Monday, December 31, 2007

306 Films Eligible for Oscars

From the official AMPAS website:

306 Feature Films in
Competition for 2007 Oscar®

Beverly Hills, CA — Three hundred six feature films are eligible for the Academy Award® for Best Picture of 2007, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today.

To be eligible for 80th Academy Awards® consideration, feature films have until midnight, December 31, to open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days.

Under Academy rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format.

Feature films that receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release are not eligible for Academy Awards in any category.

The 80th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2008, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

# # #

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
8949 Wilshire Boulevard Beverly Hills, CA 90211-1972
(310) 247-3000

See full list HERE.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

15 Most Iconic Voices in Cinema

Some films are actor-driven, being vehicles for the artistic expression of cinema's finest. The Brandos, Pacinos, Davises, and Streeps of film have such cinematic presence that they practically jump out of the screens, often making their film more emotionally resonant than it would otherwise be. Some actors need not be seen at all; they have voices that have been so ingrained in the collective memory of the film-going public that there is no mistaking who they are even if their faces are concealed. By virtue of memorable voice-over narrations or animation dubs, theatrical performances of bombast, or the sheer distinctiveness of their tones, they have become icons simply because they have spoken. Some actors like James Stewart, Jennifer Tilly, and Michael York may have unmistakable voices (who wouldn't recognize Basil Exposition?), while others like Angelina Jolie and Cate Blanchett may astound (and puzzle, in Jolie's case) with bizarre accents with varying degrees of believability, but not many have done enough with their laryngeal vibrations to dominate the soundscapes of film and other media. Here is Film-Otaku's tribute to the 15 Most Iconic Voices in Cinema:


Who exudes as much smarmy and sarcastic wit with just his voice as Jack Nicholson? His voice and devilish grin have become so etched in our minds that just hearing him would invoke visions of Jack Torrance or Joker (not very comforting images, those). There is, easily, no one like Jack. He would have ranked higher had he done more voice-overs in his career.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Austrian accent is among the most imitated for the simple reason that it's among the most recognizable. No one else, at least in Hollywood, talks the way he does. With lines like "I'll be back" and "Hasta la vista, baby," his voice has certainly made him as much of a pop culture fixture as his most popular movies have become.

As soon as Elastigirl speaks in The Incredibles, you immediately know that it's Holly Hunter behind all the animated wonder. The southerner's intonation and lisp are all her own, both defiant and sexy, and usable in both dramatic and comedic scenarios with equal success. Despite having won an Oscar as a mute in The Piano, her voice is surely one of her biggest assets.

Hannibal Lecter. Van Helsing. C.S. Lewis. And most recently, often drunk and nearly naked King Hrothgar. Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins easily has one of the most famous non-American accents, a halting, thoughtful cadence of words that you instinctively know hold a lot of wisdom. He'll be playing legendary director Alfred Hitchcock in a film to be released next year. It will be interesting to see how his unique vocal signature translates into Hitchcock's own characteristic drawl.

Cate Blanchett won an Oscar for having been able to capture the nuances of the great Kate’s bodily movements and vocal rhythms. It would not have been a very easy thing to do. Many of the roles that won Hepburn 12 Oscar nominations are memorable because she played them, and playing a big part in her iconic structure are her physicality and her confident, no-nonsense delivery of words. Like Nicholson, Hepburn may not have been known for voice-overs, but her voice, with its almost cartoonish yet in no way powerless quality, is as legendary as its bearer.


"I am your father" and "This is CNN International." Iconic lines in film and television. A voice that's unmistakable (who could confuse Darth Vader's voice with anyone else's?). Add to that King Mufasa from The Lion King, and you have a voice that, in popular culture, is recognized more than the actor who bears it.

