Awards Tracker

All things Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tonys

Category: Academy Awards

Some Oscar pundits say 'The Artist' will win best picture

The artist

"No one is talking about the possibility, the serious possibility, that 'The Artist' could not only be nominated for Best Picture but could WIN," writes Sasha Stone at Awards Daily. "The strange thing about 'The Artist' is that it has everything a stealthy Best Picture winner needs — it’s the movie everybody loves and the movie nobody thinks can win.  Sounds a lot like 'Slumdog Millionaire.'"

Stone is right. A lot of top pundits not only believe it will be nominated for best picture but that it will take the big prize: Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly) and Guy Lodge (In Contention). Over at Gold Derby, most Oscarologists rank it very high up even if they don't predict it will win.

Stone's comparison to "Slumdog Millionaire" is apt. Both films feature lovebirds battling poverty and catastrophic hardship and both have extremely clever, upbeat finales that send moviegoers soaring out of the theater. "The Artist" may have extra appeal to film-industry voters because it's about Hollywood -- that is, the town's transition in the 1920s from silent movies to talkies.

"The Artist" is a black-and-white silent film -- normally two detriments. However, in this case, those factors make the film so different nowadays that it's cool. In olden days, back when talkies were first appearing to muzzle silent flicks forever, a silent film actually won best picture at the Oscars, at the very first ceremony: "Wings." Could it turn out that it may not be the last?

-- Tom O'Neil

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Oscar hopes brighten for 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

Oscar experts predict Meryl Streep will win for 'Iron Lady'

Photo: Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo in "The Artist." Credit: The Weinstein Co.


Oscars quiz: Who won best supporting actress twice?

Two past Oscar winners for supporting actress are back in contention: Vanessa Redgrave ("Coriolanus") and Judi Dench ("J. Edgar"). They've been nominated for other roles as well, but how often have they won? Only two stars have claimed the category twice. One was Dianne Wiest ("Hannah and Her Sisters," 1986; "Bullets Over Broadway," 1994). Can you name the other? To see the answer, click on the "Continue reading" link underneath the photos below.

Judi dench

Continue reading »

Oscar hopes brighten for 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close'

Extremely loud and incredibly close

Now, with the release of the trailer, we get our first look at "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and early Oscar buzz is confirmed: It's a serious player. It touches all of the academy buttons. It's a heart-tugger (like "The King's Speech" last year) with a serious message based upon real events (Sept. 11). It's packed with past Oscar victors (double champ Tom Hanks, who is a member of the academy's Board of Governors, and Sandra Bullock) and it's helmed by Stephen Daldry, who was nominated for best director for all three of his feature films: "The Reader" (2008), "The Hours" (2002) and "Billy Elliot" (2000). Screenplay is by Eric Roth, who won for "Forrest Gump" (1994) and was nominated for "Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (2008), "Munich (2005) and "The Insider" (1999). Looks like Max Van Sydow has a stand-out supporting role –- he's overdue to win.

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn in "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." Credit: Paramount


Oscar experts predict Meryl Streep will win for 'Iron Lady'

Ironlady

The release of a new poster for Meryl Streep's upcoming film and her inevitable next Oscar nomination –- as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady" -– brings up the nagging question: Can she actually win?

Streep is almost a perennial nominee. When a derby occurs without her contending, like last year, it seems odd, like something familiar and precious is missing. She's been nominated 16 times, but the last 12 of those bids have been defeats. She hasn't won since for 1982's "Sophie's Choice". Her only other victory was as supporting actress for 1979's "Kramer vs. Kramer."

But now, if Gold Derby's Oscarologists are correct, she's set to triumph again. Eight top experts polled by the site predict Streep will win next February: Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood), Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly), Michael Musto (Village Voice), Steve Pond (the Wrap), Paul Sheehan (Gold Derby), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily), S.T. VanAirsdale (Movieline), Jeff Wells (Hollywood Elsewhere) and Susan Wloszczyna (USA Today).

