a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘eddie redmayne’

Alicia Vikander “Danish Girl” Wins Best Supp. Actress ~ Critics Choice

Alicia Critics Choice 1Alicia Vikander just won the Critics Choice Award for the most hotly contested category of the year, Best Supporting Actress. She looked stunning in a very unusual, beaded, fitted, floor-length gown with what looked like Swedish symbols embroidered in to it. That was white patterns on grey with pops of color. She looked every inch a star and gave a stunning, very moving speech that is basically an audition for what she might say if she wins the Oscar, for which she was just was nominated this week.

Eddie Redmayne called his co-star in “The Danish Girl” “incandescent” and I think he’s right.

And it was for “The Danish Girl” NOT “Ex Machina,” where she plays a most memorable, sexy robot. In “The Danish Girl” she is playing Gerde Vegener, a real life Danish woman, a painter, who finds she is married to a man (Eddie Redmayne) who is transitioning into a woman named Lili Elbe.

Eddie & Alicia 1Vikander may have clinched her Oscar victory with her impassioned speech about the transgender community and transgender rights. Stunning AND Memorable! And since it was the extremely beautiful new Hollywood “It” Girl (even though she’s Swedish), it made it all the more powerful and palatable to the SWORM. The Straight White Old Rich Man who STILL to this day dominate the Academy.

#OscarsSoWhite does not apply to this Scandinavian beauty and the stirring speech she made. And because it’s a straight woman, and ONLY the Supporting Actress category, a category that they disdain as “not important” or not important ENOUGH, Alicia should slide by with her first Oscar in her hands just fine.

National Society of Film Critics Names “Spotlight” Best Film

Spotlight 4The National Society of Film Critics perhaps the most esoteric of the awards-giving critics groups have named “Spotlight” the Best Film of the Year. It also won Best Screenplay. Already way out ahead of every other film this year, “Spotlight” just solidifies its’ lead and is making this year’s Best Picture race seem more like the year “Slumdog Millionaire” trounced everything in its’ path and won every award heading up the ultimate, the Oscars.

Surprisingly, the overlooked Michael P. Jordan won Best Actor for “Creed”.Michael P. Jordon 1

It’s also interesting to note that Geza Rohrig came in second place for “The Son of Saul.” I still think he’s going to get nominated by the Academy for Best Actor. Only Leonardo Di Caprio and Eddie Redmayne are the locks in that category. Anything can happen. Especially with the critical and box-office strength “The Big Short” is showing. Although the National Society didn’t give it anything. Although it came in third for Screenplay behind the winner “Spotlight” and the stop-action animated film by Charlie Kaufman.

Best Actress went to Charlotte Rampling who really needed this boost for “45 Years.”Charlotte Rampling 1 Best Supporting Actress  Kristen Stewart for “The Clouds of Sils Maria.” Second place went to Alicia Vikander for “Ex Machina” solidifying her march to TWO possible nominations as I’ve noted in the previous post.Ex Machina 2 Supporting for “Ex Machina” sexy, manipulative robot Eva and in Lead for “The Danish Girl.” The Awards Coronation of Vikander is well underway.

And Best Supporting Actor is once again Mark Rylance for “The Bridge of Spies” for his comical/sad/shifty Russian spy, who also doubles as a painter. Rylance a four-time Tony Award winner is beginning to be the assumed front-runner for the Steven Spielberg Cold War spy thriller.

Best Director was also surprisingly Todd Haynes for “Carol.” It also won Best Cinematography for the great Ed Lachman beautiful 16 mm. lensing of this Patricia Highsmith lesbian love story.Carol 3

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…)

Golden Globe Nominations Full List

Danish Eddie 1Here’s the complete list of Golden Globe nominations that were announced today. Above is Best Actor Nominee Eddie Redmayne in “The Danish Girl.”

