meryl streep

OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR & BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Best Supporting Actor:

ethan_hawke_horizNominees:

Robert Duvall (The Judge)

JK Simmons (Whiplash)

Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)

Edward Norton (Birdman)

Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)

The Performances: This is difficult because so many (well, all) of these performances were spectacular. A seventh Oscar Nomination for Robert Duvall indicates that it could be his turn, but with a lack of nominations for The Judge in other categories makes it seem unlikely. JK Simmons seems like a hot contender but could be deemed irrelevant to the Academy (much like Bruce Dern’s snub last year for Nebraska). The sad reality is, one of the strongest performances here is Mark Ruffalo, but much like The Judge, ‘Foxcatcher’ hasn’t garnered enough attention to warrant an Oscar. Which leaves us with two…

2015_golden_globes_68614Who Should Win? We can’t decide. Edward Norton is reliable as ever, but really actually struggles to stand out in such a talented cast. Hawke has a much better opportunity to shine in Boyhood and make a lasting impression…

Who Will Win: Ethan Hawke. Especially if Patricia Arquette takes Best Supporting Actress. It seems a shame for Norton and Birdman, but Boyhood is going to reign supreme this year.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

patricia-arquette-3d6f32076e34b922The Nominees:

Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)

Emma Stone (Birdman)

Meryl Streep (Into The Woods)

Laura Dern (Wild)

Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)

The Performances: It feels like a few of these nominees were padding for the category. Don’t take that the wrong way: all of the performances were good, but some are clearly more Oscar worthy than others. Critically all performances have been praised, however Dern’s total lack of screen time doesn’t instil great hope that the Academy will bestow this on her. What we have to look for are performances that are not overshadowed by their fellow cast members which points to three notable contenders: Streep (because it’s the Oscars), Stone, and Arquette. What is interesting is that in any other year, Emma Stone would probably be a shoe in especially with Birdman doing so well in other categories. Her real competition (Sorry, Meryl) comes from Patricia Arquette: with Ethan Hawke being hot tipped to take away Best Supporting, it almost seems fated: two award winning supporting performances driving a film is what it should be!Emma-Stone-Golden-Globes-thumbnail

Who Should Win? Patricia Arquette. Just little enough screen time to be billed as a support, but put it enough of herself to be the leading lady of Boyhood.

Who Will Win: Patricia Arquette. It could be snatched from her by Stone, but she is a dark horse. Also, Stone is young: The Academy are more likely to go for Arquette as (much like with Julianne Moore) it is more her ‘turn’.

SNUBS: None worth noting.

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OSCARS 2014: WHO WAS THE BEST ACTRESS?

Part four of five in our Oscar Predictions! This is undoubtedly the most competitive category in this year’s awards season. In fact, the only nominee here who has not previously won an Academy Award is Amy Adams. Does this mean she will secure the title for 2014? Here is what we think…

“BEST ACTRESS”

 

Amy Adams- American Hustle: Once seen as a frontrunner in this category, Adams now seems to be the most likely to ‘upset’ the predicted winner. While her performance was solid and perhaps one of the most removed, it is unsure whether the film itself has the gravitas to carry her to the win. American Hustle has scored ten nominations here, but it seems highly unlikely that Adams will win if her co-stars do not.

Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine: The definitive favorite! Many are putting Blanchett at up to 90% likely to win this year for her moving performance in Woody Allen’s ‘Blue Jasmine’. The only thing really that could hurt her chances is if the Academy starts to feel that voting for Blanchett would be voting for Allen (in light of his recent personal troubles), however chances of this happening are slim to none. If we could put our money anywhere, it would be with her.

Sandra Bullock – Gravity: While a great film, Gravity has unfortunately (and perhaps inevitably) been over shadowed by later releases like American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street. Bullocks performance carried most of this two hour film and has been widely praised. Having said this, historically Academy voters have tended to overlook the performances when the film relies heavily on special effects. The film as a whole will most likely be recognized, but not Bullock.

Judi Dench – Philomena: Far and away the nicest and most relatable performance in this year’s Best Actress Category, Dench’s Philomena is a heart warming individual that has been celebrated by critics. There is, though, the issue of Philomena being perhaps too human and far too nice to win the statue, particularly against Blanchett’s mentally unstable Jasmine.

Meryl Streep – August: Osage County: The issue here is that aside from Streep and Julia Roberts, August Osage County has been panned by critics and viewers alike. Many say that the only great thing about this film is the performances from the two women. For this reason alone, we put Streep unfortunately as a total outsider in this category. Despite the Acedemy’s love for her, chances of winning remain very very low.

 

It Should Be.… Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

It Will Be…. Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

 

NEXT POST: BEST ACTOR


You can view our reviews of some of these films below!!

PHILOMENA

AMERICAN HUSTLE

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

OSCARS 2014: WHO WAS THE BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS?

