Best Supporting Actress

Post-Toronto Oscar Picks

Apologies for the lack of official blog updates, y’all.

In case you missed it, Room won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Also, Paramount Pictures enters the Oscar race with Adam McKay’s The Big Short. After closing AFI, the housing-crisis drama (which may go for comedy prizes at the Golden Globes) will select locations on Dec. 11 and go wide later that month.

Anyway, here’s a quick (read: messy) rundown of where I think the race is heading.

Best Picture

  1. Carol
  2. The Revenant
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. The Danish Girl
  5. Spotlight
  1. Youth
  2. Steve Jobs
  3. Inside Out
  4. Beasts of No Nation
  5. Room

Best Director

  1. Todd Haynes for Carol
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant
  4. Thomas McCarthy for Spotlight
  5. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  1. Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
  2. Cate Blanchett for Carol
  3. Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
  4. Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
  5. Brie Larson for Room

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
  2. Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
  3. Michael Caine for Youth
  4. Johnny Depp for Black Mass
  5. Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  1. Rooney Mara for Carol
  2. Diane Ladd for Joy
  3. Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight
  4. Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs
  5. Jane Fonda for Youth

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation
  2. Samuel L. Jackson for The Hateful Eight
  3. Michael Keaton for Spotlight
  4. Tom Hardy for The Revenant
  5. Seth Rogen for Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Pete Docter, et al. for Inside Out
  4. Thomas McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight
  5. David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo (story) for Joy

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Phyllis Nagy for Carol
  2. Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith for The Revenant
  3. Lucinda Coxon for The Danish Girl
  4. Aaron Sorkin for Steve Jobs
  5. Cary Joji Fukunaga for Beasts of No Nation

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. Inside Out
  2. Anomalisa
  3. The Good Dinosaur
  4. When Marnie Was There
  5. Shaun the Sheep Movie
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Slapbang Oscar Picks

We’re in the middle of the Toronto International Film Festival; the New York Film Festival is right around the corner; and we still have AFI lurking ahead.

I hope to update my Oscar pages shortly after Toronto concludes in a few days. But I felt the need to make some kind of “unofficial” blog update to reflect the changing tides – the success of Spotlight, the disappointment of Freeheld, and the seemingly final verdict on category placement for Carol. (For anyone wondering, I’m still holding on category placements for some films, hence my somewhat odd picks for now.)

Anyway, here’s a quick (read: messy) rundown of where I think the race is heading.

Best Picture

  1. Carol
  2. The Revenant
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. The Danish Girl
  5. Spotlight
  1. Youth
  2. Steve Jobs
  3. Inside Out
  4. Beasts of No Nation
  5. Bridge of Spies

Best Director

  1. Todd Haynes for Carol
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant
  4. Thomas McCarthy for Spotlight
  5. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  1. Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
  2. Cate Blanchett for Carol
  3. Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
  4. Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
  5. Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
  2. Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
  3. Michael Caine for Youth
  4. Johnny Depp for Black Mass
  5. Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  1. Rooney Mara for Carol
  2. Diane Ladd for Joy
  3. Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight
  4. Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs
  5. Jane Fonda for Youth

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation
  2. Samuel L. Jackson for The Hateful Eight
  3. Michael Keaton for Spotlight
  4. Tom Hardy for The Revenant
  5. Seth Rogen for Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Pete Docter, et al. for Inside Out
  4. Thomas McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight
  5. David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo (story) for Joy

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Phyllis Nagy for Carol
  2. Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith for The Revenant
  3. Lucinda Coxon for The Danish Girl
  4. Aaron Sorkin for Steve Jobs
  5. Cary Joji Fukunaga for Beasts of No Nation

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. Inside Out
  2. Anomalisa
  3. The Good Dinosaur
  4. When Marnie Was There
  5. Shaun the Sheep Movie

Looking Ahead: Woody Allen, Lucille Ball, and More

Forgive me for the lateness of this piece. I know I’m looking ahead to next year, but still…

stevecarell_2014oscarnodsluncheon

Steve Carell replaces Bruce Willis in Woody Allen’s next outing

Carell, who just picked up his first Oscar nomination for Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher last year, steps into Allen’s upcoming film – his first to be shot in Los Angeles since Annie Hall (1977), which won Oscars for picture, director, actress, and original screenplay. Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Jesse Eisenberg, and Corey Stoll also star in the film. (Will Carell end up with Lively or Stewart?)

Anyway, Willis’ official reason for departure was his upcoming stint in the Broadway adaptation of Stephen King’s Misery with Laurie Metcalf, but since this is Hollywood, the truth may be more interesting than what we’re actually hearing. Vince Mancini of Film Drunk points out that Jeff Sneider called BS on the official story, suggesting that Willis was instead fired from the project.

