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David Poland

By David Poland

EW Goes With Up In the Air For Oscar Race Leader

The image, oddly, doesn’t much connect with what Up In the Air is. Still, promo is promo and the film, trying to hold off the Avatar onslaught, adds one more feather to its cap.
I was also sent the story inside the magazine, but as I was about to post it, I realized that I was stealing from EW… and that would be wrong. I’m sure it will be online before you know it. They are all charming and talk about their body doubles and lactation. George even admits, though Stan Rosenfeld gets pissed off when the press suggests it is the case, that he is intentionally NOT doing interviews (the foundation of feature stories) for this film. He does not hide behind his movie that was shooting overseas. Good for him.
I will share this one tidbit, that I loved…
clooney quote.png
Mr. Clooney is clearly more self-aware than EW’s editors or journalists.
Pop-up a larger version of the cover.

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39 Responses to “EW Goes With Up In the Air For Oscar Race Leader”

  1. a_loco says:

    Kendrick looks hot, Vera looks old, and that’s one hell of a sexy beard.

  2. LexG says:

    The one on the right, please.
    Clooney has the best life ever. I just kinda wish he’d go slightly more “Jack” than “Warren” in his film choices and aesthetic tastes once in a while, but still…
    I’m kind of thinking he’ll win; I’d be ALL FOR Bridges, which would be long overdue, and Clooney already has one and gets to be Unofficial Mayor of Los Angeles, while Bridges has 40 YEARS of masterpieces on his belt…
    Only thing there is, Bridges’ movie? Last few weeks I’ve tried to catch as much “Oscar bait” as possible, but damn does the prospect of CH sound like some homework. Going out in the rain on a blustery December night to watch Bridges warblin’, slurring and crooning in a total downer? Will enough people see it to crown him?
    And seems like Freeman-as-Mandela peaked, sort of came and went… Kind of a goofy performance IMO anyway, Mandela reduced to this doddering old man blowing off meetings to watch sports on TV. Liked the movie, who doesn’t love Freeman, but didn’t strike me as some tortured, soul-baring tour de force.
    I’m sure Bridges is as good or better, but I suspect Clooney will win. This town LOVES that guy.

  3. movieman says:

    Nice of EW to throw their muscle behind “Up in the Air” (which sure could use it right about now), but I’m still not convinced that either “Air” or “Avatar” is the “presumed” front-runner.
    The idea of giving Cameron the whole enchilada 12 years after annointing him “king of the world” (a 12 year hiatus in which he didn’t direct a single feature film) seems preposterous.
    And “Air” just isn’t getting the b.o. traction most people who love the movie (like me) were expecting/hoping for. (Look at those weekday grosses where “The Blind Side” and “Air” are running neck and neck despite the former’s five week head start: something I sadly predicted.)
    I still think it’s a wide open race, although both “Nine” and “Invictus” both seem to be losing their preordained “well…they’re at least going to be nominated” status/steam.
    It seems more ironic than ever that 2009 would be the year they decided to go with 10 BP nominees.

  4. movieman says:

    Bridges is, predictably, sensational in “Crazy Heart,” Lex, But the movie itself? Ehhhh. It definitely isn’t “Tender Mercies” (or “Payday” for that matter), and it’s cobbled by the rank unpleasantness that is Maggie Gyllenhaal (whose Southern twang was as offensive to my eardrums as Gerard Butler’s “American”).
    Personally I thought Colin Farrell was the single greatest (and certainly most unexpected since Bridges was a given) thing about “CH.” Weird that he opted to go “uncredited” since he’s definitely supporting actor award-worthy.
    As anxious as I am to see Bridges finally win his damn Oscar already (shades of Marty S. at this point), I’d still be tickled pink if it’s his Rooster Cogburn in the Coens’ “True Grit” that finally does the trick. Duke deja vu and all that.

  5. movieman says:

    But Gawd, do I ever love Clooney!
    Been saying for years–or at least since “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind;” certainly since “Good Night, and Good Luck”–that he’s Beatty 2.0
    And seriously, Lex: is there any nobler path to follow than Mr. “What’s New, Pussycat?”‘s in this fucked-to-hell industry?
    The “Town” may dig him, but I can’t see Clooney winning a second acting prize…not this year anyway.
    Remember: neither Cary Grant (or Beatty) ever won a single (performance-based) Oscar.

