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2015 Awards Season Discussion


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Of course it's a bit early for this topic, but hey, it's fun! What are your thoughts/predictions on the major categories this year? Any particular film or performance that you would especially like to see nominated? 

 

I figure I'll kick this off with Scott Feinberg's "Forecast," which he updates every weekend throughout the fall and winter.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/feinberg-forecast-as-new-york-739976

 

I am still dying to see Unbroken, Interstellar, Into the Woods and a few others that may be contenders, but here are a few that I think should/will be nominated, based only on what I've seen so far:

 

Best Picture: Foxcatcher, Boyhood, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Wild, Birdman

 

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton

 

Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Rosamund Pike, Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore

 

Best Director: Richard Linklater, Bennett Miller, David Fincher, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

 

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Ruffalo, J.K. Simmons, Ethan Hawke

 

Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, Keira Knightley

 

 

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(edited)

I can't see Keaton and Birdman getting much in the awards season, seeing how it's stinking up the box office.

Alejandro G. Inarritu's dark comedy Birdman soared at the specialty box office, earning $415,000 from four theaters in New York and Los Angeles for a whopping location average of $103,750, the second-best showing in two years after Wes Anderson's 2014 film The Grand Budapest Hotel ($202,792).

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/specialty-box-office-birdman-soars-741942

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-brad-pitts-fury-741931

Edited by SallyAlbright
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We're going to try to see Birdman next week.  In all honesty, I'm not interested, but I've been outvoted 3-1, so I'll go without complaint because of the reviews it's been getting.  I'll get back to you on that one  :)

 

What about Gone Girl?  I think it might be nominated for more than just one (for Rosemund Pike).  A friend thinks Ben Affleck will get a nomination, but I'm not so sure about that. I haven't read the book, but from what I'm hearing, it sounds like a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination is deserved. 

 

I haven't seen the others yet, but I plan to.

Edited by Shannon L.
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I think Gone Girl will get those two nominations (Actress and Adapted Screenplay) and likely not much else. I thought it was great and really entertaining, but I am sure other (more boring) movies will come along and overtake it. 

 

My only real prediction is that I will be shocked if Patricia Arquette doesn't win an Oscar for Boyhood.

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As long as Unbroken isn't terrible (and I really hope it isn't because I LOVED the book), I can see Angelina snagging a nomination for Best Director.  But I do wonder if this is the year that Fincher finally snags his Best Director Oscar - it would be a way to give the film a win and to someone who's overdue for an Oscar (I still think he should've gotten one for The Social Network over Tom Hooper/The King's Speech that year).

 

I also wonder if Channing Tatum might be the one to snag a Best Supporting Actor nomination out of Foxcatcher instead of Mark Ruffalo, just because I think he'll be the bigger surprise acting-wise.  I have heard that JK Simmons is the early favorite, but I haven't seen the movie, so I can't say that with any certainty.  

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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As much as I liked Gone Girl, I don't see this one being the movie that will get Fincher the Oscar.  I can see Fincher getting nominated but I don't see a real force behind the movie as a whole getting the kind of buzz Rosamund (deserved nomination) and maybe adapted screenplay (deserved nomination) have so far.

 

If Unbroken is as good as it is supposed to be Angelina can be a contender, possibly along with Fincher, Bennett Miller, etc.

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I can't see them respecting Jolie as a director enough to nominate her there. She's like a Barbra Streisand thing. They snubbed Ben Affleck too, remember? Not to mention we don't even know if the movie's any good (I'd be surprised if it was).

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In addition to those that have already been mentioned, I think Jessica Chastain might -- and should -- get a nomination for her performance in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby. Same for James McAvoy.

Ooh I'd love to see Chastain get recognized. I'm not confident about McAvoy's chances (though I adore him), just because Best Actor is such a crowded category this year. Best Actress is a lot more wide open, so I could see Chastain being a contender for one of her THREE films out this fall. A Most Violent Year and Miss Julie are the other two. Amy Adams might also be a threat for Big Eyes, but I haven't read any reviews for that one yet. 

