Today I awoke, even more than usual, with a bee in my fancy bonnet. After getting an early look at True Grit, I was already set to sit down and sing Hallelujahs to young Hailee Steinfeld for nailing the part of my favorite literary kid-hero Mattie Ross. But now that I see the Golden Globe nominations are out and she -- along with the rest of the movie -- got screwed. Easily the year's biggest outrage. Way more than shady tax dealings and TSA junk-touchings.
My excitement and fretting about the movie and Steinfeld in particular had me worried because I so loved the book. But Steinfeld, in her very first movie, was perfect. Not even so much spectacular as just right. There's no wailing about her dead daddy. She barely sheds a tear in the whole movie. Maybe that's why she got snubbed. We like our little girls to cry, but this one just wants justice.
Her most dramatic lines are things like "I will see the deed done" and her favorite, which she constantly pulls out to threaten grown men with increasing deadpan comedy, "I have a very good lawyer."
And while she's tough as nails and even lets some bullets fly, there is no two-fisted, slow-motion martial-arts style silliness either. The girl is an utterly believable 14-year-old. She doesn't shed many tears herself she got plenty out of me. (Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon were both great too.)
I was especially annoyed with the Hollywood Foreign Press (the mysterious givers of Golden Globes who somehow saw fit to give Johnny Depp noms for both Alice in Wonderland and the freaking Tourist) when I learned that Paramount had promoted Steinfeld for Best Supporting Actress, which makes a nomination easier.
Yeah, it's ridiculous to call her a "supporting" actress when she is indisputably the main character and is quite literally in every single scene, but suggesting that voters nominate them for supporting awards is an old Hollywood trick studios use to get nominations and votes for kids. It worked for another Haley -- Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense -- who got a supporting actor Oscar nomination for playing what was totally the seeing-dead-people lead in that movie (he cried a lot more than Hailee the girl). And it really worked for Tatum O'Neal, playing opposite her father in the great Paper Moon, always one of my favorites but in my Top 5 since I became a single dad with a smarter daughter, just like Tatum and Ryan in the movie. Actually Steinfeld's Mattie Ross is the perfect companion for O'Neal's Addie Pray. The two performances would be great watched back to back. Though given how messed up little Tatum's life was after that movie, maybe Hailee should be happy she's not getting the full Hollywood treatment.
It is, of course possible that Steinfeld could still get an Oscar nomination. It's unlikely but not unheard-of after a Golden Globe dis.
Or maybe she could get that even greater teen prize, a series on Disney or Nickelodeon. When she takes out the 1880s braids she looks like quite the next iCarly. I'm not sure if she can sing, but that's not really necessary anymore, what with autotune and all. I'm sure she'll be fine.
What do you think? Did this young actress get robbed?
Image via Paramount