In 1999's award-winning film, American Beauty, real estate agent Carolyn Burnham repeatedly slaps herself hard in the face after failing to sell a house. It was one of the most intense scenes in a movie filled with memorable moments. Annette Bening was the first choice to play Carolyn Burnham. According to Sam Mendes, the film's director, Ms. Bening filmed that scene in one take. She received multiple acting awards for the role, but lost the Best Actress Oscar that year to Hilary Swank.
In 2004, Bening was again a Best Actress nominee for her role in Being Julia. She played a stage diva bent on revenge in the film. It was another strong performance, earning her a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. She was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for the role, losing again to Hilary Swank.
Now Annette Bening is once again nominated for Best Actress. She's turned in another stellar performance, as a lesbian mother who has to deal with her partner's infidelity in The Kids Are All Right. The good news: Hilary Swank isn't nominated this year for a Best Actress Oscar. The bad news: Natalie Portman is for her performance as a troubled ballet dancer in Black Swan.
Last month Ms. Bening again won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. While accepting the award, she thanked the most promising newcomer of 1962, Warren Beatty, who is also her husband. Perhaps the woman who got one of Hollywood's most notorious playboys to walk down the aisle doesn't need to be an Oscar bride, but few actors have ever been more deserving.
With the talent and urgency she brings to a variety of roles, Annette Bening will likely strike Oscar gold one year. Will it be this year? Or will she remain seated once again while another woman walks down the aisle?