Archive for January 2013
One thing I like about the Oscar Best Actress lineup this year is that it is inspired. We’re treated to a wide array of female performances that caters to different demographics. On one hand, it’s impossible (no pun intended) to ignore Naomi Watts’ performance in The Impossible as she embraces into the physical requirements of the role of a suffering mother. Then, you also have the subtlety of Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty. Her role can be considered as too quiet and passive, but it is through this silence that you can feel the emotional commitment she puts in the role of Maya. Youngest Best Actress nominee Quvenzhane Wallis carries Beasts of the Southern Wild with so much charm and appeal that it’s hard not to root for her and see the potential that lies within her acting skills. Silver Linings Playbook‘s Jennifer Lawrence avoids the scenery chewing approach and was also solid in a way that it impresses you and makes you wonder where she tugs all these emotions in her portrayal of Tiffany. Lastly, Emmanuelle Riva of Amour just makes your heart break as she transcends her performance to the viewers, thanks to an effective combination of emotional and physical combination that the role required.
Refreshing isn’t it? Just like this year, these five years stand out as the best of the Best Actress lineup in the 85 years of the Academy.
05. Best Actress 1988
The nominees were:
Glenn Close, “Dangerous Liaisons”
*Jodie Foster, “The Accused”
Melanie Griffith, “Working Girl”
Meryl Streep, “A Cry in the Dark”
Sigourney Weaver, “Gorillas in the Mists”
1988 is definitely a strong year for Best Actress. For once, this is the year where we had a triple tie at the Best Actress Drama category at the Golden Globes with even snubbed Shirlay Maclaine for Madame Sousatzka snubbed for a nomination. With that said, let’s start with probably the “weakest” of the bunch, Melanie Griffith. In Working Girl, Griffith displayed a charming approach to a woman who wanted to matter in a corporate world. In some ways, it is through Griffith’s appeal that carries Tess when the writing starts to get borderline cliche. Glenn Close just gave the performance of a lifetime a year earlier via Fatal Attraction, but that did not stop her in giving back to back tour de force performance when she followed it up with her turn in Dangerous Liaisons. It is quite similar to Watts and Riva this year wherein they were lying on a bed most of the time, but Close’s facial expressions gave justice to an otherwise pretty helpless character. Sigourney Weaver gives a one two punch performance that year both in lead ans supporting, but her more interesting performance is the one for which she was nominated here. As concerned monkey expert Diane Fossey, Weaver made us attached to an otherwise unknown woman and made us care for what she cares about. Cannes Best Actress winner that year was for A Cry in the Dark‘s Meryl Streep. It’s such a shame that she already has two Oscars by the time this movie was released, but it probably ranks as my favorite Meryl Streep performance ever. Beyond nailing the Australian accent perfectly, it is the emotional attachment that Streep carved that made Lindsay Chamberlain not only a sympathetic mother but a real human being. Plus points to anybody who can deliver the line “The dingo killed my baby” with a straight face. Eventually, the winner was Jodie Foster in The Accused. The movie was pretty much an acting vehicle, and Foster was game all the way. For that alone, I commend her. And that probably is what puts her over the edge that year.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Meryl Streep hands down. That would have been a very deserving third Oscar win for her.
04. Best Actress 2006
The nominees were:
Penelope Cruz, “Volver”
Judi Dench, “Notes on a Scandal”
*Helen Mirren, “The Queen”
Meryl Streep, “The Devil Wears Prada”
Kate Winslet, “Little Children”
2006 is probably known as the year where Helen Mirren steamrolled her way to the Oscars. It was one of the instances where in as early as September, it was already clear on who will win the Best Actress Oscar. While Mirren was every inch deserving, the whole category was such an embarrassment of riches in terms of the nominated performances. Kate Winslet was on her fifth nomination already for Little Children, and she was able to portray the complexities of a suburban housewife who was longing for something that will elicit interaction to her, even if it means having an affair to the one of her neighbors. If there’s one thing I commend about Winslet, it’s her willingness to use her body as a part of her total display of emotions, and it was highlighted here. Meryl Streep was such a hoot in The Devil Wears Prada. In this, she showed another facet to her as an actress, and she avoided Miranda Priestly to be a total caricature which was a total delight to watch. I wasn’t a fan of Penelope Cruz’s English language features, but she was totally in her element in Volver. Despite being a part of a strong huge female ensemble, it is still Cruz whose at the front and center and she totally was up to the challenge. Like Meryl Streep, Judi Dench was able to show another side of her, this time in an unlikable villainous role in Notes on a Scandal. It wasn’t an easy task, mind you, as Dame Dench probably has one of the most endearing performances that it’s hard for someone to not like her. But she did it with so much raw intensity that she totally disappears into the role of a stalking old woman. Lastly, I don’t think there’s any adjectives left that wasn’t use to describe Helen Mirren in The Queen, and she was able to convey the role of the Queen not as a public figure but as a human being, and that’s what makes the performance remarkable and stand the test of time.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Helen Mirren. As much as I think it’s a three way race among her, Dench, and Cruz, she’s just a hair better as she carries the whole film stronger and in a more vital manner.
