Mar 4, 2014

Über Early Actress Predictions

So ends another Oscar season, which has felt a lot more strenuous than in previous years, what with the delayed date due to the Winter Olympics and all. That said, while we've got about six months before the madness starts up again, it's never too early to predict the ladies who may or may not be at the Dolby this time next year. This time last year, I was predicting Streep, Dench, Naomi Watts for Diana, Nicole Kidman for Grace of Monaco, and Marion Cotillard for Nightingale.

Chances are, at least two of these predictions will flop hard later on in the year. But below are my (very) early picks, in order of likeliness. (Or rather, likeliness from the mindset of March 2014):

AMY ADAMS, BIG EYES

Amy Adams is basically the female Leonardo DiCaprio at this point. She's been through enough nominations to warrant that "hardworking actress who's overdue" narrative we all know and hate. She's likable. What's worse, she's playing a real person and her movie is being distributed by Weinstein. I despise the notion of actors winning awards for any reason outside of them truly having the best performance of the year, so here's hoping that Adams kills it in this film, but judging from the synopsis...I'm not really feeling it.

How excited I am about this one: 3/10


JESSICA CHASTAIN, MISS JULIE

I think it's safe to assume that Chastain will be getting a third nomination next year. It looks as though we're in for another huge year from her, what with this as well as Interstellar, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, and A Most Violent Year. And while she could get nominated for a different film, I'm going to make a hunch and bet on this one, especially seeing as she'll be directed by the legendary Liv Ullmann herself...what more could a Best Actress fanatic want? Plus, throw in Colin Farrell's quote about the shoot:

It's tough, as tough as this job can be. It was the toughest time I have had in 15 years by a mile. It was hard, it was brutal…The behavior and the sustained cruelty and trauma are just brutal. It was cool, it was interesting but it was tough. I was glad to be done with it, like a few others. It was very challenging but it will be interesting to see what it becomes

...And my body is ready. 

How excited I am about this one: 10/10

MICHELLE WILLIAMS, SUITE FRANCAISE

Funny enough, Williams was Ullmann's first choice for Miss Julie, but she couldn't do it due to scheduling conflicts (perhaps it was because she was making this one?) Williams is another one of my favorite actresses. I adored her nomination for Blue Valentine and while I didn't care that much for her My Week with Marilyn nod, I'm going to assume that if she's half good in this one, she'll be in. Again, it's distributed by Weinstein. It's also a WWII pic. And Williams plays a Frenchwoman who falls for a German soldier. THE DRAMA! There's nothing that would get me more hot and bothered than a Chastain vs. Williams showdown for gold (Sorry Amy)

How excited I am for this one: 9/10

ROSAMUND PIKE, GONE GIRL


In the same tradition of past contenders like Memoirs of a GeishaThe Reader and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I'm currently in the middle of reading Gone Girl. I thought that Rooney Mara flourished under David Fincher's direction, and thus I can't help but be thrilled by Rosamund Pike's prospects as Amy Dunne. For as much as I've read so far, hers is a pretty juicy and complicated role, and if she kills it (which I think she will), she could nab that newcomer spot. There is that curious case of whether she'd be put in leading or supporting, and I could see arguments for both, but that really depends on how the film and the book will differentiate from one another.

How excited I am for this one: 8/10 

CATE BLANCHETT, CAROL

Cate Blanchett playing a 1950's lesbian in a Todd Haynes movie equates to as sure a thing for an Oscar nomination as you could get. I am still high off her amazing work in Blue Jasmine and I'm itching for more excellent material for her to sink her teeth into. Shooting begins in a few weeks, so hopefully this means that Carol will see a release by the end of the year. (The only reason why I have her last is because I'm not positive about the release date) And I suppose I'm excited for Rooney Mara as well, but c'mon. One of them will be thrown in supporting and it'll probably be the one whose character isn't named after the movie. I got Blanchett fever!

How excited I am for this one: 10/10


...And some other possible contenders:

