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Ritesh Batra on Photograph


Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)
Christian Petzoldt (Transit)
Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Toni Collette (Hereditary)
Glenn Close (The Wife)

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43 Days 'til Oscar

The countdown is progressing. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences only have 3 more days to turn in their nomination ballots. We're getting worried about a really uninspiring Supporting Actress race made up of mostly leading roles. Voters, there are so many great women that are not leads to choose from, you know? You never ever ever need to cheat and shove leading roles in there. If you love a leading lady you're supposed to vote for her in Best Actress, not Supporting.

Since 43 is the number of the day, our minds are thrown back to the Smackdown of 1943. That was so much fun and yours truly fell so hard for Paulette Godard. Your favourite series will return next month. We begin with the 2018 Smackdown in February (we're just waiting to find out who the nominees are!) and then the new season kicks off with the long delayed 1972 episode. Dates TBA. 

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Reader Comments (19)

I would rather have someone like Jennifer Garner in LOVE, SIMON than the girls from THE FAVOURITE

At least it would be honorable

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPatagonia

Imagine if the Smackdown stats for 2018: “Emma Stone, The Favourite, 88% of screen time”

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

David -- well, nothing will ever top Tatum O' Neal in Paper Moon who i think was 99% of screen time. There is literally only one scene in the movie (and it's about one minute long) that she's not in. :)

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

i totally agree about the uninspiring BSA race. i think an argument can be made for rachel weisz in supporting, and if so, i think she gives the year's best performance in that category. regina king is great in her big scene, but she has very little to do, a character to play where we don't get to see dimensions, and it's nothing we haven't seen her play before on it's a tad depressing that she's the front-runner (not a reflection on her as an actress...she's wonderful...but twenty years from now, new audiences would be like, wait, she won an Oscar for that?). claire foy does miracles with a limited role on paper, as does nicole kidman. sakura ando is fantastic in shoplifters, and ana girardot creates a beautifully complex character in back to burgundy...but foreign supporting performances almost never make it all the way unless the actor is famous (penelope cruz, robert de niro, etc.). but it's a bit of a bummer race this year, for sure.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEricB

I saw The Favourite. To me -it’s Rachel Weisz’s story, with cousin Emma and Queen Olivia in her orbit. Thus, Rachel should be in Lead, Emma & Olivia in Supporting. It’s depressing when the marketers do their ‘shell game’ by manipulating the Fraud for betting chances.
Ditto for Green Book. Viggo and Mahersala should both be in Lead. Jessica Tandy and/or Morgan Freeman weren’t Frauded downwards for better results ( Driving Miss Daisy).

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

It'd be sad if Rooney Mara in Carol or Rachel Weisz in The Favourite had to go nomination-less so that studios could learn their lesson about category fraud. If a contingent of anti-fraud voters tried to correct things, that would probably be the outcome: insufficient critical mass in either category.

Winslet and Castle-Hughes are the only examples I can think of when Academy voters rallied to correct category fraud. The latter seems like a fluke and the former was a case of getting Kate a statue at any cost.

At the end of the day, I think voters tick the box for their favorite performances where they're most likely to get recognized. Studios pick the terms on that front. So I don't blame the Oscar voters so much as the FYC campaigns, and the critics groups who have no excuse.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

I think The Favourite’s trio of above-title actresses are all lead—this isn’t a Tom Jones situation—so can’t really justify Weisz as supporting. And O’Neal is clearly the winner of the Academy’s ignominious Best Actress in a Role Played by Someone Too Young for Hollywood to Take Seriously as Lead Even Though She Obviously Is award of 1973.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

@TOM: Wow, it's like we saw different films. It was more Emma's story than anyone else's, and I thought the least Rachel's.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

"The Favourite" was definitely Emma Stone's character's story.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJane

THE FAVOURITE's fucked up idea of proto-feminism is appalling. Women just being nasty to each other. That¡s all. Sexual politics, my ass.
On these shores, Lanthimos is considered a charlatan. I guess American audiencied dig him.

