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« TIFF Quickies: 1001 Grams, Sand Dollars, Labyrinth of Lies | Main | A Year with Kate: The Madwoman of Chaillot (1969) »
Wednesday
Sep102014

TIFF: Benedict vs. Redmayne, Round 1

Nathaniel's adventure in Toronto. Days 4 & 5 

Two bonafide contenders for the Best Actor Oscar screened on two consecutive days so I can't help but pair them here for you. We'll surely say more about these movies when they open, because they're both looking like awards heavyweights. But, for now, reviews and some Oscar betting. 

IMITATION GAME
In the opening voiceover, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) admonishes someone (us?) to "pay attention. I won't repeat myself" but the story is exciting enough that you're sure to pay attention without the lecture. I mean, it's not every day you get to see a movie about a closeted homosexual genius mathematician secret war hero. Imitation Game has three acts but they play concurrently so we're weaving through Alan's adolescence in boarding school, Alan's top-secret war assignment, and Alan in the 1950s under police investigation. Naturally these three acts are related, not just by having the same protagonist, but by the theme of secrecy. How it informs, shapes, and obscures or destroys the things that matter like character, consequence, and emotional health.

The middle story is the most thrilling as Alan races against the clock to break the Enigma Code during WW II. I think the charge from this section of the film comes from the editing, directing, and its beautifully judged ensemble performance. Turing's obsessive intellectual personality is thrown into vivid relief but also sours when its forced into interaction with others, sliding towards closed off, curt and superior. And Benedict maps all this out with great delicacy...

Among the actors playing government officials and the team of statisticians, mathematicians, and linguists working on the code, Matthew Goode is particularly good, pitching his frenemy role for both tension and lightening of the mood. His expert calibration also goes a long way in selling the collective character arc -- somewhat convenient in the screenplay - when it comes to a shift in team loyalties. Keira Knightley, as the team's unlikeliest member, a woman who is insanely great at puzzles, is just luminous again (second time this year, is Hollywood paying attention?). Knightley's deft handling of her role and arc as she moves from fully aware but chafing against her societal limitations and angrier and more proactive about them, is a great assett to the movie. She helps you understand why the antisocial Turing would be so thoroughly disarmed and charmed by her and act so atypically in her presence as they become more involved in each other's hearts. 

With so many strong elements - the art direction, editing, and acting are all noteworthy - why isn't it a grander success? I think it's both its tidyness (the beats are all where you'd expect, outside of some key performance notes) and everything happens very quickly due to truncating these complicated stories to make room for three of them. The flashbacks and flashforwards are much flatter in the absence of the ensemble. The layering also makes the film a bit heavy-handed about its themes and sympathies. Particularly since you don't actually have to "pay attention," as the films warns because it lies and will glady repeat itself. The film's primary mantra is, in fact, repeated three times in the movie with diminishing returns, though the repetition is clearly meant to yield the opposite. It's a nifty little quote about people who no one thinks anything of doing the things that nobody else would think to do... or some such. (I'd recite it if my memory weren't so bludgeoned by seeing so many films back-to-back.) For all those reservations this is one of those films that's accessible, handsomely made, and easy to spend time with since it's far more entertaining than the subject matter would suggest.

Grade: B but the middle story is A-
Oscar Chances: Most definitely and in nearly all categories but particularly Actor, Art Direction and Adapted Screenplay  

THEORY OF EVERYTHING
A twist: Stephen Hawking was always in search of "The Theory of Everything" an elegant mathematical equation*, a quantum physics solution that would answer every question. Though the movie The Theory of Everything references this idea and search many times, it is not really about that unless you'd like to posit that "love" answers every question in which case, ewww, and let me wipe the mushy gloop off before we proceed.

All tidied up now we continue...

Love doesn't solve the challenging case of Stephen and Jane Hawking's marriage. The film is based on "Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen," written by Jane about their marriage. We meet them both while they're studying in college and though Jane's friend who brings her to a social event is annoyed that they've stumbled into a veritable den of nerds, Jane (Felicity Jones) is immediately drawn to Stephen (Eddie Redmayne) and they talk for hours swiftly becoming college sweethearts. These early scenes are crucial to the success of the film, setting up as they do an intense reciprocal love that will then be challenged again and again as Stephen is diagnosed with "motor neuron disease" which we now call ALS. (There's a handful of signs that something is wrong early on, little twitches and stumbles that are the equivalent of a screen beauty coughing a single drop of blood onto her kerchief. ) The actors have undeniable chemistry and you understand when Jane impulsively decides to marry a man the doctors tell her will be dead in just two years.

