One blogger’s word over another

Posted by · 3:00 am · September 16th, 2009

Colin FirthI must say, when I saw and loved Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” at Venice last week, I obviously picked up on the awards possibilities for Colin Firth’s career-best work. Hard not to.

What I didn’t quite anticipate is that it would be the talk of Toronto only a few days later. It’s encouraging to see such a niche film garnering so much attention. That’s what Harvey Weinstein will do for ya.

So, is Colin Firth decisively in the Oscar pack? Well, it depends who you choose to listen to. Anne Thompson says a big “hell yeah”:

Firth, who just turned 39 [sic], is a slam dunk for his first Oscar nomination. While the actor has delivered in many strong roles over the years, including BAFTA-nominated performances in Pride and Prejudice and Bridget Jones Diary, he’s never single-handedly carried a movie like this.

David Poland, meanwhile, offers an equally emphatic “hell no”:

Colin Firth is excellent … It’s the kind of performance in the kind of movie that could draw an Oscar nod in the thin list of actress contenders each year. But Best Actor is a 1000 to 1 shot. In fact, Julianne Moore has a better shot at Supporting, which might be why The Weinsteins bought the film.

If ever you need a textbook application of the standard “nobody knows anything” line, there you have it.

Who to believe? Neither, exactly. I certainly think Anne is closer to the mark, but I’d hesitate to say “slam-dunk.” If “A Single Man” was a safe Stephen Daldry prestige venture, then certainly. But I can’t help feeling that getting the actors’ branch to even watch such a mannered, homoerotic art film is the major challenge that Harvey Weinstein faces.

Not that Weinstein doesn’t like a challenge. For Firth, they’ll need to nurture enough lofty critical buzz around the performance that it slips into consensus-nominee status even for voters who haven’t bothered to watch the film. (Which was precisely what happened for Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” two years ago, though she had the significant advantage of already being an Academy favorite. Firth doesn’t.)

What will be interesting to see, however, is if the Weinsteins plan to lavish equal attention on Firth, Daniel Day-Lewis and Viggo Mortensen. That Firth will be the prime campaigning target of his vehicle should be an advantage.

A strong dark horse, then. But a 1000-to-1 shot? Hardly.




→ 9 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Daily

9 responses so far

  • 1 9-16-2009 at 3:38 am

    Alex said...

    On the topic of bloggers:

    Here is Jeff Wells talking about Mother and Child:

    “I’ve just come from the first TIFF screening of Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother and Child, and if someone picks it up and puts it into NY and LA theatres before 12.31, it’s a Best Picture contender — guaranteed, hands down, take it to the bank. Because sophisticated filmgoers of a certain age are going to cream over this — trust me. All right, don’t trust me…I don’t care. I know what I know and I go to sleep with that every night.”

    Later he wrote:

    “I wrote last night’s riff about Rodrigo Garcia’s Mother and Child without having seen the final 30 minutes. So I went to see it again today at a 12:30 pm Cumberland press screening and was rather surprised to discover that the last 30 minutes are the weakest part of the film”

    Joke

  • 2 9-16-2009 at 5:15 am

    interstellar said...

    –> Alex – I’m sorry that now I don’t have the exact quotes , but Julian Sancton is a one-man-show on vanity fair.

    He similarly changed his mind about ‘Milk’ from a post to another;
    in a week he changed his mind about francis ford coppola
    …and wrote that ‘funny people’ could be apatow’s ‘annie hall’.

  • 3 9-16-2009 at 5:39 am

    Alex said...

    Sancton is rather fickle, relying heavily on ‘buzz’ to determine his opinion.

    Wells, in this case, is unprofessional.

  • 4 9-16-2009 at 6:03 am

    Loyal said...

    Thompson also thinks Firth is 39

    2009-1960=?

  • 5 9-16-2009 at 6:16 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    A typo, I’m sure.

  • 6 9-16-2009 at 1:34 pm

    head_wizard said...

    If anything it makes the year more exciting we have Duvall and Firth to add to the possible best actor race (Duvall is probably already there but still new) in case someone like Daniel Day Lewis or Morgan Freeman don’t do as well as expected. Either way this has defently peaked my curiosity about the film. P

  • 7 9-16-2009 at 1:34 pm

    head_wizard said...

    If anything it makes the year more exciting we have Duvall and Firth to add to the possible best actor race (Duvall is probably already there but still new) in case someone like Daniel Day Lewis or Morgan Freeman don’t do as well as expected. Either way this has defently peaked my curiosity about the film.

  • 8 9-16-2009 at 3:36 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    Anne Thompson didn’t just get Firth’s age wrong. The name of his earlier movie, like the novel on which it was based, is “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” with a possessive.

  • 9 9-16-2009 at 4:25 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Newsflash: when you’re tapping out posts in the narrow windows of time between festival engagements, small mistakes get made.