Tag Archives: Jennifer Lawrence

Things We Learned from TIFF 2012

With TIFF winding down, I thought I’d take a look at some of the shifts that we saw, in terms of the upcoming Awards season. I didn’t find there were any huge surprises, but as usual, some new favourites emerged, and some anticipated flicks lost traction.

  • Bradley Cooper can act! (And might get his first Oscar nom, to boot.)
    • I’ve been a Bradley Cooper fan for a while. And while the movies themselves weren’t that great, I thought he showed some acting potential in Limitless and Valentine’s Day. But boy, did he get a good response at TIFF this year. He’s never been much of a critical favourite, but Cooper earned raves for both The Silver Linings Playbook and The Place Beyond the Pines (which is currently slated for a 2013 release). It’s hard to say if he’ll make the jump to Oscar nominee this year, but right now, I’d say he has a decent shot. Especially if he gets a boost from a certain co-star…
  • Speaking of which, Jennifer Lawrence will probably become the youngest actress to get two Oscar nominations
    • The Silver Linings Playbook was met with great response and pegged as a crowd-pleaser. Jennifer Lawrence received heaps of praise, too. Add in the good reviews for The Hunger Games and her general likeability, and I imagine she’ll probably get her second Oscar nomination at just 22 years old. She might just even win the whole thing.
  • The Master, The Silver Linings Playbook, and Argo will be big Oscar players, like we thought
    • These three seemed well-suited for Oscar glory, and they all received nearly universal praise at TIFF. I’d expect them all to get Best Picture and acting nominations.
  • Hyde Park on Hudson may not be the big Oscar player many thought it would be
    • The FDR biopic really just failed to make much of an impression at all at TIFF. Its buzz seems to have dropped considerably overnight – even for Bill Murray, who seemed like the film’s only definite nomination.
  • Kristen Wiig definitely won’t be getting her second Oscar nom this year
    • Imogene‘s reviews were so bad that I’d expect the film to be shuffled for an inconspicuous limited release next summer
  • Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha), Noami Watts (The Impossible), and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed) are now Best Actress dark horses
    • Winstead’s goodwill from Sundance carried over, Watts earned raves, and Gerwig came out of nowhere to become a critical darling. But will any of them sneak in for a nomination?
  • Anna Karenina and Cloud Atlas will do really well in the technical categories. But will they score anywhere else?
    • Both received mixed reviews but were lauded for their visuals. Knightley still seems like a good bet for Best Actress, but will either find much traction elsewhere in the big categories?

The Mid-Year Report: Favourite Performances

Which Moonrise Kingdom star will crack my top 10?

  1. Mark Duplass, Safety Not Guaranteed – For bringing humour and humanity to a character who could have seemed way over the top, and for damn near breaking my heart in the process
  2. Jake Johnson, Safety Not Guaranteed – For not only being hilarious, but also taking a stock character (the douche-y, cocky reporter) and making him someone we care about
  3. Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games – For offering a strong, internalized performance to a teen blockbuster
  4. Channing Tatum, Magic Mike – For making me a Channing Tatum fan
  5. Edward Norton, Moonrise Kingdom – For taking a small role and stealing the whole damn movie
  6. Jack Black, Bernie – For bringing ambiguity and heaps of charm to a character who should be black-and-white
  7. Brie Larson, 21 Jump Street – For playing a hugely charming love interest and being genuinely funny in her own right
  8. Chris Hemsworth, Snow White and the Huntsman – For once again playing the macho leading man while still balancing the physical requirements with humour and warmth
  9. Aubrey Plaza, Safety Not Guaranteed – For proving she has the charisma and acting chops to be an offbeat leading lady
  10. Charlize Theron, Snow White and the Huntsman – For bringing the wrath and just generally being fierce

Honorable Mentions: Woody Harrelson in The Hunger Games (for being his usual sassy self, and also hinting at the dark undertones of Haymitch), Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum in 21 Jump Street (for working together brilliantly), Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (for making a fetching pair and elevating otherwise light material), Dane DeHaan in Chronicle (for making a highly charismatic leading debut), Gina Carano in Haywire (for kicking ass and offering up menacing on-screen presence), Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike (for saying “alright, alright, alright” a couple dozen times).

FIRST Oscar Predictions: May 2012

The past couple of years, I’ve posted ultra-early Oscar predictions (usually in March). I guess I was slacking a bit this year, but here is my first round of predictions.

If you’d like to see how my early stabs in the dark panned out in previous years, you can check them out here.


Best Picture

Amour

Anna Karenina

Argo

The Dark Knight Rises

Django Unchained

The Hobbit

Les Miserables

Life of Pi

Lincoln

The Master

Other Possibilities: Moonrise Kingdom, The Great Gatsby, Inside Lllewyn Davis, Hyde Park on Hudson, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Zero Dark Thirty, Killing Them Softly, The Silver Lining Playbook, Gravity, Trouble With the Curve, The Place Beyond the Pines, Brave, Gangster Squad, Lawless, Six Sessions, Rust and Bone, Prometheus, Seven Psychopaths

 

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Michael Haneke, Amour

Peter Jackson, The Hobbit

Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Stephen Spielberg, Lincoln

Other Possibilities: Tom Hooper (Les Miserables), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained), Joel and Ethan Coen (Inside Llewyn Davis), David O. Russell (The Silver Lining Playbook), Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly), Baz Luhrman (The Great Gatsby), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Ben Affleck (Argo), Roger Michell (Hyde Park on Hudson), David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis), Ridley Scott (Prometheus)

 

Best Actor

Clint Eastwood, Trouble with the Curve

This movie sounds like a crowd-pleasing heartstring-tugger, and also a great acting showcase.

