a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘12 Years a Slave’

Eddie Redmayne sends ANOTHER note, this time on his Golden Globe Nomination!

Theory 3Eddie Redmayne has had two very happy days in a row! First his SAG(Screen Actors Guild) nomination yesterday for Best Actor in “The Theory of Everything.” And today, ANOTHER Best Actor nod from the Golden Globes for Best Actor in a Drama. The announcements were made early in the AM Pacific Time, waking the nominees up with the good news, but Eddie was in London, where it was the middle of the day, and he was Christmas shopping! He says, dear readers, dear cineastes, and I quote,

“I was in the middle of attempting to do all my holiday shopping in a day when I got the call.  I am beyond thrilled to be nominated alongside such a stunning quartet of actors.  The fact that Felicity, Jóhann, and the film are nominated means the world.  I am hugely grateful to the HFPA – and to Professor Stephen Hawking for his personal support in helping me to share his story with the world.”

Johann is the composer of the beautiful score. And Felicity of course, is his co-star who plays his brave wife Jane Hawking, on whose book the film is based. Who also happily got a double nomination from both SAG and the Golden Globes and well as the film being cited by both organizations.

“Selma” Garners More Raves at AFI Fest

Selma 2

Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood at http://www.indiewire.com
and Gregory Ellwood at http://www.hitfix.com
have added to the chorus of raves for the just screened “Selma” at the AFI fest in Hollywood.

That must have really been an incredibly exciting screening to have been at last night! It ended with a standing ovation, and has propelled “Selma” in the fray of the Best Picture race. And star David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King himself into that much contended about fifth slot in the too-crowded Best Actor race.

The other male stars who are already seriously “locked” are Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”, Benedict Cumberbatch for “Imitation Game”, Michael Keaton for “Birdman” and supposedly Steve Carrel for “Foxcatcher”. But HOLT ON for a moment! I really am getting Tom Hanks in “Captain Phillips” vibes from Carrell’s supposedly certain position. Remember last year when the beloved Hanks in an acclaimed performance came up short? And didn’t even get nominated? And debut actor Barkhad Abdi did? Could happen again.

But it sure looks like Oyelowo is going to crash the gate at the last-minute! GOOD! FINALLY a person of color is seriously contending after last year’s “12 Years a Slave” supposedly blew off the Oscar doors. But the question is if “Selma” is nominated and it certainly looks like it will be, will the conservative Academy want to give TWO pictures about racism the Best Picture award TWO years in a row?


Oscar Afterwards’ ~ Sasha Stone & Jeff Wells Look Forward

Oscar Afterwards' ~ Sasha Stone & Jeff Wells Look Forward

It takes up something like six months of the year. From September when Toronto unfurls the usual winner, and they were right. “12 Years a Slave” was winning the minute it opened and it won the Audience Award there. Til March(this year) when the Awards are given out.

Then it’s time for the Oscar Afterwards period as I’m now calling it. The blah period when everything returns so much to normal, which usually means tons and tons of dreadful movies, that I return to Broadway with a vengeance and a thank god for the theatre.

People ask why I continue to ignore the Tribecca Film Festival, which is right next door, as it were, but I’m a proud Voting Member of the Drama Desk, and so for three months of the year, which is NOW, I turn to the stage.

Others, however, this year are looking ahead, WAAAAY far ahead to the Oscar race 2015. And Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone http://www.awardsdaily.com and Jeff Wells http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com do this very entertainingly as always in a new Oscar podcast I just stumbled upon at Hollywood-Elsewhere.

I’ll summarize. I was surprised to see this as Sasha is usually averse to this sort of thing soooo far in advance. She says and I agree it’s bogus and full of possiblities that turn into pot-holes.And then there’s “How’s the Academy going to react?” She points out that “Who could’ve predicted they would totally turn their back on a great film like “Inside Llewyn Davis?” But Jeff ALWAYS has his Oscar Balloon up all the year long.

But everybody seems to be doing this this year and I can tell you why. Especially if you’re on the Internet as I am and they are, if you don’t talk about the Oscars, your hits drop. The Oscars as opposed to just plain movie-going enjoyment.

I can’t tell you the disparity between the hits I got on Oscar day and for a week or so after. And now…well, as I said, everything’s back to normal.

