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Adapting "Guardians" -a screenwriting interview

I especially like that part about how boundaries can be a good thing. Knowing where the plot points have to hit always stops me from wandering aimlessly in my writing. Some may see those thing as cookie cutter but I've always found them inspiring.❞ -Daniel

 

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87th Oscars. The Oscar Contenders of 2014 - For prediction, discussion and entertainment purposes only. This is not a endorsement of quality work, especially since no one has seen the pictures yet!

 discuss on the blog

Predictions as of July 15th
Jessica Chastain
2 nominations
"Anna Morales"
A Most Violent Year
(A24)
Nov 12th
Anna Kendrick
1 nomination
"Cinderella"
Into the Woods
(Disney)
Dec 25th
Emily Blunt
never nominated
"The Baker's Wife"
Into the Woods
(Disney)
Dec 25th
Felicity Jones
never nominated
"Jane Hawking"
Theory of Everything
(Focus Features)
Nov 7th
Emma Stone
never nominated
"???"
Birdman
(Fox Searchlight)
Oct 17th 

Why predict her?

Chastain is everyone's favorite new Streep - total chameleon in prestige projects. She plays the shady wife of upstanding Oscar Isaac who gets mixed up with crime in this 1981 set crime drama. Could also be considered lead but Oscar ignores category titles these days
Why predict her?
The Cinderella role won Laura Benanti a Tony nomination in the last Broadway production. Kendricks will nail the singing and she's all over the place this year which should help visibility and "it's her time" feeling
Why predict her?
One of the beautiful things about Into the Woods in each of its iterations is that the MVP and emotional center is unpredictable. That said, The Baker's Wife has the most traditional Oscar arc and isn't it time for Blunt to make good on that enormous promise?

Why predict her?
This Young Stephen Hawking biopic is said to focus on his marriage. Redmayne as screen partner could up her game (which could use some upping since she hasn't quite managed to breakthrough). Plus sometimes "the wife" goes supporting even if the role is ginormous (see A Beautiful Mind)

 

In her favor...
Spider-Man aside, which is wasting some of her best movie years!, it feels like the right time to make a play for a first nomination and this film might have reach. Plus she gets emotional father/daughter scenes.

But... 
Much depends on the film itself

Viola Davis
2 nominations
"Susie Brown"
Get On Up
(Universal)
Aug 1st
Carmen Ejogo
never nominated
"Coretta Scott King"
Selma
(Paramount)
Platform TBA
Imelda Staunton
1 nomination
"Hefina"
Pride
(CBS Films)
Sept 19th
Kristin Scott Thomas
1 nomination
"Chloe Girard"
My Old Lady
(Cohen Media Group)
Sept 
Keira Knightley
1 nomination
"Joan Clark"
The Imitation Game
(Weinstein Co)
Nov 21st

In her favor...
Playing the mother who abandoned the rock star, Viola only needs one scene to make a huge impact (see Doubt)...

But... 
will her role be larger here to make the character stand out amidst the musical flash?

 

In her favor...
She was terrific in the little seen Sparkle so she's a breakout waiting to happen. This role has previously been played by greats like Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson (but mostly on TV). Oscar loves true stories and they're more receptive to African American stories now

But...
Might be entirely focused on its men as so many historical movies are

In her favor...
Early reviews sound positively charmed by her as a community organizer in this British comedy about a miner's strike and the LGBT movement. 

But...
It's a large cast so a lot depends on who gets the best scenes and most screentime

In her favor...
After announcing retirement, an Oscar nom would be a sweet sweet farewell for such an electric talent. In My Old Lady she plays the depressed daughter of Maggie Smith (a scene-stealing role on stage)

But... 
she'll need MVP reviews

In her favor...
Though she's divisive she keeps pushing herself and a supporting role (as former fiancee and friend to the gay lead) in a prestige film could be just the ticket.

But...
Too glamorous for this part?

Laura Dern
1 nomination
"Bobbi"
Wild
(Fox Searchlight)
Dec 5th
Helena Bonham Carter
2 nominations
"Edith New"
Suffragette
(TBA)
TBA
Marisa Tomei
3 noms | 1 win
"Kate"
Love is Strange
(SPC)
TBA
Naomi Watts
2 nominations
"Daka"
St. Vincent
(Weinstein Co)
Oct 24th
Anne-Marie Duff
never nominated
"Violet Cambridge"
Suffragette
(TBA)
TBA

In her favor...
She's playing a woman dying of cancer so that's baity enough. Plus Dern is always great.

But...
her role will be flashback only so it would require that this not just be "The Reese Show" which it might be

 

In her favor...
She's very charismatic on the campaign trail and the media loves her. If this role tests her dramatic mettle again expect a big push.

 

But...
The King's Speech was The King's Speech. Otherwise Oscar has been stingy with her given her work

In her favor...
She's wonderful again as the stressed niece of a gay man (John Lithgow) who is suddenly crashing in her home

But...
it's difficult to say how Oscar will react. It's just excellent but it will have to be carefully handled in release and campaigning because it's a thing of delicate beauty.

In her favor...
The role is certainly attention grabbing and potentially memorable: Russian hooker with pink hair. 

But... 
will it be more than a sort of gimmicky amusement in this comedy about an irritable man and the young neighbor he befriends?

In her favor...
She's a terrific actress but despite past work she'd feel like a "discovery" and Oscar loves that.

But...
... yes I'm in denial that Meryl Streep won't be the main draw. But I think given Streep Fatigue a cameo role might not do it for her.

Other Possibilities and Why I'm Hesistant About Them
...with supporting & Oscar, the love for the film in general plays a much larger role. If any of these films break out anything is possible

And still more...
Margot Robbie - Suite Française - WHAT'S THE SIZE OF THE ROLE? 
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood -IFC RARELY CAMPAIGNS
Uma Thurman- Nymphomaniac -OSCAR MIGHT BE TERRIFIED
Sarah Gadon - Maps to the Stars -OSCAR DOESN'T 'GET' CRONENBERG
Krysten Ritter - Big Eyes - PROBABLY JUST THE AMY/BURTON SHOW
Meryl Streep - The Giver and Suffragette SUBSTANTIAL ENOUGH PARTS OR DOES INTO THE WOOD GET ALL EYES

Multiples. Who wins MVP reviews???
Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph or Reese Witherspoon - Inherent Vice (but all roles are showy here)
Ruth Sheen, Marion Bailey or Dorothy Atkinson - Mr. Turner
Lily Rabe or Robin Weigert - Pawn Sacrifice (how much screentime does the ensemble get?)
Anne Hathaway or Jessica Chastain - Interstellar (not that Nolan ever directs Oscar-worthy female parts)
Helen McCrory or Jennifer Ehle - A Little Chaos (tell us more about this picture, please! The cast is divine)
Jessica Lange & Brie Larson - The Gambler (acting opposite Wahlberg did wonders for everyone in The Fighter)
Judy Greer, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner or Emma Thompson - Men Women and Children (so many characters. Who shines brightest?)
Emma Stone, Jacki Weaver, Eileen Atkins or Marcia Gay Harden - Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen plots are always under wraps until you see the movies so who knows which of them has the most fun part)
Susan Sarandon or Dakota Fanning - The Last of Robin Hood (will the movie see release?)
Vera Farmiga or Melissa Leo - The Judge (though it's probably safe to assume that this one cares more about its male characters since father/son dramas generally don't make interesting room for women)

Probably 2015 but the Year is Still Young and Things Change...
Everest, Genius, Midnight Special, Far from the Madding Crowd