03. Best Actress 2010
The nominees were:
Annette Bening, “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman, “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence, “Winter’s Bone”
*Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams, “Blue Valentine”
As 2009 ended with a Sandra Bullock win for The Blind Side, the current decade starts strong with these five performances that are arguably better for the other nominations that these actresses got in the past or after this year. Let’s begin with Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone. Sure, she was more charming in Silver Linings Playbook, but the potential was already there way back in her first lead role status. Most of the time, we just follow her journey as Ree finds her father, but she encompasses it in a raw manner that it’s not hard to see the greatness that lies with her acting talents. Annette Bening’s fourth nomination comes from her role as lesbian Nic in The Kids Are All Right. In any other weaker year, I can totally see this performance dominating the awards circuit. In Kids, Bening was devoid of the easy way out with her performance as the “man” in a lesbian relationship. Her Nic was tough but sensitive, possessive but vulnerable, and Bening brings another layer to it effectively. The secret to Blue Valentine was probably the chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Williams was totally as giving as Gosling was; shedding away not only her clothes, but also her emotions as she deal with a relationship that at first was ideal, but in the end was complicated. The same sadness was encompassed by Oscar winner Nicole Kidman, though, in her case, it was about a grieving mother who lost her only son. What I like about this performance was that Kidman didn’t make it as a pity party for Becca. She was unlikable,and you can see that, but it was her grieving process that tales center stage, and Nicole was more than aware of that. Lastly, Natalie Portman in Black Swan was probably the role of her lifetime. Her commitment to the role is already an accomplishment, but beyond that, she was more than willing to enter the role that Darren Aronofsky set up for Nina. Admittedly, my favorite part of her performance was the famous “phone call” scene where she told her mother that she passed auditions, but this is a totality body of work that one can be proud of, and Portman was deserving to win this year.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Nicole Kidman. Becca was such an interesting character study devoid of the over the top histrionics that one can expect, and Kidman was the effective means to connect Becca to the viewers.
02. Best Actress 1995
The nominees were:
*Susan Sarandon, “Dead Man Walking”
Elisabeth Shue, “Leaving Las Vegas”
Sharon Stone, “Casino”
Meryl Streep, “The Bridges of Madison County”
Emma Thompson, “Sense and Sensibility”
1995 was considered as the greatest year for lead female performers during that decade. While this line up is strong, think of these non-nominated performances during that year: Nicole Kidman in To Die For, Kathy Bates in Dolores Clairborne, Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, Toni Collette in Muriel’s Wedding, Julianne Moore in Safe and son on and so forth. Anyway enough about the snubees, let’s begin. Emma Thompson’s safest niche is probably British period pieces. And just like her winning performance in Howards End, her performance in Sense and Sensibility connects easily to viewers not solely because of the familiarity of the novel, but because of how she makes her presence felt in it. With that said though, I like her screenwriting credits for this movie better than her acting in it. Sharon Stone can be considered as a borderline supporting in Casino, but her role as Ginger stands out in this film that’s dominated by the men. Stone wasn’t able to match her performance int his and has been a Hollywood joke for years now, but this is always a good reminder of the talents that she had. Meryl Streep. Can you ever get tired of her? I surely don’t. If she mastered the Aussie accent in A Cry in the Dark, here she went all Italian. And once again, she nailed it. Streep has this habit of rising over the material, and while most of the time, that’s not a good thing, in The Bridges of Madison County, it’s the opposite. This makes you fell more for her Francesca, and the breakdown at the near end of the deal sealed the deal for me. It’s quite sad when people connect Leaving Las Vegas as solely the Nicolas Cage show, because Elisabeth Shue was darn fantastic in it. On the outside, Shue can easily be summed up as a hooker with a heart, but her performance is a straight connection to the viewers that it’s just spectacular to watch her in it. I can even go as far as saying that she steals the show for me. Lastly, Susan Sarandon wins after four failed attempts for Dead Man Walking. In it, she gives a devoted performance as Sister Mary Prejean to Sean Penn’s character, and she does not rely to histrionics but focused to the bigger picture of a nun committed to help.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Elisabeth Shue. It’s not really hard to vote for this one. She was simply magnificent.
01. Best Actress 1950
The nominees were:
Anne Baxter, “All About Eve”
Bette Davis, “All About Eve”
*Judy Holliday, “Born Yesterday”
Eleanor Parker, “Caged”
Gloria Swanson, “Sunset Boulevard”
And we’ve finally reached the best line-up at the history of this category at the Oscars. This is probably one of the years where I change my personal winner every single time. There’s something to commend about all these performances that makes them not only iconic, but as a representation of acting masterclass. Let’s begin with the least familiar performance of the bunch. Eleanor Parker probably wasn’t as remembered as the other names or movies like her co-nominees, but Caged is an underrated gem that shows Parker’s versatility as an actress. Her ability to convey multiple emotions from her audience is a testament of how this performance should always be remembered. Then we have the All About Eve actresses. On the left corner, we have Anne Baxter in the role of an inspired up and coming actress Eve. Her role required her to do a lot, and while I see some flaws here and there with her approach of the character; nevertheless, she made her mark with it instead of the other way around. Then we have the fabulous Bette Davis in a comeback memorable performance as an aging actress that lives with the threat of her age being a detriment to her fame. Davis fires one liners like no other, one after the other, and it was just fantastic to watch her do that right in front of our eyes. Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard was another “diva” that was such a joy to watch. It was commendable to see Swanson stretch herself to all the demands to her character, and she displays each of them with such panache that’s inevitable to ignore. But the Oscar that year went to none other than Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday. Academy rarely rewards comedic performances that’s why it’s such fun when you see actors get rewarded for them. Holliday never relied on baity scenes, but instead focus on creating a whole picture that stands on its own rather than several clips to justify her performance.
If I was a voter, I would vote for: Gloria Swanson. One of the performances that I’d probably recommend to every aspiring actor/actress. How she effectively answers these different needs of the character is uh-mah-zing.
That’s it! What are some of your favorite Best Actress line-ups? Who would you have chosen as your personal winners in these set of nominees? Pipe them in below!
And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
Hey everybody! The SAG Awards just happened two hours ago, but let’s get this one over and done with. After all, this was the last time this year that both TV and movie stars are honored in the same room. As for the red carpet, there’s a lot of interesting looks this time and as always, lots of colors everywhere. Some have been recycled, some were misfits, but for the most part, here are 16 personalities who were dressed to kill that night.
You can click the photos or open it in new tab to make the photos bigger.
16. JAIMIE ALEXANDER in Marc Bouwer
Nurse Jackie’s Jaimie Alexander was sexy and classic in this black Marc Buower creation that highlights her upper body in a flirty and very interesting manner.
15. IDINA MENZEL
Truth be told, it’s not as if Tony winner Idina Menzel needs to impress people with her red carpet appearances. But then again, she just did her homework when she appeared in this red and pink combination that highlights her impressive figure.
