In Contention

OFF THE CARPET: And we’re off!

Posted by · 3:09 pm · September 6th, 2011

This morning’s interview with “Into the Abyss” director Werner Herzog represented my last Telluride communique (though I guess I was already home) from this year’s 38th annual festivities. Five days, 18 posts, nine movies and three interviews. It was a dense sprint to start the race, and now, with Venice still in-progress and Toronto set to raise the curtain Thursday, we find ourselves in the thick of the season’s early breaths.

Up in the Colorado mountains, the biggest takeaway was Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.” Payne was highly visible throughout the festival, sometimes taking in six or seven movies a day, fielding compliments for his work and settling in to what has apparently become his favorite festival experience.

His film first dropped on Thursday afternoon as a special invitation screening for press and patrons. That’s where most of the early word stemmed from as critics and bloggers (yours truly among them) raced back to offer up our thoughts on the director’s first film in seven years. But that’s not the story of that film’s life at Telluride. The story was its discovery for the rest of the attendees over the next four days.

From my bed & breakfast room I could often hear people walking on the street talking, discussing what they’d seen, what they wanted to see, etc. I overheard one conversation as I was working that made me smile. A gentleman told his friend, “Try not to see ‘The Descendants’ too early. It will ruin the rest of the festival for you. Nothing else is better.”

Indeed, the film seemed to be the one that set the festival abuzz more than any other. Much of that is understandably owed to the presence of George Clooney, who I’m told ended up doing way more than Fox Searchlight publicity anticipated: attending the Patron Brunch, spending three solid hours at the studio’s Saturday night party, etc. It’s almost as if he could feel it, smelling it in the water that the film was taking off with everyone in town. Meanwhile, co-star Shailene Woodley also turned up, and she hit the ground running. Expect to hear more from and about her over the next few weeks.

But it wasn’t all about Clooney and his film. The other big winner was, no question, Michel Hazanavicus’s “The Artist,” which continued its festival stay and was probably the second-most buzzed about film at Telluride. People simply adore this one, and as we’ve been saying here for quite a while, it’s poised to stay at the top of the awards conversation throughout the circuit.

Glenn Close got a nice press bump heading into Toronto for her work in “Albert Nobbs,” which was generously received by A.O. Scott at The New York Times (a sizeable feather in the film’s cap). The rest of the early circuit will tell the tale on this one, but Roadside Attractions is feeling very optimistic.

Concurrently with Telluride, the Venice film fest was pushing ahead, showing some of the same films we got up north. “A Dangerous Method” was one of them, and it left plenty cold on the Lido before doing pretty much the same thing in Colorado. Sony Classics might try to play with a lead actress campaign for Keira Knightley, who chews the scenery in the early portions of the film, but my humble advice — especially since the “Carnage” quartet is said to be a four-lead campaign — is to keep her in supporting and hope she turns up there.

The film is a heady piece that isn’t likely to gain much traction elsewhere (certainly not as a Best Picture candidate), and even though Viggo Mortensen is wonderful (yet contained) in his scenes, Knightley is the get here.

Speaking of “Carnage,” Jodie Foster seems to have turned out the big winner on that front in Venice. If Sony Classics indeed sticks with Knightley in a lead campaign, the course could be clear for Foster, who has the studio very excited for a potential nomination.

“Shame” is still looking for a buyer after playing Venice and Telluride on the same day. Unfortunately none of the talent was on hand, opting instead for the world premiere in Italy, but by most accounts in Telluride, the film was a demanding, intense piece that didn’t fully set the crowds alight. Then again, it’s not that kind of piece, and I imagine most will still be thinking about it after a number of days have passed. My love for it is on the record. The film may turn up some studio interest in Toronto, but Fox Searchlight was sniffing around it at Telluride…

…which has me thinking. Combined with pick-ups for very non-Searchlight (as of late) titles “The Tree of Life” (which, by the way, did indeed screen for the studio at last year’s Telluride fest, though the deal was pretty much on the way to signatures) and “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” I think nabbing Steve McQueen’s film would be a great statement that the dependent isn’t merely in the business of “indie but accessible.” But we’ll see if that pans out or if IFC Films wants to stay in business with McQueen. Whoever picks it up, it would have to be a labor of love, because this will be an NC-17 that the director won’t cut and Oscars are certainly out of the question.

