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Best Supporting Actress- Pre-Festivals, Pre-TIFF

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2012 -Pre-TIFF

This category was ceded by many, months ago, to Anne Hathaway’s heartbreaking, shattering performance in the trailer of “Les Miserables.” I have never seen a trailer to have such an impact on the Oscar Race, and so EARLY! Back in June. Or May even…And the film doesn’t come out til Christmas!

“The Dream Lives,” the trailer ends with these titles “This Christmas.” Well, I for one can hardly wait!

Why was Universal releasing this so early?

Well, it was superbly done, brilliantly edited, and plaintively sung by Hathaway. It contains the song “I Dreamed A Dream,” which is arguably one of the most famous songs from “Les Miz” that always pulls heart-strings, if it’s done right.

This is the song that made Susan Boyle an over-night sensation on “Britain’s Got Talent” a few years back. And Musical Comedys are NOT at all a sure-fire, can’t-miss genre these days. No matter how well they may be done. They released this that early to build buzz. And it has succeeded in that respect. And Anne Hathaway also scored as Catwoman in TDKR, too, this year.

Oscar Winner for Best Director for “The King’s Speech” is back again with “Les Miz” and he directs period pieces soooo well…just check out the Multi-Emmy-Award Winning TV series “John Adams.” That was one of the greatest TV series I’ve ever seen, and it could have been as dry as dust, instead it was riveting. And it won its two leads Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney Best Actor and Best Actress Emmys, too. As John and Abigail Adams respectively.

And Laura is back in the Best Actress hunt again this year. Her FOURTH nomination, if she gets one for “Hyde Park on the Hudson” which I already discussed in the previous post just below this one.

Which is to say that Hooper’s actors win awards, see Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech.”

Anne Hathaway’s part in “Les Miz” is the doomed prostitute Fantine, which also won Patti LuPone an Olivier Award, when she played that part in the original London production. So it’s an awards-magnet role. And Hathaway totally aces it in the trailer’s Oscar-y moment par excellence when she, sobbing and dirty, gets all her real hair cut off.  It’s a horrifying, but award-worthy moment. The song is MUCH longer than that,too And there is much more to her role in “Les Miz” although she does die early on.  But who’s to say if they might run her as Best Actress instead of Supporting?

They might. But then again the Academy’s Actor’s Branch voters are the ones who ultimately decide which category an actress, or an actor, is going to be in. The Studios and distributors can campaign all they want…but it’s Hathaway’s peers who will decide where to put her.

The many For Your Consideration ads are run by the Studios as a means of clue-ing the Actor’s Branch especially for who goes where.  They decided for instance that Kate Winslet should be considered for Best Actress for “The Reader” when no less an Oscar personage than Harvey Weinstein was running her as Supporting for that film. Which she did eventually win a Golden Globe for. And also, for Best Actress that year for “Revolutionary Road.” Her “I got TWO!” picture with a Golden Globe in each hand, flashed around the world.

I think this instance shows that the Academy doesn’t ALWAYS do as Harvey tells them.Or suggests to them, I should say.

Opposite Hathaway, it’s looking like Harvey’s main gal this season is going to be Amy Adams for “The Master”, but evidently some already say the part is too small, only three scenes.

Will Qu’venzhane Wallis the 8 year old in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”  get run in Supporting, instead of lead, where she belongs? However, the Academy is notoriously not partial to putting child actors in the lead category. Look what they did with that girl with the braids from “True Grit.” She ended up in Supporting, though she arguably, also had the lead female role in the Coen Bros. western. What was her name anyway? I’ve completely forgotten! Hallie something? That nomination was the beginning and end of her career.

There’s also the great female Brits in the runaway smash of the Indies this year “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It boasts THREE great performances, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton. Again Dame Judi is the lead here, but again, Fox Searchlight has got her down for Supporting, where she really shouldn’t be. The Academy could put her in lead, if they so deem fit…As I said in the last post, Best Actress is once again Back Up For Grabs this year…

Fox Searchlight has its’ hands full this year! Should Judi Dench go lead? Should Qu’venszhane? Decisions! Decisions!

And then there’s Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Won’t Back Down”, another Indie. But who is lead and who is Supporting? I don’t think that film is even at Toronto. Which says something.

And though after last year’s debacle with Davis predicted to win all over the place, she lost to Meryl Streep. The Academy was again accused of racism. And it is. Although they did give the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to Octavia Spenser for the controversial “The Help.” Could they try to make it up to her with ANOTHER nomination? If they did, she would then be the first African-American actress to get the most Oscar nominations ever. A total of three.

