Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Who's Not Wearing Any Clothes..."?

That's not just a famous line from "A Call From the Vatican" to be sung by Penélope Cruz in Nine (see snippet below*) but a question we all must ask ourselves as we enter the holiday movie season. As in which film is the emperor without them?

Is it Avatar, Invictus or The Lovely Bones? Those are the three largely unseen giants looming, casting significant shadows on box office and/or Oscar hopes. Even if Avatar is great (which many have doubted ever since the bright blue Na'vi were revealed), it'll be a tough sell for sci-fi averse Oscar voters. Invictus could be a sure Oscar thing even if it's not great (given the pedigree) but The Lovely Bones ... The Lovely Bones. I don't know what to do with it. This one feels like it could go any which way.

Saoirse, Susan and Neyteri nervously glance towards Oscar season.
This is the calm before the storm

Oscar Predictions -- now with revised commentary and Golden Globe predictions -- are up in the Picture, Actor, Actress and Supporting Actress categories. Your hunches and comments are appreciated.

*eek. Penélope sounds a little flat here to me. But I've been listening to the Krakowski version for so many years, I may just need to adjust my expectations. I would've preferred to embed the new Nine commercial, which is beautifully confident with no dialogue... just dance rehearsals and footage and the glorious cast.


adam k. said...

I think your five (in both actress categories) are the nominees. Though supporting is obviously hard to read. I think there will be one film with two noms there. But whether it's Nine, Up in the Air or Precious is... up in the air.

If Precious is as strong as it looks, I think Mariah Carey should not be underestimated. She's usually mentioned in interviews along with Mo'Nique and Gabby. And it seems that she's very good indeed and totally has the deglam. I second my previous "comment of the day" that she could be the Queen Latifah to Mo'Nique's CZJ.

Precious is really looking to overwhelm this year's race beyond all expectations... so much audience demand that they're still not meeting, apparently. Moving up their rollout to before Thanksgiving was a good idea. If the film continues to play all through holiday season and through the oscars - and there's no reason to think it won't - then I see $100 million in its future. Hey, if Slumdog could do it...

Klemen said...

Good predictions:)What do you think about supporting actress at the Globes-same five?
Also,I've read that An Education, Up in the Air, and Inglorius Basterds are all going drama for the Globes.(Not wise I think, but that's the way it is apparently.)
For the 5th spot for comedy actress, I think they're perfectly capable of giving Meryl 2 nods.
And Maggie Gyllenhaal is going lead for Crazy heart-you've seen it, she doesn't have much of a chance I suppose?

And I'm sooo scared of Swank becoming like Cate for Golden age.I don't think it's gonna happen, but it would be awful, even worse than Cate I assume (haven't seen Amelia yet)

john said...

Just out of interest Nathaniel, have you seen the clip on youtube of Kate Hudson's number fron Nine??

Klemen said...

Oh, where did you see Nine commercial?Is it anywhere on the internet?

Morgan said...

Comedy Actress Globes: I'm going with Streep x 2, Cotillard, Bullock (The Proposal) and Deschanel.

I don't think Cornish is going to make it. Bright Star has fallen off the radar.

And I agree, Penelope sounded pretty terrible. That tune supposed to be the showstopper and someone with musical talent probably should have been hired for the role of Carla. Oh Krakowski, what you would have done if you were cast!

adam k. said...

I agree that Meryl's absolutely getting two nods. I don't believe there's a rule against actors being nodded twice in the same category (Tim Robbins definitely did it in '92)... they're just very sparing with their twofer love.

So I'd bank on Meryl, Meryl, Amy, Michelle, and Marion, I suppose. But I'd love to see Zooey D. or Ellen P. sneak in.

Whip It deserves a best comedy nod, too, but I've given up hope on that.

adam k. said...

Julie & Julia
It's Complicated
(500) Days of Summer

and if Up in the Air is departing the category, I guess I'll just keep praying for a nod for Whip It.

Tory said...

I have some thoughts. One, I don't feel best actor is interesting this year in general, but I'm hoping and guessing its the year of the Firth.