Sticking with Venice, Madonna’s “W.E.” crashed and burned with little but the costumes surviving. Sony’s “The Ides of March” kicked things off as a certified Oscar horse before Telluride and Payne stole the Clooney buzz. And “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” may have emerged as the thinking man’s Best Picture play (while also potentially presenting the case for Tom Hardy to be a double nominee this year, while already solidifying what we assumed: Gary Oldman is a major Best Actor threat).

Also worth noting is Jessica Chastain’s under-the-radar award at Venice that could be the beginnings of a stampede, should one film bubble up as THE film for her and her Oscar hopes. “The Help” winning its third-straight weekend at the box office sure did a lot to keep her conversation going, too. And the Best Foreign Language Film conversation continued on both festival fronts as films like “The Turin Horse,” “In Darkness” (which world-premiered at Telluride), “A Separation,” “Le Havre” and “The Kid with a Bike,” among others, played to audiences.

Then, a day later, we have an Oscar host. Talk about being off to the races.

I think that’s a decent enough overview, but I’ve gone into some depth across the various category pages in our Contenders section this week. So rather than being somewhat redundant, I’ll just point you there. All of the predictions there are now reflected in the sidebar. Apologies for this column being a day late, but the sleep was nice.

Next week we’ll be mid-Toronto with a whole other list of considerations. Until then, enjoy the updates. You can go back and check out my Telluride coverage here and Guy’s on-going Venice coverage here.

[Photos: Fox Searchlight Pictures, Roadside Attractions/Liddell Entertainment, Focus Features]

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55 responses so far

  • 1 9-06-2011 at 3:44 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Why did the man saying that make you smile? I thought you were a bit cool on “The Descendants.”

  • 2 9-06-2011 at 3:47 pm

    Mr. F said...

    So, is it official that Tintin will be submitted for animation?

    And right now I feel that unless Streep, Theron, Williams, or Weiz (if The Deep Blue Sea is picked up) blow us away, the Best Actress prize is Davis’s to lose.

  • 3 9-06-2011 at 4:01 pm

    m1 said...

    I don’t even think that Davis will be nominated.

  • 4 9-06-2011 at 4:12 pm

    SC said...

    I think Davis being nominated is likely, between how great she is in it, the huge success of the film, the fact that the Academy already likes her (they nominated her in Supporting for a very small role), and the desire to have a non-white nominee in that category.

  • 5 9-06-2011 at 4:23 pm

    med said...

    It looks like Close will join the Deborah Kerr-Themla Ritter club with six nominations and zero wins…

  • 6 9-06-2011 at 4:24 pm

    James said...

    Just have Portman had Oldman his oscar and lets go on with it. jk. That would be really cool actually. Can’t see to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Been glad to see Oldman working again and getting surprisingly plenty to do in the harry potter and especially Nolan’s Batman films. That being said I’ve been waiting to see him in a lead role again. Looks Alfredson fulfilled that request.

  • 7 9-06-2011 at 4:39 pm

    Billyboy said...

    Looks like a good year for SPC. Already with a box office success in their hands, here’s hoping they won’t screw with their Oscar campaigns.

    Midnight in Paris, Picture, Director, Original Screenplay plus Corey Stoll in Supporting.

    Jodie Foster, lead, Carnage.

    Keira Knightley, supporting/lead, ADM

    And A Separation for Best Foreign Language Film

  • 8 9-06-2011 at 4:41 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    English: It didn’t leave me cool, I was just somewhat reserved. But I’m glad someone liked a movie. So hard to believe? Jeez…

    F: It was always going to be submitted. The question is eligibility.

  • 9 9-06-2011 at 4:43 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Billyboy: They also have In Darkness, which could easily be nominated.

  • 10 9-06-2011 at 4:47 pm

    /3rtfull said...


    Please, your omen is depressing me. I fucking hate ageism in the Best Actress category.

  • 11 9-06-2011 at 4:48 pm

    matt said...

    Kris, your current predictions for Best Actress have all been nominated before. Since 94, AMPAS has consistently made room for 1 or 2 new nominees.

    Do you think the male members will be able to fight their desire to nominate a young ingenue and stick with the returners? (especially considering some of the talent available, Jones, Olsen, Mara, even Dunst…)

  • 12 9-06-2011 at 4:49 pm

    Liz said...