Best Picture (Drama)

  • Carol
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Picture (Musical or Comedy)

  • The Big Short
  • Joy
  • The Martian
  • Spy
  • Trainwreck

Best Director – Motion Picture

  • Todd Haynes – Carol
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ridley Scott – The Martian
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Best Actor (Drama)

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
  • Will Smith – Concussion

Best Actress (Drama)

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Best Actor (Musical or Comedy)

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Steve Carell – The Big Short
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Al Pacino – Danny Collins
  • Mark Ruffalo – Infinitely Polar Bear

Best Actress (Musical or Comedy)

  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Amy Schumer – Trainwreck
  • Melissa McCarthy – Spy
  • Maggie Smith – The Lady in the Van
  • Lily Tomlin – Grandma

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

  • Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
  • Idris Elba – Beasts of No Nation
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
  • Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

  • Jane Fonda – Youth
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
  • Helen Mirren – Trumbo
  • Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Best Screenplay

  • Room – Emma Donaghue
  • Spotlight – Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
  • The Big Short – Adam McKay
  • Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin
  • The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino

Best Original Score

  • The Revenant – Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai, Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • The Hateful Eight  – Ennio Morricone
  • Steve Jobs – Daniel Pemberton
  • Carol  – Carter Burwell
  • The Danish Girl – Alexandre Desplat

 

Best Original Song

  • Fifty Shades of Grey – “Love Me Like You Do”
  • Love & Mercy – “One Kind of Love”
  • Furious 7 – “See You Again”
  • Youth – “Simple Song #3”
  • Spectre – “Writings on the Wall”

Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Brand New Testament (Belgium)
  • The Club (Chile)
  • The Fencer (Finland)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Animated Feature

  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • Inside Out
  • The Peanuts Movie
  • Shaun the Sheep

 

National Board of Review Awards?!? WTF….

Mad Max1OK, so “Mad Max: Fury Road” was awarded Best Picture of 2015 by the National Board of Review. A real-head (and knee) slapper, if you ask me. However, TOMORROW we have the New York Film Critics announcing their winners, and I am so sure that “Mad Max:Fury Road” is going to be NOWHERE on their list of winners.

Who will win? Probably “Spotlight” OR maybe the powerful Hungarian film on the Holocaust “Son of Saul.”

The NYFCC realizes, fully, its’ position of the first SERIOUS awards that are being given each year. And this kind-of-up-in-the-air year where there seemed to be a very open field, may suddenly be limited to the coronation of “Spotlight,” a fine film, by a fine director Tom McCarthy and a stellar ensemble cast including last year’s Oscar snubbee Michael Keaton, ably supported by Marc Ruffalo, who has got the best,most emotional part, Rachel McAdams, ‘Mad Men’s John Slattery and Bway’s Brian D’Arcy James.

I liked it A LOT. But for some reason, I didn’t love it. It’s cold. It’s cerebral. It’s about investigative journalism, the type of which has almost gone out the window in this age of Internet Everything.It’s nostalgic for the age when Newspapers ran the world.

It’s set in the past, and it depicts it accurately. Boston in the 1980s. It’s got it down. And the writing, as you’d expect from a film about journalists and journalism, is very, very good. It’s subject is the uncovering, by these dedicated, dogged journos, of a wide-spread cover-up of child abuse within the Catholic Church. So it’s also a shocking film, too.

Neither the Gotham Awards NOR the National Board of Review are made up of press. But of course, the New York Film Critics ARE press, and so a film about journalisms’ finest hour, I think will carry the day tomorrow. Not the ridiculous “Mad Max:Fury Road.” No. That won’t happen again. Even with the Golden Globes, I don’t think so. Even THEY aren’t that silly.

