Oh, no, she didn’t!
Yes, she did.
Supporting Actress frontrunner Melissa Leo has just taken out a considerable amount of personal ads for herself in Hollywood Trade Papers and on movie news sites like “Deadline:Hollywood” where she talked to their Pete Hammond and basically blindsided Paramount, then slammed them(specifically studio execs and publicists) to Hammond for her not landing on magazine covers at this crucial time of the year.
You can read the entire run-down and blow-by-blow history of what Melissa just did to her almost assured Oscar win (she won the Golden Globe, the Broadcast Film Critics and the Screen Actors Guild Award)at www.deadlinehollywood.com and the article is entitled “Melissa Leo Goes Rogue with her own Oscar ad campaign.)
Pete Hammond in a very well researched piece runs down the history of actors who have done this and upon re-reading it, I noticed that not one of these results in an Oscar win. Nominations, yes. But not a win.
But Melissa already HAD the nomination.
And she says she “discussed it with my management” and I can’t imagine her manager, Jason Weinberg, who is considered one of the best in the business, letting her do this. But perhaps he couldn’t stop the determined fire-brand.
I knew Melissa when she was young and a great beauty, and a fiery red-head and ALREADY, I thought, a great actress. And she still is. She’s just grown and grown. But she’s 50 now and quite brilliant, but over-the-top in “The Fighter” as Alice Ecklund, the monstrous manager mom with an innumerable brood of bruising offspring, including fighters Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale.
It’s considered, FYI, by the Academy, who is sometimes very prim and proper about these delicate issues of acting nominees advertising themselves, it’s considered bad form.
It’s not illegal, according to their rules, but it’s just- well- not done.
And I don’t think it’s EVER been done by someone who already has a stash of precursor awards already on her shelf.
Why why why did she do this? And THEN knock Paramount, who has taken out TV ads, very expensively, which highlight her performance and Christian Bale’s?
And blind side them, and then knock Paramount and Relativity Media and their publicists to NICKI FINKE?????
I guess, as I re-read the article that her management just couldn’t stop her or thought that it wouldn’t matter. But she just lost ALLLLL of Paramount’s substantial studio support in terms of their AMPAS members voting for her and that ESPECIALLY includes their publicists, who are probably FURIOUS about this, to them, seeming betrayal. And all these people are probably voting members of the Academy.
And perhaps fatal.
A few votes in a four way Oscar category that is now blown wide open by this, a few votes this way or that could go to her OTHER Paramount Supporting Actress nominees, Amy Adams, also for “The Fighter” and Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit.”
At Movieline, with their funny, interesting Oscar graphs, www.movieline.com
I was surprised to find Melissa and Hailee Steinfeld listed as a TIE!?!
Everyone thought she was a front-runner, except Melissa herself.
I noticed she wasn’t on the cover of Entertainment Weekly’s Oscar Issue. It had a banner across the top which contained YES! Amy Adams AND Hailee Steinfeld AND Natalie Portman, but no Melissa!!!!
THEN, on the cover of Vanity Fair’s always much-hyped and extremely popular Hollywood(read Oscar issue) once again, Melissa is no where to be found. But visible, past the first fold, is an unrecognizable Jennifer Lawrence, who is nominated for(but doesn’t deserve it)”Winter’s Bone” as Best Actress, then also-rans Mila Kunis, Olivia Wilde and then on the third fold, Rashida Jones(WHO????) and finally right on the edge and about to fall off Noomi Rapace in a dazzling purple gown, when everyone else is wearing black and white.
But no Melissa.
Also on the inside I couldn’t easily find her, although there were plenty o’ Oscar nominees VERY beautifully photographed. Colin Firth, for instance, driving a car, in a beautiful color-desatureated Cary Grant close-up, with the caption “The King of Pain” There’s full-page, distinguished-looking CU, too of a bearded but cleaned-up Christian Bale called “The Shape Shifter” and a full-color close-up shot of an embracing HAILEE STEINFELD and Elle Fanning entitled “The Old Souls”, and entire article on Mark Walhberg with pictures. many pictures, but NO MELISSA ANYWHERE!
That, coupled with this weekend’s coming BAFTA awards in London, where Melissa was famously snubbed, but Amy Adams and Hailee Steinfeld made it in, probably sent Melissa over the edge and into her “rogue”(Nicki Finke’s word) mentality, to do this…
Amy Adams, in must be said, is also not pictured, in VF. That I could easily find. And it is Amy Adams who gets the first layout and two page color spread in “Entertainment Weekly” in the Best Supporting Actress section of their Oscar issue.
These exclusions and magazine placements send coded messages to the Academy like “THESE are the stars.” and these other are not…
And David Karger of EW, who if Sasha Stone is my Oscar Goddess, then Dave is my Oscar God, has switched his Best Supporting Actress pick from Melissa to Hailee Steinfeld!
And at the BAFTA Helena Bonham-Carter will win in the Best Supporting Actress category for “The King’s Speech”(it;s expected to sweep all 16 categories that it’s nominated in) and she WILL make a moving, funny, quirky acceptance speech( a la Tilda Swinto) that will be televised and You Tube-ed round the world. Helena is the one to beat in this category, IMHO. Not Hailee, Not Amy. And Melissa isn’t even nominated. (and how many times have I typed Hailee Steinfeld, in the article, and I CAN’T STAND HER. What’s happening to me?)
And I just wish Melissa had not done this. She didn’t need to.
But with three strong competitors in Supporting Actress, Amy Adams in her own movie, Hailee Steinfeld and Helena Bonham-Carter, Melissa has done herself a great disservice.
Oh, Melissa, what have you done? You don’t bite the hand that hypes you.