Friday, January 05, 2007

Today in Pissing Nathaniel Off...

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (also known as BAFTA) have released their finalists for acting nominations (from which the traditional five wide nominated shortlists are then drawn) and they have listed Anne Hathaway from The Devil Wears Prada under "Best Supporting Actress"

Supporting !

Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.

You have to be kidding me. I just. I don't know what to say anymore...

As much as I am beginning to resent my status as an angry broken record on this particular topic, and as much as I wish that more media voices (and voices louder than mine --I don't know, someone cranky and integrity-filled and super famous like, say, Sean Penn) would take on some of this anti-category fraud load, I gotta keep fighting the good fight. I gotta keep shouting until people finally get embarassed. It may take me decades but eventually someone somewhere in the film world will be ashamed.

41 comments:

Beau said...

I knew this was coming. :)

J.D. Judge said...

SUPPORTING?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

WHAT THE F*CK?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

This isn't right! Andy was the goddamn main character!

I haven't done it yet, but Anne probably won my Best LEAD Actress (in a Musical/Comedy)! Meryl, beyond her star power, is supporting her! GOD!!!!!!!

I'm upset, as you can tell.

DAMN YOU STUPID BRITS!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Should I say "Damn you stupid AMERICANS for calling DiCaprio's role in "The Departed" supporting!"?
I know it's ridiculous but calm down and don't insult people who have nothing to do with that.
She's not going to make it anyway.

Anonymous said...

The categorey fraud thing is pissing me off as well... but don't blame the BAFTAs. Of all the freakin award groups, their the ones who usually get the catogire placement right.(Broadbent, Johansson, Weisz, Blanchett, etc.)Plus...

a. They gave "Brokeback Mountain" Best Picture, Best Direcor,Best Screenplay and an acting trophy to Jake. (I screamed when Theron read his name from the envelope.)

b. They nominated "Eternal Sunshine" for Best Picture.

c. The gave Best Picture to "Lord of the Rings" over "A Beautiful Mind"

I'm sure there's plenty of reasosn to be frusterated by the BAFTAs but overall, they really do KICK ASS!

NATHANIEL R said...

i was always of the notion that the film had two leads but my friends have been FYCing me re: making Meryl Supporting. The Boyfriend even got into the act and got all high and mighty about narrative structure and character arcs and such so maybe i should cave on this one.

maybe Meryl really is supporting?

but ANNE HATHAWAY is a lead.

i wish that BAFTA or SAG or AMPAS or someone would stop playing along with this stupid game. The only recent occurence wherein someone seemed to draw the line and just say "no, that's dumb" was the Academy voting for Keisha Castle Hughes for Whale Rider as a lead despite the supporting campaign and supporting nomination at SAG.

that's the only time i can think of in recent memory when category fraud was outright rejected. I wonder why it doesn't happen more often.

adam k. said...

I just did a post on this very same topic today.

I also wonder why more people aren't up in arms about James McAvoy, too. Cause he actually IS award-worthy, and British, and MIGHT actually get nominated for the BAFTA. And I'll throw up, because he deserves a nomination in lead. It makes me crazy. The similarities to Training Day, which started all this nonsense, seem to be making people forget that it's egregious in McAvoy's case, too.

But yes, British bias aside, the BAFTAs are usually really good about:

A) rejecting category fraud
B) picking good nominees overall

...which just makes me more mad at them. Category fraud is like this disease that keeps spreading to more and more organizations. Someone, PLEASE, stop this epidemic.

and re: Meryl... Actually, the more I watch the film, the more I buy her as a lead. It's obviously a judgment call, but especially if you listen to the DVD they talk about how it became clear in editing that the film was really about the relationship between Andy and Miranda and that other parts needed to be cut out. She's at least as much of a lead as Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. Same basic relationship. Same basic structure. I vote that Nathaniel keep Streep lead.

And yes, Anne Hathaway, too.

OK, I'm done now. (sigh)

J.D. Judge said...

" Should I say "Damn you stupid AMERICANS for calling DiCaprio's role in "The Departed" supporting!"? "

Good point. I am sorry for screaming, but why is everyone confused about where to put people?

Oh, there are some good things from BAFTA this year:

Leo is lead for The Departed.

Matt Damon is being recognized, (AND IN LEAD!!! YAY!!!,) for The Departed.

Cate Blanchett is lead for Notes On a Scandal (she seems just as lead as Judi Dench.)

