a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘The Social Network’

Oscar God Dave Karger of EW speaks out!

Well, my own personal choice for Oscar God, Dave Karger, is speaking out all over the place. He’s turning up on www.goldderby.com chatting with Tom O’Neil about Best Picture and Director and he’s on a podcast at the Hollywood Reporter talking about A LOT of things Oscar with Scott Feinberg www.thehollywoodreporter.com

Thx to poster Sia for sending me their podcast which was very interesting. Until it kept disconnecting itself. Grrr…but I got most of it. It was fascinating.

OGDave, ever polite, to both Feinberg and O’Neil and always measured in his responses, has to, in the back of everything, justify that OUTrageous gaffe of a cover Oscar Race issue of EW, a couple of weeks back, with George Clooney and Viola Davis looking and acting like they already won! What nerve! And how precipitous if not downright presumptive of them both, and of  course, EW, too. And of course, comes the Globes this past Sunday and Meryl Streep wins! George does, too, but ouch! For Viola losing, and making that cover invalid! Just, OUCH!

I think neither of them are going to win. George already has an Oscar and even O’Neil in ANOTHER Skype-like podcast(yes, with pictures) admits that he thought Le Clooney’s speech was more like Le Clown-ey. “Missed opportunities! Missed opportunities!” O’Neil said that also about presumptive Supp. Actress winner Octavia Spencer. “It was a list! It was just a LIST” bemoaned Our Tom. And of course, he’s right.

Tom thinks like I do that Michelle Williams is the upset winner and Dave Karger, in his podcast with Scott Feinberg even admitted that “in the case of a close vote, there can be a split, and a third party gets through.” He was saying this to Feinberg in relation to Viola Davis winning the BFCA and Meryl winning, the much more highly viewed Golden Globes, on NBC.

Our Dave was sweating a little there, I thought. And it’s all very interesting, because these men, live and breathe Oscar, well, just like you and me, dear readers, dear cineastes.

Tom O’Neil created this whole Internet Oscar game we are all now so invested in. And Dave Karger is certainly one of the best. Dave and I and also, possibly, Anne Thompson www.indiewire.com

last year were the only ones standing by “The King’s Speech” and our conviction that is was going to win and win BIG was not the popular choice at this time last year.

Tom, and Scott both ask Dave if he thinks that “The Artist” is still way out in front, and Dave says “Yes, it is.” End of story. It’s a “Slumdog Millionaire” slam dunk. But Dave hedges to both Tom and Scott that he doesn’t think it’s going to “sweep the guilds like ‘The King’s Speech’ did last year, where it won everything.”

He’s talking about the upcoming PGA, which is when SUDDENLY TKS started winning everything. That was such an exciting day for me!The PGA is the Producer’s Guild and they announce this Sunday, I think.

I was fortunate enough to have gotten to Colin Firth AND Tom Hooper FIRST at the Toronto Film Festival  Sept. 2010, and told them the Oscar news as I saw it,  which is when Tom named me “The Oscar Messenger,” and the name, as you all know stuck, and I was right! He won! And so did “The King’s Speech!”

And yes, I agree with Dave that “The Artist” is going to win Best Picture, and he doesn’t really see anything stopping it, unless “Tate Taylor(“The Help”) gets a Best Director nomination,” which would be coming from the VERY exclusive Director’s Branch of the Academy. I don’t see that happening.

Tom brings up the chance that Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” could upset everything, and Dave literally pooh-poohs that onscreen, in the politest way possible, of course. Dave is nothing if not a gentleman.

When pressed by Scott Feinberg about Supporting Actor, he gets Dave to admit “it’s all over the map,” (except for Christopher Plummer winning) which is what I posted yesterday. Were they reading my blog? I hope so. Let it also be said that despite our violent dispute over Melissa Leo last year, Scott was an always agreeable and friendly presence on the awards circuit. And so far he’s the only one who has been nice enough to link to this blog. Again, thank you, Scott, for that.

But now with his new job at The Hollywood Reporter as THEIR Oscar guy with “The Race” and “Feinberg and Friends,” which is where the podcast I’m speaking of was located, he’s like a steam roller in his enthusiasm and energy and STATISTICS about the Oscar race. He’s very young, not long out of college, if truth be told, and so last year OF COURSE he was going to side with “The Joy of Typing.” It was about the Internet! Of course, it was going to win!

And I always countered with the fact that a large portion of Academy are barely online. Hence their WTF reaction to it.

The stuttering King of England, now THAT they could understand!