14. JANE KRAKOWSKI in Kaufman Franco
From one Tony winner to another, Jane Krakowski was a sight to be seen in this Kaufman Franco creation that the 30 Rock star described as orangey-sherbet. Yum!
13. NANCY O’DELL
While it’s the stars that are usually the people you look forward to the most, red carpet interviewers aren’t spared from dressing the part as well. That’s just what Entertainment Tonight‘s Nancy O’Dell did when she wore this aquamarine blue with impressive bead works in it.
12. KEIRNAN SHIPKA in Oscar dela Renta
It’s probably the Mad Men effect, but Keirnan Shipka is channeling the classic look in this Oscar dela Renta dress that highlights both her youthful aura and the stylish animal in her.
11. LEA MICHELE in Valentino
See, this is the Lea Michele that suits her better. Instead of doing all the trying hard sultry looks that she’s been doing the past few years, the Glee star looks better and more comfortable when she shows her sweetheart side such as this pink Valentino gown she’s wearing.
10. NINA DOBREV in Elie Saab
Having a body built that most designers would kill to dress, The Vampire Diaries star Nina Dobrev was rocking the part in this pink Elie Saab creation that made her look edgy but cute as well.
09. VIOLA DAVIS in Monique Lhuillier
Last year’s Best Actress winner Viola Davis’s presence was clearly a light in the room. Thank to this Monique Lhuillier creation she sported when she presented Daniel Day Lewis the Best Actor trophy.
08. JESSICA LANGE in J. Mendel
Who says you can’t dress the part when you’re already in your 60s? You probably haven’t seen Best Actress nominee Jessica Lange as she strutted in this J. Mendel ensemble that appropriately made her look years younger.
07. AMANDA SEYFRIED in Zac Posen
I’ve always thought of Seyfried as a boring red carpet entity. But after nailing this blue Zac Posen creation that she donned just a few hours ago, I need some serious reconsideration.
06. JENNIFER GARNER in Oscar dela Renta
Despite Jennifer Garner being just a plus one of Ben Affleck last night, she’s definitely a top notch plus one. Her golden Oscar dela Renta gown might be the lucky charm for her husband’s ensemble win.
05. NAOMI WATTS in Marchesa
Best Actress nominee Naomi Watts was perfect in this Marchesa outfit that she partnered with soft curls and bright lipstick. She perfectly showed the soft and tender looks that made her look every inch a star.
04. NICOLE KIDMAN in Vivienne Westwood
The two time nominee tonight who was Keithless was also giving early circa 2000s fierceness in this Vivienne Westwood creation that showed a slit and her current favorite trend: see throughs. Her shorter flat hair can be a hit or miss, but she handles it just like a real movie star.
03. JENNIFER LAWRENCE in Christian Dior
Tonight’s Best Actress winner was about to skip the ceremonies due to pneumonia. Good thing that did not happen as we would have missed the opportunity to see her rock this dark blue Christian Dior gown she wore.
02. MARION COTILLARD in Dior Haute Couture
It’s such a shame that Cotillard missed the Best Actress Oscar nod, as we could have seen more of how she slay the red carpet just like how she did with this blue and white combo of this Dior Haute Couture creation. Plus point to the new short bob do also fits her perfectly.
01. JESSICA CHASTAIN in Alexander McQueen
And despite her not winning Best Actress tonight, Jessica Chastain tops my list of the best dressed in this fiery red Alexander McQueen that she sported. It was simple but less is definitely more as it highlighted her youthful beauty. Incidentally, Jessica Chastain also topped my SAG best dressed list last year so maybe a three-peat next year?
That’s it! Who are your best dressed list from this year’s SAG Awards?
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
On Sunday (Monday here in the Philippines), the whole actors guild will be handling out their picks both in movies and television at the 19th Screen Actors Guild Awards. The SAG is known as an influential predictor of the trends that can happen at the Oscars in the four acting categories. Also, for this awards season, the SAG will be the first among the four major guilds to give their awards. Anyway, let’s begin!
THEATRICAL MOTION PICTURES
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Silver Linings Playbook
PREDICTION: Silver Linings Playbook. The whole ensemble is being campaigned by Harvey left and right with endless Q&As with the SAG voting members. It’s a tough call and I can see anything between Argo and Lincoln to win this too, but it’s difficult to argue with the safe contender.
ALTERNATE: Argo. The cast has TV stars in it (sure fire way of getting support from the TV community, and the film is directed by an actor himself. If the whole actors guild still feels sorry for Ben, they might throw him a bone with this too.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
BRADLEY COOPER / Pat – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” (The Weinstein Company)
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS / Abraham Lincoln – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
JOHN HAWKES / Mark – “THE SESSIONS” (Fox Searchlight)
HUGH JACKMAN / Jean Valjean – “LES MISÉRABLES” (Universal Pictures)
DENZEL WASHINGTON / Whip Whitaker – “FLIGHT” (Paramount Pictures)
PREDICTION: Daniel Day Lewis, “Lincoln.” This is a done deal already. The actors clearly adore him especially since if he actually wins, this will be his third win in this category.
ALTERNATE: Hugh Jackman, “Les Miserables.” He’s clearly a loved guy in Hollywood, and this is the role of his lifetime. SAG voters are warmer to musical and comedies here (Johnny Depp, Jean Dujardin).
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
JESSICA CHASTAIN / Maya – “ZERO DARK THIRTY” (Columbia Pictures)
MARION COTILLARD / Stephanie – “RUST AND BONE” (Sony Pictures Classics)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE / Tiffany – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” (The Weinstein Company)
HELEN MIRREN / Alma Reville – “HITCHCOCK” (Fox Searchlight)
NAOMI WATTS / Maria – “THE IMPOSSIBLE” (Summit Entertainment)
PREDICTION: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook.” Lawrence is Hollywood’s current it girl. She shifts from blockbuster book adaptations and small indies such as this one. In this day and age that Hollywood young actresses are usually more knoewn to scatter their lives around, they won’t miss the chance to award an actress who isn’t like that.
