Saturday, October 13, 2007

NYFF: The Actresses

From the 45th Annual New York Film Festival (Sept 28th thru Oct 14th)

I can't say I have a lot of hope for the whole thing.
-Margot (on the way to) the Wedding
PART 1: Over at Awards Daily I've written a piece on the Oscar prospects of the male performances I saw @ the New York Film Festival

PART 2: The Women
And again the disclaimer:
Since this is an article and not a novel, we'll skip the stuff that's not either a) great or b) Oscarable which are sometimes the same thing but not, as you know, always the same thing.

Marisa Tomei in Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Kelly Macdonald in No Country For Old Men
Both are guy's guy movies --bloody unforgiving crime dramas. Marisa and Kelly are "the girls" and, as such, are on hand to tease and soften respectively. Neither are getting close to the Oscar Supporting Actress shortlists unless the Picture showcasing them is a major player. This is no knock against either performance just the facts of Oscar traction when your role doesn't carry its own bait. Macdonald plays "Carla Jean Moss" the wife of a man who makes a really bad decision when he encounters $2 million in cash. She isn't onscreen much but this Scottish actress (most famous for supporting roles in Trainspotting and Gosford Park) makes a convincing Texan and brings warmth to an often cold film and she nails her last scene, crucial to her hopes of surviving memories of the film.

Tomei's "Gina" on the other hand is a major player in Before the Devil... As Phillip Seymour Hoffman's wife she brings her usual flashes of wit, sly character hints, and knock out beauty. Unfortunately the movie never quite knows what to do with her --the screenplay has more interest in her body (frequently displayed 'If you got it...') than her voice. For example: the movie employs the now well worn device of mixed chronology to retell its story multiple times. The chapter titles that come with each jump are always titled in relation to the crime ("the day before the robbery", etc...) but they rather misleadingly suggest changes in points of view since character names also appear. But this is no Rashomon retelling. There's no true shift in perspective despite the named chapters. You're just getting more information. But even if there were, Lumet and the screenplay never imply that this woman deserves a chapter of her own. In other words, Marisa Tomei is working harder for this movie than it's working for her.

Anamaria Marinca in 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Do-yeon Jeon in Secret Sunshine
These films are already known to awards-watchers as two of the submissions for Oscar's Foreign Film category this year. They're also both Cannes winners (the Palme D'Or and Best Actress, respectively). The Romanian and Korean films have one last thing in common, too: both are elevated and powered by skilled lead actresses.

4 Months is often referred to as an 'abortion film' but it's much more layered than that reductive tag implies. For starters the lead character is not the one in need of the procedure. The lead is Otilia, an older friend to Gabita the 'girl in trouble' and she's played by Anamaria Marinca with unfussy resolve and understated intelligence. The writer/director Cristian Mungui leans heavily on Marinca's gift. He coordinates the camera work to match her moods and she is almost never off screen. The film is quite literally following her around, reacting to every shift in temperament. It's a strong naturalistic performance but it's also egoless and as such, will not be finding awards glory. Voting bodies look for starrier and more effortful looking work when it comes time to name their "best" (prev 4 Months post)

I've already read festival coverage comparing Lee Chang Dong's Secret Sunshine to truly masterful films like [safe]. I wasn't as bowled over by the film which I found effective and insightful but far too tedious and repetitive to champion. But Do-Yeon Jeon impresses. She plays Shin-ae a young widowed mother seeking a fresh start in a new town with her son. But God just has no mercy on this woman. Her life heads into Job like territory. As with Otilia in 4 Months the camera is almost always on Shin-ae and the actress playing her never stumbles. There is one scene in particular, a climactic prison visit, in which she is transcendent. Emotionally speaking she has the rug pulled out from under her in the sequence. Jeon barely moves but you can see a cataclysmic storm gathering in her soul as her face clouds over. It might be the best single scene work I've witnessed this year ...but this is not an Oscary film and who knows when it will be released at that.