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I can't see them respecting Jolie as a director enough to nominate her there. She's like a Barbra Streisand thing. They snubbed Ben Affleck too, remember? Not to mention we don't even know if the movie's any good (I'd be surprised if it was).

Interesting.  I can totally see her getting a nomination.  If the movie is done well it is just the type to be awarded.  Also Jolie's first movie was well received and was in contention that year for best foreign language but didn't make the final cut.  I think Angelina has a more "favorable" image and relationship with "The Academy" and the Hollywood elite than Barbra did/does.  Barbra is well respected but there is a coldness and a distance she has with that side of Hollywood.

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Couldn't the fact that Jolie already has two Oscars (one of them honorary) possibly work against her? Like she's a movie star and we've already given her two of these before the age of forty-let's slow down a bit?

 

Chastain could also be nominated for Interstellar if it's any good. And Christopher Nolan also arguably falls into the Fincher/Paul Thomas Anderson "overdue" category-the Director's Guild has nominated Nolan three times for their top award (Memento/The Dark Knight/Inception) and the Academy has never nominated him for Best Director.

Edited by yourstruly
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Couldn't the fact that Jolie already has two Oscars (one of them honorary) possibly work against her? Like she's a movie star and we've already given her two of these before the age of forty-let's slow down a bit?

 

Chastain could also be nominated for Interstellar if it's any good. And Christopher Nolan also arguably falls into the Fincher/Paul Thomas Anderson "overdue" category-the Director's Guild has nominated Nolan three times for their top award (Memento/The Dark Knight/Inception) and the Academy has never nominated him for Best Director.

Your right.  Working against Angelina for a win would be her two Oscars, one of which was two years ago.  But I could still see her racking a nomination if not actually winning.  Also that may not matter to the overall voting crowd.  I would of never thought Christoph Waltz would of won his second Oscar so soon but sometimes the Academy can surprise you.

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And Christopher Nolan also arguably falls into the Fincher/Paul Thomas Anderson "overdue" category-the Director's Guild has nominated Nolan three times for their top award (Memento/The Dark Knight/Inception) and the Academy has never nominated him for Best Director.

 

I agree.  I just have a gut feeling that it could be Nolan's year. 

 

 

I've also read multiple places that Julianne Moore is now that the odds on favorite for Best Actress now that a distributor picked up Still Alice.  I haven't seen it, but it also seems like the overdue factor could also be working for her as well.

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As much as I am mentioning the "overdue" factor, I really hate it. If Julianne Moore is overdue, then so is Amy Adams. If Nolan is overdue, then so are Linklater and Fincher, and Mike Leigh and so on. And it always seems like actors and directors who are viewed as overdue always win for something that is not so great-Al Pacino is a great actor, but he won for Scent of A Woman. Martin Scorsese won for The Departed (it was OK, but come on, it was no Raging Bull or Goodfellas. Not even close). It's like the Oscar voters are like "OK, OK, we know. Here you go."

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And it always seems like actors and directors who are viewed as overdue always win for something that is not so great-Al Pacino is a great actor, but he won for Scent of A Woman. Martin Scorsese won for The Departed (it was OK, but come on, it was no Raging Bull or Goodfellas. Not even close). It's like the Oscar voters are like "OK, OK, we know. Here you go."

Cher for Moonstruck instead of Mask.

 

What does everyone think of Neil Patrick Harris as the host?  I like him, but I haven't watched anything he's hosted, so I don't know what to expect.  I hear he's good.

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Neil is actually really great when it comes to hosting.  I think the Oscars can be a tough crowd and a different animal than the other shows he has hosted but I think he will do well with people who are into movies, the casual viewer we will see. 

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He's good, but I will say that the year he hosted both the Tonys and then the Emmys, I thought the Emmys suffered.  I'm not sure if he was a little burned out or just had less time to prepare.   I don't see that being a factor with the Oscars, though.  

