Friday, January 11, 2008

Atonement and EW's Oscar Predictions

Prestige epic Atonement (my review and on my top ten list) just got much easier to see. It added hundreds of screens today just as its Oscar buzz began to dwindle. There's definitely evidence of a backlash brewing (already boiling?) but hopefully you'll see it and decide for yourself. Whether the sudden "so what?" greeting it is another example of a typical long buzz/late release combo problem (Memoirs of a Geisha, Dreamgirls, also suffered that way, though Atonement is a better film than either of those recent glitzy December stumblers) or something else (a challenging film dismissed due to its distinctly romantic bent) is for each person to decide for themselves. One wonders exactly why some movies wait so long to come out. Timing... 'tis a tricky thing.

It's just one man's opinion (mine, duh) but I think the December release, while favored by virtually all studios for Oscar campaigns, only works in the way they intend it to when the film is not considered a front runner and is more of a surprise movie --we didn't hear much about Million Dollar Baby before it was released and There Will Be Blood, which has a lot of heat right now, was never an "Oscar Front runner" though it was heavily anticipated in cinephile circles.

Anyway, Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue Entertainment Weekly chose Keira & James to sell their famous Oscar issue (pictured left). Yum. and Ummmm, unless they know something we don't... those Atonement Oscar bids are looking really unlikely now. FWIW, I think both Keira and James are super in the movie. It's just that both leading categories are overflowing with strong candidates this year.

On a personal note: I'm shocked but also delighted to see that a publication as big as Entertainment Weekly went for the same 'big surprise' Actress prediction as I did in my predictions. Cross your fingers if you also enjoy the work of Laura Linney. She needs all the psychic goodwill she can muster, given the way the precursors have treated her.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm still hesitant to cross it out. Its leading the Globes and BAFTA shortlist and has a very passionate following, so it still may get alot of 1st or 2nd place votes.

This is a very conservative bunch of voters we're talking about. The guilds arent necessarily (sp?) made up like that.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Atonement finally won something!

E Dot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E Dot said...

I dunno... Even a soaked-up, semi-nekkid cover of Knightley won't be enough to save 'Atonement'. Now if she bared it ALL (i.e. Halle's Berries). Now THAT could have sealed the deal.

P.S. I just put up my very own 'Top 10' on my blog (that's right Nat, I'm shamelessly plugging it on your blog. Do you take a check?) Even though some people's blatant honesty is as painful and unpleasant as a colonoscopy, it's much respected and greatly appreciated.

:) http://mzrevenge.blogspot.com/

17 Year Old Blogger said...

Did you guys just hear? NBC will not broadcast the GG this Sunday...Their "press conference" has been canceled!...And Knightley looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

The pictures inside are better than the cover, I think. And the short interview video clip they have up on the ew.com site is hilarious.
Doesn't look like it will do them much good Oscar wise, but it's a bit more publicity so it could still get more people to actually see it.

17 Year Old Blogger said...

They don't even have Ronan getting nominated, when she's Atonement's best acting bet! I think that Ruby Dee is overrated, but I would be pissed if Ronan doesn't get in...

Anonymous said...

The EW video is hilarious. Love those two together. Their unscripted interviews was equally funny. So adorbale! You could see her stick a finger up at him just when it starts.

amir_uk said...

Really perceptive article, Nathaniel - I mean, all those comparison points for Atonement and There Will Be Blood's wildly different trajectories make sense.

Fingers very much crossed for Savages Linney (my 5th choice) - but I guess it will be at the expense of my Keira (my 3rd choice). But I suppose I'd rather have Linney nom'd (and have 3 consensus picks with Oscar), than see Adams or Blanchett take that 5th spot and only have 2 consensus picks.

NATHANIEL R said...

the EW article is pretty funny too. seems the studio wanted the "c" word dropped from the film.

hilarious since its the thing the whole plot hinges on

ah, suits.

Anonymous said...

'Lady-garden', lol. McAvoy is hilarious. I love how forthright and honest he is.