Cate Blanchett as "Jude" (i.e. Bob Dylan) in I'm Not There
People can't get over the gimmick. I'd read the early Telluride and Venice reports "Blanchett is amazing!" The NYFF reaction was roughly the same. In the press conference she was seemingly the subject of every other question. "How did she do it? How did you decide to cast her? How did she prepare?" And yes the Oscar was evoked, repeatedly. It's as if no woman had ever played a man before. If memory serves the last time this happened the woman in question won the Oscar (Linda Hunt, The Year of Living Dangerously). Oscar prospects are very bright (I was personally more excited about Charlotte Gainsbourg ... previous I'm Not There thoughts)

Nicole as Margot at the Wedding of Pauline who is Jennifer
Given that I am generally nutso for Nicole Kidman's dramatic work (my #1 actress of the aughts) and that I was enamored of Noah Baumbach's last picture The Squid the Whale, my hopes were high going in to Margot... It's sadly quite a step down from the earlier picture's razor sharp vivisection of a divorcing family. This one is a portrait of estranged sisters and as such it has considerable merit. Both Kidman and Jennifer Jason Leigh are game for the challenge and there's wonderful stuff happening between them: a thorny characterization from Kidman and a surprisingly warm one from Leigh is complicated by the fact that you can often see where the more abrasive sister is coming from in her mercilessly vocalized judgments. But the screenplay betrays their efforts. It's both under and overwritten: stuffed with subplots (half of which don't work), distracted by its supporting characters, and the slice of life plot which should play with improvisational flair has too many overly determined beats.

The critical fervor that greeted Squid will be absent here, resulting in an Oscar pass but Leigh could still shortlist if (and it's a big if) the media really rallies for her. Kidman is committed to the abrasive and ultimately sad Margot but almost no one will want to cozy up to this woman and you know what they say, 'Academy members vote with their hearts.' Plus, critical awards will be hard to come by. She's given at least one impossible crucial scene to play, a comeuppance in a book store. The scene plays awkwardly like a "scene" when it needs to be the believable gut punch from which the movie doubles over and looks frantically for an exit sign as it enters its final reel.

Related: Best Actress & Best Supporting Actress Oscar Predictions (updated!)


adam k. said...

Sad. Wouldn't it be awful if Leigh were passed over AGAIN because her husband's film was not good enough? Does that look likely to happen? I thought early word on her was good?

But the screenplay and Kidman are definite no go's? What about Kidman for the film bitch awards?

I guess with Margot disappointing, the oscar is Cate's to lose. But will she ever be nominated in lead again? Tough to say.


I'm not sure the screenplay is a definite "no go" because sometimes writer's films do well there even if the writing isn't the strength of the thing. ya never know.

but if you look on RT the critics are mostly out for blood

Anonymous said...

Please, I want Nicole back in the race. She fucking deserves it for Christ's sake !!
Don't want to hear about Blandchett and her overracted Elizabeth and Page in her "look how smart I am for a teenage girl"performance.
If she's not in this year with either Margot or Golden Compass, then the Academy has to nominate both for Australia and The Reader next year !

Anonymous said...

Can you explain to me why everyone went nuts for Dench and Blanchett last year playing unlikable characters in a decent movie but now most of the critics are complainging that Margot and Pauline are not likable enough ?
I don't get it. Maybe they preferred mean women when they're old dyke ?

Michael B. said...

Is Kidman even a lock for the GG anymore? They love her but this year the Lead Actress is a Comedy/Musical is pretty strong.

Anonymous said...

I'm so fucking pissed off when it comes to Kidman giving great perf (To die for, eyes wide shut, dogville, birth and now this) and being constantly snubbed. especially considering the range on display and the fact that those characters are so different. No matter what people think of her or her films she takes more risks than someone like Winslet who sticks to her comfort zone and is nominated for every performance.

Anonymous said...


adam k. said...

Wow, you're right. These reviews are vicious.

What happened to all this great "early word" from festivals and such? I don't get it.

At this rate, it looks like Leigh won't be nominated either. And poor Kidman. She is really in a bad string of movies that keep failing through no fault of her own. Bewitched was sort of her own fault, but that actually made some money, so it wasn't a complete failure.

I still fail to see how Golden Compass could fail to be good. The trailers have been fab, and the source material is obviously strong. Here's hoping Nicole can at least muster one hit from this once-promising-looking year.

Anonymous said...

Remember Kiddie : if my film bombs, your film bombs. If I'm snubbed, you're snubbed.

Anonymous said...

You better believe it Pierre, we have had enough! lol. I am used to it, now, I still get mad sometimes in regards to her being passed over but we've been here before and either next year or in a few years, AMPAS will come crawling again to give her another, "you did great this year but this is also for those really difficult performances that we couldn't pat you on the back for so here you go".

