Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oscar Voters to Face Impossible Sophies Choice

Now that David Poland has broken the news that Cate Blanchett will be Oscar campaigned as a lead for I'm Not There, I fear for the mental and physical health of Academy voters everywhere. When faced with two frontrunners (Blanchett's Bob Dylan & Marion Cotillard's Edith Piaf) both performing Oscar's unarguably favorite parlor trick --"ohmygod, look at that famous person transforming into an entirely different famous person!!!"-- will their biopic loving heads literally explode while staring at their ballots? The horror. I'm suddenly imagining an Oscar ceremony directed by David Cronenberg.

pssst. I'm aware I'm growing tiresome on the mimicry topic but as long as Oscar overindulges their biases in this direction, I'll feel free to overindulge mine in the opposite one.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

This year Best Actress race is amazing!I can see Blanchett winning the Oscar she deserves! Don't forget that in 2003, the same thing happened with Nicole Kidman in The Hours and she won.
But, if Blanchett is in, who is out? And there is some hope for other actress in the supporting race.

adam k. said...

Um, they'll obviously pick the one who's not foreign. Duh.

But I don't think I buy this announcement. Just how official is it? And why are they doing it? Why SHOULD she be campaigned as a lead when she's only one of like 6 or 7 people playing Dylan? I don't like this at all. They basically had the supporting oscar in the bag, and now it's all gonna be nuts. I don't want her winning lead for a supporting role. It was bad enough that she went supporting for a lead role last year. And which category will she even be, at the globes? I was really looking forward to seeing Amy Adams win that thing...

Dave said...

I have admittedly not seen the film, but I have a hard time believing that Marion Cotillard has much of a chance. I've heard hype from certain areas of the blogosphere, but I feel like the film, actress, and topic are all too esoteric to break through. It's not exactly a crowd pleaser or sleeper hit like "Whale Rider" was, as far as recent surprising noms go...

NATHANIEL R said...

but dave SHE IMITATES A FAMOUS PERSON! have you no respect? --just kidding ;)

Anonymous said...

With Blanchett, my top five is:
Laura Linney in The Savages
Marion Cottilard in La Vie en Rose
Julie Christie in Away from Her
Amy Adams in Enchanted
Cate Blanchett in I'm Not There

I think Ellen Page will need some percursors awards to be in the final five. It is still possible,but for me, with Blanchett and the new celebrated star Amy Adams who shines in Enchanted, a nomination for Page is difficult.

adam k. said...

Marion Cotillard will be nominated easily. Hers seems to be the one "GREAT" performance people still remember vividly and expect to make it. If she weren't foreign, she'd be the runaway frontrunner for the win right now. It's sooooo Jamie Foxx in Ray.

She won't win, though. Cause she's foreign.

I hate the Weinsteins for making this move. I think it's arrogant and dumb.

Anonymous said...

We have cases like these with a happy end (supports that goes lead and win): Nicole Kidman in The Hours, Frances MacDormand in Fargo, and why not to say Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line? Blanchett for Best Actress is very, very possible.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah a win is certainly still possible for Blanchett but what i hope this does is splinter the biopic-friendly support and give the oscar to someone who doesn't already have one (linney) or a legend who's just as magnetic as she was 40 years ago (christie)

Anonymous said...

People, in your opinion, who will "replace" Blanchett in supporting actress race? And don't you think Helena Boham Carter should go supporting?

adam k. said...

Unless of course this keeps Linney and/or Christie from being nominated at all. Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

I also want Laura Linney for the win, but isn't wonderful to have Blanchett in this category? Imagine Blanchett, Linney and Christie in the same category... It is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I think they want to give Blanchett a chance to win for Best Actress.

adam k. said...

Anyway, I hope Blanchett, Cotillard, and Linney all go drama, or else best actress comedy/musical will get ridiculous. And despite my annoyance with some parts of Enchanted, I REALLY wanna see Amy Adams accepting that statue.

Dave said...

