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66th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

Emmy Drama Guest Actress

Hi there. You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. After analyzing the comedy guest actress and drama guest actor tapes earlier this week, let’s move on to their counterparts by beginning this one with the Guest Actress Drama category. it is interesting to note that three of last year’s nominees are back again but without current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife to defend her throne. As a matter of fact, it seemed like CBS’ plan backfired as they only had Preston as the sole guest actress of the show to be considered and the Emmys snubbed it altogether. Anyway, as for the nominees.

The Emmys continue its stupid decision of ignoring The Americans outside of Margo Martindale. This year, she gets her consecutive nod for her performance as Claudia for the show. While she clearly lacks in screentime in her submission Behind the Red Door, her only moments happened at the near start and the near end of the episode, so that might work for her, but while her reveal at the end was dramatic, it was a bit low key or calm to elicit a winning performance for this nomination.

On the other hand, another consecutive nominee Jane Fonda was all shouts and all sparks in her submission Red Team III for The Newsroom as she gave a five minute speech and lecture to boost the whole news team after they submitted their resignation. That said, she’s hurt by the new policy that guest tapes aren’t edited down since her only appearance happens in the last five minutes so those not fan of the show will have to endure the first 54 minutes or so before they’ll witness Fonda’s moments in this episode.

After a seven year hiatus, Allison Janney comes back with a bang by picking up two nominations for her performances in two different genres in two different shows. Like her on-screen husband Beau Bridges, she’s also nominated for her turn in Masters of Sex, and while her episode Brave New High isn’t necessarily the type of tapes that win here, she provides a very devastating and poignant take of a woman who never had an orgasm. It was heartbreaking and emotional, and I think she nailed her submission.

From a snub for her season-long performance last year, Kate Mara gets herself a nomination for a short stint in the sophomore season of House of Cards. While she only has Episode 14 as her sole submission, it is that one episode that heavily involved her character in it. And I think that’s more than enough. After all, that same episode was just nominated in Writing and Directing for this year, so it clearly has its fans in the panel.

Receiving her third nomination in this category (for another Shonda Rhimes show), Kate Burton was on fire in her episode A Door Makred Exit. The cold open actually begins with her story, and it is scenery chewing at its finest. She continues to get this big scenes one after the other and I guess it all depends on the panel assigned in this one if they prefer the soap opera melodrama of the show because if they do, then an Emmy on her way is really feasible. To be fair to Burton, she’s one of the only two people in the ensemble (the other being Emmy snubbed(!!!) Bellamy Young) who clearly has a grasp of what the show’s nature is about, so there’s that.

Last but certainly not the least (or well maybe she really is) is Dame Diana Rigg for her role as Lady Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. I will not be surprised if voters who will watch the tapes will be surprised that there isn’t really anything about this submission or her season long performance that deserve a nomination, but at this point, the only thing supporting her is if the Emmys has a real (and I mean really hard, Viagra hard) hard-on for Game of Thrones. Otherwise, it is a filler nod at most.

Last year, I predicted Jane Fonda with her speech and her status in the industry, and while I don’t think she was  shoo-in then, I really don’t think I’ll put myself in the same position of predicting her again. As a matter of fact, the three repeater nominees this year are the three weaker contenders in this race. I think I’ll call this the battle of the wives with gay husbands. Whether they’ll go with out outlandish histrionics of Kate Burton or the subtle and more quiet approach by Allison Janney, I won’t really be surprised. It’s too close, but I’ll be giving this one to Allison Janney. This year is her major TV comeback, and I’m sure Emmy(s) would be the cherry on top of her cake. Dark horse position goes to Kate Mara though. She can push herself to a win (pun intended) especially if there is a strong love for the House of Cards train (sorry I can’t help it :D)

Prediction: Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
Alternate: Kate Burton, “Scandal

Full Rankings:
01. Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
02. Kate Burton, “Scandal
03. Kate Mara, “House of Cards
04. Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
05. Margo Martindale, “The Americans
06. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Check my other 2014 Emmy prediction analysis here.

For more Emmy talk, you can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 4: Drama   Leave a comment

Hi there everyone! You’re still reading Tit for Tat’s 66th Emmy coverage. For the past three days, I have been sharing to you my predictions on who I think will be up for Emmy awards for this year. So before Mindy Kaling and Carson Daly announce the official nominees in the Reality and Variety, TV Movie and Miniseries, and Comedy genres, let’s finish this prediction series with the most serious genre of them all: drama!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Directing

• Boardwalk Empire, Farewell Daddy Blues (Tim van Patten)
• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (David Evans)
• Masters of Sex, Pilot (John Madden)
• True Detective, Who Goes There (Cary Fukunaga)

Sixth nominee: House of Cards, Chapter 14 (Carl Franklin)

And let’s begin with Directing. Despite Boardwalk Empire falling off the Series and Lead Actor nods that they received during the show’s first two seasons, it’s safe to say that they haven’t lost their touch yet with the directors voting branch. For its past three seasons, the show has received two wins out of four nods, so we can all rely on Tim van Patten receiving his fourth consecutive nomination in here for the season finale Farewell Daddy Blues. You can also count on Downton Abbey to get in here since they’re very strategic about this whole Emmy process that they submit only one episode, so if the voters want to reward the show, Episode 1 is their only option to do so. Probably the most buzzed directorial achievement this year, Cary Fukunaga’s eight minute long track shot in True Detective’s Who Goes There isn’t only a nominee sure bet, but a frontrunner for the win as well. And can we talk about how this category loves its pilots and finales? Yep that’s right. Thus, I’m predicting one a piece for the pilot of Masters of Sex directed by Shakespeare in Love director John Madden, and of course, the finale of Breaking Bad by creator Vince Gilligan. Watch out for House of Cards though since it is the current champ in this category.