When news broke that she would be in a Baumbach movie, many a nose where turned up at her asking "why would Baumbach want Kidman in his movie?", the way the reviews are right now, she is one of the best things in it.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you - Kidman's fans, and I am one of you - when you say that Kidman risks when she takes "difficult" projects and she always succeeds. Her performances are great!

However, she has been recognized by the Academy a number of times and she HAS received an Academy Award.

So, breathe a little.

We cannot say the same when it comes to Jennifer Jason Leigh: great performances in some risky projects and has never been recognized.

Hold your words for Winslet. She is also great and I would not say that she only chooses "comfortable" projects.

Marcelo - Brazil.

Anonymous said...

adam k., I agree, I have read over 40 reviews (from Telluride, TIFF and now NYFF) including those on RT and less than 10 have faulted Kidman's performance in this movie and I think it is a shame that she is getting better raves than some being taken as contenders for this year's awards and yet can't get in. I can't fault other performances being hailed this year, Kidman is simply now joining the ranks of those performers who despite giving their all and actually giving great performances will only get on award radar if they go for exactly what AMPAS wants, we'll see if Luhrmann will get on their radar because The Reader may just shock them into oblivion. Good thing she already has one Oscar.

Anonymous said...

Helena B. Carter is going Lead for Sweeney Todd. It is official.

Nikki Blonsky should be higher than Amy Adams ( I mean no one has even seen Enchanted yet).

Nicole Kidman ..bleh I've never been impressed with her acting. She's average...Birth was horrid.

Anonymous said...

Anon4.20, and you still pay to watch Kidman's movies because?

Barry said...

Helena Bonham Carter is campaigning as lead for Sweeney Todd.

Anonymous said...

4:24 Uh I never go pay to see her movies, but I do rent them or I would catch them on television. I don't watch them because of her , but because the storyline interests me. She's never impressed me though. I never said I hated her, she doesn't bother me much, but she's very overrated IMO.

WHy would you go to a movie or even watch a movie because of one actor? That's kind of fanboyish.I don't even do that to actors I like. I only see movies I'm interested in and sometimes they dissapoint.

Anonymous said...

The fact is that Kidman's reviews are better than Knightley's, Foster's, Berry's or even Linney's, therefore she sould be nominated but won't because they don't go for talky indies with unlikable characters

Anonymous said...

You don't need to go watch a movie because of just one actor but if they are on the screen 90% of the time and you dislike the work they do then either you like lining their pockets with your money or you are a glutton for punishment, it's that simple. It is ridiculous to watch about 5 movies featuring an actor, come to the conclusion that he or she sucks and then line up wherever to watch them the 6th time. Nothing fanboyish about it, just practical.

Anonymous said...

Someone explain this to me :
Roten Tomatoes :
Michael Clayton 90%
The Golden Age 24%

Michael Clayton 7.5
The Golden Age 8.1 ???????????????????????

Blanchett fans gave it a ten without seing it ?

Michael B. said...

Give it a couple of days and those reviews should go down...And we can't blame Kidman for this (Or Invasion, IMO), since it looked good on paper...The new trailer of the Golden Compass showcases her viciousness which should be good!


anon 4.20 i guess the difference is i can't imagine a scenario where Blonsky ends up an Oscar nominee but i can imagine a sliver of a possibility in which Adams, still feeling the Junebug love, is wonderful and grants her character more depth than anyone imagined and sneaks in. very unlikely but still conceivable...

my line of reasoning anyway ;)

Anonymous said...

You don't need to go watch a movie because of just one actor but if they are on the screen 90% of the time and you dislike the work they do then either you like lining their pockets with your money or you are a glutton for punishment, it's that simple. It is ridiculous to watch about 5 movies featuring an actor, come to the conclusion that he or she sucks and then line up wherever to watch them the 6th time. Nothing fanboyish about it, just practical.


