Thursday, September 30, 2010
(Annette Bening - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Natalie Portman - BLACK SWAN, Nicole Kidman - RABBIT HOLE "I called it", Julianne Moore - THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, Jennifer Lawrence - WINTER'S BONE)
They should have kept Julianne Moore in supporting category. I heard it was her call. Big mistake - Oh well. She would have been the clear winner if she went supporting. Now she just took votes away from Annette and that could move up Natalie Portman up - way up. Reminds me of when Jodie Foster in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS moved over Susan Surandan and Geena Davis for THELMA & LOUISE. In the leading lady section she'll, Julianne Moore, be the first one to lose her spot to Michelle Williams - BLUE VALENTINE, Sally Hawkins - MADE IN DAGENHAM or Anne Hathaway - LOVE & OTHER DRUGS waiting to move in. Anne Hathaway is going to have to have a couple killer scenes to really be a contender. I don't see it yet, but the word is that's it's there. Sally Hawkins was overlooked for HAPPY-GO-LUCKY and I feel Michelle Williams was overlooked for WENDY & ME. Michelle Williams is by far the best young actress (in terms of her choices and standard ) of her generation with the most reliability and the Academy should recognize young talent like that, but often her films are to small and to meaningful - to smart. The Academy is getting dumber and lazier. Hello - LAST YEAR!!! This still is Annette Bening's year, but Natalie Portman is going to give to her solid tight race. People that love BLACK SWAN, love it big time, they're blogging like crazy. Not much change here. Jennifer Lawrence is getting more heat as is my pick of the year, returning love, Nicole Kidman.
(Colin Firth - THE KING'S SPEECH, James Franco - 127 HOURS, Jesse Eisenberg - THE SOCIAL NETWORK, Robert Duvall - GET LOW, Michael Douglas - SOLITARY MAN)
I think the locks in this race is Colin Firth, James Franco and Michael Douglas. No one is picking Michael Douglas to be nominated... which is idiotic to me. He's going to win if he's nominated. I'm sure by then he'll be talking with the aid of machine. These actors and teams will do whatever it takes. He's going to win the Golden Globe and then be nominated and then probably win. Even though Colin Firth probably should. If last year thought us anything about who gets the big prize, it doesn't matter who is most deserving. It's about pity, popularity and timing. The acting awards for the most part throughout Oscar history have usually gone to the best of the best - but NOT last year. Michael Douglas is a lock, the only thing that could throw a wrench into the system is that the Oscar Nominations are announced before the Globes are given out. But even with that small set back - I think he's a shoe-in. The other two spots are the open ones. It could go to Ryan Gosling for BLUE VALENTINE or Javier Bardem in BIUTIFUL. 'Biutiful' is getting some negative reviews which could hurt his chances. Robert Duvall pretty much has the fourth spot. He's old - he's crazy and southern and he always brings something interesting and new to each role, even if it feels we've seen him in this before. Even though people haven't seen that film. The poster, reviews, and trailer should do fine by him. Jeff Bridges in TRUE GRIT falls behind Javier and Ryan. He just won and it looks like he's doing some major furniture chewing. 'True Grit' feels a little thrown together too fast to me and like the directors really focused on Hailee's role in the picture - which is great - great for her. If they spent a few years developing it and Jeff Bridges did a Daniel Day Lewis preparation number with his role then I'd be more interested in seeing it. Switching the eye-patch to the other eye ain't enough for me to add him to the list of five. In the trailer I got a sense that it was all grouchy, gruff, wild hair, eye-patch and dust.
Geoffery Rush seems to be pushing everyone else outta the category. Good. He's brilliant and deserves every award for every role. So friggin talented. Bring back the 1970's actor, the uglier the better, God love him. Sam Rockwell looks like he has quite a juicy role in CONVICTION. Fans of MOON last year should be happy as should people thinking Mark Ruffalo is way over-due as well. Oscar nominations are often an "I'm sorry" to gifted actors that have been overlooked in the past. Here's a chance to do it a couple of times over. The two real new arrivals should come in the form of future SPIDERMAN Andrew Garfield and John Hawkes - who has been acting in the business for nearly 30 year. He has been getting some heavy duty re-energized heat this month as the Academy realizes that THE KING's SPEECH, 127 HOURS and THE SOCIAL NETWORK is about all we got. So now they're looking back at the films that have already been. THE WINTER'S BONE is the probably the Best Picture of the Year and all the actor's in it were fantastic. Expect John Hawkes to be the breakout new star at this seasons awards showcases - the 'Jackie Earle Haley' LITTLE CHILDREN "we knew it all the time" recognition. The actor that gives THE SOCIAL NETWORK it's emotional spine is Andrew Garfield. As good as Justin Timberlake is the Academy will reward the actor - rather than the superstar Timberlake. Justin could make the list if John Hawks fails to get an Indie Spirit nomination - but he will. Actors falling off the list: Bill Murray and Ed Harris will suffer from lack of anyone seeing their movies before nomination time - regardless of their history, ability and quality of their films. Vincent Cassel stumbled big time in the last month just cause all the women seem to be taking center-stage on BLACK SWAN. Timing and heat is everything and this month it's all about THE SOCIAL NETWORK and THE KING'S SPEECH. Christian Bale could possibly squeeze into make the list but he's going to have to do some 'quicktime overdrive Terminator ass kissing'. Only one convict per season and this season that slots been taken by Sam Rockwell.