Bored, deadpan, uninterested…yet stinging and so full of meaning. While Jim Carrey and Jack Black use their bodies and facial expressions to be funny, Murray usually uses nothing more than his dropping eyes and caustic vocal delivery. This comedian extraordinaire can invoke the wildest laughs even before he opens his mouth, but when he does, his voice takes funny to an all new level. Peter Venkman, Phil Connors, and Garfield owe their cinematic fame to the one-of-a-kind voice of this one-of-a-kind comedian.


With the roles of Agent Smith, Elrond, and Megatron in his impressive resume, Hugo Weaving’s films have collectively made more money than many other actors’. He is a very good actor, but what truly makes his roles interesting and so iconic is his voice, regal and often cutting with some dark streak. There is something mesmerizing about the way he says things, lending them more weight than lesser actors would have been able to.

Jeremy Irons has one of the crispest, raspiest, and most quickly recognizable voices among cinema’s most acclaimed British thespians. While he is a highly competent and multi-awarded actor in dramas, his vocal talent has proven most effective in science fiction and fantasy films, such as The Lion King (where he memorably voices the villainous Scar), The Time Machine, Eragon, and Dungeons & Dragons. His exaggerated acting in the latter is generally considered a major misstep, but who could forget (among those who bothered watching the film, at least) how he growled and hissed his way through that train-wreck of a role?


Where Bill Murray is droll and dry, Robin Williams is wild and crazy. This outrageously funny comedian is known for spontaneity and unstoppable energy, and a big part of his humor manifests itself in his trademark rapid-fire, multi-accented, delirious burst of words and sounds. He has lent his signature voice to several animated characters, the most memorable of which is Genie in Aladdin, for which he won a special Golden Globe award in 1993. Whether or not you’ve gotten tired of Williams’s attention-grabbing antics, there’s no denying that you’d recognize that voice anywhere.

Many of Sean Connery’s most famous lines come from his early stints as the first James Bond, but each and every one of his films has been blessed with the actor’s Scottish drawl that many of them have been made more memorable than they deserve to be. Whether cast as a master immortal (Highlander), a king (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, First Knight), or a dragon (Dragonheart), the character is made distinctly, signature Connery because of his oft-copied voice. It is unfortunate that with his recent retirement, we will likely not be hearing too much of him in the years to come.


Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music. Two iconic movie musicals, both of which star Dame Julie Andrews. Notwithstanding the sheer catchiness of the songs in both films, Andrews’s distinctly British tone, femininely powerful, has made a lasting impact on the audiences touched by her music on stage and in film. It is still agonizing to remember that she lost much of her singing ability in the late 1990s due to a throat operation, but it is always comforting to hear her playing queens (Princess Diaries and its sequel, the second and third Shrek installments) or simply narrating a fairy tale story (Enchanted) so like those that she had made at the height of her career.


By virtue of his roles, sheer number of film appearances, and his record-setting height among actors, few film stars are as iconic in every sense of the word as Christopher Lee. He has played the Hammer Films’ Dracula, Lord Summerisle in The Wicker Man, Francisco Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun, Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels, and Saruman (who surely has a magical way with words) in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s easy to understand why he is cast in so many popular roles. Aside from being so physically imposing, he has that distinctive basso delivery that has made him one of cinema’s most vocally recognizable and chilling actors.


Unquestionably one of the greatest living actors, Peter O’Toole has eight Oscar nominations, and yet he has never won a competitive statuette. What an injustice! Then again, if this were a world where actors were honored as they deserved, O’Toole would have won some recognition for just sounding the way he does. His slow, deep tones lend a tragic, Shakespearean feel to every role that he plays, making one not wonder why his T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia is widely considered to be one of the greatest cinematic performances of all time. Neither is it surprising that he has played so many kings and lords on stage and in film; few can give characters such a burdened yet all-too-regal bearing. One of the most memorable characters in the critically acclaimed 2007 release Ratatouille is restaurant critic Anton Ego, who is mean and cold yet never overly reprehensible or distancing. It is unlikely that the character would have made such an impact had he been voiced by someone other than O’Toole.


