Rain, shine or chickenpox, Oscar Watch -- a look at who and what's up and down this awards season -- comes to you every Monday. What's moving and shaking this week? Read on ...
"Unbroken" was shut out at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. And we know the movie isn't getting producer Scott Rudin's Oscar vote. Also, it isn't a good thing when your defining image from the awards season isn't something celebratory or moving, like, say, this, but rather a death stare that would make Maleficent turn tail and run for the hills.
As for her film's reviews, let's just say the New Yorker's David Denby is going out with a bang, calling "Unbroken" an "interminable, redundant, unnecessary epic devoted to suffering, suffering, suffering."
Oh ... and did we mention she has chickenpox? Is Sony exec Amy Pascal vaccinated? Just wondering ...
Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.
On the one hand, we'd like to salute the 82 voting members for a nice slate of choices across the board. For the past two years, there hasn't been a head-scratcher among their picks. And yet ... doesn't that ruin our idea of the Globes as this wacky, celebrity-worshipping event, a perception that at least gave the night an identity in the looooong march to the Oscars? Removing oddball choices from the HFPA equation would be like the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. lauding Meryl Streep for her work in "The Iron Lady." Stay on course, HFPA, but throw us cynics a bone once in awhile too.
"The Grand Budapest Hotel"
I'd be remiss not to put in my weekly reminder that it's not too late to hop on board the Oscar bandwagon for Wes Anderson's superb film now that it has become a powerhouse with SAG, the Globes and the Broadcast Film Critics Assn., a group that exists solely to match its picks with the film academy's. Anderson's first best picture Oscar nomination seems almost within reach.
Aniston's indie drama, "Cake," premiered to mixed reviews in September at the Toronto International Film Festival. It left Toronto without a deal. In late October, it was announced that the movie would mark the launch of Cinelou Releasing and would receive a one-week Oscar qualifying run in December. Expectations were, to say the least, modest.
But in the last week, Aniston has earned lead actress nominations from SAG, the Globes and the Broadcast Critics. And in a year that's not exactly brimming with traditional lead actress candidates (though there's plenty of great work worth considering), it's now easy to see Aniston winning her first Oscar nomination. At the very least, academy members will be moving the "Cake" screener toward the top of the pile.
Are academy members seeing this face when they go to sleep at night? Or maybe they remember this one? "Nightcrawler" has grossed $31 million at the box office and its star, one Jake Gyllenhaal, keeps earning actor nominations.
Maybe it's time to order a round of margaritas at this place and give this movie some serious consideration. Or maybe we've already done just that. And, yeah, it might just be the tequila talking, but there's certainly a chance that something from this freaky L.A. movie might just turn up on Oscar nominations morning. As the movie's hero puts it: A friend is a gift you give yourself. And friends just seem to be popping out of the woodwork on this one.