Stephen falls apart as he loses control of his body

The doctors were wrong as it turns out and the famous physicist is actually still alive today in 2014! So the Hawking marriage stretches on and they have children and the film leaps forward until Stephen can no longer function on his own but sits in a wheelchair being spoonfed his meals. Eddie Redmayne proves himself a great physical actor here, ably translating the betrayals of Hawking's body for us. I would have liked to see what he could do with a more gradually declining physicality (the film is in favor of time jumps) but people like transformations and Edde performs the trick starting out as a gangly student and then contorted and trapped in a wheelchair, his great mind still active and his speech more and more illegible. Meanwhile the strain of being mother, nursemaid, wife, and everything all at once is wearing Jane down until she meets a kindly choir conductor at church named Jonathan (Charlie Cox) who is a widower and agrees to help the family. Stephen, initially wary, decides to like him too (there's just a great moment between the two actors involving a spoonful of peas that is just adorable). Naturally this works for a time but isn't a long term solution.

The best thing about The Theory of Everything, which is handsomely mounted, beautifully scored, and well acted but hemmed in by its stereotypical Oscar baitiness, is its clear-eyed look at a complicated difficult marriage. Felicity Jones is particularly strong in her early scenes, shocked by this rug pulled out from under her but defiantly charging ahead into a difficult life. Unfortunately the film also wants to be about Hawking's brilliance as a physicist and these competing demands mean the film has to hedge and shortcut its way through the story, with sudden realizations, big time jumps, montages, and the like. But whenever it threatens to become just a "and then this happened... and then this happened... and then this happened" biopic, the chemistry between the principles rescues it. 

It earns its admittedly sentimental ending but the golden hue is really overdoing it, people! (And by people I mean director James Marsh and cinematographer Benoit Delhomme). The film is beautifully even-handed, all told, celebrating both Jane and Stephen's hard-won triumphs and stamina.

*I don't actually know what I'm talking about there so that sentence could read all wrong because math is jibberish to me. I had such trouble with it in school.


GradeB but the romantic drama is stronger than the grade implies 
Oscar Chances: Most definitely and in nearly all categories but particularly likely in Actor, Actress, and Original Score (Johan Johansson). 

LET'S TALK BEST ACTOR
While both Redmayne and Cumberbatch will likely face off at the Golden Globes and the Oscars, it's no done deal yet. In super competitive years shocking omissions are always possible. Still, Eddie Redmayne playing Stephen Hawking is the nearest the category has to a "lock" given that a) he's very good in the movie but mostly b) male actors get an automatic Oscar advantage when they play disabled characters; it's the transformative male equivalent that the dread "de-glamming" is for female actors. Benedict Cumberbatch may well have a trickier path to a nomination with a  less showy role. Turing is a fascinating character but he's also reserved and secretive so Benedict isn't truly able to chew the scenery, which Oscar prefers, but nibble at it daintily and interiorize his hunger for it. 

In this early round of battle, Redmayne has the definite realistic edge but I think I prefer Cumberbatch. I'll happily see both again to determine my actual vote.

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Reader Comments (43)

Let's not forget that Cumberbatch has Harvey behind him.

(And just from my TIFF outsider perspective, I feel like I've heard more about The Theory of Everything as a film but Cumberbatch's acting job.)

