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73rd Golden Globe Awards Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

The Golden Globes weekend has officially started! In two days, the first televised awards ceremony of the season begins with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announces their winners of the 73rd Golden Globe Awards in a night filled with chocolates, booze, and stars. This year, Denzel Washington is the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille distinction, as Ricky Gervais comes back as the host after three years. With Tom Hanks to Mel Gibson, and Channing Tatum to Eva Longoria expected to attend, let’s predict who will end up heading to the Globes stage to give their awards speeches on Sunday (Monday here in the Philippines) in all 25 categories.

FILM:

film drama picture

Best Motion Picture – Drama
“Carol”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”
“Room”
“Spotlight”

PREDICTION: Spolight. Despite showing some weakness, this still remains as the strongest contenders among the dramatic nominees here. It will still win this category pretty easily, and there’s a chance it can only end up winning this one ala 12 Years a Slave two years ago.

ALTERNATE: Mad Max: Fury Road. This can basically be any of the films here. Carol, albeit leading the nominations is a weak contender here and can even be emptyhanded. It can also be The Revenant after snubbing eventual Oscar winner Alejandro Inarritu last year. But Mad Max is that populist and critical choice that the Golden Globes are known for.

film drama actor

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”)
Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”)
Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)
Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”)
Will Smith (“Concussion”)

PREDICTION: Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”). Unlike the Oscars, the Globes haven’t been cruel to Leo winning twice in the past already. That said, being the Oscar frontrunner helps him win his third Globe come Sunday.

ALTERNATE: Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”). Fassbender is a Golden Globe winner waiting to happen, and he’s now on his third nomination in five years. In a Leo-less field, he’s probably sweeping now.

film drama actress

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)
Brie Larson (“Room”)
Rooney Mara (“Carol”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)
Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”)

PREDICTION: Brie Larson (“Room”). Room overperformed with nominations at the Globes this year, which makes me think that Larson got this one.

ALTERNATE: Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”). Watch out for Saoirse Ronan though who’s every inch in this race and can still steal the momentum from Larson.

film comedy

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
“The Big Short”
“Joy”
“The Martian”
“Spy”
“Trainwreck”

PREDICTION: “The Big Short”. With The Big Short only getting stronger as each day passes, it can start its Best Picture road by winning this category on Sunday.

ALTERNATE: “The Martian”. The Globes has been into some hot water after placing this film in the Comedy genre, so I think it will somehow affect its chances here if it ends up winning. As a reminder, the film’s comedy placement won only by a single vote so there’s that.

film comedy actor

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Christian Bale (“The Big Short”)
Steve Carell (“The Big Short”)
Matt Damon (“The Martian”)
Al Pacino (“Danny Collins”)
Mark Ruffalo (“Infinitely Polar Bear”)

PREDICTION: Matt Damon (“The Martian”). Considering that Matt Damon hasn’t won a Golden Globe yet for acting, this makes sense as a place to reward The Martian especially if it ain’t winning Best Picture.

ALTERNATE: Steve Carell (“The Big Short”). While there’s still a path for Carell to win, the fact that they placed Christian Bale here will siphon some votes among The Big Short fans here.

film comedy actress

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Spy”)
Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”)
Maggie Smith (“The Lady in the Van”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”)

PREDICTION: Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”). This category feels like the dire one last year, and Lawrence is still likely the only Oscar contender here (yup, we’re still not counting on the Dame), so maybe an easy #3 for Lawgend.

ALTERNATE: Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”). Hollywood’s it girl for 2015 is off to have an even greater 2016, and the Globes love that kind of coronation so this win is really possible.

film supp actor

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy”)
Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”)
Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)
Michael Shannon (“99 Homes”)
Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”)

PREDICTION: Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). Rylance is an unlikely Golden Globe winner, but at this stage he’s really the strongest contender so I say why not?

ALTERNATE: Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”). This type of rewarding a veteran and even a huge moviestar is such a Globes-y thing to do, so count on the HFPA starfuckers to throw him a moment.

film supp actress

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda (“Youth”)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”)
Helen Mirren (“Trumbo”)
Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”)
Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”)

PREDICTION: Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”). They love Alicia Vikander so much that they nominated her twice, and considering she has no chance in Drama Lead Actress, they’ll reward her here instead.

ALTERNATE: Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”). The Globes are more appreciative of Tarantino performances, and this can signal that she’s still in the race like the trajectory of Christoph Waltz in 2012.

film directing

Best Director – Motion Picture
Todd Haynes (“Carol”)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”)
Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”)
George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”)
Ridley Scott (“The Martian”)

PREDICTION: George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”). Surprisingly enough, this is Miller’s first ever Globe nomination so this can be his lifetime award already from the HFPA.

