a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘BFCA’

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.”

“The Artist” Wins Best Picture & Director at BFCA! Also Best SCORE & Costumes!!

I have to say that watching the Broadcast Film Critics Awards tonight was like reading a RRREALLY long book that you wanted to put down, but some how couldn’t, then SUDDENLY a surprise happy ending! And you just LOVE the way things turned out, but you still wish you didn’t have to read the whole book.

At the VERY end of the evening, Michel Hazanavicius won Best Director! Then, he did and made an utterly charming, funny speech, I knew “The Artist” was going to win Best Picture! And then it did! And as Michel called his entire table up on to the stage, the show ended.:( But “The Artist” did win more awards than any other film tonight four. BP, Director, Best SCORE(Take THAT! Kim Novak!) and Best Costumes!

I wish Jean Dujardin had won Best Actor instead of George Clooney, who seemed incredibly smug and entitled. He tried to out-do Viola Davis in terms of a hardscrabble background “I-Come-From-A-Sharecropping-Grandfather” & even more embarrassing “My-mother-used-to-make-my-clothes. “Ick.

It was the only award “The Descendants” won. Shailene Woodley lost TWICE. Once for Best Young Actor/Actress and then also for Supporting Actress, bad news for her Oscar nom. chance. The award for Best Young Actor  went to Thomas Horn, that little boy from “Extremely…” who called it by the Internet abbrev. of its’ initials ELAIC. ” E=Lake” or something like that. This was one of the few real surprises of the night.

I swear they all must’ve known Clooney was going to win because they seemed to keep cutting to him all evening. And he presented their humanitarian award to Sean Penn, who actually was IN Haiti. They spoke via satellite, and again Penn and Haiti completely upstaged and outclassed him.

George was acting like he had won already and was hosting a night club act somewhere.

And I’m a FAN! He’s been on my show! But no, George this was not your finest hour.

Doing really well earlier in the evening was Christopher Plummer who won as we alllll knew he would for “Beginners.” Every other joke he said was funny. But given that he’s 82, we all should look so good. And he seemed like he was in his 60s. Not his age at all.

They kept showing Michelle Williams in shadow. Uh-oh. Not good, I thought. And Meryl and Harvey Weinstein were seen smiling and joking. Meryl was enjoying herself more than I’d ever seen her do at one of these events in YEARS

“The Help” won BIG with three awards, behind “The Artist” which had four who besides Best Picture and Director won Best Costumes& Best Score. Those last two awards were given out BEFORE air-time.

“The Help” won Best Supp. Actress, Best Actress and Best Ensemble. Which allowed Octavia Spenser to make TWO speeches! So she had a “do-over” she called it. Which was funny.

She had the most strange look on her face when she won. It wasn’t happy. More chagrined. Like “Oh no! NOW what do I do?”  She totally didn’t expect, and neither did I. contrary to what Stu Vanairsdale was saying week after week on his Oscar Index. He always had Octavia at #1 all season long. Ditto Christopher Plummer for “Beginners.” But he had “The Artist” & Michel Hazanaviscius all season, too. So kudos to Stu! 4 1/2 out of 6 isn’t bad.

But he was wrong about Jean Dujardin winning 😦 It was annoying GEORGE.

And also only this week did Stu, on his great Oscar Index at www.movieline.com , have Meryl and Viola TYING for “Best Actress.”

And in a very, very red dress, Viola Davis DID give a very affecting speech. And she looked very shocked when she won.

But it wasn’t a tie. And let’s face, “The Help” is a film that the BFCA loved, they really loved. And “Iron Lady” is a critical disaster except for Meryl’s performance….But Meryl immediately stood up when Viola won. And applauded her enthusiastically. Classy. Something it seemed the rest of the room, except “The Help”s table, was not doing.

But nightmare of nightmares that EW cover of last week came true tonight! But will it continue? George & Viola. Will it continue? I wonder….

“Hugo” got nothing. But Martin Scorcese did recieve a quasi life-time achievement award called, strangely, “Film + Music.” I guess that’s the consolation prize of the evening.

“Bridesmaid” won for Best Comedy, then, an entire troup of MEN, ascended the stage and this was supposed to be the big break-through FEMALE movie and it was all men! Embarassing Embarrassing. And Judd Apatow, who was the producer, accepting and every other word had to be bleeped. Which I guess was funny, kinda.

And then he had to be reminded to thank the two female writers…Kristen Wiig and her writing partner. HE NEARLY FORGOT TO MENTION THEM! Was he more embarrassing than George Clooney? No, Clooney was more.

And they had two dreadful comic hosting this always-tacky, subpar presentation. Where is Ricky Gervais when you really need him?

Well, he’ll be there on Sunday, hosting the Golden Globes who I HOPE do not just repeat the four winners we had tonight. Clooney, Davis, Plummer & Spenser in a quartet lock-step, which is what has happened for the past two years.

