Friday, August 18, 2006

And I Am Telling You... (I Want Credit)

A lot of people on the internet got really excited about Tom O'Neill's posting on The Envelope concerning American Idol reject Jennifer Hudson and her Dreamgirls performance. Jennifer is playing the role that made Jennifer Holliday a star way back when on Broadway.

I'm singing my own tune here. It's called "And I Am Telling You (I Want Credit)". I said loooong ago at least as far back as October that whoever was cast, be they a reality TV show reject or not, they'd be Oscar nominated. And of course I placed Hudson in the #1 position in my year-in-advance Oscar predictions, too.

I'm not trying to say I'm a prognosticating genius. In truth this was an easy call. Not everybody made it but it was easy. And here's why: "And I am Telling You (I'm Not Going)" is a star-maker. It is one of the best musical numbers ever written/performed for the stage. If you have the voice and passion for it (and we trusted Bill Condon to cast someone who did) it's explosive. Whoever played this role was going to be amply rewarded for their trouble.

I'm good at the Oscar game. I don't have as much access as the big guns (Poland, Wells, O'Neill, etc...) and probably about the same as the other midlevel and small fish (too numerous to mention) but I'm as good as anyone and better than some at this whole mad annual circus. Occassionally I get aggravated that I toil away in relative obscurity.

So stroke my needy ego in the comments. Do it!

I'm totally aware that one of the most tiresome things about writers and bloggers (particularly within the hermetic world of Oscar coverage) is their need to take credit for things or shout "FIRST!" But in this case I just had to give myself props. I won't get any credit for it in a big media way but I knew and I shared and now I'm sharing that I knew and shared.

In "Nathaniel, Shut Up!" news
Whenever I start feeling big for my britches and singing my own praises like this I go and read this hysterical classic from "This is What We Do Now." It makes me laugh at myself and at everyone else, too.

In other Oscar-pondering news...
In Oscar's off season (that's roughly 1/2 of the year since Oscar had a serious case of middle-age spread some years back) the greatest sport for awards junkies is dissing past Oscar blunders. It never grows tiresome and sometimes as with this blog entry from Edward Copeland it's almost celebratory.

Enjoy the off-season while you can. In just a few weeks, we're back in Oscar-land.


Earlier Dreamgirls Posts:
Coming Soon (Five Most Awaited Films)
Jennifer Hudson (The Casting Announcement)
Eye Candy (Jennifer Holiday performance)

Tags: , , , Jennifer Hudson, Broadway, American Idol, Oscars, Academy Awards


Glenn Dunks said...

Here's a fact - I actually mentioned you when I told them that Fantasia was going to become an Oscar nominee. Of course, at that time it was Fantasia who was rumoured to be cast and they were all "FANTASIA" and then I was all "Yeah, this guy called Nathaniel from my favourite website said whoever gets cast in that particular role is gonna be nominated"

There. My service is done.

Kris said...

Now here's the thing, Nat. You DO deserve a lot of props that you rarely get for making some good calls Oscar-wise. But Jennifer Hudson just isn't one of them because people had been chalking her up for some recognition as far back as you were. The only question has always been which category she would be categorized under, and frankly this is still something the studio isn't 100% sure about yet.

And no - I was not one of those who made this call back in March, so this certainly isn't about me trying to assert anything. Just, you know, you have better examples is all I'm saying.

adam k. said...

OMG. Nathaniel. Best diva of the year: Effie White vs Miranda Priestly. wtf. How is that supposed to work?

Not to mention best lead/supporting actress.

The horror.

Anonymous said...

Yours is the first (and pretty much the only) site I go to for Oscar predictions. I trust your predictions better than just about anyones. Even when you're not right I know you know how the Oscar game works better than many people. Plus you make more interesting commentaries about it than anyone I can think of.

Jeanette said...

Great role? Yes. But Fantasia would not have been nominated for it. Girl doesn't have it, as we will all see in this weekend's premiere of her movie on Lifetime.


thanks guys.

Kris -- the thing is I've also always stuck by the category placement. I firmly believe that even if they feel secure in this now, that they will campaign her in supporting. It just makes sense historically with Oscar.

jeanette --i guess that's why fantasia didn't get the role then. Bill Condon is no dummy. And I've always said it's just a matter of time with him. He's exactly the type of guy the Academy likes. Not too "auteur"ish but with a definite quality stamp and good taste in prestige middlebrow fare like biopics and musicals ;)


oh and the other thing i'm gonna be pretty proud of is the ASHLEY JUDD and Last King of Scotland calls. Still feelin' those ballsy predix from april fools.

course i was wrong about some other things but that's the fun of it.

Kris said...

I agree. And after the Dreamgirls event this past weekend, Hudson seems to be a go for whichever category they decide on. Singing by a piano and being readily available to chat it up with any and everyone? Cha-ching.

adam k. said...

JHud also just seems to be a genuinely nice and intelligent person. Unlike some Dreamgirls stars named Beyonce. And Jamie.

I don't think she'd actually get into lead, but I suppose that depends how large her role actually is in the final cut. But she could win in supporting.

I do, however, feel that the globes will throw her in lead (C/M). Which hopefully will split the Dreamgirls vote and leave the globe win for LA STREEP.