For what it’s worth, Mancini looks through a Woody Allen filter to speculate about what happened:

For me the big question is whether Bruce Willis’ character was supposed to be pursued by Kristen Stewart or Blake Lively, and what Emma Stone did to fall out of Woody Allen’s favor. Bruce’s character was probably real depressed about something, and then Kristen Stewart wanted to bone, and he was against it at first, but after a few beautiful picnics in a sun-drenched park, he gave in.

cateblanchett_cannes2015Cate Blanchett at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (via Tom and Lorenzo)

Cate Blanchett will lead Lucille Ball biopic written by Aaron Sorkin

The two-time Oscar winner will star as the comedienne in a film that focuses on her 20-year marriage to Desi Arnaz. Variety notes that Ball eloped with the Cuban bandleader in 1940. The two are most famous for creating and starring in the iconic sitcom I Love Lucy in 1951.

Lucy won four Emmy Awards for the series; it’s easy to imagine Blanchett scoring some awards love of her own. The casting already strikes some as curious, but Michelle Williams made enough of an impression with My Week with Marilyn (2011) to get a nomination. Sorkin on script duty seems a bit odd, too, even though he scripted one of the best films of the current decade – even after we’d preemptively dismissed it as “the Facebook movie.”

Either way, we expect Blanchett and Sorkin to get some Oscar attention – for Todd Haynes’ Carol and/or James Vanderbilt’s Truth, and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, respectively – this year.

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A Bigger Splash Dives Into 2016

abiggersplash_pic edited

Fox Searchlight has scheduled Luca Guadagnino’s A Bigger Splash for release on May 13, 2016. Slated for a Venice bow in just a few days and a BFI London Film Festival screening next month, the thriller looked like a potential Oscar contender for Dakota Johnson, Ralph Fiennes, and Matthias Schoenaerts, and, most notably, Tilda Swinton.

This news is a letdown for those of us eager to see Swinton as a rock legend and Johnson in, well, something that’s not Fifty Shades of Grey. The Oscar-winning Swinton featured in Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, which may score awards attention for star and writer Amy Schumer, earlier this year. Johnson features in Scott Cooper’s Black Mass; while Johnny Depp’s Whitey Bulger may land accolades, maybe there’s room for Johnson to shine, too.

Searchlight still boasts contenders in John Crowley’s Brooklyn and Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, both of which have already hit major festivals and will play Toronto later this month.

British Honors for Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep

cateblanchett_carol-trailer

The British Film Institute will honor Cate Blanchett with its Fellowship Award at the London Film Festival on Oct. 17 – one day before the closing of the fest, which commences on Oct. 7. The two-time Oscar winner appears at the fest on behalf of Todd Haynes’ Carol and James Vanderbilt’s Truth, which, as Awards Daily notes, will make their UK debuts at the fest.

Check out some recent Fellowship recipients below, with bold indicating those who picked up Oscar nods in the same years that they received their Fellowship Awards.

  • 2015: Mel Brooks – earlier this year
  • 2014: Stephen Frears, Al Pacino
  • 2013: John Boorman, Philip French, Christopher Lee
  • 2012: Tim Burton (Frankenweenie – animated feature), Helena Bonham Carter (Les Misérables*), Bryan Forbes, Richard Lester
  • 2011: David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method), Judi Dench (J. Edgar and My Week with Marilyn**), Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2***), Isabelle Huppert
  • 2010: Danny Boyle (127 Hours – picture, director, adapted screenplay), David Rose


*The film received won three Oscars – including supporting actress – from eight nominations.
**Dench received a BAFTA nod for supporting actress; the film received Oscar bids for actress and supporting actor.
***The film received nominations for art direction (now production design), makeup, and visual effects.

This Fellowship honor suggests that Blanchett will hit the campaign trail for both Carol and Truth, but… will she drop to supporting for one of them? I’m the only one shouting this possibility into the void, but hey, if she’s the lead of Truth and it’s a flashier part than her turn in Carol (as some have claimed it to be)…

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Sundance Winner James White Gets Oscar Campaign

jameswhite_picCynthia Nixon and Christopher Abbott in Josh Mond’s James White (via The Huffington Post)

The Film Arcade has set drama James White for a limited release on Nov. 13 – the same day documentary Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words hits select locations.

The distributor plans to focus their awards campaign on Abbott and Nixon’s performances as the title character and his mother, respectively; first-time director Josh Mond, who produced Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011), may pick up some directorial-debut honors on the circuit. Deadline Hollywood relays the following from TFA’s Andy Bohn:

“What people have really responded to when seeing this film, whether audiences or critics, is that the performances from Christopher and Cynthia are just astonishing. Both of them give the performances of their career.”

(more…)

Miles Ahead May Be Miles Away

doncheadle_trumpet

When Sony Pictures Classics picked up Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead, two thoughts entered the minds of us who pay way too much attention to this stuff: 1) Maybe SPC isn’t so confident in I Saw the Light, after all, and 2) Get that Oscar, Cheadle!

But maybe we rushed into that kind of thinking, as the distributor has indirectly announced a 2016 release for the Miles Davis biopic. SPC told Gold Derby to keep the film off its predictions options, apparently.

Of course, SPC may change its mind – as it just recently did with Maggie Smith vehicle The Lady in the Van – and opt to give Miles, if nothing else, a qualifying release.