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Tag: Best Supporting Actress Oscar (21-30 of 51)

Sir Elton John on this year's Oscar race

If there’s one person who loves talking about the Academy Awards as much as I do, it’s Sir Elton John. He’s an Oscar winner after all (Best Song for The Lion King), not to mention an attentive voter who loves hunkering down with his stack of For Your Consideration DVDs over his Christmas holiday. He also throws what I think is the best party of the whole Oscar weekend, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, which in its 18th year will raise millions of dollars to help combat the disease internationally. In advance of this weekend’s event, the musical superstar and I sat down for a series of quick videos to discuss this year’s top Oscar categories as well as his work on behalf of the EJAF. The videos will play during commercial breaks for guests inside the event on Sunday night. But I’m also running two of them here on OscarWatch. In this pair of clips, Sir Elton and I talk about the Best Director and Best Supporting Actress races, and he divulges which films he’s rooting for this weekend.

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Image credit: John: A. Gilbert/PR Photos; Bigelow: Greg Gorman

OscarWatch TV: Four underdogs we love

With so many of the acting races already sewn up at the Oscars this year, Missy Schwartz and I decided to turn the spotlight on four underdog nominees that we’re rooting for with passion…and not a little futility. True, these four performers don’t have a shot in Hades to reach the Kodak Theatre stage on March 7, but that doesn’t mean they’re not deserving of our love. Check out our choices below—and let me know who’s your favorite also-ran this year.

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Oscars: Who will win?

UPDATE 3/3 The Oscar balloting process may now be over, but negativity surrounding The Hurt Locker is still dominating the news, as producer Nicolas Chartier has now been banned from attending the Oscar ceremony as punishment for sending campaign emails to voters.

2/25 And as if on cue, the Hurt Locker backlash is ratcheting up. Paul Reickhoff of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has written an essay in Newsweek pointing out what he perceives as the film’s inaccuracies, saying they “reveal not only a lack of research, but ultimately respect for the American military.” Since there are only five days left in the balloting process, many voters have already turned in their ballots.

2/21 The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air‘s victories at the Writers Guild Awards don’t change much in the overall awards race—since Inglourious Basterds was ineligible for the Writers Guild prize, The Hurt Locker didn’t have much competition in the original screenplay category. And Up in the Air has swept the adapted-screenplay awards all season long.

2/16 This weekend’s Eddie Awards ceremony, in which The Hurt Locker topped Avatar to win the American Cinema Editors prize, still puts Locker in the lead for the Academy Award. Meanwhile, Avatar‘s James Cameron is packing in the campaign stops in New York: He’s being honored by environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., at a cocktail party tonight followed by a Q&A for Screen Actors Guild members, while tomorrow he’ll be feted at a lunch and will tape an episode of Inside the Actors’ Studio.

2/12 Now that the Academy Award ballots have arrived in voters’ mailboxes, the campaigning is heating up once again. Best Actress nominees Sandra Bullock and Gabourey Sidibe have been making the talk-show rounds, while Inglourious Basterds teammates Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz were just honored at a Manhattan lunch hosted by Harvey Keitel. Here are my predictions of who will win in the eight major categories when the Oscar ceremony takes place on March 7.

BEST PICTURE
Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

Prediction: The Hurt Locker In the (albeit brief) history of the Producers Guild Awards and SAG Awards, no film has ever won Best Picture without winning at least one of the four major guild prizes (PGA, SAG, Directors Guild, and Writers Guild). Avatar already lost PGA and DGA to The Hurt Locker, and it wasn’t even nominated for SAG’s best ensemble prize (Inglourious Basterds won that one). And even though it was nominated, it’s obviously not going to win the Writers Guild award. So I’m siding with history and putting my money on The Hurt Locker.

BEST ACTOR
Jeff BridgesCrazy Heart
George ClooneyUp in the Air
Colin FirthA Single Man
Morgan FreemanInvictus
Jeremy RennerThe Hurt Locker

Prediction: Jeff Bridges Bridges, a five-time nominee who’s never won, already has a Golden Globe, Broadcast Critics, and SAG Award on his mantel for Crazy Heart. But even more than that, I’m swayed by the standing ovations he’s routinely received at these award shows, where the audience includes dozens of Academy members. He’s got it in the bag.

