Good Morning Oscar, October 19: Wonder Women

Sisters are apparently doing it for themselves

In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, sisters are apparently doing it for themselves.

Nicole Kidman and Aaron EckhartIs it really The Year of the Actress at the Oscars? Zorianna Kit thinks so, and talks to a few others who say that the heated competition for the five Best Actress slots means that “women are the talk of the town.” She trots out some ludicrous generalizations about how it’s usually so much harder to pick winners in the actor categories than the actress ones, overlooking the fact that Jeff Bridges and Christoph Waltz were every bit the prohibitive favorites that Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique were; and she ignores the inconvenient truth that for the most part this year’s female contenders some from smaller, lower-profile films than their male counterparts. But she does spotlight a broad range of Best Actress candidates, from Nicole Kidman (above) to Jennifer Lawrence, and she’s right that some worthy contenders will certainly be left out when the nominations are announced. (Reuters via theStar.com)

Chalk up another award for “The Social Network,” and it’s one that emphasizes the embarrassment of riches the film has in the supporting categories. The Hollywood Awards Gala, which is affiliated with the Hollywood Film Festival later this month, will present its Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award to the film’s Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, Brenda Song, Rashida Jones, Douglas Urbanski and Rooney Mara. How do they decide where to draw the line? Anyway, they’ll get their awards on October 25 – and Garfield will get two, since he’s also being honored with the Breakthrough Actor Award.  (Awards Daily)

The Hollywood Awards, meanwhile, figure prominently in David Poland’s “20 Weeks to Oscar” musings, which focus on some of the honors that’ll be handed out over the next couple of months. (“Premature awardulation,” he calls it.) He dubs the Gotham Awards “sincere and well-intended,” and then rakes the Hollywood Awards soiree over the coals (“cynical, ugly, somewhat desperate”) and wonders why the media doesn’t “burn this thing to the ground.” His answer: because who can argue with giving awards to people like Robert Duvall, Annette Bening, Sam Rockwell and the below-the-line talent who are honored? No one, that’s who. (Movie City News)

Who needs professional Oscar prognosticators?  Kris Tapley hands things over to his readers, and gives them a poll with which they can pick their 10 predictions for Best Picture nominees.  So far, the amateurs look a lot like the pros: their top choices are “The Social Network,” “The King’s Speech,” “Toy Story 3,” “Inception” and “True Grit,” followed by “127 Hours,” “The Kids Are All Right,” “Another Year,” “Black Swan” and “The Fighter.” The places are slightly different, but nine of those 10 are also on the Gurus o’ Gold chart at Movie City News; the only difference is that Kris’ readers go for “The Fighter,” while the pros pick “Hereafter.” (This particular pro, though, chose the exact same 10 as the readers when I filled out my Gurus ballot.) (In Contention)

Oscar hopefuls "Stone" and "Casino Jack" have been added to the lineup at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, along with a couple of films that won't be in the race, including "Machete" and "Paranormal Activity 2." The fest also firmed up its jury with the selection of Egyptian actress Yosra to replace jury chair Hany Abu-Assad, who's tied up in Louisiana shooting "The Courier." Also on the jury: actress Salma Hayek Pinault, actor/writer/director Nick Moran ("Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"), and directors Bhavna Talwar and Danie Tanovic. (Doha Tribeca Film Festival)

Scott Feinberg offers kudos to the company that was first out of the gate with screeners: “Nobody can say that Sony Pictures Classics hasn’t done right by its films this Oscar season,” he writes. Of course, SPC’s four screeners – “Animal Kingdom,” “Mother and Child,” “Please Give” and “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” – only make up a small part of the company’s extensive roster of Oscar possibilities, which also includes “Another Year,” “Get Low,” “Inside Job,” “Made in Dagenham,” “Barney’s Version,” “The Illusionist,” and four foreign-language submissions, among others. (In other words, those first four screeners are just the tip of the iceberg for a company that was loaded up with contenders last year, too.) But he takes issue with SPC campaigning for Annette Bening as Best Actress for “Mother and Child” – he thinks they should suggest her in the Supporting Actress category, where she won’t be competing with her more-likely-to-be-nominated performance in “The Kids Are All Right.” (ScottFeinberg.com)

The Anaheim International Film Festival, a five-day fest located in Orange County, an hour south of Los Angeles, announced its inaugural winners on Monday – and it was a tie. Carter Gunn’s and Ross McDonnell’s “Colony” shared the Grand Jury prize for beature film with Jang Kun-jae’s “Eighteen.”  Audience awards went to David Brooks’ “The Yankles” (Best Live Action Feature), Kevin Tostado’s “Under the Boardwalk: The Monopoly Story” (Best Documentary) and Maroru Hosoda’s “Summer Wars” (Best Animation Feature).  More winners and info at the AIFF website