a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘BAFTAS’

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And the Oscar Goes to…

And the Oscar Goes to...

Well, it’s a little premature to say that but that indeed is the name of the marvelous documentary by Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein that was commissioned by TCM, Turner Classic Movie, for this marvelous month they have every year entitled ’30 days of Oscar.”

It started airing tonight and its essential viewing for all you Oscarologists out there. glamorous, gorgeous, sumptuous, moving, extremely well-costumed and all the adjectives in between “And the Oscar Goes to…” delights for its’ nearly two-hour length.

New to me, the fact that the Academy used to hand out its’ list of winners to the press BEFOREHAND until in 1940, the L.A. Times really jumped the gun and published that year’s information WAY too soon. Henceforth, AMPAS turned its’ tabulations over to Price, Waterhouse, now Price, Waterhouse, Cooper, the accounting firm that has kept the Oscars honest(and top secret) to this day.

Having an awards show without suspense is a rather dreary prospect, and since those days suspense has been an important ingredient in the Oscar season. VERY important. Who’s going to win? Is the big question that is on my mind and Sasha Stone’s mind, and Tom O’Neill’s mind, and David Poland’s mind all year long. And on Harvey Weinstein’s, too, I daresay.

So as we await the Writer’s Guild winners tonight, I can breathlessly say that yes, even mighty http://www.goldderby.com has changed its’ collective mind over what’s going to win Best Picture. Tom O’Neil agrees with Tariq Khan in one of their entertaining podcasts that they both think that “12 Years a Slave” is now going to win Best Picture. Which is what I’ve been saying ever since I saw it in Toronto.

Nothing is going to upset Cate Blanchett’s continuing March of Triumph to Best Actress. UNLESS something shocking happens at the BAFTAS in two weeks. Dame Judi Dench could upset there as the incredibly sympathetic “Philomena”. In fact, the BAFTAS could throw a monkey wrench into a LOT of Oscar campaigns. Like for instance, if Chiwetel Ejiafor wins there, and as a highly regarded British actor, he probably will for his historic portrayal of Solomon Northup, the black man who was kidnapped and spent “12 Years a Slave” prior to the Civil War.

Mathew McConaughey, and also front-runner in Best Supporting Actor Jared Leto, both Oscar nominated for their tremendous work in “Dallas Buyers’ Club” are not even nominated AT ALL for the BAFTAS, so neither can win. And if Ejiofor makes the Speech of Speeches which I think he will…look out, Matthew McConaughey!…

And Michael Fassbender could do the same thing, since he’s nominated,for Best Supporting Actor, and Jared Leto isn’t. Fassbender, of course, plays the evil slave owner Epps. And I’m just betting that the BAFTAS could turn the Oscar race upside own.

And Britisher Steve McQueen will probably win there as Best Director and not Alphonso Cuaron, who won the DGA award for directing “Gravity.” All three of these astoundingly talented men could win and probably will win at the BAFTAS.

So Oscar LOOK OUT!

And as everyone seems to be picking up on Lupita Nyong’O’s star continues to rise and rise in Best Supporting Actress.There’s nothing that can stop her. And I predict she’s a slam dunk for the BAFTAS, too.

So in this quiet period before the BAFTAS happen in London, treat yourself to “30 Days of Oscar” on TCM and don’t miss “And the Oscar Goes to…” Check out the full schedule at http://www.tcm.com

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“Gravity”s Cuaron wins DGA

I hoped it wouldn’t happen, but it did.Alphonso Cuaron, the director of “Gravity,” won the very important DGA award last night in Hollywood. Over Steve McQueen’s greater achievement IMHO “12 Years a Slave.” Usually that means a lot but in this split, competitive Year of Years, it may mean that the effects-laden Sci Fi thriller MAY win best director at the Oscars, more than a month away in March. But still not win Best Picture, which would go to “12 Years a Slave.” I have to note that these two titans of filmdom have been duking it out since Toronto, which I find ironic. It’s like if you don’t open at TIFF, fawgedabawdit. And that’s also where I first saw the both of them, in unforgettable screenings at TIFF’13.