ALTERNATE: Ridley Scott (“The Martian”). Then there’s three-time nominee Ridley Scott who also hasn’t won here yet, and while he has already directed a Globe BP winning movie, Miller has the stronger “technical directorial achievement” narrative.

film screenplay

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Emma Donoghue (“Room”)
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (“Spotlight”)
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”)
Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs”)
Quentin Tarantino (“The Hateful Eight”)

PREDICTION: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”). Never underestimate this contender. Like what I’ve said, it’s just on an upward trajectory for now. Considering the last three wins here are upsets, I’ll give this duo the edge.

ALTERNATE: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (“Spotlight”). It’s a battle between the two Best Picture contenders, but Spotlight has the edge in terms of winning more awards in Screenplay thus far.

film animated

Best Animated Feature Film
“Anomalisa”
“The Good Dinosaur”
“Inside Out”
“The Peanuts Movie”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”

PREDICTION: “Inside Out”. This remains the critical pick of the year, and with huge box office performance to boot. So I’d say it’s still ahead.

ALTERNATE: “Anomalisa”. This isn’t a Globes type of pick, but it has the critics behind it, and the HFPA are more welcoming to stop motion type of animation.

film foreign language film

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“The Brand New Testament”
“The Club”
“The Fencer”
“Mustang”
“Son of Saul”

PREDICTION: “Son of Saul”. This is still the frontrunner and no film has yet appeared to challenge it for the win. It has the prestige and the studio to nab this win.

ALTERNATE: “Mustang”. Probably Mustang comes the closest to an alternate, but I still see it falling short.

film score

Best Original Score
Carter Burwell (“Carol”)
Alexandre Desplat (“The Danish Girl”)
Ennio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”)
Daniel Pemberton (“Steve Jobs”)
Ryuichi Sakamoto Alva Noto (“The Revenant”)

PREDICTION: Ennio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”). They won’t let a year pass by without giving Harvey a win so it’s between his two films here. I’d give the edge to Ennio as he’s a veteran in this category.

ALTERNATE: Carter Burwell (“Carol”). This can be the place to reward Carol. After all, it’s rare for the top nomination earner movie to not take home at least one prize.

film song

Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”
“One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”
“See You Again” from “Furious 7”
“Simple Song No. 3” from “Youth”
“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”

PREDICTION: “One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”. While this has been ineligible at the Oscars, it actually makes more sense considering that most winners here tend to get snubbed there.

ALTERNATE: “See You Again” from “Furious 7”. The pop songs are probably canceling each other out, but if there’s one who can overcome this, it’s a song about a Hollywood actor who passed away.

TELEVISION:

tv drama

Best TV Series – Drama

“Empire”
“Game of Thrones”
“Mr. Robot”
“Narcos”
“Outlander”

PREDICTION: “Mr. Robot”. With the HFPA’s love for cable shows, it’s not surprising if they went with this critically loved breakout show from USA.

ALTERNATE: “Empire”. One has to go back nine years ago in 2006 when the top TV drama series went to a network show and that was for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. The closest comparison to how huge that show was in recent years was the Empire mania that has happened last year .

tv drama actor

Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama
Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”)
Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”)
Wagner Moura (“Narcos”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”)

PREDICTION: Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”). Nine of the last 15 years here all came from freshman shows. But considering that the Globes tend to do a package deal of awarding a show + its lead actor (Homeland and Danes, Transparent and Tambor, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Samberg, Girls and Dunham and so on and so forth), Malek makes sense as the winner here.

ALTERNATE: Wagner Moura (“Narcos”). Following that pattern above, maybe its Narcos + Moura who might end up as the winners here.

tv drama actress

Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama
Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)
Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”)
Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”)
Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”)
Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

PREDICTION: Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”). Just like at the Emmys, I predict that this will be a Taraji vs. Viola battle. I give the edge to Taraji P. Henson though since Cookie is the type of role that Globes are made to award.

ALTERNATE: Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”). It can easily be Viola too considering she made history with her Emmy win, but for some reason the HFPA are reluctant to reward her. She lost to Meryl in 2011 despite being the frontrunner, and when she was a shoo-in here last year, she lost to Ruth Wilson of all people. Maybe the HFPA aren’t just fans of her.

tv comedy series

Best TV Series – Comedy
“Casual”
“Mozart in the Jungle”
“Orange Is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”
“Transparent”
“Veep”

PREDICTION: “Transparent”. The last three shows who have won multiple awards here were GleeDesperate Housewives, and Sex and the City so they’re more into dramedies here, which helps current champ Transparent to go 2/2.

ALTERNATE: “Veep”. It’s surprising to think that this is the first Series nomination of Veep, but maybe its Emmy win can help it win its Globe trophy as well.

tv comedy actor

Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy
Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)
Gael Garcia Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”)
Rob Lowe (“The Grinder”)
Patrick Stewart (“Blunt Talk”)
Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)

PREDICTION: Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”). We’re sure with besties J.Law and Schumer in the crowd, the HFPA would use the said platform to give Aziz a memorable moent when he gives his speech.