ALTERNATE: Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty.” Clearly, Chastain is known as an actor’s actor. After playing second fiddle for so many years, she finally gets to break through with a leading status. See Viola Davis last year.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
ALAN ARKIN / Lester Siegel – “ARGO” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
JAVIER BARDEM / Silva – “SKYFALL” (Columbia Pictures)
ROBERT DE NIRO / Pat, Sr. – “SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK” (The Weinstein Company)
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN / Lancaster Dodd – “THE MASTER” (The Weinstein Company)
TOMMY LEE JONES / Thaddeus Stevens – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
PREDICTION: Robert de Niro, “Silver Linings Playbook.” de Niro hasn’t been awarded a SAG yet and we know how much the Actors Guild love to play catch up to the legendary ones. This is his first real shot since the SAG was established, so they might give him this one.
ALTERNATE: Tommy Lee Jones, “Lincoln.” The same applies for Tommy Lee Jones too, though he already won a SAG as a part of the No Country for Old Men ensemble. Plus, de Niro is the more respected veteran of the two.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
SALLY FIELD / Mary Todd Lincoln – “LINCOLN” (Touchstone Pictures)
ANNE HATHAWAY / Fantine – “LES MISÉRABLES” (Universal Pictures)
HELEN HUNT / Cheryl – “THE SESSIONS” (Fox Searchlight)
NICOLE KIDMAN / Charlotte Bless – “THE PAPERBOY” (Millennium Entertainment)
MAGGIE SMITH / Muriel Donnelly – “THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL” (Fox Searchlight)
PREDICTION: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables.” Anne is the more mature Jennifer Lawrence in terms of Oscar’s perception of how her career has went through. She has certainly paid her dues, and actors will likely fall over her dedication in this role of Fantine.
ALTERNATE: Sally Field, “Lincoln.” If there’s any actress who has the possibility of pulling an upset, it’s veteran Sally Field. Her performance in Lincoln and the narrative on how much she wanted this role will play a lot in her favor.
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
The Amazing Spiderman
The Bourne Legacy
The Dark Knight Rises
PREDICTION: Skyfall. The most acclaimed film of the bunch which highlights the actual complex stunt performances in it.
ALTERNATE: The Dark Knight Rises. Featured complicated stunt performances also, though Skyfall was just better received.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
KEVIN COSTNER / “Devil Anse” Hatfield – “HATFIELDS & McCOYS” (History)
WOODY HARRELSON / Steve Schmidt – “GAME CHANGE” (HBO)
ED HARRIS / John McCain – “GAME CHANGE” (HBO)
CLIVE OWEN / Ernest Hemingway – “HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN“ (HBO)
BILL PAXTON / Randall McCoy – “HATFIELDS & McCOYS” (History)
PREDICTION: Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & McCoys”. Costner is a SAG-less respected actor in Hollywood who’s starring in his most lauded performance as an actor. He already won the Globe and Emmy, it’ll be an easy win for him.
ALTERNATE: Ed Harris, “Game Change.” Harris fits the same bill as Costner; however, Game Change was primarily the Julianne Moore show and difficult to overcome the lead performances in his category.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
NICOLE KIDMAN / Martha Gellhorn – “HEMINGWAY & GELLHORN” (HBO)
JULIANNE MOORE / Sarah Palin – “GAME CHANGE” (HBO)
CHARLOTTE RAMPLING / Eva Delectorskaya – “RESTLESS” (Sundance Channel)
SIGOURNEY WEAVER / Elaine Barrish Hammond – “POLITICAL ANIMALS” (USA)
ALFRE WOODARD / Ouiser – “STEEL MAGNOLIAS” (Lifetime)
PREDICTION: Julianne Moore, “Game Change.” Moore has been nominated for an Actor many times but is still win-less. She gets the role that is too juicy to be passed on and has won the Emmy and Globe as well.
ALTERNATE: Nicole Kidman, “Hemingway & Gellhorn”. While Nicole Kidman is also Actor-less as well, I don’t see her getting her first statue for a TV movie. They‘d probably wait for a movie performance to give her a win.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
STEVE BUSCEMI / Enoch “Nucky” Thompson – “BOARDWALK EMPIRE” (HBO)
BRYAN CRANSTON / Walter White – “BREAKING BAD” (AMC)
JEFF DANIELS / Will McAvoy – “THE NEWSROOM” (HBO)
JON HAMM / Don Draper – “MAD MEN” (AMC)
DAMIAN LEWIS / Nicholas Brody – “HOMELAND” (Showtime)
PREDICTION: Damian Lewis, “Homeland.” Lewis is in a time where in Homeland is at its hottest and most buzzed moment. He can easily get carried with the overflowing love for the show despite being with a strong group of co-nominees.
ALTERNATE: Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire.” The SAG TV categories love rubber stamping their winners so Buscemi might just go 3 for 3 here.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison – “HOMELAND” (Showtime)
MICHELLE DOCKERY / Lady Mary Crawley – “DOWNTON ABBEY” (PBS)
JESSICA LANGE / Sister Jude – “AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM” (FX)
JULIANNA MARGULIES / Alicia Florrick – “THE GOOD WIFE” (CBS)
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham – “DOWNTON ABBEY” (PBS)
PREDICTION: Claire Danes, “Homeland.” Probably the most contested category of the night, I can see everyone except Dockery having a shot to win. I’d probably go with the safe choice of Danes, as this is the performance that had everyone raving.
ALTERNATE: Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey.” Clearly, the voters love Dame Smith giving her an all time record of four nominations in one night. This is her biggest chance of getting a win.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
ALEC BALDWIN / Jack Donaghy – “30 ROCK” (NBC)
TY BURRELL / Phil Dunphy – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)
LOUIS C.K. / Louie – “LOUIE” (FX)
JIM PARSONS / Sheldon Cooper – “THE BIG BANG THEORY” (CBS)
ERIC STONESTREET / Cameron Tucker – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)
PREDICTION: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock.” I have the slightest feeling that Baldwin will be dethroned finally but I won’t bet on that until it finally happens.
