a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Rosamund Pike’

Oscar Nomination Predictions ~ Best Actor & Actress

Younger EddieStill Alice 1Once again, as has been true for far too many years in the recent past, there are almost NO really good parts for actresses, almost not enough to nominate, and there are far too MANY actors to cram into only five slots. But here we go again, and sadly, with the actresses it’s all too easy to name the possible nominees. Julianne Moore(pictured above) as the 50-year-old academic at Columbia University, who heartbreakingly comes down with early on-set Alzheimer’s. She’s got it in the bag, and her Golden Globe win for Best Actress Drama on Sunday, just cements this. She’s been the front-runner since forever, and she’s guaranteed to win this, having been nominated before four times and never having won.

Her side-kicks, or ladies-in-waiting in that category are the sure-fire Reese Witherspoon in the very tame “Wild”(Amy Poehler noted at the Globes “She did all her own walking.”) Felicity Jones, who could’ve been in Supporting, she was so supportive in “The Theory of Everything” and Rosamund Pike as the title role in “Gone Girl.” The last surprise slot, and it’s STILL might surprise is supposedly going to Jennifer Aniston in “Cake”. But the surprise really could be that the superb Marion Cotillard gets in for the French language Belgian Film “Two Days, One Night.” But unfortunately it’s probably going to be Aniston.

Moving on~ The Best Actor race is so jammed with hopefuls that it’s going to mirror last year’s surprise snub of Tom Hanks and Robert Redford. This reflects an attitude to go younger in this category, so besides the locked-and-loaded Golden Globe winners ~ Eddie Redmayne “The Theory of Everything” and Michael(ugh!)Keaton as “Birdman” who else would it be?

There is so much competition I could even see Benedict Cumberbatch (“Imitation Game”) being left out. And Jake Gyllenhaal”Nightcrawler” and yes, even Bradley Cooper “American Sniper” getting in. Both currently are starring on Broadway.(I’m seeing Jake’s show tonight, and I saw “The Elephant Man” in which Cooper was just terrific.) There’s been a last-minute surge for “American Sniper” as reflecting in director Clint Eastwood’s, yes, again that word, SURPRISE nomination by the Director’s Guild for “Sniper.”

And finally, there’s also been an undeniable surge on all fronts for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” which could reap Ralph Fiennes as much deserved slot for this hilarious depiction of M. Gustav H., the hotel concierge/manager/major domo. I would love for that to happen.

So to conclude IF Benedict Cumberbatch DOES get dropped, it’s Eddie Redmayne, Michael Keaton, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bradley Cooper and Ralph Fiennes. This may be the category where I’m wrong all over the place. By this time tomorrow, all will have been revealed.Bradley 1Fiennes 1Nightcrawler 2

Online Film Critics Pick “Grand Budapest” Best Pic!

Fiennes 1One critics group after another this week! Tis’ the season! Now the Online Film Critics Society have named the wonderful “Grand Budapest Hotel” as Best Picture. Out of the three most awarded contenders so far “Grand Budapest…”, “Boyhood” and “Birdman” I’d pick “Grand Budapest” myself. Their Best Actor was Michael Keaton. Best Actress was the scintillating Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl.” Supporting honors went to Edward Norton for “Birdman” and Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood.”

Complete list at http://www.hitfix.com

SAG Award Nominations Announced! Aniston & Jake G. in, Oyelowo Out. No “Selma” or “Unbroken” anywhere.

Into the Woods 1Julianne Moore 2Nightcrawler 2Well, the SAG Awards nominations are out, and I’m so happy to sey that Eddie Redmayne was nominated for Best Actor and so was Jake Gyllenhaal for “The Theory of Everything” and “Nightcrawler” respectively. Patricia Arquette was put BACK in the Supporting Actress category after being bumped up to lead for “Boyhood.” And Marion Cotillard was left out completely for “Two Days, One Night.”

So it’s bittersweet. I’m sooo glad for Eddie and Felicity Jones for “Theory” which was also nominated for Best Ensemble, which is the SAG equivalent award for Best Picture. Also left out were David Oyelowo for “Selma.” In fact “Selma” was not mentioned anywhere!

Jennifer Aniston FINALLY got some serious acting  cred for the first time in her career this morning, from THE ACTORS of SAG, who nominated her for Best Actress in the little-seen indie “Cake’, landing her in that fifth hotly contested slot, bumping out Maid Marion and Hilary Swank, who  was up for “The Homesman.” The others in Best Actress, besides Aniston and Jones were Julianne Moore for “Still Alice”, natch, Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl” and Reese Witherspoon for “Wild.”

