Tag Archive | "Viola Davis"

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New Releases: September 19, 2013

Posted on 19 September 2013 by William Gatevackes

movies-prisoners-poster-21. Prisoners (Warner Brothers, 3,260 Theaters, 153 Minutes, Rated R): This film has a lot going for it. Most of the cast have Oscar nominations or wins (only exceptions are Maria Bello, who has two Golden Globe nominations, and Paul Dano, who has a BAFTA nomination to his name). It has comeout of the Toronto and Telluride film festivals with rave reviews, with people raving about its script and acting. The film has also started to receive Oscar buzz.

But I don’t think I’ll see it.

The film centers on two families gathering for Thanksgiving dinner. When the small daughters of the couples (Hugh Jackman and Bello, Terrence Howard and Viola Davis) go out to play and never come back, a race against time to find them begins. A mentally challenged man (Dano) becomes the main suspect, but the police have no evidence to hold them. While a police detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) searched for some connection to the girl’s disappearance, Jackman’s character takes the law into his own hands to find out where his daughter is.

As the father of a young daughter, a kidnapping drama would not be my cup of tea to start with. But this film seems like two and a half hours of bleakness and darkness. And I can probably guarantee you that Dano’s character didn’t do it. I know the fall is the time for dramas, but this might just be too much for me.

Battle-of-the-Year-Official-Movie-Poster2. Battle of the Year (Sony/Screen Gems, 2,008 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Since we are talking about depressing things, let’s talk about Josh Holloway’s career.  Lost made him a breakout star, and at one time, fans were suggesting him for every big role that came down the pike (people are still saying he should play the X-Men’s Gambit). And here he is, in his first “above the title” role since that show ended, and this is he’s in this film. Yeah, I guess all that heat cooled way down didn’t it?

This film focuses on Holloway’s character trying to assemble an all-star troupe of dancers so America can once again win the international Battle of the Year dance competition (which apparently is a real event), So, it’s Miracle with more popping and locking.

If you needed another reason not to see the film, it also stars pop star Chris “I punched Rihanna” Brown. He’s never going to live that down, and he shouldn’t. I don’t want him to get my money.

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New Releases: September 28, 2012

Posted on 27 September 2012 by William Gatevackes

1. Hotel Transylvania (Sony/Columbia, 3,349 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated PG): See, I’m conflicted about this one. I have a natural aversion to any film that features both Adam Sandler and David Spade in it, even if they are only providing voices. However, Genndy Tartakovsky has done Samurai Jack and the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV cartoons, some quality stuff.

When it’s this much of a toss up,I go to the plot: Dracula’s idyllic life running a resort for monsters looking for a break from humanity comes to an end when his hotel is discovered by a human boy. No, it’s not that the secret is out, it’s because the boy develops feelings for Drac’s teenage daughter.

It is a unique twist on a rather common premise. But it’s also Sandler and Spade.  If only there was a good time travel movie coming out this week instead.

2. Looper (TriStar, 2,992 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated R): What I love about this movie is that writer/director Rian Johnson came up with this film with the idea to cast his friend Joseph Gordon-Levitt. By some casting miracle, Bruce Willis decided to join the film as the future version of Gordon-Levitt’s character. One problem: They don’t look anything alike. So, even though he was with the project from the very beginning, Gordon-Levitt is the one going through hours of make-up to look like Willis and not the other way around, because, well, I guess Willis doesn’t wear make-up.

Of course, as good as the make-up is, it has the unfortunate disadvantage of having ample examples of how a younger Bruce Willis look easily available on Netflix. But Gordon-Levitt’s acting as a pseudo-Willis is spot on.

But what about the film? Oh, it is a futuristic thriller where Gordon-Levitt is a hitman for the mob. Only with a twist–the mob sends their victims back in time so there isn’t a dead body in their present day. Things go swimmingly until the assassin looks an older version of himself in the eye as his next victim.

3. Won’t Back Down (Fox, 2,515 Theaters, 121 Minutes, Rated PG): Let’s do the rundown, shall we? Hot button topic that is in the news today? Check. Two women fighting against all odds against an unmovable system? Check. Cast loaded with Oscar nominees and/or winners? Check. Based on a true story? Well, it says it was based on actual events, so, close enough. Check.

