a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘The Kids Are All Right’

Oscar’s Thanksgiving Wishes for Michelle’s Marilyn Pour In!

A Happy, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, my dear readers, dear cineastes! And on this Thanksgiving Day I have one great big movie movie to be Thankful for, which is, you guessed it, you who have been reading this humble blog since Day One, it’s Michelle Williams and all the rest of the wonderful cast in the Best Film of the Year, “My Week with Marilyn.”

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone has compiled a list of wonderful rave reviews from the likes of Rex Reed to David Denby of the “New Yorker” to Roger Ebert. You can read them all at www.awardsdaily.com

Add to them Stephanie Zacharek at www.movieline.com as well as Oscar, the Grouch Jeff Wells at www.hollywood-elsewhere.com and yes, by George it’s a consensus! Jeff saved his review until today. Wild. But I’m happy it’s at last there.

Only it’s not a race between Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” and Michelle’s Marilyn.

I don’t think Meryl stands a ghost of a chance with the Academy. She will no doubt get a 17th Oscar nomination, which is PHENOMENAL, record-breaking and an award in itself. I don’t think the Academy will ever give her a third Oscar. She already has two.

And yes, they were earned at the beginning of her career a LONNNNNG time ago. And I really doubt that her Margaret Thatcher turn(I haven’t seen it yet. But soon, I hope) will melt the Academy’s icy heart.

Why? Well, she’s got, well, too much. She’s rich. She’s happily married for over 20 years or more actually. She has four happy and healthy children, two of them, Mamie and Grace are also actresses, and her son Hank is a musician.

No discernible tragedy in her life. Just success, success, success and more money.

Oscar? Well, lately his eye has been on the young’uns in the Best Actress category. Last year’s match between Natalie Portman in “Black Swan” and Annette Bening in “The Kid’s Are All Right” I think is going to be indicative of what happens again this year. The young, cute, NAKED girl wins! And Michelle is pretty nude, pretty often in “Marilyn.” It’s a very sexy performance.

One that turns on every male who sees it and many of the women, too. Like Zacharek and also Claudia Puig in USA Today. And on and on…Not however Manola Dargis in the NYTimes…

If the Nominees turn out to be Meryl, Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs”, Williams, Tilda Swinton(or Charlize Theron) both of whom have Oscars already, and Viola Davis….I see only Viola Davis as perhaps Williams’ competition. For “The Help”.

But with stellar, glittering reviews like Michelle is getting most of the time…I don’t think she can be beat.

Harvey Weinstein HIMSELF is even doing a Satellite Interview Tour – ON BEHALF OF “MARILYN”. This is unprecedented! And I’m guessing he’s going the whole nine yards on behalf of this beautiful, sexy, lovely, funny, moving movie movie because he thinks it has a shot at a Best Picture nomination, too. As well as the obvious nominations of Michelle and Kenneth Branagh as Sir Laurence Olivier.

And I think he’s right.

Oscar’s Worst Disease ~ Category Confusion! It can kill a career!

What, I ask myself at this time of year with Hallowe’en fast approaching, is the worst, scariest thing that could possibly happen to an Oscar seeker? The answer is plain, simple and deadly ~ Category Confusion! It’s what happened to the wonderful Leslie Manville in “Another Year” last year. Leslie who? Well, Sony Pictures Classics whom I ADORE really messed up on that one. How? They ran her in Leading Actress. When clearly there were many who thought she was Supporting. Like BAFTA. That’s where they put her. And she lost there. Poor Leslie. Poor, poor Leslie. Category confusion. It’s Oscar’s most deadly disease. And this year, it’s back and seems to be infecting several prominent nominees. ALREADY.

The National Board of Review gave Leslie Manville BEST ACTRESS, and that seemed to be the way to go for her…I guess…but then she turned up…NOWHERE. EVER. AGAIN. And it was a stunning performance. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I wrote about it on this blog over and over and you can go back and check. I loved her lost, sad, mad Mary. A suburban singleton of un age certain who was desperate to get married before it was too late. So desperate for any kind of human contact whatsoever she permanently attached herself to her friendly married couple. And they put up with it. To a point.

Mike Leigh at his surprising best. Torturing a full length film out of such an unlikely topic. Single adults and their happily married friends…”Another Year” Catch it on DVD if you can.

Well, poor brilliant Leslie’s career state-side was not launched. Lost is more the word.

And this could happen again this year with a couple of very notable actresses. For some reason, it doesn’t infect male actors as easily as it does female. They are more fragile at Oscar time, and Awards season which is upon us, whether you know it or not, it’s particularly contagious.

And this year both Viola Davis of “The Help” may catch it. Is she lead? Or is she supporting? And so may Jeffrey Well’s crusade du jour unknown, middle-aged British actress Olivia Coleman in “Tyrannosaur” may also succumb, long shot though she is. I haven’t seen “Tyrannosaur”  yet. Not many people have, but most have liked it, like Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone of www.awardsdaily.com And you can read about Jeffrey’s latest crusade(s) at www.hollywood-elsewhere.com

And the Chicago Film Festival critics who gave Olivia Coleman Best Actress.