    If it makes you feel any better, that’s because med is talking about Streep winning. Believe me, we’ll be hearing him/her saying the same thing for the next six months.

  • 13 9-06-2011 at 5:07 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    matt: Thanks for the stat but, well, I don’t really care right now. The last thing I do in September is look at predictions and say, “Oh, wait, all of these people have been nominated. That’s not gonna happen. Time to arbitrarily dismiss one of them.”

    But in any case, Felicity Jones and Elizabeth Olsen are real possibilities. I just want to see Academy response to their films first.

  • 14 9-06-2011 at 5:08 pm

    med said...


    You are full of shit. I know Streep will not win this year and from the buzz it looks like Davis will win. By the way, I can talk about anything I like for the next six months whether you like it or not.

  • 15 9-06-2011 at 5:09 pm

    Michael said...

    Does it look like Tom Hardy is wearing lipstick in that picture or is it just me?

    I think Moneyball getting the boot all of a sudden is a pretty good indication of how well that turned out (plus the September release…) I haven’t seen Warrior yet myself, but something about it gives off a very Conviction/Secretariat vibe to me. I think it might make decent business, but I really don’t think it’s gonna get nominated for anything at all. Is anyone really pining for Nick Nolte the way they are for Oldman and Close? Besides, I think the comfort food nominee quotient will be handily (and deservedly imho) filled by The Help quite nicely.

    Everything else seems like a pretty good indication of what is likely to come. I keep holding out that Michael Shannon and Elizabeth Olsen will find a way in, but I believe their films are just too small to sneak in (although they would make me quite happy if they did get in.)

    Also, please Fox Searchlight/IFC/someone/anyone release Shame this year asap b/c I am dying to see that movie more than anything else this year. k thanks.

  • 16 9-06-2011 at 5:11 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    He just has pretty lips, Michael:

  • 17 9-06-2011 at 5:24 pm

    j said...

    I can’t see Davis winning Best Actress. Glenn Close has a much better “awards narrative” and is much more lead. Though actually I see the perceived race right now as being sorta 1950-ish: after her first 2 BA noms (consecutive), she disappeared for 2 decades before a glorious project crafted around her. Fighting against an actress who got 2 Oscars within 4 years of her first nom, then racked up many consecutive losses to the point that she seemed due for her 3rd. Though who could really be Jennifer Holliday, I don’t know. If Close is really strong, I could see McTeer as a much less confusing Maggie Gyllenhaal, a filler nom to show how Close is gonna win.

    It also seems unlikely for The Help to get 3 actress noms. The film itself seems a bit too lightweight and the reception while generally positive not effusive. But if Sandra Bullock can muscle her way to an Oscar and even pick up a Best Picture nom, well.

    If Winslet’s campaigned in lead, then she should have a good chance at a double Globe nom – for the “comedy” film and Mildred Pierce.

    I just noticed that Bejo is married to The Artist’s director. Filmsite teaches me: Frances McDormand won the Best Actress Oscar directed by her spouse. Other wives nominated for films made by their director husbands. Melina Mercouri, nominated for Never on Sunday, Gena Rowlands, nominated for A Woman Under the Influence, Julie Andrews for Victor/Victoria. Bejo would be a more pleasant choice than Bullock, Dench, or Wood.

    I can see TTSS doing better with Baftas than Oscars, perhaps with extra random acting noms that don’t have a chance of getting in at the latter awards (like Nowhere Boy, or Miranda Richardson/Barbara Hershey last year).

    Dropping Tree of Life and Midnight in Paris from BP noms, interesting. I concur with the latter more, since MiP’s box office really isn’t astounding given the budget and where it stands among Allen releases adjusted for inflation. There aren’t standout acting possibilities. Tree of Life does have better reviews than Thin Red Line which did get major noms, for what that’s worth.

  • 18 9-06-2011 at 5:35 pm

    med said...


    What does your reference to Jennifer Holliday mean???


  • 19 9-06-2011 at 5:44 pm

    DylanS said...

    Kris: I’m surprised at your choices of Jonah Hill (previously, of course) and now Patton Oswalt in supporting actor. I just don’t see the Academy nominating those actors, even if the performances deliver. Also, I’m taking Hardy in “Tinker, Tailor” over Hardy in “Warrior”, I don’t see that film as an Oscar play.