What we have here is an Oscar-bait movie that is also trying to be a financially successful film as well. Typically, films like these succeed in neither goal.

The film centers on a young mother (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who teams up with an educator (Viola Davis) to try to make their inner city school better.

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OSCARS 2012: Know Your Nominees:Best Actress

Posted on 23 February 2012 by William Gatevackes

In the days leading up to the 84th Academy Awards, FilmBuffOnline will be offering profiles on all the nominees in the major categories. Some may be well know, others might be new to you, but if you need a refresher on these talented nominees, here it is.

Glenn Close

Nominated for: playing the title character, a woman pretending to be a man in 19th century Ireland, in Albert Nobbs.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Where you might know her from:

Close has had a long and varied career. Her most memorable roles are as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction, Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil in Dangerous Liasons, and Sunny von Bulow in Reversal of Fortune. Most recently, she is known for her role of Patty Hewes in the TV show Damages.

History with Oscar:

Glenn Close has five prior Oscar nominations.

1983: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The World According to Garp (lost to Jessica Lange, Tootsie).

1984: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Big Chill (lost to Linda Hunt, The Year of Living Dangerously).

1985: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Natural (lost to Peggy Ashcroft, A Passage to India).

1988: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Fatal Attraction (lost to Cher, Moonstruck).

1989: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Dangerous Liasons (lost to Jodie Foster, The Accused).

Viola Davis

Nominated for: playing Aibileen Clark, an African-American maid who provides insight into the lives of the black servantry the 1960′s South in The Help.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actress, Washington DC Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Won, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Nominated, Best Actress, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Where you might know her from:

You might remember her fromher Oscar nominated role of Mrs. Miller in Doubt or from her recurring roles as Donna Emmett on the TV series Law and Order: Special Victims Unit or as Lynda P. Frazier on The United States of Tara television program.

History with Oscar:

Viola Davis has one prior Oscar nomination.

2009: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Doubt (lost to Penélope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona).

Rooney Mara

Nominated for: playing Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker who investigates a missing persons case in  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Outside of her showy cameo in The Social Network, Mara’s only major screen role was as Nancy in 2010′s Nightmare on Elm Street remake.

History with Oscar:

This is Rooney Mara’s first Oscar nomination.

Meryl Streep

Nominated for: playing controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

Other honors for this role:

Nominated, Best Actress, Washington DC Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, New York Film Critics Circle.

Nominated, Best Actress, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Won, Best Actress, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Her almost yearly appearances on the Oscar telecasts.

History with Oscar:

Meryl Streep has sixteen previous Oscar nominations and two wins. If you need to have a pee break or get a snack, you should probably do so now. This is going to take a while.

1979: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, The Deer Hunter (lost to Maggie Smith, California Suite).

1980: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Kramer vs. Kramer (Won).

1982: Best Actress in a Leading Role, The French Lieutenant’s Woman (lost to Katharine Hepburn, On Golden Pond).

1983: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Sophie’s Choice (Won).

1984: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Silkwood (lost to Shirley McLaine, Terms of Endearment).

1986: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Out of Africa (lost to Geraldine Page, A Trip to Bountiful).

1988: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Ironweed (lost to Cher, Moonstruck).

1989: Best Actress in a Leading Role, A Cry in the Dark (lost to Jodie Foster, The Accused).

1991: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Postcards from the Edge (lost to Kathy Bates, Misery).

1996: Best Actress in a Leading Role, The Bridges of Madison County (lost to Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking).

1999: Best Actress in a Leading Role, One True Thing (lost to Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love).

2000: Best Actress in a Leading Role, Music of the Heart (Lost to Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry).

2003: Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Adaptation (lost to Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago).

2007: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, The Devil Wears Prada (lost to Helen Mirren, The Queen).

2009: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Doubt (lost to Kate Winslet, The Reader).

2010: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Julie & Julia (lost to Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side).

Michelle Williams

Nominated for: playing a fragile Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn.

Other honors for this role:

Won, Best Actress, Washington DC Film Critics Association.

Won, Best Actress, Boston Society of Film Critics.

Nominated, Best Actress, 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards.

Won, Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy , The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Nominated, Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role , 2012 Screen Actors Guild Award.

Nominated, Best Supporting Actress, 2012 BAFTA Awards.

