Franco, Portman make EW Oscar covers

Posted by · 10:54 am · December 29th, 2010

My beginnings following the Oscar season date back to an arbitrary subscription to Entertainment Weekly in the mid-1990s and the odds making fun of it all.  The Oscar issues were always a fave, so that’s why I tend to perk up a bit when they’re revealed each year.  For 2010, we get dueling covers separately featuring host (and Best Actor hopeful for “127 Hours”) James Franco and “Black Swan” star Natalie Portman.  Check it out:




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31 responses so far

  • 1 12-29-2010 at 11:03 am

    interstellar said...

    lovely – especially Franco :D

  • 2 12-29-2010 at 11:04 am

    Simon Warrasch said...

    I hope James Franco and Natalie Portman will win the Oscars for their stunning performances! They deserved it at most! I cross my fingers for you!

  • 3 12-29-2010 at 11:40 am

    AmericanRequiem said...

    natalie wins, franco doesn’t, and thats that…maybe

  • 4 12-29-2010 at 11:42 am

    SC said...

    I still don’t know how I feel about the moustache.

  • 5 12-29-2010 at 11:43 am

    Graysmith said...

    There’s something ickily presumptive about these that I really don’t like, but at least they didn’t photoshop Portman holding an Oscar.

    (And yes, I do realize Franco will be going to the Oscars even if he were to be snubbed for a nomination, but I still don’t care for it.)

  • 6 12-29-2010 at 11:46 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Soooo…do you feel that way every year, Graysmith? About these covers, I mean? Because it’s hardly new to put a contender on the issue.

  • 7 12-29-2010 at 11:59 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    That Franco is so hot right now

  • 8 12-29-2010 at 12:04 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I don’t remember what the covers looked like other years so I can’t comment on that, but in regards to these it’s just the “getting ready to go to the Oscars” posing to them that rubs me the wrong way. Even if they are both all but guaranteed to be nominated/going, it’s still presumptive. Don’t care for it.

  • 9 12-29-2010 at 12:11 pm

    john t. said...

    I truly hope Natalie doesn’t have huge hopes for an Oscar win , because I truly believe this is Annette Bening’s year. Bening is definitely beloved by the acting branch of the Academy – much more than Portman. I respect James Franco . He knows he has no shot in h *** in winning . James smartly chooses to be nonchalant and humorous about this whole Oscar madness . Instead of campaigning big -time for an Academy Award, Franco is finishing is doctorate degree.

  • 10 12-29-2010 at 12:19 pm

    SC said...

    I’m sure Bening is popular, but if she was so “beloved”, she wouldn’t have lost three times already. There are certainly a lot of people who would like to give her one, but her film is in eclipse (whereas “Black Swan” is on the rise), and Bening is, frankly, outside the typical age range for a Best Actress winner now. Only, I think, eight times has the Best Actress winner been as old as Bening is, and three of those were Katharine Hepburn.

  • 11 12-29-2010 at 12:30 pm

    Hans said...

    If Bening wins, this would also be the 3rd year in a row that they would give the Best Actress Oscar for reasons other than the best performance (Winslet – well overdue, Bullock – America’s sweetheart), and Portman’s performance is simply hands down the better one. Globe/BFCA/BAFTA/SAG will tell what’s to come, of course.

  • 12 12-29-2010 at 12:33 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***If Bening wins, this would also be the 3rd year in a row that they would give the Best Actress Oscar for reasons other than the best performance…***

    Oh dear. Because we know this how?

  • 13 12-29-2010 at 1:00 pm

    Jimena said...

    I think Annette Bening is a very talented actress but I really can’t see how she’ll win best actress. So much of the Oscars is determined by factors besides actual performances.

  • 14 12-29-2010 at 1:04 pm

    Hans said...

    @Speaking English

    Obviously none of us ever know anything, it’s all speculation. But you can’t deny those factors I mentioned were huge in getting Winslet and Bullock their Oscars.

  • 15 12-29-2010 at 1:07 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Of course, there are some who think Bening was genuinely better than Portman, but let’s ignore that.

  • 16 12-29-2010 at 1:09 pm

    Pa'Varis said...

    I think Winter Bone stars, John Hawkes and Jennifer Lawerence should be on the cover. But aye magazines must be sold.

  • 17 12-29-2010 at 1:32 pm

    Robert said...

    If they put James Franco on one cover, Anne Hathaway would have been a better, diplomatic choice for the other cover since she’s co-hosting the Oscars.

  • 18 12-29-2010 at 2:40 pm

    matsunaga said...

    I agree with Robert… They should have put Hathaway instead of Portman…

    Well, if Kate Winslet is overdue that year, I think Meryl Streep was as well overdue and on the following year…

    Still can’t decide Between Bening and Portman… I also think Kidman did a very good job in Rabbit Hole….

  • 19 12-29-2010 at 3:38 pm

    ninja said...

    It makes sense that Portman and Franco are on the cover because their movie Your Highness is coming out next year, duh! This isn`t just They Will Win cover. It`s a movie promo too. Like all oscar and other awards presenters who really are there to promote their next movies or movies currently playing.

    That said, nice cover, great pick of stars and Franco stache are hilarious.