Those are five VERY long weeks from now, and the ballots don’t go out to the AMPAS voters for quite a while yet, in Oscar terms, that’s dog years away. And it gives the Academy time to THINK. No. It really does. There’s no impulse, knee-jerk voting going to happen this year, with the Sochi Olympics taking up more TV time than ever. Between this last big gasp from the Industry’s usually all-important guilds, and the receiving of their ballots in the mail and now online, too around President’s Day Weekend. That’s a long, cold Oscar March until March when the Awards are actually handed out.

Now granted “Gravity” is an astounding technical feat, and will probably win all the technical awards, maybe even as many as seven from the below-the-line categories. But maybe it won’t. And instead of rewarding the one woman in this astounding visual tour-de-force, Sandra Bullock, award after award has been going to the amiable Mexican director Cuaron. And now this.

That’s a lot of Oscars right there. But not one for Sandra it seems. Best Actress is going to Cate Blanchett who is the lock of locks in that category for Woody Allen’s “Blue Jasmine.”

So even if Cuaron DOES win Best Director, voters may feel that “Gravity” has had enough already and give the top prize to “12 Years a Slave.” So there’s that SPLIT again. Which certainly looks like it could happen.

It happened at the Golden Globes where “12 YAS” won Best Picture and “Gravity” got Best Director. Ditto the Broadcast Film Critics awards. Then the TIE vote from the usually authoritative PGA, the Producer’s Guild, between “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave.”

But “Gravity” for all it’s technical wonders is an actors nightmare. If this is the future, “Gravity” shows them that there is only ONE actor in it.

Huge epic blockbusters may get close, but they don’t usually win. See “E.T.” v “Gandhi” back in the day. I was always plunking for “Gandhi” even then.(Yes, I’ve been doing Oscar prognosticating THAT long!) or more recently the tiny “Hurt Locker” defeating the huge mega-millions jackpot that was “Avatar” although “THL” won Best Director AND Best Film, for the first time ever woman director winner Kathryn Bigelow over her big bully of an ex, who nobody liked anyway, James Cameron.

This year, I’m still betting that this proLONGed break between now and the voting gives people time to think “Which is REALLY the more important film?” which is in their parlance “An Academy film?” And you’ve got to admit, “Gravity has NO gravitas.

But “12 Years a Slave” does, in spades. Serious social history writ large, taking on the most challenging issue in American history, race, in terms of the worst atrocity Americans have ever perpetuated on other Americans = slavery. And doing it brilliantly on every level.

And oh yes, BAFTA happens in the middle of this prolonged Month of Oscar Silence, where, I predict “12 Years” will win EVERYTHING it’s nominated for, including Best Director, Steve McQueen, whom we must not forget is British.

And a respected fine artist there in the U.K. before he turned into a master film-maker.

Also, nominated there are Chiwetel Ejiofor for Best Actor and Michael Fassbender for Best Supporting Actor, and last but not least, Lupita Nyong’O who is now the front-runner for Best Supporting Actress.

So basically my take is the “Gravity”s Big Win is not going to change things much at all. In the end.

British Oscars, the BAFTAS ~ What will they mean? If anything…

So tomorrow over in Blighty, the BAFTAs will be announced. The last major precursor award before the Oscars themselves, which are held on Feb.24.

Being socked in and basically locked in by the Blizzard of 2013, gives one time to really ruminate on the BAFTAS. It’s broadcast live in London, but here it can only be seen online. Check out http://www.awardsdaily.com to see if it’s live streaming there, or if not, they will tell you what, where and when to find it.

So, who’s going to win at the BAFTAS? And will they mean anything at all to Oscar?
Like, for instance, Robert De Niro isn’t nominated for Best Supporting Actor for “Silver Linings Playbook.” I think De Niro has the momentum at the Oscars, but since he’s not nominated, then who? Some say German actor Christophe Waltz for “Django Unchained,” why? Because he’s a European,Then there’s the other nominees from the states Tommy Lee Jones for “Lincoln”, Phillip Seymour Hoffman for “The Master” and Alan Arkin for “Argo.”

