Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Best Actress Five. Is Anyone Vulnerable?

At first I was a bit weirded out that SAG nominations could no longer work as a bellwether of shifting awards-season winds since all of the precursors were mashed together into one week's time. But what winds could shift anyway? Though we won't see the results until February 2nd, Oscar ballots go out to AMPAS members next week. With no real time lag to speak of (we hear that most Academy members return their ballots quickly) I don't think we should expect surprises, particularly because there was so very much agreement between the precursors.

~ Streep | Mulligan | Sidibe | Bullock | Mirren ~
three real life characters and two fresh young actresses. typical!


That sort of kills the suspense in Best Actress (I've thought the "win" was settled for quite awhile -- Streeps third -- but I did expect more drama as to who the final five would be) but not every year can be exciting. I can only imagine four possible spoiler nominees but I'd be quite surprised to see any of them actually pull it off. Visit the new refurbished BEST ACTRESS page for more. Discuss!

related: new podcast
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88 comments:

brandz said...

i really think Streep has got it in the bag. i'd be shocked if she lost.

Victor S said...

It really looks like its going to be this five girls, but something inside tells me something really weird is coming on nomination morning, no just in best actress, but probably all around the top categories: to much concensus to early on the season.
Things are never this predictable. NEVER. I'm not saying that they gone throw a curve ball in every categorie but in 13 years of "oscarwatching" I've seen some weird stuff, in the good and in the bad way. Marcia Gay Harden, Roberto Benigni, Keisha Castle-Hughes, I could go on for hours...
I just refuse to believe that the best picture nominees are going the be BFCA ten and that of the 20 acting slots 17 are already locked.

Marsha Mason said...

I do wonder if we've been underestimating "The Young Victoria" and Blunt all this time. I think there's a vacuum at the bottom half of the Best Picture race, and a studio might sense this is the right time for a push for Blunt and the film. I think the race is open in that sense: not that much true love for all these noms, which may leave voters swayable. Unfortunately, it's Mirren (not Bullock) who's most vulnerable, as it feels like that film's already peaked.

And as you noted in the podcast, "Victoria" is apparently based on a real-life story of somebody, which Oscar voters may even have a history of appreciating.

Anonymous said...

I think Bullock will prevail, which is shocking but the public will love it. A lot of people will think this is Sandra's chance like Erin Brock was Julia's chance.

DJ said...

Do you think there's a chance the Academy will go down their own path and nominate Cotillard for supporting in Nine (or perhaps remember her Public Enemies performance)? I can't see Kruger being nominated, and something tells me that if they could have, the SAG would have nominated Cotillard rather than Kruger or Cruz (and before Laurent). Agree?

Glenn said...

I think the main issue for Mirren are those pesky #1 placements. When there are so many who are passionate about the first three (and you know her friends are gonna put Bullock at #1 too) I can't help but feel that many will slide Mirren in at #4 or #5 on their list, paving the way for someone else who managed some much higher placements out of pure passion (Cornish or Cotillard, although I'm still thinking Cotillard could appear in Supporting, ala Winslet in reverse).

Univarn said...

To be honest I think Bullock is a crowd favorite, but after having seen The Blind Side, I can say I didn't see anything worth an oscar (over pronounced accent, muddled emotion, very bland character). Of course we all know Oscar's to tend from time to time to go for lifetime achievements rather than quality.

I do think Blunt and Mulligan have gained lots of steam recently and with Precious not seeming to gain a lot of technical awards it's always a strong contender to take home acting oscars. Out of all these Helen Mirren's performance is the one I've heard the least public outcry for, which may mean her getting bumped.

John said...

I'm thinking this is the five-we always talk about #1 placements, but honestly, can anyone think of a single nomination where that ended up being an obvious issue? I'm sure it has been at some point, but I find it's just easier to ignore that rule.

I've seen three of these films so far (still waiting for Mirren, and have been more interested in other films than Bullock's). That being said, I think that the ingenues are not going to take it this year, and if it's anyone who wins the Oscar other that Streep, it's going to be Bullock. There is little doubting at this point that she is a movie star and they like to give the Oscar-winning stamp on movie stars, even if they're not considered thespians as well. If Sidibe or Mulligan win the Globe, Streep has it in a walk, as they'll both "have others," but Bullock has been making hits for 15 years, had the best year of her career, and this year really belonged to her, Box Office-wise. If it's Streep v. Bullock, I still would wager Streep, but it'll be a tight, tight race.

Anonymous said...

I hate the fact that everyone thinks an award is Streep's to lose. I know it's not a popular opinion here but Streep is the overrated actress of our time. I have out of the 5 only seen Carey Mulligan's performance and it wasn't anything to go gaga over. Everything about An Education was all at the same generic friendly level. With that I hope she is vulnerable because she doesn't deserve the nomination. I will be seeing The Blind Side but I have always liked Bullock so I doubt this performance will change my opinion of her.