BEST ACTRESS
Sandra BullockThe Blind Side
Helen MirrenThe Last Station
Carey MulliganAn Education
Gabourey SidibePrecious
Meryl StreepJulie & Julia

Prediction: Sandra Bullock This is clearly the only thing resembling a race in the acting categories. The Blind Side’s Best Picture nomination (compared to no other nods for Julie & Julia) means Bullock has the edge. But you can never count out Meryl Streep, who certainly has legions of fans in the Academy, who may be sick of seeing Bullock beat her. Still, it’s Bullock’s to lose right now.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt DamonInvictus
Woody HarrelsonThe Messenger
Christopher PlummerThe Last Station
Stanley TucciThe Lovely Bones
Christoph WaltzInglourious Basterds

Prediction: Christoph Waltz Waltz has been the front-runner for this award ever since Basterds‘ Cannes debut last May. There’s no way he’s losing.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penélope CruzNine
Vera FarmigaUp in the Air
Maggie GyllenhaalCrazy Heart
Anna KendrickUp in the Air
Mo’NiquePrecious

Prediction: Mo’Nique The mother of all locks this year. Precious is likely to lose five of the six trophies it’s up for, but not this one.

BEST DIRECTOR
Kathryn BigelowThe Hurt Locker
James CameronAvatar
Lee DanielsPrecious
Jason ReitmanUp in the Air
Quentin TarantinoInglourious Basterds

Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow Even if Avatar pulls out the victory for Best Picture, Bigelow still stands to make history as the Academy’s first-ever female Best Director. A similar result happened in 2001, when a blockbuster (Gladiator) took home Best Picture and the filmmaker behind a grittier entry (Traffic‘s Steven Soderbergh) won Best Director.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy, Up
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

Prediction: The Hurt Locker This may just be the toughest race to predict. It’s definitely between Boal and Tarantino. Since the Academy likes to double up and give its Best Picture winner a screenplay prize as well, I’m thinking Boal’s you-are-there Hurt Locker script will take it…barely.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche, In the Loop
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
Nick Hornby, An Education
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

Prediction: Up in the Air This one, not so tough to call. With Up in the Air a true underdog in all its other races, this is the film’s best (and perhaps only) shot at a win.

What do you think of my predictions? On the money? Too safe? I’ll have updates on the Oscar season on Twitter (@davekarger) leading up to the big night.

OscarWatch TV: Close-up on the actresses

In the second of our six OscarWatch videos, Missy Schwartz and I take a closer look at the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress races. Is Sandra Bullock the most brilliant Oscar campaigner ever? Can anyone really challenge Mo’Nique for the win? Watch Missy and me tackle these and other all-important issues below. And let me know how you feel about these races on Twitter (@davekarger).

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Upsets in the acting races? Get real!

You can blame it on Adrien Brody. Ever since the star of The Pianist shocked the Kodak Theatre by winning the Best Actor Oscar over presumed front-runners Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis in 2003, some people now forecast upsets in the acting races every year. I’ve already begun to hear it: Maggie Gyllenhaal could just topple Mo’Nique for Best Supporting Actress. Woody Harrelson is poised to upset Christoph Waltz for Best Supporting Actor. Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep will split the Best Actress vote, allowing for Gabourey Sidibe to steal it. I’m even quasi-guilty of perpetuating this myth: When one of my Twitter followers asked me if Jeremy Renner “could pull an Adrien Brody,” I responded, “It’s a long shot, but he’s the only one who can upset Jeff Bridges.” I still think Renner is No. 2 in the Best Actor derby, but face it: It’s not happening. And neither is Maggie Gyllenhaal. Or Woody Harrelson. Or Gabourey Sidibe. We all need to be content with the reality that the only real races in the major categories this year are for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. Otherwise we’re all setting ourselves up for a night of disappointment on March 7.

Oscar nominations announced: 'Avatar,' 'Hurt Locker' lead with nine each

Here are the nominees in the 10 major categories for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Avatar and The Hurt Locker each scored nine nominations. The winners will be announced on March 7. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Academy Award updates between now and the Oscar ceremony.

