Saturday, September 16, 2006

New Oscar Predix: The Women

Post Toronto, it's time to rethink Oscar Predix. For some reason, even though it's boring and you sell papers and magazines with excitement, the media likes to confer "lock" and "no one can beat this!" status early in the race for each acting prize. Sometimes these memes take serious root and the Oscar contest becomes completely anticlimactic. Sometimes it doesn't.

BEST ACTRESS [full page o' details]
I like a bloody brawl for the statue, so I hope everyone ignores Mirren's supposed dominance. It's only mid-September. It's still anyone's game with the right box office, critical reaction, and (especially) Oscar campaign and networking.

new predictions:
Annette Bening Running With Scissors
Penelope Cruz Volver
Helen Mirren The Queen
Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet Little Children

Streep and Mirren feel like sure things. The others? Not so much. I've swapped Ashley Judd out for Cruz because Bug (as much as I love the play) will probably be too challenging for them if its great and too genre for them if it's not. So it might be a lose/lose thing either way. Obviously Cruz will need Sony Pictures Classics to front a killer campaign for Volver to keep the Toronto momentum.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS [full page o' details]
I've completely reworked the field of contenders. I don't think we really know anything in this category just yet. (Apart from Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls but that was obvious (to me) long ago)

new predictions:
Abigail Breslin Little Miss Sunshine
Jill Clayburgh Running With Scissors
Jennifer Hudson Dreamgirls
Carmen Maura Volver
Emily Watson Miss Potter

I'm figuring it's impossible to root against Abigail Breslin ... unless your name is Dakota Fanning. And, ohmygod, I'd suggest being at least 20 miles away from her on Oscar nomination morning if Little Miss Sunshine really takes hold. j.k. luv ya Dakota!!! (My bodyguard told me to say that). Another thing working in Breslin's favor: This is the category that most favors young children. Next time Breslin races to a beauty pageant it'll be in a limo rather than a yellow van. And this pageant is held in Hollywood.

There's also some wishful thinking in this new lineup too (i.e. Carmen Maura) --I ain't gonna pretend that doesn't figure in. I'd suggest looking at the whole page. It's a mess. This category is cloudy.

Earlier Related Posts: From Emmy to Oscar: The Queen(s) * Mrs. Beatty * The Little Children Trailer * My Kate. My Self * A History of... Dakota Fanning * A Heavenly Creature: Kate Winslet * And I Am Telling You... I Want Credit * "That's All" * Favorites (so far): Actress * Favorites (so far): Supporting Actress * Top 100 Actresses of the Aughts *

Tags: Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Hudson, Dakota Fanning,Oscars, films, Academy Awards, movies

38 comments:

adam k. said...

Did Dakota Fanning turn down the Olive Hoover role or something? Or do you suppose she'd just be really competitive about the oscars? If she did turn it down, good, cause she would've have worked as Olive. She's like the quintessential "winner" that Olive will never be.

And I've said this on my blog, but I'll say it again here: I don't think all the Mirren hype should be trusted. It can't last that long. Other September frontrunners have generally lost out later. Especially in this category.

Darbicus said...

Honestly I think Connelly should be rated higher (at least higher than the two Driving Lessons ladies) given the traction her film is liable to get. Despite some touchy notes from critics (could be divisive) the film is still one of the top 12 picture candidates in my estimation, and should be able to sweep Connelly up above the afterthought level at least.

adam k. said...

Hm, why is #1 "likely" and #2 a "lock"?

douglas said...

not sure about Diane Lane though among your predictions hers is very iffy. I loved Maura in the film and Abigail for Little Miss Sunshine, but i guess i have to see it again.... and i forgot to mention her when i once posted my top 5, stupid me...

I really think Penelope Cruz has a shot this year, but that's just for me... and she has many stuff going against her but if things go well she could be this year's montenegro...

vince said...

Nate,
Your lead slate looks great, but I disagree with you on bumping Blanchett's Scandal role to supporting. Even if the film follows the book with whose persective the story is told from ... well, okay, I kind of see how it's "on the cusp." However, my feeling is that it will go lead. I don't think her role in Good German will cut it.

And even though Kidman doesn't look strong right now, I think slot #17 is awfully low.

Otherwise looks great!

NATHANIEL R said...

just a heads up: the campaign as supporting for Notes for Blanchett is official word from the campaign team.

the weird green yellow thing is based on my rules. I never call something a lock until it's in theaters. So you can be in the lead but not a lock. Because you aren't even eligible if you haven't opened.

Andy Scott said...

I would freak out if Emily Blunt was nominated for Prada. She was so, so, so good.

Ugh. Can't Meryl make a few phone calls or something?

NATHANIEL R said...

i would freak out too.
i can't even really think about it because i can't allow myself to even believe it...

but yeah, that'd be heaven.

Gerry said...

Having seen Little Children in Toronto, it's my opinion that Connelly (or at least her character which is way underdeveloped) will be considered the weak link and that Phyllis Somerville will get FAR better notices (in fact, she already is). Admittedly, Connelly is higher profile but it's just not a baity role. I agree with Nathaniel's assessment of the situation. I can tell you that the studio is also hardcore about Walters.

I agree completely with his Lead Actress predictions, despite my "head" saying Dench will score.

As for Supporting...it is indeed a mess. I'd go for Hudson upon whose back Dreamgirls will rise or fall. And all advane word says it will rise.
Clayburgh will have comeback goodwill so I'll toss a tentative prediction her way.
It would make sense for Gyllenhaal to get in *somewhere* and this would seemingly be the best place to award her and WTC (an Oscarish film I don't seeing scoring anywhere else big).
But beyond that? An utter mess.
Because Breslin is so lovable and because "when in doubt, I go with what's already released and loved", I'd predict her but VERY hesitantly.
I'd go for de la Tour...but why no buzz? It's the sort of film that should go to a festival.
I'd go for Blanchett...but I don't see her getting in without Dench.
Maybe Watson could actually come to fruition? Or, yes, Walters.

Having seen "Volver" I can tell you that Maura is awesome (and far better than Cruz). But does she have the makings of an Oscar contender? I'm not so sure. I cannot recall a Supporting nominee in a foreign film.

vince said...

Sorry, Nate, my bad. *Slaps self in face*

Considering that there is an actual campaign team that has already decided on the lead/supporting split, I'd say Dench definitely stands a chance now.

par3182 said...

surely julie christie (away from her) should be in the top 25?

Kamikaze Camel said...

Yeah, Christie is getting great word but maybe whatever studio has it will wait for next year? It's very competitive this year for whatever reason.

"Con: Past perceptions of her ability."

Surely that hasn't dampened other people's chances in this category (aka, Halle Berry, Sharon Stone, etc) Especially considering for Sienna Miller you've said "The Academy loves to be surprised by someone not thought of as great."

The top 5 for Best Actress is the same as mine. I've been predicting Cruz since April/May so go me! I hope it pans out.

I would be much more confident in Maggie's chances for Sherrybaby if her film were being handled by the Wienstein's!

Vince, I'm a big Kidman fan and after watching the trailer I doubt she has a shot. Especially this year. It's seems way for Birth than The Hours.

Supporting Actress all looks good, except I think Gyllenhaal will get her nomination here for World Trade Center.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh, and if Dakota Fanning wants an Oscar she needs to go back to doing supporting roles like (and I shudder to think) I Am Sam.

God I hate that little witch.

OhMyTrill said...

Its also hard to root against Little Miss Sunshine because she is actually good in the movie...she deserves to be nominated.

Stenar said...

I love "Little Miss Sunshine"!!! It was the best film I saw at Sundance this year.

Jennifer Connelly ought to have never won an Oscar. She's one of the worst actresses in Hollywood.

Stenar said...

Have you seen "The Night Listener" yet? Toni Collette was GREAT in that one. I LOVE MURIEL! And I got to meet her at Sundance!! She's so sexy in person. I don't understand why she only plays frumpy roles in movies. :P

Reel Fanatic said...

Great choices all .. I predict Penelope Cruz and young Ms. Breslin will be big winners on Oscar night ... One addition to the Best Actress list: I think young Keke Palmer may just sneak into the mix for her great work in "Akeelah and the Bee"

Anonymous said...

can i just say i hated akeelah and the bee?it was so sickening!anyway i am delighted to see abigail breslin's name on the list.i saw little miss sunshine yesterday and i thought there were great performances all around so maybe toni has a chance to.but abigail just blew me away.that scene with her grandpa where she says she doesnt wanna be a loser!cudda cried.she was also hilarious though!

on another note i know jennifer hudson is in a role that everyone thinks is bound to win her an oscar but maybe,just maybe the movie will be critically slammed or maybe she cant act?is there any buzz on the quality of her performance?

Emma said...

Nope. Don't see Breslin getting the nod.

