Tuesday, January 25, 2005

"Mo Cuisla" vs. Julia Lambert ! vs. Vera Drake ?

I know that the media was itching for and got it's prime Bening vs. Swank throwdown part two. But, frankly, I'd be more excited about it if the actresses in question were both a little more rambunctious when it comes to their celebrity swag --i.e. Oscar nods, photo ops, etc... I mean could you imagine if this were like Angelina Jolie vs. Nicole Kidman or something? --but as it stands Bening and Swank are both as low profile as major actors get. Really they are if you stop to consider it.

So, it's round two. Or is it? Seems to me with three nominations (2 of which were somewhat or very unexpected) Vera Drake's Imelda Staunton may be posing more of a threat than anyone realizes at this point. What say ye?


Anonymous said...

two important questions:

1) At what point will the Academy realize that Kate Winslet is the best actress on the planet right now and actually give her the damn Oscar?

2) When are you going to finish your awards? You seem to have lost momentum just when you got to the most interesting ones...

John T said...

I think that ultimately Swank will pull this off (grumble, anyone else would be better, grumble). I just don't see the Academy denying the pretty girl gone ugly again. If someone will beat her, it'll be Bening, who will have the media attention and the backing of her and Warren Beatty's many past coworkers/Academy members. Staunton will have support of parts of the Academy, but, like Brenda Blethyn in 1996, I don't see her winning. Kate, you'll have one someday, but the lack of big support for Eternal Sunshine means it's just not going to happen. Maybe next year for Romance and Cigarettes. As for Catalina Sandino Moreno-anyone have any ideas what this Oscar nod will do to her career?

Anonymous said...

I'm backing Bening to take the gold( and not just because I want her to win). I think the "1999 Redux" theme surrounding the Best Actress race will work in Annette's favor, as media rpeorts are already latching onto this angle, continually bringing up the fact Bening LOST to Swank in 2000. Oscar voters appear to have a short-term memory when it comes to past races, but the big play this Bening/Swank rematch is getting should help remind Academy members that Annette should have an Oscar too (and right now, already).

NicksFlickPicks said...

I've said throughout the season that my money is on Staunton. Could be a curse for her, since most of my other hunches didn't go so hot this morning. But I may as well at least be consistent. I have a hard time seeing Swank win again. Everything that was said above will indeed help Annette Bening, but I doubt anyone who actually sees Vera Drake will find it easy to vote against Staunton (whereas the theatricality and self-conscious lightness of Being Julia could plausibly turn some folks off). Now that Vera is an upswing nominee for Director and Screenplay, many more people will make a point of checking it out, which can only help.

I don't think Winslet's impossible either, frankly. But I think the race is mostly Staunton vs. Bening.

Anonymous said...

Despite the momentum boost provided by Vera Drake's trio of nominations Staunton still has an uphill battle. But her biggest problem isn't Bening or Swank... it's the number of votes Winslet will siphon off from the Anglophile members of the Academy. If Thurman or Delpy had made the cut instead of Winslet this award would be Staunton's in a walk.

It should be anyway.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, at this present time I am actually predicting Staunton to win. Because, it appears that Vera Drake was actually MUCH more loved than originally thought. And if voters are sick of the whole Swank Vs. Bening thing...

But, if she doesn't win, I'd say it's Benings. I still don't think the Academy really wants Swank to join the illustriousranks of two time Best Actress winners! It's two fast and she has not proven herself anywhere else. True, Jodie Foster won her two in quick succession, but she was already a proven actress with a nomination to her name (Taxi Driver). This is Swanks second good performence (ever). It'd seem mean and cruel to give it to Swank again and have someone like Bening with (still) zero oscars to her name.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to mention this:
Ray - 7 nominations
Finding Neverland - 7 nominations
Sideways - 5 nominations
The Incredibles - 4 nominations
Vera Drake - 3 nominations
Spiderman 2 - 3 nominations
The Polar Express - 3 nominations
The Passion of the Christ - 3 nominations
Collateral - 2 nominations
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2 nominations
The Motorcycle Diaries - 2 nominations
Harry Potter 3 - 2 nominations
Shrek 2 - 2 nominations
Being Julia - 1 nomination
Maria, Full of Grace - 1 nomination
Before Sunset - 1 nomination
The Village - 1 nomination
I, Robot - 1 nomination
Kinsey - 1 nomination
Troy - 1 nomination
Shark Tale - 1 nomination

and then this...

