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Awards

Can Meryl and Mortensen maintain their awards mojo?

Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins.”
(Nick Wall / Paramount Pictures)

Meryl Streep and Viggo Mortensen earned early accolades at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards nominations. Will Oscar voters follow their lead? Should they follow their lead?

Welcome to the Gold Standard, the newsletter from the Los Angeles Times that helps guide you through the ins and outs of the awards season leading up to the Oscars.

I’m Glenn Whipp, The Times’ awards columnist and your newsletter host.

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MY LATEST OSCAR PREDICTIONS AFTER GLOBES AND SAG AWARDS NOMS

Golden Globes voters have spritzed Tom Ford’s perfume. SAG Awards balloters have been playing “Captain Fantastic.” (And maybe the Brown Dirt Cowboy too, if they know their classic-era Elton John.)

What does it all mean for the Academy Awards? I updated my predictions here, boosting the prospects of movies like “Hacksaw Ridge” and “Hell or High Water.” Academy members have told me repeatedly that they love  these two movies, something I haven’t heard regarding titles like “Jackie” and “Sully.” In fact, voters have been almost hostile toward “Jackie,” Pablo Larrain’s telling of Jacqueline Kennedy’s grief and efforts to shape her husband’s legacy in the days following his assassination.

“If I wanted to listen to someone planning a funeral for two hours, I’d spend the holidays with my Aunt Edna,” groused one academy member.

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I also delved into the question of whether Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”) and Streep (“Florence Foster Jenkins”) can parlay their early momentum into Oscar nominations. Can I admit that I’m conflicted on the possibility of a 20th Oscar nod for Streep? Her work in “Florence” ranks among her best — very funny, deeply sad, always fearless. But handing her yet another nomination would still feel like a profound failure of imagination.

Cheryl Boone Isaacs on the acting nominee controversy: “I had certainly felt that we were going to have more inclusion than we did.”
Cheryl Boone Isaacs on the acting nominee controversy: "I had certainly felt that we were going to have more inclusion than we did."
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times )

THE MOVIES STORY OF 2016: THE FILM ACADEMY AND DIVERSITY

It’s that (most wonderful) time of the year when we look back and reflect on the year that was, which led Times film writer Josh Rottenberg and me to revisit the tumultuous past 12 months at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which began with a reprise of #OscarsSoWhite and ended on a more hopeful note, thanks to some decisive action from the film academy’s leadership. You can read our recap here, with fresh interviews with academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, academy governor Tom Hanks and a host of others.

The Envelope’s roundtable discussion involved Andrew Garfield, left, Robert De Niro, Joel Edgerton, Casey Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and Adam Driver.
The Envelope's roundtable discussion involved Andrew Garfield, left, Robert De Niro, Joel Edgerton, Casey Affleck, Matthew McConaughey and Adam Driver.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times )

“All right, all right, all right! Let’s talk some acting, brothers!”

OK, maybe Matthew McConaughey didn’t christen The Envelope’s  lead actor roundtable with those exact words. I wasn’t there. But I’d like to think he did. You can read what he — along with Andrew Garfield, Robert De Niro, Joel Edgerton, Casey Affleck and Adam Driver — did say in this story.

And we held one of these forums for supporting actress contenders too, with Naomie Harris, Felicity Jones, Nicole Kidman, Aja Naomi King, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams talking to The Times’ Amy Kaufman and Mark Olsen about their exemplary work this year. You can watch the video and read about it here, as well as other roundtables here.

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Feedback?

I’d love to hear from you. Email me at glenn.whipp@latimes.com.

Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.


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