Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg was mostly dismissed on Twitter yesterday when he suggested that Naomi Watts could not only get nominated for Best Actress but also might win.  But there has been such a groundswell of support, and Watts has gone unrecognized for so long, that she just might become a force to be reckoned with this year.  There are several reasons for this – the first is that the two strongest contenders, Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty and Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook are both relatively new on the Oscar scene. Usually you have to built up clout, either Oscar cred (Renee Zellweger) or career cred (Sandra Bullock).   Playing Oscar pool year after year, if you’re in it to win it, can eventually land you a win, if the performance is good enough and if you’re likable enough.  But just being in a great film that everyone liked isn’t enough.

The model for Jennifer Lawrence winning is probably Gwyneth Paltrow for Shakespeare in Love. A very good performance in a movie everybody liked but let’s face it, voters fell in love with her that year.  That’s how she beat Cate Blanchett, the more deserving contender, for Elizabeth.  They fell in love with her – critics were waxing dreamy prose about Paltrow’s breasts and good cheer – she is an enthusiastic fan of Shakespeare and the lead character and wants only to be the love of his life and perhaps act on the stage as a woman. A WOMAN! On the public stage!

The model for Jessica Chastain winning is possibly Jodie Foster for Silence of the Lambs, but not really, since Foster had been acting since she was a kid and had already won a Best Actress Oscar for The Accused.  Chastain reminds me of Meryl Streep not so much for her performance in Zero Dark Thirty but for her whole body of work and her ability to utterly disappear into a character.  Jennifer Lawrence, as Tiffany in Silver Linings, has hit the exact right role at the exact right time and let’s face it, it’s hard not to fall in love with her.  Chastain is in the best reviewed film of the year and is the only central character in any Oscar frontrunner that is female. Think about that one for a minute.  That is huge.  Still, Oscar doesn’t pick winners that way. The voters are under no obligation to forward any political agenda; they vote for who and what they like.

It probably isn’t even worth going there, to imagine they would honor, say, Emayatzy Corinealdi, who gives one of the best performances of the year in Middle of Nowhere. One black actress in 85 years of Oscar history has won an Oscar.   You have to be a star to get nominated for Best Actress and most of the films at the multiplex — hell, on all of the critics lists as well – are stories about white people and if they aren’t, they’re still stories about men. Corinealdi is in a film about a woman. The odds are against a nomination. But that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be in the conversation.  Alfre Woodard just wrote a “consider this” for EW:

In Middle of Nowhere, we experience an exquisite, intimate tale of a woman in progress — as told through the vivid screenplay and deft direction of Ava DuVernay and the breakout performance of Emayatzy Corinealdi.

These are the kind of women artists rarely heard in modern day cinema. They are women of color telling a universal tale in a very specific way. And it is important that their work in Middle of Nowhere be seen by those of us who truly care about film.

To speak of Corinealdi’s work in this Sundance award-winning drama is to speak of discovery and revelation. You watch the film and wonder how a talent like that has gone undiscovered for so long, then revel in the joy that is watching her portray “Ruby.” Corinealdi imbues the film’s heroine with a carefully modulated combination of vulnerability and strength, humility and gusto, defiance and dignity.

The Gotham Awards bestowed her with its Breakthrough Performance Award last month, while the Spirit Awards and Image Awards have both nominated her for Best Actress. My hope is that voters and viewers will embrace and enjoy Emayatzy’s wonderful work in Middle of Nowhere. She is a bright new actress who singlehandedly occupies nearly every frame of this beautiful film with guts and grace. A performance deserving of celebration.

Quvenzhané Wallis will likely become the tenth black actress to be nominated for Lead.  Ten in 85 years.   I suspect that most people are underestimating Wallis’ chance to win.  Voters might love Beasts of the Southern Wild and they may hate it. Since it doesn’t qualify for SAG or WGA, and it didn’t make a splash at the Globes, it’s hard to know.  But if it were me voting I’d have a hard time not voting for Wallis. She is young, and would have a better chance if she were nominated in supporting.  The outcome of this race is uncertain.

The locks in the category right now are Chastain, Lawrence, Wallis and two open slots. One appears to be owned by Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone and the fifth is probably going to Naomi Watts, who has tremendous support from the acting community.  This was necessary since the film wasn’t going to be a critics’ darling; The Blind Side got a Best Picture nomination and a win for Sandra Bullock without the critics.  It can happen when there is passion outside the bubble, or within the Hollywood community.

Naomi Watts has only been nominated once for an Oscar, for 21 Grams in 2003.  She had her biggest break when David Lynch cast her in Mulholland Drive.  Her willingness to go deep would become her trademark but it was really showcased in the Lynch film more than any other. She won the National Society of Film Critics, the National Board of Review but did not receive an Oscar nomination.  After that, she was ignored for her work in King Kong, Eastern Promises, The Painted Veil and Fair Game. It was not until this year, with The Impossible, that Watts really started to put the campaigning into overdrive.  It’s true that in the Oscar race you have to want it — you have to be willing to kiss a lot of ass on the Oscar walk.  Think about Marion Cotillard during La Vie en Rose or Jeff Bridges during Crazy Heart.  If you aren’t out there, voters forget about you and the moment passes.

If you don’t grab it while it’s right in front of you it will fade away, that’s the idea behind fighting for an Oscar win.  You have to fight because there is so much competition.  The master at this is Harvey Weinstein and the Weinstein Co. They know what it takes to win, which is why they had Meryl Streep out at the AARP as part of her campaign run to win, finally, for The Iron Lady. Streep, like Winslet, like Watts, is simply too polite to grab the brass ring. She makes the assumption, like all reasonable people, that if you’re good enough the awards will come. But they don’t.   Oh sure, for every Jeff Bridges there is a Mo’Nique, who does no campaigning and still wins. But if Mo’Nique had been getting nomination after nomination and continuing to lose? You can bet she would be out there campaigning too.

When it was time for Kate Winslet to win at last she really had to basically come out and say it. She had to sex it up and work the circuit, even though she is so well respected that she deserved to have won before The Reader. But The Reader, like The Iron Lady, was tailor made for an Oscar win for Winslet. Christ, Nazis? Nudity? Even with all of that it isn’t enough. You have to get out there and let voters know you want it, finally. And if the lady asks for it, the lady shall be rewarded.  If you want to win an Oscar, I’m sure actors know and believe, you get Harvey Weinstein to win one for you.  And he – and his kick-ass team – can usually get her done. This amounts to a combination of knowing what Oscar voters like and knowing when it’s time to step on the gas.

For their Consider This section in EW, Reese Witherspoon wrote the following for Watts:

Hi Naomi,

I know we don’t know each other well. I hope it’s ok that I am reaching out to you, because I simply could not contain my enthusiasm about your performance in The Impossible.

Wow. Just wow. I was blown away by the film. The story of survival and the incredible images of the tsunami and the performances of the entire cast were astounding. By far, one of the best films I have ever seen in my life.

I could not speak for 24 hours after seeing the film. It was more than a movie. It was a mediation on life and family and humanity. It was fortifying.

But the life-breath of the film is you.

Your brutal physical performance, the ferocity of your mothering spirit and the soul touching moments where you hold on to life with every part of your being were incredible.

Not since I saw Meryl Streep’s performance in Sophie’s Choice have I been so moved by an actress’s performance. It also reminded me of Sally Field’s Norma Rae as well. Such strength and absolute vulnerability in the same performance. A mother who is determined to teach her child what it means to be a good person even when facing her own mortality. You showed every side of Maria’s story.

If I have anything to do with it (and I will literally tap dance on Sunset Boulevard for you!), you will be holding every beautiful statue that exists by the end of February.

But more importantly, you have created a performance that will stand the test of time.

Congratulations. And thank you sharing your heart and soul so openly.

A lovely tribute to Watts’ moving performance in The Impossible.  Without this kind of urging, without Watts doing publicity and without the celebrity endorsements by Angelina Jolie and Mark Ruffalo, The Impossible would disappear.  It has been accused of being a film that only cares about the white tourists (the original family, also “white” since they were Spanish) and not the many residents of the island who also died.  What is remarkable about The Impossible, and the only thing (other than the performances) that is remarkable is that this family managed to find each other and survive a tsunami.  The film reassures us that many of the white tourists found their parents and all was well.  But it tells us less about those who lost their babies and parents.

But it wasn’t really the film’s job to give us a whole history lesson on the tsunami. This was a story about one experience by one family there.  It is a rather miraculous story and hard to believe — but that’s why they call it The Impossible – against all odds, this family survived.

Watts is overdue, well liked in the industry and is in a film many celebrities are pushing. I’d say her chances to not only get nominated but to win are pretty good.

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

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  • Alex Brando

    Uhhhhhhh – Watts had 1 nomination almost 10 years ago, BUT Chastain and Lawrence also got 1, and more recently. (and Chastain came very close to another one with The Tree of Life) IMO, a lot of people don’t really feel very fond for Naa-o-mi Watts, to be more “delicate”. I mean, the only solid support she could get would probably be from her BFF, Nicole Kidman. And unlike Kidman, she just doesn’t show the necessary depth for an Academy award. (Do you remember The Hours, or Moulin Rouge?!)

    I really really want Chastain’s performance to be recognized for that deadly pose she puts on as the agent in Zero Dark Thirty, and a also really would be happy to see the over-emotional performace of Lawrence be acknowledged. Now, I’m not saying either will necessarily win, I do think that Cotillard still has a chance if more people see the movie. But overall, it’s finally a strong year for the Best Female Acting category. Finally!

  • Tyler

    I agree that Lawrence, Chastain, and Wallis are all but assured nominations. I think Watts is likely to get in to. But about that fifth slot, I wouldn’t count out Emmanuelle Riva. Amour is much-loved by those who love it and it’s carried by incredible performances. Trintignant can’t get in to a crowded field, but I think Riva has a very good shot. A better one, in fact, than Cotillard who is in a film Oscar voters won’t respond to as much as Amour and gives a performance that’s also amazing but less easily lovable. I think she’ll suffer the same fate and for some of the same reasons as presumed sure-thing Michael Fassbender in Shame.

  • Alex Brando

    And I agree completely with the Predictions at the end. Actully with Emmanuelle Riva, Keira Knigthley and Helen Mirren who are supposedly great, I think it’s the Best Actress category who needs to be 10 places this year, as they are all great and solid performances.

    In fact, the Academy being the Academy, I could easily see them putting Dame Helen Mirren in between the 5, just because of their demographics, and tendency of recognizing acttor legacies. Which would mean that Q. Wallis would have to be out, unfortunately…I guess, in a thousand years, Oscar fans won’t remember that there once was a hushpuppy…

  • Gage Creed


  • Vincent

    How are Lawrence and Chastain “new to the Oscar scene,” compared to Watts? They’ve all been nominated for an Oscar once – the two formers being much more recent than Watts. I’ve never been overly impressed with Watts; I think she’s fine, but I’ve never been blown away. Having said that, I haven’t seen “The Impossible,” yet. I love that poor Ewan McGregor is being glossed over once again … that man is too great.

    I’m not really getting the praise for Emayatzy Corinealdi in this peace, especially since earlier in this essay you say actors (Chastain and Lawrence) have to build up clout to be nominated and win. Who the hell is Corinealdi compared to Chastain and Lawrence? I just don’t get it … where’s her clout that she’s more deserving?

  • Aragorn

    I just saw the movie. Watts is really good, without being over the top. Very physical and emotional performance. I wouldn’t be surprised if she won at the end.

  • Aragorn

    Jessica Chastain has that quite creepy looking movie called Mama opening in the middle of voting period. It may either sow that she has a ranges so help her ( also being on various talk shows to promote that movie could help too) or may hurt her chance if reviews are bad. Her wig already looks bad to me;)

  • Aragorn

    Any black actress with decent performance in a decent movie is Oscar-worthy in this site…you should know this by now:)

  • Jon

    I actually have always liked Watts and personally thought that not only should she have been nominated for her incredible performance in KING KONG but should have won it that year (over the incredibly overrated Reese Witherspoon performance in WALK THE LINE, I am sorry, I love Reese but she should have been nominated and won for ELECTION). Watts in KING KONG was actually a remarkable performance I thought, and the fact that it stood out in a film like that, just goes to show how great it was. So if she is great in THE IMPOSSIBLE I say get her in there.

    Don’t really think it will matter though, as I just have a sneaking suspicion that Chastain will be unstoppable as Oscar gets closer and closer.

  • IMO, a lot of people don’t really feel very fond for Naa-o-mi Watts

    A lot of people liked Mitt Romney. A lot of people like Justin Bieber. A lot of people like tomato ketchup. A lot of people are wrong.

    And unlike Kidman, she just doesn’t show the necessary depth for an Academy award.

    Mulholland Dr, Mother and Child, 21 Grams, Fair Game, Ellie Parker, Funny Games, King Kong, The Painted Veil, The Impossible, Eastern Promises, I Heart Huckabees, J Edgar

    What was that about depth?

  • twodollars

    Just gross. The idea that Watts has somehow been unrecognized for her past work is absurd. She is an average actress at best and mediocre in most of her films.

    This year was shaping out so well. I’ll be horrified if she wins Best Actress.

