a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Sally Hawkins’

What Does Producers Guild List of 11 Mean?

Three Bill Boards 10Harry Styles Dunkirk 3Call Me Upside DownLady Bird 12What does the odd, never before seen, ELEVEN choices of the Producers Guild mean? Well, to the films seen above jockeying for position to get Oscar nominations it means a lot. The  five pictured above  means that they are all in like flint. They are, counting down, “The Shape of Water”, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri”, “Dunkirk”, “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird.” They all can relax and take it easy for at least 48 hours, til the Golden Globes are announced Sunday.

Not that anyone campaigning for the Oscars EVER gets to take it easy at this time of year. Impossible! The mode now is almost always PANIC. But especially if you’ve been left out, like “Darkest Hour” and most importantly, “The Florida Project”.

All Academy Members, especially the Actor’s Branch, at this crucial point, are looking at this list. This means that poor little, brilliant, tear-jerker “Florida” may get left off the Academy’s list which always averages to something like nine. It has to duke it out with the films above and also “Wonder Woman”(can’t believe it’ll be nominated for Best Picture”), “Get Out”((ditto)) and “I, Tonya”(((Triple Ditto))) and “The Post”(yes, probably.)

“The Florida Project”s Oscar chances was mainly riding on the coattails of its Best Supporting Actor hopeful Willem Dafoe, who plays the patient, likable, motel manager. He has VERY strong competition from Sam Rockwell in “Three Billboards” and the inclusion of “Billboards” pretty much knocks Dafoe’s chances down a peg or two. Or three. Proves that people like Hollywood Producers Guild members don’t like films about people on welfare that star people on welfare. (Except for Willem Dafoe, of course.)

Rockwell’s star continues to rise and rise, and he’s even hosting SNL tomorrow night! If you compare the two, as I’m sure the Actor’s Branch members are doing right now, as they begin to vote for their nominations, Rockwell, though I can’t spoil exactly how, where and why, has the truly transformational character. He has to go through many, many amazing permutations, and his film “Three BillBoards…” is a Big Indie, almost a full-on feature film. And “The Florida Project” is not. It’s as small as small can be, and isn’t liked as much as the much admired “Billboards.”

The leaving off “The Darkest Hour” is also not good news for Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill. 19 year old(when he shot it) Timothee Chalamat (“Call Me By Your Own Name”) is really giving the veteran British character actor a run for his money, too. He’s 23 now, but would they really shaft the veteran? Timothee’s low-key charisma is charm without end…but…same with Saoirse Ronan’s lost-in-high-school Lady Bird. Two coming of age stories…Are they going to award BOTH teenagers-in-question?

I would say that those four men, Oldman, Chalamet, Dafoe and Rockwell  are the ones in serious awards contention here. They’ll all be nominated, but who will win?

“I, Tonya”s emergence out of the mire that was Tonya Harding’s life and the inclusion of it on this List of Lists really means that it has to be taken much more seriously than anyone had expected. And that not only the respected vet Allison Janney, but the emergent Australian actress Margot Robbie, is no longer merely a sex-bomb, but also quite possibly a Best Actress nominee. As unbelievable as that may have sounded even last week.

I don’t think this helps or hurts Allison Janney, as her mother-from-hell, because if “Lady Bird” is going to win anything, it’s Laurie Metcalf as Lady Bird’s mother from Purgatory in Best Supporting Actress.

So what will “Lady Bird,” which seems to be leading  the momentum. Wwhat will that mean for its lovely Irish star Saoirse Ronan and its brilliant writer-director Greta Gerwig? I’d say the jury is still out on that one, and that it’s going to be a battle to the end or a fight to the finish either way for both of them.

My Year’s Ten Best 2017!

1. CALL ME BY YOUR NAME ~ One of the Best Films Ever Made. Period. The Gay Movie, we, as gays, have been waiting for all our lives. Timothee Chalamet has won BOTH the New York Film Critics and the L.A. Film Critics Best Actor awards. Armie Hammer is his magnificent love interest and co-star.

—————————————————————————————————–

2. WONDER WHEEL ~ Woody Allen’s latest and Kate Winslet’s tear-stained performance is one of her best.

3. THE SHAPE OF WATER ~ Guillermo Del Toro’s Best Film. Sally Hawkins is flat-out amazing as a Spanish Deaf Mute Janitress, who falls in love with something akin to the Creature from the Black Lagoon. But it isn’t ridiculous. It’s beautiful, and moving beyond words. She won Best Actress from the L.A. Film Critics. This film will make you cry.

4. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI– Irish Playwright Martin McDonagh’s magnificent morphing into a great American crime filmmaker. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell burn up the screen, literally. This film will make you angry. For all the right reasons.

5.  THE FLORIDA PROJECT ~Unbelievably, an epic film set in the make-shift budget motels across the street from  DisneyWorld, which was first called “The Florida Project,” as it was being built. Willem Dafoe is the sympathetic, sad-sack motel manager and six-year-old mischief maker Brooklynn Prince rock each other’s, and our world. Public access legend Sandy Kane makes a cameo appearance. She told me, “If you blink, you’ll miss me. It’s Tats over tits.”

6.ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD ~ Director Ridley Scott is back Big Time, as he directs Michelle Williams and Christopher Plummer in a tense, spine-tingling thriller about the ’70s kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson, who, yes, gets his ear cut off and sent to his mother (Williams.) But you can’t turn away.

7.LADY BIRD ~ Genius Greta Gerwig channels her boring, restless teenage years in  middle-class Sacramento into a box office bonanza that Irish actress Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalfe as her befuddled, well-meaning mother from Hell, make herstory and could all win Oscars. Best Film of the Year from the New York Film Critics. Will it win the Oscar, too, for Best Picture? It might.

9. DUNKIRK ~ Christopher Nolan’s truly epic epic that makes all WWII war movies look like tiddly winks and utitlizes Oscar Winners  Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh and a cast of 100os to re-vitalize history in a seat-of-your-pants thriller diller. And rock star Harry Styles is in it, too. And he’s good!

10.  FROM THE LAND OF THE MOON ~ Marion Cotillard’s mesmeric performance once again lights up the skies in this unusual French love story.

“Shape of Water” One of the most beautiful, though improbable, love stories ever! Sally Hawkins is Magic!

(more…)

#9~”Another Year” And the continuing magnificence of Leslie Manville’s Mad Mary

And now going up the Ladder of my Year’s Ten Best, #9 is the delightful, lovely, bittersweet Mike Leigh masterwork “Another Year” which I saw at the Toronto Film Festival and just madly enjoyed.

And I wrote about it there and I’ll write about it again here. And I have not as yet re-seen it, as I often do with films I love, but what has stayed with me so powerfully all these months is the magnificent performance of Leslie Manville as the essence of the word lonely. Her portrayal of a turning -50  London single woman, whose name is the most common in the English language, Mary, is still haunting me to this day

Every scene that Manville played was like she was pouring  burning acid from the screen. That’s how indelibly  her portrait of a wretched, distraught,  jauntily-covering-it, but not, modern urban woman, who is no longer young is etched into my mind. And evidently the minds of the National Board of Review, who gave her their best actress award.

Everybody else in Leigh’s flawless ensemble is perfect, but they are all merely supportive window-dressing to the central story which is Mary’s. Watching her unravel and descend into an all-too-relatable private hell is something that I bet the Academy AND the Golden Globes will remember.

And don’t forget that the Hollywood Foreign Press put Leigh’s last work into their category of Comedy/Musical and Manville’s tragic performance could be nominated THERE for Best Actress and win there like Sally Hawkins’ won two years ago for her equally unforgettable Poppy, the eternal optimist in “Happy Go Lucky.”

People critcized the unique Hawkins’ Poppy as being like nails-on-a-blackboard, she was so endlessly, exhaustingly cheery. Poppy always found the bright side in every situation that life threw her into. It really was a crying shame that she was not nominated for an Oscar.

And Manville may benefit from that. But her Mary is not optimistic at all, though she plays at being that way. But life is hitting her much too hard with the finality that her youth no matter how hard she tries to hang on to it at last in this “Another Year” is gone with the wind.

Oscar nom for Miranda Richardson? And enter Rosamond Pike! Yikes!

HOT is the Oscar buzz  on Miranda Richardson, who was doing the big “Made in Dagenham” press junket in NYC this morning. She was there and was every inch the great lady of stage and screen that I imagined her to be.

It was thrilling to meet her. And when I mentioned the “O” word to her, she seemed startled, but pleased, and not really surprised. She blew a kiss at me! And said, “Bless you.” Then I fainted. My interview with Miranda in its’ entirety will be up soon on www.youtube.com/StephenHoltShow

 She’s soooo good in the Supporting Role of Barbara Castle, the British MP and Secretary of State who flies in at the end of the film, and saves the day for all the striking women, and runs off with the movie, too. She’s a great, great actress, having been nominated twice before for “Damage” and for “Tom and Viv” which she was unforgettabale in as the mentally unbalanced Viv.

