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Posts tagged ‘Awardsdaily’

Why “Birdman” Will Have a Lot of Trouble at the Oscars

Birdman 1Despite the apparent benefice of its’ upsets this past weekend, “Birdman” is not the Oscar slam-dunk it appears to be. Not by a mile.

You see, it unexpectedly won the Producers Guild very important precursor award, on Saturday night, then also won Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards on Sunday night.

HOWEVER!

It didn’t win Best Actor. The Birdman himself lost to Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”, and that was a VERY big loss for Michael Keaton.

Especially coming from the SCREEN ACTORS, the guild that you would think would be behind his Riggan Whathisname’s character, that of a veteran actor trying to make a comeback.

That spoke volumes to the effect that support of “Birdman” wasn’t THAT deep.

Keaton won THREE Critics Choice Awards at BFCA a couple of weeks ago and now, this defeat.

It’s bad for Keaton and bad for “Birdman”s supposed late groundswell.

Also, let me point out that it does NOT have the all-important Film Editing Nomination, without which no film has won Best Picture since “Ordinary People” 30 years ago.

So with the Editors against it, and also, apparently the Actors, Keaton is NOT winning Best Actor, nor does “Birdman” have a cake-walk to Best Film.

Also between now and Oscar Night Feb. 22, Sunday, on ABC-TV, the BAFTA awards will happen in London and Eddie Redmayne is sure to win Best Actor there. And it’s possible that “The Theory of Everything” will sweep its’ six categories, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Felicity Jones, Best Screenplay, Best Director, James March and Best Score for Johan Johansson.

On top of which it is a Fantasy Film, a Magical Realism film, if you will, which the super-serious Academy does not go for historically at all, except for “Lord of the Ring: Return of the King.”

It’s quirky. It’s divisive, and I personally was put off by its’ sort of “holier-than-thou” attitude to the theater, which supposedly it was celebrating, but I felt its’ attitude disdainful.

And the ending! He shoots off his nose, ends up in a hospital and jumps out the window. Did Birdman finally fly away or was it a suicide? Will the Academy vote Best Picture to a film that is saying, insidiously, that all Riggan’s efforts lead to this? Self-annihilation? Or pursuing a career in the theater equals death?

I just don’t see this film winning Best Picture for all these reasons.

What will win? Something else. But not this sanctimonious mess.

ETA: Sasha Stone herself commented on this article on FB by saying to me: “Another thing to note, it didn’t win Best Comedy at the Globes…”

That was, of course, won by the GRAND “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

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.

http://www.awardsdaily.com/blog/2014/12/national-board-of-review-names-xxx-best-film-of-2014/

 

 

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It’s Spring & Jeff Welles is in Paris, heading to Cannes

It's Spring & Jeff Welles is in Paris, heading to Cannes

It’s finally Spring in New York, and Jeff Welles? Well, our intrepid movie-mad traveling friend is ALREADY in Paris heading shortly to Cannes.

You can read about it at http://www.hollywood~elsewhere.com

Jeff says it’s FREEZING in Paris aujourd’hui and he’s taken some neat videos and shots of the neighborhood where he’s staying. He took the neat photo above ^. He’s in an Airb&b which he highly recommends.

Our other intrepid Cannes-ian correspondent/friend the great Sasha Stone is headed there any minute now, too. Keep your eyes on http://www.Awardsdaily.com for Sasha’s always delightful postings from Cannes.

Last year it rained all the time. And Jeff says it’s so cold in Paris, he almost had to buy an overcoat!!! He bought a scarf instead!

However,, the weather in New York today is sunny and just gorgeous and I can’t wait to get out in it!

Going to see “After Midnight” tonight, for the SECOND time on Broadway. Loved it the first time. I’m sure I’ll love it even more this time. Vanessa Williams has replaced Fanatasia in the role of the lead singer, but the gigantic, all African-American, all-singing, all-dancing cast is the same, and I’m sure is better than ever…

Haven’t been to Cannes since the ’80s….but that’s another story….

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone Stands Up & Cheers for Ann Dowd in “Compliance”! Best Actress Race Changes!

I really think that the terrific piece Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone just wrote about the incredible Ann Dowd’s Oscar chances in “Compliance’ really will be effective in changing the Best Actress Race this year and will help the amaaaaazing Ms. Dowd along her lonnnnng way to the Dolby Pavillion in February. Read it at http://www.awardsdaily.com.

Sasha out-does herself once again with the power of her great, impassioned writing. And this time, I can but totally agree. Sasha has been very effective helping Indie actresses move ahead to nominations, if not wins. She really went all out for Melissa Leo back in the days of “Frozen River” which was really going out on a ledge at a time, when Melissa Leo was a virtual Oscar unknown, and voila! She WAS nominated for Best Actress, much to my great surprise….That is, until i saw the film, which was after the nominations came out and I saw how brrrrrilllliant Leo was in that edgy flick.

