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Tag: Best Actress Oscar (51-60 of 106)

'Frankie & Alice' trailer: The return of Halle Berry, Oscar winner

You’ve heard Oscar experts like EW’s Dave Karger rave about Halle Berry’s performance in Frankie & Alice. Now you can see it for yourself in the trailer below. She stars as a stripper with multiple-personality disorder. “Her other two personas are a racist white woman and, most arrestingly, a small child,” Karger says. The child is more interesting than the racist? That’s saying something. Check it out: READ FULL STORY

James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host Oscars

Glenn Harris/PR Photos; Solarpix/PR Photos

Actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway will cohost this season’s Oscar ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer have decided to continue the two-host trend from last year’s show, when Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin shared emceeing duties. But they clearly seem to be courting a different generation: Franco and Hathaway’s combined age (60) is less than Steve Martin’s.

I applaud Cohen, Mischer, and AMPAS for thinking outside the box and not going with a predictable choice. Both Franco and Hathaway are sharp and funny, and hosting the Oscars should allow them to show off different sides of their personalities. The only awkwardness could stem from the fact that Franco is a surefire Best Actor contender for his performance in 127 Hours, while after the mixed critical and commercial reaction to Love & Other Drugs, Hathaway is looking more and more like a long shot at best. Or wait…do we now have a good kick-off topic for their hosting bits?

Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar news and predictions throughout the awards season.

OscarWatch: Best Actress predictions

Image credit: Suzanne Tenner

Earlier this week I posted a clip of Natalie Portman from Black Swan, a film that will certainly earn her a Best Actress nomination. The other front-runner in the race this year is obviously Annette Bening for her fierce turn as a red wine-loving mom in The Kids Are All Right. Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess. How is the rest of the field looking at this point? Here’s my current rundown:

BEST BETS
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right
Natalie Portman, Black Swan

POSSIBILITIES
Halle Berry, Frankie & Alice
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Lesley Manville, Another Year
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

LONG SHOTS
Anne Hathaway, Love & Other Drugs
Sally Hawkins, Made in Dagenham
Diane Lane, Secretariat
Gwyneth Paltrow, Country Strong
Naomi Watts, Fair Game

Who just missed making the cut? Tilda Swinton for I Am Love and Hilary Swank for Conviction. And I know that some of my Oscar prognosticator friends feel I’m overly bullish on Julianne Moore. What do you all think?

Check out my Best Picture and Best Director predictions as well.

'Black Swan': Can Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis both score Oscar nods?

It’s almost D-Day for Black Swan, which finally hits theaters next Friday, Dec. 3 after dominating the film-festival circuit over the past three months. It’s a foregone conclusion that star Natalie Portman will earn a Best Actress nomination for her career-best performance as a mentally-unstable ballerina. What’s less clear are the film’s chances in the Best Supporting Actress category. The film boasts strong secondary turns from Barbara Hershey, as Portman’s overbearing stage mom, and Mila Kunis, as a new arrival to Portman’s ballet company who soon becomes her biggest competition. I suspect both actresses will have signficant fan bases in the critical community and within the Academy; the question is whether one (or both) of them can amass enough support to score a spot over probable nominees like The King’s Speech costar Helena Bonham Carter, Rabbit Hole‘s Dianne Wiest, and the impressive duo from The Fighter, Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. Whatever happens, one of the most memorable aspects of the film is the rapport between Portman’s Nina and Kunis’ Lily, two very different women who eventually strike up a combustible friendship. In this exclusive clip (which spotlights Portman’s formidable dancing skills and director Darren Aronofsky’s impressively dizzy camerawork), Portman and Kunis’ characters encounter each other for the first time.

Halle Berry: Another Oscar nod for 'Frankie'?

Last week I had a chance to see Frankie & Alice, the Halle Berry drama that’s making a late entrance into the awards season. The former Best Actress winner for Monster’s Ball gives another strong, gutsy performance as a stripper with multiple-personality disorder (her other two personas are a racist white woman and, most arrestingly, a small child). Whether or not the film will be well-received enough for Berry to be able to challenge The Kids Are All Right‘s Annette Bening and Black Swan‘s Natalie Portman remains to be seen. But I’d certainly put her on the list of eight women (along with Bening, Portman, Kids‘ Julianne Moore, Winter’s Bone‘s Jennifer Lawrence, Another Year‘s Lesley Manville, Rabbit Hole‘s Nicole Kidman, and Blue Valentine‘s Michelle Williams) that have the best shot at filling out the five Best Actress slots this year.

