Oscar History

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Entries in Best Ensemble (65)

Jan 29 2012

SAG Predix: Will They Really Give "The Help"3 Prizes?

Only two more awards shows to go before we reach Oscar night.One of them is tonight.SAG sometimes surprises (remember 2002 and 2003?) and sometimes goes total consensus.Let's take a stab at this...which is easier to do with statues with sharp corners.LIVE BLOGGING HAS BEGUN!

Best Actress
Will Win: Viola Davis because the most voters have seen her film and because she's great in it.
Will Win: Meryl Streep because she's Meryl Streep and it's a biopic and actors are crazy about those and because it's a virtuosic impersonation.
Will Win: Michelle Williams because she's the new "Best of Her Generation"actress everyone is excited about and because it's a biopic and...

Okay.Yikes. I suspect it's a tight three woman race.I'd like to believe that Viola's box office and general narrative will differentiate herjust barely enough.On the other hand actors rightfully worship Streep and she might win this with ease and she's definitely the most likely winner for voters who haven't seen all their screeners.I mean if I was voting blindly I'dalwaysvote Streep (not that I'd vote blindly).On the otherotherhand (we've grown a third arm) perhaps the vast voting body of the guild will have a heatwave for Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe.

Best Actress has the odd and slightly unpleasant distinction of being filled with performances that are mostly significantly better than the film housing them (though this is not to say that all of the films are terrible).Given that rather specific sandbox,I'd argue that Davis does the most successful job of working against her film's limitations.As technically great as Meryl Streep's work is,it just can't vault the hurdle of "why was this film even made other than to win Best Actress awards?"None of the other films,not evenMy Week With Marilynleave quite the same "why does this exist?"aftertaste.But then again,films made solely to win awards no matter how shamelessly obvious about that they are,have never been exactly shunned by awards bodies so that might not matter at all.Plus after taste is hard to notice while you're still eating which is why some distributors wait till the last possible second for voters to see movies they want votes for.

Okay,okay: Streep.

Best Actor
Will Win: George Clooney for his movie star charisma.He seems to be just sailing through this awards season with ease as if his performance towers over the competition.Strange.
Should Win: Brad Pitt for his movie star charisma and how it completely suits his character and his film and for the simple matter that he gave two incredible performances in the same year,one of which is this one right here.It's always a pity when career peaks happen and awards bodies are only vaguely paying attention,temporarily blinded by other flashy objects in the same room.

Best Supporting Actor
Will / Should Win: Christopher Plummer.Like Clooney he has no competition for the win in his category.The main difference being that his performance easily reveals why that is.

Best Supporting Actress & Best Ensemble
Nominees:Bejo,Chastain,McCarthy,McTeer and Spencer
Nominees: The Artist,Bridesmaids,The Descendants,The Help,Midnight in Paris

Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy are,like Brad & George,friends and competitors both.But more importantly they're also both in awesome female ensembles.Voters have shown in the past that they don't mind giving acting prizes AND the ensemble to the same film but won't they want to throwBridesmaidssomething instead of possibly givingThe Helpthree of their five prizes?

I'd love to predict a Bridesmaids win in ensemble and I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility especially if voters do the old "vote for the film you'd most like to have been in"(in which case this is Help vs.Bridesmaids vs.The Artist) but as SAG has settled into its [ahem] 'precursor duties' they've strayed further and further from thinking about ensemble and moved right into thinking about Oscar so a win for a movie that's not up for Best Picture might be beyond their imagination now (in which case this is The Help vs.Descendants vs.Midnight vs.The Artist)
Will Win: Melissa McCarthy (repeating the Emmy surprise?) andThe Help...though maybe i have it in reverse and wouldn'tthatbe fun.
Should Win: These categories are killers,so many good performances.But If I was voting I'd throw Ensemble toBridesmaidsand Supporting to...god,who knows.This is whyI still haven't finalized my own awards.


Dec 14 2011

BEST ENSEMBLE...Except You Corey Stoll in "Midnight in Paris"!