WTH, I don't hate Nicole Like I said. I've NEVER been to the movies to see her. SHe's just never impressed me in a movie. I saw Eye's Wide Shut on the TV one Night (several years ago) and I watched it. I WANTED to see the Others and Birth , cuz I like horror movies etc. So I rented them. I saw Moulin Rouge on TV and I watched it because people said that it was good. My friends rented another one of her movies so I sat there and watched it. WTH, you'd think I'd call her a Bitch or something. IF I'm interested in a movie I'll see it. She's just never impressed me, I don't dislike her, she's probably a very nice person. She's average IMO. I'm not going to NOT see a movie that I'M interested in because of ONE actor who I think is average. You have issues. I just realize that everyone praised her and I didn't get the hype because I have seen some of her movies and she wasn't spectacular in them IMO.

Oh yeah , I WANT to see THe Golden Compass, because I read the book.I'm NOT interested in Margot at the Wedding so I won't be seeing that no matter who is in it.


can someone point me the HBC official "lead" announcment. I believe you (and I'm glad since it IS a lead role)i just want to see it for myself

Anonymous said...

I don't care what the average movie-goer thinks of Margot. It looks like a very original film, especially compared to the crappy AMERICAN films that are released every Friday. I loved The Squid and the whale, and so far I've been reading very interesting things about Margot and Kidman who seems to play a very meaty and complex female characters.

Anonymous said...

Nat- I'll try to find it, I saw it on another blog. I get your point about Amy, I like her. I won't be seeing Enchanted though.

Sorry for the Nicole Kidman rant, but some of her fans are little too much ( No offense to you).

Anonymous said...

Oscars declarations: Helena is lead, Jennifer is supporting
Considering all of the tinkering director Tim Burton's done to "Sweeney Todd," a widespread rumor seemed like it could be true. Gossipmeisters claimed Helena Bonham Carter would compete for the Oscars in the supporting slot, even though the actress who performed the same role as Mrs. Lovett on Broadway, Angela Lansbury, won best actress at the Tonys in 1979. But, alas, the rumor is false. A Dreamworks rep asserts that Carter will go lead.

Meantime, Jennifer Connelly seems quite content to remain in the category she won back in 2001 for "A Beautiful Mind." She plans to compete in supporting for "Reservation Road." The film's two male costars — Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo — are both in lead for now, but Ruffalo may drop down to supporting after the pic opens and kudos wags like me and you pipe in.


There ya go.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:27, did you actually read what I wrote or is it that you find it hard to separate liking her work from liking herself? I wrote about disliking someone's "work", I didn not write about the person. There is a difference between the work and the person. Couldn't care less if you hate or dislike her, there is a difference between the 2, I don't expect you to like or love her nor did I say you disliked or hated her so I don't see why you keep reiterating the point.

You said you never enjoyed her work and my question is why you keep going to see her work when she is pretty much in about 90% of the movie and most often than not the characters she plays are usually at the centre of the plot? If you've seen enough of her work and come to the conclusion that you find her work "bleh" then why keep sitting for some 2 hours to watch what she does? if you don't enjoy a certain kind of pizza, do you keep buying and eating it?

lawyer tony fernando said...

hey nathaniel, any word on Fernanda Montenegro for love in the time of colera? have you actually saw it, or there are plans for a supporting nod for her?dp u think she�s got a chance after her bad loser comments on Gwyneth Paltrow and Roberto Benigni?

Anonymous said...

If you've seen enough of her work and come to the conclusion that you find her work "bleh" then why keep sitting for some 2 hours to watch what she does? if you don't enjoy a certain kind of pizza, do you keep buying and eating it?

I have NEVER went to see her in the movies. ( Except for a class field trip in which I didn't know who she was)POINT BLANK.
The instances in which I saw her.
1. In elementary school we went on a field trip to see Batman ( the one with her in it).
2. I saw Eyes Wide shut on the tv, when I was a teenager. I didn't really think about her performance all that much...hell I didn't even know who she was.
3. I rented the Others ( I like horror movies, I was in highschool) and I did like the movie , but her performance didnt standout for me. When I initially watched it I didn't think about her performance at all.
3. I rented Birth ( I like these types of film) I didn't like it or her performance.

4. I saw Moulin Rouge ( it was on TV and I actually stopped watching it half way through)because I like Musicals and it was recommended,so guess I should say no I can't watch this because I saw Nicole Kidman in two movies and I didn't really remember her performance in one of them.

5. I saw Stepford Wives at a friend's ( with lots of other people) house and I guess I should've walked out and said that I can't watch this (rolleyes) because I don't think Nicole Kidman is that great.

6. I'm interested in seeing The Golden Compass, I read the book ( a long time ago) and I would like to see how they do it.

