Thursday, January 03, 2008

An Actressy Distraction. What's Next?

More than once I've thought of renaming my whole site "Best Actress" on account of my, um, alternate lifestyle of actress worship. Since you'll have to wait (im)patiently a couple more days for my top ten list and massive awards orgy --I'm going to a There Will Be Blood event tonight that I can't really pass up-- so, to keep you engaged I thought I'd throw up a quartet of distracting images of next year's possible Oscar contenders...

That's Meryl Streep in the adaptation of the Pulitzer and TONY winning Doubt (thx, Modfab), Angelina Jolie in the new Clint Eastwood film The Changeling, Kate Winslet (reteaming with DiCaprio) in the 50s marital drama Revolutionary Road and Julianne Moore as seeing eye person in Fernando Meirelles adaptation of Blindness (a lot more on the latter very soon). And this is, I'm sure you know, only the tip of the iceberg. We always hear about the A List projects first. Who knows what lower lights will be going supernova next year (witness what this past calendar year did for Ellen Page and Amy Adams among others) All of these delicious actressy edibles can be devoured in less than a year... or rather in a year. If I know Hollywood they'll jam all of them into Christmas '08. [grumble, grumble]

Other lead actresses that might be coming at'cha in 2008 include: Drew Barrymore (Grey Gardens), Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria), Sarah Michelle Gellar (Alice), Anne Hathaway (Dancing with Shiva), Nicole Kidman (Australia / The Reader), Keira Knightley (The Duchess), Jessica Lange (Grey Gardens), Rachel McAdams (The Time Traveller’s Wife), Julianne Moore (Savage Grace), Meg Ryan (The Women) and Renee Zellweger (Leatherheads)

But back on topic. i.e. this is nothing but a distraction --a beautiful one but still... You can take these upcoming "dates" with a grain of salt. It's a one man show here people. Be kind. I will do my best to stay on this self-imposed schedule (which means that by January 8th carpel tunnel syndrome will set in, my shoulder will be experience sharp pangs from all the sitting at my desk monotony and I'll also need a massage or three, with or without hot stones, body scrubs and other spa amenities ...if you are a certified massage therapist in the NYC area and you read the film experience, why haven't you called me yet to offer a donation to the site in the form of a freebie or permanent discount? It would possibly be the kindest thing you have ever done. Think of the karmic value!

Fri, Jan 4th:
Year in Review Intro
Sat Jan 5th: 2007 Top Ten List plus: Undistributed, Underloved, Honorable Mentions
Sun, Jan 6th: Oscar Predictions updated, my contribution to the Supporting Actress Blog-a-Thon (hosted by StinkyLulu) and the launch of the 8th annual massive undertaking known as the FiLM BiTCH Awards.

Also in Jan & Feb: The launch of the podcast (episode #1 is finished -whew, it'll be up soon), Total Oscar Mania, FB Nominees and Medalists in all categories, and the 3rd Annual Oscar Symposium (prev symposiums: Feb 2006 & Feb 2007), a new series premieres and you'll also see the return of the blog's regularly scheduled programming --it's not a matter of over promising as the "regular series" go [see: side bar] it just genuinely helps me to have channels of inspiration and deadlines ... even if I don't always meet them.
March: More exciting unexpected blog goodies and the launch of the next big 'year in advance' Oscar contest for your repetitive amusement
April-Dec: The Film Experience conquers the world with its best year ever. Reviews each and every week. Fundraising requests granted without any procrastination whatsoever. Great movies become massive blockbusters, Michelle Pfeiffer grants me an audience, and I become wildly rich and mildly famous. You'll be here in record numbers to celebrate with me and watch it all unfold...

I'm going for total unfettered delusional optimism this year. Why the hell not?


Anonymous said...

The Duchess looks like Shit.

Sunshine Cleaning could be this year's Juno.

Revolutionary Road may be this year's Elizabeth the Golden Age ( I hope Not)

I think there will be a lot of surprises for this year's awards season.

Joe Reid said...