But Anne is LEAD!

Anonymous said...

This has to be a joke. BAFTAs are usually more strict than anything else: UMA THURMAN got a nod for the leading role in "Pulp Fiction"; KATE HUDSON - for "Almost famous", JIM BROADBENT - for "Iris" /and he won "best supporting actor" for "Moulin Rouge!" :):):)/, Rachel Weisz for "The Constant Gardener"...
And although there are some people they love no matter how deserving they are /Ziyi Zhang has THREE BAFTA noms; not for "2046" lol/, they usually make better choices.
Hathway's performance might have been too weak for them to be placed in lead but too lovely to part with. But that little girl in "Pan's Labyrinth"? I don't know what is she doing there, especially when there's no Maribel Verdu in supporting.
I'm also surprised to see Toni Collette in supporting category, while Greg Kinnear is in leading.

Arkaan said...

Also, is Eva Green really lead in Casino Royale? Switching Hathaway with Green would make sense, no?

Jack said...

"She's at least as much of a lead as Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. Same basic relationship. Same basic structure."

I was planning on making that comparison. Although it's arguably not QUITE the same, because Hopkins is SO dominating in that film that you don't realise he only has about 20 minutes of screen-time.

After I walked out of "Devil Wears Prada" I kept thinking about it (because all the reviews had been saying about how Streep was a shoo-in for a Best Actress nomination) and I decided that she was probably a Supporting Actress.

If there wasn't all this media attention on her being a lead, and anyone saw the film without any outside voices swaying them, I think it would be obvious Streep was supporting.

That being said, I'm going to nominate her for lead actress in my end-of-year-awards, because 1) there aren't enough lead actresses I want to nominate, and 2) I am easily swayed. But then again, I don't show my nominations to anyone, and Nathaniel posts them on a widley read blog.

J.D. Judge said...

Something you all might have missed:

DREAMGIRLS is not there in Picture or Director.

That seems odd.

Especially since Eva Green is being recognized. ???

Anonymous said...

This all has to do with contracts and strict rules about which actors are "leads" and "supporting." It usually has little to do with size of role, comparatively speaking. (Who says size counts, right?) I don't recall TDWP main titles, but the rule of thumb is: if an actor's name appears above the title on the main title cards, the actor is a lead.

Anonymous said...

Meryl is not supporting Nat, she is easily lead. If you put Kidman as lead for 'The Hours' then Streep is lead. Please don't cave. I prefer you when you stick to your guns - you have already caved in your recent praise for Mirren when it is obvious that initially you weren't that big a fan of her performance when you first saw it

Kamikaze Camel said...

Is it just my imagination or did Nat say this was gonna happen a while back? That Meryl would go lead and Anne supporting. I'm not sure if that happened in the American awards thing because Blunt took up the supporting spot and I think Anne was just kind of floating knowing she wasn't gonna get nominated no matter where she was placed. Sad.

Anyway. It is ridiculous.

You know what category fraud protestors like us need: An actor to publicly renounce their supporting nomination if they are a lead.

Not in a Jack Nicholson "I thought we were making a comedy" way, but in a "I cannot accept this nomination because I was the lead actor and it insults me as an actor to be placed in Supporting Actor when I'm not. Nominate somebody else."

...or such and such.

Jacquie said...

It's maddening, well said.

Nathaniel, thanks for linking to my blog a while back (wigs and weaves). I am happy to add you to my must reads, and wish I found you sooner.

adam k. said...

Well why didn't Blunt take the supporting slot in the British awards, too? She's BRITISH.

The problem with expecting actors to publicly renounce their supporting nominations is that they were only placed in supporting in the first place cause they COULDN'T get nominated in lead. Why would they renounce a nomination that they went to such great lengths (FRAUD) to recieve? Not gonna happen. Plus it'd make you sound like a big asshole.

"I cannot accept this, because I was a LEADING actor."

It sounds quite vain.

The thing to do would be to renounce it with the rationale that it's an insult to other actual supporting that their spot was taken by a lead who wanted a nom. If I were Anne Hathaway or James McAvoy and I got nominated, that's what I'd say.

Barry said...

Anne Hathway and Meryl Streep are the 2 LEADS of The Devil Wears Prada.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Well I never said it'd happen, but it's probably the only thing that will stop it from happening.