    Also, What made you turn around on Michelle Williams? if I may ask. I remember just a few weeks ago you agreeing with Anne when she suggested it was “fraught with danger”. I haven’t heard anything new on the film and was just wondering if you have.

  • 20 9-06-2011 at 5:49 pm

    matt said...

    Just re-read my first comment and realized it may have sounded pretentious/douchey/judgemental…

    Truly sorry if that’s how it came across.

    I’ve been reading you and others long enough to know that Pre-Toronto, hell Pre-Precursor awards, is WAY to early to really anticipate all of the years. (Except maybe 06…that was pretty much pre-ordained by the end of September)

    I guess I write it as more of a rhetorical question/comment; not so much to predict who the eventual nominees will be, but to question the modern trend of the young “it” girl breaking-through to a nomination/win. Overall I guess I was just curious if you feel AMPAS could break this standard, if the planets aligned. Again, like you said, I fully realize how early it is. Maybe I am asking what you think the chances of Jones and Olsen are (which you addressed) or maybe I am just rambling my inner thoughts on the internet…

  • 21 9-06-2011 at 5:54 pm

    JJ1 said...

    2 things I notice, looking at the contenders.

    1st: Kris’ 8 for BP, plus Tree of Life & Midnight in Paris ……. I have a hard time thinking of any other movies that would actually make-up the actual BP noms.

    In other words, it seems, to me, like the actual 5-10 for BP will comprise some combination of Kris’ top 8, plus potential ToL and MiP. That’s it.

    My 2nd observation: the Lead Actor field also looks curiously clipped. In other words:

    Clooney, DiCaprio, Oldman, Dujardin, Hardy, Gosling (for something), JGLevitt, Shannon, and maybe Damon? That’s 8-9. I really don’t see any other viable options. Fassbender, if AMPAS went for ‘Shame’, which seems unlikely.

    Doesn’t it seem like the shortlists for BP and Lead Actor appear quite short, indeed?

    Not saying it’s a bad thing, just an observation/opinion of mine.

  • 22 9-06-2011 at 6:00 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    @Michael- the most luscious lips in Tinseltown!

  • 23 9-06-2011 at 6:22 pm

    DylanS said...

    Here are my freshly updated predix. Anybody who bothers to read this may notice a bold absence of a considered all but guaranteed nominee (I won’t say who or what). I also included rankings for BP nods.

    Best Picture-
    “The Tree of Life” 7
    “The Descendants” 5
    “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” 6
    “The Ides of March” 1
    “War Horse” 2
    “The Artist” 3
    “Midnight in Paris” 8
    “J. Edgar” 4

    Best Director-
    Terrence Malick “The Tree of Life”
    Alexander Payne “The Descendants”
    Clint Eastwood “J. Edgar”
    George Clooney “The Ides of March”
    Steven Spielberg “War Horse”

    Best Actor-
    Jean Dujardin “The Artist”
    Ryan Gosling “The Ides of March”
    Leonardo DiCaprio “J. Edgar”
    Gary Olman “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
    George Clooney “The Descendants”

    Best Actress-
    Michelle Williams “My Week with Marlyn”
    Viola Davis “The Help”
    Rooney Mara “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    Charlize Theron “Young Adult”
    Glenn Close “Albert Nobbs”

    Best Supporting Actor-
    Christopher Plummer “Beginners”
    Philip Seymour-Hoffman “The Ides of March”
    Tom Hardy “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
    Kenneth Branagh “My Week with Marlyn”
    Viggo Mortensen “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Supporting Actress-
    Jessica Chastain “The Help”
    Vanessa Redgrave “Coralinous”
    Evan Rachel-Wood “The Ides of March”
    Shailene Woodley “The Descendants”
    Keira Knightley “A Dangerous Method”

    Best Adapted Screenplay-
    “War Horse”
    “A Dangerous Method”
    “The Ides of March”
    “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
    “The Descendants”

    Best Original Screenplay-
    “The Artist”
    “Young Adult”
    “The Tree of Life”
    “J. Edgar”
    “Midnight in Paris”