ALTERNATE: Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”). That said, it can also be an easy back to back win for Jeffrey Tambor who can just dominate the awards shows with his brave performance for this show.

tv comedy actress

Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy
Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex Girlfriend”)
Jamie Lee Curtis (“Scream Queens”)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)
Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”)

PREDICTION: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”). I guess we can consider that the HFPA aren’t just into Veep at all.Not even her one-two punch of film and TV work two years ago ended up with a Globe win despite getting four consecutive Emmy wins already. But this race is a weak one, and with the show getting nominated as well, maybe she can finally inch a win.

ALTERNATE: Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”). Jamie Lee Curtis makes sense as an alternate, but Scream Queens is too flop of a show that even HFPA won’t bite. So I guess they’d probably give it to Lily Tomlin who’s a double nominee that night!

tv longform

Best TV Movie or Limited-Series
“American Crime”
“American Horror Story: Hotel”
“Fargo”
“Flesh and Bone”
“Wolf Hall”

PREDICTION: “Fargo”. After their surprise victory last year, then a 2/2 is indeed possible knowing that it received the same, if not more, love this year.

ALTERNATE: “Wolf Hall”. But then sometimes, they just want to embrace their British love and award this equally acclaimed series which got the same nominations as Fargo.

tv longform actor

Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Idris Elba (“Luther”)
Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”)
David Oyelowo (“Nightingale”)
Mark Rylance (“Wolf Hall”)
Patrick Wilson (“Fargo”)

PREDICTION: Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”). This is the closest that the Globes can ride on the Star Wars wave, and Isaac is a breakthrough star waiting to happen so maybe he wins here?

ALTERNATE: Patrick Wilson (“Fargo”). We know the HFPA loves Idris but he has been rewarded for this role already. Maybe Mark Rylance but I have him pegged in Film Supporting Actor already. So that leaves me with Wilson here as the alternate.

tv longform actress

Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”)
Lady Gaga (“American Horror Story: Hotel”)
Sarah Hay (“Flesh & Bone”)
Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”)
Queen Latifah (“Bessie”)

PREDICTION: Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”). I predict that Fargo is winning an acting one alongside its Series win, and rewarding Kirsten Dunst makes more sense than Wilson in that more competitive race.

ALTERNATE: Queen Latifah (“Bessie”). Everyone’s predicting Lady Gaga just for the sheer “Globesness” of it, but I think the HFPA is serious about being taken seriously again, so I don’t think they’d go that road. Queen Latifah makes more sense as an alternate.

tv supp actor

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”)
Damian Lewis (“Wolf Hall”)
Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”)
Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”)
Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”)

PREDICTION: Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”). The surge of love for Outlander would not go home unrewarded, as I think Menzies’ very challenging dual role would end up with a Globe win for him.

ALTERNATE: Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”). Slater makes sense as the runner-up here, as I don’t think Mr. Robot is going 3/3.

tv supp actress

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”)
Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”)
Regina King (“American Crime”)
Judith Light (“Transparent”)
Maura Tierney (“The Affair”)

PREDICTION:Regina King (“American Crime”). After that surprising Emmy win back in September, I can see the Globes following suit with a win here.

ALTERNATE: Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”). Aduba’s upset loss last year reminded me of when Jane Lynch lost the first time in 2010 only to win the succeeding year. Aduba can still follow suit to this.

So what are you predicting this year to win at the Globes? Happy Golden Globes weekend!

Talk to me about it by tweeting me: @nikowl

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15 Oscar Bait Flops starring the last 15 Oscar Best Actress Winners   Leave a comment

vlcsnap-2015-09-30-13h10m44s22Take a good look at that Best Actress Oscar, Cate!

An actor’s career won’t ever be complete if he/she hasn’t had that one film perceived as his/her Oscar vehicle only for the movie to not live up to its expectations and its Oscar chances ultimately ending up in a crash and burn in situation. Today, we’d be revisiting the last 15 Oscar Best Actress winners, and while all of them have ended up with Oscar statues in their mantles already (some even more than one, coughMerylcough), these are some films that were perceived to be the one.

2000: Julia Roberts

Then America’s Sweetheart Julia Roberts was unstoppable that year sweeping all televised precursors leading to the Academy Awards for her sassy superstar performances as the title role in Erin Brockovich, and while she obviously “loved it up there” in the podium, her post-Oscar career has mostly focused on doing favored works for her director friends (such as Steven Soderbergh and Ryan Murphy) or actor friends (such as Tom Hanks). However, in 2007, she starred alongside Hanks and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson‘s War as Texas socialite Joanne Herring donned with a big blonde wig and her signature wide grin. While she picked up a Golden Globe nomination for this, her real Oscar comeback came seven years after in August Osage County.