FYI for anyone that is part of the Bullock backlash. She said that actresses like her don't get nominated for Oscars. I don't believe she is trying to be anything she's not. Her turn in Crash shows she's not out of her depth. The Blind Side may be a sanitized version of poverty compared to Precious, but how many lackluster films has Streep been in and yet she continues to get nominated.

Brook Brooks said...

I cry when I see that Katherine Heigl has a nomination this season (even from the Satellites) and yet Tilda Swinton/Michelle Pfeiffer/Robin Wright Penn/Audrey Tautou are nowhere to be seen.

Samson said...

I don't need constant surprises throughout the season, nor do I need every awards group to do something different. It's sad when my favorites get absolutely no traction (like Kristin Scott Thomas last year), but that's the way it goes sometimes, and in most years, I at least understand why the frontrunners are the frontrunners and can respect that. If you want to be surprised, then the best advice for you is not to follow the season's minutiae until nomination day. Then you can be "surprised" when Meryl gets her millionth nomination, or when George Clooney gets his next nod for being George Clooney. I've seen everything except Helen Mirren (and going by her history, it should be another cap in her crown), and this is a strong lineup. Maybe not best of the decade great, but it's strong. I'm disappointed that this trifle is going to be what Meryl wins her 3rd Oscar for, but that's for another discussion. I don't think this five will falter in the next month, and they'll still be in the press for the Globes and SAG ceremonies to influence Oscar voters.

Rob said...

Streep isn't overrated, but this performance certainly is.

And John, I'm curious, how is this HER year? Didn't everyone declare last year HER year? Just because a well-liked actress stars in two mainstream, middle-of-the-road mild box office successes, that means it's her year? I don't buy it as rationale for an Oscar win.

Paul Outlaw said...

Blunt is definitely the wild card right now.

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

I'm thinking this is the five-we always talk about #1 placements, but honestly, can anyone think of a single nomination where that ended up being an obvious issue?

Off the top of my head, WALL-E and especially The Dark Knight come to mind. I think both ended up on a lot of ballots, but they didn't get enough number one votes while The Reader had enough of a fanbase to get in.

Or the reverse case, I guess when there's a surprise nomination like Laura Linney's or Tommy Lee Jones's. Linney definitely seemed out of the race since basically the same people kept popping up at the precursors, and she didn't even get a Spirit nomination, but she had enough support to get enough number one votes to get in.

I'm not sure if Best Actress will be like that at all, but I do agree with Glenn though that Mirren feels the most vulnerable. She just won recently, so voters may not feel like they absolutely must rank her number one to get a nomination. (I remember the year that Charlize Theron, Naomi Watts, and Jennifer Connelly were all on EW's Oscar guide, and Connelly was the only one of the three left out probably somewhat due to the fact that she had just won recently.)

I think this is pretty much the line-up though and leading actor is set too. However, I think there could be surprises in the supporting categories.

Jim T said...

I still believe Swinton will be nominated and win! Well, no :(

I think none of them is volnurable but i think anyone can win except Bullock and Mirren.

Nathaniel, why do you think Streep will win? If you believe that last year Winslet could not lose and in 2007 Mirren could not lose but Mulligan is not overdue nor that respected yet, then you have a point. But is it that? Because Julia Child might be a real person but Julie and Julia is not a real movie. Um, I mean it doesn't have the gravity of Doubt or Adaptation.

Which were real movies. I couldn't not say it :p

Casey said...

I cannot even believe talent-free Sandra is in this conversation. I honestly think its safe to say that this will be one of the worst nominations ever. There's absolutely nothing ambitious about the role and Bullock does nothing with it... As if it wasn't bad enough to turn somebody like Michael Oher's life into a cheesy inspirational vehicle for the actress playing the mans surrogate mother wasn't bad enough

NATHANIEL R said...

Samson -- it's not that I need surprises. it's that when everyone loves the same thing it reminds me that it's all very very very silly and there's no point to it all and though i know awards are "trivial" I enjoy them and I guess i want them to be the best that they *can* be. and being the best that they could be would, to me, indicate an actual discussion of the work... and the discusion is the difference between one group to another.

because when it's the same i think "they aren't really thinking about it. they're just voting for buzz"

it gets worse every year with predictability i guess and I just don't see the point.

if it's all a popularity contest (which i know it is but here me out) than there is literally no point in having any other group besides the Oscars. Because if awards groups don't have their own aesthetics, they shouldn't exist.

and this year more than many i've had a hard time believing that any of it matters because there is a genius performance around right in plain view (TILDA SWINTON in JULIA) that not one group or even critics organization cares about? That is some kind of bullshit and it's also fairly rare. Usually the performances that are flat out genius (and/or that showy) get at least something ... even if it's not the coveted Oscar nomination.

@John... i've heard this argument about Bullock but I don't really see it. I can't imagine the Academy feeling like the nomination isn't them being generous and a reward itself.

