a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest’

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Noomi Rapace ~ The Stephen Holt Show

Noomi Rapace is back in the headlines and the headlights of Hollywood stardom, full blast and full throttle, with the wondrous A-Star-Is-Re-Born reviews she’s getting for her performance in the leading role in “Prometheus“, Ridley Scott’s return to Sci-Fi, Big time.


And with this role Noomi I think forever overcomes not getting the English language version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo“. She starred in all three films of the great Swedish crime noir trilogy by the late Steig Larson. Here I am, lucky and thrilled to have the privilege of chatting with her about the last episode “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” a couple of seasons back.

I just fell in love her and was shocked by how sweet and feminine and smart and sexy she was. and totally unlike the character of Lisbeth Salander in every way imaginable. Except that they both like to take risks.Noomi with her acting and Lisbeth just with life in general.  I was hoping she was going to get an Oscar nomination for this last film, but instead she did get a BAFTA Best Actress Nod.

She also grew up part of the time in Iceland, so that’s what I was saying to her at the end “Tak. Bless.” Which is “Thank you and good-bye” in Icelandic, which she speaks as well as her native Swedish. She’s going to be the biggest Swedish acting star since Ingrid Bergman! Or before her Greta Garbo!

2011 in review- 13,000 Thanks!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Oscar on its’ way to being “Tattoo”-ed? Fincher’s GREAT re-do nails it!

I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful experience it was to be soooo totally surprised, stupefied and blind-sided, and deee-lighted to be so, by David Fincher’s re-do of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” I’m kinda hog-wild about it. I think it’s an instant classic.

Shocked that material I knew so well ~ I saw all three Swedish movies and read all three blockbuster books and was totally entranced by all of them, and I  could not BELIEVE that a director whose work has been so notoriously uneven, really could re-invent, in a completely NEW, a startling way, a movie we’ve actually already seen. As recently as last year. Which is when I caught up with it.

I mean, really! Quelle shock! Quelle surprise! And how wonderful to suddenly see David Fincher turn into Alfred Hitchcock, in all of the best possible ways. I mean, Fincher has really done the IMPOSSIBLE. He re-thought and re-shot a re-make and made it all utterly, entirely entertaining.engrossing and WATCHABLE. All nearly three hours of it! Yes, it’s that long, dear readers, dear cineastes.

Fincher wants you to go through an epic, an ORDEAL, as his Viking goddess, Lisbeth Salander, becomes a true immortal Norse Mythological Heroine in his hands, and in Rooney Mara’s equally stunning performance ~ It’s a SAGA! An Icelandic SAGA! Or in this case Swedish.

Lisbeth Salander is  on par with Brunnhilde, these days. But, oh wait! That’s German! But yes, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” has that on its’ mind, too. Nazis. And there’s a lot of them. And they populate Sweden and esp. this film (and the book, too. No Fincher didn’t ADD them. But he did ad a cat… )

And there’s a LOT of Swedish politics and rage against the supposedly perfect Swedish social machine. Where corruption exists on all levels, mostly high, but mid-range, too, as exemplified by the beaurocrat Bjurman(a really slimy pig of a politico played here Yorick Van Wageningen.) His rape of Salander jump-starts the film into hyper-space, if the film’s opening five minutes of INCREDIBLY dark and oily, inky black  titles  with pounding music by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, that turn into blood and then into fire, didn’t already blow you there.  I don’t ever remember Opening titles getting applause!

How DID he do this???

Welllll, there is a biiiiiig difference between a $15 million budget which is what all THREE Swedish films had, and the something upwards of $150 milllion that this “Tattoo” was inked with.

Quelle difference! But it’s not just the money. It’s how Fincher USED the money, wisely. It’s superbly shot in a de-saturated, almost black and white tone, by his great cinematographer, who makes Sweden look black and BLUE.  There are snowscapes upon snowscapes of incredible beauty. Some thing the original Swedish version directed by Niels Arden Oplev did NOT do.

Oplev’s Stockholm looked glamorous, beautiful, colorful, intriguing, inviting. It made you want to go there. It was a celebration of Stockholm. It was if we’d never seen it before. Oplev WANTED you to go there.

There is no color whatsoever in Fincher’s version. It’s all chilly, foreboding, FREEZING. Everything seems like it’s happening in a new Ice Age. And he’s more interested in frightening the living daylights out of you by the winter gloom. It’s as though the two “Tattoos” were filmed in two totally different cities. One you’d want to go to and one you wanted to run from.

And there is a LOT of darkness in Lisbeth Salander’s world, the world that Steig Larsson created for her. It’s a Nordic vision of hell, and it’s so rotten you can also smell the stench of decaying souls. Lisbeth’s last scene takes place, metaphorically, next to a dumpster, as once again, it’s snowing.

And the suspense! Not since Hitchcock, as I said. My hero. He was the greatest of great filmmakers IMHO. And that Fincher is able to sustain this for NEARLY three hours is absolutely astonishing.

There are SOME bright lights shining in this land of the midnight sun, and it’s all in the casting. The excellent ensemble boasts a rubicund Christopher Plummer as the rich guy who hires the down-on-his-luck Blomkvist. And Blomkvist is magnificently played by none-other than James Bond himself, Daniel Craig. He’s the hero and we all know it. And a helluva nice guy. A journalist who’s a crusader against corruption in all forms, Henrik Vanger (no, not WAGNER, but you get the drift) hires the hapless Blomkvist to track down the disappearance many years prior of a beloved neice, Harriet.

