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Posts tagged ‘Gotham Awards’

Oscar Chances of Casey Affleck,”Manchester by the Sea” Boosted by Early Critics Awards

Well, the first critics awards of the season have come rollin’ in, and the Big Winner so far is Casey Affleck, who has just racked up Best Actor from the Gotham Awards and the National Board of Review. Right behind him is his beautiful film “Manchester by the Sea” and I couldn’t be happier or prouder of this fierce little Indie’s overcoming all the studio behemoths to reap these much-deserved rewards.

“Manchester by the Sea” also was just named Best Picture of the Year by the National Board of Review. It landed in its’ top Ten Films and Lucas Hedges as Affleck’s truculent but funny nephew got Best Breakthrough Performer also for “Manchester.”manchester-by-the-sea-5

It’s such a good film. And its’ filmmaker, playwright/director Kenneth Lonergan is one of the best talents we have working today. “Manchester” is a film that grows in the memory. It lasts. It stays with you, as all great films do. It’s a comedy that contains its’ characters going from one funeral after the other.

To reveal more of the plot is to spoil it, so I’ll stop here and say that Casey Affleck’s performance of the grief-stricken Boston janitor certainly deserves these accolades and I’m sure he’s got more on the way. No more “Ben’s little Brother” fleck really comes into his own in “Manchester.”Such a searing portrait of grief, I don’t think we’ve ever seen on the screen quite so indelibly.

Also gaining some surprising and much needed traction from these early awards is “Moonlight”s Naomie Harris, who I’ve been mentioning over and over in previous Oscar blogs as the crack addicted mother of the central character.

naomie-harris-1

Also rollin’ in to the National Board of Review is Jeff Bridges’ nominated for his crusty, West Texas retiree lawmaker in “Hell or Highwater” for Best Supporting Actor. hell-or-high-water-5The Independent Spirits nominated Ben Foster also from “Hell” in this same slot, but not Bridges. And as previously stated the entire ensemble of “Moonlight”s actors received a special award for excellence at the Gothams.

“Moonlight” was also the Big Winner at the Gothams last night with four awards. It’s Out Gay writer/director Barry Jenkins scoring in both categories.

It’s also interesting to note that neither of the millennial actresses who are considered front-runners Emma Stone for “La La Land” and Natalie Portman for “Jackie” won in this busy past 24 hours. French actress Isabelle Huppert triumphed for “Elle” at the Gothams and six-time Oscar loser Amy Adams won the NBR Best Actress Award for “Arrival.” Could this FINALLY be her year?arrival-1

For a list of all Gotham Award Winners and the National Board of Review’s, too, go to http://www.awardsdaily.com.

#Casey Affleck

#Oscars

#Manchester by the Sea

#Lucas Hedges

#Naomie Harris

 

Independent Spirit Awards Announced, No “Imitation Game,”No “Wild”, No Reese

Tilda 2Marion Oscar1Birdman 1The Independent Spirit Awards were announced this morning in L.A. No surprise that “Birdman” & “Boyhood” did very well, but “Selma” which STILL is in post-production broke through in several categories. However, the TWC’s big awards player “The Imitation Game” was nowhere to be seen!

Some faves of mine did pop up. Tilda Swinton, who is being honored at the Gothams here in NYC on Monday and Marion Cotillard. Both were nominated for Best Actress for “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “The Immigrant.” Would that Mlle. Marion could crack the OSCAR best actress race for ANOTHER incredible performance in the Belgian film “Two Days, One Night” which was another of her incredible performances in French. C’est la Vie! C’est la Guerre!

However, I was NOT surprised to see that neither “Wild” nor its’ leading lady, Reese Witherspoon turned up. It was a VERY tedious film. I watched the whole damn thing and STILL didn’t know why she was doing all that hiking. No Laura Dern in Supporting either for “Wild.” So not only was “Imitiation Game” shut out, “Wild” was, too!

Shut in, IOW, nominated also in as many categories as “Boyhood” was Jake Gyllenhaal’s marvelously creepy “Nightcrawler.” Yay!

THx to Hitfix for the list!

