1/5 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Paltrow and “singer-as-Oscar-bait,” 80 years of THR, questioning Bening’s, er, overdueness

Posted by · 9:07 am · January 5th, 2011

Larry Getlen on Gwyneth Paltrow in “Country Strong” and the “singer-as-Oscar-bait phenomenon.” [New York Post]

The this year’s Oscar hopefuls who got their starts as child actors. [Variety]

In celebrating THR’s 80th anniversary, Todd McCarthy picks the 80 greatest Hollywood moments. [Hollywood Reporter]

Melena Ryzik sits down with “I Am Love” star Tilda Swinton. [The Carpetbagger]

John Luchetti wonders whether Annette Bening is really overdue for an Oscar. [The Film Stage]

David Ng says Banksy’s Oscar chances are “looking strong” for “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” [Los Angeles Times]

And by the way, David Poland has been keeping track of select top 10 lists. [Movie City News]

(PLEASE NOTE: Be sure to check back later for Guy’s list of the best and worst of 2010.  Also, the USC Scripter finalists will be announced today.)

[Photo: Screen Gems]




→ 17 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

17 responses so far

  • 1 1-05-2011 at 9:33 am

    Screen Savour said...

    Interesting to see that link about Oscar hopefuls who were previously child actors. I’ve been thinking about ages since I saw “True Grit” last week. It does seem like this year’s acting field is unusually young — which isn’t a bad thing at all. The precursors (Firth, Leo, et al.) obviously suggest it’s going to go otherwise, but if awards went to Eisenberg/Portman/Garfield/Steinfeld, the entire acting field winners would be under 30 (not to mention Lawrence and Kunis). Replace Garfield with Bale and the entire acting field is still under 40.

  • 2 1-05-2011 at 9:42 am

    billybil said...

    Mr. Luchetti makes some excellent points regarding Bening being so-called overdue for an Oscar. She is a fine, capable actress but no more so than Joan Allen or Laura Linney and they still don’t have Oscars either. There are certain people who are truly exceptionable and always shine way above others – Streep and Winslet are the 2 that come to mind the most – that consistently give what Mr. Luchetti refers to as “iconic” turns and “starpower”. But Bening is not a member of that elite group. Despite the misgivings Luchetti has with Portman’s performance, I think she does demonstrate more of that exceptional work that should be what wins the Oscar. We’ll see. But I particularly appreciate his reference to the other “Oscarless” star in KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT – Julianne Moore – who, for me, does reach beyond exceptional into iconic more often than not. Damn I’m disappointed she’s not getting the attention she deserves this year.

  • 3 1-05-2011 at 9:44 am

    Maxim said...

    It certainly says something considering not just a realtive dearth of Older Adult Performances characters but also the fact that the few like Leslie Manville struggle to ever get in. Where’s Meryl Streep when you need her?

  • 4 1-05-2011 at 9:45 am

    darklayers said...

    I passionately loathe the phrase ‘overrated’ and think Natalie Portman did give the performance this year of any female, especially among the leads. I concur that she’s not overdue, but I think many folks have considered this point. I think Owen Gleiberman pointed out that usually it’s a career achievement award or an honor for a past performance or two that didn’t win, and Jeff Bridges’ “moment” was “The Big Lebowski.”

    I don’t know that there’s a moment like that in Bening’s past which creams overdue. All of which is to say, I agree that Bening is not really overdue.

  • 5 1-05-2011 at 9:47 am

    darklayers said...

    billybil, another to add: Cate Blanchett (though she has her win!)

  • 6 1-05-2011 at 10:01 am

    John L. said...

    Thanks for linking my commentary, Kris. It’s good to see that it is getting a thoughtful and engaging response from your readers!

    billybil – There are definitely a wealth of overdue actresses like Allen and Linney (not to mention Close, Weaver, Pfeiffer and Moore) that seem much more deserving of this sort of “make-up” win. I can’t begrudge Bening for getting lucky here but considering these types of wins are very rare for women over 40, it makes me lose hope for her contemporaries.

    darklayers – Overrated is a bit overused, you’re right. I think I came across a bit harsher on Portman than I really am but I didn’t have space to breakdown my thoughts on her performance. I think she is great in Black Swan but not as compelling as other “lightening in a bottle” Oscar winners such as Theron and Cotillard.

  • 7 1-05-2011 at 10:43 am

    Encore Entertainment said...

    @ BillyBill, – But wouldn’t you say that Laura Linney or most definitely Joan Allen is overdue? Sure, Annette may not have had the large number of great performances but I’d say that even though Swank’s work in BOYS DON’T CRY is excellent, Bening’s Carolyn Burnham is just as excellent, more so I say. Obviously, it’s a case of subjectivity but I’d say she was the best of the 2004 slot too – even though Staunton and Winslet were especially good too.

    @ John L – I don’t think overdue necessarily means a particular number of nominations, it’s more of someone who’s had great performances (regardless of nods) that should have a win by now. Helena Bonham Carter has one Oscar nomination, but I’d say she’s more overdue for a nomination than Laura Linney, who has three.

  • 8 1-05-2011 at 10:44 am

    Encore Entertainment said...

    And the more obvious answer, I do think Bening’s performance is worthy of the win, though Moore’s is just as worthy.

  • 9 1-05-2011 at 10:47 am

    Encore Entertainment said...

    Okay, last correction: I’d day HBC is more overdue for a WIN than Linney.

  • 10 1-05-2011 at 10:49 am

    billybil said...

    YES darklayers – you’re so right about Cate Blanchett – she needs a Best Actress win to add to her Supporting one!

