Monday, December 08, 2008

Streep Conquers DC

"Come See the Ninth Wonder of the World!"

Meryl Streep, at the spry age of 59, continued her quest to completely conquer the world this weekend with her first Best Actress win of the Oscar Precursor season. It seems Doubtful (hardy-har-har) that she'll be able to scale the heighths of a near precursor sweep --the NBR already raised their glasses to Anne Hathaway "l'chai-im!" But we'll see.

The Washington DC Film Critics Awards go like so...

Picture & Director: Slumdog Millionaire (which they hilariously refer to as an "underdog" in their press release. How long can that film and the media supporting it pretend it's the underdog? That's a sincere question. Answer it.)
Actress (& Ensemble): Doubt. (That's the second ensemble prize for Doubt. God, I hope this isn't going to be a super boring season. Come on other groups. Mix it up. There's lots of fine ensembles... I'll give you some examples: The Class, Rachel Getting Married, Milk, Happy-Go-Lucky, The Dark Knight, Synecdoche New York... see how easy that was. I didn't even need to reference any list)
Actor: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler
Supporting Actress & Best Original Screenplay: Rosemarie DeWitt and Jenny Lumet both for Rachel Getting Married... hey, I interviewed them
Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

their full list of awards here...

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

I bet it's going to be a typical critics' choice lineup.

Andy Scott said...

Milk deserves Best Ensemble over every other movie this year. I hope it can win the SAG.

mrripley said...

kris over at incontention says streep is borderline bad,sometimes the oscar winner is not ven nommed by critics halle,nicole,reese,i am getting a bit fed up the little film that could every year coming into play,little miss sunshine and juno both recieved undeserved pic noms based on hype and hype alone,the academy saw the hype and responded there were far better pics that year and far better than slumdog this year,rant over.

E Dot said...

It'll be referred to as an "underdog" till the very end. It's their ticket to the podium, unless a certain movie milks their critical acclaim for all its worth...

James Hansen said...

Fox Searchlight must really be pushing that underdog thing. It's the only way that the widely best reviewed film of the year from a well-established director would be an "underdog." It's just the foreign aspect...makes it seem exotic, thereby an "underdog," compared to Hollywood fare (i.e. the Holocaust.) But that position is one that has worked well for them in the past ("the little movie that could!")...just looks like more of their same publicity is spewing into critics awards. Lame-o. It's probably just that its a film a bunch of critics can settle on. Most people don't hate it and it's an uncontroversial choice. What could go wrong?

NATHANIEL R said...

I guess i expect more from critics circles which is hilariously pathetic of me because they prove every year that they aren't paying much more attention than Oscar voters are, continually following pr pushes and memes.

I don't dislike slumdog but I do think it's fundamentally dishonest to help sell the "underdog" label when it's clearly leading the race (right now) has already made $5 million before it's even in 100 theaters and you happen to be journalist/critics rather than a paid member of slumdog's awesome campaign team ;)

better to say: 'we agree that the apparent oscar frontrunner is the best of the year' but i guess that's not as catchy...

The Jack said...

Until it starts really sweeping in awards season, I guess "Slumdog" would be counted as an underdog. It's an English film set in India with a no-name cast made by a director who, while well-respected, isn't exactly a household name with any huge hits on his CV, nor is he a previous awards-magnet (somehow), and the film itself was ignored by the studio that was originally going to release it (Warner) after they thought no one would want to see it.

Yes, the critics adore it, maybe too much (I haven't seen it) but it's hardly the films fault. And it hasn't totally swept yet, so it would be like saying Rocky isn't the underdog just because he's doing well after the second round.

adam k. said...

Well I can't get too mad about the "underdog" positioning since this same thinking greatly helped the Obama campaign every step of the way. I suppose it was a bit more valid in that case (i.e. he's BLACK, his name's Barack Hussein Obama, he came from nowhere, he's a democrat, etc.), but it was still ridiculous that he was thought of as the underdog in many ways when he was 7 points up in the polls.

Honestly I think the Obama story is a BIG part of why this film is catching on the way it is. It's totally the Obama movie: upbeat & hopeful, declaredly "Exotic" even though it's really totally familiar, has energy and "cool" factor, is about a guy coming out of nowhere to become King of the World because it's Destiny, proves anyone can make it, etc.

It's a reflection of our times in that way. I can't think of any other reason why a film like this would ever be on the verge of a critical sweep (which is currently seems to be).

E Dot said...

I just saw it this past weekend and thought it was amazing, but has a film w/ no star power ever won best picture? Can we really put it ahead of the pack so soon?

NATHANIEL R said...

chariots of fire?

Fox said...

WOW! Love that phallic symbolism in the Streep photoshopping!

