Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Cowboy Fever Part 2

So I have officially begun to worry about Heath Ledger's Oscar prospects for Brokeback Mountain. He has four traditional Oscar pluses to work with. 1) He's starring in a movie that will get nominated for Best Picture. 2) He's doing an accent 3) The film is seen as a turning point in his career and 4) He's sensational in the movie (the quality of a performance does play into the whole Oscar game, even if its never the deciding factor) But he's got several traditional problems.

Vote splitting: His Casanova performance is being called "career rescuing" --which is exactly what early buzz called the Brokeback turn. (How many times in one year can you save your career?), Age: He's 26. That's 1 year younger than Matt Damon when he was the youngest nominees in years for Good Will Hunting. That's 3 years younger than the youngest winner ever (Adrien Brody The Pianist) and much younger than the median nominee age. Fictional: This is the real problem. The one that worries me. For reasons which I've never completely fathomed most awards giving entities believe that portrayals of real people be they living or dead are automatically more impressive than performances of fictional characters. It's not even a point one can argue. It's statistically one of the truest biases year after year after year.

So cross your fingers for Heath and if you're an Academy voter and you love the "real" just think about how lived in and authentic this performance feels. It deserves a high rank on your ballot.


adam k. said...

I really don't think Ledger will have vote-splitting issues with Casanova.

But that said, he still could have problems. They do tend to prefer real people played by older men. But I'm not too worried because at this point, I think the lead actor race is really only 6 men deep: Hoffman, Phoenix, Feinnes, Bana, Straithairn and Ledger. Only one of them will get the boot on nomination day.

Yaseen Ali said...
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Yaseen Ali said...

I'd also call Anthony Hopkins's turn in "The World's Fastest Indian" a major player right now. He's getting amazing reviews for it. It could be one of those last minute, under-the-radar surprises that the Academy has in store.

But re: Ledger. I hope the cons don't affect him at all. If he is snubbed, I will take it very, very badly.


the reason i bring up vote splitting is that casanova will loom larger just as ballots go out. I expect Heath to be a double nominee at the Globes.

Anonymous said...

Recently had to kill four hours waiting for a flight connection so went to a magazine store and read half a dozen Brokeback reviews... GQ/Premiere/Time etc.

Came away with the impression, for the first time, that Ledger could actually win this thing. Used to think the nomination would be his award. Not so sure now.

I agree that Hopkins is a dark horse looming on the horizon.

John T said...

Yeah, I have the sneaking suspicion that Heath won't make it (though that could just be me not wanting to get my hopes up). I'm hoping for nods for both he and Ralph (and praying anyone else will take the trophy away from Phillip Seymour Hoffman-not picky who).

adam k. said...

A double nominee? Really?

I didn't think the Casanova trailer looked very good at all. Eh.

So then,
Joaquin Phoenix
Nathan Lane
Natthew Broderick
Cillian Murphy
Heath Ledger

If he's really double nominated, he may very well win in drama. I don't think he has a shot at the oscar, but a golden globe win could definitely happen.

I continue to be perplexed at the Casanova buzz and still don't see any vote-splitting happening. This isn't Nicole Kidman in 2001, people. Given the choice of films, it's a no-brainer.

par3182 said...

if 'casanova' lives up to the venice hype i suspect that older male members of the academy would rather vote for heath for being the legendary ladies man. a little bit of wish fulfillment, perhaps?

Glenn Dunks said...

It does feel awfully similar to Nicole in 2001. One a big Oscar hopeful and the other a genre piece that's getting surprising notices. Except the drama/MC are reversed.

You know whatelse it reminds me of? Dennis Hopper in 1986. Everyone expected him to get nommed for Blue Velvet but then the Academy went and gave him this nod for, er, Hoosiers. The movie that wasn't controversial and taboo.

I do think, however, he will get nominated for Brokeback Mountain. It really does seem like he's too good to ignore. And if they do indeed snub him for a nomination, it will not look good.

And Casanova looks like a great time. If this was a different, less cynical year, I would even hazzard a guess and say it could go Shakespeare In Love levels. But it won't, and I won't.

However, I remember watching Australia's top 2 critics David & Margaret in Venice talking about Heath and his movies. They were complaining that others didn't like Casanova because they were "afraid to have fun at a film festival"... and that made me laugh.


adam k. said...

Am I the only one who thinks Casanova looks terrible?

It's a Lasse Hallstrom attempt at lowbrow period comedy. Need I say more.

It looks really bad.

Glenn Dunks said...

but... i hate you


(PS; no i don't (of course not) I just think it looks delightful)


bruce -vote splitting is a real problem. I'm not sure what rule you were reading but if 5 members vote for Heath in Casanova and 5 in Brokeback, it doesn't add up to 10.

I think there's some odd rule about if voters vote for the same person and performance in two SEPARATE categories (supporting and lead) that the votes end up pooled in whichever category is ahead. but I'm a little fuzzy on that.


but paragraph five is in the case when BOTH performances qualify (vote tally wise) for a nomination.

so vote splitting is very dangerous because you can still end up with more votes but with the 6th and 7th most and thus shut out altogether.

The two separate performances are not joined together for tabulation. This rule only means that you can't be nominated twice in the same category.

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