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Tag: Best Supporting Actress Oscar (41-50 of 51)

Weinstein vs. Miramax: The double showdown

Two of the closest major races at the Oscars this year — Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress — have something very intriguing in common: They’ve both become competitions between Harvey Weinstein and the company he used to run, Miramax. In the lead-actress race, the top two contenders are The Reader‘s Kate Winslet (a Weinstein Co. release) and Doubt‘s Meryl Streep (a Miramax film), while in supporting actress, Vicky Cristina Barcelona‘s Penélope Cruz (Weinstein Co.) and Doubt‘s Viola Davis (Miramax) have the best shot at a win.

In a year when Weinstein — who had an 11-year run of consecutive Best Picture nominees while at Miramax but had been absent from the big dance the last few years — is surprisingly back in the race, it’s rich that his two best chances at Oscar victories are against his old company. Since Weinstein’s departure in 2005, “the new Miramax” is a much different place, run by the unflappable, understated Daniel Battsek. But that’s not to say Battsek’s relative calm hasn’t produced Academy results: He and his team shepherded Helen Mirren to a Best Actress win for The Queen in 2007 and took home Best Picture last year with No Country for Old Men. This year they’ve had a rougher go: After dominating the critics’ awards, Happy-Go-Lucky‘s Sally Hawkins was shut out of the Oscar race, while five-time nominee Doubt failed to score a Best Picture nod.

For the sake of equality, I’m hoping Weinstein and Miramax each take home one female-acting prize next Sunday. But my hunch is that Harvey might just turn out to be a double winner.

addCredit(“Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic”)

SAG and PGA: 2 more wins for 'Slumdog'

Slumdogwins_lCan Slumdog Millionaire be stopped? Danny Boyle’s endearing drama picked up top honors at the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild awards this weekend, winning best picture at the PGA and the best cast prize at SAG. I had predicted Milk to win the big ensemble prize, thinking that the SAG voters would be more likely to give an award to established actors like Sean Penn and Josh Brolin than a bunch of unknown kids from India, but as an astute Academy member said to me after the awards last night, “A lot of times SAG treats the best cast award like Best Picture, because it’s the closest thing they have.” If that’s the case, then the outcome makes perfect sense. In any case, Slumdog now has two more huge wins to add to its victories at the Golden Globes, Broadcast Film Critics Awards, and National Board of Review.

The four acting races lined up with my predictions. Sean Penn topped Mickey Rourke for Best Actor, making him the frontrunner for the Oscar next month, while Heath Ledger was named Best Supporting Actor to the surprise of no one. Kate Winslet won her third consecutive supporting-actress trophy for The Reader, while Meryl Streep won the only award for Doubt. This means that the two female SAG-winning performances will duke it out for the Oscar, since the Academy placed Winslet in the lead category for The Reader. Now the race is really on.

addCredit(“Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)

What will be tomorrow's biggest surprise?

We’re now less than 24 hours away from the big Oscar nominations announcement. I’ll be up early to react to the news live on the Today show (please tune in!), and I’m wondering: What will be the big shocker among the nominees tomorrow? Surely everything won’t go as predicted, right? Here are my top 10 possible stunners.

1. The Reader or Gran Torino sneak into Best Picture over The Dark Knight.
2. Richard Jenkins bumps Brad Pitt out of Best Actor.
3. Melissa Leo snags Angelina Jolie’s Best Actress slot.
4. Voters ignore Kate Winslet’s supporting-actress campaign and nominate her for Best Actress for The Reader, leaving Revolutionary Road out of the acting races completely.
5. Dev Patel scores a Best Actor nod instead of landing in the supporting category.
6. The Dark Knight trumps The Reader in the adapted-screenplay race.
7. Doubt scores four acting nods after all, as Amy Adams pushes Taraji P. Henson out of supporting actress.
8. Happy-Go-Lucky‘s Mike Leigh displaces Ron Howard or Gus Van Sant in Best Director.
9. Milk takes two supporting-actor slots and leaves Robert Downey, Jr., in the cold.

And finally…
10. Slumdog Millionaire tops Benjamin Button and scores the most overall nominations.

What do you think the biggest surprise will be? And if any of these actually happen, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

addCredit(“Melinda Sue Gordon”)

Oscar nominations: Beat my predictions!

