Good Morning Oscar, Feb. 8: Considering Actresses

Carey Mulligan isn’t the new anybody, and Meryl Streep needs exploding helicopters

Last Updated: February 8, 2010 @ 8:00 AM

In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, Carey Mulligan isn’t the new anybody, and Meryl Streep needs exploding helicopters.

Julian Fellowes delivers a lovely tribute to Carey Mulligan, whom the writer first met when she was a schoolgirl hoping to become an actress, and he was invited to speaking to her class. At first, the writer of “Gosford Park” and “The Young Victoria” tried to talk her out of becoming an actress; then he tried to help her; now he marvels at a young actress who, he says, is not the new Audrey Hepburn or Vivien Leigh or Mia Farrow. “She may belong in that exquisite group, who combine bird-like fragility with a core of steel, who make us confident of their triumph, just as they demand our love and protection, but she is not a new version of any of them … [L]ike all true stars, she is not quite like anyone else.” (The Telegraph)

Sandra BullockSasha Stone looks at the four acting races, and wonders if they’re all as locked as they appear. Her conclusion: for the most part, they are. She thinks Jeff Bridges is the most vulnerable because his work is relatively subtle, and that Jeremy Renner could possibly pull off an upset if “The Hurt Locker” mounts a sweep. She also foresees a Sandra Bullock victory, one that has more to do with likeability than acting chops: “Bullock will win for many reasons, the least of which is her performance in the film.” As for the supporting races – forget it, it’s Christoph Waltz and Mo’Nique. (Awards Daily)

Sam Leith has a slightly different take on one of the acting races. He says that Mery Streep’s movies are too classy, and that she needs to make an action movie – actually, he calls it an “exploding helicopter movie” – to win another Oscar. (The Guardian)

AMC Theaters, as they have in years past, are offering a special deal that allows moviegoers to see all the Best Picture nominees. Of course, doubling the size of the category makes it impossible to see all 10 nominees in one day, so they’re splitting it over two Saturdays, February 27 and March 6. (Actually, it is theoretically possible to see all 10 in one day, since the combined running time is a little more than 20 hours. But that would be an awfully grueling day.) It’s $60 for all 10 (plus a free popcorn with unlimited refills) if you buy online, $50 if you do so at the theater. (AMC Entertainment) 

E!Online points out five movies you haven’t seen but should before Oscar night. Maybe their readers have yet to see “The Hurt Locker,” but I would hope that mine have. (Haven’t you? If not, please do. No excuses.) Their other four are “Fantastic Mr, Fox,” “In the Loop,” and the documentaries “The Cove” and “Food, Inc.” (E!Online)

What went wrong? Dave Karger considers the cases of “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Bright Star” and “(500) Days of Summer,” which only got a single nomination between the three of them. (It’s for the “Bright Star” costumes.) His conclusion: the films were too low-key and not grown-up enough; too early; and too youthful and bittersweet, respectively. (Oscar Watch)

Gregory Ellwood runs down all (well, almost all) the Oscar races. He’s betting “Hurt Locker.” (Awards Campaign)

Kris Tapley on the “least compelling race” of Oscar night: visual effects. Yep, this one would be an upset of astonishing proportions if “Avatar” doesn’t win. (In Contention)