See the full list of nominations below:

Best Feature
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
“Boyhood”
“Love is Strange”
“Selma”
“Whiplash”

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
David Zellner, “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter”

Best Screenplay
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, “Big Eyes”
J.C. Chandor, “A Most Violent Year”
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Jim Jarmusch, “Only Lovers Left Alive”
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, “Love is Strange”

Best First Feature
Ana Lily Amirpour, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Justin Simien, “Dear White People”
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Gillian Robespierre, “Obvious Child”
Anja Marquardt, “She’s Lost Control”

Best First Screenplay
Desiree Akhavan, “Appropriate Behavior”
Sara Colangelo, “Little Accidents”
Justin Lader, “The One I Love”
Anja Marquardt, “She’s Lost Control”
Justin Simien, “Dear White People”

John Cassavetes Award
Jeremy Saulnier, “Blue Ruin”
Eliza Hittman, “It Felt Like Love”
Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens, “Land Ho!”
Dave Boyle, “Man From Reno”
Chris Mason Johnson, “Test”

Best Female Lead
Marion Cotillard, “The Immigrant”
Rinko Kikuchi, “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Jenny Slate, “Obvious Child”
Tilda Swinton, “Only Lovers Left Alive”

Best Male Lead
André Benjamin, “Jimi: All Is By My Side”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
John Lithgow, “Love is Strange”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”

Best Supporting Female
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Carmen Ejogo, “Selma”
Andrea Suarez Paz, “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”
Emma Stone, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Best Supporting Male
Riz Ahmed, “Nightcrawler”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Alfred Molina, “Love is Strange”
Edward Norton, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Best Cinematography
Darius Khondji, “The Immigrant”
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Sean Porter, “It Felt Like Love”
Lyle Vincent, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Bradford Young, “Selma”

Best Editing  
Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”
John Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Ron Patane, “A Most Violent Year”
Adam Wingard, “The Guest”

Best Documentary
Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, “20,000 Days on Earth”
Laura Poitras, “CITIZENFOUR”
Debra Granik, “Stray Dog”
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders, “The Salt of the Earth”
Orlando von Einsiedel, “Virunga”

Best International Film
Ruben Östlund, “Force Majeure”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Ida”
Andrey Zvyagintsev, “Leviathan”
Xavier Dolan, “Mommy”
Lav Diaz, “Norte, the End of History”
Jonathan Glazer, “Under the Skin”

Robert Altman Award
“Inherent Vice”

Special Distinction Award
“Foxcatcher”

Piaget Producers Award
Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson

Someone to Watch Award
Ana Lily Amirpour, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia  , “H.”
Chris Eska, “The Retrieval”

Truer Than Fiction Award
Amanda Rose Wilder, “Approaching the Elephant”
Darius Clark Monroe, “Evolution of a Criminal”
Dan Krauss, The Kill Team”
Sara Dosa, “The Last Season”
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/birdman-boyhood-selma-lead-the-2015-independent-spirit-awards-nominations#v4s51biGLUv5lUet.99

Re: Oscars ~ What Do the Independent Spirit Nominations mean? A lot if you’re the Coens.

In terms of Oscar, what do today’s announcements of the Independent Spirit Nominations mean? I think this year they may mean more than they’ve ever meant before, since Oscar is looking like it’s going Indie in a big way this year.

The only films that weren’t eligible were the mega-budget ones like “Gravity” and “Captain Phillips”, but also middle range budgeted films like “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “August: Osage County” and “Saving Mr. Banks.”

So that showed some surprises, like the  Best Actor category nearly matching what have been predicted all along. And they even expanded this highly competitive category to six. Wish the Oscars were flexible enough to do something like that!

Robert Redford (All Is Lost), Bruce Dern(Nebraska), Matthew McConaghey(Dallas Buyers Club), Chiwetel Ejiafor(12 Years a Slave), all turned up. As did Michael B. Jordan(Fruitvale Station) As did Oscar Issac for “Inside Llewyn Davis”. He’s the one I can tell you for sure right now will NOT turn up on the Oscar shortlist of five. Nor will Jordan.

Someone who MIGHT surprise in Supporting is John Goodman, for his blown-out, slightly comatose, drugged-up jazz musician. It’s a small part, but he steals the film. And Goodman has NEVER EVEN BEEN NOMINATED! Not ever! For shame!

Apart from Goodman’s mega-bolt jolt, I was very disappointed with “Inside Llewyn Davis”. Shockingly so. I was really psyched to see this movie that has been heaped with critical praise since Cannes.

The ending is terrible and shocking and depressing. And it has one of those Coen Brothers  abrupt endings, like in “No Country for Old Men” or “A Serious Man.” BAM! And then suddenly when you least expect it, it’s over.

I’m up and down on the Coens. And so, shockingly were the Indie Spirits,  and while nominating “Inside Llewyn Davis” for Best Feature, and Oscar Issac for Best Actor, they did not even nominate them for either their directing or writing!