  • steandric

    “As the film’s heroine, Naomi Watts powerfully becomes a front-runner for an Academy Award…..“The Impossible” is one of the best films of the year.” [4 stars out of 4, Roger Ebert]

    “Watt’s Maria gives you something to aspire to…..She’s always superlative, but The Impossible is Watt’s best performance in years.” [Mary Pols, Time Magazine]

    ‘A remarkable visual achievement, made more affecting by the depth the actors bring to their characters….the go-for-broke intensity and emotional layering Watts brings to her role is an acting triumph.[Peter Travers, Rolling Stone]

  • PJ

    I don’t know if Watts is a game changer, as I havent seen the film, but word of mouth with her is strong and she hit SAG/GG and film not doing that bad with critics. I think she is definitely 3rd in line right now if Lawrence and Chastain falter.

  • I have more bones to pick, but these are with you Sasha…

    One black actress in 85 years of Oscar history has won an Oscar.

    I know what you mean, but it’s not what you’ve stated. One black actress has won Best Actress. The stats are pretty shameful any way you look at it though, so your point is still proven.

    The locks in the category right now are Chastain, Lawrence, Wallis and two open slots.

    This is just my opinion, but Quvenzhane Wallis is far from a lock. I’ll uphold this even if she is nominated. She might be, but it’s hardly that certain at this point.

    [The Impossible] wasn’t going to be a critics’ darling

    75 on Metacritic, 82 on Rotten Tomatoes. Not their favourite of the year, but plenty of rave reviews nonetheless.

    But if Mo’Nique had been getting nomination after nomination and continuing to lose? You can bet she would be out there campaigning too.

    Again, just my opinion, but I don’t think her attitude was attributable to complacency. I doubt that she would have bothered however things turned out. She hardly took that role in the hope that she’d win an Oscar. And what has she done since?

  • unlikely hood

    Two days ago Phantom said:

    Sasha, can you tell me what convinced you Wallis will get the nomination so easily (your No3) ? I’m not nitpicking, I am honestly curious what your reasoning is because I don’t see that happening at all, she isn’t even in my top6.
    Her film should be doing spectacularly in the critics-stage yet after 21 groups, still no award in a main category (picture, director, screenplay, actress), and even though she was ineligible for SAG and the HFPA rarely (=never?) nominates child performances, I still don’t see her making the cut : the Academy-screening back in June was a mixed bag and even if it hadn’t been, due to the very early release date they would have already forgotten about it by now, mainly because we have a new supposed top5 player basically every week (first Argo and Silver Linings Playbook, then Lincoln and Life of Pi, then Zero Dark Thirty and the by-now-questionable Les Miserables and most recently Django Unchained).
    Frankly, I would be utterly shocked if anyone NOT in the Chastain-Lawrence-Watts-Cotillard-Mirren-Riva sextet, would make the top5. Even Rachel Weisz seems to have considerably more buzz than Wallis, with her prestigious NYFCC-win and drama Golden Globe nomination. So tell me, is that an educated guess/hunch or her buzz is stronger and I am simply not aware of it ?

    Sasha replied:

    @Phantom – you’re right that no SAG for Beasts and no Globes nod for Beasts would make critics and pundits think the Academy wouldn’t like it either. I have to disagree with that, at least for now. The only two significant things that came out of the Globes for me was no nod for Tom Hooper (which is a very very BIG deal) and no nod for David O. Russell (at least he got a screenplay nod). And Spielberg’s record number of nods. The Globes are calling 2012 the “Year of the Woman” with Jodie Foster being honored and their hosts – which leads me to believe that Bigelow, who didn’t win in 2009, will win there.
    I fully expect the Academy will appreciate Beasts of the Southern Wild. And if they don’t, they don’t. It’s as much a gamble for that as Les Miserables, even though those who haven’t seen it might disagree. I think Beasts WOULD have been nominated for the SAG and am not surprised it didn’t get in with the Globes.
    But you could be right – I could be right – it’s a roll of the dice on that one.

    Today Sasha said:

    The locks in the category right now are Chastain, Lawrence, Wallis and two open slots.

    I say:

    How did we go from a roll of the dice to a lock in two days?
    Was it missing the Mayan apocalypse?

  • KB

    I just saw “The Impossible” last night and Naomi Watts was so authentic and heartbreaking. (Especially the final scene – wow.) I can certainly see her winning for that. I’ve also seen “Silver Linings Playbook” and Jennifer Lawrence is great – but, I think what Watts did is of a higher standard and quality.

  • Just gross. The idea that Watts has somehow been unrecognized for her past work is absurd. She is an average actress at best and mediocre in most of her films.
    This year was shaping out so well. I’ll be horrified if she wins Best Actress.

    Should I stop reading comments on this page? This makes me want to cry.

  • Gautam

    Getting snubbed for what was the best performance that year [Mulholland Dr.], and later turned out to be arguably the best female performance of last decade, Watts knows that winning or for that matter even getting nominated doesn’t only require a good performance but also solid campaigning [Read: Ass-kissing]. This year she really has good shot at winning it, though at this point of time Lawrence and Chastain are leading the race but it can change soon if The Impossible gets nominated for Best Picture.

    I am also sniffing an upset at SAG awards just going by the support that Watts has amongst acting community. If that happens rest be assured she will also win the BIG prize. Still it’s some way to go before that, till then we have to wait and watch where does this race lead to. I would Watts is slowly but surely [from being an outside contender] closing in [ now in Top 3].

  • Jerry Grant

    Who said Naomi Watts is a mediocre actress at best?? Have we seen “Mulholland Drive”?

  • Gautam

    For all those here who feel Watts does’t deserve or are shocked that she might actually win the Oscar, I would like to say only 2 things to them:

    1. Naomi Watts might not be as showy or as well-known as Kidman or Jolie but she certainly is equally competent if not more. [Definitely more talented than latter]

    2. All those doubting her, I am sure haven’t watched Mulholland Dr. Grab a DVD and watch right now. You will be blown out of park.

  • John

    I keep hearing that Watts’ performance is more subtle and intuitive of human nature (especially early on). Then the tsunami/emotional scenes come. But my favorite kinds of performances are the kind where an actor/acress lets us into their minds without saying one word or barely making a facial expression. If Watts’ performance is needed like this, than I can’t wait to see it and she may overtake my #1 who is currently Knightley. Still haven’t seen Chastain or Riva.

  • Glenn UK

    Go Naomi. Does not matter how many Chastain and Lawrence have won with the critics – Bullock is the perfect recent example to offer up. At least Namoi is getting shortlisted a lot with the critics so she is on the brink of something big and hopefully that will be Oscar. All it needs is the next phase to kick in.

  • With Diana right around the corner, the AMPAS may well likely hold out on a Watts win. She also may play Gertrude Stein. This could be her Susan Sarandon Thelma & Louise nod (2nd nomination after a decade gap, on her road to a win somewhere soon after multiple nods).

  • Gautam


    All those criticizing Impossible for being a white family story and why not a brown’s story, forgot that films at end of the day are director’s medium of expression and it entirely depends on him what story he or she wants to tell. Afterall, he is not making a documentary piece on Tsunami and missed talking about all Thai’s felt. He is telling a family’s story and he did a pretty good job with that.

    Time and again, I have seen people complaining about stuffs that seems entirely unnecessary. Questioning Impossible’s intentions are similar to saying why Zero Dark Thirty is about killing of Osama, and why not thousands others who got killed in Afganistan and Iraq. Why is Lincoln about Lincoln and why not about black slaves. And I can carry on and on. At times I seriously feel some people need a film-viewing lessons. All this misguided commenting happens because somewhere people forget they are watching is a film and not social commentary.

  • Filmboymichael

    I am calling that wallis gets overlooked.

  • Zach

    Thanks for a Best Actress write-up! I would love for Naomi Watts to win. She doesn’t have the critics’ awards behind her, but it seems like everyone who has actually seen The Impossible, from people in the media to people on this website, is raving about her performance. She also seems to have the most challenging task of her Best Actress rivals.

    Naomi Watts is one of the best actors of her generation. Like Julianne Moore, she turns in an accomplished performance every time she makes a movie, but she has yet to come across that one role that is right up the Academy’s alley. She reminds me of Olivia De Havilland, a likable, brilliant actor who was never the Sandra Bullock or Elizabeth Taylor of her day, but who didn’t have to be to attain challenging roles.

    Among tweens, Lawrence is even more popular than Gwyneth was back in the day, but I don’t see her as the Princess of the Oscars in the same way that Gwyneth was. I guess some people love Tiffany though.

    But to echo those above me, how is Wallis a lock? Calling her a lock ignores basic statistics, even if she was ineligible for SAG and was never going to be a Globe nominee anyway (they hate kids). I see Wallis fighting with Riva and Mirren for that fifth slot. Since they all have their strikes and play rather one-note characters, we could see an upset.

    I’m calling Corinealdi as the shocker. To put it bluntly and cynically, there aren’t enough strong performances of color in the running this year. She also looks better on paper than at least Mirren and (I’d say) Wallis. Not to mention she actually has a a real flesh-and-blood part and carries her film, a la Demian Bichir.

  • Dave L

    Wallis over Riva? Really?

  • Aragorn

    Somehow I cannot make it down to five. Still have 6:

  • Vincent

    Let’s not forget Cotillard. She’s brilliant, and the film has been getting some great reviews and she’s well liked (she’s already won!).

    I’d love to see Cotillard, Lawrence, Chastain, and Riva … as for the fifth, I’d love to see a surprise Maggie Smith nod for “Quartet.”

    Aragorn, I see your point.

  • akumax

    Wallis isn’t going to be nominated, I’m sure of that. It’s one thing I can bet money on. Riva and Weitz could be along with the only 3 locks: Lawrence, Chastain and Watts.

  • Jerry Grant

    I think neither Lawrence nor Chastain are on very solid ground. There is certainly room for someone else to step in, and Watts could certainly be that someone. Same goes for Supporting Actor (which is why, if DiCaprio is nominated, I think he would win).

  • Jim

    I ADORED Beasts of the Southern Wild. I think Dwight Henry deserves the Oscar for his performance. But I don’t think Wallis merits a nomination. The performance felt so carefully constructed by the director and editor. And yes, you can say that about ANY performance, but it felt particularly true for me here. And she was SEVEN. I guess that somehow, I can’t seem to wrap my brain around considering a child that young for an award.

    I still think the only locks are Chastain and Lawrence. Watts seems extremely likely. Based on little to nothing but a hunch, I feel like only one foreign language actress gets in. Hoping for Riva, expecting Cotillard. And I think Mirren or Weisz sneaks into the last slot. It might just be wishful thinking (because I think it’s probably THE best of the performances–minus Riva who I haven’t seen yet), I want to give the edge to Weisz.

  • Drood

    Quvenzhane Wallis is by no means a “lock” for a nomination. She is unlikely to make the final five…

  • Have to agree with Jerry Grant. The supporting actor pool is filled with former winners. The chances of newbie nominee (Goodman, Mcgregor) getting in are slim. If DiCaprio gets nominated, I don’t see how he couldn’t win, especially if his competition includes Arkin, DeNiro, Jones, and Hoffman. It doesn’t seem like they’ll nominate him unless they want to give him the Oscar.

  • Yeah, by this stage, with all this buzz, I expect Watts is just about a lock. If things keep going her way, she could certainly win.

    If we look at it as Chastain vs. Lawrence vs. Watts, they all have one Oscar nomination. Watts is the oldest by some way, and has been in the industry for the longest, also by some way. It has also been the longest since her nomination, again by some way. Thus, despite the same statistics re: Oscar nominations, she has the overdue factor which neither of them have,

    My expectation is that they could certainly play up Watts’ career history: she toiled in the business for about a decade before breaking through, which other actors will likely have a lot of respect for. She’s also polite and personable, but has never yet seemed desperate for awards attention (I don’t think it’s in her character), at least not if you look at the roles she’s taken on since Mulholland Dr.

  • Zach

    Leo or no Leo, Tommy Lee Jones could easily win a 2nd Oscar this year. Just ask Gene Hackman and the late Shelley Winters.

  • ferdi

    Since Sandra Bullock has won an Oscar, anyone could win. And Watts is a better actress than Bullock. That said I think the race is between Chastain and Lawrence, with Riva as possible surprise. And my only hope is that Weisz and Cotillard get the nomination.

    Yesterday I saw Take This Waltz and I was blown away by Michelle Williams. It’s the best performance of her career and it’s a shame she’s out tof the race.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    When I saw The Impossible, I was sure that Watts would get nominated. If Holland wasn’t a kid, I would’ve been sure about him, too. They are some of year’s best.

    Film is very good, too. And I have no problem seeing the story from “white” perspective. I know people who were there, I know a family of five who all died there. They were white. Lots of Nordic people go there on holiday, as do Americans and Europeans in general.

    I can see Watts winning. It would be way more deserving than Lawrence, for example.

  • Aragorn


    I agree if Bullock won, any actress could win and yes Watts is a much better actress than Bullock. But we know why Bullock won that year. None of the best actress contenders this year has her popularity or box office power (No, Hunger Games didnt make all that money because of J.Lawrence only!)..So, her case was a bit different. This year at least all the actresses mentioned, except that little girl, are good actresses with good credentials. I believe both J.Lawrence and Jessica Chastain will win their Oscars in the near future, if not this year.
    And yes, Michelle Williams is great in that small movie. But again she is good in almost everything she does.

  • brendon

    “The Impossible” looks just shitty enough to get the Extremely Loud/Blind Side vote this year. The big chunk of Oscar voters who really like their schmaltzy bullshit unadulterated by “aesthetics” will find it “respectable” and it’ll sneak in for the last nomination.

    Sorry/fuck you, “The Master!”

