September 01, 2015

Tag Archives: Jennifer Lawrence

“Joy” is the latest Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell project in the Oscar hunt

Between Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, it’s undeniable that Jennifer Lawrence and filmmaker David O. Russell have a tremendous thing going. Their working relationship is as strong as any other in the business. I’m of the opinion that they’ve put forward two Oscar worthy projects, one of which was able to get Lawrence an Academy Award for Best Actress (for Silver Linings Playbook). Both times, Russell found himself nominated for Best Director and in either Best Adapted Screenplay or Best Original Screenplay, while the other time Lawrence was up for Best Supporting Actress. That’s a winning formula if ever there was one. Later this year, they’ll attempt to go three for three with Joy, a biographical dramedy that will also be the third time they’ve worked together with Bradley Cooper (who also has been nominated twice, as well as co-starred with Lawrence in Serena earlier this year) as well as Robert De Niro. Right now, it’s hard to believe this won’t be another big awards juggernaut for them.
The movie is a fictionalized look at Joy Mangano (though the filmmakers have apparently made this more of a composite character and not strictly about her), a successful entrepreneur who hit it big with a special mop. Lawrence will portray Joy as she goes from a young single mother to the founder and matriarch of a powerful family business that will be a dynasty for generations to come. Russell obviously directs and co-writes with Annie Mumolo (who penned the initial script but oddly only receives a Story By credit here), while the supporting cast, in addition to the aforementioned Cooper and De Niro includes Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Röhm (returning from American Hustle), Isabella Rossellini, and more.
First and foremost, this has to be labeled a contender due to the track record of Lawrence and Russell, especially when paired together. Two of Lawrence’s three nominations are while working with Russell, while he’s been up for the biggest prizes each time since he paired up with her. He’s been on a big run of nominations since The Fighter, without having gotten an Oscar of his own, so he’s a filmmaker who’s very much do for a statue. Could it be this time? Could Lawrence win her second Academy Award? These are distinct possibilities at this point, along with potentially getting Cooper his first prize as well. The potential for this one […]

“The Martian”: Oscar predictions for August

It’s almost crunch time folks! Yes, this is the last set of predictions before we start to get into fall festival season (pay close attention to the New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival), which in turn launches the Oscar race. As such, you won’t see a ton of changes here this time around, but be prepared for a lot of contenders to move around during the next update or two. I might be going to twice a month for predictions come September, so it’s going to be interesting seeing how these potential players do or do not shape up in the race. As such, this update represents a definite demarcation in the year. From here on out, it’s truly awards season for all of us…
The latest Trailer for The Martian (which you can see below) keeps it at the tip top for me right now, and that’s I suppose the most noteworthy aspect here. I’ve been tempted to try something else up at the top, but I’m going to wait until I see otherwise from Ridley Scott’s film or something else truly blows me away. When that day comes (possibly during NYFF or TIFF), I’ll amend as necessary, but for now, it remains. You’ll see everything below, and obviously sit tight, as more predictions will be coming in just a few weeks!
First off, here’s that new Trailer for The Martian:

Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. The Martian
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Our Brand is Crisis
5. Carol
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. Inside Out
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. By the Sea 13. Miles Ahead 14. The Walk 15. MacBeth 16. The End of the Tour 17. Freeheld 18. Trainwreck 19. The Danish Girl 20. Lion 21. Spotlight 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Southpaw 24. Sicario 25. Black Mass 26. Suffragette 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. I Saw The Light 29. Straight Outta Compton 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Todd Haynes – Carol
4. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
5. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
Next in line: 6. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. John Crowley […]

Jennifer Lawrence: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders

HOLLYWOOD CONTENDERS: Ladies and gentlemen, as you all know from the last year or so as well as my handful of articles again during this year, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket. It’s probably old hat to you by now, I’m sure, but hey…
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger ones that’s out there…the Best Actress category.
Here are the ten lovely ladies that I have in play for Best Actress, with the top five of course cracking the presumed lineup at this point:
1. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) – You can go in any number of directions with your top pick, but I think the obvious choice right now is Lawrence. She’s been nominated both times previously working with David O. Russell, with a Best Actress statue on her mantle already. She nearly won Best Supporting Actress two years ago as well, so the Academy clearly loves this combination. With as baity a part as ever, if she nails it there’s no reason not to think she could run away with a second Oscar.

2. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) – For some reason, I feel like Ronan is almost a surefire nominee for this romantic drama period piece, and while I know she could certainly contend for the win, I just can’t put her up top yet. Maybe it’s the thought of how dominant a Lawrence steamroller could be, but I just need to see how this one does during the precursor season. Ronan has a great shot though, no one can deny that.

3. Cate Blanchett (Carol) *Could go Supporting – The safe pick of the group right […]

“The Revenant” starring Leo DiCaprio: Oscar predictions for July

Now fully into the second half of the year (and believe it or not, we’re almost done with July), it’s the time that most start thinking about the Oscar contenders to come. Of course, I’ve already been doing that, but certain recent Trailers (one I’ve already spoken about this week in The Revenant and one I’ll be writing about on Monday in Freeheld) have worked as a fond reminder that awards season isn’t nearly as far away as you think. As such, I’m tinkering a bit with predictions, as well as expanding my list of contenders, basically so I can then tighten things up in the coming weeks and months. That’s the name of the game right now in terms of the predictions here…
In terms of major changes to the Oscar race, you’ll notice the removal of Demolition (which is now a 2016 release) as well as the surge upwards of The Revenant. Those are the two most noticeable changes, though if nothing is announced soon about contenders like The Light Between Oceans and Our Brand is Crisis, I might move them out until their release dates are settled. Other than that, it’s more of the same, just with a longer “Next in line” list in the major categories. Things will be in flux for a few more months, then we’ll really get a handle on who the contenders and pretenders are. Until then though, it’s just fun to try and figure it out!

Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. The Martian
2. Bridge of Spies
3. The Revenant
4. Our Brand is Crisis (possible 2016 release)
5. Carol
6. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release)
7. Steve Jobs
8. Brooklyn
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Inside Out
Next in line: 11. Joy 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. The End of the Tour 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 17. By the Sea 18. Trainwreck 19. Freeheld 20. The Walk 21. The Danish Girl 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Southpaw 24. Sicario 25. Black Mass 26. Miles Ahead 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. Ex Machina 29. Suffragette 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis (possible 2016 release)
Next in line: 6. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans […]

Oscar predictions: A bonus June update

Yes folks, I’m diving back into bi-monthly Oscar predictions! At the very least, I wanted to sort of wrap up the first half of the year with a slightly different set of predictions. The Academy Awards are still a ways off in the distance, but without question we have things changing the potential contenders here and there. For example, the impetus of this extra update is to see where Pixar’s Inside Out could fit into things. I’m sticking with a big push for Ridley Scott’s The Martian, just like last time, but I wanted to take into account what the animated flick could do. Also, I wanted to fill out the technical categories a bit more, which includes some films that we haven’t talked much about. Obviously, things are still in their infancy, but I felt this was justified. Plus, who doesn’t love an update to Oscar predictions?
I don’t have a ton of updates here, but the main thing to notice is where Pete Doctor’s Inside Out fits with the race right now. The question is obviously if it can crack the Best Picture lineup, since Best Animated Feature is basically a lock. There’s also Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, and a few potential techs to take into consideration. You’ll see below where I opted to slot it in, but the possible first animated movie to score in the big category since the rules were changed is a storyline worth following. I know I’ll have a close eye on that all season long!
Here now is an up to the minute look at how I see the Academy Award nominations turning out at the end of the season:
BEST PICTURE
1. The Martian
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Our Brand is Crisis (possible 2016 release)
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Carol
6. The Revenant
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Inside Out
Next in line: 11. Joy 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. The End of the Tour 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. The Walk 21. The Danish Girl 22. Trainwreck 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Black Mass 26. Sicario 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. Ex Machina 29. Suffragette 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
3. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis […]