Nominated, Best Female Lead, 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Where you might know her from:

Even though she has been noticed and received much critical acclaim for her work in films such as Brokeback Mountain, Blue Valentine and Shutter Island, she will probably always be remembered for her role of Jen Lindley in Dawson’s Creek.

History with Oscar:

Michelle Williams has two prior Oscar nominations.

2006: Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role, Brokeback Mountain (lost to Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener).

2011: Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, Blue Valentine (lost to Natalie Portman, Black Swan).

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Oscar 2012: BAFTAs Reaffirm The Favorites—With One Big Exception

Posted on 13 February 2012 by William Gatevackes

Last night, The British Academy of Television and Films Arts gave out their awards. Oscar favorite The Artist took home seven awards, including Picture, Director (Michel Hazanavicius) and Actor (Jean Dujardin). And Oscar favorites Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer took home awards for the Supporting categories for their work The Help and Beginners respectively.

These awards aren’t much of a surprise. However, the woman who won Best Actress might throw a spanner in the works of many an Oscar office pool–Meryl Streep took home the award for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Viola Davis? Watch out!

It might be easy to write this win off (and her Golden Globe win as well) as the British (and, in the Golden Globe’s case, the international media) honoring Streep for her sterling portrayal of a person who was an iconic figure in European and British history. However, there are a lot of British members in the Academy and Streep holds a lot of respect within the organization. I think that makes it fair to say that the Best Actress Oscar has become a two person race.

Below is a list of the rest of the winners from last night:

Picture

The Artist

Actor

Jean Dujardin – The Artist

Actress

Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady

Director

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Supporting actress

Octavia Spencer – The Help

Supporting actor

Christopher Plummer – Beginners

Animated film

Rango

Documentary

Senna

Outstanding British film

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Film not in the English language

The Skin I Live In

Outstanding debut

Tyrannosaur

Adapted screenplay

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan

Original screenplay

The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius

Production design

Hugo – Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo

Cinematography

The Artist – Guillaume Schiffman

Makeup and hair

The Iron Lady – Mark Coulier, J. Roy Helland, Marese Langan

Costume design

The Artist – Mark Bridges

Editing

Senna – Gregers Sall and Chris King

Sound

Hugo – Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley

Original score

The Artist – Ludovic Bource

Rising star award

Adam Deacon

Academy fellowship

Martin Scorsese

Outstanding contribution to British cinema

John Hurt

Special visual effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 – Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler and David Vickery

Short animation

A Morning Stroll – Grant Orchard and Sue Goffe

Short film

Pitch Black Heist – John Maclean and Geraldine O’Flynn

Via: Guardian

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OSCARS 2012: The Screen Actors Guild Awards Reaffirms The Oscar Frontrunners

Posted on 30 January 2012 by William Gatevackes

Convential wisdom states that whoever wins at the Screen Actors Guild Awards has the best chance to take home an Oscar. If so, three “sure things” have gotten a little more sure and one toss-up category has become just a little more clearer.

The “sure things” are Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer for The Help and Christopher Plummer for Beginnings, all who were odds on favorites for an Oscar before the SAGs, each won in their respective categories. Their SAG wins are pretty much confirming what everyone already expected.

However, Jean Dujardin winning the prize for Best Actor does tell us something new. He has been an award year favorite, yet behind Academy favorite George Clooney in the odds to win an Oscar.  His win here throws that paradigm out the window and slingshots Dujardin into being the odds on favorite to take home a statue on February 26th.

The Help taking home the big award for the night has cause the Internet to ask “Did The Help Sink The Artist‘s Oscar Chances……?” and “Did “The Help” Change The Oscar Game?,” meaning that the Best Picture race has just got a little bit more interesting. It hasn’t. These writers just failed to notice that The Help won for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, not Best Picture. With Davis, Spencer and Jessica Chastain’s names appearing on many an awards ballot this year and with a cast that also features actresses the caliber of Sissy Spacey, Allison Janney, Cicely Tyson and Mary Steenburgen–just to name a few–the film NOT winning for best ensemble would be a shock. But the SAG’s don’t have a Best Picture and great ensembles do not necessarily equate to great pictures. So, the film’s win here does nothing to help its chances on Oscar night.

Here are a list of the nominees for the awards, with the winners in bold.

