Monday, March 09, 2009

Q: When is a Biopic Role No Sure Thing For Awards?

A: When there are several of them to choose from in a given year.

Here's the new trailer for Audrey Tatou's forthcoming role in Coco Avant Chanel. That translates to Coco Before Chanel so this is, if true to its title, a pre-fame biopic. [Tangent: I had no idea that Allesandro Nivola could speak French. Now he's even sexier than before. How is that possible (the sexy not the French part)... lucky Emily Mortimer!]



Biographical performances that "Amelie" herself might be competing against this year for Oscar attention (some head on, some indirectly should they be supporting) might include...
  • Emily Blunt as Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria
  • Jennifer Connelly as Charles Darwin's wife Emma in Creation
  • Abbie Cornish as poet John Keats lover Fannie Brawne in Bright Star
  • Julie Delpy as evil Erzebeth Bathory in The Countess
  • Kate Hudson as painter Margaret Keane in Big Eyes
  • Helen Mirren as Leo Tolstoy's wife Sofya in The Last Station
  • Meryl Streep as Chef Julia Childs in Julie & Julia
  • Hilary Swank as aviatrix Amelia Earhart in Amelia
  • Emily Watson as professor Evgenia Ginzburg in Within the Whirlwind
The new Best Actress Psychic contest will begin in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.
*

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

this movie looks worse than the shirley maclaine version.

Wayne B. said...

Wish the trailer was subtitled. It's Audrey Tatou starring, so the movie is worth a viewing for sure. Anything to rinse "The Da Vinci Code" out of my head.

I'm looking forward to watching "The Countess", have had a bit of yen for Julie Delpy ever since I saw "Before Sunset".
I wonder if Helen Mirren could pull of a double nom if "The Last Station" performance goes supporting along with her "Tempest" lead. For me she'll always be Mrs. Wilson :)

Nathaniel - what are your thoughts on "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" in pre-production starring Hilary Duff & Kevin Zegers? Had a strong reaction when I saw an article on imdb.com today.

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

Tut tut tut!

You've forgotten Nicole Kidman's biopic this year in The Danish Girl, playing the first person to undergo male to female sex reassignment surgery, Lili Elbe.

Wayne B. said...

oops! forgot to say: What about Rachel Weisz (Agora) playing one of the first notable female mathematicians Hypatia?

Bernardo said...

I'm going to call it:

Coco Avant Chanel : Costume Design nominee

NATHANIEL R said...

brooke --the danish girl is still only rumors at this point. it won't happen this year at any rate.

wayne b -- i am pretending i didn't read that.

Wayne B. said...

I wish I could pretend didn't read it, my stomach is still upset about it. *urgh* i know it's a silly thing to get worked up over but.....
now I understand why people flame.

Jack said...

Will you forget about Emily Blunt in "The Young Victoria"? It wasn't going to happen last year when people put her on their 2008 Actress Prediction lists, and it isn't going to happen this year either. The Oscars just don't like costume drama period pieces anymore. Julie Delpy in "The Countess" won't happen either.

NATHANIEL R said...

well JACK, removing the costume drama period pieces decimates practically this entire list. So you think no biopic performances this year?

adam k. said...

I think Meryl is the one on that list most likely to get traction, for obvious reasons. Please, no more Swank.

In other news, I just went on the Kate Elizabeth Winslet facebook fan page since I'm a fan of her, and Nat, you were one of the 6 visible fans, out of 48,790! Crazy.

Drew said...

Meryl, Swank and Mirren might get traction depending on how the films are, if only because they're the three oscar winners already... I don't know that biopic women are going to do to well this year?

Abbie Cornish is an interesting possibility. Campion's gotten a decent share of Oscars and nominations for her female stars, and Cornish has shown oodles of potential (more in her Australian films than her more recent work)... but I'm not sure if she has the range yet.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I find it really hard to believe the Academy will go for Streep. I know this year looks kind of quiet from afar, but I just can't picture it.

I also don't think Blunt is going to happen.