And the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress did NOT help Jessica Chastain with the actors of SAG. She did NOT receive a nomination here. Perhaps her THREE films, “The Disappeance of Eleanor Rigby”, “Interstellar” and “The Most Violent Year” cancelled each other out and allowed for the REALLY OFF THE WALL out of NOwhere nomination for Naomi Watts as  a Russian prostitute in “St. Vincent” to get in. Other nominees in Supp. Actress besides Arquette and Watts were the deserving Keira Knightley for “Imitation Game,” Emma Stone for “Birdman,” and of course, Meryl Streep for “Into the Woods.”

The Oscar Nominations,which aren’t due til January, are hopefully going to include Marion Cotillard and probably Jessica Chastain, too.

This is a whiter than white list of nominations. Perhaps the Golden Globe nominations tomorrow will color correct this. For a complete list of the nominees check out http://www.awardsdaily.com

Oscar Site Gold Derby Now Decides Category Placement!

Oscar HeadlessJust where do I think everything is today as the end of October, always a crucial month for Oscar, is less than two weeks away.

I have a lot of questions and there are some clear answers.

Both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories are all but sewn up at the moment. The winner, I mean, or the Front-Runner, always a deadly term, especially in the Best Picture category. Best Actor or Actress and especially in Supporting don’t suffer the fate the leader of the pack in Best Picture does. Different rules apply.

Julianne Moore for “Still Alice” and Patricia Arquette for “Boyhood” seem to have locked down their Oscars already.

There was a lot of category shifting, a few weeks back(when I didn’t have Internet access to comment more swiftly on it) for the wonderful, under-appreciated Arquette. She could’ve been in Best Actress, but, and this is another thing that has changed this year, methinks, GoldDerby.com and its’ experts(Tom O, why O why am I not one?) decided that Supporting was where Patricia dominated their charts, and so IFC, the distributor of “Boyhood”, dutifully put Arquette in the lesser race. Why? Because Gold Derby said so! A few weeks back.

Now, this IS a change. Tom O’Neil’s http://www.goldderby.com has always been exhaustively covering the Oscars. But never, before, I think, EVER (and people will remind me if this isn’t so) NEVER have they LED the race so clearly as they have with placing Patricia Arquette in Supporting Actress for “Boyhood”. And whatever I thought of the movie(too long, couldn’t relate to the kid) I LOVED Arquette’s soulful 12 year journey as the Boy in questions mother. The good Mom, always an Academy favorite.The Earth Mother, who’s trying her best to do her best.

And I think that’s the biggest award “Boyhood” is going to get from the Academy. MAYbe Original screenplay. But not a lot else. More nominations for sure. Like Ethan Hawke also in Supporting for his best-ever turn as the deadbeat-dad-with-a-heart-of-gold.

But I don’t think Gold Derby is really deciding the other races, but its’ putting Arquette where she is for sure now going to land, is a first, I think. Making Gold Derby essential reading. The other categories there are all not so clear at all. Take a look. They’re confused and confusing. Up and down. In and Out. Well, Tom styles it as a horse race, a derby, and he’s right. That’s exactly what the Oscar Race, which he always calls “the Derby” is, when you boil it all down.

A lot is still up in the air. Although they have got Julianne Moore in their #1 spot, and I think that’s right. Right now anyway. Until Harvey Weinstein potentially dynamites J-Moo’s rock-solid position for “Still Alice,” which I truly loved BTW with his Amy Adams starrer “Big Eyes,” which opens in late December.Is that going to be too late now that the deserving Julianne has gotten so strong? Perhaps. Maybe Harvey will move the Opening of “Big Eyes” up. If he does, watch out!

I thought Julianne wouldn’t have a prayer after I saw “Maps to the Stars” deflate right in front of my eyes at the Toronto Film Festival. In that she plays a VERY unsympathetic, aging actress, and the film is pretty much a mess. But SHE’S great! And she won Best Actress at Cannes.

But “Still Alice” is a lovely,searing film about an important issue, early on-set Alzheimer’s, and Moore is simply astounding as she goes through every startling, debilitating change of the disease. From A to Z and back again. Moore’s work in “Still Alice” makes Julie Christie’s a few years back on a similar topic in “Away From Her” look like a doodle. A mere sketch. Marion Cotillard won that year for her tour-de-force as Edith Piaf in “La Vie En Rose”.

