Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"The Actresses Are All Right". Best Actress Next Year?

The Oscar ceremony wrapped a mere 72 hours ago. If you look closely you can probably still see the impression of Sandra Bullock's grip on her Oscar. So it's time to start thinking about next year's Best Actress.

Would that I were kidding!
Oh the life of the obsessive. Now, I won't be unveiling TFE's annual year-in-advance predictions until April 1st (April 1st... April Fools. cuz it's foolish, get it?) as is the tradition but that doesn't mean I haven't started thinking about them. And whether or not I'll do some sort of contest this year, despite the stumble last year. So I thought I'd share this brief chat I had with Guy Lodge (In Contention) as a sidebar during The Oscar Symposium a couple weeks ago.

Guy: All I'll say is that I'm CONVINCED I've seen two of next year's Best Actress nominees already.
Nathaniel: Which ones?
Guy: Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone and whichever of The Kids Are All Right ladies comes out on top.
Nathaniel: I can't believe I didn't see that [Winter's Bone] at Sundance. Dumb me.
Guy: Small distributor needs to push hard there but it's such a mammoth performance, plus she's young and hot... it was all people were talking about at Berlin.
Nathaniel: Young and Hot plus Mammoth = winner.

But I'm not convinced about The Kids Are All Right. I think there's so many things that could go wrong there, campaign wise.
Guy: Yeah, but I think they've done the right thing going for a summer release.
Nathaniel: I'm rooting for The Bening.
Guy: I prefer Moore.
Nathaniel: I don't know if you read my review but was I wrong in freaking out over that last closeup from Mia Wasikowska? She just killed me. What a perfect ending that was.
Guy: Yeah, she's terrific. Hopefully Alice doesn't damage her too much. Julianne's line reading of "But I shall return!" [edited to remove spoilers] ...just pitch-perfect coming timing. She's so rarely allowed to be that funny.
Nathaniel: I was in a weird mood when I saw it and Julianne in comedy always makes me tense. I loved the Joni Mitchell scene so much.

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as "Nic & Jules" in The Kids Are All Right

Guy: Bening's scene on the couch reacting to [edited to remove spoilers] is one of the best things she's ever done.
Nathaniel: Yeah. And some of the little details were so funny and warm. Like the way they'd both stretch out their arms like one super-fusion mom. ha ha
Guy: I know! But that's the thing... they ARE one super-character. I think Focus needs to bite the bullet, accept that it's a two-lead Thelma & Louise type deal and let the votes fall where they may.
Nathaniel: I do too. Hey... maybe you've seen three of next year's Best Actress nominees already.


Amir said...

nathaniel, is julianne's performance good enough for a win? in either actress categroy.
if jeff bridges finally got one, i can dream she will too.

Danny King said...

Great conversation here. Very intrigued by Winter's Bone. Do you guys think that Bening will be favored with this film over Mother and Child?

Glenn said...

It'll be Bening if Betty Anne Walters is any good, but Moore if Betty Anne Walters is bad. The Academy won't have it any other way.

Alex said...

I would LOVE it if Bening and Moore both got lead nominations for this, but that would mean I'd have to choose...

Also, I'm really rooting on Nicole Kidman for Rabbit Hole.

Cinesnatch said...

That's it. I'm going to Sundance next year.

Cinesnatch said...

This is my prediction for the Collective Prediction:

1. Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
2. Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
3. Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
4. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
5. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
6. Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
7. Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
8. Annette Bening, Mother and Child
9. Reese Witherspoon, Untitled James L. Brooks
10. Carey Mulligan, Never Let Me Go
11. Naomi Watts, Fair Game
12. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
13. Naomi Watts, Mother and Child
14. Helen Mirren, The Tempest
15. Julia Roberts, Eat, Pray, Love
16. Leslie Manville, Another Year
17. Keira Knightley, Never Let Me Go

It's so funny the way that list looks now to how it will look a year from now. Probably anywhere from 2 to 4 of those will be nominated. Although this list kind of feels like the 2008 prospects this time two years ago.

Cinesnatch said...

Oopps. I forgot Beezlebub and She Who Shall Not Be Named.