Take this example: The line “Is that what they say?” from X2 is just a regular quote not meant by any stretch of the imagination to be one of cinema’s most memorable. But who can forget how Magneto said it, and several other lines in that same film? The sophisticated inflection. The way each word holds meaning. Sir Ian McKellen is first and foremost a master of the theatre, but since he started getting noticed in movies, his voice has transcended the media through which he entertains his audience. Gandalf would not have been as vulnerably regal and powerful had he not been played by McKellen. Magneto would not have been so charismatic with just his words. Just this year, he voices the bear Iorek Byrnison in The Golden Compass and narrates Stardust. There is no doubt that he will be getting as many voice-over and narration jobs in the future as he will the more traditional roles that have convinced audiences of his magnificence as an actor.

Friday, December 21, 2007

2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominees

George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl)
Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

Score: 2/5. Predicted Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), Frank Langella (Starting Out in the Evening), and James McAvoy (Atonement) instead of Gosling, Hirsch, and Mortensen. The Actors sure love Gosling. Great for Viggo! Poor James, snubbed again.

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)
Ellen Page (Juno)

Score: 4/5. Predicted Laura Linney (The Savages) instead of Jolie. The nod for Angelina is so well deserved. This final crucial snub practically eliminates Linney's Oscar chances.

Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)
Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men)
Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

Score: 4/5. Predicted Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War) instead of Tommy Lee Jones (No Country for Old Men). Did anyone see the nod for Jones coming?

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Ruby Dee (American Gangster)
Catherine Keener (Into the Wild)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

Score: 3/5. Predicted Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement) and Saoirse Ronan (Atonement) instead of Ruby Dee (American Gangster) and Catherine Keener (Into the Wild). The Actors also love their Keener. What just happened to Atonement?

3:10 to Yuma
American Gangster
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men

Score: 1/5! Predicted Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street instead of 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, Hairspray, and Into the Wild. Nice to see notice for Yuma and Gangster, two of my favorite films this year.

Significant snubs for Atonement and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, with zero nomination each (not even Johnny Depp, who won here for his Jack Sparrow role over Sean Penn and Bill Murray). The snubs for Juno and There Will Be Blood should have been expected, as only their leads are getting substantial ink. Great boosts to American Gangster and Into the Wild coming into the homestretch.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards Predictions

George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Frank Langella (Starting Out in the Evening)
James McAvoy (Atonement)

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Julie Christie (Away From Her)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
Laura Linney (The Savages)
Ellen Page (Juno)

Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)
Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War)
Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement)
Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Why so serious?

Can Heath Ledger succeed where so many others, including multi-nominated Jack Nicholson (as Tim Burton's Joker) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Catwoman), have failed before? Can he get a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his potentially astonishing portrayal of Batman's arch-nemesis in The Dark Knight? An acting nod for a character from a comic book adaptation, and a villain at that?

Why not? Academy: Why so serious?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Frenching Oscar

If Mexico ruled Oscar nomination morning last year, France has the potential to do the same this year. With almost certain nominations for Marion Cotillard of La Vie en Rose, the screenplay and cinematography of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and Persepolis in both the Foreign Language Film and Animated Feature Film categories, French cinema is poised to take at least five nominations, more if Diving Bell gets its other potential nominations (Picture, Director, Editing). Even Ratatouille, likely winner of the Animated Feature Film category, is about French culture.

Given the potential of French domination in the 80th Academy Awards, here are several should's and should have's for the Oscar presentation in February:

-Producer Gil Cates should have hired Steve Martin as the ceremony host. Maybe he could regale the audience with his less-than-perfect yet still potentially amusing interpretation of bumbling French detective Inspector Clouseau of The Pink Panther.

-For the Oscar nominations announcement on the 22nd of January, Sid Ganis should be accompanied by Juliette Binoche, Julie Delpy, Catherine Deneuve, or any other Oscar-nominated French star. I don't expect any of them to squeal or break down like Salma Hayek did last year, but it would be a fun and fitting tribute to the showing of French cinema this year.

