J. Edgar reviews and fall-out

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby rolotomasi99 » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:35 pm

It would be sort of ridiculously funny if liberal Hollywood gave their lead acting awards to actors portraying major conservative historical figures. It certainly helps that while Hoover and Thatcher may have pushed conservative and even evil agendas, they were both part of groups (homosexual and female respectively) which have been oppressed and scapegoated by conservative politicians and voters.
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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:21 pm

Amazing how faulty the mind is. I just went back to look at my predictions and found I had Hanks down for the win. I need a soft cloth to wipe the egg off.
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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:47 pm

Tom Hanks won the NY Critics' award and the Golden Globe, and was widely considered in the hunt in 2000 (to the point Steve Martin made a joke that it was Hanks behind the Russell Crowe kidnapping plot).

My recollection of 2001 is, Harvey had planned on the Shipping News being his prime horse -- Hallstrom had crappy-movied his way onto the best picture list the previous two years -- but the movie crashed too hard (about the way The Lovely Bones did year before last), and Miramax had to shift course with little time to plan. In the Bedroom had won the LA Critics award, so it probably looked like the strongest possibility. And, give Harvey credit: he got the movie five top nominations, including one -- Wilkinson -- that, while deserved, was not a sure thing (it had missed at the Globes). Weinstein has a knack for getting a ton of nominations for movies that aren't widely liked -- witness Gangs of New York the following year -- but the voters tend to take it out on such films in the final balloting.

2001 was one of the last true free-for-alls in best picture/director terms ('06 maybe another). Many other years this decade, the DGA list has replicated best picture and sometimes best director exactly. But that year, you had Gosford Park getting film/director nods without any DGA notice, In the Bedroom (also a DGA-nope-r) scoring best picture but not directing, Moulin Rouge surprisingly being left off the directors' list despite Luhrmann's flamboyant style, Black Hawk Down parleying DGA into director but not film (when the opposite seemed more likely), and Memento being one of the rare indies to score with the DGA and get nothing topline from AMPAS (which some will say prefigured Nolan's later career, but he was viewed as a different sort of director then, and his omission -- in favor of David Lynch -- was startling). Wish we could have more years like it. (Not that the final result thrilled me any)

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Dien » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:27 pm

Sabin wrote:Last night, as I was watching Amelie for the first time in a decade, I wast thinking about how odd the 2001 race was. Outside of thinking they had a win for Spacek in the bag (which they didn't), I really don't understand why the Weinsteins sided behind In the Bedroom and not Amelie, a film that looks more than a Best Picture nominee to me but like an incredible crossover hit.


I just wanted to quote this because I love Amelie.

Likewise, I just don't get the impression that the Academy liked In the Bedroom all that much.


Then why nominate it?

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Greg » Wed Nov 16, 2011 2:00 pm

Also, Child was never as reviled as Thatcher, except for some people who believe that real butter is a heart attack on a plate.

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:18 pm

But was Tom Hanks really even remotely a contender for Cast Away? As I recall, his nomination was reward enough as I don't think many were even sure he would get nominated at all. But that's neither here nor there.

I've been one of those who push aside the idea that Streep must win for any and everything and haven't picked her as a winner for her last several roles even if I would have given it to her for Doubt. That being said, Streep doing an impersonation isn't going to win her anything (like at Julie & Julia), but I contend that Julia Childs isn't exactly on the same level as Margaret Thatcher. Childs was sharing the spotlight in that film with Julie, with Thatcher, Streep has the film to herself. Matter of fact, I'd say this is the first film that she's had entirely to herself in a decade...at least that has Oscar written all over it. Will she win? I'm starting to think not. Michelle Williams, apart from having Weinstein flogging her, fits the Oscar Best Actress mold perfectly. Respected actress with a handful of nominations under her belt, she's young and beautiful, playing an iconic figure. PYT's when put against aging actresses, even ones with a lot of positive good will towards their careers, tend to win. Critics groups, I think, will graviatate towards Williams, a favorite of theirs for several years. Even Streep could have trouble gaining a toe hold in this year's critics derbies, but I imagine a race similar to that between Streep and Cotillard a few years ago. As it stands right now, I think Streep will have to wait again.
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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Sabin » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:49 pm

Mister Tee wrote
When I was compiling this list, my initial instinct was actually to cite Sissy Spacek '01 -- till I remembered In the Bedroom WAS nominated. That was always a film -- and I say this as a fan -- that seemed to slip past the Academy's Praetorian Guard. It's hard to come up with any other best picture candidates in the era that were as unsettling, and Spacek was punished for it almost as if it were a non-nominee.

