Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oscar Clearinghouse #3

(above: Dev Patel and Anil Kapoor in Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire")
Hello sports fans!

A lot of movement in the last three weeks. Added to the the news that both "The Soloist" and "The Road" are off the release schedule and the dynamic of the Oscar race has changed a good deal since my last post...

Here's the latest compilation of Oscar prognostications from the 8 or so websites that I peruse to put this together..with commentary, of course! And Telluride connections are in CAPS and BOLD...

Best Pic...The top 5 at this stage are BENJAMIN BUTTON, Milk, Australia, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, and Revolutionary Road. Those just under the surface are: Frost/Nixon, Dark Knight, Doubt, The Wrestler and Rachel at the Wedding.

Comment: Slumdog...which was the hottest thing out of Telluride, continues to jump up. It has moved from being barely on the outer edge of Oscar awareness to one of the 5 that would be nominated, if the predictors are to be believed...and I think they are. As this race continues to develop, it's beginning to look more and more like Luddy and Meyer and crew had it right and the lack of American film at the fest this year seems increasingly justified. (This latest update of The Clearinghouse also seems to underline Telluride's influence on the my last post only 4 "nominations" had Telluride links...that number jumped to 10 for this post...WOW!) Other notes...Australia seems to be losing some steam as is Frost/Nixon.

Best Direction: FINCHER/BUTTON, Luhrmann/Australia, Van Sant/Milk, BOYLE/SLUMDOG, and Nolan/Dark Knight. Lurking: Howard/Frost, Mendes/Revolutionary, Demme/Rachel, Eastwood/Gran Torino, Daldry/The Reader.

Comment: Along with its rise for Best Picture, Danny Boyle has moved way up this list to be one of the five "expected" to get nominated. 6 weeks ago, he wasn't on the top ten list...Buzz, buzz, buzz! Additionally, all of Clint Eastwood's support has devolved away from Changeling and onto Gran Torino...across the board, except for still pretty solid support for Angelina Jolie in the Best Actress category. Eastwood (whose daughter we met in Telluride last year) also has a boomlet in the Best Actor category for Gran Torino.

Best Actor: Mickey Rourke/The Wrestler, Sean Penn/Milk, Frank Langella/Frost/Nixon, Leonardo DiCaprio/Revolutionary Road, and BRAD PITT/BENJAMIN BUTTON.

Bubbling under the surface: Clint Eastwood/Gran Troino, Richard Jenkins/The Visitor, Benicio Del Toro/Che, Hugh Jackman/Australia, and Josh Brolin/W.

Comment: Pitt actually rises into the top 5 again, Langella took a real hit the last 3 weeks going from a substantial front runner status to the 3rd spot. Rourke has become the favorite at this point. Again...Eastwood has rocketed from nowhere in the last three weeks to sit at #6 and flirting with jumping up into the list of expected nominees..

Best Actress: Kate Winslet/Revolutionary Road, Meryl Streep/Doubt, Anne Hathaway/Rachel Getting Married, Angelina Jolie/Changeling, KRISTEN SCOTT THOMAS/I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG. Knocking on the door: SALLY HAWKINS/HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, Nicole Kidman/Australia, Melissa Leo/Frozen River, CATE BLANCHETT/BENJAMIN BUTTON, and Kate Beckinsale/Nothing But the Truth.

Comment: Scott Thomas has slowly been edging up the list and this posting sees her on the list of five "nominees" for the first time. Sally Hawkins continues to be in play. Meryl Streep's mention for Doubt is the first for it in the Big Four Categories in this posting as it seems to be losing luster as well. Kate Winslet enjoyed a big jump to the top spot since my last post.

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger/Dark Knight, Philip Seymour Hoffman/Doubt, Michael Shannon/Revolutionary Road, James Franco/Milk, Josh Brolin/Milk.

The next five: Robert Downey Jr./Tropic Thunder, Liev Schreiber/Defiance, John Malkovich/Changeling, Bill Irwin/Rachel Getting married, and DEV PATEL/SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE.

Comment: Massive changes because of the moves of The Road and The Soloist to 2009. Ledger remains the prohibitive fave. It looks like the word is the Hoffman will be in this category and not Lead. Downey's support has coalesced around his Tropic Thunder performance since The Soloist has gone away. Slumdog's Dev Patel is now getting a little love and HOORAY FOR BILL IRWIN. The women in the Rachel cast have been getting so much attention, it's great to see Irwin start to get a little light on his performance. Personally, I think Irwin is one of the most under-utilized talented actors in the business.

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz/Vicky Christina Barcelona, Viola Davis/Doubt, TARAJI P. HENSON/BENJAMIN BUTTON, Marisa Tomei/The Wrestler, and Rosemarie DeWitt/Rachel Getting Married.

Lurking: Amy Adams/Doubt, Debra Winger/Rachel Getting Married, Vera Farmiga/Nothing But the Truth, Kate Winslet/The Reader, and Kathy Bates/Revolutionary Road.

Comment: Not a lot of movement at the top here. the top 4 stayed the same and in the same order. Dewitt makes a big leap up the chart.

Best Adapted Screenplay: BENJAMIN BUTTON, Revolutionary Road, SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Frost/Nixon, The Reader.

Also: Doubt, Defiance, The Dark Knight, and Che.

comment: Not even 10 scripts make the list here. Frost/Nixon is a big drop and Button and Slumdog make big jumps.

Best Original Screenplay: Rachel Getting Married, Milk, Australia, Vicky Christina Barcelona, and HAPPY-GO-LUCKY.

Also: Wall-E, Gran Torino, The Visitor, The Wrestler, and Synecdoche NY.

Comment: Rachel takes a massive leap up the chart. Happy-Go-Lucky makes a big move too.


TELLURIDE CONNECTS: 10 "NOMINATIONS" AND 3 "lurking". A large jump from our last posting.

Noms/Lurks Combined:

1) Revolutionary Road (7)

2) Rachel Getting Married (7)

3) Milk(6)


5) Australia/Doubt (5)

Nominations Alone:

!) Milk (6)

2) BENJAMIN BUTTON/Revolutionary R0ad (5)

3) Australia/SLUMDOG/Rachel/Doubt (3)

Comments: Of course there are other Telluride connections that are not included. I expect that there will be a very solid connection in the Foreign film category again this year as has been true for the past several years. I expect "Waltz with Bashir" to pop up in that category and perhaps in the animation category as well. all in all, Telluirde's influence might even be larger this year because of the very reasons that made it a different festival from the last two years.

Until next time...