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David Poland

By David Poland

A Little Less Support In Search Of More

There is good news for the Marisa Tomeis (Before The Devil Knows You

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29 Responses to “A Little Less Support In Search Of More”

  1. movielocke says:

    does harvey plan to push any of the men in supporting or lead? the supporting actor category seems wide open to pick up another nom for the film.
    this’ll be very interesting, going from a sure fire win to merely a surefire nomination.

  2. Rob says:

    Seems like almost as bad an idea as dumping I’m Not There into 60 markets on the first weekend.
    I haven’t seen Atonement yet, but otherwise I can’t imagine any of those supporting contenders, great as they are, taking home the trophy. Leigh, Tomei and Ryan are all way too dark, and Ruby Dee has, like, four lines.

  3. movieman says:

    I agree, Rob.
    Deciding to slot Blanchett in the lead category seems like pure Weinstein-ian hubris that could very well backfire.
    And as delicious as a supporting nod for Winslet would be, how many Academy voters will have actually seen “R&C”? Is Turturro himself going to personally bankroll the manufacture and distribution of all those screeners? Highly unlikely.
    Dee has one great moment in “American Gangster,” but is that really enough to secure a nomination, let alone a win? (Yes, Beatrice Straight had miniscule screen time in “Network,” too, but her big emotional blow-out scene with Bill Holden was a doozy, and lasted a lot longer than Dee’s climactic face-off with Denzel.)
    I’d love to see Tomei, Leigh, Mortimer and Ryan all get nominated, though I would personally slot Vanessa Redgrave over Ronans in the “Atonement” slot.
    How about Jennifer Garner in “Juno”? She’s wonderfully touching, funny and warm in “the feel-good movie of the season.”
    I think a potential Oscar dark horse–at least in acting and screenplay categories–is Fox Searchlight’s “The Savages.” Finally got the chance to watch it last nite, and it’s an emotional bruiser. Hoffman, Linney and Bosco are all magnificent, and the script is flat-out brilliant. It’s like a great Woody Allen movie–if the characters in an Allen movie were actually forced to deal with “real” instead of imagined issues.

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    David: Wasn’t there a similar situation with another Weinstein production a few years back? I’m thinking of Little Voice and Michael Caine. Many people (myself included) thought he would be a lock for a Best Supporting Actor nod, but he was pushed for Best Actor instead. The result: No win, not even a nomination. Maybe this should serve as a cautionary tale?
    BTW: After seeing him in so many great Broadway and off-Broadway productions, I would love to see Bosco get some Oscar love.

  5. Cadavra says:

    This is a non-starter. Even if Blanchett does get the BA nom, I can’t imagine that many folks would vote for what is clearly a supporting role. Moreover, she just won three years ago, so there’s no rush to give her a second so soon unless she clearly deserves it, which in this case she doesn’t.

  6. movieman says:

    Blanchett is a brilliant chameleon.
    Who else could play Katherine Hepburn, Queen Elizabeth I and Bob Dylan in the same lifetime?
    She deserves every (best supporting actress) award in the book.
    It’s no more of a lead than her Hepburn role in “The Aviator” that won her a b.s.a. Oscar three years ago.
    You’re right, Joe: it would be lovely to see Bosco follow in Alan Arkin’s “LMS” footsteps. And I really hope that Hoffman and Linney both get nominated (as well as Tamara Jenkins’ great script).

  7. waterbucket says:

    Is there any chance for Kelly Macdonald from No Country for Old Men? I thought she was excellent, especially in the final scene with Javier.

  8. James Leer says:

    Definitely more of a chance than Kate Winslet in “Romance & Cigarettes”! Did DP sneak that one in just to see if were paying attention?

  9. jeffmcm says:

    When I went to see I’m Not There in Denver on Friday, we were watching all the normal trailers on film and then all of a sudden they switched to the video projector and showed a muddy, murky, hard-to-hear video trailer for Romance & Cigarettes and I felt embarrassed for everyone involved. The movie looks okay but the presentation and the cheapness of the marketing may not be helping much.

  10. Seems odd to put Blanchett up for BA instead of SA….but is it because she’s the only female “lead” type in I’M NOT THERE? I obviously haven’t seen it yet so I don’t know…

  11. Rob says:

    Yes, but Charlotte Gainsbourg probably has almost as much screen time.
    No one actor is a “lead” in the movie.