11. Beez
12. Naomi Watts, Fair Game
13. Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin
14. Naomi Watts, Mother and Child
15. Helen Mirren, The Tempest
16. Julia Roberts, Eat, Pray, Love
17. Leslie Manville, Another Year
18. Keira Knightley, Never Let Me Go
19. Not Named

Anonymous said...

Mark Ruffalo for Best Supporting Actor?

john said...

I think you should consider Hiam Abbass for Miral.

Robert Hamer said...

How about Robin Wright Penn in The Conspirator? She's overdue for a nomination, she's gorgeous, and she plays a real person (Mary Suratt)!

Nel said...

Mark my words next year its Swank Vs Benning the rematch (x2). There are no other contenders.
If Annette does not win this one then ararararararagh!

2011 - Is the return of the heavyweights!!

ferdi said...

If Annette and Julianne will get both nomination as lead for "Kids", no one of them will win! Remember "Thelma & Louise"! So... I want Julianne to win... lead or supporting, It doesn't matter. She deserves it since 1995 wonderful turn in "Safe" (and she didn't get a nod!).
Chloe is out in Italy this week end and I'm reading very good reviews about the movie and her performance. Do you think she has no chance for this Egoyan's perf? They say she's master of subtlety in this movie...

Andrew R. said...

Personally, I think both Kids Are All Right girls could make it.

Though I'm rooting for Bening. I just like her better than Moore.

cal roth said...

Since Mother and Child is supposed to be a three lead movie, couldn't they pull a The Hours and try to place Bening as supporting, so she can also be nominated as a lead for The Kids...?

Just like... Julianne Moore in Fram From Heaven / The Hours?

cal roth said...

Anyway, let's ask this thing now: which Bening performance is better? which is the most desereving one?

You know, I don't like Bening's always large than life theatrics, but from what I've seen of these two movies, she seems so soft and relaxed... I love when she is "undivaed".

cal roth said...

Don't forget we may have another Bening-Swank-Staunton showdown. Mike Leigh has a new movie, Another Year.


@Cal -- well, they could but i doubt it would go over. The film begins and ends with The Bening and she has more screen time than Watts or Washington. It's essentially her story with Watts and Washington both affecting her life.

Ferdi -- but when a film has two lead nominations in the same category (which hasn't happened in awhile of course in modern campaigning) one of them can win.

See: Shirley Maclaine (Terms of Endearment), Bing Crosby (Going My Way), Peter Finch (Network), F Murray Abraham (Amadeus)

but yes, examples of both losing are more plentiful.

Calum Reed said...

Jennifer Lawrence looks as if she could carry this buzz all the way to Oscar, and it does look a lot like Frozen River. I don't know though - if the field becomes crowded it would make more sense for them to go for Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine, or even Rachel McAdams in Morning Glory.

Cannot wait for The Kids Are All Right!

adelutza said...

Having seen both, Winter's Bone and The Kids Are All Right are daresay we have 3 of the 5 nominations here. They were too good, if there are going to be other three actresses better than those we have a mammoth year indeed. Bening has a chance even for Mother and Child but the film itself is a bit icky .

I would even venture for the last two spots Mulligan for Never Let Me Go and Mirren for one of the three films that she has coming out this year. But that's going to be a battle because Michelle Williams is great in Blue Valentine and I hear good things about Anne Hathaway and so on.
It'll be fun to watch if, say , Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't give a career defining performance a la Bullock.

tim r said...

I think the wonderful Ruffalo could easily make it in for Supporting Actor, though he's virtually a third lead. Bening and Moore are both good in completely different ways: though I think Moore's is the more sustained (and funnier) perf, Bening really comes into her own on that couch scene. And I love Mia in it also, but let's not forget the perfect final shot is actually of Josh Hutcherson. Gorgeous ending.

So much to discuss with this film -- I'm really looking forward to seeing it again.

Meanwhile, yep, Lawrence is drop dead great in Winter's Bone and would fully deserve a nomination, if not even a win.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I can understand that Bullock's winning hasn't satisfied a lot of people (even if the kodak theatre gave her a standing ovation, that's not always happen for Best Actress Winner), still already talking about Oscar 2111?

it's great what I'm reading about Jennifer Lawrence (she was the best in show in BURNING PLAN)

but Keira Knightley and Hiam Abbas could be campaigned as supporting, since in their movies the leading roles are Carey Mulligan and Freida Pinto's (two nominations in the row for Mulligan could be nice, but I'm afraid that not so many people are aiming former Latika receive a nomination!)

