hand - if Rachel Weisz was supporting in The Constant Gardener then perhaps Keira is probably supporting as well.

The problem is that putting on of two distinct labels on every single part just doesn't reflect reality very well.
Given the large number of parts in Atonement which could only be placed in the supporting category it sort of makes sense for them to put the one which could go either way in lead. And given the results (Globe and BAFTA nods for Keira - Globe, Oscar and BAFTA for Saoirse) I don't think they'll have any regrets.

Anonymous said...

First, I hate Keira Knightley in Atonement (Pathetic and mediocre performance).

Anyway, I think Keira Knightley could be in lead actress for cuestion of FYC-LIke Nicole Kidman (She's only onscreen 30 minutes, five less than Moore, ten less than Streep) or Reese Witherspoon (Appareance twenty minutes later than Joaquin Phoenix).

Or the cases of Jake Gyllenhaal and Cate Blachett. they're obviously co-star of Heath Ledger and Judi Dench and the screentime between them is almost the same, but at least, Ledger and Dench go to Lead and Gyllenhaal and Blanchett go to Supporting.

In the case of anthony hopkins, Meryl Streep and Rachel Weisz their caracthers has small time on screen but at the same time their caracthers redefine the curse of the story. Or The Last King of Scotland, where James McAvoy is the lead and Whitaker is supporting