  • Yeah, there aren’t really any actresses who can take a movie to $250M these days all by herself. The Hunger Games was already going to be huge. Jennifer Lawrence helped make that happen. But, remove her from the equation, and it was still going to make money. The Blind Side wouldn’t have done its business without Bullock. And, the fact that it did, “and then some” just added to Bullock’s pull. Her Oscar was due in part, because has been one of the few female actors with commercial appeal that has gone all the way back to the mid-90s. Sure, her performance doesn’t light a candle to Carey Mulligan or Gabourey Sidibe (or Meryl Streep, or the person who should have been nominated and won, Tilda Swinton for Julia), for that matter. But, they can’t command her viewership potential either. And that means something in the industry. And, sometimes, like in Julia Roberts’ case (or even in Reese Witherspoon’s), that comes with a reward after x-amount of years. And, since Oscar is a game and it’s not always about the performance (if it was, then the five best actors in each category would actually include the five best actors for that category), sometimes you have to consider how well the game is played. And that includes Bullock’s campaign … which was flawless.

    I’m not bothered by her win like a lot of people.

  • Bryce Forestierir

    Actresses? Mostly don’t care! But would be please with either Chastain or Watts winning. Naomi Watts is the shit and her body if work is impressive as hell…unlike some who are considered the best actress alive or some bullshit.

    In important news: PLACE BEYOND THE PINES trailer is out and Gosling looks mighty fine with those tats!!! <3

  • Aragorn

    you look good in that picture:)

    I only wish Felicity Huffman won over Reese’s supporting-but-pretending-lead performance in that year.

  • Comment

  • The Dude

    After seeing The Impossible today, I’ll say Watts is a VERY strong contender. It isn’t her greatest performance, but it’s still a great one, very emotionally demanding, in a movie that’s very moving (although relies on the occasional manipulative score for that) and that certainly will be a tearjerker for a lot of people- I could hear a few people close to me crying.

    And if Wallis is a lock, I am James Bond. Just because you like her, it doesn’t make is so- she missed both GG and SAG; she might make it, but she’s certainly not a lock.

    Brendon: Did you actually saw the movie or are you just talking out of your ass?

  • Aragorn


    I saw that trailer today before the Impossible. I was thinking that both Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper looked quite good. It is expected from Ryan G. but Bradley? First SLP and then this movie..Who knew he would have that kind of acting chops…of course then in may he will come back with Hangover Part 3!

  • phantom

    I have been saying this since September, the Toronto-screening and subsequent rare standing ovation : Naomi Watts could WIN. She is in a well-received tearjerking family drama that has written sleeper hit all over it, her role is remarkably Academy-friendly and she is widely considered as one of the best Oscarless actresses. She should have been nominated for King Kong, The Painted Veil, Fair Game, Mother & Child the very least. I think this could be her year…especially if this VERY passionate (and VERY high profile) Impossible-fanbase propels the film to a BP-nod (= 5% #1).

    I also think we have three locks (Chastain, Lawrence, Watts) and then I’m torn. I know Cotillard is 4th on paper but I could see Riva knock her out OR the two splitting votes and cancelling each other out. It rarely happens the Academy nominates two foreign language performances in the same year, let alone in the same category AND the same language. Then again, Cotillard has been campaigning and she is very likable, so she might just make the cut without a hitch after all.

    Then there is Helen Mirren who could be a solid filler nominee with the usually ironclad SAG/GG combo.

    And frankly, I still don’t see Wallis as a ‘lock’, I think she is more ‘viable surprise’ material. She hasn’t even won one Best Actress award after 22 critics groups and she was supposed to be damn strong at least in this early stage of the race. Rachel Weisz has been gaining considerable buzz, now I think even she has a better shot than Wallis, she won the most prestigious early award (NYFCC), received the drama GG-nod which improves her perception a lot AND those bigass FYC-ads arrived just in time on Deadline and everywhere else.

    1. Jessica Chastain
    2. Jennifer Lawrence
    3. Naomi Watts

    4. Helen Mirren
    5. Marion Cotillard
    6. Emmanuelle Riva
    7. Rachel Weisz

    8. Quvenzhané Wallis
    9. Maggie Smith

    10.Keira Knightley

    I wrote about this a week ago :

    P.S. Thanks unlikely hood for brining up that comment, I was about to ask the same thing you did.

  • Free

    I would love it (even though I didn’t love her film), but Wallis is not a lock. That’s more wishful thinking than anything else. Missing out on both Globe and SAG noms pretty much kills the idea that you’re easily making the final five.

    I wouldn’t hold my breath for Weisz, either. Her random victory over Lawrence and Chastain will be her greatest triumph this time around. I don’t think anyone is interested in giving her yet another Oscar she doesn’t deserve. Don’t write off Mirren: people love her (see The Last Station).

    Having just seen AMOUR and RUST AND BONE back-to-back, I think people are overestimating Cotillard’s chances and underestimating Riva’s. The former is fine but definitely not going to win if she’s nominated, and the latter could actually score an upset, especially since people love her film.

    Watts is in the driver’s seat, in my opinion, because (a) People in the industry love her, (b) She’s overdue, and (c) I don’t get the sense people think Lawrence has really earned her victory (I agree), while others feel Chastain is too low-key for the majority of her film. Watts probably strikes the right balance; the one person who can be rewarded and no one will feel guilty about handing a trophy.

    My predictions:
    – Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
    – Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
    – Helen Mirren, “Hitchcock”
    – Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”
    – Naomi Watts, “The Impossible”

  • Aaron

    Naomi Watts is a terrific actress…I seriously do not understand why someone would call her “mediocre”…just look at her resume and she has one of the most eclectic and fascinating filmographies out of anyone in Hollywood (David O. Russell, Peter Jackson, David Lynch, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, MICHAEL HANEKE). Girl has worked with some of the best in the business and always gives compelling and nuanced performances. Plus, she eternally has a lifetime pass from me simply because of her outstanding performance in Mulholland Drive.

    I think The Impossible could be a sleeper hit here in America–it’s already a blockbuster throughout the world, so audiences are really responding to it. Plus, it’s been eye-opening to hear many major actors come out to bat for it (Witherspoon, Jolie, Ruffalo, etc.)…that says she will get a LOT of #1 votes…

    I still think that Lawrence and Chastain are the two frontrunners at the moment–and both are undoubtedly locks for nominations–but like Sasha said previously, neither one of them really have the industry “clout” that Watts has. Both actresses are relatively new to Hollywood and haven’t built up the longevity that Watts has throughout the last decade.

    And Wallis is not a lock by any means (in my opinion). It’s tough to be nominated in the best actress category when you’re a child (particularly when you are under the age of TEN). At least Keisha Castle-Hughes had a SAG nomination under her belt…something Wallis does not (since she was ineligible). Beasts of the Southern Wild is beloved by many, but the film is not for everyone, and plus there are many Hollywood vets fighting for that fifth spot after the Chastain-Lawrence-Watts-Cotillard locks (Mirren, Weisz, Riva). She definitely has a chance but I am thinking for the time being that she misses.

  • Mike

    Just an edit for your article, it’s Alfre Woodard who writes about Middle of Nowhere, not Angela Bassett.

  • Sasha Stone

    How did we go from a roll of the dice to a lock in two days?
    Was it missing the Mayan apocalypse?

    Ha. Good catch!! I don’t know if Wallis is in or out — none of us does because of the SAG. The Globes don’t really matter where actress is concerned. So it’s a crap shoot, yes. But to my mind she’s still a lock because of how good she is and how well loved the film is. Why didn’t the Globes go for it? I don’t know. The Academy might not either. I’m betting they will. So she’s one of my locks but yeah, I guess you could say it’s iffy.

  • Sasha Stone

    Any black actress with decent performance in a decent movie is Oscar-worthy in this site…you should know this by now:)

    Don’t even go there. Most of the actresses who are NOMINATED and WIN Best Actress are mediocre but because they’re “celebrities” they get in. That is the only reason. Mediocre, yeah, that about describes most of the frontrunners. The best ones never get in. So don’t even.

  • Jim

    mild spoilers for The Impossible below:

    I haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but having seen both The Impossible and Silver Linings, I’m Team Naomi all the way. It’s crazy how much she says without saying anything, the amount of emotion she conveys with a single look. There’s a scene near the beginning of the movie in which Tom Holland (Best Actor, fyc) tells her that her other kids are dead and her expression is just… wow. I cried like a little bitch throughout the whole movie and Naomi’s performance has a lot do to with that.

    And yes, the movie isn’t great (it’s a shameless tearjerker and it’s well aware of that), but Naomi, Tom and Ewan McGregor should be in every ballot this year.

  • SallyinChicago

    One black actress in 85 years of Oscar history has won an Oscar.
    ^ this needs correcting. Maybe you mean “best actress”…because there have been about 4 black actresses to win….but it would be a bigger surprise if Q. Wallis is nominated! and wins! that would get the Academy shaken up.

  • SallyinChicago

    I agree that Lawrence, Chastain, and Wallis are all but assured nominations
    ^ I would like to agree with you about Wallis, but it would be a MAJOR MAJOR surprise if the little black girl takes the place of a big name white female.

  • steve50

    I wouldn’t hold her upcoming projects – Queen of the Desert and Diana – as liabilties against a career acknowledgment this year.

    The category is wide open, if you step back, and you make make a strong argument for just about any of 5 or 6 in the running.

    Aragorn sums it up perfectly: “Somehow I cannot make it down to five. Still have 6”

    Chastain and Lawrence are definite locks. Watts appears to be in, as well.

    Riva vs Cotillard: never saw this as a two-woman race for a single slot. We’re due for a revered veteran (Riva) in the nominations and Cotillard is on her own path. I can see them both getting in.

    I don’t know that a “filler” is required this year, so will Mirren’s track record work against her this time? Hitchcock is no masterpiece. I don’t see her making it this year.

    On the outside, Wallis, Smith, and Weisz. Any one of these could scoot in ahead of the weakest of the other five, which I think is Cotillard.

    There is no major, blow-out leading performance this year in the category, and that makes the field even and very ripe for a career win, which would be Watts.

  • JP

    Fernanda Montenegro was slightly more deserving than Blanchett, who should have at least one more Oscar for Notes On a Scandal.

  • SallyinChicago

    And she was SEVEN.
    ^ she was five when she filmed Beasts. I’m praying for Wallis because it would shake up the Oscars, but the Oscars are a bunch of yellow bellied cowards….at the least a “special” Oscar should be given Wallis like Mickey Rooney was given.

  • SallyinChicago

    Sasha, please get an edit button!
    Don’t even go there. Most of the actresses who are NOMINATED and WIN Best Actress are mediocre but because they’re “celebrities” they get in. That is the only reason. Mediocre, yeah, that about describes most of the frontrunners. The best ones never get in. So don’t even.
    ^ Totally agree.

  • Filipe

    @phantom, don’t you get tired of writing basically the same thing over and over in every post? I don’t really agree with what you say but you do have some interesting stats, but then interesting is only interesting the first time around.

  • Aragorn

    Then make your arguments based on “celebrity status” not on race…You were the one who wrote paragraphs why Sandra Bullock would win. I dont remember you having a major problem with that then. She is the poster girl for “celebrity status” winning over good performances. She was the least deserving performance wise out of those 5 actresses that year and yet she won. And that was fine.

    There are so many other good performances by “non-black” actresses but none of them ever get mentioned here. It is always black actors/actresses that get overlooked! Statistics are always about “only a few black actors/actresses” winning”, while no mention of no Asian or Hispanic actresses winning Best Actress award ever.

  • Aragorn

    While we still discuss even nominations for Best Actress, is Best Actor win a lock now? I cannot see who else may win over DDL now, unless they dont want to give him his 3rd Oscar. May be upset by Hugh Jackman?

  • Cyrus

    Having seen most of the performances, there is nobody better than Emmanuelle Riva. The Academy will not overlook her and I could very well see her winning the Oscar. Of interest Riva’s birthday is also February 24th, the same day as the Oscar telecast! Reminds me of Jennifer Jones who won an Oscar on her birthday back in 1944 🙂

    Wallis should not be nominated with such brilliant work by these other ladies. Has anyone else seen interviews with her? She is a child and it is quite evident that she does not embody the emotion and maturity of the character she portrayed.

    I do find it funny that there’s a post about Watts and now everyone can see her winning. She sadly deserved it most for Mulholland Drive or 21 grams.

    My hope is for Riva who really gives such a genuine and heartbreaking performance.

    Please do watch Emmanuelle Riva’s ADORABLE self in this New York Times series video. Enjoy !

  • phantom


    …yet here you are wasting your precious time responding to a comment you didn’t find interesting or useful. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to mine. Let’s leave it at that !

  • Zach

    Wallis should not be nominated with such brilliant work by these other ladies. Has anyone else seen interviews with her? She is a child and it is quite evident that she does not embody the emotion and maturity of the character she portrayed.

    ^ That would imply that she was ACTING in the movie. On the other hand, I agree that there are enough complex performances in the running that Wallis shouldn’t be carried in on the (possible) love for her film.

    There is no way Riva can win, and anyone who doubts that needs to put his thinking cap on.

    1) She didn’t get a SAG nomination.
    2) Most Academy members have never heard of her or at the very least are not familiar enough with her foreign work to want to bestow an American Oscar on her.
    3) Sorry, I DO think she deserves a nomination at least over Weisz and Wallis, but her character is bedridden for most of the film and inexpressive. It’s a heartbreaking situation, but this isn’t Best Actress material. There are a couple striking, haunting shots of Riva after her first stroke and then in bed. But otherwise, she has nothing to work with. To put it in perspective, Javier Bardem was snubbed for The Sea Inside, and he had a more expressive, complex character. John Hawkes is bedridden in The Sessions, but he has a story arc and dialogue.