2001: Halle Berry

After her historic win in 2001, Berry remains to be the only African-American actress who have won the Oscar in a leading performance for Monster’s Ball. However, most of her post-Oscar career has been panned left and right specifically during her turn in Catwoman. While the actress have fared better in television (with her Emmy nominated performance “Their Eyes Were Watching God“), Berry still tried to prove her win was no fluke by starring in different Oscar vehicles such as “Things We Lost in Fire” in 2007. For this list though, nothing is as baity as her attempt for a comeback in 2010’s “Frankie & Alice” where she played a 70s stripper suffering from a dissociative identity disorder. Berry picked up a filler Globe nod for it, but the awards failure performance caused the film to be shelved only to be revived four years later for a theatrical release to the knowledge of… nobody.

2002: Nicole Kidman

Winning on her second consecutive nomination, Nicole Kidman was the biggest movie star on the planet during her win as author Virginia Woolf in Best Picture nominee The Hours. And while everyone thought this would be the start of the Academy’s love affair with the Australian actress, the opposite happened with her starring in low-key indie films (Dogville, Birth), flop mainstream attempts (The Stepford Wives, Bewitched), or Oscar baits that simply didn’t materialize (Nine, Australia). That said, her worst Oscar bait flop happened in 2013 when she played another Best Actress Oscar winner Grace Kelly in “Grace of Monaco.” Issues over cuts and versions between screenwriter Arash Amel, director Olivier Dahan, and distributor Harvey Weinstein all contributed to the tragic fate of this film (which as of this writing, has apparently three different versions). While Grace opened the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, it was panned by critics there losing any chance for a theatrical release. It ended up premiering on TV via Lifetime earlier this year, though that ended up as a blessing in disguise as that decision earned it an nomination for Best Television Movie at the Emmy Awards earlier this month.

2003: Charlize Theron

After her unanimously praised performance of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster, Theron easily received another Oscar nod two years after for the movie North Country. That said, Theron stayed low key with her movie choices tackling supporting roles mostly or really, small films. While her comeback in 2011 for Young Adult didn’t fruit to Oscar nom #3, it can’t be considered an Oscar bait flop considering the nature of the film doesn’t seem like the type that will get its actress nominated. However, after the success of Gone Girl last year and its lead actress Rosamund Pike receiving a nomination for it, studio A24 tried to ride on its success by releasing another Gillian Flynn novel turned to movie “Dark Places” starring Theron as the only survivor of a town massacre. Suffice to say, this was released in limited theaters and VOD killing all its chances to get Theron nominated.

2004: Hilary Swank

Only five years after receiving her first Best Actress Oscar, Hilary Swank easily snatched her second after starring as the female boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in the Best Picture Oscar winner of that year “Million Dollar Baby.” That’s why her third bid for an Oscar nomination (exactly ten years after her first and five years after her second), was for playing the great, late Amelia Earhart in Mira Nair’s 2009 take on the life of the prominent figure. Unlike her first two vehicles though, Swank quite received the flak for portraying yet another character leaning on the masculine strengths for another shot at Oscar. So despite Fox Searchlight handling the campaign for this film, not even that is enough to save this critical and commercial flop. Surprisingly enough, her next Oscar bait came in 2014 for “The Homesman“, but again to no avail. Maybe Hilary decided to plot her Oscar vehicles every time a year ends on 9 or 4 no?

2005: Reese Witherspoon

Her Oscar-winning role was that of the late country superstar June Carter Cash in “Walk the Line.” In this 2007 thriller however, Reese joined forces with Oscar winners Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin, as well as Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal. Back in 2007, films dealing with the CIA and terrorism have been as baity as one can expect, so Witherspoon’s role as a pregnant woman involved in some terrorism actions seem like a shoo-in Oscar contender. Add the fact that this was Witherspoon’s foray into straight drama territory and this seemed anything but an Oscar flop. Until it was. Luckily for Reese, she managed to come back in the Oscar race earlier this year for her turn as Cheryl Strayed in Wild.

2006: Helen Mirren

Usually when a woman in her sixties win an Oscar, it’s mostly an indirect lifetime achievement award of some sort. But not for Dame Helen Mirren. Since her win for The Queen in 2006, this has led her to receive more leading roles and she has been the go-to British actress even surpassing Dame Judi Dench and Dame Vanessa Redgrave to name a few. She easily picked up an Oscar nod in 2009 for The Last Station, and we’re certain that she came close in 2012 for Hitchcock after receiving Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA nominations for it. Mirren is an easy name check for nominations too, as proven by her Golden Globe nomination (yet again) for The Hundred Foot Journey. However, Woman in Gold was a different story. It’s a great feat that the movie earned four times its budget, but with the topic of a Jewish refugee fighting for a painting of her aunt by the Nazis, this is the type of role that can easily skate its actress to awards talk… only that it won’t happen anymore.