With just two days to go before the Oscar nominations are finally announced, I’m resisting the urge to change any of my predictions, which went to press in EW before the Producers Guild or Directors Guild nominees were revealed. Can The Dark Knight bump The Reader out of the screenplay running? Will someone like Richard Jenkins or Melissa Leo fight his or her way into the acting races? Will the Academy overrule campaigns and put Kate Winslet for The Reader or Dev Patel for Slumdog Millionaire in the lead-acting category? I’m standing by my predictions, listed again below. Last year I lucked out with 34 out of 40 correct. Let’s see which of you can score the most this year. Post your predictions and I’ll give a shout-out to the OscarWatcher who gets the most right.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Slumdog Millionaire

David Fincher
Christopher Nolan
Ron Howard
Gus Van Sant
Danny Boyle

Clint Eastwood
Frank Langella
Sean Penn
Brad Pitt
Mickey Rourke

Anne Hathaway
Sally Hawkins
Angelina Jolie
Meryl Streep
Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road)

Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin
Robert Downey, Jr.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Heath Ledger
Dev Patel

Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz
Viola Davis
Taraji P. Henson
Marisa Tomei
Kate Winslet (The Reader)

Original Screenplay
Rachel Getting Married
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Adapted Screenplay
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire

addCredit(“Kevin Winter/Getty Images”)

OscarWatch TV: 'Doubt' cast reunion

Earlier this week I gathered the four Golden Globe-nominated cast members of Doubt–Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Viola Davis–for an extensive conversation about their thought-provoking new film. In part 1 of the interview, we talk about whether it was helpful for them to see Doubt on Broadway and the differences between film and theater audiences. More to come in the next few days.

Penelope & Sally: A bicoastal sweep

Now that the New York Film Critics Circle award results are trickling in (early winners include Milk‘s Josh Brolin for Best Supporting Actor, Happy-Go-Lucky‘s Mike Leigh for Best Director, and Rachel Getting Married‘s Jenny Lumet for Best Screenplay), something very interesting has occurred: Penelope Cruz and Sally Hawkins have both won their respective acting categories from the New York and Los Angeles critics groups. In the last seven years, 11 actors have been recognized by both organizations and all 11 eleven went on to score Oscar nominations as well. Cruz has been a supporting actress front-runner for months. But have my fellow Oscar bloggers and I been underestimating Hawkins’ chances at making the final five? If so, whose Best Actress spot could Hawkins steal? Kate Winslet’s? Angelina Jolie’s? Cate Blanchett’s? Hawkins will certainly earn a Globe nod tomorrow for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, and she could beat Mamma Mia‘s Meryl Streep for the prize. We’ll see if she can land a SAG nomination on Dec. 18.

addCredit(“Cruz: Victor Bello; Hawkins: Simon Mein”)

'The Reader': The movie with no leads?

For Your Consideration ads have been coming fast and furious in the trade papers lately, and as I suspected would happen a few weeks ago, the Weinstein Co.’s advertisement for The Reader (which I’d call a definite top-10 Best Picture contender) lists Ralph Fiennes and David Kross in Best Supporting Actor, and Kate Winslet and Lena Olin in Best Supporting Actress, with no candidates for Best Actor or Best Actress at all. Now, other movies, like Crash and Babel, have tried this tactic before with some success. But those two were indisputably ensemble films, whereas The Reader, which spans five decades, clearly has two main characters: one shared by Kross and Fiennes and the other played entirely by Winslet. Obviously, the all-supporting decision is meant to keep Winslet from competing against herself (she’s up for Best Actress for Revolutionary Road), but now that I’ve seen in print, it does seem a little disingenuous. If the Weinstein Co. had placed Kross in the Best Actor category (he has much more screen time than Fiennes), there would have been at least one official lead to speak of. Still, if the Academy follows the campaign directives, it’ll turn out to be a smart move, since Winslet’s amazing performance in The Reader should be a sure thing for a supporting nomination.

addCredit(“Melinda Sue Gordon”)

'Doubt': Feeling the Oscar pressure

The Meryl Streep/Philip Seymour Hoffman drama Doubt has taken a few hits lately, with Variety critic Todd McCarthy calling Streep’s turn as a nun “a questionable central performance.” The film, written and directed by John Patrick Shanley (a past Best Original Screenplay winner for Moonstruck), is still a strong contender for all the big prizes. My colleague Carrie Bell attended its L.A. premiere earlier this week and spoke to Shanley and his cast; here’s what they had to say about all the buzz.

John Patrick Shanley You can’t set out to do something with the plan to get an Oscar. I guarantee you that you’d never win with that attitude. I have been lucky enough to win one and I don’t think going in people thought Moonstruck was going to be an Oscar movie. So when buzz starts happening, you think, I hope I survive this awards crush. It is a job in itself to try to win awards. There are people who specialize in that. And if anything goes wrong they’re not going to blame Meryl. They’re not gonna blame Phil. They’re gonna come to me. If you don’t like it, I’m the problem.