In the actress category, I'm not feeling the Streep love. If anything her screen time is supporting at best, and I actually don't see them giving her a nomination. If the movie was all about Julia, she would have the nom in the bag, but I don't think its deserved. And don't get me wrong, Streep and Tucci were awesome in the film, but not worthy of Oscar.

Precious is kicking ass all over the place. Carey, if her part was bigger, could have gotten consideration for a nom, but she has 3 scenes in the movie, and you get no insight of her character in those scenes. She served her purpose and I thought she did really well, but Oscar nom? No, maybe Paula Patton who plays the teacher has much more of a chance.

And as a black man, with Freeman, Sidibe, Mackie, and Monique, could this be the first year that we have a black nominee in every single acting category in one year!

Just a few thoughts....

adam k. said...

Oh damn, I forgot about The Hangover. That probably gets in on box office alone, a la My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Sucks, cause Whip It is about 520 times more deserving.

Guy Lodge said...

It's been confirmed that "Basterds" will compete in the drama categories at the Globes, FYI.

Guy Lodge said...

Yikes, and I hear "Up in the Air" and "Crazy Heart" are going for drama too.

Chalk one award up for Daniel Day-Lewis, then.

Anonymous said...

I ahve no idead why they're pushing them all for drama when they have less of a chance there.Same with Marion being pushed for lead.
Hm, maybe these are just really the more accurate categorizations and this year they're all playing fair game?So weird, they often put movies that are dramas with two funny lines in comedy, and leading performaces in supporting.

Also, yup, the Globes don't have a rule against two noms in the same category-Leo also did it recently.

Klemen said...

That was me again, sorry

Anonymous said...

I agree with most of what your predicted Nat except for one. I think Sandra Bullock will be nominated instead of Abbie. Reason: It's a total feel good movie, at a good time of year. and with Michael Oher just being drafted, it's still pretty recent in peoples minds. I think Sandra is in. my humble opinion.

adam k. said...

Oh, that's right, Leo.

Yup, Streep is def. in for two. And her biggest competition for the win will be herself.

gduncan said...

adam.k , I'm praying right along with you for Whip It!!! I'm hoping for it to at least get a Best Actress in a Comedy nod for Ellen Page. She really should have won the Golden Globe for Juno,but Marion took it :( Since it seems the movies I thought were comedies are competing in the drama category, hopefully "Whip It" will have more of a shot. Does anyone know how Whip It's AMPAS screening went?

Am I the only one who thinks Avatar looks absolutely ridiculous???

I think Meryl should only get one nod for Julie and Julia. She's not that old :) She'll be making more great movies!!

Bing147 said...

Not even a mention of Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart? She's going lead and Nathaniel over at In Contention thinks she'll be in the mix. And don't know if you know, but Portman and Gyllenhaal are going supporting for Brothers, Maguire is going lead. So you might want to move Portman. Personally, I think she could end up in the mix if its any good.

DJ said...

As for as early reviews go, Marion is *the* best of the cast. There have been some reviews where she is placed on equal level with Cruz and Day-Lewis, but she's also been singled out more than anyone. Lead or supporting, I thinks she's in... and may even steal the Globe from Streep.

My confidence is also rising in Ronan... she's something special and she has great early word.

My best actress: Streep, Sidibe, Mulligan, Cotillard, and Ronan (next in line: Mirren, Cornish)

I agree with your Supporting Actress list; the only one who looks unstable is Farmiga. I do think Weisz may make a good showing if The Lovely Bones lives up to hype.

Actor: I have Day-Lewis (GG is in the bag) instead of Renner

Carl said...

Still thinking that "Avatar" is going to be a surprise - every time it goes back into the shop, word has it that it gets better...and it appears to have been pretty good to start with. I live in hope...

Also, in your Best Picture write-up for "The Hurt Locker", it's 'taut', not 'taught'.

Alison Flynn said...

I'm hoping and guessing its the year of the Firth.

Yes! I really hope this will be his year.

RJ said...

Just saw An Education last night. HOT DAMN! I want that to happen so bad. Mulligan for the win.

