a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘David O. Russell’

Oscar God Dave Karger’s Toronto Must-See List is Out!

Oscar God Dave Karger has got his top  ten list of must-see films coming up in September at the Toronto Film Festival  up and out and at’em at http://www.ew.com. Dave is RRRRRReally good at this. Though last year with that EW “Oscar Issue” cover of George Clooney and Viola Davis getting out of a limo in full Oscar drag(Tux and shimmering gown) has never been able to leave my mind. Both notoriously lost to Jean Dujardin and Meryl Streep, lest we forget…

And Toronto is RRRRREALLLLY well known as an Oscar launching pad. More and More so every year. And yes, I’m going there, once again, my 14th year in a row, and I’ll be blogging from there letting you know what’s what. I am the Oscar Messenger after all. I have to be RIGHT about these things.

Of Dave’s picks, I am really looking forward to “Anna Karenina” directed by Joe Wright. Could this be Keira Knightley’s big year? Or is it the lovely Laura Linney in “Hyde Park on the Hudson”? They are both there this Sept. and so is Marion Cotillard’s Cannes stunner “Of Rust and Bone.”

I think right there you have three out of the five Best Actress nominees.

The pictures they’re in….Not so sure about. But those performances I see all three getting in.

Toronto or TIFF as it’s abbreviated has had QUITE a history with Oscar.

But I will say, no one thought “The Artist” which was there was The One at the time. I kept hearing “We haven’t seen the Best Picture of the Year” yet.” EVERYBODY was telling me this, and as a matter of fact, yes, we had. It was “The Artist” and Harvey Weinstein was soft-pedaling “The Artist” at TIFF last year. And that was a good idea.

“The Sessions” raved about at Sundance is also a possible contender and is on Dave’s list. But that is something only in the performances, I think.

Not Best Picture.

David O. Russell’s “Silver Lining’s Playbook” ia a Weinstein film, too. But I don’t know….I’m not getting strong Oscar vibes from people like Bradley Cooper or Jennifer Sullivan(yes, HER again).And that title. It’s difficult to pronounce, a real tonque-twister.

There are others on Dave’s list, so go check it out. I just think they’re wrong. So I’m not repeating them here.

But yes, to “Anna Karenina”, “Hyde Park on the Hudson” and “Of Rust and Bone.” Those arr MY top three. And today it’s a month until I leave for Montreal, which I go to first, always, before Toronto and which is where I saw “The Artist” for the first time.

In French-speaking Montreal, THAT was the #1 raved about film last year, and I’m soooo glad I saw it there. It was absolutely magical.

As Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone always says “Don’t underestimate Harvey Weinstein” And of course, she’s right.

Sasha also sez “Don’t underestimate Dame Judi Dench.”

SHE’s in the early-part-of-the-year hit film, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” that is continuing to break box-office records on BOTH sides of the Atlantic.So it is not playing Toronto. It’s all and only the new films there, comme tous les jours. And which category will they put Dame J. in? Most think supporting, though she is the lead in that film, certainly, the central character.

“Argo” Ben Affleck’s new film is being heavily buzzed, but they didn’t nominate his “The Town” last time around, so I’m skeptical.

And some of the biggest Oscar contenders are waiting til LATER. Like of course, “Les Miz” and “Lincoln” and Harvey’s “Django Unchained.”

Wish I was already on my way there! J’attends avec impatience!

Now that “True Grit” has been snubbed AGAIN~

Welllllll, even if “True Grit” is killing at the Box-Office despite that dreadful child actress’ performance ruining most of it. Yes, I’m talking about YOU Hailee Steinfeld. It was MUCH better in the second half with Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon taking over from the brat-in-Judy-braids. And then there’s that MAAAAHHHVelously grotesque Coen ending with the survivors…

ANYwaaaaaaaaaaay!

Will AMPAS feels it had to right a wrong and nominate the Coen’s for Best Director? ANYWaaaaaay…

Well, there’s two schools of thought. Either they think that YES, they do have to right this egregious wrong, or no they don’t.

The Director’s Branch of the Academy always has me scratching my head. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING?!?! Is my usual reaction when the nominations are announced.

You all know who are reading this that it’s Oscar 101 that the Director’s Branch nominate directors. AND they get to vote for the Ten Best Pictures.

Each branch does this and the Actor’s Branch, the largest dominates.

OK, perhaps you don’t know this about me, but I was trained as an actor and spent most of the early part of my life as an actor, and then, I switched to directing. In theater, and also of course, on a weekly basis, my TV show for the past 23 years.