-Paris Je T'aime, the sadly overlooked Paris-themed romantic anthology, should be given more Oscar love. It is a fascinating film. Too bad the film's song, "La Meme Histoire," is not in the list of eligible original songs for the Oscar.

-They should have Marion Cotillard, who actually can sing and would have in La Vie en Rose had time allowed it, sing the Edith Piaf title song, perhaps as a segue to the Best Original Song category. In fact (a bit off-topic), it would be fantastic to have a musical number with Cotillard singing "La Vie en Rose," Sam Riley (who should be winning awards left and right for playing Ian Curtis in Control) singing "Love Will Tear Us Apart," and Bob Dylan himself coming in to represent his biopic I'm Not There (unless Blanchett and the other Dylans can carry a tune).

The internationalization of the Oscars is an exciting trend that hopefully expands as the years roll on. The producers should find a way to celebrate it every year, in lieu of giving viewers the same things over and over.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

2008 Golden Globe Awards nominees

American Gangster
Eastern Promises
The Great Debaters
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Score: 4/7(?). Wow, seven nominees and no Into the Wild. Weird.

Across the Universe
Charlie Wilson's War
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Score: 4/5. Predicted Enchanted instead of Charlie Wilson's War. How silly of me.

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Julie Christie (Away from Her)
Jodie Foster (The Brave One)
Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)
Keira Knightley (Atonement)

Score: 5/5!

Amy Adams (Enchanted)
Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray)
Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
Ellen Page (Juno)

Score: 3/5. Predicted Nicole Kidman (Margot at the Wedding) and Laura Linney (The Savages) instead of Blonsky and Bonham Carter. Wow, the HFPA actually didn't nominate Kidman! No effect on Blonsky's non-existent chances for an Oscar nom, big boost to Bonham Carter. Poor Linney.

George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
James McAvoy (Atonement)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
Denzel Washington (American Gangster)

Score: 5/5! Bravo Viggo!

Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl)
Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson's War)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages)
John C. Reilly (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)

Score: 4/5. Predicted Steve Carrell (Dan in Real Life) instead of Reilly. Whatever.

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Julia Roberts (Charlie Wilson's War)
Saoirse Ronan (Atonement0
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

4/5. Predicted Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement) instead of Ronan. Figured they'd go for Roberts.

Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
Javier Bardem (No Country for
Old Men)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War)
John Travolta (Hairspray)
Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

Score: 5/5!

Bee Movie
The Simpsons Movie

Score: 2/3. Predicted Beowulf instead of Bee Movie. Eew.

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France)
The Kite Runner (United States)
Lust, Caution (Taiwan)
Persepolis (France)


Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)
Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Ridley Scott (American Gangster)
Joe Wright (Atonement)

2/5. Dismal. Predicted Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood), Sidney Lumet (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead), and Sean Penn (Into the Wild) instead of Burton, Schnabel, and Scott. It will be interesting to see how this affects the Oscar noms.

Christopher Hampton (Atonement)
Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson's War)
Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Diablo Cody (Juno)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)

Score: 5/5!

Dario Marianelli (Atonement)
Howard Shore (Eastern Promises)
Clint Eastwood (Grace is Gone)
Eddie Veder, Michael Brook, Kaki King (Into the Wild)
Alberto Iglesias (The Kite Runner)

Score: 2/5. Pathetic. Predicted Beowulf, Enchanted, and The Golden Compass instead of Grace is Gone, Eastern Promises, and Into the Wild. Why is this the only Globe mention of the latter?

"That's How You Know" (Enchanted)
"Grace is Gone" (Grace is Gone)
"Guaranteed" (Into the Wild)
"Despedida" (Love in the Time of Cholera)
"Walk Hard" (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)

Score: 3/5. Predicted "Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)" (Hairspray) and "Falling Slowly" (Once) instead of "Grace is Gone" (Grace is Gone) and "Walk Hard" (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story). Ouch for Once.