Marion Cotillard, Macbeth Cotillard as a villainous Shakespearean character is more than enough for me to throw my money at her. But is she supporting? Is the film even coming out in 2014? (Excited: 10/10)
Keira Knightley, Can a Song Save Your Life? Plot doesn't seem that interesting to me, but Weinstein's confidence plus The Imitation Game piques my interest. (Excited: 5/10)
Reese Witherspoon, Wild This sounds like a hybrid between Into the Wild/All is Lost/Gravity. Also sounds like something Oscar would like. (Excited: 1/10)
Carey Mulligan, Far from the Madding Crowd I like Mulligan quite a bit, and she's in a period piece which was originally a novel (a la Knightley in Pride & Prejudice), not to mention a role that Julie Christie has already played. I'm in. (Excited: 7/10)
Natalie Portman, Jane Got a Gun An August release plus messy production drama makes me less excited about it, but I'm still curious how it'll turn out. (Excited: 7/10)
Nicole Kidman, Queen of the Desert Kidman in a grand Werner Herzog picture. She does seem to have trouble landing Oscar's attention though. Brownie points for The Railway Man and Grace of Monaco. (Excited: 6.5/10)
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods It was brought to my attention today that the role of The Witch has frequently garnered Tony and Drama Desk noms…sometimes in lead, sometimes in supporting. Still, I'm sure La Streep will rock it. (Excited: 8/10)

9 comments:

  1. Ooh, fun!

    Blanchett, Chastain (for something), and Pike seem like good calls, though their films really could go either way. All of those projects look to have a tipping point in which they exit Oscar's favor. And I like Rosamund Pike fine, and hope she's good, but I've never really gotten to see her act so I'm skeptical. Those three on paper seem like strong possibilities.

    I'm super skeptical of Amy Adams, simply because of Burton. He's been on a big downward spiral lately, and has never really hit the Academy's sweet spot. The Sweeney Todd nomination is still so bizarre to me. But Adams has the momentum, so if she's half way decent she could definitely get in there.

    I'd replace Michelle Williams. The director on that film isn't a big name, nor is her costar. And even though she has 3 Oscar noms I don't think she's super beloved. She has a lot to overcome with that one.

    I'd replace her with Reese, who's looking to have a great year. The new PTA film, Wild, and a third serious part. And they'll pay attention because it's Vallee. Plus, that girl needs a comeback Oscar nod to get her back in the game because since 05 her career's been BLEAK lol.

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    1. I kind of want to be skeptical about Adams as well, but like you said, if she's half decent they might just shrug and throw her statue, which is my biggest pet peeve ever!!

      And I just have a good feeling about Williams. It sounds like it's a nice project, and she's always at least good in the films I've seen from her. I think she's a little more liked than you think, maybe pretty respected, and if she can manage to get a Weinstein-driven nod for My Week with Marilyn I can't see why she couldn't get a Weinstein-driven nod for this one.

      Hmm, I totally missed that Reese is being directed by Valee! I read up on the woman she plays and it sounds pretty baity...her chances are looking pretty good then. However, that doesn't make me any more excited for her, only because I don't care for Reese in general and I'm beyond over films revolving around one person out somewhere by his/herself. Maybe I'm just bitter because I really hate that she won for Walk the Line...lol

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    2. Michelle Williams is absolutely well respected but I don't think outright loved. She's kind of a prickly person but that could just be my opinion. Anything can happen with the Weinsteins, it all just matters how flashy the role is. Because Marilyn Monroe is the ultimate flashy, attention-grabbing role. It sounds interesting, and I'm hoping for the best for her. I just wouldn't put her in my predictions :)

      I also don't really like Reese. Her in Legally Blonde > Walk the Line. I don't even really like Election all that much. Her comeback feels like it's been coming for years, and this year looks like the right combo of films imo.

      No Quvenzhané for Annie? ;)

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    3. Just watch, because you said that, Quvenzhane snatches up her second nomination for Annie next year at the age of 7 or whatever and we all lose it. >:o

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  2. Great picks here. I think we're set to have another solid year of performances. And just look at Amy Adams' hair in that shot. Ha. I can't wait.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Alex!

      Agreed. Looks like there'll be a ton of great male performances as well. I'm looking forward to it!

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  3. I also have Michelle Williams (and I think she could win, since I don't think "Carol" is a 2014 release) :P yes, I would've predicted a 3rd for Cate.

    Chastain seems more likely for TDOER.

    Winslet has a film directed by Alan Rickman that I think has been ready for quite some time.
    You forgot Berenice Bejo for The Search - stong contender, I think.
    Hilary Swank for Tommy Lee Jones's Homesman
    Marion has a film with the Dardenne brothers (or however you spell that)

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    1. I was on an Awards forum and someone who had seem TDOER said that he didn't think it'd be the type of film the Academy nominates. I suppose you could take that with a grain of salt, but the thought of Chastain being directed by Ullmann can only lead to great things, methinks.

      Good mentions, though I'm pretty skeptical about The Search as well as Swank's chances...

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  4. I'm gaining more confidence in Homesman, for whatever reason.

    TDOER - I remember a lot of great words about Jessica's performance when it played at whatever festival last fall. My problem with Miss Julie is that it might be a bit too... lyrical. :) too not-contemporary. And not somewhing ppl will go & see.

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