Add a perfectly cast Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard and Joely Richardson, who’s never been better and you’ve yourself got a superb group of players. Down to the smallest bit part, Fincher has assembled a great, an historic ensemble of actor’s actors. One of the best ever for his kind of thriller-diller shockeroo. But that’s what Hitchcock did, too. He always had THE BEST actors, and by doing so elevated the genre.

That’s ONE plot, the Harriet plot. Then there’s an Agatha Christie-esque mystery-within-the-mystery, which is the real core of the story. THEN there’s the great love story that develops between Blomkvist and Salander and SHE’S definitely the one on top here.

One of the great successes of Steig Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy is his reversal, his up-ending of the usual sexual expectations in a genre like this. And both Mara and Craig are totally up to and under it. They were hot together when their relationship starts to turn carnal. And it does! We suddenly see what is keeping all those Swedish nights so warm!  And like in Ingmar Bergman’s great cinematic ouevre, it was always about the women.

And Lisbeth Salander is one of the great fictional heroines of our time, and Noomi Rapace in the Swedish films did a beautiful, mystifying job. She was as glamorous and intriguing and complicated as the Sweden that was depicted in the previous films.

Rooney Mara has large, almost gigantic blue eyes, They seem to dwarf her completely. Noomi had dark, impenetrable, almost black eyes. What WAS going on behind them in all those intense close-ups of her throughout the first three films?

With Mara’s enormous orbs, we SEE what is going on inside her much, much more clearly, and yes, there is ultimately a vulnerability that Fincher finally reveals in the film’s last scene which was like a cinematic sucker punch.

And Rooney and Oscar? Well, I’ll write more about that tomorrow!

Noomi v. Rooney~ Take Two~ “Dragon Tattoo” FINALLY lands…

So it is with great trepidation that I look forward to Monday and the inevitable screening of the American version of “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Will I like or won’t I? I would like to THINK I am approaching this with an open mind. But I wonder…

If you saw all three brilliant, beautiful Swedish movies and read all the books and had the privilege of interviewing Noomi Rapace herself, how un-prejudiced, how objective  can you really be?

I mean, I’ve gone on record with my indignant “How dare they remake perfection?” and you can look back in this blog to find many, many posts on Steig Larsson and Lisbeth Salander and how wonderful I thought this all was…The three Swedish movies and those three great un-put-downable books…

So I didn’t REALLY press the press people behind this film. I mean, there was this EMBARGO and all, I guess Sony(who is the producer of this $125 million REMAKE) figured that they knew I probably wouldn’t like it so they didn’t pursue me and I didn’t pursue them and there was this awful embargo thingie.

And everyone kept saying “It’s not an Oscar movie.” anyway…so I took it easy…but now that the embargo is lifted and the reviews are starting to pile in and pile up…and they’re GOOD…I’m beginning to thaw towards Rooney Fincher…I think of them as one…

MAYBE I might even enjoy this.

I feel so terrible for Noomi Rapace. But maybe…just maybe…I might actually LIKE this movie….This is a pre-review. I’m “reviewing the situation” as Fagin sang so memorably in “Oliver!” another Best Picture winner of years gone by…

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone just LOVED it to pieces. But then of course, she’s a HUGE Fincher fan. Read her moving pieces, by all means, at  www.awardsdaily.com But Stu VanAirsdale at www.movieline.com said in his ESSENTIAL Oscar Index this week that she was the only one…

But then more reviews, like Owen Gleiberman in EW www.ew.com wrote very movingly about it. And Rooney Fincher DID get a Golden Globe nomination, and then and then….

A fellow journo, a broadcast TV producer took me out to dinner tonight at my favorite place in NYC Angus McIdoe’s www.angusmcindoe.com and he told me that he had just done the “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” TV junket THIS AFTERNOON!!!??!!!

I had no idea it was TODAY! And obviously, I wasn’t invited…and well, my friend, who had read none of the books, and HAD seen the movie, liked it. He thought it was “interesting.” Hmmm…

And he said Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig were taking it VERY seriously. And Christopher Plummer and Stellan Sarsgaard were not. THEY were incredibly jolly and having the time of their lives, evidently. Stellan, who I’ve interviewed many, many times, stood up and greeted every journalist as they came in the TV junket door.

No one ever does that.

And Christopher Plummer was jovial personified, my friend said. Well, I countered “Of COURSE, he is. He’s having the biggest moment of his career. He’s in this BIG movie, and he’s going to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor this year. Of COURSE, he’s in a good mood!” And he was incredibly funny and witty as only Canadians can be when they’re on a role.

And Rooney Fincher? She said as my friend entered her suite that she was in a bad mood. Guess she was still in character…Did she say that to allll the journalists?

But in all fairness, the movie is riding on HER, and her performance, and even though she’s got Cynthia Swartz on her side, she doesn’t have Harvey Weinstein. She’s got Scott Rudin, whose dreaded EMBARGO seems to have nearly killed the buzz on this film…I mean, it’s all a tad late, isn’t it?