  12. movieman says:

    “R&C” doesn’t entirely work, but it’s a helluva ride. I saw it at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival, and could never understand why Sony Classics let it slip out of their hands. Yeah, it’s a marketing “challenge,” but so what? SC made their rep on “difficult” films.
    I have no doubt that if “R&C” had been given a proper release by a major studio specialty division (say, uh, SC), Winslet would be a lock in the supporting category. Like Blanchett, she’s another brilliant, fearless chameleon who can do anything.

  13. mutinyco says:

    I think I’m the only person who wasn’t into Blanchett. I found her performance more artifice than anything. She was imitating a very specific Dylan, yet her femininity created an uninvolving androgynous character that never really felt like a real person. I much preferred Heath Ledger — as he seemed to play the only actual human being in the movie.

  14. Filipe says:

    At least she’s closer to a lead than Keira Knightley is.

  15. This has got to be the dumbest move of all time—she had the supporting category as close to LOCKED as any category is… LOCKED! Now she has no chance of winning Best Actress. If this is true, then I do not understand where the Oscar-savvy Harvey Weinstein has gone to, but he will be Gone Baby Gone, and so will the Best Supporting Actress…

  16. That’s… ummm… wow. Those Weinsteins sure are crazy. I guess they’re trying to follow in their Nicole Kidman-is-the-lead-despite-having-the-least-screen-time move for The Hours. I suppose the argument will be that she is the centre of the film (like Kidman), but even so… that’s kind of ridiculous.
    I mean, it’ll certainly be exciting in Oscar predicting terms (who to throw out?! who to put in?!) but… yeah… hmmm…
    Romance and Cigarettes was recently released on DVD down here. It’s #1 on my dvd queue.

  17. mutinyco says:

    It’s the Hannibal Lecter strategy. Way back, it was decided that Anthony Hopkins should be pushed for Best Actor over Supporting for Silence of the Lambs. However, once nominated, a lot of people were upset because they thought he couldn’t win — he was considered a shoo-in for Supporting. Even going into Oscar night Nick Nolte was the odds-on favorite.
    Then Hopkins won.
    But Silence of the Lambs had grossed over $100-mil (and wound up sweeping the Oscars). I’m Not There, though it might be the most impressive piece of filmmaking all year, won’t.
    If Weinstein wants her in the Best Actress category it’s not just a display of hubris. It’s also because they’ve sized up the other prospective nominees and think they can legitimately compete.

  18. djk813 says:

    An when are the Golden Globes just going to reorganize their categories any way to just go with Comedy and Drama? Even when you’re talking about pure musicals, some are comedies and others are dramas. Why do they all get grouped with the comedies?

  19. waterbucket says:

    Actually, a movie with an Oscar-nominated performance for lead actress can be seen as more important compared to one with an Oscar-winning performance for supporting. I’ve watched some old movies simply because they had Oscar-nominated lead acting performances. Supporting, not so much.

  20. David Poland says:

    A couple of notes.
    One is that where an performance runs is a weird balancing act of the studio, the actor, the actor’s reps, and factors like where The Golden Globes places the performance. There are, for instance, a number of performances that were pushed to the HFPA for lead because 10 slots offers more opportunities while there are only 5 supporting slots. Some stuck. Some didn’t.
    In this case, the external argument would be that Blanchett has about 40 minutes of screen time, which makes her the biggest role, and that Todd Haynes sees her as the main character. Your call.
    Also, Sony will be sending out Romance & Cigarettes with their studio DVD package. And there is a push going on. The film has done excellent business in NY, is opening LA, and John Turturro is fighting the good fight. It is a bit of a reach, but Winslet is Winslet, it is a breathtaking performance, and it is, as so often, a thin year for woman’s roles.
    Finally, I love Kelly MacDonald in No Country… but it is a pretty tiny role, no? With them chasing noms for three men, the fourth is a dark horse even within the film’s universe. This is unlike Gone Baby Gone, which I still don’t expect to happen, but which is clearly The Von Amy Ryan Express.

  21. James Leer says:

    “it is, as so often, a thin year for woman’s roles.”
    Not in Supporting. You may have a point in the lead category, though…maybe the Weinsteins’ strategy isn’t as crazy as it seems.
    “Also, Sony will be sending out Romance & Cigarettes with their studio DVD package. And there is a push going on. The film has done excellent business in NY…”
    It’s been on, like, one theater (sometimes two) in NY for the bulk of its run, and they’ve hardly been having sellout shows. Winslet is far more of a reach than MacDonald.

