a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Archive for December, 2014

Sasha Stone & Jeff Wells Champion Marion Cotillard’s Oscar Chances!

Marion 2Sasha Stone, the beyond brilliant chronicler of all things Oscar, has written ANOTHER one of her most impassioned pieces at http://www.awardsdaily.com called “Are the Oscar Pundits Dropping the Ball on Marion Cotillard?” And of course, yes, they are! But this pundit is not! Dear Readers, Dear Cineastes…The Immigrant 1

Jeff Wells is all het up about it, too, at http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com Jeff writes on and on about Marion’s plight in the positioning her, or the lack of it for two great performances this year, “The Immigrant” and “Two Days, One Night” and right now as Jeff points out “She is HAPPENING!” which is something wonderful to hear about this year’s Oscar race for Best Actress.

I mean, face it. There’s really been almost no heat happening at all. Until now. It’s all just been Julianne Moore’s to lose. And now I love Julianne Moore. Everyone in Hollywood AND Elsewhere does. And she’s never won an Oscar and this year it seemed finally to be HER MOMENT. Until Marion Cotillard started winning like FOUR Best Actress Awards across the country in the past week, and Julianne, well, she came in second to Patricia Arquette in the L.A. Film Critics Best Actress race.

Jeff Wells has started hilariously calling them, the LA Film Critics, “The Lunch-breakers” and he’s going  to make that name stick.

Of course, of course, “Deux Jours, Une Nuit” is a Belgian film in French. But it’s SUPERB! It’s going to be high up on my Year’s Ten Best List that I’m now working on.

Madame Marion already has an Oscar already, for “La Vie En Rose.” But it’s been seven years since that wonderful, historic event happened. No actress had ever WON an Oscar for acting in French. Could she do it again this year for “Deux Jour…”? I know it sound impossible, but if people like Sasha Stone and Jeff Wells keep writing about her chances so excitingly, maybe she will.

Oscar Overkill Starting Already? “Boyhood” Wins Everything! Is the Race Already Over?

“Boyhood” just won the L.A. Film Critics award for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Editing. And Patricia Arquette won for Best ACTRESS, not Supporting Actress, where she was place by the New York Film critics and also where she is being campaigned by IFC, the distributor.

So in essence “Boyhood” really swept the board today. It won all four awards groups that announced today, INCLUDING the British Independent Film Awards as Best International Film.With so many awards already in its’ hot, little hands, is this too much, too soon for this small(but LONNNNG) indie? Oscar doesn’t like being told what to do.

Interestingly this is the only Best Actress award  the superb Marion Cotillard did NOT win in this, her greatest Awards’ Week since “La Vie En Rose.” With a small distributor that has not had to have to run an Oscar campaign before “Two Days, One Night” is still an upward climb. But all these awards EN MASSE can’t really be ignored one way or the other.

Two More Best Actress Awards for Marion Cotillard today! Eddie Redmayne wins Best Actor!

Marion 2The Immigrant 1The Boston Society of Film Critics has now named Marion Cotillard Best Actress today for the two films that won her the award from the New York Film Critics this past Monday, “Two Days, One Night” and “The Immigrant”. The New York Online Film Critics has now voted today, too and named Marion Best Actress as well for “Two Days, One Night”. That is now FOUR Best Actress Awards for La Belle Marion in less than a week! Is the Academy paying attention to this???

And the New York Online Film Critics also named Eddie Redmayne Best Actor for “The Theory of Everything”!

The LA Film Critics named J.K. Simmons Best Supporting Actor for “Whiplash” . Then they adjouned for lunch!

Sending Jeff Wells at http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com into an apoplectic fit!

More soon obviously.

Marion’s Awards Week just keeps getting better and better!

The Great Timothy Spall on “Mr. Turner” & “Pierrepont”

The great British actor Timothy Spall, who just won Best Actor from the New York Film Critics on Monday, talks to me via satellite an hour before he won! What a thrill!

Marion Cotillard Wins ANOTHER Best Actress Award, This time from Boston Online Film Critics! Two in One Week! Tilda wins, too!

Two Days 2Snowpiercer 1 The beauteous Marion Cotillard is having one hell of a lovely awards week! She won the NY Film Critics on Monday for Best Actress for her two films this year “The Immigrant” and the Belgian film “Two Days, One Night” and today, Saturday, she was also named Best Actress by the Boston Online Film Critics for “Deux Jours, Une Nuit”(The French title).

The Boston Online Film Critics really went rogue and won my heart in a big way by naming not only my darling Tilda Swinton Best Supporting Actress for the also underseen “Snowpiercer.” but they also named “Snowpiercer” Best Picture!

And to top it all off they named Brendan Gleeson Best Actor for “Calvary”! A Trifecta of Perfect Awards for Outstanding Performances that are in danger of being overlooked.

But not anymore, I hope. And tomorrow brings ANOTHER Awards avalanche with the L.A. Film Critics announcing! Could these three also turn up there? Could be!