Tom keeps Dave and his conversation limited to Best Picture and Best Director and will probably cover the other categories before the Nomination Morning of Tues. Jan. 24.  But I thought one of the most interesting observations of Dave’s was to Tom, about Best Director, that Martin Scorcese won too recently (for “The Departed”) to win again for “Hugo” as he did on Sunday at the Globes.

And Dave does emphasize that the Broadcast Film Critics AND the Globes’ HFPA have NOTHING to do with the Academy, as I’ve been saying all along. They are PRESS. And NONE of those people are Academy Members.

Compassionate Dave seems to listen to all  the members of the Academy that he can. Whereas I think Scott, because he’s so young himself, listens to people his own age. Most of whom are NOT members of AMPAS, and if they are they are in the minority.

I myself here in NYC do not sense any kind of overwhelming love for “The Help” which Scott and Dave(that cover again) and to a lesser extent Tom said they feel ~ out in L.A. It’s a different world out there, granted. But here, if I had to say anything could surprise “The Artist”, it’s “Midnight in Paris.” I keep hearing how much everyone LOVES it here. And I hear that LOVE expressed about “The Artist,” too.

And one of the most interesting things Dave says about “The Bridesmaid” topic(it keeps turning up like the proverbial bad penny) is that he thinks Kristen Wiig is going to get a screenplay nomination and that “If anyone can upset Octavia Spencer in Supporting Actress, it’s Melissa McCarthy”!!!! From “Bridesmaids”!!!

I don’t think, and Stu Van Airsdale of www.movieline.com thinks that she’s even going to get nominated.

And on another note, Glenn Close had an hour-long interview about her career on PBS. And when they showed a clip of her as Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Sunset Boulevard”, it just took my breathe away at how wonderful she was in was probably her finest hour. Now if only they’d make THAT into a movie! She won the Tony for that too, in a walk, and she deserved it.

Oscar’s Pesky Supporting Categories. Mucho loco.

Oh, those pesky Oscar Supporting Categories! They are sooo hard to pin down, always, but this year’s there’s so much movement it makes the potential nominees look like Mexican jumping beans!

And no SAG didn’t match the Golden Globes, and they both didn’t match the  (Broadcast Film Critics Assoc.) But look who these groups REALLY represent. Look closely. And the first thing you may notice is that the Broadcast Film Critics, is made up, of mostly, well, film critics.

And there are NO film critics in the Academy. Repeat after me. THERE ARE NO FILM CRITICS IN THE ACADEMY.

And Stu Vanairsdale’s www.movieline.com excellent depiction of the Hollywood Foreign Press as “swag monkeys” is sooo apposite I want to adopt it just for my own, but yes, that defines them. ABSOLUTELY. And also, they are PRESS. And yes, repeat after me…no don’t bother. There’s no press in the Academy either….

So the fact that Michael Fassbender didn’t get a SAG nom is much more significant than it may at first seem. AND he’s urinating on-screen. Literally pissing his nomination away. And that’s how Demian Bichir got HIS SAG nom, playing a heroic Hispanic gardener. Yeah, this category this year . It’s a pisser.

But also not nominated for SAG was Albert Brooks from “Drive” and that make me wonder. He was nominated for Supporting Actor by both the BFCA and the GG, but to be left out of SAG may be fatal.

Why was Brooks not nominated for “Drive”? Maybe because THEY DIDN’T WATCH “DRIVE.” SAG gave nothing to “Drive” whereas the BFCA nominated it A LOT.

Who was nominated in Brooks’ place? Armie Hammer for “J. Edgar!” Stupendous in “The Joy of Typing” as BOTH Winklevoss twins, he’s riding a crest of good will. And Academy members keep exclaiming “I loved J.Edgar!” Which is something obviously Stu V. isn’t hearing.

And Hammer benefits by being in Leo DiCaprio’s shadow. He gets to kiss him, after all (Degree of difficulty!) And even though “J. Edgar” was left off the PGA list, it made MY Ten Best, and I STILL think it’s another Clint Eastwood masterpiece. THAT could be a surprise BP pop-up on Oscar Nomination Day, which is Tuesday Jan.24.

AMPAS members are voting right now on their choices of nominations. Yes, they are. And so what’s on their minds? Well, “The Artist” for one, which is going to get more nominations than any other film this year. And Berenice Bejo is on her way to a for sure Best Supporting Actress nomination and possibly even a win, in my book.

The Argentinian/French beauty carries as much of the film as the stalwart Jean Dujardin, who did win the Best Actor prize in Cannes this year. And she got a BFCA, a SAG nod, and also a Golden Globe nomination. So she was the triple crown of nods as it were.