NATHANIEL R said...

to anonymous concerned with my change on heart on Mirren. i've heaard this a few times and I'm confused about where this perception is coming from

the change of heart didn't really happen.

As I said in my initial review I had a very lousy viewing experience. I was sitting in the very front row where i could almost touch the screen on the far side and everyones faces, including Mirrens (almost always in close up), were distorted throughout.

i said then that I thought it a good performance. I still do. and I still think it's a good performance that's been overpraised. It will definitely not be winning a gold medal from me.

I liked the film better the second time (marginally --it won't make my top ten or anything) and I was definitely able to appreciate her performance more when I coudl really see it. but i didn't change my mind --it's not the best performance of the year. mostly because it's not all that challenging.

what she does she does do superbly but it's kind of a tiny character arc and y'all know I prefer complete character creations (as a general preference) to mimicry of real life people.

i still haven't picked my nominees for the best actress category. there's so many more people deserving than usual so ---argh.

Anonymous said...

Say what you want about Meryl, but there is no way Anne is supporting. You can't even make a valid arguement. Sorry.

I hope Emily gets in over him.

Anonymous said...

I meant her. ^^

Anonymous said...

Why does it upset you more than SAG Leonardo DiCaprio miscast?
Let's think what in fact a supporting role can mean to the voters.
1. a role with limited screen time
2. a role that supports the better one; see: Jake Gyllenhaal in "Brokeback Mountain". His performance was crucial to the film success and I'd say he was lead, but he was somehow supporting Heath.
I also think that Anne Hathaway has a leading role, but with Meryl Streep's performance she may seem to support her, at least for voters who threw her in this category.
I think we shouldn't be angry - that's what all these shows are about: we see things in different ways and we should accept it, however strange it may seem to us.

Aren't you happy that "Devil wears Prada" was chosen one of the best pictures of the year over "Dreamgirls"?
They've made some worthy choices. And although I quite like Anne's performance, it don't think it deserves any awards apart from MTV Movie Award, so why even bother?

J.D. Judge said...

" but the rule of thumb is: if an actor's name appears above the title on the main title cards, the actor is a lead. "

Then Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Koji Yakusho are lead for BABEL.

And Eddie Murphy.

And Mark Wahlberg.

And Ed Harris for "AHOV".

There are many disprooves to that.

Ali said...

"i still haven't picked my nominees for the best actress category. there's so many more people deserving than usual so ---argh."

Good, then there's still time to campaign for Naomi Watts. Saw The Painted Veil today, and while I thought the film was hit and miss, she was unquestionably luminous. This may be my favourite performance of hers, and I am in line with you in regards to her spotty filmography of late. Watts for Actress!

J.D. Judge said...

Since people are campaigning, I'll do it:

Nathaniel, have you seen "Sophie Scholl: The Final Days?" Although nominated for Best Foreign Language Film 2005, it had a theatrical release in 2006, so it counts. It's hard to explain.

Beautiful. Moving. Compelling. Horrific. Heartbreaking. Disturbing. Tears running down my face.

One of the best films of the year, without a doubt. Julia Jentsch is absolutely excellent as Sophia Magdalena Scholl, the legendary anti-Nazi activist. A haunting and beautiful and heartbreaking performance. A tour de force if there is ever one.

See it. It is excellent.

NATHANIEL R said...

it upsets me more than SAGs situation with Leonardo DiCaprio because

a) Anne is unarguably the lead of Devil --there is no reading of the film that can support her being a supporting character.

b) one can make a case, flimsy but you still can, that everyone is supporting in The Departed -an ensemble. I personally think Leo & Matt are the leads with everyone else supporting but if you really wanted to try you COULD come up with some other variation.

c) SAG voters cannot choose --against their rules-- to reject fraudulent categorizations. The only way they have to reject it is to not vote for it. so it's not their fault as much as it is the studios (who do choose)

adam k. said...

Anne Hathaway is not supporting, though. It's not subjective. It doesn't matter if Meryl's role was better.

By that logic, Jodie Foster was supporting Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs... except they had two different categories, so it didn't matter.

OhMyTrill said...

at least they didn't nominate La Skank for anything

Kamikaze Camel said...

"2. a role that supports the better one;"

Well, I wouldn't agree with that.

Was whoever people prefered out of Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon lead and the other supporting? no. They're two leads.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Blah, sorry - I thought you wrote that's what you though (to Anon about supporting actors)

Moving on.