But some who have seen it have felt she was Supporting in “Tyrannosaur” and therefore should be campaigned in that category. Uh-oh! Here we go again! Leslie Manville-time! And she also has a supporting role in Meryl Streep’s “The Iron Lady” as Margaret Thatcher’s daughter. Confused?

You see the Academy who gives out the Oscars can place actors, on a written ballot, in any category they see fit.

They are supposedly GUIDED by the “For Your Consideration” Campaigns that the various studios and distributors put out, at great expense.  But other organizations like the Golden Globes or the BFCA (Broadcast Film Critics) ARE guided by the studios in category placement. The leading critics groups, not so much. They follow their own whims and wisdoms.

I just hope Disney or Dreamworks or whoever is watching over “The Help” sticks to its’ Viola Davis as Lead campaign. And Davis as brilliant as she is, may not be the leading character. The lead is clearly the Emma Stone character. BUT if they put Viola in lead she may lose there to a younger actress, specifically Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn.”

And all my fellow Oscarologists are keeping Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in the still unseen “Iron Lady” as their Numero Uno Belle of the Ball.

If Viola Davis is put into Supporting, she would surely win that  still kind of wide open category. But in that category ALREADY ARE possibly TWO other cast-mates from “The Help” Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain. No one has ever won an Oscar when THREE people from the same movie are all in the same category. Vis a vis “On the Waterfront”, neither Rod Steiger, Karl Malden or that other guy won. They all cancelled each other out. As did the three Supporting Dames in “Tom Jones”, leaving another Brit darling, Dame Margaret Rutherford to triumph that year for “The V.I.P.s”

So it’s in Viola’s best interest to be put – where? In Best Actress where she may not win? Or Best Supporting Actress, possibly knocking out one of her presumed nominee cast-mates?

Is a puzzlement. To quote Yul Brynner in “The King and I’

OR a disease. Look what happened to Leslie Manville! Category Confusion! AND IT KILLED HER!

And also the same can be said, BTW, about Julianne Moore last year. She was campaigned in lead for “The Kids Are All Right,” and if Focus Features had put her more firmly in Supporting,(they didn’t) she too, like Leslie Manville was  shut out completely. At the Oscars. At the Globes. At the Broadcast Film Critics. Everywhere.

How can this happen, you say? Well, it’s vote-splitting, is what it is. These two actresses specifically Manville and Moore, and just last year, both split their own vote and ended up sitting at home on Oscar night. And watching Melissa Leo say “f**king” and generally lower the level of the Awards forever. A case can be made that either Manville or certainly Moore would have won over the little-known Leo. But Melissa Leo did win. And she did it HER way. But it was always clear WHAT category she was in. She was always Supporting and Natalie Portman was always lead and they both won.

Viola Davis’ performance in “The Help” is a towering achievement. But neither she nor any one I feel is going to topple the beauteous young Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe.  Nobody is confused as to what category Williams as Marilyn is supposed to be in. She’s like Natalie Portman in “The Black Swan” last year. Unstoppable. So it does make some sense to put Viola Davis in Supporting.

And then there’s Fox Seachlight’s cock-eyed attempt to campaign Brad Pitt as Supporting for “Tree of Life,” when he’s CLEARLY the lead in that mixed-up muddle of a movie. But what that may do is take votes away from his lead campaign in his career-best performance as Baseball manager Billy Beane in “Moneyball.”

Academy Members of their Acting Branch get confused soooo easily. But they got it absolutely RIGHT a couple of years back when they put Kate Winslet stunning performance as Hannah Schmidt, an illiterate Concentration Camp guard, into lead, when she was being campaigned as Supporting for “The Reader.”

They did absolutely the right thing then. And Winslet won! And made the cover of Time Magazine, BTW.

What will they do this year? Only time will tell. Stay tuned.

Oscar Campaign for Christopher Plummer Begins With “Beginners”!

Is too soon to talk about Oscar races? Not if you ask Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone over at Awardsdaily, OR if you ask anyone at Focus. Focus Features has gotten VERY savvy about how to turn indie Oscar seekers’ hopes into Academy reality, esp.with Gay-themed features. Like last year’s unlikely Best Picture Nominee~ “The Kids Are All Right.” And now timed just right, for Gay Pride month a beautiful, sweet film “Beginners” just may WIN Christopher Plummer his first Oscar! At age 80-something!

Hale, hearty and handsome, and happy to be being interviewed by the likes of gay ole me, Plummer admitted to me this morning at the Waldorf Astoria that I was much gayer than the character he plays in “Beginners”!