They’ve nominated Ben Affleck for BOTH Best Actor AND Best Directorand also “Argo” for Best Picture! So they really like “Argo,” and I suspect it will prevail in both picture and Director, but if Ben Affleck wins Best Actor! LOOK OUT!

He’s up of course against Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln”, who may be the only BAFTA winner for “Lincoln” since Steven Spielberg isn’t even nominated here! But on the other hand, OTOH, as they say in Internet-speak, if DDL doesn’t win here and either Affleck or Hugh Jackman does, this could be the last nail in the boring, talky “Lincoln”s coffin. Hey! It could happen!

Likewise a win for Alan Arkin for “Argo” could signal a sweep is going on and that’s what’s going to happen the rest of the night.

But since the Weinstein monkeys are working like cra-zee over there, they’ve still got two entrants in Supporting Actor, PSH for “The Master” and Waltz for “Django Unchained”, so either could win. As in American, Supp. Actor at the BAFTAs is really too close to call. Although that’s what I’m supposed to do. So I’ll call it for Waltz, simply because it’s another Harvey Weinstein situation there.

And Anne Hathaway has best supporting actress sewn up there, for “Les Miserables” mais oui, as she has it here.

But Best Actress is really the one to watch. If 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva wins for the French language film “Amour” over Jennifer Lawrence for “SLP” and Jessica Chastain for “Zero Dark Thirty,” that win and Riva’s acceptance speech could really impact the Best Actress race here. But then again, if she doesn’t show up. But still wins anyway, it probably will not have the same impact, as if the still comely octogenarian French icon wins, is there to accept, and moves every one to tears, as she probably will, with a lovely French-accented acceptance speech.

Remember that BAFTA is really where Marion Cotillard, also acting in French in a French-speaking film “La Vie En Rose”, won, and moved the whole world with HER acceptance speech, setting herself up very nicely for her Oscar win a few weeks later.

This is prime Oscar voting time, the balloting being opened only YESTERDAY, Friday. And who watches the BAFTAS? Well, the Academy members who are still undecided about who to vote for in tumultuous races, like this year’s Best Actress assuredly is.

So I guess you could reduce this all to say “How many awards will ‘Argo’ win?” and who wins Best Actress? Riva, Lawrence or even Chastain? We shall very soon see.

How Many Oscars Will “The Artist” Win?

It’s now less than a week away. And on Tuesday at 5pm PST, the ballots that aren’t there are due in. Or else they won’t be counted.

Tom O’Neil at www.goldderby.com wonders if tomorrow’s President’s Day holiday isn’t going to confuse last-minute voters. It’s a postal holiday, too. And if you dropped something in the mail on Saturday, it might not get there in time for Tuesday. So your vote won’t be counted.

Me? I’d send it back in the minute I got it which would be several weeks ago now, right after the nominations were announced. A lot of people do do that. They who want their votes to be counted. Those who CARE.

Some people don’t even see the movies and some people don’t even BOTHER to vote. Which this year all somehow helps “The Artist.”

How many will it win? I’m predicting a more or less duplication of the BAFTAS which would be seven. I’ll count them for you, shall I?

Best Picture is in the bag, as is Best Director Michel Hazanaviscius(and that’s the last time I going to spell all that out in this article!) Jean Dujardin, I think is going to repeat his Cannes win for Best Actor, which he also reduplicated at the Golden Globes, THE SAGS and the BAFTAS?!? And the wonderful score by Ludovic Bource, which in the place of dialogue, IS the dialogue of this wonderful, classic movie. So that’s four.

It won costumes at the BAFTAS and it’s an American costume designer, Mark Bridges, who also has designed recent Academy faves “The Fighter” and “There Will Be Blood.”  So that makes five.

And last night “The Artist” won the A.C.E.Eddie award which is even more important an indicator and more predictive than the DGA. And who was the recipient? Why, Michel H.! Again! He could carry home THREE Oscars, for BP, BD, and now also best editing, too, which he shares with Anne-Sophie Bion!

The last one is a little tricky by I don’t see how they can ignore how important the contribution of Guillaume Shiffman was as the Black and White Cinematographer. Yes, “The Artist” could win this, too.