Oh my God, how ambitious are you? I love it.

gabrieloak said...

Won't Streep be considered for Mamma Mia as well as Doubt?

Anonymous said...

Mamma Mia will be too light, too fun, for real Oscar consideration - but I plan to enjoy every minute of Her Royal Deliciousness (if the European trailer Nat showed us is any indication.)

You know you can't just toss HBC's bosoms at me like that and expect me to stay a sane woman...

FYC: another update the Moulin Rouge worship essay in the coming year? (Yeah, you know what I like.)


Anonymous said...

Oh - and as much as I love Moulin Rouge, I actually have higher hopes for The Reader than I do for Australia, which either will be really mind-blowing, an ok effort but disappointing in the light of it's predecessor (Baz may have set the bar for himself a bit too high - I hope I'm wrong), or it'll be a grand tankin' disaster of the Pearl Harbor mode. (And I've often said that it is better to have a grand failure than a successful mediocrity - but another failure is the last thing La Kidman needs.)

BTW - is it just me or does Juli look like an albino in that pic?


Anonymous said...

Holy cats, I made the comment du jour - whee! Thanks Nat! I feel so Sally Field right now - and about as excited as you'd be if Michelle rang you up for an interview.

(Well, maybe not THAT excited, but still...)


Anonymous said...

My prediction: It won't be Nicole Kidman's year AGAIN.

Australia-Someone described it as a Romantic Adventure. Meh

The Reader-Sounds interesting, but she's having an affair with a younger man/boy , um didn't she do this already?

Overhyped frontrunner: Revolutionary Road. Everyone hates the early frontrunner.

Surprises. Synechdoche, New York & Lakeview Terrace

Dissapoints: Frost/Nixon & Appaloosa

Since we're talking about Actresses
My prediction for Top 10 of 2008.
Best Actress
Meryl Streep-Doubt
Julianne Moore-Blindness
Kate Winslet-Revolutionary Road (frontrunner status may ruin it)
Cate Blanchett- Benjamin Button ( I heard she was supporting)
Drew Barrymore-Grey Gardens
Frances Mcdormand-Pettigrew Lives for a Day
Kerry Washington-Lakeview Terrace ( yep, I'm calling it)
Amy Adams-Sunshine Cleaning
Emily Blunt-The Young Victoria
Ziyi Zhang-Mei Lanfang ( she may be supporting)

Supporting Actresses
Amy Adams- Doubt or Pettigrew
Kathy Bates-Revolutionary Road
Viola Davis-Doubt
Taraji P. Henson-Benjamin Button
Cate Blanchett-Indy 4
Renee Zellwegger- Appaloosa
Catalina Morena-The Argentine/Guerilla
Sophie Okenado-The Secret Life of Bees
Rinko KiKuchi-The Brother's Bloom
Emily Blunt-Sunshine Cleaning


Anonymous said...

I agree with what liz said The Duchess looks like shit.

Revolutionary Road looks like it could suffer from the The Golden Age/Reservation Road curse.

I have faith in Blindness and have a feeling it might just be one of the youn guns year in the shape of Anne Hathaway for Dancing with Shiva or Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria.

Anonymous said...

I'm dying to watch BLINDNESS, not only coz it's the adaptation of one of my favorite books but also because I'm Brazilian (go Mereilles!) I hope Julianne is able to recover, coz she's been disappointing a little.
I couldn't believe the mess that SAVAGE GRACE was. And I had high hopes for that one...

Anonymous said...

sissy spacek in "Lake City" a "searing southern drama" mother re-connecting with her son after family tragedy....Jane Fonda's kid, Troy Garrity, plays her son. possibly count sissy in....however, i think that after 12-13 nominations without winning -it's about time for m-word's second lead actress oscar. i still wish they had cast sally field in "doubt"....have her fly around around the monestary spying on PS Hoffman chasing the little boys around. could have been fun.

Anonymous said...