I thought it was also funny how Joe Wright was upset about Cecelia likely being a virgin. If you've seen his BAFTA winning mini-series "The Passion & Power", you'll know why.

Anonymous said...

I've decided that i will not be upset about a snub this year. Better underrated and misunderstood, than being heaped with loads of awards and sparking a backlash instead.

mel said...

To be honest, I don’t think the Linney thing will happen. I would say it’s a possibility if the film itself got some love, but it hasn’t been gaining steam either. That fifth slot is a toss-up between Blanchett and Adams, me thinks.

mrripley said...

i still beiieve come nomination morning atonement will bee there remeber the green mile ,chocolat & the cider house rules,remeber samntha morton getting 03 best actress,stick with your gut feeling andm ine is they will go for it as best pic but acting wise only ronan has a chance i dont believe they will nom redgraves 6 and a half mins at all or ruby dee i think we could see keener and macdonald in there instead.

Anonymous said...

That EW cover shot is... not good.

Anyway, I'll be pleasantly suprised if Atonement gets a best picture nom and/or director nom. I think it might still pull off a BSA nod and maybe screenplay. The only sure ones are probably cinematography, score and costume.

I still don't get how Atonments buzz fell so quickly. Or did it really have buzz in the first place? Was it just hype? I don't think it helped the film that some UK critics really over hyped the film but apart from that... I dont get what happened to it.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Hell, Linney hung on to a nom for Kinsey, when the film itself was going down like the Titanic.

peter said...

Cold Mountain was on the cover of EW's Oscar preview a few years back, and it didn't make it, so I'm not sure this is such a good sign.

Anonymous said...

Nat, check out their W-magazine interview together, as well. I love these two together. They have such a unique friendhip.

I also really love how Keira likes to imitate different characters in all her photoshoots. Even if some of them turn out wrong sometimes, i can still appreciate the creative drive behind it.

Anonymous said...

maybe it is because unlike the trash america gives us at our local fleapits our films are made with better talent and better creativity.

DL said...

Yeah, the more I think about it Linney doesn't seem like such a longshot for Oscar. I'd say that the fifth spot is definitely up for grabs and her, Blanchett and Adams are the only real plausible contenders. And I really doubt Blanchett will be able to pull it off.

So...Adams vs. Linney '07? What a tough choice..

Lee said...

Nathaniel:
I visit your site almost everyday, and while you take forever sometimes to add new material (you're probably really busy) you've got it goin' on...lol. In the sense that you're predictions, and reviews rock! I love your Linney pick, and I noticed it came out b4 Entertainment Geekly had theirs out, which is rad! Anyhow, I'm rooting big time for "Atonement," for Best Pic, and although I thought Garai was the best Briony, and I think all three should be nominated, I'll take what I can get. Ronan, and Redgrave were thunderously good. Anyhow, I am also rooting big time for Laura Linney. That she didn't get that Oscar for "You Can Count on Me" is so darn criminal, they should really make up for it this year. Anyhow, let's hope we get at least one good surprise come Oscar announcements, Linney or Atonement.

Lee said...

Also, I agree with you that critics are reviewing "Atonement" Correctly. Those morons. It's a beautifully haunting film, and I was shocked, I mean shocked at the end! Wow. And the beach scenes really lost me too. what a bore. Still, I felt bad for the horses getting shot. Eek.
But to anyone who wants to read a good review of "Atonement" (aside from Nathaniel's) definitely read Andrew Sarris's review in "The Observer."

Anonymous said...

Actually you should read flickfilosopher.com. The best review so far. The critic really understood what Atonement was about and articulated the central themes brilliantly.

NATHANIEL R said...

Lee, I add stuff daily on this blog. The site is harder to maintain. If I can figure out the technical aspects I can combine the site with the blog and use the blog as the front page. but i'm not a computer person alas. The blog is where to see the new daily stuff (and all the notifications of updates to the site)

daveylow said...

I think the BAFTAs is where we're going to see some Atonement love. Those Brits really have better taste when they bestow awards.

Frédéric Rochefort-Allie said...

I made my predictions in this video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjOqxwW1v3U