a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Christopher Plummer’

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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“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.

EW’s Oscar Issue ~ SO Three Weeks ago!

Parsing EW’s formerly reliable Oscar issue, which just hit the stands…It’s “frontrunners” are sooo three weeks ago. Which is about the time their Oscar Race issue came out, with, prematurely, VERY prematurely George Clooney & Viola Davis pictured as though they were getting out of a limo, both looking as though they both have already won.

Now it’s a couple of issues later, or more, and they are STILL sticking by their three weeks previous frontrunners. George Clooney and Viola Davis, and The Artist and Michel Hazanaviscius, for picture and director, which I think is right, whereas Clooney has been replaced by the SAG win of Jean Dujardin.

Clooney’s stock is sinking like a stone, and so is “The Descendants” a helluva depressing movie, BTW. But of course, EW, having had to “go to bed”, as it is still called in the print media, (yeah, remember THEM?) has its’ Oscar choices frozen as it were in time. And once again, they have to stand by their “Oscar Race” issue cover stars Clooney and Davis. I knew AT LEAST one of them wasn’t going to win.

But even Tom O’Neil at www.goldderby.com had to admit that Jean Dujardin is taking over the lead.  And EW’s Oscar God Dave Karger admitted to Tom in a video on Gold Derby, or was it in a podcast with Scott Feinberg of www.hollywoodreporter.com

that he was “almost ready to switch” to Jean Dujardin.

There’s also an HI-larious nearly hour-long four-way video, where Editor O’Neil literally falls asleep in the middle of his own broadcast. Lolol…I’m not kidding.

He’s got two young reporters broadcasting it seems from Australia, one Rob Licuria is a father,with an enfant constantly trying to grab his attention, and who is also a lawyer down under. One, Chris Beecham, who seems to be a radio guy from Mississippi, and the third a “moderator,” also a young Australian running things. And Tom, in Hwood, presumably, falling asleep at the wheel, half way through. I couldn’t believe he’d let that go public. Maybe it’s gone now. He should take that down.

As Tom is the only one of the four operating out of Hwood, and he, being the grand-daddy of all Oscarologists, you’d THINK he could’ve at least managed to stay awake through his own SHOW. Embarassing. And it makes you wonder. If this year’s final lap around the Oscar Derby Racetrack, is making its’ creator snooze, what is it doing to the public?

Well, I guess the consensus is that Best Picture, Best Director and the two Supporting categories…Christopher Plummer and Octavia Spencer, are all locked up for good. It only remains volatile in the Best Actor and Actress races.

And volatile = interesting.

And in the number #2 slot in the EW issue, there is a HUGE more-than-a- page lay-out and I mean lay-out of Michelle Williams in her Marilyn mode. Stunning, sumptuous color photo and stuck WAAAY on the side of Michelle, in, I guess, EW’s version of 3rd Place, is Meryl Streep! Hmmm….that’s interesting. So EW now thinks it’s Davis, Williams and Streep in that order….Hmmm…

It’s a very tight race between those three women and upsets in tight races do occur. I still have hopes for Michelle winning the BAFTA next weekend and then bringing her win stateside to triumph at the Oscars. If it’s Viola Davis, or Meryl, I’ll have to admit that that woman now has the late-day advantage that BAFTA sometimes bestows on a tight race. Like the year when the unknown French actress Marion Cotillard triumped of Brit icon Julie Christie.

And Best Actor? Well, in the #2 spot EW has Jean Dujardin jumping for joy, in a very funny pic, that also, like Michelle’s, takes up a page and a half. And Gawgeous George is in #1.

EW and Oscar God Dave Karger take note. I think you should’ve switched those two. But ah! It’s tooo late now. The issue is already on the stands but it’s always a little off, historically.

And so it is again this year. For Jean Dujardin to win at the SAGS is just phenomenal. And if he also wins at the BAFTAS, like Marion did for “La Vie En Rose” fawgeddabowdit!

How do you say that in French? Voila, c’est fini!

