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Postby flipp525 » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:44 pm

The issue here isn't whether or not there are better female supporting performances out there or even just comparable ones to fill out the rest of the ballot. It's the sort of obviousness with which you've resisted the idea of Mo'Nique since she was first mentioned last spring. Now you even use someone else's thoughts in order to justify your own aversion to the movie. It's almost fascinating to watch, really.

I'm sorry those were the only two colors that Jeffrey Wells saw in Mo'Nique's performance. I think that last scene in the welfare office is splashed with at least five different colors, none of which are as reductively defined as Wells manages to do here. Frankly, a lesser actor might've boggled that scene entirely.

I also disagree with this sentiment that presenting the character of Mary is a fruitless and abominable exercise. I saw Mary on the Metro this weekend, throwing her kids around like rag dolls and spitting venom and vile as she shuffled along the platform. She is a common sight in Washington. One could only imagine what went on behind closed doors, out of a very public view. If I hadn't been on the opposite side of the station, I might've said something, done something, but all I could was watch and recognize.

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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:22 pm

Eric wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:Sup. Actress: Anna Kendrick
ru: Vera Farmiga, Julianne Moore

Keep dreaming the dream.

I dunno, still haven't been able to drag myself to the theatre to catch the performance of the year according to most of you, but here's Jeff Wells' latest counterpoint:

If I could pick the winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar with a wave of my hand, I would give it to either Up In The Air's Vera Farmiga or Nine's Marion Cotillard. Primarily because they're not Mo'Nique, but also because they play far more interesting women with greater portions of shading, strength and simple charm.

It's easy to play two colors, as Mo'Nique does in Precious -- i.e., repulsively malicious and boo-hoo-poor-me. It's much harder to make a performance work without all the eyeball-glaring and emotional grandstanding, which is what Farmiga and Cotillard manage to do.

I admired the steady toughness in Cotillard's wife-of-Guido performance, but especially the steel in her girlfriend-of-John-Dillinger role in Public Enemies, which of course is equal (if not superior) to her work in Nine. I've already noted that her entire Public Enemies performance can be summed up in that "bye-bye Blackbird" scene, and that she nails it cold.

And Farmiga achieves so much more in Up In The Air than Mo'Nique does in Precious....forget about it. The sexy-businesswoman warmth of her early scenes with Clooney, the calm frankness she radiates in counselling the heartbroken Natalie (Anna Kendrick) in that second-act bar scene, and the take-it-or-leave-it aloofness she conveys in her final conversation scene with Clooney. She's really the greatest in this film, and yet Mo'Nique has the heat because...she's badass Mo'Nique!

I wrote this morning that the cruelty in Mo'Nique's Mary character is so malignant and beyond-the-pale that it seems like a perverse reach. What parent or human being with a shred of conscience or humanity wouldn't recoil at such a fiendish depiction? And who the hell would vote for it? What good can it do to put such an aberrational life form in a movie? Mary is a simple case of evil sensationalism. You might as well feature a parent who kills and eats kittens every day -- what's the difference?

It's very easy to be "evil." The trick is to present evil in a way that (a) people recognize as something they've known within themselves or people they've run into, etc., or (b) has a commanding sense of style and pizazz.

I would also approve Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air -- a much fresher and livelier performance with many more ingredients.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Mon Dec 14, 2009 9:51 am

I hope everyone knows that the NYFCC will NOT be announcing the winners in real time this year. They'll make an official statement when voting is finished sometime after 1pm EST. Your morning is now free to finish those errands you've been meaning to do.

Maybe they'll leak anyway through someone's stealth Twitter account, but I'm not going to search for it.
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Postby Eric » Sun Dec 13, 2009 11:51 pm

Big Magilla wrote:Sup. Actress: Anna Kendrick
ru: Vera Farmiga, Julianne Moore

Keep dreaming the dream.

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Postby Big Magilla » Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:24 pm

Film: Up in the Air
ru: The Hurt Locker, The Messenger

A win for The Hurt Locker would pretty much solidify it as the front-runner. While that may happen, I'm anticipating the usual NY-LA standoff with a win for Up in the Air instead. Anything else is likely to be a distant runner-up.

Actor: Jeff Bridges
ru: Colin Firth, George Clooney,

On the other hand, I don't think NY will have a problem endorsing Bridges in a too close to call race with Clooney and Firth.

Actress: Yolande Moreau
ru: Carey Mulligan, Penelope Cruz

Moreau is a wild card, but NY may want to keep up the drum roll.

Sup. Actor: Woody Harrelson
ru: Christoph Waltz, Stanley Tucci

The Messenger is the "other" Iraq war movie that keeps popping up - expect the Globes and SAGs to give it more impetus. Otherwise Waltz, but it's unlikely that NY and LA will agree on all the acting awards.

Sup. Actress: Anna Kendrick
ru: Vera Farmiga, Julianne Moore

Moore's hometown gal may have a few votes in her pocket - if she wins so will Firth and quite possibly vice versa, but I think the Up in the Air gals will outpoll her.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
ru: Michael Haneke, Jason Reitman

A slam dunk for Bigelow.

Screenplay: Up in the Air
ru: A Serious Man, Inglourious Basterds

I'd be most surprised to see Up in the Air lose this one.

Cinematography: The Hurt Locker
ru: The White Ribbon, Inglourious Basterds

No doubt in my mind.

Animated: Up
ru: Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline

A coin toss really.

Foreign Language: The White Ribbon
ru: Summer Hours, Seraphine

The winner and runner-up seem likely, the second runner-up is anybody's guess.

Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil
ru: The Cove, Food Inc.

Not familiar with any of them, so I'll jsut echo Tee's picks here.

First Film: A Single Man
ru: (500) Days of Summer, Moon

This is where A Single Man will win and Rex Reed will bang his shoe on the table.

Edited By Big Magilla on 1260761137

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Postby Mister Tee » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:45 pm

About a 12-hour window to guess at the NY Critics' results. I'm thinking they'll mix some things up further, but confirm others.

NY, as discussed elsewhere, only releases winners, but we generally get the rundown on the top three, so that's how I've opted to project: a winner, and two runners-up.

Film: A Serious Man
ru: The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air

Actor: Colin Firth
ru: Jeff Bridges, Jeremy Renner

I can't believe, with those reviews, Firth won't win at least one major. Best actor couldn't be more opposite actress this year; I don't even have room for Clooney, Stuhlbarg or Damon as runners-up.

Actress: Carey Mulligan
ru: Meryl Streep, Charlotte Gainsbourg

Sup. Actor: Christopher Waltz
ru: Stanley Tucci, Alfred Molina

Sup. Actress: Mo Nique
ru: Julianne Moore, Anna Kendrick

...unless there's a group decision that Mo Nique is winning too many too quickly.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow
ru: Michael Haneke, Spike Jonze

I think Bigelow's running away with this category because even I, who wasn't wild about Hurt Locker, can't think of a film directed at a comparable level of noticeability.

Screenplay: A Serious Man
ru: Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds

Cinematography: The Hurt Locker
ru: The White Ribbon, A Serious Man

Animated: Coraline
ru: Up, Fantastic Mr. Fox

I can dream, right?

Foreign Language: The White Ribbon
ru: Summer Hours, The Maid

Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil
ru: The Cove, Food Inc.

First Film: A Single Man
ru: Moon, (500) Days of Summer

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