Spring is coming. And so Jeff’s thoughts, particularly, turn to “What’s Next?” From their whole conversation, which veers off their picks A LOT and onto other(interesting) talking points, the one film that jumped out at me was “Gone Girl.” This is the new David Fincher film based on the best-selling book, which Sasha particularly got excited about.

She certainly intrigued me. Starring in the title role is the beauteous Brit Rosamund Pike. Who I’ve had a guest on my show a couple of years back, and who impressed me as someone who was much more than people took her for when I interviewed her.

And I thought “Why doesn’t someone give this lovely, beautiful woman a role she can really shine in?” And it seems that David Fincher may be just the one to do just that.

Look what he did with Rooney Mara in “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” People criticized him for casting an unknown more or less in the iconic role of Lisbeth Salander, and she ended with an Oscar nomination, though the film was not nominated for Best Picture…

“Gone Girl” may suffer the same fate. I don’t want to give anything away. I really do hate the way Jeff spoils things for people. But Sasha made this film sound so tantalizing, I’ll just say I’m glad I haven’t read the book, because I want to be surprised.

It seems it’s a thriller, and Fincher always does well, very well with that. One of my favorite films of his was “Zodiac” in which Jake Gyllenhaal gave ANOTHER under-rated, but great performance. And no, “Zodiac” wasn’t nominated for an Oscar either.

The Academy gave “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” an Oscar for Film Editing. It was a surprise. It’s like they wanted to give it SOMEthing.

Jeff was initially just dismissing “Gone Girl” saying “There won’t be much underneath it”, and Sasha just jumped all over him, and said “What? Wait a minute! It’s David Fincher!”

I really did like Rosamund Pike when I met her for “Barney’s Version” and could Fincher be the man to tap her untaped potential? Is there an Oscar Nomination in the beautiful Rosamund’s future?

As far as what’s coming up…it looks like another barren tent-pole summer of blockbusters. Not looking forward to that.

When Broadway is offering Bryan Cranston as LBJ in “All the Way” next week and also “Rocky: the Musical” directed by the extremely innovative Alex Timbers, well, I’m happy to be going to them both.

At this time of year as I’m waiting for Broadway to start, I am always glad I made the decision to keep going back to the theater.


One of Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o’s “Wilsons” William DeMerrit

Lupita with Oscar

In her history making Oscar acceptance speech when she won Best Supporting Actress for “12 Years a Slave” last night, Lupita Nyong’o thanked “the Wilsons” her “adopted family” which is the nick name the Yale School of Drama Class of 2012 called themselves, and here’s my interview with one of them, William DeMerritt. Shot last May 2013 at the Drama Desk Reception, William talks about his class.

And let me tell you, they are all just as talented as Lupita! And I’ll mention a few of them by name, Michael Place, Seamus Mulcahy and Fisher Neal among many others.

Michael Place helped hook me up with William for this great shoot at the Essex House last May. He was helping me along with my former co-host T.J.Craig, who were helping be my “Celebrity Pullers” or the distinguished gentlemen who were helping bring the newly named Drama Desk nominees over to be interviewed by me that May morning. Enjoy!

Notice that William names Lupita first when he starts listing other classmates that I didn’t mention.


“12 Years” Triumphs at Indie Spirit Awards w/5 wins!!!

1.Best Picture

2.Best Director ~ Steve McQueen

3.Best Supporting Actress ~ Lupita Nyong’o

4.Best Adapted Screenplay~ John Ridley

5.Best Cinematography ~ Sean Bobbit

I hope it’s like this tomorrow night at the Oscars! For complete list see

E.T.A. Pardon my mistake. Matthew McConaughey won.:(


Oscar Change of Heart for Feinberg! Everybody loves Lupita!

Oscar Change of Heart for Feinberg! Everybody loves Lupita!