    She’ll be lucky to get the nomination.

  • Any black actress with decent performance in a decent movie is Oscar-worthy in this site…you should know this by now:)

    Speaking for myself, I’m proud of that. I’d go so far as to say that any people of color who land a decent roles in a decent movie in the vastly predominant whiteness of Hollywood is welcome rarity and genuine cause for celebration. So we celebrate it, we appreciate it, we do whatever we can to support it. So maybe it will happen more often.

    As Sasha says, what passes for Oscar-worthy at the actual Oscars is often a mediocre movie that practically skis to the podium on a bunny slope white as snow. The Iron Lady and The Blind Side don’t meet my standards for a decent movie.

  • Bethany, Aragorn, Vincent. Let’s not sling the word racist around, ok, please.? I didn’t really see any remark that qualifies as racist, and now nobody else has to see the 3 comments where the word reared up. It’s a powerful heavy word. Its power is stronger if we save it to describe worse situations, don’t you think?

    Merry Christmas.

  • André

    After seeing the film today, I sure wouldn’t mind if she won. The sad thing, though, is that McGregor has no shot… I thought he was the best thing in the film and one of the best performances I’ve seen all year

  • Vincent

    This is not the first time McGregor is overlooked. I love that man

  • Cyrus

    In response to : ^ That would imply that she was ACTING in the movie. On the other hand, I agree that there are enough complex performances in the running that Wallis shouldn’t be carried in on the (possible) love for her film.

    No, this would imply that she was coached and prodded into her performance. If anyone should be recognized from Beasts, it should be Dwight Henry.

    And, Riva did not just lay emotionless in bed. She was not a corpse as you seem to be implying here.

    Being a physician myself, I have seen firsthand the devastation of individuals with stroke, and was so strikingly realistic. But she went above the embodiment of a disease body, she brought humanity despite the struggles she faced.

    I think to assume that Riva will not get a nomination because she didn’t get a SAG nomination is quite silly. You only need to remember such recent Oscar nominees who did not receive a SAG nomination: Marcia Gay Harden (did it twice without a GG or SAG nomination and won for Pollock), Shohreh Aghdashloo for House of Sand and Fog, Samantha Morton for In America, Djimon Hounsou for In America, Alan Alda for The Aviator, Javier Bardem for Beautiful and I am sure more that I cannot recall now.

    Also, for you to assume that people in the Academy do not know of Riva is quite ridiculous. You are dealing with an older population of voters and many regard her and do know her from her works in Kapo to Hiroshima Mon Amour. I think also carrying the Los Angeles Critics award carries a lot of weight.

    You’ll see, Miss Riva will at the very least get a nomination 😉

  • Jeremie

    I think the problem with Watts is that she will never top her performance in Mulholland Drive. Not that she is a bad actress, she is obviously great and has shown it in many later films, but what she gave in Mulholland Drive is just on a whole different level. I think many actresses would wish they could gave such a performance in their career. She should have been nominated and won that year, wtihout any doubt.
    And the problem with Oscar voters is that they like a good story to go with the win, some kind of progress in a career, something that shows that she’s been working hard in the industry and paid her due. It’s always about the story. And because Watts had such a spellbinding start and has not really found a film since to really recreate that moment, I don’t think she can win. Even 11 years after its release it is still the performance people will quote first when defending her skills. She needs to find a project of that level and then she will win. But guess they’re hard to find but I’m sure it will happen one day.

  • Bullock was the least deserving performance wise out of those 5 actresses that year and yet she won. And that was fine.

    It really wasn’t fine. It was kinda disgraceful, and that’s been said here repeatedly.

    Please don’t confuse a realistic prediction of inevitable reality with a personal endorsement. Me, I like it when Sasha makes observations about the real world of what the Oscars are, and I like it even better when she expresses hope for what an ideal world of the Oscars might one day be. Those are two different things, and we’re smart enough to tell them apart, aren’t we?

    “no mention of no Asian or Hispanic actresses winning Best Actress award ever.”

    You missed the paragraphs posted in recent weeks about Doona Bae in Cloud Atlas .

  • Zach

    I never said Riva wouldn’t be nominated (I kind of think she will, or the black lady); I just said she has no viable shot of winning. Marcia Gay Harden in Pollock she is not.

    And I said the majority of Academy members do not know her OR are not that familiar with her work. I don’t think Dakota Fanning and her peers in the Acad have seen her in more than one movie. Even the older members are probably not that familiar with her. Hiroshima Mon Amour is a big deal, but she is not Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, Giulietta Massina, even Monica Vitti in terms of how many acclaimed masterworks she’s headlined.

    But all that’s beside the point because the most important thing is the performance. She really doesn’t have much to do. Yes, she brought humanity to the situation, but so did Jean-Louis Trintignant — someone Academy members are likely more familiar with because of A Man and a Woman — and you don’t see him getting nominated. That’s because Best Actor is a lot more competitive this year. If we had a strong Best Actress field, even as strong as last year’s, we would not be having this conversation. Riva’s work in this film is too understated and not fleshed-out enough to compete with the likes of Meryl, Michelle Williams, Glenn Close, Viola Davis, and Rooney Mara at their best.

    In the same way that Gwyneth Paltrow beat all the people she beat, including Cate Blanchett and Fernanda Montenegro, the Academy would much sooner award Lawrence this year than Riva.

    On the other hand, I don’t believe Riva and Marion Cotillard are fighting for a French slot. Marion is Hollywood now anyway.

    And I don’t think Mulholland Dr. is holding Naomi Watts back. She was truly excellent in that film, but it’s exactly those arthouse film performances (and ones like Riva’s) that the Academy ignores by rote. Getting a nomination is more about the complexity, well-defined-ness, and importance of the role you’re playing than how good you are in the role.

  • steandric

    To those at the AD hate-NW-Forums who say the Academy doesn’t owe Naomi Watts anything, I think the Academy does owe her, to say the very least a nomination in 2002 for her phenomenal performance in Mulholland Drive, which must be the best amongst all those nominated that year, and even for the decade.

    2002 Oscar Best Actress in a Leading Role Nominees :

    Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball) – winner
    Judi Dench (Iris)
    Nicole Kidman (Moulin Rouge)
    Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom) – ahem
    Renée Zellweger (Bridget Jones’s Diary) -wtf?

    Just not to mention King Kong, The Painted Veil, Mother and Child, Fair Game….

  • Zach

    I agree she was ripped off for Mulholland Dr., but they would have had to knock out Judi Dench. Her “I write books” line carried her for that one. Don’t knock Renee Zellweger though. It’s not easy to do comedy, and she had a real character to play.

  • As far as Beasts failing to get into the Globes races, I think the lack of star power could be a major factor. The HFPA loves their celebrities, so for a tiny movie with no names to make it in would be pretty strange.

    I hope Wallis gets an Oscar nomination. One of the best performances of the year, and she’d be so adorable on the red carpet.

  • Zach

    @ “No, this would imply that she was coached and prodded into her performance. If anyone should be recognized from Beasts, it should be Dwight Henry.”

    I can agree with that. For the record, I’m not opposed to child actors being nominated when the work merits it. I think every child actor who’s ever been nominated has deserved it, except for maybe Justin Henry for Kramer vs. Kramer. And a few others like Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam, Henry Thomas in E.T., Ricky Schroder in The Champ, and mos of the Juvenile Oscar winners were all deserving of nods.

  • Aragorn

    Riva was really good in Amour. My only problem with that movie/performance was that it was very heavy (too heavy?) for me. I really couldnt stop thinking about it for a couple of days , maybe because i have grandparents at that same age, and it made me depressed. I know this also says something about the power of directing/acting/filmmaking but it was too much emotionally.

    Not that at that level but Cotillard’s and Watts’ performances had quite emotional impact on me as well.

    For Chastain, the movie’s last shot touched me and stayed with me for a while (it also said a lot about her character as well, imo).

    And for Lawrence, her character’s vulnerability behind all that craziness was my emotional attachment with that performance.

    But again overall, Riva, and Amour, was the strongest on emotional level!

  • Reno

    Sure, why not? I do hope she wins! Go Naomi!

  • Akumax

    “Any black actress with decent performance in a decent movie is Oscar-worthy in this site…you should know this by now:)”

    “Speaking for myself, I’m proud of that. I’d go so far as to say that any people of color who land a decent roles in a decent movie in the vastly predominant whiteness of Hollywood is welcome rarity and genuine cause for celebration. So we celebrate it, we appreciate it, we do whatever we can to support it. So maybe it will happen more often.
    As Sasha says, what passes for Oscar-worthy at the actual Oscars is often a mediocre movie that practically skis to the podium on a bunny slope white as snow. The Iron Lady and The Blind Side don’t meet my standards for a decent movie.”

    I don’t want to offend anybody, especially Ryan who is doing a great job here, but I would like to ask (I’m about to be a little provocative here): don’t you think it is a little “racist” (I don’t remotely think you are racist) against black actors (and black people in general) the thinking that they could just land a decent performance to deserve recognition? I understand where your point come from Ryan, and I’m not saying there is a total equality in Hollywood, but I refuse to think about minorities, any minority, in a “compassionate” “protective” way, because in my opinion it would express somehow a presumed “superiority” from me, which entitles me to defend someone I presume is weaker or less. We are talking about Oscar (the top recognition in Cinema) not about some abuse or discrimination that needs to be fought.
    Any actor in a movie that is a contender for the Academy Awards is a working actor who has a career going on and not some poor abused who needs help, please!

    I cannot understand, sorry:
    What about Japanese actors, why don’t we strongly support them to be nominated more often? What about Hispanic actors? Who was the last one to win, Bardem? Cruz? Del Toro? Always supporting roles, why don’t we blame the Academy for that and we say that whatever Antonio Banderas is doing next should be good enough to give him a best actor in a leading role win, so we can finally have a Spanish actor alongside the Italian Benigni in Oscar history, only two in 86 years…

  • André

    I know, Vincent, but I thought he was extraordinarily good here.. Better than Watts, even! The scene where he calls his family back home was just… Damn! The whole theatre was sobbing and/or talking throughout the film, but when that moment came on, you could hear a pin drop in there… I’ve never seen am audience cry so much during a film, and even then, everyone was quiet. I dunno, I was just amazed by him…

  • André

    Also, I watched this and went straight to a “Life of Pi” show and all I can say is “DAMN, OCEAN, YOU SCARY!”

  • JiggyBox

    Naomi Watts can win!

  • John

    Right now I’m feeling:

    Mirren peeking in

    My problem is that I feel like Mirren will be in, but I can’t imagine one of Watts, Cotillard, Riva not being called on nomination morning.

    I feel like we’ll see Riva. I feel like Watts and Cotillard have been working the circuit. BUT … Those 2 have never been automatic slot holders; I don’t care how well-reviewed they’ve been. It’s gonna be an uphill battle for any of Riva, Watts, or Cotillard.

  • Steve50, I’m not holding up future prospects as liabilities. At least i dont think i am, I’m only looking at patterns I’ve seen on the oscar’s behalf. Unless there is a strong consensus built around a performance, it seems these days, future prospects (or the lack thereof) can play a role. In terms of loss or win.

    Additionally, some actors the AMPAS are more wiling to let in the club, whereas others seem to have to have more going for them. I think Naomi watts is one of these actors. Nicole Kidman is another. Watts has been overlooked several times. Despite three nods and a win, Kidman has come close but fallen short several times with the AMPAS. Which is why, despite her GG and SAG precursors (and the sexed up character), I’m skeptical about her getting in for the paperboy.

    It strikes me that not only does Watts also have to fight for a nod (like this year), she is gonna have to fight for a win. History isn’t in her favor but she may defy the odds.

    While Lawrence AND chastain don’t have consensus, they’re both formidable candidates and are backed by strong films, both of which are possible BP nominees and could bring in a lot of money (silver linings still had a window to “catch on”).

    I don’t know. I see the impossible in a few so I really shouldn’t speak until after.

  • I refuse to think about minorities, any minority, in a “compassionate” “protective” way…

    I don’t think that way. Not sure why those words are in quotes. You’re not quoting me. Those aren’t my words, right? I can tell you the first words I would use to describe my attitude: Sensitive and Supportive. No abstract quotation marks needed.

    …because in my opinion it would express somehow a presumed “superiority” from me, which entitles me to defend someone I presume is weaker or less.

    I think possible (and even maybe admirable) to defend anyone who’s unfairly treated or unfairly maligned. I’ve defended President Obama for the past 5 years (for reasons that have nothing to do with race, I should add), and believe me I sure don’t think the president is weaker or less anything than I am. He doesn’t need my protection. Doesn’t need compassion. He just needs support.

    We should all be quick to speak up for anyone we admire and step up to show our appreciation for anyone we feel is underappreciated, right? Doesn’t mean we think those people can’t speak up or stand up for themselves — just means we’re showing solidarity. Just means we’re happy to say that we love seeing more diversity, and hopefully that’s encouraging to filmmakers who happen to be people of color — people of any color.

    Because filmmakers who aren’t white might look around and wonder why they don’t always have equal opportunities to land the best jobs in Hollywood (which directly translates into not always having an equal opportunity to win the top awards). They might wonder why, and I like for them know that I wonder too. That’s really all there is to it.