To open a film this late in the (Oscar) season, and to junket it TODAY when Christmas is nearly upon us…Peace on Earth. Good will towards men. The OPPOSITE philosophy of Lisbeth Salander. The Feel Bad Movie for Xmas…

Well, I guess I’m in the mood for it…Buzz is starting. People seem to have wildly divergent reactions to it.

Kristopher Tapley got into an almost-fight in his podcast with St. Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood www.indiewire.com Anne REALLY liked it. She really, REALLY liked it. Like Sasha did. And Krist HATED it…

But he admitted to liking Rooney Fincher’s performance…Hmmm…

Well, if Sasha and Anne and OWEN liked it…

But one thing’s for sure. It’s TWO HOURS AND A HALF!!!!!

Well, on Monday I’ll let you all know what I thought. Or for sure on Tuesday.

And I DID like “Se7en” and “Zodiac”…HATED “Fight Club” and “The Joy of Typing”….so…we’ll see…Is it too late-breaking for Oscar? Everyone says “Yes” but maybe I’ll like it just for itself.

My friend said they took the book very, very seriously. I liked the sound of that…

But can Rooney erase the memory of Noomi?

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” Best Foreign Film Bafta!

And now they are coming thick and fast! “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” wins Best Foreign Film, and Nooooooomi Rapace is there, of course, since she is nominated for Best Actress, as well, in a gown made out of it looks like gold sequins.

www.guardian.co.uk is where there is a live blogging session as the awards are very much in progress now.

OSCAR NOMINATIONS OUT! “King’s Speech” rules with 12!

So I feel pretty generally pleased this morning with the announcement of this year’s Oscar Nominations which gave 12(!!!!!) nominations, the most of any film this year, to “The King’s Speech”! Bravo!

This massive nomination haul + the PGA win this weekend puts “King” right where it’s meant to be! To rule! And to win! Bravo!

But not only was it nominated in ALLLL the major categories where it was eligible…Best Picture, Best Director (YAY for Tom Hooper! I told you so! You didn’t believe me, but…you did say I was your Oscar Messenger, and the name has stuck!), Best Actor, of course, the King of Kings, Colin Firth, who has won everything else this year, Best Supporting Actor, Geoffrey Rush, (Geoffrey I told you so, too, at Toronto) Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham-Carter), Best Original Screenplay(David Seidler) and on and on all the way down through every single branch of the Academy including SOUND MIXING!!!!!!! YIKES! That’s what they call across-the-board, or more accurately, across the guilds, support. It bodes, very, very, very well for a Best Picture win. People are already calling it an “upset” to me it was the Academy’s favorite right out of the box at Toronto! Bravo TIFF! It really was the the Oscar race not only launched, but also more or less landed in the sense that “The King’s Speech” ALSO won the Audience favorite this year. Bravo! What’s the plural of Bravo? Bravos!

And Michelle Williams got nominated for Best Actress for “Blue Valentine”! YAY! Michelle! Again I TOLD YOU SO! Like I told you you were going to be nominated five years ago for “Brokeback Mountain” and you didn’t believe me, but I WAS RIGHT! Brava! Diva!

I feel awful for Ryan Gosling however. DUDE! You totally deserved this!

You should have replaced that horrible non-actor Jesse Irritatingberg for “The Joy of Typing” who STILL gives me a headache everytime I hear his grating, staccato voice.

Also was UNhappy to see “Winter’s Bore” get FOUR nominations(and perhaps more, I haven’t finished counting) and I won’t bore you any further with that.

NO LESLIE MANVILLE ANYWHERE! I HOPED that wouldn’t happen! But it did. Category confusion and a too-late release date(Dec.31) for this little film that at least scored a screenplay nod for Mike Leigh, but nothing else.

This was SUCH a beautiful movie, and NOT a bore like “Winter’s B.”….

I guess the snubs have upset me more than anything else. And no Noomi Rapace or “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” anywhere. Guess that is the American Producer(Sony?) blockading against its’ Oscar chances so that the dreaded American Remake with David Fincher and Rooney Marra that is slated for next Decemeber can rule Oscar then And it probably will….grrrr…If by some strange fluke of fate and David Fincher does NOT win the Best Director Oscar for “The Joy of Typing”, he undoubtedly will for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” next year. The late author Steig Larsson must be turning over in his grave.

Well, Noomi could still triumph at the BAFTAS, where she is nominated for Best Actress and the film for Best Foreign Language Film.

Not surprised(although I predicted him) that Christopher Nolan was left out of the Best Director Five although he received a DGA nomination. There almost always is a four v. five situation there with the directors. And the Coens got in. AND I must mention that “True Grit” followed “The King’s Speech” with 10 nominations. Including that brat Haillee Steinfeld(who I predicted would end up in Supporting, and she did although she really belongs back in middle school in 1000 Oaks, or doing “Blingatude” commercials. She was totally believable as a Valley Girl brat…but that’s the extant of her believable range.) And Jackie Weaver got in for the unwatchable “Animal World”! Which is a shocker! And neither Barbara Hersey OR Mila Kunis! So while “Black Swan” was shaking a bit, Natalie Portman DID get in for Best Actress and Aronofsky for Best Director. Good.