//The Reader-Sounds interesting, but she's having an affair with a younger man/boy , um didn't she do this already?//

Mel: 1)she didn't have an affair with the boy in Birth (who was something like nine years old);

2) this is an adult flashing back to an affair he had when he was fourteen or fifteen (which nowadays would be statuatory rape, true, but not so long ago it wasn't unusual to be married by that age - and besides, the movies are filled with hormonal boys and their coming of age and no one thinks a thing about it.

3)The director has led to Oscar gold once before,

4) Period piece, WWII, Nazi era. Lots of angst. Lots of baity potential. Could be a winner (ask Adrian Brody a la The Pianist) or be respected but bypassed at awards time (ask Julianne Moore a la The End of The Affair).

5) Ralph Fiennes. Other than The Avengers, his taste in projects has been pretty high thus far. I only hope he and Kidman get some major screentime together.

On to other things - I don't know if The Duchess looks like shit, but it looks like about a thousand other pictures I've ever seen. there's nothing in the trailer to elevate it to "must see" status - even the presence of the aformentioned Fiennes. (At the beginning of the trailer where we are waiting to see who this icon of fashion is, I was let down when it was Keira Knightly. Shouldn't a role like that go to someone more womanly, more formidable - someone who can really be a force of nature? Actually, that probably is the sort of role Blanchett could have tackled, but I presume the Golden Age has left her wigged out, hopefully for the next decade or so.)


Anonymous said...

I see the 2008's race:

01. Kate Winslet - Revolutionary raod
02. Rachel McAdams - The time traveler's wife
03. Sally Field - Lincoln
04. Emily Blunt - The young Victoria
05. Angelina Jolie - The changeling

I readed RR and TTTW and it's imposible to me to not put Winslet and McAdams in the top of my predictions cause their characters are Oscar meat. Field will be the big return of the decade. I have my doubts with Blunt and Jolie.

Anonymous said...

agree about mcadams,re revolutionaty rd why is it suddenly ok to bash it no one has see any footage and dicaprio,winslet,bates & mendes are no slouches and it's only internet babble that causes backlashes about supposed frontrunner pics,so shut up and wait till it opens.

i think lincoln will be 09

Anonymous said...

Lincoln won't be out until 2009.

Anonymous said...

I want Revolutionary Road to be good, but it will definitely get overhyped, it already is. You can't honestly believe that every high profile picture will be good? If it's really good it'll be a great surprise.

Isn't Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna also coming out this year?

Anonymous said...

I really don't think Blanchett would have been a good choice for playing The Duchess of Devonshire from the age of 17 to 26.

The teaser trailer that just came out tells us virtually nothing about the plot or how they're going to present the story and so it doesn't really tell us much. Except that it's got the potential to at least be a good looking film.

It's little more than a month since they finished filming so I'm quite surprised that they're putting anything at all out already.

Anonymous said...

It's all about your predictions being updated on Sunday!Wow,that just made my day! Thank you so much; I'll try to wait patiently.

Anonymous said...

Keira has more of a chance with The Edge of Love ( another period piece) than the Duchess ( from what I've seen).

I've heard Nicole's Character in the Reader is supporting.

Oscar season 07-08 is getting boring ( they always do when they get closer to nominations) so I'm excited to look at this season's prospects.

I pray that , Blindness, Revoultionary Road & Benjamin Button are all good.

Viola's role in Doubt is more baity than Amy Adams( IMO), plus they're expanding her character.

Anonymous said...


*Kate Winslet: She has bad movies but no bad perfromances. She's the best actress of her generation.
*Julianne Moore: Two intersting movies and the "Comeback" effect. I think "Blindness" is more Oscarish...
*Meryl Streep: Beloved Broadway productioon+VEteran actress: 15th Nomination?
*Angelina Jolie: Directing by a master like Clint Eastwood

Long shot:
*Sissy Spacek: OScarish role. Couldn't be the first time of a nomination for her.
*Emily Blunt: IT girl with a real caracter (The Queen Victoria)...
*Frances McDormand: Comedy performance of the year???