Films

Ensemble

The Artist

Bridesmaids

The Descendants

WINNER: The Help

Midnight in Paris

Lead actress

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

WINNER: Viola Davis, The Help

Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Lead actor

Demián Bichir, A Better Life

George Clooney, The Descendants

Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar

WINNER: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Supporting actor

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn

Armie Hammer, J. Edgar

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

WINNER: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Supporting actress

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

Jessica Chastain, The Help

Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs

WINNER: Octavia Spencer, The Help

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Oscar Nominations: Who Will Make The Cut?

Posted on 23 January 2012 by William Gatevackes

It’s that time of year again. Tomorrow, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for the 84st Annual Academy Awards.

Every year there are snubs and surprises, thrills and controversies. There is no way of knowing who will be nominated, especially in a year when the Best Picture nominees could be 5 films, or ten films, or any number in between.  We here at FilmBuffOnLine, who believe the day nominations are announced should be a National holiday, are going to try and handicap the process for you.

We will try to tell you, in the most non-committal way possible, who we think are Almost Certain to get a nomination, who Definite May Be nominated, and whose nomination is a Outside Shot in the major categories (the four acting categories, Best Director, and Best Picture). We are trying to cover all bases, but don’t come to us if you lose money on your Oscar Nomination pool.

Best Actor:

Almost Certain:

George Clooney, The Descendants; Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Definite Maybe:

Michael Fassbender, Jane Eyre, X-Men: First Class, A Dangerous Method or Shame; Leonardo DiCaprio, J Edgar; Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Outside Shot:

Demián Bichir, A Better Life; Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid Love, Drive, or The Ides of March; Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Clooney and Dujardin have won the most hardware this year, which not only make them a lock to be nominated, but also likely one of them will be taking home the award.

Fassbender has been great in a lot of films (listing X-Men: First Class was a bit of a joke, he’ll most likely get the nod for Shame, but I think he gave an Oscar worthy performance in that film) so he is practically a lock for a nomination. The next two are about 50/50 of getting in. The Academy seems to have something against DiCaprio, and his performance as J. Edgar Hoover while not horrible (he got a lot of nods for other awards for it), was not amazing enough to overcome that film’s lackluster performance critically or financially. Brad Pitt eked out a couple of wins along the way (most notably, the New York and Boston critics), and while Moneyball was well received, I don’t see it as 100% Oscar material.

If DiCaprio and Pitt don’t get nominated, there are worthy choices waiting to take a spot. Bichir was great in a small film with a limited release that opened over the summer. These all work against him, but he is deserving of a nod. Gosling, like Fassbender, was great in a lot of films this year, and has been nominated before, but none of the films he was in seem to pass Oscar muster. Oldman was flat out amazing in Tinker Tailor, but his subtle performance might be lost on Oscar voters.

Best Actress

Almost Certain:

Viola Davis, The Help;  Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady; Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin; Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Definite Maybe:

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs

Outside Shot:

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist; Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene; Charlize Theron, Young Adult

On paper, this seems to be the category that seems to have the least wiggle room. Davis, Streep, Close, Swinton and Williams are all in the type of roles that Oscar voters seem to trip over giving nominations to. But in every round of nominations, there are bound to be surprises, and this category is ripe for one.

Bejo and Olsen have the best chance of breaking in, in my opinion. But Bejo is getting pushed for Best Supporting Actress instead of Lead, even though she essentially had a lead role. Olsen got good notices in her role, but suffers from the same “too early/too small handicap” that Bichir has. Theron has received nods for Best Actress in the Golden Globes (where there are nominations for comedy and drama) and the Critic’ Choice Awards (where there are six nominees). She has an Oscar pedigree, but Young Adult could very well be seen as less than Oscar worthy.