But even after all this life experience, I STILL think like an actor. Can’t help it. Acting is the central CORE of well, everything in the Spoken Word Arts. And Actors think a certain way.

And director’s, especially if they haven’t been actors themselves, don’t. And Especially the Director’s Branch doesn’t.

So they may think, and probably they do, that since the Coens won so recently with “No Country for Old Men”, their masterpiece, that they don’t need to be rewarded again and so soon. They may think that since the movie is making MORE MONEY THAN ANY COEN BROTHERS MOVIE EVER MADE, and that includes ALL OF THEM put together, that they should take note and reward them.

But I don’t think they will.  It WILL be nominated in the Ten Best Movies. I mean, the NOMINATED “A Serious Man” last year, even. Oy.

So no, the Coen’s don’t need it, they’ll think.

Whereas David O. Russell, who’s never been nominated before, and who is the one out of Hooper, Fincher, Aronosky and Nolan, who is probably the shakiest DGA nominee(he burst out crying when told) is either going to be thought of as a)just a hired hand brought in at the last-minute, when it was clearly a job nobody wanted OR

B) He made a very difficult situation that he did not create(producer/star Mark Wahlberg did) WORK, and WORK very, very well. They, the Director’s Branch may admire that making a lemon out of lemonade situation.

The supposedly personally disliked O.Russell is now “IN”. It’s OK to like him, according to the DGA.

Sasha Stone at www.awardsdaily.com has pointed out that the two director’s groups DON’T always match 100 %, although they OFTEN do and more often than not. And I’m sure Sasha is readying a chart, or put one up already, that illustrates this.

And how does this effect the films’ acting chances? Well, since the Golden Globes ALREADY left “True Grit” out COMPLETELY, I think all of its’ chances are shaky. Matt Damon is being completely disregarded, it seems. And the Hot-Tween-of-the Moment Hailee Steinfeld is said to be so beloved that she’s splitting her vote – between being nominated for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. That she may split her own vast popularity and end up with NO-THING.

We can only hope.

I don’t know what everybody is going so crazy over her lousy, unbelievable, embarrassing performance for. She should stick to commercials extolling “Blingatude” Now, she was REALLY authentically believable in that.

And the only one of “True Grit”(I feel like calling it “True Shit”)’s actor who may be impervious to these winds of changes is Jeff Bridges in Best Actor. The Dude Abides.

DGA announces its’ Nominees for Best Director!

Newsflash, Oscarwatchers! Dear readers, dear cineastes, the all mighty Directors Guild just announced their nominees. Five only. For best director of a motion picture 2010.

This announcement is RRREALLY good news for the nominated directors and their pictures. And bad news for those that are left out.

Some surprises, of course.

Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech” His first nomination

Christopher Nolan, “Inception” Nominated twice before for “Momento”(one of my top ten films of the DECADE! And also, the Batman sequel “The Dark Knight”)

Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan” Also a first-time nominee!

and the Big Surprise, the universally not-liked David O. Russell of “The Fighter” shows that yes, they like him, they really like him.

And of course, David Fincher, who was nominated once before for “Benjamin Button” is nominated AGAIN for that Film I Will Not Name.

Surprisingly, no Coens for “True Grit” which is doing so well at the box-office. Also, no Danny Boyle for “127 Hours.” Bad news for those films and though they may make it into the Oscar Top Ten, this puts their actors suddenly in a big of jeopardy, to put it mildly.

Also, no John Cameron Mitchell for “Rabbit Hole.” So Nicolle Kidman look out.

No Lisa Cholodenko for “The Kids Are All Right” and no Debra Granik for “Winter’s Bone.” So all male nominees. No women at all after last year’s great breakthrough triumph of Katherine Bigelow winning Best Director for “The Hurt Locker.”

Also out, I’m now thinking is Matt Damon for “True Grit” although Jeff Bridges and the awful tyke Hailee Steinfeld seem in the stronger positions in their categories.

Also, no Tony Goldwyn for “Convinction.” Not good news for Hillary Swank. Though I think the never nominated Sam Rockwell could surprise in Supporting.

Also, not good for James Franco’s Best Actor chances of “127 Hours.” I think he’ll get a nomination but without a directing nomination, “127 Hours” is in a much weaker position than it was yesterday. Although people aren’t going to it.

I think these five gentlemen are IN LIKE FLINT though as Nominees for Best Director at the Oscars.

Congratulations to Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech” who is the one who named me the Oscar Messenger, let’s not forget!

This group of five men are locked and loaded. So now we know…

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