So in a sense, we’ve already seen this year’s winners(I hope not) and so now the excitement goes out of the Oscar Balloon, and we’ll all be bored to death by the time the Oscars roll around.

Oh Golden Globes! I hope you do something different on Sunday and not just award the same four people!

Well, there’s the musical/comedy category which Jean Dujardin for Best Actor for “The Artist” should triumph in. And Michelle Williams will win Best Actress in a Musical or a Comedy. For sure. Harvey W. hasn’t finished working his magic yet.

Kim Novak – Raped by ‘The Artist’! Ad claim ~ Idiotic!

Kim Novak, a big star once upon time, was always classified as a “dumb blonde,” and now we can see why. Reported more fully by Nikki Finke & crew  at www.deadlinehollywood.com Kim took out a full-page ad in one of the trade papers, saying, provocatively, “I want to report a rape.” And now that she’s got the readers’ attention, she goes on to explain why. There was music from her Best Film (and her first) “Vertigo” used at the end of “The Artist.”

And Novak claims this constituted a “violation of her body(of work).” I beg to differ. Somebody supporting one of the “Artist”s rivals for the Oscar, where it is STILL, miraculously, the front-runner, may have put Ms. Novak up to this. Those ads in the trade papers are VERY expensive. Does she at this late stage of her life have the money for something as pricey as AN AD?!? Makes you wonder.

It’s ridiculous. Many quotes from famous movie scores are used all the time. And of course, in this semi-recent one, well, er, 1958, there are licensing fees involved being paid to the late composer Bernard Herrman’s estate for its’ use. And they are probably hefty.

Kim Novak didn’t WRITE the music. She didn’t DIRECT the movie. That was Alfred Hitchcock, who must be rolling over in his grave, with laughter, at this.

And “Artist” director Michel Hazanaviscius, who just won a nomination from the prestigious Directors’ Guild, today issued a very dignified response. And you can read this in either Deadline Hollywood, or www.hollywoodreporter.com or www.movieline.com

Over at www.awardsdaily.com, Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone, has chosen to ignore this tempest in a teacup. At least last time I looked. Sasha is more excited, TRULY excited by her favorite director David Fincher’s getting the surprise nomination from the DGA. Add to this his CINEMATOGRAPHER getting recognized by the ASC nominators this morning, Sasha must be having a VERY good day.

And yes, the cinematography of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was sumptuous, in its’ own frozen ice-scape way.

And the Broadcast Film Critics’ Awards are TOMORROW night. Yes, dear readers, dear cineastes, it’s the beginning of the end. Of awards season. Last year, the BFCA were very predictive of the Actors’ races, but I think not so much with Best Picture.

And I’ll also add kudos to Sasha for her trumpeting of “Dragon Tattoo.” I think she really did help Fincher get that out-of-the-blue nomination from the DGA. Replacing Steven Spielberg. And now the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers), ignored “War Horse” AGAIN! “Dragon Tattoo” seems to be effectively replacing it.

And some people,myself included, thought the cinematography of “War Horse” was one of its’ strongest suits.

Guess not.

But also don’t forget the Guilds aren’t THE ACADEMY. The largish, younger DGA is not at all like the super-small, very elite, mostly male and VERY old and somewhat conservative director’s branch of the Academy, who may turn around and put Spielberg right back in the race.

Last year’s BFCA started the four-strong lock step to the Oscars that mirrored the Golden Globes acting winners and the eventual Oscar winners exactly. They got the Best Picture wrong last year. And the year before Meryl Streep TIED with Sandra Bullock, lest not forget. For “Julie and Julia” and “The Blind Side” respectively. And the year before that didn’t the same Ms. Streep tie with Anne Hathaway for “Rachel Getting Married”? Is it wrong to not predict MS might tie AGAIN this year with a younger competitor like Michelle Williams? Since the BFCA does historically seem to be all tied up with its’ Best Actresses?

This year all the categories, except Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer, are up in the air. Which is going to make for a VERY interesting evening!

Oscar’s Pesky Supporting Categories. Mucho loco.

Oh, those pesky Oscar Supporting Categories! They are sooo hard to pin down, always, but this year’s there’s so much movement it makes the potential nominees look like Mexican jumping beans!

And no SAG didn’t match the Golden Globes, and they both didn’t match the  (Broadcast Film Critics Assoc.) But look who these groups REALLY represent. Look closely. And the first thing you may notice is that the Broadcast Film Critics, is made up, of mostly, well, film critics.

And there are NO film critics in the Academy. Repeat after me. THERE ARE NO FILM CRITICS IN THE ACADEMY.

And Stu Vanairsdale’s www.movieline.com excellent depiction of the Hollywood Foreign Press as “swag monkeys” is sooo apposite I want to adopt it just for my own, but yes, that defines them. ABSOLUTELY. And also, they are PRESS. And yes, repeat after me…no don’t bother. There’s no press in the Academy either….