The movie opens Dec. 10; in the meantime, here’s a first look at the film’s poster. Click the image above to see it full-size.

'Rabbit Hole': Exclusive clip of Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Dianne Wiest

They’ve got five Oscar nominations and three wins between them. And now Nicole Kidman and Dianne Wiest are firmly in the running for nods this year for their performances as mother and daughter in John Cameron Mitchell’s adaptation of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Rabbit Hole (out Dec. 17). Although they both play women who have lost children, the two of them actually provide some of the intense film’s lighter moments. In this clip provided by Lionsgate, Wiest’s character, Nat, tells Kidman’s Becca about a friend who got on her nerves after her son died of a drug overdose. This scene had the crowd howling at the Rabbit Hole premiere in Toronto.

Check back here in the coming weeks for more exclusive clips from this season’s top Oscar contenders.

Michelle Williams talks 'Blue Valentine' and its NC-17 rating

Image credit: Solarpix/PR Photos

On the eve of Blue Valentine‘s Los Angeles premiere at the AFI Film Festival tomorrow night, I had the opportunity to talk to its star Michelle Williams, who’s currently in London filming the lead role of Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn. As I’ve said ad nauseam already, if this woman doesn’t get a Best Actress nomination for this performance, it will be very sad. Here Williams and I discuss her emotionally raw film (directed by Derek Cianfrance), its NC-17 rating, and what she plans to do after wrapping Marilyn.

Entertainment Weekly: Do you wish you could be here in Los Angeles for the AFI screening tomorrow, or are you happy not to see the film with what could easily be a jaded industry crowd?
Michelle Williams: I hadn’t really thought about it. I guess at this point there’s been so many premieres all over the globe, that I don’t feel like I’m really missing out on anything. Is that a bad thing to say? People are going to examine what you’ve done, so I guess in that sense I’m happy to not suffer through that experience, because it is obviously such an exposed piece of work. So maybe I’m lucky to be hiding out in London.

You and Ryan Gosling must share such a strong bond after making this movie together. You’ll occasionally see each other at a premiere or a photo shoot, but do you otherwise stay in close touch?
I haven’t really talked to him about this, but that movie went so deep, that for a while when we would see each other, we were kind of where our characters left off for a few moments in time. And it’s been kind of like a re-getting to know you. I don’t know what his feeling would be. But he’s the master of YouTube, so every so often I just get this flurry of videos. Things that only have, like, 312 views on them. I can’t even begin to describe them.

I’ve had people say to me, “There’s no way I can see Blue Valentine—it just sounds way too depressing.” What would you say to them?
I wish I was John Cassavetes right now. For some reason I was on YouTube last night, and I was watching this John Cassavetes interview. Have you seen how John Cassavetes would promote a film? Oh. My. God. You’ve got to see it. There’s this incredible interview, it’s like eight minutes. It’s all him talking. Gena Rowlands is sitting next to him, Ben Gazzara is there. And it’s eight minutes of him selling Opening Night. I wish that I was as ballsy and maybe born a man to answer that question. Okay, you don’t have to put that in the article.

But I will! I’ll link to it.
You should totally link to it! It is so insane how he loves his own movie but doesn’t come off as being full of it or obnoxious in any way. I feel like I’m not really here to sell anything. It’s not my talent or my interest. I wouldn’t know how to convince people other than the fact that I believe in happy endings, and I believe that where the movie ends is not where the story ends. And as dark and as dangerous as the movie can feel, there is a balance in the movie. You can’t have that much dark without that much light. It’s not all a suicide watch.

The main reason why the movie is sometimes so hard to watch is that there are so many moments where you two seem like the perfect couple, but then you’re in danger of letting it all slip away. Were there times during filming where you had a hard time rationalizing your character’s behavior?
Have you seen the new cut? Some of the answers may be in the new cut. But from the moment I said yes to the film, my next sentence was, “How am I going to leave him?” Because in my experience of the world, women don’t leave men who are essentially good fathers. Despite the fact that they might have a whole litany of other problems, you don’t leave somebody who’s a good dad. I might have driven Derek a little crazy—every time I would see him I would say, “How do I leave this guy? What’s so awful about him? At the end of the day he loves me and he loves our daughter.” What I finally came to is, it’s not him, it’s me.