Not bad. Got a perfect score in five categories and correctly predicted the noms for Across the Universe and John Travolta, which probably came as surprises to many. Updates on Oscar predictions tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

2008 Golden Globe Awards predictions

Final predictions

Into the Wild
Michael Clayton
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood

Across the Universe
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age)
Julie Christie (Away from Her)
Jodie Foster (The Brave One)
Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)
Keira Knightley (Atonement)

Amy Adams (Enchanted)
Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose)
Nicole Kidman (Margot at the Wedding)
Laura Linney (The Savages)
Ellen Page (Juno)

George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
James McAvoy (Atonement)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
Denzel Washington (American Gangster)

Steve Carrell (Dan in Real Life)
Johnny Depp (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl)
Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson's War)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages)

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Vanessa Redgrave (Atonement)
Julia Roberts (Charlie Wilson's War)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)

Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
Javier Bardem (No Country for
Old Men)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War)
John Travolta (Hairspray)
Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

The Simpsons Movie

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Romania)
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (France)
The Kite Runner (United States)
Lust, Caution (Taiwan)
Persepolis (France)

Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)
Sidney Lumet (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead)
Sean Penn (Into the Wild)
Joe Wright (Atonement)

Christopher Hampton (Atonement)
Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson's War)
Ronald Harwood (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
Diablo Cody (Juno)
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)

Dario Marianelli (Atonement)
Alan Silvestri (Beowulf)
Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz (Enchanted)
Alexandre Desplat (The Golden Compass)
Alberto Iglesias (The Kite Runner)

"That's How You Know" (Enchanted)
"Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)" (Hairspray)
"Guaranteed" (Into the Wild)
"Despedida" (Love in the Time of Cholera)
"Falling Slowly" (Once)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Critics Choice Awards 2007

The complete official list of nominees of the Broadcast Film Critics Association's 2007 awards can be seen here:

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Mini Reviews


Ben Affleck makes a strong directorial debut with Gone Baby Gone, a film that is deceptively simple and straight-forward in its first two thirds. It is in the last third when it packs a wallop. Casey Affleck mumbles his way through an ok but less-than-stellar lead performance, while Amy Ryan, Michelle Monaghan, Amy Madigan, and especially Ed Harris provide considerably strong support. By virtue of her skill at making her character so convincingly unlikeable, Ryan's potential for an Oscar nomination is high, though she has made the character very difficult to sympathize with. Grade: B+


Eastern Promises is a slick, well-made film with great sequences (not least of which is the much-hyped bathhouse fight scene), and it is made memorable primarily by these and the awesome performance of lead Viggo Mortensen as ruthless Russian Nikolai. Naomi Watts lends her considerable skill as a foil to the coldness of the Russian family that she unwittingly pits against, whose principal figures, patriarch Armin Mueller-Stahl and son Vincent Cassel, are appropriately powerful in their respective portrayals. David Cronenberg's direction is masterfully stylized, lending his film's London a sort of surreal feel that may not necessarily work for everyone but confirming his status as one of the true visionaries of modern cinema. Grade: B+


Loyal enough to its source material to please fans of the book, but not too much to be inflexibly uncreative, The Golden Compass is an absorbing journey into a fantasy world dominated by airships, dust, and daemons, the external manifestation of humans' souls. Having so many animals in every scene could have caused significant problems, but instead the intimacy between human and daemon is perhaps the film's strongest emotional anchor, making the revelation of the Gobblers' activity against the children all the more chilling. Also chilling is Nicole Kidman, who makes her Mrs. Coulter one of recent cinema's most stylishly cold villains. The [anti-]religious sentiments of the book are masked, though not without subtlety; descriptions of the Magisterium could very easily apply to the religious authority of our world. Visual effects and production design are top-notch and likely to garner the film Oscar nominations. The ending may be unsatisfactory to some readers of Philip Pullman's novel, but it is the type of cliffhanger that would leave most others anticipating the sequel. Grade: B+