2007: Marion Cotillard

Among all the Oscar flops in this list, The Immigrant is that one film that really doesn’t deserve its placement. It’s a great film and its number of accolades received could certainly prove it. However, after acquiring this film at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Harvey Weinstein certainly did not know how to market or simply, what to do with this film and he ended up throwing it to E-One, the smaller right hand company of The Weinsteins which is an indication that they won’t be pushing this film for any awards consideration. But when Cotillard started to pick up steam for her performance in “Two Days, One Night“, Weinstein made a sudden last minute play of giving Cotillard and its cinematography some push hoping it can get her the nomination. Of course it didn’t, and Marion ended up getting that overdue second nomination for her better performance. Sadly, Marion has yet to be nominated for an English performance, and this could have been it had it been handled properly.

2008: Kate Winslet

For quite a period in the late 2000s, Jason Reitman has been the Academy’s catnip. His films have ended p receiving Oscar nominations for Ellen Page in Juno, and George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air with Golden Globe nods for Aaron Eckhart in Thank You for Smoking and Charlize Theron in Young Adult. However, all streaks will come to an end, as Reitman’s one began with the Kate WInslet-starrer Labor Day. Based on the novel by Joyce Maynard, Winslet plays another lonely suburban housewife (as if Little Children and Revolutionary Road weren’t enough) who had an encounter with convict Josh Brolin. The movie was met with horrible reviews, but hand it to the Golden Globes for still name checking Kate Winslet giving her a Best Drama Actress nomination for it.

2009: Sandra Bullock

2009 ended up as the start of a career renaissance for Sandra Bullock. Not only did she star in two movies of that year with grosses combined a 600+ million dollars, she ended up with the Best Actress Oscar for her turn as Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side. What could have been the pinnacle of an actor’s career only was the beginning for Sandra who followed it up with box office hits like The Heat and Minions or critically backed films like that of Gravity. This year, however, she dons her blonde wig yet again (just like in her Oscar winning performance) to headline David Gordon Green’s “Our Brand is Crisis.” While her awards chances have yet to be determined, you can mostly count her out since the movie received mixed to negative reviews since it premiered at Toronto International Film Festival this year. At least her personal reviews weren’t tragic, but count no Best Actress nomination for her this year.

2010: Natalie Portman

Portman’s road to the Oscar was for her performance as the ballerina in Black Swan, but only a year before that, we saw her closest attempt to follow up her 2004 nomination for “Closer” in Jim Sheridan’s “Brothers“, based on the 2004 Danish film of the same name. As the woman who was left in between the characters of Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire, Portman was given the tough position of acting upon two other contemporaries. Sadly for the film, it has gained little to no traction at all that year, mostly for the U2 song “Winter” and a Golden Globe nod for Tobey Maguire.

2011: Meryl Streep

Yes, even Oscar’s favorite actress takes a break from being Oscar nominated. Grunt all you can as Meryl enjoys her 19 career Oscar nominations and three statues at home (her latest for playing Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady), but every now and then she takes on flop Oscar vehicles such as this one directed by Robert Redford and had her starring with Tom Cruise. Streep plays liberal TV journalist Janine Roth who thinks the government is using her position to be an instrument of their plans. Here’s another film that tried to combined issues of journalism, terrorism, and war ending up with zero awards traction, rotten reviews, and a disappointing box office performance.

2012: Jennifer Lawrence

After starring in Best Picture nominees Silver Linings Playbook (for which she won her Oscar) and American Hustle, it seemed like the pairing of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence is one that seems to have find its footing in the Academy. Their third pairing, however, is from Oscar winning director Susanne Bier from the 2008 novel of the same name. While this costume drama seemed like it would continue the trajectory of both actors getting nominated, too many issues surrounding the film’s release ended up losing all momentum for the movie. It finally was released in the US last March which is enough reason to say that the movie’s intention to get any awards consideration is already killed.

2013: Cate Blanchett

At this stage in her career, Cate Blanchett is already infallible with everything she touches is suddenly critic proof. She has reached that stage in her career already where she has the respect and admiration of her peers and critics alike, as proven by her great comeback in 2013 because of Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine for which she won her second Oscar and her first one in Lead. But before any of those happened, she has been starring in one flop bait after the other in the early 2000s, particularly this Ron Howard film in 2003 entitled “The Missing.” It was Howard’s comeback after winning for “A Beautiful Mind” and starred Oscar winner Tommy Lee Jones. Good for Blanchett though because the year after, she finally natched her first one for “The Aviator.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

2014: Julianne Moore

Lastly, we have current Best Actress Julianne Moore. Before winning the Oscar this year for Still Alice, Julianne’s last visit to the Oscars as a nominee was still way back in 2002 when she was double nominated for The Hours (losing to Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Far From Heaven (losing to The Hours co-star Nicole Kidman). While we all have probably thought that Julianne would end up being forgotten (as it’s harder to win an Oscar when you’re in your 50s), she proved it otherwise. The journey to 2014 was a long wait though appearing in Oscar contenders where her co-stars got nominated but not her (such as The Kids Are All Right and A Single Man) or low key Oscar flop baits (The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio and Savage Grace). What stood out was the one directed by Fernando Meirelles though. As the opener of the 2008 Cannes Film Fest, Blindness was destined to be a real Oscar contender with its great ensemble, and the reputation of the people involved. After all, it was one of the most prominent best selling novels that time, and this was a challenging role. Alas, the bad reviews killed any of its perceived Oscar chances.

