Posts Tagged ‘Meryl Streep

26
Feb
14

Oscar Watch 2014: Actress in a Leading Role

Oscar Watch looks to break down the different categories for the 2014 Academy Awards. We’ll do our best to give you the inside track for your Oscar pools. Above: Blanchett & Adams, our frontrunners.

Oscar Watch looks to break down the different categories for the 2014 Academy Awards. We’ll do our best to give you the inside track for your Oscar pools. Above: Blanchett & Adams, our frontrunners.

 

Who Should Win: (Tie) Amy Adams, American Hustle / Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

I really hate ties cause I feel they’re cop-outs, but in this particular case, I think it’s warranted.

Not only did Amy Adams manage to play a sluttier type of woman than she’s normally known for, she also spent half the film speaking in a convincing English accent. And let’s not also ignore the fact that for almost three hours, she avoided a nip slip.

But then again, I think Cate Blanchett deserves this award as well. Not only did Ms. Blanchett manage to play a lower class of human than she’s normally known for, she also managed to spend the entire film speaking in a convincing American accent. And let’s not ignore the face that for almost two hours, she went without a Xanax.

Unfortunately, due to the recent allegations against Woody Allen, as well as his extremely unsympathetic op-ed, voters may punish the filmmaker by denying Ms. Blanchett some glory. This is too bad since she turned in a punishing, fearless role as a totally selfish, materialistic, and prescription medication-addicted bitch while at the same time, getting a ton of laughs in what was actually a comedy.

Judi Dench in Philomena & Meryl Streep in August: Osage County

Judi Dench in Philomena & Meryl Streep in August: Osage County

On everyone else…

  • Meryl Streep: We’ve seen Meryl Streep do this a billion times and we’ve seen her do it better, particularly in The Bridges of Madison County. (Yeah whoa, remember that one?) And besides, every single person who wins an Oscar that night is going to thank her profusely anyway. Sorry God, Meryl’s gonna get all the props.
  • Judi Dench: Like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street, we get the feeling that Judi Dench is playing herself here. If anything, the Bond movies were probably a bigger stretch for her than this role in a rather cute but ultimately uninspired and vanilla adoption movie.

And while we’re at it, two actresses were criminally ignored in this category.

First there’s Brie Larson from Short Term 12, the most underrated film of the year. Her portrayal of a social worker with her own deep insecurities was one of the most moving and realistic characters to grace the screen in years.

Also very much worth noting is Adèle Exarchopoulos from the epic lesbian love story Blue is the Warmest Color. She seriously worked her ass off. Literally.

Not only was she completely fearless in the extremely graphic sex scenes required of her, she was also emotionally naked for most of the film. She was absolutely convincing as a young girl completely scared and elated with the slow discovery of her sexuality. It’s probably sacrilege to say it, but I bet even Ms. Streep could not have pulled that role off.

Who Will Win: Sandra Bullock, Gravity

0226b_03-Sandra

Because of the Woody controversy and Amy Adams getting upstaged by all the J-Law hoopla, I think Sandra Bullock is gonna squeak by. Yes, she did a good job, but I just feel she doesn’t deserve it because a lot of other actresses could have pulled that role off. Even Miley Cyrus would’ve been screaming and crying if she was in that outer space situation. Heck, even Justin Bieber would’ve been screaming and crying… Never mind. (Blake Griffin: You da man.)

 What are you thoughts on our best actress prediction? Give us your thoughts on the category in the comments.

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28
Feb
12

OW 2012: The 84th Academy Awards

On Sunday the 84th Academy Awards were handed out for everything ‘best of’ in cinema for last year. Sadly us here in Hawaii had to watch the ceremony on a tape delay basis while friends and media on the mainland were happily posting and tweeting away about awards news as it happened. In the end staying away from the Internet till after the local broadcast was over was a necessary evil, if only to preserve the “as it happens” feel of the show. After everything was said and done the Academy Awards didn’t disappoint and I found the broadcast entertaining.