John Hawkes, Six Sessions

Hawkes received massive buzz at Sundance for Six Sessions (then known as The Surrogate). He’s an actor whose had a huge breakthrough recently and has been making very smart role choices. I strongly think he will get his second nomination this year.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

I’m not sure how the Lead/Supporting split will go with Hoffman and Phoenix (I’ve seen it predicted both ways), but I imagine they’ll both be nominated. It’s about time for another PSH nomination, right?

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

If there’s one nomination I am almost positive will happen this year, this is it. Unless this turns out to be J. Edgar or something, it’ll happen. Not sure if DDL will get a third Oscar so quickly, but he’ll almost certainly be nominated.

Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

I personally don’t think this movie will have the awards season sweep that a lot of people seem to be predicting (it sounds more Iron Lady than King’s Speech, to me), but it seems pretty likely that Bill Murray will be nominated for Best Actor. He might even win his first one.

Other Possibilities: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Great Gatsby), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond the Pines), Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly), Ryan Gosling (Gangster Squad),

 

Best Actress

Amy Adams, Trouble With the Curve

Adams has three Supporting Actress nominations under her belt already, and this father/daughter drama could get her a Lead Actress nom. The Academy clearly loves her, so between this and The Master (which I am currently predicting her for, as well), it seems fairly likely she’ll get nominated again this year.

Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

Cotillard made big waves at Cannes this year for her apparently raw performance in this Jacques Audiard drama. It is a French-language performance, though, which could be a tough sell to the Academy.

Helen Hunt, Six Sessions

Since winning her Oscar for As Good as It Gets, Helen Hunt’s career hasn’t exactly been stellar. However, this Sundance hit could be the one to turn it around for her. John Hawkes might overshadow her, since it is his character’s story, but who knows?

Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina

On paper, this sounds like a good bet. It’s the adaptation of a beloved classic novel directed by Joe Wright and starring Keira Knightley. That formula worked very well for Knightley with Pride & Prejudice. We’ll have to wait and see if this one works quite as well, though.

Elizabeth Olsen, Liberal Arts

Olsen established herself as a truly talented young actress with Martha Marcy May Marlene last year. And while Liberal Arts looks considerably lighter, she received raves at Sundance, with some critics calling it a star-making turn. Not sure if this is a lead or supporting performance, though.

Other Possibilities: Kristen Wiig (Imogene), Laura Linney (Hyde Park on Hudson), Viola Davis (Won’t Back Down), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Smashed), Mia Wasikowska (Stoker), Maggie Smith (Qaurtet), Abbie Cornish (The Girl), Meryl Streep (Hope Springs)

 


Best Supporting Actor

Bradley Cooper, The Place Beyond the Pines

Maybe it’s wishful thinking or maybe it’s a hunch, but I have a feeling that Bradley Cooper will get serious Oscar consideration this year. I don’t know if the Academy would nominate him in the lead category yet (especially when it’s shaping up to be so competitive this year), but if this is a meaty role and he does it well, this could be the perfect “welcome to the club” nomination for him.

Bryan Cranston, Argo

Affleck has had luck getting his supporting players nominated in the past. There are plenty of possible acting nominations for this film, but Cranston seems to have the right combination of critical respect (for his excellent work on Breaking Bad) and relevance (his many recent supporting roles) to maybe get some Oscar recognition, if the role is good.

Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained

DiCaprio hasn’t been on the best terms with the Academy recently, and while I don’t think this nomination is a lock by any means, it seems like a pretty good bet. Tarantino always writes fascinating characters, and it should be interesting to see how DiCaprio does with that style.

Woody Harrelson, Seven Psychopaths

Admittedly, I’m at a bit of a loss with this category. Apparently, Harrelson has a very good part in Seven Psychopaths, and he’s had a few good years, so it could happen.

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Joaquin is back, and I think he’ll pick up right where he left off. And while a three-minute clip is hardly enough to go from, he looks fantastic in this movie.

Other Possibilities: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), David Straitharn (Lincoln), Robert De Niro (The Silver Lining Playbook), Justin Timberlake (Inside Llewyn Davis), Guy Pearce (Lawless), Tom Hardy (Lawless), Josh Brolin (Gangster Squad), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Lincoln), Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths)

 


Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, The Master

I have no idea what Adams’ or Dern’s parts are like (and maybe I’m just way too excited about The Master), but I could see both of them getting nominated. After all, if there’s a category where that could happen, it’s Supporting Actress (The Help! The Fighter! Up in the Air! Doubt! Two of which involved Amy Adams…)

Laura Dern, The Master

Dern has had a bit of a comeback with her work on the TV show Enlightened, and if her part is good, she could receive her first Oscar nomination is twenty years.