  6. LexG says:

    Also: I am rooting for Kendrick, but on the flip side, at this early, early stage in her career, think she’d definitely fall victim to the “premature Supporting Actress win” curse.
    If (when) Mo’Nique wins, that “curse” is kinda negligible, because you kinda know “Precious” is an anomoly for her, and regardless of the acclaim she likely has every intention of sticking with broad comedies and daytime TV appearances instead of more prestige film roles.

  7. movieman says:

    Yep. Just like Jennifer Hudson’s “Dreamgirls” win (not that I want to appear racist: just telling it like it is).
    A win for Kendricks would turn her into Marisa Tomei #2: and look how long it took Tomei to shake that “peaked-too-soon” jinx shit.
    Kendricks needs to get signed for the Glinda role in the long-gestating “Wicked” movie adaptation pronto–preferably opposite Lea Michele’s Elphaba.
    And under the direction of P.J. Hogan (or Catherine Hawrdwicke).
    Hell, I’d even given them Zac Effron as Fiyero.
    Hoping against all hope that H’wood doesn’t fuck this one up the way Peter Jackson did “Lovely Bones.”

  8. aframe says:

    I love Kendricks, but I say Amanda Seyfried for Glinda.
    I wouldn’t write out Hudson just yet. I think the supporting work she’s taken since the win has been wise if conservative (SatC was a smart commercial call, and The Secret Lives of Bees and even the ill-fated Winged Creatures/Fragments enabled her to work in some strong ensembles), plus she is scheduled to play Winnie Mandela after all…

  9. movieman says:

    Seyfried would be okay in my book as Glinda (do you think they could get Streep and Kevin Kline to play Madame Morrible and Doctor Dillamond?). But Kendricks would still be my #1 choice (have you seen “Camp,” aframe?).
    And Michele is sheer genius, non?
    Hudson was surprisingly affecting in “Bees,” although her performance in “S&TC” was, for me, stunningly amateurish after the magnetism she displayed in “Dreamgirls.” (Nothing-not even Forest Whitaker–about “Winged Creatures” made any impression on me whatsoever.)
    And I’m not sure anyone is going to want to bankroll a Winnie Mandela biopic after the deafening silence that greeted “Invictus.”
    Sad, but true.

  10. movieman says:

    That shoulda been “Hardwicke,” not “Hawrdwicke.”
    (How embarrassing.)
    I just think Kendricks–with her natural Valley Girl intonations–would be a smoother fit for Glinda than Seyfried. Both are terrific (young) talents in my book, though.

  11. movieman says:

    …and “give them Zac Efron…” not, eek, “given them.”
    I guess that bottle of Pinot I inhaled with dinner is starting to take its toll.

  12. anghus says:

    i would love to see Inglorious Basterds win.
    I don’t know it its mathematically possible. but it would make my year.

  13. movielocke says:

    Farmiga is way sexier on that cover, just as she was far sexier in the movie (to be fair that was the intentional design of both characters, to de-sex the younger one and sex up the older one, both because of Clooney’s perspective and as a nice twist on the usual portrayal)
    And this is really more a byob, but I’m seeing a lot of winner predictions (which I always think are foolish prior to nominations) that are following a self-reinforcing ‘spread the wealth’ narrative for the top eight nominees. Meaning no repeats between Picture, Director, Acting and Screenplay wins.
    And I’m also seeing people saying Avatar can’t win because Grand Hotel is the only winner that didn’t at least have another nomination in the top 8 categories (apparently people don’t think that Cameron will get a nom for picture or director).
    So Dave, I’m wondering, what do you think Avatar’s chances are at a screenplay nomination? We know Editing nom and win is in the bag (and speaking of Editing, people are foolish to dismiss how FANTASTIC the editing of Invictus was and the quality of that editing is part of the reason I think the film is more alive than many think), but will the amount of CG put off a chance for Cinematography nomination because the DPs fear that it will win if they let it be nominated? I’ll be very curious to see if Avatar garners a Cinematography nod that it deserves, iirc O Brother Where Art Thou didn’t get a cinematography nod because using a Digital Intermediate meant the cinematography wasn’t “real”.
    I’m very curious to hear what the various Craft fields of the academy think of Avatar’s Art Direction/Production Design, Makeup, Cinematography etc. Will it be written off despite being the future of all of these fields? or will it actually garner respect and acclaim from those branches of the academy?
    To me, Avatar and the Craft nominations is one of the more interesting stories of the oscar season.
    It’s instructive to go back and read all the reviews of Natural Born Killers, the first feature edited on Avid. Every. Single. Critic UNIVERSALLY claims that because it was edited on a computer, zero thought went into the edits, and it was obviously a methodology that was doomed because editing performed on a computer meant the editing was robbed of any merit or artistic worth.
    Can you guys imagine editing Natural born killers with 2GB shuttle drives as your storage and a whole 128MB of RAM to run Avid and all your video? the thing was probably so slow it likely made cutting film look fast. Sort of like rendering Avatar or Tin Tin. 😉
    Also, I’d like to hear what Dave thinks about Sandra Bullock, personally I think she’s got all the timing, momentum and likeability in her favor, comparable this year only to Jeff Bridges, yet everyone seems to scorn her because she’s never starred in one of “our” movies before. “our” meaning not one of “theirs”, “them” being the hideous unwashed masses that like movies like Speed and romantic comedies.
    The Castes MUST be Reinforced! maintain segregation at all costs! Who she is matters more than the performance she gave! We can prejudge the merit based on her previous movies without having to see this movie, and our pre-judged bias will miraculously be revealed true if we do see it, and we will deny all day long that we went into her movie wanting to hate every moment of it from the beginning because she was in it. Self-fulfilling prophecies are pretty amazing and regular occurrences among the critics and film buffs and I’m thinking its inducing a hell of a lot of willful-blindness regarding Sandra Bullock. 😀
    And if you add box-office into the equation, she’s in a stronger position than Jeff Bridges.
    But in any event its not that we hate her because she’s a woman or anything. I mean afterall, it’s okay for the star of Dumb and Dumber or Tron to have an oscar comeback vehicle, but it is NOT okay for a female who’s been in equivalent movies to have an oscar comeback vehicle. We have Glass Cielings to maintain here, people, and women should really Know Their Place. Once in a woman’s picture (which everyone knows is the lowest genre least worthy of any notice and always absent of any artistic merit, as Douglas Sirk often showed us) always in women’s pictures.
    We can’t allow women to cross over. We can’t allow them to contaminate the “real” movies.
    But it’s alright for Jeff Bridges to cross over. He’s a Dude.

  14. yancyskancy says:

    movieman: As long as your beating yourself up over typos, it’s “Kendrick,” not “Kendricks.” 🙂
    As for WICKED, my gf plays that score on her iPod a lot (she saw the show last year and loved it). I don’t have the heart to tell her I think the music is pretty bad — so formulaic and standard it almost sounds like parody (has Trey Parker ever sunk his teeth into this one?). Maybe it all works in context, but I can’t say I’m clamoring for a big screen version.

  15. LexG says:

    Movielocke, are you seriously — seriously — saying Sandra Bullock’s and Jeff Bridges’ filmographies are of comparable integrity?
    Bridges goes back 40 years, and practically out of the gate he did “Last Picture Show”; Name one Sandra Bullock movie that approaches that classic, then I’ll name the twenty or so IMMORTAL CLASSICS Bridges has been in. You make it sound like “Tron” is the high-water mark by which his legacy is to be graded.
    Glad you have such affinity for Sandra Bullock, but pretty sure she herself would think you were going overboard acting like she’s this ghettoized acting force of nature (zing) who’s at risk of not getting her due for a pat football drama where she dons a phony dye job and a bogus accent and stamps her feet a lot ’cause she’s such a Southern firecracker.

  16. LexG says:

    Also, Movielocke… she starred in CRASH, a movie which won Best Picture, so doesn’t that kind of blow your “she’s never been in one of our movies!” tirade right to hell?

  17. Mr. Gittes says:

    Lex: Clooney’s next film, in which he plays a character named Jack in Anton Corbijn’s “A Very Private Gentleman,” will be badass. Well, the book was.

  18. christian says:

    I heard the score for WICKED and started laughing. Every song sounds like a Guffman-esque parody of a Big Broadway Show Tune. Horrible.

  19. aframe says:

    movieman: My mention of Hudson of Winnie Mandela was not a hypothetical:

  20. aframe says:

    Oh, and yes, Kendrick has been on my radar since I saw Camp at ShoWest way back when.

  21. aframe says:

    Oh, and make that “Hudson *as* Winnie Mandela.” Yikes. Sorry about the comment clutter.

  22. Faark, we know what everyone means to type, okay! Unless you’ve made some sort of strange weird typo that nobody can understand, do we really need to correct everything? We went through this a while ago.
    I love about half of the Wicked songs, but the rest are sort of… just there. If they made a movie it’d be nice to cut some of them out. Meryl Streep? How about Angela Lansbury? Although Meryl makes for obvious sense. I like the idea of Kevin Kline though. I think Kenrick has the look for Glinda more than Seyfried, actually.
    I’m not sure what they did to Vera on that mag cover, but she looks frightening. Like they dolled her up and gave her hair twice the size of her head. Yikes.