Now, if she pulled off another Blind Side hit drama next year I could see them being "holy shit give her the statue!" because momentum is crazy important.

John said...

Rob-I don't think anyone said last year was Bullock's year (I don't think she actually made a movie last year). And I also don't think they're "mild" Box Office hits-they're in the top dozen hits of the year at this point (though Avatar will certainly break this).

It isn't necessarily a rationale for the title of Best Actress, but I think that it will be. Hollywood clearly wants to recognize this woman in some way, and unlike Mulligan & Sidibe, she's not one who is going to fade away with or without a win. Plenty of actresses from Ginger Rogers to Reese Witherspoon have won for slighter work because they were Box Office boffo.

joe burns said...

I think both Bullock and Mirren are vulnerable.

Jim T said...

If Streep and Mirren get nominated, Streep's nods will be the sum of Judi Dench's, Maggie Smith's and Mirren's nominations. Insane!

Ali said...

The world will love the academy if they vote for Bullock. This lady is so huge in the Middle East... people just love her since the early 1990s when she was in Speed.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Maybe I'm jaded because the more films I see every year the worse my prediction goes, but I really don't think it's going to be that five. I don't maybe I'll eat my words but I just don't. And I hate the fact that this is looking like a redux of 2005 with the same tired five [la de da with Streep and Mirren]. But I could forgive that enduring lineup because even though Annette Bening should have been there, 2005 was not very strong and I honestly felt they were best of the lot. But this year is just overwrought with excessive good female performances. It's not really that this five are bad [though others are better], but having them be a representation of every awards body is just ludicrous.

Samson said...

If the precursor groups like the same things, then so be it. It's their awards to do with as they please. Everyone of them could have voted for Tilda Swinton if they wanted. But guess what? They didn't. Life goes on. Uniformity isn't always a horrible thing, and again, if you are bored with the uniformity and crave the upsets for upsets sake, then stop following the minutiae of the race every year, b/c that's they only way that this uniformity will stop being an issue for you.

Rick said...

I cannot believe the snobbery on this blog about lightweight comedy... comed that comes off well is much more difficult than drama ...

I think Nat's lineup is going to be the Oscar lineup... I honestly cannot see WHY Bullock is on this list... huge profits do not an actress make... Abbie Cornish is the one who should take the 5th spot

Alex said...

I'm starting to think that Meryl Streep might lose just because they might not want to hand out two "we're sorry" Oscars in the same year (the other being for Jeff Bridges) and instead give it to Carey Mulligan, who is the only person I could possibly see winning aside from Streep.

Julian Stark said...

Mirren.

Who would replace her? Melanie Laurent.

By the way, did those lovely Weinsteins switch Laurent back to Supporting? I read that somewhere...

RC said...

Earlier in the year I though everyone buy Street would be under 30 -- things change.

Adam M. said...

From my non-scientific estimations, that 5th spot could go to a number of potential candidates-- not at all as locked up as you are suggesting, Nat.

The pre-cursors have put Mulligan and Streep effectively neck-and-neck for the win, with the ever-so-slight edge to Mulligan. Sidibe should land a comfortable nod, and Sandy Bullock seems like a sure bet for that 4th spot.

But then there are several names vying for the final nomination: Emily Blunt for 'The Young Victoria,' Abbie Cornish for 'Bright Star,' Maya Rudolph for 'Away We Go,' Saoirse Ronan for 'The Lovely Bones,' and Mélanie Laurent for 'Inglourious Basterds.' And THEN your pick Helen Mirren for 'The Last Station,' and finally, there's 'Séraphine's Yolande Moreau to whom LAFCA unexpectedly threw a bone.

I could see any of those names (except for Moreau) on Oscar's shortlist come February.

All of my score-based pre-cursor tabulations can be found on my blog. Just click on "The Oscar Tracker." End shameless plug.

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I think Mirren is the most vulnerable. I just can't imagine any of the other contenders usurping her spot. Who? Abbie Cornish? People are comparing it to the Laura Linney situation a couple of years ago. However, even when Linney was languishing in the precursors, "The Savages" was still popping up almost everywhere with awards for its screenplay, which indicated some love for it. Does anyone (besides Nathaniel) LOVE "Bright Star" enough for Cornish to sneak in?

For the win, I still can't imagine anyone outside of the original three locks (Mulligan, Sidibe and Streep) winning. By the time Oscar ballots are due, I wager that the novelty of "Academy Award Nominee Sandra Bullock" will wear off and the nomination will seem like the reward.

Miguel said...

Samson- thank you for mentioning Kristin Scott Thomas' performance last year- I honestly believe with no doubt that it was the best performance male or female of last year; as much as I love Kate Winslet.