ALTERNATE: Louis CK, “Louie.” Comedy’s current it boy who can be rewarded for his writing, directing, producing, and starring credits in Louie.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton – “NURSE JACKIE” (Showtime)
TINA FEY / Liz Lemon – “30 ROCK” (NBC)
AMY POEHLER / Leslie Knope – “PARKS AND RECREATION” (NBC)
SOFIA VERGARA / Gloria Delgado-Pritchett – “MODERN FAMILY” (ABC)
BETTY WHITE / Elka Ostrovsky – “HOT IN CLEVELAND” (TV Land)
PREDICTION: Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland.” The SAGs love Betty. And they love rubber stamping, so they’d go with her again.
ALTERNATE: Amy Poehler, “Parks and Recreation.” Amy hasn’t won anything yet for this performance, and some good will residual love from her Globe stint might push her for a win.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
PREDICTION: Homeland. There’s nothing stopping the lovefest for this show, and this is their way to reward the whole ensemble.
ALTERNATE: Downton Abbey. The Brit factor must never be underestimated. Plus, it has the largest cast in the group.
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
PREDICTION: Modern Family. With such an outdated list of nominees, it’s an easy third straight win for the cast of Modern Family here.
ALTERNATE: The Big Bang Theory. This is the current hottest TV show in the boob tube now, and if voters want somethign new, they can go with the highest rated cast in the group.
Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Game of Thrones
Sons of Anarchy
The Walking Dead
PREDICTION: The Walking Dead. I’d probably go with the goriest show in TV that features lots and lots of killing in it. It also won’t hurt that they haven’t won before.
ALTERNATE: Game of Thrones. Current winner can go for a consecutive win here especially if voters are more into sword fightings.
That’s it! Who are you predicting to win? Do not forget to catch the 19th Screen Actors Guild come Monday on Velvet, 9AM for the live telecast and 10 PM for the delayed Primetime telecast. Happy SAG day!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
In this day of autotunes and recorded mash up music, it’s really hard to figure out what good music is. One good indication can be the live performances of the artists. However, sometimes even the best in music can have a bad day or be ruined by technical difficulties during their performances. Now this one is a fun list that was inspired from an online forum. I came up with my own list of the mostly awkward, mostly messy but still entertaining (both in good and bad ways) that makes live performances still the best means to identify talent when you see one.
As always, click the name after the picture to lead you to the YouTube clip of the said performance.
15. Christina Aguilera, “Medley“, 2008 American Music Awards
In 2008, Christina Aguilera was out to promote her greatest hist album entitled A Decade of Hits. So technically, it is ideal that she’ll perform some of her most prominent hits together with the lead single. So yeah, she did Keeps Gettin Better. However, as the performance keeps gettin longer, the audience keeps gettin bored. It literally just won’t stop. By the time Dirrty was being performed, the audience was already up on their feet to an applause, only to find out it’s not yet over. By the time the performance was actually over, most of the audience were too lazy to stand up anymore.
14. Mariah Carey, “Touch My Body“, Good Morning America
Good Morning America has been the primary venue for performers to promote their latest singles and albums. In this one, Mariah Carey performers her lead single off her then latest album Touch My Body. But as soon as the music played, the song kept on skipping to reveal a recorded back track version of the song. It kept on repeating the next few seconds, though you have to commend Mimi for handling it like a pro so she moaned some of her classic “Oooohhh ooohhhh” until the DJ figured out what to do with the situation. But it was quite a bummer that even before the song started, it was already revealed that it was just a back track.
13. Lindsay Lohan, “Rumors“, Good Morning America
On the eve of her album launch, Lindsay Lohan visited Good Morning America too in order to promote her new album. She sang her song Rumors in front of mothers and their little kids who are still probably holding on to the fact that the girl in front of them is still the same from the twins in The Parent Trap. But once the music started, Lindsay started to dance herself awkwardly like a baby prostitute (Ooh Mean Girls reference. Sorry can’t help it!) The worst part started in the 2:07 mark when she started to miss her lines only to reveal that she was lipsynching all along. The camera kept on panning to the audience where you see the mothers and daughters whose faces were painted with Gotcha! The kid in 2:20 summed our expression all along.
12. Lana del Rey, “Video Games“, Saturday Night Live
Usually Saturday Night Live is what propels someone’s career to fully blast. Take the case of Adele whose Grammy victories in 2008 were credited to her huge exposure from her SNL performance during the middle of the Grammy voting that year. It seems another new artist was about to have the same fate… until the actual performance kicked in. Lana del Rey sang the song beautifully; however, she was standing like a dead log and her presence is that of watching paint dry. She then awkwardly turns and it gets less enthusiastic that it was just all kinds of awkward until the performance ended. General consensus was that it was not the sole reason why her career did not really went through as promise, but it gave the impression to casual listeners.
11. Nicki Minaj, “Starships“, The Today Show
When performing Starships over at The Today Show, Nicki Minaj got so comfortably weird when she already missed the first line of the performance. Then she suddenly turned and made those weird faces as if she’s talking to a spirit in front of her. By 2:28, it seemed as if the spirit already possessed her as she shouts at the mic in a commanding voice then she showed you dance steps of what NOT to do in a Zumba class. Ah Nicki. How can one take thou seriously? LELZ.
10. Cassie, “Me and You“, BET
Cassie is one of those one-hit wonders that tried to establish a career in the midst of the one named R&B female artists that were in demand during that time like Ashanti and Ciara. As much as Me and You was a catchy song, she can’t even catch a break with this performance. If not the DJ, the back up singers are overpowering her vocals here. Much to her chagrin, it was also the perfect metaphor to her career. Everyone upstaged her that her career did not sky rocket at all.