It's become something of a tradition here at The Film Experience to take issue with亚博主页the Screen Actors Guildand their problematic "Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture"prize.Year after year they don't even seek to address an issue that you'd think would matter to the 90,000+ guild members: the preferencing of "names"over character actors,no matter the size or importance of the role.As you may know acting is one of those fields were you're lucky to just be working and those who make millions are few and far between.Yet the guild,which should be protecting their less-famous members often lets them be crushed by fame and its perks (aka getting your own title card or high billing).If you don't have your own title card you usually don't end up in the "ensemble"list.Our interest in this situation was first stirred byThe Aviator(2004) when we were horrified to realize that the very famous Gwen Stefani was included as a nominee for essentially walking and sitting onscreen in Jean Harlow drag while Matt Ross,who was excellent in MANY scenes as Howard Hughes's right hand man was excluded.

Sowho is nominatedand who is excluded this year?Let's take a looksee.

nominees:Bérénice Bejo,James Cromwell,Jean Dujardin,John Goodman,and Penelope Ann Miller
who is excluded?Missy Pyle who has a fun cameo and Beth Grant who appears in the movie briefly in its final act ...and Uggie the dog who some people think is best in show.

nominees:Rose Byrne,Jill Clayburgh,Ellie Kemper,Matt Lucas,Melissa McCarthy,Wendi McLendon-Covey,Chris O'Dowd,Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig.
who is excluded?This is fairly representative of the film though Ben Falcone,Air Marshall Jon (and Mr Melissa McCarthy in real life),is excluded.Also missing though understandably given that he went "uncredited"is Jon Hamm.

nominees:Beau Bridges,George Clooney,Robert Forster,Judy Greer (Interviewed),Matthew Lillard,and Shailene Woodley.
who is excluded?Nick Krause as "Sid"who has been given quite a lot of attention in the movie's trailer and appears in several scenes.An even more important character,the youngest King daughter played by Amara Miller is also absent.We'll forgive them for omitting Patricia Hastie as Elizabeth King.(Not that it's not difficult to appear comatose for scene upon scene upon scene;I could never sit still that long,I don't know about you.)

nominees:Jessica Chastain,Viola Davis,Bryce Dallas Howard,Allison Janney,Chris Lowell,Ahna O'Reilly,Sissy Spacek,Octavia Spencer,Mary Steenburgen,Emma Stone,Cicely Tyson and Mike Vogel.
who is excluded?With the largest amount of nominees,they do fairly well at covering the movie but there is one key player missing: Aunjane Ellis who plays "Yule Mae"and gets a few really good scenes involving her struggle to send her boy to college.Other exclusions: Tony winner LaChanze who plays "Rachel"in one of the most heartbreaking scenes as her mother is fired from a lifelong job,and the diminutive Leslie Jordan who bosses Emma Stone around frequently at work between meatier scenes is also absent.

nominees: Kathy Bates,Adrien Brody,Carla Bruni,Marion Cotillard,Rachel McAdams,Michael Sheen,and Owen Wilson (who are all listed alphabetically,as is Woody's generous ensemble-friendly way,on the first title card)
who is excluded?Where to even begin?Each year one of the nominees takes the cake for the year's most bizarre exclusions and this is inarguably that film for 2011.

The nomination does not include the three co-stars who were,arguably,the most fun to watch.Corey Stoll who won the lion's share of "stole the show!"plaudits for his breakthrough work as Ernest Hemingway is missing.Perhaps even more baffling,given their higher degree of famebeforethis film,is the exclusion of Alison Pill and Tom Hiddleston as the Fitzgeralds.I spoke to Corey Stoll this morning (read the interview) and since I was particularly aggravated by his absence from the list,I asked him how he was feeling about it:

That's a nomination for us whether we go there or not.We are undeniably a part of the ensemble and we brought a lot to the table.But it's strange that it's SAG that does that.I could understand something that's more critic or producer-centric but acting?From my union,I think it's a little strange.

We wholeheartedly agree!

Other key cast members ofMidnight in Pariswho appear with "Hemingway"& "the Fitzgeralds"on the second title card and were thus excluded from the honor were: Mimi Kennedy and Kurt Fuller (the future in-laws),Léa Seydoux (the vintage shop worker) and Nina Arianda (Michael Sheen's fiancé).

Wouldn't SAG do better by its own union members if productions were expected to choose the nominees themselves (up to a certain number of people),the way Oscar nominated films must choose who gets the credit fo such efforst as producing and visual effects and what not?