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I also think Cumberbatch will have the easier road to a nom. He triumphed over a some big names at the Emmy's and there is a lot of cross over with the Academy.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Evan & Henry --but every single headline and review about THEORY OF EVERYTHING mentions the word "transformative" in regards to Eddie's work. and at least on the ground here I heard nothing but "oohs" and "aahs" about his work. And "transformed!!!" is the #1 thing that gets actors nominations... for women that means daring to look less attractive. For men that means playing someone with physical or mental disabilities. I think this is strange but this is how Oscar is.

but yeah, they're both definitely threats for gold. But damn this year has a lot of seemingly strong contenders: MURRAY, FIENNES, KEATON, SPALL coule be in with the right campaigns... CHANNING & CARELL... EDDIE & BENEDICT. Plus the rising stars like maybe JACK O'CONNELL, CHADWICK BOSEMAN and DAVID OYELOWO

September 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

It's disappointing to hear that the The Theory of Everything gives equal weight to the Hawkings' relationship as well as Stephen's accomplishments in theoretical physics and cosmology; it would have been a much more interesting film if they had focused solely on their relationship and how it evolved over time. I say this after recently having watched A Brief HIstory of Time which goes into great detail about his life and career but is surprisingly light regarding his relationship with Jane.

As far as potential Oscars go, I'm gonna have to go with Cumberbatch having an easier path to a nomination mainly because he has the higher profile of the two.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

Nat, I would love to see Redmayne get a nom, I just think it will be harder for him than Cumberboy. Consider that Moore is being talked as the closest to a sure thing for the win for playing a disable woman in Still Alice I'm not sure, with such a strong field of male leads, the Academy will feel the need to put another disabled character on the list. I know Still Alice still needs a distributor, but it looks like an easy sell, especially as the women's field is so weak and Redmayne will be looked at as having many more opportunities. I wouldn't be surprised to see Harvey pick Alice up.

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Nat (or anybody else): Have you seen Hawking, a 2004 BBC TV movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch? I read somewhere recently that he was better than Redmayne in the role, although that may have been merely snark. (I haven't seen it, so I can't say.) But I couldn't help thinking what an interesting element that would make in an awards campaign...

September 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

"LET'S TALK BEST ACTOR"

Words rarely uttered on the Film Experience (natch)

So if Amy Adams gets her sixth nomination and Julianne Moore gets her fifth nomination this year (Big Eyes and Still Alice respectively), what happens next?

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I think Adams is a long shot. First: It's a Burton Film (take 6 steps away from the podium, especially in light of his recent films). Second: Burton has only directed two actors to nominations despite an extensive filmography (take another 6 steps back). Third: Both those nominations were for men (another two steps), Fourth: One of those was for Depp who at the time, could be nominated for a sneeze and the other had a healthy dose of career achievement and was a supporting nom. (those last two steps into the orchestra pit). This might be the film that puts him (and Adams) in the forefront, but the odds are against it.

Moore also has the advantage of Maps which will not get an Oscar campaign but has lots of buzz. Remember Keaton had Goodbar and Annie Hall in the same year.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Maps' release has been moved to 2015, so unless Focus gives it a weeklong qualifying run in LA in December, Moore will only have one film—if that—in the conversation this year.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

So interesting to me that Redmayne, Cumberbatch and Carrell seem to be the most likely names in Actor so far this year. I haven't seen any of the films but based on their previous work, it would be nice to see these guys honored.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

They have already announced that they won't be doing an Oscar campaign for Maps (money reasons) but will for all the critics and guilds. They are planning the qualifying runs otherwise. It was reported on Gold Derby

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

It'd be funny if we end up with an all never-previously nominated Best Actor lineup. Almost all of the big contenders (so far) have not been nominated: REDMAYNE, CUMBERBATCH, CARRELL, KEATON, OYELOWO, O'CONNOR, SPALL, ISAAC, MOLINA. And those contender who have been nominated are all non-winners: FIENNES, PHOENIX, LITHGOW, MURRAY, PITT.

Also, I don't think Moore will ever win. She's long past her prime years (94-02), while Adams, however much she might seem to be turning into a Glenn Close, is still peaking. (For the record, my saying that Moore won't ever win doesn't mean that she never deserved or will deserve to win. In my books, she should have easily won in 94, 95, and 02.)

