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Countdown to Oscars

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
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  • Hitfix: Greg Ellwood and Daniel Fienberg extensively preview the upcoming Golden Globe nominations, and observe that “Hollywood’s filmmakers decided to go pretty serious this year,”  meaning that many acclaimed serious films will inevitably be snubbed in the drama categories, while the musical/comedy categories will offer “one of the weakest fields in years.” Other reported buzz: “the word is the HFPA loveThe Fighter’”; “the HFPA would love to reward [Ben] Affleck” [with a best director nod for “The Town“] best actress hopeful Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) “was never able to have the all important HFPA press conference” and might therefore be in trouble; and the HFPA refused to allow Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit“) to compete in the best supporting actress category, so if she shows up anywhere it will be in lead, and that’s not likely.
  • The Carpetbagger: Brooks Barnes wonders how, in full-page ads running in various newspapers, “The Social Network” can claim to be “The Best-Reviewed Movie of the Year” while “Toy Story 3” simultaneously claims to be “The Best Reviewed Film of the Year.” The answer? The top two sites that aggregate film reviews, Metacritic.com (“seen by some producers as the more serious aggregator site because it evaluates not only movies but video games and television”) and RottenTomatoes.com (“the most entrenched review-aggregation site [that] focuses exclusively on movies”), have come up with different numbers.
  • The Race: Tim Appelo catches up Leonardo DiCaprio, a best actor hopeful this year for both “Inception” and “Shutter Island,” and asks the actor what he makes of all of the recognition that the films have recently received (including major honors from the National Board of Review, as well as a slew of Golden Satellite nominations). The 36-year-old, who is already a veteran when it comes to playing the awards season game, simply smiled and told him, “At this time of the year, I just leave it in the hands of the gods.”
  • New York Times: Janelle Brown spotlights Hollywood’s legendary Chateau Marmont hotel, a hangout for stars (and would-be stars) that, thanks to a featured role in Sofia Coppola’s upcoming drama “Somewhere,” is now “enjoying the peak of its own celebrity.” As Brown overheard one visitor saying, “It’s always such good people-watching here. You just have to remember not to stare.”
  • Movieline: Mike Ryan sits down with best actor hopeful Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”) to discuss his whirlwind year. Ryan asks him about reading his own press (“I don’t read any press about myself. Oh, that sounds pretentious. I just mean it always ends up making me feel bad.), awards season campaigning (“The last two months I’ve been traveling and I just constantly feel like I don’t know what I’m doing and like I’m shilling myself”), and what a best actor nomination would mean to him (“I feel it’s such a bigger machine that has so little to do with me. It’s hard to think of myself in it.”).
  • In Contention: Kris Tapley talks with best supporting actor hopeful Ed Harris about “The Way Back,” the film that reunited him with director Peter Weir, with whom he previously worked on “The Truman Show” (1998) en route to an earlier nod in that same category. In the new film, Harris plays an American prisoner-of-war who, with an eclectic group of other prisoners, escapes from a Siberian gulag and sets out on a brutal 4,000 mile trek through Southern Siberia and Mongolia.

Photo: “Toy Story 3.” Credit: Disney.

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  • I applaud the HFPA for being honest about Hailee Steinfeld. It’s obvious even from the trailer that she has a lead role in True Grit, and I don’t care how great she is in the film, it’s unfair for her to cheat her way to a nomination or a win.

    There are plenty of great true supporting performances that we can recognize. Dale Dickey in Winter’s Bone, Ann Guilbert in Please Give, Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom, and from what I hear Melissa Leo knocks it out of the park in The Fighter. We don’t need fake ones to fill up the roster.