Since there weren't enough prizes in the world for Claire "Temple Grandin" Danes and Kate "Mildred" Winslet, who will be our next "Her, again?" awards gobbler?
Will it be Nicole Kidman in Hemingway & Gellhorn vs. Julianne Moore in Game Change? The last time they faced off in awards season (2002) they were actually co-stars and Nic' won for The Hours (Julianne losing for Far From Heaven and The Hours albeit in two separate categories) . Or will they both be trumped by someone we're not thinking of yet when the Emmys role around in September 2012 and this whole awards circus begins anew?
In this corner, Nicole Kidman as Martha Gelhorn in Hemingway and Gellhorn...
Yes - Philip Kaufman is directing and he's made some amazing films in the past like The Right Stuff and Henry & June. The last time Nicole Kidman lowered her voice this noticeably to play a ballsy writer, she won the Oscar.
No - Isn't there a danger of this gorgeous Star strolling through the rubble of war reminding people of Australia? They didn't much like that one. Four minute trailers always have the problem of making the oncoming product seem overstuffed, unduly episodic and desperate for attention. "And then this happened. And then this happened. And then this happened. And then this happened. Interested? No?" Uh... [Cue: flop sweat, razzle dazzle] Uh... Oh... okay the first part is shit but the second part is REALLY nifty! Ok.... she'd go ♫. I'd go ♫. we'd gooooo. ♫"
Maybe So - The success of this may well rest on the chemistry between Clive Owen and Kidman. Do they have it? And can Clive Owen work his way around the very vivid recent memory of Corey Stoll in this role via Midnight in Paris?
In this corner Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in Game Change...
Yes - It might be fun to watch Juliannne Moore attempt biopic mimicry because it's not the sort of thing she's known for. And at this point we'll take anything that might win her an award. Has there ever been an actress as major who hasn't won any major prizes? She wins nothing. No Emmys, No Globes, No Oscars.
No - "Fair and balanced" has been wiped clean of all meaning ever since Fox News took over the world, but where will this film fall on the scale of fair representation? On the one hand, it might be super to watch a take-down of Sarah Palin. But then again, the target is just so easy so it might feel way too cheap shot-like. On the other, excessive humanization of seemingly soulless political monsters through the magic of warm actresses (see also The Iron Lady) comes with its own queasiness, the humanization of dehumanizing idealogies.
Maybe So - Will anyone be ready to sit through more Sarah Palin when she's been so torturously around ever since 2008? And can Juli work his way around the very vivid recent memory of Tina Fey in this role via Saturday Night Live?
What kind of bet are you laying down?
Better yet, do you see awards attention beyond our leading ladies for these HBO Movies? Both have amazing casts. Hemingway & Gellhorn is giving us Clive Owen, Parker Posey, Robert Duvall, David Straithairn, Rodrigo Santoro and Molly Parker (in awards bait position of scorned wife). Game Plan is giving us Woody Harrelson, Ed Harris and Sarah Paulson and a ton of others in small roles.
Be brave in the comments and make some Emmy calls now!