And she also just won BEST ACTRESS in the Rome Film Festival which just wrapped last week.

So she’s definitely on a roll, and she’s also married IRL to “The Artist” s front-runner for Best Director Michel Hazanaviscius. And HE’S probably going to win Best Director across the board, and if she won, too, that would be the first time in Oscar history that a husband and wife team won double Oscars, a quaint touch that the Academy may very likely find too charming to resist, too. Just like their movie!

They’re French, and SOOOO in love! And so happy!

Berenice’s main competition is Octavia Spenser for “The Help.” Spencer, an unknown up until this season, also was a recipient of a SAG, BFCA & a GG nod. So she’s almost assured of a nomination. But she’s an Academy newbie. Her memorable performance as the foul-mouthed Minnie is the kind of role that gets nominated but doesn’t necessarily WIN awards.

And there was that shitting in the pie scene. Unlike Michael Fassbender, we don’t SEE her doing it, thank god, but she does do it, and then serves it to Bryce Dallas Howard, RON HOWARD’S daughter! in real life, who plays the villainess Hilly so well here in “The Help.”

Stu V. and Tom O’Neil at www.GoldDerby.com and many others have her as a frontrunner in Supporting Actress, but I wonder….

I do NOT think the Academy is open-minded enough to award TWO African-American actresses in ONE year. One of them, maybe, but not both. And Viola Davis is pictured and named as “The Frontrunner” on this week’s Entertainment Weekly annual Oscar issue. She’s pictured with George Clooney, which actually could be the kiss of death. They could BOTH not win.

And the two “Help” women, may split the “Help” vote. And neither wins.

It’s a very interesting year in that the actress categories are so up-in-the-air.

And it just goes to show that Meryl Streep’s reviews for “The Iron Lady” were sooooo bad that they vaulted Viola Davis on to the cover of EW!

And Shailene Woodley of “The Descendants” was not nominated for a SAG award either.  Too young, merely a teenager. But Janet McTeer of “Albert Nobbs” was…and Stu V. has Glenn Close of “Albert” slipping out of the locked five in Best Actress, being replaced by Rooney Mara. I don’t see that happening. But Janet McTeer has ALSO scored the trifecta of BFCA, SAG & GG.

And then there’s Jessica Chastain & her 5000 films she was in this year’s problem. What to nominate her for? Well, if it’s for “The Help” (a good perf, but not great) she’d also be splitting the “Help” vote with Spencer and then…and then…Berenice Bejo wins!

And Vanessa Redgrave could win in this category, but she’s been nominated nowhere so far and it seems like NO body is watching “Coriolanus.”

And then there’s sweet Carrie Mulligan who shows HER nether regions in “Shame.” But oh yes, since she’s a young girl, that could help her…but so far…No nominations…which is a REAL shame.

And Christopher Plummer? He won this race, Supporting Actor, the minute his marvelous film “Beginners” opened in May. The question that plagues us Oscar-ers and Oscar-ettes, is who’s going to be nominated in that category and lose to him. Plummer has never seen so, well, plummy. And he’s experiencing the most attention and love he’s perhaps ever gotten in his long and very chequered career. He’s very grand, too, as Herbert Wanger in “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” It’s his year. He’s everywhere!

Noomi v. Rooney~ Take Two~ “Dragon Tattoo” FINALLY lands…

So it is with great trepidation that I look forward to Monday and the inevitable screening of the American version of “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Will I like or won’t I? I would like to THINK I am approaching this with an open mind. But I wonder…

If you saw all three brilliant, beautiful Swedish movies and read all the books and had the privilege of interviewing Noomi Rapace herself, how un-prejudiced, how objective  can you really be?

I mean, I’ve gone on record with my indignant “How dare they remake perfection?” and you can look back in this blog to find many, many posts on Steig Larsson and Lisbeth Salander and how wonderful I thought this all was…The three Swedish movies and those three great un-put-downable books…

So I didn’t REALLY press the press people behind this film. I mean, there was this EMBARGO and all, I guess Sony(who is the producer of this $125 million REMAKE) figured that they knew I probably wouldn’t like it so they didn’t pursue me and I didn’t pursue them and there was this awful embargo thingie.

And everyone kept saying “It’s not an Oscar movie.” anyway…so I took it easy…but now that the embargo is lifted and the reviews are starting to pile in and pile up…and they’re GOOD…I’m beginning to thaw towards Rooney Fincher…I think of them as one…

MAYBE I might even enjoy this.

