Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Lead Oscars

Best Actor
Predix are updated. We might know very little about this category at this point. Not a strong year for lead Actors. Not as empty as 2003 below the top three but maybe something like that barren year. For now I'm betting on them getting jiggy with a struggling dad, a history teacher, a scary Ugandan, and a scary gangster. And I'm assuming, like everyone else, that there's a good chance that we'll see Reese Witherspoon (last year's parallel winner) hand the Oscar to Peter O'Toole, Lawrence of Arabia himself. It's been a long long long loooooooong time in coming.

Best Actress
Predix are updated. It is with great pain that I acknowledge that Bening and Winslet are both shakier than they seemed months ago. Given that they reside just below Moore & Pfeiffer in my devotion you'll know what kind of pain I'm talking about. For now I've got The Queen, The Devil, Pedro's muse, and the C/Kate(s). We all know who Phillip Seymour Hoffman (last year's parallel winner) is handing the statue to. I hate those done deals. But I can't really argue with Helen f***ing Mirren winning an Oscar so it'll be sweet.

23 comments:

Arkaan said...

You sound like you want to argue though :D

mistyh92104 said...

LOL arkaan. That's funny.

And I'm with ya, Nathaniel, on the done deals...I hate it when it isn't a real race (which is more often than not, unfortunately). That said, I am thrilled at the thought of Mirren and, especially, O'Toole winning this year.

I have a query, though, and I'd love some feedback from you and your wonderful contributers. Though I'm not a huge Zellweger fan, I am very intrigued as to exactly why she is so hated and as to when the tides turned on her (did "Cold Mountain" do it, or "Chicago", or did it start before both of these?). In addition to these questions, I'll throw this out:

What other actresses over the years could we compare Zellweger to as far as being widely acclaimed but widely disliked as well?

Cheers!

adam k. said...

For me, it was all about Cold Mountain and the oscar, and then the bad Bridget Jones sequel and dumb/baity Cinderella Man role kept the fires flaming (actually I never saw either of those, which is how much I hated her after she won the oscar).

Though in retrospect, it is annoying how Z got all acclaimed for Chicago when she can't really sing or dance... but I had no real problem with it at the time.

And OK, is Mirren REALLY locked up for the win??? I feel like when Streep and Winslet are nominated, there will be a surge for both of them cause of the "due" factor. But then I guess they will cancel each other out in that way, so yeah.

It will be kind of cool to see two legitimately "old" actors win lead oscars at once. Never happens.

Also, Penelope Cruz in 3rd? Yellow? I dunno. And Beyoncé I think is more likely than you're making her out to be.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Zellweger officially became a target of derision when she showboated her way to the most unexplainable win at the Oscars for Cold Mountain - all hootin' and hollerin' when there were plenty (PLENTY) of finer ways to go in terms of a win (I would've just died if Shohreh Aghdashloo had won).

But Zellweger is someone I really like when I like her and really hate when I don't.

Anyway.

Best Actress. I have the same predix atm. I also think Cruz is much more likely than just "fifth place" (I too have her ranked third behind Mirren and Streep). I have Blanchett fourth and Winslet fifth. Apparently Judi Dench is Mrs Brown good and not Mrs Henderson Presents good, but the only thing stopping me predicting her is... well, to put it delicately... are the Academy really gonna nominate three older women? Specially with Mirren and O'Toole looking like winners. They might want more sex there.

Best Actor. I have the same first four, but I predict Leonardo will get in (for Blood Diamond) over Richard Griffiths. I think Smith is looking much better than Nicholson and Whitake though, to be honest. I can easily see that movie making $120mil+ and if so... well. O'Toole may just have some competition?

JavierAG said...

Cruz at second or third place seems about right. I'm with you on the Judi Dench issue - 5 noms in the last 9 years, can she get another so soon? (The answer is likely 'yes' but whatever). I think Cruz, and not Mirren, is taking the majority of the major critics awards this year, but maybe I'm wrong.

I also think O'Toole might lose at the last minute to Whitaker (which would be hard to watch, lol; this is probably the guy's last chance to get it).

Kamikaze Camel said...

I think you're letting your Penelope love get the better of you Javi. Helen is gonna take a lot!

Let us remember also that nobody was really thinking Catherine Keener would be the force that she became, so there will surely be someone we're not yet thinking about much.

Moses said...

Dude... Sienna Miller has so much bad press right now, I can't imagine her even being in the running for an oscar -- no matter how good she was in the role.

I actually think that AMPAS might go for Gyllenhaal rather than Winslet in the actress race. Winslet can't win for Little Children, so the academy may want to spread the wealth a little bit rather than nom Winslet again knowing that she can't win. Gyllenhaal can't win either, but since her brother got nominated last year - and many people believe she's the better actor, I can't imagine her not making the list.

Bening is not going to be nominated I have a feeling -- the reaction for Running With Scissors seems to be cloudy, and I think Gretchen Mol may actually wind up a lot closer to a spot in the potential nominees than anyone thinks right now.

Having typed that out -- the DVD is already out, and no one still really cares all that much.

I think...

Mirren - The Queen
Streep - Devil Wears Prada
Cruz - Volver
Gyllenhaal - Sherrybaby
Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal

So really, I guess we're in agreement with all but Sherrybaby.

Oh and on Beyonce -- she could be VERY good in Dreamgirls, but I don't think AMPAS will want to nominate her. Isn't everyone getting a little bit tired of her by now anyways?

Nick Davis said...

"Beautiful hiatus" is almost as funny as "let them eat blog." ♥

I think Cruz is looking really good; based on the trailer I saw yesterday, Beyoncé is looking really bad, I think. (I have to say, that trailer didn't ignite any Dreamgirls fervor at all... in fact, I'm suspicious that the movie is really bad.)