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Writing

• Breaking Bad, Felina (Vince Gilligan)
• Breaking Bad, Ozymandias (Moira Walley-Beckett)
• Downton Abbey, Episode 1 (Julian Fellowes)
• Game of Thrones, The Children (David Benoiff, D.B. Weiss)
• True Detective, The Secret Fate of All Life (Nic Pizzolatto)

Sixth nominee: Mad Men, Waterloo (Carly Wray, Matthew Weiner)

As for the writing, it’s safe to assume that all these Downton Abbey fans in the Academy will simply check it off the Writing and Directing ballot so a nod here is expected (just like the past two years). After years of snubbing, Breaking Bad finally entered the race last year with two nominations, and I expect them to have the same fate this year — one for their finale Ozymandias and the other for their most submitted episode in the Emmy ballot, Felina. Unlike Downton Abbey though, True Detective only has one writer for the whole season; thus it can only submit one episode for consideration, so I’m expecting all its supports to push The Secret Fate of All Life to make it in here. As for the last spot, despite the show being a flashier directorial bet, it seems like the writers branch is the oen appreciative of Game of Thrones given their two nods here for the last two years. Therefore, I placed it here for their season finale episode.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actor

• Michael Bowen, “Breaking Bad
• Beau Bridges, “Masters of Sex
• Dan Bucatinsky, “Scandal
• Nathan Lane, “The Good Wife
• Robert Morse, “Mad Men
• Pedro Pascal, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Louis Gossett Jr., “Boardwalk Empire

Well let’s begin with curent champ Dan Bucatinsky. Without spoiling anything, I think he’s not only in for a consecutive nod, bur he’s very much in for a consecutive win as well with that very baity episode. And since there’s no Michael J. Fox in tow, it paves the way for a repeat Nathan Lane nod as he’s the torchbearer of The Good Wife in this category for this year. Robert Morse of Mad Men has been nominated here four out of the last six times he’s eligible, and with a buzzed season he had, it’s safe to assume he’ll be back in the line up again. The same buzz surrounds Game of Thrones actor Pedro Pascal (and that’s solely not for his shirtless photo that he posted!) and with Game of Thrones‘ haul looking to be its biggest year by far, he’ll definitely be in for the ride. Then there’s semi-favorite Beau Bridges. His lauded performance in Masters of Sex already assures him of a nod, but the fact that he’s been nominated here twice the past four years means he has more support than expected. As for that last spot, I’m giving it to Breaking Bad actor Michael Bowen since I think this will be a redux of the Mark Margolis nom two years ago. He’s in the scenes most with the leads, and that can spread the wealth to his impending nod.

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Guest Actress

• Kate Burton, “Scandal
• Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex
• Lisa Kudrow, “Scandal
• Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
• Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones

Seventh nominee: Margo Martindale, “The Americans

Aside from current champ Carrie Preston of The Good Wife and current frontrunenr Allison Janney of Masters of Sex, this is quite a lukewarm category as compared to its male counterpart. Sure there’s Dame Diana Rigg whose season wasn’t as sure like the last one, but I don’t see the Emmys dropping her easily this year, so I’m predicting a nod for her. Then there’s Jane Fonda who can’t even win last year with her legend status and baity tape, and with The Newsroom being less of a factor at all, I can see her missing. That said, she’s been visible lately with her tribute, so maybe another nod isn’t totally out of reach. Then for the last two spots, I’m going a bit heavy on Scandal guest actresses. First, there’s Emmy winner Lisa Kudrow. Though her guest appearance doesn’t scream “sure Emmy contender”, I think hers is one of the most buzzed guesting of the TV drama season that she can coast to a nod for it. It’s not surprising if she misses though especially since Kate Burton is also in contention. Shonda Rhimes made Kate Burton a multiple time nominee here for Grey’s Anatomy before, I easily think she can do a repeat of that, this time for her role in Scandal.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actor

• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
• Dean Norris, “Breaking Bad
• Aaron Paul, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan

Seventh nominee: Charles Dance, “Game of Thrones

Both previous winners Peter Dinklage and Aaron Paul are safe already methinks. And in the tradition of farewell shows getting in more nods for their cast (see Kristin Davis in Sex in the City in 2004, Matthew Fox in Lost in 2010), I expect Dean Norris to finally snatch a nomination for himself as well. I’ve been adamant about Jim Carter, but I already made the mistake of dropping him last year only to be fooled when the noms were announced. So I’m sticking for him now. With how his fate in the show shocked the whole TV crowd, I expect Josh Charles to get his second nod for The Good Wife three years after he received his first. As for that last slot, I think the Globes affirmed more than ever on how it values its movie stars, Jon Voight will get that veteran slot for his first season performance in Ray Donovan. If not him, then maybe Game of Thrones adds another acting performance via another veteran, Charles Dance.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Supp Actress

• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones
• Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey
• Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad
• Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey

Seventh nominee: Bellamy Young, “Scandal

Clusterfuck. That’s what this category is. Well let’s start with the regulars. Current champ Anna Gunn, 2012 winner Dame Maggie Smith, and perennial nominee Christine Baranski are the three safest in this line up that’s for sure. Then as for the other three, I’m going with a repeat of Emilia Clarke’s nod simply because I think Emmy has a disconnect with who owns which season when it comes to nominating actors from Game of Thrones. If she managed to get in last year with that lackluster of a season, I wouldn’t have high expectations that she will be dropped this year for doing less of that. Then there’s Michelle Monaghan, who I’m really not convinced. It seems like True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson, that they won’t even care about the others. I can see a scenario where someone who makes sense to get nominated suddenly is nowhere to be found (Nicollette Sheridan in 2005, Corey Stoll last year), though I’m counting on Monaghan’s C-list movie star status to somehow help her here. The last spot is the riskiest of them all, as I’m going with a comeback narrative for Joanne Frogatt simply because her storyline the past season is too in your face to ignore. I have Bellamy Young as a replacement just because I find it weird if Scandal gets five(!) acting nominations and it’s not even close to be a Series contender, so I think she’s the most vulnerable.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actor

• Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad
• Jon Hamm, “Mad Men
• Woody Harrelson, “True Detective
• Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective
• Michael Sheen, “Masters of Sex
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: James Spader, “The Blacklist

Talk about crowded. This category has at least 10 names in contention that makes a whole lotta sense. Let’s begin with Bryan Cranston. We actually can end it now with Cranston as well, but yeah he’s sooo getting in. Then there’s 2x Oscar winner Kevin Spacey. Sure his name didn’t exactly bring him to the podium last year, but this is a tailor made role for him that he’ll be a mainstay at these awards shows even if the show has already faltered. I think regardless of Mad Men‘s fate as a whole, Jon Hamm is another of those perennial nominees that will still get in, so I think he’s safe, albeit a bit vulnerable, for this year. And let’s go to the newbies. As for starters, we have the pair of True Detective actors here, and I predict both of them getting in. Well McConaughey is the more obvious one, and I see him contending for the win as well, but I’m going with Harrelson too since I predict that they’ll just check both of their names off. Plus this is not a priority vote ranking that will hurt the latter. That said, I won’t be surprised if he misses though since as I mentioned above, True Detective was 80% McConaughey and 20% Harrelson. As for that last slot, I contemplated going with James Spader, and he makes sense actually since he’s in a hit show and it’s a comeback performance, and this category really loves him (I mean come on, he won over James Gandolfini for the last season of The Sopranos). Then there’s also Downton Abbey‘s Hugh Bonneville and current champ Jeff Daniels of The Newsroom, but I think we’d see the start of decline of Downton starting this year and The Newsroom is as DOA as one can get per HBO standards. Thus, I’m going with previous Emmy nominee Michael Sheen since I;m quite confident of Masters of Sex delivering on Emmy nomination day.

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Lead Actress

• Claire Danes, “Homeland
• Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey
• Vera Farmiga, “Bates Motel
• Juliana Margulies, “The Good Wife
• Kerry Washington, “Scandal
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards

Seventh nominee: Elisabeth Moss, “Mad Men

And here’s another crowded one. Let’s begin by saying that despite Homeland turning into some mega shit show for its third season, Claire Danes still rises above the occasion, and I don’t think she’ll be snubbed ala Margulies last year. After all, she’s still the reigning champ in here. Speaking of Margulies, I believe that last year was just a fluke and a case where everyone thought she’s safe already that’s why they’re spreading the wealth (like how Allison Janney was snubbed in 2005), and with The Good Wife‘s heavily buzzed season, she’s so coming back for another nomination. If Robin Wright managed to get in last year for a borderline supporting role, I see no problem for her getting in this year again with even a winning tape in her hands. I’m sticking with Michelle Dockery still just because I really don’t think they’d dropped anything Downton that quick, and I have Hugh Bonneville as the sacrificial lamb of the show already. Kerry Washington who can’t even win for the love of God a Golden Globe or a SAG for Scandal, has a stronger narrative last year than this year, but I think she’s still safe at least this year. As for that last spot, I keep going back and forth with Elisabeth Moss and Vera Farmiga, but I really don’t think they’ll drop the Oscar nominee instantly especially after her surprise nomination last year as opposed to Mad Men who’s on a decline with their nods. Now watch them nominate all seven of them now.

