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Queen of the Desert Pic and Nicole in the Oscar Race?

Queen of the Desert, Werner Herzog's biopic on Gertrud Bell starring Nicole Kidman wrapped filming in March. Though it's still looking for a distributor it looks like post-production is all done since producers are tweeting about the final cut and calling it "EPIC". Herzog has also expressed real enthusiasm about Nicole's performance in his slightly oddball way of speaking.

"Now, Nicole Kidman,” Herzog said of her lead performance in "Queen Of The Desert." “Wait for that one. Wait for it. I make an ominous prediction: How good she is.”

(You can even hear his voice when you read quotes from him, can't you?)

Nicole shared this photo of the wrap of shooting.first official image. will they keep this aspect ratio? it's so Lawrence of Arabia long

Of course all of this is from people who are involved in the picture so they'd never be anything less than enthusiastic. But I myself have high hopes and I'm not involved. Unless you count my heart which belongs to Nicole.

Though I'd love for Werner Herzog to have a major Oscar success -- imagine how fun he would be on the campaign trail all season? -- the truth is Oscar has resisted him over and over again. Despite a prolific acclaimed filmography his only Oscar success is Encounters at the End of the World (Documentary Nomination, 2007). Nope, they didn't even go for the classic going insane in the jungle epic Aguire, The Wrath of God (1972) or the classic going insane building opera houses movie Fitzcarraldo (1982) or the classic already insane and hanging out with bears in the wilderness doc Grizzly Man (2005) all of which attracted awards heat elsewhere... just not with AMPAS. (Does Nicole Kidman go insane in the desert? I'm sensing a theme here.)

This sudden burst of news about the picture and our love of Nicole Kidman has us hoping she can climb the Oscar charts. But given that last year's Best Actress Shorlist had the most communal previous nominations of all time  I'm sensing this is the kind of year where Oscar is going to want some fresh blood.


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Reader Comments (53)

As a matter of fact, Lawrence od Arabia wasn't even that long in terms of aspect ratio. It's 1:2.2, that is shorter than the usual cinemascope, 1:2.35. That's how you know a movie is epic. Its images feel titanic.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Do we know if Suffragette will be released in time for Oscar consideration now?

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I don't care if AMPAS will like Queen of the Dessert or not. I just want it to be great and Nicole to be amazing in it.

Is Macbeth a sure thing to be released this year?

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Stop underestimating Chastain because you saw Eleanor Rigby already.

You are also underestimating Davis. Everything from Get On Up featuring her looks like a showcase. She plays the older and younger version of his mother. And there are big moments for both haves.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Did Werner just jinx Nicole? ;)

I really hope the movie is great. I can't take another Grace of Monaco.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

3rtful - i'd hardly call me undersestimating Chastain when i have her at #1 on the supporting chart . ha

drew & jamie -- such is the current vague plan. But you never know until it happens. the buzz seems to suggest that carol and suite francaise are the ones that will wait it out for 2015 from weinstein co, so it's a switcheroo.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I don't care about Chastain in Supporting you slowpoke. I don't want her to ever win the lesser award and be stuck in the Marisa Tomei/Tilda Swinton ghetto. My Chastain only needs to win Best Actress once. And she needs to do so in the immediacy of now.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

There is some talking of Moore going supporting. She could sweep if that happens, Melissa Leo style

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Nathaniel where's Zoe Kazan "The Pretty one" on your list for best actress??

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdavid

Anne-Marie Duff is sooooo underrated. I feel like she's the British import version of Lori Petty.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

3rtful - What better place to be than the Marisa Tomei/Tilda Swinton ghetto? :)

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

It would be a good bounce back for Nicole after Grace getting slammed... but when you have talent, you're never really out of the game!

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Eh, your predictions are reading as a bit too normal. This is a year where there have been a lot of shockingly high quality commercial movies dropped onto our lap. (Unlike last year, where it was DISMAL and is EXACTLY the kind of year where the Academy's anti-commercial bias makes perfect sense.)

