Monday, August 28, 2006

From Emmy to Oscar: "The Queen(s)"

One major award down. How many more to go? Helen Mirren fulfilled media expectations to win the Emmy Award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I this past weekend. One month from now (Sept 29th) she arrives in theaters as yet another Queen Elizabeth (II this time) in a Miramax film called The Queen. They're keeping it simple, people.

Can the sexiest sexegenarian on the planet (give or take Charlotte Rampling) pull off a Liza Minelli and win both Emmy & Oscar for the same calendar year's worth of entertainments? She'll certainly have tough competition but Mirren has never been an easily intimidated actor.

The Queen, as you'll see to your left here, is being sold as a one woman show. Its Oscar fate rests entirely on how her performance is received. If she's genius, Oscar voters will undoubtedly give the whole movie a close look.

There is reason to be hopeful. Stephen Frears knows his way around grand actresses. He's previously directed Judi Dench, Annette Bening, Anjelica Huston, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Glenn Close to Oscar nominations in Mrs. Henderson Presents, The Grifters, and Dangerous Liaisons respectively. I love the latter two films in that list. I love them this much. You can't see my arms right now but trust me that they strain and stretch to equal the love. Those two films aside, and however uneven Frears filmography has been, he'll always be close to my heart for bringing My Beautiful Laundrette into the world. So I'm crossing my fingers that he and Mirren have concocted a brilliant duet here. We'll find out soon.

38 comments:

vince said...

kick-ass poster. Your top tier for Best Actress is looking really good. (I started reading Little Children and saw the trailer and now think it's looking likely lightning will strike twice for Todd Field) I think your second tier even looks good (with maybe switching Beyonce out for Pacquin)

vince said...

... I guess it's just a matter of how many out of those ten performances will be up to snuff. I hope ALL of them will. I want to see a competitive year in that category where it's filled with five worthy nom's and good performances get shut out. (That's the way it should be every year)

Ryan said...

Gasp! Could Helen Mirren break the “Babe / Princess” leading actress Oscar streak- that Sissy Spacek should have broken back in 2001? It's been running smooth for nearly a decade. Currently I’m weary- after all AMPAS invited (and shamelessly showed off) Jessica Alba at least years ceremony.

- But I’m still crossing my fingers that this will be Kate’s year. Will she finally be able to place a Golden Globe and an Oscar next to her BAFTA? As we all know she proved that she’s the real deal a long, long time ago. It could be her turn. (But I guess I should wait and see the movie first)

vince said...

Winslet? Mirren? Streep? Bening? Who will it be? I love this time of year. It's filled with such possibilities.

NATHANIEL R said...

for those of us who long for the streak of princesses to be broken by an overdue older woman for once... watch it be Sienna Miller or something in the end

oh, AMPAS. you horny devils you.

Ali said...

I would stop watching the Oscars if that happened, as difficult as that would be for me. Miller would have to be pretty damn brilliant in Factory Girl to make me consider otherwise.

JavierAG said...

Oh, but should Helen win the Oscar, it *will* be the win of a true sex goddess. Really, the woman exudes sex in a way Theron, Kidman, Berry, Roberts, Paltrow could only dream of.

Beau said...

what i love about mirren is the fact that she can just slide into any kind of role and make it feel effortless. whereas with some actors you can FEEL that they're trying to hard, she just inhabits whatever character comes her way and you never doubt her ability.

...that being said, i'm rooting for winslet. the woman deserved the oscar for 'eternal sunshine' and got horribly robbed. i love me my meryl, but against kate the great i really can't give it to her. great perf in 'prada', entertaining and engaging as can be, but not enough for lead. were she to campaign for supporting (not happening), it'd be a much more interesting category. since we all know now that jennifer hudson pretty much has that category locked up.

vince said...

javierag ...

Does Swank exude sexuality? Or did you just overlook her? Or was she just not even in the running?

:) lol. Just kidding.

RC said...

i hadn't seen the poster yet either...

that'd be so crazy if she one for Queen I and Queen II in the same year...

kind of crazy she's even playing both characters...has anyone else ever done this before?

I can't even think of any other strong portrayls of Queen Elizabeth II at the moment.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com

vince said...

Judi Dench ...

Queen Victoria '97 (Mrs. Brown) Oscar nom

Queen Elizabeth '98 (Shakespeare in Lurve) Oscar win

(Not really what you meant, but best I can do)

adam k. said...

I actually thought Swank was pretty sexy in the Black Dahlia trailer. Am I blasphemous?