The second part of our five part ‘Oscar Predictions’ series sees us analyse the nominees for Best Supporting Actress. If you have opinions then please do post them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 

Lupita Nyong’o 12 Years A Slave: A newcomer, Nyong’o has received mass amounts of praise for both her acting and her style. She is fast becoming a favourite on the red carpet and has won herself a SAG Award, as well as a Producers Guild Award for her role as Patsy in Steve McQueen’s highly acclaimed tale of slavery. Looking at the lineup it seems Lupita’s closest competition might be Jennifer Lawrence who pipped her at the post for the Golden Globes. Given the Academy’s tendency to favor the newbie, Lupita might just be in with a shot here!

Sally Hawkins Blue Jasmine: This was a surprise nomination for the British actress, but certainly not an undeserved one. Supporting Cate Blanchett as Jasmine, Hawkins offers an excellent portrayal as Jasmine’s somewhat wayward sister who opens her home to accommodate her troubled kin. While the relative unknown created an extremely funny and refreshing character, her part was probably not impactful or consequential enough to warrant taking out this award. 

Jennifer LawrenceAmerican Hustle: It is no secret that the Academy likes Lawrence, giving her the Oscar last year for her role in Silver Lining’s Playbook. She has also recently just won the Golden Globe for her role as the clumsy yet cunning Rosalyn Rosenfeld in American Hustle. The film has received mass awards celebrating the cast which puts Lawrence in a good position. It seems that nobody can resist her at the moment!

Julia RobertsAugust: Osage County: If this category wasn’t so crowded we would say that Roberts is a total shoe in for this award. Unfortunately with all the hype surrounding films like American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave has left Roberts rather in the dark. Her performance was fantastic and almost even stronger than her Oscar winning portrayal of Erin Brockovich. Although she might actually be the most deserving for the statue, it seems the timing of this film is all wrong: she can never compete with some of the other nominees.

June SquibbNebraska: June Squibb is the oldest nominee this year and the 84 year old is thrilled. Applauded for playing the ‘too old to give a damn’ wife of Bruce Dern in the highly acclaimed ‘Nebraska’, Squibb provided a healthy dose of comic relief in this film. Squibb has been called ‘glorious’ for her portrayal of this role, but the release date of the film will really damage her chances. Nebraska was released in November of last year and was not highly viewed or recognized at the time – Squibb will likely lose out fo a film which has garnered more acclaim. 

 

It Should Be… Lupita Nyong’o

It Will Be… Lupita Nyong’o

 

NEXT POST: Best Supporting Actor

FILM REVIEW: ‘AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY’ (2014)

“August: Osage County”

Written by: Tracey Letts

Directed by: John Wells

Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin…

Story: A dysfunctional family is brought together after a family tragedy, and is forced to deal with family truths about the home they grew up in and the strong willed woman who raised them.

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Tracey Letts is the man behind ‘August: Osage County’. The film was originally a play, which gifted Letts with both a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award. The film adaptation drew a strong cast, who have been nominated over and over, namely Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts, for their portrayals of mother and daughter Violet and Barbara Weston. Given that the film has received such attention for the cast, we have to wonder where the rest of the recognition fell off. Very few nominations for the screenplay, and John Wells has received little recognition for his Directing, we approach this film with curiosity.

The answer to this becomes apparent as soon as you begin watching. The cast itself are spectacular: Meryl Streep is both hilarious and worrying as the drug addled mother trying to cope with the loss of her husband, and Julia Roberts gives her best performance since Erin Brockovich. It seems almost a shame that awards season is so competitive this year. Were it not for Cate Blanchett’s performance in Blue Jasmine, Streep would be a shoe in for any and every trophy. With strong performances from Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper serving as the voice of reason against these hot headed women, the interactions are an absolute joy to watch.

Unfortunately, the glory of the film begins and ends with the performances.

While the dialogue (which is alive with profanity) is both captivating and at times shockingly good, the story itself is convoluted with multiple subplots that are left underdeveloped and unresolved. From drugs, abuse, incest, and even touching on statutory rape, one starts to feel pulled in different directions and unsure where to invest. While we want to follow the story of the relationship between Roberts and Streep (as this is by far the most interesting) we are consistently distracted by an onslaught of extremely sensitive issues which are brushed past and never fully explored.

Indeed, aside from the dialogue the film itself is dull. Perhaps this dullness is to serve as a metaphor for the lives of those stuck in Osage County, however it does not serve well for viewing. We are offered a few pretty landscapes (which the characters are quick to complain about) but most of the film is shot inside a dark and dreary house. The lighting is dim and the film moves slowly. There is no respite from the misery that August: Osage County has to offer.

There are a few comedic moments but not enough to carry the film to where you want it to go. In the end we are left with minimal resolution: a ‘driving off into the sunset’ moment simply does not justify the reality of the rest of the film.

With such strong performances from every single cast member, you really really want to enjoy August: Osage County, and indeed I would never discourage anybody from watching it: when you can get to grips with the main story of family it does resonate. However, the lack of nominations in any other category aside from acting is plainly evidenced and supported when you watch this in it’s entirety.

If you are one for stark, witty dialogue and a stellar ensemble cast then definitely watch August: Osage County. If not, then perhaps give it a miss.

 

Rating: 3/5

 

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