*Nicole Kidman: Two prior Oscarish roles but she's been disappoting before.
*Rachel McAdams: I don't trush to the film but I could be wrong...
*Drew Barrymore: High profile film but she's worst performances.
*Amy Sheyreid: This year's Nikki Blonsky???

*Keira Knightley: No comments...
*Cate Blanchett: Actress of the actresses, but she could go in the supporting category
*Franka Potente: If Catalina Sandino go to supporting, she has a major role and real caracter (Tamara Burke)

Dark horses
*Anne Hathaway / Amy Adams: Comedy performances...
*Michelle Williams: If "Inciendary" is a hit by critics

Anonymous said...

Ugh, next year's best actress race is going to be a beast.

Angelina's makeup makes her look gray or something odd in that picture. But I can't wait to see what she pulls off in a Clint film.

And like most of you, I will be hoping against hope that this is the year that Nicole Kidman finally gets her mojo back and delivers stellar work for the two guys that previously brought out her most standout work -- Stephen Daldry and THE BAZ.

Anonymous said...

Films that I don't quite trust just yet.

Revolutionary Road- um, another I hate suburban life movie=Little Children. I'm not sold yet.

The Duchess-Have you seen the trailer? Nuff said

Australia- Uh not my cup of tea, it just sounds like a flop.

Time Traveler's Wife-Pictures don't really persuade me yet.

Anonymous said...

/Kerry Washington-Lakeview Terrace ( yep, I'm calling it)/


I'm glad someone noticed this one. I've read the script and her role is really baity. If she nails it she's definitely in contention.

Sam Jackson's role is also very baity, but he's not an actress.

Kurtis O said...

How exciting! It's high time for more Winslet (poor "Romance and Cigarettes").

Glenn Dunks said...

I love that Nickers went back to the two directors who gave her Oscar nominations (and that win) and then to have them (apparently) come out in the same year. How unfortunate. I reckon the studio will try and manipulate her Reader performance as supporting.

Remember - She gets naked and apparently FAT. Hellooooo deglam!

Also, doesn't Drew Barrymore just seem like the sort of actress they want to honour and will now finally have a vehicle.

Meryl is totally getting a Golden Globe nom for Doubt in Drama and Mamma Mia in Musical/Comedy. They love her too much to pass up that opportunity.

Sam Brooks said...

I'd really like to see Drew Barrymore get a role worthy of her talents.

But where's the love for Uma Thurman in In Bloom? Which I think has been retitled.

And the constantly pushed back Anna Paquin for Margaret?

Anonymous said...

I don't think SMG is doing Alice anymore. Cate Blanchett & Nicole Kidman are both supporting in Benjamin Button & The Reader respectively ( as far as I can tell).

A lot of the high profile pics will be flops that's a given.

Miracle @ St. Anna is coming out this year as well as Defiance & Good.

Andy Scott said...

"Other lead actresses that might be coming at'cha in 2008 include:...Renee Zellweger (Leatherheads)"

I guess this falls under the delusional optimisim thing but either way I'm glad you're speaking her name again! Is it a New Years Resolution or something? ;)

Glenn Dunks said...

She (Renee) doesn't actually look that bad in Leatherheads. I mean, she's at least opening her eyes a bit in the trailer.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't it seem like an interesting Best Actress race comes along every even-numbered year (with boring ones in between)?

-2002 had Kidman, Lane, Moore, Zellweger, Streep, Gyllenhaal
-2003 was famished (i.e. Castle-Hughes and Morton sneaking in)
-2004 had Bening, Staunton, and Winslet
-2005 was uninspired with Charlize and Zhang popping up everywhere (save Joan Allen, who got inexplicably shut out)
-2006 was the Golden Year of Cruz, Dench, Mirren, Streep, Winslet, and Gyllenhaal
- this year is totally predictable: Christie, Cotillard and Page are locks, Jolie and Blanchett are stock nominees
- 2008 already has a great "overdue" showdown in the making: Streep vs. Winslet vs. Moore

So by the same rationale the next great races are in 2010, 2012, 2014...