And Rosamund Pike finally has a good role. Thank Jesus

Alison Flynn said...

Also, I agree with Morgan. Jane Krakowski was amazing in this role. And frankly I really hate the way Hollywood treats casting of musicals these days for the most part. They put more value on big names than they do on someone who truly has the musical talent and can really pull off the role.

I won't bore people by listing all the bad examples from the past few of years of musical movies.

Paul Outlaw said...

And don't know if you know, but Portman and Gyllenhaal are going supporting for Brothers, Maguire is going lead.

That is so strange. The three roles are equally large and equally important. (Saw the film this weekend, so it's fresh in my mind.)

Lucas S. said...

I think your Best Actress predictions are spot on. Cornish does seem like the most likely to be snubbed,but I can't think of anyone who'd take her spot. Saiorse Ronan maybe,but like you said,the movie could go either way.

Hilary Swank said...

Marion Cotillard singing "Take it All"

Monica said...

Peter, you can talk more about Brothers?

Jude said...

I was listening to the Krakowski version of A Call from the Vatican when I checked the blog, and the first thing I see is the still that makes me lose confidence in Penelope's singing ability.

I don't think Mariah Carey should be so close to the top 5 though. I saw Precious today, and she stands out about as much as Christine Baranski does in Chicago. She's there, she's good, she's not great. I'd put down Paula Patton if anything for Supporting Actress from Precious (that ISN'T Mo'Nique).

Anonymous said...

I'm going to say something radical...if Pippa Lee is an Oscar contender. Why not talk about Blake Lively for supporting? She has so much hype lately, is she good in the film? I haven't see Gossip Girl and I don't want to base my opinion off that anyway.

Also, I'm shocked that Sandra Bullock might be a dark horse in the Oscar Race ever since Tom O'Neil wrote it up a week ago. I couldn't believe buzz was building...she has all the ingredients to win from a personality stand point. She's somebody people could root for...

The Pretentious Know it All said...

Would you guys agree that "Invictus" could go any which way but "lose?" Huh? Anyone? (taps mic)

Anyway, I've said before that I think Avatar looks too silly to warrant any serious consideration. I'm really not seeing its chances. Even if it's great, it's still sci-fi and Oscar's not big on sci-fi, except under very specific circumstances. Hell, even when "Aliens" pushed through somewhat and landed Sigourney Weaver a well-deserved nomination, that wasn't enough to warrant consideration for Cameron or the film. And it's not like people view him as being overdue after "Titanic." Bottom line, even if "Avatar" is great, it's going to be an uphill climb to a nomination...and I don't think it will be great.

Bing147 said...

That said, I like to think a bit outside the box this early. We always think we know everything this early and we NEVER do. Two years ago this time, we thought lead actor had 4 'locks' in Washington (American Gangster)/Lee Jones (Elah)/Day Lewis (Blood)/McAvoy (Atonement). 2 missed out and one only just scraped in. Things like that happen every year.

My current thinking:

Best Picture:

An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Lovely Bones
Up in the Air
The White Ribbon

Alt: A Serious Man

Best Director:

Katheryn Bigelow-The Hurt Locker
Lee Daniels-Precious
Michael Haneke-The White Ribbon
Peter Jackson-The Lovely Bones
Jason Reitman-Up in the Air

Alt: Quentin Tarantino-Inglourious Basterds

Best Actor:

Jeff Bridges-Crazy Heart
George Clooney-Up in the Air
Colin Firth-A Single Man
Morgan Freeman-Invictus
Hal Holbrook-That Evening Sun

Best Actress:

Marion Cotillard-Nine
Helen Mirren-The Last Station
Carey Mulligan-An Education
Saiorse Ronan-The Lovely Bones
Gabourey Sabide-Precious

Best Supporting Actor:

Woody Harrelson-The Messenger
Christian McKay-Me and Orson Welles
Christopher Plummer-The Last Station
Stanley Tucci-The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz-Inglorious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress:

Penelope Cruz-Nine
Anna Kendrick-Up in the Air
Julianne Moore-A Single Man
Natalie Portman-Brothers

Best Original Screenplay:

The Hurt Locker
Inglorious Basterds
A Serious Man
The White Ribbon

Best Adapted Screenplay:

An Education
Up in the Air

I'm liking these a great deal actually...

