Oscar History

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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD

"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael

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« Three Reasons Why People Ought to Stop Bitching About the Foreign Film Race and Just Appreciate The Movies | Main | Emmy Predictions. Who Are You Rooting For This Weekend? »

Link Hunter

Variety mourns film criticism wondering if Roger Ebert was the last critic who really mattered
Cinema Blend talks "narrative" in Oscar campaigns and what they might mean for the futures of Gravity and 12 Years a Slave
Pop Matters Matt Mazur elaborates on his comments from the last Supporting Actress Smackdown
Antagony & Ecstasy another rave review for Short Term 12, beautifully written by one of the web's best film critics. (This is why I hired him, yknow)

i09 in today's stupid remake news Neil Marshall who once directed a movie as good as The Descent is going to remake the clever Norwegian film Troll Hunter. Despite the fact that Trolls are kind of, you know, Scandinavian in nature in their appeal/fictional dominance. 
Awards Daily Sasha thinks its crazy to doubt a nomination for Sandra Bullock in Gravity. Maybe I am crazy but I'm kind of doubting it. Not wholly mind you... she's definitely in the running. But Oscar's acting branch does not like scifi and have only gone there a couple of  times really in lead (Sigourney Weaver in Aliens and Jeff Bridges in Starman spring to mind). But it could be that my feelings about the averageness of her performance are getting in the way. All that said, I do think it's strange to suggest that Oscar WANTS to reward women over 40 for being successful. On what basis is this a thing since they're always going for 20somethings when they could reward older women?
/Film Michael B Jordan, Saorsie Ronan, and David Oyelowo all being talked up for the next Star Wars movie 
Empire the first official picture from the tank-centric war film Fury starring Brad Pitt. I used to think that one day I'd grow out of Brad Pitt but it hasn't happened. And shan't. I just love him. 
Playbill Kristin Chenoweth to play Jennifer Lopez' best friend in the thriller The Boy Next Door about a woman (Lopez) who falls for her teen son's friend. I love me some Cheno but that is bizarre casting + genre weirdness, right? 

Today's Must Listens
Here's Lee Daniels talking about being gay and black in Hollywood... and in life. When asked which is harder in Hollywood he replies:

 I don’t know what to say to that. I want to answer that question to you but I have to be very honest with you that I’m afraid to answer that question because, uh, and I have to stay like Cecil and stay silent because I want to work."


Finally can we talk about BEST ORIGINAL SONG for a minute? I've been remiss as per usual in thinking through this category. IndieWire is pushing this rap number from Short Term 12, which is one of the film's key moments narratively and also emotionally courtesy of a pretty great performance from Keith Stanfield who also co-wrote the song with the director.

Until they abolish the category as some have argued they should, it's worth trying to suss out. But which songs will be eligible? Let's make a list in the comments while I'm updating my Oscar charts.

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Reader Comments (20)

I think if Bullock is nommed and it's no lock yet it would be great for her as she is definetly streets ahead of her nearest b/off females in terms of awards,likabililty and star power at the cinema but it's also to be praised that at 49 she is still cast in meaty lead roles and also that maybe our Best Actress category will skew older than previous years,people keep complaining about the hot new thing space for the glamour but the ladies in the running can supply that on the red carpet in spades.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

mark -- sure, that'd be great from an age perspective. i'm just saying it's not statistically how Oscar plays it so i'm wondering why Sasha thinks they're suddenly invested in the narrative of "older women can be successful!"

September 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think both Sasha and you are wrong about Bullock. I do not see her as one of the very favorites (she can't compete with Blanchett, Streep, and Dench, probably not even Thompson) but I do think she is circling that 5th, 6th nomination slot.

Thompson and Adams are humongous threats. Kidman, too. I think people are hugely underestimating the star power in Kidman playing Grace Kelly. It is in the lines of Cate Blanchett playing Katharine Hepburn in a film about Hepburn.

"Diana" has died and people have really stopped talking about Kate Winslet.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

The Original Song category is always a mindfuck for predictions, isn't it?

So far I can only think of the songs in "The Great Gatsby". I guess there will be songs in Disney's "Frozen". Are any of the songs in "Inside Llewyn Davis" original? I'm afraid none of the films I've watched so far this year have any original songs. Maybe they should get rid of this category and go back to the adapted/song score?

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterConrado

I'm thinking Bullock's in, arguably the biggest actress in Hollywood right now (apart from Jennifer Lawrence), in terms of success and popularity.

I also think Julia Roberts is in, with Meryl, the film's been a long time coming and had enough coverage to warrant two nominations for the same film in Actress and if any actress' are going to overcome that obstacle it's Roberts (One of the biggest movie stars ever) and Streep (One of the biggest stars and actors ever, if not the best).

I'm doubtful for Dench, and don't understand all the Thompson love, yes, she's well loved but she's not been in the Oscar race for years and years.

I'm going for Bullock, Roberts, Streep, Blanchett and Winslet. What a line up that'd be.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKeegan

Hey girl, that Ebert piece is o-l-d. What is this, a newspaper? ;)

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKurtis O

Yeah, "Young and Beautiful" - no question. It's really the only song that comes to mind right now though..