In perhaps the best article he’s written YET on the Oscars, and he’s written seemingly millions, Scott Feinberg of “The Hollywood Reporter” has done it again and topped himself with the best, most trenchant and pointed analysis of the season. And here’s a link ~
Bascially, he’s changing his print edition pick of Jennifer Lawrence for Best Supporting Actress to my fave Lupita Nyong’O. I’ve seen this coming all along and it’s simply based on the excellence of her heart-wrenching performance.
For those too busy to read Scott’s excellent article, I’ll try to explain it quickly.
He has come to the conclusion that “12 Years a Slave” is going to win Best Picture, but he rightly posits, “What else?” Not since the 1930’s has an Oscar winning movie only won the main award and nothing else. So Lupita is someone the world has fallen in love with this year EVEN IF THEY HAVEN’T WATCHED THE MOVIE!?!?!

And tragedy ALWAYS trumps comedy(J-Law in the light-weight throw away “American Hustle”) and JLaw has not been anywhere this Oscar season to campaign for her second Oscar. Already having won last year for “Silver Linings Playbook”, it’s truly too much too soon. Two Oscars In a Row could kill her.

If you saw her acceptance speech when she won at the Golden Globes, Jennifer looked like she was going to have a nervous breakdown And said “Stop doing this to me!” which means giving her allll these awards. She’s only 23. And to give her two Oscars before she was even 24 Scott Feinberg(and Anne Thompson AND Mark Harris AND Sasha Stone AND Jeff Wells, btw) all think it’s not going happen.

Scott also notes that he had to put his Oscar article to bed(or file it) BEFORE the VOTING was even closed. I can identify. Because for 25 years that’s what I had to do with my TV show vis a vis getting it edited and on the air in time for the Oscar date.

But this year I didn’t. For the first time since forever(to paraphrase “Frozen”) I did not shoot an Academy Awards prediction show. And really the race has been SOOOOO volatile this year that it actually was suited more to the Internet and this blog, which I can do anytime and all day long, 24/7, and so yes, I’m perfectly fine with Scott’s assumptions.

JLaw is shooting ANOTHER “Hunger Games” so as Scott said it’s “an excused absence” but Lupita has been every where charming everyone and becoming a Fashion Icon as well as an instant Pop Culture heroine.

So I’m very happy to share Scott’s great article.
Plus in case you haven’t been keeping up here’s my final predictions for the top categories
Best Picture ~ “12 Years a Slave”
Best Actor~Chiwetel Ejiofor for “12 Years a Slave”
Best Supporting Actor ~ Jared Leto for “Dallas Buyer’s Club”
Best Director ~ Alphonso Cuaron for “Gravity”
Best Original Screenplay~ “American Hustle”
Best Adapted Screenplay ~ “12 Years a Slave”

and of course, the lovely Lupita for “12 Years.”

The only limb I seem to be going out on here is Chiwetel. But he gave the Best Performance, IMHO, and he’s an actors actor. And while Matthew Mc. is wowing everyone on HBO. It’s TV!!!! It makes him a television actor,T a Hwood star but not yet a film ACTOR. Yes, the Academy is old enough to still make that snobbish disctinction between the media(s) and yes, they still look down their noses at television, which they STILL see as “the enemy.” Like they did, well, in the ’50s. AND IT’S STILL THE SAME PEOPLE VOTING! It’s the “slap the stud syndrome” as Tom O’Neil at http://www.golddergy.com And the SWORM want to make MMcC suffer just a little bit more for all those godawful romcoms he did for years.

I’ve never posted so many blog posts as I have this year, but there’s been soooo much to say, and soooo many good films to write about.

And now, the Envelope PLEASE!!!!


The United Colors of Lupita!

The United Colors of Lupita!

A picture, in this case a photoshopped one, is STILL worth a thousand words! And all of them are Lupita, Lupita, Lupita!!!

Scott Feinberg has chosen to wind up his extensive coverage of The Race over at the Hollywood Reporter http://www.thehollywoodreporter.com with anonymous, and VERY candid interviews with FOUR very differnet Academy voting members.

They are all so all over the place, it’s not to be believed. This year is one for the record books in that sense, but three out of the four VERY different(men I think, all of them, so far) all agreed on only one thing LUPITA NYONG’O for Best Supporting Actress!!! And none of these voters were from the Actor’s Branch which already awarded her the SAG award in this category.

And the excellent Mark Harris notes that if “12 Years a Slave” loses to “Gravity”(or something else), it will win what “Precious” won which was Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress.

I rest my case.

E.T.A. They also all agreed on Cate Blanchett.

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