a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Personal Publicist’

Oscar Thinking and Re-Thinking About Ann Dowd

I guess any of you who have been following my blog and my web-series, never mind my TV series, know that this particular Oscar season I was more involved than I ever was in my whole Oscar-obsessed life.

True, I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. Basically since I could write.

And also true, I started doing this the minute I got my own TV show 25 years ago. I had another expert and myself and it was a dialogue.

Then sometime in the early 00’s I connected with Oscarwatch.com and Sasha Stone. And I guess the rest, as they say, is Herstory.

But of course, I had to get even closer, didn’t I? And so this year when I was approached by the great Indie and stage actress Ann Dowd to help her with her very own, self-funded Oscar campaign for “Compliance” I did.

And it was a real education for the both of us, I can tell you.

Sasha at http://www.awardsdaily.com which is what Oscarwatch.com is called now has written, once again, as she invariably does on a staggering, daily basis, about NEXT year’s upcoming Oscar season. And this one is barely done.

But as Sasha so expertly lays it out, it’s pretty clear what’s coming our way, and “Monuments Men” seems to already be the front-runner, just straight out of the Gate.

It’s George Clooney v. the Nazis and he wrote, directed, produced and stars in this one. George is super hot again after the “Argo” win, so since this film hasn’t even begun to shoot yet, I won’t rain on anybody’s parade. Yet. But it does seem like a front-runner already.

And as Sasha always says, you know what happens to front-runners…

But back to Ann Dowd, what Sasha did point out in her astute, austere assessment of THIS year’s race was that no nominee was not backed up by an ace publicist. And a campaign.

And what does that mean? Lots and lots of money.

Poor Ann Dowd spent $16,000 or so of her own money to send screeners of “Compliance” to all the Voting Members of the Academy and also the nominating committee of the Screen Actors Guild. And she didn’t get a nomination from either voting body. Which is awful. But if you do Sasha’s math, it makes perfect sense.

You need to spend even MORE money than Ann did. You need to take out ads and have parties thrown for you. Parties go on all the time in L.A. before Oscars Phase I & also Phase II, and you need to be attending all those parties, especially if you are new to they, them, the Academy.

The AMPAS members are all too happy to meet new, talented faces, so its’ not their faults. It’s getting IN TO those parties. And that’s no mean feat.

But you have to go to a party EVERY DAY sometimes three times a day as Marion Cotillard did the first year she was nominated and won for “La Vie En Rose.” Acting in French, a complete unknown, she taught herself English by day, and networked like cra-zee at night, and she charmed all who met her, and she won.

And PS. her brilliant performance certainly deserved it. BUT SO DID ANN DOWD’S!

Let me quickly add that she did get nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress and also WON the National Board of Review award for that same category.

So she did receive accolades and the Santa Barbara Film Festival honored her as a Virtuoso. So Ann’s been flying back and forth between both coasts for months now, it seems.

IF ONLY she had received that elusive nomination! But it went to Jackie Weaver in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Which was a film all these people, all these voters saw. Evidently, they didn’t watch the screeners Ann sent them.Or worse. they didn’t like “Compliance.”

But the moral of the story is ~ if you don’t have a Cyntha Swartz, or a Michele Robinson or a Tony Angelotti behind you to start with. You’re not going to get an Academy Award nomination.

It’s like Hollywood is a closed shop. But we knew that, didn’t we? How naive can I be?

Beautiful Acceptance Speech by Michelle Williams @ Palm Springs Film Fest

Michelle Williams just gave one of the most moving, heartfelt speeches of her career, accepting her Desert Palm Actor Achievement Award honor at the Palm Springs Film Festival. You can watch it all at www.awardsdaily.com

Now you tell me if that isn’t an Oscar acceptance speech?! She was glowing, and intelligent, and touching. And she accepted the award on behalf of herself AND Marilyn Monroe!?! I was sooo moved by that mention!

And interestingly the last Four Desert Palm Achievement Award actor honorees and the last three out of four Best Actress winners went on to win at the Oscars! The Palm Springs Film Festival is becoming an essential Oscar step.

And of course, Michelle thanked Harvey Weinstein, as well she should!

And she thanked her publicist Myra Buxbaum, her personal publicist,  more than anyone else. WOW! Who does that?

But I like that. Sometimes (if not all the time) it’s the publicists, personal and otherwise, that are doing the heavy-lifting in the Oscar campaigns, and actually, sometimes, always, it’s the publicists who are on duty 24/7, Oscar campaigns or not. And they never get the credit they deserve.

And congrats to Myra! Let’s give credit where credit is due. And a long-time personal publicist, which is what Myra is to Michelle, sometimes becomes the star’s best friend.

Beautiful, beautiful speech! I’m glad Ryan Adams at Awardsdaily.com posted it! Kudos to all!

And that Marilyn mention, at JUST the right minute, at the end of her speech, just NAILED her Oscar win, IMHO.

I’ve never been to Palm  Springs or to its’ Film Festival, but it sounds more and more tempting, the more I hear about it. Jeff Wells, for instance, of www.hollywood-elsewhere.com is there and writing about it. Before he takes off for Sundance, as most people do. Me? I stay here.

Maybe next year. I never been to Palm Springs…Hmmm…Well I can dream, can’t I?

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