a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Steve Pond’

Oscar Changer “Selma” Gets Standing O at AFI Fest

Selma 1

Last night’s double whammy of a double bill at the AFI Fest in LA netted a standing ovation from the industry/cinephile crowd for “Selma,” reports Steve Pond at the Wrap. http://www.thewrap.com. And a kind of meh reaction to Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” which followed it.

Chris Tapley of HitFix http://www.hitfix.com one of the foremost Oscarologists(and one of the youngest,too) thinks that this could be an Oscar game changer and that “Selma” a Martin Luther King biopic, co-produced by Oprah Winfrey and starring David Oyelowo could be a best picture contender as well as a Best Actor nomination in that crowded race. Oyelowo plays Martine Luther King.His star has been consistantly rising in the past two years.

Also interesting and exciting is filmmaker Ada DuVernay’s chance at a Best Director nod. This would be the first and only time an African-American woman could be up in that male-dominated category.

“Selma”s standing ovation was in stark contrast to the rather tepid reaction to Eastwood’s Oscar ontender “American Sniper” which immediately followed it.

So on the Oscar roller coaster, I would have to say that “Selma” is definitely on an Up this morning, and “American Sniper” is a Down.

Tapley praised Bradley Cooper’s performance in “Sniper” but aren’t we being Bradley Cooper’ed to death recently? With Oscar nominations in the past two years. for “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle”? And “Elephant Man” opening shortly on Broadway, starring again, yes, Bradley Cooper.

We shall see. And I’ll still be surprised if Steve Carrell makes it into the over-crowded Best Actor race with his rabbity, two-dimensional Henry E. DuPont in “Foxcatcher.” Too many Oscar seeking movies with leading actor wannabees and virtually no actresses. As usual…

Harvey Weinstein Changes Oscar Chess Game ~ Again!”The Master” to be shown at TIFF!

The great chess game/board that is Oscar just got a little bit more complicated and a little bit more interesting with the Weinstein Co.’s sudden announcement that Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is now opening at the Toronto International Film Festival.

This renders Dave Karger’s “Top Ten Film To See at TIFF” list, er, a bit outdated. Because now this move makes PTA’s “The Master,” his first film since “There Will Be Blood,” now THE movie to try to get in and see REAL fast at Toronto! And *groan” I’m sure it’s going to be one of the 8:45am press screenings!

Yes, they do have them. And they keep scheduling them. This was the exact same slot that “The King’s Speech” was in two years ago. And I bet it’ll be right at the beginning on FRIDAY morning, and then they will have the press day, press conference and junket, if there is to be one, right after that.

This is how Harvey does things, and by holding back “The Master”s news til now, after the first round of TIFF films was announced, “The Master” now gets maximum and SERIOUS Oscar publicity. Whether it lives up to the hype or not, we shall see.

The venerable Steve Pond at “The Wrap” seems to be the one that broke this story first, but he certainly got the juiciest quote of TWC. This of course is the fact that the film is supposedly an expose of Scientology. Or a religion very similar to it. And the break-up of the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes marriage is on everyone’s mind. Did this influence the change in release strategy by TWC?

To which someone there, who Steve Pond is quoting says, “It sure as hell can’t hurt.” It’s quotes like that that sell tickets.

You can read all about it at http://www.thewrap.com It’s a very good, solid website. I like it.

This also changes TWC’s emphasis in Toronto. It now shifts the focus from “Silver Linings Playbook” the David O. Russell Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence starrer to, well, “The Master”.

The fact that it’s also now being shown in Venice indicates to me an Oscar strategy being put into motion. This ia  a game that Harvey has played before, and played it this way, and won.

But is a movie about Scientology, starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquim Phoenix,  any match for the later- in-the- year films, films like “Lincoln” and “Les Miserables,” certainly crowd pleasers? At least on paper.

Time will tell, but it does seem like TWC has now kicked “Silvers Linings Playbook” ever so slightly to the Oscar curb, and planted “The Master” s Oscar flag RIGHT in the middle of everything.

Another slight tip, though. It’s a Special Presentation at Toronto, not a Gala. If TIFF thought that much of it, they’d have made it a Gala. Interesting….And Phillip Seymour Hoffman is always great. THIS we know.

If this wins the Audience Award at TIFF, look out “Lincoln” and “Les Miz”! It’s a Harvey Weinstein World and we’re all just living in it!

This move, coupled with the Venice Film Festival bow, as well, immediately preceding TIFF, makes “The Master” a film we all now HAVE to take seriously Oscar-wise.

Oscar Goddess Switches Her “King’s Speech” picks on Gold Derby!

If I’m counting right, anyone who follows all this Oscar nonsense (like I do) so avidly that they are going from Oscar site to Oscar site trying to take the temperature of the Little Golden Guy, may be a bit surprised to go to www.goldderby.com and see that Tom O’Neil has rounded up a whole passle o’pundits and asked them what they think…NOW…RIGHT NOW. This week. This moment. When MOST Oscar ballots get received and filled out and returned, post-haste.

