a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’

Oscars at the Moment, Before the Election

jackie-1Oscars in early November. Things are getting clearer. Could the National Election itself have an impact on Oscar? We’ll see, but now, if it did, it would be the political movie of the year “Jackie” that gets carried forward. It’s a reminder of how decent and moral the people running the country were in the time of Camelot. The Kennedy Years seem light years away from the partisan horror of this current chilly November moment.

“Jackie” has the gravitas that “La La Land” simply does not. And they’re hiding “La La Land” from the East Coast critics. I STILL haven’t seen it. There’s been no big deal press screenings scheduled. Is it because they think the New York establishment isn’t going to like a musical film, a love story, yet, that glorifies LOS ANGELES? I can think of no other reason for “La La Land”s distributors holding it back like this. It wasn’t at the NYFF, if that means anything. But I do think it’s a little suspicious.

Certainly the curators of the NYFF COULD have chosen it to play if they wanted to. There was certainly room. And I’ve heard that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling can’t sing. Or can’t sing well enough to carry a movie musical.la-la-land-1 I hope of course that they can, and I look forward to, musical comedy queen that I am, to enjoying its’ delights immensely. viola-davis-fences-1Also still unseen is “Fences” the late August Wilson’s adaptation of his own screenplay with Denzel Washington directing himself  in his Tony-winning role and co-starring of course, the great Viola Davis, reprising HER Tony winning role. Davis has now won herself an Oscar for sure, by putting herself in the Supporting category. But how good is the film? Is it as great on film as it was onstage? Or is it going to seem long, and talky and “stagey”?

August Wilson,esteemed to such an extent that he has a New York Broadway theater named after him, never lived to see any of his many plays translated successfully into film. I hope Denzel has worked his directorial as well as his actor’s magic. Will he also be up for a Best Actor Oscar? His third. Or will it go to now the supposed front-runner Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea.” If “Manchester” is going to win something big, and it’s so good, it should, then maybe it’s Casey Affleck who’s the beneficiary and not the film.

manchester-by-the-sea-5When we see “Fences” we will know, but right now Casey Affleck is at number one in the estimation of the Gold Derby-ites AND the Gurus o’ Gold, of which I was a member. Once upon a time. In a galaxy, far, far away…

Best Supporting Actor is much harder to parse right now, so I won’t, but don’t expect small, gay, indie “Moonlight” to score. If the Academy is going to go for a small, racially charged indie, I think it’s going to be “Loving.” It’s a superb little film that grows in the mind and lingers like a haunting refrain.  Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as I’ve posited earlier are both going to get nominated for Best Actress and Actor, respectively, and I think even its’ terrific young director Jeff Nichols will too. Replacing “Moonlight.” In both Best Picture and Best Director.loving-1

If this year it’s going to be OscarsSoBlack, in reaction to last year’s OscarSoWhite, it’s straight “Loving” and “Fences” that will both be nominated for Best Picture. After the rave of raves “Loving” got from Manola Dargis in today’s New York Times, I think THAT’S the indie darling to watch. Not “Moonlight”. If the critically adored “Carol” couldn’t crack it last year then “Moonlight” is certainly a much longer shot at Best Picture or Director.

Only Mahershala Ali in a very small role might get nominated from “Moonlight” in the major categories. That would be as Supporting Actor. But enough Academy members Iin the Actor’s Branch have to see “Moonlight” to nominate him. Will they? And then there’s the terrific Naomie Harris as the drug-addicted mom-from-hell….It worked for Mo’nique in “Precious” and she did no campaigning but she won! Could British actress Harris who so dazzled as Winnie Mandela a few years back in “A Long Walk Home” get nominated, too? That would really be something for this tiny film. And perhaps we might see Black Actors nominated in every category! Wouldn’t that be something new? Something wonderful.

#Oscars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oscar Nominees! Steve Coogan & Jeff Pope for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Philomena”!