The Awards

Nominated for 10 awards The Artist was the big winner on Sunday even though it only brought it 5 statues–having won victories in several of the major categories. Top nominee Hugo (which had 11) won five as well, but it wasn’t as big of a win since all five of its awards came in the more technical categories (Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects). Here is a quick rundown of the top awards from the 84th Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture – The Artist
  • Actor in a Leading Role – Jean Dujardin, The Artist
  • Actress in a Leading Role – Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
  • Actor in a Supporting Role – Christopher Plummer, Beginners
  • Actress in a Supporting Role – Octavia Spencer, The Help
  • Directing – Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
  • Animated Feature Film – Rango
  • Foreign Language Film – A Separation
  • Documentary Feature – Undefeated

Probably the biggest surprise of the night had to have been Meryl Streep’s victory in the Best Actress category. Now don’t get me wrong, a win by Meryl Streep wasn’t something out of the realm of possibility, however throughout the entire awards season Viola Davis was the decided front runner to win the Actress category. Having not seen The Iron Lady it’s hard for me to say how good (or not that great) of her performance was in contrast to Davis’s performance in The Help. From everything I read though, it seem as if Davis gave the better performances. The LATimes has a theory about how Streep jumped Davis in voting, but in any case I’m a little disappointed that Davis didn’t win. I thought it would be great if two African American actresses took home statues on the same night (Octavia Spencer being the first of the night, Davis the favored second), especially after the big pieces the LATimes did on Academy demographics. I really hate to make this about race, but it does seem like those demos proved to be true.

One of the highlights of the show, and not just for me but for the state as well, was when Alexander Payne and his writing team won for best Adapted Screenplay, taking home The Descendants lone Oscar for the night. But beyond recognition of the writing of the film was when Payne recognized author Kaui Hart Hemmings for her great source material and even dubbed her “our Hawaiian flower” right there on stage during the ceremony. Very gracious and well deserved for the local author who’s book was turned into a film and has now been seen by many people worldwide.

The Show

I thought the ceremony as a whole was ok, nothing special, but nothing bad either (though movie bloggers/media all over the place are grousing about the ceremony). Call me old fashioned, but I liked Billy Crystal hosting. I grew up with the guy hosting so it was great seeing him again. Some of his jokes were funnier than other ones, but he was probably the best host in the last 2-3 years. He and producer Brian Grazer were called in late in the game to put on the show after the Brett Ratner fiasco so for what they accomplished I thought was a pretty good job.

The pacing of the show overall I thought was pretty good. I know that in the past the show has dragged on, but the way they grouped awards together combined with the performances made for a pretty steady flow. From Robert Downey Jr Tebowing to the Bridesmaids playing drinking games on stage to Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis playing the cymbals, I thought the presenters were all really great as well.

One of the best things I liked about the show happened at the very beginning where ABC somewhat copied MTV’s movie awards by putting host Billy Crystal into scenes from some of last year’s films. I thought it was hilarious. I’ve read that many critics of the show didn’t like the Justin Bieber bit in that sequence, to them I say that was one of the funniest parts. Many people have chided the Academy for trying to bring in younger viewers and thought this was a legitimate attempt at doing that. I think it was actually a satire of that–the producers are playing off of the attempts to bring in a younger audience and made a joke about it instead. In any case, I thought it was fun. Check it out for yourself here.

Many people bring up the fact that the Academy needs to change a bunch of things to bring in a wider audience and bigger numbers for the broadcast. The problem with that logic is that those people think that’s what the Academy wants. Like predicting the Oscars the same goes for the show–it doesn’t matter what you want, it’s what the Academy wants. Their mentality is that the Academy Awards is a ceremony first and a television show second. Yeah sure every year there’s a big deal about who produces the show but in the end, who really cares about that? Probably only film & movie media if I had to image (or they’re the most vocal critics anyway). The Academy gets money from ABC for having this thing on TV, if anything it’s ABC who should be worrying about how well the broadcast does and not the Academy.

Stay Tuned For Kimmel

To wrap things up, Jimmy Kimmel probably had the last laugh of the night with his trailer for Movie: The Movie. The only thing to really say is that you need to watch this. It’s jam packed with so many stars and makes fun of so many movie conventions that if you didn’t catch it after the Oscar broadcast you definitely missed out. Here it is again below. Oh, and be sure to carve out ten minutes to watch it.

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More Oscar Watch Reading . . .

On the heels of the Academy’s big night the nominations for the anti-Oscars, The Razzies (the worst in film), were dolled out on Sunday. Adam Sandler apparently leads the pack with 11 nominations. [The Razzies]

Speaking of awards, did you ever wonder who the Oscar statuette was modeled after? Well wonder no more, apparently it was modeled after a naked Mexican director. [In Contention]

More from the LATimes Academy demographics series, this time they talk with Alfre Woodard who is spearheading efforts to bring in more diversified membership in the Actor’s branch of the Academy. [LATimes]

Finally local reporter Mike Gordon has the local perspective on the lone win for The Descendants. And as always, subscription is required. [Star-Advertiser]




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