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:

Drama Series

• Breaking Bad (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• House of Cards (Netflix)
• Masters of Sex (Showtime)
True Detective (HBO)

Seventh nominee: Mad Men (AMC)

As if we haven’t had any headaches with the Drama categories yet, but yes, Series is tough to predict. Unless, you know, they go with seven nominees. Bu let’s assume there are only six. I think we can separate them into this: Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, and True Detective are safe no matter what. They’re clearly the upper tier in this one. No matter what happens to the rest of the line up, we can expect to see these three here. And then I’d go and say Downton Abbey is fourth here. Like I’m sure you’re also wondering who effin still supports Downton Abbey, the answer is: Emmy voting panel. I’d love to be wrong here, but let’s not kid ourselves. Then we have Showtime’s slot. I think Masters of Sex is being quite underrated as a whole, but this is clearly Showtime’s priority this year, and they have been doing a smooth run for its campaign. I think this will be the surprise of the contenders here. For that last spot, there’s Mad Men who is a 4x champ and has been nominated for all of its seasons by far, but really, the show’s buzz has just been absent all along. Not even at the guild precursors. It’s literally MIA as far as buzz is felt, though who knows? After all, the Emmys are the last group to react to buzz of shows. Then there’s also House of Cards. After its premiere last February, the show has been eclipsed by it’s Netflix sister Orange is the New Black. But to its favor, there’s still some clout left under its rug, and this is Netflix’ drama priority while Mad Men plays second fiddle to Breaking Bad. there’s a big chance they’d go seven nominees still (or even The Good Wife making that comeback), but for now I’d choose House of Cards by a small  margin.

Finally it’s over! Are you excited for the announcement later? Do you think Mad Men will be able to maintain its perfect Series nomination record? How much of Downton Abbey will go down in terms of nominations? And can Jeff Daniels overcome the jinx and get a chance to retain his title? Go on and share your thoughts in the comments section. 🙂

Don’t forget you ca follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama guest actress

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Angela Lansbury, “Law and Order: SVU” [WRONG]
2006:
Patricia Clarkson, Six Feet Under” [CORRECT]
2007: 
Kate Burton, “Grey’s Anatomy” [WRONG]
2008:
 Cynthia Nixon, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2009:
 Ellen Burstyn, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2010:
 Ann Margret, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2011:
 Joan Cusack, “Shameless” [WRONG]
2012:
 Jean Smart, “Harry’s Law” [WRONG]

After the movie miniseries and the reality/competition ones, let’s move to the guest acting categories for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. As you may know, the Guest Acting categories are being given a week before the actual ceremonies at the Creative Emmy Awards alongside the other technical category winners. Let’s begin with Guest Actress in a Drama Series, where in the biggest shock was the snub for Shirley Maclaine in Downton Abbey. The moment her casting was announced, a nomination was already predicted despite the end result of her guesting, but it’s sad that this once perennial nominee can’t even snatch an Emmy nod for a huge TV stint like this. Anyway…

Linda Cardellini is Mad Men‘s representative in this category for this year after unlucky tries made by previous nominees Cara Buono, Randee Heller, and Julia Ormond. In her submission Man of a Plan, Sylvia decided to once and for all make some huge steps towards her relationship with Don as his mistress. The good thing about this episode is that it’s a full circle act which gives her character some closure. But do you think this is the first acting performance that can snoop up an acting Emmy from the show? Your guess is just as good as mine.

Joan Cusack is back for her third consecutive bid for Shameless. Isn’t it amazing that she continues to be the only thing the Emmys recognize from this show? And how is she even a guest star when she appears all through the season (well I know. It’s probably stipulated in her contract in the same way other “guest stars” are in their shows like Robert Morse in Mad Men). As for Cusack, this is probably her best submission yet (A Long Way From Home) in the last three years as she deals with the giving up of her granddaughter which provides the drama while Jody introducing her to kinky sex provides the comedic part. I have predicted her once, and while I don’t think she’s winning this year, I won’t be surprised if she actually does.

Respected veteran Jane Fonda picks up an Emmy nod that can go along her two Oscars for her turn in The Newsroom. Aside from the snubbed Maclaine, this is the most buzzed guest acting stint in this category this season, and that gives her the most buzz among the other contenders. Watching her episode The 112th Congress  can be quite a chore since most of her scenes appear in the near end of the episode. However, she benefits from the trimmed down episode system of this category as all of her scenes were made to gain awards traction and makes her a viable winner.

After her very deserving win two years ago for JustifiedMargo Martindale is back for Emmy contention, this time for her role as Claudia in The Americans. Like Cusack, it’s probably stipulated in her contract that she is a guest star seeing she appeared in majority of the season’s episodes. In her submitted episode The Colonel which was also the show’s season finale, she gets revenge on the person who she thinks is responsible for someone else’s death. This includes her in a physical transformation in one of her scenes. This might not be the best tape of the bunch, but it gives her enough to work on, and I wouldn’t count her out for the win.

Among the plethora of The Good Wife actresses eligible this season, it is Mrs. Michael Emerson a.k.a Carrie Preston who gets to represent the show in this category. As attorney Elsbeth Tascioni, the actress submitted Je Ne Sais What? where in her character was arrested before the hearing of her client. Preson’s unique and quirky attention easily gets your attention and this episode gives her quite a work on and a grasp of how her character works. During the past three years of The Good Wife, there’s always an actress who wins for the show, and Preston can be its fourth consecutive win this year.

Lastly, there’s Dame Diana Rigg from Game of Thrones. Rigg is a past Emmy winner who already has reaped multiple nominations in the 70s and 80s. Somewhat a forum favorite, matriarch Olenna Tyrell goes on and does everything she can to protect and preserve her family’s interest. It’s not a very showy performance, but Dame Rigg’s presence was definitely felt throughout her scenes And Now His Watch Has Ended. However, a stint like hers benefits more from the old guest acting rules instead of a tape submission.

