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Oscar Scuttlebutt: Hateful Eight, Best Actress, and More

Nathaniel, popping in from a busy AFI schedule to gossip with you!  

One of the best things about this annual trip to Los Angeles, besides meeting West Coast fans and spending time with rarely seen LA friends, is hearing the gossip around the Oscar campaigns and individual opinions on the movie. As I suspected Youth resonates with a lot of people in the industry. I've always thought the Oscar conversations on the internet are sleeping on this one because it's a) not in theaters yet and b) skews older than active rooting interests of typical online communities. Also extremely happy to report that people in town seem more confident in Charlotte Rampling's prospects for a 45 Years nomination than I have previously been. She's getting a tribute at the AFI and Kirsten Dunst is even hosting a party in her honor this weekend.

Now, one must always take every anecdote and opinion with a whole block of salt since one man's treasure is another's junk, some assumptions will always be proven wrong, and depending on who is talking there may be an agenda floating around, visible or well hidden. Here are some tidbits you may be interested in though keep in mind that it's all just hearsay after the jump...

• "working hard for it" - Blythe Danner (I'll See You In My Dreams)
• "wants it too much" - Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy)
• Pics to Beat: Spotlight, The Martian, Room... though people disagree on the order.
• [Confidence] "he/she's going to win!" - Ridley Scott (The Martian) and Brie Larson (Room)

• Can't get a bead on: CarolBrooklyn and Bridge of Spies prospects. Most people I've spoken with really like them but I usually had to bring them up, rather than the other way around.
• Random Revenant conversations: "I'm hearing good things about Tom Hardy" and the typical "is it finally Leo's year?" the latter of which seems to have no connection to the actual movie. It's like a conversation that gets stuck on loop each year.
• Doesn't want to work for it but won't have to: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)
• Willing to work for it (as we've seen in the past) but possiblyt oo busy: Eddie Redmayne (Danish Girl)
• Not All That Surprising Rumor Except Maybe to the Internet: No one cares that Steve Jobs had trouble at the box office - the Academy likes it.

• Amusing Rumor: Joy still isn't close to being finished
• Less Amusing Rumor: Joy and Hateful Eight 'it's 'fine'... not great'
• Walton Goggins as "The Sheriff" is the MVP of Hateful Eight (heard this from multiple sources: I'll add him to the next supporting chart update!)
• Johnny Depp still in it -- people apparently actually like Black Mass
• Total disagreements as to how much of a nomination threat they are: Carey Mulligan (Suffragette), Sir Ian McKellen (Mr Holmes), Lily Tomlin (Grandma), Joan Allen (Room -- perhaps I was wrong on this one, people. Apologies), Dame Maggie Smith (Lady in the Van), Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), and George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road)

P.S. Finally here are the movies that I haven't heard mentioned even once in conversation in any capacity which may or may not mean anything:  Beasts of No Nation, AnomalisaInside Out, and Sicario 

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Reader Comments (39)

I've been saying, I think Sicario is way overrated. No shot for Emily and a Del Toro nomination is mystifying to me.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

I'm very worried for Sicario. Such an excellent movie but it did less than spectacularly at the box office, and no one is talking about it anymore.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I hope you're doing your due diligence and reminding people that Danish Girl and Carol have two leads. Let's make a little space for Joan Allen, people!

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Del Toro deserves his second Oscar for Sicario. I cpuld fell my heart skipping beats just because of his presence - and that is not coasting on charisma. His presence is character work, as we see when the movie shows the details of the part. I like the way that, in the end, his menacing presence feels like the result of everything we know about him without the movie making him to play his grief and pain. It's just there and we know it.

Sometimes we forget what a wonderful and incredible actor he is. Can anyone remember his criminally underrated work in Things We Lost in The Fire? I saw that movie again a few months ago and hus performance was just mind-blowing.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Re: Youth - As long as Simple Song #3 is performed on Oscar night - I am good.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph W

Can Fonda really get that nom,is Winslet cooling off in supporting making room for Walters,Banks & Allen.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMARK

I think Lily Tomlin has a great shot at that Best Actress nod but sadly, I think Blythe Danner is going to miss the cut. The film was too lightweight. I have never been a fan of Elizabeth Banks but I was quite impressed with her work in "Love & Mercy" (and that film should be generating a lot more attention - it was really good!).

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnthony

This is fascinating - thanks!

