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Tag: Best Supporting Actress Oscar (31-40 of 51)

'Precious' lives up to the hype

Precious-Push_lWhile big-studio releases like A Christmas Carol and The Fourth Kind topped the box office chart this weekend, all OscarWatchers’ eyes were on Precious. After dominating this year’s film-festival prizes, the indie drama opened on Friday to very strong reviews, resulting in an 85 grade from Rotten Tomatoes. EW’s Owen Gleiberman rated the film an A, while the New York TimesA.O. Scott said that lead actress Gabourey Sidibe was “extraordinarily poised.” But the critics weren’t the only ones going crazy over the film. Playing in just 18 theaters, Precious grossed a phenomenal $1.8 million, according to studio estimates. If those numbers hold, Precious will become only the third live-action film to score a per-theater average of over $100,000, following in the heels of multiple Oscar nominees Dreamgirls and Brokeback Mountain. Considering all of this was accomplished by a film by a relatively new director with no big movie stars in it, it’s an amazing achievement. It was well on its way to becoming a Best Picture nominee already, but now Precious is seeming more and more like a front-runner. The question now: Can it distinguish itself from Dreamgirls (which missed out on a Best Picture nod) and Brokeback Mountain (which lost to Crash) and actually win? Between Invictus, The Hurt Locker, The Lovely Bones, Up in the Air, and Nine, it certainly seems to have some stiff competition.

Did any of you see Precious this weekend (or before it opened)? Do you think it deserves its front-runner status?

Photo credit: Anne Marie Fox

Vera Farmiga definitely supporting for 'Up in the Air'

Vera-Farmiga_lOver the past few weeks there have been a few whispers that Paramount was considering campaigning for Up in the Air‘s Vera Farmiga in the Best Actress category so that she wouldn’t compete with her breakout costar Anna Kendrick. Now I hear from Farmiga’s camp that her campaign will definitely be in the supporting actress race. Even though it’s not ideal to have multiple contenders from the same film in one category, it’s certainly the right decision in this case. I haven’t counted their minutes of screen time, but having seen the movie twice now, Farmiga’s role seems smaller than Kendrick’s; there are patches of the film where she doesn’t appear at all.

So can both Up in the Air ladies make the final cut? With Mo’Nique (Precious) and Julianne Moore (A Single Man) seeming like safe bets at the moment, it all depends on how many bona fide contenders end up coming out of Nine. Depending on how the film turns out, it could provide three Best Supporting Actress nominees…or none.

Photo Credit: Dale Robinette

Is Mo'Nique killing her Oscar chances?

Mo-Nique_lBack in July I interviewed Mo’Nique about her phenomenal performance as an abusive mother in Lee Daniels’ drama Precious. When I inevitably asked her about all the Oscar talk that’s surrounded her since the film’s Sundance premiere in January, she responded by saying, “Any buzz is appreciated. The NAACP Image Awards, the Oscars, the SAG Award, the award they might want to give me down at the Maxine Waters’ Preparatory school, it’s always appreciated. But the moment Mr. Daniels said to me when we wrapped that movie, ‘You gave me what I needed,’ that was my Oscar.” At the time, I thought, “What an interesting way to deflect the question.” Now I’m thinking she really meant what she said. Last month, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Roger Friedman reported that Mo’Nique was demanding appearance fees to show up at film festivals to promote Precious. And after she was a no-show at both the Toronto and New York festivals, the New York Daily News quoted her as saying, “I couldn’t eat that Oscar. Everybody needs money, baby. That’s how we survive, right?”

Now, I’d like to think that winning an Academy Award is only about the performance. But we all know that’s not true. You have to play the game as well. Many observers still believe one of the reasons Marion Cotillard beat Julie Christie for Best Actress two years ago is because Cotillard worked the circuit hard, especially in the final stretches, while Christie mostly stayed home in England. On its own, Mo’Nique’s blazing performance is surely strong enough to score her a supporting actress nomination, but unless Lionsgate (or Precious exec producer Oprah Winfrey) can convince her to show up at some events and not expect a six-figure fee, I wonder if she can kiss a win goodbye. It’s too bad, because in conversation, Mo’Nique is hilarious and endearing; she’d only help her case by meeting Oscar voters in person. For now, however, she doesn’t seem to care.

Photo credit: John Ricard/Retna Ltd.

Toronto: The 5 biggest Oscar boosts

Gabourey-Sidibe_lNow that the Toronto International Film Festival is officially over, here are the five movies, actors, and filmmakers who got the most potent shots of Oscar adrenaline from their time up north.

1. Up in the Air. Of all the films that premiered at Toronto or Telluride, Jason Reitman’s dramatic comedy emerged as the strongest across-the-board contender. At this point, nods for picture, director, actor (George Clooney), supporting actress (certainly Anna Kendrick, possibly Vera Farmiga as well), and adapted screenplay seem like sure things. Watch me and Missy Schwartz discuss the film in our Toronto weekend wrap-up.

2. Gabourey Sidibe (pictured here). With her attention-grabbing costar Mo’Nique absent from the festival, the titular star of the audience award winner Precious (a certain Best Picture nominee) had her chance to shine…and saw her Best Actress chances soar.

3. Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. The never-nominated Brit and our own four-time nominee share a knockout centerpiece scene in Tom Ford’s gorgeous drama A Single Man. Harvey Weinstein, who definitely has a eye for Oscar-baiting performances, liked what he saw and bought the film for a December release. Here’s Part 1 of my OscarWatch interview with Firth.

4. Clive Owen. His leading-man turn in The Boys Are Back is decidedly on the subtle side, but fabulous trade reviews out of Toronto put the past Supporting Actor nominee (Closer) squarely in the running for a Best Actor nod. Watch me and Missy talk about his chances here.