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I desperately want to see Interstellar. The early word from people who have seen it is through the roof, and it's not just Nolan fanboys, but other directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Edgar Wright, and Brad Bird.

 

I wonder, if it's as good as people are saying it is, if it might benefit from another space-themed movie coming so close last year only to fall short, as well as the fact that there hasn't been a true blockbuster winner since Return of the King. The Academy have never really been as big on Nolan as others though, so we'll see.

 

There's also the sci-fi factor, although I don't know if that would be a help or a hindrance. On the one hand, the Academy isn't exactly known for embracing genre films as a whole, and has never given Best Picture to a sci-fi movie, but I wonder if that could lead to a sense that it's time for that to finally happen.

 

 

As much as I am mentioning the "overdue" factor, I really hate it. If Julianne Moore is overdue, then so is Amy Adams. If Nolan is overdue, then so are Linklater and Fincher, and Mike Leigh and so on. And it always seems like actors and directors who are viewed as overdue always win for something that is not so great-Al Pacino is a great actor, but he won for Scent of A Woman. Martin Scorsese won for The Departed (it was OK, but come on, it was no Raging Bull or Goodfellas. Not even close). It's like the Oscar voters are like "OK, OK, we know. Here you go."

If it makes you feel any better, Julianne Moore seems to have legitimate raves for Still Alice. Between that, the nature of role (her character has Alzheimer's), the fact that this seems to be a fairly weak year in the Best Actress category, and yes, the overdue factor, she has to be the favourite for the win at this point, doesn't she?

 

I'm kind of curious about how Harvey Weinstein felt when the word came in on that film/her performance. He's distributing Big Eyes and I'm assuming he was planning to go all in on the "overdue" narrative for Adams, like he did with Kate Winslet, only for Moore to come along with an even bigger claim to that title.

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As much as I am mentioning the "overdue" factor, I really hate it. If Julianne Moore is overdue, then so is Amy Adams. If Nolan is overdue, then so are Linklater and Fincher, and Mike Leigh and so on. And it always seems like actors and directors who are viewed as overdue always win for something that is not so great-Al Pacino is a great actor, but he won for Scent of A Woman. Martin Scorsese won for The Departed (it was OK, but come on, it was no Raging Bull or Goodfellas. Not even close). It's like the Oscar voters are like "OK, OK, we know. Here you go."

 

I worry that this will be DiCaprio's fate somewhere down the line. 

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Ooh I'd love to see Chastain get recognized. I'm not confident about McAvoy's chances (though I adore him), just because Best Actor is such a crowded category this year. Best Actress is a lot more wide open, so I could see Chastain being a contender for one of her THREE films out this fall. A Most Violent Year and Miss Julie are the other two. Amy Adams might also be a threat for Big Eyes, but I haven't read any reviews for that one yet. 

Chastain is also going to be in Interstellar, although I assume she's supporting in that. I wonder if this could be like her year in, 2011, was it? Her big breakthrough year where she just had so many films, and had such good reviews in all of them, that it felt like she had to get nominated for something.

 

 

I worry that this will be DiCaprio's fate somewhere down the line.

Yeah, I definitely feel like he's the prime candidate for this phenomenon from his generation.

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I worry that this will be DiCaprio's fate somewhere down the line. 

 

I think Leo would prefer a make-up Academy Award down the line to Peter O'Toole's Oscar fate.

 

If it makes you feel any better, Julianne Moore seems to have legitimate raves for Still Alice. Between that, the nature of role (her character has Alzheimer's), the fact that this seems to be a fairly weak year in the Best Actress category, and yes, the overdue factor, she has to be the favourite for the win at this point, doesn't she?

 

I'm kind of curious about how Harvey Weinstein felt when the word came in on that film/her performance. He's distributing Big Eyes and I'm assuming he was planning to go all in on the "overdue" narrative for Adams, like he did with Kate Winslet, only for Moore to come along with an even bigger claim to that title.