H. Alan Scott said...

I think Winslet and Moore are huge contendors. Especially Winslet. It's her turn, but the same could be said for Moore.

Anonymous said...

do we think hbc can sneal in as best actress i know her singing wasn't up too much a la madonna in evita but she was good

a note nat

8 women for 5 spots in 96 who would u choose - * current 5

keaton - marvin's room
ryder - the crucible*
madonna evita*
scott thomas - the engish patient
kidman - the portrait of a lady*
mcdormand -fargo
blethyn - secrets and lies*
rowlands - unhook the stars
watson - breaking the waves*

Anonymous said...

Hey Nathaniel,

Just got back from a theater-going trip over the New Years holiday in NYC, and I immediately thought of you after seeing the magnificence that is Tracy Letts' "August: Osage County." Talk about an actressexual's dream on stage. Those women (the entire cast, in fact, but particularly the ladies) set that stage ablaze with their actressing! Letts has filled the play with choice parts (there isn't a weakly written role in the piece), and Anna D. Shapiro directs in such a way that reminds us of the real house-hold nature of the play - everyone is integral to the entire proceeding.

I noticed in the program that the Weinstein Company helped produce the New York production, and from the get-go in Chicago, there's been talk about this play's film potential, which I think is extraordinarily high. and when it does get made? Oscars, Oscars, Oscars.

If you haven't seen it yet, get yourself there immediately! And then let us know what you think of the show. I'd love to hear your comments on the delicious stage cast, and then of course who you'd like to see in the inevitable screen adaptation. I've just spent the last few days thinking of it myself, and the possibilities are limitless.

I would suggest that this is the best chance at serious ensemble actress-ing since "The Hours" (after the familiar disappointment of "Evening.")

Let's hear it!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Don't forget Sigourney Weaver in "Avatar" directed by a master in sci fi like James Cameron or Uma Thurman in "The life beofre her eyes".
A question, Who's the leader of "the edge of love" Knightley or Miller?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Emily Watson in "Whirlwind". A woman uses poetry to get through WW2? It's soooo baity.

rafinha said...

Nathaniel I don't Know if you've heard about it but Fernando Meirelles is writing a blog about the experience of filming Blindness. It's in portuguese, by the way, but nothing that google translation can't handle. And there is also some fine pictures in it.
here's the link for all you:


i do know. i've already had someone translate for me ;) more soon

Anonymous said...

there is ab better picture of Julianne Moore in "Blindness":

(it's the only official pic so far)

Glenn Dunks said...

She looks like she's in full on Freedomland mode. Scary.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing unglamourous about Kidman's character in The Reader. Her character is a pretty sophisticated lady who is hiding her secret by living lowly. As for getting fat, her character didn't get fat FAT a la Theron or Zellweger, she went from being a slim and elegant woman of size 10 (European measurements) to perhaps looking like a size 12 to the disgust of someone who admired her and felt she let herself go. Her character in The Reader is not Oscarbait in any way.

I would have thought that people will realise that just because a role of Kidman sounds like Oscarbait, it doesn't mean it is. Her characters in Fur, Birth, MATW all sounded like Oscarbait until you see them and realise they are played and taken to the extreme, too much for AMPAS. The Reader will have to work hard to be to AMPAS's tastes despite Daldry/Hare.

Anonymous said...

The Reader is one depressing read - and if they stick with the book - the adult boy (Fiennes) has perhaps two scenes with the middle aged Kidman - and - the middle aged character Kidman plays - does have to be a bit heavier and less gorgeoous - Kidman's role is NOT sympathetic at all -

I am soooo looking forward to Benjamin Button - love Fincher and expect this to be something quite special -

matiaslove said...

Emily watson will win the Oscar for this! She certainly deserves recognition for her talent!!!!!!!She's been out of the Oscar spotlight for too long. She's due for another nomination!
trailer Within the Whirlwind

matiaslove said...

trailer Within the Whirlwind