Faux said...

Why so worried about Penélope? The role is not the same Krakowski plays... it's not based on singing ability but on lust, exotism...

Morgan said...

It's a musical though. Krakowski was sexy AND able to perform the song. But I am willing to bet she'll perform the hell out of it to the point that the viewer will forget she doesn't sound so good.

I understand people saying Carey's screentime is limited and Patton was more prevalent in Precious, but Carey has the buzz, Patton does not. Personal opinions aside, she has the bigger chance for the nomination. I'd say she'd Queen Latifah/Viola Davis herself to a nod (screentime only in the case of Davis, not impact. And she'd be more of the coaster nom like Amy Adams for the same film and Latifah for Chicago.) Even with her small role and limited scenes, I'd say she's worthy of consideration as is Patton. I just think Carey had the right scenes to propel her to that uper-tier.

Derreck said...

when i first heard Penelope in that clip, i had NO idea what the heck she was saying. Now that i do (by Googling the lyrics), i think she sounds good, but not too great.

Love the sexiness and the acrobatics though. rope burn must've been a giant pain in the ass. i'm still extremely excited to see it. i've now seen snippets of Kate and Penelope's numbers, but dammit, where's Nicole's?

maybe on Oprah this week?

brandz said...

Nat, you're one of the few sticking with Meryl Streep and I think you're correct. She's had a great year, never mind the past 27 years without a win.

Ryan Ray said...

Penelope isn't a singer but she sounds fantastic to me. Maybe because I wasn't expecting anything and never heard Krakowski's version, but I think she will be fine. I'm definitely not a musical fan, but I would see this (but I am a big fan of Penelope, so there's my bias)

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, Streep deserves the Oscar and the Academy should be embarrased to hand her 15 nominations with 13 losses. March 2010 should see he walk away with the gold (finally)...


weird that they're giving so much away... but i guess that's the way of movie marketing now.

who needs to see any movies anymore. just string all the free clips together onlines.

faux for me musicals are always about the singing. i wish they were for Hollywood.

klemen i've scared of that Swank issue too. there are a lot of lazy voters in precursor groups and whose to say they won't just put her in as a "well it's an oscar role!"

also... why do i keep forgetting that the Globes allow double nominations. Meryl twice it is.

bing147 my plan is to basically ignore BROTHERS because it looks terrible and it makes no damn sense to have those two as supporting. It's a three character drama and if it's anything like the original movie the bigget part is actually Portman's, not Maguires.

i think it's pretty safe to say that it will be ignored. especially if they're doing funky ass desperate things like demoting the lead actress to supporting even though she's the main character. Hi, Mulholland Dr!

Paul Outlaw said...

Nat, Brothers (Coming Home from Afghanistan) isn't terrible, but Portman will not enter the Best Actress race with this. She is good, but not Oscar good. If you like Jake (and I do), you will love him in this, and Tobey gives a strong, disturbing performance. The whole cast is great, actually, and well directed--one of the little girls in it is amazing.

BTW, Portman's hair and makeup are all wrong--the character is supposed to be a hottie, but she looks too flawlessly gorgeous (the opposite of de-glam) throughout, unlike Carey Mulligan, who just looks like a pretty smalltown girl in this.

Paul Outlaw said...

Blake Lively is not a best supporting actress candidate in Pippa Lee. No way. She has the biggest female supporting role in the film, but if anyone gets a nod in that category it will be Maria Bello as Pippa's mother. Shirley Knight is also good, but nothing major, and Julianne Moore and Winona Ryder are incredibly funny, but glorified cameos.

Andrew David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew David said...

I think you're shortchanging The Lovely Bones a little bit. Yes, the trailer looks a little too much like a mystery/thriller for my liking, but I have a feeling that's just because that was the easiest way to cut the trailer and market the film. I have a lot of faith in Peter Jackson and having read the book I think Ronan, Weisz and Sarandon are absolutely perfect for their roles. Even if it's the Benjamin Button of this year (which it very well could turn out to be) it's still likely to bag a lot of nominations.

mrripley said...