    Don’t worry that you might offend me, Akumax. You didn’t. If you were unsure about how I feel, I’m glad for the chance to explain myself a little better.

  • Logan

    If Emmanuelle Riva doesn’t get in, it will be such a travesty I can’t consider it. The top 4 vote-getter surely will be Chastain, Lawrence, Watts, and Riva.
    Cotillard and Wallis will be neck & neck for the 5th spot, and I’m thinking Cotillard will get it by a nose.

  • Aragorn

    What about the “infamous” Brit voting bloc? If they all decide to support Watts, she might not only get nomination, but may win this as well. But if they, at least some, decide to support Helen Mirren or Maggie Smith, then things may be different.

    Overall I dont think Hitchcock was a good movie, just a cute one. Anthony Hopkins, and the character himself, was almost like a parody. But Mirren was, well, Mirren. She was not bad at all, with a few dramatic moments. So I wouldnt be totally surprised if she gets in, instead of one of the French ladies.

  • Jerry

    I think Naomi Watts is fighting to just get nominated. That is what the Witherspoon “fan letter” was all about, getting her on the ballot. These A-listers think she will be left out without their help. I think the win is out of reach for her (does her character have an arc in The Impossible or is she just the sad crying mother the entire film?). I believe it’s down to Chastain and Lawrence with Riva as the spoiler. Just like I believe the Best Actor award is DDL’s.

  • steve50

    I think you’re right about the patterns, Vince, I was just thinking that Watt’s very big upcoming ventures could actually work in her favor because she has been overlooked so often. Voters may finally see the value in what they have missed, and Watt’s trajectory has taken a sharp turn up.

    The other pattern – we could even name it after Streep – is where a actor knocks it out of the park every time, but because of seemingly bigger roles coming in the future, they get the “oh, she’ll be up for such and such so we don’t have to give it to her this time ’cause she’ll be back.” And then 30 years goes by.

    Definitely the two forces of nature right now are Chastain and Lawrence, both relative newcomers to the AMPAS demographic. I haven’t seen The Impossible yet, either, but if it clicks with the voters, Watts, with her hefty filmography and two very iconic roles on the way, will be the main beneficiary. She might just slide right past them.

  • Rod

    I watched The Impossible today here in Brazil and i loved this movie.
    Naomi Watts really touch my heart
    with one wonderful performace, a real Tour de Force.
    This performace is much more deep and strong than the performaces of Jennifer Lawrence or Emanuelle Riva.
    I think Naomi Watts really deserves to win this year,she is the best actress in the movie industry today and without any doubt the most underated actress of the moment. Thanks Naomi Watts ,you are an inspiration for young new actors like me

  • Thomas

    It is sad to say; at least for those rooting for Jessica Chastain or Naomi Watts, but the race for Best Actress appears to be a more secure lock for Jennifer Lawrence than either of the other two actresses just mentioned. Why? Two things are still stuck in the minds of Academy voters. (1) Jennifer Lawrence merely two years ago received overwhelming positive reviews and more critical acclaim for her performance in Winter’s Bone than the eventual 2010 Best Actress Winner (Natalie Portman, Black Swan). (2) Ms. Lawrence has not only turned in a second amazing performance, but received excellent praise for both Silver Lining’s Playbook and The Hunger Games. The latter grossing over $400 million domestically and becoming the highest grossing film to have a female headliner. Even though Jessica Chastain did receive an Oscar nomination last year for her supporting role for The Help, this performance was seriously over shadowed by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer (Spencer of course winning the academy award for her performance in the film over Chastain). This being said, I think Zero Dark Thirty is going to continue to receive a lot of praise and attention, but I personally will be surprise if it wins anything real significant at the up-coming Academy Awards.
    Please do not get me wrong, Zero Dark Thirty is a very well made movie all around with its acting, direction and screenplay, but it is more of a political think movie. Anyone that follows the Academy Awards will know feature films like Zero Dark Thirty do find themselves receiving Oscar nominations, but they rarely win in the major categories. Another reason why I believe this movie will be nominated, but miss out on winning in the major Oscar categories is due to the dark tone it sets. The Academy and the American people appear to want to honor films this year that are up lifting and show human struggle and the being finished off the either a happy or up lifting ending. While both Lincoln and Silver Lining’s Playbook do just this, Zero Dark Thirty does not. A final reason Zero Dark Thirty will more than likely not take home awards in the major categories (Actress, Director, and Picture) is because of the current public mood. Presently, people want the economy to improve, the nation to be more united than it has been in the past resent years, and back to a sense of happier times.
    With all of this being said, what some may use against Jennifer Lawrence is her age (22 years old); however, showing this much talent at a young age and being the most marketable of all of this years’ hopeful nominees, the odds really are in Ms. Lawrence’s favor. With a performance that saw Ms. Lawrence mix drama and comedy with strong emotional depth, in a manner that is typically not seen in a young woman of her age. At least this emotional depth is normally not pulled off as convincingly as Ms. Lawrence accomplished; whereas, Jessica Chastain provides a performance of a strong career oriented woman a performance that is very good, but a performance that typically does not appeal to male dominant academy voters no matter how outstanding the performance is or may have been.

  • brendon

    The Dude: I saw the trailer, and don’t really need to see the movie. I also don’t need to see Jack Reacher to know it’s a piece of shit.

  • Daveylow

    I would be surprised if Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for Silver Linings Playbook. She certainly fine in the movie but there isn’t much of an arc in her performance which I attribute to the writing. I was surprised Watts wasn’t nominated for The Painted Veil. I’d love to see her nominated and then win. But more voters need to see The Impossible.

  • Steve50 > yes i see what you’re saying. They did do that with Streep. Though she did have her two earlier awards. But then she went 0/12 I think. And her last four losses she was quite clearly runner-up losing to a winner who had an undeniably great campaign each time. But I really think shd topped herself with Margaret thatcher. It was just hard to imagine that she’d lose playing one of the most iconic people of the 20th century. Well, that’s hindsight talking anyway.

    It just seems that Susan Sarandon, Nicole Kidman lost right before the super baity roles they won for a year later. I know it was more common in the 70s, 80s and early 90s for best actress winners to reappear in their category a year later as nominees, but there also seemed to be more opportunities for a smaller pool of actresses. With the exception of Charlize Theron’s second nod, it just seems that once an actress wins the lead, she’s out of the game for a good three years at least. And Naomi seems to be stepping up her game ala Sarandon in the late 80s.

    Patterns are meant to be broken though. So who knows. I just got out of seeing The Impossible right now. So I will leave it for you to decide once you get a chance to see it.

  • Every time I read here things like ” Wallis is a frontrunner, Wallis is a lock”, I think to myself… yeah, I think to myself… “What a insane world!”

    Please, just a little bit of good sense!!!

    What really matters:

    5 Noms:


    (Surprise? Hunt as leading)

  • That being said. Recent winner Streep has August next year. I think she is posdibly going to score another Oscar eventually, so that’s another reason I think she won for the Iron Lady: they needed to get the third out of the way before they can move on to a fourth.

  • Robert A.

    I agree with the people who think Naomi Watts is probably clear for a nomination. Besides the Globe and the SAG nominations, there’s also the apparent grassroots support of Watts (Angelina Jolie, Witherspoon, Ruffalo and so on). That’s usually a good indicator for what’s to come.

    Right now I have Watts joining Lawrence and Chastain as nominations that are good to go. But I’m still wrestling with the final two. One thing I’m willing to bet money on: the SAG Best Actress list is not going to be the Oscar Best Actress slate. There’s going to be one, maybe two differences.

    For whatever reasons, I’m still feeling bull-ish about Riva’s chances. Something about her nod just feels…right. I really can’t explain why I feel this way. The #1 votes and all. At any rate, I’ll probably have her in my #4 slot.

    Which leaves Cotillard/Wallis/Mirren for #5. Maybe Weisz too, but I feel really shaky about predicting her. I haven’t seen Mirren’s performance so I’m speaking out of my ass on this, but somehow her performance doesn’t seem like the sort that will garner a lot of #1 votes. I could see her appearing on more ballots than Riva, for example, but I imagine Mirren would be at #4 or #5 on most ballots she pops up on, while Riva, on the ballots in which she appears, will more likely be ranked high (I know, I know. Rank speculation.) And I’ve always thought people were overestimating Cotillard’s chances. The movie hasn’t been doing that well, has it? Owen G. had the film ranked as his #4 worst movie of the year, for example…someone like Wallis, I think, could benefit from a greater appreciation for the film she stars in than Cotillard has for Rust and Bone. And Wallis/Beasts of the SW has some big league champions: Helen Mirren, Ben Affleck, Oprah, Roger Ebert. I think Wallis will also appear high on lists in which she appears, I’m just trying to get a sense of whether she will appear on enough ballots to make the cut.

    Grr. I’m more confused than when I started this post. Lawrence, Chastain, Watts, Riva, and a bloodbath for #5.

  • Gautam

    Yesterday, I was watching an interview of Ewan Mcgrower on Gold Derby. In the interview he thanked Jolie for voicing support for him and , at the same time he also thanked Witherspoon and Jack Black for supporting Naomi. Now, Jack Black part is news to me, I had’t read or heard about till I watched the interview.

    So, we can add one more name to list of actors behind the film and Watts, –
    Witherspoon and
    Jack Black.

  • Tony

    I think Naomi has a very good shot at the nomination, but not at the win. When your screen time is a tad low, you need something else to give you a push, e.g., a nomination the year before or another recent film the same year that was a box office hit. I absolutely loved Nicole Kidman in “The Hours,” but “Moulin Rouge” and “The Others” helped her case. This year almost all of the lead actress hopefuls are a bit lacking in screen time; longshots Wallis and Weisz have the most. “The Hunger Games” may push Jennifer Lawrence over the top. (Or, the slew of 2011 appearances could push Jessica Chastain over the top.)

  • Aragorn > Thank you by the way. 😉

  • jack

    After being overlooked by both the Globes and SAG, I’m really not that sure that Wallis is a complete lock… I for one haven’t forgotten Rachel Weisz taking the NYFCC and I think the Academy would love a 5 diva horse race. Also Mirren seems to have been gaining the kind of last minute momentum with Hitchcock that Kidman has been doing in the supporting category with The Paperboy.

  • Yeah, I think she can win, she’s clearly overdue, and deserving since Mulholland Drive. She may be not such a big star, but she’s certainly a great actress… she’s been great in so many films, even in the mediocre remake of The Ring, she shined.

    On the film itself, I beg to differ. It’s almost a goddamn masterpiece. I feel angry everytime I see a bad review of the film condemning that the situations are not believable, when exactly that’s the point of the title itself: a true story that is on the edge of believability, which has been supervised by the family itself and backed by them as “the real thing”. And the underlying messages and themes of the film… the places it goes, emotionally and morally. It’s not an easy film to get made, and I can’t think it would have been possible with american production, it’s an european film in all senses. Maybe that’s why some reviewers bash it, it’s playing the american-centric disaster genre conventions game and putting them upside down. Comparing this to most American disaster movies is simply embarrassing. Probably only “San Francisco” and “The Poseidon Adventure” stand the comparison. But it’s like comparing fake and reality itself.

  • Mark I

    Angela Bassett did not write the “consider this” column for EW about Emayatzy Corinealdi…that was Alfre Woodward.

    My five are:
    1. Jennifer Lawrence *****
    2. Jessica Chastain
    3. Emmanuelle Riva
    4. Marion Cotilliard
    5. either Helen Mirren or Q. Wallis

    alt: Watts

  • Lara

    t’s true that in the Oscar race you have to want it — you have to be willing to kiss a lot of ass on the Oscar walk. Think about Marion Cotillard during La Vie en Rose

    Seriously? Of course it has nothing to do with the fact that she won a best actress award in 4 different countries and academies!She delivered the most acclaim performance of the decade but whatever she’s just an ass-kisser right?

    I’m so gonna laugh when the SAG will announced it’s winner!

  • Truth is, my opinion…

    1) Chastain. Zero Dark Thirty may not win, but they “owe” her given her last year, unrewarded but in just one nom (out of several films and in 2 of them she was Award-worthy). Being in one of the frontrunners is and advantage, it’s a way to reward the film itself if they can’t give it BP.

    2) Lawrence. She’s extremely pushed to become a young, all over the place, film star. Think of Julia Roberts back at her Pretty Woman days. Also, Silver Lining Playbook is NOT winning BP unless huge surprise. As with Chastain, plenty may feel it is the way to make sure the film is not unrewarded.

    3) Watts. They owe her big time. She was robbed from noms for Mulholland Drive and King Kong, just to name two undeniable snubs. Plus the film has the “it”, the emotional punch – or better said, kick in the balls – that can leave voters completely helpless. Lawrence is in a comedy, Chastain is in an action-politichal drama. Watts is pushed – pun intended – in so many ways, and the celebrities lining up with a FOREIGN production to secure voters actually see the film is a good indicator of how badly this people want to see The Impossible more than present at Oscar night.

    Apart from this trio, I don’t see anyone with a real chance of actually winning.

  • John

    Well, I just feel like – and I could be dead wrong – that Wallis won’t make the 5.

    The critics didn’t go for her like they could have. She wasn’t eligible for SAG. Globes didn’t bite. And I feel like the Academy could reward the film by noting Zeitlin for Writing and/or Score.

    I feel like she may pop up with BAFTA. BUT … the “British vote” may be spread between Mirren, Weisz, Riva, & Cotillard (they like their French actresses). I don’t see much wiggle room there, either.

