Oscar Wrap: Blue Valentine's Gosling, Dive-Bombing 127 Hours, Best Actress Death Match

by Sophia Savage
October 28, 2010 7:55 AM
4 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

Blue Valentine star Ryan Gosling not only talks to Crazy, Stupid, Love co-star Steve Carell, but self-mockingly poses in tight leather in the rain for Interview Magazine. On his past Oscar nomination for Half Nelson, he says: "it feels weird…not that long ago that I was on a TV show called Young Hercules in which I had a fake tan and wore tight leather pants and fought imaginary monsters." As for working on the smaller indie films he loves, the downside is that "when you’re making them, you’re pretty sure no one’s going to see them," he notes---unless they get a nomination: "[it] in some way affirms those choices by making it possible for people to hear about a film and maybe see a movie they wouldn’t have otherwise seen."

Gosling hates watching himself on film: "there’s no way that a film can capture in two hours the experience of making it, so it’s always disappointing in some way. The thing that’s so exciting when you’re making a film is that it can be anything and there are no limitations on it. So I do have to remind myself that most people watching the film weren’t involved in making it, so they don’t really know what’s missing." As for the Blue Valentine experience, Gosling credits director Derek Cianfrance with creating a "wildy different" shooting experience that he feels lucky to have had. The month spent living in a house with co-star Michelle Williams and the girl that plays their daughter in the middle of the shoot, for example, including exhausting days of fighting, and time spent to know the set intimately as if it was their own home: "you can feel them in the fabric of the movie."

- Guy Lodge is "flirting" with a few notions this week. Winter's Bone could be "this year's critical indie cause in the race" and that the Bening vs. Moore issue may "be a moot one" to voters just now watching their screeners, and that The Way Back might gain some adoration. Updates to his predictions chart include the addition of The Way Back (and director Peter Weir) and re-entry of True Grit to the Best Picture race. Javier Bardem and James Franco enter his Best Actor list, and Ryan Gosling reappears rounding out the top five with Colin Firth and Jeff Bridges staying put; previously outed from this list are Paul Giamatti, Jesse Eisenberg, Robert Duvall and Mark Walhberg. Julianne Moore re-enters his Best Actress list. Check out his full predictions here.

Lodge is also surprisingly negative on Danny Boyle's fest fave 127 Hours, awarding a letter grade of D+ ("the plus is for Franco," he wrote on Twitter). "Boyle's off-his-Ritalin visuals and Franco's charisma can't mask fact that this story has no second degree," he tweeted. "Did those audience members at the Toronto fest *really* faint during 127 HOURS? Or did they just fall asleep? I didn't have any trouble with the grisly scenes...but had to cover my eyes when Franco took out his contacts. No trolling or contrarianism here. I thought it was terrible. I was stunned. I like Boyle, so I just feel disappointed."

Thompson on Hollywood

- And just in case it was unclear, Vanity Fair asks and answers the question: "Will This Year’s Best Actress Oscar Be a Celebrity Death Match? (Yes.)" They do, however, dig deeper and state that "the real reason that this year’s best actress race could be one for the ages, is that it may very well turn the awards into a celebrity death match between an honored Hollywood queen and a brainy, beautiful Tinseltown Princess" and ask a more important question: "Do actors win an Oscar for a consistently impressive track record, or for acting their hearts out in one stunning role?" Here is there breakdown of which "statue seeking plays" some of the year's top actresses have employed:

Naomi Watts: the "'I can’t believe it’s not Valerie Plame' performance" in (Fair Game)
Nicole Kidman: the "witty-but-wounded domestic drama" (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence: the "gritty ingénue card" (Winter’s Bone)
Michelle Williams: the "gut-wrenching relationship route" (Blue Valentine)
Anne Hathaway: the "sex comedy AND terminal disease strategy" (Love & Other Drugs)
Sally Hawkins: the "modern-day Norma Rae two-step" (Made in Dagenham)
Diane Lane: the "well, she’s just Diane Lane" (Secretariat)
Annette Bening: the “'it’s about damn time” performance as a stoic lesbian mother" (The Kids Are All Right)
Natalie Portman: the “'I’m going to blow you away with pure acting' show" (Black Swan)

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4 Comments

  • richardM | October 29, 2010 10:25 AMReply

    Of course the 2 most undeserving but hyped names on your best actresses rundown are Annette Bening and Natalie Portman. And Lawrence, Williams and Hathaway have yet to pay their dues.

  • Area2112 | October 29, 2010 7:33 AMReply

    Guy Lodge is a complete idiot. trashes 127 Hours and then wants Emma Stone to win Best Actress for Easy A...supports this notion by dismissing Natalie Portman in Black Swan. He's a hack and shouldn't even be allowed to cover film. He's a joke.

  • Keil Shults | October 29, 2010 2:44 AMReply

    I won't sleep until I know the widespread critical consensus on True Grit, The Way Back, and The Fighter.

    Okay, so maybe I will sleep, but I'll be wrapped in sheets with a very low thread count.

  • Guy Lodge | October 29, 2010 2:22 AMReply

    You're welcome to call me both a hack and an idiot, Area2112 (catchy name, by the way), but at least get my stance right -- I'm pro-Portman.

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