Friday, July 21, 2006

The Queen (and other ladies in waiting)

In the past forty years of Oscar royalty we’ve had Queens Elizabeth I (twice), Queen Victoria, Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Anne Boleyn all in the running for acting prizes. If you expand the search into ladies who are queens in their own mind, the list of characters expands considerably. Royal status provides ready-made high drama and “look at me” acting opportunities.

I don’t remember why I didn’t include Helen Mirren in the original list of my April Fools Oscar predictions -- I may have mixed up her cable film Elizabeth I with her role as Elizabeth II in The Queen (yes she’s cornering the market in English monarchs in 2006) -- but now that I’ve updated the Best Actress Predictions page, you’ll see that she’s fighting it out with Streep & Winslet for the golden boy. The current lineup I’ve listed might be too much wishful thinking. It’s three actresses I deeply love, one I highly respect (this one), and one I don’t care for but who is starring in a film version of a play I deeply dig, so who knows… I might love her too.

After checking out the chart update, let me know what you think in the comments. This is too many prestigious actresses in one lineup right? Oscar loves to give the actual statue to starlets who've just proven themselves (Paltrow, Theron, Berry) instead of seasoned wonders (Mirren, Bening, Streep, Winslet) so perhaps the next Oscar goes to a less respected actor (Judd, Beyonce, Cruz) instead.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know you´re not fond of her but...

If Hounddog gets released this year, I would definitely put Dakota Fanning on the long list for her role as a sexually abused girl. Her mother, from what I hear, has already amditted it to being an Oscar vehicle.

-Jason

Gerry said...

Overall, your lineup (sans Judd who I can't stand) seems too good to be true. I also love Winslet, Streep and Bening and really like Mirren.

My hesitation with Mirren is twofold:
1) Is the film any good/noticeable enough;
2) Can the new Miramax push her through with a Christmas release (talk about glutted)

Though I do *certainly* belive she is in contention; I have her at #7 right now.

I'd have Beyonce higher as well. Not top five (at least not yet) but I'd say she's a surefire Globe nominee who might get swept in with Dreamgirls love (which I think will be substantial).
At least higher than Weaver (whose film I doubt will break out), Paquin (I'm just not feeling Margaret) and Cruz (Almodovar films are usually not praised for their acting and it tends to take something quite special for foreign performances to be nominated).

Overall, however, I love your analysis and look forward to more updates.

Arkaan said...

Yeah, Jason's right. Dakota Fanning, in lead or support, could be a contender. And if she's nominated, yes - I'm skipping the oscars.

re: ALmodovar films not praised for acting? I disagree. Cecilia Roth (All About My Mother) and Gael Garcia Bernal (Bad Education) both got sensational reviews.

I'm pretty confident that Gillian Anderson will be supporting for The Last King of Scotland, unless they beef up her role from the book considerably. And if Blanchett somehow makes it through the season without major recognition, I'll be very surprised (though you're right about expecting nominations for her. She can get buzz, but rarely follow through).

adam k. said...

re: Gael Garcia Bernal and Cecilia Roth being praised.

Yes, the reviews were sensational, and yes, they were great. But were they nommed? No. Not even close. And that's the operative issue here.

Yeah, I'd put Beyoncé somewhere in the top 10 zone above Weaver, Paquin, and Cruz, but beneath Blanchett and Dench.

I'm also still not totally convinced that Meryl Streep will be lead, but if she is, she's probably in, even in a year as strong as this one. This looks to be the best best actress year in a while... if it somehow ends up being Streep, Winslet, Bening, Kidman and Blanchett, I'll be ecstatic... though Judd does seem perfectly poised to the the deglam spoiler of this year... she's right about where Theron was circa early 2003, i.e. Pretty face that's falling fast. I think she took a hint and is hoping Bug will get her noticed in a big way.

adam k. said...

Also, I keep having waking nightmares that Beyoncé could beat Meryl in comedy/musical at the globes, which would horrify me. To doubters, I offer the example of Madonna beating Frances McDormand in Fargo. Not to demean Madonna (um, I haven't even seen Evita), but McDormand had one of THE GREAT leading roles that went on to win an oscar, and she still to Madonna, because the HFPA are that starstruck by famous people in musicals. I could very well see a scenario in which the HFPA are blinded by the glitz of Dreamgirls and foolishly give their prize to Beyoncé over Meryl, who has never won that category despite being arguably one of the greatest singers and comedic actors ever. A loss to Beyoncé of all people might give me a stroke.

Gerry said...

Acting in Almodovar films has been praised, no doubt.

But no one has ever gotten any stateside awards' traction.

Ben said...

Interesting choices but I have to say Meryl would be better placed going for support - it's usually more open to comic roles.

I don't know whether The Queen will rise from its TV roots (It's a semi follow up to The Deal from Channel 4).

As for Beyonce - someone high profile from Dreamgirls will miss out and I don't think it's Hudson or Murphy.

So I think Winslet, Blanchett (for Notes on a Scandal), Bening, Judd and Cruz - in spite of the foreign language prejudice.

John T. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
vince said...

