August 28, 2015
        What were the Ten Best summer releases of 2015?                Eddie Redmayne: The Danish Girl / Official US Poster                Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep: SUFFRAGETTE New Poster                Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds, Gena Rowland to Receive Academy's 2015 Governors Awards                Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio - Which acting contenders this year are most due for their first win?                "Joy" is the latest Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell project in the Oscar hunt                "Straight Outta Compton" is making the case for Oscar consideration                "The Martian": Oscar predictions for August                Rooney Mara: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders                Bradley Cooper will heat up the Oscar race in "Burnt"                "Carol" gets a Teaser that firmly puts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the Oscar race                Carey Mulligan is an Oscar contender                Hollywood Contenders for 2015 Best Actor: Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Fassbender                Hollywood Contenders: 2015 Best Movie Blockbusters: Jurassic World, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Fast & Furious 7...                Lily Tomlin in 'Grandma' represents a true Best Actress contender        

Tag Archives: Rooney Mara

“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 […]

Rooney Mara: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders

As you fine ladies and gentlemen must all know by now (since I’ve pretty much hammered it into your heads), it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions in order to see what folks like myself think will happen this winter, but it’s a whole separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that particular regard, I’m continuing my yearly ritual of 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 or 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 potentially take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing on with another of the big acting categories…you guessed it, it’s Best Supporting Actress time.
Here are the ten particular women that I have currently in play for Best Supporting Actress, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Rooney Mara (Carol) *Could go Lead – I wrote a bit about Mara earlier this week when I got into the awards possibilities for Carol, but Mara is sitting in the lead here due to her Cannes Actress win. She could easily go Lead, but I have a feeling she’ll wind up going Supporting so Cate Blanchett can contend in Lead. The silver lining? That will easily make her the early odds on favorite here, at least in my book. A lot can and will change, but right now, I have her in the pole position.
2. Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) – I’ve spent some time writing about the gentlemen of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming flick, but what about the notable lady of the cast? Just like Bruce Dern and Kurt Russell seem like they’ll be in play for The Hateful Eight, so too will be Leigh, so is the favorite here to some. I obviously have her as the main runner up, but it’s hard not to see her as a likely nominee at this point. Especially with the potentially light competition, she might have a surprisingly easy time scoring her first ever nomination.
3. Ellen Page (Freeheld) […]

“Carol” gets a Teaser that firmly puts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the Oscar race

Hollywood Contenders: Depending on who you ask, one of the very first contenders for Academy Awards mentioned this year was Carol, the latest film from Todd Haynes. With a cast led by Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, under the direction of Haynes, this has been pegged pretty much from day one as an Oscar hopeful. The buzz at the Cannes Film Festival did nothing to dissuade anyone either, with Mara taking Best Actress at the fest. Now, with fall approaching and a winter awards season release pegged for Carol, The Weinstein Company has unveiled a Teaser Trailer (which you can see below) in order to get us even more excited for the flick. Spoiler alert: it worked.
The film is an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel and concerns the relationship between two women in 1950’s New York City. One is young department store clerk Therese Belivet (played by Mara), while the other is an older married woman named Carol Aird (Blanchett). What starts as a friendship slowly blooms into something more, even if they can’t explicitly speak it out loud. From there, it’s a choice of whether or not to risk everything for love in a time where this was not acceptable behavior. Haynes directs from a Phyllis Nagy screenplay, with the cast in addition to Blanchett and Mara including Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and Sarah Paulson.

Ever since Cannes, it’s been pretty clear that Carol is going to be a contender. The question is just to what degree Harvey Weinstein and company can make it play. A period piece forbidden romance with zeitgeist type story elements could be catnip to Academy voters, but it will all depend on how it’s campaigned and what the competition is. Chief among the decisions will be how to go forward category wise with the Oscar hopes of Blanchett and Mara. Many (including myself) have speculated that Blanchett will go Lead while Mara will go Supporting, but it was the former who took the Best Actress prize at Cannes, so that clouds matters a bit. It’s a good problem to have though, believe me. The Weinstein Company could even be bold and campaign them both in Actress and hope for a double dip.
Speaking of awards, I think it’s fair to say that Carol should be a big time player across the board, especially if the precursors are as kind to it as I […]

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. […]

