In this weekend’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, everybody’s making predictions: “Nine”! Christopher Plummer! Christoph Waltz! Catherine O’Hara???
Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson have their weekly Oscar talk. They start with the Big Four unseen movies, “Avatar,” “Invictus,” “The Lovely Bones” and “Nine.” (The Hollywood foreign press is seeing the last of those this weekend, though apparently it’s not completely finished.) Then they go back and forth on animated films, the supporting actress race (where Thompson is alone in predicting that Patricia Clarkson will get a nomination for “Whatever Works”), supporting actor, and the general craziness and uncertainty of the season. “Right now,” Anne says, “everybody’s just throwing things at the wall.” (In Contention) (Thompson on Hollywood)
“Crazy Heart” now has a poster. (left; Fox Seachlight) It’s terrific. (The Big Picture)
In his “20 Weeks to Oscar” column, David Poland feels compelled to point out a few longshots he thinks deserve (and might get) Oscar attention. It’s a refreshingly contrarian take on the race, with suggestions that range from the likely (Julianne Moore for “A Single Man”) to the possible (Jeremy Renner for “The Hurt Locker,” Viggo Mortensen for “The Road”) to the far-fetched (Jackie Earle Haley for “Watchmen,” Tom Waits for “The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus,” Karl Urban in “Star Trek”) to the completely baffling (Catherine O’Hara as best supporting actress for a voiceover role in “Where the Wild Things Are”??). He also thinks that Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”) is less likely to win the best-actor award than Christopher Plummer (“The Last Station”), even though Plummer’s being campaigned in the supporting category. (Hey, it happened with Kate Winslet in “The Reader,” where the studio campaigned for supporting and she won lead.) He also doesn’t think enough voters have seen “The Hurt Locker” to make it the guaranteed nominee that everybody else thinks it is. (Movie City News)
Poland then comes up with charts of who he thinks the favorites are in the best picture and acting categories. Not unexpectedly to anybody who knows his history, he’s on board big time with “Nine,” ranking it as the best picture frontrunner, putting Daniel Day-Lewis in the second slot for best actor and Marion Cotillard fourth for best actress, and devoting fully half of his eight supporting-actress slots to the film. In order: Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren. (Sorry, Nicole.)
Sasha Stone takes off from a tweet of mine about Christian McKay in “Me and Orson Welles” to look at the supporting actor race, and decides that the frontrunners are Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”), Stanley Tucci (either “Julie & Julia” or “The Lovely Bones”), McKay, Alfred Molina (“An Education”) and Plummer. Her list sounds reasonable to me, though things could change quickly if Warner Bros. gets away with calling Matt Damon supporting for “Invictus,” or if the actors branch follows David Poland’s advice and votes for Plummer as best actor. She also takes a poll of her readers in the category; as of Saturday morning, Waltz was winning in a landslide over Tucci, Plummer, Anthony Mackie (“The Hurt Locker”), Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brothers”), Damon, Molina and a real longshot, Zack Galifianakis in “The Hangover.” (Awards Daily)
In the New Yorker, David Denby flips for “The Messenger” and particularly its lead actor, Ben Foster: “one of the great spellbinders of his generation.” Could Oscar take notice? That category is pretty crowded already.