I liked meryl in j and j but i felt too win 3rd it would have to be something special indeed,j and j is not it.

cinephile said...

Can we her a word on Julianne Moore's performance in A Single Man, please?

Glenn Dunks said...

Is that picture you're using for Bullock on the Best Actress page really what she looks like in The Blind Side? Poor her.

I still don't see how Mariah Carey gets in. Sure, she could be the Queen Latifah to Mo'Nique's Zeta-Jones, but Precious isn't a musical where a singer-turned-actor is in their element and Mariah Carey is one of the most famously failed actors of recent times. Are the actors really going to put Carey's name down on their ballots (I'm hazard a guess and say not many actors knew much about Queen Latifah's music career tbh).

Pippa Lee isn't getting anywhere near Oscar. Movies like that just do not get nominated for Oscars. An indie spirit nod and maybe some random critics award from Ontario, but that'll be it. It's mid-November and I'd hazard a guess and say 99% of America and the Academy have no idea it's even being released (or what it is).


Glenn. I hope you're right since a nom for Mariah would be so cynical (look, no makeup!) even though she's good in the film. And I think she's better in the film than Paula Patton btw.

but yeah, Pippa Lee is not going to make waves. If you want to score with a micro indie you kinda have to open early and establish yourself as a contender then (see: Melissa Leo in Frozen River. That's the way to do it) or open late without hoopla as this one is doing... in an very weak field, which this year's best actress is not.


This is gonna be my ballot:

- Best Actress
* Abbie Cornish, BRIGHT STAR
* Helen Mirren, THE LAST STATION
* Carey Mulligan, AN EDUCATION
* Gabourey Sidibe, PRECIOUS
* Meryl Streep, JULIE AND JULIA
- Best Supporting Actress
* Mo'Nique, PRECIOUS
* Penélope Cruz, NINE
* Anna Kendrick, UP IN THE AIR
* Julianne Moore, A SINGLE MAN
* Susan Sarandon, THE LOVELY BONES

- Best Actress Drama
* Abbie Cornish, BRIGHT STAR
* Penélope Cruz, BROKEN EMBRACES
* Helen Mirren, THE LAST STATION
* Carey Mulligan, AN EDUCATION
* Gabourey Sidibe, PRECIOUS
- Best Actress Comedy or Musical
* Marion Cotillard, NINE
* Zooey Deschanel, 500 DAYS OF SUMMER
* Michelle Pfeiffer, CHERI
* Meryl Streep, IT'S COMPLICATED
* Meryl Streep, JULIE AND JULIA
- Best Supporting Actress

Glenn said...

BTW, have any reactions to "Nine" come out from the HFPA and DGA screenings??

cal roth said...

What about Carey Mulligan getting 2nominations? How great is she (she is never less than great, she can't be) in Brothers?

Second thought: Carey Mulligan MUST win a leading Oscar. A supporting nomination would only split the votes.


Derek said...

Bullock seems like a good bet for a comedy nomination at the Golden Globes. They're pretty much the one organization that have never been averse to her (she's a two-time nominee) and The Proposal is the biggest hit of her entire career - not to mention she got good reviews for it.


thank you for sharing Charlize ;)

Anonymous said...

Golden Globes Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical
1) Meryl Streep (J.& J.)
2) la Mome Marion (NINE)
3) Sandra Bullock (The Proposal)
4) Zoey Deschanel
5) Michelle Pfeiffer

I like very muche the idea Carla Cugino could be considered for her role in WOMEN IN TROUBLE...


DJ said...

Glenn, here is one test screening review:

Very positive overall, especially for Day-Lewis and Marion Cotillard. He says Cotillard is the best of the whole cast.

Anonymous said...

sorry, don't understand what she is saying
but she sounds good btw

notanotherblog said...

They previewed the hardest part of the song. But yeah, if anyone has an mp3 or if the CD's in a downtown branch of HMV, hookups, guys.

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