a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Sundance’

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Oscar Hopeful Ann Dowd of “Compliance”, Pt.1

A very brave and courageous, nevermind talented lady, Ann Dowd, is trying to mount her OWN ONE-WOMAN Oscar campaign for Best Supporting Actress, even though she’s the lead, in  Sundance sensation “Compliance.” Listen as Ann explains all.

Camera & Editing ~ Kevin Teller

Best Supporting Actress- Pre-Festivals, Pre-TIFF

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2012 -Pre-TIFF

This category was ceded by many, months ago, to Anne Hathaway’s heartbreaking, shattering performance in the trailer of “Les Miserables.” I have never seen a trailer to have such an impact on the Oscar Race, and so EARLY! Back in June. Or May even…And the film doesn’t come out til Christmas!

“The Dream Lives,” the trailer ends with these titles “This Christmas.” Well, I for one can hardly wait!

Why was Universal releasing this so early?

Well, it was superbly done, brilliantly edited, and plaintively sung by Hathaway. It contains the song “I Dreamed A Dream,” which is arguably one of the most famous songs from “Les Miz” that always pulls heart-strings, if it’s done right.

This is the song that made Susan Boyle an over-night sensation on “Britain’s Got Talent” a few years back. And Musical Comedys are NOT at all a sure-fire, can’t-miss genre these days. No matter how well they may be done. They released this that early to build buzz. And it has succeeded in that respect. And Anne Hathaway also scored as Catwoman in TDKR, too, this year.

Oscar Winner for Best Director for “The King’s Speech” is back again with “Les Miz” and he directs period pieces soooo well…just check out the Multi-Emmy-Award Winning TV series “John Adams.” That was one of the greatest TV series I’ve ever seen, and it could have been as dry as dust, instead it was riveting. And it won its two leads Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney Best Actor and Best Actress Emmys, too. As John and Abigail Adams respectively.

And Laura is back in the Best Actress hunt again this year. Her FOURTH nomination, if she gets one for “Hyde Park on the Hudson” which I already discussed in the previous post just below this one.

Which is to say that Hooper’s actors win awards, see Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech.”

Anne Hathaway’s part in “Les Miz” is the doomed prostitute Fantine, which also won Patti LuPone an Olivier Award, when she played that part in the original London production. So it’s an awards-magnet role. And Hathaway totally aces it in the trailer’s Oscar-y moment par excellence when she, sobbing and dirty, gets all her real hair cut off.  It’s a horrifying, but award-worthy moment. The song is MUCH longer than that,too And there is much more to her role in “Les Miz” although she does die early on.  But who’s to say if they might run her as Best Actress instead of Supporting?

They might. But then again the Academy’s Actor’s Branch voters are the ones who ultimately decide which category an actress, or an actor, is going to be in. The Studios and distributors can campaign all they want…but it’s Hathaway’s peers who will decide where to put her.

The many For Your Consideration ads are run by the Studios as a means of clue-ing the Actor’s Branch especially for who goes where.  They decided for instance that Kate Winslet should be considered for Best Actress for “The Reader” when no less an Oscar personage than Harvey Weinstein was running her as Supporting for that film. Which she did eventually win a Golden Globe for. And also, for Best Actress that year for “Revolutionary Road.” Her “I got TWO!” picture with a Golden Globe in each hand, flashed around the world.

I think this instance shows that the Academy doesn’t ALWAYS do as Harvey tells them.Or suggests to them, I should say.

Opposite Hathaway, it’s looking like Harvey’s main gal this season is going to be Amy Adams for “The Master”, but evidently some already say the part is too small, only three scenes.

Will Qu’venzhane Wallis the 8 year old in “Beasts of the Southern Wild”  get run in Supporting, instead of lead, where she belongs? However, the Academy is notoriously not partial to putting child actors in the lead category. Look what they did with that girl with the braids from “True Grit.” She ended up in Supporting, though she arguably, also had the lead female role in the Coen Bros. western. What was her name anyway? I’ve completely forgotten! Hallie something? That nomination was the beginning and end of her career.

There’s also the great female Brits in the runaway smash of the Indies this year “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” It boasts THREE great performances, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton. Again Dame Judi is the lead here, but again, Fox Searchlight has got her down for Supporting, where she really shouldn’t be. The Academy could put her in lead, if they so deem fit…As I said in the last post, Best Actress is once again Back Up For Grabs this year…

Fox Searchlight has its’ hands full this year! Should Judi Dench go lead? Should Qu’venszhane? Decisions! Decisions!

And then there’s Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Won’t Back Down”, another Indie. But who is lead and who is Supporting? I don’t think that film is even at Toronto. Which says something.

