Buzz is building around this year's best actress Oscar race: "Unlike most years when men dominate the critical buzz for strong roles," asserts TheStar's Zorianna Kit. Well, that's debatable: last year boasted the Sandra Bullock/Meryl Streep flirtation, Carey Mulligan's breakout performance, Mo'Nique, Helen Mirren, Kathryn Bigelow winning for best director…and so on. But certainly this year boasts an abundance of actresses to pick from, including some who grabbed our attention in untraditional roles, from Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right to Jennifer Lawrence in Winter's Bone--and many have not yet seen fall fest fave Natalie Portman in Black Swan. Fasten your seat belts.
- It's Bening vs. Portman for now, says Gold Derby's Tom O'Neil: "Both rivals have the Cool Factor and significant camps rooting for them to win." Bening's position is about being "so overdue," even in a role that seems mellow compared to past roles such as the Oscar-nominated suburban mom in American Beauty. But, O'Neil also points out that "old Academy boys usually love to crown ingenues, especially if they're sexy," and if that's the way the cookie crumbles than Portman's in it to win. Gold Derby also polled readers to see if Winter's Bone (which has three Gotham noms) has a shot at a best picture Oscar nom (this morning the results were: 175 Yes, 140 No).
- IndieWIRE award expert Peter Knegt puts Winter's Bone in the (bottom of the) top ten (and star Lawrence in sixth place for best actress) thanks to the Gotham boost and places The Fighter at number seven thanks to the film's latest trailer. Check out his full predictions for all the major categories.
- InContention's Guy Lodge considers "categorical denial" or "categorical fraud" while remembering his friend's outrage at Angelina Jolie winning best supporting actress for Girl, Interrupted while Winona Rider wasn't even nominated for best actress. Lodge quotes his friend: "[Jolie] only went and swallowed the entire film without so much as chewing once, all but elbowed Winona out of every shot, and she's rewarded for supporting her?" Lodge goes on to investigate the double campaigning for best actress hopefuls Bening and Julianne Moore and the chances of Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) being excluded from lead actress consideration because of her youth. But it's interesting to perceive Jolie's performance as something stolen. If an actress steals the show, she steals the show. More and more these days, time on screen and lead vs. supporting mean less than making assessments of who can win where.
- Who was overlooked by the Gotham Award nominations? EW's Dave Karger is pleased to see Blue Valentine and The Kids Are All Right in the running but believes some films with potential Oscar noms were were forgotten, including Get Low's Robert Duvall (who gets a tribute instead), Somewhere, The Tempest, Rabbit Hole and Never Let Me Go.
- Oscar enthusiast Sasha Stone shares her love for quoting The Social Network - a sign that she truly loves the film, much as she did The Departed, which she believes "remains one of the most quotable in recent memories, but most of Scorcese's movies are." Vulture also asks which of The Social Network's lines we should be quoting. Here is an entertaining sampling:
“I like standing next to you, [insert name]. It makes me look tough in comparison.”
“If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook.”
“I’m six-foot-five, 220 pounds, and there’s two of me.”
“I’m CEO, Bitch.”
“Sorry, but my Prada’s at the cleaners along with my hoodie and my fuck-you flip-flops, you pretentious douchebag.”
“I like standing next to you, Sean. It makes me look tough in comparison.”
“I think if your clients want to stand on my shoulders and call themselves tall they have a right to give it a try. But there’s no requirement that I enjoy being here listening to people lie. You have PART of my attention – the minimum amount needed. The rest of my attention is back at the offices of Facebook where my employees and I are doing things no one in this room, including and especially your clients, are intellectually or creatively capable of doing. Did I adequately answer your condescending question?”