I don't see Cotillard as analogous to "Ray", for the primary reason being... don't hurt me... people knew who Ray Charles was, and saw that movie. Most people probably don't know who Edith Piaf is (and I may just be saying this because I'm young) and I don't think the movie was widely seen. Now, granted, it doesn't matter if the public sees it as long as Academy members do, but even so. Its supporters seem really convinced, so I'll probably be proved wrong, but I think the foreign film/obscure topic weighs too much against it, the way nominations usually go.

adam k. said...

I just think that'll keep her from winning. But being nominated? Nah.

Anonymous said...

If Blanchett goes Lead, some actress from the cast of "I'm Not There" should go supporting, don't you think? And at this point, I think Julianne Moore has a big chance.

Anonymous said...

Julianne Moore for Best Supporting Actress in I'm Not There!

Dave said...

Julianne Moore for best supporting actress in "Next"!

Anonymous said...

Julianne Moore now has a chance to be nominated for Supporting in I'm Not There.

daveylow said...

God forbid if Cotillard isn't nominated. They've ignored great foreign performances in the past--remember Ziyi Zhang in Crouching Tiger (she won the Independent Spirit Award)? I hope the Oscar voters go nuts this year and surprise everyone. The Orphanage hasn't opened yet but the lead actress in that is fantastic. Too bad the movie is in Spanish.

Anonymous said...

I think Page won't be nominated. I think Linney will win. And Blanchett is in.

J.D. said...

My brain has exploded. Thank you. Good night.

[body drops]

adam k. said...

Julianne Moore is not campaigning for I'm Not There. Charlotte Gainsbourg is.

StinkyLulu said...

Charlotte Gainsbourg gives the best Supporting Actress performance in I'm Not There (better than Cate's, imo).

But IF Blanchett slides away from Supporting, I suspect it won't change things a whole lot. I'm not much of a prognosticator (& I'd love to be wrong) but I've been thinking that the SA race has been nearly locked in with Saoirse Ronan, Tilda Swinton, Amy Ryan, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Blanchett. IF Blanchett's in for lead, that opens only one slot which will likely go to a "coaster" (a perf from a film with lots of other noms).

I'd be profoundly surprised if Blanchett won in either category for I'm Not There. That said, it seems a savvy business move to pump Blanchett in lead. Were she to get the nom, t'would certainly sustain more attention for the flick...

adam k. said...

Why would you be surprised if Blanchett won in supporting? Assuming of course that she campaigns there.

Anonymous said...

This kinda f-ing annoys me. Marion Cotillard gave a performance for the ages as Edith Piaf, but b/c she's foreign and unknown, that's that then, hand it to the known favorite instead that's stunting for playing a male musical legend and doesn't require voters to read those blasted subtitles, or to an old past winner, or to the flavor of the week in a Disney film. That's such bull.

Anonymous said...

Voters will be more than familiar with Edith Piaf. Thankfully the main votership is above the age of twenty and have a frame of reference for older icons.

c.p. iñor said...

Mmmm... Is there any chance that IF Blanchett campaings LEAD for INT, voters would get confused and start putting her in lead and supporting ballots and ends up getting neither nom? Or how the nominations ballots work?

I would love if Cotillard misses the nod. I haven't seen I'm not there.

Ashley Judd in Bug is way better than Cotillard and should get nominated first (that's my opinion).

c.p. iñor said...

Mmmm... Is there any chance that IF Blanchett campaings LEAD for INT, voters would get confused and start putting her in lead and supporting ballots and ends up getting neither nom? Or how the nominations ballots work?

I would love if Cotillard misses the nod. I haven't seen I'm not there.

Ashley Judd in Bug is way better than Cotillard and should get nominated first (that's my opinion).