09. Beyonce, “Baby Boy“, MTV Europe Music Awards 2003
During the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards, Beyonce made a slight homage to the Queen of Pop Madonna by starting her performance with something similar to Material Girl. The performance will then cross over her Baby Boy performance. Everything is doing fine, and Sean Paul even appeared, but starting at 2:50, the prerecorded track started to skip and as much as Beyonce hoped it will soon be back so she danced for quite some time, even she gave up when the music kept on repeating to “Baby you;re so damn fine.. Oh!“. This led to an early exit by the pair with Sean Paul probably pissed as he tried to insert his rap thrice but to no avail, and he wasn’t able to perform at all except for his “Uhs.”
08. Katy Perry, “Firework“, American Music Awards 2010
Firework is probably one of the most inspirational mainstream songs of the past few years. So it is just fitting that when Katy Perry performed it at the 2010 American Music Awards, she even had a children’s choir do it with her. Sad thing though was while Katy was coming down from below, Katy was struggling so hard not to reach the note, but any note AT ALL. You know it’s a bad performance when the kid choir who are supposed to guide you actually upstaged you. So the picture above is the one that depicts a woman of a real struggle.
07. Jessica Simpson, “I Wanna Love You Forever“, Billboard Music Awards 2000
Back in the 2000s, before she was even seen as a reality star, Jessica Simpson was actually a vocalist, and a good one at that. Among the four female youngsters of their era, Jessica was categorized into the vocalist category together with Christina Aguilera. However, even vocalists have bad days as well. During her performance of the emotional I Wanna Love You Forever, Simpson pulled in all the emotions needed. With that said, her vocals struggled come the bridge part and it was like hearing a goat to be killed. It was so embarrassing that even Jessica knew it and she couldn’t contain her tears (of embarrassment) in the end. She’s lucky to have a supportive audience though that they still gave her a standing O despite that disaster of a performance.
06. Ashlee Simpson, “Lala“, Orange Bowl 2005
Speaking of Jessica, having messy live performances seem to be a hobby over at the Simpson household. This one is of her younger sister Ashlee. Performing in front of thousands of live viewers, Ashlee treated the fans of the Orange Bowl with her performance of her song Lala. It seems though that what the actual audience was hearing is what the whole of America is hearing as well. The moment she finished her performance, a resounding shouts of Boo was heard all over the place. Poor Ashlee. She was really rockin out to the song thinking she nailed this one.
05. Rihanna and Britney Spears, “S&M Remix“, Billboard Music Awards 2011
In the only live performance of this collaboration,
vocal powerhouse Rihanna and Britney Spears did a live duet of S&M Remix over at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards. The concept is probably yin-yang, battle of the better portrayal of a cheap slut or anything that’s opposite. Rihanna is in white while Britney is in black. They were both tied to chains in two adjacent poles. The funniest part of the performance (aside from Rihanna’s vocals, which was already a given) happened when Britney appeared hissing like a snake and then they started doing a pillow fight. It seems as if a) Britney was not informed, b) Britney was not interested c) Britney thought Rihanna was one of the dancers or d) all of the above. Rihanna was giving her best trying to create a fun pillow fight while Britney was really not into it at all. Spell awkwardddddddd.
04. Just Stand Up Women, “Just Stand Up“, Just Stand Up Telethon
In their live performance, 12 different female singers of different genres all came up with a wonderful idea to help raise finds for cancer survival. In theory, this is the project that is to die for. Nearly each and every female singer must be a part of this. But then again, watching the live performance of the song makes all the other female singers happy that they’re not a part of this collaboration. First, you have Beyonce’s hair. Second, Miley Cyrus waiting for Beyonce to look for her as she keeps on making all the cute faces starting at 0:25. Third, Rihanna obviously pissed she had to share all her parts with Miley Cyrus yet Miley gets the longer lines. Fourth, Mariah standing like a dead log only to have her microphone turned off when it was her part already. Ugh. This was just weird on so many levels.
03. Fergie, “Barracuda“, Good Morning America
There’s probably something about Good Morning America that makes singers go cray cray when they perform here. Now, in 2008, Fergie performed the Heart original Barracuda in front of the live studio audience. The Fergie Cray Cray Show started at 1:11 with Fergie touching herself. Then starting at 1:46, Fergie became a little too flirty and clingy to the lead guitarist by hanging on his keychain. Poor guitarist don’t know what to do and left in the middle. But wait, the best is yet to come because come 2:18, she started gyrating her body in front of the young kids in the audience. From then, there’s nothing stopping her and she gave cartwheels and crawled and shouted all in one. Whether she wasn’t laid by Josh Duhamel prior to that, no one can tell. Let’s just say we don’t think Fergie is a morning person.
02. Britney Spears, “Gimme More“, MTV Video Music Awards 2007
It was supposed to be the performance that will have everybody raving. Well, it actually did… but for all the wrong reasons. Britney was probably at her lowest moment, and even she was not into it. Everything about it was really cringe worthy, and I felt that even she did not like to be there. She wasn’t dancing, she wasn’t even barely moving at all, and the whole audience from 50 Cent to Rihanna were also uncomfortable while watching. To give her credit though, Blackout was her best album to date.
01. Ashlee Simpson, “Pieces of Me“, Saturday Night Live
Well you have to at least give credit to the 14 prior performances above because they had the balls to finish it. But the same can’t be said in this iconic SNL moment when the wrong song was played when Ashlee Simpson was “ready” to sing Pieces of Me. While waiting for the right song to be played, Simpson candidly showed some awkward dance movies which she thought was cool and would erase the readers’ perception regarding the mishap. So sad because not only did it fail to recover her performance, it basically was also the start of the demise of her music career.
What was your favorite from the list? Are they all bordering on embarrassing? I’d shamelessly admit that i was entertained by all of them though.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
The race for this year’s Oscar Best Actress has just turned into an interesting state. Still frontrunner Jennifer Lawrence’s Saturday Night Live monologue gave her negative press when she jokingly slammed her Oscar co-nominees to address the “I beat Meryl!” quip she had during last week’s Golden Globes. Some of the lines she said during the controversial monologue were “Jessica Chastain? More of Jessica Chas-ain’t winning an Oscar on my watch!” and “Naomi Watts in The Impossible. You know what’s impossible? You beating me at the Oscars!” Granted, she wasn’t the one who wrote the lines (it was the terrible writing from the SNL staff that hurt her), but this Oscar season has been the dirtiest in a long time. If voters respond negatively, they might throw their vote to Jessica Chastain who’s more regarded as an actor’s actor and the only person who pulled off the feat of having the top two movies in US box office TWICE.