I hope allll these deserving films and performances get re-distributed and re-seen now that we are at the height of awards season!

2 Time Tony Winner Katie Finneran to join “It’s Only a Play”!

It's Only a Play 2

“I T ’ S  O N L Y  A   P L A Y”



K A T I E   F I N N E R A N



M A U L I K   P A N C H O L Y




New York, NY (December 3, 2014) – Producers Tom Kirdahy, Roy Furman, and Ken Davenport announced today that Broadway’s record-breaking, star-studded smash hit comedy It’s Only a Play by 4-time Tony® Award winnerTerrence McNally, will welcome two new stars. Beginning January 7, 2015, two-time Tony® Award winner Katie Finneran and Screen Actors Guild® Award-winning “30 Rock” alum Maulik Pancholy—in his Broadway debut—will assume the roles of ‘Julia Budder’ and ‘Frank Finger’, respectively.

The new cast members join the previously announced Martin Short, who also begins performances on January 7th in the role of ‘James Wicker’.  Original stars F. Murray Abraham, Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing and Micah Stock will remain with the production. Recently extended through March 29th, It’s Only a Play will play at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (where it has shattered house records) through January 18, 2015 before transferring to its sibling Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (242 West 45th Street) starting January 23, 2015.


The biggest hit of the new season, It’s Only A Play, is now in performances and celebrated its opening night onThursday, October 9, 2014. Academy Award® winner F. Murray Abraham, Tony® Award winner Matthew Broderick, Emmy® and Tony® Award winner Stockard Channing, international film sensation Rupert Grint, Tony®Award winner Nathan Lane, Emmy® Award winner Megan Mullally, and newcomer Micah Stock currently star in It’s Only a Play. 3-time Tony® Award winner Jack O’Brien directs.   For more information, please visitwww.ItsOnlyAPlay.com.

In It’s Only A Play, it’s opening night of Peter Austin’s (Matthew Broderick) new play as he anxiously awaits to see if his show is a hit. With his career on the line, he shares his big First Night with his best friend, a television star (Nathan Lane), his fledgling producer (Megan Mullally), his erratic leading lady (Stockard Channing), his wunderkind director (Rupert Grint), an infamous drama critic (F. Murray Abraham), and a fresh-off-the-bus coat check attendant (Micah Stock) on his first night in Manhattan. It’s alternately raucous, ridiculous and tender — and proves that sometimes the biggest laughs happen offstage.


Mr. McNally—a four-time Tony® Award winning playwright—recently celebrated the premiere of his 20th Broadway production, Mothers and Sons, which marks his 50th year on Broadway.  Mothers and Sons, which was nominated for Best Play at the 2014 Tony® Awards, ended its celebrated Broadway run June 22, 2014 at the Golden Theatre and will be seen in more than twenty countries next year.

N’tional B’d of Review Announces. Who does it help? Jessica Chastain, that’s who!

Most Violent Year 1The National Board of Review announced its’ award-winners today, and they had some shocking results. Namely that “A Most Violent Year” was named Best Picture. and Oscar Isaac was named Best Actor (in a tie with Michael Keaton for “Birdman”) and “AMVY” also won Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain.

Julianne Moore won again(as she did last night at the Gothams) Best Actress for “Still Alice,” and that makes both actress winners red-heads, which delights me, being a ginger myself.

You can read the entire list below, but it does make you gasp. They really are an all-over-the-place kind of honor. And a lot is also based on making sure they have every distributor on the planet, or the Oscar Planet as Sasha Stone so aptly puts it, represented somehow so THEY CAN SELL THEM A TABLE at their shindig in early Jan.

The only place that these wacky awards really matter this year in terms of influence, I think, is in the very weak field, Best Supporting Actress for  Jessica Chastain, who also has “Interstellar” in the mix, but oddly, the NBR didn’t mention that film ANYWHERE. Not even including it in Chastain’s work for this year.

I do think this does send her to H’wood AGAIN this year for her third nomination, where she will undoubtedly lose to Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood.” But a nomination I think now is in the bag for the always- worthy JC.

I can’t say the same for Oscar Isaac, whom I greatly admire. He really got suckered last year with the lack of response to his great work in “Inside Llewyn Davis.” And with the Oscar gridlock in the Best Actor category looking like rush-hour on a LA free-way. I hope he can break in. But I doubt it.

But it’s interesting that the one main category that is more than slightly fluid is Best Actor! Michael Keaton you’re on shaky ground! Where on Monday, Timothy Spall won the New York Film Critics for “Mr. Turner,” and then last night, only yesterday, Keaton did win Best Actor at the Gothams for “Birdman.” And now, today, Tuesday, he has to share it with young Oscar Isaac, which can’t make the Birdman happy.

Happy today would be former Juilliard class-mates Chastain and Isaac. It’s like a dream come true for them, I’m so sure.

See the complete list of the NBR annual mess at AwardsDaily.com, Sasha’s great Oscar site.




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