    If Benning wins over Portman it`s going to be embarrassing, like The Reader over TDK embarrassing. Portman performance is celebrated as outstanding while Benning is only getting the “she`ll win cause she`s due, married to Warren, well-connected, loved by actors,etc excuses” not because many think it was the best performance of the year. Heck, does anyone honestly think that?

  • 20 12-29-2010 at 5:23 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    I do, ninja. In fact, I think Portman’s performance is overrated. It’s the kind of Big! and Obvious! acting that wins Oscars, but isn’t that effective in creating a character.

    If anything, older women tend to get snubbed by Oscar, while it’s the veteran men who are showered with “career honors.” Read some of Nathaniel Rogers’ recent pieces on the trend. Portman will not be some sort of victory that transcends Oscar trends; it *will* be an Oscar trend; far more than Annette Bening’s more carefully judged work in The Kids Are All Right. But of course, the younger, hotter actress cries and screams and strains to show us just how COMMITTED she is, so the award is hers.

  • 21 12-29-2010 at 6:16 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    @Robert – I think the film is pretty unmistakably “big” and “obvious” and “hysterical” (I also happen to love it), but Portman’s performance really isn’t.

    Sure, it’s a fever-pitch emotional performance, full of extreme ups and down, but there are no real obvious “Oscar” moments or loud, grandstanding monologues. Her best scene in the whole film (near the end in the dressing room, wiping tears off with makeup) is completely silent.

    Plus, (and this should in no way be overlooked) she has a massively demanding physical role to fill out compared with Bening, who just has to sip wine in her sweat pants. I’m not saying it’s right or that it makes Bening’s work insignificant by comparison, but I’m willing to bet it will sway some voters…

  • 22 12-29-2010 at 7:17 pm

    Jimena said...

    I think Bening is better than Portman too. Portman always takes me out of a film – I never think she blends into the story. I think there’s this weird thing with her that people project onto her the promise she showed in the Professional which, in my opinion, never materialized.

  • 23 12-29-2010 at 8:21 pm

    Alex said...

    I only find Portman effective in dark, heightened, genre pictures: Black Swan, V For Vendetta, The Professional, Closer (a lot of black humor).

    She isn’t very strong in the rest of her movies: Brothers (so unbelievable), The Other Boleyn Girl, Mr Magorium’s…, Cold Mountain, Garden State (Manic Pixie Dream Girl), Where the Heart Is, Anywhere But Here…..

    She should realize this and aim for more ‘genre’ pictures.

  • 24 12-29-2010 at 9:37 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Portman is excellent in “Cold Mountain,” one of that film’s boldest and most memorable performances.

  • 25 12-30-2010 at 3:46 am

    Loyal said...

    I’m sure Hathaway was on the cover and an editorial decision was made because Portman is so hot right now. It happens all the time.

    As for Franco’s stache, he’s since shaved it off.

  • 26 12-30-2010 at 7:47 am

    Paul Outlaw said...

    She is indeed outstanding in Cold Mountain.

  • 27 12-30-2010 at 8:42 am

    SoSueMe said...

    I’ll third her Cold Mountain performance…brava!

  • 28 12-31-2010 at 4:59 am

    w11 said...

    Anne Hathaway was on one of EW’s November covers with Jake Gyllenhaal. Since then her film has flopped and her Oscar chances have all but disappeared, despite a requisite Globe nomination. Natalie Portman on the other hand is winning numerous critic’s awards for her performance, while the film itself is doing surprising well at the box office. Then there’s the recent announcement that she is pregnant and engaged, has four films (one of which co-stars Franco) opening in the first six months of next year, and the fact that she is also a lock for an Oscar nomination. So putting her on the cover over Anne Hathaway, despite Hathaway’s involvement in the actual Oscar show, is a no-brainer from an editorial and business sense.

    As for Franco, he is the wildcard of the two Oscar hosts, has two major films opening in the first part of 2011, is also a lock for an Oscar nomination (a long shot for the win, unfortunately) and gives good interview (compared to Hathaway). He also wasn’t recently featured on an EW cover, though was featured as one of their Entertainers of the Year earlier this month. These two are inspired choices for dual Oscar covers. If they wanted to zero in on just Hathaway and Franco as the hosts, they would have put them on the cover together. There would be no need to have separate covers.

  • 29 12-31-2010 at 6:43 am

    JJ1 said...

    Chiming in with the Portman love in ‘Cold Mountain’. LOVED her vignette.

    Wow, only realizing now that she was with Jude Law in that vignette, and then with him again one year later in ‘Closer’. Hmm.

    As for Bening vs. Portman … it’s interesting because they could both be in Best Picture nominated films, which equalizes things, a bit. Don’t you think? I think this race is going to be tight.

  • 30 12-31-2010 at 10:44 am

    sp said...

    w11, Anne Hathaway gives good interviews, especially her interview with Hollywood Deadline. I did enjoy her EW interview with Jake Gyllenhaal. Anne is always funny, smart, articulate and charming with her interviews.

  • 31 1-03-2011 at 7:11 am

    mobias said...

    I just had to/wanted to say it…Natalie is getting more gorgeous every d@mn year…now that she be a mommy…maybe she put a little meat on her bones! ;)

    So looking fwd to Black Swan…