Nor Tautou, but I'm looking forward to Coco avant Chanel. Have been for some time now. I'm not going to throw around words like "lock" at such an early stage, but surely Best Costume Design is all but guaranteed a nomination, right?

adam k. said...

Why not, Glenn? It's Streep in a biopic, co-starring another oscar nominee. And it'll probably be a good film. No clear strikes against it, really, when little else appears buzzy.

And don't say, "but Streep was just nominated!" cause that's never stopped them before. After all these years of being nominated and not winning, time after time after time, I see no reason the pattern won't continue.

Drew said...

Well, the thing that's probably going to hold Streep back is the quality of the film... I mean, Nora Ephron's last film before this one was "Bewitched"...

rosengje said...

The Variety review of The Countess pretty much decimated any chance of Julie Delpy getting an Oscar nod. I remain excited for the film anyway, as I am addicted to Before Sunset, but I doubt that the Academy is going to go for a ruler bathing in the blood of virgins. The review made it sound like a gothic vampire romance... with gowns.

Wayne B. said...

I think Meryl Streep might get pushed into the supporting category this year for "Julie & Julia". Another case of category fraud perhaps. Just a hunch.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I'm looking forward to J&J and I think Nora Ephron is great (despite some missteps recently) but... I just don't see the movie being serious enough. And, to counterbalance, I don't see Streep transcending it enough and creating such an original performance (like she did in Prada).

I also think her next nomination is going to be for something they think she can win for. Or, more to the point, I want her next nomination to be for something she can win for. As much as I love watching her I don't think I can stand yet another award season of "wow! you've got so many nominations and we just keep giving them to you!" type shenanigans.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Of course, she could end up being brilliant and it all becomes a moot point.

Guy said...

Blunt is not going to happen. The film is even more lightweight than "The Duchess," and the role gives her far too little room for maneuver. (Plus, no big shouting scenes a la "The Golden Age!")

Rupert Friend is, for me, the real revelation of "The Young Victoria."

jahs34 said...

Adam, do you have Nathaniel in facebook? fan pages always show one of your friends when you first log in.

Jack said...

NAT,

The Oscars just don't go for those stuffy, period costume dramas any more. They must have got tired of them after the 80s and the 90s (God knows everyone else was).

Recent years have also sort of seen a move away from biopics as well, although that might be too soon to call it a trend. Also, don't forget that there are surely some biopic films that we aren't thinking of or haven't heard of yet.

But yes, I think we can safely say that a high number of those women you listed won't get nominated.

Jack said...

Plus, you've said it yourself before: the "biopic" thing only really counts when the voters know who is being mimicked.

Charles Darwin's wife Emma, John Keats lover Fannie Brawne in Bright Star, Erzebeth Bathory, Tolstoy's wife - none of those people are famous enough for people to be amazed by the impersonation.

I'd say I haven't heard of the woman Meryl Streep is playing either, but I'm sure the studio would be able to inundate us with footage of her during the campaign so that we're familiar with her by the time the voters have their ballots.

Rizz said...

I think Meryl Streep has more of a chance with her Nancy Myers Untitled project than Julie and Julia if it gets released this year!
because that would be a rom com and when was the last time Meryl Streep did a rom-com?
plus I love Nancy Myers,
Don't hate me for it but I even liked the Holiday

Cal said...

Not impressed by the Chanel trailer, but Tatou reminds me of Isabelle Adjani a little, who we know they liked at one time.

Agreed that Emily Blunt and Julie Delpy won't make it. Blunt because it's a lightweight production and she isn't memorable, and Delpy because there's just no way enough people are gonna see that film. Really looking forward to it though.

Connelly in Creation looks interesting, if only for the amusing husband/wife casting. Julia Child seems to have done rather a lot, but I don't trust Nora Ephron anymore, and Streep in a Nancy Meyers film is something I'm relishing much more, based on Keaton's character/perf in Something's Gotta Give.

Lara said...