“The Martian”: Oscar Predictions for June 2015

I’d been planning all week to write about Ridley Scott and Matt Damon’s The Martian, which debuted an incredible Trailer at the start of the week, but decided to hold off and incorporate it into my new Oscar predictions update. Why? Well, mainly because the film appears to be exceeding even my high expectations. I said after the Trailer debut of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ Bridge of Spies that you couldn’t bet against that one right now, but if you want to be bold, The Martian is one route to take. You’ll see in my predictions that I’ve decided to get a bit risky this time out…
Yes, instead of just going with as many obvious frontrunners for Academy Awards as possible, I’m looking to see what some fresh blood here and there might look like. As such, The Martian is really all over the place, doing better than any other film. A long shot? Perhaps, but everything so far suggests a special movie, so I’m banking that the book I adore so much was faithfully executed by Scott and company. If that’s the case, it easily could do what Gravity and Interstellar couldn’t, which is to really contend for a Best Picture win. Time will tell, but this update shows that at least I think it potentially has a chance. The Academy will have its say eventually, but right now, this is how I see things going.
Here now, without further delay, are my newest Oscar predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. The Martian
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Our Brand is Crisis
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Carol
6. The Revenant
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Hateful Eight
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. The End of the Tour 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Inside Out 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. The Walk 21. The Danish Girl 22. Black Mass 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Trainwreck 26. Sicario 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. Ex Machina 29. Suffragette 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
3. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. David O. Russell – Joy 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. […]

Oscar Predictions for the month of May, 2015

Almost five full months into the 2015 movie season and I’m happy to report that we know zilch about the Oscar race. Why happy? Well, it means there’s plenty of fun guesswork to be done, and I’m all about that. The Cannes Film Festival has gotten underway and that can be used for a hint or two, but right now, it’s only eliminated one film (The Sea of Trees, which seems to be out of it entirely, outside of perhaps Matthew McConaughey) and made another a question mark (Woody Allen’s Irrational Man), with some other contenders like Carol still to screen. As such, your guess is as good as mine, which is part of the early year fun, at least in my book.
The one thing of note that I want to make mention of for this latest Oscar prediction update is that I expanded the fields a bit. The Best Picture lineup I’ve bumped up to 30, actually, with 15 for the other seven remaining categories that make up the “Big Eight”. As a bonus, I even went with ten for Best Animated Feature, just to have things as open as possible, which is what things are like right now, no question about it. My winners are still largely the same, including Steven Spielberg and his film Bridge of Spies, while something like Brooklyn or Carol is making its way up my rankings, slowly but surely. It’ll be a few months still until we have some semblance of an idea about the Oscar race, but right now, it’s a ton of fun to speculate…

Here now are my newest set of Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Bridge of Spies
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Carol
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Joy
6. The Martian
7. The Hateful Eight
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Revenant
10. Brooklyn
Next in line: 11. The End of the Tour 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Black Mass 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. Trainwreck 21. The Danish Girl 22. The Walk 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 26. Bleed for This 27. Sicario 28. Irrational Man 29. Suffragette 30. Ex Machina
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Derek Cianfrance – The […]

Ridley Scott and “The Martian”: Early Oscar Predictions for April

After taking the month of March off in terms of Oscar predictions, I’m back taking a new look at what the Academy could do with this upcoming year in film. Again, it’s super early and probably silly to be focusing in on them like I am currently, but it’s also fun and gives us an idea of what movies to potentially look forward to. I’m keeping it mostly short and sweet today, just basically posting an update to the predictions (with a slight detour to discuss one contender), plus the next in line list that I know is popular as well. All of this can and likely will change in the near future, possibly even in the summer when things first begin to shape up, so stay tuned on that front. For now, enjoy these Academy Award predictions and cross your fingers that we have a good year for prestige films. I know that’s always my hope, so it should be yours as well.
Quickly though, before the predictions, let me just say that my big X factor that I’m looking forward to is Ridley Scott’s adaptation of The Martian. He hasn’t had an outright success in some time, but I love the source material so much, I’m hopeful that it sparked something inside him. Honestly, he’d have to go out of his way to ruin as good a novel as that one. Matt Damon will have a baity role and Scott should be plenty engaged, so my fingers are crossed!
Here now is my second crack at early Academy Award predictions…
BEST PICTURE
1. Bridge of Spies
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. The Martian
6. Carol
7. The Light Between Oceans
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Revenant
10. The End of the Tour
Next in line: 11. The Sea of Trees 12. Irrational Man 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Black Mass 15. Demolition 16. Trainwreck 17. The Walk 18. Freeheld 19. Southpaw 20. Brooklyn 21. By the Sea 22. MacBeth 23. Bleed for This 24. Snowden 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. Todd Haynes – Carol 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Ridley Scott – The Martian 9. Woody Allen – Irrational Man 10. […]