The Aviator - 11 nominations
Million Dollar Baby - 7 nominations
Lemony Snickets - 4 nominations
Hotel Rwanda - 3 nominations
The Phantom of the Opera - 3 nominations
A Very Long Engagement - 2 nominations
Closer - 2 nominations
The Chorus - 2 nominations
The Sea Inside - 2 nominations
House of Flying Daggers - 1 nomination

I think the Academy actually did look outside the December torrent. How else do you explain Troy and The Village?! And those were ones not even you mentioned on your For Your Consideration article. In fact, some December titles didn't do well at all. Specially Flying Daggers, which sort of died with the Academy. Also, Closer should have done better.

3/5 Best Picture nominees are from outside of December. And, in fact, 3/5 aren't from December OR November (Neverland and Sideways were October releases, right?)

So maybe if an ACTUAL Academy type movie was released during the year and not December (so, like Ray) they very well may still go for it. It's probably not Kinsey's or Eternal Sunshine's or Before Sunset's fault that they probably didn't appeal to the Academy enough.

...just an observation.


Good point on the non-December stuff. Unfortunately since MDB, Rwanda, and The Aviator all did well --very well. This won't stop the studios from foolishly believing you HAVE to be released in December which just makes the year so annoying for us regular moviegoers.

It's not so much that the Oscars have a bad memory. It's that their bad memory is acerbated by the studios releasing pattern, plus the precursors who in attempting to predict always go for the 'hot stuff of the moment' and tilt the race that way since predictions are also influences of sorts.

anyway. Not happy about only 2 noms for Eternal Sunshine but I guess AMPAS would have to skew younger to see its brilliance.

adam k. said...

How did Lemony Snicket get more nods than Spiderman 2, Vera Drake, and Eternal Sunshine? That's sick. Not that it was bad, but... it was definitely "mediocre". I guess they're all tech noms, but it's annoying that the academy will give such props to well-campaigned medicore kids fare with famous names attached, while shortchanging even other kids or teenager fare like Spiderman 2 that's actually really good.
It is too bad about 3 last minute oscar releases doing so well and encouraging that sort of thing cause I think they did well in spite of their late release... they were all mucho-oscarbait in general. But eventually the academy will get the picture... the early date helps... I just hope it doesn't cause monotonous winners like last year... but the globes and BFCA were already widely divergent, so a continuous stream of the same winners doesn't seem to be much of an issue this year.

Anonymous said...

What is this obsession with Spider-Man 2? It was a boring and subpar film. On the nominations end, I am quite pleased that Closer got the nominations it did. All hail the rise of Natalie Portman.

Anonymous said...

Lemony Snicket deserved all the nominations it got(except maybe in score, but that is a messed-up category anyways. It's more deserving than some others nominated for Best Score). It's technical achievement was the only thing that came close to capturing the sensibility of the books (sadly the script and direction let the books down).

Anonymous said...

(I posted the december/non december nomination list)

Lemony Snicket's technical stuff really was the best thing about the movie. And the reason it got more attention that say Spiderman 2 was because it was more obvious. Spiderman 2 had genius comic-book inspired cinematography but what 60 year old Academy member is going to really care about what when Lemony Snicket's sets are HUGE and GOTHIC and FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH PROPS. etc. Same goes for Eternal Sunshine, Before Sunset, etc. Their technical side was probably too subdued to get any technical notice (even, to be honest, Eternal Sunshine's editing doesn't call attention to itself THAT MUCH, although how Neverland got nominated there is beyond me).

If it's flashier, it will get nominated (with visual catagories) is my thought. But then that doesn't really explain how The Phantom of the Opera got dissed in Costume Design (definitely MY favourite costumes of the year) and Sky Captain got nudged out of Visual Effects. The entire movie is an effect, essentially.

And also, how did The Sea Inside beat Hellboy (or even The Aviator) for best make-up? That one reeks of 2001 when A Beautiful Mind got nommed and Planet of the Apes did not.


Anonymous said...

It's perfectly understandable that Snicket got more than Spider-Man.

Spider-Man's cinematography was decent, Snicket's was spectacular. Spider-Man's set-design was decent, Snicket's was spectacular...

Even in general, I found Snicket more satisfying than Spider-Man, though I think both films were poorly written and pretty mediocre.

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