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As Oscar Voters Are Voting, Why Alicia Vikander Is the New Oscar “It” Girl!

Alicia Vikander 2Every year Oscar has a new “It” Girl. The young actress who seems to be EVERYWHERE and is on everybody’s tongue, and radar, and who is haunting the SWORM(Straight White Old Rich Men) of AMPAS’ dreams. It’s called Oscar Buzz. It’s called Momentum. And this year it seems to be  sizzling around Alicia Vikander, who is  currently on the cover of Vogue (see above) and where she is being dubbed “Hollywood’s New Swede Heart.”

This tradition of falling in love with beauteous Swedish actresses is a classic one. There was Greta Garbo, who won no Oscars, and Ingrid Bergman, who won three.

And Alicia is so ubiquitous this year, she is on Oscars’ mind in TWO categories, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Firstly, there’s “The Danish Girl” which I personally think is going to prove more loved by the Academy, and yes, even SAG, than it seems to be in the blogosphere, where people are grossly underestimating it. But not me. It’s my Number One Film of the Year!

Alicia Vikander 4And do I have to remind you, dear readers, dear cineastes that the blogosphere does not contain ANY voting Members of the Academy. Their tastes are their tastes, and are not the taste of the Academy’s. Maybe the Golden Globes and certainly the Broadcast Film Critics are perhaps nearer to Oscars, but even then the Academy likes to go its’ own independent way.

But the lovely Alicia is everywhere! Breaking hearts in “The Danish Girl” Eddie & Alicia 1in a role that is so dimensional and relatable, the long-suffering wife of the transgender transitioning Lili Elbe, played by last year’s Oscar winner( and also a surefire nominee for this one, too) Eddie Redmayne. And mystifying men around the world as the quixotic robot Ava in “Ex Machina.”Alicia Vikander 3

Yes, I’m thinking that Alicia is blowing up so big right now, just at the right time, the heretofore little known Swede is going to perhaps get such a big “Welcome to Hollywood” hug from the Academy, that she could very easily be nominated for TWO Oscars! That’s right. One for lead for “The Danish Girl” and one in Supporting for “Ex Machina!” That’s SOME welcome!

That strange, sexy, barely clad robot in “Ex Machina” is the sort of role that lingers in the mind, as well as elsewhere, for most straight men, I am guessing. She’s been nominated in Supporting by many critics groups too numerous to mention for “Ex Machina.” It doesn’t hurt her Oscar chances either that she’s seen nude in both films.

She also won the esteemed Los Angeles film critics award for Best Supporting Actress for “Ex Machina.”

SAG put her in Supporting for “The Danish Girl.” While the Golden Globes put her in lead. Anyway you slice it, Alicia is everywhere.

And she’s also got a ton of films coming up, proving that many leading filmmakers and studios are banking on her for their futures. Reminding me of the year the unknown Angelina Jolie came out of nowhere to win her first and only Oscar for Supporting Actress in “Girl Interrupted.” Nobody knew her in the general public, but Hollywood was counting on the fact that she was going to have a major future, and lo and behold, she certainly did. You could say the same for the unknown Marion Cotillard, or even America’s own Lupita Nyongo just two years ago. They both went from zero to winner. Hollywood LOVES a Cinderella story and certainly Alicia seems to be this year’s princess just waiting to be crowned.

This year, I think,it’s Alicia Vikander’s turn.

At every turn, the 5’5″ brown-eyed beauty is turning heads and hearts. With her talent and her smarts.aLICIA vIKANDER1Every where you turn, there she is smiling that beguiling, but intelligent smile, saying even from the cover of Vogue, “I’m here to stay.” Or “Give me that Oscar!” (more…)

How “Grand Budapest” Could Upset “Boyhood” at Oscars

Gustav H. & cops“Grand Budapest Hotel” is one of the true masterpieces out there this year, and is the film I feel could upset “Boyhood”s chances of winning Best Picture. It won Best Film Musical/Comedy at the Globes over “Birdman” then again it won Best Comedy last night at Broadcast Film Critics. It scored with every single guild. It has the most nominations of any of the films(Tied with “Birdman”) at nine. It also has been nominated for Best Ensemble at SAG, and an ensemble it certainly has. It could win that.