  23. Geoff says:

    Movielock, I can appreciate your passion about the glass ceiling and I know that does happen in Hollywood, but….
    When it comes to Oscars is there ANY major commercial actress of the last 20 years who has NOT gotten an Oscar nomination? Seriously:
    Julia Roberts
    Reese Witherspoon
    Angelina Jolie
    Geena Davis
    Meg Ryan
    Halle Berry
    Glenn Close
    Catherine Zeta Jones
    Sigourney Weaver
    Whoopi Goldberg
    Barbara Streisand
    Uma Thurman
    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Nicole Kidman
    Bette Midler
    Helen Hunt
    Jodie Foster
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    I’m thinking about just about every Hollywood actress who has headline a few hits over the past 25 years and I count on one hand the ones who never got an Oscar nod – Jennifer Beals, Sandra Bullock, Milla Jovovich, and Katherine Heigl. That’s really about it – Bullock will get hers, this year, and you watch…Heigl will get nominated for an Oscar within the next two years.
    Just strange, but the fact is there are never enough good roles for actresses, so every couple of years you see an inexplicable nod for some one like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman.

  24. Geoff says:

    Movielock, I can appreciate your passion about the glass ceiling and I know that does happen in Hollywood, but….
    When it comes to Oscars is there ANY major commercial actress of the last 20 years who has NOT gotten an Oscar nomination? Seriously:
    Julia Roberts
    Reese Witherspoon
    Angelina Jolie
    Geena Davis
    Meg Ryan
    Halle Berry
    Glenn Close
    Catherine Zeta Jones
    Sigourney Weaver
    Whoopi Goldberg
    Barbara Streisand
    Uma Thurman
    Gwyneth Paltrow
    Nicole Kidman
    Bette Midler
    Helen Hunt
    Jodie Foster
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    I’m thinking about just about every Hollywood actress who has headline a few hits over the past 25 years and I count on one hand the ones who never got an Oscar nod – Jennifer Beals, Sandra Bullock, Milla Jovovich, and Katherine Heigl. That’s really about it – Bullock will get hers, this year, and you watch…Heigl will get nominated for an Oscar within the next two years.
    Just strange, but the fact is there are never enough good roles for actresses, so every couple of years you see an inexplicable nod for some one like Julie Roberts in Pretty Woman.

  25. movieman says:

    Stephan Schwartz’s score for “Wicked” is his strongest overall since “Pippin” back in 1972. No, it’s not perfect (he isn’t Sondheim after all), but nobody can tell me that act one closer, “Defying Gravity, isn’t the best showtune written for an American musical since you-know-what from “Dreamgirls” more than two decades ago. And “Popular,” “I’m Not That Girl” and “No Good Deed” ain’t too shabby either. The score is more impressive in bits and pieces than as a whole, but it sure beats the pants off of, say, “Nine” which has one, count ’em, hummable tune (that would, of course, “Be Italian”).
    …and I happen to like “Nine The Movie” more than virtually every critic out there. It’s a more confidently and stylishly directed piece of work than the overrated “Chicago” (which had the benefit of a vastly superior score).
    If they don’t screw “Wicked” up (and picking the right director is as integral to its success as casting), it could become the top-grossing movie musical since “The Sound of Music.” (It’s fanbase rivals that of the “Potter” and “Twilight” books.)
    Yet considering the recent history of stage musicals ruined by Hollywood (“Phantom of the Opera,” “The Producers,” et al), I’m not holding my breath. Casting Kendrick and Michele in the leads would certainly be a smart first step. And I really, really love the idea of a P.J. Hogan or Hardwicke handling the directing chores.

  26. movieman says:

    P.S.= Although a case could be made that Hogan already directed a previous “Abba musical” (“Muriel’s Wedding”). I would’ve loved to seen what he could have done with “Mamma Mia!”
    Bet it would have been a damn sight better than the visual horrorshow that Phyllida Lloyd came up with. Because that film was such a worldwide smash, nobody ever really commented on the fact that Lloyd’s embalming job was nearly as disastrous as Susan Stroman’s beyond the pale “Producers.” Just goes to show what happens when you hire the original stage director with no previous film experience on their resume.