Just like the other musical biopic, La Vie en Rose, Anton Corbijn's Control is powerful enough a cinematic experience to enthrall old Joy Division fans and make new converts. The film owes its success to Corbijn's direction and, in large part, to Sam Riley's astonishing performance, easily one of the year's best, as deceased band leader Ian Curtis. Samantha Morton is also highly commendable in her suffered turn as Curtis's wife Deborah. Grade: B+

Images from IMDb

Thursday, December 06, 2007

National Board of Review 2007

And so it begins. The National Board of Review (NBR) has never been one of the more accurate Oscar predictors, but their top 10 this year easily seems to include all five potential Best Picture nominees (except American Gangster and conspicuously absent There Will Be Blood). Here they are (taken from Awards Daily):

Best Film: No Country for Old Men
Best Director: Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street)
Best Actor: George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Best Actress: Julie Christie (Away from Her)
Best Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Best Foreign Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Best Documentary: Body of War
Best Animated Feature: Ratatouille
Best Ensemble Cast: No Country for Old Men
Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild)
Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Ellen Page (Juno)
Best Directorial Debut: Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone)
Best Original Screenplay: Diablo Cody (Juno) and Nancy Oliver (Lars and the Real Girl)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)

Top Ten Films
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Bucket List
Into the Wild
The Kite Runner
Lars and the Real Girl
Michael Clayton
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of the Fleet Street

Top Five Foreign Films:
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
The Band's Visit
The Counterfeiters
La Vie en Rose
Lust, Caution

Top Five Documentary Films:
Darfur Now
In the Shadow of the Moon
Taxi to the Darkside

Top Ten Independent Films:
Away from Her
Great World of Sound
In the Valley of Elah
A Mighty Heart
The Namesake
The Savages
Starting Out in the Evening
The Waitress

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Adams and Blunt: New Queens of Hollywood

I certainly would not be the first to think it, or perhaps even declare it, but here goes: Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are set to be the next big "It" stars of Hollywood. Both are blessed with impressive acting chops, exceptional beauty, radiant charm, and the ability to steal every scene that they're in. How delightful it is then to learn that they're playing sisters in the film Sunshine Cleaning, a Dramatic Competition entry in the 2008 Sundance Festival! Just thinking of their comic timing shining while sparring in Sunshine Cleaning has me smiling.

Adams is an Oscar nominee for Junebug, a small film that not many people saw. Before that, she charmed in television guest appearances (among them "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Smallville") and in limited roles in films like Catch Me If You Can. This year, she is said to be a scene-stealer in Charlie Wilson's War (where she also co-stars with Blunt). And of course, need we discuss further her monumental performance in Enchanted?

Just as Mark Wahlberg walked away with every scene he was in in The Departed last year, so did Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada. Even her co-star, the great Meryl Streep, loved her performance. Unfortunately, she did not get an Oscar nomination (despite the deserved yet surprising Golden Globe citation). Since then, however, she has been extremely busy, this year starring in and doing what she does best (dominating the screen) in three films: The Jane Austen Book Club, Dan in Real Life, and Charlie Wilson's War. Next year, she may make up for her missed Supporting Actress nomination with a citation in the lead category for the plum title role in The Young Victoria.

These two amazing women are going to be HUGE in Hollywood. It will be very interesting to watch as the events in their careers unfold.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thoughts on Amy Adams and Enchanted

Quick thoughts on the film: Enchanted is a true gem of a movie. I wouldn't go so far as to call it one of this year's best, but it certainly is special. It's a sheer delight to watch, in particular the first 3/4 of the film (the last quarter just did not have the "magic" that the previous sequences had, despite the prominence of Susan Sarandon's witch queen), and the film owes practically all of its charm to James Marsden and the woman of the hour, Amy Adams.