Check out www.awardsdaily.com of course, for alllll the nominations. And David Karger, my hero, who stuck out with me on the limb of “The King’s Speech” ALLLLL season and now you see, along with Anne Thompson of “Indiewire” ‘and our Fearless Leader David Poland of “Movie City News” that we were right all along. They are at www.ew.com

www.indiewire.com

www.moviecitynews.com

And if there is toooo much traffic at Awardsdaily, which is one of the MOST popular Oscar sites in the world, and you can’t access it, as I couldn’t earlier this morning. There’s those three Pro-“King’s Speech” addresses and also Steve Pond’s excellent “The Wrap” at www.thewrap.com

DAVID!!! PUT ME BACK AS A GURU O’ GOLD!!! PLEASE!!!

Oscar Nomination Predictions ~ Best Actor and Actress

Well, this year I feel the BAFTA nominations have had a huge impact – on me personally. I find myself THINKING about them more than I have ever had in my Oscar life before. Now the BAFTAs can’t influence the Oscar nominations which will be announced bright and early Tuesday morning. The only day of the year I actually look forward to getting up that early.

They CAN’T influence the actual Oscar nominations, as I’ve said , but they can TELL US something that perhaps we’ve not seen coming. And REVEAL what a large group of voters, supposedly the numbers are one in six Academy members, are thinking.

And first of all I’d say they REVEAL that Julianne Moore is much more IN the Best Actress race than just about everybody under the sun in the U.S. has given her credit for for “The Kids Are All Right.”

And their leaving out of BOTH Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence for “Rabbit Hole” and “Winter’s Bore” completely, shows us that these presumed locked ladies are not so locked at all.

We all can agree on Annette Bening for TKAAR and Natalie Portman for “Black Swan.”

And they have my favorite performance, who I also think is going to WIN, the BAFTA, Noomi Rapace, down for “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s”. Of course, she’s really being honored here for ALL THREE Steig Larsson films.  I think her Lisbeth Salander trumps Natalie Portman’s schizy ballerina. In British eyes.

But–

So my Best Actress nominees are –

ANNETTE BENING – The Kids Are All Right”

JULIANNE MOORE- ‘The Kids Are All Right”

NATALIE PORTMAN- “Black Swan”

NOOMI RAPACE-“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

MICHELLE WILLIAMS- “Blue Valentine”

Putting Rapace in there is really going out on a limb…but…I do think the BAFTAS have pointed the way for this category this year. And I’m replacing their Haillee Steinfeld for “True Grit” with Michelle Williams. And I’m betting the Academy which seems hell-bent on honoring Steinfeld will put her in Supporting as I said yesterday. Which I think is where she belongs.

Best Actor, this is easier

JEFF BRIGES – “True Grit”

COLIN FIRTH “The King’s Speech”

JAMES FRANCO- “127 Hours”

JESSIE IRRITATINGBERG – “The Movie About Typing”

RYAN GOSLING- “Blue Valentine”

I think Robert DuVal is not going to make it in for that sub-par performance in “Get Low” or “How Low Can You Get?” or “How to Throw Your Own Funeral” which actually sounds like a fun movie with that title. But trust me, it isn’t.

Looking eastward again to the BAFTA nominees, I’ve got four of their five for Best Actress AND Best Actor! Now that’s an impact! Their fifth Best Actor Nominee is Javier Bardem for “Biutiful”…and he could sneak into that fifth slot, but I don’t think people have been watching the movie. Whereas they WILL have watched “Blue Valentine.”

Melissa Leo’s BAFTA snub? A death blow to her Oscar campaign?

When BAFTA announced yesterday morn that they were putting “The King’s Speech” on top of THEIR Oscar pile (The BAFTAs are considered the British Oscars) and that Movie About Typing at the Bottom with only 6 nominations, which it may not win.

Everybody took notice.

Why? Well, yes, the traditional age-old Snob Effect on the Academy of anything limey. Well, not ANYthing. They seemed to have kicked “Another Year” to the curb, sadly. WHERE IS LESLIE MANVILLE?!? Probably in Oscar limbo forever.

Category confusion is Oscar’s most deadly disease.

After winning Best Actress from the National Board of Review, Manville turned up NOwhere in the U.S. lists,or anywhere else, until she appeared in Supporting Actress at the BAFTA awards. Surprise! There she was at last. Back in her own country, not as Best Actress, but as Best Supporting Actress.

But the BIGGEST surprise of the BAFTAS that landed with a WALLOP was the omission of Golden Globe and BFCA winner for Best Supporting Actress( I tell ya, that race is a doozy this year) MELISSA LEO?!?

HOW is this possible? Well, I guess the Brits didn’t like the “Fighter” THAT much. They didn’t nominate it for Best Picture,and though they grudingly nominated Christian Bale and Amy Adams in Supporting,  they RRRREALLLY didn’t like Melissa’s Grand Guignol Monster Mom from Massachusetts.

Shocking it was that she was riding high SUNDAY NIGHT and now Monday morning they shot her down! She’s in stark jeopardy!

Oh, she’ll be nominated all right. The nominations had to be in to be counted by Friday. But can she win without the prestige of a BAFTA nom NOT on her CV?

In such a constantly changing category as this year’s Best Supporting Actress,(and Best Actress, too, come to think of it, but more on that later) Melissa Leo can be now counted as NOT A SURE THING. But don’t worry Melissa Leo fans, she WILL be nominated! But winning, I wonder…

I think she’s a great unsung American actress, who is now being sung.