Michel H., since he’s already taking home THREE Oscars, may not win Best Original Screenplay, since he’s up against his Idol, and mine, Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris.” They’ll give Woody SOMEthing. But this could be an upset, too, since its upset everything else. It won’t be a record, either, since I think the Coen Bros. pulled off a triple crown with “No Country for Old Men.” Best Picture, Best Director(s) and Best Screenplay.

Art Direction, as at the BAFTAS, will probably go to Dante Ferretti of “Hugo”. And “Hugo” with the most nominations will probably win BOTH Sound Awards, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. And also I think Best Special Effects for it’s use of 3D.

I don’t think Berenice Bejo, who actually is a Latina, since she was born and raised in Argentina, and moved to France as an adult, is going to win in Supp. Actress. That seems locked up long ago by Octavia Spencer in “The Help.”

But 7 is an impressive  take, and it could be MORE! If he beats Woody. AND Dante Ferretti. But I don’t think so.

“Artist” wins 7 BAFTAS! Meryl Streep wins Best Actress!!

O frabjus day! Gal-loo, ga-lay! As the Jobberwok once said! (Read your Lewis Carroll!) “The Artist” just won SEVEN BAFTA awards over in London a few minutes ago! Best Picture, Best ACTOR JEAN DUJARDIN!!! Best Director and Best Screenplay(both by Michel Hazanaviscius!! So he won TWO, plus Best Picture makes three, I guess…) Best Score Ludovic Bource and also Best Cinematography, Best Costumes! And Meryl Streep won Best Actress for “The Iron Lady” besting both Viola Davis and my favorite, Michelle Williams.

Predictably, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer continue their winning streaks unbroken in the Best Supporting Actor and Actress categories, too.

But this really is incredible!

The English HISTORICALLY hate the French. Didn’t they fight something like the Hundred Year War? + other conflicts since the dawn of time…Just like at how they STILL don’t get along in Canada! But that’s another story!

So when they give ALLLLLLL their major awards to the French, like they just did a few minutes ago with “The Artist”s seven times triumph! WELL! Mon dieu! La Guerre Est Finis! I hope that “The Artist” wins THAT many Oscars! It could win MORE!

One wonders if Berenice Bejo weren’t in lead, which she is here at the BAFTAs, if she would’ve won in Supporting, since that’s where she is in the US. Interestingly, it didn’t win Editing, which went to “Senna”(?)

But this signals the complete nailing of the Clooney coffin for Best Actor as the Academy’s “undecideds” will all pencil in Jean Dujardin now, and not George.

So I was right in that EW cover issue entitled “Oscar Race” DID more harm than good.

It pictured George and Viola Davis getting out of an unseen limo as if they had already won. And I knew something was wrong with that picture. I THOUGHT it was Viola. But no, it’s George.  Hope EW doesn’t make a gaffe like that again.

But they PROBABLY will.

Meanhwhile, back at Best Actress, this REALLY helps Meryl Streep in her battle with Viola Davis of “The Help.” For the BRITISH to award an American actress for playing THEIR prime minister means, it’s good. It’s REALLY good.

And in a very close race, this just may be what Meryl needs to FINALLY win her her third Oscar after 29 years of waiting!

And I have to point out that “The Artist” and “The Iron Lady” are BOTH Weinstein Co. films! Sooo…you have to congratulate Harvey Weinstein once again for working his magic with ALLLLL the top categories, BP, Best Actor AND Actress and Best Director ALLLL going to his films!

There must be SOME celebration going on over in London with the Weinstein Co. winners! WOW!

Sooooo happy for Jean Dujardin!

He was on Saturday Night LIVE last night in NYC. He must’ve just hopped on a plane immediately after and sped to the airport, for there he was in London!

Now I really have to get real and abandon all my Michelle Williams hopes and dreams…although there’s STILL the chance that the male dominated Academy here may make the Babe Factor rule once more, as it did last year with Natalie Portman.

Clearly the Brits weren’t THAT crazy about “The Help.” Octavia Spencer is their consolation prize here. At the BAFTAs I mean. Maybe the Oscars too.