I want Melanie Laurent to pull off a surprise nomination. I want Meryl Streep to win, but I wouldnt mind if Bullock wins just because it would be such a total shock- n i think the oscars need that sometimes. Plus she's a big star so it would make the public pretty happy. I think Sidibe and Mulligan could cancel each other out.

N Ive seen the Blind Side- it was a fairly good performance by Bullock, but please, please people stop comparing it to Julia Roberts' performance in Erin Brockovich- since the Blind Side dont even have a quarter of the depth that Julia's performance and Soderbergh's film had.

Clover said...

Is Streep really locked for a win? For that movie? It got good reviews, and it's a biopic but it's still a comedy and it's light. I don't know if I see her getting her long awaited third Oscar for Julie and Julia. Last year she was in a VERY baity role, she won the SAG and still didn't win the Oscar. Granted, Winslet was overdue, and that's not the case this year, with the newcomers, Bullock, and the recently awarded Mirren.

It'd be cool if Streep wins for J&J, it would be remembered as the times when she was also considered grreat in comedy, but there'd be a lot of criticism as well. People always want the academy to embrace different genres, but when they do, they feel it's wrong...

Right now I see Mulligan and Streep winning the Globes, then Streep would win the SAG Award and Mulligan, the Bafta. The Oscar? I don't know. Mulligan could win, a la Audrey Hepburn or Julie Christie.

Miguel said...

I actually see Bullock winning the Golden Globe for Drama, especially the fact that she'll lose comedy to streep- which would completely change the game, n the globes would love that since they'll know that with that decision they will change the game. But I do love Mulligan's performance, so still pulling forthat.

Michael said...

I have a feeling that Emily Blunt will pull a Keira Knightley and get nominated for The Young Victoria. I heard some voters sayings some nice things about her when the Academy screened their Foreign Language films yesterday morning.

And even though I know for a fact that those people can't vote in the acting races I'm placing Blunt as #5.

Pal Joey said...

I'll just go ahead and say it. If Meryl wins for "Julie & Julia", it's going to be considered as her "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?" win. That "oh shit, what were they thinking?" kind of deal, particularly when something amazing will come around for her in the near future (which we all know it will, and I'm guessing it'll be when Harvey gets around to giving her "August: Osage County"). And before you say that I have a comedy bias, I would have been fine with her winning for "Prada", even though I was rooting for Helen Mirren all the way that year. That's the kind of comedy performance she should be winning for if it must be a comedy win next for her. But "Julie & Julia" was not a good film. That needs to count for something! Yes, Meryl was the best part of the film, but the whole film should have just been a Julia Child biopic. You could say that Kate Winslet was the best part of "The Reader" too. Doesn't change that a shitty film is a shitty film. I don't think her win's going to be looked on well like last year's, and voters should have some discernment there and just make a damn decision between the newbies. I'd personally love to see either Gabby or Carey be Oscar winners. That might show my bias, but whatever. I just want the madness to stop, which I guess is a part of the fun of all of this, but still.

Bryan said...

First of all, I agree that Mirren is the most vulnerable-- I haven't yet seen the performance, but I just get the impression that the Academy will only feel like nominating her because they "have to", i.e. it's kind of been designated as the fifth slot. With that in mind, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if Cornish (or Blunt) slipped in , but anyone else would be a shock.

I know that the Bullock buzz is all over the place now, but there's still some time for attitudes to change, right? And Nathaniel: why do they feel the need to vote so early, anyway? It seems like I would be voting at the last minute, letting it all sink in...

And regarding Meryl: I'm kind of scared that Pal Joey is right, and that when she gets a super-awesome role in a few years and hits it out of the park, having awarded her for J & J will feel silly. I mean, I'm sure everyone agrees that this is not her very last good performance... I don't know. I guess I'm just tired of looking back on things and wishing actors had won for different projects (I can't fully enjoy Winslet's recent win because she should have won four years previously!)

Lastly (I'm cramming everything in!), why have the precursors been solely... well, predictive? Is there really that much consensus? Are they worrying that they will lose their "award credibility" if they don't perfectly match Oscar, or is there a fundamental inability or unwillingness to have a merit-based discussion?

RJ said...

Still not 100% about Streep winning.

Rob said...

Sidibe and Mulligan already have multiple projects in the pipeline ensuring they're not going to just 'fade away' after their nomination.

Pf_Iggy said...

I think all the talk about the best actress race will end in being Streep's third Oscar. I feel it will be like the saying, "change everything for everything to remain the same." Or something like that, I'm not good at sayings.

If there must be a surprising nominee, I'd love to see Pfeiffer (obviously) but probably won't happen. And as I haven't seen Swinton's Julia, maybe it could be Roberts for Duplicity as in the Globes? That's probably a too wild card, but if Bullock nomination is really happening that would be like poetic justice, having them both and just compare.

Jesus Alonso said...