But her low-class harpie mom-ster, Alice Eklund, may not be the right tune for the snobby Academy, though Melissa herself seems to know every single member personally and everybody LOVES her.

I think she can play anything. You give her a difficult role and boy! Will she go to town with it. Like she did last year with “Frozen River,” last year’s “Winter’s Bone”, a teeny tiny Indie directed by a woman about a woman (last year Leo, this year Jennifer Lawrence) who stands up to injustice and protects her brood at all costs in a rural setting.

Oscar goddess Sasha Stone’s unremitting advocating for Melissa Leo’s out-of-left field nomination for Best Actress actually contributed to making that nomination happen, IMHO.

She’s doing the same kind of tub-thumping this year for Jennifer Lawrence, who I can’t get behind, and whose nomination, I think, is shakier than people realize she is. And Melissa Leo is becoming a kind of feminist heroine.

She’s the older actress who has mucho chops, who is still fighting her way BACK to the Oscars, now two years in a row, it seems. Melissa Leo is an actress’ actress. She kinda sorta eschews glamour, like wearing her “old tux” to the BFCA awards when she won. And then an OK gown, that was so unremarkable her picture in it appeared NOWHERE in the MANY pictures of the Golden Globe’s red carpet, and the bejeweled, be-gowned actresses upon them. And where was Melissa? Nowhere to be found. And she won! And Natalie Portman the other big winner was EVERYwhere!

The Academy looks at that and sniffs, “Well, she’s not a star.” And she isn’t. The public doesn’t know her like those in the business do. Melissa who? But she’s a constantly working, supremely talented ACTRESS. Did you recognize her THIS year in another Oscar baity film “Convinction” as the evil policewoman who wrecks Sam Rockwell’s life? YES, that dried-up, prune-faced, lying cop was Melissa Leo, too!

All of these things should ad up to Melissa Leo winning a Supporting Actress Oscar, since she’s the type of actress this category and these awards were created for in the first place…but…she was SNUBBED by BAFTA!

But the thing about BAFTA is for the first time this year, people are noticing that we have a voting body that actually OVERLAPS the American Academy it is said to the tune of 1000 members out of 6000 AMPAS voters. And each year the Academy(and the press AND the blogosphere) is paying more attention than ever. It just keeps growing and growing . In coverage. In importance. And the more coverage the BAFTAs get, the more important. And influential, they become.

So who would be the BAFTA front-runner in that tumultous BSA category? I think it’s Helen Bonham-Carter as the slam-dunk.

My esteemed colleague David Karger at Entertainment Weekly takes this Oscar business VERY seriously. I always had the ultimate respect for his opinions, insights and conclusions. And Dave, like me, is still staunchly insisting that “The King’s Speech” is the front-runner to win Best Picture, and this avalanche of BAFTA nominations seem to prove us right.

ALLLL That Typing Movie’s awards were from the press. Who, let’s face it, spend all day typing.

BAFTA is the first time we’ve heard from a large group of industry professionals. And attention must by paid.

As I said earlier today at www.Awardsdaily.com , in the section of Comments on The BAFTAS!

I think where the BAFTAS have the most impact (on Oscar) is where there is a very close race, like this year’s Supporting Actress and certainly Best Picture.

When the BAFTAS finally do their thing, and announce their winners, it’s timed astutely to be RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE OSCAR VOTING PERIOD.

Personally, I think most Academy Members who are actually voting, mail their ballots (by Snail Mail, yes, that’s how they do it) immediately that they receive them.

But sometimes the BAFTAS have an impact in recent years that sways Oscar’s contests…like for instance, when it was Mickey Rourke v. Sean Penn a couple of years back for ANOTHER Pugilistic Movie “The Wrestler” v.Sean Penn’s assassinated Gay Rights leader Harvey Milk in “Milk.”

Actually, Rourke WON the BAFTA, then got up and made a truly embarassing acceptance speech dropping the F-bomb so may times on the stunned Limeys, it seemed like the Blitz was back on.

And I knew, I just knew, if there was any doubt in any Academy voters mind who STILL hadn’t mailed in their ballots, Rourke just lost it big time there. With that speech and the Academy was NOT going to let itself be embarassed by awarding him in the same way. The Snob Effect. See.

So Sean Penn won and he should’ve for his great portrayal of a complicated, but sweet crusader…who died SUCH a tragic death.

I could go on.

And I will.

Also, take the instance of Marion Cotillard’s surprise win at the Oscars the year before that. She trounced Brit legend Julie Christie in the politically correct Alzheimer’s movie “Away From Her.”

How did THAT happen? Marion a UNKNOWN foreign actress acting in her own language (French) WON for playing Edith Piaf, gave a beautiful, totally shocked, moving acceptance speech at the BAFTAs for “La Vie En Rose” and then WON at the Oscars.

It also didn’t hurt that night that at the BAFTAS that Best Actor winner Daniel Day Lewis said in HIS acceptance speech that “Marion Cotillard is acting on a different level than all of us.” And I think that sealed Marion’s deal.

Marion also MOVED to L.A. during this crucial voting period and went to EVERY Hollywood party and charmed and enchanted all her met her, as did my other unknown(at the time) actress friend Marcia Gay Harden, who appeared out of nowhere to be nominated with no precursor awards. In 2000. But “The Stephen Holt Show” had her.