Jean Dujardin Wins Best Actor at SAG Awards!!!

Well, the SAG awards was pretty darn dull until the last half hour when French star Jean Dujardin triumphed over George Clooney to win Best Actor tonight! Suprising? Non. Pas moi! I predicted as much on this blog the post before last. George Clooney has never won a SAG award and I quipped “There’s probably a reason for that.”

George, I guess they just don’t like you THAT much! They like you. But they don’t REALLY like you. And for this extremely American-centric, Xenophobic Screen Actor’s Guild to award their BIG Award BEST ACTOR to a Frenchman! Mon dieu! C’est incroyable! C’est presque impossible! Mais C’EST VRAI!

And Jean gave the most adorable acceptance speech, funny, and moving…
I’m sure it will be all over You Tube in a matter of seconds, but you can see MOI interviewing Jean and his glamorous Argentinian/French co-star Berenice Bejo at www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

Predicting right to they themselves that they’d be going to the Kodak Pavillion in February! And it’s almost February!

So Best Actor was the one big Weinstein Co. win tonight. The Screen Actors Guild only gives out five awards. Best Ensemble AND Best Actress AND Best Supporting Actress all went shockingly to “The Help.”

It was an upset after “The Artist”s director Michel Hazanaviscius won Best Director at the DGA last night.

“The Help” COULD perhaps be perceived as perhaps making this year’s Oscar race a two-way race now between “The Help” and “The Artist” and a case COULD be made for that point of view. Except for the fact that “The Help” did not receive a Best Director nomination, nor did it receive any screenwriting or below-the-line technical nominations. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress and two Supporting Actress nominations and that was it. It didn’t even get Best Song from Mary J.Blige.

Now, I’ve often said how the Academy has had a lot of personal resentment for Meryl Streep in the past. But now that she’s 62 and she’s playing quite aged most of the time in “The Iron Lady” there’s a sympathy for her that I have never felt before, since, well, the earliest days of her Oscar career, like around the time of “Sophie’s Choice” which is arguably one of the greatest performances by an actress on-screen of all time.

So now we know, as I’ve heard over and over again from FEMALE members of SAG, of “She’s gotten everything, including all the parts, why should we give her ANOTHER Oscar?” She’s got two, one for Best Actress for “Sophie’s Choice” and one for Supporting Actress for “Kramer vs.Kramer.” in the 80s!

And she wasn’t helping herself with the extremely dowdy brown drape dress she was wearing. Literally. The curtains. It looked like she was wearing the curtains, Miss Scarlett.

And Clooney. I told you how I noticed how rattled I thought he was and tired at the Golden Globes in his acceptance speech. And I knew why. He had just had to follow Jean Dujardin’s incredibly funny and moving win for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical.

This year everyone has been noting that POWER of SAG seems to have grown. So it makes a very good case for Jean Dujardin winning again at the Oscars, and not George. “The Descendants” got NO-thing.

And he’ll probably win at the BAFTAS, too, later this week. And be as equally as funny and charming as he was tonight AND at the Golden Globes.

Jean Dujardin reminds me of a cross between Clark Gable and Gene Kelly and Maurice Chevalier(when he was young.) He’s irresistible.

And so he’ll continue his march to the Oscars. As will the wonderful Christopher Plummer who won tonight as Best Supporting Actor. And his speech was better tonight. So was Octavia Spencer’s speech. She looked wonderful and really READY to win and be the star that everybody, inexplicably, wants her to be.

But the Screen Actor’s Guild isn’t THE ACADEMY. There’s an overlap, but not all that much. There’s 300,000 members of SAG and only 1,500 members of the Academy’s Actors Branch. And most members of AMPAS don’t even BOTHER to vote in the SAGs. The Academy is nothing if not tres exclusif, bien sur.

