Saturday, June 30, 2007

Halfway Point: Best Actress (So Far)

2007 is halfway over. Time to recalibrate those Oscar predictions... But first: A few thoughts on where we've been this year and the women who took us there. If I voted today my Best Actress shortlist would probably feature......though it's possible I'd substitute Christina Ricci for Black Snake Moan or Angelina Jolie for A Mighty Heart in there (I would take more time comparing the work if it was for real). That said I missed The Lovely Laura Linney in Jindabyne and Carice van Houten in Black Book and wish I hadn't.

If the Oscar voters had to perform a similar January to June balloting, I don't think there'd be much question about the results. The studios don't offer a wide array of possiblities early on. If the year ended now your Oscar Best Actress shortlist would read exactly so:
  • Julie Christie -Away From Her (the legend)
  • Marion Cotillard -La Vie En Rose (the biopic)
  • Katherine Heigl -Knocked Up (zeitgeist choice)
  • Angelina Jolie -A Mighty Heart (the red carpet factor)
  • Ashley Judd -Bug (the deglam / the comeback)
...with Jessica Alba's 'Invisible Woman' as the distant sixth. I kid! It'd be Keri Russell's Waitress in the justmiss sore spot prompting her to make a "I Hate the Academy of Movies As Much I Hated the Academy of TV Who Dissed Me For Felicity" pie.

If you're talking real and eventual Oscar nods, you can safely remove two of the five theoreticals. Heigl will be a force for the Globe Comedy nomination but Knocked Up is not enough of a performance piece to break through AMPAS natural aversion to comedy. Judd made a difficult role work in Bug but it's just not the Academy's cuppa and it wasn't enough of a hit to break through their natural aversion to horror.

Though this Oscar category is kinder to early birds than the other races, the early contenders are often less typically baity (Streep in Prada, Zellweger in Bridget Jones, etc...) and get to the big show by the way of hit status and popularity. So it's surprising to see three viable and typical candidates so early. Cotillard, Christie and Jolie feel like prestige season ladies: baity topics, Oscar hooks (addiction! alzheimers! mimicry!), and starpower. All three will not make it. So who fades by year's end?

You ready to do the heavy lifting in the comments? This is tough to deduce.
[A lot more handicapping on this race at the updated Oscar Page]

74 comments:

Kamikaze Camel said...

I don't think Angelina is going to make it, quite frankly. The movie just hasn't hit like it should. Of course, the release that they gave it (one of those bizarre releases that's in the limbo land between limited and wide and during all these big summer movies. not a wise move) won't help and I doubt Angelina is going to want to go out there Oscar campaigning when she could be adopting another seven kids (I kid, I kid).

If Knightley gets nominated then I can see her actually becoming a favourite. Not sure why, I can just see the Academy putting their stamp on her as if to see "We saw her first!" ya know?

If Revolutionary Road gets released then all bets are off. I sort of hope it doesn't because then we'll have Revolutionary Road and Reservation Road and that's just begging for a Jack Palance-Marisa Tomei moment.

Chinese Odyssey said...

Among these three, Julie Christie is the one i am not worry about, she will likely gets more support from critic and her peers.

I think Cotillard has a better chance than Jolie not only because her showy performance, but the fact she has visibly no "foreign spot" competition beside Tang Wei of “Lust, Caution”, who i heard is only decent.

Jolie is rock solid in her film, but there will be more hot star with showy role later this year, such as Blanchett, Kidman, Theron, and Knightly.

Anonymous said...

i think Kidman will be definetely nominated. I don't think will be shadowed by supporting caracthers. The trailer don't show anything of Margot. She definetely will surprise everybody. Good strategy in not showing in the trailer, now they are making buzz for JJL (who will be nominated for sure) and when the film realase Kidman will be in everybodys mouht. Let's wait and see.

Sorry for my english (from Barcelona)

Anonymous said...

The thought of Kiera Knightly being a two-time Oscar nominee makes me physically ill. A thoroughly mediocre actress. But I guess in Joe Wright (who directed both Pride & Prejudice and Atonement) she's found a director able to utilise her particular brand of mediocrity effectively, by sticking her in posh English costume dramas where her posh English mannerisms aren't actually a hinderance.