Streeps third? Probably should, but we have to consider also Bullock's momentum and her double nom at the Globes - and how it's a first nom for a big star that's been a star since 1994, with ups and downs, but basically it's her first chance for recognition (they overlooked her in a Best Picture winner, already). Also, I can feel a feeling already that probably it wouldn't be right to have Mo'nique win Supporting without giving lead to her costar. I think it's a threeway race, open between Sidibe, Bullock and Streep. And that probably Mirren is more endangered that any can think: how many are taking into consideration that being Broken Embraces inellegible for Foreign Film, Cruz's momentum could actually lead her to a double nom, Lead and Supporting? I mean, it's really difficult to watch Broken Embraces and not considering her for a Lead Actress contender. I think, that she's the biggest dark horse for a nom this year, specially 'cause most think that just having won, it would be a huge handicap to get double whammo.

NATHANIEL R said...

@PALJOEY & BRIAN... i really don't think that most people care *what* people win for really. I mean, Oscar obsessives and movie freaks care obviously. But i think the general public and the industry are more concerned with whether you're a frequent nominee or a winner. Outside of Oscar and movie sites for example I never hear people bitch about Kate Winslet's win for the Reader.

And though i heartily agree that Hepburn shouldn't have won for "Dinner" people don't talk about that. Instead they talk about 4 TIME ACADEMY AWARD WINNER KATHARINE HEPBURN you know?

VICTOR S -- i hope you're right. That was an almost eerily agreeable precursor season. so short too. weirdness.

MARSHA -- yeah maybe. I think i underestimated the momentum factor here because people have been talking about Blunt as a future nominee since 2006.

JOHN -- yeah, i agree. #1 rank is fun to think about but it really doesn't seem to matter because performances that don't seem to have passionate fanbases get nominated all the time.

adelutza said...

I can't believe that Bullock is getting in and Cornish/Swinton/Pfeiffer/Robin Right ( and I could go on ) don't. And why is it a backlash if I don't think her performance is Oscar nomination worthy? I like Bullock, but all her roles are identical, and the way she acts them are identical. The only difference in The Blind Side was a failed attempt at an accent, is all. Why should she be nominated, because she is popular? For getting more viewers to watch the tv show? This is one viewer that they'll loose if Bullock is there.
I liked An Education and Mulligan a lot. It is a great film and I think deserves more love than it gets( the film,I mean ). If she wasn't this young I would say she'll win, but I suppose that finally Streep needs to get her third.

John T said...

There is something to the argument of Bullock bringing in viewers, that is true. I've sat through Swank winning a second time, Crash winning Best Picture, and last year's Slumdog stampede, and still I'm returning (and I actually like Bullock). I don't think that the Academy is concerned about losing the die-hard viewers, but instead is trying to appeal to the middle when it comes to viewership (maybe Harry Reid should succeed Tom Sherak).

That being said, I think if someone does oust Mirren, Blunt does seem more likely at this point. She's got the big momentum, going from side-player (and likely sixth place) in The Devil Wears Prada to bonafide movie star. Hollywood does like it when a side player seems to come out of nowhere and become a movie star, and we all know she'll get in eventually-plus, biopic!!! In costumes!!! I still think this is the final five, but if there's a sixth place, it seems most likely to be Blunt rather than Cotillard (voter confusion), Laurent (voter confusion) and Cornish (no one is talking about this movie, and it's not like she was popular enough before this to get in on good will).

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

By the way, did those lovely Weinsteins switch Laurent back to Supporting? I read that somewhere...

Over at Awards Daily, a poster wrote that TWC had in fact switched Laurent back to supporting. Fox Searchlight (?) did the same with Maggie Gyllenhaal and Crazy Heart too.

Although the supporting actress category seems like it will have the most surprises, imo, it might be too late for Laurent and Gyllenhaal to get in now.

For the win, I still can't imagine anyone outside of the original three locks (Mulligan, Sidibe and Streep) winning. By the time Oscar ballots are due, I wager that the novelty of "Academy Award Nominee Sandra Bullock" will wear off and the nomination will seem like the reward.

The Know Nothing Know It All is probably correct, but right now I feel like Bullock might be Streep's only real competition since Mulligan and Sidibe are both newcomers. Plus, neither of their movies did as well as I expected in the precursors aside from actress (and supporting actress for Precious).

Finally, it's probably just a coincidence, but since 1999, the Best Actress winner has alternated between someone whose film was also nominated for Best Picture and someone whose film wasn't nominated for Best Picture which means if the pattern holds true, Streep and Bullock probably have the best chance to win.

Lara said...

I'm one of those who think that if Meryl wins her third for J&J that it will be for the right performance. The only thing that dragged the film down for me was Julie's part which I know is half of the film but that's not Meryl's fault.
Julia in Paris with her husband, her co-writers, her sister was absolutely enjoyable. Maybe not Meryl's best performance but just like with Sandra Bullock reversed (her best performance, yet compared to others...) this isn't saying much.

Pal Joey said...