And frankly, the group is too unwieldy to really get a sense of…unless you’re following one particular pundit, and of course, I’m noting Sasha Stone’s rather startlingly changed Oscar position. A woman definitely had the prerogative of changing her mind, but this is a little confusing.

Oscar goddess Sasha, who I feel knows more than anyone about what’s going on, has gone on Gold Derby from saying at www.awardsdaily.com, her own great site, that “The King’s Speech” is going to take everything in its’ path. And I think that’s right. To now saying to Tom O’Neil Gold Derby that the only Oscars she’s now predicting “The King’s Speech” to win, are THREE! If I’m counting correctly, and I’m slightly dyslexic with numbers…So we’ve gone from 12 to 3 in Sasha’s King Speak. Which would be Best Actor – Colin Firth. Of course, EVERYBODY and EVERY pundit polled predicted him and this has been the case since Toronto…

To just predicting Colin and David Seidler for Best Original Screenplay, to, her only controversial choice, Geoffrey Rush for Best Supporting Actor.

She’s the only one who is predicting him. But of course, I am, too…but Tom didn’t ASK ME!

I think out of loyalty to her season-long advocation of “The Joy of Typing,” she’s switched back to saying it will win Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score, as well as Best Director for David Fincher…

I don’t think any of these wins are happening. But yes, to her Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and David Seidler picks, of course.

I think that it’s Tom Hooper and “The King’s Speech” for Best Picture All the Way. And if judging by the FIRST EVER bloggers panel at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which you can watch at Awardsdaily, and see, at a distance, and very out of focus, from left to right, Jeffrey Wells www.hollywood-elsewhere.com, Scott Feinberg www.scottfeinberg.com , Pete Hammond www.deadlinehollywood.com, Steve Pond www.thewrap.com, Sasha herself, and Anne Thompson www.indiewire.com  being moderated by my frequent guest Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor, who really is a critic and not a blogger.

It was a fascinating moment. This was right after Tom Hooper’s surprise win at the DGA and right BEFORE the SAG awards started, where “The King’s Speech” won – AGAIN.

This bloggers panel is on page two of www.Awardsdaily.com now, but it really is worth checking out.

It’s in Six parts, and there’s nary a close-up, but the sound quality is good, even if the picture is beyond blurry.

But what I was surprised at was how totally “The King’s Speech” dominated the conversation of the panel. They just couldn’t stop talking about it.  I think that means something.

And Sasha, Jeff and Scott Feinberg, were the main proponents of “The Joy of Typing” before the Big Switch happened at the DGA two weeks ago when the whole Oscar race turned upside down to put “The King’s Speech” on top and “Typing” somewhere near the bottom. But at least it was discussed avidly.

“True Grit” and “The Fighter” were barely mentioned. It was like there was no other movies in the race, except TKS and TJOT.

Peter Rainer, turns out, is a big TKS fan. He gave it an “A- minus” he said. I’d give it A++++. I think it’s one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen. And Anne Thompson and Steve Pond were positive about it, too.

Although Steve Pond barely said anything.

So there were two competing teams on this panel. King Team and Team Typing.

And went to Secretarial School. More than once! And I can tell you. There is very little Joy in Typing.

But I digress…

I guess the whole point of this is that “The King’s Speech” seems to have obliterated everything else. And Jeff Wells kept knocking it because “it was a feel good movie.” And return to Old Hollywood values. Among many other things, it is, yes, a World War II movie. It’s certainly Anti-Hitler. And you just LOVE Colin Firth’s great kindly king valiantly getting through the climatic Speech of “The King’s Speech.”

And at one point, a member of the audience asked, referring to who was voting on Best Foreign Film, “Are they elderly?” and Scott Feinberg had to admit that yes, they were. I don’t know how that question landed on him, but he answered it.

But I do think, going back to Sasha’s Gold Derby picks again, that she’s on to something with Geoffrey Rush over Christian Bale.

I do think the Supporting categories are much shakier than generally thought, and Christian Bale, as good as he is in “The Fighter” is not well liked. AND he’s young. He’ll have other chances.

And Geoffrey Rush has won a bunch of precursor awards. And Sasha when said that “The King’s Speech” was going to be “coming back for everything.” Meaning an across the board sweep…thinks that the King’s broom will sweep the King’s Speech Therapist in, too.

I’ve always thought that and said that. And told Geoffrey Rush that himself, when I famously interviewed him and Colin and Geoffrey at the Toronto International Film Festival which is where this blog began, after all.

