I love that Bill Nighy gets his name all vertical alongside the credits. Has that been done before? I can't recall. Clearly Nighy is the sort that could sail to a nomination if prominent AMPAS members realize that he's the sort they like: respected, enduring, gets featured roles but usually not this featured. I also love the poster in general even if it leans heavily on Talk to Her. That's kind of a dangerous movie to compare yourself too qualitatively speaking but the average moviegoer doesn't remember these things anyway. They don't while away their free time giving awards for "best poster".
I can't recall exactly why I originally poo-pooed the Oscar prospects of Notes. It was probably Oscar fatigue in the same way that the Eastwood/Haggis film made me tired just to think on it. Dench & Blanchett: Again? I stuck by the decision all year fully aware that I could easily be forced to reconsider. Judi Dench is always a threat (she's my #6 currently...which is probably silly. When it comes to favored performers like Dench, you're probably in or out but nowhere inbetween. Unless your name is Meryl Streep and you're starring in The Hours circa 2002 but why go there...again)
As for Cate Blanchett. I'm going to lose 97% of you at this very moment --forgive-- but I'm starting to get sick of looking at her. Can't they cast anyone else? She has appeared in 23 (!) movies, many of them high profile, since breaking through with Elizabeth 8 years ago. What this means is that for almost a decade she's been as ubiquitous as Scarlett Johansson has been this year alone.
Now obviously I do enjoy watching both of these overemployed stars [my top ten list for the decade] but when I think about how familiar their faces are and how many great actresses toil away in smaller roles or get none at all year after year it wears on my nerves. I wouldn't trade Cate for the world in her best roles BUT she's had more than her share of opportunities that other skilled actresses would've had career changing experiences with, instead of you know, merely filling up the empty months in their filming schedule.
A rule I wish Hollywood would live by:
No matter how great the star, they just aren't right for every role
I'm not asking for everyone to be Jodie Foster. God knows that 'one thriller every two years' schedule satisfies virtually no one but Jodie. But can't there be a middle ground?
Oh, and one more thing: Notes on a Scandal is a two-hander. The story is about the relationship of Sheba (Cate) and Barbara (Dench). Two women. Two leads. Like Thelma and Louise, maybe, only with underage coitus instead of road trip crime sprees and uncomfortable sapphic overtones instead of handholding girlpower. But we all know what happens in the age of Training Day, Brokeback Mountain and Collateral. Note this recent change to the official AMPAS rules, from page 97. paragraph 1,230:
Should a film have two principal roles of common genitalia, only one actor shall be eligible for placement in the lead category. The other must be demoted to the supporting category, preferrably displacing a lesser known character actor who we don't want to see on television as much.Dench will be in the leading category. Blanchett in support.
tags: Judi Dench, movies, celebrities, Cate Blanchett, Oscars, Academy Awards, Notes on a Scandal