 

I've been hearing Big Eyes is not so good and given Amy's understated performance, she might miss the nomination altogether (if you want to get nominated for a film with a bad RT/Metacritic score, you have to chew the scenery). Before Julianne entered the race, there was a debate among award watchers about the strength of Adams' "overdue" narrative, anyway. She's been nominated five times without winning, but how often was she perceived as close to winning in those years, and is it seen as some huge acting injustice that she's Oscar-less? I got that sense about Kate Winslet (maybe she helped along that narrative along quite a bit) and someone like Susan Sarandon as well, that year she finally won. Amy Adams, I don't know. It's not that I think she isn't talented, but in the list of living actresses who don't have Oscars, either..she's only so high up.

 

I think Interstellar could win if it's emotional enough (doesn't seem "cold" to voters), is viewed as something more than a technical masterpiece and isn't overloaded with aliens or cutesy kids. There's a perception that only dramas about the distant past or movies on a certain scale can win Best Picture, but it isn't really true. It depends on a lot of things, like the competition in any given year. Some years it's beneficial to be a period drama and other years the sentiment might be against that sort of film.

Edited by Dejana
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Selma screened for the first time last night, and the reviews are very strong. Pundits (ugh) are saying the director, Ava DuVernay, could be the first black woman nominated for Best Director and that this could be the first year that (gasp!) two women (yes, two!) could be nominated for Best Director (the other one being Angelina Jolie, contingent on her movie being any good).

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Selma screened for the first time last night, and the reviews are very strong. Pundits (ugh) are saying the director, Ava DuVernay, could be the first black woman nominated for Best Director and that this could be the first year that (gasp!) two women (yes, two!) could be nominated for Best Director (the other one being Angelina Jolie, contingent on her movie being any good).

So a good night for Brad Pitt either way.  He produced Selma along with Oprah.  Both celebratory and sad that it has taken so long for the possibility that both a black woman and two women to be simultaneously nominated for Best Director.

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I just read my post and see that I was supposed to get back here after seeing Birdman.  I can see a nomination for Best Actor for Michael Keaton and Best Supporting for Ed Norton.  Directing, maybe, but my husband, who was in the movie industry for 10 years, and our friend, who is still working in it, were crazy about the cinematography and are hoping the cinematographer gets recognized.  Best Picture?  Eh.  Probably, but none of us were as impressed by the actual story as we'd hoped, so I don't care if it gets nominated or not (In other words, "It got robbed!" won't be something I'll toss around if it's not nominated).

 

I don't think Bill Murray will get nominated for Best Actor, for St. Vincent, but I think we'll hear his name thrown around as a possibility. He was excellent--especially in the second half of the movie.

 

Since the technical awards tend to go for the non-drama type of films, I'm guessing John Wick will get some editing nominations, based on my own opinion, and the talk it's been getting in that regard.

 

We saw Big Hero 6 yesterday and I can't imagine another film beating it.  There was so much I loved about that movie, I could discuss it all afternoon.

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American Sniper is getting raves after showing at AFI Fest, with nominations being predicted for Best Picture, Best Director (Clint Eastwood), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper) and possibly Best Supporting Actress (Sienna Miller). Can't wait to see it! 

 

After seeing the Theory of Everything for a second time, I can't imagine anyone blowing me away more than Eddie Redmayne this year. I can't say enough amazing things about his performance. Just go see it. 

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The phoniness and lies surrounding the self-aggrandizing guy that American Sniper is based on means that I have no desire to see it.

I think that will be the biggest obstacle for this movie.  The academy tends to reject movies that bill the "true story" angle, but are mirrored in controversy. 

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Entertainment Weekly listed four "sure things" for Best Director:

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

David Fincher for Gone Girl

Alejandro Inarritu for Birdman

Ava DuVernay for Selma (first African-American woman who would be nominated for Best Director.)

