Saturday, August 27, 2005

Oscar: Where We Stand Now (Actress)

Part 4 of 4
Statistics show that each year produces at least 2 acting nominees prior to the fall film arrivals. Who will they be?

Here's a quick look at the 5 likeliest nominees (according to my idea of AMPAS tastes)if the year ended on August 31st. This is the final category. If you've doubted each and every candidate in each and every category, check yourself. Someone will make it through the final four-month stretch of 2005.

Jessica AlbaFantastic Four
Sandra Bullock Miss Congeniality 2
Nicole Kidman Bewitched
Lindsay Lohan Herbie: Fully Loaded
Jessica SimpsonThe Dukes of Hazzard

Let's try that again... (Slim pickings so far this year, huh? )

Joan AllenThe Upside of Anger
Glenn Close Heights
Jennifer ConnellyDark Water
Radha Mitchell Melinda & Melinda
Rachel Weisz The Constant Gardener

You can love the performances of many of these gals listed and the unlisted ones like Nathalie Press (the star of last year's Oscar winning Short Film Wasp) who is beautifully natural in My Summer of Love or Connie Nielsen's grieving wife in Brothers or Miranda July's precocious performance artist in Me You and Everyone We Know but people actually have to see the movies (and love them) to get the buzz going. Oscar voters don't seek contenders out for themselves. They need buzz to reach them.

If you accept my premise that the five women above are the leaders for now... which one of them has a marathon sprinter in her? Obviously Jennifer Connelly is out. The Academy doesn't like horror. Next we drop Glenn Close for Heights. If you've seen the picture you may have felt like genuflecting to this semi-lost actress. Hollywood has lost interest but she's still a riveting presence. The movie is also a true ensemble.

Pros & Cons
That leaves us with a murdered activist wife, a funny/sad neurotic mess, and a drunken abandoned wife --Lots of anger in this category. Radha Mitchell is a rising actress (+) in a Woody Allen film (+) with an interesting character (+) but it's not the mindblowing performance it needed to be to elevated the good but not great film (-) the film didn't breakout (-) and given the very competitive comedy category this year she seems unlikely to get a boost from a Globe nomination (huge -). Joan Allen hit it out of the park three times in a row with envy-inducing reviews for Yes, Off the Map and The Upside of Anger (enormous +) and she's due for an actual statue (big +) But the movie wasn't a big hit (-) and she might suffer a wee bit of vote splitting for the artier Yes (-) . Rachel Weisz is all the rage at the moment (+) and getting loving notices for an acclaimed drama The Constant Gardener (+) but she needs the picture to stay in the race for true play (-) and she's not as famous as many upcoming competitors nor is she 'due' (-) .

Most Likely to Survive?
Unless The Constant Gardener reaches maximum density of AMPAS interest, Wiesz loses this one to Joan Allen who seems a very likely nominee IF any precursor awards go her way to remind people of how great and unexpectedly funny she was in Upside. It also can't hurt that she's never held an Oscar in her hands despite a rich filmography and three prior nominations.


Anonymous said...


You MUST consider Amy Adams in Junebug at least a better possibility at this point than Jennifer Connelly. Adams has had nothing but raves, and she's absolutely terrific. If enough voters see the film, I can't imagine her incredible range (from instantly lovable hilarity to devastating tragedy) would go unnoticed.

Granted, its a small film, but the critics seem to have her back far more than Joan Allen, and if a crix award or two fall Adams' way, she could be a genuine threat to the big guns this fall.

adam k. said...

Well, though I haven't seen Junebug, I do agree with anonymous that JConn shoudn't even be considered. Not only does the academy not like horror, but her film was quite the flop.
This one will be all about Allen.

Anonymous said...

i think evan rachel wood (pretty persuasion) and definitely adams would have better shots

Anonymous said...

Couldn't Weisz run supporting?

Calum Reed said...

Aargh. It really bugs me that Nathalie Press will not feature.

For these five, Connelly, Mitchell and Weisz have no chance. Allen will definitely feature at the GLobes but I agree she needs precursors to survive.


honestly i haven't heard a peep about Junebug and wasn't it an indie spirit thing or a festival thing more than a year ago? That basically kills awardage hopes.

i wouldn't say that weisz has no chance either. If TCG hits with audiences... anything might be possible. It has the critical support

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should count Amy Adams out. She's strictly a supporting character, but she's sure to get awards buzz come year's end. She is extraordinary in the film. (I happen to really love the film, as well.)