The all important award is the Producer’s Guild. If it wins there, then watch this whole race get turned on its’ head, like it did the year “The King’s Speech” triumphed over “The Joy of Typing,” which had won every award up until then. But I never gave up hope. I knew it would change. “The Joy of Typing” better known as…I can’t even remember its name, it was so painful to sit through. “The Joy of Typing” had won everything up until that point that year. Then everything changed. I think that will happen again.

And with Marion Cotillard now in the Best Actress race, poor Julianne Moore might get passed over AGAIN. It COULD happen. Mlle. Marion is in a much better film that Moore is. People arent’ watching their “Still Alive” screeners. Oops, I meant, “Still Alice.”

Broadcast Film Critics Winners

I did not like this list at all, but here I am printing it anyway. The Oscar nominations were announced in LA yesterday morning starting at 5AM or so, and the Broadcast Film Critics had their ceremony last night. All in one day. No wonder everyone looks pooped.

TBoyhood 1he list of winners are as follows ~

BEST PICTURE
Boyhood

BEST ACTOR
Michael Keaton, Birdman

BEST ACTRESS
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

BEST DIRECTOR
Richard Linklater, Boyhood 

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Birdman

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Gone Girl

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman

BEST COMEDY
The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Jenny Slate, Obvious Child

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Michael Keaton, Birdman

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST SONG
“Glory,” Common/John Legend, Selma

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Lego Movie

BEST ACTION MOVIE
Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow

BEST ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood

BEST SCI FI/HORROR MOVIE
Interstellar

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Life Itself

BEST CINEMATOGRAPY
Birdman, Emmanuel Lubezki

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

BEST EDITING
Birdman, Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione

BEST ART DIRECTION
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Adam Stockhausen/Production Designer, Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Milena Canonero

BEST HAIR & MAKEUP
Guardians of the Galaxy

BEST SCORE
Antonio Sanchez, Birdman

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Force Majeure (Sweden)

Wins by film:
Birdman – 7
Boyhood – 4
The Grand Budapest Hotel – 3
Guardians of the Galaxy – 2
American Sniper – 1
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – 1
Edge of Tomorrow – 1
Force Majeure – 1
Gone Girl – 1
Interstellar – 1
Life Itself – 1
The Lego Movie – 1
Obvious Child -1
Selma – 1
Still Alice – 1
Whiplash – 1

Broadcast Film Critics Nominations Announced

 

The Broadcast Film Critics, sometimes known as the Critics Choice Awards announced this AM and “Birdman”(13 nominations),Budapest 1 then “The Grand Budapest Hotel”(11) led the pack followed by, of course, “Boyhood”(8).

The most interesting thing is that Steve Carrell was snubbed for Best Actor for “Foxcatcher” in a field of six actors! As I prediceted BTW. And “Foxcatcher” also did not make it in to the Best Picture category in a field of ten…very big blow to its’ Oscar chances, which now seem limited to Mark Ruffalo in Supporting Actor, who did nominated.

However, Marion Cotillard DID make it into Best Actress and Tilda Swinton was in in Supporting Actress for “Snowpiercer.” Again both in a field of six.

Also left out of Best Picture was “Into the Woods” but Meryl Streep was IN in Supporting Actress. I’m seeing tonight and will give a full report back.

Also “Gone Girl” was in as was “Nightcrawler.” The Broadcast Film Critics are considered the MOST predictive of the Oscar precursors, but they’re muddying the waters a bit with their fields of six nominees in many categories where they Oscars, of course only have five

BEST PICTURE
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Nightcrawler
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken
Whiplash

BEST ACTOR
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton – Birdman
David Oyelowo – Selma
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS
Jennifer Aniston – Cake
Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer

For complete list see http://www.awardsdaily.com

“12 Years” Best Picture, McConaughey & Blanchett win Critics’ Choice Awards!