    John L – I would agree with you on Pfeiffer and certainly Moore -butI feel like Weaver hasn’t even had one real iconic moment except maybe in GORILLAS – and Close has never come even remotely near FATAL ATTRACTION again. (Most of the time, Close does NOT do it for me. She’s too calculating – I actually find that some of the criticism lobbed at Streep for being too much like a machine is more apt for Close. In 1988 Close was so OFF in DANGEROUS LIAISONS it made me crazy! If you saw Lindsay Crouse in the original play you’d better understand how the role should have been played. The character is VERY PASSIONATE and SENSUAL while ALSO being smart as hell and calculating. The story really works when she is more overtly hot and seductive – it makes the choices of the other characters much more understandable and involving. The woman who SHOULD have played the role in the movie was KATHLEEN TURNER – she is fantastic at being hot and smart all at the same time. She was BORN for that part.)

    It’s also interesting to note that Annette Bening played the Glenn Close part in the Milos Forman production of the same story (VALMONT) opposite Colin Firth (rather than Malkovich who was Close’s Valmont). Bening actually had more heat in the role than Close but she still didn’t come close to the wonderful heat Turner would have brought. I think I’ll Netflix this version again – I want to consider Firth in the role after his last 2 great performances.

    I digress – sorry. Indeed Bening is lucky this year and you’re right – actresses over 40 don’t have the greatest opportunities. Certainly in now way do I begrudge Bening a nomination this year (I thought she was extremely good in KIDS) – but I DO profoundly begrudge her the nomination over Moore for the same film. In fact I hate that so much that it makes me not want to see Bening win. Thank God I can feel good and justified in wanting Portman to win instead.

    I still haven’t seen ANOTHER COUNTRY so I don’t know if Manville is going to win me over above Portman.

    And I absolutely DO know what you mean about “lightning in a bottle” like Theron and Cotillard (and Streep in SOPHIE’S CHOICE). Those are the cinematic moments I CHERISH!!!

  • 11 1-05-2011 at 11:04 am

    billybil said...

    Encore Entertainment – YES, I definitely would like to see Linney or Allen win an Oscar – quite frankly I feel they have both contributed MORE consistently excellent performances than Annette Bening so, for me, both of them are more DUE than Bening. Definitely more DUE. But then I’d give Streep 2 more and Winslet at least one more before I’d give any of these other women one so you can see I have my strong preferences. :-)

    But I STRONGLY disagree with you about Helena Bonham Carter. To me she is a very strong PERSONALITY who can, in the right circumstances, do very good work indeed but she is no where the consistently accomplished, effective actress that Joan Allen, Laura Linney are.

    Actually this blog is really helping me clarify something for myself. I see actresses like Allen, Linney, Bening and even Close as accomplished professionals who can be counted on to deliver reliably excellent performances.

    Then there are actresses who have greater “star” quality – something special and unique about them – like J. Moore, HBCarter, M. Pfeiffer, S. Weaver, N. Portman, C. Theron, M. Cotillard, who can be extremely effective in certain circumstances and maybe not so much in others.

    And then there are the goddesses who are always a combination of both – always excellent, always lightning in a bottle! Right now I can only think of two – Streep and Winslet. Help me – there must be others! Cotillard and Blanchett may be inching close to this level. Perhaps Portman someday… Truth is, Blanchett should be here but there’s just something about her that I can’t entirely embrace. That’s my problem – certainly in terms of her work she should be included in this section.

    Anyway – this is fun, guys. Thanks

  • 12 1-05-2011 at 11:18 am

    Joseph said...

    I agree 100% with the Bening article. “Beauty” was her best chance at a win. She was nowhere near a win for “Julia”. Portman deserves to win this year. I hope Swank is not nominated so the media story cannot steal Portman’s thunder. And if someone is overdue for a win with one incredible performance after another, it’s ironically Bening’s co-star Julianne Moore. I can rhyme off a lot more deserving performances from her.

  • 13 1-05-2011 at 11:58 am

    John L. said...

    Encore – I agree – overdue isn’t contingent upon the number of nominations but still feel Bening’s career between her Oscar noms leaves A LOT to be desired.

    billybil – You don’t think Weaver’s first nominated role for Aliens is iconic? I’d say it is more so than her work in Gorillas. It’s really a crime she didn’t get nominated or win for her career-best role in Ang Lee’s The Ice Storm. Check it out if you haven’t already.

  • 14 1-05-2011 at 12:32 pm

    tony rock said...

    To this day I still can’t believe it’s Bening receiving Oscar buzz and not Moore. Especially since Moore is more of a lead than Bening. What the hell?

  • 15 1-05-2011 at 12:46 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    I want Annette Bening to win. People claim they prefer quieter, non-showy performances but when one shows up with a chance to take the prize all of a sudden it’s not enough.

  • 16 1-05-2011 at 12:56 pm

    billybil said...

    OK John L – I’ll check out The Ice Storm again – it has been a long while.

    As for ALIENS – I thought about it but…oh hell, I guess being tough and fierce isn’t enough for me. Did she do more than that? Maybe I better rent that one again too.

    And yes Tony Rock – it just doesn’t make sense!

  • 17 1-05-2011 at 5:45 pm

    RJL said...

    Bening overdue? Let her earn 8 nominations like O’Toole and then we’ll talk! I watched The Kids Are All Right last night. Sorry… it didn’t resonate with me. If anyone should be being considered for an overdue Oscar, in my mind, it should be Julianne Moore. Mark Ruffalo’s performance? Is he a one-trick pony? Same performance in TKAAR as in every other movie I’ve seen with him. The two best performances in the movie, in my opinion, were Moore and the daughter. Bening was ok, but not Oscar-calibre.