You'd be surprised how much the general public knows about the specifics of who won what at the Oscars. Maybe not the obscure ones. John Mills who? John Houseman? But the biggies, I think they do have an awareness of, and Meryl's going to get some shit if she wins for "Julie & Julia", especially if something better comes along for her in the next 5 years. And it won't just be on Oscar web sites. Same goes for Kate Winslet's awful win for "The Reader," and rightfully so. Give Joe Blow a tad more credit than that.

Miss Topanga said...

god, i am so tired of meryl streep getting nominated for everything she does. as if there are no other actresses...

it was a boring film year, anyhow. compared to 2008 and 2007.

brandz said...

if we focus soley on performance, and NOT movie, Meryl Streep stands head and shoulders above the rest of the field. her performance was spot-on. she totally carried a mediocre movie and elevated it with her performance alone. how many times has Streep turned in great performances and lost the Oscar? too many to count. the Oscar is Meryl's to lose.

Peggy Sue said...

I also think this is pretty much the line-up though somehow I'm still counting on Blunt. I really liked her in that movie.

But if it's Streep vs. Bullock, God Please, go Meryl! Although I totally agree with Pal Joey: something better will come her way. A third Oscar is it really that urgent?

There's still hope for Swinton at the National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Sawyer said...

The only surprise I can see, and it's a long shot, is if the Academy REALLY loves Nine, and nominates Cotillard. In that case, I think Mulligan is the most vulnerable.

Sawyer said...

And I find this backlash against a Sandra Bullock nomination funny.

Neither Swinton, Pfeiffer, Wright, Deschanel or any other personal favorites that have been mentioned has a snowball's chance of winning the award. It's Streep or Sidibe, probably Streep. So why not give Bullock, who gave the absolute best performance she could possibly give, a career nomination? It seems unlikely that she would get another. Let her have her moment.

Spencer said...

I know I'm one of very few people who sees it this way, but IMO:

Mulligan > Streep
AND
Julie and Julia > An Education

My problem with Streep winning would relate to the performance itself (which I think was quite good, but nowhere near as good as Mulligan's), and not to the film. I think a lot of the disputes over the validity of an Oscar for a performance in J&J have less to do with quality, and more to do with pedigree. J&J is light and fun, and it's clearly not everyone's cup of tea. BUT, I find it hard to accept that there's something embarrassing about winning for a film like J&J, but not for films like The Reader and Monster's Ball--which are in my view straight up bad, but which also are seen as "important" and "serious" by many, many viewers.

All of this to say that I'm rooting for Mulligan because I find her performance to be an exquisite delight in a not-so-special film. That said, I hate the thought of Streep losing for J&J simply because people don't think the film is heavy enough. Heaviness should not be mistaken for quality, and all too often it is.

NATHANIEL R said...

pal joey -- What can i say? that hasn't been my experience at all and i live in New York where people are (generally) more culturally savvy than anywhere else I've personally lived... at least about movies because it's a moviegoing town. And yet I still hear crazy totally false "facts" daily about movies and Oscars.

also: i really don't think people don't like Streep in Julie & Julia. I think that's another weird Oscar web bubble experience. I heard people talking about that movie for MONTHS here in NYC. always in connection to how much they loved Meryl Streep

Pal Joey said...

Well, that's my experience and what I've gathered from what I've read about this year's Oscar race and last year's. I don't claim to speak for you or anyone else. But I'll stand by everything I've said about both Streep and Winslet. And I don't think you give regular people enough credit for what they know about the Oscars. 30 million people average this a year, and they aren't all watching to see what Nicole Kidman's wearing on the red carpet.

NATHANIEL R said...

@Pal Joey -- well on the fact that the Oscars have a huge audience and that a lot more people than the media thinks care about who wins rather than just the dresses, we can agree :) I don't know why people are always pretending that the audience isn't big and that only the fashion parade matters.

@Spencer -- i absolutely agree with the idea that the "weight" of a film or performance has nothing to do with its quality and that even people who claim to hate that people view things that way, still have a habit of turning on the "light" winners.

@Peggy -- don't get my hopes up. I'm letting Swinton go. I firmly believe it's the type of extraordinary performance that everyone watching it in the future will be like "WHAT THE HELL?" about its inability to get any awards attention.

Anonymous said...

Meryl wins Satellite!
http://www.indiewire.com/article/locker_leads_eclectic_satellite_winners/

Corey said...

I do think that there will be a surprise on nomination morning a la Laura Linney (Savages), Melissa Leo (Frozen River). Melanie Laurent. It seems like critics like Inglourious Bastards a whole helluva lot. And let's be honest. she was damn good. That's my no guts no glory prediction. (kinda like Nat's Tobey McGuire globe predict)

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

The only thing we're assured of right now is that Meryl will be giving another one of her delicious acceptance speeches at the Golden Globes.