  27. gradystiles says:

    “I just think Kendricks–with her natural Valley Girl intonations–…”
    As someone else already noted, her name is Kendrick, not Kendricks. And she’s from MAINE…

  28. movieman says:

    …regardless of where she hails from, Grady, Kendrick has that VG patois down pat. Of course, so does Gabourney Sidibe if you’ve seen her on the talkshow circuit.
    Wasn’t a knock by any stretch. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why I think she should play Glinda in the movie version of “Wicked.” The character is written as a sort of fairytale version of Elle Woods.

  29. Rob says:

    Geoff, Meg Ryan has never gotten an Oscar nomination.
    Big-head EW covers are always so bad. Seriously, is ANYONE in charge in the art dept. over there?

  30. Sam says:

    “It’s instructive to go back and read all the reviews of Natural Born Killers, the first feature edited on Avid.”
    The first feature edited on Avid was “Let’s Kill All the Lawyers” (1992). The first one to use Avid Film Composer was “Lost In Yonkers” (1993). “Natural Born Killers” (1994) did have revolutionary editing, though, and your overall point stands. Just wanted to set the record straight. Even today, there are people that think you can feed raw materials into a computer and somehow magically get a creative product out of it.

  31. mutinyco says:

    Should also be pointed out, as I did in another thread, that Kubrick used a computer system called Montage to edit Full Metal Jacket back in the ’80s. Apparently, it was so primitive that the office was filled with towers to store the data.

  32. Jack Walsh says:

    “Like any minority group, having better skills than most of those in the majority is key to success.”
    So, Obama owes his presidency to having ‘better skills’ (and don’t forget, being in the minority!) than John McCain? Dick Parsons owes his presidency of AOL/TW to being better than most of the white executives, that were surrounding him?
    I’m the one that is ‘ignorant, arrogant, and nasty’, and you think writing what I just quoted is acceptable? Would the NyTimes print that Dave? Are you really suggesting that the key to success is always being in the minority? I sort of hope that it’s true, because obviously I’m in the minority in thinking that anyone on this blog wants to engage in serious thought/argument without name-calling being involved.
    “Cameron’s achievement may be more important.”
    Why would that matter if what most people base their vote on is ‘being a minority, with better skills than most of those in the majority’?
    “I can

  33. Glamourboy says:

    Here’s some additional data for your other hand..your criteria, actresses in hits from the past 20 years that have never been nominated for an oscar….
    Meg Ryan (as mentioned above)
    Drew Barrymore
    Demi Moore
    Jennifer Aniston
    Jamie Lee Curtis
    Sarah Jessica Parker
    Cameron Diaz
    Rachel McAdams
    Lindsay Lohan
    Rachel McAdams
    Molly Ringwald
    Maggie Gyllenhall
    Mia Farrow
    Jennifer Lopez
    Whitney Houston
    Not saying that any or all of them have deserved one, but this is just the list off the top of my head.

  34. The Big Perm says:

    Uh, Jack…I think Obama clearly did have better skills than McCain. You’re arguing AGAINST the idea that the guy who wins has the better skills?
    Anyway, it’s pretty amazing that EW interviewer asked that question. Whotta jackass.

  35. Geoff says:

    Glamourboy, that’s good list, bigger than I thought. Demi Moore is a good one to point out, as is Sarah Jessica Parker. Actually, Molly Ringwald had a LOT of heat around her for a few years, surprising that she didn’t get one, either.
    I’m pretty sure though that Drew Barrymore was nominated for ET? Cameron Diaz for Being John Malkovich? Maggie Gylenhaal for Secretary? Could have sworn they got nods.
    I would put Rachel McAdams in the same category as Katherine Heigl, but even stronger – she will definitely get a nod within the next five years, bank on it.

  36. Glamourboy says:

    I know, hard to believe, but no nominations for Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz or Maggie G.

  37. Bob Violence says:

    None for Maggie Q either, the philistines

  38. hcat says:

    Ringwald was big for about three years, so either she gets a best actress nom for Pretty in Pink (in the eighties when there were much more substantial roles for popular actresses) or nothing. What the hell could Lohan even have been nominated for during her six month rule of the box office? I don’t get the arguement, that because not every single actress who has opened a movie over 12 million has not gotten nominated that the system is somehow broken.

  39. yancyskancy says:

    Bob, if my uncredited rewrite of MANHATTAN MIDNIGHT couldn’t get Maggie Q nominated for her dual role opposite the equally deserving Richard Grieco, I fear nothing ever will. 🙂

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