Naomi Watts has a lead role in FAIR GAME, but she is supporting in MOTHER AND CHILD (and also in Woody Allen's film)

Mirren has four films in 2010: 2 leading role (THE TEMPEST and LOVE RANCH), 1 supporting (BRIGHTON ROCK, based upon a Graham Greene's classic), 1 I don't know (THE DEBT directed by John Madden)

I love the idea Bening and Moore could be campaigned both leading

I love the idea Kidman could receive a third nomination thanks to a John Cameron Mitchell's film, even if it seems Academy INCREDIBLY loves her more as presenter than as nominee

BETTY ANNE WATERS? MY OWN LOVE SONG? they could be a problem...but maybe they will bomb just like AMELIA...


ClaudeMedwenitsch said...

What about Julia Roberts in Eat,Pray,Love?

I hereby predict KIM CATTRALL for Meet Monica Velour!

Anyway, sounds like a great year for actresses!

Guy Lodge said...

Ferdi: "Chloe" doesn't stand a snowball's chance of Oscar recognition in any category. Moore is good in it, though.

Nel said...

I would love it if 2011 was about which one out of Moore, Benning Watts and Hathaway gets their first Oscar? Hilary Swank could be the spoiler.

I really do think 2011 will be a more traditional year with known contenders rather than newbies.

monkey101 said...

Zoe Kravitz (lead) and Gabby Sidibe (Supporting) might do good in their new movie "Yelling to the Sky"


Mirko -- Bening is definitely *not* supporting in Mother and Child. I've seen the movie. The film is about her character, with the others only orbiting her. Kinda reverse like about how The Hours is about Virginia Woolf and how she orbits the lives of the others.

Michael W. said...

Ok, so why the hell not! All this new Oscar talk gives me the insane idea to make my first winner predictions in the big categories :D

Best picture: The Fighter
Best director: Roman Polanski - The Ghost Writer
Best org. screenplay: The Fighter
Best adp. screenplay: The Social Network
Best actor: Johnny Depp - The Rum Diary
Best actress: Annette Bening - The Kids Are Alright
Best sup. actor: Matt Damon - True Grit
Best sup. actress: Dakota Fanning - The Runaways



Tim R -- you're right the last shot isn't of Mia. I only keep referring to that closeup because it is the climax of the movie in a way. Or rather the epilogue grace note.

ARGH. i want to talk about this movie so badly and people won't be able to see it until summer.

the frustration of festivals.

Stefano said...

I really want Annette Bening to finally get the Oscar this year! Since she's supposed to be lead in "Mother and Child", could it be possible she would go supporting for "The Kids Are All Right" (with Moore campaigned as Lead)?
I haven't seen these two films yet... which one of these two Bening's performances do you consider the best and the most awards-worthy? And it would be wonderful to see Julianne Moore be recognized too, but maybe they'll wait for a strong dramatic role like those she played in films like "The Hours" and "Far from Heaven".

The Jaded Armchair Reviewer said...

did they do it on purpose or did they mean to make us all compare:

Annette Benning = Susan Sarandon
Julianne Moore = Geena Davis

Katey said...

To Anonymous who asked about Ruffalo as Supporting Actor-- I definitely think it's possible if they flip over the movie in general. He's fantastic in it, and is assuredly a supporting role rather than lead, which could make it easier.

I get to see this movie again on Monday and I'm so excited-- my love for it has only grown since Sundance.


it's grown on me too.

i definitely need a second time to firm up my opinion.

OtherRobert said...

Is Helen Mirren's The Tempest ever going to see the light of day since the production company went under and had its assets purchased by another company? If it is, I have faith that her take on Prospero (Prospera?) could gain some traction. If not, oh well.

lizriz said...

Mia Wasikowska is in The Kids Are Alright, too??? I've been amazed with her since "That Evening Sun." It's so irritating that one still has to wait for films to release. I want to just get it off Netflix RIGHT NOW. Or pay to download it from iTunes. Whichever.