And SHE won. Best Supporting Actress for “Pollock”.

So who could surprise? Who could win THIS year? Well, it looks like it’s Natalie Portman, an American princess to be sure for “Black Swan.” BAFTA, yes, has nominated her for Best Actress.

But wait! Who else popped out of nowhere at BAFTA?!? NOOOOOMI RAPACE!??

And “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” the last of the Steig Larsson Millenium Trilogy, picked up three nominations at BAFTA including Noomi’s Best Actress.

And wait, she’s foreign. But hardly unknown in London, where she has moved to escape the paparazzi-fest  that her incredible portrait of  Lisbeth Salander turned  her life into in her native Sweden.

She’s embraced London and British society totally. And they her. And I just have this feeling that the Brits feel this immense sense of injustice being done to Noomi, who endured A YEAR AND A HALF of CONSTANT filming of the three Larsson movies, all shot one right after the other after the other, since Noomi has been replaced by an unknown American girl Rooney Mara. And that these beloved, hugely successful movies are being now remade IN ENGLISH by David Fincher….He who directed The Typing Movie…

Well, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear Noomi Rapace’s name called on BAFTA night.

And how will that impact the Oscar race for Best Actress? Well, if she’s not nominated, not a bit.

But I think people in England are enraged by these remakes by the presumptous Americans who have the NERVE to redo those beautiful Swedish movies! And watch they give their best director to home town boy Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech.” NOT to David Fincher, who has the temerity to remake these Larsson/Salander movies! The NERVE of him!

 This would really set those Yankees back a few steps, if it was then to be recorded by all the journos in the world press, who are bound to write about these great Swedish films V. the trashy American re-makes. Well, the Swedish movies starred the BAFTA AWARD WINNING BEST ACTRESS NOOMI RAPACE. Then every time someone wrote about these new American versions,they’d HAVE to mention BAFTA. Not that Noomi could upset Natalie in the U.S. ,but in Britain she certainly could.

And Noomi would give a beautiful, charming,moving acceptance speech. You know she would.

And also, now that I think of it Noomi’s Lisbeth GETS A GUNSHOT WOUND TO THE BRAIN AT POINT BLANK RANGE !!! AND SURVIVES!!! There’s also that political parallel to be raised…so I’m raising it. Gaby Giffords is a heroine, but so is Lisbeth. Especially to Europeans. She’s a fictional character, but who can forget her first entrance in “Hornet’s Nest” where they are cutting open her skull, and are showing REMOVING A BULLET from her brain! And she SURVIVES!

And oh, Melissa Leo…back to her…

What has the BAFTA done to HER Oscar race? Well, I think it’s stopped it dead in its’ tracks, I’m sorry to say.

I think she and co-star Amy Adams will BOTH be nominated and cancel each other out and Helena Bonham-Carter will sweep in and win as she certainly will the BAFTAS for “The King’s Speech.”

However, what does Dave Karger think this does? Check out his updated lists at www.ew.com

But I’ll tell you who Dave has picked to win Best Supporting Actress now. AMY ADAMS!?!?

It could happen. She’s been nominated twice before. They know her. They love her. And she’s still young and beautiful and she’s wonderful in “The Fighter” too. Playing something she’s never played before. A tough, working class chick, a bartender no less.

So THAT’S what the BAFTAs have done with their snubbing of Melissa Leo, they’ve HELPED Amy Adams BIG TIME!

Most BAFTA nominations 14! for “The King’s Speech”!!!And 3 for Noooooomi!!

WELLLLLLL, THIS is good news! After the wretch-fest that was this year’s best-quickly forgotten Golden Globs, the British Academy Awards equivalent, the BAFTAs corrected all the wrongs and nominated “The King’s Speech” for 16 Awards! YAY!

I’m sooooo relieved!

I tell you, I keep hearing from Academy Voting Members that they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE “The King’s Speech” and I knew of course, the British would go for it en masse, and they did. The Oscar nominations are all in, and being tabulated as we speak by their accountants, counting all the nomination ballots by hand. Yes, that’s the way they do it. Still. But it guarantees secrecy. Were these to be sent in online, they could be hacked into, so THAT’S where the Academy stands on the Internet. And the Film I Will Not Name got a paltry six, an embarassingly small number, after trouncing “The King’s Speech” at the Awardsfest this weekend. All is suddenly right with the world. Of course, Colin Firth won all contests.

Best Picture, Actor(Colin Firth), Best Supporting Actor(Geoffrey Rush) and Best Supporting Actress(Helena Bonham-Carter), Best Original Screenplay(David Seidler) and every thing else under the British sun, including Best Make-Up!

The Best Actress category was the biggest surprise with BOTH Annette Bening and Julianne Moore from “The Kids Are All Right”, which I think the Oscars are going to do. Natalie Portman, natch, and NOOOOOOOMI Rapace for “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”!?! Soooo thrilled for NOOOOOOOOOOOOOMI! And Hailee Steinfeld!?!?

This leaves out Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence(for “Winter’s Bore”thank goodness!! ) and also sadly Michelle Williams.

“The Girl Who Kicked…” also turned up with two other nominations for Best Screenplay, and also best foreign film!!!

I think FINALLY “The King’s Speech” is going to sweep here and this may influence the Oscar’s end result. One can only hope.