Mike Mills, who directed “Thumbsuckers” another Indie with our mutual love goddess Tilda Swinton as one of its’ many stars, (It also included Keanu Reeves and Benjamin Bratt), has done a lovely job of creating a sweet memory piece about his father. This is a true story. Plummer plays Dad. And Ewan MacGregor plays his startled, but VERY understanding and patient grown son, Mill’s stand-in. Melanie Laurent, the beauteous French actress, who burnt down the house with her incendiary performance in Quentin Tarentino’s “Inglourious Basterds” a couple of seasons back, is MacGregor’s love interest.

And Melanie told me in her beautiful French accent(she had a translator present just in case) that “If we save one life from this film, that shows that homosexuality can be accepted as part of life, then we’ll have done something good.”

And this film is so touchingly, achingly beautiful, and meaningful, I think “Beginners” will go on to do just that. And hopefully win Christopher Plummer his first Oscar for his role of the 75-year-old Out and Proud Gay Dad. He also gets to die in this film of Stage Four Cancer. Oscar likes death scenes, too.

And since Focus is so wisely putting him in Supporting this year, a category he COULD prevail in, well, I just think he will.

Christopher Plummer is a great stage and screen actor whose career spans over 50 years. “The Sound of Music” another Oscar winner for Best Picture, back in the day, was his first wide-screen success back in the ’60s.

He was nominated the year before last for his ferocious Leo Tolstoy in “The Last Station.” Helen Mirren was, too. As his over-the-top wife. And I asked him if he thought she was Too OTT as the flamboyant Russian countess and he said, “No. I thought she was restrained. She could have done so much more.”

Which if you have seen “The Last Station” is a very funny comment indeed.

And “Beginners” also resonates because it’s the first film to really deal with gays in their ’70s. Judging by Christopher Plummer’s vibrant Mel, we can all look forward to a rollicking good time!

Oscar Voting Closes;Massive “King’s Speech” Landslide Coming Soon!

Well, it’s alllllmost over! One of the longest Oscar races in history. Although actually it isn’t. Last year had the Olympics to make it two to three weeks longer.

But the reality of The Race is that I personally feel (and this feeling is shared by NEARLY everybody) that The Race ended at Toronto at the VERY FIRST PRESS SCREENING of the Festival. TIFF started and so did the Oscar race with the BANG! of the first unspooling of “The King’s Speech.”

I realized as I sat there with the stunned audience of hardened TIFF-goers that we had seen the Best Film Of the Year. ALREADY! BANG! right out of the gate. It was like a cinematic miracle had occurred. People were crying, and laughing, in all the right places and critics sat frozen watching the end credits roll ALL THE WAY THROUGH. And then there was applause.

There’s always applause at the end of “The King’s Speech.”

Having seen a rather OK BBC version of this same story with James Wilby, who was perfectly fine as the stuttering King, but he didn’t break your heart the way Colin Firth does, and did. Over and over. Throughout this whole movie. The pain. The silences. And fright that man experiences.

A king is a terrible thing to be, is the movie’s motto, I guess. When you don’t want it. And feel you can’t do it…His wife believes in him. And I believe the Academy voters believe in her, too. The most beloved historical figure England produced in the 20th century. The Queen Mum. Who STAYED IN LONDON DURING THE BLITZ!!!!!!!!

People still talk of that courageous act, today. As the Queen Mum is always shown in newsreel footage of WWII tip-toeing gingerly through the rubble of the East End with the King following behind her.

Aw, “The King’s Speech” is going to win everything.! The question is HOW MANY?!? 12? It’s nominated for 12. And I just think the Academy is on a mission this year. They want to send a message to the world loud and clear. WE LIKE MOVIES LIKE THIS ONE! And we want to make more movies like this! Inspirational, moving, unforgettable. I think it’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen or will ever likely see.

And so I’m predicting it will win everything it’s nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor(Geoffrey Rush) Best Supporting Actress(Helena Bonham Carter), Best Director Tom Hooper, Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler), Best Score(Alexander Desplat), Best Costumes(Jenny Beaven) and on and on and on.

Oh, and in Best Actress…It’s still Natalie Portman.

Last minute heebie -jeebies in this category are not going to unseat the beautiful young girl who gives the performance of her lifetime in “Black Swan” that is the very pregnant Miss Portman.

She didn’t make it across the Pond in her heightened state to receive her BAFTA win, but she did win it over Annette, who’s a lovely lady…but Natalie, there’s no stopping Natalie, and it’s the only win Fox Searchlight may get with that film. But it’s a big one.

So them’s my predictions pard’ner, and I’m sticking to ’em.

Fun fact: Since the BAFTAs moved their date forward to precede Oscar, the category that has matched Oscars 80% of the time is, you guessed, that hard to define, always mettlesome, Best Supporting Actress.

Oh, and Stu Van Airsdale has a FAAAAABulous summation of his Movieline graphs at www.movieline.com

And yes, “The King’s Speech” was filmed (in part) on a gay porno set. It’s been confirmed. WHO CARES?! That would be Lionel Logue’s offices, the one’s with the mottled, decaying, unmistakable backdrop. Makes me like it even more! This is just been revealed TODAY! And watch it wins Best Set Design!