    So I don’t really see too much support for Wallis. Maybe there’ll be just enough for her to slip in. But I just keep finding answers for the other contenders and not her.

  • Vincent

    I’m still not counting out Maggie Smith, especially when it comes to the BAFTA’s. She’s well liked, she’s a living legend, she’s resurged a bit with “Downton Abbey.” I’d bet on her before Wallis.

  • Alper

    I think Naomi Watts deserves all awards but it’s impossible.

    because Jennifer lawrence is young and beautiful.( like undeserved winner gwyneth paltrow please remind )

    OSCAR is not about the performance.

  • Alper


    my dream top 5

    Emmanuella Riva- Amour
    Naomi Watts – The Impossibe
    Jessica Chastain- Zero Dark Thirty
    Marion Cotillard -Rust and Bone
    Emayatzy Corinealdi- Middle of Nowhere

    no Jennifer Lawrence no Mirren and no little girl Wallis

  • Jerry Grant

    I agree with Daveylow: I too would be quite surprised if Jennifer Lawrence won the award. It’s a very good performance in an excellent movie, but it’s the kind of performance that would be deserving of a “supporting” acting win, but not lead actress. There’s good reason to support her and the film, but her performance is not big or “wow” enough. Haven’t seen “Zero Dark Thirty” or “The Impossible” yet, but I would automatically put Chastain and Watts as more likely to win than Lawrence.

    I am slowly growing convinced that Watts–if she gets the right press–could be the frontrunner.

  • Vanessa

    Marion Cotillard and Naomi Watts have to be nominated to Academy Awards because their performances are the best of this year

  • Scott (the other one)

    The Impossible: Beautiful and rich white lady at luxury resort suffers tragedy. 200,000 dead brown people, and their devastated country, make pretty background wallpaper. Privileged western audience feels good about itself for how “compassionate” it is. Grotesque.

    This movie would sell 4 tickets throughout North America if it were about a poor Indonesian woman who suffered the same tragedy.

  • I saw two movies last night with my wife in theatres next to each other. If anyone would have told me that the critically-praised German film BARBARA (normally the kind of film I go for in a big way) would end up being inferior to Spanish, English-language THE IMPOSSIBLE, (a film I went in expected to hate), I’d say that person was crazy. We were deeply-moved by the film, and thought Watts was quietly devastating. So wonderful to have this post celebrating her career and this latest wrenching performance that deserves to be on the top five. Absolutely. The young man who played the oldest son Lucas was astounding, and let’s not forget that the generally solid reviews the film has received (Paddy is dead-on) is only part of the story. The film received unqualified raves at Toronto as well.

    I saw Jessica Chastain’s performance on Wednesday night – and thought is it was superlative (the brilliant ZERO strongly contends for film of the year) and saw Emmanuele Riva’s shattering turn on Thursday in the emotionally overwhelming AMOUR. For me there were FOUR top-rank performances this year, (I just can’t put Lawrence and Wallis in this group) and they are in no particular order:


    Ms. Witherspoon’s note to Watts is beautiful. And how accurate:

    “I could not speak for 24 hours after seeing the film. It was more than a movie. It was a mediation on life and family and humanity. It was fortifying.”

    Let’s hope that Jerry Grant and DaveyLow are right. Lawrence did not give the best performance this year and should not end up in the winner’s circle.

  • I know Scott, those white bastards had it coming.

  • Nah, Scott (the other one) you have THE IMPOSSIBLE figured completely wrong.

  • hahahahaha!!! Great one Paddy!

  • “Scott (the other one) / December 22, 2012

    The Impossible: Beautiful and rich white lady at luxury resort suffers tragedy. 200,000 dead brown people, and their devastated country, make pretty background wallpaper. Privileged western audience feels good about itself for how “compassionate” it is. Grotesque.

    This movie would sell 4 tickets throughout North America if it were about a poor Indonesian woman who suffered the same tragedy.”

    Yes, we all saw how “Slumdog Millionaire” was a complete bomb on all levels in the “western civilization”. Grow up, it’s a REAL story of a REAL spanish family made by SPANISH crew and they only changed the detail of the nationality (to english-speaking) just to make easier to cash its budget, 30 million euros, which is normal for Hollywood but is inmense and over the top for spanish industry.

    You got to love all this people bashing the film without putting it in context, without bearing in mind, who made the film, which intention it has, and worst of it all, not caring to see it to see what the fuss is really about: the randomness and complete unfairness of survival. A message that doesn’t hit the right notes with a brainwashed society that believes if you work hard you’ll succeed, which is not how life itself really works.

    This film is extremely more clever, and deep, than most reviewers are judging. People is simply judging it formally, but not daring to analyze all its implications. To me, this is a film which will help me differ who’s a good reviewer and who isn’t. A true test. So far, unexpectingly, Ebert got most of the key aspects right and gave it a **** review. And we all Oscarwatchers know what does it means. If Oprah also joins the bandwagon… We all know, plenty of times, being a critical darling as Zero Dark Thirty is, is the kiss of death, Oscar-wise (remember Brokeback Mountain and Sideways?). I count Watts is going to be nominated and maybe win, and I am not counting out just yet, The Impossible to show up in more cathegories, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor.

  • Rod

    Scott,The Impossible is about a one family story,the director choose this,is about a miracle, five members of a family who survived from this horrible Indonesia tragedy no matter the color of the skin,it is a real and horrible tragedy for every person involved.
    I suggest you please see this movie. Naomi Watts and all the cast gave wonderful performaces,without any doubt Naomi Watts was the best female performace this year,I watched Jessica,Jennifer,Wallis and Riva and Naomi performace is really much more deep and powerful than the others.
    Please before make your comments go to see The Impossible,is not the typical Hollywood fake all movie specials effects.The Impossible is sad,cruel,strong,rude and completly human.You need to see to understand,its super explicit and cruel but really moving and subtle.

  • We all know, plenty of times, being a critical darling as Zero Dark Thirty is, is the kiss of death, Oscar-wise (remember Brokeback Mountain and Sideways?).

    Brokeback Mountain wasn’t hurt by being a critical darling at all. It was hurt by homophobia. There were other bullshit theories as to why it lost, but that the critics enjoyed it has nothing to do with it.

    Sideways wasn’t hurt by it either. Without the critical support it received, it wouldn’t have been nominated.

    The only time it has hurt, lately, has been with The Social Network.

  • I wouldn’t simplify “Brokeback Mountain”‘s snub just for homophobia. The film is slow, really slow and some people found easier to connect with Crash and thought its themes are more “important”, on a superficial level – something I don’t agree at all, but I can understand why enough decided to push the mediocre “Crash” up to Best Picture. Also, “Crash” was film which richly appealed to the biggest branch of the AMPAS, the acting one.

    “Sideways” is, honestly, a film that I still haven’t seen completely. Saw the trailer, played the film on my DVD and switched it off after 20 minutes. Tried it a second time and 5 minutes. Goodbye. I think a lot of AMPAS members maybe felt that way, too. Not many films have achieved such a visceral reaction from me. Such a negative one. “Chocolat” is another one that went up to be nominated for Best Picture. Oh, and “The Cider House Rules”. If I was paid to review the film, I would stand through it, but as audience… I don’t feel obligued. I am not masochist, you know… and I never understood the appeal for Sideways.

  • scary

    Wait for Diana Princess movie next year, she will be in the race.

  • rufussondheim

    The Social Network was not hurt by its critical success. It was hurt because there wasn’t a character with which you could identify.

    It’s clear the academy loved the movie, it won some awards that night so we know it must have gotten a lot of votes to win the whole shebang. But there’s a small group of academy voters who want a critical success to win, but also want to feel something at the same time. And that was enough to keep Social Network from winning, but yet propelled The Departed and No Country For Old Men to the win.

    (And why I think Zero Dark Thirty will win)

  • rufussondheim

    Just want to point out that a month or more ago I had the Best Actress race looking like

    1) Jessical Chastain
    2) Naomi Watts
    3) Jennifer Lawrence

    This was back when everyone thought Jennier Lawrence was a lock for the win.

    And I got laughed at.

    I will say again and again, please look at the entire race rather than jumping on the bandwagon, look at all of the possibilities and go from there. October and November it’s too early to call anything a lock when there’s too much unknown.

    For all I know Jennifer Lawrence may still win, but I don’t know of anyone who would label her a lock for the win at this point.

  • Sammy

    Jessica Chastain is the frontrunner because her film ZDT is the frontrunner. If ZDT wins the BP or BD award, it is inevitable that Best Actress award would go to Chastain. Naomi needs at least a BP nomination for her film. Otherwise she won’t have any chance.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    “…they only changed the detail of the nationality (to english-speaking) just to make easier to cash its budget, 30 million euros, which is normal for Hollywood but is inmense and over the top for spanish industry.”

    I think the language was never a problem to anyone. What also is normal is the use of English in Hollywood productions, so why couldn’t Europeans do it? I mean, for authenticity it would’ve been great if they spoke only Polish, German and Yiddish in Schindler’s List, but they just don’t. English has been THE cinematic language since sound was born. Only the French have a problem with it, but they dub their films anyway (along with releasing films in their original language tracks) 😀

    If I was to make a film about something universal, I would use English. No-one seems to care. But I also think that we constantly underestimate Americans and how they hate subtitles. Inglourious Basterds and Grouching Tiger had no problem passing 100M in North America alone.

    What it comes to The Impossible, I think they could’ve used Spanish – it’s one of the world languages still. For a budget of 30M it’s not a huge risk, but then you may have lost Naomi Watts and the other great performances and had something else even greater or less greater. Oscar nomination is only happening now that it is in English. So, good choice there, Spain.

    Remember how many people were scared of sound in film? It was not only about hearing the actors’ actual voices, a lot of this fear was about international sales. Chaplin himself thought that most films would bomb business-wise when 9/10 of world’s population would not understand them. We know now that he was wrong.

    Personally, I feel like dubbing a film is altering a film, so I like subtitles, and I’m glad I live in a country where dubbing doesn’t really happen. It’s also one of the main reasons why our literacy rate is 100%. It’s harder for me to watch a film without subtitles (for example, when I watch a film in my own native language). Something is just off and it doesn’t feel real. Subtitles are part of the cinematic experience. This kind of thinking would not apply to English speaking people, you are more used to seeing films without subtitles.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    And now that I see Rufus posting here, I’d like to add that musicals should be subtitled differently. The dialogue should be subtitled for various languages, but the song lyrics should be kept in the language that they are sung or not subtitled at all. This is just my personal opinion.

    So, something like Les Mis which is sung throughout the picture, probably should not have subtitles at all. Oh well, my English is inadequate, but I can definitely understand lyrics in musicals, for their simplicity (in most cases). This is why DVD/BD are great. You can choose to see them however you like (even in those countries where dubbing is embraced).

    I guess I’m way off topic now, haha.

  • rufussondheim

    Tero, when I watch films at home, even English ones, I have a tendency to watch them with subtitles. Some films, I think it’s even necessary. Children of Men is one example, when Clive Owen is outside the window listening, the dialogue is very quiet quick and hard to catch. But not with subtitles.

    Also, much of the whispering narrative in The Tree of Life was made easier to grasp through subtitles.

    My wish for American DVD makers is to have two tracks of English subtitles, one for just the dialogue and one for hearing impaired people. I don’t really need to read a description of the music that is playing.

    But as a person who reads a lot, I like to see the written word in some more challenging films, I think it makes it easier to grasp what’s actually being said, even if you can understand everything clear as a bell (people just talk too slow!)

  • rufussondheim

    I watch a fair amount of Bollywood stuff (even though I’ve fallen off lately) and I get annoyed when they don’t give the translations for the songs, as is often the case.

    Maybe if I knew Hindi better 🙂

  • Tero Heikkinen

    One more thing, USA still uses Imperial system when the rest of the world are Metric (Okay, UK has both and I think Imperial is still used in Liberia). These different measurements can be adopted easily in subtitles, but we should still use the old system in songs. Or how would you feel about this?

    “If you miss the train I’m on
    You will know that I am gone
    You can hear the whistle blow a hundred and sixty kilometers
    Lord I’m one, Lord I’m two, Lord I’m three, Lord I’m four
    I am 5, 6, 7, 800 kilometers away from home…”

  • phantom

    Rachel Weisz has a decent shot at the nomination on paper with the prestigious NYFCC-win and the drama Golden Globe nomination BUT in the end, I think she won’t make the cut because she doesn’t seem to have the British-vote (no Bafta nod for ‘The Deep Blue Sea’ last year) and if she didn’t have it last year, she most certainly won’t have it this time with Naomi Watts and Helen Mirren undoubtedly in the top6, not to mention a viable British surprise (the beloved Maggie Smith who scored a GG-nod and could easily make the cut at the Baftas, too) and a viable British shocker (Keira Knightley playing an iconic role in a British production, the BAFTA-nod could happen, she is my #10 for now) in the race, too.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    In Bollywood films I definitely want songs to be translated, and here they always are 🙂

    My newest thing is to watch my favourite films (that I know word for word) in Spanish subtitles, because I want to learn the language a little bit. I used to do this in French, because I studied that in school, but now I went for Spanish. Personal reasons.

    “Tal vez se esté preguntando qué sentido tiene disparar a alguien si lo vas a tirar de un avión.”

    Blu-rays and DVD’s are great teaching devices and people should know this.

    OK, sauna now. Yes, I’m still Finnish.