Despite this, it’s really hard to come up with a prediction in this category. The only one I can eliminate is Linda Cardellini, and I can see a winning scenario for the rest of them. However, with her stature and her tape (that benefits from the editing), I’d put Jane Fonda as my predicted winner on who’ll end up with the Emmy in this category.  Runner up position foes to Carrie Preston in a scene stealing and likable performance in The Good Wife.

Prediction: Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
Runner-Up: Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
1. Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
2. Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
3.  Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
4. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
5. Margo Martindale, “The Americans
6. Linda Cardellini, “Mad Men”

To check out other Emmy predictions, simply click here.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Cannes Film Festival Best Dressed List   Leave a comment

The 66th Cannes Film Festival already finished its run yesterday, and boy has it been a whirlwind. After all, we are not only seeing the best of world cinema, but this also serves as a platform for worldwide fashion. The Cannes red carpet is known to be one of the most prominent in the world with actors all over the globe debuting and making their mark on the red carpet. This year, these 15 looks stood out among the rest.

*The photos can be clicked to see in a bigger form. 

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

15. JESSICA BIEL in Marchesa

Only coming in as a plus one for husband Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel played the card well in this Marchesa creation that is not a total showstopper, but not totally lazy as well. It’s the perfect outfit for a star who has no movie in the festival. Plus, I love how strong the effect of the serpent necklace was.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

14. AUDREY TAOTOU

The festival hostess this year has been mostly in short dresses throughout the whole festivities, so it’s nice that she did saved the best for last. Her closing ceremony big red gown is both a showstopper and easily gets your attention.

Photo courtesy of: gettyimages.com

13. SHARON STONE in Roberto Cavalli

One of 90s superstars was literally a diva during the Behind the Candelabra gala night, as she stepped on the red carpet just minutes before the actual screening start. But who can blame Sharon Stone? She’s dressed the part in this blue Cavalli gown, and attention must really be given to her in this winning look.

Photo courtesy of: thefashionmedley.wordpress.com

12. LEA SEYDOUX in Louis Vuitton

Palme d’or winner Lea Seydoux was va va voom as she attends her other Cannes entry, Grand Central, gala screening. I particularly like the shade of blue that she wore here and the simple do and the dark lips add more character to this outfit. Best dressed worthy!

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

11. BERENICE BEJO in Elie Saab

Cannes Best Actress winner Berenice Bejo was a sight to behold as she wears this teal ensemble during the closing festivities. While one might consider the whole teal look safe, it works exactly here and compliments her perfectly. That of course, and her new Best Actress plaque.

Photo courtesy of : luxury-insider.com

10. ZHANG YUQI in Ulyana Sergeenko

Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko made a bold statement at the opening gala of the Cannes this year, as Zhang Yuqi strutted this peacock green gown in the red carpet. I think that while others might see this as too much of a cabbage leaf gown, it is the over the top nature of the dress that suits with the grandiose of the Cannes red carpet.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

09. UMA THURMAN in Atelier Versace

Uma Thurman was tasked to present the biggest award at Cannes yesterday, so it is just fitting that she comes out in top form which she did in this Atelier Versace creation. I’m not particularly enamored with the top part (as it gives me throw pillow vibes), but Uma hasn’t looked this good in a while.

Photo courtesy of: grisclair.tumblr.com

08. LIU WEN in Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli’s blue creations stood out this year. Aside from Sharon Stone, Victoria’s Secret model Liu Wen was the vision of elegance in this royal blue gown. It’s even better that she paired it with just jewels on the hand and kept her neck open.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

07. JESSICA CHASTAIN in Givenchy Couture

Two time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain was a royal vision in purple as she steps on the red carpet of the All is Lost premiere in this custom made Givenchy ensemble. The embellishments added layers in this gown, and she kept the hair simple as to not compete with the attention of the dress.

Photo courtesy of: tomandlorenzo.com

06. JANE FONDA in Atelier Versace

It’s always such a breath of fresh air to see Jane Fonda parading the red carpet. After all, she’s one testament that age is no hindrance to rock the red carpet. That is what we have witnessed once again as she attends the Jimmy P premiere in this turquoise Versace ensemble with some very interesting designs.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

05. ROSIE HUNTINGTON WHITELEY in Christian Dior

While this one is not from the actual red carpet. Rosie Huntington Whiteley shows different personas as she showed up at the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala in this white Dior dress. Half sultry, half sweet, dear Rosie kept it sweet and simple, which perfectly suited the event she attended to.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

04. ZHANG ZIYI in Elie Saab

As she attends the premiere of Venus in Fur, Zhang Ziyi looks fantabulous in this lilac Elie Saab creation that easily grans the attention of the audience. Whether it’s the see through top, the three fourths sleeve, or just the jewels, it surely made its mark in the red carpet scene.

Photo courtesy of: becauseiamfabulous.com

03. EMMA WATSON in Chanel Couture

With her film The Bling Ring opening the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, Emma Watson set the bar already high when she attended the gala screening in this Chanel creation. I love how this screamed elegance and sophistication and at the same time, she still managed to avoid looking boring and safe.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

02. KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS in Armani Prive

Not only is Kristin Scott Thomas getting raves for her scene stealing turn in Only God Forgives, she also nailed the part when she appeared in the gala screening of the said film in this glittering Armani Prive creation. It’s just so bold that it will easily grab your attention.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

01. IRINA SHAYK in Elie Saab

And Elie Saab strikes homebase in this pink gown accentuated with a belt. It was definitely a stunner, attention grabbing color, and does not lack tacky at all. Sounds like an easy winner to me.