Whoever Wins the BAFTAs Will Win the Oscar, too!

I’m making yet ANOTHER one of my bold predictions(that’s what I do) but I’m going out on ANOTHER limb, having a blog, as opposed to a TV show, which is weekly, I can predict the Oscar race on a daily basis.

And I do…

So, here goes…

Whoever wins the BAFTAS Sunday night will also win the Oscars on Feb.27! I’m talking about the top six categories. BP, BD, and the four top acting awards.

But as I’m sizing this up…I just noticed that all the probable top six BAFTA winners and very likely going to be Oscars, too! This may be the first time that this ever happened in Oscar/BAFTA history.

We all know, of course, that the marvelous, the magnificent “The King’s Speech” will sweep, and it has certainly got Best Picture in the bag. And that goes for its’ young director, too.Tom Hooper.

HOWEVER, if he, the  rising star of British directing stars, doesn’t win here…and David Fincher, for “The Joy of Typing” does…well…then Fincher may very well win the Oscar, too. Fincher’s American. And if they chose an American over a Brit…uh oh…but I think Tom Hooper will win this, the way he won the DGA. AND he’s got Roger Ebert backing him now. And Sasha Stone. AND me…HOW CAN HE LOSE?!?!

Colin Firth is THEE King of Kings. No contest at all in this category. No discussion either.

BUT if Annette Bening upsets as some are expecting that she might, if she upsets in Best Actress and wins OVER Natalie Portman…LOOOOK OUT! She’ll get the Oscar too.

Her late-campaign charging has been noted by all…maybe too little too late. BUT if it’s effective and she WINS! Goodbye “Black Swan” Hello “The Kid’s…” who’ll RRREALLLY be ALL RIGHT!

Now the same thing I sense to be true in the Supporting Categories BOTH of them. If Geoffrey Rush wins here and gives a tremendous speech as we all know he will, he’ll win the Oscar by winning the BAFTA. And if Christian Bale doesn’t win here…he’s done…However, if Bale DOES triumph and doesn’t embarass himself AGAIN, as he is wont to do, then Bale will be unstoppable at the Oscars…

Bale, it may astonish you to know is British. Yes, he is. Welsh. But he apes an American accent and the Brits don’t like that.

Ditto Helena Bonham-Carter for the Queen in “The King’s Speech”. She’s BOUND to win here. Amy Adams is her only also Oscar-nominated competitor here Brit-side. Hailee Steinfeld is nominated for BEST ACTRESS here(she won’t win, but…if she WERE…well that’s a whole ‘another column) and Melissa Leo is not nominated here for “The Fighter.”

Sooo…with the evergrowing momentum of “The King’s Speech” turning into a British Lion’s ROAR!!! I think the BAFTAS will be a “Sweepie” as Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone put it.

One of Sasha’s favorite performances, Judi Dench winning her Oscar for playing Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love.”

All Ways Here Are the Queen’s Way!

Who said that? Oh, Helena Bonham-Carter in “Alice in Wonderland.”

OSCAR gets nearer.Roger Ebert & Sasha Stone predict a “King’s Speech” Sweepie!

The anticipation and excitement are building to a fever pitch. Oscar is coming! Oscar is coming!One if land! Twelve if by sea! Sez who? Sez me!

I have done a TV show on this topic, Oscar predictions for over 20 years, but this year I have this wonderful blog, and so I am choosing to do it in this forum, rather than on TV.

Also, with a TV show you’re locked into the time, your choices are frozen, as it were, to when you actually taped the show. Your predictions are frozen,too, and that’s that. And you always tape ahead, usually WAY ahead of the air date. You always have to allow time, sometimes a LOT of time for the editing process.

But this year the race has been SOOOO fluid. Not locked down at all. So this blog can reflect the daily Oscar race changes. AND DOES!

Ah! But you say, it’s the most locked-down of all!

 Weelllll, two and half weeks ago it was “The Joy of Typing” all the way and now…Well, of course, it’s going to be a “King’s Speech” sweep! Even Roger Ebert agrees with me! And so do Oscar God and Goddess David Karger and Sasha Stone. Dave’s at www.ew.com and Sasha, of course, reigns at www.awardsdaily.com.

Dave,  who I actually met for the first time in Toronto in the sweltering TIFF hallway, waiting to get in to see Geoffrey Rush, Tom Hooper and finally Colin Firth, the King himself, has,  Dave, like myself, been predicting “The King’s Speech” all the ways since September. Anne Thompson, too.

And so, if you haven’t been reading closely, I am OF COURSE, sticking with that Best Picture pic, and Colin, and also predicting a sweep.

Tom Hooper, Roger Ebert now agrees with me, is going to be anointed Best Director. And Sasha Stone although she has always deeply loved “The Joy of Typing” now admits to a King Speech sweep. She’s even coined a new word to define it “Sweepie”. Oh, that Sahsa!