Wayne and Natahniel, what exactly is it that makes you upset about Rachel Weisz playing Hypatia? Is it just her, or is there something else, have you heard anything more about Agora?
I'm asking out of sheer curiosity and also because I'm looking quite forward to an Alejandro Amenabar movie.

NATHANIEL R said...

Lara... i'm not upset about it. In truth it's not one of the upcoming movies I've even thought about yet. But Amenabar did great work with Kidman so who knows...

Styx said...

If they're going by the book, Meryl would be supporting in "Julie & Julia" and Amy Adams would be the lead. Not that it would stop the Academy from placing Meryl in lead, but I think that this role will be her next supporting actress nomination. This could be Emily Blunt's big breakthrough for "The Young Victoria", so I hope it's good. Michelle Pfeiffer will hopefully be able to gain early traction for "Cheri" if it's any good. I'm also preparing for the Bening/Swank deathmatch, round 3. Hilary's in again for "Amelia", and Annette has "A Woman of No Importance." Let's wish for a squeaker.

Anonymous said...

"I'd say I haven't heard of the woman Meryl Streep is playing either, but I'm sure the studio would be able to inundate us with footage of her during the campaign so that we're familiar with her by the time the voters have their ballots."

You seriously have never heard of Julia Child?

Alex in Movieland said...

I didn't enjoy this trailer. I kept waiting for a big tears moment that never came. I'm also loosing faith in Penelope, as the full Almodovar trailer didn't impress me either.

so I'm left with Swank, Mirren for who knows what (let's say Love Ranch if it gets a release date) and Michelle. who else? no idea.

pomme said...

th trailer music is too"much" loud for Anne Fontaine movie but i can like the movie if it doesn't show Coco angelic but Chanel acid or sour!
i hope the fashion for Biopic=Award is going to finish a day ! because it is Oscar characters ,there isn't more surprise!

Marshall1 said...

Why is no one mentioning Emily Watson? She is very good at playing devastating characters. I hope Within the Whirlwind will finally get her back on track and show what a great actress she is in Breaking the Waves and Hilary and Jackie. Let's generate some buzz for her! She was the best thing in the Renee-Rabbit movie. I didn't realize how much I miss Tatou as well.

Peter said...

Streep seems by far the most likely to win the Oscar from this list, but Swank should be feeling pretty good about her chances for a nom.

None of the others are famous enough besides Victoria, and it remains to be seen if Blunt is a big enough star for it to work.

Anonymous said...

I'm really looking forward to most of those biopic movies and especially the female performances. I think I'll find it very hard to predict Best Actress so early because there aren't as many big names as last year (Winslet, Streep, Jolie..). I hope Tautou has a chance, and at this point I'd say Blunt and Deply are out.

mrripley said...

i think swank is the biopic nominee and i also feel the streep/myers film will be the 1 to win for streep agreed to on the supp actress nom we have had so many downbeat best actress winners over the years it would be nice to see a real comedy perf win by one of our great drama actresses go streep go go go\

Will said...

I'm looking forward to Emily Watson in Within the Whirlwind. Of course I'd prefer Kseniya Rappoport or even Chulpan Khamatova in leading role, but Emily Watson is a fantastic actress so don't mind.
Sadly, something tells me that she is gonna be Kristin Scott Thomas of 2009 - great performance, yet completely underrated and overlooked.

Carl said...

Thinkin' it's too early to write off Julie Delpy. "The Countess" may get a lot of controversial buzz when it comes out, and that might be enough to get Academy members to theaters or DVD players before they put pens to ballots.

Early prediction - Hillary Swank makes the consensus top five in the "Actress Psychic" contest and is one of the (at least) three that does not make the Oscar shortlist. Despite the track record, she is not a Streep-caliber actress and the competition this year seems to be too deep for her to overcome her talent limitations.

NATHANIEL R said...

well obviously the main problem with Delpy and Watson (at this point at least) is the no distribution thing.