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

For anyone interested in other Alan-Turing Media, Codebreaker is quite good and is on Netflix right now. It's half documentary (of the cradle-to-grave sort), half speculative dramatization of conversations between Turing and his therapist. Ed Stoppard (most recently of revamped Upstairs-Downstairs) plays Turing and is really credible. Based on Nat's description, he plays a less irascible Turing than Cumberbatch does. I would recommend it.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmory

"Benedict isn't truly able to chew the scenery, which Oscar prefers, but nibble at it daintily and interiorize his hunger for it" - This made me laugh out loud! :D

I'm looking forward to both of these and think both men have shots at a nom, but I'm most confident about Cumberbatch because he is such a big name at the moment and also because of WWII as Oscar catnip

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMysjkin

Redmayne may star in Theory of Everything , but Cumberbatch has been in *everything* in the last couple of years. Without have seen either film yet I do agree that Redmayne has a more "nominable" role but hope Cumberbatch, who I think is a better actor, will get in before him.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Benedict Cumberbatch IS better than Eddie Redmayne in the role of Stephen Hawking. That's what's going to be galling if Eddie wins. Redmayne knows the BBC production well and would have got so many clues about playing the role from Cumberbatch. Apparently he even talked to him about the role!!

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJessicaB

Well, John Hawkes was the odd man two years ago for The Sessions, so playing disabled characters isn't as much a slam dunk as one would think. Plus he had been nominated more recently and was older than Redmayne.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKacey

I will wait for the films to pass judgement,i for one am a bit sick of these two,two well priveleged,connected,rich men with familys going back years who probably will have no difficuly in getting into the film industry,where are all the struggling better actors in film and theatre whose face i don't know,those who don't get on cos of connections,i'd like to see them in these roles and not 2 familiar faces who quite a lot of people are tired of already and neither are leading man handsome which believe it or not does matter.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

I have enjoyed Cumberbatch in a few things but some over exposure is due as for Redmayne never impressed with him in anything plus I can't seee Hawking just an actor ACTING,good luck to him.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermark

Looking at the title of this post I thought you were going the way of this hilarious Vulture article,

http://www.vulture.com/2014/09/this-is-where-i-leave-you-the-same.html


But wouldn't it be funny if all of the Best Actor noms went to folks playing real people (MLK, Turin, Hawking, Zamperini, the Schultz bros, DuPont)? 2014 would definitely be the year of the biopic.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I would love for both of these men to get Oscar nominations. I love their work. I think Tumblr might explode though.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrittani

Pam -- i don't know if i'd call that funny ;) It's such a blight on Oscar (and well Hollywood in general that doesn'tt create enough great original characters) that they always have to go there.

Kacey -- it's true. No Oscar gimmick is a sure thing. But some are surer than others.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I fell hard for The Imitation Game and Benedict and Keira. It moves along and is emotional and touching and so well made. I get some of the criticism about maybe being conventional or as mentioned here "tidy". But it was a great time at the movies, telling such a good story, well told with recognizable characters and actors doing their best work.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I don't think Moore will ever win. She's long past her prime years (94-02), while Adams, however much she might seem to be turning into a Glenn Close, is still peaking.

Glenn Close is a premiere actress. Amy Adams is not. Julianne Moore can have an Oscar. But due to age it will be in the supporting category.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

3rtful: Dude. Please stop.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Volvagia: Your sensibilities were offended how by that post?

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

While the odds and history may point to Moore, Adams and Close having a harder time taking home the little gold man, their talent says otherwise. Susan Sarandon is the prime example of how there are no hard and fast rules (there are other actresses in a similar position--Sig Weaver anyone?). In this year, I think Moore does have an advantage of not having been nominated in recent years (despite some worthy roles--A Single Man comes to mind), a career of great perfs and two high profile films and recognition from Cannes. It could so easily be her year. The film just needs to be screened.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Like Nathaniel, I'd put my money on Eddie Redmayne at this point. I think Cumberbatch is well regarded but has he really had a movie yet that showed up on the Academy's radar? I can't really recall any.

But Eddie was probably at least seen in My Week With Marilyn (or whatever it was called) and I imagine he came in about 10th to 15th in the voting that year. And I think he had an even better shot in Les Miserables. I bet he came in 6th to 10th for that one.