Speaking of dirty, for a moment, let’s move fast forward and shift to next year’s Best Actress race. And as early as now, boy I’m telling you it’s gonna be a bloodbath. Internet forums will feast on this one, as it has almost every single actress (with cult followings ) with an Oscar bait movie next year. And if it does not excite you yet, almost all recent past Best Actress winners since 2000 is in contention spare for Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Hilary Swank, Natalie Portman, and Helen Mirren. Here’s a rundown of who can you expect to get nominated next awards season:
Best Actress 2000 Julia Roberts and Best Actress 1982 and 2011 Meryl Streep are co-starring in the movie adaptation of August: Osage County. This has literally Oscar bait all over it, especially since prior to Streep winning last year, this was perceived as the Oscar vehicle that will give her her third Oscar. Now Team Meryl is pushing her for a fourth win for an all time tie with Katharine Hepburn (who’s vocal of her dislike towards Meryl). Julia, on the other hand, hasn’t been invited back as a nominee since her Erin Brockovich win 12 years ago, and it might be her next comeback. You have to remember though that the last time that two actresses were nominated for Best Actress in the same film was way back in 1991 when both Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis got nommed for Thelma and Louise. And if there’s a pair of actresses who can pull that feat off, it’ll definitely be Roberts and Streep.
Speaking of Roberts, her rival, box office sweetheart Sandra Bullock aka Best Actress 2009 is also in the hunt next year via Alfonoso Cuaron’s Gravity. This one stars her opposite George Clooney, and while sci-fi doesn’t work well with the Academy unless you’re Sigourney Weaver, she also has a comedy coming out in March with Oscar nominee Melissa McCarthy. So, a comedy in March then a drama in October? Doesn’t it sound familiar? It’s circa 2009 all over again when Sandy pulled that one-two punch of The Proposal and The Blind Side.
Let’s move on to a pair of celebrity bestfriends. Best Actress 2002 Nicole Kidman is doing a biopic this time, and by playing a real person, it reminds us when she won for playing author Virginia Woolf in The Hours. This time though, it’s Oscar winner slash Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. This biopic is helmed by Olivier Dahan which was responsible for Marion Cotillard’s Oscar winning vehicle La Vie En Rose. Kidman is on a streak the past few years gaining momentum post-Rabbit Hole and she came close this year with The Paperboy, so she can finally snatch a fourth nomination. Her bestfriend, Best Actress nominee 2003 and 2012 Naomi Watts is playing Princess Diana in the biopic which was
surprisingly entitled Diana. If good will is prevalent next year, then she can shoo-in an instant nomination just like how Michelle Williams did when she gained one for My Week with Marilyn the year after her Oscar comeback via Blue Valentine.
Next, we have the K/C-ates. Oscar Best Actress 2008 Kate Winslet is doing an Oscar comeback after her victory five years ago for The Reader. In Jason Reitman’s Labor Day, Winslet plays the role of a depressed single mother who offered a man a ride only to identify the identity of the man she helped. Baity, indeed. Then we’d have Best Supporting Actress 2004 Cate Blanchett who’s probably having a major comeback this 2013 with a plethora of films under her belt. Her best shot for a gold though is via Woody Allen’s drama(!) Blue Jasmine where she stars opposite Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin.
Then we also have past winners from the last decade gunning for their first nomination since their win. Best Actress 2007 Marion Cotillard came close this year via Rust and Bone, but if foreign language nature of the film hurt her chances, then her role in James Gray’s Lowlife as a burlesque woman can finally snatch her a comeback nomination. The same can be said for Best Actress 2005 Reese Witherspoon who stars in Atom Egoyan’s Devil’s Knot playing the role of a mother whose child went missing.
And then we also have winners from the 90s coming back. First is Best Actress 1992 Emma Thompson playing opposite Tom Hanks in Saving Mr. Banks. This film is directed by Jonny Lee Hancock who was responsible for Sandra Bullock’s Oscar. The second is current nominee and Best Actress 1997 Helen Hunt in Decoding Annie Parker. In the said movie, Hunt plays the role of the doctor who’s responsible for the almost discovery for cancer. What an Oscar bait that is!
As for the youngesters, we have two actresses playing the title roles in their film. In case she won’t win the Oscar this year, two time nominee Jennifer Lawrence is again with Bradley Cooper next year via Susanne Bier’s Serena as the wife of a timber empire owner who cannot give her husband a child. On the other side, we have Elizabeth Olsen giving another shot at the Oscar territory via Therese which is also Jessica Lange’s comeback movie.
Then Brit love can push two of their contenders next year: Best Supporting Actress 1998 Judi Dench can find herself with a seventh career nomination for her performance in Philomena as a woman trying to find her missing son who was forcefully taken from her when she lived in a convent. Then taking a break from all these period dramas is Keira Knightley who’s trying something new this time as a young singer-songwriter who befriends a music executive in Can a Song Save Your Life?
A comeback nomination can also be possible for last year’s nominee Rooney Mara who stars in Steven Soderbergh’s Side Effects. The last time someone got a nomination for a Soderbergh work was Julia Roberts in 2000, and we all know how that turned out. There’s also the possibility of Mia Wasikowska finally breaking through as the disturbed daughter of Nicole Kidman in Park Chan Wook’s English debut Stoker.
Lastly, there’s Sundance hit Julie Delpy who can add another Oscar nomination to her name, this time for acting in the third part of her Richard Linklater series Before Midnight. Midnight has been getting unanimously positive praise at Sundance, and if buzz translates, then she can even be a two time nominee next year.