I think Nicholson's chances look a little high here, but I'm sure that my dislike of the performance is part of the problem. I think Derek Luke, Aaron Eckhart, Damon in The Good Shepherd, and Ryan Gosling are all in better positions. Question mark hanging over Russell Crowe.

Sid said...

I don't think anyone's "locked" for the win just yet -- remember Spacek in 2001? There could be a Berry waiting in the form of Miller or someone else.

Also, last year until the awards actually began, no one knew just how strong Rachel Weisz was in her category (sweeping all the majors). So there might be surprises in store still.

JavierAG said...

I think there will be surprises this year, yeah.

Glenn, the critics awards love the young, hot and talented, even in cases when AMPAS does not. I wouldn't be shocked if Mirren got the Oscar with Cruz getting NYFCC and NFSC Best Actress mentions.

J.J. said...

Jack Nicholson will not be nominated for best actor. It's not a leading role, and even his starpower can't make it "appear" leading. The most he can hope for is supporting, which he would not win.

The *only* sure things for a nomination are Mirren, O'Toole and Whitaker. Everything else is wide open, much wider than these short lists.

(Part of me *needs* to believe this, because I can't stand how predictable the run-up to the Oscars has gotten.)

NATHANIEL R said...

I no longer believe Whitaker is a sure thing. that movie doesn't seem to be really catching fire... and we know so little about his competition just yet.

etslee said...

If I say it enough times, maybe it will happen: "Ryan Gosling for best actor"

I'm betting he'll get at least one critic's prize, and that will build some momentum.

Anonymous said...

I think one can expect Kate Winslet snub. They aren't brave enough to make her fans believe she is the frontrunner, and she surely is not /I've just seen "The Queen"/. What about Keke Palmer or Keisha Castle-Hughes? It would be a perfect match with Abigail Breslin.

Anonymous said...

What is more, Penelope Cruz is a lock. Firstly, because of all the buzz around her being Almodovar's muse. Secondly, "The Bandidas". Yes, I'm serious - look at Charlize Theron's "AeonFlux" last year - a nod for "North Country" was only the way to rescue her from ending up getting a Razzie Award. By the way, she does prove that she is able to be brilliant /I've already seen "Volver"/.

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous, Cruz -- it's still a foreign language performance when all is said and done. those are hard to "lock" up.

and it's not even eligible yet since it hasn't been released just yet.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, Aaron Eckhart? For what? His performance in 'The Black Dahlia' is not what Oscar dreams are made of, that's for sure.

As for when my kinda-sorta-but-not-really love for Zelly jumped the shark, I would say that it reached its apex right after the first 'Bridget Jones' movie came out, and slowly but steadily plummetted once she showed up at the Oscars in 2002, looking terrribly gaunt and plasticine. (I swear to God it appeared her face was melting when they cut to her during Halle Berry's infamous Oscar acceptance speech. Not a good look.)

Let's hope Gretchen Mol has a shot in hell with a huge upswell of late-year critical support, because there's a lot working against her at the moment.

Marco

adam k. said...

I dunno, it's really hard for me to imagine Winslet getting snubbed if the film is on their radar at all.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I doubt Aaron Eckhart is getting in for Thank You For Smoking. Although I wouldn't be that annoyed if he did somehow get in.

Javi, it's funny you mention the NYFCC because I was gonna say that if anywhere is gonna give Cruz lots of love, it'll be there.

I'd love to believe Gretchen Mol has a shot (even though I haven't seen the film), and she probably does have more of a shot than Christian Bale did for American Psycho, but... I dunno. They're gonna need to make sure they send out screeners and actually advertise it. The T&A could sell easily, but it's a movie a lot wouldn't have even heard of due to its release date.

adam k. said...

Does T&A refer to "tits and ass"? I'm serious. I'm not sure.

NATHANIEL R said...

To Marco ---Aaron Eckhard for Thank You For Smoking... not Dahlia. And yeah, it's conceivable that he could be in the GG Comedy lineup which would help.

To Adam --yes it does.

To Misty --you can see the trajectory of my love curdling into hate for Renée Zellweger here.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, what on earth is going on? What I absolutely adore about your site and your opinions is that you are one of the very few film fans who DOES NOT give in to groupthink.
When I saw your comments on 'The Queen' I was momentarily cheered because I thought at least SOMEONE along with me doesn't get the huge acclaim for this.
Now a couple of weeks have passed and what has happened? You have upgraded it from a B- to a B+ and are now ok with Helen Mirren getting an Oscar for it (whereas in the past you have railed loudly against the inevitability of people like Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Phillip Seymour-Hoffmann, all performances you liked at least as much).
Why does Mirren get a special pass? Despite the blind love on places like oscarwatch, she isn't all that great?
Any have you seen 'The Queen' again recently and liked it more? Because I would have to call it a pathetic cop out if you have just upgraded it to B+ because you thought you should like it

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous

--i haven't changed at all. I often have question marks by grades when I have shifting feelings ... then I settle on a grade.

this is the way I've always done it.

as i noted on the blog I saw The Queen under pretty terrible conditions but it still stuck with me --i'm still thinking about it. The B- (?) was never meant to be permanent. And neither is the B+ (?)

i'm seeing it again this weekend because I want to see it instead of have it happen to me inches from my face.

for the curious the last movie that did make the B- to B+ jump permanently was thirteen (2003) and the movie that made the biggest drop ever was adaptation which I saw in a preview screening and thought I'd give an A- to. Then the second time I hated it. The third time I was indifferent. I give it a different grade every time ;)