Admittedly a Best Actor nom is more difficult to attain, but he's in the right kind of role so it really depends on the competition and the campaign. It should be fun to watch.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

murtada - i think my review comes off a little grumpy. I did enjoy watching it for sure.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

Just to add a little more fuel to the fire for 3rtful, Volvagia and Henry - some of us out here believe that Moore is one of THE premiere actresses of our time - that Adams is remarkably fine and has shown immense range in the last few years - and that Close has been appropriately recognized. I am quite comfortable with Glenn Close never winning a competitive Oscar. But, of course, all three women are accomplished actresses and people who deserve respect and appreciation.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

Being "transformative" is not just a thing for men only.
Theron was super transformative in Monsters, Helen Mirren in The Queen, or Cotillard in La Vie en Rose, even Meryl as the old Margaret Thatcher. (both latter films also won the Make Up Oscars) Just four examples of the last 8 years.
They do love their actresses young and beautiful, but they also liked it when they do "transform" themselves.

About Moore.... Well, I think her only rival this year might be Rosamund Pike.
Pike's role, or at least the nature of it could turn male voters off. On the other hand Moore's role is very subtile and while that could be really touching, roles like that rarely win anymore.... But I wish her all the best.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonja

I am still pissed that Hawkes did not get in for The Sessions--he deserved a nom.

I'm saying this before seeing the fall films, but I think Chadwick Boseman had a good shot. He's terrific in a role that could have been caricature. But he completely inhabited that crazy guy and made him human. Not to mention showing unbelievable star power.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

sorry, meant "has a good shot", not "had."

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

brookesboy, at this stage, the best Boseman he can hope is a GG nom. The film had worse reviews -Usually a handicap in Best Actor category- and was a box office failure. With this current competition -And let's see if Oyelowo can break the trend- Boseman is now a longshot.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

I just don't think these two are getting in at the same time. Cumberbore has Harvey. Also, he's older than fish face Eddie. When it comes to Best Actor category, the voters tend to prefer veterans. To me, Eddie is like a teen idol. One level up from Efron. Plus the British votes will be on Cumberbore's side.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterseesaw

Leon: And even that's not entirely likely. Even if none of them get to Oscar, there are four EASY calls for the Musical/Comedy Globe right now:

Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
James Franco, The Interview
Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy
Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel

As for slot 5? The easiest bet would be Keaton to round out the set, but I wouldn't be surprised if Justin Long (Tusk) winds up with a surprise nomination there, especially since Keaton didn't get the Venice win.

Drama Lead Actor?

David Oyelowo, Selma
James McAvoy, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them
Adam Driver, Hungry Hearts (mostly bolstered by the Venice win)
Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher

Other slot? Depends, but if Blackhat goes for a qualifying run, that's a potential genuine Oscar nuke, at least as far as a Best Picture front-runner goes, even if it's not in the hunt for any ACTING wins, and an almost certain GG Drama nomination.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

billybil-I'm not sure what fire you think you are adding fuel too in regards to myself. I'm in complete agreement with you in regards to Moore, Adams and Close (I think my posts bear this out) except I would like to see Close win. I think she deserves it. She just needs a role and sadly, they don't seem to be going her way.

I'm looking at Moore and Adam's chances this year from a purely statistical standpoint taking them as equally talented (I don't exactly believe that, but talent is not a factor here, political position and outside factors are). Adams has been nominated the last several years. On the cocktail circuit, it's going to be "Here she comes again. We like her, but familiarity and all that." while Moore will be a relatively fresh face. And a deserving one. Adams could do with a year without a nomination and the Burton film could be just the trick. If it fails to produce, Adams won't be blamed, Burton will. She is a very hard worker which will always be respected and it will leave her fresh for a "comeback" with another project the next year. Of course, both films have to open for any of this to be valid and nothing is certain about qualifying until the house lights go dark.

And please, no one bring Streep's constant nominations into this. She is an exception. I think Close was hurt by the "Always a Bridesmaid" thing that is looking to be Adams' future.

