Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cowboy Fever Part 2

So I have officially begun to worry about Heath Ledger's Oscar prospects for Brokeback Mountain. He has four traditional Oscar pluses to work with. 1) He's starring in a movie that will get nominated for Best Picture. 2) He's doing an accent 3) The film is seen as a turning point in his career and 4) He's sensational in the movie (the quality of a performance does play into the whole Oscar game, even if its never the deciding factor) But he's got several traditional problems.



Vote splitting: His Casanova performance is being called "career rescuing" --which is exactly what early buzz called the Brokeback turn. (How many times in one year can you save your career?), Age: He's 26. That's 1 year younger than Matt Damon when he was the youngest nominees in years for Good Will Hunting. That's 3 years younger than the youngest winner ever (Adrien Brody The Pianist) and much younger than the median nominee age. Fictional: This is the real problem. The one that worries me. For reasons which I've never completely fathomed most awards giving entities believe that portrayals of real people be they living or dead are automatically more impressive than performances of fictional characters. It's not even a point one can argue. It's statistically one of the truest biases year after year after year.

So cross your fingers for Heath and if you're an Academy voter and you love the "real" just think about how lived in and authentic this performance feels. It deserves a high rank on your ballot.

18 comments:

adam k. said...

I really don't think Ledger will have vote-splitting issues with Casanova.

But that said, he still could have problems. They do tend to prefer real people played by older men. But I'm not too worried because at this point, I think the lead actor race is really only 6 men deep: Hoffman, Phoenix, Feinnes, Bana, Straithairn and Ledger. Only one of them will get the boot on nomination day.

Ali said...
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Ali said...

I'd also call Anthony Hopkins's turn in "The World's Fastest Indian" a major player right now. He's getting amazing reviews for it. It could be one of those last minute, under-the-radar surprises that the Academy has in store.

But re: Ledger. I hope the cons don't affect him at all. If he is snubbed, I will take it very, very badly.

damian b. said...

well, the Independent Spirit noms came out today.

Actor gives many of the frontrunners a push, as well as Felicity Huffman and Michelle Williams.

Thoughts anyone? Nat?

NATHANIEL R said...

the reason i bring up vote splitting is that casanova will loom larger just as ballots go out. I expect Heath to be a double nominee at the Globes.

david m said...

Recently had to kill four hours waiting for a flight connection so went to a magazine store and read half a dozen Brokeback reviews... GQ/Premiere/Time etc.

Came away with the impression, for the first time, that Ledger could actually win this thing. Used to think the nomination would be his award. Not so sure now.

I agree that Hopkins is a dark horse looming on the horizon.

John T. said...

Yeah, I have the sneaking suspicion that Heath won't make it (though that could just be me not wanting to get my hopes up). I'm hoping for nods for both he and Ralph (and praying anyone else will take the trophy away from Phillip Seymour Hoffman-not picky who).

adam k. said...

A double nominee? Really?

I didn't think the Casanova trailer looked very good at all. Eh.

So then,
Joaquin Phoenix
Nathan Lane
Natthew Broderick
Cillian Murphy
Heath Ledger

If he's really double nominated, he may very well win in drama. I don't think he has a shot at the oscar, but a golden globe win could definitely happen.

I continue to be perplexed at the Casanova buzz and still don't see any vote-splitting happening. This isn't Nicole Kidman in 2001, people. Given the choice of films, it's a no-brainer.

par3182 said...

if 'casanova' lives up to the venice hype i suspect that older male members of the academy would rather vote for heath for being the legendary ladies man. a little bit of wish fulfillment, perhaps?

Bruce Packer said...

I don't know why Nathe always makes a drama about vote-splitting. I read the Oscar rules the other day, and vote splitting is actually a good thing cos they sume up your votes. So the more awards worthy films that you deliver in a year the most chance you got of being nominated.

Kamikaze Camel said...

It does feel awfully similar to Nicole in 2001. One a big Oscar hopeful and the other a genre piece that's getting surprising notices. Except the drama/MC are reversed.

You know whatelse it reminds me of? Dennis Hopper in 1986. Everyone expected him to get nommed for Blue Velvet but then the Academy went and gave him this nod for, er, Hoosiers. The movie that wasn't controversial and taboo.

I do think, however, he will get nominated for Brokeback Mountain. It really does seem like he's too good to ignore. And if they do indeed snub him for a nomination, it will not look good.

And Casanova looks like a great time. If this was a different, less cynical year, I would even hazzard a guess and say it could go Shakespeare In Love levels. But it won't, and I won't.

However, I remember watching Australia's top 2 critics David & Margaret in Venice talking about Heath and his movies. They were complaining that others didn't like Casanova because they were "afraid to have fun at a film festival"... and that made me laugh.

-Glenn

adam k. said...

Am I the only one who thinks Casanova looks terrible?

It's a Lasse Hallstrom attempt at lowbrow period comedy. Need I say more.

It looks really bad.

Kamikaze Camel said...

but... i hate you

-Glenn

(PS; no i don't (of course not) I just think it looks delightful)

NATHANIEL R said...

bruce -vote splitting is a real problem. I'm not sure what rule you were reading but if 5 members vote for Heath in Casanova and 5 in Brokeback, it doesn't add up to 10.

I think there's some odd rule about if voters vote for the same person and performance in two SEPARATE categories (supporting and lead) that the votes end up pooled in whichever category is ahead. but I'm a little fuzzy on that.

Bruce Packer said...
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Bruce Packer said...

Look up paragraph 5:

. Reminder lists including the casts of all eligible pictures shall be sent with nominations ballots to all active members of the Academy Actors Branch who shall vote in the order of their preference for not more than five acting achievements in each category: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Best Performance by a Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

2. The five acting achievements in each category receiving the highest number of votes shall become the nominations for final voting for the Acting Awards.

3. A performance by an actor or actress in any role shall be eligible for nomination either for the Best Performance in a Leading Role or for the Best Performance in a Supporting Role. If, however, all the dialogue has been dubbed by another actor, the performance shall not be eligible for award consideration. Singing which is dubbed will not affect the performer's eligibility unless it constitutes the entire performance. The determination as to whether a role is a lead or support shall be made individually by members of the branch at the time of balloting.

4. The leading role and supporting role categories will be tabulated simultaneously. If any performance should receive votes in both categories, the achievement shall only be placed on the ballot in that category in which, during the tabulation process, it first receives the required number of votes to be nominated. In the event that the performance receives the numbers of votes required to be nominated in both categories simultaneously, the achievement shall only be placed on the ballot in that category in which it receives the greater percentage of the total votes.

5. In the event that two achievements by an actor or actress receive sufficient votes to be nominated in the same category, only one shall be nominated using the preferential tabulation process and such other allied procedures as may be necessary to achieve that result.

6. In the event that an actor or actress receives a sufficient number of votes to be nominated for one achievement in one category and for another achievement in the other category, both achievements shall be eligible.

7. Final voting for the Acting Awards shall be restricted to active and life Academy members.

NATHANIEL R said...

but paragraph five is in the case when BOTH performances qualify (vote tally wise) for a nomination.

so vote splitting is very dangerous because you can still end up with more votes but with the 6th and 7th most and thus shut out altogether.

The two separate performances are not joined together for tabulation. This rule only means that you can't be nominated twice in the same category.

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