I really don't think Streep can win lead this year. If you think about it, getting that perf nommed in lead is something of a coup in itself (and it will be nommed). But a win over so many upcoming serious, heavy-duty roles seems unlikely, even impossible. Supporting maybe, but probably not over JHud. I am thinking the Prada nom will provide momentum for a win (or two) for her for Dirty Tricks and/or First Man in the next couple of years.

I also am pulling for Winslet. It's just the right time. Notice how she doesn't have any other oscary projects on her slate thus far. So if it's not this year, then it will probably be another several years before Kate the Great gets her due.

I also think Kidman is due for another nom. Coverage of her has been more positive lately, what with the wedding. I think now that she seems to have her life stabilized and in order and is no longer all "LOOK HOW BIG A STAR I AM!", voters will want her back.

And I am losing faith in Bening (why did I think SHE was the one being touted to win the emmy? she was really good as Mrs. Harris).

Still, I think it'll be Winslet, Mirren, Streep, Kidman, and Bening. Though Judd, Blanchett and Dench also look on paper to have "can't miss" roles.

vince said...

I see Streep, Mirren & Judd as potential winners. So, I see them as nom's.

I see Kidman and Winslet as perenial (msp) nom's who will get nominated.

Bening's performance (looks good and subtle) may not get recognized. I don't know how big her part is, but it wasn't very huge in the book.

"Notes on a Scandal" is a big question mark. It could be one, it could be both, it could be neither. The Academy is always reluctant to recognize Blanchett, as they are reluctant to over-recognize most Australians. She just won one a year ago, so unless she's amazing, I don't see her. And, Dench is always a contender, but it's mostly in really weak years where they fit her into the top five.

I think Penelope Cruz (or Bening) could slide in only if Kidman or Winslet disappoint.

1. Meryl Streep
2. Helen Mirren
3. Ashley Judd
4. Kate Winslet
5. Nicole Kidman

Nick Davis said...

I can't get excited about The Queen. The trailer just bored me, though I admit to getting itchy around anything Di-related.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I still can't curb my unease about The Queen. Something just does not sit well with me in regards to this project.

Mirren... well, she has as much a chance as Meryl does I think. But will the voters choose Helen or Meryl, previous oscar winners, of perenial losers such as Winslet and Bening?

Vince said up the top that he likes seeing really competitive years, but they can end up the worst because they end up just choosing the easiest five.

Judd I just do NOT see happening. She doesn't even look to be "deglamming"

And Judi Dench? Do we really expect the Academy to nominate Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren AND Judi Dench in the same category in the same year?

The one actress I keep thinking will be nominated despite not really having that much of a right to think so is Penelope Cruz for Volver. I have no idea why, but I just have a hunch that she will get in.

So for me

1. Streep
2. Winslet
3. Mirren
4. Cruz
5. Bening

Bening, I think, could easily fall if voters see it as Annette being Annette again.

DL said...

For some reason, Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep don't seem like that safe of bets for me, although I still think Mirren will get in for The Queen.

I think and hope this is Kate's year to win. She's always so wonderful and this looks like it could be career-topping work (give or take Holy Smoke! and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - but everyone knew they weren't gonna award her for those perfs).

The woman that I think will squeeze into the top five is Anna Paquin. If her performance in the Ken Lonergan-directed Margaret is anywhere as good as Laura Linney's in You Can Count on Me, I think we can say she's safe for her nom.

1. Winslet
2. Bening
3. Mirren
4. Paquin
5. Judd

Anonymous said...

I think she'll be in the Oscar mix. The Daily Mail in the UK got an early sighting of the film and called her performance a nomination lock recently. OK, so they can't swing things like, say, Ebert (cough, Best Picture conspiricy, cough), but they were the first to call Keira's nomination pre-season last year, so they do have their moments.

On a separate note, I saw The Emmys highlights last night, and found Mirren's "arse over tit" comment to be deliciously ambivalent class. Couldn't-care-less moments like that can make a guy proud to be British! Beats tears, snot and gushing at any rate.

Kamikaze - you could easily be right about Cruz. I finally understood why she's been getting work all these years when I saw Volver. Stunning. And Carmen Maura should be a supporting nominee too if there's any justice.

Which we know there isn't.

Rob

Beau said...

yeah, i honestly cannot see judd getting a nom. the film is too much of a horror pic and while that may work if you have an audience behind it (the exorcist), it's still a tough campaign. she'll get raves i'm sure, but not enough to warrent consideration.

i'm also kinda puzzled on 'the queen'. mirren looks brilliant, as does the actor playing tony blair, but the trailer just made it look too, i don't know... oscary. the music, the look, i was just kind of taken aback by how much they were trying to make it look like a best-pic winner.

for actress, i would LOVE:
streep
kidman
winslet
cruz
bening
but that's of right now. i'm only going off of previews, but i loved how penelope looked in 'volver'. winslet is magnificent, bening is just an amazing comedic and dramatic actress, and kidman i've loved since the day i watched moulin rouge! at 14. even through the minor backlash. i'd love to fall in love with judd though... the film looks intriguing enough.
i suppose time will tell.