Hudson was a brilliant choice in no small part, also, because of her AI loser history. She has lived this part the same way Beyoncé has lived hers. "And I Am Tellin' You" could be like the AI kickoff theme song.

(and I'm assuming he cast Anika Noni Rose in the last role out of good old fashioned talent)

Andy Scott said...

Hey, I've been on the Dreamgirls wagon, too, ya know! ;)

Anyway, I haven't been this nervous for a movie in a long time, even though all the footage and stills I've seen so far look spectacular. And I, too, am happy Bill Condon stayed away from Fantasia. That would have been all kinds of wrong. Just look at the Hollywood Reporter review of "Life is Not a Fairy Tale", which claims Fantasia can't even act. Yikes.

Go J-Hud Go! (and go Nathaniel, too! ;) )

DL said...

I don't care if Jamie Foxx is out of this world in Dreamgirls - I would rather see The Benchwarmers get a best Screenplay nomination than see Foxx get nominated again. Most. Annoying. Person. In. Hollywood.

adam k. said...

I don't think Foxx will get nominated again. There's been enough backlash to keep him from getting a 3rd (!) nomination. I think oscar will stick with the dramatic leading men.

The globe, I think, will be a race between Ferrell (Stranger than Fiction) and Foxx.

Glenn Dunks said...

In regards to the men of the Musical/Comedy category, this may sound silly, but do NOT discount Sasha Baron Cohen for Borat. That man and character are hilarious and he's an international man. Remember when Globe voters awarded The Office AND RICKY GERVAIS? They like their oblivious/offensive Brits.

And I definitely see a Chicago thing happening with the ladies of Dreamgirls happening. Both nommed for Lead at Globes, but Oscar going firmly with Supporting for Hudson.

I'd kinda glad Jennifer lost American Idol now. It's the only season of the show I've ever watched, but she was great. I even have her "Circle of Life" perf on my iPod!

Glenn Dunks said...

BTW: Nat's best ever Oscar call?

Pedro Almodovar for Best Director.

Anonymous said...

That Jennifer Holiday performance is chillingly spectacular. I mustn't have linked to it last time you signposted it, so thanks for the reminder. I'm gonna go watch it again now.

Hudson has a LOT to live up to!



i don't think we hae much to worry about Oscar wise with Beyonce and Foxx. I suspect the craziness is going to be for Hudson (new star fever) and Murphy (once considered long overdue and it will be seen as a critical comeback)

i haven't seen much evidence in Beyonce's career that she has acting chops that will get people excited about her performance --she doesn't strike me as a bad actressjust kind of flat onscreen. The movie could do a lot to get people excited about everyone in it but Best Actress looks competitive this year (at least right now)

adam k. said...

She IS very flat. And have you seen her interviews? God.

And again... Effie White vs Miranda Priestly!? I can't wait to see where that FB award goes.

adam k. said...

ALSO... this is just me speculating but has anyone noticed how they seem to be kind of keeping it under wraps as far as Hudson's publicity is concerned?

Oscar buffs and insiders all know that she's poised to explode this december, and a certain contingent will know her from American Idol, but in the "making of" stuff and in the promos, they never really mention her much. I think the pucblic at large will be going in expecting to see Beyonce, Foxx, and Murphy (the big stars they're billing), and then they'll come out saying "OMG, that Jennifer Hudson girl is amazing. I never knew".

It could be that they're just focusing publicity on the bigger stars, but I think surprise factor is totally a part of their strategy. The way they're playing the oscar game with this one is kind of scarily right on. They seem to have every category covered even now.

I suppose if Hudson REALLY goes supernova and has a big role, and Beyoncé really falls flat, they may bump Hudson up to lead and go for supporting with Anika Noni Rose. That would not shock me, as Bill Condon apparently understands awards jockeying inside out and knows exactly what he's doing.

But for now I'd say supporting is good to go all the way.

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, you deserve to pat yourself on the back from time to time. Unlike someone else (name withheld) you always place your love of film and the whole 'film experience' ahead of ego aggrandizement. And I thank you for that.

Good call.

Anonymous said...

Was your Forrest Whitakker call really that balsy?

And although you do often deserve credit for your predictions, I notice that you have only just recently started giving World Trade Centre a chance, whereas I called it (and I was the only one who did, I believe) in that poll you had earlier this year about who is the most likely to be nominated.

(P.S. Almodovar in 2002 was brilliance)

RC said...

i think your dead on w/ Jennifer Hudson.


let the oscar season begin.

--RC of

Anonymous said...

if you look back at the first comment on the October post that Nathaniel links to, you'll see that I actually said the role should go to JHud way back when she wasn't even thought of as a possibility. :-D

Go Nat and Go JHud.

Anonymous said...

hey!!! keep the good work going, we (your readers) know well what's going on!!...
gabriel from spain.

Anonymous said...

Check it ou homes aluminum siding care

Anonymous said...

Cool Blog! If you get a chance I would like to invite you to visit the following Cash Transfer Blog, it is cool to!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the blog - airway british heathrow. A new site has been launched with plenty of bargain holidays to choose from. Bookmark not just for bargain holidays but for flights and transport to and from airports plus travel insurance deals and holiday clothes.