Now when I saw these movies I didn't think about oh this is Nicole Kidman she's never stood out for me, so I should avoid it.
All of these instances are years apart from each other.

Those are the ONLY movies I've seen with her in them. Now I'm not the type of person to just totally dismiss someone because I've never been impressed. POINT BLANK if I'm interested in the storyline I will watch the movie regardless. Maybe she'll impress me in the Golden Compass, I don't know.

I'm not a big fan of Tom Cruise either , but I liked Minority Report and I thought he was good in Magnolia.I'm interested in Valkyrie also.

You should know that Movies are different than Pizza. If Nicole Kidman ever remade Birth I would definitely avoid it.

People are interested in movies for different reasons. The storylines are what initially interest me for a film. Maybe for you , it's the actors.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nat, you don't necessarily think that Hilary Swank is an outstanding actress do you? Didn't you see Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don't Cry?

lawyer tony fernando said...


Anonymous said...

I like your analysis on the state of the race so far, but I must say, as sound as they logic goes, your prediction shortlist seems so quirky, especially when there's a host of costume drama performers and repeat nominees in the running this year, two things that Best Actress is made of.

I'm hoping this is the year that one of my favorite actresses, Helena Bonham-Carter wins her much needed trophy. I think she can definately room her way in through the likes of Ellen Page and Mario Cotilliard. While I love Julie Christy in Away From Her, the movie itself just seems way too small and precious for awards consideration. The Laura Linney prediction makes sense, but there's so much more being said about other actresses, even if what's being said is divisive - and we've seen Laura get the cold shoulder before. The only person who I think is really a sure thing is Kiera Knightley, but that could be because she's headlining a prestige picture.

I don't know, I just really hope it's Helena Bonham-Carter's year. I also think Nicole Kidman and Halle Berry are still very much alive in the race. They're negative criticisms aren't usually what holds Oscar back. I also think if there's going to be newbie/foreign love this year, it will be for Tang Wei or Giovanna Mezzogiornia. Just my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

i think b/actress and s/actress is extremely exciting as they were sewn up by this time last year it really is anyone's race one perf needs critics on it's side and they are locked up my gut tells me julia is in.

Anonymous said...

nicole, you rule!

Anonymous said...

I wish Kidman fans would stop being so damn sensitive everyone is not going to like her. Get over it.

Neel Mehta said...

Nat, I don't know how many of your readers are in the Washington, DC area, but there's a special screening of The Savages Monday, and a Q&A with the lovely Laura Linney scheduled after. They can sign up to win passes here.

(There's also a Wristcutters: A Love Story screening introduced by Patrick Fugit later this month.)

Might be tacky of me to throw in a third party plug that's only tangentially related to the subject, but this particular thread seems to have broken all rules of decorum.

Yaseen Ali said...

Julia Roberts? Really?

She seems like an afterthought in the trailer (not a good indication of anything, I know, but...)

I'm still keeping JJL in for now. Maybe I'm still in denial, but dammit that woman deserves a career nod!

adam k. said...

The golden globe drama field still seems SO sparse. Assuming that Margot, Savages and La Vie En Rose are "comedies."

I feel good about Christie's chances simply because, with the sparseness of the field, it seems inconceivable that she'd miss the globe nod, and with someone of her stature, the oscar nod should follow suit (since the issue is mainly "will they remember her at all?)

In fact, Christie seems likely to WIN the drama globe at the point, in something of a Sissy Spacek redux. Barring a Revolutionary Road shakeup or people not being freaked out by Savage Grace (both unlikely scenarios), I don't see who else could win. I still think Knightley's too young/has too small a role to win in lead. And Angie's movie flopped.

So, for drama...

Julie Christie (for the win)
Angelina Jolie
Keira Knightley

Maybe an Ashley Judd nod isn't as conceivable as it seems. I think her chances may be better than Blanchett's or Foster's at this point (her film at least had MIXED reviews...)

Anonymous said...

It's also a horror film that climaxes with Judd saying "I am the super mother bug." Don't get me wrong, I though Judd was SENSATIONAL. I would just be very surprised if it became an awarded performance.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

Hi Nate, I know nothing about these actresses' Oscar chances (except Marinca's, who deserves every Best Actress prize, but has no chance at any, so I lose interest) - I just wanted to mention your NYFF coverage has been totally awesome and much appreciated. I haven't read most of the reviews yet (I'm waiting till I see the movies in question) but I look forward to reading every one of them as the movies start trickling into the southern hemisphere. Based on all them A's and B's you've handed out, it seems you had a good time too, and it seems that 2007 will turn out a great year. Again, many many thanks!

adam k. said...