Here’s the uber-talented Steve Coogan, who I just spoke to not three weeks ago, nominated this morning for “Philomena” for Best Picture (he’s one of the producers) and also Best Adapted Screenplay (with Jeff Pope), bright and early Oscar morning via Satellite from Hollywood.

Editing ~ Kevin Teller

More Oscar Upsom Downs. WGA announces & AGAIN no “Llewyn Davis”!!!

Yes, it’s more Oscar Ups ‘n’Downs or Upsom Downs, as I like to call it.

Let’s see the Writer’s Guild just announced and it’s up for “American Hustle” and “Lone Survivor”(which almost made my Top Ten List) and Harvey Weinstein even succeeded in getting back in this(after being out of it for only a day. Yesterday. Toldja there’s no stopping Harvery!) with an Adapted Screenplay nomination for “August:Osage County”. Which saw Pulitzer and Tony winning playwright Tracey Letts butcher his own script IMHO.

“After Midnight” which put me to sleep got a Best Original Screenplay nod. ZZZZZZ…

But AGAIN “Blue Jasmine” turns up in Original Screenplay for Woody Allen. “Blue Jasmine” is just getting stronger and stronger, and will garner Woody his upteenth Original Screenplay nomination if he lands the Oscar nod. And as I said, expect Sally Hawkins to get in, too. In Supporting Actress.

And “Dallas Buyer’s Club” is showing surprising strength, too. It’s turning up right where it should be.

And the controversial “Wolf of Wall Street” scores, too! Unbelivable.

However, the down of DOWNS is no love for “Inside Llewyn Davis” which after two down days is RRRRREALLY bad news.

And no screenplay nomination for “Gravity” YAY!

Of course, there’s the caveat that several of the main contenders this year of years including “12 Years a Slave” and “Philomena” weren’t even eligible.

Once again, Kris Tapley is first out of the gate at http://www.hitfix.com

And herrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre they are, FWIW. They mean SOMEthing but not EVERYthing, because of the “ineligibles” as Kris calls them.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“American Hustle,” Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell; Columbia Pictures
Blue Jasmine,” Written by Woody Allen; Sony Pictures Classics
“Dallas Buyers Club,” Written by Craig Borten & Melisa Wallack; Focus Features
Her,” Written by Spike Jonze; Warner Bros.
Nebraska,” Written by Bob Nelson; Paramount Pictures

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

August: Osage County,” Screenplay by Tracy Letts; Based on his play; The Weinstein Company
Before Midnight,” Written by Richard Linklater & Julie Delpy & Ethan Hawke; Based on characters created by Richard Linklater & Kim Krizan; Sony Classics
Captain Phillips,” Screenplay by Billy Ray; Based on the book A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALS, and Dangerous Days at Sea by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty; Columbia Pictures
“Lone Survivor,” Written by Peter Berg; Based on the book by Marcus Lutrell with Patrick Robinson; Universal Pictures
“The Wolf of Wall Street,” Screenplay by Terence Winter; Based on the book by Jordan Belfort; Paramount Pictures

Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/dallas-buyers-club-lone-survivor-wolf-of-wall-street-land-wga-nominations#f35iUgtZvdEYKIV8.99

Oscars! “Argo” wins Best Picture, Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress & falls down!

I really enjoyed this year’s Oscars. I ADORED Seth MacFarlane as the host and hope he’ll be back for more! He was funny, and insulting, but not tooooo insulting. Since when did it become a pre-requisite for all Oscar hosts to act like Ricky Gervais?
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This above ^ introductory paragraph was written before the anti-Seth MacFarlane outcry began today and before MacFarlane himself nixed the idea on Twitter.

I must tell you dear cineastes, dear readers, that I am late in responding to the Oscars because a) I was at a wonderful Oscar party with friends on Sunday and b) on Monday I had to start physical therapy for a back and neck injury and it knocked me sideways. But I was feeling, and walking, much better today. I felt a real spring in my step. Was it the Oscars? I think so. Also, Spring is coming. Right? Isn’t it?

But I’m back up tonight and shocked, SHOCKED by everyone in the media world dumping on the stupendous Seth. He can sing. He can dance. He’s got a dazzling kind of Donny Osmond-like charisma, that he undercuts totally with his wicked sense of humor. And I guess it was just too wicked for some. But he’s got a big career ahead of him whether he ever hosts the Oscars again, but since the ratings were WAY UP, he just might be back. He said “Tina and Amy will be doing this next year.” But I wonder…

Everyone at my party enjoyed it and so I am saddened that there was all this back-lash. Seth, I love you! And I thought you did a magnificent, hysterical job!

Quick-witted Seth sort of sank himself at the beginning of the show by doing 17 minutes with the barely endurable William Shatner, who was “beamed in” on a screen above the stage, in all his Star-Trek paraphernalia, and proved just why HE was never a movie star himself.

I know he’s from Montreal, but he was flat-out boring in that flat-lining opening gambit. And it went on far too long, ending, however, in the hilarious set-up of the Gay Men’s Chorus of L.A. singing “We Saw Your Boobs,” which is a number that will go down in Oscar history as love it or hate it, but me, I thought it was the essence of great comedy.

Not unlike his screamingly funny, and money-making film “Ted.” The potty-mouthed Teddy Bear, who MacFarlane voiced in the hit movie, also made an appearance with Mark Wahlberg to announce the Best Sound Categories. Which was an unprecedented tie for Sound Editing between “Zero Dark Thirty” (the only award it got) and “Skyfall” which also got Best Song for Adele.

The hue and cry against MacFarlane has all but dwarfed the actual awards and movies themselves as Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone points out at http://www.awardsdaily.com , but I’m happy to say that “Argo” won three. and Ben Affleck had his great moment in the sun, winning as a producer of the hit film, along with fellow producers,Grant Heslov, who hogged the microphone, and George Clooney, who stood by totally silent, and in a beard, clutching his hard-earned second Oscar like it was pure gold. Which it sort of is. But only gold-plated, really.But his firm grip was noticeable. I thought he was gonna break it in two. But then remember just last year, when he lost out on Best Actor to Jean DuJardin for “The Artist.”

Affleck was incredibly moving as he told everyone everywhere in the world to “never give up.” I took that very much to heart. He also said “Never hold grudges” in Hollywood. And to “always get back up when the world knocks you down.” Words of wisdom all…

“Argo” won Best Adapted Screenplay which I correctly predicted and also Best Editing for William Goldenberger, which I predicted, too. It lost out on Best Score. I thought they would acknowledge Alexandre Desplat, subtle, Middle-Eastern flavored work, but no, they instead gave to “Life of Pi”, which was Indian-flavored.

Affeck’s words about when the world knocks you down, get up, were illustrated minutes earlier, in a Forever in Oscar History Moment when Best Actress winner Jennifer Lawrence tripped on her massive Dior gown and face-planted right on the stairs up to the Oscar stage! For the rest of her career everyone is going to remember her like that! And then she got a standing ovation! Everyone loved her for it! And I did, too!

A great screen comedienne, as well as a talented actress, who is being rewarded at 22. And probably will be again, in a career that is looking by the minute. to be of LEGENDARY PROPORTIONS.

Her fall made the front pages of newspapers around the world! The New York Post headlined her prone picture with the words “Fallen Star”! Lolol..

That fall all but knocked Anne Hathaway’s win for Best Supporting Actress for her stunning, unforgettable turn as the doomed prostitute Fantine in “Les Miserables” out of everyone’s memories.

Hathaway’s unfortunate change of dress from Valentino to Prada, resulted in emphasizing her nipples to a ridiculous, impossible to ignore degree. I know. I know. It was only two seams hitting the wrong places, or perhaps the right places, because this made her pale, pale pink Prado famous around the world for all the wrong reasons. Joan Rivers cracked “Anne Hathaway was with the Pointer Sisters. And they were all very excited to be there.” I think, Anne Hathaway’s Nipples have their own Twitter account.