Amy Adams is pitch-perfect as the Disney princess thrust into jaded New York. This is, as many have proclaimed, a true star-making turn. Many have gone so far as to compare it to Julie Andrews's Oscar-winning turn in Mary Poppins. This is Amy Adams's movie.

Can she get nominated? Given the buzz surrounding her, she most likely will be. It will, however, depend partly on how well the film does in the box office. Just partly. The voters of the Academy would find it difficult to ignore Adams, particularly in this year when stellar performances are overshadowed by weak critical reception and box office performance (case in point: Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth: The Golden Age).

Here's the thing: I believe that if she gets nominated, she will likely go on to win the statuette. Marion Cotillard, the de facto front-runner, gave a magnificent performance in La Vie en Rose, one of the best in many years, but she's not American and she does not enjoy much clout within the Academy. Keira Knightley (Atonement) isn't exactly an Oscar darling either, even if she gets her second nomination in three years. Ellen Page (Juno) just won't win it, unless critics' groups rally behind her. As far as sentimentality goes, veteran Julie Christie (Away from Her) could win it, but wouldn't the Academy opt to go for the "a star is born" complex instead? Only previous nominee Laura Linney, garnering astounding praise for her performance in The Savages has just as strong a chance, but will she be in the top five?

It would be lovely to see Adams in the mix, but at the same time I'm dreading the idea of Marion Cotillard losing the Oscar when she SO deserves it. The thing with Adams's performance is that it's an amazing caricature of Disney princesses, and it's captivating and, yes, enchanting, but it's hardly the year's best. That's Cotillard and, according to many, Linney.

Then again, how do we actually determine what performance is the best? Right now (note: I haven't seen Atonement, Juno, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, The Savages), my personal top five actresses of the year are: Cotillard, Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart), Ashley Judd (Bug), Adams, and Christie. Cotillard, Jolie, and Judd have powerful, Oscar-bait breakdown scenes, Adams is a wonderfully confused princess from a cartoon world, and Christie is all quiet, reserved strength. How do you compare such disparate performances? Well, it's a useless question, since the awards shows have been doing just that for many years (80 for the Oscars).

More on this soon. Adams will likely be in the top five in my next predictions update.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Is Elizabeth a goner?

The statistics:

No actress has gotten a lead Oscar nomination for starring in a film rated "Rotten" by Rotten Tomatoes (at least since 1995; I haven't checked farther back). The closest was Juliette Binoche for a 62%-rated Chocolat in 2000.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age currently has a 24% rating. A terrible, terrible start.

Cate Blanchett has been nominated for this role before.

The sad but significantly big possibility:

No nomination for Cate for this role.

She's my absolute favorite actress, so I'm hoping that general critical praise for her performance and her sinful loss in 1998 could still work in her favor. And maybe the RT rating for the film can still go up...?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Making a Case for Mrs. Coulter

We're into the second week of October, and by this time, we should have a pretty good idea of at least who has the greatest potential to break into the ranks of acting nominees. At this time, in last year's Supporting Actress category, Jennifer Hudson was practically a lock, Cate Blanchett was not so far behind, and Abigail Breslin and the Babel girls were looking like real possibilities. This year, however, the two actress categories are suffering from a serious and unusual lack of serious contenders whose performances scream Oscar. The closest thing we have to a lock (though of course, the Dreamgirls experience last year has taught us that there's no such thing as that) for the Supporting nom is Blanchett's bravura turn as Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

Way before Blanchett started getting buzz for her performance, veteran actress Jennifer Jason Leigh got the most Oscar-related mentions for her role in
Margot at the Wedding. In the face of less than stellar reviews for the film, Leigh has lost a significant amount of pre-Oscar buzz, despite general praise for her performance. Of course, the film's wider release on 16 November can improve her chances for a first nom.