I wonder what not even filming yet things will actually be made in time though (like Kate Hudson's biopic role)

Anonymous said...

i think we only need to think three more nominees for best actress.

meryl streep (julie & julia)
carey mulligan (an education)

are guaranteed to be nominated. yes, meryl's role is a lead, not supporting. and due to the disastrous early words of amelia, hilary swank is not gonna make it.

LaDeeDuh said...

And I just realized that the director for The Young Victoria is Jean-Marc Valee (of C.R.A.Z.Y. fame), his first major English-language pic.

While this may not exactly be a poster selling-point in, say, middle-america (them mythical 'average folk'...), my enthusiasm just shot up about a million miles.

Anonymous said...

Mulligan is getting great reviews, but her film still doesn't have a distributor. She'll probably just be passed over.

I am really hoping Swank doesn't even get nominated. I know I haven't seen the film yet, but the fact that she's a two time winner just sickens me. She deserved her first, but the second was one of the most mediocre and lackluster performances I've ever seen. No way she would have one if it wasn't an Eastwood film.

Anonymous said...

sony pictures classics got an education at sundance.

NATHANIEL R said...

well from that brief conversation with Amy Adams I had it doesn't sound like the film version of Julie & Julia adheres that closely to the book so Streep could easily be a lead in that film. Who knows.

and that's mimicry people will care about (i.e. instantly recognizable mimicry) if the film is any good.

adri said...

I'm looking forward to seeing Emily Watson and Abby Cornish. I forget about Emily Watson, but every time I see some of her work, I'm completely drawn in by her character and the realism and artistry she brings to her work. Even if The Whirlwind doesn't receive a lot of attention, I'm ready to love it. And Cornish. I think. is ready for a breakthrough.

Anonymous said...

Possible Contenders for a Biopic Next Year (Unless on Paper):

LOCK:
1. Hilary Swank, Amelia: But I heard awful things from the test screeners.
2. Rachel Weisz, Agora: The trailer looks fine and I think she has a chance.
3. Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria: The first reviews in UK look fantastic even better that "The Duchess".
4. Abbie Cornish, Bright Star: With Mulligan, Blunt and her are the possible IT girl of the year.
5. Emily Watson, Within the Whirlwind: ¿The Comeback of the year? -A la Robert Downey Jr.

LIKELY:

6. Jennifer Connelly, Creation: Maybe she would go to supporting category.
7. Kate Hudson, Big Eyes: Her post-Oscar career is awful but sometimes AMPAS likes their children
8. meryl Streep, Julie & Julia: I think this project is more a GG nominee...

SURE BET:

9. Julie Delpy, The Countess: The reviews in Berlin decimated Delpy's chances.
10. helen mirren, The Last Station: The director is mediocre and she has "the Tempest" next.
11. Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Vincere: If they want another Marion Cotillard... the italian actress plays the first Benito Mussolinni's wife.
12. Audrey tauotu, Coco Avant Chanel: If Marion Cotillard won for a French international icon, why not her?

LONG SHOT:

13. Sophie Okonedo, Skin: I don't when they're released the film.
14. Halle Berry, Frankie & Alice: I don't know about it.***

*** I think Berry and Mulligan's characters are based by real life people

Wayne B. said...

Lara - I wasn't aware of the new remake "The Story Of Bonnie and Clyde" til yesterday. Noticed it at the bottom of an article on imdb.com and was really upset when I first read about it. "Bonnie And Clyde" is a revered favourite of mine and just the idea of HILARY DUFF starring in a remake...i don't have words how awful an idea this is. At least it'll bring attention to the classic original though. :)

Jae Ly said...

Since "Amelie", Tautou has been very good in "Dirty Pretty Things," "He Loves Me.. He Loves Me Not," and "A Very Long Engagement." She was effortlessly charming in last year's "Priceless." I can't wait to see her in "CoCo avant Chanel."

richard said...

seriously. alessandro nivola just. gets. hotter.

Lara said...

Wayne, sorry, I misread, or rather connnected Nathaniel's response to the wrong post. For a moment I was like, this doesn't make any sense, LOL. Then I reread your posts. Now I understand ;-).