There you have it. What are your favorite Oscar flops? Which Oscar bait ones did you secretly enjoy? Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl

2013 in GIFs   Leave a comment

So I decided to skip my annual movie, TV shows, red carpet looks, and songs lists for this year since I have no time to write them all. Instead, I’ll be posting my favorite moments of 2013 in GIF style. So yes, most of these would be from awards show ceremonies or basically any pop culture event of the year. Okay.

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Okay so let’s begin with five six time Oscar loser a.k.a Albert Nobbs herself Glenn Close. At the Golden Globes last January, Close probably thought that she’s also one of the cool kids when she decided to play drunk after Tina Fey’s signal. You probably have no idea how epic this moment was. I mean I can’t even choose my favorite part. Is it the closing of her eyes to give a more convincing portrayal? Is it when she changed her mind and started to look up the heavens instead to make it even more convincing? Is it her husband’s coy “WTF I think I actually married Alex Forrest” tepid laugh? I guess I have to go with none of the above and choose the closing shot of her looking sideways to see check if people find her stuff funny.

That same night, we’re treated to one of the best (and yes I mean the best) awards show presentations ever. When SNL alums Kristin Wyg and Will Pharrell (as Tina Fey would say it) presented the Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy, I.WAS.DYING. As a refresher, here’s how they described the nominees that night:

(on Emily Blunt’s Salmon Fishing in Yemen): “When the salmon comes out.. and when the bad guy comes…. and the salmon was like.. and you’re in Yemen.
(on Judi Dench of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel): “That Judi Dench. Where did she come from? Unknown, she used to be a police officer, and this is her fist movie. And when all the marigold comes out.. and it’s on her hair. And on one scene, she looks at the town people and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Jennifer Lawrence of Silver Lings Playbook): “Ugh love Jennifer Lawrence. J.LAW. And then comes the silverrr!! I thought it was an animated film. And all the silver she has collected and they tried to get it away from her and she’s like “NOOO! THAT’S MY COOKBOOK!” and she’s like “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”
(on Maggie Smith of Quartet): “And no one knows what a quartet is. IT IS AMBIGUOUS! And you think you know what it is, but then the guy comes and says “I think I know what a quartet is!” but he doesn’t”
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on Meryl Streep of Hope Springs): “And Meriall Streep. And she’s the sassy sheriff! “I’m Hope Springs!” She comes in a horse and she’s like she looks at the town people and she’s says “YOUUU!!! YOUUU GET OUT OF HERE!!!”

UGH TYPING THAT WAS A HOOT. I’m laughing again. And everyone in the room was actually entertained. Everyone that is except that creature named Tommy Lee Jones.

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Ugh Gramps looked grumpy as hell during that presentation. Guess what TLJ, that was my exact look when you stole that Oscar from Ralph Fiennes and Leonardo di Caprio.

Then we have the Screen Actors Guild Awards where you’re allowed to waste a minute of your life listening to Giuliana Rancic say things like this:

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Girl is useless as their manicam. By the way let’s appreciate that the SAG was the only time this award season where Anne Hathaway opened her mouth and said something entertaining that does not involve
a.”a blunt object I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt”,
b. thanking Victor Hugo
c. thinking her Oscar win will stop prostitution.
d. correcting the spelling of her name
It was when Anne presented with co-star Hugh Jackman and they played a banter of how they will describe Les Mis in 2013.

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Yes Anne, you crushed it. Speaking of crushed, don’t you love this BFF pic of Nicole Kidman and the lesser Nicole Kidman Naomi Watts at the SAGs? Go Nic, giving some Regina George fierceness.

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Prior to her history making releasing an album without anything stint, Beysus graced us all with her presence at the Superbowl. But it wasn’t even her who stole the show. Two words: poor Michelle.

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Go poor Michelle!! Put that one day off to good use and appear at the Superbowl.I’m living for her facial reaction. She suddenly got cocky when she realized she did not fall off the mosh pit. YESSS!!

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But then again, we’re quickly reminded why she never skyrocketed as a solo artist. I mean not literally a rocket but even Bey can do it.

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Anyway, let’s move on to the Grammys a.k.a the first televised exam to see if Taylor Swift knows this song…

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and this one as well…

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and did you know she knew this song too?

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Okay we get it Taylor. You know all the songs. But then again who wants to see her do it for a fifth  time when you can see Legend Kidman bopping to that Bob Marley tribute?

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It wasn’t as epic as her singing Teenage Dream  at the Grammys last year but she gets bonus points because Adele is wearing a red doily.

Then there’s also the BAFTA where the only two interesting things we saw were Dame Dench’s O face (and when I say O, I mean Oh my god!) as Javier Bardem falls asleep

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and David O. Russell’s reaction when Emmanuelle Riva wins Best Actress.