  • The Social Network was not hurt by its critical success. It was hurt because there wasn’t a character with which you could identify.

    This didn’t hurt The Departed, No Country for Old Men or The Hurt Locker. The industry had had enough of following the critics’ every move – it had gotten to the point where the critics would vehemently proclaim one film their favourite of the year, making it seemingly impossible for the industry to choose something else. The King’s Speech represented a valid choice for the industry to reassert its power. The King’s Speech vs. The Social Network was the industry vs. the critics, in the end.

    I wouldn’t simplify “Brokeback Mountain”‘s snub just for homophobia. The film is slow, really slow and some people found easier to connect with Crash and thought its themes are more “important”, on a superficial level – something I don’t agree at all, but I can understand why enough decided to push the mediocre “Crash” up to Best Picture. Also, “Crash” was film which richly appealed to the biggest branch of the AMPAS, the acting one.

    Pfft. These were some of the same theories that were bandied about when Crash won as to how it had managed to get past Brokeback Mountain. I’m still not buying any of it. Neither is Ang Lee, actually – he agress that it was most likely homophobia that sunk Brokeback’s chances. And if you want to know which of the two films appealed more to the acting branch, count the nominations: one acting nom for Crash, three for Brokeback.

  • BAFTA were never going to nominate Rachel Weisz last year if she wasn’t going to stand a chance in the Oscar race too. She wasn’t being talked about very much back then, not even here in the UK. She may yet be able to rely on the British vote- more so than Naomi Watts, who is not widely considered to be British here, even though she’s as British as she is Australian.

  • Film Fatale

    Naomi Watts’ performance in The Impossible is extraordinary both physically and emotionally. It should not be underestimated that hers is the only performance that is going to reach out and emotionally grab viewers/voters in such a way — a woman fighting to survive, to keep her child safe, to hang on to life in a devastating and real-life catastrophe. There would be no shame, and no surprise in Watts taking the Oscar. Anyone who said that Watts’ is a mediocre actress should give up watching movies and take up a different hobby. She has been bloody spectacular and empathetic in every role, most notably King Kong, acting without a scene partner much of the time, and in Mother and Child, perhaps her best performance and certainly on par with Kong and Mulholland Drive.

    But The Impossible is another story altogether. It’s true that the picture has a brilliantly conceived tsunami sequence unlike anything we have ever seen, the great Watts performance and generally a solid cast (Holland and McGregor are wonderful). But the movie itself really isn’t, and has not been universally acclaimed, as much as Ebert wants to call it as masterpiece. Unlike his delicate touch in The Orphanage, Juan Antonio Bayona overplays his hand in The Impossible. He works too hard to pump up and trump of the emotions and the effect is too big at times, too many Spielberg-esque emotional climaxes with bombastic music (the reunion scene is very hard to take), huge emotional scenes in close-up that are very uncomfortable, like the European traveler whose wife and child have been lost crying to the camera just prior to Ewan doing the same. For a story that is this gripping in real life, it doesn’t need the director to punch the emotions up to such a melodramatic level. The situation and performances speak for themselves.

    However, the tsunami sequence and Watts’ devastating performance are totally unassailable. But the movie itself isn’t.

  • The Dude

    For the idiot complaining about “racism” in The Impossible:

    You do realize that about HALF of the dead people in Thailand were foreign, mostly white, tourists, right? Or are you just talking out of your ass without researching the facts?

  • So, Film Fatale, when a tsunami hits and kills 200,000 people, a film is manipulative ’cause it shows the suffering of the survivors?

    I thought the movie actually used a lot of restraint on showing the suffering. Maybe is that I’ve visited personally refugee camps, and I know how the real thing looks and feel like. Just saying.

  • Aragorn

    And Naomi has one more weapon that, if used in a smart way, could help her:

    Her story is a real one and she has the real Dr. Maria to tell the story and say great things about Naomi Watts. I just saw them together in one of the talk shows. And that Dr. Maria is quite a charming, fun , sweet woman that tells a good story. She also gave two thumbs up for Naomi playing herself. Thats a good endorsement.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    The Dude, in Thailand maybe. But the same tsunami killed the most in other countries. But, yes, this film is about Thailand.

  • Brokeback Mountain and The Social Network: darkest snubs in Academy History!
    What a shame Academy!
    Time won´t forgive you!
    We´ll never forget!

  • steandric

    @Alper: Oscar is definitely and undeniably also about performance per se, otherwise how could Meryl Streep have got nominated and won for so many times? And also Kathy Bates for that matter.

    @Scott (the other one): If it were a Kung-Fu movie about an Indonesian or any Asian, it would have smashed the box office.

    People who have seen Naomi Watts in “I Heart Huckabee’s” and/or “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” would realize and agree she is pretty good at comedies too.

  • Jim

    @Sammy “Naomi needs at least a BP nomination for her film. Otherwise she won’t have any chance”

    So just like Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Marion Cotillard and Meryl Streep needed a BP nod? Charlize was Monster’s only nomination and still won, this doesn’t mean anything.

  • Nic V

    You know when ever we enter into the discussion and we address the talents of those who enter the considerations from a foreign film I’m reminded of a very talented man who was nominated three times for an Oscar and never won. His career would make most actors in English speaking films maybe take a step back and a deep breath. Marcello Mastroianni has wracked up more international acting awards than probably most actors and yet even after being nominated for the Oscar three times he never took one home. I still think Riva has a chance for an Oscar Nomination. Just a gut feeling. I think if anyone is going to be expended to give Naomi Watts a place it would be Coitllard. I don’t see Wallis getting a nomination and the only reason being her age. I think that’s more of problem than anything else. I think the only locks are Chastain and Lawrence after that it’s up for grabs.

  • You can NOT overlook the $400 million dollar gorilla in the room and that would be Jennifer Lawrence. And that would be for “The Hunger Games” but she’s nominated and very likable in “SLP” AND she’s got Harvey. She STILL wins, I feel.

    Naomi’s performance was amazing but almost non-verbal with all the screams and moans and very few lines. The Actor’s Branch is going to think “That’s not acting, that’s stunt work.”

    Wallis is going to be nominated. She said recently she couldn’t read when she did that part. If she CONTINUES to act, and shows that her Hushpuppy wasn’t a one shot deal, she COULD turn into one of the greatest actresses of our time.

    Benh Zeitlin has said recently that he wants to “develop a Kinsky/Herzog relationship with Qu’zenhane”…so that means he’s planning on writing other New Orleans based films for her and I think that’s awesome.

    Meanwhile, back at poor Naomi Watts…She’s overlooked MOST of the time. This year with Mirren and Weisz being in the mix, too, and both being former WINNERS(It seems to be a theme this year)don’t be surprised if both Weisz and Mirren get in. The Brit factor…

    And NYC voters are avoiding “The Impossible” because of the recent tsunami-named-Sandy HERE. So that doesn’t help Naomi, who is a very sweet, endearing, humble lady.

    Weisz’ NYFCC win tells me she’s got the New York vote. And she also on the Left Coast side, showed her Action Heroine Chops this year in the Bourne Legacy.

    Riva I’m afraid doesn’t stand a chance against Cotillard, ALSO a former winner.The Babe Factor as Tom O’Neil would say is in play.

    So I think it’s

    Jennifer Lawrence
    Jessica Chastain
    Marion Cotillard
    Helen Mirren
    Rachel Weisz

    All previous nominees AND three previous winners.

  • TOM

    Hopefully, the ‘game change’ that Watts accomplishes is that she knocks QWallis out of the top 5 and puts her at #6 (the ‘middle of nowhere’ spot.) Of the 10 actresses that might get a nomination, top 5, as read in ABC order: Jessica Chastian, Marion Cotillard, Jessica Lawrence, E Riva, Noami Watts. (Rounding out the top 10…in prefer order, QWallis, Rachel Weisz, Corleadli, Streep, Mirren.)

  • steve50

    “Brokeback Mountain and The Social Network: darkest snubs in Academy History!”

    Better add Citizen Kane to that (make it a trio!), Fabinho.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    “Benh Zeitlin has said recently that he wants to “develop a Kinsky/Herzog relationship with Qu’zenhane”…”

    Oh, that’s going to be fun 😀

  • Stephen, I’d compare Lawrence’s situation to Roberts when she got her second nom for Pretty Woman (after Steel Magnolias). Roberts was America’s Bride – Lawrence doesn’t even get close to such charm, right now – and Pretty Woman was a huge sleeper and her role, iconic. She still lost the Oscar, and the only comparison is that SPL is a likely BP nominee and maybe even contender for the win. But so Zero Dark Thirty is, and Chastain is just fresh from what many consider a “snub”. Lawrence’s age also plays against her. She’s not Portman, who has a prestige status since her breakthrough in Leon. She’s not Roberts. And “The Hunger Games” may be a blockbuster but is a franchise, and when confronted to Watts or Chastain, Lawrence’s best is that drama appeal split votes between them, while she picks up the comedic appeal ones. Lawrence still can win, but I think Chastain s the one picking it up. SPL can walk off Kodak with probably just a Screenplay win, and the AMPAS won’t have any kind of remorse about it. If ZDT misses Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, their only option to give it something big is Chastain. I am thinking this may end in the following fashion: Pic: Lincoln, Dir.: Spielberg, Actor: Lewis, Actress: Chastain, Supp. Actress: Hathaway, Supp. Actor: still open, maybe Arkin, maybe Jones. A spread of the wealth, so all big productions can wear an Oscar badge on their deluxe director’s cut edition…

  • The Actor’s Branch is going to think “That’s not acting, that’s stunt work.”

    Yeah, SAG thought exactly the same thing when they didn’t nominate her.

    Oh no wait…

  • And another thing…

    Non-verbal performances? Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo, anyone?

    That you can leave Naomi off your predictions and not consider that a risky choice, Stephen, invalidates your opinion for me.

  • Bball_Jake

    I think its funny how everyone is predicting Naomi Watts now, because Ive been predicting her since the beginning. I want Rachel Weisz to get the nomination really bad also.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Non-verbal seems to be the kind that Academy actually prefers. Even to win. Holly Hunter and so many more. Academy knows that acting without words is even harder (not saying that Watts even belongs to this group).

    Seriously, Zeitlin should google Herzog’s and Kinski’s relationship. I think she’s way too young to be that mad. Maybe, Stephen, you could find me the quote? I’d like to know what he really meant there. Started to bother me. Like really.

  • Phantom > in 1997, the “British vote” got four ladies in. Since then two women has been almost common up until a few years ago.

  • Ruth

    This is definitly one of those years where im happy for any actress to win, they have all given worthy-enough performances this year.

    My favourite is still Cotillard, I really connected deeply with her character, but she’ll honestly just be happy to get a nom.

  • m1

    This didn’t hurt The Departed, No Country for Old Men or The Hurt Locker.

    That’s because those movies did have characters you could identify with and scenes to match.

  • A Christmas Message from Ann Dowd(this should be in the other thread, but I keep getting “Duplicate posting”)
    From Ann Dowd herself ~

    I am so grateful to anyone who was kind enough to offer to donate money towards
    the campaign.. Given the number of people who are going without this holiday
    season, I would not feel comfortable taking money for an awards campaign. Thank

    you so much for your generosity.

  • Tim

    1 Australian actress in 85 years of Oscar history has won Best Actress – Naomi Watts needs to correct this!

  • Mattoc

    When Ebert declared Argo the BP winner many months ago in a blog post, he also called the performance of Watts astonishing – responding to a reader’s question.

    At that time he was the only critic, that I read anyway, that singled Watts out as being anything other than servicing her role in a film that belonged to the young Holland.

    There seems to be something about the film stopping people calling it an out and out great film. I guess in the age of cynicism it’s not hitting on a grand scale, but it is hitting big with those who are able to get passed that.

  • That’s because those movies did have characters you could identify with and scenes to match.

    All those scenes in The Hurt Locker that I identified with…

  • steandric

    @Stephen Holt: The Actor’s Branch is going to think “That’s not acting, that’s stunt work.”

    Stunt work, Oh yeah!

    Jean Dujardin (The Artist 2012)

    Patty Duke (The Miracle Worker 1962)

    Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God 1986)

    Jane Wyman (Johnny Belinda 1948)

    Holly Hunter (The Piano 1993)

  • Brando






  • Scott

    The Dude — Dec. 22 — Sorry but your statistic about half the people who died in the tsunami being white northerners is wrong. The World Health Organization estimates 265,000 died in the tsunami — and about 9,000 were not native to the region that was hit. And 1.7 million people were displaced — from their homes in the region, not from their tourist hotels.

    Jesus — It is irrelevant to my point that The Impossible tells a story that is “moving” and “human”. I saw it. Yeah, it does. Naomi Watts is an excellent actress. But what does that have to do with the fact that the movie is yet another example of a the depiction of a tragedy that occurred somewhere else, to other people, being hijacked to tell the story of a white person’s suffering? It’s the moral equivalent of a film about Katrina focusing on some rich folks who got stranded after her mansion flooded. Maybe it happened, but ethically it is rather a grotesque message in view of the masses of people whose homes (not their hotels) were destroyed and their country decimated. It’s also the filmic equivalent of Dances with Wolves — the story of the suffering and genocide of native people that can be understood and depicted, and sold to the public, only through the experiences of some white dude.

    Rod — Wow, Slumdog Millionaire made some money in North America, so suddenly there is no racism left! One movie. What does that prove?

  • Scott (the other one)

    Oh, and one more thing, Jesus — when you say it is the story of a “REAL Spanish family” — well, yeah, but you know perfectly well that they are depicted in the movie as nice British people with posh accents.