So the fact that Michael Fassbender didn’t get a SAG nom is much more significant than it may at first seem. AND he’s urinating on-screen. Literally pissing his nomination away. And that’s how Demian Bichir got HIS SAG nom, playing a heroic Hispanic gardener. Yeah, this category this year . It’s a pisser.

But also not nominated for SAG was Albert Brooks from “Drive” and that make me wonder. He was nominated for Supporting Actor by both the BFCA and the GG, but to be left out of SAG may be fatal.

Why was Brooks not nominated for “Drive”? Maybe because THEY DIDN’T WATCH “DRIVE.” SAG gave nothing to “Drive” whereas the BFCA nominated it A LOT.

Who was nominated in Brooks’ place? Armie Hammer for “J. Edgar!” Stupendous in “The Joy of Typing” as BOTH Winklevoss twins, he’s riding a crest of good will. And Academy members keep exclaiming “I loved J.Edgar!” Which is something obviously Stu V. isn’t hearing.

And Hammer benefits by being in Leo DiCaprio’s shadow. He gets to kiss him, after all (Degree of difficulty!) And even though “J. Edgar” was left off the PGA list, it made MY Ten Best, and I STILL think it’s another Clint Eastwood masterpiece. THAT could be a surprise BP pop-up on Oscar Nomination Day, which is Tuesday Jan.24.

AMPAS members are voting right now on their choices of nominations. Yes, they are. And so what’s on their minds? Well, “The Artist” for one, which is going to get more nominations than any other film this year. And Berenice Bejo is on her way to a for sure Best Supporting Actress nomination and possibly even a win, in my book.

The Argentinian/French beauty carries as much of the film as the stalwart Jean Dujardin, who did win the Best Actor prize in Cannes this year. And she got a BFCA, a SAG nod, and also a Golden Globe nomination. So she was the triple crown of nods as it were.

And she also just won BEST ACTRESS in the Rome Film Festival which just wrapped last week.

So she’s definitely on a roll, and she’s also married IRL to “The Artist” s front-runner for Best Director Michel Hazanaviscius. And HE’S probably going to win Best Director across the board, and if she won, too, that would be the first time in Oscar history that a husband and wife team won double Oscars, a quaint touch that the Academy may very likely find too charming to resist, too. Just like their movie!

They’re French, and SOOOO in love! And so happy!

Berenice’s main competition is Octavia Spenser for “The Help.” Spencer, an unknown up until this season, also was a recipient of a SAG, BFCA & a GG nod. So she’s almost assured of a nomination. But she’s an Academy newbie. Her memorable performance as the foul-mouthed Minnie is the kind of role that gets nominated but doesn’t necessarily WIN awards.

And there was that shitting in the pie scene. Unlike Michael Fassbender, we don’t SEE her doing it, thank god, but she does do it, and then serves it to Bryce Dallas Howard, RON HOWARD’S daughter! in real life, who plays the villainess Hilly so well here in “The Help.”

Stu V. and Tom O’Neil at www.GoldDerby.com and many others have her as a frontrunner in Supporting Actress, but I wonder….

I do NOT think the Academy is open-minded enough to award TWO African-American actresses in ONE year. One of them, maybe, but not both. And Viola Davis is pictured and named as “The Frontrunner” on this week’s Entertainment Weekly annual Oscar issue. She’s pictured with George Clooney, which actually could be the kiss of death. They could BOTH not win.

And the two “Help” women, may split the “Help” vote. And neither wins.

It’s a very interesting year in that the actress categories are so up-in-the-air.

And it just goes to show that Meryl Streep’s reviews for “The Iron Lady” were sooooo bad that they vaulted Viola Davis on to the cover of EW!

And Shailene Woodley of “The Descendants” was not nominated for a SAG award either.  Too young, merely a teenager. But Janet McTeer of “Albert Nobbs” was…and Stu V. has Glenn Close of “Albert” slipping out of the locked five in Best Actress, being replaced by Rooney Mara. I don’t see that happening. But Janet McTeer has ALSO scored the trifecta of BFCA, SAG & GG.

And then there’s Jessica Chastain & her 5000 films she was in this year’s problem. What to nominate her for? Well, if it’s for “The Help” (a good perf, but not great) she’d also be splitting the “Help” vote with Spencer and then…and then…Berenice Bejo wins!

And Vanessa Redgrave could win in this category, but she’s been nominated nowhere so far and it seems like NO body is watching “Coriolanus.”

And then there’s sweet Carrie Mulligan who shows HER nether regions in “Shame.” But oh yes, since she’s a young girl, that could help her…but so far…No nominations…which is a REAL shame.

And Christopher Plummer? He won this race, Supporting Actor, the minute his marvelous film “Beginners” opened in May. The question that plagues us Oscar-ers and Oscar-ettes, is who’s going to be nominated in that category and lose to him. Plummer has never seen so, well, plummy. And he’s experiencing the most attention and love he’s perhaps ever gotten in his long and very chequered career. He’s very grand, too, as Herbert Wanger in “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” It’s his year. He’s everywhere!

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