Blanchett will be nominated next Winter. And she will be nominated for Notes on a Scandal. Ashley Judd will also be nominated.

Out of your current five, I'm not feeling it for Winslet. It could happen, but my intuition says otherwise. Little Children might be a little letdown. But, what do I know.

Kamikaze Camel said...

The Madonna/McDormand thing could also be because there hadn't been a big musical in forever and they wanted to reward it.

On Helen Mirren - the thing that makes me wary is that she's playing the current Queen. Modern royalty feels so made-for-tv. Like, remember there was that Prince Charles/Camilla tv movie a few years back? It feels sorta like that. But who knows...

Currently, my predix are Streep, Bening, Winslet, Cruz and Weaver. I'm not sure why I picked those last two, I just have a hunch that Cruz could break through with this role and Weaver... well, that's clearly wishful thinking on my behalf.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh, and with Judd, let's not forget that she probably thought De-Lovely was gonna do much more for her than a Golden Globe nom.

Anonymous said...

Cinema lovers get your asses to IMDB now and vote in their daily poll for your fav Adapted Oscar winning screenplay of the past few years!!!

NATHANIEL R said...

gerry --i hear you on the reservations. but Frears is directing which should guarantee that it doesn't feel too TV

jason & arkaan --i don't believe the in Fanning thing. I think if the film gets made, it'll creep people out too much for an awards run. i don't think Fanning's persona/public feelings toward her can handle the Jodie Foster/Taxi Driver treatment (only graphic --ewww)

ben --the more i think about it the more I just don't believe they'll even consider Streep for supporting. It's been a big hit and has revved up so much enthusiasm for her --i wouldn't even be surprised by a campaign that said Streep lead / Hathaway support (lord knows we've seen that before... *cough* Collateral)

vince -your faith in Blanchett is sweet but I think it's iffy. The character does a lot of terrible / hard to understand or have empathy for type o things and if there's lots of competition --they'll go with roles that make them feel better. but you might be right about Little Children. It does seem too easy to predict ;)

adam k. said...

Oh god, I remember thinking about that before... Streep-lead/Hathaway-support. I could TOTALLY see them doing it. And if they did, Hathaway'd probably be nominated. Leave it to the globes to legitamize it. What a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

It is only July and I can feel that leading/supporting confusion coming for Streep and Bening. As a matter of fact, I don't see it coming for Bening, because I see no nods for her at all, since we all have seen her crazy, bitchy and theatrical act before a few times - but I am what you call "detractor".
Here's rooting for Ashley Judd. Kate Winslet won't win. She is the new Deborah Kerr and will receive a special Oscar when a popular rom-com in 2046 praises the great classic (it'll be) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

- cal roth

Arun said...

good predics...but I can't really see 4 previous nominees getting in. It does happen sometimes but its so rare-at the most I think 3 could get in, but 4? I'm not so sure

Kamikaze Camel said...

Would Bening win if she went Supporting? I haven't heard the book so I'm in the dark with the matter of all this.

And the Collateral comment instantly make me think it will happen and that they would nominate Hathaway.

BUT, with Collateral the oh-so-wise Golden Globes also nominated Jamie Foxx for Supporting. It's not like they couldn't have nominated him for Lead Drama for Collateral as well as Lead Musical/Comedy for Ray. But no, the same group that made people like Maria Bello and Catherine Zeta-Jones lead, also made Jamie Foxx supporting. That was bizarre. Especially considering I completely picked that nomination a mile away.

vince said...

Glenn ~

Bening's 'part' in the book is small. However, I have a feeling they beefed it up for the film (ala the way "Devil Wears Prada" probably did with Streep's part ... she doesn't have much 'screen time' in the book as she is a presence)

filmfan said...

What about Ms Moore???????

Julianne Moore (the goddess): when will she win finally???

The "CHILDREN OF MEN" trailer is online. She's great, but is it oscar worthy?

http://www.apple.com/trailers/universal/childrenofmen/

Mikkel said...

I too would like your lineup, but at this point I don't really belive in Mirren's nomination. Despite the fondness for biopics and 'real persons', it is quite rare for actors/actresses to get nominations for playing famous, _living_ people. I just doublechecked with IMDB, and it has not happened in this category since at the very least 1990.

In other acting categories during the same period probaly only John Nash, Rubin Carter, David Helfgott, Gene Krantz, Gerry Conlon, Sonny Von Bulow and Hilary Du Pre would qualify as famous people played to nominations. And even these names hardly carry the same level of recognition as Queen Elizabeth I...

adam k. said...

Well, Streep got nommed for playing Roberta Guspari, who was real even if she wasn't famous. I don't think playing a real famous person would be a problem.

Mikkel said...

Julia Roberts won for Erin Brockovich as well. But how many of you knew what the real Erin Brockovich looked like, how she walked, what her voice was like etc (before her cameo at least)? (I for one had never even seen a picture of her before seeing her cameo)

The Queen seems to be dealing with recent events, featuring characters we all know very well. First of all this might make for a rather bland movie, trying to avoid too much controversy (judging by the plot summary on imdb, it could be controversial, at least in the uk). Furthermore everyone will incessantly be comparing the performance with the real Elizabeth II, and nly the slightest inconsistency might hurt Mirren's chances.