NATHANIEL R said...

stinky --i'm glad to hear another Gainsborough supporter. I thought she was best in show. but then, i'm rarely all that hooked in by bio performances. They occassionally excite me (denzel as malcolm x, blanchett as hepburn) but most of the time i'm more impressed with intricate or moving original character work.

and yes Edith Piaf is famous enough to diffuse any "subtitles" problem. I could actually see Cotillard winning but I'm hoping it's Linney or Christie on account of I think they do better work.

of course now we have too many "likely" nominees for the shortlist and somebody is going to run into "didn't take" no traction problems soon. but who will it be?

StinkyLulu said...

Adam - My basic take on Blanchett in I'm Not There is that (a) it's really impressive work, but (b) it's stunty and (c) it gives few opportunities for emotional connection to/with/against the char/actor. S/he's impressively noxious but... All told, the performance represents a formidable accomplishment but, at this point, we've come to expect nothing less of Blanchett. I've begun to suspect that Cate's next trophy will not be for a historical personage but for a "rip your heart out" kind of regular gal role. But what do I know. I'm a historian mostly because I'm so bad at predicting trends...

adam k. said...

Well, it's just that no one else really stands out in supporting. She's by far the most buzzed about candidate, and she'd be a way to honor a film they won't honor anywhere else but will probably realize is really good in an intellectual way. Most were calling her a lock for the win until now, which is really quite something.

But yes, I have a hard time seeing her winning in lead.

Joe R. said...

My feeling is that Blanchett has the Oscar sewn up, lead or supporting. Cotillard was always a nominee but not a winner. The other day I posted that I thought Amy Adams would win the Oscar because no one else seems to fit as a winner. Scratch that now. Blanchett fits.

Watch the critics groups take this change in campaigning to heart and give Cate the critics awards in lead instead of supporting. Unseemly, but kind of likley.

Anonymous said...

Marion Cotillard gave the performance of the year in La Vie en Rose, and what I'm expecting to happen is that once she starts racking up the critics' prizes, all of this "she can't win the Oscar b/c she's foreign" crap will subside, b/c she was that brilliant as Edith Piaf and it's everything that the academy loves -- biopic, deglam of hot young actress, musical legend, disability, tragic death, heartache, discovery of new talent, etc. I see voters not falling for Harvey's lead in supporting's clothes ploy and leave her in supporting where she belongs. It would be nice if Jennifer Jason Leigh could manage a nod in Cate's absence in supporting, but maybe she can still breakthrough despite the lukewarm reviews so far for "Margot at the Wedding".

Kamikaze Camel said...

We'll have to see how Ellen Page goes when her film is released, but she seems the most vulnerable at the moment. Adams' film is a big hit and they love The Lovely Laura Linney, Cate and Julie (remember she was nommed for Afterglow about 8 years ago or so) and Marion's is the BIG performance - however discombobulating it actually is.

If the Weinsteins want Cate to win they're gonna have to make a big deal out of Cate's new role as theatre company director and make it known that she won't be making many films for a while because then voters will go "well, I'll give her a best actress Oscar now and then let her go away for a while".

Although - a strike against her - she'll be visibly preggers. Annette and Marcia can tell you that's a bad sign.

Joe R. said...

CZJ will tell you different.

Michael Parsons said...

Is it wrong that I am begining to really dislike Cate.

Anonymous said...

what is this about Cate Blanchett that must be nominated whenever she is appearing in something?

she think she has done the supporting actress before, best actress is where she should be right now... unfortunately, she has no chance in The Golden Age. as i predicted earlier this year.
she is just so desperate.

I am so sick of her "look at my acting".

amir_uk said...

Damn, this is gonna cost Keira her slot isn't it.

Although I'm still taking it with a pinch of salt - Harvey's just testing the waters, and it's really up to where she's placed by the critics.

Jodie, Angelina, Keira, Julie, Laura, Amy, Cate x2, Halle, Nicole...

There's too much to choose from this year. At least Brick Lane won't be opening til 2008 in the US, so that's Tannishtha spared (or more likely delayed) the chop.

adam k. said...

It's not that there's too much to choose from, really, it's that no one stands out more than the rest... they all have their negatives. Unlike last year, when there were tons of contenders but also a very logical top tier.