2013 Summer Franchise Launchers:

After Earth
The Purge
Man of Steel
World War Z
The Lone Ranger
Pacific Rim (ONLY good franchise launcher)
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Now You See Me

And that's in addition to these sequels:

Star Trek Into Darkness
Fast and Furious Six
The Hangover Part III
Monsters University
(ugh) Grown Ups 2
RED 2 (way to waste EVERYONE involved)
The Wolverine
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
Kick-Ass 2

And these "done in ones":

This is the End
The Internship
Killing Season

Now compare that roster to this year? Yeah, there's always occasional duds (Tammy, anyone), but, so far, still much better than last year.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

volvagia -- oh i agree that the commercial movies have been largely high quality but this is a post about actresses and supporting actresses and no, none of these summer fimlms have a prayer in hell of competing in those categories. Oscar is not about to go "ooh, emily blunt firing weapons in edge of tomorrow!" or ooh Keri Russell can put her hand on people's shoulders so sympathetically in Dawn of the Apes.

so i'm not really sure what you're trying to say. I haven't updated any of the other charts yet.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

cal -- the only place i've seen that 'talk' was on awards circuit so i chalked it up to excitable oscar fans spitballing campaign ideas. (nothing wrong with excitement but it can lead to some weird rumors that have no basis in actuality).

but maybe i missed somethign (quite possible) so i'll look around for the source of that buzz.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I really hope Moore, Adams, Cottilliard and Thurman get noms. I'm a bit sceptical on Kidman... Sorry all, but I just don't see it? Kidman hype is a bit emperor's new clothes to me. Someone help me, I've seen most of her films what am I doing wrong?? :)

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

I hope it works out for Kidman, but at this point I'll take anything that'll erase Grace of Monaco from my head.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterlittle my

I didn't exactly get to my point: The GoTG people in THIS year? Especially Rooker, Pace and Close? I think they have a real chance due to the year's spirit.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Can someone explain to me why a studio won't campaign Julianne Moore supporting, where she'd be a much hotter commodity given the material and her Cannes win? She's at most a secondary lead in that film, right, like a showy oversized supporting part?

Having not seen it I think precious little of the promo material indicates the film belongs to her as a lead. Maybe as a striking performer, but a lead?

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

I had a dream the other night that Queen of the Desert blew up bigtime at the fall festivals and became a runaway Oscar favorite. I never dream about stuff like that, so maybe it will prove to be prophetic. I would fucking LOVE to see a Werner Herzog Oscar acceptance speech.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Hayden -- i haven't seen the film yet so i couldn't say but it was my understanding that she and Mia Wasikowska are co-leads. But almost every review focuses on Julianne Moore suggesting that even if she has less screentime it's a Streep/Hathaway Prad thing when it comes to owning the movie.

that's just my assumption. i dunno. won't care until I see it and then can get all pissy if there's any fraud happening ;)

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I guess it seems like a whiz-bang way for an actress like Moore to gain serious traction. Turns like this are more potent in supporting, anyway.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

ROARK - jealous of your dream

MIKE IN CANADA - right?!?

VOLVAGIA - you have to give up that ghost. Oscars don't work that way. The only time they think about the acting in lighthearted or fantastical genre fare is if the movie is an utter phenomenon or artistically ambitious and headed by someone they're obsessed with AND the (male) performer is already hugely respected or has bizarre extenuating circumstances going on (examples: Alec Guiness in Star Wars, Al Pacino in Dick Tracy, Johnny Depp in Pirates, Heath Ledger in Dark Knight)... otherwise it's just not anything that would ever even occur to them. Certainly not for performers thatr aren't in any sense "prestige" even if they are talented (Rooker and Pace)

A good example to look at to understand it might be The Avengers versus Avatar the first was an utter phenomenon directed by a tv person (who the Emmys haven't even embraced) and it was about superheroes and it could only manage one measly Oscar nomination and the other was an utter phenomenon directed by an Oscar winner who is hugely acclaimed and it was about aliens with serious themes and it won a lot of nominations.

Guardians has just about everything working AGAINST it in terms of winnnig the prestige kind of awards. Not only is it from the superhero genre but it's comedic... and they don't even love comedies with no superheroes in them all that much. And its about superheroes who none of them have any emotional attachment too... not even childhood nostalgia.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think it was THR that said Moore will be campaigned supporting. So it is probably legit.

I'm thinking Weinstein dumps Suite Francaise to 2015. Too many WW2 movies this year including one from them that all indicators are it is going to be their juggernaut ie. The Imitation Game. I think Keira gets in because the movie will be strong across the board and because of afterglow love from Begin Again.