And “The Artist” got TEN nominations, “across the branches” as Anne Thompson is wont to say on www.indiewire.com

Stu Van Airsdale, the Oscar’s Wizard of Wit, with his great, carefully calibrated Oscar Index, which week-in, week-out, is a delight to read AND to look forward to. You can see it every Wed. PM at www.movieline.com  Stu, or as he likes to style himself lately, STV, had it both ways with Meryl AND Viola tied for first place and also Jean Dujardin and George Clooney tied for first place. So STV REALLY had it all right this week. Except he didn’t have “The Help” anywhere near the top.

But then it’s the OSCAR Index, not the SAG index.

So now, we, like Harvey Weinstein & Co., is doing, turn our attention to the BAFTAS. Where Best Actress is really still up for grabs. Michelle is nominated there, too. I really felt sorry for her when she didn’t win. But if the Brits give Best Actress to her, when she’s up against Viola and Meryl and also Berenice Bejo, who they put in lead there….she could be a surprise win. “My Week with Marilyn” is a British film, after all.

And I don’t want to sound delusional, but I think Jean Dujardin did a sort kinda Stephen Holt Shout Out-imitation, when he kept exclaiming “Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god! OH MY GOD!” in ever-ascending levels of shrillness, that I’ve been noticed to do, in the past, and even recently in my very own interview with Jean and Berenice.

Jean, I’m honored by your, er, quoting of me. Merci, merci beaucoup. Et alors, maintenant Les Baftas et apres-la l’Oscars! And lets hope “The Artist” wins there, too.

Oscar Nominations FINALLY Announced! Quick Reactions!

So there they are, surprising one, surprising all, even me. That’s right, dear readers, dear cineastes, the Oscar Nominations for 2011 have finally been announced, and yes, I did wake up VERY early to get the news! And the shocks! The delightful shocks, like for instance, predicting Best Actress completely accurately. Meryl, Michelle, Viola, Glenn, and ROONEY MARA!

She “knocked out” Tilda Swinton, who was one of the SAG five nominees for Best Actress this year. Her film”We’ve Got to Talk About Kevin” is something the Academy clearly DIDN’T want to talk about. The mother of a school shooter is clearly now outside their “wheelhouse.”

As is Michael Fassbender full frontal onslaught and yes, his urinating, while nude, onscreen in “Shame.” I KNEW that they would not like to nominate THAT! But yes, they DID nominate Damien Bichir, which I am happy to say, I predicted.

The noble Mexican illegal immigrant/gardener is definately a heroic figure to the Academy, as Bichir, a great actor in any language, tries his best to save his teenage son from gang-life in today’s L.A.

I’m also happy to report that Gary Oldman also POPPED UP with no American precursors WHATSOVER in Best Actor for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” and it’s about time this great British Actor FINALLY got his first nomination!

This is probably attributable to the supposedly large British voting bloc within the Academy. TTSS got the most BAFTA nods of any film this year over across The Pond. And Oldman certainly richly deserves this for his astounding decades-long body of work. And you can see my interview with him over at my You Tube channel www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

Who he “knocked out” of the Best Actor face, one of the SAG Five men, was Leonardo Di Caprio for “J.Edgar” which I just totally attribute to homophobia on the part of the Academy which not so long ago denied Best Picture to “Brokeback Mountain” and gave it instead to the OK “Crash.” The worst moment in Oscar history. For me, anyway.

So out of the ten possible choices in my Oscar Nomination Predictions, Leo was the only one I got wrong. To leave out such a big star as Leo is in a Clint Eastwood-directed movie, I find shocking, SHOCKING! But Gary Oldman is a more than worthy choice, and so is Damien Bichir. Congratulations to them both!

However, I underestimataed the Academy’s enthusiasm for their #1 voting change. Because I thought it would be eight and NINE got in. Again, I got one wrong. “My Week with Marilyn” which is STILL MY OWN PERSONAL #1 movie of the year, although it did get Acting nods for the extraordinary performances of Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe and Kenneth Branagh in Supporting Actor, for his terrific turn as Sir Laurence Olivier.

You can see alllll the nominations listed at www.awardsdaily.com

“Hugo” to MY great shock bested “The Artist” in the number of nominations it got. 11 to “The Artist”s ten. Both got nominated for Best Picture and Best Director, which would be Martin Scorcese for “Hugo” and Michel Hazanaviscius for “The Artist”.