Rooney Mara: Oscar possibilities for the Cannes 2015 winners

Yesterday, the Cannes Film Festival awarded their prizes for 2015, so as always, immediate attention has turned to Academy Award possibilities. Some years, there’s a dearth of contenders, while others have no shortage of them to sift through. It’s very much an American thing, as if a fest always needs to have an Oscar correlation to matter, but hey…who am I to argue? Luckily, this year we have a number of potential players worthy of discussion among the winners. There are some titles that went home empty handed that could easily hit with the Academy, including Sicario and Out of Competition entries like Inside Out, Irrational Man, and Mad Max: Fury Road, but for now I’ll limit it to only those that wound up In Competition and with a prize…
Obviously, we have to start with the Palme d’Or winning Dheepan, which likely will be a Best Foreign Language Feature contender or bust. The same can be said of Grand Prix (second place, basically) winner Son of Saul and The Assassin, which gave Hou Hsiao-Hsie a Best Director win. Those are harder to figure out right now since it winds up being one film per country in terms of Oscar submissions and we don’t know what else each nation will be choosing between, but these certainly go on the long list. Other longer shots include co-Best Actress winner (more on that shortly) Emmanuelle Bercot for Mon roi, Best Actor winner Stéphane Brize for The Measure of a Man, and Chronic, the Best Screenplay victor.
Then, we have the singular X factor that is The Lobster, winner of the Jury Prize (third place, essentially). Filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos got his very unique film Dogtooth into Best Foreign Language Feature a few years back, so his English language debut was on everyone’s radar. It apparently lived up to the hype too, so while this probably is too weird for Best Picture, there’s an outside shot that the Best Original Screenplay could be livened up by The Lobster’s presence. It was widely expected to win that prize at Cannes, so perhaps the Academy can choose to go where the fest did not this weekend?
Finally, the most likely contender out of this year’s festival crop is clearly Carol. Perhaps disappointing some by only leaving the fest with a tie in Best Actress, Todd Haynes’ movie is still the odds on favorite to translate to Oscar. An interesting […]

Cannes 2015 Palme d’Or predictions

Over the course of the next few days, the jury at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival will be deliberating and deciding on the newest group of award winners for the classy fest. Led by the incredibly prestigious Palme d’Or prize (their version of Best Picture), Cannes could just as easily launch something into the Oscar race as opposed to merely highlighting a smaller title. Historically, the festival has given us a bit of both, which makes it hard to accurately predict what a new jury will do each year. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen head up this one, so perhaps that favors English language contenders? But, perhaps that doesn’t matter? Predictions here are an even more inexact science than awards shows that have precursors of sorts. I’m still going to try, of course. Just know that these are basically shots in the dark. Regardless, enjoy them!
In short, there’s no guaranteed winners, but I think the main contenders to keep an eye on across the board are Todd Haynes’ Carol, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, László Nemes’ Son of Saul, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, and Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario. Those five, along with perhaps Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster are the likeliest ones to contend for the Palme d’Or as well as possibly some acting prizes as well. The most buzz seems to surround Carol, Son of Saul, and Youth, but Sicario represents an interesting X factor. It would be a slightly mainstream pick, but with the sort of reviews out of the fest for it, anything is possible. One thing is for sure though…Cannes could very well hold a surprise or two, so all eyes are on the Coen Brothers and company on the jury. It’ll be interesting to compare this to the ultimate winners, which is what I’ll likely do early next week.
Here now are my Cannes award predictions, with brief commentary:
Palme d’Or
I’ve narrowed this down to Carol, The Lobster, and Son of Saul. Haynes’ romantic melodrama is the favorite right now, so I’m not going to go against my fellow pundits, but both The Lobster and Son of Saul would represent family unique choices. Nothing would surprise me here, but those three seem the most likely right now, though don’t count out Youth as well. I’m picking Carol, but I really kind of want to go on a limb with The Lobster. If only I were a bit bolder, I’d […]

Cate Blanchett in “Carol”: Our first big Oscar contender from Cannes 2015

Over the past week or so, the 2015 Cannes Film Festival has slowly unveiled some big time releases. Some, like Woody Allen’s Irrational Man and Gus Van Sant’s The Sea of Trees, have turned out to be longer shots for any Academy Award attention. On the other hand, Cannes has seen Todd Haynes’ Carol launch towards the top of quite a few Oscar contention lists. Yes, while the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, and Emma Stone saw their chances fade, Cate Blanchett, Kyle Chandler, Rooney Mara, and Sarah Paulson certainly had their stock rise. Carol is the cream of the Cannes crop so far…
As a primer, the film is an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt (later retitled Carol). In it, Blanchett plays a married older woman who begins a flirtation and then an affair with a younger woman, played by Mara. Chandler plays Blanchett’s possessive husband, while the cast also includes the aforementioned Paulson in a vital role, alongside the likes of Carrie Brownstein, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and more. Haynes directs, obviously, while the adaptation of Highsmith’s book has been penned by Phyllis Nagy. In some ways, this sounds like similar material to Far From Heaven, but if that is the case, that doesn’t mean that Oscar won’t be very interested, regardless.

I think that this one has some huge awards potential, both at Cannes and beyond as we move towards Oscar season. For starters, it’s certainly a contender now for the Palme d’Or prize as well as citations for Haynes and Blanchett at the fest. At the end of the year, when The Weinstein Company puts it out, it’ll likely be one of the bigger Academy Award players as well. This is one that you really can’t ignore, especially after the glowing reviews from the festival. Before that, it was still a strong possibility given its pedigree, but now…well, things are all that much better for Harvey Weinstein’s likely big shot at Oscar gold.
How good could this one do? Well, I don’t think Carol will wind up leading the field, but Best Picture, Best Director (for Haynes), Best Actress (for Blanchett and/or Mara), Best Supporting Actor (for Chandler), Best Supporting Actress (for Mara and/or Paulson), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Score represent potential nominations. Yes, a double digit total is something that […]

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