Best Picture
Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

Eight of the 10 Producers Guild nominees repeated here. Invictus and Star Trek were replaced by A Serious Man and, in one of the morning’s biggest surprises, The Blind Side, which had received no guild nominations or critics prizes other than for Sandra Bullock’s performance. Clearly all the Sandra love buoyed the film. As expected, The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Inglourious Basterds (8 nods), Precious (6 nods), and Up in the Air (6 nods) led the pack, while Up becomes only the second animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Star Trek, meanwhile, did score a total of four nominations but just couldn’t muscle into Best Picture. That’s the best news for Avatar, which still may have a hard time beating The Hurt Locker.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

These are the five SAG nominees, so nothing surprising here. Morgan Freeman was the only possible weak link, but none of the guys on the bubble—Viggo Mortensen, Matt Damon, Ben Foster, Robert Downey Jr.—had enough oomph. How can Jeff Bridges lose? I’d say Jeremy Renner is the only one who can upset him (like Adrien Brody for The Pianist).

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Another repeat of the SAG nominees. The Young Victoria‘s Emily Blunt had a shot at displacing Helen Mirren, but clearly the older voters responded well to The Last Station. The Blind Side‘s Best Picture nomination (compared to no other nods for Julie & Julia) means Bullock has the edge. Who’da thunk it?

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

A bunch of talented gents were overlooked here: Alec Baldwin, Christian McKay, Alfred Molina, Peter Sarsgaard, and Anthony Mackie, to name just five. As I’ve stated before, this race was over before it ever began.

Best Supporting Actress
Penélope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo’Nique, Precious

Here we have the only variance from SAG in the individual acting races, as Maggie Gyllenhaal stole Diane Kruger’s slot. And even though Julianne Moore failed to earn a SAG nod for A Single Man, I’m still surprised the Academy didn’t give her a fifth career nomination.

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

The five DGA nominees repeated here, fending off competition from the likes of Neill Blomkamp and Lone Scherfig. But these five films are so far out in front that no one else really had a shot. It’s Bigelow’s to lose.

Best Original Screenplay
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy, Up
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

As with Titanic, James Cameron failed to earn a screenplay nomination for Avatar. The Messenger duo stole the fifth slot from the adorable (500) Days of Summer guys. With Hurt Locker and Basterds in the running, this may be the tightest major race of the year.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche, In the Loop
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
Nick Hornby, An Education
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

If there’s a shock here, it’s the inclusion of the little-seen In the Loop over Fantastic Mr. Fox. But the writers branch often goes for a sharp British indie, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.

Best Animated Film
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Up

Best Foreign Language Film
El Secreto do Sus Ojos (Argentina)
Un Prophete (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
Ajami (Israel)
The Milk of Sorrow (Peru)

The rest of the categories are after the jump.

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Oscar nominations: What will be the biggest surprise?

Now that we’re less than 24 hours away from the Oscar nominations announcement, I thought I’d resurrect perhaps my favorite post from last year, where I tried to imagine what the biggest surprises of the nominations might be. (A few of them, like The Reader bumping out The Dark Knight for Best Picture, or Kate Winslet landing in Best Actress instead of Best Supporting Actress for that film, actually ended up happening.) This year contains many sure things — The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds, and Precious will claim half of the Best Picture slots, for instance — but there’s also a lot that’s up for grabs. So here are 10 possible shockers we may be talking about tomorrow.

1. With the exception of An Education, the other five Best Picture slots all go to $100-million-plus grossers: some combination of Up, District 9, Star Trek, The Blind Side, and The Hangover.

2. Though Precious scores a Best Picture nod, director Lee Daniels is overlooked, in favor of District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp.

3. Avatar‘s Zoe Saldana muscles into Best Actress over The Last Station‘s Helen Mirren, becoming the first actor ever to earn a nomination for a motion-capture or voice performance.

4. The Hurt Locker‘s Anthony Mackie scores a supporting-actor nomination after being ignored by the Broadcast Critics, Golden Globes, and SAG.

5. Stanley Tucci earns his first career nomination…but for Julie & Julia instead of The Lovely Bones.

6. Inglourious Basterds standouts Diane Kruger and Mélanie Laurent both make it into the supporting actress race over Julianne Moore and Samantha Morton.

7. Invictus gets completely shut out of the nominations.

8. Ed Helms’ Hangover ditty “Stu’s Song” steals a Best Song nomination away from Nine.

9. Jeff Bridges’ momentum buoys Crazy Heart into the Best Supporting Actress (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and/or Best Adapted Screenplay (Scott Cooper) categories.

And finally…

10. The Hurt Locker ties Avatar for the most nominations, with 9 each.

Can you see any of these taking place tomorrow? What surprises are you hoping for? Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar news and updates for the rest of the season.

Image credit: Frank Masi

Oscars: Dave Karger predicts the nominees

Here are my latest predictions for who’ll get nominated in the eight main Oscar races on Feb. 2. My Best Picture picks are immediately below; the other seven categories are after the jump.

Best Picture
Avatar
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Invictus
Precious
Star Trek
Up
Up in the Air

Oh, how much easier this would be if there were only five Best Picture nominees this year: It’d be Up in the Air (which won the National Board of Review prize), The Hurt Locker (winner of the Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and Broadcast Film Critics awards), Golden Globe and box-office champ Avatar, film-festival winner Precious, and SAG Award victor Inglourious Basterds and we’d call it a day. It’s those other five slots that are tougher to suss out. An Education has strong support from actors (witness its SAG nod for best cast) and across-the-pond voters. Invictus has the necessary prestige to make the cut, while Best Animated Feature front-runner Up should manage to break out of the cartoon ghetto. If voters want to go the populist route, the top contender is the adult romance It’s Complicated. But since it’s the No. 1 and No. 2 votes on the Academy’s ranked ballots that truly count, films with a smaller cult of enthusiastic followers—think District 9 and Star Trek—is poised to become a spoiler. Which means the flashy, filled-with-Oscar-faves musical Nine may fall victim to its nasty reviews and lackluster box office. I’m also increasingly worried for the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man, which seems to be fading a bit. As for Golden Globe winner The Hangover, it’s now an outside contender for one of the 10 slots but by no means a sure thing.

Check out the rest of my predictions after the jump.

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Dear Santa: Get these long shots nominated!

On this Christmas day, my wish list includes Oscar nominations for the following five dark horse contenders. Are you listening, Santa? (Or at least, Academy members?)

Best Picture: Brothers
I’m well aware that Jim Sheridan’s latest drama has as many haters as it does fans. But to me it felt real and true from the first frame. It also contains the strongest performance of Natalie Portman’s career and the best kid acting I’ve ever seen.

Best Actor: Matt Damon, The Informant!
At this point, Damon seems like a good bet for a supporting nod for Invictus. And that’s fine. But his more impressive work was as the world’s worst whistle-blower in Steven Soderbergh’s out-there comedy. Bonus points for Damon’s impeccable voice-over work in the film.

Best Actress: Maya Rudolph, Away We Go
Playing a conflicted mom-to-be, Rudolph was as quiet and introspective as she was riotously funny impersonating Whitney or Oprah on Saturday Night Love.

Best Supporting Actor: Alec Baldwin, It’s Complicated
I’m flabbergasted that Baldwin’s scene-stealing performance opposite Meryl Streep isn’t gaining more traction. He’s witty, sympathetic, and nude: What more should Oscar voters want?

Best Supporting Actress: Mariah Carey, Precious
Okay, let the hateful comments begin, but I insist that Carey is a deserving contender for her brief turn as a dowdy social worker. Carey’s costars Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique are well on their way to scoring nominations. Considering their most memorable moments are with Carey, she should get in there too.

My other holiday wish? That you’ll follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar updates throughout the season. What long-shot nominations are you wishing for?

Image credit: Damon: Claudette Barius; Baldwin: Melinda Sue Gordon

'Nine' costar Penelope Cruz: Back-to-back supporting actress nods?

On Wednesday night we at Entertainment Weekly kicked off a new series for our parent company, Time Inc., called “Live & Unfiltered,” in which each magazine invites a notable name from the world it covers for a conversation in front of a select audience. We chose reigning Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Penélope Cruz, who, having earned Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her performance as Daniel Day-Lewis’ endearingly needy mistress, Carla, in Nine, seems well on her way to scoring a second consecutive Oscar nod in the category. With the film opening in theaters today, here’s Part 1 of our interview, where Cruz talks about how the Pink Panther, of all characters, inspired her sexy dance moves. I’ll post the rest early next week.

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