    Best Editing-
    “The Tree of Life”
    “The Artist”
    “J. Edgar”
    “The Ides of March”
    “War Horse”

    Best Cinematography-
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”
    “The Artist”
    “War Horse”
    “The Tree of Life”

    Best Art Direction-
    “J. Edgar”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II”
    “The Artist”
    “War Horse”

    Best Costume Design-
    “Captain America: The First Avenger”
    “The Artist”
    “Jane Eyre”

    Best Sound Editing-
    “The Adventures of Tintin”
    “Cowboys and Aliens”
    “Super 8’
    “War Horse”
    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

    Best Sound Mixing-
    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”
    “Super 8”
    “War Horse”
    “The Tree of Life”

    Best Score-
    “The Artist”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
    “The Ides of March”
    “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
    “War Horse”

    Best Makeup-
    “Captain America: The First Avenger”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
    “J. Edgar”

    Best Visual Effects-
    “Super 8”
    “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
    “Captain America: The First Avenger”
    “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
    “The Tree of Life”

    Best Animated Feature
    “Cars 2”
    “The Adventures of Tintin”
    “Happy Feet 2”

  • 24 9-06-2011 at 6:22 pm

    Michael said...

    LOL – I am comfortable enough with myself to admit that Tom Hardy’s lips are undeniably luscious, but in that photo don’t they look even a little bit more red than usual? Maybe it’s just me (or my computer screen).

    Aaaannnnnyways, I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing Tom Hardy (and his lips) nominated for something after the consistently impressive showcase of talent he has exhibited so far. I personally am holding out hope for his role in TTSS, as that character has one of the more dynamic character arcs in the original miniseries, as being the one to get him there. Something about Warrior just seems to me to be such a commercial play (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with that) and not something that will register with the Academy in a few months time. I could be wrong though, who knows?

  • 25 9-06-2011 at 6:24 pm

    m1 said...

    You don’t think that Jessica Chastain will get nominated for Take Shelter?

  • 26 9-06-2011 at 6:26 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    I too thought he was wearing lipstick, but it might just be the coloring of the pic.

    Kris, do you think Midnight in Paris is slipping in the ranks (for BP, director, and screenplay)? Just curious after going through your contenders lists.

  • 27 9-06-2011 at 6:28 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    @Dylan- I like your predictions but can see Octavia Spencer getting in the Best Supporting category over EVR. That or Chastain out, Spencer in.

  • 28 9-06-2011 at 6:28 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    *ERW whoops!

  • 29 9-06-2011 at 6:29 pm

    Ivan said...

    Chris, why do you keep ignoring Woody Allen? Seems like SPC started their campaigning week after it was released, and i think it’s working. You shold replace Tomas Alfredson and Clooney with Woody and Malick!

  • 30 9-06-2011 at 6:29 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I also feel like if Hardy gets in somewhere, it would be Supporting for TTSS. Of course, all hunch. Sight unseen.

    And Dylan, what I notice is the lack of EL&IC or Streep. I’m assuming la Streep. That what you were referencing? :)

  • 31 9-06-2011 at 6:30 pm

    Steven Kaye said...

    j: “Dropping Tree of Life and Midnight in Paris from BP noms, interesting. I concur with the latter more, since MiP’s box office really isn’t astounding given the budget ”

    Sigh. Why do people keep getting this wrong? Midnight in Paris has made $53 million in the US, but it only cost SPC something like $7 million to distribute. Its budget of $30 million was provided by Spain’s Mediapro, and so far it’s made $100 million worldwide.

    Anyway, it’s guaranteed a Best Picture nomination, and don’t think I won’t gloat when it gets one.

  • 32 9-06-2011 at 6:31 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    James I didn’t even think about that, Natalie Portman handing Gary Oldman an Oscar. That would surely be one of the all time great moments if it were to happen.

  • 33 9-06-2011 at 6:39 pm

    DylanS said...

    Dana: I think a Chastain/Spencer swicharoo is more likely. I’m thinking that by seasons end, Chastain’s ubiquity will help her gain traction.

    JJ1: Yes, it was Streep (or lack thereof) that I was referencing. I think it would take a colossal train wreck of a film to surmount her Academy clout an lose her a nomination, but I’m starting to fear the worst for it.