This is starting to seem a little bit familiar. But thank god that “12 Years a Slave” won Best Picture, again. But aside from Lupita Nyong’O breaking through in Best Supporting Actress, “12 Years” only also won Best Adapted Screenplay for John Ridley but won NOTHING else. I guess McQueen was not satisfied that Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender didn’t win in their categories, and he lost AGAIN to Alphonse Cauron for Best Director for “Gravity”

But at least the Critics did the right thing and gave “12 Years” Best Picture. Director Steve McQueen looked more than a little pissed and gave a very brief almost waspish speech, like he couldn’t get off the stage fast enough. Consequently, the show seemed to end early.

Lupita was seen laughing and smiling and bouncing up and down in her seat in the audience, clearly the picture of happiness personified. What a beautiful night she must be having!

Matthew McConaughey won AGAIN for “Dallas Buyers Club” and Cate Blanchett won AGAIN for “Blue Jasmine” and they both gave nice speeches. She profusely thanked Woody Allen “for writing such great parts for women. I’m just the lucky girl who got the call,” she demured modestly.

Jared Leto at least acknowledged HIS award also for “Dallas Buyers Club” was “for people living with HIV-AIDS and all those that are trying to help them live.” That was beautiful.

But the shot of Leonardo DiCaprio’s face, as McConaughey was giving his SECOND acceptance speech of the past three days, was priceless. He looked fed up and unhappy. Like “So this is what’s going to happen now?” Since he did win the Best Comedy Actor award at the Golden Globes and again tonight, you could’ve said that it was down to him v. McConaughey. And now it seems clear that McConaughey is going to keep on winning. And “Wolf of Wall Street” and Leo and Martin Scorsese are NOT.

The highpoint for me was Lupita! Congratulations, young Hollywood’s newest Princess!

 

 

I don’t think Leo’s nominated for the SAG Award which is SATURDAY night(exhausted yet?) So we’ll see if McConaughey looses or beats Chiwetel.
And if Lupita triumphs again…

“American Hustle” won Best Comedy, Best Comic Actress Amy Adams, Best Ensemble.

Qu’venzhane’s Best Actress Oscar Upset?

The one thing NOBODY is taking in to consideration in the now very competitive Best Actress Oscar race is the fact that NOBODY in that category has yet to compete against its’ youngest ever nominee, the now 9-year-old dynamo that is Qu’venzhane Wallis.

As my Oscar Idol Tom O’Neil keeps saying over at http://www.goldderby.com and I quote “Oscar likes Little Girls.” And historically, he’s right. Patti Duke? Tatum O’Neal?Anna Pacquin? Anyone? But they all won in Supporting. If Qu’venzhane was in Supporting, she just might win. But the Academy wisely nominated her in lead Actress which is where her astonishing performance belongs. A six-year-old carrying this entire movie? It was astounding! I’ve never seen a better performance by a child actor, or actress. She was unforgettable.

But she’s not gone up against the other ladies ANYwhere. So there’s no telling what havoc she might wreck. Jennifer Lawrence is the presumed front-runner for “Silver Linings Playbook.” But just this Sunday she showed surprising weakness at the BAFTAS in London when she lost to 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva for “Amour.” But Qu’venzhane was not nominated for a BAFTA.

In fact, the Academy Award is the first serious Best Actress race she has competed in, against these women.

Well, yes, she did win Best Young Actor(or Actress) from the Broadcast Film Critics. I think she got Best Breakthrough Actress from the National Board of Review. And she won something similar from the Hollywood Film Awards.

And she’s charmed EVERYONE with her acceptance speeches. She irresistible. And Oscar likes to SURPRISE. And this would be a surprise!

It’s so boring that we all know “Argo” is going to win Best Picture(but deserving), and especially boring that Daniel Day-Lewis for “Lincoln” and Anne Hathaway for “Les Miserables” (who deserves it) are going to continue their march to the podium.

Jennifer Lawrence is also very young, 22, but Qu’venzhane is 9, and she did “Beasts of the Southern Wild” when she was six.

Exhibit A for Qu’venzhane ~ Everybody now pronounces her name correctly.
And Exhibit B – They also have learned to SPELL it correctly.

Tom O’Neil and Pete Hammond of http://www.deadline.com joked about her name in many early podcasts, but they are not laughing now. Calling her Miss Unpronounceable. They are NOT saying that anymore. In fact, BOTH have learned to say her name correcly, and say it with respect.