Of course, those are all just possibilities. If this year’s nominations taught us something, there’s always the possibility of a Quvenzhane Wallis or an Emmanuelle Riva who can suddenly sneak in. But for the moment, this is gonna be a really long catfight. Which race are you looking forward to? The possibilities are endless with the line up. There’s a match up of J.Law vs. Meryl, or America’s Sweetheart Julia vs. America’s Sweetheart Reese vs. America’s Sweetheart Sandy. Then there’s Nicole vs. Naomi, Cate vs. Kate, Dame Judi vs. Cate, Mia vs. Elizabeth, and the only one whose gonna be having a field day with this one are the internet forums mainstays.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
Happy Sunday everyone! Aren’t you all loving the cold weather now! It’s really comforting and makes you want to go under your blankets and just do a movie marathon. As for me, that’s what I did yesterday when I did a back to back to back viewing of all the five movies nominated for Oscar Best Animated Feature. One thing you have to know about me is I’m not a big fan of animated features. I don’t know why but I rarely survive them. Of course, there are lots of AF films that I like (and love!), but when pressed, they’re not my usual cup of tea. So consider this a big challenge done when I saw all of them (four of them in one sitting!). Anyway, this is not my predictions, but how I would rank the five nominated features. Let’s begin!
5. THE PIRATES: BAND OF MISFITS
Director: Peter Lord
Just like a true misfit, I have no idea how this got in the final group considering that the primary snub last year, Spielberg’s Adventures of Tintin, primary cause was the stop motion approach. Regardless of that though, while I laughed certain times in the movie, I just don’t find it engaging enough, and by the first 30 minutes, I was already grasping at straws with boredom. I’m a firm believer that animated feature films do not solely cater to children, as adults can equally enjoy them, but there is nothing to root for here in Pirates that will make it either memorable or enjoyable. For what it’s worth, there were some cute colors in it though. 2/5
Director: Tim Burton
Burton, forever will be classified as the one who does this gothic dark-themed films, once again stays in his familiar territory with Frankenweenie. And while I find the whole watching actually good, I just felt that there’s nothing new he offered here. It’s his comfort zone, and he stayed there the entire time. There were some good scenes here and there, but for the most part, it was just typical Burton to me. And for a director his caliber, he is capable of delivering more. He’s good, but he’s being too in the zone. Frankenweenie was good mind you, but it was just good. I’m probably in the minority too, but I preferred Corpse Bride. 3/5
Director: Mark Andrews, Steve Purcell, Brenda Chapman
There’s probably something wrong with me, but I like it? LOL. I don’t think it’s up there among other Pixar classics (hell no), but it was engaging and I was hooked for the most part. It was not groundbreaking, but I was glued while watching it. Probably that’s what happens when Pixar has done a string of back to back classics, expectations will definitely be much higher, so possibility of failure is also higher. But with one, it was just chill and in the middle. So there, I enjoyed it. LOL. 3.5/5
Director: Sam Fell and Chris Butler
Now this one, I love! Paranorman offered a lot of interesting characters that there’s no need to rely solely on Norman (who was actually interesting too) in moving the story. I love the variety of the characters here, and I know that the usual focus given to the film was its inclusion of a homosexual character, and while I find that really groundbreaking, I won’t take away the fact that it worked on a solid script which was entertaining and felt fresh. 4/5
1. WRECK IT RALPH
Director: Rich Moore
Am I that predictable now? Hahaha. But yeah, I looooove this one. There were no dull moments in this one, to think that I’m no fan of video games (though I had my share of playing those). Ralph wasn’t difficult to like, and Vanellope was a good addition to his journey. I can go on and on here with what the film’s strong points were, but I’d rather sum it up that it’s the one movie in the line up that had me smiling the most. It has this very natural approach that’s easy to like and relate to. 4.5/5
Yay! So how did you find the animated feature nominees this year? What are you rooting for the most from this group?
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl
Hey everyone! It’s Part 2 of the Oscar competition analysis this year. Two days ago, I reviewed all Best Picture nominees. Now, we’re off to the second one, and it’s one of my favorite categories every year: Original Song! Below, I’ll rank the five nominated songs (and provide links) as if I’m an Oscar voter. Here we go.
You can click the titles and it will lead you to the YouTube clip of the video.
05. “Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from Ted
This Norah Jones song which is one of the sweetest parts of Ted was penned by Oscar host Seth MacFarlane with Walter Murphy. There’s nothing really bad about it per se, though it belongs to a packed group of nominees this year that all had strong materials to boot that’s why I’m ranking it last.
04. “Suddenly” from Les Miserables
Now this one is a special song written just for this 2012 film version of the famous musical. Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer, and Alain Boublil’s Suddenly was a perfect fit for the song and was on one of the “transitional” parts of the movie. However, the song, as a stand alone, does not appeal much for me, as I think it drowns from all the more established songs in the musical.
03. “Pi’s Lullaby” from Life of Pi
The second of the two Best Picture songs in the line up belongs to Mychael Danna’s Pi’s Lullaby, which was a surprise nominee, though in hindsight, it should have been expected. Danna’s music is hypnotic, like a true lullaby, though the song itself could pass as too similar to the musical score of the film. Still, it was able to capture the environment of Pi’s situation.
02. “Before My Time” from Chasing Ice
Probably the actual surprise in this category is this obscure song from the documentary Chasing Ice. What’s more surprising is it features the vocals of
Oscar nominee Scarlett Johansson in it! The song was actually good; it was calm yet very haunting! And the lyrics was really good too. This has no chance of winning, but it was surprise nomination that’s worth it.
01. “Skyfall” from Skyfall
And of course, there’s nothing I’d rank here first than Adele’s Skyfall. I really enjoyed her take on the latest Bond film, and probably one of the best Bond songs ever. I specifically love how it’s a throwback to the past Bond songs, and the only Bond song I like since Daniel Craig took over the role. If I get to vote, I’ll rank this one instantly on top.
What’s your favorite from the list? Will we hear Academy Award winner Adele? How will you rank them? 🙂
As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl