So, there’s this very weird tale circulating of Melissa Leo bankrolling her own promotional ads in advance of the Oscars, presumably to sway voters into giving her the statuette. Lainey Gossip correctly notes that this is a very bizarre thing to do when you have won every single lead-up award and are the heavy favorite for Oscar; it’s not like she is jumping up and down in the back of the class, desperate for her hand to be seen because she has the answer to the question. When Deadline Hollywood Daily reported it, the site included quotes from Leo about how the ad is really just purely promoting Melissa Leo, The Actress, claiming she can’t land a magazine cover because this town is ageist (which she calls “the great dilemma and mystery of getting a cover of a magazine”). So either she did it as an Oscar campaign she may not need, or suddenly Melissa Leo is randomly and inexplicably all about being a cover girl (as opposed to a CoverGirl, although maybe that’s on the agenda too), which, considering she didn’t even wear decent makeup on the red carpet as recently as The Fighter’s December premiere, is really out of whack with my perception of her.
Regardless, if she is going to go to all that trouble to say whatever the hell it is that she’s trying to say, here is my question:
Shouldn’t she have considered using a better photo? Melissa Leo is a good-looking woman, but in this photo she looks more like a melange of peculiarities than a cohesive whole. I mean, for one thing, she seems to have Shannen Doherty Face. Not that there’s anything wrong with Brenda Walsh’s looks — I love her — but the famous, pronounced asymmetry of her features is not really something I’ve ever associated with Melissa here. She looks neither like the pre-makeup earthy Melissa, nor the revitalized hottie from the Globes red carpet. This in-between nether world is just Painted Actress of A Certain Age, One Of Whose Eyes Might Be Sliding Down Her Face, Is Going To Jump Out Of This Magazine And Peck You To Death If You Don’t Consider Her. And does she really need to try this hard? She’s about to be an Oscar-winner. She works a ton. I’m assuming even if she loses the Oscar, winning everything else is going to get her some work. But now someone might look at this and think, “Oh, that’s the CONSIDER lady. I think maybe I’ll CONSIDER calling someone else.” I hope not, for her sake, but … seriously, Melissa, have someone else pick the photo next time.