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBD

Interesting that no one mentioned Inside Out. Maybe it doesn't have the staying power that Toy Story 3 and Up (which both got nominated under the 10 rules) had. And maybe a female protagonist isn't going to help its case. Maybe it's not a Best Picture play at all. Hmm.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

P.S. Love this piece overall. Pundits seem to be so cagey with their gossip. Good to see it all laid out.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

So very happy to hear about the seemingly rising tide of support for Charlotte Rampling. To say she is both deserving and overdue is gross understatement.

Would also love to see Tom Hardy in the mix. He's that rare bird, an effortlessly comfortable action star who is also an extremely good actor as well and works at both strengths.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Gold Derby has Samuel L. Jackson in lead for Hateful 8. Is that true? I haven't seen anywhere else how his campaign will head.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

Having actually seen the films in question, I surprised myself when I decided that Blythe was the most deserving of the nomination, based on performance alone, of her, Tomlin, and Rampling.

Emily Blunt deserves to be farther ahead in the conversation than Brie Larson; people are more amped up about the idea of the film and its performances than what's actually there, I found.

I think we'll see Banks at a few critics nods and the Globes, but I don't see her sticking around to the end.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

That look that Blythe is giving in that picture? That, except when Joy and Hateful Eight get lots of nominations despite not being finished until super late when last year that was given as the excuse for SELMA's disappointing showing.

Watching YOUTH earlier this week and it's so obvious who will be into that film. I wasn't, but hard to see Hollywood oldies falling for it. "Simple Song #3" was woeful. There's a reason opera like that shouldn't be sung in English.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Rampling is astonishing in 45 Years, and massively overdue, not at all surprised to hear many voters think the same.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

"Joy still isn't close to being finished"... but " 'it's 'fine'... not great"

Sorry... but this is hilarious. Incoherent or just fear from studio rivals? Trying too hard.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCary

I saw The Dressmaker in a packed cinema last night. The trailer for Joy played beforehand. It created a lot of discussion ('What is the movie about?' 'OMG! Isabella Rossellini!'), but the man a couple of rows behind me made me laugh - "How old is J-Law in Joy? She is always playing older people! Is she older in this one or younger as well? Or just her age? I NEVER KNOW HOW OLD SHE IS MEANT TO BE!!".

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEz

Amazing Charlotte Rampling performance in 45 years deserves be nominated at Oscar or even wins it.
I think The Hateful Eight will not be equal successful like last two Tarantino movies. Also 'Joy' doesn't look interesting at all and the ensemble is very boring.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSleyton

My latest speculation: "Carol" could be this year's critical darling that just doesn't get traction. The Academy doesn't have the best track record lately with women's stories, or with Todd Haynes in general.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave S.

Cary -- that's the joy of gossip: incoherent so who do you trust?

November 11, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Hah, either there's something really bad going on with Joy behind the scenes, or the rival studios are afraid of it and working the rumor mill. There's plausible evidence for both scenarios. On the one hand, the unsubstantiated rumor Kris Tapley put out about Fox considering pushing Joy to 2016 turned out to be bullshit (and Peter Hammond recently sassed Tapley for buying that bullshit in a recent article). On the other hand, several test screenings of the film have happened with very different cuts.

It's also interesting to me that, apparently, the industry still likes Steve Jobs, even when it's readily apparent the public's indifferent and the media is actively against it now. Can they continue to champion it while all the media coverage is negative, and the chatter outside the bubble amounts to a giant MEH. I guess, but that would be really stubborn of them, and contribute to the (possibly valid) perception of AMPAS as hopelessly out of touch.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbanzai

The thing about STEVE JOBS is that after last year and WHIPLASH... maybe they really just don't care. WHIPLASH made less than STEVE JOBS has, although it never went wide. It was still seen as a disappointment though and then it went and won three Oscars.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

banzai -- i wonder, though, why the media is actively against it. they get such weird agendas. but i hate "out of touch" arguments because in many ways the public is "out of touch" when it comes to what constitutes quality in filmmaking. They'd rather best picture was CG toons, superhero pictures, and franchises each year. in some ways the Oscar conversation is the only conversation that even convinces the public to try movies that AREN'T franchises out.

so i say it's a public service, the Oscar competition :)

November 11, 2015 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Walton Goggins has been an absolute terrific TV actor for over a decade. Nice to see him building a more than solid film career for himself too! Always enjoy seeing that crossover happen successfully.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

I find it really hard to stomach that THE MARTIAN has this much traction. My gut is telling me it'll fade away - I mean, the Academy already went pretty hard for GRAVITY in the last few years which is vastly superior - but if it doesn't, I'm conflicted. Should I be mad a merely adequate film be nominated, or pleased that sci-fi keeps making inroads into the Best Picture conversation? Either way, the idea that it's more worthy than FURY ROAD is a bit of a joke.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLaurence

Fingers crossed for a Blythe Danner nomination. Loved, loved, loved that performance! Even if Brie Larson seems locked for the win, I want to be able to see the phrase "Blythe Danner, Academy Award Nominee" written everywhere from nomination day onwards.