Brian said...

What's the definition of star, exactly? Rocky actually might count, come to think of it...

jimmy said...

wow. borderline bad / meryl streep. i still wish they had cast someone else....sissy spacek, vanessa redgrave, angelica houston, kathy bates. even sally field (add in the flying component). i like meryl streep - but quite frankly, i get a little sick of her.

NATHANIEL R said...

Fox ... is was more meant to be a Queen Kong thing but phallic symbolism goes hand in hand with DC ;)

NATHANIEL R said...

mrripley and jimmy --told ya that performance was going to be divisive ;)

ryan said...

that picture of Meryl is priceless!

Please do one for all the major critics awards.:)

Nick M. said...

I can see how "Slumdog Millionaire," can be interpreted as an underdog, since it does have one large hurdle: it is, by far, the worst film in competition. Frankly, I'm disgusted critics are biting the PR bait. They didn't hoist Best Pictures mentions upon the previous Fox Searchlight frumpy-film-in-Emperor-clothes "Little Miss Sunshine" and irritating "Juno."

Even polished, Oscar-posturing films such as "The Reader" and "Doubt" (both of which I'm rather mixed on) are less middlebrow than the ever-pandering "Slumdog Millionaire."

NATHANIEL R said...

Nick M --funny. Yeah, I'm already sensing it will be my bane this year. I knew people would like it but it's already so egregiously overrated that ... uh oh this is going to be a long haul. I feel the same way about the "mixed" BP contenders. Slumdog is way more consistent I think but that doesn't mean it's better.

Ryan ---oh Ryan. Where would I find the time?

E Dot said...

I'd totally concede for a moment and say that 'Slumdog' will inevitably be annoyingly over-hyped. It's Fox Searchlight afterall. However, I wouldn't go as far as to label it as "the worst film in competition". The filmmaking elements used to construct this film fell together (and they had the clock and constraints of India working against them). That itself is impressive.

If you ask me, there are many more pretentious films in the mix. And frankly, I'd rather have the irritating PR of 'Slumdog' splattered across the web, trades, and TV networks than have an unworthy film get a nomination...

Nick M. said...

I would go through all of Slumdog Millionaire's flaws in detail, but I only have 45 minutes left on this Internet Cafe computer. Therefore, a few terse bullet points (or, more appropriately, symbols of subtraction).

-Unbelievably stiff acting from anyone above the age of 6
-It turns violence into crowd pleasing "revelatory" moments
-It has more in common with the obnoxious, manipulative bullies featured in the film, not Jamal
-The screenplay is composed of one maudlin conceit, tiresomely played out in a structure that delivers scenes as if they're going to be surprising
-Faux-gritty depiction of the slums of Mumbai (please rent "Born into Brothels." Ok, thanks.)
-Nearly every moment of "inspired joy" was so transparently calculated
-This film has about the same amount of depth and insight as someone wielding the platitude, "everything happens for a reason."

NATHANIEL R said...

but Nick M ... what about all these DEV PATEL breakthrough performance awards? He's above the age of 6!!!!

I kid I kid. Even though I liked Slumdog somewhat... it is absolutely ridiculous that CRITICS are giving him awards for that performance. I didn't think he was terrible (as some do) but not one speck of it was what one would normally deem "award worthy" --that's love for the film spilling over and that's really lazy on the part of the voters I think.

Nick M. said...

I wouldn't hesitate to call his performance "terrible"--however, you probably already observed that.

E Dot said...

You tell 'em, sistah.

I disagree with most of your points, but that's just my opinion.

After seeing 'Slumdog', I knew instantaneously that it would have its opinion-wielding cynics. After all was said and done, I liked it. The critics are going gaga over it. The public adore it. And I imagine the awards will begin to pile up.

Looks like it's Nick M. vs. the world!

JK, but it looks like a rather blah award season...

Nick M. said...

Thus is the tragic life I lead.

NATHANIEL R said...

but EDot. you love it. Can you honestly say Dev Patel's performance deserves awards?

here's one for example who seems to be about a 137 times the actor that Dev Patel is:

rebecca hall (vicky christina & frost/nixon)

and that's just for starters.

The Jack said...

If that kid from "Skins" wins an Oscar, I think I'd kill myself.

E Dot said...

Oh, no. I never said Dev's performance was award-worthy. Though, I don't think people should be throwing Razzies at him either.

He moved the story forward. He was neither here nor there. He's kind of like David Kross in 'The Reader'. Good. Not great.

Really? You think Rebecca Hall deserves award acclaim? I think she's in the same boat. Yes, I think she's a better actor than Dev, but I thought she was still just good in those particular roles.

NATHANIEL R said...

so who do y'all think deserves breakthrough awards? anyone?