I wore my “Failure is Impossible” purple sweatshirt, which I got at the Susan B. Anthony house in Rochester New York. That was Anthonys motto. She, who led the Suffragettes in the fight to get the vote for women. Just as Sally Hawkins’ character in “Made in Dagenham” leads the women’s strike for equal pay.

Miranda was VERY happy to hear that motto, “Failure is Impossible.” And I think she truly identified with those sentiments.

UPDATE: For some reason, this is underling everything, and I can’t turn it off! Sorry! But I thought this was worth mentioning, the British Independent Film Nominations have just come out with “”The King’s Speech” dominating, of course. Although I had no idea that this sumptuous, lavish film was an indie!

This happened later in the day. And so, as you can see, the Buzz changes. The OSCAR buzz that is. It’s a malleable, changeable thing like the waves on the ocean or the scent of a beautiful woman’s perfume. Especially now that we’re in November which I now officially dub “Oscar Hopeful Month.” This is the period AFTER most of the stage has been set and BEFORE the actual nominations and early awards kick in.

But the interesting thing that jumped out at me in regards to “”Made in Dagenham and the other Sony Pictures Classics Oscar-Seeker  “Another Year” was that it was nominated for Best Director, Mike Leigh, but not Best Picture. And that “”Dagenham,”was nominated for Best Picture and Best Screenplay, too, but not Best Director! Poor Nigel Cole, whom I interviewed today, must feel terribly left out!

And our gal Sal WAS nominated for Best Actress, as was the little known British actress, Ruth Sheen also from “Another Year” and so was Oscar Nominee James Broadbent for “Another Year”,too, for Best Actor. Neither of these nominations will repeat themselves at the Oscars, but they very well may at the BAFTAS. Sheen and Broadbent are subdued, quiet performances as a happily married middle-aged couple. They anchor the film, but Oscar doesn’t go for subdued or subtle. He should, but he doesn’t.

And they put Leslie Manville in Supporting! And also nominated was the beauteous, statuesque blonde Rosamand Pike for Best Supporting Actress for “Dagenham”! And NOT Miranda Richardson! Rosamond Pike! Yikes! No one saw that one coming, except Jeff Wells at www.hollywood-elsewhere.com

And here Miranda is, stateside, being the main spokes-person for the film, since Sally can’t travel to L.A. because of her play on her one day off and fly back to Bway again. But the run of the play ends at the end of November, so hopefully Sally will be able to be back on the Oscar trail then. Full-Stop. 

And Rosamand Pike is not here, representing, OR the real truth behind the Oscars, not BEING CAMPAIGNED FOR. I bet Sony was really surprised this afternoon! ROSAMUND PIKE! YIKES!

The word today was that Leslie Manville is still be put in the lead for “Another Year” which is what might knock Sally H. out of contention here…

The shatteringly brilliant Manville is up against Helena Bonham-Carter for Best Supporting Actress for “The King’s Speech” playing a subdued Queen to Colin Firth’s stammering King. Of course, Colin Firth got nominated for Best Actor and BOTH Geoffrey rush and Guy Pearce got nominated for Supporting Actor for “The King’s Speech.”Looks like it’s TKS dominating from now on….

So despite what I heard earlier today, Sally is still in the race. At least in ENGLAND she is. And Miranda and director of “Dagenham” Nigel Cole are not. At least judging by the BIFA nominations today.

Confusing? I’ll say, but it’s going in any case to be a VERY British year at the Oscars! And I say, “Jolly Good!” And what does Oscar goddess Sasha Stone have to say. She says on www.awardsdaily.com that the BIFA are not usually relevant to the Oscars…And Sasha knows EVERYTHING! Being the webmistress of the biggest Oscar site on the Internet, she also HEARS everything first. I get swamped with Press Releases. Sometimes I feel she must be DROWNING! But she always keeps her smart, jolly head above the water!

HOWEVER, this year looking like it’s going to be the Year of the Brits, I think they are going to dominate, if not outright sweep every category, except Best Actress where it’s still between Annette Bening and Natalie Portman..

And who is Rosamand Pike(YIKES!) playing to earn her such a strong nomination out of nowhere in “Dagenham.” She’s the posh wife of one of the union representatives. And she’s very, very good in the little she has to do. It’s not a big role, like Miranda’s MP is.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: