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And the Oscar goes to... supporting roles


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#1 Calliope

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 02:54 PM

Since we have a few weeks, I figured we'll do a couple of categories a week. Who do you think should/will win?

Let's start with the first awards.
Best Supporting Actress/Actor

In the actress category:
Kathy Bates-About Schmidt
Julianne Moore-The Hours
Queen Latifah-Chicago
Catherine Zeta Jones-Chicago


The actor category:
Chris Cooper-Adaptation
Ed Harris-The Hours
Paul Newmann-Road to Perdition
John C. Reilly-Chicago
Christopher Walken-Catch Me if You Can



My picks
actress
should win: Zeta Jones
will win: Zeta Jones

actor
should win: Cooper
will win: Cooper


I know Bates is the favorite, but I thought Zeta Jones was the glue of Chicago.
I'd love to see John C. Reilly, he seemed to be all over the screen this year.

c'mon folks, your picks?

#2 Alexandra

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Posted 11 February 2003 - 03:08 PM

I haven't seen all the films, so can't vote. But I would put a plug in for everyone in "The Hours," down to the boy who's Leonard Woolf's assistant and only has to give a Meaningful Glance. Not to mention the Cook! And she wasn't even nominated. If you're interested in acting, I'd recommend this film -- it reminded me of an Ashton ballet in its texture and rhythm, the way it uses detail and the way the superficial masks everything important.

#3 dirac

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 10:33 AM

Strictly speaking, we probably shouldn't even talk about the Oscars, since we are dedicated to Art (and I mean that only partly facetiously) and the Academy is….not. That is, they will stage a tribute to Satyajit Ray or some other arty foreigner and then turn around and hand every award in sight to, say, Braveheart or Dances with Wolves. There is also the conspicuous consumption factor. In a year where arts organizations everywhere are struggling, experiencing near-death experiences, or just plain going under, I read that the celebs attending on Oscar night will be the happy recipients of goodie bags worth approximately $30,000.


Regarding the categories you mention – who knows. Kathy Bates has already won. Historically, two actors nominated in the same category for the same film cancel each other out, so that doesn't look good for Latifah and Z-J. Moore might get it as a consolation prize for losing Best Actress. I'd like to see Streep get it, because she made two of my least favorite movies of the year into watchable experiences. (It's depressing. While her male contemporaries, De Niro, Pacino, et al., are seen annually in big roles, Streep is reduced to supporting ……Nicolas Cage and being eliminated from the Best Actress category by Kidman, who gets a nomination for leaving off her lip gloss.)

I'd like to see Cooper win, too. In the Toothless Yet Virile category, he has everybody beat. :)

#4 Calliope

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 11:48 AM

I think acting is an art...
Yes, some of these actors get paid $20million, but Baryshnikov isn't living too shabby either.
And the broadcast alone pays for the goody bags, along with product spots, designer nods. Some may argue that $20mil is an outrageous paycheck, but it keeps many people employed.

#5 dirac

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 12:04 PM

Well, it keeps Tom Cruise's entourage employed, at any rate. (Although the top male stars are now getting almost $30 million.)
:)


I didn't say acting wasn't an art, Calliope, or that movies are not an art form – they are. But art isn't what the Oscars are about, as a rule. (The remark about "we shouldn't be talking about the Oscars," was, as I noted, largely facetious in intent and was not aimed at you, incidentally.) Whether the broadcast pays for the goodie bags or not wasn't quite my point.


I didn't bring up salaries, but now that you mention it, I do not think that the stars in the $20 million bracket are overpaid. That's just capitalism. (As an example, it would be hard to say that Tom Hanks, an actor who can induce large numbers of people to part with nine or ten dollars to watch him break coconuts against a rock, isn't worth the dough. :))

#6 Calliope

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 12:53 PM

I didn't take it personally, don't worry

but the Oscars are the art of...marketing and ...well, it's the art of Harvey Weinstein :)

#7 Ed Waffle

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 03:57 PM

Supporting actress:

Can't comment on Kathy Bates. I haven't seen About Schmidt. After seeing the trailers for it I wouldn't see if if Jack Nicholson delivered a video of it to my home.

Of the remaing:

I would like to see Catherine Zeta-Jones win. She was excellent in "Chicago", a movie I have seen five times so far. She was much more a lead actress than a supporting actress. Queen Latifah was also quite good in a smaller role.

Julianne Moore is one of my favorite actresses working today. She has been terrific in a number of movies, some good, some terrible. So, I will hope for a tie between her and Zeta-Jones.

Will win--Moore, unless she wins Best Actress.

Best Actor:

I would like to see John C. Reilly win. He had four good performances this year: Chicago, Gangs of New York, The Good Girl, The Hours. Reminds me of an Anglo version of Luis Guzman, another "character" actor who is often overlooked. Also Reilly is from Chicago and graduted from De Paul University, my alma mater.

As to who will win, it is a real toss up--

They were all in roles that the Academy likes to vote for--except Newman, who transcends categorization in Hollywood based on longevity.

Harris's role is one long mad scene with a big ending. Easy to vote for.

Walken was superb. As usual, he played Christopher Walken, which is what people (and voters) like.

Cooper had a great role and made the most of it. The Academy likes movies about movies.

I think Cooper will win.

Regarding movies as an art form:

Especially in the United States movies are first the product of an industry and secondly entertainment. They might be art, but none of those mentioned in this thread, with the possible exception of "The Hours" is art. Which isn't to say they aren't terrific movies--I loved "The Hours", "Chicago" and thought "Adaption" was good. I couldn't sit through "The Road to Perdition" but lasted for enough of it to know that Paul Newman gave a good performance.

The best movie I saw this year was "Heaven" which played for about two days in Motown. Cate Blanchett was as good as an actress on film can be in it.

#8 dirac

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Posted 14 March 2003 - 04:09 PM

I liked "Heaven" too. Cate Blanchett is a goddess and wonderful actress. I sat through "The Gift" only for her. Her role in "Heaven" is a good example of a worthy performance overlooked because the movie was a small one that went nowhere.


I’m afraid I have to be the board spoilsport regarding "The Hours" as I was on "Chicago," unfortunately. I thought it was chloroform. The acting in the Woolf segment was as good as Alexandra notes, except for Kidman. (She wasn't bad, but I think the performance is wildly overrated in some quarters.) I thought "The Hours" was pseudo-art and not the thing itself.

#9 Calliope

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Posted 16 March 2003 - 03:59 AM

"Heaven" was also delayed 3 times in it's release. They were hoping to piggyback on Blanchett's "rising" career after "Lord of the Rings".
I guess doing "Elizabeth" "Bandits" "Pushing Tin" and "Talented Mr. Ripley" wasn't enough for her to be a "household name"

#10 dirac

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 02:01 PM

With all due respect to Ms. Blanchett, she isn't a household name by any means. We can always hope.


Ed, why does The Hours qualify as art and none of the other nominees?

#11 Ed Waffle

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 05:44 PM

Originally posted by dirac

Ed, why does The Hours qualify as art and none of the other nominees?


Well, I did say "possibly", but what the heck--busted again!! I worship the exposed film that contains images of some actresses.

For me, any movie with either Nicole Kidman or Julianne Moore is conditionally a work of art, unless proven otherwise. There are several movies with both of these actresses that most definitely are NOT art--the Irish one, in which Tom Cruise's accent kept slipping all over the place for Kidman, one with Moore in which she plays opposite some rapidly mutating creatures. There are plenty of other bad movies which have featured these women.

However, any movie with both of them is art. Movie art, that is, which is, by my definition, less profound than opera, ballet, theater or other art forms that are live performances. One of the keys for me is a movie is frozen forever. It might be subject to interpretation and differing audience response but the movie itself won't change--outside of subtitles, colorization, etc.

Art that must be performed in order to exist is on a different (and if I may use a value judgment) higher level. I am leaving out specialist ways of approaching it--reading a score, for example.

This is only for the "lively arts".

I don't expect anyone to agree or disagree with this assessment, of course.

#12 Alexandra

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Posted 17 March 2003 - 07:43 PM

I was taught to make a distinction between "film" and "movies" -- it's something we talked about endlessly in a film course I took in college. To me, the difference is similar to that between literary fiction and mainstream fiction. (But then, I went to college during the era when classification was encouraged. And there are bad art films/literary novels and good movies/mainstream novels, of course.) I'd say "you know it when you see it," but if we had a list of ten films/movies, I'll bet there would be a lively disagrement as to which were "art" and which were "entertainment." Interestingly, in publishing they do say "you know it when you see it." They can take any book and put it in the "right" pile!

I liked the "Hours" very much, including Kidman (whom I've never liked in anything else). I didn't think she was trying to do a Virginia Woolf imitation; I don't think the film/book was trying to be literal or realistic. (There's an interesting article by Michael Cunningham about the issue of film adaptation, pros and cons, benefits and pitfalls, on the "Hours" website, which can be found by putting "The Hours" in Google). The scenes that stood out in her performance to me were the way she looked at nature and beauty: hard, as something to analyze, because she wanted to write about it accurately, but not feel, not experience. And the way she delivered the line "I think I may have a first sentence." A trace of triumph and excitement, but delivered oh, so casually, and it meant everything. At first, I thought her anger and sterness was strange, but I think it was anger at her condition; it got in the way. I'd give the Oscar to Julianne Moore, if I had to pick, but I did like Kidman.

Other supporting actors I'd nominate would be The Pianist's family, especially mother, younger sister, and brother.

#13 dirac

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 10:22 AM

I'd suggest, Ed, that precisely because the film image is immutable, it can accomplish things that live performance art can't. (The reverse is also true, of course.) Music, too, would seem to me to be another kind of special case, since so many people listen to it at home and not live. But that's off topic, of course....

Actually, I might be inclined to give Best Supporting Actor to Gollum, but he's ineligible. :D

#14 Calliope

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:40 AM

and "Beauty and the Beast" (Disney) throws off the whole "live"

Gollum was "partly" played by a human, I'd give it to him :D


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