Oscar watch for Melissa Leo & Kristen Stewart

Welcome to the Rileys features three really great performances, so says the buzz coming out of Sundance. Kristen Stewart is supposed to be particularly good as the 16 year-old stripper.

This MTV review says Stewart is “utterly fearless in “Welcome to the Rileys.” That’s the takeaway from the film’s world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday afternoon. You can quibble all you want with her portrayal of a 16-year-old runaway turned stripper and prostitute. But you cannot walk away from a viewing and say the actress doesn’t fearlessly expose herself physically and emotionally, and doesn’t do so with astonishing maturity and believability.”

And Melissa Leo is, “nothing short of spectacular. With one expression—a shifting of the eyes, a downturn of the lips—the actress can communicate exactly what Lois is feeling, and what’s more, she can make the audience empathize with her. Leo’s lines are alternately funny and heartbreaking, and you root for her as such overcomes incapacitating anxiety to join Doug in New Orleans and find in Allison the daughter they once lost. It becomes clear they’re all damaged, and they all need each other.”

Best Actress is a tight category already this year — which is great, since usually it’s not. Will Leo be lead? If Stewart is supporting it seems all but certain she will be nominated for this.

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