Helen Mirren for me is sort of in the same position as Kate Winslet was for Little Children: Too big of a name to ignore, too little of a movie to reward.

Matty said...

I love how Streep is in the run for an Academy award for such a light role, I'm still hoping Emily Blunt might sneak in, although not very probable.

adam k. said...

Haha, Nat, you like The Proposal more than The Blind Side? (if you can call it "like") That's funny.

One of the more ridiculous arguments I've heard about Streep is that if she couldn't win for Doubt last year, she can't win for Julie & Julia. But that's a misreading of the situation on multiple levels.

If anything, Streep is MORE likely to win this year because she lost (perhaps fairly narrowly) last year. It's all about the mo.

Also, she had some very vocal detractors of her performance in Doubt. Just because the film was baity doesn't mean she was great in it, or particularly well loved. A lot of people straight up didn't like her in it. A few LOVED her, sure, but it wasn't nearly enough. And the detractors, I think, felt strongly enough that they refused to vote for her even if they loved Streep in general. So they threw the win to Winslet, who also was maybe not at her best but who people at least LIKED in The Reader (which was even more baity).

I know of NO ONE who doesn't at least LIKE Streep in Julie & Julia. It's a very likeable perf. And some feel passionately about it. Plus, turning 60, and having It's Complicated out this year, has really kept the spotlight on her. It feels like her time.

adam k. said...

Oh, plus (perhaps most importantly):

The competition is weak. None of her competitors are overdue for anything.

dinasztie said...

adam k.: I agree with you. I have the same arguments.

CP-9 said...

Look hard enough, and you'll find people who weren't taken with any parts of "Julia & Julia". Didn't like the film or Amy Adams or Meryl Streep in it. Don't act like those people are anomalies, b/c they aren't.

Andy said...

The Helen Mirren thing still seems odd to me, mostly because I can't imagine anyone going to see that movie. But, if SAG's on board ...

adam k. said...

Fair enough, CP-9. I just hadn't personally encountered any of those people. At worst, I hear something to the effect of "Well, Meryl was good, BUT..."

But I do know lots of people who actively disliked her performance in Doubt.

Agent69 said...

I really hope some of you get 'shocked' if Streep loses. I just can't see it. But then I really didn't like J&J of Meryl in it.

Tyler said...

Mélanie Laurent has just been moved to Supporting. You can see it here: http://www.twcguilds.com/inglouriousbasterds/#/the-cast. Do you think this will increase her chances? Or is it too little too late? Her performance was obviously superior to Kruger's.

Anonymous said...

Too late, probably. And not superior to Kruger, definitely.

NATHANIEL R said...

yeah, I'm not sure why people think Laurent is superior to Kruger (they're both very good). Maybe because she has more to do?

I'd like to see the movie again before I cast my final ballot though for my own awards.

and category placement switches this late in the game are difficult to pull off for sure. You've already rolled the dice and it's rather like blowing on them right before the numbers come up.

steve said...

all i know is that Streep needs this award far, far more than any other actress

brandz said...

i agree with you steve. some think just the opposite and say streep fans need the award more than streep. i think meryl needs this one bad, after 12 or 13 losses in a row. i also think she's deserving too.

Danielle said...

Maybe people feel that Laurent is superior to Kruger because art is subjective and not everyone will share each other's opinions?

Side note: The issue is not that there was a typo on the website but the fact that they have switched her campaign.

adri said...

There's almost sure to be some surprises. Two weeks ago, we never would have considered Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria. A month or so ago, we wouldn't have considered Sandra Bullock. (At least I wasn't thinking of them, although I haven't seen their movies so I'm not saying anything about the calibre of the performances).

I'm not sure that Mirren is the most vulnerable though. The Last Station seems to be a very actor-friendly movie. IF the voters have screeners of the film, they might choose to watch it instead of something more demanding. Actually, it seems a lot like "Julie and Julia" in my mind, terrific actress does a take on a historical character in a lighter drama.

Carl said...

Are there going to be/are there already screeners out for "The Young Victoria"? I can't see any other way that the movie gets in front of enough Academy voter's eyes to get her a big enough push to knock anyone off the list.

IJ said...

No one needs a third Oscar. That's ridiculous.

Paul Outlaw said...

@ Carl

Screeners (and screenings) of The Young Victoria have been out there for awhile, and Blunt & co have been pounding the pavement. That's the reason the film has gotten the nods it has so far, even before it opened here a few days ago to a respectable if mediocre Metacritic 61. (Most scores are in the 70s and 80s; it was taken down by Film Threat, TimeOut NY and The Village Voice.)

amir_uk said...

I know this is way too far down the comments thread for anyone to still be reading, but I just wanted to defend Meryl.

I'm one of those who consider Streep Oscar-worthy in Julie & Julia - and I just hope there are enough members of the Academy who feel the same (because I'm really not sure she's going to win this).