Cumberbore? I find him anything but boring even when he is playing a go nowhere role like the one he had in 12YaS. And Redmayne is going to be considered one of the best actors of the next several decades.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Leon, I think the flood of biopics will work in Chad's favor. As the nominators will weed through all these heavy characterizations, some of which will naturally be irresistible to them, they will see Mr. Boseman as a chance to infuse the Best Actor category with some much needed variety among the two or three biography picks. After all, his performance is hitting a lot of notes--some of them actually musical. That could possibly sway them.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Justin Long a Globe Best Actor nominee and Eddie Redmayne one of the greats of his generation... It's enough to make me want to take a long sabbatical from movie-going. To think I'm stuck with this, while my grandma got to watch Grant and Stewart.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

brookesboy. Sorry for busting the bubble of hope. Not only he has all these obstacles -Terrible film and a big flop at box office- Universal will prefer to support his other films. Keaton and Phoenix are more likely to win the GG in C/M -And inject some comedic edge to dramatic wave-. Also Boseman is still a newcomer. This year is full of new blood in the Actor category -Cumberbatch, Redmayne, O'Connell, Oyelowo even Isaac-. The newcomers need the film and the impact, and Boseman hasn't none of these elements in favor. Yes, he has excellent reviews but also Oscar Isaac last year, Ryan Gosling in 2011 and others, Best Actor is a difficult category and normally the category is related to the picture weight.

Volvagia - Lol I still remember when you predicted Leslie Mann at the oscars even when she has no shot two years ago:

-Keaton didn't win Venice? Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Judi Dench and others, and still all of them were Oscar nominees -Portman is a winner-.
-When was the last time the HFPA did care about a Marvel film? Not even "The Avengers" in 2012 got a nom. At best Pratt has a shot in BFCA as an Actor in an Action Film
-Adam Driver? Hungry Hearts doesn't even have an US distributor

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLeon

Leon: As far as the Marvel getting the nomination? Well, St. Vincent is too contentious to happen (it's a movie where Bill Murray takes a 12 year old to a strip club and the movie isn't about punishing him for being creepy as crap). But about those other examples: NONE OF THEM WERE META-PERFORMANCES. The Academy has a proven track record of disinterest in those (John Malkovich in Being John Malkovich, anyone?), such that I'm pretty darn sure that, if any performance/film NEEDED that Venice win to be any sort of sure thing for the Globe, let alone Oscar, it was Keaton's. As far as Hungry Hearts not having a US distributor? It might not have one RIGHT NOW, but it WILL, probably within the next couple weeks to at least mount a qualifying run.

So, if I were to posit a full ordered top 10 list (my list before wasn't actually ordered.)

1. Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice (again, safe on paper bet due to the director and subject involved)
2. James Franco, The Interview (I only started to become fully confident in this one's awards chances after they scheduled it for Christmas, but since it now is there, it's an obvious pick for the Globe)
3. Ralph Fiennes, The Grand Budapest Hotel (Early year success from a respected actor, even if I don't fully get what the big deal was.)
4. Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy (Huge hit, endearing media presence, most openly comedic of these Marvel Studios pieces yet produced)
5. Michael Keaton, Birdman (borderline, and possibly could get an upset against him due to the Venice loss mixed with the meta-performance nature.)
6. Justin Long, Tusk (if they want something really dark/more serious on their ballot and don't want to nominate a commercial failure or a borderline masturbatory turn, this is the likeliest upset to Keaton)
7. Chadwick Boseman, Get On Up (If they have enough of a memory to nominate a prestigious financial failure from early August.)
8. Bill Murray, St. Vincent (If they're seriously charmed by the movie's wildly flawed perspective on this simultaneously massively creepy and massively generic character.)
9. Seth Rogen, The Interview (If they actually want both leads from The Interview, instead of just one.)
10. Tom Cruise, Edge of Tomorrow (Because you can never completely disregard the Globes biting on Tom Cruise.)

(Understand this: In theory, the fourth and fifth slot right now could be anyone from 4-9 in my estimation, it's just that 4-6 are the three most likely for those two slots. 10's just there as an extreme surprise to stretch the prediction list to 10.)

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Even John Malkovich got three noms including one acting nom and Inarritu track record said otherwise. And that's not saying this is perhaps no.1-2 spot by Fox Searchlight. Maybe not meta performance but that was exactly the same criticism with Portman's chances -It's a psycho sexual horror film-.

About Hungry Hearts, if you're dismissed Birdman for meta elements Volvagia, you drop this film. Not only the reviews were mixed -With press questioning the acting prizes- but also the film is anti-AMPAS material.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up Still Alice to mount a proper and competitive campaign for Julianne Moore.

September 11, 2014 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

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