I felt cheated, bitter, by “Inside Llewyn Davis” and soooo disappointed.  I felt like a great opportunity had been missed. And all that hype that’s it had! For what?

But then that’s what Llewyn, their Welsh-descent, folk-singing failure is feeling. So maybe it’s right that I felt that way. That’s what was intended. I was feeling what Llewyn was feeling. Did I over-identify with something inside myself that I didn’t want to see?

It’s their attempt to examine failure in show business and self-destruction and what happens to the middle-of-the-road talented. They end up as road kill, this film is saying.

And a contemplation of the mediocre, ends up being, well, not that interesting, really.But it’s haunting…I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Oh! But they want to identify with, to LOVE Llewyn, and by gosh, they try every cinematic trick in the book to engage you with this semi- likable, stumble-bum of a failure. He fails at EVERYthing!

Carrie Mulligan turns up almost unrecognizably as his some-time girl friend/folk singer, Jane, who simply yells at him “YOU’RE A LOSER!””You suck!” She repeats over and over.

But the film wants you to identify with his struggle, and you do, sort of, but then you get kicked in the teeth quite literally and  harshly by the quixotic conclusion. As Llewyn does.

Oscar Issac, who’s first major film role this is, has to carry nearly the whole damn thing. That and an orange-colored cat. He and the cat are the plot. The cat becomes the symbol of Llewyn’s career, and the love/hate relationship with this  cat, who isn’t even his, is meant to show us Llewyn’s best side, his humanity.

“Oh! You see he can’t be that much of a loser! He likes animals!”

But it’s not enough to hang a picture on.But that’s precisely what the Coens’ have done. They want us to examine, really examine failure.

Oscar Issac has beautiful, large, dark soulful eyes, which the Coens’ and their camera keep getting lost in. And I did too, except when you look inside Llewyn Davis, there’s not much there. He’s a middling singer. And a big-time clusterfuck. Or rather, HIS CHARACTER is. The Coens’ have set Issac an almost impossible task.

Try to play a middlingly talented, not very nice guy, bent on destroying everything around him that’s good. A great part. And a fine, dangerous line to walk for an actor. A tight tight rope balancing act between alienating everyone while not alienating the audience from yourself as a talent. Tough stuff. And you have to say that Issac gives it everything he’s got.

However, it’s nice to see Greenwich Village looking like it did in the early ’60s, when the film is set. And folk music to me is no big whoop. Never was.

And I never dug Bob Dylan, who is supposed to be lurking in the shadows, as the arbiter of change. What change? To me  there was none.

So I left this film feeling totally down on it, like Llewyn is on his whole life, not just his music. So this kind of non-traditional movie, is the sort of film that the Indies would shower nominations upon. But they seemed to feel the same way about it that I did. Mixed. Or mixed up.

And I bet the Academy does, too.  Although if, in a field of ten, the Coens’ “A Serious Man” can get a best picture nod out of AMPAS, then who knows? “Inside Llewyn Davis” could, too. The Coens have an ardent fan base of admirers in the Academy.

But like “A Serious Man”, it won’t win anything. MAYbe a “Best Original Screenplay” nod, and a Supporting Actor nom for John Goodman, too. And T-Bone Burnett was in the background taking care of all the musical numbers, which were many.

And like “Les Miserables” last year, all of the songs were sung live, and not pre-recorded, and in front of a live coffee-house audience. Who also seemed half-dead.

This is a very tricky high-wire act the Coens are trying to pull off. Making a full-blown Hollywood movie movie about an abject failure. A mediocrity, who no one loves. A singer who can sing well, but not THAT well. An unsympathetic sympathetic character is then what? Simply pathetic?

Why should we waste our time? And awards?

E.T.A. Tonight “Llewyn Davis” won Best Picture at the Gotham Awards! And Oscar Issac bounded on to the stage to accept for the Coens who were not there(They probably thought “12 Years A Slave” was going to win, and so did I, but it got NOTHING!) and Issac wowed the crowd by saying, he was so proud and happy to be accepting the award for the Coens. “It’s a movie made in New York about New Yorkers, filled with New Yorkers,” And everybody loved him.

Gotham Awards Nominations Announced this AM. “12 Years a Slave…” leads

So now it’s officially started. Awards season I mean, with the announcement this morning of the Gotham Awards.