Dec 01 2011

Golden Satellite Potluck Nomination Party!

Bring your own favorites!Oh wait,never mind.They already brought them.Any number of nominees will do!

The Golden Satellites are the craziest awards group that no one celebratesfortheir crazy.Mostly,we suspect,because their crazy is so eternally undefined.They change their rules.They change their number of nominees.It's impossible to follow their logic from year to year and even within a year.Moving targets are hard to hit but that's true not just for criticism but for love and interest.Do the Satellites even exist or are they figments of our imaginations each year right about this time?

Their possibly imaginary nominees have been announced andWar Horseleads the pack with eight nominations.The full nomination list is hidden after the jump because the names are legion.  To make this more fun I've highlighted what didNOTget nominated since it seems like everything did but appearances can be deceiving.

Click to read more ...亚博足彩app

Nov 15 2011

You Better Link

Clara and soldiers in "WINGS",the first Best Picture winnerThe Film Doctoroffers 7 notes onJ Edgar(mostly in relation to two time jumping powerful men classics it attemptes to emulate:The Social NetworkandCitizen Kane...both recently discussed right here.) I particularly like thought #7.
Rope of Siliconthe first Best Picture winnerWingsis finally coming to DVD/Blu-Ray.Yay.Loves that movie,I do.
Coming SoonTim Burton may be doing an adaptation of the children's bookMiss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenafterThe Addams Family.

Little White Liesinterviews Paul Feig on the success ofBridesmaids.
Hollywood Reporteron 7 films that could be looking at SAG Ensemble nominations:Bridesmaids,Midnight in Paris,andThe Artistare the more comedic possibilities but will SAG take comedy seriously this year?
Super PunchCalling all artists who read The Film Experience.亚博主页Super Punch is hosting a James Bond art contest if you're 007 inclined.
AnimationYes,it's true.They're going to make an action movie set in the world of Legos.

Go Fug YourselfLisa Rinna atThe Muppetspremiere.LOL.
GrantlandMark Harris on the multiple Davids and three Goliaths (Leo,Brad,George) of theBest Actorrace.
In Contentionthe Vanessa Redgrave AMPAS tribute
Pajibaon classics of Lady Porn and the men ofThe Immortals.

Not since the costuming department of "Mad Men"got ahold of Christina Hendricks has a pair of mammaries been so lovingly showcased.In fact,the accentuating bronzer is liberally applied not only on Henry Cavill's heroic bosom,but also Luke Evans' grimly clenched ab muscles and Stephen Dorff's morally questionable obliques.

"Morally questionable obliques."Hee!

Speaking of morally questionable...I lurvethis Puss in Boots piece at Ultra Cultureon Puss's "synthetic heterosexuality".It's pretty great.

The trailer for season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race

If only their budget on the show was as high as their advertising budget ;) "Go forth and be sickening!" LOL.Quick head count: how many of you watch this show?Am I speaking to deaf ears whenever I mention it?

Oct 20 2011

Gotham Awards: The Tree of Marcy May's Sheltered Descendants

The Gotham Award nominees were announced today.Though they're not affiliated I like to think of them as the East Coast Spirit Awards on account of the similar types of films they tend to honor (independent and lower budgeted films) and the slightly confusing windows of eligibility.The ceremony will be held on November 28th,2011 here in NYC which is the same day that the New York Film Critics Circle have just announced as the date on which they'll name their winners.So mark those calendars.Awards Season begins in earnest on Monday November 28th,2011.So the season will be almost exactly three months long this year what with the Oscars arriving on Sunday February 26th,亚博主页2012.

Best Feature:

  • Beginners (Mike Mills)
  • The Descendants (Alexander Payne)
  • Meek's Cutoff (Kelly Reichardt
  • Take Shelter (Jeff Nichols
  • The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick)

'One of these things is not like the others,one of these things is not the same.' The black sheep of this shortlist family isThe Descendantswhich is decidedly more mainstream than the other contenders: big movie star,crowd-pleasing rather than crowd-risky,obviously on its way to Oscar nods.

Several categories and few opinions after the jump.

Click to read more ...亚博足彩app

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