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Maybe I’m still sore about Hooper beating Fincher two years back, but for me, Les Miserables just has the faint scent of disaster. Now, if that turns out to be true, that doesn’t mean it’ll get shut out by the Oscars (hey, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Lovely Bones!). Hathaway seems like most likely candidate for a nomination.

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

I’m not sure if this movie will be Oscar’s thing, but Jennifer Lawrence is too big of a force to ignore right now. The Academy voters helped launch her by nominating her for Winter’s Bone, so they’ll probably want to follow that up with another nomination sometime soon.

Olivia Williams, Hyde Park on Hudson

Williams has been turning out fantastic, under-recognized work for many years. Maybe this glossy biopic will be what it takes to get her some attention. Playing Eleanor Roosevelt certainly can’t hurt.

Other Possibilities: Vanessa Redgrave (Song for Marion), Jessica Chastain (Lawless), Reece Witherspoon (Mud), Gemma Arterton (Song for Marion), Sally Field (Lincoln), Kerry Washington (Django Unchained), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jacki Weaver (The Silver Lining Playbook)

Hunger Games Casting

I recently jumped into the Hunger Games hysteria, and I enjoyed the first book in the series (the only one I’ve read so far) quite a bit. It’s a fast-paced story (sometimes too much so), and though I hate to echo the masses, I basically could not put it down. It’s definitely not high literature, but it’s a really fun read.

Of course, Jennifer Lawrence was recently cast as leading lady Katniss Everdeen. I thought they would be going for a younger cast, but Lawrence was fantastic in Winter’s Bone, so I’m happy to see her in anything. (But since she’s also in the X-Men reboot, I was kind of hoping that she wouldn’t be in any more big franchises.)

That leaves the two key roles of Peeta (Katniss’ companion in the Hunger Games) and Gale (her childhood friend from home). Slash Film recently released this list of supposed good bets for each of the roles:

Hunter Parrish – 23 years old (Weeds)
Josh Hutcherson – 18 years old (The Kids Are All Right)
Evan Peters – 24 years old (Kick-Ass)
Alexander Ludwig – 19 years old (Escape to Witch Mountain)
Lucas Till – 20 years old (Battle: LA, X-Men: First Class)

I have to echo the popular vote here and put my support behind Hunter Parrish for Peeta. He just seems like the perfect choice. I think that he’ll ultimately get the part, because he already has a strong fanbase and seems to be just on the cusp of being a huge star. He and Lawrence would probably make a good match, too.

I initially couldn’t picture Hutcherson as Peeta, but aside from the age difference between him and Lawrence, the idea is kind of growing on me. But to be honest, I actually think that he should aim higher than The Hunger Games. Despite being the youngest of this group, Hutcherson is probably the most established. He’s already done a lot of action-y blockbusters (Journey to the Center of the Earth, Zathura, Cique Du Freak), and with two more on the horizon (a Journey sequel and the Red Dawn re-boot), he should move on. Or, at least, he should go for movies where it’s his vehicle. Really, though, despite his jock-ish looks, I think he’s better suited for more low-key fare. He was really good in Bridge to Terabithia when he was only a young teen, and though he wasn’t given much to do, he showed considerable charisma in The Kids Are All Right.

As for Evan Peters, I like what I’ve seen from him. He made a good sidekick in Kick-Ass, and though it was a random, one-episode role, I really loved him as Michael Scott’s bored slacker nephew on The Office. He was also on the short-lived show Invasion from a few years ago, and I remember really liking him on that, too. It’s great to see him getting considered for big roles like these, but he seems like a strange fit for Peeta.

Lucas Till looks the part alright for Peeta, but I’ve never seen any of his movies, so I can’t really comment on his acting skill. But I will say that I think Parrish has a sturdier, more outward charisma that is required for the role.

Liam Hemsworth – 21 years old (The Last Song)
David Henrie – 21 years old (The Wizards of Waverly Place)
Robbie Amell – 22 years old (Nickelodeon’s True Jackson, VP)
Drew Roy – 24 years old (Secretariat, Greek)

I have to admit, I know virtually nothing about these guys. I know Hemsworth was in that Miley Cyrus movie and dated her for a while (are they still together? I can never keep track of these things, nor do I particularly want to), but he seems way too flashy for Gale. The other three all look the part decently, but based purely on looks, my vote out of that group would be for Drew Roy. He has the strongest “boy-next-door” vibe going for him. At 24, he seems way too old to be playing a character who’s 16 (or is he supposed to be/look older than he actually is in the book? I can’t remember.) but if they’re going to cast Lawrence and (hopefully) Parrish, he probably wouldn’t look too out of place.

The Hollywood Reporter says that things are “not limited” to the names above, which makes things interesting. They’d be crazy to go with anyone aside from Parrish (please not Alex Pettyfer!), but based on that list, the role of Gale seems to still be anyone’s game. I personally think Matthew Beard would be a good choice (you may remember him as the perpetually ignored Graham in An Education).