For me, it's not about "it's time to give Meryl her third." I genuinely think it's one of her best ever performances. She's created one of the most joyous characters I've ever seen on screen, one who demands her actress to run the whole gamut of emotions throughout the course of the film. And that Valentine's dinner party scene - in which she makes her 'heart' flutter - is one of those moments for the Meryl canon. ;-)

amir_uk said...

And on the state of the Best Actress race - something's telling me we may have 2003 on our hands as opposed to a 2006...

I just really hope both Blunt and Bullock don't make it in. That would be such a shame in a year of some truly great performances.

Glenn Dunks said...

I saw The Last Station and I definitely feel like Mirren will be getting in. It helps that the movie is fantastic, but it really is a BIG performance in a worthy film. Still, I wouldn't be utterly surprised to see her left out.

Anonymous said...

@Danielle: Yeah. But it goes the other way round too. My post that Laurent "definitely" wasn't superior to Kruger was a response to Tyler's comment that she "obviously" was. Wasn't meant to be taken completely seriously. Of course it's utterly subjective.

NATHANIEL R said...

IJ -- would you say that about Ingrid Bergman, Jack Nicholson and Katharine Hepburn too?

GLENN -- exactly. I dont know why SPC did such a lame non-relese for the film because i don't see why it couldn't have done Coco Avant Chanel numbers at least when released in the fall. I suspect it's going to get totally buried now. We'll see.

NATHANIEL R said...

Amir ... i love that moment, too. I really don't get where all the Streep-dissing is coming from. Is it a reaction to her ubiquity? I've admitted myself that I sometimes wish other actresses would get a chance (I l-o-v-e her but I don't need to see her do each and every meaty role for a 60+ woman)

IJ said...

Yep, I sure would. "Murder on the Orient Express," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," and "As Good As It Gets" are all horrible third Oscar wins. No one needs to rush to give anyone a third damn Oscar, especially when the efforts are middling and subpar to what these actors can and have achieved in the past.

Anonymous said...

It is Meryl Streep's year to win the Oscars: the Academy voters will reward her with her body of work: Adaptation, The Devil Wears Prada, Doubt, J & J and It's Complicated. She is this year's Kate Winslet, who won for a less showy role last year which is The Reader.

Paul Outlaw said...

The five nominees should be:

Abbie Cornish——and her co-stars, just as worthy, will also be denied)
Penélope Cruz——plays what is tantamount to (at least) four characters all in one person and nails it
Gabourey Sidibe——a brilliant debut
Meryl Streep——because of what she does in the TV re-enactments
Robin Wright——see the movie

But they will be:

Sandra Bullock——I haven't seen it, but I can read the writing on the wall
Helen Mirren——ditto
Carey Mulligan——she was very good, but whatever
Sidibe
Streep

Yavor said...

oh wow, I read ALL OF THE POSTS and I'm so proud of myself LOL. I will defend Streep and I do think I'm right about this one-she did a FINE performance in J&J, she was fun to watch, she felt so real and I always had a smile on my face while watching her; how can people even compare Streep in J&J to Hepburn in "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" and then talking about lightweight performances, has anyone seen "Bringing Up Baby?" the movie has perfect timing and Kate is so good there :)

Meryl's Julia is better than Meryl's Dragon in Doubt; people forget about the fact that Meryl will win because the Julia Child performance is different and unique;

I don't care about what people say, Sandra was NOT good, and she deserves to stay oscar nom free;

I'd love to see Emily Blunt as a substitute :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, in my opinion i believe Helen Mirren is vulnerable because she is the only one out of the five in which I haven't really heard about; by this i mean the role she plays, not Helen Mirren. The definante to win though is fellow brit Carey Mulligan, she is sensational in An Education. If an education was released next yer and therefore carey couldn't get nominated; then i would put my money on Sandra Bullock because she deserved it after all the years in the buisness.

Anonymous said...

OMG, YOU ARE ALL CRAZY!! Mulligan is clearly the winner and all of you are like, no Bullock will win it, OMG are you all delouded, come on think straight, Mulligan is the clear winnner by far; some of you need to stop thinlking your proper 'experts' and watch the film propley.

Anonymous said...

Carey Mulligan is the hot favourite to win, her performance is out of this world; i can't believe someone said it was bad in the post on here. If Mulligan doesn't win then i would say it is between Streep and Sidibe; Bullock could snatch it because this the the best performance she has done in a film. Mirren is definatly not going to win because the competition is better than her performance.
Performances out of 5:
Carey Mulligan = 5
Meryl Streep = 4 and a half
Gabourey Sidibe = 4 and a half
Sandra Bullock = 4
Helen Mirren = 3 and a half or 4
People who could snatch a nomination from Mirren :
1) Emily Blunt
2) Abbie Cornish
3) Saorise Ronan
So that's about everything i can think of saying, we will just have to wait for the BAFTA Nominations to see who probably be nominated for an ACADEMY AWARD!!! :D