And though after last year’s debacle with Davis predicted to win all over the place, she lost to Meryl Streep. The Academy was again accused of racism. And it is. Although they did give the Best Supporting Actress Oscar to Octavia Spenser for the controversial “The Help.” Could they try to make it up to her with ANOTHER nomination? If they did, she would then be the first African-American actress to get the most Oscar nominations ever. A total of three.

Or is “Don’t Back Down” even Oscar worthy? We don’t know yet. But its lack of Festival presence says something, I think.

To go back to “Hyde Park on Hudson” there are two British Olivias in Supporting roles. Olivia Williams as Eleanor Rossevelt and Olivia Coleman as the Queen of England, who is visiting the Roosevelts at Hyde Park, with her husband the stuttering King Edward VII.

AND there’s the Oscar perennial Bridesmaid multiple-timed nominee, Annette Bening playing against type as a gambling-obsessed Mom of Kristen Wiig in “Imogene.”  You can never count Bening out.

But judging by the competition she’s up against, IMHO, this category is Anne Hathaway’s to lose.

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone Stands Up & Cheers for Ann Dowd in “Compliance”! Best Actress Race Changes!

I really think that the terrific piece Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone just wrote about the incredible Ann Dowd’s Oscar chances in “Compliance’ really will be effective in changing the Best Actress Race this year and will help the amaaaaazing Ms. Dowd along her lonnnnng way to the Dolby Pavillion in February. Read it at http://www.awardsdaily.com.

Sasha out-does herself once again with the power of her great, impassioned writing. And this time, I can but totally agree. Sasha has been very effective helping Indie actresses move ahead to nominations, if not wins. She really went all out for Melissa Leo back in the days of “Frozen River” which was really going out on a ledge at a time, when Melissa Leo was a virtual Oscar unknown, and voila! She WAS nominated for Best Actress, much to my great surprise….That is, until i saw the film, which was after the nominations came out and I saw how brrrrrilllliant Leo was in that edgy flick.

But  it was a long shot, for sure. Not so much of a long shot was Jennifer Lawrence’s nomination for “Winter’s Bone.” And that year the picture got nominated, too! AND John Hawkes for Best Supporting Actor. He may be up again for Best Actor in three shakes of a lamb’s tail, as my mother used to say, or was it my British grandmother? for “Sessions” coming up at TIFF in about two weeks, or less…

And now Sasha’s raving about Ann Dowd’s astounding performance in “Compliance.” It counts for a lot. And I’ll tell you how. Sasha’s Oscar advocacy of certain people, like the aforementioned above ^ makes OTHER Oscar bloggers take note and start writing about the wonderful Ann Dowd, too.

I want you to know however, that I said it here, first. But be that as it may, Ann Dowd’s great work is not to be ignored, and now it isn’t being shunted to the sidelines of the Oscar Race , with great pieces like this being written about her by Oscar Bloggers that count! This is how it begins, folks. I case you didn’t know.

Support by Sasha will make the PUBLICITY TEAM at IFC the distributor, HOPEFULLY mount a full on Oscar campaign for the magnificent Dowd. As of the opening night a few days ago, I really don’t think that they had. And I don’t know if it was even on the cards. Until, maybe I told them to!

“Are you doing an Oscar campaign for her?” I pointedly asked an exec with Ms. Dowd and her agent, Gary Gersh standing right next to us.

“Don’t worry. We’ve got it covered.”

But I did wonder. Ann Dowd’s expression told me even she wasn’t sure herself.

You see, mounting an Oscar campaign for a certain actress, especially an unknown middle-aged character actress is a VERY costly venture for an Indie distributor. It helps that “Compliance” has gotten something like a 91% Fresh Tomato rating on Rotten Tomatoes http://www.rottentomatoes.com

Making “Compliance” one of the Best Reviewed Films of the year. And what do “Frozen River”, “Winter’s Bone” and “Compliance” all have in common? They all came out of Sundance, I believe, and please correct me if I am wrong. I know you will….

And this changes the Best Actress race, too, because it makes Ann Dowd a contender to be reckoned with.

Oscar Updates as Gold Derby Puts Leo at NY#1 for “Django”for Supp! Dwight Henry Is #2 “Beasts”!

The great Tom O’Neil lets us know just what is what with the Oscar race on an almost daily basis. Certainly weekly. And for sure, monthly. Now that we’re reaching the last day of June, it’s interesting to note that the race that has changed THE MOST is Best Supporting Actor!

June 1, it was wacky Jaoquim Phoenix for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Scientology take “The Master“. Now, less than a month later, Joaquim is nowhere to be found at the top of this category. Possibly because Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone of http://www.awardsdaily.com clued Tom in that Joaquim is THE LEAD in “The Master.” Lol….And who’s at #1 now? Why Leonardo DiCaprio, as a scuzzy, sleazy slave owner in Quentin Tarantino’s Civil War shoot’em up “Django Unchained!” With Harvey Weinstein at the helm, this could certainly happen.