I'd think it unlikely, too, if there were any other viable contenders. But there aren't. And when you consider the absurd climax of The Brave One and the 100-minute climax that is The Golden Age, Bug seems almost plausible by comparison.

And usually when enough people are saying "well, I thought that performance was GREAT, but it'll never get nominated," it gets nominated.

As Nat said, Judd was nommed for De-Lovely. And Kidman was nommed for Birth. Etc. The globes do strange things.

Anonymous said...

I won't feel bad for my Kidman, she's still got "The Golden Compass" later this year.

It's going to be a huge hit (overseas) and as a central character (Mrs Coulter) she's needed for the next 2.

Box-office wise, Nicole is assured of stardom(front-row!)for the next-maybe 6 years.

adam k. said...

Again, the ACADEMY would never do it. But I think the globe people totally might.

adam k. said...

That's re: Judd in Bug.

(other people keep making comments right before me)

Anonymous said...

I usually too lazy to write, but I really have to say the best female performance that I've seen is definitely Do-Yeon Jeon in "secrety sunshine". I have to agree that the movie is not as good as the performance, but she just conveys a whole spectrum of emotion from new-found faith to pure anger. The scene where she starts out slowly and ended up banging the wood of the church is earth-shattering but also very chilling. I am sure you can even download it in asian websites for free. Her performance transcends just pure sentiments and it is not an easy performance to watch

Glenn Dunks said...

So we've got Kidman, Blanchett and Foster giving apparently quite great performances in dog films? How impressive!

Michael B. said...

Adam K-
For the Globes you forgot Berry. I think the 5 nominees for the Globes will go like this:
Blanchett (They love her...They nominated her for Veronica Guerin and The Bandits!)

I think that's a pretty solid line-up give or take a few.

Comedy will go like this:
Kidman (For goodness sakes they gave her the win in '95 for To Die For (Which in my opinion she should have gotten an Oscar Nom for)and from 2002 to 2005 she got 5 nominations! They love her too much to not nominate her))
The last two nominations will either go to:
I have a feeling it's gonna be Heigl and Russell.


i would be very surprised it Blonsky didn't make the Globe cut but it is getting stacked for the actresses in MUSICAL/COMEDY

i'm assuming Cotillard will go the drama route... but who knows.

Michael B. said...

The Golden Globe's usually go for star power and that's why I think that Kidman, Linney and Bonham Carter will get in first. I would go for Blonsky but I looked at the 2 open spots and the GG usually go for actors they know and they did just nominate Heigl for Grey's, which was her first major nomination in any award show and they did give Russell a win for Felicity in it's first year(!) They might choose Adams if they find her funny and cute and if they want to correct a wrong for not nominating her for Junebug, and they might nominate Page because she is fresh faced, but another reason for Russell and Heigl are becuase their films are also in the competition for Comedy/Musical film (which if you can argue, so is Blonsky but she is just too new)...

Anonymous said...


adam k. said...

Cotillard really should go drama. It'd be an easier nod, and an easier win (if she can get past Christie).

Comedy already has:


None of whom are locked, and any of whom(almost) could win (theoretically). It's really hard to imagine and of those 8 missing. But some will have to.

Something tells me that Linney and Kidman can't both make it. Too similar (prestige dramatic actresses in talky indie dramedies), and this category must accomodate so many different kinds of performances: light musical/comedy, dark musical/comedy, mainstream comedy, etc. Linney's film will probably be much better reviewed, but they LOVE Kidman, so it's tought to say.

I think if Cotillard's out of it, then HBC will win... assuming Sweeney Todd is good.

adam k. said...

I'd say it will be:

Bonham-Carter (stardom + musical)
Kidman OR Linney (talky indie)
Heigl OR Adams (mainstream comedy)
Page OR Blonsky (youth)
Russell (past winner)

But I could easily see one of the others bumping Keri Russell. Really tough to predict how it'll go down.

Michael B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael B. said...