We no entender.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Hayden-but if they were good enough to make it, then they would be nominated. I'd happily replace, say, Jennifer Lawrence in 2015 with Rooney Mara. But it's unfair for someone like Kristen Stewart or Rose Byrne that year who gave bravura work that they have to compete against Mara's clearly lead work. Just because someone isn't nominated doesn't mean that they aren't worthy of an Oscar, it's just that there were more than five terrific performances that year.

In regard to other people's comments about The Favourite leads, I think it feels pretty clear that it's a three lead performance, and we wouldn't be debating this if, say, one of these people were male (if Weisz's part was played by Daniel Craig, he'd be going for lead actor). There are performances this year that feel questionable, like Wolff in Hereditary (where he only becomes lead arguably at the end) or Erivo in El Royale (where you could sincerely argue there's no lead character in the film) or Miranda in Mary Poppins (his character feels so ancillary to the main plot that I could see it going either way), but The Favourite seems pretty cut-and-dry to me. Same with Chalamet, Ali, McAdams, and Mackenzie-they're all lead performances, and I think stretching is more because Best Actress is having one of those years where people want to nominate 6-7 actors and only have five slots.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

The three women of The Favourite are all leads. End of discussion.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Category fraud shows the Oscars at its most irritatingly competitive. It's as if publicists and/or actors say "we need to do all we can to get an Oscar for our film even if it means a leading performance taking up a spot that should by rights go to a genuinely supporting performance".

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Even if the 3 actresses in The Favourire are all Leads, is it a crime to nominate all of them in that top slot? Seems that there’s too much hyper-sensitivity over the end results in certain parties don’t make the cut. Are they voting on ‘acting’ or ‘inclusion politics.’
*Between Emma and Rachel’s onscreen rivalry, the ‘favourite’ of the 2 (spoiler) seems to be Rachel. To me, that’s why she is the Lead-like Tom Jones-and the other 2 are in her orbit. I do agree that the 3 together aren’t Tom Jones supporting roles. Olivia definitely fits the Supporting model of that film, yet is being regulated to Lead. Does the studio thinks that’s the place for the win, against Close and Gaga?

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Category fraud since the 2000 in the supporting actress category:

Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
Rooney Mara - Carol
Julia Roberts - August: Osage County
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl (won)
Catherine Zeta-Jones - Chicago (won)
Julianne Moore - The Hours
Viola Davis - Fences (won)

In the mix:
Jennifer Connelly - A Beautiful Mind (won)
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood (won)
Rachel Weisz - The Constant Gardner (won)

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

My fren who saw The Favourite thot Colman is actually more supporting than Emma.

I believe Fox's initiate plan is to put Colman & Weisz supp & Stone lead, since she is the catalyst and protagonist of the movie. However, after Colman wins at Venice, & w her impending taking over of The Crown, they switch strategy & campaigned Colman Lead & it pays off!! seeing tt now she is winning the lion share of critics' best actress prizes + GG & the upcoming CC & Bafta!


Asian Film Awards just announced & Burning leads w 8 noms, follows by Shoplifters w 6!!

Sakura Ando & Zhao Tao (Ash is Purest White) are both nom in Best Lead Actress!! Yayy!

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Happy for Sakura Ando's nom at ASIAN FILM AWARDS. I hope she will get the price (among Best Actress nominees there's also Samal Yeslyamova for AYKA, who scored the coveted award in Cannes last spring)

But I wanna take this moment to say how much I cherished your love for Goddard in Smackdown of 1943

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

So if Emma Stone is considered the Lead in The Favourite-why is she constantly being nominated by critic groups/other organizations in Supporting? Don’t voters with enough intelligence know the category she belongs in or do they just glance st the marketers FYI ads which shell game voters into placing her in the wrong category. Would her votes be eliminated if enough voters saw through this facade and voted her into Lead (against the marketer’s slick intentions)?

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

Yay! So glad Smackdown '72 is happening! I was just going to leave a comment somewhere asking about it.

January 14, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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