It was Jennifer Lawrence’s finest acting moment when she pronounced Michel H.s name correctly. Hah-zana-VIZ-use, phonetically. Accent on the VIZ.

“The Artist” also was nominated for Best Actor, Jean Dujardin, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress – Berenice Bejo, Best Score – Ludovic Bource who was won at the BFCA AND the Golden Globes, Best Cinematography, Best Costumes, Best Editing and Best Art Direction.

“Hugo” scored mainly in the technical categories or “below-the-line” as they’re called in industry parlance, but no acting categories whatsoever, and may be the first Best Picture nominee with the most votes to ever not have ANY actors nominated at all. Not a good sign.

Historically, the film with the most nominations USUALLY wins, but not always. But “The Artist” is the clear favorite here.

Steven Spielberg saw his “War Horse” surprise in Best Picture, but also saw no actors from his film get in, and he himself didn’t either for Best Director.

Best Director including Scorcese and Hazanviscius as I said, and also Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris” and Alexander Payne for “The Descendants.” The surprise Best Director in the Fifth slot was Terence Malick for the controversial “Tree of Life” which also got nominated for Best Picture!

Best Actor nominee for “Moneyball” Brad Pitt is in “Tree of Life” too, don’t forget, and so is The Girl of The Year Jessica Chastain. Both arguably giving better performances than they did with what they were nominated for “Moneyball” and Chastain in “The Help”, OK, but not great.

I think “The Artist” is still way out front for Best Picture. And I still think BOTH Jean Dujardin and Michelle Williams could upset.

“The Iron Lady” only got two nominations. For Meryl’s great lead performance and for Best Make-Up, which it probably will win.

Glenn Close’s passion project of 30 years “Albert Nobbs” got three nods. For Close, Supporting Actress Janet McTeer and again, Best Make-Up.

And the biggest surprise of all is the Ninth BP nominee, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close!” And Max Von Sydow for Best Supporting Actor in a wordless mute role in the 9/11 drama.

Oscar Nomination Predictions 2011

Best Picture

The Artist

The Descendants

Midnight in Paris

Hugo

The Help

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Moneyball

My Week With Marilyn

In a year where there could be as little as five and as many as 10 Best Pictures, I’m going to split the difference and say 8.

Best Actor

JEAN DU JARDIN “The Artist”

GEORGE CLOONEY “The Descendants”

BRAD PITT “Moneyball”

LEONARDO DI CAPRIO “J.Edgar”

DAMIAN BECHIR “A Better Life”

I think the S.W.O.R.M. the Straight White Old Rich Men who are let’s face it, the majority of the AMPAS voters are not gonna be OK with Michael Fassbender’s full frontal EXTENSIVE nudity through “Shame”, but WILL be OK with Mexican actor Damien Bichir’s heart-wrenching portryal of a good father/gardener working in the Palm Trees of L.A.

Best Actress

MICHELLE WILLIAMS “My Week With Marilyn”

MERYL STREEP “The Iron Lady”

GLENN CLOSE “Albert Nobbs”

VIOLA DAVIS “The Help”

ROONEY MARA “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

I think that late opener “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” which is nearing the $100 million mark domestic is going to be on a lot of voters’ minds. And this will be a kind of pay back to David Fincher & crew for NOT winning last year and the biggest beneficiary of this will be leading actress Rooney Mara, for her bravura turn as Lisbeth Salander. And the person she’ll knock out is not the revered Glenn Close, who has been struggling to get “Albert Nobbs” made for over 20 years, or more, but Tilda Swinton, who HAS an Oscar already.

