Oscar season is almost here and it is probably a safe bet to expect Best Actress nominations for Natalie Portman for Black Swan (a clear favorite) and Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right based on other award nominations. Foreign films are frequently overlooked for nominations in the big categories unless they are English speaking films, an unfortunate reality, but one stellar performance which should be considered belongs to Korean actress Kim Hye-Ja (Mother) who won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Actress Award.
Perhaps Kim Hye-Ja is a very long shot to score a Best Actress nomination, but hey, if Roberto Benigni can win an Oscar for his heartbreaking yet comedic performance in Life is Beautiful, we can secretly hope Kim Hye-Ja might pull a surprise nomination off the hotly competitive Oscar Best Actress race!
Kim Hye-Ja has already won the Best Actress award for her work in Mother at the Asian Film Awards, and Mother was nominated in the Best Foreign Picture category of this year’s Independent Spirit Awards and won the Best Foreign Picture award at the Boston Society of Film Critics. Mother was Korea’s official submission to last year’s Oscar foreign picture race, but wasn’t released in the US until 2010. Is that enough to secure Kim Hye-Ja a Best Actress nomination? Probably not, but we can hope.