Best Supporting Actor:

Almost Certain:

Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn; Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Definite Maybe:

Albert Brooks, Drive; Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Outside Shot:

Nick Nolte, Warrior; Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method; Andy Serkis, Rise of the Planet of the Apes or The Adventures of Tintin; Armie Hammer, J Edgar; Tom Hardy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Plummer has won the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice award Supporting Actor, making him a lock for an  Oscar nomination, if not the actual award. Branagh has been consistently nominated for his apt portrayal of Laurence Olivier, so he could get the nod as well. Slightly less certain but highly possible are nomination of two actors best known for comedy, Brooks and Hill, for playing against type. After that, place your bets. Will Nolte’s “sports mentor” role make the grade? Will Mortensen’s change of pace role as Sigmund Freud catch the Academy’s attention? Will the Academy make a statement and move towards the future by giving Serkis the nod for his superior motion-capture work? Does the Academy like J Edgar more than the critics and the general public do, thereby swing the nod to Hammer? Will Hardy represent Tinker Tailor‘s stellar cast with a nomination? Will it be another cast member? Or will the film be ignored?

Best Supporting Actress

Almost Certain:

Octavia Spencer, The Help; Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

Definite Maybe:

Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids

Outside Shot:

Jessica Chastain, The Help or Take Shelter; Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs; Carey Mulligan, Shame; Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

What I said for Christopher Plummer above also applies to Spencer. The only chance Bejo doesn’t get nominated here is if she gets nominated for Best Actress. But that race is crowded so I think she’ll land here. She is deserving.

The only thing keeping me from making McCarthy almost certain is the Academy’s apparent hatred of the comedy. They do not like to give nominations from comedies, no matter how good the role or film is. This time, though, I think they’ll make an exception.

After that, pick two. Chastain and Woodley might have a slight advantage, but McTeer has a good chance and Mulligan could sneak in.

Best Director:

Almost Certain:

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist; Martin Scorsese, Hugo

Definite Maybe:

Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris;  Alexander Payne, The Descendants

Outside Shot:

David Fincher, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life; Bennett Miller, Moneyball; Steven Spielberg, War Horse or The Adventures of Tintin; Tate Taylor, The Help

Hazanavicius is definitely most deserving and Scorsese won the Golden Globe, so they should both be nominated. After that, Payne is almost a lock, as is Allen, due to the number of nominations they received. After that, well, ot depends. Fincher got a Directors Guild nomination, Malick has been on a lot of west coast critics awards list, which might be a barometer of how the Academy will go. Miller might ride the surprising accolades Moneyball is getting this award season with a nomination. And months ago, it looked like it wouldn’t be a question if Spielberg would be nominated, but for which film. Now, here he is, a long shot for any nomination at all. Weird. And Taylor has to be consider taking into account the number of great performance that came from that film.

Best Picture:

Almost Certain:

The Artist; The Descendants

Definite Maybe:

Hugo; The Help ; Midnight in Paris

Outside Chance:

The Tree of Life; War Horse; Moneyball; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; The Adventures of Tintin; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or just about any other film out there that has a miniscule amount of buzz.

Not having a definite number of nominees beforehand really plays havoc with the prognosticating business. I tried to pick out the five most likely films to get nominated, but with the possibility of five more, well, it could be any film of a certain stature.

So, what do you think? Am I on to something, or totally wrong? I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

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Oscar Nominations Post-Mortem: How Did We Do?

Posted on 22 January 2009 by William Gatevackes

oscarsEarlier this week, we here at FilmBuffOnline handicapped the Oscar race as we saw it. As we all know, the nominations have just been released. How did we do?  Well, let’s find out. And the nominees are…

Performance by an actor in a leading role-

  • Richard Jenkins in The Visitor
  • Frank Langella in Frost/Nixon
  • Sean Penn in Milk
  • Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  4 out of 5

The One We Didn’t:Do we get any credit for saying the academy might snub Leonardo DiCaprio? No, because Richard Jenkins should have been a no brainer. His performance was one of the most critically acclaimed of the year. This is what Jenkins had to say about the nomination:

“This nomination is such an unexpected honor and I am grateful to the Academy for the recognition. I’ve been awed by the work of my fellow nominees this year and am truly humbled to be in their company. Having been an actor for many years now, I am moved by the fact that something like this can happen at this point in my career, particularly for a film that has meant so much to me.”

 

Richard Jenkins, THE VISITOR

Performance by an actor in a supporting role-

  • Josh Brolin in Milk
  • Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt
  • Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight
  • Michael Shannon in Revolutionary Road

Number of Nominations We “Called”: 4 out of 5.

The One We Didn’t: Nobody from Frost/Nixon got the call. Strangely, this was the only acting nod Revolutionary Road received. Shannon got good notices for his role, but was he the most deserving of the cast?