Not sure about Foster getting nominated. Other than exotic foreign language films (Oldboy) and unrealistic fantasies (Kill Bill), revenge films (set in the real world) tend to get harshly reviewed by overwhelmingly liberal critics. Films like DeatWish and Man On Fire represent a right-wing ethos to law and order that most critics loathe, so they tend to slam those movies. The Brave One seems like DeathWish or Man On Fire with a female lead. I don't think the reviews are going to be good, no matter the quality of the film. I think it'll get bad reviews, do good box office, and Foster won't be a factor in the Oscar race.

Hope Kidman can get back in the race. Between this and The Golden Compass, she's going to be highly visible this winter. I think Cotillard and Blanchett are probably locks at this point, with 3 places still up for grabs.

Anonymous said...

If Margot At The Wedding becomes this year's Sideways with AMPAS, Kidman's going to able to ride the gravy train to a nomination. Once a little indie picture becomes liked enough to be nominated in major catergories (best Director, best picture), then the actors tend to get pulled along with the hype.

The Savages made a mistake opening in late December, imho. If Margot works, it's going to effectively take away the "indie comedy/drama" slot that seems to be a yearly staple with AMPAS now.

Anonymous said...

I don't see Angelina Jolie being nominated.

rural juror said...

All of your Once love fills me with joy...

As for Keira Knightley, I think Joe Wright has something that gets the very best out of here. I actually like her, but I think she's at her best with him.

Victor S said...

About Kidman, I think there's a problem: She only got nominations when her films are up fot Best Picture, and "Margot..." doesn't look a real Best Picture contender.

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous #1--re: revenge dramas. the trailer leads me to believe that it's not going to necessarily be a pro-revenge drama but a conflicted one.

just my hunch. neil jordan can do really interesting things with ethical/personal/political/violent quagmires (see also: crying game)

anonymous #2 --completely agreed on Margot vs. Savages. Fox Searchlight did such a good job with Little Miss Sunshine last year... i'm really surprised that they didn't take their cue from that and try the slow build approach with another low budget well acted (presumably) comedy. Maybe they don't have as much faith in it?

NATHANIEL R said...

on an also: i am a broken record but the academy is nowhere near as liberal as they get credit for being...

and isn't the academy of TV (also accused of liberalism) quite fond of the right wing antics of 24?

Catherine said...

"The thought of Kiera Knightly being a two-time Oscar nominee makes me physically ill." Anon, I'm in complete agreement. She may turn out to be amazing in Atonement, but the thought of Ikea Knightley being up there is just sickening.

I really hope Cotillard gets nominated (if not, I'm launching a "The Oscars Are Xenophobic!!!" campaign) and also Laura Linney for Jindabyne, in which she was absolutley amazing.

I haven't seen most of the other women. I'm dying to see Knocked Up and Away From Her, but they haven't gotten here yet.

Anonymous said...

Carice van Houten definately deserves an Oscar, her performance was the best i've seen in years!

Anonymous said...

I certainly feel a second nomination for Keira Knightley is a possibility. If it makes some drama queens physically sick that's an added bonus.

But a win would be extremely unlikely. For that to happen I think the movie would also have to win best actor and either best picture or best director.

I could see a best actress situation like in 1997 where there's only one American nominee who then goes on to win the thing.

Arkaan said...

Well, Gladiator was basically a revenge drama, wasn't it? Sure, a revenge drama in Ancient Rome with sandals, but a revenge drama nonetheless.

I'd argue that the television academy is only more liberal because they have to be - they can't ignore Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert because both are doing the kind of brilliant comedy that is unignorable. They can't ignore Angels in America because its just that phenomenal.

chinese odyssey, there really is no "foreign spot" at the oscars, outside of maybe the writing categories. In fact, foreign performances tend to have a difficult time making it in the acting categories because critics (in their groupthink) tend to avoid singling them out in reviews/awards.

Kamikaze Camel said...

All the "Knightley being nominated makes me ill" stuff is just like that old chestnut "If so-and-so loses the Oscar then they lose all credibility". If she's good then I don't see why she shouldn't be nominated. Just because some people will get upset that Knightley has a knack for realising she is very well suited to period films and thus continues making them. It's like Meg Ryan and her romcoms or Julianne Moore and her crying. pfft, whatever.

I'm not sure where everyone is getting this "Margot at the Wedding will be huge with the Academy". It'd be great to see Kidman back in Oscar-worthy form and to see the film go down well, but The Squid and the Whale only got a Screenplay nod, even after a good showing at the Globes and with critics.

I doubt it'll become another Sideways - because the main characters are female and the reason Sideways did what it did was because all the old men saw themselves in the miserable alcoholic sad sack character.

(that's my theory and I'm sticking to it)

Thank you Catherine for your words about Linney. I adore that movie something shocking.

NATHANIEL R said...

catherine... i hope you don't think the film bitch awards are xenophobic when i dismiss Cotillard ;)

i have cooled on my lack of appreciation for her work... because the more i ponder over it the more I just think the film itself is just a huge mess but mimicry just bores me. even when it's accurate mimicry i always find myself asking: is this all there is?

just as it's the academy's general bias to find mimicry superior it's my bias to find building a character from scratch superior. just something i've come to realize. I'll just never be that wowed by it... though i do love the occassional biopic performance (the most recent one that totally awed me would be david strathairn's in good night. and good luck.

steve said...

I can see both Christie and Jolie making it. On it's own, I doubt A Mighty Heart would last until the awards season, but Jolie is the type of celebrity who's always in the news. I'm guessing she won't be forgotten.

Ricci is still my favorite so far this year.

Ben said...

Angelina doesn't stand a chance. Julie and Marion are in the race for good, methinks. And from the trailer for Margot, doesn't it kind of look like they could be positioning Nicole as a lead actress in the supporting category? I just get an ensemble feel from it, and if the Best Actress category gets crowded, why not relegate Kidman to supporting? She isn't going to win (in all likelihood), she's got her Oscar, really only the nomination is what she needs to get back on the map. ::shrugs::

But what do I know?

NATHANIEL R said...

i was actually thinking that too. the trailer does look like Jennifer Jason Leigh is an equal lead to Nicole Kidman. but even if that's true. JJL will be demoted. they both have vaginas. it's the rules.

rural juror said...

"I certainly feel a second nomination for Keira Knightley is a possibility. If it makes some drama queens physically sick that's an added bonus."

CHEERS!

Anyone remember before 'Pride and Prejudice' came out and everyone was whining about her being in it? What happened? Oh right...she was great and got nominated for an Oscar. So don't write her off (she's working with her signature director, after all).

Chinese Odyssey said...

Arkaan:

I agree that "foreign spot" does not exist in perpetuity. But i do think with the right performance, buzz, and timing, there will be a "spot" open for foreign player's advantage.

Arkaan said...

Can someone tell me what "building a character from scratch" means?

Stephen said...

I can't see Angelina not making it. She's so impressive in the film, finally a real actress, and I think the star power adds an incredibly dynamic element to the film's portrayal of Mariane Pearl. I think she'll be remembered, I really do. If this is campaigned correctly, and the end-of-the-year nominees don't bring home the bacon, I don't see why this performance couldn't bring her a win.

Anonymous said...

Keira Knightley had her chance with Pride and Prejudice ( provided that was a very weak year for Best Actress category ) but to see her nominated again would be very terrible.
She had her chance, let someone else who is far more deserving in on the race.
Julie Christie and Cate Blanchett are sure locks right now, Cotillard might just sneak in and Nicole Kidman looks like she has got her act back togather so lets just see.

rural juror said...

To the last anonymous:

#1: Oscars aren't about 'getting your chance', they're about rewarding the (supposed) best.

#2: How do you know if she is deserving or not? Have you seen Atonement?

#3: You used the term 'sure locks', which is already ridiculous, but especially about Christie and Blanchett who are anything but 'sure locks'.

Julia said...

To be honest, I really can't see the hype of (a) Angelina Jolie's performance in "The Mighty Heart", and (b) "The Mighty Heart" in general. The only performance awards-worthy memorable, imo, was Irfan Khan's. Angelina just struck me as too cold, and her little breakdown sense seemed, well, forced.

If it's a weak year though, I could see Angelina making the top 5 at the Oscars...truly for the red carpet factor. I don't know if Julie Christie would be able to make the top 5 -- I don't think that "Away from Her" has received the necessary buzz to make it to nomination time.

My favorites thus far - Julie Christie for "Away from Her", Keri Russell for "Waitress", and Marketa Irglova for "Once." I would be giddy with glee if the most lovely Keri Russell received GG love for "Waitress."

Eegah said...

I love that you love Markéta Irglová so much. She's luminous...as is the film. An absolute Irish gem :P

Catherine said...

Re: xenophobic Oscars...I think I'm still hurt over Penelope Cruz losing to the Queen from last year! I really loved Cottilard, I can see why you'd snub her though so no worries on that front! I *do* think she transcended pure mimicry though, but that was just my take on it.

rural juror said...

I know that I am cheering for Marketa Irglove

NATHANIEL R said...

arkaan

the building from scratch thing is a cooking reference. it's making something without any pre-made ingredients.

just my personal take but i think when an actor conjures a fulll character that feels specific without being able to base it on the mannerisms of an actual person they've studed... i think that's more creative. I realize this is a minority opinion but i'm ok with that. i've seen too many actors in real life who find mimicry easy --seems to be a common skill. and i'm just always more wowed by the full creation

(of course that being said: i realize that character creation starts with the script which the actor doesn't do but that's true in biopic and non biopic roles alike)

steve said...

I hope Cotillard doesn't make it an I kind of doubt she will. It's a foreign language performance and it opens so early? Even for the beginning of the year slot, how can she withstand the legend of Christie and the starpower of Jolie, both of whom gave better performances?

Brody said...

I really didn't expect you to have Jodi in the NUMBER ONE spot, Nat. But hey, It could happen.

Kamikaze - the reason why some are jumping on the Margot at the Wedding train is probably because the trailer wa realllly good, there have been a couple of test screenings saying that if it doesn't somehow go under the radar that it could get BP status.

And nat, I have actually read the script (I could send it to you if you like, but you prob don't want to be spoiled) and Kidman is DEF lead. The trailer covered up some of her storyline to keep some of the story under wraps because there is a lot more to see. The WHOLE movie is about Margot this, and Margot that.

amir_uk said...

Cotillard, schmotillard. I still can't believe people are being so blindsighted by the arm-flapping histrionics and, as Nathaniel rightly put it, boring mimcry of it all.

Knightley is going to win it this year. She'll be the only one in the final line-up without an Oscar already.

Arkaan said...

I was being facetious.

It seems to me that because the academy falls for mimicry/impersonation and falls for it hard, among cinephiles, it's instantly branded as unworthy (or not as worthy). Is there a more perjorative term among cinephiles than "Oscar-Bait?"

Example: Forest Whitaker, last year. Now, normally, I wouldn't call his work underrated. He swept his way to the oscar. That said, because he was playing a real person and his gestures/persona was an outsized one, it doesn't seem to get as much praise as I would hope from cinephiles.

I definitely agree it's more "creative" for the actor in that they have create more of the performance themselves, harder? I don't know - I'd argue that the task of portraying someone with a pre-ordained image is pretty hard. Just like playing a famous character from a book would be - everyone has their own opinion or thinks they know just how it should be played. And given that any original character often has antecedents anyway, it seems churlish to prefer one over the other.

My two cents.

Anonymous said...

I think that Julie Christie is the odd woman out if those three have to have one out (actually I predictin gall three getting nodded right now -- with Cate Blanchett for "The Golden Age" and someone else random). Christie's is the subtle performance of the group that gets overshadowed by the bigger guns, while Angelina's Angelina (they're going to want Brangelina there for the big night) and Cotillard's doing their beloved musical biopic biz role. I am happy that some meaty, Oscary films and roles are coming along in the summer for those like me who loathe summer blockbusters (still waiting for "La Vie En Rose" in my area -- seen "A Mighty Heart" and "Away From Her" already). It's very much appreciated to build up anticipation for Oscar season.

c.p. iñor said...

Yeah, I think Keira will be nominated and she might even win, unless... Revolutionary Road opens this year, I mean, can they ignore Winslet again? But I don't think RR will open in 2007.

steve said...

If Cotillard makes the final five I will be shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

Hers is the buzz/film that would be a shoo-in later in the year. But distance hopefully will reveal her performance for what it is: fine but also sort of "whatever." I just can't envision her buzz lasting that long. Christie and Jolie have all these factors going for them - legendary/hugh celebrity/previous winners. Cotillard, hopefully, doesn't stand a chance.

I really liked Christie, Jolie, and Judd, but Ricci's performance is the only that I truly want (at this point) in the final five (and I know that won't happen).

steve said...

If Cotillard makes the final five I will be shocked. Shocked, I tell you!

Hers is the buzz/film that would be a shoo-in later in the year. But distance hopefully will reveal her performance for what it is: fine but also sort of "whatever." I just can't envision her buzz lasting that long. Christie and Jolie have all these factors going for them - legendary/hugh celebrity/previous winners. Cotillard, hopefully, doesn't stand a chance.

I really liked Christie, Jolie, and Judd, but Ricci's performance is the only that I truly want (at this point) in the final five (and I know that won't happen).

Kamikaze Camel said...

What Cotillard has in her corner is the fact that she is one of the only contenders for Best Actress (that we can see as of now) who has never been nominated before, and she's a relative newcomer to a lot of people.

Arkaan, I know I wasn't too switched on to Whitaker, but that was because I thought Scotland was an offensive, insulting, horrible mess of a film and one of the worst of the year. But I'm definitely in the minority on that one.

Brody, when was the last time the Academy went for movie such as Margot. It does look good, but it looks good in the Royal Tenenbaums sort of way mixed with a bit of twee. Sideways is not a good comparison at all.

And to the anon person who thinks Keira's already "had her chance" (wtf?) - does that mean that Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman, Julie Christie, Cate Blanchett, Laura Linney, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Berry, Helena Bonham Carter, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Connolly, Angelina Jolie, Sigourney Weaver, Anna Paquin, Marcia Gay Harden, Naomi Watts, Natalie Portman, Catherine Keener, Helen Hunt and Brenda Blethyn (all from Nat's Actress page) have "had their chance"? God, it's kind of pathetic, really. You haven't even seen any of these performances I bet, bay maybe one or two. And nobody is ever a "lock" in July. Especially when their movies haven't even been released yet. Christ.

Anonymous said...

Forest Whitaker was brilliant in "Last King of Scotland", and it is snobbery at its highest level when people pull the "it's mimicry! it's easy! there's no depth!" spiel to his and other biopic roles. It was as difficult to capture the nuances of Idi Amin as it was to capture the nuances of Dan Dunne or Danny Archer, and that isn't the barometer that should be used to measure the worthiness of the actual performance.

Jodie Foster isn't being nominated or winning for "The Brave One". She gets her next nomination and third Oscar once she portrays Leni Riefenstahl.

I don't get where all of this Keira hate is coming from either. She was excellent in "Pride & Prejudice" and would have been a deserving winner (along with Felicity Huffman -- anything over Reese's boring performance). I think Keira Knightley will surprise a lot of people in "Atonement", and if it's worthy, then I don't see a problem in nominating her again. Joe Wright obviously sees some untapped potential in her that others don't see, and I respect that.

Anonymous said...

Having read and enjoyed the book, I still don't truly see what's potentially Oscary about Keira's role in Atonement. My jury is still out on her - she was perfectly cracking in Pride & Prejudice, though still only a shadow of Jennifer Ehle's definitive reading - but I'm yet to be completely smitten.

Meanwhile, I really can't see Cotillard not making it. Many of us right here may be "over" the biopic performance as Oscarbait, but none of us are under any illusions that the Academy is remotely close to being over it. Cotillard's performance has received drooling in all the right places, and she looks like an easy nominee to me.

And heaven alone knows in which category the Globes will place her (Bjork landed in "Drama" rather than "Musical", remember). A win in the least competitive of the two categories there might even seal the deal for her...

Rob

Anonymous said...

Jennifer Ehle's reading definitive?
Not at all. She did a good job, but made the character too mature and smug right from the beginning. Lacking the sense of growth and dawning self awareness which should haven been there.
Elizabeth Garvie was better, IMO. As was Keira.

None of the characters in Atonement are typical oscar fodder so any actor noms from it will depend heavily on the movie itself being really good.

Michael Parsons said...

I think at this point Cotillard and Christie are in. Colillard's performance was bigger and bolder and involved singing. The critics have raved, and she will be in.
Jolie probably needs a few more years to live down the whole brother kissing, goth days. Plus with her stance on gay marriage, Ernest Borgnine may attack her on the red carpet. They Academy do not want a blood bath.

Nat I do agree about mimicry. There have been very few bio pics where I was impressed with a performance of real acting. Doing a amazing job finding the mannerisms and voice is great (Ray, The Queen ect) but finding truth is amazing, yet hardly happens (Angela Bassett in what's Love got to do With it).
The Academy does not see the difference. They go for acting that looks hard on the surface.

Anonymous said...

Cotillard and Christie are in, as far as I can see from here, and I predict they will both get big critics' support at the end of the year. I'm still sitting on the fence about Jolie for now.

I think people are overestimating Blanchett's chances because it looks so baity and typically Oscary. The Golden Age trailer looked hugely underwhelming to me, but we'll see.

I have a sense Keira will be overshadowed by her co-stars, particularly James McAvoy and Romola Garai, and end up like Nicole in Cold Mountain.

I also think people are underestimating the chances of Nicole Kidman this year. She could well ride a wave of affection for Margot at the Wedding into her third nomination. Jennifer Jason Leigh is a very strong bet for a Supporting nod, it's similarly plausible that Baumbach will get his second Original Screenplay nod, and the 26 December release of The Savages looks to be freeing up an opening for that small indie dramedy slot. Now, because it's female-centric and lacks a conceivable gimmick or selling hook (e.g. road trip, child beauty pageant), Margot probably won't generate the wider crossover appeal of Sideways or Little Miss Sunshine. But I think it looks closer to, say, You Can Count on Me than The Royal Tenenbaums, which I found very smug, mannered and cartoonish - Margot looks much warmer, more natural and accessible, both emotionally and stylistically (and I mean that for AMPAS, not just me). Granted, a Best Picture or Director nomination may be stretching it, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it ended up with three major nods: Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay, and won at least one of those.

steve said...

I still don't see Cotillard making it. I just can't see the buzz lasting that long. But that's just me.

I honestly think Jolie has the best chance from this part of the year. She's in a well-received film, her performance has been generously praised, it's "important" and "timely", she's a huuuuuge star, and I suspect the Academy will nominate to prove that Girl, Interrupted wasn't a fluke and they were right to reward her in 1999.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Anon5.26, Forrest Whitaker has largely escaped the "it's mimicry!" cries, actually. But, yes, personally I wasn't too amazed although I did think he was good in a "he yells convincingly" sort of way. But, again, I truly hate that movie so that doesn't help.

amir_uk said...

Anonymous Rob - I know what you mean about Keira's role not being Oscary enough - her character in the book doesn't have that much to do. But then again, nor do the other characters. It's all about implication and reaction - if Keira nails it, then she's in.

Magnificent novel by the way - a contemporary classic if ever there was one (along with McEwan's follow-up, Saturday).

steve said...

I thought Whitaker (and McAvoy... and Anderson and Washington, actually) were top notch in The Last King of Scotland. I had some problems with the movie itself, but the acting wasn't one of them - definitely film elevating stuff, and true characterization beyond mimicry.

Arkaan said...

Didn't care for Saturday. Liked Enduring Love quite a bit, though (the book).

Cotillard will be an interesting test case. She's foreign (a minus) in a really baity film (a plus). We've seen that before (Javier Bardem in The Sea Inside, remember), but actress is typically a weaker category (typically I said. No need to cite 2006).

I mentioned this last year, but it bears repeating. For some reason, critics (as a group) don't cotton to foreign performances as easily as they do to English language ones. Maybe the language barrier makes it harder (when you're reading subtitles, it's easy to miss nuances - and this is especially true for those in smaller roles, like Carmen Maura last year). Maybe the fact that the films are rarely huge hurts. I dunno, but if you ask one critic to name their top five, you'll likely get a foreign performance in there. Ask ten or twenty and compile the results, the top five will generally be all english language performances.

Since 1995 we've had three foreign films nominated for best picture. We've had 11 foreign language screenplays nominated and four performances (Cruz, Montenegro, Troisi and Begnini).

The big strike against Cotillard is that, unlike Cruz, Begnini or Montenegro (or Bardem), she's not as well known to American crowds/critics. She was sensational in the fucked up 2004 romance Love Me If You Dare, but no one saw A Good Year. And the summer release date is gutsy.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I kind of want La Vie En Rose to be successful just so it proves that pre-September doesn't equal death.

But I haven't seen the movie yet, so...

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Catalina Sandino Moreno for "Maria Full of Grace".

Anonymous said...

Why have you left out the ladies from In Bloom: Uma Thurman and Evan Rachel Wood - by far two of the most underrated actresses working today.

Evan was badly snubbed for Thirteen but she has a strong chance for the Best Supporting Actress category and Uma for the lead.
I am really not happy with your list Nathaniel and I have a feeling by the end of the year it will be different.

Arkaan said...

It's less that pre-Sept = death and more that this summer is crazy.

As a summer of blockbusters, it's insane (and we still have Transformers, Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Bourne 3). But even if you look at the arthouses here, most of them are pretty full too (Paris Je T'aime, A Mighty Heart, Away from Her, After the Wedding, Vitus, Once, Waitress), and shall continue to be so (Joshua, Broken English, Sicko, Talk to Me, Rescue Dawn).

La Vie En Rose is in a good position among this crowd. It's currently cresting towards 5 million and will likely top that. It'll play well on video (and Picturehouse is a surefooted campaigner). But it's not the type of lock people are bandying around.

Carl said...

I have been seeing suggestions in the press that Keira Knightley is taking herself off the market as a film actress to pursue...well, something else. If so, then might the Academy be more tempted to nominate her now, thinking they will not have another chance later?

Anonymous said...

If Julie Christie fails to recinve a nomination this year then all hell will break loose. Heleb Mirren got nominated last year and wetn on to win which shwoas the Academy loves the veterens.

Christie, Blanchett and Cotillard look like good bets so far.

Havent't seen A Mighty Heat so I can't say anythgin but reveiws suggest Jolie is at her best so I think she stands a good chance. Uma can get in as well.

And Carl all the drama certain stars make about not acting any more is just them trying to get attention. I hate that stars whine about not persuing acting anymore just because ''they cant handle the media'' any more. Please grow up!!!

Anonymous said...

Those "stories" about Keira Knightley quitting were all based on deliberate misquotes.
What she actually said was that she could possibly see herself giving it up in five years time. Not exactly a statement of intent.

NATHANIEL R said...

anonymous #317 --seriously people just put your names at the end of your comment, it's not hard -- i didn't forget about IN BLOOM. it's on both pages of the potential candidates. did you not click over?

anonymous #403 and 407 agreed that stars 'quitting' is often an attention desire... but sometimes it does signal something to come. Pfeiffer was chatting about "semi-retirement" made a couple movies after that (so i thought she wasn't so serious) and than suddenly POOF she was gone.

agreed that the stories about Keira quitting are totally false. it's just one of those quotes taken to illogical endpoint

rural juror said...

The people who comment with such certainty make me laugh...especially the anonymous ones.

adam k. said...

All I know is, if I were Sam Mendes, I would be working like hell to get that movie ready for 2007 so my wife could win her oscar. I honestly think that if they shock-released Road for Christmas of '07, Winslet would win in a walk. No one else seems to have the sentiment that would lead to a win, unless Moore's Savage Grace perf is more warmly received than most are expecting. The closest to win-level reviews seems to be Marion Cotillard, but that won't happen cause she's foreign and her movie is small.

Next year is not the right time for Road, what with Winslet's momentum from last year fading and Streep's career rennaissance likely reaching its apex. They should pull an M$B and spring it on us this winter. With no real competition for the statue, Winslet would coast to the Kodak podium. Not only would she have the "Leo reunion" and "husband directing" angles to work with, she'd also have the "surprise attack" tactic and momentum from last year, when both she and Leo were nominated. Plus, it'd be EXACTLY a decade after Titanic. There'd be no stopping her (and maybe Leo, too). So come on, Sam, get it done.

In other news, it does seem silly that Atonement would be such a major force with Keira left out (if Cold Mountain had been nominated, Nicole would have been, too), but I am currently predicting just such a scenario, so whatever.

And while I'm still holding out for Kate to enter the race (in much the same way I'm holding out for Gore), the next best thing would be for Julianne to finally win for Savage Grace, or perhaps for Cate to finally win lead for Golden Age. We'll see.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Adam, the worst thing they could possibly do is rush Revolutionary Road just to get a last minute gasp release.

But, boy, whenever they do release it the FYC ads with Kate and Leo are going to be irresistable. Those two are going to be press magnates during that period.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Also, Savage Grace is screening at the Melbourne International Film Festival so I hope to be able to see it and report.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the book, there is no way Keira can have a leading role on this movie. The book has 4 parts, and she has never the main focus. Briony is the main character, but, since it is played by three performers, all of them will be supporting. Cecila is another supporting character. With the amount of screentime (leading one part, supporting other 2 parts) McAvoy is the leading one. Thenm, since all the actress are supporting, I think Keira can't resist the fact Ronan and Garai have stronger roles (one role, anyway). They may campaign her as leading, but she won't make teh final cut because her part is tiny. Or they can rewrite the whole thing and make it Love is Many Splendored Thing 2. Then, Keira can win the Oscar, and the movie too, but it'll suck entirely.

- cal roth

Anonymous said...

The thing with Joe Wright ( who literally worships Knightley ), he will make sure she gets some campaign going but I don't see any noms for Keira. Maybe one for James McAvoy ( provided he is very good, but I don#t see him pulling a Ryan Gosling in us ).

Atoenment might just have the Babel effect with both Saorise Ronan and Romola Garai being nominated if they have done as well as everyone says they have,

I really think Atonement will go down the LOTR line, getting nominated in main categories except acting ones.

Anonymous said...

Adam K's right. If Kate Winslet wants that Oscar, she better hope that "Revolutionary Road" is released this year and not next. She could plausibly win one instead of them giving Cate Blanchett her second for "The Golden Age", but next year, it's the Meryl train for "Doubt", and Kate will be crushed again and lose.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Wait? What's that? The Oscars in February 2009 are over a year and a half away and if people are saying Meryl is a lock to win now then that's sort of ridiculous?

Why yes, I agree.

Anonymous said...

Please. Save the indignation already. That is far from the first time that someone's said that Meryl's in a tentpole position to win an Oscar for "Doubt", even at this early stage.

adam k. said...

They shouldn't RUSH Road, no, but how long does it really take to edit a movie? They have 6 months. Better to get it out there and not put it on a shelf for a year.

And no, when it's Meryl Streep who'll be practically 25 years overdue for her third oscar (she deserved another one the year right after she won her second, first with Silkwood and then with Out of Africa, Plenty, Bridges of Madison County, Adaptation, Prada etc.) and will be in a tried-and-true awards magnet role, it's never too early to say "lock."

Plus she's set to have Dirty Tricks and other things released then, too, so it'll basically be Meryl Streep Day all year long. She'll be everywhere.

The only way she won't win an oscar for some film or another is if someone like Kate Winslet pops up in the role of a lifetime in a film with Leo. In which case, somebody goes home empty-handed. Brutal.

NATHANIEL R said...

it's always too early to say "lock"

i realize i've said that meryl is going to win again for Doubt but we don't even know if it'll come out when it's supposed to. or if something will throw a wrench in the plans

amir_uk said...

Joe Wright had said to BBC News last week (when the announcement about the Venice Film Fest was made) that he thinks Keira's performance in Atonement is her best yet.

Hope he's right. Just a thought...

steve said...

The obvious counter to the Meryl as lock argument is: It's been 25 years... what's one more?

Oscar voters are a fickle bunch. Sometimes they're concerned about an actor being "due", other times they're completely oblivious.

That said, a Streep and Winslet head-to-head would be an extremely exciting thing to watch.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah if you have to have a showdown. what better pairing that a twosome where the audience wins either way?

Arkaan said...

Nathaniel, you do realize that by saying what you just did, you ensured that a tie between Beelzebub and She Who Must Not Be Named will occur in 2008, right?

NATHANIEL R said...

you are evil and must be destroyed

Anonymous said...

'The Brave One' looks like an excellent vehicle for Jodie Foster. I don't think AMPAS are gonna accept another action heroine. They passed over Uma Thurman for 'Kill Bill' twice