And... I know I've been fighting you on the Joan Allen thing for a long time, but I have to say I've been won over. She can't possibly win this year, but she does seem a likely nominee. I think the character isn't very likeable in the film, but I do think her performance is quite good. Her delivery of "Swedish secretary" alone should net her a nomination.


the Jconn thing. I was desperate. i couldn't think of anyone. please forgive ;) Rachel McAdams in Red Eye woulda been a better mainstream thriller choice i suppose.

this category will explode in October but until then...

adam k. said...

Nicole Kidman in The Interpreter is eligible. Sure, it won't be happening, but it's at least theoretically possible. There's always the (strong) possibility that the HFPA will find a spot for her in their lineup, anyway.

John T said...

Joan Allen appears to be the only contender who will be seriously in the lineup at the end of the year. The big question is-will Allen go as a Comedic nominee at the Globes or as a Dramatic nominee? Looking at the last five years, a Globe nomination is almost essential (if my math is right, only four actresses managed to be nominated for Oscars without nominations at the Globes-Morton, Castle-Hughes, Watts, and Sandino Moreno), so if Allen went the comedic route, she would likely score with the HFPA. However, only three actresses in the last five years managed for the Globe Comedy to be nominated for the Oscars without winning the trophy from the HFPA (Zellwegger, Winslet, and Binoche). Therefore, she's going to have to win this to lock up a nod (only one actress in the last five years-Renee Zellwegger, who'd a thunk she could be snubbed-won a Globe and didn't get nominated for an Oscar). With Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, and Judi Dench all competing (all recent Globe winners), as well as potentially Reese Witherspoon, Allen may be lost in the crowd in that race.

Therefore, I think that Allen should go for the Globe Drama nomination. 14 of the last 25 nominees at the Oscars were Globe Drama nominees, and if she's nom'd she's guaranteed awards season play for the rest of the cycle. Basically, though, imho, Allen can't be nominated at the Oscars without a Globe nod.

Anonymous said...

Allen wasn't nominated for Pleasantville at the Globes and look at the MONUMENTAL CATASTROPHE that occured there! (sorry, my undying love for both Pleasantville and Allen takes over me sometimes).

And I agree with Adam K, Nicole Kidman would definitely score a nod for The Interpreter before Jennifer. Hell, Angelina Jolie (Mr & Mrs Smith) would score before her.

What the hell is Junebug?

Anonymous said...

you should think twice before putting Nicole Kidman in the same category as Jessica Simpson. I call that disrespect, even if it's a joke. If you check the Imdb, the reviews were very good about Kidman's performance in "Bewitched" (not the film, of course). And she is a better contender to considerate for "The Interpreter" (because the film was well received) than Jennifer Connelly for "Darl Water" or Radha Mitchell for "Melinda and Melinda".

adam k. said...

Glad I got the Kidman love flowing, although I think this will be the first year in a long time where she won't be a nominee at the globes... I just don't see how they could justify nominating her AGAIN.

Anonymous said...

Not that this has anything to do with the "Where We Stand" series at all, but:

I saw the poster for "Bee Season" the other day and Richard Gere has first-billing over Juliette Binoche. Could this possibly mean that Juliette could go supporting for this film? That could definitely help her bid, because Best Actress is especially cluttered this season.

Anonymous said...

I need Bee Season right NOW. I lurved The Deep End and Tilda was horribly robbed (bah to Halle Berry and her awful movie) and I like Richard and Juliette.


Anonymous said...

How can people not have even heard of Junebug? The four-star raves by very mainstream critics like EW's Owen Gleiberman and Roger Ebert should have put this one on the map for all Oscarwatchers.

And perhaps with the film's ensemble nature and her low star wattage she will receive a supporting push. But if she's not the central character, she sure feels like, she owns completely every scene she's near.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you adam k. Kidman should be a contender for the interpreter, a lot of the oscar sites even said her performance was oscar worthy even if they didnt like the film they thought kidman could have gotten oscar attention if it had been released later in the year...never know though the DVD comes out in october and thats usually when the HFPA looks at nominees, although i would be shocked(in a good way) if she eventually got in, she is sure is hell is a better contender then some of those contenders on nathaniels list, but i dont think he likes Kidman that much so...


i like Kidman plenty... but The Interpreters reviews and box office and buzz were not strong enough for any Oscar-follow up no matter when the release.

these groupings of 5 are not about my own tastes. My taste rarely coincides with Oscar these days. when it does it's cause for much rejoicing.

but again i've admitted a million times that J Connelly probably wasn't in the fifth spot. I just didn't come up with anyone else. if I had to redo it now I'd use Rachel McAdams since she has buzz and ascending star status and if they voted right this second she'd be above Kidman in the final tally.

Oscar tends to take breaks from actors once they've won. at least for a short while.