BUT WAIT…

Of course we all know that there’s one legend who ruled the whole Cannes in terms of fashion. It will be unfair for the others to be lumped with her since I’m clearly biased, but Legend also is on a caliber of her own this year. If there’s one fashion icon who ruled this past festival, it’s no other than jury member Nicole Kidman. Here are her five amazing red carpet looks this year:

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 1: Opening Ceremony in Christian Dior

Legend wasted no time to impress everyone and hit the red carpet in this amazing Christian Dior creation that definitely stood out from the whole pack. Everything about this look just screams iconic from the strapless gown, to the interesting details, and the perfect do, and the coral shoes, this is how you start a festival, and Kidman knows exactly that this is the deal.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 2: Inside Llewyn Davis gala screening in L’Wren Scott

Kidman’s next appearance would be her only one with husband Keith Urban for the whole festival. This time, it’s a L’Wren Scott creation that’s part of her 2013 Fall collection. This one is consistent with her previous look, and she was unafraid to bring the colors in the red carpet which totally paid off.  This could have been an easy misfire, but the gown plus that movie star hair is another hit for me.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 3: Nebraska gala screening in Valentino Couture

For the Nebraska screening, Kidman stepped on the red carpet again, this time with a Valentino creation. Most bloggers quickly mentioned that this is the same dress that Anne Hathaway ditched the last minute at the Oscars (though people from Valentino already cleared the reports by saying it is NOT the same gown). With that said, Anne who? Legend Kidman is just majestic and ethereal in this look, which clearly cements this as one of her all time best.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 4: Venus in Fur gala screening in Chanel

After that heavenly appearance during the Nebraska screening, it will difficult to follow the impact it caused, so this one is probably the weakest among Kidman’s red carpet appearances. However, this Chanel isn’t necessarily outstanding on its own, but the red pumps idea and the fact that Kidman seems to be comfortable wearing it gives this a free pass.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 5: Closing ceremonies in Giorgio Armani

As to cap off her Cannes jury experience, Nicole Kidman attends the closing ceremony in a custom made Giorgio Armani gown. I love how this look is subdued but sublime. Kidman really exused a true movie star elegance and I like how she wore this white Armani gown which complimented her skin and height effectively.

What are your favorite looks this year? Are you as happy as I am that Legend Kidman wore different designers every time she appears on the red carpet? Which one will make the year end list? Add them in the Comments section. 🙂

Also, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

20 Most Deserving Oscar Best Actress Wins   3 comments

In one of many Oscar traditions, I will be doing a best of the best Oscar list. Sure, winning an Oscar is one of the best career highlights for any actor in Hollywood. However, it’s better if you win for your a very deserving performance. While the likes of Jodie Foster (The Accused), Elizabeth Taylor (Butterfield 8), Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love), Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), and Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side) always get the flack for most controversial wins, we will focus on those who tailored some of the most inspiring performances that actually deserved to win the coveted gold statuette. Here are 20 of them:

20. NATALIE PORTMAN, “Black Swan” (2010)

Role: Nina Sayers, a confused ballerina on her way to a major break
Competition: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Portman, in probably her flashiest role to date, managed to deliver both the physical and mental demands necessary to master the role of Nina. In the movie, not only does she master ballet for every other scene, and while most people question whether it was actually her doing all the dancing in the film, it is nonetheless unquestionable that her best scenes in the film (including the overexposed yet very effective He picked me, mommy! scene) are the most memorable ones.

19. JOANNE WOODWARD, “Three Faces of Eve” (1957)

Role: Eve White, Eve Black, and Jane, a woman suffering from a multiple personality disorder
Competition: Deborah Kerr (Heaven Knows, Mr. Alison), Anna Magnani (Wild is the Wind), Elizabeth Taylor (Raintree Country), Lana Turner (Peyton Place)

Sounds such a very baity role made for award hogging? Yeah, that one is not new. However, for what its worth, Woodward sold the hell out of all her scenes in the movie. The shifting of her persona for the three personalities is so complicated, yet she makes it look so natural. That alone makes her win one of the best in this category.

18. INGRID BERGMAN, “Anastasia” (1956)

Role: Anna Koreff/Anastasia, the questioned Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna
Competition: Caroll Baker (Baby Doll), Katharine Hepburn (The Rainmaker), Nancy Kelly (The Bad Seed), Deborah Kerr (The King & I)

Bergman is probably one of the best actresses to grace the screen, and her performance as the chosen lady to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia is a clear testament of this. In Anastasia, it was never clear if Bergman is actually Anastasia, and while some hints here and there were given that she actually is, Bergman’s performance not only convinced the characters in the movie, but the moviegoers as well.

17. HELEN MIRREN, “The Queen” (2006)

Role: royal monarchy Queen Elizabeth II
Competition: Penelope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes on a Scandal), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada), Kate Winslet (Little Children)

Probably one of the most rewarded performances in film history, it was an easy stroll for the Dame on her road to the Oscar. However, she was up against a fantabulous  group of co-nominees which all gave superb, if not iconic, performances as well. What made Mirren very deserving of the Oscar though was that she made Queen Elizabeth II human, and with that comes a very natural approach to all her scenes in the movie.