Anonymous said...

I've never meant Bening should be considered supporting in MOTHER AND CHILD...she's the leading...and Watts could be campaigned as supporting

obviously it's too early to tell whether Watts could be consider a good bet as best supporting actress, since the Academy showed interest through her just once...

anyway for Watts we have FAIR GAME (leading), MOTHER AND CHILD (supporting), WOODY ALLEN'S (supporting maybe)
we could say she has some chances next year


Mike said...

I think Moore is considerably more deserving of an Oscar win than Bening, so I hope things work in her favor this year. I like Annette, but I think her three losses were justified, whereas Julianne should have easily taken BSA in '97 and BA in '03 (As well as additional nominations in 94', 95', and '09.)

If they are both nominated in lead for Kids, they likely split the votes and both lose. I'm hoping they are kept in different categories, or Julianne gets in by herself.

DJ said...

Looking at the past few years for examples, we can't expect all of these young actresses to make the cut... and of the young actresses that DO get nominated (probably no more than 2), at least one will be the newby starlet of the year: i.e., Lawrence for Winter's Bone or Waskowski for Gus Van Sant's project (if released this year). I don't think Mulligan will be nominated back-to-back and I'd say Knightley has the more "Oscar friendly" role of the two. Hathaway and Williams seem more likely than Portman, etc.

I think Bening will have a *very* good chance of being nominated for one of her two films as well as Mirren for one of her three.

DJ said...

Oh, and this better be Kidman's year.

So right now I'd say:


Nate B said...

Michael W. - Dakota Fanning for The Runaways? I don't think so. I'm curious if you've seen the film or if you're just going off speculation. Having seen it, I don't think she gave a bad performance (or an especially good one), but I really don't see it getting any awards play. Dakota has an Oscar nom waiting for her, but not for this movie.

Michael W. said...


No I haven't seen it. But at this time anything goes, right!? ;)

But I'm really looking forward to see it. Awards worthy or not.

Bryan said...

If Julianne and Annette can both get in, I would be so happy. Add in Michelle Williams, and I'd be in heaven.

If you had to bump one of them to supporting, Nathaniel, would it definitely be Julianne? I haven't seen it yet, and don't know what we're dealing with here in terms of screen time.

Omg-- if it was a Swank vs. Bening re-(re?)match, I don't see HOW Annette could lose.

Bryan said...

do you see mia nabbing a supporting nod for the kids are alright? is she "big" enough yet, or will they make her wait? is she worthy?

Unknown said...

No Meryl Streep this year????... Boring

Unknown said...

Am I crazy for thinking that the Academy might completely shut out both Moore and Bening simply because they don't want to favor one over the other?

I haven't seen Winter's Bone yet, but count me in the crowd who thinks that Jennifer Lawrence can call herself an Academy Award nominee if not winner a year from now. And a year without Meryl certainly spices things up. It means there are five Actress nominees to guesstimate about instead of four


Bryan -- Julianne has the most screentime in the film, I'd wager. (not that screentime is everything)

Cinesnatch said...

Are we all forgetting that Swank, Bening AND Moore were all nominated for film year 1999?

Stefano said...

Maybe they would put Julianne Moore as a lead contender for "The Kids Are All Right", with Annette Bening as supporting for the same film. Just think to what Focus Features did with "Brokeback Mountain": Ledger and Gyllenhaal were clearly both lead characters, but they separeted them in two different categories (and they both were nominated). Plus, Bening will probably be considered lead for "Mother and Child".

Faux said...

I did three days ago my own list of candidates for 2011. But I have to say I read somewhere few years ago (after double noms for Thelma & Louise) about an Academy rule on only one lead actor/actress for a motion picture. So, only one same sex actor/actress can be nominated in Leading, and the other one have to be located in Supporting. Brokeback Mountain is proof. Or The Hours (with the trifecta Streep-Kidman-Moore). Or Chicago. Or many others. OK, I'm sure about the source, but there's something about that fact.

I can see some frontrunners for 2011. I list them:

Leading Actor: DiCaprio (Inception, Shutter Island) vs Duvall (Get Low) vs Gosling (Blue Valentine)

Supporting Actor: Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right) vs Rockwell (Betty Anne Waters)

Leading Actress: Bening (Mother and Child) vs Swank (Betty Anne Waters)... (or what it means, THAT morbid battle, third round) vs Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)... spoilers: Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Seyfried (Chloe), Portman (Black Swan) or Zellweger (My Own Love Song).