But  it was a long shot, for sure. Not so much of a long shot was Jennifer Lawrence’s nomination for “Winter’s Bone.” And that year the picture got nominated, too! AND John Hawkes for Best Supporting Actor. He may be up again for Best Actor in three shakes of a lamb’s tail, as my mother used to say, or was it my British grandmother? for “Sessions” coming up at TIFF in about two weeks, or less…

And now Sasha’s raving about Ann Dowd’s astounding performance in “Compliance.” It counts for a lot. And I’ll tell you how. Sasha’s Oscar advocacy of certain people, like the aforementioned above ^ makes OTHER Oscar bloggers take note and start writing about the wonderful Ann Dowd, too.

I want you to know however, that I said it here, first. But be that as it may, Ann Dowd’s great work is not to be ignored, and now it isn’t being shunted to the sidelines of the Oscar Race , with great pieces like this being written about her by Oscar Bloggers that count! This is how it begins, folks. I case you didn’t know.

Support by Sasha will make the PUBLICITY TEAM at IFC the distributor, HOPEFULLY mount a full on Oscar campaign for the magnificent Dowd. As of the opening night a few days ago, I really don’t think that they had. And I don’t know if it was even on the cards. Until, maybe I told them to!

“Are you doing an Oscar campaign for her?” I pointedly asked an exec with Ms. Dowd and her agent, Gary Gersh standing right next to us.

“Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered.”

But I did wonder. Ann Dowd’s expression told me even she wasn’t sure herself.

You see, mounting an Oscar campaign for a certain actress, especially an unknown middle-aged character actress is a VERY costly venture for an Indie distributor. It helps that “Compliance” has gotten something like a 91% Fresh Tomato rating on Rotten Tomatoes http://www.rottentomatoes.com

Making “Compliance” one of the Best Reviewed Films of the year. And what do “Frozen River”, “Winter’s Bone” and “Compliance” all have in common? They all came out of Sundance, I believe, and please correct me if I am wrong. I know you will….

And this changes the Best Actress race, too, because it makes Ann Dowd a contender to be reckoned with.

Oscar Race Changes AGAIN ~ IN A DAY! With Leo as Gay J. Edgar!

It’s now really for real November and we now really for real are in OSCAR SEASON! Yes, dear readers, dear cineastes, November is the really hot-cha month when all the good stuff  starts happening. Or not…

Like this morning I started off the day with the beauteous and beneficient Kristen Scott Thomas calling me via satellite from Paris! Oui, oui, bien sur, mes amis! That’s where KST really lives most of the times, though she is of course, thoroughly English. And guess who? Harvey Weinstein is at it again, and this time he’s decided to throw an early season opener “Sarah’s Key” that sort of blipped by unnoticed by most (I knew it was there. I just didn’t get to it. Then it was gone.) Well, he’s putting “Sarah’s Key” back into some theaters and also releasing it on DVD and so Kristen Scott was calling me at a very early hour of the morning here where I am, but for her in Par-ee it was a comfortable middle of the day, a beautiful day to hear her tell it. And you will, and see her, too, coming up on my You Tube channel www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow and also on my TV show.

The Best Actress race is really packed at the top this year already. There’s really no room with supposed locks – Meryl, Glenn Close(as a man!), Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe, and Viola Davis for “The Help”. Lots of competitsh for that fifth slot. Although there’s always the Golden Globes with their ten slots and I think Kristen will fit very nicely in there. For “Sarah’s Key.” Yes, I’ll mention the name of the film again…

And meanwhile, back at the AFI opening in LA, Leonardo Di Caprio really did upend expectations with the(I knew it all along) very GAY J. Edgar, Or Gay Edgar, as I and many  people I know are calling it. Not necessarily derisively, either. This is the story that dared not speak its’ name in J. Edgar’s lifetime, and with Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, penning it. He won for “Milk.” What else COULD it be?

And Clint Eastwood has evidently told it quite while and Leo a great, great actor as well as star has never won an Oscar. Yes, ladies and gentle person’s, it’s true. And now that he’s evidently giving the performance of his career as this tormented closeted gay man of the ’30s & ’40’s. Oh, and the ‘6os and the ’70s, too, who could never come out of the closet. And neither could his supposed lover who took the name “very close friend” Clyde Tolson, here embodied by none-other than the super-hunky Winklevoss Twins themselves, Armie Hammer, and HE’S supposedly got a supporting Actor nomination in his future now, too.

