Monday, September 29, 2008

Time to Read The Reader ?

As I'm sure you heard, The Reader, a WW II themed literary adaptation starring Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet is now heading for a December 12th release after months of rumors and speculation about continued delays. I know this will strike many as big 7 or 8 on the Awards Richter Scale, i.e. total Bait™Quake news -- lots of damage ahead to other contestants. But I'm leaning towards: not so much... maybe a 4 [i.e. noticeable shaking of items, rattling noises. Significant damage unlikely]

Sure, it sounds golden and both stars are still unOscared (I know!) but haven't the Weinsteins lost their touch with AMPAS since losing Miramax. Which recent campaign run by the Weinstein's has had all that successful of a run towards the Kodak theater? Part, though certainly not all, of the problem is that they only know how to do one campaign style:
  1. Release very late in the year at a scarcity of theaters
  2. Resist adding theaters. My god, only do that if you actually get Oscar nominations.
  3. Spend lots of money on schmoozing precursor bodies instead
  4. Cross fingers
I'm snarkily oversimplifying, sure, but my point is this: the annual Oscar race is an evolving beast and unless I missed some major development, they haven't done much evolving. This was a successful style of campaigning 10 years ago. Recent history suggests that it doesn't work as well anymore. The Weinstein's were very clumsy with the release of I'm Not There for example and ended up botching 'Blanchett's Second Oscar' momentum that her fans were so excited for. Not that I'm complaining, loving Tilda Swinton as I do.

On a now unrelated note -- The Reader makes me think of the 2009 Oscar race. That's how I'd come to think of it -- I must tell you a tragic story. Bored on the subway last night, awaiting my stop, I was killing time playing with my iPhone's Magic 8 Ball. On a whim I asked the truth-telling device "Will Michelle Pfeiffer's performance in Chéri next year finally win her that damn Oscar?" I gave my phone a gentle shake and you know what that Magic 8 Ball told me?

Unhappy with the answer, I decided to go for 2 out of 3. My Magic 8 Ball got even meaner.


Anonymous said...

Haha I'm sorry for your magic 8 ball luck - but does Michelle really did luck? She's got the talents, methinks. ;)

As for The Reader, I'm sorely disappointed that they are releasing it this year. In an already crowded year + Winslet's other movie + a half-hearted post production, this movie will not reach its full potential. Wait until 2009 and Winslet can finally win - in the right category, as well (she's definitely lead in The Reader but no doubt they'll campaign her supporting).

On another note - have you seen the new Australia trailer, Nathaniel?! It looks EPIC. You need to do a post on it!


i will but i am still in speechless mode

Anonymous said...

Oh! The AUSTRALIA trailer. Gorgeous! I wanna have sex with that movie.

Anonymous said...

I really think bringing The Reader forward is a bad idea, oh well. You 're right to look forward to 2009 Nathaniel, as now we have one less female performance that may be eligible for awards next year. Meaning that the chances of having any exceptional female performances are slim. Could 2009 be the new 2005?? (In terms of the best actress oscar) If thats the case the academy may feel the need to award someone their 3rd best actress oscar in less than 10 years...god forbid.

By the way, have you seen The Curious Case of Benjmain Button trailer?

eduardo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
eduardo said...

Ugh... i officially hate the Weinsteins for being such oscar beggers.

I agreed with Scott Rudin's point of view about waiting a year to release it in complete form, but noooooo... greedy Weinsteins want the oscar so bad so they don't care if the movie is 100% ready.

And the worst thing about this is that it cancels kate's chances to get a double nod this year

Anonymous said...

I still believe Kate will get a nom for The Reader, love that book way too much.

What's up with our Actress Psychic Contest anyway?

I suppose nobody this year will get a perfect score since no ballot is given to Kristin Scott Thomas.


Anonymous said...

i watched australia trailer seemed like pearl habour 2 to me and kidmans surgery put me right off,those lips and shiny complexion good actress bad surgery,although the visuls make it drip off the screen.

rosengje said...

lovelove the australia trailer-- lots of weird, semi off-putting close-ups and heightened drama

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I still believe "The Reader" is Kate's role to lose, doesn't matter in wich category. I didn't see her nominated for "Revolutionary Road" anyway (Sorry... not another suffering wife), I think Mendes's film will fail for higher spectactions.

Anon@: I don't think 2009 will be a weak year. 2005 was very strange:

*Michelle Pfeiffer, Cheri
*Shohreh Aghdashloo, The Stoning of Soraya M.-One of the best rewieved films and performances in Toronto.
*Ellen Burstyn, Lovelly Still-Another "Away from her"?
*Keira Knightley, The Beautiful and the Damned
*Helen Mirren, The Last Station
*Julie Delpy, The Countess
*Hilary Swank, Amelia: Nomination? Maybe, Oscar? I don't think so...
*Charlize Theron, The Burning Plain: Until next news, the release will be in 2009.
*Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
*Emily Watson, Within With Whirlwind
*Emily Blunt, The Young Victoria
*Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens

*Gong Li, Shanghai-2008 or 2009?
*Carice Van Houten, Smoke and Ochre

"You 're right to look forward to 2009 Nathaniel, as now we have one less female performance that may be eligible for awards next year."

I think is the opposite case. We have films wich release will be in 2009:
*The Young Victoria (baity role / Royalty Character)
*Grey Gardens (baity role / Beloved Musical / Real Life character)
*The Stoning of Soraya M. (Acclaimed since Toronto / Maybe the first asian actress nominated in Leading Category)
*Lovelly Still (A la Julie Christie)
And in process:
*The Burning Plain

I know is speculation, but I don't see the next year so badly.

Anonymous said...

Oh, that trailer is gorgeous, but it's not going to appease anybody who are obsessed with Kidman's surgery and Luhrmann's BIGness.

John T said...

OMG, if Pfeiffer loses to Swank next year, what are you going to do Nat?

Also, I think Kate goes supporting here and wins in lead for Revolutionary.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the "Australia" trailer, that "Their love defied destiny" line is so cheesy. I'm sorry, but this just doesn't seem original in anyway to me. Tough rouge & lady fall in love. Let me guess, he dies at the end leaving her alone with her heartbreak? Why do I have visions of Scarlett O'Hara declaring that she "will never by hungry again" running through my mind?

I'm very mixed about The Reader. Having just read the book, I don't think this is a movie I want to see. The sex thing with a teenager is a huge turnoff. The fact that they had to delay filming until the actor turned 18 so they could film those scenes just turns my stomach. You don't think some in the academy will be turned off by that? That's kind of sad really.


she won't lose to Swank.
but the magic 8 ball says she's going to lose. BUT TO WHOm?


i got an email from a reader who says that my magic 8 ball is broken.

But my phone is brand new!

Anonymous said...

*Keira Knightley, The Beautiful and the Damned

umm this movie doesn't start til April 09. I think it's for a 2010 release. Plus it isn't confirmed that Keira will be starring.

Anonymous said...

"she won't lose to Swank.
but the magic 8 ball says she's going to lose. BUT TO WHOm?"

I don't know, yes maybe is a dream but what about those contenders:

*Emily Watson
*Shohreh Aghdashloo- Maybe is impossible but her film was in third place in Toronto

And why you follow a magic 8 ball. Most of its predictions are worng anyway