Other significant left-outs – Melissa Leo in Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”!! Amy Adams made it in here. And so, I’m happy to point out did Miranda Richardson. And of course, left IN is Helena Bonham-Carter who I mentioned earlier ^ and she will probably triumph here. Also, happily the great Barbara Hersey made it into this category instead of the massively mediocre Mila Kunis for “Black Swan.” 

Congratulations to Colin, Geoffrey, Helena, Miranda, Barbara, director Tom Hooper and NOOOOOMI! WOWOWOW!

So now if you’re counting such things, and we KNOW you are, that’s “The King’s Speech” getting more than TWICE the amount of that OTHER film. The one about typing.

For a complete list see www.goldderby.com and also of course, www.awardsdaily.com

Gold Derby also points out how influential the BAFTAS are on the Oscars these past few years since it switched it’s ceremony time to come down RIGHT DURING the actual Oscar voting. I still think her win at BAFTA and Daniel Day Lewis’ wonderful words about her perfomance as Edith Piaf, helped win the virtually unknown Marion Cotillard her unexpected(but not by me) Oscar for Best Actress!

Guy Lodge, a Brit himself, has plenty o’ insight into this Brit fest at Chris Tapley’s great oscar site www.incontention.com

Oh, and congratulations and thank you, too, to Rising Stars nominees Gemma Arterton”Tamara Drewe” and Aaron Johnson “Nowhere Boy”!

Long Live the King!Colin Firth Triumphs at Critic’s Choice/BFCA awards!

What a magnificent moment! And what a classy, eloquent speech Colin Firth made as he accepted the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actor for “The King’s Speech”!

Ditto Screenwriter David Seidler for winning Best Original Screenplay also for “The King’s Speech.”

Firth, in talking about his “twenty year collaboration” with Harvey Weinstein, and how he is looking forward to “twenty years more,” was very, very moving to me. It made me think of that other great, unexpected (but not by me) triumph of “Shakespeare in Love” that Firth was in. Yes, he was!

As the obsequious, unattractive blow-hard Lord Wessex,that Gwyneth Paltrow was being forced to marry. Yes, THAT was him.Totally Unrecognizable as a lout when you think of  the dashing leading man he’s become today.

He was so nervous at the beginning of his acceptance speech, the first of MANY just days ahead, I thought he was starting to stutter!

He hit all the right notes in his elegant, dignified acceptance speech and was funny, majestic and humble at the same time, noting that he, as most actors, was “a great seeker of attention,” and how he “was going to wear” the large BFCA award “around my neck as a talisman.” I wish I had a video copy of that speech. But I don’t have the technology…yet…but I’m sure it’ll be up on You Tube soon.

He was so, well, WINNING, he totally nailed down his subsequent and inevitable wins, at the Globes, the SAGs and the Oscars, just as I told him he would, in person, on the air, when I was lucky enough to be the first journalist to broach the subject (Oscar) to him on my TV show. This occurred in September at the Toronto Film Festival and I’ve put Colin back in my main frame, so you can see me telling him this here ~ www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow He seemed genuinely dumbfouned by my( now proved incredibly accurate) prediction about his upcoming awards dominance.

And 70-something British writer David Seidler was finally front and center to accept his award for Best Original Screenplay for
“The King’s Speech.” He was incredibly disarming and very refreshing as the oldest winner by far last night. He revealed that he was a stutterer himself and spoke to that question. Very moving.

He was obsessed with the story of the stammering King George VI and had been working on this script all his life, evidently. A letter from the Queen Mum(Helena Bonham-Carter in the movie) evidently begged him to not produce his play (eventually a screenplay) in her lifetime. And he respected her wishes, never IMAGINING she’d live to 102!?!

And notably Geoffrey Rush was not there. I guess he knew he was going to lose to Christian Bale, another Brit, BTW, for “The Fighter”. Now, while I admired his tweaking meth-head performance in “The Fighter,” and I can understand how it beat Rush, who’s doing a play in Australia right now. I bet he’ll be on hand for the Golden Globes on Sunday night, though. And he might win there. The Golden Globes are a whole different group of people from the BFCA. First of all, they are the FOREIGN press. And though Bale is also a Brit, most people think of him as an American.

Bale, you must understand, is NOT LIKED, by the rank-and-file members who are the Academy. And probably not by the Globes either. For one thing, he’s been going around talking in his Dickie Ekland Boston-American accent, when he’s really got quite a nice Welsh burr. The Hollywood FOREIGN press might see that, and probably do, as irritating, if not downright insulting.

 He’s notoriously anti-press, and when forced to answer questions he has been speaking in Dickie Englund’s(his character in “The Fighter”) accent not his British one. Very phoney-baloney if you ask me. And you ARE asking me, since you’ve read this far into this Oscar rant!

And can anyone forget that rant he made against that poor film techie that was published on YouTube and all over the Internet? Then the charges that he assaulted his mother and sister in a hotel room? Though later dropped, things like this influence Academy voters. Yes, they do.

And they LOVE Michael Douglas, who is nominated at the Globes for Best Supporting Actor against Bale, Rush and Andrew Garfield And someone else. Oh!  Mark Ruffalo for the “Kids Are All Right”s sperm donor.