She’s a great, great young actress, who is just turning 30 and is at the height of her career, and I couldn’t be more happy for her! Congratulations, Annie! You had Oscar at “Hello”! The minute they released the “Les Miserables” trailer in June, I predicted she would win this! And I also predict this will not be her last Oscar. Only her FIRST!

There was a very rousing medley of “Les Miz” sung live by the entire cast, including Russell Crowe(!) and Annie. Another standing ovation! “Les Miz” got three Oscars, the same number as “Argo.” It also won Best Hair and Make-Up, as I predicted, and Best Sound Mixing, for its’ incredible blend of the live singing with a 60(!) piece orchestra that was added later! It’s a stunning achievement, my favorite film of the year and I wish it had won more.

The Academy really OWED Anne Hathaway an Oscar I.O.U. to quote Tom O’Neil, who was in Oscar heaven hyper-drive over at http://www.goldderby.com. After what she went through with James Franco! And their co-hosting a couple of years ago. That was ANOTHER one of Annie’s great performances as she kept trying to keep the show going at all costs despite Franco’s complete, er, disinterest…

And I can’t help but think that Ang Lee’s winning Best Director for “Life of Pi” and Annie’s win for “Les Miz” on Sunday night, were a kind of karmic pay-back from the “Oscar Gods” as Ang called it in his acceptance speech, for that awful night when “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain.” And the late Heath Ledger got his Oscar, too, although it was posthumously for “The Dark Knight.”

I was very happy for all of them.

A great, great, memorable show overall,too. I’ll never forget it! And I’ll have plenty more to say about it soon.

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Newsflash! “Beasts” director is NOT 23 years old! He’s 29!

Breaking Hollywood News! Benh Zeitlin who is being proclaimed the new Orson Welles for having directed the award-winning “Beasts of the Southern Wild” for doing this at age 23. Benh himself says, “No, no. I’m 29. I want to stop this rumor. I’m not a child!” But he certainly knows how to direct children, as he certainly has done with his 6-year-old star Qu’venzhane Wallis. He also co-wrote this with a woman, Lucy Alibar, who he has been collaborating with for many years. He also reveals that though he has never been to film school, he teaches film and video to school children. This explains, a bit, the authenticity of the female child, Hushpuppy’s perspective.

Camera & Editing ~ Cody Michaels

Long Live the King!Colin Firth Triumphs at Critic’s Choice/BFCA awards!

What a magnificent moment! And what a classy, eloquent speech Colin Firth made as he accepted the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor for “The King’s Speech”!

Ditto Screenwriter David Seidler for winning Best Original Screenplay also for “The King’s Speech.”

Firth, in talking about his “twenty year collaboration” with Harvey Weinstein, and how he is looking forward to “twenty years more,” was very, very moving to me. It made me think of that other great, unexpected (but not by me) triumph of “Shakespeare in Love” that Firth was in. Yes, he was!

As the obsequious, unattractive blow-hard Lord Wessex,that Gwyneth Paltrow was being forced to marry. Yes, THAT was him.Totally Unrecognizable as a lout when you think of  the dashing leading man he’s become today.

He was so nervous at the beginning of his acceptance speech, the first of MANY just days ahead, I thought he was starting to stutter!

He hit all the right notes in his elegant, dignified acceptance speech and was funny, majestic and humble at the same time, noting that he, as most actors, was “a great seeker of attention,” and how he “was going to wear” the large BFCA award “around my neck as a talisman.” I wish I had a video copy of that speech. But I don’t have the technology…yet…but I’m sure it’ll be up on You Tube soon.

He was so, well, WINNING, he totally nailed down his subsequent and inevitable wins, at the Globes, the SAGs and the Oscars, just as I told him he would, in person, on the air, when I was lucky enough to be the first journalist to broach the subject (Oscar) to him on my TV show. This occurred in September at the Toronto Film Festival and I’ve put Colin back in my main frame, so you can see me telling him this here ~ www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow He seemed genuinely dumbfouned by my( now proved incredibly accurate) prediction about his upcoming awards dominance.