And though there’s no cure for Alzheimer’s, hence no requisite happy ending,  it’s a supremely graceful film, and the ending is appropriately in tune with the serious subject matter. And you have to applaud the filmmakers Wash Westmoreland and his partner Richard Glatzer for telling this difficult story right. They’ve even gotten Alec Baldwn to be sympathetic, too, as the do-the-right-thing hubby. Alec Baldwin warm and fuzzy? Will wonders never since?!?. Kristen Stewart shines, too, in a change of pace role for her as Moore’s quarrelsome actress daughter.

I thought, as you know, Rosamund Pike, was a category leader in Best Actress for my immensely liked “Gone Girl”, but then I saw Moore seal the deal in “Still Alice”. She’s admitting to being 50 and she soars. And this performance,plus her challenging, all -out vain-to-the-max actress in “Maps to the Stars” and her Cannes win, all add up to Oscar in my book, and I think the Academy’s, too.

While others are rushing to judgment, I personally feel the other categories, Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor are all over the place right now, and the rest of the remaining unseen films need to be seen. They may figure heavily this year. Especially in Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor. I don’t think we’ve seen the winners there yet. But it’s vague, to me, for sure.There’s a lot of variables and a lot of bloody contests to be fought still. And it’s only OCTOBER! Wait til November when the Oscar combatants’ gloves REALLY come off. And oh yes, “The Theory of Everything” finally opens!

But I guess what I’m trying to say is, Gold Derby has now become more important than ever this year . So go there and enjoy the podcasts and predictions and videos. I do. And I think Academy members and for sure the films’ publicists do,too.

“Gone Girl” Goes Good! Rosamund Pike Now the Lead in Best Actress Oscar Race!

“Gone Girl” is just grand! A super-duper thriller the likes of which we haven’t seen since Hitchcock! And Rosamund Pike, the well-regarded British Actress, playing the Girl of the Title is now on her way to an Oscar Nomination, and maybe the win, too. I saw this at the NYFF, the New York Film Festival, mais oui!

It’s a very weak field for Best Actress this year, as is so often the case, but the beautiful Rosamund and her riveting, star-making performance vaults her to the head of the Best Actress class.

How to describe this wonderful work as Amazing Amy, who disappears, and whose vanishing becomes a National Hysteria in “Gone Girl”? The best-selling novel by Gyllian Flynn, who wrote a screenplay so terrific, that she, too, is on her way  to the Dolby Pavillion in February for a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination.

So, too, is the great American director David Fincher, who absolutely excels in this dark noir thriller genre.(See “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”) THAT netted Rooney Mara her first nomination for Best Actress and I think that this will also for sure happen to Rosamund Pike.  The role is incredible, and is told mostly through flash-backs for the first half, where her Amy, is the essence of sweet AND sexy.

Ms. Pike is British and she’s playing American, and that helps her in the Oscar race, too. Her American accent is totally believable and some people are going to be very shocked to find out that she is indeed a Brit and you know how much Oscar likes giving himself to the British.

Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch are also leading the Best Actor Oscar race, too, for “The Theory of Everything” and “Imitation Game.”

David Fincher’s casting of this film is amazing in that he chose a relatively unknown actress of the mysterious Amy. Rosamund Pike has made many, many British films, and is also an incredible beauty. So reminiscent of Grace Kelly, it just screams “Hitchcock” heroine!

Fincher is at his absolute level best here and I think the Academy is going to enjoy this old-fashioned thrill ride so much that the will shower “Gone Girl” with nomination in every category possible.

It’s Ben Affleck’s best work, but somehow I don’t feel he’ll make the Academy cut. But the unknown actress playing his twin sister Carrie Coon might get in in Supporting. And so might, unbelievably; Tyler Perry playing a very high powered defense lawyer, and even Neil Patrick Harris in a very cast against type rich guy role.

I don’t want to spoil this great movie in any way, so I’ll just stop here and tell you all to rush out and see it, before you know what’s going to be coming at you in what is perhaps going to be one of the greatest thrillers of all time! Yes! It’s that good! RUSH to see it.Gone Girl 1

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Who is Rosamund Pike? She’s the “Gone Girl”!

So ladies and gentle-persons, meet Rosamund Pike, a big star in her home country, England and picked by film director David Fincher, who is very discerning in these matters of choosing female stars. He wanted the comely Rosamund because she’s “all that” AND she’s a VERY good actress and at the same time not very well-known to world audiences.