How did “Serena” go from an Oscar contender to a pretender?

You probably aren’t aware of this, but a third Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence collaboration is opening in theaters this weekend. In fact, it has been available On Demand for weeks already. Yes, a film that stars arguably the two biggest stars in Hollywood had a VOD start before the impending limited release on Friday. What movie is this, you ask? Well, it’s Serena, a once incredibly high profile adaptation that had the likes of Darren Aronfosky and Angelina Jolie circling it. Initially slated to come out even before American Hustle, hoping to capitalize on the Cooper/Lawrence success in Silver Linings Playbook, this seemed like a strong Academy Awards player. So…what happened?
For those of you not in the know about Serena, here’s a brief overview. It’s adapted from the novel of the same name by Ron Rash, directed by Oscar winning foreign filmmaker Susanne Bier, and written by Christopher Kyle. The plot concerns timber businessman George Pemberton (played by Cooper) and the machinations of his new wife Serena (played by Lawrence). Deceit, intrigue, and perhaps even murder ensue. In addition to Cooper and Lawrence, the cast includes Rhys Ifans, Sean Harris, Toby Jones, and more. Sounds like sheer awards bait, right? Well, it tuned out to be far from it…and that’s putting it gently.
Essentially, this flick ran into trouble right as production wrapped up. Bier struggled a bit in the editing room and the release date kept changing. Sometimes that’s no big deal, but with a higher profile film like this one, particularly one without a distributor, it begins to influence the buzz. With multiple cuts all failing to land a deal, this quickly got an aura of something potentially disastrous. That’s unfair to a movie that might be misguided but is wholly undeserving of venom, but it had literally years of industry folk crapping on it. Nothing can survive that, even when Cooper and Lawrence had as big a hit in American Hustle as they did with Silver Linings Playbook.
Finally though, Serena is hitting theaters this weekend, giving audiences who haven’t checked it out on VOD a chance to see this for themselves. I have to imagine that it’s become a bit a curiosity among indie film fans, particularly those who followed the troubled history of other movies like Accidental Love (which opened last week after a VOD debut and was originally David O. Russell’s satire Nailed) and Margaret (which […]

The 83rd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

After a brief delay, this series has returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be truing to do that, time will still tell. Again, if nothing else, this gives you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks:
Best Picture – The Social Network
The nominees here for this ceremony were 127 Hours, Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone. My personal pick Blue Valentine wasn’t nominated, of course, so my number two pick is an easy one…The Social Network. Such a shame that it fell short here to The King’s Speech in real life.
Best Director – David Fincher for The Social Network
This category featured Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit), David Fincher (The Social Network), Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), and David O. Russell (The Fighter), and yet the three most interesting choices in Aronofsky, Fincher, and Russell were passed over for Hooper. I’d change that though, and go with Fincher. Had I been given the power to vote for anyone though, I’d probably have gone with Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine.
Best Actor – Jesse Eisenberg for The Social Network
I didn’t intend to vote down the line for The Social Network, but so far it just has worked out that way. My personal pick Ryan Gosling for Blue Valentine got snubbed, so I had to go to my second choice. The nominees here were Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), James Franco (127 Hours), and Colin Firth (The King’s Speech). It’s hard to argue with Firth’s win, but I think Eisenberg was slightly more deserving overall.
Best Actress – Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine
Honestly, I might prefer Natalie Portman for Black Swan, but I can’t resist the chance to give Blue Valentine an Oscar win […]

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