Bruno Packer said...

Talking about NOT accepting your nomination as a result in category fraud:

It did happen but it was in Thailand. This nasty gorefest called Art of the Devil 2 campaigned for its lead actress Napakapa Nakprasit. When the nominations for their main film awards were announced she was nominated but was pissed off because she got place in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Not happy with that result she withdrew her nomination, and the film's production company boycotted the award's ceremony. That's how it should be done.

Unfortunaly, stars in Hollywood have bigger egos -cough, Jaime Foxx, cough- so that makes it unlikely to happen.

Marcelo said...

You wouldn't be caving in if you changed Meryl for supporting. Her replacement in supporting is a totally acceptable possibility. It is not fraud. And she could win gold.

the gibbzer said...

I think one of the problems with Bafta on the category front was the fact that the actors names are listed all together in the first round voting papers. So you have to make your own decision about where to vote for each of them. Most of the screeners have the company's preferred categories on the back but some don't. Last King's screener definitely listed McAvoy for Supporting but, to be fair, Prada's had Hathaway down as Lead. This means that more Bafta voters placed her in Supporting than Lead off their own bat.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the other anonymous - you would be caving if you put Streep in supporting. You have been saying all year that it is a lead performance, it would just look silly to change it now simply because the boyfriend says so.

trilobyte said...

The BAFTA rules are here: http://www.bafta.org/site/webdav/shared/import/FILMRULES2007.pdf

The relevant bit is this (I think):

PERFORMANCE CATEGORIES
All individual performers are eligible for consideration within these categories:
• Actress in a Leading Role
• Actor in a Leading Role
• Actress in a Supporting Role
• Actor in a Supporting Role
The category in which individuals are placed is determined by the members’ selection within the
first round of voting: the performer will be placed in the category for which they have received
the most votes and all votes cast for that individual will be added together. Our voting system
does not permit members to cast more than one vote per performer (ie. place a performer in
both leading and supporting categories). The film’s distributor/producer may make
representations to the Academy about the award they wish a performer to be considered for
and this may be taken into consideration.

16 year old blogger said...

I'd rather have her nominated for supporting then snubbed for lead...and it seems that they are really liking this movie (All of it's cast...yes, Meryl, Stanley, Anne and Emily including the Pic. are in the running)...but we can't have more then 3 writers for a song, 3 producers for a movie, but we can have a lead in supporting??????????

the gibbzer said...

Its interesting to see on the Bafta rules - I'm a member and didn't even read them! - that they add all the votes together then just place them in the category they got most mentions for. This is good in one way in that it meanss you can't split an actors vote in the first round and stuff their chances. I was worried about this for Michael Sheen. I voted for him in supporting though I wanted to place him in leading becauseI think that's what he is! But I was worried about a split vote harming his chances. As it turns out it didn't matter. The rules protect him. But he obviously got more votes for supporting than leading as that's where he is.

amir_uk said...

Streep is SUPPORTING! No doubt about it. I've recently realised that my biggest problem with her performance is the major category fraud that's been taking place ever since the film opened.

Streep and Blunt support Hathaway.

If Streep was being campaigned as supporting, it would've been much better all round. Firstly, the performance would be where it should be (for example, it would make my final 5 in supporting but not my final 5 in leading).

Secondly, it would free up a space in Best Actress in what has been a great year for that category. Leaving room for Maggie or, dare I say it, the freshly music-branch snubbed Beyoncé, to take her place.

The only reason Meryl is being campaigned in lead is because, well, it's Meryl.

If only the Academy would take notice of me in just this one respect!

amir_uk said...

I als think Meryl could probably beat J-Hud to take her 'overdue' third Oscar if she was in supporting...

JavierAG said...

I think the real tragedy here is her being in contention while people like Maura ... are not.

Anonymous said...

A weird situation to be sure. Hathaway is the lead, but Streep trumps her/dominates her in the film. Why? because she is who she is and her character takes charge from moment one.

Don't be overly surprised, either, if Oscar decides to give oscar to DiCaprio IN SUPPORTING this year since he's been impressive twice over. Okay, so some think moreso in Departed, but that's why he may get something, just not LEAD. If he's nominated in lead category, he doesn't stand a chance. Arguments could be made for several performances in the past that got screwed or honored due to certain placement, could they not? It's happened before and AMPAS will do what it wants, not what you want it to do.