    And when you say “they only changed their nationality to make sure of box office success” …. really, you don’t see the implications of that statement????

  • steandric


    How do you address the criticism that the movie focuses only on white tourists, instead of the native citizens who were also affected by the tsunami?

    [Naomi Watts] Well, look. This was a big story, and hundreds of thousands of lives were lost, hundreds of thousands of others were affected. This is told from an intimate story point of view, which is [about] Maria Belon’s family, and if we told everyone’s story, it would be a mini-series or a documentary. It played out, in the script and on the screen, exactly as it played out for her, and it’s told from her narrative. In the title, it’s called The Impossible, not just because of what took place, but because there’s the impossibility of leaving behind that place. She felt that she would always be connected to that land and those people and it was difficult for her to move away from that … survivor’s guilt, if you will. (note: Maria Belon prefers to say survivor’s pains)


    While the film shows events almost exactly how they happened, it did go through one major alteration. Filmmakers decided to change the original Spanish family to an English one. Says Sánchez,

    “We didn’t know if we were going to get the financing to make this film. That first draft was in Spanish. Even in that first draft, 80% of the dialogue was in English because after the wave comes, that’s the language everyone would use to communicate. So then with the characters, you never know where they are from. We let everyone keep their accents. Instead of working against that, we thought it was an interesting concept to have this family have no home. It’s not clear what’s the home they want to go back to. At the end, they realize home is where they are together. We were trying to make it universal – to try to create a place where nationality didn’t matter.”

    Bayona reiterates,

    “It felt quite natural to get an English speaking cast. It was a film about people – about a Western family going to Thailand and how it’s an experience that transforms them. It’s the end of these people’s innocence. There’s a lot of suffering in survival – it’s not a victory. I thought that was very interesting.”

  • steandric

    The problem is the producers couldn’t find Asian actors to do the film coz they were all busy making Kung-Fu movies at the time.

    Finally this film was made with white actors and the ticket proceeds from the premieres of the film from the white audience were donated to the white people’s so-called “Foreign Aids Charity Funds” one of which is the IODR (Indian Ocean Disaster Relief) to help out the rescue and recovery of the non-white victims of the Tsunami.

    And Kung-Fu movies continues to be very popular and money-making…no problem whatsoever.

  • rufussondheim

    Paddy, I normally have great respect for nearly everything you say, but I can’t imagine anyone not identifying with the Renner character when he comes home from Iraq and feels disoriented and helpless and alone. Those scenes were heartbreaking.

    The main character in The Social Network is deliberately unlikeable. I wouldn’t even call him an anti-hero since you don’t really root for him in any way shape or form. He’s just a typical workaholic selfish jackass that happened to revolutionize interpersonal communication – oh the irony! Sadly that irony and character dissection was lost on much of the Academy who instead were transfixed by speech impediment lessons.

  • rufussondheim

    Sadly, the grosses for The Impossible were unrefreshingly tiny on Friday. Doesn’t look likely it will become a sleeper hit.

  • phantom

    Vince, good point, but won’t it be more difficult this time since 1. there are more than two viable Brits in the Best Actress race so the usually powerful British-vote might be split in the end 2. there are two very strong French actresses in consideration, this year as well. Could the Academy go THAT European again ? I think it’s more likely the two French contenders make the cut than two Brits this year, and definitely not both ‘couples’ considering the top2 is American. I’m guessing the lineup will be Chastain, Lawrence, Watts and then two from the Mirren-Cotillard-Riva trio, unless the Academy pulls a Linney/Morton. Do you think there is a viable shocker in Best Actress this year and if you do, who ?

  • Steve 50,
    Of course, Citzen Kane and many others, like Reds.
    But I was talking about the most awarded movies (in my mind, exactly Brokeback Mountain and The Social Network – the other, a BP winner is Schildeler’ s List) winning everything, except BP Oscar.

  • Anyway, i finally watched The Impossible this night.
    1) Good movie. If it would be all about Tsunami, could be a classic in genre luke The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure and Titanic.

    2) Watts is really amazing and brilliant. She’ certanly a lock and is nominated, whit Lawrence and Chastain. And it isn’t impossible her victory. I really think she’s brilliant in first half of the movie, but her eyes in last scene complete the hoke thing as one.
    3) But who really made me speechless was Tom Holland. What an amazing performance!!! Holland is extraordinary, the shine and the heart if this movie. If there’s justice in thus world, he’ll be IN at February. And, after Hoffman, mt favorite at this point. A real new actir is born.

    It’ a complete mistery for me some people fighting for a nom for that boooooring little girl Wallis, who isn’t an actress, a contender or nothing but a child, and I don’t see that people making justice to Holland marvelous andfull of energy performance.
    It’s unbelievable!

  • Ted

    It’s shocking to me how many people who read and comment on this site clearly just. don’t. get. it.

  • Robert Wills

    I am very disappointed in Sasha’s comment midway through this strand. If Sasha truly believes this, why is she doing what she is doing on this site? It makes no sense. Celebrating mediocrity? I do believe that the quality of movies is going steadily downhill, despite the critics who find a new movie to rave about every second week of the fall/winter season, but not the quality of the performances. I think a lot of Best Actress nominees, and by extension actors nominated in other categories, are owed an apology.
    Nor by the way do I believe Wallis was creating a character and making acting choices in that role. I would not nominate her among the top 5. But then I didn’t care for the film either.

  • dela

    Sasha, a minor correction–it is Alfre Woodard not Angela Bassett who wrote the lovely Emayatzy Corinealdi tribute.

  • rufussondheim

    No, Ted, it’s YOU who doesn’t get it.

    So there!

  • Tero Heikkinen

    My God, you Americans can be some stubborn fucks sometimes. I PROUDLY don’t believe in God (like most reasonable people wouldn’t).

    What is it with you and your God? Even Spanish (Catholic) people take such non-existing entity with a grain of salt.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Sorry, wrong thread.

    God was not here, thank God.

  • Mattoc

    No, it rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the fuckin hose again

  • Mattoc

    ^ sorry, wrong thread.

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Sasha Stone sent a trainee to me?

  • Tero Heikkinen

    Sasha Stone. It’s an anagram, isn’t it, Doctor? Sasha Stone, “Hate Ass Son”, meaning that you hated your gay son?

  • superkk

    WOW this is playing in only one theater close to me..that being DOWNTOWN. as if im going all the way down there. how on earth do they expect to make any money playing in so few theaters? not surprise the numbers have tanked. guess ill have to wait till dvd:/

  • Tero Heikkinen

    I’ve been on this website for eight years now, Matt. I know they will never, ever let me out while I’m alive. What I want is a show. I want a window where I can see the winners, or even nominees. I want to be in Academy’s inner circle, far away from Hollywood Foreign Press… I’m offering you a psychological profile of Daniel Day-Lewis, based on the case evidence. I’ll help you catch him, Matt.

    I could go on and on…

    But Sasha, I love you!

  • Mattoc

    Yes, multiple Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis is the next cell. He hissed at you Tero, what did he say?

  • Tero Heikkinen

    He said “I can smell your cunt”.

  • It’s the sort of thing Miggs would say:

    Phantom > I don’t know. What’s the definition of shocker? Keira Knighley or Rachel Weisz would be a shocker. Judi Dench would be a shocker against. So, if there’s a shocker, it’s going to be Dench. As it is, two slots are going to be filled by two of four actresses, two French, one a kid, and the other Helen Mirren. The chances of one of slots being filled by a French late are pretty high. The other one I’d say is probably Mirren. But, I could easily change my mind tomorrow (which is today).

  • I, myself, cannot.

  • lenka73

    I’m not so confident that she could win but, considering the support, I think she could have the fifth spot…even if I’m a bit sorry for Rachel Weisz (amazing in THE DEEP BLUE SEA). Regarding Cotillard, I think she gave her best performance ever in RUST & BONE (yes, for me even better than the academy award winning’s one in LA VIE EN ROSE) but it would be a pity that Riva who gave one of the most amazing perf this year in AMOUR finished overlooked

  • Wit

    I still don’t get the criticism about how The Impossible was a whitewashed film. This issue certainly was not brought up when the movie premiered in Thailand last month. All of the Thai media did not even raise this issue. (Trivial fact: The film was locally titled “2004 Tsunami Phuket” even though the event took place in Phang-nga).

    I find it interesting that some of the posts who I assume to be Americans need todisplay moral superiority to judge the intent of the Spanish filmmakers who want to focus on telling the story from the tourists’ perspective.

    Should the filmmakers tell the stories by focusing on local survivors from five countries that got struck by Tsunami in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India and the Maldives? Perhaps, but I can’t see how the results will be authentic. Why don’t you let the local filmmakers handle that job? I don’t necessarily want to see an all Asian cast like Slumdog Millionnaire, The Last Emperor, Memoir of a Geisha or Anna and the King. It will be really weird seeing Asian American, Chinese, Korean and Japanese actors, speaking in English trying to play Thai Tsunami survivors.

    By the way, I’m Thai and I was a relief worker in South Thailand after the Tsunami and I approve this film.

  • rufussondheim

    I don’t understand why there is any controversy either, Wit.

    People get high and mighty about racism in a movie when everyone making the movie understands and approves why the changes were made, even the subjects of the movie. And it’s a true story.

    Yet these same complainers probably do nothing in their daily lives to eliminate the racism that takes place all around them.

    It’s just passive-aggressive cowardice.

  • Sammy

    @Jim – Kate Winslet won with a mediocre performance because her film was nominated. Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Melissa Leo lost it with better performance (no BP nod for their films). The awards are always interrelated and you should look at the bigger picture. It is always difficult for an actor to get an award with a super performance in a mediocre film (a film without a BP nod).

  • Is Winslet mediocre in The Reader?
    Were Streep, Leo, Hathaway and Jolie ( you’re kidding… say me you’re kidding) better than Winslet?
    Man… “The Horror… The Horror…”

  • Nic V

    All y’all need to clean up the language a bit ….children may be watching.

  • Sam

    If Jennifer Lawrence wins an Oscar I will forever have to stop weatching the Oscars. Mediocre, at best…horrible (X-Men) at worst.

    If this happens then campaigning has trumped talent once and for all.
    I will pull for Watts or Cotillard or Riva and even Chastain to beat their mediocre competition.

  • Sammy

    @Fabinho – It was not Winslet’s best performance either. She was awesome in Little Children and she lost it because her film was not nominated for Best Picture.

  • Sammy, Winslet is great in The Reader, an excellent movie too.
    She doesn’ t lost in LC cause it wasn’t in BP.
    But fir Mirren, that years’s Queen.
    Anyway, I think im Little Chikdren she giver her weakest performance of her 6 noms.

  • Ruth

    Little Children wasnt her most showstopping performance, Patrick Wilson was just as good. The breakout performance from that film was justly JEH, so Winslet was in the shadow of that.

    Winslet in The Reader was very deserving, and would have deserved a win for Revolutionary Road as well.

  • Kate and Leo are both terrific in Revolutionary Road.

  • steandric

    Slept through Revolutionary Road after 10 minutes.

  • Rod

    I really don´t think nothing special in Jennifer Lawrence performarce,her performarce is nothing.

  • Camila

    Naomi is the best actress working in Hollywood maybe besides Julianne Moore, Tilda Swinton and Annette Bening but I prefer Naomi over the rest, Chastain and that chubby blond of Lawrence do not exist, I do not care if Watts win or not the Oscar, her best cover letter is her incredible work, maybe Chastain and Lawrence need an Oscar to probe that they are “superlative” because they are good actors but they did not pass the correct or expected, also if I have to chose between Chastain and Lawrence I prefer Lawrence because Zero is not ethic, I love the life, cruelty and torture apology is to much for Christmas

  • Daniel

    Naomi Watts is one of the most underappreciated actresses in the system. Her bold, alluring performance in “Mulholland Drive” (one of the best American films of the past 20 years) still sends shivers down my spine. It’s about time she gets her due

  • Steff

    Okay I’m just gonna spit it out. I…am in love with Naomi Watts, and have been, since Mulholland Dr. Pulling off the stark contrast between Betty in the first half and Diane in the second half is nothing short of remarkable. Every year she churns out one fantastic performance after the other and receives zero recognition. It was painful seeing her snubbed for Mulholland Dr., but even more painful seeing her finally being recognized by the Academy in 2003, only to have the hope drained out of me when I realized she was up against Charlize Theron who was literally unstoppable that year. This. Is. Her. Year. Her tour-de-force performance in The Impossible knocks Jennifer Lawrence’s Tiffany out of the water. Jessica Chastain literally came out of nowhere and can wait her turn, especially since her performances in The Help, The Tree of Life, and even Take Shelter, in my opinion, were more alluring than her turn in Bigelow’s controversial drama. Cotillard is horribly depressing yet breathtakingly uplifting in Rust and Bone, and Riva was phenomenal in Amour, but Cotillard has an Oscar under her belt and Riva stands no chance. I really don’t want to see Watts end up like Julianne Moore. She needs this win and wholeheartedly deserves it. I am, and forever will be, on the Watts bandwagon. Go Naomi! and on a side note, nominating children in lead categories is rare. I still don’t understand things like nominating Keisha Castle-Hughes over Evan Rachel Wood and putting Hailee Steinfeld in supporting. So if Wallis gets nominated over Watts, I’m gonna lose it.

  • Frankly

    Thank you for all your wishfull thinking but Naomi doesn’t stand a chance . . .

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