While I think you are right that Carol will be released in 2015 - they just finished shooting in April - I'm hoping that somehow it gets released this year because a) I really want to see it and b) I want that afterglow nom for Cate. She is so hot right now with everybody in love with her and Carol Aird is such a baity role that if the movie gets released she will be a MAJOR threat.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

Oh regarding "into the woods" the film is currently undergoing a month of rserious eshoots due to possibly a negative test screening. So I'l be a little less liberal with my predicitons. I dont think Meryl is getting in this year, there is such a thing as Streep Fatigue.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLittle MY

I would rate Woodley at a bit higher than you have. I agree that the movie is a bit young-skewing for the Academy, but the basic stuff of the performance is still baity, she got a lot of praise, and it made a ton of money. If the studio decided to invest a bit in pushing her, I think it could happen.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

murtada -- i've searched and can't find any word from a legit source. just lots of comment discussions at various sites from fans.

sean c -- possibly so, yes. if big candidates start dropping they should probably spend the money.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It seems to me that Oprah and Octavia Spencer should at least be listed on the SA chart. I know everyone seems to be rooting for Viola Davis but the two of them have built up momentum from last year (not that there's room for only one black actress in the category, but you know...).

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Suzanne - well i have to weigh everyone against everyone else. I don't see Octavia as being any stronger candidate than any of the 15 listed... as for Oprah i don't know anything about her role yet.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The real life person Oprah is portraying in Selma.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

cool, thanks. i'm still not putting her on the chart until i see a photo ;)

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Little MY- I had heard Into the Woods was doing some reshoots his month but no one knows the reasons... Only speculations. Having reshoots done are not that uncommon. Same thing happened with Les Mis in Spetember before it's December release if I remember

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

And since when did starring in a "bad " film translate into Streep not getting nominated???

What is this Streep Fatigue you speak of?

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Jamie -- agreed that reshoots don't necessarily mean anything is wrong. happens all the time. but you must be kidding me about denying the existence of Streep Fatigue. I've lived through it once before (1989-1991) and it was not pretty back then and then same thing is happening now with people just being UGH GO AWAY after years of consecutive nominations and total praise. If i could transport the comments from 1989 through 1991 people would be shocked at how similar it's playing out.

July 15, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I was joking :)

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

jamie -- ha. sorry. i'm on a hairtrigger with Streep fans lately :)

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

I would love for Nicole to get awards love this year for " Desert" .. We all know she will probably get a Razzie ( for sure nomination ) for the fiasco " Grace" . Would be funny if she was nominated for a Razzie and an Oscar. It very well could happen. Hope it is released in time to qualify her for Oscar attention.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

I know Streep Fatigue has set in with some but those of us who lover har and can see her work now and in the popular and not so popular years and i realise it's not fair,it does not happen to the men bar Pacino.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Meryl is 65 years now. People seem to forget that. Still she gets attentions with her films, in a good or bad way, but attention is attention. For an actress her age it's an astonishing achievement and a lot of her colleagues that age would KILL for that attention.
The days of Sophie's Choice, Silkwood, A Cry in the Dark or Bridges of Madison County are gone and won't come back. It's sad, but that's the truth.
But there's a silver lining imo on the horizon: Demme and Nichols, two Oscar winning directors.
Though of course they are not enough or she "steals" roles for better actresses again. I just don't know why to think of people anymore... It's either this or that, not "oh yes" Meryl finally works with a better director in a judy/showy project again!"
Why did she made into the Woods? Because she wanted to be in a musical again, that's why. And I think people do at least think Rob Marshall might be (only a little) upgrade to Phyllida Lloyd.
I understand people are "sick" of her, but I also have the free right to say that I'm simply not.
Anyway, I don't predict her to get in in Lead for ITW. Supporting would be a sure thing, but is she ever going to be nominated there again? *lol*

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

I'm sorry, I don't wanted to rage at all. But you know how difficult the situations for actresses are at a certain age and despite some internet users implying it, I don't think Meryl Streep has really that power to demand and get everything she wants at all. She gets what is offered to her. Plain and simple.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

The trailer of Wild made me think it (and Reese in it) is not anything special.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Sonja -- i think the thing is -- and we're seeing this with a lot of big stars now -- is that the greed and ubiquity factor is starting to tarnish a lot of them. They take too many roles and where once leading stars would be horrified to take a supporting role now they take them all the time in addition to their big huge star vehicles. It's starting to be only very famous faces even in tiny roles.

Even as recent as 10 years ago big stars were careful about being in only a couple of pictures a year (at most) so as to keep their fame steady and not be "overexposed"... Many argued that 2004 really killed Jude Law's career because he was everywhere all the time (i think it was 5 pictures that year?). Being everywhere all the time is usually only good for the new stars right when they're trying to break through (like Jessica Chastain a couple of years ago). I realize conversations about "overexposed" have died in the 21st century when everyone wants to be seen 24/7 on social media but it does, at least to me, appear greedy when stars work that much (especially when they supplement with small roles because jesus, unfamous actors gotta eat too!) because they already have all the money in the world and it definitlely makes their films feel less like events when you know there's another one coming in a few months.