Anonymous said...

God, what is it with you yanks?
Is there anyone out there apart from me who despises Helen Mirren? Please step forward.
She is EASILY the most overrated actress to every step out of the UK. What is even worse is that smug and mannered though her acting generally is, she is downright plain and dowdy looking. Just because the haggard thing takes her clothes off at the drop of the drop of a hat. This wouldn't be so offensive were she not to have the most unappealing physique possible.
I wish people would stop going ga ga over her. Just about every famous actress I know has people who dislike her. What is it about Mirren that compels everyone to sing her praises? Why she hasn't had a single movie leading role that is any good.
I will vomit if she wins.

Oh and as for the person who says she exudes sex appeal and compares her flatteringly to some genuine hotties - you are clearly gay.
Nothing wrong with that, but you shouldn't be giving advise on who is sexy or not when it comes to females.

That's all

vince said...

My gayness doesn't preclude me from expressing what I think is sexy, nor does it devalue or nullify my opinion. If I was straight, I'd hit that sh*t so to speak (in reference to Mirren).

Why you be hatin' on the Mirren? Oh, and, P.S., not all of us here are yanks, you bloody limey.

vince said...

sexy over 60 ... Deneuve, Fonda, Loren, Mirren, Rampling, Sarandon.

Straighty's are lucky. Who do the gays have? (I hesitate to say Redford or Beatty)

vince said...

Okay, we have Udo Kier. But, I think that just may be me and he really isn't all that famous. I guess there is also Ford, but I don't think he's sexy anymore. And while I think McKellen is cool, I'm not particularly attracted to him. But that just may be me.

vince said...

Oh, and the ones we (gays) do "have" are all mostly straight anyway, so no wonder we're so quick to point out who we think is sexy in the opposite sex.

vince said...

Oh, I'm sorry anonymous. Mirren must be the most over-rated actress to have stepped out of the U.K. You're right. I mean, why else would her home turf have nominated her for eight BAFTA's spanning three different decades?

Anonymous said...

Helen Mirren? Overrated? She actually LOST some Emmys for Prime Suspect. That's UNDERrated if you ask me.

Greatest. Performance. On. Television. Ever.

Thank you and good night.

Rob

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous... as to someone being gay when they think Mirren is a hottie. what planet do you live on?

you yourself call Mirren overrated which implies there are MANY people who get hot and bothered about her talent at least. Neither it is an original argument that she's hot stuff physically. These aren't new ideas. Or maybe you haven't noticed what's been written about her over the years?

yes it might be because she's willing to be naked a lot. but it's a fairly common perception that she's a sexy woman. gay, straight, bi, whatever.

15 Year Old Blogger said...

I believe that the BIGGEST surprise nomination will come from either four actresses: Paquin, Beyonce, Dunst, and Kidman (I know, right) You all have been saying that these four will not make it, but I promise you this. AT LEAST ONE OF THEM WILL!

15 Year Old Blogger said...

I believe that the BIGGEST surprise nomination will come from either four actresses: Paquin, Beyonce, Dunst, and Kidman (I know, right) You all have been saying that these four will not make it, but I promise you this. AT LEAST ONE OF THEM WILL!

15 Year Old Blogger said...

And when I think that Cate Blanchett should go supporting for Babel. I just have this feeling that it is a small rose, and Brad should 100% go in Lead. From the trailer we see that all that happen's to her is that she's shot, while Brad, on the other hand is trying to help her with his Oscar worthy acting.

adam k. said...

I still wouldn't rule out Beyoncé. Sure, most of the focus will be on JHud and EMurph, but if the film is HUGE, everyone is a contender. Though generally when something is HUGE they actually will still find ways to leave off the obviously least deserving things, to avoid it being like a 15-nom record-setter (like when Titanic missed on screenplay).

To Glenn, Helen Mirren has never won an oscar. That's part of why people think she'll win this year. Though I too was bored by The Queen's trailer and I see it as a "best actress only" kind of project.