And 70-something British writer David Seidler was finally front and center to accept his award for Best Original Screenplay for
“The King’s Speech.” He was incredibly disarming and very refreshing as the oldest winner by far last night. He revealed that he was a stutterer himself and spoke to that question. Very moving.

He was obsessed with the story of the stammering King George VI and had been working on this script all his life, evidently. A letter from the Queen Mum(Helena Bonham-Carter in the movie) evidently begged him to not produce his play (eventually a screenplay) in her lifetime. And he respected her wishes, never IMAGINING she’d live to 102!?!

And notably Geoffrey Rush was not there. I guess he knew he was going to lose to Christian Bale, another Brit, BTW, for “The Fighter”. Now, while I admired his tweaking meth-head performance in “The Fighter,” and I can understand how it beat Rush, who’s doing a play in Australia right now. I bet he’ll be on hand for the Golden Globes on Sunday night, though. And he might win there. The Golden Globes are a whole different group of people from the BFCA. First of all, they are the FOREIGN press. And though Bale is also a Brit, most people think of him as an American.

Bale, you must understand, is NOT LIKED, by the rank-and-file members who are the Academy. And probably not by the Globes either. For one thing, he’s been going around talking in his Dickie Ekland Boston-American accent, when he’s really got quite a nice Welsh burr. The Hollywood FOREIGN press might see that, and probably do, as irritating, if not downright insulting.

 He’s notoriously anti-press, and when forced to answer questions he has been speaking in Dickie Englund’s(his character in “The Fighter”) accent not his British one. Very phoney-baloney if you ask me. And you ARE asking me, since you’ve read this far into this Oscar rant!

And can anyone forget that rant he made against that poor film techie that was published on YouTube and all over the Internet? Then the charges that he assaulted his mother and sister in a hotel room? Though later dropped, things like this influence Academy voters. Yes, they do.

And they LOVE Michael Douglas, who is nominated at the Globes for Best Supporting Actor against Bale, Rush and Andrew Garfield And someone else. Oh!  Mark Ruffalo for the “Kids Are All Right”s sperm donor.

Watch out because the beloved, cancer embattled Douglas wasn’t nominated last night at the BFCA. Watch out for both Michael D. and Geoffrey R. tomorrow night at the Globes. The HFPA ,who are famously known to cross the Alps for a hot-dog, may think of the HEADLINES they’d make if Michael Douglas wins in Supporting for “Wall St. 2”!?! This influences these publicity-seeking press hounds/people. Yes it does.

The Broadcast Film Critics’ as I’ve said over and over and over again are CRITICS, so of course their awards are going to go to the CRITICAL favorites that we’ve seen them write about all year long. It was predictable. There was not ONE surprise.

Except maybe that “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” won Best Foreign Film. YAY!

But I didn’t see Noomi Rapace there, who was also nominated for Best Actress. Natalie Portman, very pregnant and glowing, won, as expected, and she gave a VERY nice acceptance speech, practically nailing Darren Aronofsky as a great director(“Black Swan”) and solidifying his probably upcoming Oscar Nomination.

I saw Colin hug director Tom Hooper(who named me the Oscar Messenger, lest we forget) on his way to the podium. They both jumped out of their seats and he hugged him.

Helena Bonham-Carter was there. Nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “King’s Speech” and not looking very happy when she lost to Melissa Leo, who looked, to her credit surprised as well as happy. Amy Adams looked crushed. Though she smiled bravely to the cameras when Melissa won. “The Fighter” crew also won “Best Ensemble” and so Amy, Melissa and Christian Bale and some other guy from the movie. All were up onstage early in the evening. Amy and Melissa ascended arm-in-arm, like sisters. This relationship lasted barely another hour. For when Melissa Leo won, and not Amy, for Best Supporting Actress, Adams began to lose it.

For when the roving camera cut back to Amy Adams AFTER the Melissa Leo win, she looked increasingly unhappy. Almost tearful as if to say “What am I going through all this FOR??? When am I going to win! I never win!”

