a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

The Oscar Race of 2012, which began this year very heavily in Cannes, (see Sasha Stone’s excellent coverage at Awardsdaily) is all Woody, Woody, and more Woody with Harry Potter now giving the Woodsman a run for his money.

“Midnight in Paris” is now way past the $42 million mark making it the most successful Woody Allen film of all time. And Sony Pictures Classics is determined to run this pony all the way through the summer. Let’s face it. It’s a GREAT summer movie.  And by the end of August and then labor day, too, thrown in it could even surpass Sony’s highest ever grosser “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”. NEVER understood the wide appeal of that film. Fan boys, I guess.

But fan boys are NOT powering the tremendous success of “Midnight in Paris.” I’ve seen it SIX TIMES! And can’t wait to see it again! Especially with these 100 plus temperatures blanketing New York, making it dangerous to go anywhere, except to the movies!

And then “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 2” opened and blew everything up in the air. Or did it? Is the Academy going to reward a kid movie? Even if the kids who watched it are young adults now. Are the Academy Members? Who are more apt to be their grandparents or great grandparents, lets face it.

I think it will get nominated all over the place, especially the technicals, as the British call it, but acting nods? Wellll….

If there are any acting nominations in “HPATDHP2”  it’s Ralph Fiennes’ Voldemort. Fiennes has been nominated for an Oscar at least twice previously in Supporting for “Schindler’s List” and in lead, I think, for “The English Patient.” He’s overdue, and he’s never won. His work is consistantly excellent throughout the years and many, many different roles in a wide variety of films. So the Academy knows him and loves him, obviously, and he’s a helluva nice guy. You never hear any bad stories about Ralph.

But yapping at his heels is the super-slimy Snapes of Alan Rickman, who has been in many, if not all of the seven (or is it eight?) Potter movies playing the same character. He’s never been nominated. He’s hard to like, on many levels, and is not the GIGANTIC film star that Ralph Fiennes is…

But Rickman’s reviews have been very, very strong. Equal to Fiennes’ to my great shock. And I, Oscar prognosticator that I am, would say that indicates to me, BOTH will get nominated, and cancel each other out.

And NOBODY’S going to be Christopher Plummer in “Beginners.” Fiennes and Rickman are both approx. the same age, in their 50s, but that doesn’t trump Plummer’s 80 PLUS in the Academy’s eyes, and both are playing unsympathetic characters, to put it mildly.

Sony’s got an Oscar campaign planned for “Midnight in Paris” in all the major categories, Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay(where it will probably most likely win) And yes, even Best Actor for Owen Wilson. And it’s got three possible Best Supporting Actresses in Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams and Cathy Bates and one in Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway.

I don’t really see “Tree of Life” really figuring in this. But they’ve nominated Terence Malick before for many, many things he didn’t deserve, so…

But to me it’s a Harry vs. Woody smack down all the way. At least this summer it is.

The Toronto Film Festival as it always does will change all this. Or not.

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