I'm worried about this with Nicole, too. Why does she have 6 or 7 films in some stage of production at the moment? Girl, spend a weekend with your kids!

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I love Meryl and I am kind of bit tired of her also. Will I still see 'Into The Woods"? Yes.

Although I agree that Meryl should not accept all the roles offered to her. I think some of her movies like the upcoming "The Giver" ; it seems unnecessary. It might be good but it won't do anything for her (I could be wrong here; just speculating). And I agree to certain extent regarding Nicole also though I think in her case, she needs some commercial projects to keep herself visible. The problem is more like Hollywood keeps offering these roles to Meryl. It's very annoying because they know she is hot property in her age group and they just offer her everything. I bet if Diane Keaton or Sissy Spacek are considered hot properties right now, they will be offered some of Meryl's roles also.

So, it's a really hard balancing act for Meryl. I kinda agree that she should be a bit selective but I blame Hollywood mostly for their lack of imagination and variety.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

I'm worried about this with Nicole, too. Why does she have 6 or 7 films in some stage of production at the moment?

Because the circumstances are stacked against women. Kidman already had work done and she's not even 50! We both agree on Kidman which is great. But as you have pointed out she is divisive for a lot of people. And it becomes harder to return when a vocal few makes it seem like you were never wanted to begin with.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

In her favor...
She was terrific in the little seen Sparkle two years ago so she's definitely a breakout waiting to happen. This role was once played by Angela Bassett in Malcolm X.

Bassett played Betty Shabazz, Malcolm X's wife. Not Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s wife.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

drew -- uneccessary. that's a good word for it. If the role coud be played by anyone and it won't augment your career or present an artistic challenge given the things you've already done and you already have all the money and all the fame, WHY take it? I don't blame Streep for taking mammoth roles that anyone would want. Do i wish some would go to other people, sure. But she's a great actor and what great actor doesn't want to play the great roles (like Violet Weston).

what i'm objecting to is the filler parts. The Homesman, Suffragette, and this summer The Giver. I'm thinking mostly of The Giver. It seems exactly like the Kate Winslet Divergent role which is nothing (i could be wrong haven't seen the Giver yet) any of these roles could have done a lot for the careers of any actress in Streep's age range but they won't do anything for Streep or her legacy except put more money in a bank account and she's already set for life.

July 16, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

/3rtful - thanks for the catch. Angela Bassett did actually play that role but not in Malcolm X. I will fix.

July 16, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nat, Meryl Greed... eh... Streep has taken a lot of roles that didn't do anything to her career. Dark Matter, anyone? (or 2007 in general)
Anyway, it's her decision what she does. She's a smart grown up woman.
This world, especially this modern media world can be cruel to any "famous" person. You can be hailed today, booed tomorrow and then soon to be forgotten.
The problem is not that Meryl makes 3-5 movies now. The problem is she gets attention for it. The media has pushed and pushed and pushed her so far with this damn "overdue" thing that they even let her pass for TIL, which could habe been slammed like Grace of Monaco or Diana quite easily if you ask me.
You got to be kidding me to ask why she signed on to play one of the most famous british militant fighter for women's right, Emmelinbe Prankhurst, in Suffragette? Really? REALLY???
It's like asking Judi Dench why she wanted to play Queen Elisabeth I. in SIL. Those roles might be small, but I think both are desired roles no matter what.
Susan Sarandon is only two or three years older than Meryl and nowadays she plays Mellissa McCarthy's GRANDMOTHER. She doesn't mind at all and since she appeared on Mike&Molly in Season 3, she's good friends with McCarthy, but still.... LOL
At the end of the day, Meryl can and probably will do what she wants. Even singing in a Potato costume. People would watch it.
As bored/tired/sick of/whatever you are with her, hardly anyone's name is called more in topics like this. That's how she still matters, people.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

I too like Nicole and would love to see her being nominated again, but I have my doubts a Werner Herzog movie could do it. I'd love to be wrong.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

I really just think Streep is aware that her shelf life is coming to an end so she does as many films as possible. She felt her career would be over at 40.... So I am expecting she may feel the same at 70... It will be a sad day when she stops making films and we will all miss her when she is gone.

As for Streep fatigue I think that bothers people who have been wih her since the 80s... As far as those fans who just noticed her with Prada-they seem to still be enjoying the ride.

July 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

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