I feel so terrible for Noomi Rapace. But maybe…just maybe…I might actually LIKE this movie….This is a pre-review. I’m “reviewing the situation” as Fagin sang so memorably in “Oliver!” another Best Picture winner of years gone by…

Oscar Goddess Sasha Stone just LOVED it to pieces. But then of course, she’s a HUGE Fincher fan. Read her moving pieces, by all means, at  www.awardsdaily.com But Stu VanAirsdale at www.movieline.com said in his ESSENTIAL Oscar Index this week that she was the only one…

But then more reviews, like Owen Gleiberman in EW www.ew.com wrote very movingly about it. And Rooney Fincher DID get a Golden Globe nomination, and then and then….

A fellow journo, a broadcast TV producer took me out to dinner tonight at my favorite place in NYC Angus McIdoe’s www.angusmcindoe.com and he told me that he had just done the “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo” TV junket THIS AFTERNOON!!!??!!!

I had no idea it was TODAY! And obviously, I wasn’t invited…and well, my friend, who had read none of the books, and HAD seen the movie, liked it. He thought it was “interesting.” Hmmm…

And he said Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig were taking it VERY seriously. And Christopher Plummer and Stellan Sarsgaard were not. THEY were incredibly jolly and having the time of their lives, evidently. Stellan, who I’ve interviewed many, many times, stood up and greeted every journalist as they came in the TV junket door.

No one ever does that.

And Christopher Plummer was jovial personified, my friend said. Well, I countered “Of COURSE, he is. He’s having the biggest moment of his career. He’s in this BIG movie, and he’s going to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor this year. Of COURSE, he’s in a good mood!” And he was incredibly funny and witty as only Canadians can be when they’re on a role.

And Rooney Fincher? She said as my friend entered her suite that she was in a bad mood. Guess she was still in character…Did she say that to allll the journalists?

But in all fairness, the movie is riding on HER, and her performance, and even though she’s got Cynthia Swartz on her side, she doesn’t have Harvey Weinstein. She’s got Scott Rudin, whose dreaded EMBARGO seems to have nearly killed the buzz on this film…I mean, it’s all a tad late, isn’t it?

To open a film this late in the (Oscar) season, and to junket it TODAY when Christmas is nearly upon us…Peace on Earth. Good will towards men. The OPPOSITE philosophy of Lisbeth Salander. The Feel Bad Movie for Xmas…

Well, I guess I’m in the mood for it…Buzz is starting. People seem to have wildly divergent reactions to it.

Kristopher Tapley got into an almost-fight in his podcast with St. Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood www.indiewire.com Anne REALLY liked it. She really, REALLY liked it. Like Sasha did. And Krist HATED it…

But he admitted to liking Rooney Fincher’s performance…Hmmm…

Well, if Sasha and Anne and OWEN liked it…

But one thing’s for sure. It’s TWO HOURS AND A HALF!!!!!

Well, on Monday I’ll let you all know what I thought. Or for sure on Tuesday.

And I DID like “Se7en” and “Zodiac”…HATED “Fight Club” and “The Joy of Typing”….so…we’ll see…Is it too late-breaking for Oscar? Everyone says “Yes” but maybe I’ll like it just for itself.

My friend said they took the book very, very seriously. I liked the sound of that…

But can Rooney erase the memory of Noomi?

“Rise of Planet of Apes” & “Friends W/Benefits” -Good Summer Fun, but no Oscars

I liked both “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and “Friends With Benefits.” They’re good, solid summer fare, popcorn movies, but Oscar won’t be awarding any grand prizes for films that are just, well, fun. Entertaining for sure, in that good ole fashioned way that movies USED to be. But which Hollywood seems to have forgotten how to do in recent years.

Yes, yes, I broke my pre-festival rule, and went to see two movies that AREN’T going to be in any of upcoming three festivals that I’m attending(Toronto, Montreal and then New York). I can’t believe it did it, but I did. I had accomplished enough pre-festival prepping-wise, so I went.

The critical hullabaloo that “Apes” was causing made me go, quite frankly. I skipped all the earlier Ape re-incarnations years back. Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans and Roddy MacDowell in monkey masks was an insulting, belittling of great, talented actors to my then teenaged mind. So no. I didn’t go. I’m not a fan of acting with masks in any case.