This according to Sasha Stone http://www.awardsdaily.com in her podcast with Jeff Wells at http://www.hollywoodelsewhere.com

So you can judge for yourself whether Fincher has made the right choice or not. And Rosamund talks, briefly, about being married to Owen Wilson “for a brief,fleeting moment.” And that she was embarrassed that his blond hair looked better than hers.

She was sitting down to chat about the great dramedy “Barney’s Version” which netted Paul Giamatti a totally surprising Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical.

And of course, if you’ve enjoyed this interview with Rosamund you can find literally HUNDREDS more at http://www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

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Oscar Afterwards’ ~ Sasha Stone & Jeff Wells Look Forward

Oscar Afterwards' ~ Sasha Stone & Jeff Wells Look Forward

It takes up something like six months of the year. From September when Toronto unfurls the usual winner, and they were right. “12 Years a Slave” was winning the minute it opened and it won the Audience Award there. Til March(this year) when the Awards are given out.

Then it’s time for the Oscar Afterwards period as I’m now calling it. The blah period when everything returns so much to normal, which usually means tons and tons of dreadful movies, that I return to Broadway with a vengeance and a thank god for the theatre.

People ask why I continue to ignore the Tribecca Film Festival, which is right next door, as it were, but I’m a proud Voting Member of the Drama Desk, and so for three months of the year, which is NOW, I turn to the stage.

Others, however, this year are looking ahead, WAAAAY far ahead to the Oscar race 2015. And Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone http://www.awardsdaily.com and Jeff Wells http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com do this very entertainingly as always in a new Oscar podcast I just stumbled upon at Hollywood-Elsewhere.

I’ll summarize. I was surprised to see this as Sasha is usually averse to this sort of thing soooo far in advance. She says and I agree it’s bogus and full of possiblities that turn into pot-holes.And then there’s “How’s the Academy going to react?” She points out that “Who could’ve predicted they would totally turn their back on a great film like “Inside Llewyn Davis?” But Jeff ALWAYS has his Oscar Balloon up all the year long.

But everybody seems to be doing this this year and I can tell you why. Especially if you’re on the Internet as I am and they are, if you don’t talk about the Oscars, your hits drop. The Oscars as opposed to just plain movie-going enjoyment.

I can’t tell you the disparity between the hits I got on Oscar day and for a week or so after. And now…well, as I said, everything’s back to normal.

Spring is coming. And so Jeff’s thoughts, particularly, turn to “What’s Next?” From their whole conversation, which veers off their picks A LOT and onto other(interesting) talking points, the one film that jumped out at me was “Gone Girl.” This is the new David Fincher film based on the best-selling book, which Sasha particularly got excited about.

She certainly intrigued me. Starring in the title role is the beauteous Brit Rosamund Pike. Who I’ve had a guest on my show a couple of years back, and who impressed me as someone who was much more than people took her for when I interviewed her.

And I thought “Why doesn’t someone give this lovely, beautiful woman a role she can really shine in?” And it seems that David Fincher may be just the one to do just that.

Look what he did with Rooney Mara in “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” People criticized him for casting an unknown more or less in the iconic role of Lisbeth Salander, and she ended with an Oscar nomination, though the film was not nominated for Best Picture…

“Gone Girl” may suffer the same fate. I don’t want to give anything away. I really do hate the way Jeff spoils things for people. But Sasha made this film sound so tantalizing, I’ll just say I’m glad I haven’t read the book, because I want to be surprised.

It seems it’s a thriller, and Fincher always does well, very well with that. One of my favorite films of his was “Zodiac” in which Jake Gyllenhaal gave ANOTHER under-rated, but great performance. And no, “Zodiac” wasn’t nominated for an Oscar either.

The Academy gave “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” an Oscar for Film Editing. It was a surprise. It’s like they wanted to give it SOMEthing.

Jeff was initially just dismissing “Gone Girl” saying “There won’t be much underneath it”, and Sasha just jumped all over him, and said “What? Wait a minute! It’s David Fincher!”

I really did like Rosamund Pike when I met her for “Barney’s Version” and could Fincher be the man to tap her untaped potential? Is there an Oscar Nomination in the beautiful Rosamund’s future?

As far as what’s coming up…it looks like another barren tent-pole summer of blockbusters. Not looking forward to that.

When Broadway is offering Bryan Cranston as LBJ in “All the Way” next week and also “Rocky: the Musical” directed by the extremely innovative Alex Timbers, well, I’m happy to be going to them both.

At this time of year as I’m waiting for Broadway to start, I am always glad I made the decision to keep going back to the theater.

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