So with Leo on board, I think it’s buh-bye for George O’Clooney’s Oscar hopes. He already has one. For “Syriana” for Supporting. But still…

Leo’s been nominated three times AT LEAST and never won and now it looks like with Clint Eastwood at 81 at the helm, we may finally see Leo’s Titanic Oscar ship finally pull into port…

And oh yes, the Academy has decided to honor Vanessa Redgrave, I’m not quite sure how. A dinner? A plaque? She’s already majorly in the Supporting Actress race for “Coriolanus” and now…well now, I think this is the Academy saying VOTE FOR HER! Forget her politics of the past. And let’s give her an Honorary One, or whatever it is they’re doing. And giving it to her. All her. Just her. In one Vanessa-filled night in London…well, if it’s not taking place in Hollywood itself, it really ISN’T rrrrreally official…but it’s the Academy’s way of saying “VOTE FOR HER!”

She’s 72 or 73 or 74 and her beautiful daughter Natasha died so tragically and young during the filming of “Coriolanus”…and she’s BRRRRRILLLIANT in it. And oh yes, who’s the Producer? Harvey Weinstein. Oh yes, him again. So yes, I think THAT category just got closed, today, too.

So right now King George has been de-throned by Prince Leo. And the Academy is giving Vanessa Redgrave their version of an honorary knighthood…”Sarah’s Key” is coming out AGAIN.

And “War Horse” was “sneaked” all over the country this week, and it seems people like it, they really like it.  So last week “The Descendants” was the front-runner, but now I think “War Horse” was galloped back on top.

You can see a very astute young You Tube film critic/star (y’know, like me *cough*cough*)over at www.awardsdaily.com and you can hear what he has to say about being lucky enough to have stumbled in to one of these “War Horse” sneaks…It’s a custom as old as the Academy itself. Showing a film to a surprised audience in the hinterlands…Even “Gone With the Wind” was introduced this way…”War Horse” is gonna be a tough one to beat. It’s STILL playing to sold-out houses in New York’s Lincoln Center, and it won the Tony for Best Play last year, though the writing was atrocious. I nearly left at the Intermission, but I stayed…and was amaaaazed by its’ powerful second act.

After the Hallowe’en Blizzard, it’s STILL Hallowe’en!

A beautiful bright, sunny, warm day follows the raging gale of yesterday’s pre-Hallowe’en Blizzard of ’11. Every where I went every one was saying “What WAS that?” And nobody had an answer.

But I do.

Global Warming.

All this freak weather, all over the world…Winter coming early, in October, to New York and then going away and fall is back. Like a crisp Maine apple.

I went to walk on the Hi-Line, that brand new, heavenly park that was created out of an abandoned railway line left over from sometime waaay in the last century, and it was closed. Today, because of ice! And tomorrow, it’s closed for Hallowe’en.Because they don’t want all the revelers up there, high on the Hi-line ruining the vegetation they’ve planted and tended so carefully.

And parents were out with little kids with little bags and barely any costumes, just a bag for candy, because who knows? It might snow again at any minute.

And meanwhile, both Oscar bloggers Jeffrey Wells and Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone at the Savannah Film Festival, where it’s actually WARM!

Jeff was taken some marvelous shots which you can see on his site www.hollywood-elsewhere.com Sasha hasn’t posted anything yet, last time I checked. But Savannah,  a film festival that was barely a blip on the Festival radar….has got both of them, and flown them both in, it seems. Jeff writes about it so well, I wish I was there, too! And I thought I was festivaled out! After Provincetown, Montreal, Toronto and then New York!

Jeffrey saw “The Artist” the film that they opened with. He’d seen it before and felt it really didn’t hold up. But there it is, as unlikely an Oscar contender as is imaginable, smack dab right in the middle of the Oscar race.

If Jeff continues to knock the Weinstein co.’s work like he does, he shouldn’t be surprised at being left off certain lists of certain TWC events in L.A.

God, I’m glad I don’t live there! I don’t drive. How could I?

My Montreal Film Fest Wrap-Up Now up at Awardsdaily!

Very happy to report that my Montreal Film Festival Wrap-Up article entitled ” ‘The Artist’ Sparkles and Danny Huston Surprises!” is now up at the always exciting www.awardsdaily.com

I have to explain that this year the Montreal Film Festival moved its’ dates up to much earlier in the summer than its’ ever been. Usually it’s beginning this week in August, not ending, as it will tomorrow night.

So I had to go up and return to NYC BETWEEN Montreal and Toronto. Can’t believe I’m back here anticipating ONLY Toronto and done with Montreal already ~ until next year. And next year I was told that Montreal will be back in its’ old time-slot, so one experiences both festivals, one right after the other, which is what I usually do. But not this year.

The upside is that one gets to do one’s laundry and to get REALLY organized and rest between these two BIG film events.

Hmmm…maybe I’ll do this again next year…or not…

But yes, this is how I spent Irene. Writing about Montreal! Voila!

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