So how much of a sweepie?

Sasha and I and now Roger Ebert, too, think that Geoffrey Rush is going to trounce Christian Bale, and NOW WOULDN’T THAT BE A SURPRISE to most! David Karger still has Christian winning. And oh, let’s throw those colorful charts at Movieline in, too. www.movieline.com.

They have Christian as Numero Uno. And Colin and King’s Speech. But I’m going to go with Geoffrey.

I don’t think “The Fighter” is going to get anything. For reasons I’ve explained in the past few posts. And I’m sure Scott Feinberg www.scottfeinberg.com does not want me to re-iterate them again here.

But Roger going for Rush over Bale? That’s huge! And Roger wasn’t a big TKS fan. He was always with TJOT until it went through some kind of Oscar menopause and The King emerged triumphant.

Dave, Roger and I are all still behind Natalie Portman in Best Actress. Could there be a surprise there? Annette Bening, I mean. Anne Thompson and Sasha think this could happen. I say, look to the BAFTAs on Sundey. If Annette upsets there….WATCH OUT! If it’s not Natalie as usual…

Both Roger and Annette have appeared on my  TV show BTW. As Thelma Adams would say “Full Disclosure.” More about Thelma in a minute…

But what then to make of the tempestuous Best Supporting Actress category? I’m still in the Helena Bonham-Carter camp. The BAFTAS are this Sunday and pay close attention to what happens in THAT category…As well as Best Actress…and Geoffrey Rush is probalby going to win there, too…

BUT, Roger Ebert, David Karger and Movieline all have Hailee Steinfeld as winning!

Should I switch to Hailee (whose performance doesn’t really deserve it) and hale her as a large majority of people, all of them STRAIGHT MEN in the Academy are doing? I don’t know where Sasha is on this.

But if the Sweepie continues…and she wins BAFTA this weekend…I’d say Helena will have a better shot than it seems she may right now. Helena has been wowing the press in L.A. She’s got a great sense of humor. When asked what she’s going to be wearing to the Oscars, she said, “I don’t know, but whatever it will be, will be a diaster!”Lolol…

Harvey Weinstein has handled the King’s Speech campaign majestically. He even had ANOTHER Peggy Siegel party honoring Geoffrey Rush earlier this week. IN NEW YORK! This following Rush’s being honored at the Santa Barbara Film Festival last week. And Jeffrey Wells, who’s been hating on “The King’s Speech” since FOREVER at his www.hollywood-elsewhere.com blog was UPSET that he didn’t get invited! After all those awful things that Jeff has been writing allllll year-long about “The King’s Speech” is he really SURPRISED that he wasn’t invited to this?!? REALLY, Jeff?!?

Meanwhile, the other Geoffrey, Rush, that is,  also opening tonight at BAM in “Diary of a Madman” and will undoubtedly be reigned, er, rained upon with kudos. I may even trek out to Brooklyn myself to see this. Stay tuned. Next week starts the “Rendezvous with French Cinema”  a sort of mini-French Film Festival in NYC(think Cannes withOUT the Rivieria) and I may be tackling that Festival for the first time this year. It’s at Lincoln Center.

And Thelma Adams? She turns out to be in Melissa Leo’s controversial video of her  equally controversial self-bought ad campaign’s photo shoot. And Thelma also turns out to be Melissa’s BFF! Who knew? But she’s written a marvelous, pointed Q&A with her best friend, and Thelma does ask her the hard questions, like –

Thelma(as MC, which is Mari-Claire, the magazine where this story will run): You were the front-runner. Why did you feel it was necessary to do this?

Melissa Leo: I didn’t know I was the front-runner. Nobody said that I was…

Well, d’oh. Melissa you WERE. Everybody that I read everywhere said you were. I guess you just didn’t get the Memo *sigh*

And she goes on www.mariclaire.com to again complain about ageism in Hollywood. And yes, I agree it’s there. In spades. And it shouldn’t be.

But to turn your Oscar campaign head-over-heels and end with, everybody thinks, a 13-year-old winning what should have been YOUR Oscar? Well, the irony is getting a little heavy in here.

Oscar Nomination Predictions- Best Supp.Actor & Actress

Here at last is what I think is going to go down on Tuesday morn at 8am EST when the Oscar Nominations are announced and the whole game changes…or does it? Or is it going to be what everybody has been been saying all season long? Ho-hum.

I used to do this on my TV show, but this year now that I have this wonderful blog, IT’S HERE!