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous -- i hear you on the doubt about Hudson being able to win. I think the buzz is more on the inevitable nomination.

at least I think so since it's only september and we have barely seen any oscar contenders and she's an unproven actor. if someone who is really due and respected can get a nomination for a film that is loved, I don't see why they can't beat her.

stenar -- toni is sexy! But since her looks are unusual this is why she's Hollywood's version of "ugly" -blech. it pisses me off.

kamikaze --what i meant by past perceptions. i shoulda been more clear. I agree that surprise is often helpful rather than hurtful. I shoulda said past perceptions about her stardom. i'm gonna change it. ;) because people still might have doubts about her abilities in non-Spanish films and there's the whole Tom Cruise thing (weird) and the McConaughey thing and hmmm. she's a curious import: But luscious in Spanish movies.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh I know, whenever I see people write "She can ACT!" I promptly inform them that she has been acting great guns for years it's just that it's all in Spanish movies.

And, yeah, nobody knows anything about any of the unseen performances so from pure pre-existing knowledge, it makes sense for Hudson to be the pick of the litter at this stage of the game.

Anonymous said...

I think Sigourney should be at top 10 (at least) for her work in SNOW CAKE

Arkaan said...

I think my problem with predicting Maura and Cruz is the fact that foreign film performances have a hell of a mountain to climb. They need full support of the critics (critics awards all the way), a hell of a campaign, AND to be fighting in a weaker than usual year in the category (both Robert Benigni and Fernanda Montenegro were beneficiaries of that, in my mind. The writers have time and time again gone for foreign language films in their categories (to the point where we actually predict a "foreign" slot now), but actors have been a bit more protectionist.

I think Mirren is in a great position, at this point. That said, anyone who declares her a lock wasn't paying attention last year and learned absolutely nothing.

Anonymous said...

What about Maggie Gyllenhhal in "Sherrybaby? There sems to be a great buzz on her performance....

NATHANIEL R said...

par ---IMDB says "away from her" is being released in spring 2007. anyone have any different info. But yeah. 'Julie Christie with alzheimers' should definitely be in the top 25, maybe even top 5, IF there's a release. i luv Christie and so does AMPAS.

arkaan ---i totally hear you. i just wanted to do it for now. But yes it is an unphill climb. If Spain submits Alatriste instead of Volver I'll feel more confident because it would have the added Talk To Her --we can't vote for it there-- momentum.

adam k. said...

I thought I heard that this year, they were nixing the dumb "submission" rules for foreign films and it'd just be every film for itself. Did I or someone else make that up?

Also, if they are submitting things still, do you suppose Spain would deliberately submit something else just so the Almodovar film would have that added oomph? I bet they would.

Patrick said...

I think everybody is playing head in the sand by ignoring Dakota Fanning.

I know most oscar watchers seem to hate her for some reason, but if Hounddog is even half good, she'll be a forced to be reconed with.

She's well loved in the industry, and come on, it's the ultimate bait!

NATHANIEL R said...

Well word has always been that the Spanish committee is not fond of Almodovar's prima donna role as god of Spanish cinema.

hence the Talk to Her snub and the possible Alatriste move. It wouldn't be to benefit Pedro if they did it. It would be just to give props to another filmmmaker.

Patrick, I don't think child abuse is particularly "baity"... so I've never been sure what people are thinking there in regards to Fanning. The children that get nominated are usually not in unpleasant tough dramas. Or if they are, their characters are not part of the R rated stuff (Paquin: Piano)

I could be wrong of course ;)

Anonymous said...

Are we ignoring Salma Hayek in Lonely Hearts?

-jason

Beau said...

...am i mixing blogs again, or did you say you were gonna catch 'running with scissors' the other night?

adam k. said...

Nathaniel mixed up his dates with Running with Scissors.

I still think it's funny that by passing over his film, the Spanish committee just allowed Pedro to win a REAL oscar for screenplay. Stupid Spanish committee.

Anonymous said...

I would not lose hope on one Rinko Kikuchi making a legitimate run at a Best Supporting Actress nod. Many people have labeled her as a standout in a film with great performances. Plus, seems to me the academy likes to reward lesser-known actors here and there, especially in this category.

Bill the Kidd said...

The film I speak of is Babel, of course.

Arkaan said...

" I think everybody is playing head in the sand by ignoring Dakota Fanning. "

Yep. And I shall continue to allow sand to funnel in my ears to ignore that possibility.

adam k. said...

Since when was Hounddog even scheduled to come out this year? I'll start considering her when her film is actually released.

adam k. said...

I still wanna know if Dakota Fanning turned down the Olive Hoover role. SUCH drama that would be.

NATHANIEL R said...

no. it was just a joke because Abigail is Dakota's only challenger to queen of child actresses ;) although Dakota is soon a teen, isn't she? yikes. time flies.

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