Unless Meryl Streep gives a speech saying that “Viola Davis should have won.”

Now Best Actress becomes the most up-in-the-air contest its’ been for YEARS! And will probably be THE LAST award before Best Picture, that’s handed out on Oscar night.

“Helena Bonham-Carter could win Oscar!” sez Anne Thompson

Anne Thompson, the sharp, astute, objective observer of all things Oscar, is at Indiewire these days, with her own blog, that is really a site in-and-of-itself. Always even-keeled and balanced in the coverage of Oscar subjects ~ I’m jumping for joy over Anne  (sometimes I call her St. Anne, well, because…she is…In Oscarland  terms, anyway) just having written a HUGE piece on “Helena Bonham-Carter Could Win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress” on http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/

CHECK IT OUT IMMEDIATELY!

And the reason I’m doing cartwheels, is because Even Anne does NOT make pronouncements like this lightly. Being a crack journalist as well as a keen Oscar observer, she WAS backing Hailee Steinfeld, last time I checked, but has JUST switched to HRH HBC because of, you guessed it, the BAFTAS! Which as you know Helena just won on Sunday. And I’ve been predicted this since the beginning! SWEEP!

And to top it all off, Anne had compiled a DELICIOUS series of video clips that really show off Helena in MAHvelous ways, darling! You’ve GOT to watch each and every one!

It’s been an uphill battle for Helena, as I said early on, because her performance is UNDERSTATED, sophisticated and subtle. Something Oscar doesn’t usually go for. She is chewing NO scenery here. Nope. Just tea and crumpets, though she DOES seem to be munching all the way through this brilliant movie. Yes, she overeats, and gets plumber and plumber as the films goes on, to where at the end, she is clearly wearing a fat suit! Yes, she is! And she’s ADORABLE in it!

 And she’s playing, lest we forget, the role Oscar LOVESLOVESLOVES to award in this category, the supportive wife! “The King’s Speech” makes it clear that King George VI could NOT have overcome his stutter without his wonderful, devoted wife who is the one who FINDS Lionel Logue(Geoffrey Rush) in the movie in the first place.

Jenny Beavan is the brilliant British costume designer, who is also up for an Oscar (again) this year for “The King’s Speech”s marvelous pastel-perfect period finery. Jenny has been costuming Helena since her Merchant-Ivory days. And Anne Thompson lays this all out in judicious, delicious clip after clip.

I’d do it myself, but I’m too tech-tarded, as you know….someday I’ll figure out the visuals…but right now just run on over to Indiewire and Thompson on Hollywood and see why I’m particularly thrilled with Anne’s great piece, predicting Helena’s win!

Yes, the “King’s Speech” has coattails, white tie and tails, probably, and Helena and Jenny Beaven and Geoffrey Rush and many others may be riding them all the way to OSCAR the Sunday after next! Coattails is another word for SWEEP!

There’s also a marvelous clip of HBC as HRH The Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderland.” interogating frog footmen, one of whom stole her tarts! “Off with his head!” she exclaims.

Helena Bonham-Carter! How do I love thee? I’ll let Anne Thompson count the ways!

Best BAFTA Sound. Best Editing.

Best Sound at the BAFTAs just went to “Inception” and Best Editing to “The Joy of Typing”….grrrr….

Unlike the Oscars, EVERYONE gets to nominate in all categories for the BAFTAS. Which are being held as we speak, in the Royal Opera House in London. The entire membership votes on every little thing. For the nominations!

THEN for the actual awards themselves, the separate branches vote on their separete categories. And all get to vote for Best Picture.

This is the REVERSE of the Oscars where the different branches nominate their own, Actors nominate actors, editors nominate editors. THEN, as is happening right now, they ALLL get to vote on everything that’s nominated. Which is the exact opposite of what the BAFTAS do, and explains why,as we can see happening already, a sweep is less than likely with the three just-handed-out awards going to three different movies.

In America, at the Oscars, they just have to go-check, check, check. Or “tick all the boxes” as Colin Firth said to me in Toronto, on a different topic…More soon.

The suspense is killing me.

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