  22. “and it is, as so often, a thin year for woman’s roles.”
    For someone who seemingly sees most of the films out there not to mention countless festival films I’m surprised you would say this. I generally find that there are plenty of great performances, it’s just that the Academy (and most awards bodies for that matter) either don’t look far beyond the general concensus of candidates or not enough of the performances are in movies that appeal to Academy types such as genre flicks – oh some of “genre” performances that have been forever lost to awards groups!
    If I had a say the likes of Laura Linney (Jindabyne), Christina Ricci (Black Snake Moan) and Brenda Blethyn (Clubland aka Introducing the Dwights) would be in with a fighting chance in lead actress and people like Sam Morton (Control), Michelle Pfeiffer (Stardust and Hairspray) and Deanna Dezmari (Away From Her) would be there too in supporting.
    And I’m not including the great ladies I’ve seen in Aussie films that haven’t been released in America like Maia Thomas (Noise), Saskia Burmeister (The Jammed), Lisa Flanigan (September). Perhaps the best female performance I’ve seen this year was actually Joan Chen in The Home Song Stories.
    Unless of course you meant it was a thin year for female performances that are on Oscar’s radar, in which case – yeah, you’re probably right.

  23. David Poland says:

    Well, Kami, this is a discussion of awards here, not just great performances.
    I came quite close to including Zoe Bell as my wished surprise as Supporting Actress in Death Proof. It ain’t method, but it’s a great turn and she stunts more like an actor than she acts.
    There are always great women’s performance in any year. But nominations are often attached to movies that are in BP play and if you look at this year’s crop, there aren’t a lot of women at the top. Theron is lost – in a very good performance – in Elah’s release problems. McDonald is in 10 minutes of No Country (though I agree, she is more likely at this point than Winslet on the face of it). Roberts is supt in CWW. Mrs. Lovett is really the lead in stage version of Sweeney, so that fits. Blonsky is overshadowed by Travolta in Hairspray. No femme lead in Into The Wild or Diving Bell or Kite Runner or There Will Be Blood or There Will Be Blood or 3:10 to Yuma or Devil Knows You’re Dead. So you have Sweeney and Juno and Atonement before you start looking outside that box for lead actresses… Cotillard.

  24. Unison says:

    Laura Linney (The Savages)
    Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
    Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)
    Ellen Page (Juno)
    Julie Christie (Away From Her)
    Helena Bonham-Carter (Sweeney Todd)
    Keira Knightley (Atonement)
    Amy Adams (Enchanted)
    I don’t know that the field is nearly empty enough for Blanchett to make it into lead actress. I’d say those 8 are all realistic contenders. Supporting is a far weaker category if people are tossing around performances like Ruby Dee’s and Garner’s as legitimate bets.

  25. Jackrabbit Slim says:

    Whose decision is this? No one “submits” a performer for a particular category, at least not with AMPAS. The voting branches decide. Miramax can put out ads suggesting she should be in the lead category, but that doesn’t mean the Academy will follow suit. What this does is actually diminish her chances in both categories, because her votes will split. The SAG Awards, on the other hand, do have the studio choose the category. Not sure about the Globes.

  26. MarkVH says:

    I can’t fathom Amy Ryan or Ruby Dee getting nominated for either of their roles. Ryan overplays like crazy, and her part is heinously written and one-note (I’m a HUGE fan of her in The Wire).
    As for Ruby Dee, she’s got the wise-old-black-mom thing down in AG, but her “explosive” confrontation with Denzel towards the end came off to me, just like everything else in the film, as forced and completely unconvincing. If AG nets noms for anything beyond Costume Design, I’ll give up on life. It’s a really, really not good film (not even merely a “good” one like Ridley Scott’s last awards travesty, Gladiator).

  27. I,Claudius says:

    I’m skeptical of this. It’s a supporting role and that’s the category she’ll be nominated in. I’m certain of this.

  28. “If AG nets noms for anything beyond Costume Design, I’ll give up on life.”
    If the Academy nominates __________ then they lose ALL CREDABILITY!!!!!!omg4ilz
    Gimme a break.

  29. Cadavra says:

    AG for Costume Design? Outside of that dumbass chinchilla coat, I saw nothing out of the ordinary there. Of course, this is also a movie set in the 70s in which, apart from an occasional extra, everyone has a shaved head or very short hair, instead of the big-ass Afros that were most common then.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

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