The National Board of Review’s acting winners are another matter entirely. Brie Larson for Best Actress for “Room.” Yes! And I think that will be seconded by the NYFCC tomorrow. This tiny, little, Canadian/Irish, but utterly brilliant film NEEDS their stamp of approval, and I think it will get it here, honoring Larson. She looks like a winner that can’t be stopped. I certainly hope so. She deserves it. Brie Larson 2That role in “Room”of a kidnapped-and-raped-for-seven-years while she was held captive by the rapist, mom, was one of the most difficult an actress ever had to essay. It was a killer.
Matt Damon 1Matt Damon won Best Actor for “The Martian” and I think he will be nominated for the Oscar, too. And since the Golden Globes have put “The Martian” in their Musical/Comedy section, they will have to put Damon in that,too. And he could win that.

So good for Matt, and for Ridley Scott, who won Best Director for “The Martian” and I think the 77 year old Scott is going to be for sure nominated for the Oscar for his direction and his being Oscar-less so far in his long career, I think the Academy is going to award him there, too. He directed “The Gladiator” which won Best Picture, back in the day, but HE didn’t win Best Director. It went to Stephen Soderberg for “Traffic.” “The Martian” was the big winner with three awards. Or four, if you count it’s being listed in the NBR’s Top Ten List.

Who will win Best Actor from the NYFCC tomorrow? Well, there’s a little hint in the National Board’s completely ignoring “The Revenant”. The NYFCC may do the same, and I think they may give it to the astonishing, almost solo performance of Geza Rohrig as Saul in “The Son of Saul.” “Saul” might also get best director for the first time helmer Hungarian Laszlo Nemes. Although, wait a tic.

The NYFCC has a category for “Best First Film” or “Best Debut Director” and that could be Nemes.

Also Best Actor is where Eddie Redmayne could turn up for his transformative, ground-breaking performance as  “The Danish Girl.”

As for Supporting the National Board of Review’s naming of Sylvester Stallone for Best Supp. Actor for “Creed” really does help Stallone get even further into the Oscar conversation in that category for his portrayal of the aging, ailing Rocky Balboa. I think this really means he will get an Oscar nomination. And a Golden Globe nomination, too.

“Creed” is a runaway, unexpected success, and every one wants to get back on to the Rocky nostalgia train, so yes, there’s room in this category and I could certainly see Stallone’s legendary Rocky role muscling his way in. That also won Best Picture way back when, but Stallone as an actor, went un-awarded on the Big Night.

Supporting Actress for Jennifer Jason Leigh for the as yet unseen “Hateful Eight” is an unknown. This could help her. “Hateful Eight” also got a Best Screenplay for Quentin Tarantino, and this means that this Weinstein film, that the NBR saw LAST, is probably better than it looks in trailers. Another snow-bound Western? Really? I mean on top of “The Revenant”?

Well, they left “The Revenant” off their top ten list. “Spotlight” was there, but nowhere else, and also nowhere to be seen, again, was Weinsteins’ other Oscar seeker “Carol.” Which the Gothams also did not award. Though they nominated it, and gave its’ director Todd Haynes a career award.

So as I predicted the NBR, not a press organization, did not prominently award “Spotlight” whereas the Gothams gave it three awards, including Best Picture. So tomorrow with NYFCC, I am fearlessly predicting that “Spotlight,” a very, very good film that holds up journalists as its’ heroes, will shine all over the place.Spotlight2

Here are a lot of what the National Board of Review chose as their winners today.

Best Film:  Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Director:  Ridley Scott – The Martian
Best Actor:  Matt Damon – The Martian
Best Actress: Brie Larson – Room
Best Supporting Actor:  Sylvester Stallone – Creed
Best Supporting Actress:  Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Best Original Screenplay:  Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Best Adapted Screenplay:  Drew Goddard – The Martian
Best Animated Feature:  Inside Out
Breakthrough Performance:  Abraham Attah – Beasts of No Nation & Jacob Tremblay – Room
Best Directorial Debut:  Jonas Carpignano – Mediterranea
Best Foreign Language Film:  Son of Saul
Best Documentary:  Amy
William K. Everson Film History Award:  Cecilia De Mille Presley
Best Ensemble:  The Big Short
Spotlight Award:  Sicario, for Outstanding Collaborative Vision
NBR Freedom of Expression Award:  Beasts of No Nation & Mustang