    As for “Extremely Loud”, I think it’s going to underperform and Daldry’s incredibly generous academy treatment will end. Just a hunch there as well.

  • 34 9-06-2011 at 6:42 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “Anyway, it’s guaranteed a Best Picture nomination…”

    Do you really think it will have enough #1 votes to get there? I have doubts. With a guaranteed 10, sure, but I think both it and “The Help” are in danger of not generating the proper amount of passion.

  • 35 9-06-2011 at 6:42 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Also, please, everyone take note of Mr. Kaye’s pompous comment. Just in case.

  • 36 9-06-2011 at 6:43 pm

    Andrew M said...

    Love your Patton Oswalt prediction. Also, 8 seems about right. Still not sure about Ides just yet, but you and Karger know a lot more the me.

  • 37 9-06-2011 at 7:42 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    I don’t think there needs to be a Spencer/Chastain switcheroo. Supporting Actress is notorious (sort of) for having two nominees from the same film, almost annually throughout the past decade: (2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010). Being that it’s also an ensemble film/actressfest, I think the actors’ branch might be able to strum up just enough support, should they decide The Help is our new favorite ginger’s key to a nom. (Take Shelter, I *think*, would be my alternate prediction for her?)

    Looking good overall. I flove Patton Oswalt and hope he did a great job and is received well. I’m impressed by the projects he’s seeking out.

    I could definitely see Hardy happening. I was thinking it might have to wait until next year, but it’s certainly possible. I’ve considered Shannon managing to be a critical favorite maybe? Or something I threw around before but am feeling more skeptical about: JGL getting Juno-esque support. But Hardy makes complete sense.

    Matt makes a good point; one in which I’ve reiterated to death, heh. One first-time nominee will DEFINITELY get an Actress nomination. I stand by Olsen, with the more harrowing performance/film that will probably have more impact.

  • 38 9-06-2011 at 8:30 pm

    Speaking English said...

    How in the world was my post pompous? I was generally curious why it made you smile. I know if someone said something that ebullient about a film I wasn’t particularly hot on I wouldn’t be smiling.

  • 39 9-06-2011 at 8:37 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Sorry English! Meant to be referring to Kaye.

  • 40 9-06-2011 at 9:23 pm

    John G said...

    Best Actor seems a bit thin this year, doesn’t it?

    I’ll go out on a limb and say that I expect J. Edgar to fall flat on its face. The whole thing just looks so preposterous.

  • 41 9-06-2011 at 11:01 pm

    shark said...

    I know this sounds a bit vicious, but I’m actively rooting against J Edgar, War Horse, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close because of how dreadfully boring they all look, just from this vantage point. For exactly that reason, I suspect at least the latter two will do well. Eastwood’s had a weak track record LATELY, and despite the apparent baitiness of the project, it could easily belly-flop. People will have their hearts warmed by War Horse and ELAIC, though, and who cares about film quality when you have something that makes you feel all gooey inside.
    Bitter? Oh no, not at all. NOT AT ALL.

  • 42 9-06-2011 at 11:06 pm

    shark said...

    I would also like to add that I’ve been out of it for a while, and may have missed something, but what sort of money is the Warrior publicity team paying Tapley to pretend it’s an Oscar threat? $5? MAYBE EVEN $10?
    I kid, I kid. But seriously, it’s an obscure sports film. Maybe it’s good, mayhaps not, but whatever it is, it’s probably not an Oscar contender, and to see it asserted as such is baffling/stupid.

  • 43 9-07-2011 at 4:58 am

    JJ1 said...

    ^ if it wasn’t getting the particularly stellar reviews it has been getting, I would absolutely agree.

    But funny enough, Kris actually wasn’t bonkers over it. And yet he can still see the Oscar potential. I would think that if the reviews weren’t as solid as they are, ther would be no talk of it; especially after ‘The Fighter’.

    In other words, a situation of ‘Infamous’ (which I loved) to the earlier ‘Capote’..

    And I, too, find Kris’ latest comments on ‘The Descendants’ to be a tiny bit confusing.

    But my assumption is, like Kris said himself, he was keeping a level head on it. Sounds like he loved Clooney, loved Woodley, ‘really liked’ the film. But thought, given Payne, it could have been something more/else?