Exhibit C – The Academy liked “Beasts of the Southern Wild” enough to nominate it for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenply.

Benh Zeitlin has just turned 30 and he ALSO ranks as one of the youngest directors to ever be nominated, too, btw.

Some people feel a child that young’s performance is not an acting performance, it’s a manipulation of the child by the director. Hence Zeitlin’s wonderful, surprising nom.

Best Director is really the most up-in-the-air category of any of the Oscars this year. Since Ben Affleck was snubbed famously for “Argo.” We know he’s not winning? But who is? Zeitlin?

And I have this really strong suspicion that, well, a certainty, really, as an Oscarologist of LONNNNNNNG standing…that “Beasts” is going to win something big. It could be Zeitlin. It could be Qu’venzhane Wallis.

Jennifer Lawrence has her youth, her beauty, TWO multi-million dollar franchises “The Hunger Games” and “X-Men” behind her AND she’s got Harvey Weinstein and his super-effective TWC publicity machine behind her. They got surprisingly THREE BAFTAS in places that weren’t expected. Christopher Waltz for Supporting Actor for “Django Unchained” and Quentin Tarantino for Original Screenplay. QT could repeat that feat at the Oscars, since he also was snubbed for Best Director along with Affleck, Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow.

AND he also got David O.Russell Best Adapted Screenplay for “Silver Linings Playbook” at the BAFTAS which nobody expected either.

Of those three wins, I think Tarantino is most likely to score at the Oscars. Mainly because Harvey is pushing Robert De Niro like CRA-ZEE here in the States for the sympathetic Italian father in “Silver Linings.” It’s been DECADES since De Niro won his last Oscar for “Raging Bull.” So I think he’ll score this VERY competitive race for Best Supporting Actor.

And “Silver Linings Playbook” is being advertised to death on TV and all the players, all four of the leads are nominated in all four acting categories and have been omnipresent on your and my TVs.

Qu’venzhane, well, she’s been around, but she’s also in school, and her responsible family wants to keep her there as long as 4th grade is in session.Or is it third?

Also, Jennifer Lawrence SHOULD have won in London. Harvey was working his magic, as I said, but the Weinsteining only went so far. It didn’t stop “Argo” Awards march and Jennifer Lawrence lost to Emmanuelle Riva.

Emmanuelle Riva is beyond brilliant and totally memorable in “Amour,” but I keep hearing that Academy members can’t watcn it on their DVDs. It’s about Octogenarians coping with death, basically, and it’s just too much, too depressing for many.

But they’ve all watched “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Oscar likes to do something that not everybody else has done in terms of a winner, and Qu’venzhane would certainly be that. She’d make history, too, as the youngest ever Best Actress Oscar winner and also as only the second African-American winner in that category EVER.

As Tom O’Neil is constantly saying “It’s which one is not like the other ones. It’s the Apple in a bag of Oranges.” And Qu’venzhane fits THAT description to a “T”

Last week she was one of the covers of Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar issue and she’s also on Vanity Fair’s Oscar cover banging away on a set of drums!

The Academy is constantly being accused of racism, especially after Viola Davis’s loss to Meryl Streep last year. That was Harvey at work, yet again. I think there’s a verb now. I’ll call it Weinsteining if anybody else hasn’t already.

And Oscar likes little girls.

And they like “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

And y’know something else? Everyone is underestimating her. But any time any one says her name on TV now, or anywhere, they SMILE.

If I was voting this year, she’s the one I’d vote for.

Emmanuelle Riva is frail and didn’t make it to the BAFTAS and is even now using a walker and may not be able to make that lonnnnng flight to LA. So there’s the fear of a no-show.

Qu’venzhane Wallis will make the MOST adorable speech ever.

You can see me interviewing her this past June when she was 8 on my You Tube Channel http://www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow and I ask her about the Oscars and you can see her charming response. She didn’t know what an Oscar was, BTW.

Last time I saw Qu’venzhane was at the Gotham Awards. It was outside at night, as I was leaving and she was SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS! To a bunch of screaming fans! Her mother Qu’lendrea was there and I noted to her that Qu’venzhane had gotten quite tall, since I had seen her last in June. She shooting up fast. And I said to her Mom, “Is she all right?” And she said, “Yes,” and I said “How is she taking all this?” And she said “She’s fine.”