However, right behind him, is non-actor until now, newcomer Dwight Henry playing Hushpuppy‘s abusive, alcoholic father for “Beasts of the Southern Wild”! I don’t think Dwight Henry was even on the chart last time I checked! Go Dwight! He’s a baker turned actor and really scores in this magnificent debut film of Benh Zeitlin.

Phenom-of-the-Year Zeitlin has NOT managed to crack the top five of the directors chart. Go to http://www.goldderby.com and see who the rest are. Usual suspects, all. All previous Oscar Winners.Spielberg, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, Except Paul Thomas Anderson who tops the list, and I’m so sure won’t win. “The Master” is going not to be a loved-by-the-masses film, I’m feeling. Scientology isn’t a topic that the ticket buying public is going to warm to. Where the now critically acclaimed “Beasts of the Southern Wild” sure is.

And it’s 6-year-old heroine has cracked the top five of the Best Actress contenders. That category is still headed by my darling Laura Linney for “Hyde Park on Hudson.” #2 in Best Actress is Carey Mulligan for “The Great Gatsby” and #3 is Keira Knightley for “Anna Karenina.” Keira’s always nominatable, as of course is Laura. Previous recent winner ++is #4 for the French language “Of Rust and Bone.” And then comes Qu’venzhane Wallis at #5.

I think it speaks to the strength of “Beasts” A+++ reception that BOTH Dwight Henry and Qu’venzhane Wallis have popped into the top five since the month began! And Dwight Henry is #2! Higher than Benh Zeitlin or QW(as I will now abbreviate her). The charges of racism that were thrown the Academy’s way when Viola Davis lost(though Octavia Spenser won – albeit in Supp.) for “The Help.” Dwight Henry could be the beneficiary of the famous Academy catch-up boomerang effect.

What they don’t do right one year, they correct the next.

And it’s also interesting to note that Anne Hathaway still seems to be a mortal lock for Best Supporting Actress for “Les Miserables,.” nailing one of the best trailers in movie history, which is already playing at a theater near you.

Likewise Daniel Day-Lewis in Best Actor and “Lincoln” for Best Picture remain where they were June 1.

It’s the arrival of “Beasts of the Southern Wild” that has shaken this list up! Good! No! Great! Go Team “Beast”!

Video

Newsflash! “Beasts” director is NOT 23 years old! He’s 29!

Breaking Hollywood News! Benh Zeitlin who is being proclaimed the new Orson Welles for having directed the award-winning “Beasts of the Southern Wild” for doing this at age 23. Benh himself says, “No, no. I’m 29. I want to stop this rumor. I’m not a child!” But he certainly knows how to direct children, as he certainly has done with his 6-year-old star Qu’venzhane Wallis. He also co-wrote this with a woman, Lucy Alibar, who he has been collaborating with for many years. He also reveals that though he has never been to film school, he teaches film and video to school children. This explains, a bit, the authenticity of the female child, Hushpuppy’s perspective.

Camera & Editing ~ Cody Michaels

Video

Qu’venzhane Wallis “Beast of the Southern Wild” star rises!

Believe it or not, the Best Performance by an Actress this year is by 6-year-old Qu’enzhane Wallis of the extraordinarily original “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” Venzie, as she’s called, is smart, funny, intelligent and articulate beyond belief in an interview situation, too, as well as in the already award-winning film. Could the Oscar go to a now 8-year old? If she even gets nominated and I think she will, Qu’venzhane will be the youngest actor ever to be so honored. This is part one of a 2 part interview. Qu’venzhane (pronounced Kwa -VENG-e nay) is a charmer. Critics are raving.

“Beasts of the Southern Wild” One of the Best Movies of the Year!

Everything Oscar Goddess, Cannes diarist and predictress extraordinaire Sasha Stone said about “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is true. And it deserves all the acclaim that has been heaped upon it, and there will be more to come. MUCH more.It’s one of the best, most original films of the year. Best Screenplay Nomination. Adapted. It’s based on a book.

And I’ll write more about it later. And that little   girl! OMG! A magnificent, wholly original achievement! And the director is only 23 years old! ^faints*

In other news, just saw Academy Award winner the fabulous Estelle Parsons pre-theater-ing it at the Edison Cafe. She called me “dear”. *faints again*

And THEN as I was leaving the building, I ran right into Lydia Bastianich of the Food Channel and PBS’s Italian Cooking with Lydia (or Lydia’s Kitchen) and said “I love your show! I watch it all the time!” And I do. She said, “Thank you” rather stunned that she was being recognized.

There are stars everywhere in New York! I’m so lucky to live here!

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