Gold Derby's Inside Track gives Streep the best racetrack odds (8 to 11), followed by Glenn Close (11 to 2 for "Albert Nobbs") and Viola Davis (6 to 1 for "The Help"). Personally, I'm betting on Viola Davis, but on rare occasions, ahem, I've been wrong.

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— Tom O'Neil

Photo: "The Iron Lady." Credit: Weinstein Co.


Michelle Williams to receive Hollywood Actress Award

My Week with Marilyn

Michelle Williams begins her latest dash for an Oscar with a head start – she'll receive the Hollywood Actress Award at the Hollywood Film Festival on Oct. 24.

The festival is considered to be the launch of Oscar season when film industry leaders gather at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to salute leading awards candidates. Williams competes this year for her role as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week with Marilyn," which chronicles the experiences of a young employee of Laurence Olivier's while "The Prince and the Showgirl" was being filmed in 1957.

Williams has been nominated for an Oscar twice – as lead actress of "Blue Valentine" (2010) and supporting star of "Brokeback Mountain" (2005).

The Hollywood Film Festival will also honor Christopher Plummer with the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award for "Beginners," Joseph Gordon-Levitt with the Hollywood Breakthrough Actor Award for "50/50," Jessica Chastain with the Hollywood Breakthrough Actress Award for "The Tree of Life," "Coriolanus," "The Debt," "The Help" and "Take Shelter," and Felicity Jones with the New Hollywood Award for "Crazy Love."

Other honorees  will include the cast of "The Help" (Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney, Chris Lowell, Ahna O'Reilly, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel), cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, editor Stephen Mirrione, production designer James Murakami, and visual effects supervisor Scott Farrar at their annual awards gala. In addition, Gore Verbinski's "Rango" will be honored at the Hollywood Film Awards gala ceremony.

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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Michelle Williams in "My Week with Marilyn." Credit: Weinstein Co.


Flashback: 'The Lion King' at the Oscars and Tonys

With "The Lion King" back in theaters -- this time in 3-D -- it felt right to look back at the 1994 Oscars, when a category had not yet been created for animated feature, so "The Lion King" was marginalized to the tech races. It ended up nabbing four bids, all in the music slots. Three of its tunes competed for best song -- "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," "Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata" -- and, of course, "Love" triumphed with Elton John and Tim Rice claiming the gold. "The Lion King" also won best score for Hans Zimmer.

Soon afterward the hit film was transferred to the Broadway stage, where it finally reaped its lion's share of kudos. In 1998, it won six Tony Awards including best musical, beating "Rag Time," "Side Show" and "The Scarlett Pimpernel." Since it opened in November 1997, it has run continuously for more than 3,000 performances, becoming Broadway's seventh-longest-running musical.

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-- Tom O'Neil


New Oscar campaign rules could hurt other awards

Oscars spotlightsOscar watchers are missing the big story when weighing the new campaign rules. They're looking only at how the changes will affect the Oscars, forgetting that the Academy Awards are part of a larger derby that begins in early December with the National Board of Review, followed by the film critics' awards, then the Golden Globes and guild laurels. The Oscars are just the finish line.

In the future, the new rules could trip up everything that comes earlier in the big race — and cause the smaller awards serious injury.

Currently, there are more than 500 Q&A screenings conducted on both coasts (plus more in Britain) as part of derby season. Technically, most are screenings held for guild members, critics' groups, industry leaders, etc., while the studios woo support for their awards. Most vulnerable in this group are the guild awards, which get a lot of attention, let's be honest, because they have enormous influence on the Oscars. Soon that probably won't be the case, however. Oscar leaders are investigating ways to employ electronic voting in the future so that balloting could occur as soon after Jan. 1 as possible. When that happens, the guild kudos won't be able to get out front and influence academy members.

Some cynics believe that the real reason that the studios stage so many Q&A screenings is because they're targeting guild members in the audience who might also be Oscar voters. Up until now, the studios were forbidden to stage Q&As specifically for academy members. Now that they can do so, will they care about the guild awards?

It's now possible that hundreds of these Q&A screenings could vanish during the next year or two, which would radically alter the essence of the annual Oscar race — and hurt the prestige of the smaller awards.