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I was secretly wishing Emmanuelle would say “I beat J.Law” at the podium but then I remembered she doesn’t speak in English. So maybe in French? Anyway, off to the Oscars.

Okay remember when I said a few posts above that Giuliana Rancic is as useless as the manicam? Well I take it back. The Manicam is more useful than Giuliana apparently. I’m pretty sure it made Catherine Zeta Jones upset when Ryan Seacrest denied her to do one. You can clearly see in her eyes she wants to parade her fingers on the manicam. Not good, Ryan!

nicole-kidmanSee even Mr. and Mrs. Keith Urban felt bad for La Zeta.

Aside from that, we saw Lil’ Quvenzhane Wallis proving she’s the man (with a proud Denzel Washington beaming from behind),

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a bored Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter

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and a tripping Best Actress winner. Whoever put that banana peel there for Anne Hathaway clearly didn’t work

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But the best moment happened when Emmanuelle Riva unintentionally takes revenge on David O. Russell upon learning his reaction to her BAFTA Best Actress win.

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Be thankful, David. At least Em didn’t squashed your face with a pillow. #justsaying

In April this year, Reese Witherspoon was arrested by the cops but she tried to get herself out of this…

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…which only means she ended up in prison with a mugshot. You should have called Elle Woods to save you, Reese.

Taylor Swift won eight Billboard Music Awards in May of this year. But surprisingly, not any of those can match the WIN level of her reactions here:

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Meanwhile, Miguel channels his inner Bjorn Barrefors and trains for the Olympics on air

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Ouch for that woman whose head was found in between Miguel’s legs.

And as everyone celebrates film over at the Cannes Film Festival, two tiny teeny things clearly doesn’t wanna be there. Julianne Moore’s little toes can’t wait enough to go home instead they’re trying to escape while she’s on the red carpet.

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Still on the subject of feet, it’s not cool to talk about North West anymore, so let’s just hope Kim K’s feet some speedy recovery for everything they’ve been through this year:

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tumblr_mo6lqdTBl81qanm80o1_400Yes Debra Messing don’t act too surprised, those are her feet.

Last August 10, two of the biggest popstars go head to head as Lady Gaga releases Applause and Katy Perry releases Roar on the same week. You know it was bound to get messy.

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And someone’s coming out on top:

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But come the VMAs, it wasn’t even the two of them who became the talk of the town. But before that we saw…

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Justin Timberlake joined by four other lessers perform,

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Taylor Swift asking her BFF to STFU,

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Willow Smith whipping her head back and forth as Jaden Smith tries another shot at “acting”,

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Lady Gaga opening the show,

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but Katy Perry closing it.. (Ouch Gags! Was that msg for you?)

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But it Miley who made the whole thing classic. Even getting a classic rxn from Rih

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September also was the end for Breaking Bad. And I think no amount of GIF will give it justice so I’ll just post a photo of Bryan and Aaron because uhm, duh, bitch.

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And when the Emmys came, Neil Patrick Harris bombed as host, but no other bombed better than what this guy did:

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Then cute Merritt Wever gives one of the best Emmy speeches ever when she said nothing but…

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while Julia Louis Dreyfus stays in character in her speech.

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Michael Douglas, meanwhile, uses Matt Damon as metaphor in his thank you speech

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And though he did not win, Kevin Spacey still scores one in my b0ok after doing this:

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And the delight of Oprah pushing people

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And last month, Miley Cyrus wins Round 2 of best performance at the American Music Awards when she performs with a huge cat behind her:

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As Ariana Grande shows us all how it’s really done just by standing up.

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Meanwhile, a certain legend named Christina Aguilera is slaying the red carpet fo’sho:

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And that’s how you make an exit!  Wait let me reiterate

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On the other hand, here’s how you make an entrance. An album entrance that is. As Beysus Christ showed us, just drop em ‘off and boom.

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Let’s pause this moment and recognize Queen B.

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Oh wait, did you know Britney released an album this year? I’m sure even she’s not aware, but I guess she’s raking it in Vegas no so go Brit and

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And as Oscar season comes, we’re treated to a whole lot of epic GIFs from contenders like this of J.Law pleading…

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or Sandra Bullock in Gravity a.k.a basically whatever you wanna do to your enemy

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But to close this off, a legendary performance to close the year happened between Gags and Legend X when they did a duet of Do What U Want on The Voice finale.

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Anybody who does not get the ABBA meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane reference is deads to me. Plus, I’d kill to have my head on Legend’s bosoms. Anyway, cheers to a happy 2013 and let’s hope for crazier things this 2014.

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Happy New Year everyone!

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85th Academy Awards Best Dressed List   Leave a comment

And with the Oscars wrapping up the awards season yesterday, it is safe to say that the fashion and the red carpet ended with a bang. As actresses walk the red carpet at yesterday’s Academy Awards, we got a good representation of the glitz and the glamour that is Hollywood. Here are my picks for this year’s best dressed list at the Oscars.