Philip Seymour Hoffman I welcome the awards buzz because serious movies like this need that to draw more people to the theater. I didn’t just show up here tonight as a masochistic act: I have such self-loathing issues that I thought I’d show up for a movie that I didn’t believe in. No, I think that the movie is a really great piece of cinema and writing and I think that John deserves the recognition. He did an amazing job with the film. Buzz is buzz and it gets created on everything. You just hope the buzz coming in your direction is positive.

Amy Adams I am excited that Philip is so excited for the Oscar buzz. I really respect his opinion. If I wasn’t in the film and I didn’t know how good it was, I would go see Doubt based on Philip’s recommendation. I agree that John deserves recognition. I think the script is brilliant. It is a very good adaptation and his direction isn’t too shabby either. And I can’t say enough good things about Viola and Meryl and Philip. They are all tremendous. And if everyone else gets recognized and I didn’t, I would still be thrilled. It is a team mentality. It is mostly the four of us on screen and we got to watch each other work up close and personal. You never go in with expectations of awards, although at this point maybe Meryl could with her 14 nominations, but when I watch the film, I am blown away by their performances. If those accolades come, fantastic. If they don’t, it doesn’t take anything away in my eyes.

Viola Davis Everyone is asking me how it feels and to be honest with you it is making my behind this tight [makes a fist]. It makes you very, very nervous. I don’t want to put the cart before the horse. You don’t want to lose perspective. I consider myself No. 1, a grounded person and No. 2, an actor.

addCredit(“Frazer Harrison/Getty Images”)

Weighing the chances of 'Seven Pounds'

During this past Sunday’s episode of Desperate Housewives I noticed an impressive 60-second high-def ad for Will Smith’s upcoming drama Seven Pounds. The film looks very interesting—Smith apparently is attempting to atone for a past car crash by performing good deeds for seven strangers—but it remains the only possible Oscar contender left this year that hasn’t even announced any screenings yet (not for me, at least). I appreciate the mysterious nature of the TV spot, since the plot obviously involves some sort of secret Sony doesn’t want to spoil, but I wonder if holding the film back this long will be a problem. By the week before Thanksgiving in years past, late entries like There Will Be Blood, Letters from Iwo Jima, and Million Dollar Baby had at least been shown to some members of the media. Can Seven Pounds become a top Best Picture contender? Probably not. But I know Rosario Dawson will be getting a supporting actress campaign. And the studio has Best Actor hopes for Smith, which doesn’t seem outlandish: The last time the mega-star teamed up with Seven Pounds director Gabriele Muccino, the result was The Pursuit of Happyness, for which Smith scored his second career Oscar nomination.

addCredit(“Merrick Morton”)

Give these underdogs Oscar campaigns!

Every year, certain stars receive Oscar campaigns that seem ridiculously pointless (Jack Nicholson for The Bucket List?), while other truly deserving performers get left out of the hype. These three underdog actors probably won’t be getting full big-studio pushes this year. But if you ask me, they should.

Greg Kinnear, Flash of Genius
Universal Pictures’ awards site doesn’t even list Flash as one of its contenders, and I’m told screeners for the film (which admittedly flopped at the box office) won’t be sent out to Academy members. But it’s a shame that most voters won’t get to see Kinnear’s complex performance as inventor Bob Kearns.

Ari Graynor, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Goofy comedy doesn’t usually catch the Academy’s eye, but Graynor, who plays the ditsy, drunk party girl Caroline, is a scene-stealer of the highest order, combining gross-out humor (that toilet-bowl sequence!) with some real tender moments. Nick & Norah screenwriter Lorene Scafaria should also be recognized for her keenly-observed script, which is as memorably hip as Diablo Cody’s Oscar-winning Juno.

Michael Kelly, Changeling
Universal lists no fewer than five supporting actor candidates from its Clint Eastwood/Angelina Jolie kidnapping drama. But the guy who really deserves his own push is Kelly, the good-guy detective who discovers what happened to Jolie’s missing son. It’s a star-making performance, notable for its understatement. You’ll have to excuse the name-dropping here, but when I met Jolie this summer for an EW cover story after seeing the film, I mentioned that I thought Kelly was the standout. “Clint was talking about him the other night, that he’s a leading man,” she said. “He’s got that thing.” You hear that, Academy?

addCredit(“Kinnear: Kerry Hayes; Graynor: JoJo Whilden; Kelly: Tony Rivetti, Jr.”)

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