Can seven-time nominee Glenn Close clinch her first-ever Oscar?

LOS ANGELES – Glenn Close could be closing in on her first-ever Oscar win at the ceremony on Feb 25 (Singapore time), to add to her Best Actress trophy at the Independent Spirit Awards.

The accolade came on Saturday (Feb 23), with the 71-year-old, who has been nominated for an Oscar seven times in all, triumphant for her role in The Wife, a portrayal which is also up for a Best Actress Oscar.

While trade publication Variety’s chief film critic Peter Debruge noted that The Wife’s role “is not her strongest… it is an opportunity for her to really own a small film, to carry it on her shoulders, and to remind the industry that here is one of our real treasures as an actress”.

The Spirit Awards are the annual honours given to Hollywood’s low-budget movies made for under US$20 million (S$27 million).

Close, who turned up with her dog at Saturday’s ceremony, wowed with her portrayal of a submissive spouse who finally finds her voice in The Wife.

Other Oscar contenders also received a booster shot from Saturday’s results. Racial injustice movie If Beale Street Could Talk took Best Supporting Actress for Regina King.

Her performance as a mother seeking justice for her son-in-law is seen as a strong contender in the equivalent Oscar category.

Mexican family drama Roma, seen as a strong contender for Best Picture at the Oscars, won the Spirit award for Best International Film.

On Saturday, Richard E. Grant was named Best Supporting Actor for his role in literary drama Can You Ever Forgive Me?, boosting his profile for the Oscars where he is also nominated.

But there was mixed news for Melissa McCarthy.

The Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies – given out annually on the eve of the Oscars to “celebrate” the worst in cinema – gave the thumbs down to the actress for her roles in both The Happytime Murders and Life Of The Party.

But the Razzies also granted McCarthy a Redeemer Award for her Oscar-nominated and widely praised performance as a curmudgeonly forger in Can You Ever Forgive Me?.

Critic Joe Morgenstern said she played the part “with unerring wit and ferocious verve”.

But other pundits do not expect McCarthy to close the gap to sentimental favourite Close and pip the veteran to the finish line

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