Best Supporting Actor ~

Christian Bale – “The Fighter”

Michael Douglas- “Wall St. 2 Money Never Sleeps”

Jeremy Renner-“The Town”

Mark Ruffalo- “The Kid’s Are All Right”

Geoffrey Rush-“The King’s Speech”

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams -“The Fighter”

Helen Bonham-Carter -“The King’s Speech”

Melissa Leo-“The Fighter”

Barbara Hersey-“Black Swan”

Haillee Steinfeld – ‘True Grit”

My reasonings are thus. The Academy whose estimated age is unimaginable, tends to honor veteran performers in the Supporting Categories, when it can. Thus I see Barbara Hersey, who has been nominated only once before in her long carrer, also in Supporting. Hersey gives the most complex, layered, multi-faceted performance as Natalie Portman’s scary/caring/over-powering/over-protective mother. Try to image “Black Swan” without her. You can’t.

Mila Kunis from that film is just young and hot and she plays a lesbian. That seems to have turned many on the precursor awards circuit on, but not me, and not the Academy.

“Another Year”s magnificent Leslie Manville is going to fall victim to category confusion, I’m afraid which leads to vote-splitting, which leads to NOTHING. And she unknown here.

And the late releasing film hasn’t really caught on. Whereas the other possible vote-splitter, Haillee Steinfeld, is in another late released film, “True Grit” that HAS caught on, BIG TIME. And the interest in her(why?????) is so great, that there’s so many that seem to want her IN, that she could turn up in the category she SHOULD be in and was campaigned for in Best Supporting Actress.

Whereas Leslie Manville was campaigned in LEAD, in a tough, competitive year, too, when many thought she should’ve been campaigned in Supporting, she’s just not going to turn up ANYwhere.

And the Brit vote will go to Helena Bonham-Carter in “The King’s Speech.”

Michael Douglas also knocks out another Brit  Andrew Garfield, from that Film About Typing….Garfield is soooo young, and the Academy is soooo old and Michael Douglas is a Hollywood legend and he was very, very good in “WS2”. And most importantly, he nearly died this year, from throat cancer. He’s beat it, he says. But who knows? It’s a disease that could be in remission right now and may come back more strongly at any moment.Like during the voting period. And the Academy doesn’t want to risk him dying on them, without even a nomination for very fine work.

The Academy is a bunch of old softies and the LOVE the veteran guys, and regularly reward them over youth, especially in this category.

Also in Douglas’ and Jeremy Renner’s as well as the three from “The Fighter”, and Steinfeld from “True Grit”‘s favor is that they are backed by major studios. Warner Brothers and Paramount.

Then there’s the Harvey Factor. NOBODY runs an Oscar campaign like H. Weinstein and he’s got Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham-Carter, both superb in the superb “The King’s Speech.” They might as well nominate Harvey himself.  He’s a stealth factor behind alllll the Weinstein Company’s nominees. Though HW is hardly the definition of stealth.

AND LOOK out! IF on Tuesday morning GUY PEARCE ALSO turns up in Supporting for his vile abdicating King Edward VIII in “The King’s Speech” that’s going to show that “The King’s Speech” has much more support from within the Academy than many have thought.

He would, I’m guessing, replace Renner. And this would be, I think, Pearce’s first Oscar nomination. Whoa!

Most BAFTA nominations 14! for “The King’s Speech”!!!And 3 for Noooooomi!!

WELLLLLLL, THIS is good news! After the wretch-fest that was this year’s best-quickly forgotten Golden Globs, the British Academy Awards equivalent, the BAFTAs corrected all the wrongs and nominated “The King’s Speech” for 16 Awards! YAY!

I’m sooooo relieved!

I tell you, I keep hearing from Academy Voting Members that they LOVE, LOVE, LOVE “The King’s Speech” and I knew of course, the British would go for it en masse, and they did. The Oscar nominations are all in, and being tabulated as we speak by their accountants, counting all the nomination ballots by hand. Yes, that’s the way they do it. Still. But it guarantees secrecy. Were these to be sent in online, they could be hacked into, so THAT’S where the Academy stands on the Internet. And the Film I Will Not Name got a paltry six, an embarassingly small number, after trouncing “The King’s Speech” at the Awardsfest this weekend. All is suddenly right with the world. Of course, Colin Firth won all contests.

Best Picture, Actor(Colin Firth), Best Supporting Actor(Geoffrey Rush) and Best Supporting Actress(Helena Bonham-Carter), Best Original Screenplay(David Seidler) and every thing else under the British sun, including Best Make-Up!

The Best Actress category was the biggest surprise with BOTH Annette Bening and Julianne Moore from “The Kids Are All Right”, which I think the Oscars are going to do. Natalie Portman, natch, and NOOOOOOOMI Rapace for “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest”!?! Soooo thrilled for NOOOOOOOOOOOOOMI! And Hailee Steinfeld!?!?

This leaves out Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence(for “Winter’s Bore”thank goodness!! ) and also sadly Michelle Williams.

“The Girl Who Kicked…” also turned up with two other nominations for Best Screenplay, and also best foreign film!!!

I think FINALLY “The King’s Speech” is going to sweep here and this may influence the Oscar’s end result. One can only hope.