Once again, you can click the photos to enlarge them. All photo credits go to: Yahoo! OMG coverage

Amy Adams

12. AMY ADAMS in Oscar dela Renta

This design has been done a lot of times at the Oscars (more notoriously by the ethereal Charlize Theron in baby blue back in 2005 ), but what makes this light gray Oscar dela Renta creation work was that Amy sashayed this on the red carpet very effortlessly. I’m liking the natural look both with her hair and make up too.

Jessica Chastain

11. JESSICA CHASTAIN in Armani Prive

There is an unwritten rule in red carpet fashion to not wear a dress that perfectly matches the color of your hair, with black being the sole exception. With that said, Chastain’s Armani Prive gown is an exception to that rule as she gave a throwback to early Hollywood in this very sexy and classic ensemble.

Queen Latifah

10. QUEEN LATIFAH in Badgley Mischka

It has been exactly ten years when Quene Latifah herself was nominated for the Oscar, but she’s still looking every inch a winner in the red carpet. This clean white Badgley Mischka creation that she wore last night quickly trumps both her Chicago co-stars Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Sandra Bullock

09. SANDRA BULLOCK in Elie Saab

I just love it when Sandra ditches sexy for fab. Well, it does seem like she managed to hit both in this lacy black Elie Saab dress which revealed enough skin, but at the same time, showed movie star vibes too. Plus points for that hair brooch she wore.

Naomi Watts

08. NAOMI WATTS in Armani Prive

The second Best Actress nominee in the list, Naomi Watts, is also wearing Armani Prive. This metallic ensemble with some very unique details need some warming up to do, but for an event such as the Oscars, it worked for Naomi who’s looking fresh and fab in it.

Charlize Theron

07. CHARLIZE THERON in Dior

Though not nominated this year, Oscar winner Charlize Theron was a hoot all night. One of the reasons definitely is this white Dior dress that looked simple but elegant to her. I imagine this as the better version of what Anne Hathaway wants to achieve at the Golden Globes.

Jennifer Garner

06. JENNIFER GARNER in Gucci

She might not be going home with an Oscar, but she’s going home with an Oscar winner. That, and some fabulous remarks with her purple Gucci gown that had some very interesting back details. Garner didn’t just look like a plus one that night; she’s definitely a star in her own right.

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05. ALICIA VIKANDER in Elie Saab Couture

Supporting her nominated film A Royal Affair is such an easy task when you have the lovely Alicia Vikander, here in an intricately beaded blue Elie Saab creation, to grace the event.

Nicole Kidman

04. NICOLE KIDMAN in L’Wren Scott

While it was husband Keith Urban who chose this dress for her, Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman proved that the best way of responding to an Oscar snub is by going up to the event in this head turning L’Wren Scott creation that playfully gave the viewers a glimpse of her sexy body. How one achieves that at 45 is simply astonishing.

AManda Seyfried

03. AMANDA SEYFRIED in Alexander McQueen

Third time seems to be the charm for Les Mis star Amanda Seyfried, as she finally hit it right the red carpet at her third Oscar appearance. Wearing this Alexander McQueen gown bearing these dragonfly design that fits her like a glove is her easy way en route the best dressed list.

Corinne Bishop

02. CORINNE BISHOP

Just eight years ago, we witnessed this young woman at 11 seated beside her father who won Best Actor for Ray. Fast forward to now, Corinne Bishop isn’t just a companion to her father, but she’s also showing signs of fashion greatness when she stepped out the red carpet in this teal blue gown.

Jennifer Lawrence

01. JENNIFER LAWRENCE in Dior Haute Couture

Who said you can only win one at a time? Aside from taking home the Oscar Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence is also red carpet’s best dressed woman yesterday as she stepped out of this Dior Haute Couture ensemble yesterday. You know how some Best Actress Oscar frontrunners just look “winners” in their coronation night? That trend continued yesterday with J.Law. As far as Oscar appearances go, J.Law is 2/2 for me (that red dress in 2010 was also loooove).

That’s it! Who are your best dressed picks at yesterday’s Oscars? Did you also fall in love with J.Law’s Oscar dress?

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

Five Best Oscar Best Actress Lineup in History   13 comments

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.

1988

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.

2006

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.

2010

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.

1995

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.

1950

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

19th Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Dressed List   2 comments

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.

jaimie alexander

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.

idina menzel

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.

jane krakowski

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!

nancy o dell

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.

keirnan shipka

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.

lea michele

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.

nina dobrev

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.

viola davis

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.

jessica lange

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.

amanda seyfried

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.

jennifer garner

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.

naomi watts

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.

nicole kidman

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.

jennifer lawrence

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.

marion cotillard

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.

jessica chastain

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

The Race for the 86th Oscar Best Actress   1 comment

best actress

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