I believe Cotillards chances diminished when France choose Persepolis rather than La Vie En Rose for their submission to the Foreign Language Category...I also think that Christie is going to win but if not her than Page...I just can't see anyone else taking it (Unless Linney and Bonham-Carter totally surprise)...

RJ said...

I really want to see Secret Sunshine. Any word n when it is getting a US release?

Anonymous said...

kamikaze camel
Since when Margot at the wedding is a dog film ? Have you read the reviews ? There are a lot of positive reviews. And Nat gave it a B-. that's nob bad, not great, not bad.
I mean, the film has not even opened !!

Anonymous said...

i have no idea who will win the oscr,christie too small has won,knightley role not large enough,page too young,foster & jolie flop films,cotillard foreign does not sing own songs,bonham carter it's a musical,kidman past winner unlikable character,linney film too small.

Glenn Dunks said...

Ugh, Keira's winning an Oscar does not rely on how much screentime she has, but instead what she does with it. Anthony freakin' Hopkins!

Dyke, those reviews for Margot are getting more feral than a cat.

I get the feeling that this year's GG M/C category is gonna be have six nominees. I predict:

Bonham Carter

I'm pretty confident that Heigl will get a double nom for Knocked Up and Grey's. They double-nominated Collette, Ejiofor and Blunt last year alone. Kidman I feel is in - they did nominate Linney and Daniels for Squid after all. And Russell just seems like that perf that people forget about despite it being tailor made for this group (hello Chiwetel Ejiofor in Kinky Boots).

I do think Cotillard will go Drama just like Bjork for Dancer (which is actually a "musical" and not just a "drama with music")

16YOB, the globes can still nominate La Vie en Rose for foreign language film. They don't go by the same rules as AMPAS.

Jay Rosenthal said...

My wild card in this year's Best Actress race:

Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Coutillard, La Vie en Rose
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart (ah, retribution!)
Keira Knightley, Atonement

CRITICS' FAVE: Coutillard; Christie

Cate Blanchett, I'm Not There
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up
Nicole Kidman, Margot at the Wedding (she's a Globes favorite)
Laura Linney, The Savages

CRITICS' FAVE: Blanchett; Linney

Anonymous said...

kamikaze calm down i live in the uk and have seen atonement twice now keira is solid but has no big scene so to speak and it's not really her story,i could not see her winning because of the it is mcavoy's film with redgrave the best of the 3 supp actresses,she does more with her ltd screentime than keira does i am afraid but she is in because of the huge gaga a that will happen in the usa when it opens,comparing keoir with hopkins is silly,cecilia tallis is not going to go down in cinema legend like hannibal lecter i am afraid,i am not a kk basher loved her nom for p and p,it is this fact i have seen atonement most of you inc nat have not i am expressing my opinion which i feel will be nat's on seeing the film,keira just does not wow simple.

Michael B. said...

Kamikaze Camel-
Yea I know that. The Globes have much different rules for Foreign Language (Apocalypto and Letter From Iwo Jima were nominated in that category last year) but it's gonna be much harder for Cotillard to get a nom when her film isn't even in the running for Foreign Language...And I think that the Globes won't nominate her but will instead go for Berry...I also don't think that Blanchett will go lead for I'm Not There...

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to doubt Keira's nom. I loved her performance but she doesnt really have much to work with and the role is not 'meaty' enough to secure a nom. Its very subtle and understated, and since she's not the star or the centerpience - people are going to be disappointed.

Anonymous said...


adam k. said...

Keira will still be nommed as long as Atonement is an oscar steamroller, which it probably will be. It's just that a WIN would be highly unlikely. But with the field as weak as it is, it's hard to see her missing for a frontrunner film (especially when they nommed her last time... remember how Meryl Streep apparently told Keira on the red carpet how much she admired her perf? I bet Streep's opinion holds some sway... Keira has fans in the academy).

It'll be a Krisin Scott Thomas in The English Patient kind of thing. She was barely a lead in that, and not even particularly famous, but the film took the oscars by storm, and with as a romantic lead in everyone's favorite film, she placed even in a strong Best Actress year.

But I doubt Keira will win the oscar OR the globe.

And 16-year-old, Cotillard's film not being eligible only increases her chances of being nominated. Remember what happened with Talk To Her? Maybe you don't, cause you were like 12. But it won a screenplay oscar because the academy wanted to honor it, and couldn't in the foreign category. Cotillard is probably ahead of the whole pack, give or take Keira.

adam k. said...