But the reviews for “Rise of the Planet…” were so ecstatic I just HAD to go. And I had to see if James Franco, whom I did once interview, and whom I’ve always liked, a lot, would recover from his Oscar debacle and his dissing of my BFF Anne Hathaway. And the answer to both questions is yes, and yes

Yes, ROTPOTA works and yes, James is just FINE, in this, his comeback movie, as it were, the first big one post-Oscar hosting…He, and his girlfriend in the film, the lovely Frida Pinto both throw themselves whole-heartedly into acting opposite the performance-capture performance of Andy Serkis as the ape instigator Caesar. And his Oscar fuck-up becomes a mere hiccup in what is obviously going to be a very long and very popular career.

And Andy Serkis’ unseen performance is extraordinary. It’s on a par with his Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Tower” and “Return of the King.” He once again was mesmerizing, and particularly so in the early parts of the movie as the young chimpanzee who is adopted by humans.His Caesar is smart and gifted and so much like Nim, the subject of “Project Nim”(which I reviewed for www.awardsdaily.com when I was at the Provincetown Film Festival earlier this year.)

Nim was also a very smart chimp who was being raised by humans as an experiment…which goes awry as the wild animal within him begins to assert himself and he is eventually shipped off to a chimp “sanctuary” just like Caesar is in “Rise…” with tragic results in Nim’s case, but triumphant ones for Caesar as he begins his vengeful quest for world domination, which of course is the “third act” as they now call it of this movie.

It works. Serkis’ Caesar and Franco and Pinto all work and are involving. And John Lithgow is compelling as Franco’s Alzheimer’s riddled father and Brian Cox does great hefty work as the proprietor of the Chimp Hotel that Caesar gets sent to.

It’s good for what it is. Which is an old-fashioned SciFi Horror Movie spruced up and made new with all these CGI effects. AND Andy Serkis scoring yet again, sight unseen, as the wordless chimp.

But one of the Best Pictures of the Year? I don’t think so. But then accept for “Harry Potter”s finale and the magnificent “Midnight in Paris” it’s been a pretty dismal year so far.

And Oscar isn’t going to reward this. But who cares? It’s just good popcorn fun.

The exact same thing can be said about “Friends with Benefits” which I liked A LOT. And more than I liked “Rise…” actually. Why? Well, for starts, it has PEOPLE in it. And Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis give great star-making turns, revealing flairs for light comedy that is going to propel them into many, many rom-coms in the future, which is fine with me.

They are both VERY watchable on screen and are both revelations and fun, fun, fun.

Again, Oscar doesn’t take comedy seriously.

BUT I DO.

And I know how difficult it is to pull off this light-as-air genre. And Timberlake and Kunis, both new to starring roles in this genre, do it just fine, thank you very much.

They are two young execs in New York(which never looked hipper or more fun in a LONNNNNNG time) who after a lot of preliminary blah-blah-blah decide to have sex, but not any kind of “relationship, just sex” and as they say, hilarity ensues. AND lots of sex scenes. LOTS of them. And he’s more nude more often than she is. Which is refreshing.

And yes, he does sing a few notes and busts a few moves, both in and out of his clothes. And his sense of comic timing is just masterful. They were both delights to watch.

And no one was more surprised than I that I liked them both so much. And I liked “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, too.

Two enjoyable movies. I guess I’m on a roll.

The BAFTAS predict the Oscars quite often lately

Last night the BAFTAS pretty much accurately predicted who’s going to win what in the Best Picture and Actors categories.

Before I go further, let me once again, explain that the BAFTAs voting procedures are different from the Oscars in that EVERYone, every member, votes on the categories of Best Picture and all four acting categories.

HOWEVER, the British Guilds vote for each of the other categories, like Best Director. And they gave it to David Fincher for “The Joy of Typing” and not home boy Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech.” THAT was probably the most shocking event of the evening, as “The King” ruled over seven categories! Taking home the most BAFTAS of any film, seven, including Best Picture, Best British Picture, Best Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Best Original Screenplay and Best Score.

I bring up the directing statistic as an example of how the Brits don’t necessarily honor their own. As for instance, Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient”) and Sam Menzies(“American Beauty”) were dissed in Limey, losing in their own country, but winning the Oscar for Best Director,when Push came to SHOW!

Since Tom Hooper has already won the DGA for “The King’s Speech”. Since the Queen of England AND Andy Rooney (just yesterday, this Sunday on 60 Minutes) both endorsed TKS, I think he’s got that in the bag too.

As well as fellow “King”sters Colin (of course) Firth and Geoffrey Rush and FINALLY my fave Helena Bonham-Carter.

Rush winning over Brit bad boy Christian Bale is particularly significant, since Rush is ostentatiously Australian.

I had the pleasure last night of attending an event in his honor last night at the DGA where Rush got multiple ovations, some of them standing, but more about that later.