A lot has been written about the MPAA’s decision to give the movie an NC-17. Harvey Weinstein is appealing the ruling, but the MPAA is known for being very stubborn. Would you rather the film be edited a little bit to get an R rating, or stay how it is but have far fewer people see it because it’s NC-17?
I’m happy for it to stay just like it is. Genuinely, I am. Movies get to have long lives and it’ll be judged and rejudged in 10 or 20 or 30 years, and I’ll be curious to see how it stands. It seems like such a condemnation. It feels like such a slap on the hand, like you’ve been a bad kid or something.

Right now you’re playing Marilyn Monroe, who went through so much turmoil in her life. How are you holding up?
Um…um…ummmm…It’s hard to talk about. I’ve never really had the experience of talking about something while I’ve been in the middle of making it. I don’t know what to say that is honest and not like, “Oh, fine, great.” I don’t know how to have an honest answer that’s not going to give away what I’m still working on. But after this movie, I’m taking some time off. I’m not working for another year. Talk to me in three weeks and then I’ll be able to summarize it better.

Please follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar updates.

Halle Berry's 'Frankie & Alice' enters the Oscar race

Photo credit: Sergei Bachlakov

In a development reminiscent of Jeff Bridges’ last-minute entrance into the awards season with Crazy Heart last year, Halle Berry is now poised to try to shake up this season’s Best Actress race. As Pete Hammond over at Deadline.com first reported, Berry’s drama Frankie & Alice will get an Oscar-qualifying release on December 17 courtesy of Freestyle Releasing. In the film, costarring Stellan Skarsgard, Berry plays a woman with multiple personality disorder. I’m told by people who’ve seen the film that one of her character’s personas, fascinatingly, is a racist white woman. The movie showed at the Cannes film market back in May but has only now announced distribution.

At this point, Berry isn’t as much of a slam dunk as Bridges was. Crazy Heart had undeniable buzz and the power of Fox Searchlight in its corner. Freestyle, on the other hand, is a much smaller distributor without the resources of a company like Searchlight. Despite strong reviews for Christian McKay’s performance in Me and Orson Welles last year, the outfit wasn’t able to score him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. But in the right role, Berry is certainly a force to be reckoned with, so I’m not counting her out.

Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for more Oscar news.

MPAA gives 'Blue Valentine' an NC-17

 

Image credit: Davi Russo

 

The staff at the Weinstein Company is in crisis mode today after the MPAA bestowed a dreaded NC-17 rating on its upcoming domestic drama Blue Valentine, starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Wiliams. I won’t even get into how ludicrous this decision is on the part of the MPAA. I’ve seen far more sexually explicit films get away with an R rating. As a huge fan of the film, I’m most worried about what today’s news means for its Oscar chances. The film might be too bleak to score a Best Picture nod (though if I had a ballot, it would be at the top), but I would have considered Gosling and Williams strong lead-acting contenders. But NC-17 movies simply don’t get Oscar nominations. (Unless you count a cinematography nod for Henry and June.) Ang Lee learned that the hard way with Lust, Caution. I would imagine the Weinstein Co. is considering making a few trims to the film to get an R, but it kills me to think that the version I saw (and can’t stop thinking about) in Cannes might not reach theaters. The movie isn’t scheduled for release until Dec. 31; here’s hoping they figure something out before then.

UPDATE: Blue Valentine‘s NC-17 rating to be appealed by Weinstein Co.

Annette Bening and Julianne Moore both to be campaigned as Best Actress

Image credit: Suzanne Tenner

Move over, Thelma and Louise: Now there’s Nic and Jules. From Focus Features comes official word that the distributor will be campaigning both of its stars of The Kids Are All Right—Annette Bening and Julianne Moore—as Best Actress. When I mentioned this as a possibility last month it was met with disbelief from several of you, who thought Focus would go the Dreamgirls or Chicago route and demote one of them (likely Moore) to the supporting category. But I think this is the right decision. Both actresses have juicy roles and complete character arcs that merit inclusion in the lead category. Sure, Moore would have a better shot at her first Oscar win in supporting, but it would seem disingenuous to campaign her as such. As for Bening, despite her tough competition this year (notably Black Swan‘s Natalie Portman and Blue Valentine‘s Michelle Williams), I’d say she has a decent shot at a victory this time around.

For the record, should Bening and Moore both score nods, it would be the sixth time a movie featured two Best Actress nominees. Here are the others:

Thelma and Louise (1991): Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon
Terms of Endearment (1983): Shirley Maclaine (winner) and Debra Winger
The Turning Point (1977): Anne Bancroft and Shirley Maclaine
Suddenly, Last Summer (1959): Katharine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor
All About Eve (1950): Anne Baxter and Bette Davis

Not bad company to be in, right? Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for more Oscar updates.

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