Performance by an actress in a leading role- 

  • Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married
  • Angelina Jolie in Changeling
  • Melissa Leo in Frozen River
  • Meryl Streep in Doubt
  • Kate Winslet in The Reader

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  3.5 out of 5

The One Point Five  We Didn’t: We are taking partial credit for Kate Winslet. We predicted she would be nominated and that her role in The Reader should be lead. I think that should be good enough for a .5. Leo, like Jenkins, was an early year, yet still worthy performance that we goofed on not including. Althought ignoring Sally Hawkins was a major snub.

This is what Kate Winslet said on her nomination for The Reader:

“I’m extremely happy to have been nominated. And very fortunate. Playing Hanna Schmitz will always remain one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever been blessed with. I’m genuinely thrilled not just for myself but for the wonderful Stephen Daldry and David Hare. These nominations are a testament to their unwavering commitment to this film. And I’m also very happy for all the people in Germany whose hard work on THE READER, has been rewarded by these nominations. Surely Anthony Minghella and Sydney Pollack are smiling down on us today!”

- Kate Winslet, Oscar nominee for Best Lead Actress in THE READER

 Performance by an actress in a supporting role-

  • Amy Adams in Doubt
  • Penélope Cruz in Vicky Cristina Barcelona
  • Viola Davis in Doubt
  • Taraji P. Henson in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler 

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  4 out of 5

The One We Didn’t: We were going to list Henson, but the Oscar’s not following the Golden Globes’ lead on putting Winslet in this category through us off. Yeah, yeah, that’s what happened.

Achievement in directing-

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, David Fincher
  • Frost/Nixon, Ron Howard
  • Milk, Gus Van Sant
  • The Reader, Stephen Daldry
  • Slumdog Millionaire, Danny Boyle
Number of Nominations We “Called”:  5 out of 5
Woo Hoo!!!:  Yes, we did think that Mike Leigh was “Almost Certain” to get a nod for Happy-Go-Lucky. But I guess the Academy didn’t like that film as much as the rest of the world did. But we said that all the nomininated directors had a shot. So, we are calling that a victory. 

Best motion picture of the year-

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
  • Frost/Nixon
  • Milk
  • The Reader
  • Slumdog Millionaire

Number of Nominations We “Called”:  4 out of 5

The One We Didn’t: In what is becoming a rare occurance, the Best Picture nominations match up with the Best Director nominations. This means that The Reader gets the nod over Revolutionary Road. And, yes, The Dark Knight and Wall-E too. But the Best Animated Film was created so the “real film” don’t have to mingle with the animated riff raff. And, really. A comic book movie? For Best Picture?

Stay tuned to FilmBuffOnline, because, as we get closer to the ceremony, the staff will bring you our Oscar picks.

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Oscar Nominations: Who Will Make The Cut?

Posted on 20 January 2009 by William Gatevackes

oscarIt’s that time of year again. This Thursday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the nominees for the 81st Annual Academy Awards.

Every year there are snubs and surprises, thrills and controversies. There is no way of knowing who will be nominated, but we here at FilmBuffOnLine, who believe the day nominations are announced should be a National holiday, are going to try and handicap the process for you.

We will try to tell you who we think are Almost Certain to get a nomination, who Definite May Be nominated, and whose nomination is a Outside Shot in the major categories (the four acting categories, Best Director, and Best Picture). We are trying to cover all bases, but don’t come to us if you lose money on your Oscar Nomination pool.

Best Actor:

Almost Certain:

Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler; Sean Penn, Milk

Definite Maybe:

Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon; Leonardo DiCaprio, Revolutionary Road; Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Outside Shot:

Colin Farrell, In Bruges; Clint Eastwood, Gran Torino

It seems that this year, if Mickey Rourke didn’t win a Best Actor award, Sean Penn won it. Both men seem to be all but a lock for a nomination. Benjamin Button seems to be role that screams “nominate me,” so Pitt has a good chance. Langella won a Tony for originating the role of Nixon on Broadway, so it seem logical that he’d at least get a nod. The Academy might have something against DiCaprio, since he has been snubbed more than once in the past. That could work against him here. Farrell won the Golden Globe for this role, which gives him a chance. And the Academy might want to reward Eastwood for what could be his last acting role with a nomination.

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