I think my chart right now would look like this:

1) Streep
2) Winslet
3) Mirren
4) Kidman
5) Cruz (changed my mind)
6) Bening
7) Dench
8) Blanchett
9) Beyoncé
10) Judd
11) Paquin
12) Weaver
13) Dunst

It's tough to rank because I really see it as:
Streep & Winslet & Mirren
EITHER Kidman or Bening (there's no room for both)
EITHER Cruz, Judd, Beyoncé, or Dunst (1st timer)

...with Dench, Blanchett, Weaver, etc. sitting it out unless they somehow impress more than the above candidates.

Paquin, I'm sorry to say, is no Laura Linney. Just cause she's in a Lonergan film doesn't mean she'll be brilliant. But maybe. I just haven't found her all that great in anything since The Piano.

another anonymous Brit said...

I agree with the anonymous Brit who thinks Helen Mirren is overrated. She hasn't given a courageous or particularly interesting performance, in my opinion, since The Comfort of Strangers. And her Elizabeth I was boring, boring, boring. Award nominations and wins are not necessarily evidence of worthiness or talent. Sometimes they are, and that's just great. But more times than we would care to admit they are really evidence of who does the best publicity and backslapping. I wonder when people will ever get that?

I'm gay, too, and I also do not find Mirren to be remotely "hot." Smart, yes. Witty and bitchy, yes. Hot? Hmmmm.....

vince said...

Adam's ranking looks pretty good. But, I'd put Blanchett above Dench and then Judd above Blanchett. And then Dunst above Pacquin. But that's all minor.

Anonymous said...

anonymous brit here again...I didn't mean offence honestly, and maybe the 'you must be gay' comment was a cheap shot I agree.
I would have been fine with the comment that she was sexy (hell, people have been banging on about it on this side of the atlantic since the 80s) if the person who wrote it didn't feel the need to dismiss some genuinely sexy women (apart from Paltrow of course) in comparison - where the hell did that come from?

Anyway I agree with my fellow anonymous brit, she is not sexy. I have come to despise her over the years (originally I just thought her overrated and irritated) simply because she is increasingly referred to as the 'thinking person's sex symbol'. And she herself perpetuates these myths (the Radio times cover, the smug Virgin atlantic ads, the inability to keep her clothes on yet bang on in interviews about chavs who get their tops off on a night out).

As for her 'acting', she was quite dreadful in 'Elizabeth' as many of the smarter UK critics pointed out. She clearly won the Emmys out of prestige and her name - her performance is embarrassing when compared to Glenda Jackson's great work in the 1970s TV series.
Saying all this, she does look uncanny in the new movie - but I am reserving judgement until I actually see it. I have seen maybe 1 brilliant and 1 good performance out of about 30 from the overrated Ms. Mirren

Anonymous said...

"God, what is it with you yanks?
Is there anyone out there apart from me who despises Helen Mirren? Please step forward.
She is EASILY the most overrated actress to every step out of the UK. What is even worse is that smug and mannered though her acting generally is, she is downright plain and dowdy looking. Just because the haggard thing takes her clothes off at the drop of the drop of a hat. This wouldn't be so offensive were she not to have the most unappealing physique possible.
I wish people would stop going ga ga over her. Just about every famous actress I know has people who dislike her. What is it about Mirren that compels everyone to sing her praises? Why she hasn't had a single movie leading role that is any good.
I will vomit if she wins.

Oh and as for the person who says she exudes sex appeal and compares her flatteringly to some genuine hotties - you are clearly gay.
Nothing wrong with that, but you shouldn't be giving advise on who is sexy or not when it comes to females.

That's all"

Oh, my, it seems that SOMEONE has been bitten (hard) by the green-eyed monster!

Helen Mirren's dazzling talent, palpable intelligence, earthy sex appeal, luminous loveliness and the admiration and awe she commands the world over are obviously too much for you to bear.

And, what is Helen's greatest crime in your eyes? That she isn't hated and despised as all famous actresses should be, according to your unfathomable reasoning?

As for Helen's sex appeal, there are plenty of non-gay males (and females if the truth be told) who find her enormously attractive - check the various lusty comments posted about her at filmbug.com, imdb.com or the helenmirren.com if you need confirmation. And, the significance of a GAY MALE finding Helen sexy appears to have eluded you - the fact that a man who, due to his sexual preference, does NOT generally find women attractive but considers THIS woman hot is a testament to her transcendant appeal.

Since you appear to be somewhat ignorant of "Yank" culture, please allow me to introduce you to a American term which perfectly applies to your attitude here: "hater". If you are unfamiliar with American rap music or youth culture, a "hater" is an individual who resents and maliciously maligns others, particularly those who are more beautiful, talented, wealthy, successul, etc. than themselves, purely out of envy and hatred.

Grow up and be a lover, not a "hater".

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