Best Suporting Actor

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER “Beginners”

KENNETH BRANAGH “My Week with Marilyn”

ARMIE HAMMER “J.Edgar”

COREY STOLL “Midnight in Paris”

JONAH HILL “Moneyball”

This is the hardest category to predict this year with the prospective nominees jumping all over the place, like Mexican Jumping Beans throughout the precursor awards. And no, Damien Bichir is NOT in this category. I think SAG nominee Armie Hammer will pop up here as he did in SAG, and knock out Albert Brooks who was snubbed by SAG AND BAFTA. And also they’re going to nominate SOMEBODY from “Midnight in Paris” besides Woody and Corey Stoll’s Ernest Hemingway made the strongest impression in that gigantic ensemble.

I hate to say it, but I’m putting Jonah Hill in because he was in the movie, “Moneyball” that the most voters will probably have seen and because by the same token they WON’T have watched Nick Nolte in “Warriors.”

Best Supporting Actress

VANESSA REDGRAVE “Coriolanus”

OCTAVIA SPENCER “The Help”

JESSICA CHASTAIN “The Help”

BERENICE BEJO “The Artist”

JANET McTEER “Albert Nobbs”

I think Vanessa Redgrave’s towering performance in “Coriolanus” will FINALLY turn up here, as it hasn’t so far anywhere else. The Harvey factor is in play here and yes, it’s a Weinstein Co. movie. As is “The Artist” as is “The Iron Lady” as is “My Week with Marilyn.”

Best Director

Michel Hazanaviscius “The Artist”

Alexander Payne “The Descendants”

Martin Scorcese “Hugo”

Woody Allen “Midnight in Paris”

David Fincher “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

I think this will match the DGA nominees(the Directors’ Guild) five for five.

And on Tuesday morning we’ll see. I predict the steamroller of “The Artist” will continue with its’ getting the most nominations of any other film. And for a 90 min. Black and White SILENT film made for only $12million, it’s a phenomenal run that is STILL just getting started!

Oscar God Dave Karger of EW speaks out!

Well, my own personal choice for Oscar God, Dave Karger, is speaking out all over the place. He’s turning up on www.goldderby.com chatting with Tom O’Neil about Best Picture and Director and he’s on a podcast at the Hollywood Reporter talking about A LOT of things Oscar with Scott Feinberg www.thehollywoodreporter.com

Thx to poster Sia for sending me their podcast which was very interesting. Until it kept disconnecting itself. Grrr…but I got most of it. It was fascinating.

OGDave, ever polite, to both Feinberg and O’Neil and always measured in his responses, has to, in the back of everything, justify that OUTrageous gaffe of a cover Oscar Race issue of EW, a couple of weeks back, with George Clooney and Viola Davis looking and acting like they already won! What nerve! And how precipitous if not downright presumptive of them both, and of  course, EW, too. And of course, comes the Globes this past Sunday and Meryl Streep wins! George does, too, but ouch! For Viola losing, and making that cover invalid! Just, OUCH!

I think neither of them are going to win. George already has an Oscar and even O’Neil in ANOTHER Skype-like podcast(yes, with pictures) admits that he thought Le Clooney’s speech was more like Le Clown-ey. “Missed opportunities! Missed opportunities!” O’Neil said that also about presumptive Supp. Actress winner Octavia Spencer. “It was a list! It was just a LIST” bemoaned Our Tom. And of course, he’s right.

Tom thinks like I do that Michelle Williams is the upset winner and Dave Karger, in his podcast with Scott Feinberg even admitted that “in the case of a close vote, there can be a split, and a third party gets through.” He was saying this to Feinberg in relation to Viola Davis winning the BFCA and Meryl winning, the much more highly viewed Golden Globes, on NBC.

Our Dave was sweating a little there, I thought. And it’s all very interesting, because these men, live and breathe Oscar, well, just like you and me, dear readers, dear cineastes.

Tom O’Neil created this whole Internet Oscar game we are all now so invested in. And Dave Karger is certainly one of the best. Dave and I and also, possibly, Anne Thompson www.indiewire.com

last year were the only ones standing by “The King’s Speech” and our conviction that is was going to win and win BIG was not the popular choice at this time last year.