Or is “Don’t Back Down” even Oscar worthy? We don’t know yet. But its lack of Festival presence says something, I think.

To go back to “Hyde Park on Hudson” there are two British Olivias in Supporting roles. Olivia Williams as Eleanor Rossevelt and Olivia Coleman as the Queen of England, who is visiting the Roosevelts at Hyde Park, with her husband the stuttering King Edward VII.

AND there’s the Oscar perennial Bridesmaid multiple-timed nominee, Annette Bening playing against type as a gambling-obsessed Mom of Kristen Wiig in “Imogene.”  You can never count Bening out.

But judging by the competition she’s up against, IMHO, this category is Anne Hathaway’s to lose.

Gold Derby Kick Starts Oscar Race 2012

Tom O’Neil, the grand-daddy of us all, has tried to kick start this year’s Oscar race by throwing his Gold Derby pundits’ guesses(and it’s all guesses) at this point as no one seen the pictures they are talking about, by saying “Lincoln” loud and clear for Best Picture AND Best Actor, a third win for Daniel Day Lewis.

Now, I don’t know about that. If Steven Spielberg does to Lincoln what he did to “War Horse”, we are gonna be drowning in schmaltz, once again. Shocked, kinda, that this is the Best Picture frontrunner, from Tom and his ditto-heads. I would’ve thought it would be “Les Miserabables.” The long-awaited film version of the musical directed by Academy Award Winner Tom Hooper of “The King’s Speech.”

Me? Give me “The King’s Speech” any day over “War Horse.”

You can’t over-sentimentalize Abraham Lincoln and his tragic struggles to free the slaves.  I mean, look what happened with “The Help” this year. It only won Best Supporting Actress when all is said and done. And that’s ALLLL it got. It made a lot of money for Disney, sure. But it lost to the not-so-successful at the box-office “The Artist.” But “The Artist” was black and white and silent. I guess B.O. comparisons can’t be made anymore when you’re talking about Oscar as he exists today. The Academy is NOT looking at the bottom line.”The Artist” and “The King’s Speech” prove it.

For Best Actress, Gold Derby has anointed Laura Linney, of the also still sight  unseen, “Hyde Park on the Hudson” which is about FDR and his mistress, and Laura’s the mistress. Now that sounds more likely. Laura has been nominated three times, but hasn’t won. It’s a small, character-driven art film, and she’s playing a real person. Not a very well-known real person, but a real person still, and she, like Meryl Streep last year in “The Iron Lady”, gets to age DECADES.

Day Lewis already has two Best Actor Oscars and Spielberg two Best Director Oscars.

So Laura is OVERdue. And DDL and SS aren’t due anything from the Academy,IMHO..

In Supporting, they’ve all agreed that the Best Supporting Actress race has coalesced already around Anne Hathaway’s  astounding rendition of the “I Dreamed a Dream” which has just exploded all over the internet, in the past few days. She is playing the part of the tragic Fantine in “Les Miserables.” And that video which you can see over at Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone’s http://www.awardsdaily.com is stunning.Moving. Unforgettable. Surprising.  One of the best trailers I’ve ever seen.

Anne Thompson over at http://www.indiewire.com actually got her gigantic list of Oscar possibles up first earlier this week, and all I remember from them is that Annie is placed by Anne in the Best Actress category! Category confusion all over the place! I’ll have to look at what St. Anne said, again, now that Tom-O has thrown down his Oscar guantlet, too. Anne, I think, had NOBODY in the frontrunner section for Best Supporting.

Gold Derby seems to think it’s going to be Joaquim Phoenix for the Weinstein Co.’s Christmas offering “The Master” about Scientology. The controversial Phoenix plays the Master’s(Phillip Seymour Hoffman) most ardent pupil. Not so sure about this one. But they seem to think he’s going to go head to head with Leonardo Di Caprio’s villainous slave-master in “Django Unchained.”

“Django Unchained” and “The Master” were both sneaked at Cannes by TWC and perhaps they are right in thinking, over at Gold Derby, that this is where Harvey W. will win this year.

Nobody’s predicted a third in a row for the Weinstein Co. After “King’s Speech” and “The Artist” both winning Best Picture two years in a row, Harvey was on a roll. But now it seems more like a croissant. With Best Supp. Actor, the Weinstein Co.’s best shot.

I think “Les Miz” is going to get more Oscar nominations in more categories across the board than any other film. It’s from Universal. And also this prognostication, early though it is, leads us to believe that it’s going to be a very studio-driven Oscars this year.

We shall see.

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