If the movie is a hit though, this could just point to a make up-nomination as well.

Anonymous said...

In my honest opinion the blog which WAS delightful, has gone very campy! I would like to see the old Nat, who would in all probablity wonder about Hugh Jackman and his onslaught of movies, about new movies by chistopher nolan, alfonso curon and others.

vince said...

"Children of Men" trailer

Thank you film fan.

Moore's character looks kind of sassy, which is cool. And it has that guy from Dirty, Pretty Things. It looks to be Clive's film. But, Michael Caine's hair ... whoa!

Marcelo said...

I am reading "Notes on a Scandal". Obviously I do not know how the book has been adapted, but the two characters (Blanchett's and Dench's) are leading.
I am picturing the following situation: Dench is campaigned as supporting and wins. So, she won once for a tiny role and now she wins for category fraud.

knock on wood.

Ali said...

Hathaway for Prada? When pigs fly (and that's Lead or Supporting).

If the film gets a nomination for Supporting Actress, it will be for Emily Blunt.

adam k. said...

But that won't happen, unfortunately. The ones people are buzzing are Streep and, to a lesser extent, Tucci.

Anonymous said...

That lineup is too good-- even if all those performances (Bening, Winslet, Mirren, etc.) are stellar and the movies themselves don't suck, I can't imagine the Academy having the good sense to nominate them all at once. But in a dream world, it's great. I can even get over Ashley Judd's inclusion despite my utter disinterest in everything she has ever done. What would make me salivate more so would be Julianne Moore getting nominated for Children of Men. Think of it-- Streep, Bening, Winslet, Moore and Mirren or Blanchett.....

vince said...

My Dream List:

Annette Bening
Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
Nicole Kidman
Helen Mirren
Meryl Streep

w/Ashley Judd as a substitute. I don't think Judd is all that great, but I do think she's under-rated. I was drug kicking and screaming into "Ya-Ya Sisterhood." It was an appalling film, but I thought Judd was okay. I think she's very limited, but I also think she pushes herself, which I give her props for.

We all know that almost always, if not always, AT LEAST one of the best actress slots goes to an Oscar-nominated newbie. I reccommend Ashley Judd.

vince said...

er recommend ... oops.

BTW, I love Winslet and Moore too. But, I'm trying to keep my expectations for both "Children" low. lol. Anyway, Moore's part seems kind of small.

vince said...

My Dream List for 2007 - 2010:

(In an ideal world. Let's pretend this is the early 1980's when Streep, Spacek and Lange got nominated practically every year)

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett
Nicole Kidman
Julianne Moore
Samantha Morton
Kate Winslet

I mean, come on, this is pretty feasible, right? I mean 40 is the new 30, right? Why aren't these actresses doing films that are getting them nominated?

*sigh*

vince said...

... constantly ... in the Best Actress category.

Beau said...

let's just say that seeing the previews for 'children of men', 'the fountain' and to a lesser extent 'the prestige' gave me hope that we still have quality films coming out in the next few months.

that children of men trailer?
holy shit.
just :O

Kamikaze Camel said...

I don't see Fur, Running With Scissors, The Queen, Devil With Prada, Children of Men or Bug getting multiple nominations outside of Best Actress. The only films with actress possibilities that have spots elsewhere where it could score are Dreamgirls (beyonce), Little Children and Notes on a Scandal. There's usually at least one nominee from one high-flying Oscar movie, right?

For some reason, my Quicktime isn't working so I can'twatch these trailers. eep. I need to see them now.

Daniel said...

Nicole Kidman should be considered lock status at the moment seeing the early reviews have gone as far as to call it her best performance(um...wow?) and the fact that her film actually got A STANDING-0 does nothing but help. And I really doubt this will be seen as one suicidal artist too many seeing as 1) the film does not show her death(the film, from what I've heard, ends something like 10 years before Arbus' death and 2) if you have a suicidal artist role and the actor or actress gives that knockout performance, then nothing can go wrong IMO. If someone wants to use Paltrow as an example, the early word on Sylvia was never good to begin with while those who have seen Fur have used the word magical and amazing when they describe it. Nicole and Robert Downey is all I'm predicting it for right now, but I really think we should loook out for it.


I got a feeling that it's going to be a bigger contender then most think at the moment.

Anonymous said...

Totally, I will go for Nicole Kidman this time.

Anonymous said...

my wishful top 5 best actress:

Nicole Kidman
Meryl Streep
Cate Blanchett
Kate Winslet
Julianne Moore

Nicole Kidman will be the winner.

Anonymous said...

The word on "Fur" has been less than ecstatic. In fact, it's been positively appalling from where it counts: the "industry." Remember, it's not cinephiles who vote on these nominations. It's the crusty old Academy. Kidman was astonishing in a truly astonishing film, "Birth." That film and its lead performance did not even register a blip of life on the Hollywood Heartbeat Monitor. So just keep that in mind.

Anonymous said...

And don't discount Rachel Weisz in "The Fountain."

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