Tom, and Scott both ask Dave if he thinks that “The Artist” is still way out in front, and Dave says “Yes, it is.” End of story. It’s a “Slumdog Millionaire” slam dunk. But Dave hedges to both Tom and Scott that he doesn’t think it’s going to “sweep the guilds like ‘The King’s Speech’ did last year, where it won everything.”

He’s talking about the upcoming PGA, which is when SUDDENLY TKS started winning everything. That was such an exciting day for me!The PGA is the Producer’s Guild and they announce this Sunday, I think.

I was fortunate enough to have gotten to Colin Firth AND Tom Hooper FIRST at the Toronto Film Festival  Sept. 2010, and told them the Oscar news as I saw it,  which is when Tom named me “The Oscar Messenger,” and the name, as you all know stuck, and I was right! He won! And so did “The King’s Speech!”

And yes, I agree with Dave that “The Artist” is going to win Best Picture, and he doesn’t really see anything stopping it, unless “Tate Taylor(“The Help”) gets a Best Director nomination,” which would be coming from the VERY exclusive Director’s Branch of the Academy. I don’t see that happening.

Tom brings up the chance that Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” could upset everything, and Dave literally pooh-poohs that onscreen, in the politest way possible, of course. Dave is nothing if not a gentleman.

When pressed by Scott Feinberg about Supporting Actor, he gets Dave to admit “it’s all over the map,” (except for Christopher Plummer winning) which is what I posted yesterday. Were they reading my blog? I hope so. Let it also be said that despite our violent dispute over Melissa Leo last year, Scott was an always agreeable and friendly presence on the awards circuit. And so far he’s the only one who has been nice enough to link to this blog. Again, thank you, Scott, for that.

But now with his new job at The Hollywood Reporter as THEIR Oscar guy with “The Race” and “Feinberg and Friends,” which is where the podcast I’m speaking of was located, he’s like a steam roller in his enthusiasm and energy and STATISTICS about the Oscar race. He’s very young, not long out of college, if truth be told, and so last year OF COURSE he was going to side with “The Joy of Typing.” It was about the Internet! Of course, it was going to win!

And I always countered with the fact that a large portion of Academy are barely online. Hence their WTF reaction to it.

The stuttering King of England, now THAT they could understand!

Tom keeps Dave and his conversation limited to Best Picture and Best Director and will probably cover the other categories before the Nomination Morning of Tues. Jan. 24.  But I thought one of the most interesting observations of Dave’s was to Tom, about Best Director, that Martin Scorcese won too recently (for “The Departed”) to win again for “Hugo” as he did on Sunday at the Globes.

And Dave does emphasize that the Broadcast Film Critics AND the Globes’ HFPA have NOTHING to do with the Academy, as I’ve been saying all along. They are PRESS. And NONE of those people are Academy Members.

Compassionate Dave seems to listen to all  the members of the Academy that he can. Whereas I think Scott, because he’s so young himself, listens to people his own age. Most of whom are NOT members of AMPAS, and if they are they are in the minority.

I myself here in NYC do not sense any kind of overwhelming love for “The Help” which Scott and Dave(that cover again) and to a lesser extent Tom said they feel ~ out in L.A. It’s a different world out there, granted. But here, if I had to say anything could surprise “The Artist”, it’s “Midnight in Paris.” I keep hearing how much everyone LOVES it here. And I hear that LOVE expressed about “The Artist,” too.

And one of the most interesting things Dave says about “The Bridesmaid” topic(it keeps turning up like the proverbial bad penny) is that he thinks Kristen Wiig is going to get a screenplay nomination and that “If anyone can upset Octavia Spencer in Supporting Actress, it’s Melissa McCarthy”!!!! From “Bridesmaids”!!!

I don’t think, and Stu Van Airsdale of www.movieline.com thinks that she’s even going to get nominated.

And on another note, Glenn Close had an hour-long interview about her career on PBS. And when they showed a clip of her as Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard”, it just took my breathe away at how wonderful she was in was probably her finest hour. Now if only they’d make THAT into a movie! She won the Tony for that too, in a walk, and she deserved it.

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