The Gothams are New York’s answer to the Indie Spirit Awards which are held and given out in LA. They don’t often match up, but they DO help, as they’re supposed to, small indie films reach some kind of early recognition before they get clobbered in the main races by The Majors.

As Guy Lodge says this morning at  http://www.hitfix.com “To the surprise of no one ’12 Years a Slave’ leads the pack with three nominations,” Best Picture, Best Breakthrough Actor for the stunning newcomer Lupita Nyong’o, while the  brilliant Chiwetel Ejiofor is mentioned in the newly created Best Actor category.
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/12-years-a-slave-before-midnight-in-line-for-gold-at-gotham-awards#HTAAOvGJKl8aTC4X.99

I look forward every year to the Gothams. For a few brief, shining moments, New York feels like a film capital. It’s only one night though. Most of the film biz is in L.A. as I”m sure you all know, dear readers, dear cineastes. And with Focus Features closing it’s New York offices, things are looking bleaker than ever for indie films in in the Big Apple. But the Gothams soldier on. You can read all about the other categories and contenders and Guy’s astute analysis at Hit Fix, as it says above.

Marion Cotillard Kisses Me at the Gotham Awards!

The highpoint of the Gotham Awards was a very personal one for me as  the major honoree of the night, Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard,  suddenly ran across the entire press room, and to much to my great surprise and delight began to hug and kiss me in an Olympian embrace that seemed to go on forever! Flash bulbs were popping like crazy, but I have yet to get a picture of this historic moment!

“You were one of the first people I talked to(when she came to America to publicize “La Vie En Rose”)! It’s been sooo long! We had sooo much fun talking!” she gushed. Oh mon dieu!

Talk about sublime! Of course I never wanted this Kodak moment of moments to end, but it did when I finally put both my both hands around her waist(it’s tiny) and said “I feel like I just won an Oscar! And YOU’RE the Oscar!”

The beauteous Marion was being honored for her tremendous portrayal of a paraplegic in the French film “Rust and Bone” or “De Rouille et d’Os” en francais.

I saw it at TIFF where I famously got up at 5:30AM to make an 8:45am screening. Thankfully, there wasn’t a line and I was VERY early and everyone had already gone inside the TIFF Bell Lightbox and sat down.

It’s a heart-wrenching movie, and Marion’s character,Stephenie,is at the start of the film, a sassy biker chick who is a killer-whale trainer in a Sea-World like arena in the South of French. Then one of her whales attacks her and bites her legs off.

“Rust and Bone” by Jacques Audiard (“The Prophet”) presents a world that tourists never see when they venture to the Riviera. It’s the hard-scrablle under-class that Marion’s character comes from and where she meets at a Disco( the soon-to-be-a-tremendous star himself) Matthias Schoenearts, a homeless would-be boxer and his young son. And after  her horrific accident, an unlikely romance ensues.

Marion’s performance in”Rust and Bone” was as tough as it was tender.

And that’s how I felt too, at the Gotham awards.

Every interview was a fight. The Red Carpet line looked like a mosh pit. And the press room, where I was much more comfortably situated for most of the proceedings, was like that, too.

Aggressive journos armed with seemingly harmless tape-recorders, pushed and shoved and monopolized the celebs who fearfully looked like they were wandering into a bear-baiting pit. AND THEY WERE. It was sad to see the Gothams turn into, well, into just like everywhere else. It’s an out of control jungle and you wonder how the stars navigate it. Nevermind stand for it.

Except when a cinema goddess like Marion Cotillard parts the shark-filled waters, makes everyone stand back, and well, kisses just YOU! As the jealous hordes seethed around us…well, then all that other enervating mess is suddenly worth it!

I definitely felt like Marion was after her second Oscar and y’know, she’s so sweet and charming, and her bare bones, vanity-free performance in “Rust and Bone” was so powerful & so touching, she just might get it!

Oscar Double Shocker! 2 Best Actress slots may open! “Beasts” not nominated for Best Picture at Gotham Awards!

Still reeling from Joaquim Phoenix’s “Oscar is utter bulls–t” remark, I think it’s gone unnoticed by all except the astute Anne Thompson on this week’s Oscar Talk podcast at www.indiewire.com and also on www.hitfix.com,where when partner Kris Tapley points out that the much-heralded “Beasts of the Southern Wild” did NOT get a Best Picture nomination from the upcoming Gotham Awards, she said “That’s not a sign of strength.”

“Beasts” did however get nominated for Best Breakthrough Performer for 8 Year-old Qu’venzhane Wallis and Best Director for 29-year-old Benh Zeitlin.

