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No Oscar Future for Dragon Tattoo or Rapace

by Anne Thompson
August 18, 2010 12:54 PM
11 Comments
  • |
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?

11 Comments

  • CO | December 19, 2010 5:19 AMReply

    After watching even one film--not to mention all 3 of the trilogy--it's hard to argue against this: Noomi deserves the Oscar for Best Actress. Her Lisbeth was perfection. She captivated many hearts with her performance. Many have been re-energized by Noomi’s Lisbeth, and the trilogy should become a classic worldwide due to her acting. Hollywood voters should be fair and avoid playing American favorites or let’s protect the U.S. version of the films. Film lovers worldwide connected with Lisbeth due to Noomi’s acting strength in a very difficult trilogy, and that acting deserves the Oscar for Best Actress.

  • Mike Ward | August 27, 2010 10:04 AMReply

    All of this being true, it is just nice to see Noomi Rapace and Oscar in the same article. It will never happen, but I think most would agree that she should be in the conversation.

  • Josh | August 24, 2010 4:42 AMReply

    Anne, all three Millennium trilogy films are eligible. They were released in Sweeden in 2009 but they were not submitted for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. None of them were. City of God was in the same situation and we all know how that turned out.

  • Anne Thompson | August 24, 2010 4:29 AMReply

    According to my info, the first two films were eligible last year because they were released in Sweden before October 2009. And the third is eligible this year. There is a time frame for eligibility.

  • Xavi Rodriguez | August 19, 2010 9:29 AMReply

    Yes mary, also "I am Sam", "The Lovely Bones" and "Elizabeth: teh Golden Age", but those films have Hollywood stars and were produced by Hollywood productions, even in some cases they have singular points:

    -The Reader: It was a memory of the producers Sidney Pollack and Anthony Minghella, whose were decesed in the production of the film, also it was Kate Winslet's year doesn't matter which other actress will compete. After five unsuccesful nominations before turning 33 years old... Also the subject of the film was Oscarable: WWII, Nazis, European background, adaptation of a beloved novel...
    -ETGA: Make up nomination after the 1998 backlash to Gywneth Paltrow Oscar instead Cate Blanchett
    -Unfaithful: The Mini Comeback and the Star recognition for Diane Lane after 20 years of career.

    Anne, you're right about this. Sorry, but Rapace doesn't have any chances this year. The comparations between her and Cotillard are ludricous. First, Cotillard was known in Hollywood before after Big Fish and A Good Year and French-language films like A Very Long Engagement and Love me if you Dare. Second, she played one of the most important french icons. Also this was a classic Oscar biopic. Third, the film was a festival circuit hit after Berlin and ws the third most sucessful French-language film in the USA at box office after Amelie and Brotherhood of the Wolf and Last, the big push for the studio. Remember what happened last year with Yolande Moreau and her mezmerizing performance in "Seraphine", even she won the LAFCA and NSFC

  • tom brueggemann | August 19, 2010 4:05 AMReply

    It's interesting that Nikki's old rule was she never paid attention to the Oscars until after Thanksgiving, that anything earlier was not worth mentioning. I guess it's a new world these days.

    Sorry I missed her citation of Korenbrot in her original piece - that makes sense now and kudos for catching the denial.

    Yolande Moreau - who won best actress from both the LA & NSFC for a Music Box release - was not eligible for the Oscars. The film didn't qualify. Since it opened in LA under normal 2009 circumstances, the best guess is that they didn't file the proper papers. (I know of one very well known European actress a few years ago whose distributor committed that faux pas, and thus lost her a nomination). So it would be a big turnaround for them to be fronting a campaign.

    There are times, particularly for an indie, small distributor, when someone else puts up the money for a campaign. It doesn't - at the screener level - have to be that expensive. The HFPA at the least could easily slip her in among their 10 lead actress contenders, and likely have one of the trilogy in its FL competition.

  • Anne Thompson | August 19, 2010 3:30 AMReply

    Deadline reported that Korenbrot would be handling a Rapace Oscar campaign...

  • tab | August 19, 2010 3:11 AMReply

    There's a lot of this and that and what Oscar has done in the past and big names that Rapace would be up against and yes it may all be true. The thing you did not contend on, however, is the talent of Noomi Rapace. I liked the books and the movies. After reading the first book I could not wait to see "Lisbeth", and watching the trailers Noomi didn't quite fit what I had in mind for Lisbeth and I was a bit disappointed and I couldn't figure out why so many people were saying what a great film it was and how awsome Rapace was. So then I began looking for and found not only scenes for "Dragon Tattoo" but other films she has done and I couldn't believe that such a talent had gone unoticed. She is an increadible force and I compare her talent for acting to Ledger who, in a sense, died for his craft. She's got more than just talent she's a genius for her craft. If you want to see what all the Rapace craze is about just look up some films she's in. They are hard to find but some are on youtube or at least scenes from these films. There's Du & Jag, and Daisy Diamond, and her most recent, which, you can see a trailer for is "Beyond", which her husband is also in. I just can't say enough about this woman she is like... "Damn Girl".

  • mary | August 19, 2010 2:48 AMReply

    "Unfaithful" and "The Reader" got more negative reviews, and they could still get Best Actress nominations at Oscar.

  • Trisha Lynn | August 19, 2010 2:37 AMReply

    Anne, thanks for qualifying your answers in terms that are understandable (how much it costs and what it normally takes to mount an Oscars campaign in Hollywood) rather than based (or not based) on her talent. It puts your Tweet-blurb in context, rather than moving towards the assumption that you don't think that Rapace was talented enough or that the role wasn't significant enough.

  • Tom Brueggemann | August 19, 2010 2:16 AMReply

    Anne -

    You might be right that this is all PR to boost Rapace's visit, but the Girl trilogy was released by Music Box, not Sony Classics, so Melody's non-involvement is a non-issue.

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