Top Films
Bridge of Spies
Creed
The Hateful Eight
Inside Out
Spotlight
The Martian
Room
Sicario
Straight Outta Compton

Best Supporting Actress, Wide Open or Not?

sarah PaulsonRoonwy MARA 2Is this year’s Supporting Actress race wide open or not? I think the HFPA(Hollywood Foreign Press Association) who give out the Golden Globs, er, I mean, GLOBES, dynamited both the Best Actress race and the Best Supporting Actress races, by insisting that Rooney Mara for “Carol” and Swedish actress Alicia Vikander of “The Danish Girl” MUST be considered in lead.aLICIA vIKANDER1

And they are 100% right! Both are leading roles. However, after seeing how dismal Rooney Mara’s “Carol” turn is, and how GREAT Cate (the Great) Blanchett’s is in the title role, I think voters are going to have no trouble nominating Blanchett, and overlooking the sub-par Mara for “Carol.”

I would never have thought that yesterday. I had to see it to believe it. I mean, Mara did win Best Actress in Cannes, which I guess in this day and race really means nothing.

And since Best Actress is incredibly jammed already, there just may not be room for Mara AND Blanchett, and/or for Mara and Vikander, who gives a truly transcendent performance as the conflicted wife of a transitioning transgender man-to-woman in “The Danish Girl,” played brilliantly by probable nominee for Best Actor, and last year’s winner, Eddie Redmayne.

Brie Larson in “Room” and Saorise Ronan in “Brooklyn” SEEM locked and loaded as they say. And then there’s Blanchett in “Carol” and Vikander. With only one slot left for Carey Mulligan in “Suffragette” with Lily Tomlin’s “Grandma” and Charlotte Rampling’s “45 years” nipping at her heels. Never mind Dame Maggie Smith coming up fast on the outside for her glorious, smelly, homeless woman “Lady in the Van.”

So who is going to fill up the now empty Best Supporting Actress race?

Well, as I said before, I would love it if Sarah Paulson (above top picture) got nominated for “Carol.” Since the HFPA’s Edict of Nantes, they CAN’T nominate Rooney,in Supporting, they might just go far Paulson’s steely Best Friend and ex-lover of Carol. That would be great and people WILL get to see “Carol”. And see Paulson in it and how good she is.

Paulson was pretty stellar in “Twelve Years a Slave” wherein she horrified voters as the vicious slave-owners wife, who throws a glass decanter in future Oscar winner Lupita N’yongo’s face, scarring her for life.

And then there’s room for probable nominee screen legend Jane Fonda getting in for a five minute scene in “Youth.” I bet they are going to nominate her sight unseen because she is well, Jane Fonda.Jane Fonda Youth 1

I keep banging the drums for Parker Posey in Woody Allen’s “Irrational Man,” but no one seems to be listening to me. Posey has another juicy role coming up next year in Woody’s next opus. Maybe the Academy will wait for that role before they get on the Parker-Posey-is-now-legit(to us)-train.Itrational Man 2

I’ve mentioned before two look-alike blondes Elizabeth Banks and Rachel McAdams in, respectively, “Love and Mercy” and “Spotlight,” the front-runner at the moment for Best Picture. Both blonde beauties may have been pushed further inside the race than they ever might have been otherwise by the HFPA’s ruling on Mara and Vikander.Elizabeth Banks1Rachel McAdams1And let’s not overlook the wonderful Oscar perennial Laura Linney, who really holds Ian McKellan’s house and home(and picture) together as the put-upon drudge of a housekeeper in “Mr. Holmes.” If the voters view “Mr. H.” to see Sir Ian’s great nonogenarian detective, they’ll see how beautiful Linney’s work is opposite him. I thought people would forget this charming film and McKellan’s and Linney’s lovely work in it, but it seems they’re not.Laura Holmes 1And last but not least, you can never count out Dame Helen Mirren’s campier-than-thou take on the late real life gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in “Trumbo,.” who underneath her elaborate headgear was a ruthless red=baiter.Helen Mirren Trumbo

There’s nothing like a Dame as the ole saying goes. A rubric that AMPAS lives by. They’ve always have got to get a “sir” or a “dame” in there somewhere to give the evening class.