But not getting a Best Picture nomination from the Gothams, the East Coast’s answer to the Independent Spirit Awards, is a real and unexpected slap in the face to “Beasts,” and to Fox Searchlight. And may forecast what I am hearing about the way the Academy itself is responding to this beautiful, small Indie film. Which is not well.

Check out Pete Hammond on www.deadline.com, who has been saying this all along. Especially the Actor’s Branch, who take the SAG disqualification of performers Qu’venzhane Wallis and Dwight Henry of “Beasts” from consideration from THEIR awards, VERY seriously. SAG is the Screen Actors Guild, whose large membership hands out their own awards and whose membership overlaps the Academy. The Screen Actors Guild is also a Union. The film version of Actor’s Equity. And all voting members of the Actor’s Branch are all members of SAG.

Non-actors when they started “Beasts of the Southern Wild “& critically acclaimed though they are, I hear that the super-powerful Actor’s Branch especially is not liking the idea of nominating a non-actress,and a non-union member, who is an eight-year-old child.

“When there are so many PROFESSIONAL actresses who gave great performances this year.” So goes the current AMPAS Actor’s Branch thinking, I am told. And it’s that powerful branch, the largest in the Academy and they are the ones, the ONLY ones who nominate the Actors. And the Actresses. And most Oscarologists have little Miss Wallis in their top five. See Tom O’Neill’s http://www.goldderby.com charts, for one example.

Meanwhile, two of the  other main contenders for Best Actress that are on everyone’s lists of five potential nominees are French.

Marion Cotillard for “Rust and Bone,” who is being honored by the Gothams and AFI and just about every which way you turn for her stunning turn as the legless victim of a whale attack. She’s a whale trainer in a Sea World-like situation in the South of France and one of her Orcas attacks her. And even though Mlle.Marion is acting in her own language French, she’s IN with a capital “I” and a capital “L” for Lock.

But  the other Gallic contender, who very well may NOT make it, I’m hearing, is Octogenarian French actress Emmanuelle Riva. Riva plays the stroke victim in “Amour” The film won the Palme d’Or this year in Cannes. And the same-aged Academy is NOT digging this grim, unrelenting film about death. It’s too much and too close for Academy members. It should’ve been called “La Mort” which is French for death.

So Riva’s nomination is not a slam dunk, either though this difficult, gripping, unforgettable film may very well score a Best Foreign Film nomination.

So BOTH Qu’venzhane Wallis’ and Emmanuelle Riva’s slots may very well not be their slots at all come nomination day. But there are OTHERS, a few stellar Others who are waiting right in the wings right at their doorsteps,

Leaving two doors, or slots, in that suddenly contentious category, WIDE open for a pair of Dames. Always bet on the Brits. Dame Helen Mirren playing The Master of Suspene’s wife Alma in “Hitchcock”(which has not been seen yet) and also perhaps Dame Maggie Smith as a retiring but disliked opera diva in “Quartet.”

I saw”‘Quartet’ in Toronto and 77-year-old Maggie Smith could very well find herself Oscar bound. And then there’s of course the beauteous Brit, Keira Knightley, much more likely as the tortured heroine of “Anna Karenina”which I also saw in Toronto, and which is still my favorite film of the year so far. For the record, I thought both performances were divine and definitely Oscar-worthy.

And the leader of the pack at the moment, according to all and sundry is Jennifer Lawrence of “Silver Linings Playbook,”which I’m finally slated to see this week.

Nevermind, the still-unseen Jessica Chastain in “Zero Dark Thirty.” We still don’t know if she’s a leading player or supporting, though.

But there are plenty of worthy, beautiful Oscar performances by actresses awaiting Oscar’s nod this year if BOTH Qu’venzhane Wallis and Emmanuelle Riva don’t make the cut.

So except for Lawrence’s presumed lead, this is now a very wide open category, with a small, but stellar group to pick from. Cotillard, Knightley, Mirren, Chastain, Smith. There’s enough. Or ALMOST enough. And all these ladies, I must point out are either Oscar nominees, and many of them winners! Cotillard and Mirren both have won. And Dame Maggie Smith has two wins out of SIX nominations! Knightley, Chastain and Lawrence are all previous nominees. They are all, as Anne Thompson likes to say, “In The Club.”

“King’s Speech” Breaking Box-Office records!