I have always maintained that the BAFTAs help make up undecided minds in the Academy. If AMPAS voters wait to see what the Brits do at the BAFTAS…especially in the top Acting Categories.

Had Annette Bening upset Natalie Portman(who didn’t even show up) in Best Actress, for instance, it would indicate that their was an undercurrent surging for Annette. No such luck. Natalie’s got it, as they say, locked up. And Colin(of course) Firth does, too.  No contest in either of those two categories. The same can also be applied to David Seidler, the real stutterer who penned “King’s Speech” from his heart and who won Best Original Screenplay.

I’m willing to concede (FINALLY) that Aaron Soreking will win Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Joy of Typing.” Even his constant comparing himself to Shakespeare didn’t put off the Brits, so yes, the Academy will follow suit and this may be the only award “Typing” wins at the Oscars…You heard it here first!

And Geoffrey and Helena!

Well, the category of Supporting Actress for those of you who have been following the story (and you wouldn’t be reading THIS if you weren’t) know how badly former front-runner Melissa Leo stumbled at the last yard and basically handed the award to yes, Helena Bonham-Carter!

Best Supporting Actress is a category like none other. And these year, to me, resembles the year, a few back, when it was a five-way horse race, and at the last possible minute, Tilda Swinton was anointed at the BAFTAs for “Michael Clayton” and then surprised everyone, but me, at the Oscars ten or so days later.

This year Best Supp. Actress is all over the place with two actresses both from the fighter, Leo, who wasn’t nominated by the BAFTAs AT ALL, and Amy Adams, who was. Only Amy and Helena B-C found approval from the BAFTAs and of course, she won, and gave a wacky, rambling, memorable and moving speech just as I foretold she would.

She wore a black Vivienne Westwood. And looked less bizarre than she did at the BFCA or was it the SAGs or was it the Golden Globes, when she wore two different colored shoes? It’s all starting to blur on me. And if I’M getting a bit blurry, imagine the Awards-circuit fatigue the average viewer is going through?!?

But the Oscars are STILL the Gold Standard(pardon the pun) and I really do think Helena aced this topsy-turvy category with her BAFTA win.

Geoffrey on the other hand, really has his hands full trumping Christian Bale in “The Fighter.” As good as Bale is in this popular film( I even liked it), he lost on his home turf,(yes, he IS British, too) to Rush’s supreme, stately, magnificent Speech Therapist Lionel Logue.

Rush has got his previous Oscar win in Best Actor for “Shine” and Bale is a first-time nominee.

But Rush now has the BAFTA as well as Sasha Stone www.awardsdaily.com predicting him now. And I’ve ALWAYS been predicting him. And Helena, too.

Helena’s competition is much less intense as what Rush has to contend with in Bale’s…but…

I think the BAFTAS have spoken. Last year, it was only the Supporting Categories that matched. No Bullock, no Bridges, but Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique won BAFTAs as well as Oscars. The year previous Mickey Rourke won, over Sean Penn. But then Mr. Rourke got up and made a really crude F=== this and F=== that acceptance speech, and pretty much handed the award to Penn with that embarrassing, graceless moment.

But in the two years previous, BAFTA was four for four with the Oscar actors.

This year, well, don’t be surprised by “The King’s Speech” being the sweep of sweeps.

And one more thing, I’d like to point out. In CONCLUSION, Academy voters in ALLLLL disciplines and branches get to vote on all the awards (except Foreign Film, Documentaries, and Shorts, where you have to sign in and actually ATTEND those screenings to vote in those categories.) So the Academy Voting Ballot is something you can go, check, check, check and TICK ALL THE BOXES, as Colin and Geoffrey are both wont to say. And just vote “The King’s Speech” ticket for everything!

And not to be outdone by the Brits, I also predict that even though “The King’s Speech” won SEVEN awards, the Oscar vote count will be higher, much higher, maybe even historic. The Oscar ballot is designed for sweeps, since in the below the line categories, the technicians are listed by their names and their films are not even listed! A lot of cross-checking has to be done filling out the AMPAS ballot to vote-split. It’s easier to just look at the “For You Consideration” screener of your favorite film and just go, tick, tick, BOOM from there. And I think most do.

Harvey Weinstein is probably fuming about the seven BAFTAS his “King” didn’t win. But not me! I’m thrilled with all the events happening around this beautiful, beautiful film!

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 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

DGA and SAG awards this weekend. NYC buried in MORE SNOW!

What follows up the Oscar Nominations in this the first Awards Season of my blog? SNOW, SNOW, and more SNOW!