Have I left anyone out? Probably. But I’ll catch you up on these magnificent ladies on the flip side.

On Seeing Eddie Redmayne’s Brilliant “The Danish Girl” a Second Time

Danish Eddie 1It was such a thrill to see “The Danish Girl” again last night after being totally enraptured and blown away by it in Toronto. And like in Toronto, at TIFF, in September, there was the same spellbound reaction from the tony audience.

You could hear a pin-drop. And at the end of this AMPAS-included screening, there was rousing applause. And cheering. And Bravos.

And I don’t usually do this, but I’m going to reprint my TIFF review in its entirety, so you won’t have to go hunting for it in the archives of this Blog.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Danish Eddie2

I’m devastated. I’m in tears writing this. “The Danish Girl” is a masterpiece, so moving, so profoundly important and brilliantly acted and directed, it will win Eddie Redmayne his second Oscar in a row for this heart-wrenching performance as first transgender Lili Elbe.  It has its’ slow patches, but once it gets going “The Danish Girl” is so powerful, so engaging, so beautiful, its’ ending, which I won’t reveal here, will absolutely crush you. And Eddie Redmayne is catapulted once again to the head of the Oscar race for Best Actor. As extraordinary as that sounds, it’s true.

His performance is beyond anything we’ve ever seen onscreen before. Never has this subject, transgender-ism, if there is such a word, been treated in this depth, and with such respect, and love. It’s a great love story. And not only Redmayne will be back at the top of everyone’s lists, director Tom Hooper, already an Oscar winner for “The King’s Speech”, will probably be up for every award in the book, for his sensitive, deft, beautifully handled helming of this tragic love story.Danish Eddie 3

And Alicia Vikander, who has been edging towards stardom, with every role she’s essayed, since she first came to global attention with “Anna Karenina”, as the blonde, sweet ingenue to Keira Knightley’s dark, tormented Anna, Alicia Vikander will for sure be nominated, perhaps as Best Actress even, but certainly as Best Supporting, for her astounding turn as Gerda Wegener, the devoted, confounded artist wife, whose husband, Einar is transitioning right before her confused, but compassionate eyes into Lili Elbe.(“Elbe, like the River” at one point Einar/Lili clarifies)

Einar and Gerde Wegener are a happily married couple at the start of “The Danish Girl” in 1920s Copenhagen. Both are artists, and there seems to be no clouds on their sunny, loving horizons. That begins to gradually change when one day, Gerde asks Einar to try on some ballerina attire of a model who has not shown up for her posing session. He obligingly does so, and the feelings of a woman’s stockings and shoes begin to arouse something deep-seated in him.

So begins Einar’s(Redmayne’s ) journey into what today is known as “transitioning.” We see this today in the person of Caitlyn Jenner, who used to be Bruce. Like it or not, Jenner has made this topic extremely relevant and the timing is just right for “The Danish Girl”s Oscar chances. Perfect, in fact.Eddie & Oscar 2

Redmayne’s Lili is a much more delicate, fragile creature than Caitlyn Jenner, needless to say. Redmayne gives her an ephemeral otherworldy quality. And he sensitively inhabits  her every single stage of her transformation. And makes clear what drives Lili  into emerging and totally obliterating Einar.

I did not know the shattered ending of this important, historic movie and I was totally enraptured, then horrified as “The Danish Girl” headed to its’ inexorable, tragic conclusion.

And Eddie Redmayne steps wholly and completely into screen history with this beyond magnificent portrayal. Another Oscar for Mr. Redmayne, please.

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