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No Oscar Future for Dragon Tattoo or Rapace

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 18, 2010 at 12:54PM

It's all very well for folks to love the books and/or movies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, but the notion that these films will somehow have an Oscar future is silly. Throwing Rapace into the Oscar race while she's in town for meetings reeks of media manipulation. UTA is fanning the flames while they've got the chance to score some major deals for her. And so far, contrary to Deadline's report, nobody has made an offer to BK-PR's Melody Korenbrot, who usually promotes Sony Pictures Classics fare, about running a Rapace Oscar campaign.
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Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

It's all very well for folks to love the books and/or movies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels, but the notion that these films will somehow have an Oscar future is silly. Throwing Rapace into the Oscar race while she's in town for meetings reeks of media manipulation. UTA is fanning the flames while they've got the chance to score some major deals for her. And so far, contrary to Deadline's report, nobody has made an offer to BK-PR's Melody Korenbrot, who usually promotes Sony Pictures Classics fare, about running a Rapace Oscar campaign.

First of all, on the foreign language side, the first two Swedish movies would have been eligible for last year and Sweden submitted another movie altogether. While The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest could be eligible for this year, it seems an unlikely Oscar candidate. The Academy goes for high-minded, emotionally uplifting narratives, mostly, and these films fall squarely in genre territory.

As for Rapace, the issue is whether small Chicago distrib Edward Arentz of Music Box, who shows flair in picking the right movies to release, but neither spends nor profits heavily, would back a robust best actress campaign. These things cost money. Rapace nailed the role of Lisbeth Salander, no question. But is it the kind of performance that Oscar voters would love? They tend to go for showy emotional roles like Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. Rapace is (appropriately) cold and contained.

Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

Music Box would have to do mailings, a SAG and Globes campaign, and hope for strong backing from critics' groups. I don't see the movie winding up on many year-end ten best lists, nor do I see her grabbing best actress awards. It was an indie hit ($9.8 million to date), but a 76 Metascore, while respectable, does not an Oscar movie make.

Also, Rapace would have to land a slot against formidable competition: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Anne Hathaway (Love and Other Drugs), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone), Lesley Manville (Another Year), Helen Mirren (The Tempest), and Hilary Swank (Conviction). And who knows what other performances will emerge on the fall fest circuit?

This article is related to: Awards, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Independents, Marketing, Oscars, Girl with Dragon Tattoo, Thriller, Noomi Rapace


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.