It’s not snowing at the moment but there are traces of flurries here and there. It just never seems to STOP snowing! I’ve never seen a January like this! And it’s not over yet! There may be more coming this weekend.

It’s lovely to look at and a great excuse for not going out. Then the dreaded CABIN FEVER sets in!

And you do go out. I had a dentist appointment at a relatively distant location yesterday (but still in Manhattan) and I fell down FOUR times crossing the various street corners which have been plowed or rather NOT been plowed.

The Mayor got the streets plowed this time. But then the snow gets piled PARTICULARLY high on the street corners. And then the sun came out and you were dealing with piles of slush and I did not have the right footwear for this weather! So I was soaked from the ankles down. Shoes and socks were like walking, clinging puddles, they were so thoroughly wet-through.

Moral: Always carry AN EXTRA PAIR OF SOCKS, OR TWO, when going on these marathon treks!

The dentists almost didn’t want to go through with the procedure I was in such a state when I arrived, but they checked my blood pressure and my temperature and everything was shockingly normal, so we all decided to go ahead with it.

I was not wearing gloves (which were in my pocket, d’oh) when I kept falling over, so I was basically putting my bare hands into mountains of  snow, but as shockingly cold as each of these snow grabs were, my hands came up clean! Like I had just washed them!

Another NYC  lesson- take the SUBWAYS not the buses in weather like this.

Today was much better as it was relatively mild and the snow was even more plowed than yesterday and a lot of it had melted. Wednesday night, it went from rain, to snow, to sleet, all within a half hour’s journey.

But New Yorkers are very hardy and the dentists’ waiting area was PACKED yesterday! Nobody, it seemed was missing their appointments!

So, yes, after all the anticipation and hype surrounding the Big Reveal of the Oscar nominations, it’s been pretty much of a lull. The quiet before the storm of Awards this weekend will bring.

The DGA awards which are the Directors Guild, are expected to go with David Fincher for “The Joy of Typing.” It seems pretty much a foregone conclusion. But wait! Sasha Stone, our resident Oscar Goddess, has switched her prediction to TOM HOOPER, the amiable, young director of “The King’s Speech”!?!?! Has momentum shifted as much as I think it has?!? I couldn’t believe Sasha was saying that, but she LIVES in LA, and is like the Oracle of Delphi, and very adamant, and controversially so, this year about TJOT.

So this shift, and her defection for the Gurus o’ Gold, or rather, her abstaining…is well, startling…But Sasha knows what she knows, and being as she herself puts it “in the middle of the maze” I do listen to her…Although this year, I always thought it was “The King’s Speech” right out of Toronto, as all you reading this blog all know.

And Sasha was beyond zealous in her advocating for That Other Movie.

One thing is certain. All season long we AGREED on Colin Firth for Best Actor for “The King’s Speech.”

Now this tectonic(sp?) shift that occurred on Sunday-to-Tuesday morning, with “The King’s Speech” winning the PGA(producer’s guild) in a Awards season shocker. Then it getting 12 Oscar nominations, more than any other film on Tuesday morning, sure shook things up in Bloggerland. But it was something I’ve known all along.

“The King’s Speech” is an EXTRAORDINARY movie. In every aspect. I couldn’t BELIEVE I was being moved so profoundly by a story that on the surface wouldn’t be something that would’ve affected me, and audiences all over the world, like it has been doing. But it does!

Me, I think Tom Hooper’s a bloody genius. And if “The King’s Speech” is going to win Best Picture, as it seems now, it MIGHT, then Hooper should be named Best Director by the DGA.

Hooper also directed the Award-winning TV mini-series a couple of season’s back “John Adams” starring my faves Laura Linney and Paul Giamatti. I really must get a hold of it and see that. Paul and Laura both won Emmys. Hooper directs actors to award-winning performances.

And you know what that means? Actors LOVE him! And Actors are the largest branch of the Academy.

The Director’s Guild is however, a breed apart. When I was predicting the Oscars on my TV show, I shied away from the Best Directors category, because I always found the Directors, en masse, a difficult body to figure out.

By my sites, Tom Hooper is the Best Director of the Year and OMG! Colin’s performance as the stuttering King George VI is, as I told him on my show, “one of the great screen performances.’ And it is! Colin has won just about EVERY SINGLE MAJOR award so far this season.

And then we have the SAG Awards on Sunday night. One of the bothersome things about the DGA is that they don’t start til 8pm West Coast time and the Best Feature Film Director is given out dead last, at around 2AM EST, OR LATER.

Usually, I just pack it in, and wake up to whatever the news may be, on Sunday morning.