Then she tapped Qu’venzhane firmly on the shoulder and pointed to me. Qu’venzhane remembered me! And smiled and curtsied to me.

I would vote for HER.

Maybe the all-too-serious actor’s branch of AMPAS wouldn’t. But the REST of the 4,500 membership, the infamous all male “steak-eaters” as Anne Thompson calls them just might.I call them the “SWORM”, the straight white old rich men, who are the majority of the Academy. Yeah, I can see THEM voting for Qu’venzhane.

SAG Awards and PGA this weekend! Predictions!

It’s a big weekend in the Awards Calendar as Oscar draws ever nearer… The PGA (The Producers Guild of America) announces who they picked as Best Picture of 2012 on Sat. And as if that weren’t enough excitement on Sunday, we have the always exciting, always misleading SAG Awards. The Screen Actors Guild.

Some of the members of these guilds are in the Academy. A lot of them. But more importantly the producers have a list of ten. The Oscar only nominated nine. And while the producers picked “Skyfall”, the Academy didn’t and dropped “Moonrise Kingdom” but picked up “Amour.” But even MORE importantly they use a preferential ballot, which is what the Oscars do with Best Picture. But ONLY Best Picture.

Every other Oscar category is by a simple majority. IOW, whoever gets the most votes wins.

The Prefentials Ballot is Sooooo complicated I will defer to Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone at the superior and ever-essential http://www.awardsdaily.com to let her and the great Steve Pond of http://www.thewrap.com explain THAT particular kettles of thorns.

I’m mixing metaphors, but I don’t mince words.

So IOW the Producer’s Guild with its large voting body is more of an approximate cross-section of the Academy’s. So whoever they choose as their winner on Sat. may very well tell the tale of who or what is going to win Best Picture.

And I think, like the Hollywood Foreign Press and the Broadcast Film Critics that they are going to go with “Argo.” Ben Affleck who was notoriously snubbed by the Academy for Best Director, as was Katheryn Bigelow, is riding high right now on a wave of monumental sympathy for this snub. And the PGA may very well correct this.

The SAGs, being a mass of many thousands of actors, is a little harder to predict correctly. They follow their own star. I would like to think that my personal favorite “Les Miserables” may pull a surprise upset here and win their Best Ensemble award. Best Ensemble is the SAGs way of saying Best Picture. And “Les Mis” certainly had a great ensemble, in my book.

I would love to see Hugh Jackman win for “Les Miserables” and best Daniel Day-Lewis for his boring performance in the bore-to-end-all-bores “Lincoln.” “Lincoln” has the most nominations across all these awards bodies and consistently lost. To “Argo”!

All the controversy that is still swirling around “Zero Dark Thirty” is going to make it very hard to win ANYTHING I think. Coupled with the fact that I don’t think Sony sent out that screener to the voting membership of SAG. Sony is also losing its’ headquarter building in Manhattan. 550 Madison. The beautiful Phillip Johnson-designed stunner that once-upon-a-time was the AT&T building. They’ve got bigger problems, obviously, then sorting out ZDT’s Awards’ chances.

Which I think is going to leave Jessica Chastain out in the cold.

Losing to most likely Jennifer Lawrence in”Silver Linings Playbook”, if Harvey Weinstein has his way. Or to Naomi Watts, if he doesn’t.

I think HW WILL prevail in the Best Supporting Actor category with Robert DeNiro, who has never won a SAG award, believe it or not.(His best work pre-dates SAGs Awards) And that would be also for “Silver Linings Playbook.” Are we seeing a pattern form here?

And lastly Anne Hathaway for Best Supporting Actress for “Les Miserabales” is as locked as Christopher Plummer was last year for HIS first ever Oscar win at age 82 for “Beginners.”

Best Ensemble ~ I HOPE it’s “Les Mis” but it just might be “Argo” like the BFCA and the Golden Globes, or it could be “Silver Linings Playbook.” THAT one’s a real toss-up.

More predictive is the PGA on Sat.

Will I live-blog the SAGs on Sunday? Probably. Do check in.

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