16. HOLLY HUNTER, “The Piano” (1993)

Role: Ada McGrath, mute pianist living in the mid-19th century
Competition: Angela Bassett (What’s Love Got to Do With It), Stockard Chaning (Six Degrees of Separation), Emma Thompson (The Remains of the Day), Debra Winger (Shadowlands)

Always contested as one of the closest Oscar fights in this category, Hunter was probably helped over by the fact that she was double nommed that year. Nevertheless, I believe that it was her performance as Ada McGrath that won over the voters. it just goes to show that even acting at it’s most quiet still gets rewarded with Oscars.

15. DIANE KEATON, “Annie Hall” (1977)

Role: Annie Hall, quirky ex girlfriend of main character Alvy Singer
Competition: Anne Bancroft (The Turning Point), Jane Fonda (Julia), Shirley Maclaine (The Turning Point), Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl)

The thing I love the most about Keaton’s victory is that it was her best performance to date.  She was very natural and fit to the role of Annie Hall, and she complimented Woody Allen’s Alvy Singer perfectly. Sure while Reds, Manhattan, Marvin’s Room, and even Something’s Gotta Give showed her flair for acting, Annie Hall was its prime predecessor.

14. JODIE FOSTER, “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Role: Clarice Sterling, FBI trainee assigned to the case of Hannibal Lecter
Competition: Geena Davis (Thelma and Louise), Laura Dern (Rambling Rose), Bette Midler (For the Boys), Susan Sarandon (Thelma and Louise)

While peope can question Anthony Hopkins’ 14 minute portrayal of Hannibal Lecter as a Lead performance, there is no doubt that Jodie Foster deserves the Oscar for her fierce portrayal of Clarice Sterling. Foster made the viewers feel as if we were on a journey with her; it’s as if we were actually beside her during the whole movie. She was tough when the scenes need to, and she was vulnerable during the moments that require that. Oscar worthy in my eyes.

13. JANE FONDA, “Klute” (1971)

Role: Bree Daniels, prostitute slash accomplice to a detective in solving a case
Competition: Julie Christie (McCabe and Mrs. Miller), Glenda Jackson (Sunday Bloody Sunday), Vanessa Redgrave (Mary, Queen of Scotts), Janet Suzman (Nicholas and Alexandra)

It’s such a head scratcher why Jane Fonda stopped doing quality movies (Remember Monster in Law?) when she gave layered performance one after the other such as this one of Bree Daniels. Political beliefs aside, it is truly magnificent how much attached Fonda was with the role of Bree, and this (together with her another win for Coming Home) goes to show that Fonda has the chops to match the rich material she is capable of delivering.

12. JANET GAYNOR, “Sunrise” (1928)

Role: Indre, the wife
Competition: Louise Dresser (A Ship Comes In), Gloria Swanson (Sadie Thompson)

The very first recipient of the Oscar in this category is also one of the best winners ever. Granted she was also recognized for two other performances that year, it was her role as the wife in Sunrise that showed her captivating flair for acting. Seems like she was a good omen in this category after all.

11. SISSY SPACEK, “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980)

Role: Loretta Lynn, country icon
Competition: Ellen Burstyn (Resurrection), Goldie Hawn (Private Benjamin), Mary Tyler Moore (Ordinary People), Gena Rowlands (Gloria)

Before starring in biopics have become the easy route on your way to the Oscar (coughSandraBullockReeseWitherspooncough), there was a time when portraying real people is as special as it can get especially when you Sissy Spacek’s Oscar winning performance as Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner’s Daughter. As music icon Lynn, it was clear that Spacek wasn’t in for lone imitation but more of a characterization. It is clear injustice why Spacek has only one Oscar on her mantle.

10. SIMONE SIGNORET, “Room at the Top” (1959)

Role: Alice Aisgill, an unhappy married old woman who’s bored with her life
Competition: Doris Day (Pillow Talk), Audrey Hepburn (The Nun’s Story), Katharine Hepburn (Suddenly Last Summer), Elizabeth Taylor (Suddenly Last Summer)

It was somehow a surprise back then how French actress Simone Signoret won the Oscar over close competitor and still then unrewarded Elizabeth Taylor. However, it will only take one viewing of Room at the Top to understand why. To give a gritty treatment to the character of Alice Aisgill and made you see the vulnerability of the character perfectly why she won that year. It won’t also hurt that she swept the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and Cannes for this performance.

09. KATHARINE HEPBURN, “The Lion in Winter” (1968)

Role: Eleanor of Aquitaine, estranged wife of King Henry II
Competition: tied with Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl), Patricia Neal (The Subject Was Roses), Vanessa Redgrave (Isadora), Joanne Woodward (Rachel, Rachel)

The Academy’s most rewarded actress is also the biggest victor in this category with all four of her trophies are in this category. My favorite, though, is her third win for The Lion in Winter as Eleanor of Aquitaine. Such fierceness yet also restraint at some parts with equally wonderful and snubbed Peter O’Toole. It sucks though that she has to share it with Barbra Streisand who was great but obviously inferior to Hepburn’s performance.