Last night, as I was watching Amelie for the first time in a decade, I wast thinking about how odd the 2001 race was. Outside of thinking they had a win for Spacek in the bag (which they didn't), I really don't understand why the Weinsteins sided behind In the Bedroom and not Amelie, a film that looks more than a Best Picture nominee to me but like an incredible crossover hit.

Likewise, I just don't get the impression that the Academy liked In the Bedroom all that much. Monster's Ball was a late-starter and nabbed an acting nomination and win and a writing nomination, and In the Bedroom nabbed all the acting nominations that had been predicted, a writing nomination that had been predicted, and then a Best Picture nomination. I think if Monster's Ball had come out sooner, it might have been up instead of Todd Field's film. As it is, I think three things affected Spacek's chanced: 1) the idea of an African-American actress winning Best Actress for the first time became a hot topic, 2) Berry had the much showier role, and 3) they didn't like In the Bedroom as much as had been hoped/predicted.
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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:19 pm

So, let's amend to say, performers who'd already won lead Oscars, and were at some point in the running for another, almost always lost in the end if their vehicle wasn't in best picture contention.

Obviously that's not all there was to every situation -- Diane Keaton lost because Charlize Theron became unbeatable, not because Something's Gotta Give wasn't a best picture nominee. But it's still a striking statistic. Of course, as some have said, it may be that Streep's legendary status, like Bergman's "welcome back" scenario, will toss the rule out the window.

When I was compiling this list, my initial instinct was actually to cite Sissy Spacek '01 -- till I remembered In the Bedroom WAS nominated. That was always a film -- and I say this as a fan -- that seemed to slip past the Academy's Praetorian Guard. It's hard to come up with any other best picture candidates in the era that were as unsettling, and Spacek was punished for it almost as if it were a non-nominee.

You could actually throw in Spacek 1986, though it's questionable how much in the race she ever was, despite her NY Critics' prize and Golden Globe.

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:19 am

It would have also been Hanks' third.
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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Okri » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:58 am

Mister Tee wrote:I thought it was clear I meant the question rhetorically.

To expand on the Bergman Theory: here are a few people we at some point in the season thought (some even up to Oscar night) might win second Oscars, but failed.

Joanne Woodward in both Summer Wishes Winter Dreams and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge
Robert Duvall in The Apostle
Tom Hanks in Cast Away
Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt
Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give
Julie Christie in Away from Her
Meryl Streep in both Doubt and Julie and Julia


Nicholson would've won his fourth oscar, third lead.

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:53 am

Yes, the trailer for The Iron Lady looks terrible indeed - and the movie, unfortunately, but unsurprisingly considering the director, may not be much better.

Statistics are interesting, though there is, I guess, a good number of potential second-Oscar-winners with corresponding Best Picture nods who also failed (Sissy Spacek comes to mind) - and Mister Tee's admittedly interesting list has also to do with age or that for some it wouldn't have been a "second" Oscar but a third or even a fourth.

Plus, it's also true that, like Bergman, Streep is an actress who tends to be above statistics, in many ways. A third Oscar is certainly expected and must come, some day.

Still, it may not come this year, for this movie.

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:51 pm

Sabin wrote:...George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt are all in the running for Best Actor. Clooney looks very good at this point for The Descendants. DiCaprio has the fact that J. Edgar is looking a bit shaky. And Brad Pitt has the fact that he makes it look very easy. They are facing off against Michael Fassbender, Woody Harrelson, and Michael Shannon. I say if one of these is getting left out it may end up being Brad Pitt, and a couple of the above contenders (IMO, Fassbender for his year, and Michael Shannon because Take Shelter screeners have already gone out everywhere right now.).


When there are more than five clearly qualified candidates for an acting category (as I'd argue there are for both lead categories this year, though of course I'm going on rumor rather than personal observation), it becomes a game of musical chairs, and who'll be left off can be quite unpredictable.

To pick an example way out of the past: a friend of mine in college told me he'd had Debbie Reynolds in The Unsinkable Molly Brown as just-missing in 1964, because he didn't think there was any way in the world voters would omit Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady.

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:20 pm

I thought it was clear I meant the question rhetorically.