 

Then comes the discussion of who the fifth nominee would be

EW's list of Serious Threats:

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Clint Eastwood for American Sniper

Christopher Nolan for Interstellar

 

And a third tier, Potential Spoilers:

Jean-Marc Vallee for Wild

Angelina Jolie for Unbroken (the article says nobody has seen this movie yet)

Damien Chazelle for Whiplash

Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Hmm, listing Fincher as a sure thing seems like a bit of a reach to me. Gone Girl was pretty divisive, wasn't it? And the critical response wasn't quite as good as people expected. But the fact that it's been killing it at the box office will probably help him, especially since this year seems to lacking in major commercial hits among the contenders.

 

Also, it's interesting that they don't have either of the British scientist movies listed, since both scream Oscar bait to me.

Edited by AshleyN
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The New York Film Critics Circle put up their favorites.  They seem to be huge fans of Boyhood.  Also gave supporting actor to J.K. Simmons for Whiplash, who I heard is a major contender.  Interesting choices for Best Actress and Actor: they picked Marion Cotillard over Julianne Moore, and Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner, instead of Eddie Reymane, Michael Keaton, or The Cumberbatch.  Of course, critics and Oscar don't always go the same way, but I'm curious to see if this means anything, or this is just how NYCC feels.

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By the time the actual awards shows roll around I usually have some kind of opinion but I rarely see any of the movies nominated (other than the animated ones) and I often don't even watch them before the next year's award show. I'm usually not excited to see most of the movies and even if I am interested in them, they're usually not the kinds of things I want to see in the theatre where people could be disruptive and I have to experience it with a group and be influenced by their reactions.

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I haven't seen all of possible nominees yet, but I saw The Theory of Everything the other day and I can't imagine Eddie Redmayne not getting a nomination.  He was outstanding in what had to be a physically exhausting role. 

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So Boyhood is basically dominating the critics awards, winning three more today (LA, Boston, and New York Online). I'm curious if this will end up being more of a Hurt Locker (a Little Indie That Could whose overwhelming critical love helps carry it to the Oscar win) or a Social Network (which seemed to peak to early, only to face backlash and end up losing to the later arriving crowdpleaser). If it's the latter, what film will play the role of The King's Speech? Selma, maybe?

Edited by AshleyN
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Some of those nominated I haven't seen yet (like Foxcatcher--that's definitely on my list), but I agree with the ones I've seen.  Surprised to see Robert Duvall for The Judge since it didn't seem to go far at the box office.  I wanted to see it, but didn't get a chance before it left our theater.  When it comes out on dvd, I'll check it out.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Naomi Watts nominated for St. Vincent--she was great and I'm glad to see Eddie Redmayne on nominated, especially since the the NY Film Critics didn't list him as a favorite. 

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I'm surprised Gone Girl isn't nominated for Outstanding Cast Ensemble (SAG's equivalent of Best Picture). I don't think it's Best Picture material, but it's a well-acted movie, from its leads down to all the supporting players (Carrie, Kim, Tyler, Missi, NPH, Amy's parents). Maybe it didn't campaign hard enough? It does feel like the people behind the movie is not doing the usual Oscar schmoozing. It's looking like Pike will have to land that Oscar nomination just based on the strength of her performance alone.

One thing I like about GG is that it had strong, compelling female characters all around, which is a rarity for Hollywood movies, unless you're making a girl-power movie. Keira Knightley has said it's just another day at the office being the only actress in The Imitation Game.

I read on EW that some expected movies didn't make the SAG cut because they screened late for SAG voters, or didn't even get to submit screeners at all. EW mentioned Selma and Unbroken being in these categories. And maybe that's how Gyllenhal was able to sneak in vs. the actors in Selma and Unbroken.

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I'm surprised Gone Girl isn't nominated for Outstanding Cast Ensemble (SAG's equivalent of Best Picture). I don't think it's Best Picture material, but it's a well-acted movie, from its leads down to all the supporting players (Carrie, Kim, Tyler, Missi, NPH, Amy's parents). Maybe it didn't campaign hard enough? It does feel like the people behind the movie is not doing the usual Oscar schmoozing. It's looking like Pike will have to land that Oscar nomination just based on the strength of her performance alone.