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTeaBone

Bullock might be in just off the heat from The Heat. She's one of the few really bankable stars left, and if Gravity makes $80M+, it'll be a no-brainer, whether the performance is great or not.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Kurtis O -- i refuse to be bound by the calendar

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Sasha's pro-woman until the young, pretty one gets raves from her male colleagues. Then she thinks it is all male gaze and that she is now a sex object hurting the female cause. Exhibit A: Jennifer Lawrence and until she finally saw the movie, Adele Exarchopoulos. She can make some good points but nobody is counting Sandra Bullock's age, they're counting how much money her movies rake in.

Bullock gets nominated if the movie is a huge hit. The Blind Side was a hit and that has her all over the adverts.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Of all the women being mentioned for the best actress Oscar category, I
think Amy Adams is the one I prefer to see dropped. We have not seen her
in "American Hustle" yet, but I will never understand why she keeps getting
nominations. It's almost as if she tries to be in every possible film until she wins
an Oscar. My opinion is if she is going to win an Oscar (or be nominated) let it
be for her upcoming role as Janis Joplin. Seems to me that role could be Oscar
winning territory for Amy. Perhaps then she will stop saturating us with her presence
in every possible film she is physically capable of doing.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMN

Have Winslets chances died already,i always feel she is the new Susan Sarndon once the overdue card is played you have to WOW better than your best ever perforance which for winslet and to a certain extent sarandon there winning were not their best ever,in an ideal world for me Susan wins in 91,Foster wins her first in 94 after Glenn won in 88 and Winslet wins in 95 and then in 2004..

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermark

Everybody doubted Sandra Bullock with The Blide Side and she sailed and won that Oscar (I bet she received like 60%-70% of the total votes). With this film that will surely make tons of money at the Box Office, I'd say she's in. She's a threat for Cate Blanchett, I'd say. I'm gonna be so mad if she wins over Blanchett. Also, I think Meryl Streep will be too divisive (the responses so far have been) and she will be snubbed.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Infamous

The denial and meltdowns about Sandra totally being the frontrunner to win the Oscar for Blind Side were frustrating but also hilarious. If the reception to her performance in Gravity is a repeat of that it's going to be a pretty entertaining awards season for me!

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Blanchett and Streep are the only two locks for Best Actress nominations as of right now, in my opinion. The other three slots basically come down to a game of musical chairs between Thompson, Bullock, Adams, and Dench. I suppose Kidman or Winslet could sneak in, but I'm not feeling it. Interesting to note is that Amy Adams is the only serious contender at this point who hasn't won an Oscar yet. That either means she might have a slight advantage if she's nominated, or we're going to get a category of all previous winners like last year's Supporting Actor nominees.

Oh, and slightly off-topic, but is there any information about how Julia Roberts is campaigning? I've read some reports that she might go supporting, but until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that it's all just false speculation like it was when people were saying Streep would go supporting.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I've been bitter and twisted towards the Original Song category since Come What May was disqualified from the competition. I mean as Leyton Hewitt would say..."c' mon!!! ". It is a little bit of a joke really. Get some Grammy award winning song writer/ band to write/ perform a song. Release it as a single. Play it during the credits and you have an instant Oscar nom for your film. Having said that I'm loving the new Coldplay song for The Hunger Games :)

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

As much as we'd all like Oscar to start nominating older actresses aplenty, doesn't mean they should be nominated simply for *being* older than the new, fresh starlets. I mean, they did that once with Jessica Tandy and now Michelle Pfeiffer is Oscarless and somewhat forgotten (or at least greeted with ambivalence). Let's not make any category like the supporting actor category once was. I mean, Bullock of Streep or Kidman or whatever's over 40 doesn't deserve a nomination over, say, Adele Exarchopolous just because they're older.

Also, I'm all for a Marshall remake of TROLLHUNTER since I didn't too much like the original. I prefer it when they remake average/bad films rather than works like CARRIE.

Also, Roger Ebert may have been the "last critic that matters" (in America, natch - other countries have their own high profile critics), but that doesn't mean film criticism is dead. It just means that many of the best writers aren't writing for the Chicago Sun Times. Most of the truly great criticism is appearing in online journals and the like.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Glenn -- i absolutely agree. Age should have nothing to do with whether or not you're honored. I'm just saying that i don't see the evidence that they like the narrative of "you can be successful when you're older!"

September 21, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'll always defend Bullock's win. Lousy year. And no, I hated Precious but Mo'nique actually did a lot of heavy lifting. Plus, Meryl was considered her threat and that performance just was never enough to not look at the movie as Julia Child as played by Meryl Streep than Julia Child.

September 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I am still of the opinion that all Bollywood (Tamil, Telugu) films that play in the LA-area should go for this category. Especially ever since Jai Ho won. (Which of course would never have been nominated had it ben in Yuvvraaj, for which it was actually written.)

Sure, I can't really recall any great Bollywood songs for this year, but at least there'd be a lot of contenders.

September 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

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