Other significant left-outs – Melissa Leo in Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”!! Amy Adams made it in here. And so, I’m happy to point out did Miranda Richardson. And of course, left IN is Helena Bonham-Carter who I mentioned earlier ^ and she will probably triumph here. Also, happily the great Barbara Hersey made it into this category instead of the massively mediocre Mila Kunis for “Black Swan.” 

Congratulations to Colin, Geoffrey, Helena, Miranda, Barbara, director Tom Hooper and NOOOOOMI! WOWOWOW!

So now if you’re counting such things, and we KNOW you are, that’s “The King’s Speech” getting more than TWICE the amount of that OTHER film. The one about typing.

For a complete list see www.goldderby.com and also of course, www.awardsdaily.com

Gold Derby also points out how influential the BAFTAS are on the Oscars these past few years since it switched it’s ceremony time to come down RIGHT DURING the actual Oscar voting. I still think her win at BAFTA and Daniel Day Lewis’ wonderful words about her perfomance as Edith Piaf, helped win the virtually unknown Marion Cotillard her unexpected(but not by me) Oscar for Best Actress!

Guy Lodge, a Brit himself, has plenty o’ insight into this Brit fest at Chris Tapley’s great oscar site www.incontention.com

Oh, and congratulations and thank you, too, to Rising Stars nominees Gemma Arterton”Tamara Drewe” and Aaron Johnson “Nowhere Boy”!

DGA announces its’ Nominees for Best Director!

Newsflash, Oscarwatchers! Dear readers, dear cineastes, the all mighty Directors Guild just announced their nominees. Five only. For best director of a motion picture 2010.

This announcement is RRREALLY good news for the nominated directors and their pictures. And bad news for those that are left out.

Some surprises, of course.

Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech” His first nomination

Christopher Nolan, “Inception” Nominated twice before for “Momento”(one of my top ten films of the DECADE! And also, the Batman sequel “The Dark Knight”)

Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan” Also a first-time nominee!

and the Big Surprise, the universally not-liked David O. Russell of “The Fighter” shows that yes, they like him, they really like him.

And of course, David Fincher, who was nominated once before for “Benjamin Button” is nominated AGAIN for that Film I Will Not Name.

Surprisingly, no Coens for “True Grit” which is doing so well at the box-office. Also, no Danny Boyle for “127 Hours.” Bad news for those films and though they may make it into the Oscar Top Ten, this puts their actors suddenly in a big of jeopardy, to put it mildly.

Also, no John Cameron Mitchell for “Rabbit Hole.” So Nicolle Kidman look out.

No Lisa Cholodenko for “The Kids Are All Right” and no Debra Granik for “Winter’s Bone.” So all male nominees. No women at all after last year’s great breakthrough triumph of Katherine Bigelow winning Best Director for “The Hurt Locker.”

Also out, I’m now thinking is Matt Damon for “True Grit” although Jeff Bridges and the awful tyke Hailee Steinfeld seem in the stronger positions in their categories.

Also, no Tony Goldwyn for “Convinction.” Not good news for Hillary Swank. Though I think the never nominated Sam Rockwell could surprise in Supporting.

Also, not good for James Franco’s Best Actor chances of “127 Hours.” I think he’ll get a nomination but without a directing nomination, “127 Hours” is in a much weaker position than it was yesterday. Although people aren’t going to it.

I think these five gentlemen are IN LIKE FLINT though as Nominees for Best Director at the Oscars.

Congratulations to Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech” who is the one who named me the Oscar Messenger, let’s not forget!

This group of five men are locked and loaded. So now we know…

Parsing the BAFTA’s Long List’s Supporting Asterisks

Ok, we continue. With the BAFTA’s Long List and their Supporting Actor and Actress asterisks. OK. Once again I have to thank www.awardsdaily.com and Sasha Stone for putting up the whole she-bang so that we can react to it. In astonishment or wonder or delight or all of the above.

The BAFTAs once again, I know I’m repeating myself, but yes, this IS an odd system. I lived in England for many, many years and went to school there, too. So yes, EVERYthing is a bit odd. A bit eccentric. But the British LIKE eccentrics. In fact, they are cultivated there and even celebrated.

I was told when I lived there that I was a British eccentric, too. And I thought that they were perhaps overstating the case, but now, I think they were completely right.

But I digress…

So the BAFTAs publish this LONNNNNNNNNNNNNNG list first (see www.awardsdaily.com Everyone MUST see Awardsdaily. It’s a must-read, especially that now that we are in the heat of Awards season.) And for the first time this year, since I am now writing this blog on almost a daily basis.

I now have the platform to write about these little details, these minutae of the Awards Seasons. I guess this is something I’ve always wanted to do, but never did. But now I am. It’s like a damn bursting.

And I never noticed it before, but the BAFTAs put an asterisk on the names of five actors and actresses in their LONNNNNNG lists in each category, of who gets the most votes.

I don’t know why THEY JUST DON’T PUBLISH the darn nominations, goshdarnit! And let up the suspense. But then, that’s probably precisely WHY they do it this way. To build up suspense. Interest. It’s Hitchcockian. But then of course, Alfred Hitchcock was British.