Watch out because the beloved, cancer embattled Douglas wasn’t nominated last night at the BFCA. Watch out for both Michael D. and Geoffrey R. tomorrow night at the Globes. The HFPA ,who are famously known to cross the Alps for a hot-dog, may think of the HEADLINES they’d make if Michael Douglas wins in Supporting for “Wall St. 2”!?! This influences these publicity-seeking press hounds/people. Yes it does.

The Broadcast Film Critics’ as I’ve said over and over and over again are CRITICS, so of course their awards are going to go to the CRITICAL favorites that we’ve seen them write about all year long. It was predictable. There was not ONE surprise.

Except maybe that “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” won Best Foreign Film. YAY!

But I didn’t see Noomi Rapace there, who was also nominated for Best Actress. Natalie Portman, very pregnant and glowing, won, as expected, and she gave a VERY nice acceptance speech, practically nailing Darren Aronofsky as a great director(“Black Swan”) and solidifying his probably upcoming Oscar Nomination.

I saw Colin hug director Tom Hooper(who named me the Oscar Messenger, lest we forget) on his way to the podium. They both jumped out of their seats and he hugged him.

Helena Bonham-Carter was there. Nominated for Best Supporting Actress for “King’s Speech” and not looking very happy when she lost to Melissa Leo, who looked, to her credit surprised as well as happy. Amy Adams looked crushed. Though she smiled bravely to the cameras when Melissa won. “The Fighter” crew also won “Best Ensemble” and so Amy, Melissa and Christian Bale and some other guy from the movie. All were up onstage early in the evening. Amy and Melissa ascended arm-in-arm, like sisters. This relationship lasted barely another hour. For when Melissa Leo won, and not Amy, for Best Supporting Actress, Adams began to lose it.

For when the roving camera cut back to Amy Adams AFTER the Melissa Leo win, she looked increasingly unhappy. Almost tearful as if to say “What am I going through all this FOR??? When am I going to win! I never win!”

Amy Adams has lost the Oscar twice before for “Junebug” and “Doubt,” both Supporting. It’s getting to be a habit. And not like her costume in “Doubt”.

Also looking very distressed was Andrew Garfield who lost Supporting Actor to Christian Bale. And he CONTINUED to look downcast at the end of the awards when Best Picture was given to the Film I Will Not Name. He was actually looking at the FLOOR of the stage as all the jubilation of the Best Picture win exploded around him. He looked like he did NOT want to be there.

 Jesse Irritatingberg OTOH looked immensely happy for this win, as did Aaron Sorkin, who won Best Adapted Screenplay. Did he compare himself AGAIN to Shakespeare, Aeschylus and Paddy Chayefsky??? Or perhaps he said that on the ENDLESS, extremely embarrassing red carpet show that preceded the actual awards by an hour. I thought it started at 8. It didn’t start til nine.

Another crestfallen contender was Supporting Actress Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”)who looked like a million dollars at the beginning of the evening, and a crushed cabbage leaf, or a deflated balloon, by the end. She looked like she had been crying.

Oh, and David Fincher, who won Best Director didn’t even show up! He has been publicly speaking OUT against these awards, BTW, and so watch, if he doesn’t show up at the Golden Globes that someone else who IS showing up, will win. Like for instance, Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech.” Fincher’s in Switzerland working on “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” and just simply can’t be bothered with all this awards non-sense. Watch him be MIA tomorrow night, too. “The Social Network” COULD lose all the awards its’ been nominated for to the “King’s Speech” tomorrow night at the Globes. Yes, it could happen.

Back to the BFCA. Once again I have to stress these are CRITICS, who we’ve been hearing from all awards’ season long.

The Academy has absolutely NO members of the press in its’ voting body. So the winners may be different. Very, very different, especially at the Globes, with David Fincher not there, don’t be surprised if “The King’s Speech” wins EVERYTHING it’s been nominated for. You heard it here first.

The only real,true surprise for me, was Melissa Leo’s win in Supporting for the dragon mother in “The Fighter.” She was so surprised herself, she started ogling presenter Josh Brolin and recounted how she had once kissed him. What could’ve been a hot moment, was an Ewwww moment. Embarrassing, Melissa?

Then she regained her composure and noted how “10 years ago when I was 40” people were telling her actresses’ careers were over.

She’s worked with EVERYBODY. She was almost in a reading of a play of MINE once. And I like her immensely as a person. But in “The Fighter” she was chewing the scenery of the entire landscape of Lowell, Massachusetts.

 Although she’s not as well-known by the public. How many people saw “Frozen River”? Her OTHER nomination for Best Actress? Raise your hands. Nobody…Well, I did. And I thought she was marvelous in that small, gritty Indie.

The one true misfire of the evening was Hailee “Blingatude” Steinfeld winning for Best Young Actor/Actress for what I sometimes feel should be called “True Shit”.Well, her OVERpraised, OVERhyped performance anyway. I could be a member of the BFCA and I certainly will…. someday. But I certainly wouldn’t’ve voted for HER.

 She wore a pink, very short dress that was draped in a way that made her look like she had the late Shelley Winter’s  ass hips and then gave a flat, monotonal, blah, meh, borderline moronic speech, assuring every Academy Member watching that no, SHE won’t win anything else.

Now it’s on to the Golden Globes TOMORROW night on NBC. And I think it will be a completely upside-down scenario there….Just saying…

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