Amy Adams has lost the Oscar twice before for “Junebug” and “Doubt,” both Supporting. It’s getting to be a habit. And not like her costume in “Doubt”.

Also looking very distressed was Andrew Garfield who lost Supporting Actor to Christian Bale. And he CONTINUED to look downcast at the end of the awards when Best Picture was given to the Film I Will Not Name. He was actually looking at the FLOOR of the stage as all the jubilation of the Best Picture win exploded around him. He looked like he did NOT want to be there.

 Jesse Irritatingberg OTOH looked immensely happy for this win, as did Aaron Sorkin, who won Best Adapted Screenplay. Did he compare himself AGAIN to Shakespeare, Aeschylus and Paddy Chayefsky??? Or perhaps he said that on the ENDLESS, extremely embarrassing red carpet show that preceded the actual awards by an hour. I thought it started at 8. It didn’t start til nine.

Another crestfallen contender was Supporting Actress Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”)who looked like a million dollars at the beginning of the evening, and a crushed cabbage leaf, or a deflated balloon, by the end. She looked like she had been crying.

Oh, and David Fincher, who won Best Director didn’t even show up! He has been publicly speaking OUT against these awards, BTW, and so watch, if he doesn’t show up at the Golden Globes that someone else who IS showing up, will win. Like for instance, Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech.” Fincher’s in Switzerland working on “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and just simply can’t be bothered with all this awards non-sense. Watch him be MIA tomorrow night, too. “The Social Network” COULD lose all the awards its’ been nominated for to the “King’s Speech” tomorrow night at the Globes. Yes, it could happen.

Back to the BFCA. Once again I have to stress these are CRITICS, who we’ve been hearing from all awards’ season long.

The Academy has absolutely NO members of the press in its’ voting body. So the winners may be different. Very, very different, especially at the Globes, with David Fincher not there, don’t be surprised if “The King’s Speech” wins EVERYTHING it’s been nominated for. You heard it here first.

The only real,true surprise for me, was Melissa Leo’s win in Supporting for the dragon mother in “The Fighter.” She was so surprised herself, she started ogling presenter Josh Brolin and recounted how she had once kissed him. What could’ve been a hot moment, was an Ewwww moment. Embarrassing, Melissa?

Then she regained her composure and noted how “10 years ago when I was 40” people were telling her actresses’ careers were over.

She’s worked with EVERYBODY. She was almost in a reading of a play of MINE once. And I like her immensely as a person. But in “The Fighter” she was chewing the scenery of the entire landscape of Lowell, Massachusetts.

 Although she’s not as well-known by the public. How many people saw “Frozen River”? Her OTHER nomination for Best Actress? Raise your hands. Nobody…Well, I did. And I thought she was marvelous in that small, gritty Indie.

The one true misfire of the evening was Hailee “Blingatude” Steinfeld winning for Best Young Actor/Actress for what I sometimes feel should be called “True Shit”.Well, her OVERpraised, OVERhyped performance anyway. I could be a member of the BFCA and I certainly will…. someday. But I certainly wouldn’t’ve voted for HER.

 She wore a pink, very short dress that was draped in a way that made her look like she had the late Shelley Winter’s  ass hips and then gave a flat, monotonal, blah, meh, borderline moronic speech, assuring every Academy Member watching that no, SHE won’t win anything else.

Now it’s on to the Golden Globes TOMORROW night on NBC. And I think it will be a completely upside-down scenario there….Just saying…

Best Supporting Actor~ChristianBale, Mark Ruffalo & Sam Rockwell

I have always seen Christian Bale, Mark Ruffalo and Sam Rockwell as a sort of trio, worthy lord knows, and veterans now of how many movies? And leads in movies? But never, ever close enough to Oscar to get even a nomination.

Yes, believe it or not, dear readers, dear cineastes, neither of those three extremely talented actors have ever gotten in Oscars door, but goodness knows, at least they’ve been knocking on it, year in and year out. And this year all three might get in.