Supporting Actress: Moore (The Kids Are All Rigth, I think it's the correct choice to campaign) vs that terrific performance from Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs)... and then vs probably Watts (Mother and Child)... spoilers: Cotillard (Inception), Juliette Lewis (Betty Anne Waters), and both stars from Nowhere Boy, Kristin Scott-Thomas and Anne-Marie Duff. I'm not so sure about Melissa Leo and Amy Adam in The Fighter.

In my list, actresses' champ looks stronger than actors'. But who knows?

Faux said...

Corrected: "OK, I'm NOT sure about the source, but there's something TRUE about that fact."

Guy Lodge said...

There is no such rule, Faux. It may not happen often, but there's nothing preventing it. (The last time we came close was in 2002, when I suspect Meryl Streep landed in the #6 Best Actress slot for "The Hours.")


Guy... yeah, i think so too (about Streep being in#6 but i think it was a distant 6th.

there is no such rule. And just recently one movie was brave enough to campaign both its two leads as leads and i respected them so much for it even if it wasn't going to happen, you know.

double lead noms has happened MANY times in the past. but as soon as people figured out how to cheat the system ;) they stopped even trying to get double noms for movies.

Anonymous said...

My predictions:

1. Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
2. Robert Duvall, Get Low
If there isn't a surprised nominee, I think the winner will be in one of both.
3. Jim Sturgess, The Way Back - Raves for his performance in test screeners.
4. Jake Gyllenhaal, Love and Other Drugs.
5. Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter
Alt: Sam Riley, Brighton Rock or Brad Pitt, The tree of Life -I think he will win the Oscar, maybe 2011 with this performance or 2012 for "moneyball", after Sandra Bullock's effect-

1. Hiam Abbass, Miral - Well an@n, I read the novel and after various reports, I think Abbass have more chances at leading. It's like Jane Fonda-Vanessa Redgrave in "julia".
2. Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone: I heard nothing but raves for her performance...
3. Annette Bening, Mother and Child
4. Natalie Portman, Black Swan
5. Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine
Alt: Helen Mirren, for one of her films or Carey Mulligan, Never Let Me Go
FYC: PLEASE not again Hilary Swank, one horrible nightmare is enough for damage!!.

Supporting Actor:
1. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Inception: He really deserved it
2. Andrew Garfield, Never Let Me Go/The Social Network: Maybe this year's british revelation.
3. Colin Farrell, The Way Back
4. Sean Penn, The Tree of Life
5. Christian bale, The Fighter
Alt: Vincent Cassel, Black Swan or Oliver Platt, Love and Other Drugs

Supporting Actress:
1. Anne Hathaway, Love and Other Drugs
2. Marion Cotillard, Inception: After the fluke of last season she deserves another nomination
3. Freida Pinto, Miral: Well, she's working with Schnabel and Allen
4. Saoirse Ronan, The Way Back
5. Naomi Watts, Mother and Child
Alt: Keira Knightley, Never Let Me Go or Julianne Moore, The Kids are Alright

ePastor James said...

^^I thought Colin Farrell was the lead in The Way Back. I have him predicted in lead, with Jim Sturgess in supporting.

steandric said...

I have seen Mother and Child too. Bening definitely IS NOT lead. She is supporting, the official cast order says so as well. Besides, when the studio promoted the film at TIFF, SBIFF, was with Watts as head of cast and lead actress, sans Bening. The story is about 3 women as per offical synopsis and the film, not about Bening's character. All publicity for the film, website, poster, trailer...etc show Watts as heading the cast, with Bening and Washington supporting. It is very clear.


i'd easily buy a reading of the film that says it's a dual lead (Watts & Bening) but i can't accept that Bening is supporting since she opens and closes the story and her actions entirely cause the story's existence.

"billing" only means who they think will sell the movie. Not who the movie is actually about.

i guess where our different opinions comes in is that i have never believed -- and i think it's a modern construct that convinces other people to believe it -- that movies only have one lead character.