Leslie Manville is being moved down to supporting - smartly so. She'll be a lock if she does. They should keep Julianne Moore here - to make it exciting. Based on the trailer alone, Hailee Steinfeld looks like she's wiping the floor of her male counterparts in TRUE GRIT. Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin all seem a tad overblown. She's in a leading role but cause of her age and being a newbie (Like Timophy Hutton in ORDINARY PEOPLE) I think they'll bring her down to supporting and give Helena and Leslie a good run. Jackie Weaver, once the Indie Spirit's are announced, should gained some traction as well as with the LA Film Critics who I heard are all pulling for her. Helena Bonhem Carter is the only sure lock here. Dianne Wiest is a personal favorite but RABBIT HOLE is getting some big love after Toronto. The girls from BLACK SWAN, Barbara Hershey and Mila Kunis (best chance of moving up) are waiting in the wings, as is Melissa Leo (best chance of moving up - looks fantastic in that Boston blond wig) and Amy Adams from THE FIGHTER. People hate David O'Russell with a passion still and that bad taste in everyone's mouth may wash over all his actors, (Poor Lily Tomlin). Everyone is picking Christian Bale to be nominated in sup. boys category but I don't think his popularity is too good either. I don't think SOMEWHERE's Elle Fanning will breakout either - even though everyone's picking her. The young girl on the scene is going to be Hailee.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
(top left * my pick of winner) This is Annette Bening's year. Long overdue. She was fantastic in MOTHER & CHILD as well. Academy always likes two performance strong years. This is a two performance year plus her rival Hilary's in a high brow picture and she deserves it for this topical, well made film THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. My last choice is Nicole Kidman for RABBIT HOLE over Michelle Williams. A great play with a stellar cast. This should be her return to the red carpet. Annette, Natalie, Leslie, and Jennifer are all locks. The last spot looks like it's Nicole Kidman. Natalie Portman could be the emotional upset win here. This category reminds me a lot of the Sean Penn / Mickey Rourke battle...instead of gay activist it's a lesbian mom. Bet the house of Annette. ** Longshot: can't help but hope that MORNING GLORY is as good as it's trailer and Rachel McAdams gets some Goldie Hawn / Melanie Griffith comedy female attention.
James Franco could take over this category if the buzz keeps up. But my vibe on 127 HOURS is that it's the film-making more than the central performance. These are the top five guys. Hardly anyone else is putting Michael Douglas in their number one spot. But he's fantastic in SOLITARY MAN just as he was in WONDER BOYS (2000), which he wasn't nominated for (should have won that year), plus he has cancer... plus he's in two big profile films this year. If they handle it right, he'll be a lock. He's a beloved actor and whether it's the best male performance of the year. It really doesn't matter. Like I said, he has cancer. Robert Duvall is losing traction just cause no one has seen the film GET LOW, (illness trumps old guy). Colin Firth is a shoe-in for THE KING'S SPEECH and Ryan Gosling has to do some solid PR or else he's going to be officially branded as "too aloof & nutty" and possibly be number six...again. Gosling and Duvall are falling. Franco most likely to take Gosling, Bardem or Duvall's spot, Leo is splitting his own vote, Johnny Depp could be a repeat performance and Mark Walhberg still desperately needs a voice class.** Longshot: Jesse Eisenberg in THE SOCIAL NETWORK. His performances are always the same, but it's good same.
Ed Harris has been a bridesmaid many times. This could be the year to award the OSCAR to this incredible veteran actor. Even if the THE WAY BACK is too dark, he's work should be enough, as it usually is, to bring home the award. The release date for THE WAY BACK is set for January 21st 2011 with no qualifying OSCAR run as of yet, but I think that'll change. Mark Ruffalo is in the solid number two spot. Wouldn't it be nice to see Mark, Annette and Julianne ALL walking away with some golden love. All these men are established actors in terms of the quality of their choices over the years. Mark Ruffalo (Should have been nominated at least twice by now) and Vincent Cassel (at least once) are new to the Academy but they have been worthy of the lil-gold-man before. Bill Murray is losing some ground to THE SOCIAL NETWORK's new arrival Andrew Garfield or THE FIGHTER's Christian Bale (He's still recovering the bad PR love for that 'Terminator' rant). If they push Sam Rockwell hard as supporting in CONVICTION he might make the list. And Geoffrey Rush, I mean come one, always genius. He could walk around in front of the camera bare ass and pick his butt and it would get him a nomination (Oh yeah, he's done that). Next month I'll know for sure. But this seems like these are the supporting boyz thus far - a pretty strong list. ** Longshot: Harrison Ford in MORNING GLORY - see, I want it to be good. Loved him in WORKING GIRL.
If they do push Julianne Moore into supporting like I think they will - this is hers all the way. Long overdue and gives new meaning to being relaxed on film. She's incredible in THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT. Other than her this is the list that could change the most. Lots of ladies out there. This is usually the category that is most susceptible to heavy studio campaigning. So smaller films like ANIMAL KINGDOM usually fall far behind. But I think Jackie Weaver's performance, her buzz and future critic awards should secure her a spot. The Academy likes to validate itself and I think they will be able to this year with veterans Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest. Veteran actress Ruth Sheen certainly deserves a slot for being the most realistic looking person in films - she's number six behind Helena Bonhem Carter in The King's Speech - which I believe will capture the most nominations of any other film this year, Helena always delivers strong performances. Winona and Juliette may suffer from having too small of roles. Like I said - this is a crowded house. My big money is on Julianne Moore. It feels right. Wrong category maybe but right. ** Longshot: Diane Keaton