5. Joel and Ethan Coen. Two years after winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay for No Country for Old Men, the brilliant brothers raised some eyebrows by going the star-free route with A Serious Man. But their surprisingly personal film was extremely well-received by critics and audiences alike. Especially given the relative dearth of Best Original Screenplay candidates this season, they could find themselves with a return invite to the Kodak.

Are you as into this stuff as I am? Then follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for more.

Photo credit: Mark Blinch/Reuters/Landov

Weinstein Co. picks up 'A Single Man'

The Weinstein Co. has bought Tom Ford’s directorial debut A Single Man in a seven-figure deal, with the intention of giving it an Oscar-qualifying release this year. The ultra-stylish drama, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore, had its North American premiere last night at the Toronto International Film Festival. Weinstein already has NineInglourious Basterds, and The Road on its Oscar slate. I’d call Firth (Best Actor) and Moore (Best Supporting Actress) the two strongest shots at nominations from the film.

Toronto: 'Up in the Air' plays for press

I’m just out of the press and industry screening of Up in the Air, and I have to say the movie lives up to all the hype. It’s equal parts comedy and drama with extremely timely themes and fantastic performances, especially from George Clooney and up-and-comer Anna Kendrick. To my surprise, Kendrick seems to have a bigger role than the also impressive Vera Farmiga, who plays Clooney’s love interest in the film. The humor in Jason Reitman’s third film is quite sharp (I can’t recall the last time a joke elicited applause from a group of journalists), but it definitely gives way to a more somber tone near the end. Particularly with this season’s 10 Best Picture slots, Up in the Air seems like a great bet for a nomination at this early date.

Toronto preview: Three female-driven standouts

If you’re a serious OscarWatcher, you know that today is exactly six months until next year’s Academy Awards ceremony. So on this Oscar equinox (if you will), my EW film-festival pal Missy Schwartz and I discuss three female-driven films that will certainly have moviegoers buzzing at the Toronto International Film Festival (which begins Sept. 10) and over the next few months: Precious, Bright Star, and An Education. Check back tomorrow and Wednesday for Part 2 and Part 3 of our Toronto preview. And please follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for instant updates during the festival and beyond.

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More on Toronto from OscarWatch:
Best Actor bets? Three to watch

The Amy Adams effect

Most OscarWatchers considered Amy Adams merely the lucky winner of the fifth Best Supporting Actress slot after the Academy placed Kate Winslet in the lead-actress race for The Reader. (I, for one, didn’t predict an Oscar nod for her, though I was glad she got it.) But in the weeks since the nominations were announced, I’ve been feeling a shift in support towards the immensely likable star. Just last night, another Academy member told me he voted for her. So now I’m trying to figure out what it all means in the supporting actress race. Does it indicate stronger support than expected for Doubt and a possible win for Viola Davis (or even Adams?). Or will Adams’ late surge result, Nader-style, in a down-the-middle Doubt split? If that’s the case, could my Penélope Cruz prediction end up coming true? Whatever happens on Sunday, I doubt this is Amy Adams’ last invitation to the Academy Awards.

What will be Sunday's biggest surprise?

One of the most fun items I posted this year was my list of the top possible surprises of the Oscar nominations, some of which ended up coming true (or half-true). With the Academy Awards ceremony now just days away, here are my 10 possible shockers that could take place this Sunday.

1. Slumdog Millionaire picks up the Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing prizes, winning all nine categories in which it’s nominated.
2. Doubt’s Viola Davis avoids vote splitting with costar Amy Adams and tops Penélope Cruz for Best Supporting Actress.
3. The Kate vs. Meryl showdown in Best Actress ends in a loss for both, as Frozen River’s Melissa Leo pulls an Adrien Brody and comes through with the win.
4. After losing the BFCA and SAG awards to Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke finally wins his first major domestic prize (i.e. voted on by Americans) and takes home Best Actor.
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button gets upset in the Best Art Direction, Best Visual Effects, and Best Makeup categories and becomes the biggest Oscar loser in history, going 0 for 13.
6. David Hare’s script for The Reader steals the adapted screenplay trophy from Slumdog’s Simon Beaufoy.
7. France’s The Class wins Best Foreign Language Film over critical favorite Waltz With Bashir (my colleague Thom Geier and I are actually predicting that one).
8. WALL•E not only wins Best Animated Film but also picks up Original Screenplay and both sound prizes for a total of four Oscars.
9. The Dark Knight wins Best Supporting Actor but otherwise goes home empty-handed.
10. Telecast producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark actually manage to keep the ceremony under three hours. (You can do it, guys!)

EW's Oscar predictions!

The awards gods don’t seem to be smiling on me this year. First, I publish my Oscar nomination predictions, which end up matching perfectly with the Producers Guild and Directors Guild nominees but naturally miss a few of the eventual Academy Award honorees. Then I arrive at my Oscar-winner guesses…which almost completely match with this weekend’s BAFTA winners. So, with my predictions hitting newsstands today, I ask you: What have I (and my intrepid colleague Thom Geier, who handles all the documentary and shorts races) gotten wrong? Let us have it.

Picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Director, Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Actress: Kate Winslet, The Reader
Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Original Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black, Milk
Adapted Screenplay: Simon Beaufoy, Slumdog Millionaire
Animated Film: Wall-E
Foreign-Language Film: The Class
Documentary: Man On Wire
Editing: Slumdog Millionaire
Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Art Direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Costume Design: The Duchess
Makeup: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Score: Slumdog Millionaire
Song: “Jai Ho,” Slumdog Millionaire
Visual Effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Sound: The Dark Knight
Sound Mixing: The Dark Knight
Short: Spielzugland (Toyland)
Animated Short: Presto
Documentary Short: The Witness: From the Balcony of Room 306

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