Christian Bale is purported by many to be the front-runner for Best Supporting Actor for his wacked out portrayal of drug-addled Dickie Ekland in the increasingly popular “The Fighter.”  It’s not as though we haven’t seen a crack-wack-head portrayed on screen before, but never before has a portrayal like that made it to the cover of Sports Illustrated! See www.scottfeinberg.com for the great graphic.

It should be just a pictorial of central character Mark Wahlberg “The Fighter”‘ himself.But there is Bale pushing his head into the shot and onto the cover!

But Hollywood and all the critical masses seem to be lining up behind giving Christian Bale his first ever Oscar nomination. He just got a Golden Globe AND a SAG nom in less than a week! Can Oscar finally be opening the door to the Dark Knight himself? I think so.

But is he well-liked enough to win? His bad boy rantings were recorded and published all over the Internet when he went off on that poor techie, and he also was said to have assaulted his own mother and sister, but they dropped the charges…So…Were they true? Well, something about this scenario must be…but…Is Hollywood going to forgive Bad Boy Bale, a grown up child actor? Or are they going to think him too young to win and give it to Geoffrey Rush, who is his biggest competition, for a career-capping performance as the wacky, but not wacked out Australian Speech teacher to Colin Firth’s sure-to-win stuttering King in “The King’s Speech” ?Aye, that is the question….

Then there are the place-holders…the category-filler-outers…which is where Mark Ruffalo may get in despite his Golden Golbe snub. Ah! But then he rallied at the SAG nods and got one for Best Supporting Actor, his first, like Bale, for “The Kid’s Are All Right.”  Though it opened in the spring, this lesbian-marriage comedy has stayed the course and just did VERY well at the New York Film Critics Awards, netting its’ writer Lisa Cholodenko, who also directed it, the win for Best Screenplay over Aaron Sorkin for The Film That I Will Not Name…Yikes! No  one saw that coming! Could happen at the Oscars too BTW…but that’s another column…

Ruffalo’s performance in “Kids”? Well, as the title says, it’s All Right.

 But not great.

Not really Oscar nomination worthy, though certainly Ruffalo has given many, many performances in the past that could have been nominated, but weren’t. But this time his Only Straight Guy In a Lesbian Movie turn may be the right place at the right time. N0t his greatest work, by any means, and NOT the greatest performance in “The Kids.” But  I guess his heterosexual male presence, and he IS sexy, may assauge the SWORM to nominate him. Oh, and women like him, too. So he may get his first Oscar nomination but he certainly isn’t going to win. Not with Bale and Rush in the category.

And there there’s poor Sam Rockwell! He’s also never been nominated and just missed BOTH the SAG and the Golden Globe nominations he should’ve gotten this week for his superb turn as another difficult, jailed brother in ANOTHER  Masschusetts jail in”Conviction.”

He’s playing true-life character(as Bale and Rush are co-incidentally) Kenny Waters who spends 18 years of his life in a New England jail until he’s freed by this crusading, devoted sister played Betty Ann by Hilary Swank. And SHE just got a surprise nomination from the SAGS! She who has already won two Best Actress Oscars, is obviously more of an actor-favorite than anybody imagined, and her performance is damned-good, too.e

I just caught up with “Convinction” at a screening two DAYS ago, and I was shocked at how much I liked it.

So Hilary Swank popped up unexpectedly in Best Actress and knocked out presumed (and Golden Globe nominee) Michelle Williams. Will Swank prevail at the Oscars in another surprise win? Or will it be the equally  worthy Williams, who though nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “Brokeback Mountain” in 2005, has never been nominated in the main slot. Ah! But this time she’s gotten Oscar stealth weapon Harvey Weinstein behind her!…

I personally think that Sam Rockwell may be the one from “Conviction” to surprise, not Swank. Fox Searchlight is campaigning hard for “Conviction” even though it was a box-office flop….But they are getting the screeners into the Academy’s hands and/or getting the Academy’s asses to their screenings…of “Conviction.” So will Sam Rockwell pop up? Will he be the Oscar surprise? Heaven knows he’s worthy enough, but don’t be surprised, because you heard it here first!

Stay tuned!

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