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Enter the 'Dragon': David Fincher's latest Oscar bait

The latest list of Oscar entries for foreign-language contest

— Tom O'Neil

Photo: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences


Poll: Is 'Moneyball' a major league Oscar player?

Moneyball

As "Moneyball" opens nationally in theaters, it looks like it's going to hit it out of the park. It's already a big hit with film critics, scoring 87 at Metacritic. BoxOfficeGuru projects that "Moneyball" will bring in an impressive $16 million in ticket sales this weekend. But how will it play at the Oscars?

"Moneyball's" creators have serious Oscar pedigree: director Bennett Miller ("Capote"), writers Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List") and Aaron Sorkin ("The Social Network") and star Brad Pitt ("Babel," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button").

However, Pitt has a problem. He has another strong role in the Oscar derby this year: "Tree of Life." Rumor has it that he'll campaign in lead for "Moneyball" and in supporting for "Tree of Life," but some academy members may believe that his performance in "Tree" is really a lead too and that it has more gravitas. His two bids could cancel each other out.

Baseball movies don't traditionally do well at the Oscars. Yes, "Pride of the Yankees" (1947) was nominated for 10, but it won only for film editing. "Field of Dreams" (1989) was nominated for best picture too, but it lost. "Bull Durham" (1988) and "The Natural" (1984) struck out in the top contest completely, despite widespread belief that they might get nominated.

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Enter the 'Dragon': David Fincher's latest Oscar bait

The latest list of Oscar entries for foreign-language contest

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Brad Pitt in "Moneyball." Credit: Columbia Pictures


Latest list of Oscar entries for foreign-language contest

Miss bella

Sept. 30 is the deadline for countries to submit Oscar entries for foreign-language film, so time is running out. A few countries -- Albania ("The Forgiveness of Blood"), Mexico ("Miss Bala") and Israel ("Footnote") -- announced entries over the past few days. Below is the list of where the entries stand now.

Albania: "The Forgiveness of Blood"

Austria: "Breathing"

Belgium: "Bullhead"

Bosnia and Herzegovina: "Belvedere"

Brazil: "Elite Squad 2″

Bulgaria: "Tilt"

Canada: "Monsieur Lazhar"

Chile: "Violeta"

Colombia: "The Colors of the Mountain"

Finland: "Le Havre"

France: "Declaration of War"

Germany: "Pina"

Greece: "Attenberg"

Hong Kong: "A Simple Life"

Hungary: "The Turin Horse"

Iceland: "Volcano"

Iran: "A Separation"

Ireland: "As if I Am Not There"

Israel: "Footnote"

Japan: "Postcard"

Lebanon: "Where Do We Go Now?"

Lithuania: "Back in Your Arms"

Mexico: "Miss Bala"

Morocco: "Omar Killed Me"

Netherlands: "Sonny Boy"

Norway: "Happy, Happy"

Peru: "October"

Philippines: "The Woman in the Septic Tank"

Poland: "In Darkness"

Portugal: "José and Pilar"

Romania: "Morgen"

Russia: "Burnt by the Sun 2: Citadel"

Serbia: "Montevideo, God Bless You!"

Slovakia: "Gypsy"

South Korea: "The Front Line"

Sweden: "Beyond"

Taiwan: "Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale"

Venezuela: "The Rumble of the Stones"

Vietnam: "Thang Long Aspiration"

Below: trailer for Mexico's "Miss Bala."

RELATED:

Poll: Will Melissa McCarthy be an Oscar contender?

Enter the 'Dragon': David Fincher's latest Oscar bait

Quiz: What movie has earned the most Oscar nominations?

--Tom O'Neil

Photo: "Miss Bala." Credit: 20th Century Fox


Quiz: What movie earned the most Oscar nominations?

Two films are tied for having reaped the most Academy Award nominations in history (14). One of them is "Titanic." What's the other? To see the answer, click on the "Continue reading" link below.

Oscar_nominations_academy_awards

 

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