I’m oh so happy to report that the brilliant, moving, unforgettable “King’s Speech” is breaking box-office records this holiday weekend in VERY limited release. Check out just how much, where et alia at www.indiewire.com The inimitable Scott Feinberg also talks about this and many other fabulous things at www.ScottFeinberg.com

He used to call it com.www.And the Winners Is…com

And he’s got an actual Academy member to write about everything Awardsworthy under the name of Deep Voice. It’s a member of the Writer’s Branch and is he cantakerous! But interesting. He thinks for example that “The Kids Are All Right” has got no nominations in its’ future, just Mark Ruffalo!(?!) And I agree that “The Social Network” doesn’t “make you care. It doesn’t move me.” But that nevertheless he’d nominate Justin Timberlake as Best Supporting Actor. That’s TWO nominations in that category, gone, from this guy, who can’t even vote for the Actors UNTIL they are nominated by the Actor’s Branch, come nomination announcing day. He can however nominate WRITERS in the two categories that the Academy has, Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay. EVERYone in all the Branches gets to nominate the Ten Best Pictures… but I digress…

Also this the coming Awards Avalanche week. Tomorrow night is the Gothams, where, probably “A Winter’s Bone” is going to clean up, and then later this week, on Thursday, the National Board of Review is set to announce its’ winners.

Update: It did. It got Best Feature and Best Ensemble, but no Jennifer Lawrence as Breakout Performer, which she was nominated for, but didn’t win. Does this help the film get into the Year’s Ten Best at the Oscars? Hmmm..(Sound of Oscar…thinking…) Hmmm….

The National Board of Review are a New York-based awards-giving group that has a LARGE portion of females in their membership, a rarity in this male-dominated business, believe it or not, and also many, many gay members. More so than most groups.

And judging by that, I’d say “The King’s Speech” is going to sweep. It’ll get Best Picture from them, and Colin Firth will win the first, but not the last of his many, many, much deserved awards that are going to be coming at him like, well, gangbusters. Mixed metaphor? But hey that’s what I do!

Helena Bonham-Carter should also score here where they consider a year’s work not just one performance like the Academy. So HBC should qualify for not just her shy, sly Queen Elizabeth in “The King’s Speech”, but also her mad Red Queen in “Alice in Wonderful” and her 15 min.(or less) turn as Bellatrix La Strange, the witchiest witch who witch there was more of in the latest “Harry Potter.” Now playing…

Best Supporting Actor…I think they are also going to go for Geoffrey Rush, here. And maybe also for Best Director, Tom Hooper. If they go for Hooper over David Fincher(who’s shooting the Milennium Trilogy in Sweden, and may not get back for the ceremonies in Jan. You wouldn’t think this would count against him, but the NBR wants all its’ winners present and accounted for. Yes, they do.)

Best Actress may very well be Natalie Portman, starting her awards march. She, along with Firth, well, the two of them are going to be seeing A LOT of each other as the awards season rolls out like a juggernaut over all our Oscar-filled lives…

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor could be the only award that “The Social Network” wins….Will they give it to New York native Jesse Irritatingberg? They like Native New Yorkers. So that’s what Natalie Portman, from Long Island, has going for her, too.

Or it could be someone else from “The Social Network” Even Justin Timberlake could score here.

I’d be very surprised if Jennifer Lawrence (who totally doesn’t deserve it) will find her week bracketed by awards. First from the Gothams on Monday as Best Breakthrough then by the NBR later this week. She’s got that blonde teenage mojo working…Whether I like it or not…And I don’t…

Update: She didn’t win the BreakOut/Breakthrough category tonight at the Gothams…and with all this hype, she certainly SHOULD have…but the NBR may fall for it…

Best Adapted Screenplay would be the first Aaron Sorkin win and start his line dance to the Podium at the Kodak.

And now they’ve just announced that Anne Hathaway and James Franco are gonna c0-host the Oscars!?!?! Sounds like a big mistake. Also this may eliminate BOTH of them from the race.

Personally, I LOVED “Love and Other Drugs” but it’s a zesty, sexy Rom Com, with a dash of Parksinson’s Disease thrown in…as an Oscar grabber… for Annie, which I don’t think it’s going to be. Rom Com’s almost NEVER rank with the Academy, especially in this crowded year for females!

And can Annie and Jimmy pull off hosting duties? I’m of the mind that yes, SHE can. Annie can do anything. Great inner resources as a performer. Comes from growing up with Mom as a actress and a gay brother. Talk about Drama!

But James is soooo laid back…I keep thinking of him in “Pineapple Express…

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