So in Supporting Actor we have ~ WITH asterisks ~

ANDREW GARFIELD – For that movie I will not name. He also got a Golden Globe nod, but NOT a SAG, which is probably more significant, in that he IS British, and so you’d expect him to turn up here. And the Hollywood FOREIGN press would go for him, too. However, the ACTORS did not which is significant. Garfield was also long listed for “Never Let Go” but not asterisked. And that film, as well done as it was, bombed on both sides of the Atlantic. But Andrew is this year’s Hot Young Brit, so yes, he’ll be nominated here, but I don’t think he’s going to be nominated for an Oscar. And I don’t think he’ll win the Globe either.

BOB HOSKINS– “Made in Dagenham” A beautiful, sensitive performance as the union guy who’s SYMPATHETIC to the women strikers. And no,  not  a chance. No Globe nom seals it.

CHRISTIAN BALE-“The Fighter” Yes, of course, he’s in. And he’s also British. Yes, he is.

GEOFFREY RUSH– “The King’s Speech” Yes, of course he’s in. Superb career performance

MARK RUFFALO-“The Kid’s Are All Right”- Well, yes, of course. A SAG and a Golden Globe nom, too, make him ALMOST a slam-dunk. But if the BRITISH are voting for him, yes, I guess he’s in. Though will the SWORM(Straight White Old Rich Men) like his kinda negative male character back in Hollyweird. We’ll see.

Also listed but not asterisked Jeremy Renner for “The Town” the SAGs switched him out for Andrew Garfield. Last year the SAGs were 19 for 20 matching the Oscar Nominations. Except for Maggie Gyllenhaal and I HAD HER!!!!!

Vincent Cassel is long listed to in this category for “Black Swan.”AND NO MICHAEL DOUGLAS!

 Justin Timberlake was long-listed but no Armie Hammer! Is Armie the total dark horse now? Guess so. His Winklevoss Twins is STILL the Best Performance in that goddamn whatzit.I really thought they were two different actors playing both twins!! I DID!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

This is the one category that even stumped the New York Times’ Oscar section. So much so, they didn’t even write about it in their OSCAR section of the Arts & Leisure section this past Sunday! This is reminding me of the year that Tilda Swinton won, in that it is a race that is all over the place. Tilda was the only actress to keep appearing on everyone’s lists, although she was never on the top. But she was on every list.

Do the BAFTAs asterisks clear things up? Well, yes, and no.

AMY ADAMS– gets an asterisk and for the first time we see her in this category this year WITHOUT Melissa Leo’s companion performance in “The Fighter” glued to her side. She’ll get an Oscar nomination for sure now. Though it looks like Leo MIGHT not get a BAFTA nod, when they FINALLY announce it. But it looks like Amy will. Good for her.

BARBARA HERSHEY-“Black Swan” !!!! Turning up for the first time on a serious list, she’s the performance that the Academy is more likely to honor than the SAG and Golden Globe nominated Mila Kunis. Hershey had a rangey, multi-faceted performance. Is SHE driving her daughter insane or is it vice versa? It’s the real central conflict and Hersey’s dynamic, frightening MOM-FROM-HELL makes it work. Think “What would the “Black Swan” be without her performance?” So she’s on her way to a BAFTA nod it seems. She’s got an asterisk.

HELENA BONHAM-CARTER – “The King’s Speech” Natch. The one to beat. Everybody LOVED the Queen Mum. EVERYBODY. And that love will lead Helena to the Bafta podium. She’s certainly going to be Oscar nominated and I hope will win.

LESLEY MANVILLE “Another Year” BRILLIANT performance, much lauded, FINALLY turns up somewhere. Neither the Globes, nor the SAGs nommed her. She was totally left out. Small British Indie, but the Academy LOVES Mike Leigh. Sony Pictures Classics has been campaigning her in lead and it’s been the biggest mistake of this year’s Oscars. BAFTA her own country says she’s Supporting. Maybe the Academy will too. And nominate her FINALLY. But so far she’s only won the National Board of Review for Best Actress then NOTHING ELSE. Poor Leslie Manville. ANOTHER victim of category confusion.

And FINALLY~ MIRANDA RICHARDSON in “Made in Dagenham” Much pre-season heat, but not nommed by either the Globes or the SAGS. BAFTA has asterisked her. So maybe she could turn up as a surprise, too.

LOOKS like there’s going to be A LOT of surprises in the Supporting Actress category. Melissa Leo is not even asterisked here. Though she’s listed. Ditto Jackie Weaver. Ditto Mila Kunis.

AND HAILEE STEINFELD IS LISTED AS A BEST ACTRESS CONTENDER!?!? Though she is NOT asterisked….So you see, she’s already splitting her own vote. The Academy might leave her off completely and I wish they would. But “True Grit” is a hit and it’s blowing up so big…

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