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Meet Virginia

By Scott Smith in Arts & Entertainment on Dec 13, 2004 6:12PM

Until yesterday, this year’s Oscar buzz resembled nothing more than a low, indistinguishable hum; the conventional wisdom was that no film--and few actors--had emerged as front-runners. But as Chicago starts to feel its first few bites of winter, one of its own is getting some long-overdue recognition.

Virginia Madsen has Wait, I've lost count.  How many times did you say Candyman?  Three?  Four?been a “Hey It’s That Guy!” since Chicagoist first snuck downstairs to watch pay cable without our parents finding out. Our schoolyard crush on her began in the early 80s (Electric Dreams, Class), survived a rocky period where we spent some time apart (Hot To Trot, Mr. North), and grew into a relationship based on mutual respect (The Hot Spot and the Cabrini Green horror flick Candyman). But eventually we grew apart as she focused on television work until we ran into each other again last fall in the movie Sideways.

Now it seems the rest of the world understands what we’ve seen in her all these years as she’s picked up an early win in the best supporting actress category from New York Film Critics Online. She’s also nabbed supporting actress nominations from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Golden Globe-awarding bastion of journalistic integrity known as The Hollywood Foreign Press Whor…er, Association. While these awards are great news for Madsen, they’re even better news for Andie McDowell as it proves that even if you have a love scene with Christopher Lambert, critical acclaim may once again come knocking at your door.

We’d also be remiss if we didn’t mention another fine Chicago actor who picked up a Golden Globe nomination this morning: Jeremy Piven for his work on Showtime’s Entourage. Chicagoist is waging its own campaign for a Piven win by trying to make “Let’s hug it out, bitch” the next big catchphrase.