08. MAGGIE SMITH, “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie” (1969)

Role: Jean Brodie, a committed teacher in an all girls school
Competition: Genevieve Bujold (Anne of a Thousand Days), Jane Fonda (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?), Liza Minnelli (The Sterile Cuckoo), Jean Simmons (The Happy Ending)

Before she took on teaching duties at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall was Jean Brodie first, and her role as a committed teacher in an all girls is one of the best portrayed films about an instructor. This is mostly due to Smith’s remarkable performance that is so relatable and charismatic that even non-students will fight to have a slot in her class.

07. ELIZABETH TAYLOR, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966)

Role: Martha, a hard-drinking wife who’s waiting for a visitor
Competition: Anouk Aimee (A Man and a Woman), Ida Kaminska (The Shop on the Main Street), Lynn Redgrave (Georgy Girl), Vanessa Redgrave (Morgan!)

We all know the history of Taylor’s first Oscar. It was given to her out of pity because of her personal problems during that time. However, it won’t take too long of a time and deliver a performance actually worthy of an Oscar, and it was her Martha who was sassy and unstoppable in Mike Nichols’ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf that will actually do the trick.

06. MARION COTILLARD “La Vie En Rose” (2007)

Role: Edith Piaf, French singing superstar
Competition: Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Julie Christie (Away From Her), Laura Linney (The Savages), Ellen Page (Juno)

This was a case of the little one that could. Who said that non-English performances are at a disadvantage when it comes to Oscar? Sure they just happen as rare as a blue moon, but they won’t pass the chance to reward the really deserving ones. take the case of Marion Cotillard in 2007. As French singer Edith Piaf, it wasn’t Cotillard’s singing voice used in the movie, but the emotions she showed is clearly Marion authentic.

05. MERYL STREEP, “Sophie’s Choice” (1982)

Role: Sophie Zawistowski, a mother subjected in making a life change decision
Competition: Julie Andrews (Victor/Victoria), Jessica Lange (Frances), Sissy Spacek (Missing), Debra Winger (An Officer and a Gentleman)

Always regarded as one of the best pieces of acting showcases in the history of film, Academy’s favorite actress, Meryl Streep’s Sophie Zawistowski ineded lives up to its title. The “choice” scene, as much as it was repetitive and over shown, never lost any ounce of magic in it. This performance raised the pedestal that all the other succeeding film performances tries to reach, but only a few have matched it since then. Streep was still at her finest and that short piece of moment is definitely worthy of an Oscar.

04. HILARY SWANK, “Boys Don’t Cry” (1999)

Role: Brandon Teena, a confused young woman who is in  a complicated relationship with another woman
Competition: Annette Bening (American Beauty), Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds), Julianne Moore ( The End of the Affair), Meryl Streep (One True Thing)

Swank was in her first lead role back then, and it was for a very controversial role as Brandon Teena, a woman playing a man. The movie was a bit overlong, but that was one thing you can never describe about Swank’s performance. It was affectionate, poignant, and definitely effective. When she cries, you cries. When she’s hurt, you’re hurt. And when Swank won the Oscar, you’re happy because it was such a very inspired win.

03. VIVIEN LEIGH, “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)

Role: Blanche Dubois, delusional pretentious Southern belle
Competition: Katharine Hepburn (The African Queen), Eleanor Parker (The Detective Story), Shelley Winters (A Place in the Sun), Jane Wyman (The Blue Veil)

Vivien Leigh is a very effective actress that even starring in large epic films doesn’t limit her as an actress (see: Gone with the Wind). While her Scralett O’Hara is pretty much iconic already, I still prefer her Blanche Dubois performance because not only did it stand out from the group ensemble, it was also a layered and sweetheart performance that showcases Leigh’s greatest assets as an actress.

02. CHARLIZE THERON, “Monster” (2003)

Role: Aileen Wuornos, killing prostitute
Competition: Keisha Castle Hughes (Whale Rider), Diane Keaton (Something’s Gotta Give), Samantha Morton (In America), Naomi Watts (21 Grams)

One of the most heartbreaking performances of the past decade, it was indeed a surprise how Theron nailed the physical requirements to portray Aileen Wuornos. But more than that, she aced the emotional scenes with so much depth and honesty that it’s hard not to get carried away with it. The role of Aileen Wuornos has a tendency to receive a histrionic approach to it, but Charlize manages to maintain balance in between what needs to be done and what needs not to be done in order to act this role. For that plus a lot of other things, she is oh so deserving of that Best Actress Oscar in 2003.

01. OLIVIA DEHAVILLAND, “The Heiress” (1949)

Role: Catherine Sloper, rich woman trying to find her true love
Competition: Jeanne Crain (Pinky), Susan Hayward (My Foolish Heart), Deborah Kerr (Edward, My Son), Loretta Young (Come to the Stable)

And the queen of them all, is none other than screen legend Olivia de Havilland in her performance as Catherine Sloper. In The Heiress, the role was already given a nice twist to it by playing the rich woman card instantly. de Havilland was on fire with her performance in this one, and if there’s one word to describe it, I;m opted to go with flawless. Watch the last ten minutes of the film, and you’ll see acting at its finest.

That’s it. How about you? What are your choices? Did you agree with this list? Who would you have removed from the list? And also, can you name the six actresses in the cover photo? 🙂