And in fairness to Cate, this probably wasn't her decision. Actors just show up and do the work. Other people make their livings deciding the nitty gritty of these things.

NATHANIEL R said...

i'm sure it's a test the waters thing too. But the thing is it's not at all implausible to buy into. After all Cate's Dylan is the centerpiece role (as Kidman's was in The Hours) and she has the most screentime and the film is best when it's in her segment. I don't see why people would say "no" to the categorization exactly, even if it is an ensemble film.

Kamikaze Camel said...

If Halle Berry gets a nomination next year I will eat a DVD copy of Monster's Ball.

Michael said...

So now we have two big names in the wrong categories! Just as Julie Christie isn't lead in Away From Her, Blachett sure isn't lead in I'm Not There.

Why is there a need to fill the lead actress category with supporting performances? I just don't get it.

I don't agree with the Nicole Kidman in The Hours comparisons. The story begins and evolves around Kidman in The Hours. Even though Blanchett has a lot of screentime in I'm Not There compared to the other actors, she is just one of many and there's no way that is a lead part.

This can be compared to the travesty of putting Jamie Foxx in supporting for Collateral!

Kamikaze Camel said...

Oh, and I must say, the more I think about the Cate/Lead thing the more it makes sense.

The only thing that gives me issues (and I haven't seen it, so correct me if I'm wrong) is that Cate may be the film's "centre" but does she reverberate throughout the entire film like Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman did? You can always feel their presence in Lambs and The Hours, but what about Cate?

NATHANIEL R said...

i would say she does. You see her in the beginning, her screentime is the most (by a good amount) when she really takes over in the middle and the Dylan's are interwoven throughout.

Anonymous said...

Now with Cate in Lead,Jenifer Jason Leigh can dream again!

M said...

Am I the only one totally not buying this? :) Isn't this the same guy that said J-Hud was to be pushed Leading and Beyonce Supporting last year?

Anonymous said...

Halle Berry was excellent in "Things We Lost in the Fire". She would make just as deserving a nominee as anyone else right now, and the main reason why no one's into her chances is b/c the film flopped. Just like with Cate B. in "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Just like with Angelina in "A Mighty Heart". Maybe even like Jodie Foster in "The Brave One". Making the moolah counts more than people realize when it comes to Oscar traction in close races.

Nick Davis said...

Can I just say that the title of this post was hilarious?

So was the FYC for Julianne Moore in Next.

Anonymous said...

This was just posted on Tom O'Neill's blog about Cate's lead prospects:

Oscars rumorbusting: Is Cate Blanchett really switching to lead?

Don’t necessarily believe a rumor currently making the rounds that Cate Blanchett has switched her Oscar bid for "I'm Not There" from the supporting race to lead now that "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" has tanked. Sure, director Todd Haynes is pulling for it since Blanchett appears in more than 40 minutes of his film, but Weinstein studio exex and Oscar consultants have not signed off on the change and are now trying "to get to the bottom of this rumor." Just because there's a new opening in the lead race doesn't mean that it's Blanchett's best Oscar strategy. Granted, there's the possibility that the switcheroo may be made after all principals discuss the issue further, but, as of now, Blanchett remains in supporting, studio sources tell The Envelope.

J.D. said...

Christie is lead only if you count Pinsent as lead. That's how I view it.

My brain still hurts though.

amir_uk said...

I completely buy Blanchett as lead too - for the reasons Nathaniel states.

Also, Adam, very much agreed with you. There isn't a top-tier of transcendent actress perfs this year, just a whole raft of great ones with their pros and cons (mostly box-office-related it seems):

I love this year for bringing me A Mighty Heart and The Brave One, so that I no longer resent Angelina Jolie and Jodie Foster their Oscars. Their performances this year go beyond the work for which they won, strangely justifying their Oscars for me. And if they don't get nom'd, at least they have statues already.

I love this year for bringing me (finally) another performance from Halle Berry worth the top honour, proving to me what I've wanted to believe all along: that Monster's Ball was no fluke.

I love this year for bringing me Keira Knightley's acutely nuanced star turn in a truly Great picture, so that she now has even more ammunition with which to battle the detractors.

I love this year for bringing me Amy Adams in Enchanted and with it another reason to love this girl all over again.

I love this year for bringing me Laura Linney's career-capping work in The Savages, so that I now don't take her day-in-day-out greatness for granted anymore.

I love this year for bringing me Away From Her and the one film moment that has chilled me the most all year: Julie Christie's line-reading of "Don't they remember Vietnam?" as she watches footage from the Iraq war on TV. The film's grand thesis statement could not have been in more capable hands.

I love this year for the canonisation of Cate Blanchett. Her risks paid off. She provides I'm Not There a much needed focus-pulling icon and identity. And if Elizabeth 2 wasn't a success, it was certainly in spite of her surprising turn, when she could have so easily just referenced now-stock moves from the first film.

I love this year for introducing me to Tannishtha Chatterjee whose quite intelligence in Brick Lane set the tone for a muted but profoundly moving adaptation.

And I've still got Nicole Kidman, Wei Tang and Helena Bonham Carter's work to look forward to.

You see, I don't care who of this list gets nom'd or even wins - I don't really have a clear favourite as in other years, it varies from day to day, or depending on my mood. Now if only Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard would quietly and with dignity concede their undeserved buzz to these superior outings, more of these performances would make the final cut.

Anonymous said...

Now if only Ellen Page and Marion Cotillard would quietly and with dignity concede their undeserved buzz to these superior outings, more of these performances would make the final cut.

What? That's some crap. I haven't seen Ellen Page's performance yet, but why on earth would one of the most acclaimed performances of the year (Marion Cotillard) need to "quietly and with dignity" concede a damn thing this awards season? Just so one of your favorites can win the Oscar? "La Vie en Rose" is a spectacular showcase for Marion Cotillard that more than deserves the Oscar, and can hold up as not only one of the year's best, but one of the decade's best performances.

Also, I hope that all of this category posturing with Cate Blanchett is proven to be false and that she stays in supporting where she belongs.

Anonymous said...

again, who is exactly is she supporting?

amir_uk said...

Come on, anonymous - don't be so spiteful (especially when hiding behind your anonymity). I was being a bit tongue-in-cheek with that comment seeing as they showboat so much in their films. I'm well aware that Cotillard is the nearest thing to a lock this year. I hope she enjoys the awards season.

Some things in this world just defy reason.

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't have a blog, so I can't use that as a calling card, and what's the point of giving my name here and be anonymous too? I'd tell you the same thing to your face if I could, especially when you're belittling Marion Cotillard's performance so flippantly for lesser performances.

steve said...

Well, anonymous, you seem to enjoy expressing your opinion that Cotillard gave a great performance, but would silence amir's expression of his own opinion. Certainly you've grasped the notion that art is subjective?

Anonymous said...

I fully get that. It's only when things like that are said about Marion Cotillard that a red light goes off for me.

Anonymous said...

Blanchett is on screen for 25 minutes in I'm Not There - Hopkins won best actor for less time ( I think 16 minutes) in SotL - her "Dylan" is also the thematic heart of the film - however - I think she will be supporting and at this point in time best for her to stay there to avoid confusion

I just do not get the Keira as lead actress deal - she is one of three actresses who play the same person - her screen time is also not so long and she has no major dramatic scene - if Keira ( sight unseen by most) is getting Best Actress support - the same case can easily be made for Cate - and do recall the studio wanted to run Keira in supporting but she wants lead ( or so it has been reported)

I really still hope for Julie Christie in lead

NATHANIEL R said...

its' the other role that has three women sharing it. Keira is the main female character... or at least the main female character who stays onscreen if you know what i mean. she shares her scenes with saoirse ronan and romola garai, her sister at different ages