 

One thing I like about GG is that it had strong, compelling female characters all around, which is a rarity for Hollywood movies, unless you're making a girl-power movie. Keira Knightley has said it's just another day at the office being the only actress in The Imitation Game.

 

I read on EW that some expected movies didn't make the SAG cut because they screened late for SAG voters, or didn't even get to submit screeners at all. EW mentioned Selma and Unbroken being in these categories. And maybe that's how Gyllenhal was able to sneak in vs. the actors in Selma and Unbroken.

Yeah, from what I understand Selma had the Django Unchained/Wolf of Wallstreet problem*, in that it wasn't finished in time to send out screeners, otherwise I think Oyelowo at least would have been nominated. Of course, the fact that the rest of this year's contenders are so overwhelmingly white makes its absence more glaring.

 

*Remember, Christoph Waltz didn't even get a nomination from SAG, despite winning everything else that year.

 

And while I admit I haven't seen a lot of the contenders, I would have liked to see Gone Girl get an ensemble nomination too. Like you said, that was just a really well acted, perfectly cast movie top to bottom IMO. As for the campaigning, didn't Pike just have a baby? Like, a few days ago? So I guess that's her excuse, I dunno about the others involved with the movie though. I do hope she can get the Oscar nomination though, partly because she was great in the movie, and partly because it's so different from the typical "Best Actress" type of role.

Edited by AshleyN
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SAG used to be great about distinguishing between best ensembles and best picture (the Birdcage won if memory serves) but now they just fall in line with the expected choices. GG may not be the best picture but it had a hell of a great ensemble who deserve recognition from their guild.

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I do hope she can get the Oscar nomination though, partly because she was great in the movie, and partly because it's so different from the typical "Best Actress" type of role.

 

 

Me too. It's so refreshing to see an icy, femme fatale lead who stayed cold and calculating all throughout the movie. Someone who wasn't apologetic for her behavior and didn't need a redemption "arc". And also someone who didn't have to get ugly, and didn't have a big crying fit or a big come-to-Jesus speech. Pike was amazing. I haven't seen the other performances yet, admittedly. But it kind of bothers me that Julianne Moore is apparently leading the race with yet another usual Best Actress type role. 

 

As for the campaigning, didn't Pike just have a baby? Like, a few days ago? So I guess that's her excuse,

 

 

Ah, that's right. But yeah, I'm a little surprised about the others though. I don't see Affleck schmoozing around, although it's not like he has a shot at getting any. The Director race seems crowded, but I think Fincher has a good shot. I thought Carrie C*** was terrific as well, I thought there would be some buzz for her for Supporting. 

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I read on EW that some expected movies didn't make the SAG cut because they screened late for SAG voters, or didn't even get to submit screeners at all. EW mentioned Selma and Unbroken being in these categories. And maybe that's how Gyllenhal was able to sneak in vs. the actors in Selma and Unbroken.

 

I think Gyllenhall is deserving of a nom irregardless of anybody else.

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Me too. It's so refreshing to see an icy, femme fatale lead who stayed cold and calculating all throughout the movie. Someone who wasn't apologetic for her behavior and didn't need a redemption "arc".

For me, Gone Girl is not the kind of movie I'd see in the theaters, especially hearing that people are laughing. I'm very particular about which movies I'll see with an audience. I'm interested in assessing the character for myself. I haven't read the book but I've read/heard things from people who have either read the book or seen the movie or both and opinions are divided about whether her character is positive or negative as far as female characters are concerned. I wonder if that will affect the voting at all. I think it's easier to get everyone behind a popular performance like Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line or (somehow) Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side but it's harder to get that consensus around something more complicated that divides popular opinion or has a bunch of critics. Not that there aren't always critics of everything but you know what I mean.

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