Also, I love how this thread has 64 comments on it, and the one for the actors has 3. That's brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Meryl Streep did? I didnt follow the race that year or the coverage. So i have no idea how Keira's percieved.

I really hope she does get a nom though. Only because i'm seriously bored of 'this-is-my-oscar-moment' type performances. Best thing about Atonement is that the acting is just so flipping good.

Nothing was overdone, and there was just pure quality performances. The entire cast give a masterclass in acting. Exactly how it should be.

adam k. said...

I saw it on Extra or something. Keira was being interviewed about how it was to be on the red carpet, and she was saying how she was so humbled and starstruck when Meryl Streep (!) told her how much she loved her perf in P&P (probably voted for her).

I thought it was very telling.

Anonymous said...

Thats funny considering at a Berlin Film festival, Meryl Streep had a pop at Keira Knightley and Scarjo for appearing nude in that Vanity Fair shoot. Something about apearing nude to get 'ahead' of the pack. From that i got the impression she didnt approve of her.

Anonymous said...

I think this is Laura Linney's chance of winning the Oscar. She is an amazing actress,at this moment, a solid bet, and EVERYBODY LOVES HER.I can't imagine right now a Keira's Win or a Cottilard's win. While Christie already have an Oscar, Ellen Page is too young. So, what do we have? We have Linney, a great actress, an american darling. Just to remember:She is going to be nommed for the Globes(they did it for "The Squid and the Whale"), so, we can consider her now a lock for a Globe nomination and eventually an Oscar win.

Alex F. said...

Thanks for updating and for moving up Tilda Swinton into the Top 5 supporting, although I'd think it would be inconceivable for Cate not to win it. Under what circumstances would she lose out? Some sort of I'm Not There backlash?

Glenn Dunks said...

I would just die if when Linney eventually wins an Oscar the man reading it out goes "and the Oscar goes to... the lovely Laura Linney." It'd be amazing.

Anonymous said...

Adam K.

I really doubt Cotillard's chances since her film isn't chosen. La Vie En Rose isn't raved about as much as Talk To Her. 'Rose' was modest at best but Talk To Her is an instant classic, and it won the Globe for Foreign Language. And acting is always different from writing. When was the last time a foreign actor/actress was nominated and there film was not selected in that whole process? I would guess never.

adam k. said...

I just don't think the film being chosen has any bearing on whether she's nominated, cause it's all about her, and most agree that the film as a whole is not so special but SHE herself is. And if anything, I think it'd make them wanna nominate her more if they have any affection for the film at all (and the country choosing it or not has no bearing on whether the academy likes it). Plus it's a weak year.

Linney always seemed to me like another Glenn Close/Sigourney Weaver/Deborah Kerr type who will be nominated many types but never win. I guess cause she just never surprises. She's too consistent. And not exactly... exciting, the way Kate Winslet is, for example. I dunno, maybe I'm wrong.

I could imagine a scenario wherein Julie Christie wins the drama globe and HBC or Ellen Page wins the comedy globe, and then Linney goes on to win the oscar (on the "due" sentiment, mostly). It would be pretty fun, I'll give you that.

Anonymous said...

So glad you gave props to Jeon Do-Yeon, Nat. She truly truly is one of the best actors working in cinema today. I wish you could see her other work because (1) she always elevates whatever film she's in (be they romcoms, heist, period pieces (a Dangerous Liaisons remake!), a LOT of melodramas) and (2) though the fact that she chooses such a wide diversity of roles is laudable in itself, that she portrays them all equally well is nothing short of amazing. She really just disappears into character, making each one she plays complex and layered and real.

...Um, fangirly much? ^_^

Ironically enough, Secret Sunshine is probably her most Oscarable role to date (long-suffering, deglamorized widow--check), but of course the bleakness of the film (as well as its not being in English) makes a nom a reeaaaally long shot.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...



good for Angie --that's a strong performance and why hold the box office against her when nobody has done well box office wise?

Anonymous said...

Jeon Do-Yeon is clearly one of the best actresses of movie history. I've seen all of her 10 movies, SHE IS LEGEND. It's sad that she is not famous in America.

Anonymous said...

And I agree, Sin-ae is Jeon's most Oscarable role.

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