To expand on the Bergman Theory: here are a few people we at some point in the season thought (some even up to Oscar night) might win second Oscars, but failed.

Joanne Woodward in both Summer Wishes Winter Dreams and Mr. and Mrs. Bridge
Robert Duvall in The Apostle
Tom Hanks in Cast Away
Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt
Diane Keaton in Something's Gotta Give
Julie Christie in Away from Her
Meryl Streep in both Doubt and Julie and Julia

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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Sabin » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:11 pm

Big Magilla wrote
George Smiley not an awards magnet, Sabin? surely you jest. The character twice won BAFTAs for Alec Guinness and a nomination for James Mason - his charavter in The Deadly Affair went by a different name in the film, but he was Smiley in the book.

Fair enough. I'm not going online to double check if any of these performers won or were nominated on this side of the shore, as it's entirely possible. On paper, Gary Oldman looks due for a breakthrough nomination and that ultimately might be enough. My friend whose opinion I trust has seen it as said that were he nominated, it would likely be the most emotionally reserved character to see a Best Actor nomination in some time. That's what I meant by George Smiley not being an awards magnet. I'm dubious.

Mister Tee wrote
I agree pretty much wth the names BJ and Magilla have thrown out as competing for best actor this year -- maybe add Michael Shannon and Woody Harrelson. Someone deserving's going to be left out, and BJ correctly notes that being associated with a film not critically well-received is a handicap. Not to go strictly by the numerizing sites, but someone elsewhere pointed out that only one lead acting nomination in the past decade has come from a film with lower "scores" on Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes than J. Edgar, that being I Am Sam. This makes DiCaprio seem a fairly weak candidate for nomination, let alone a win.

You wrote previously that Moneyball was a hit and it certainly was/is. It's a very well-received piece of work that is a very good bet for several nominations. The only thing working against it will be if voters forget about it or that it didn't drum enough enough enthusiasm. Right now not only am I not betting against that happening, but there's a very decent chance that it will become my personal choice to win...but...

...George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brad Pitt are all in the running for Best Actor. Clooney looks very good at this point for The Descendants. DiCaprio has the fact that J. Edgar is looking a bit shaky. And Brad Pitt has the fact that he makes it look very easy. They are facing off against Michael Fassbender, Woody Harrelson, and Michael Shannon. I say if one of these is getting left out it may end up being Brad Pitt, and a couple of the above contenders (IMO, Fassbender for his year, and Michael Shannon because Take Shelter screeners have already gone out everywhere right now.).

Mister Tee wrote
And here's something to think about when weighing Streep's shot at another Oscar this year: Ingrid Bergman in Anastasia. What about her? She is, as far as I can tell, the only person ever to win a second lead Oscar for a film that wasn't nominated for best picture. Various people who'd previously won in support managed a lead win for non-nominated films (Lemmon in Save the Tiger, Streep herself in Sophie's Choice, Denzel in Training Day). But in those cases there was some sense the earlier prize was junior class, and the second award represented promotion. The second lead Oscar has been more difficult to come by, and in all cases but Bergman it has been associated with a best picture nominee (recently, Million Dollar Baby, Milk, There Will Be Blood). So...what do we think are the chances Phyllida Lloyd has mounted a best picture contender?

The trailer looks so horrible!

Good, Huge Performance in Bad Film vs. Good, Small Performance in Beloved Film. I say Meryl Streep wins the Golden Globe and Viola Davis grabs the SAG and ultimately Viola Davis wins.
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Re: J. Edgar reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Nov 15, 2011 7:53 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
Mister Tee wrote: So...what do we think are the chances Phyllida Lloyd has mounted a best picture contender?


Zero.

I don't know if its chances are zero, but it's probably pretty close to that. I find it strange that there's been no buzz at all for the film aside from Streep's presumded nomination. One would think that if Harvey Weinstein thought he had a winner he's have already started the drum roll. He seems to putting more emphasis on Michelle Williams' portrayal of Marilyn than Streep's portryaal of Thatcher. Is it because he feels Streep needs no push or that the film is something of stinker?

Mister Tee may be on to something, though, with his his comment about no-one having won a second lead Oscar without the second fim having been a Best Picture nominee except Ingrid Bergman. Bergman was, as we all know, a special case. Streep could be deemed special by virtue of her record nominations but that fact alone hasn't helped her in recent years when she was either the favorite or co-favorite.


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