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterKen

I also think The Martian is woefully overestimated. Random, but it reminds me of when people were calling Robert Redford a lock for the win for "All is Lost". Sure it'll do well on nomination morning, but I think it'll be lucky to make the Best Picture lineup. It's no "Gravity".

November 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Elizabeth Banks absolutely deserves a nomination...and maybe the win.

I'm seeing Spotlight this weekend, and I'm thinking Michael Keaton will have headlined consecutive BPs.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I really loved Blythe Danner in her movie, and I hope that happens... Though there were a lot of actresses I've really loved. What happened to Juliette Binoche? Hers was the perf that actually felt at the time like it would last until the oscars. Is Larson really locked for the win? I have a hard time with that assertion this early. JLaw hogging a slot again this year, with this embarrassment of riches, would be really annoying, unless she's amazing.

The Martian seemed very Academyish, even as light as it was. It wore the "uplifting triumph of the human spirit" label proudly and joyfully for all to see. Apollo 13 with more humor.

I wish Nasty Baby could win oscars, but alas... Still reeling from the F***ING AMAZINGness of that one.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterAdam K

I am beyond delighted to read that about Charlotte Rampling!! She is phenomenal and humble and fiercely intelligent in general and about her craft in particular (have you seen THE LOOK?) and I really want that to be widely recognized.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLeehee

I think the critics got it right with Sicario, it's not a masterpiece but it's definitely above "very good". What weirds me out is people finding Blunt "amazing, extraordinary, etc." in the film, she's not given enough to work with. I also have a huge issue with the fact that they turn her into a doormat eventually. I adore her, she's easily one of my favorite actresses but no Oscar nom for this performance, thank you.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Rampling is in!

Also, I'm gonna be ballsy and predict that the Academy shuts out Rooney Mara and doesn't buy her as Sup Actress in Carol.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Yavor, but that is entirely the point of Blunt's character. That she becomes (and is that way the entire time, basically) insubstantial to the FBI's mission. They are literally using her their way in and discarding her at a moment's notice. Her realization that she was never an invested party is what anchors the final act as she tries and fails to do something about it but realizes she can't. That her entire involvement was for nothing.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Well, I for one am glad if STEVE JOBS (which I just saw) is still in the mix, because it deserved a much better reception than it's been getting from the public. I think it may be more of a subject matter issue than anything else - neither my husband nor any of my usual movie-watching pals had any interest because they think Jobs' life has been milked enough already and no one wants to watch a movie about an asshole. (funny, I thought antiheros were "in" right now, but maybe that's only on TV?)

Of course, once I finally dragged my husband to it he admitted it was good, which I think just proves my point.

I'm bummed I missed "I'll See You in My Dreams" in theaters (another movie I couldn't get anyone to see with me, probably because it's not really aimed at 30somethings) - will have to catch on DVD.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

I don't understand all this love around Blythe Danner.. I like her and i think is so important to have people that write parts for older actors and actresses. But in the end the film and Blythe's performance are so weak when competing with films like Room, Carol, Brooklyn and even Suffragette. By the way I think Charlotte Rampling, Maggie Smith or Lily Tomlin have better chances to be nominated.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEdu Galhardo

Kind of bummed to see that people might not be enthusiastic about Brooklyn. If people haven't seen it, that's one thing, but if they have, I would think they'd go for it. Isn't it from the youthful era of a lot of the voters? :-)

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Hollywood

@Joe, you're right The Martian is no Gravity...The Martian actually has a screenplay.

November 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJase

Really glad that the Globes decided to say NO to Mara and Vikander campaining in the supporting category ... But where were they when Roberts campaigned in that category for August? Anyway, it's good to know we'll have a chance to see actual "supporting" players in their own category ! Let's hope the AMPAS do the same !

November 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterClément@Paris

I really hope that with Vikander and Mara out of the supporting 'chat' Dame-to-be-Winslet will win every single shit until the Oscars.

I want her for the second!!!

Honor to listen that Almost-God-Rampiling will be remembered. I hope the she wins to.


My girls on the leasing category

November 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterBrendan

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