Now the SAGS are broadcast(check your local listings) at start at 5pm PST and that’s 8pm here. So it’s easier to do.

Are the SAME FOUR ACTORS going to continue their lock-step to the podium, as Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock,  Christophe Walsh, and Mo’nique did last year? If so then we’ll see Colin and Natalie and then Christian Bale and Melissa Leo triumph. But I wonder…

I still maintain that Bale isn’t well liked in the business and Melissa Leo hasn’t gone head-to-head with that monstrosity muppet Hailee Steinfeld yet. And Steinfeld could win here….The buzz is swirling around her. And the buzzards of Hollywood are too.

I don’t get it…but…there it is…

And for Best Ensemble? Which is the SAG equivalent of Best Picture? It’s either “The King’s Speech” or some think “The Fighter.”

EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of SAG, who’s paid their annual dues, can vote in this contest, that a HUGE voting body, and “The King’s Speech” and “The Joy of Typing” are the only two movies sent to EVERY SINGLE MEMBER as a DVD screener.

And if Colin Firth is an actor’s actor, then “The King’s Speech” could very well be considered an Actors’ Actor of a movie. And so…on Sunday…the winner is…Well, it’s probably NOT the “Joy of Typing”. Even Dave Karger at EW www.ew.com.

says it’s either TKS or “The Fighter” but he’s not hearing “The Joy of Typing.”

If “The King’s Speech” wins Best Ensemble and Tom Hooper wins the DGA, it really is all over already. And all I can say is Long Live the King!

And of course, check out the detailed results on www.awardsdaily.com

I wish Sasha and I were in agreement on what we consider the best film of the year, and most years we have been, but not, sadly, this year. But that’s what makes horse races. Which is what the Oscar race is, let’s face it.

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!!!

Oscar Nomination Predictions ~ Best Actor and Actress

Well, this year I feel the BAFTA nominations have had a huge impact – on me personally. I find myself THINKING about them more than I have ever had in my Oscar life before. Now the BAFTAs can’t influence the Oscar nominations which will be announced bright and early Tuesday morning. The only day of the year I actually look forward to getting up that early.

They CAN’T influence the actual Oscar nominations, as I’ve said , but they can TELL US something that perhaps we’ve not seen coming. And REVEAL what a large group of voters, supposedly the numbers are one in six Academy members, are thinking.

And first of all I’d say they REVEAL that Julianne Moore is much more IN the Best Actress race than just about everybody under the sun in the U.S. has given her credit for for “The Kids Are All Right.”

And their leaving out of BOTH Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Lawrence for “Rabbit Hole” and “Winter’s Bore” completely, shows us that these presumed locked ladies are not so locked at all.

We all can agree on Annette Bening for TKAAR and Natalie Portman for “Black Swan.”

And they have my favorite performance, who I also think is going to WIN, the BAFTA, Noomi Rapace, down for “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s”. Of course, she’s really being honored here for ALL THREE Steig Larsson films.  I think her Lisbeth Salander trumps Natalie Portman’s schizy ballerina. In British eyes.

But–

So my Best Actress nominees are –

ANNETTE BENING – The Kids Are All Right”

JULIANNE MOORE- ‘The Kids Are All Right”

NATALIE PORTMAN- “Black Swan”

NOOMI RAPACE-“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”

MICHELLE WILLIAMS- “Blue Valentine”

Putting Rapace in there is really going out on a limb…but…I do think the BAFTAS have pointed the way for this category this year. And I’m replacing their Haillee Steinfeld for “True Grit” with Michelle Williams. And I’m betting the Academy which seems hell-bent on honoring Steinfeld will put her in Supporting as I said yesterday. Which I think is where she belongs.

Best Actor, this is easier

JEFF BRIGES – “True Grit”

COLIN FIRTH “The King’s Speech”

JAMES FRANCO- “127 Hours”

JESSIE IRRITATINGBERG – “The Movie About Typing”

RYAN GOSLING- “Blue Valentine”

I think Robert DuVal is not going to make it in for that sub-par performance in “Get Low” or “How Low Can You Get?” or “How to Throw Your Own Funeral” which actually sounds like a fun movie with that title. But trust me, it isn’t.

Looking eastward again to the BAFTA nominees, I’ve got four of their five for Best Actress AND Best Actor! Now that’s an impact! Their fifth Best Actor Nominee is Javier Bardem for “Biutiful”…and he could sneak into that fifth slot, but I don’t think people have been watching the movie. Whereas they WILL have watched “Blue Valentine.”

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