Sasha also joined forces to predict something else equally startling, to me, Hailee Steinfeld as Best Supporting Actress over Melissa Leo!?! She is joined on Gold Derby by the redoubtable combination of Anne Thompson, Kris Tapley AND David Karger alllll saying the same thing!

And on Movieline, where they have those fabu graphs, THEY’VE got Hailee Steinfeld and Melissa Leo in a TIE!?!

So watch out, Oscarwatchers, and fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be bumpy three weeks

OSCAR NOMINATIONS OUT! “King’s Speech” rules with 12!

So I feel pretty generally pleased this morning with the announcement of this year’s Oscar Nominations which gave 12(!!!!!) nominations, the most of any film this year, to “The King’s Speech”! Bravo!

This massive nomination haul + the PGA win this weekend puts “King” right where it’s meant to be! To rule! And to win! Bravo!

But not only was it nominated in ALLLL the major categories where it was eligible…Best Picture, Best Director (YAY for Tom Hooper! I told you so! You didn’t believe me, but…you did say I was your Oscar Messenger, and the name has stuck!), Best Actor, of course, the King of Kings, Colin Firth, who has won everything else this year, Best Supporting Actor, Geoffrey Rush, (Geoffrey I told you so, too, at Toronto) Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham-Carter), Best Original Screenplay(David Seidler) and on and on all the way down through every single branch of the Academy including SOUND MIXING!!!!!!! YIKES! That’s what they call across-the-board, or more accurately, across the guilds, support. It bodes, very, very, very well for a Best Picture win. People are already calling it an “upset” to me it was the Academy’s favorite right out of the box at Toronto! Bravo TIFF! It really was the the Oscar race not only launched, but also more or less landed in the sense that “The King’s Speech” ALSO won the Audience favorite this year. Bravo! What’s the plural of Bravo? Bravos!

And Michelle Williams got nominated for Best Actress for “Blue Valentine”! YAY! Michelle! Again I TOLD YOU SO! Like I told you you were going to be nominated five years ago for “Brokeback Mountain” and you didn’t believe me, but I WAS RIGHT! Brava! Diva!

I feel awful for Ryan Gosling however. DUDE! You totally deserved this!

You should have replaced that horrible non-actor Jesse Irritatingberg for “The Joy of Typing” who STILL gives me a headache everytime I hear his grating, staccato voice.

Also was UNhappy to see “Winter’s Bore” get FOUR nominations(and perhaps more, I haven’t finished counting) and I won’t bore you any further with that.

NO LESLIE MANVILLE ANYWHERE! I HOPED that wouldn’t happen! But it did. Category confusion and a too-late release date(Dec.31) for this little film that at least scored a screenplay nod for Mike Leigh, but nothing else.

This was SUCH a beautiful movie, and NOT a bore like “Winter’s B.”….

I guess the snubs have upset me more than anything else. And no Noomi Rapace or “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” anywhere. Guess that is the American Producer(Sony?) blockading against its’ Oscar chances so that the dreaded American Remake with David Fincher and Rooney Marra that is slated for next Decemeber can rule Oscar then And it probably will….grrrr…If by some strange fluke of fate and David Fincher does NOT win the Best Director Oscar for “The Joy of Typing”, he undoubtedly will for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” next year. The late author Steig Larsson must be turning over in his grave.

Well, Noomi could still triumph at the BAFTAS, where she is nominated for Best Actress and the film for Best Foreign Language Film.

Not surprised(although I predicted him) that Christopher Nolan was left out of the Best Director Five although he received a DGA nomination. There almost always is a four v. five situation there with the directors. And the Coens got in. AND I must mention that “True Grit” followed “The King’s Speech” with 10 nominations. Including that brat Haillee Steinfeld(who I predicted would end up in Supporting, and she did although she really belongs back in middle school in 1000 Oaks, or doing “Blingatude” commercials. She was totally believable as a Valley Girl brat…but that’s the extant of her believable range.) And Jackie Weaver got in for the unwatchable “Animal World”! Which is a shocker! And neither Barbara Hersey OR Mila Kunis! So while “Black Swan” was shaking a bit, Natalie Portman DID get in for Best Actress and Aronofsky for Best Director. Good.

Check out www.awardsdaily.com of course, for alllll the nominations. And David Karger, my hero, who stuck out with me on the limb of “The King’s Speech” ALLLLL season and now you see, along with Anne Thompson of “Indiewire” ‘and our Fearless Leader David Poland of “Movie City News” that we were right all along. They are at www.ew.com

www.indiewire.com

www.moviecitynews.com

And if there is toooo much traffic at Awardsdaily, which is one of the MOST popular Oscar sites in the world, and you can’t access it, as I couldn’t earlier this morning. There’s those three Pro-“King’s Speech” addresses and also Steve Pond’s excellent “The Wrap” at www.thewrap.com

DAVID!!! PUT ME BACK AS A GURU O’ GOLD!!! PLEASE!!!

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