  • 44 9-07-2011 at 8:20 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    shark: You read my review. I’m quite down on it as a film. But believe me, this thing has people — of all ages, mind you — going nuts. I have no idea why. I’m just reporting that in my Oscar prognostication. Nothing more or less. If you think it’s silly to do so, then you don’t know what the reaction is, so I’d say it’s more baffling/stupid to just use your own skewed perspective to gauge a film’s Oscar chances.

    It’s early yet, but the buzz is very much witht he film at the moment.

    (Meanwhile I only have it chalked up for one nomination, and it was because that category — lead actor — seems to have a flimsy #5 spot at the moment. So I hardly have it across the board for nods or anything.)

  • 45 9-07-2011 at 8:22 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    RE: The comments about The Descendants, what the hell is so confusing about it? Jesus, why does one have to love or hate a film these days? People want you to take a drastic stand one way or the other. I really liked the film, but with some reservations. The review I wrote, one commenter noted, was the most negative he read, YET it was a positive review. The film was the talk of Telluride and I like seeing a film that I like sweep across the public like that. I heard a comment that made me smile.

    You guys are gonna live a short life parsing every damn syllable like this.

  • 46 9-07-2011 at 8:23 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    (The point of even including the statement, by the way, wasn’t my smile, but the comment. Clearly that point flew way over your head. “What does he mean, smile? Hmmmm. I MUST FIGURE THIS OUT.”)

  • 47 9-07-2011 at 8:42 am

    JJ1 said...

    Kris, I may have wrote a ‘tiny bit confusing’ in an above post, but I followed it up with …

    “But my assumption is, like Kris said himself, he was keeping a level head on it. Sounds like he loved Clooney, loved Woodley, ‘really liked’ the film. But thought, given Payne, it could have been something more/else?”

    Sorry about my own wording. It’s just sometimes a little difficult as a reader to differentiate your opinion from when you glowingly interview someone from said film in another post.

    I always figured you like, not loved the film. Anyone who thinks there are no gray areas in film criticism must not be playing with a full deck.

  • 48 9-07-2011 at 8:46 am

    The Other James D. said...

    I don’t think Kris suggested he ‘loved Woodley’ either. It sounded more like his review suggested she did a solid job, serviceably.

  • 49 9-07-2011 at 8:47 am

    JJ1 said...

    Gotcha. Misunderstood/misread. My bad, clearly.

  • 50 9-07-2011 at 9:10 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    If the interview sounded glowing it’s because I was genuinely impressed with Shailene as a person. For a 19-year-old thrown into this rat race, she has a remarkably sturdy head on her shoulders.

  • 51 9-07-2011 at 9:15 am

    JJ1 said...

    Very cool.

  • 52 9-07-2011 at 12:40 pm

    Ivan said...

    The Artist/ The Descendants / Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close/ The Help/ J. Edgar /Midnight in Paris/ Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy/ War Horse/ Young Adult

    Tomas Alfredson/ Alexander Payne/ Clint Eastwood/ Woody Allen/ Michel Hazanavicius

    Gary Oldman/ Leonardo DiCaprio/ Jean Dujardin/ Michael Fassbender “Shame”/ George Clooney

    Glenn Close/ Viola Davis/ Elizabeth Olsen/ Tilda Swinton/ Meryl Streep

    Armie Hammer/J. Edgar
    Tom Hardy/ Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
    Philip Seymour Hoffman/The Ides of March
    Nick Nolte/Warrior
    Christopher Plummer/Beginners

    Sandra Bullock/Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Carey Mulligan/Shame
    Octavia Spencer/The Help
    Vanessa Redgrave/Coriolanus
    Shailene Wodley/The Descendants

    The Artist
    J. Edgar
    Midnight in Paris
    Young Adult

    The Descendants
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    The Ides of March
    Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy
    War Horse

  • 53 9-07-2011 at 7:09 pm

    Dana Jones said...

    Anyone know why many of the films that are set to premiere at Toronto… so in a day… have yet to release a trailer? No such rule exists?

  • 54 9-08-2011 at 1:24 am

    may said...

    I’m actually doubtful that Hardy will get a nomination for TTSS. While there are some reviews that single him out, most of them laud the entire supporting ensemble. Benedict Cumberbatch is also getting similar raves to Hardy and he’s also in War Horse, though I doubt his profile is high enough yet.