In the last ten years, four times has the list of nominees in this category included two actresses from the same film (Almost Famous, Gosford Park, Chicago, Babel). The same could very well happen to one of this year's hottest tickets, Atonement. Any one or two (or all?) of the three actresses who play Briony Tallis can get into the nominees' list, with Saoirse Ronan (13-year-old Briony) and Vanessa Redgrave (elder Briony) having the edge over Romola Garai (18-year-old), coincidentally the earliest to get the advanced buzz. Ronan is the safest bet; there's most likely going to be at least one of them up there, and this category is friendly to newcomers and very young thespians. The trend of multiple nominations for one film could have worked for Samantha Morton and Abbie Cornish of Elizabeth: The Golden Age, had the film not been generally panned. Blanchett's turn as the Queen getting a nom is being doubted now. What more Morton's and Cornish's chances? The resounding praise for Sean Penn's Into the Wild can bring either Catherine Keener or Marcia Gay Harden or both into the thick of the competition.

Two much-buzzed performances have yet to be seen, and these are from prestige films that seem destined for Oscar glory. Both Helena Bonham Carter in
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Julia Roberts in Charlie Wilson's War have plum roles in their respective projects. But both are hinging on the success of their films (iffy at best at this moment, though the trailer for Sweeney Todd sure looks good), and neither one is sure to be campaigned for this category and not for lead.

So aside from Blanchett, and maybe Ronan and Leigh, anyone, from the actresses named above to Susan Sarandon of In the Valley of Elah (or, dare I say, Enchanted?), Tilda Swinton of Michael Clayton, and Amy Ryan of Gone Baby Gone could sneak into the top five.

There is one actress who has been mentioned and is still in the lists of many prognosticators, but at this moment her chances are generally being dismissed. Seeing the wide-open nature of the category this year, I am now making a case for a highly possible nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Nicole Kidman, for her turn as Mrs. Coulter in
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass.

For the uninitiated, Mrs. Coulter is, as suggested by the trailers and film synopses, somewhat of a villain, cold and manipulative, seeking to use Lyra (the heroine, played by Dakota Blue Richards) for her own gains. And yet Mrs. Coulter is far from being a one-dimensional villain. Her character has great depth, and though the second and third books flesh her out more completely, her substance will (should) be expressed quite well in the first film.

In her bid for an Oscar nomination, there are of course things working against, and for, such a possibility.


1) Mrs. Coulter is a villain. As I had discussed in a previous article ("Best Supporting...Villainess?"), women playing nasty have not had much success gaining traction in the Supporting Actress category. The category is far friendlier to long-suffering wives than it is to women who'd sooner ditch their husbands than be martyrs. Kidman has to play on the depth and multi-dimensionality of Mrs. Coulter's character to even be considered for a nod.

2) Mrs. Coulter is a villain in a FANTASY movie. The Academy is notorious for passing up on performances in fantasy movies, with Alec Guiness (Star Wars) and Ian McKellen (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring) being rare exceptions (and losers in their respective years). The character has to be extremely iconic and memorable to be considered for a nomination despite being in an imagined setting. Could that be said about Mrs. Coulter?

3) Julia Roberts, and other actresses from yet unseen prestige films. As mentioned above, there are still big names and former nominees with Oscar-targeted films coming out to potentially wow audiences. Add to the bunch former nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno for Love in the Time of Cholera. If former winner Roberts and Bonham Carter decide to run in the supporting category, they'll likely get slots in the top five and diminish Kidman's (and the others') chances. That is, unless Charlie Wilson's War and Sweeney Todd crash and The Golden Compass does not.

4) A nomination for for Kidman is highly dependent on how the film performs. If the film is anything less than fantastic and universally praised (say, less than 85% on the Rotten Tomatoes scale), Kidman's turn will likely be ignored. The leading contenders (Blanchett, Ronan, Leigh, Roberts, Bonham Carter) only have to hope that their films are not critical disasters (RT scores of 65% or higher would do just fine). It's all about what type of film they have; Kidman's is an effects-heavy fantasy adaptation that must work extremely well with both audiences and critics to be taken seriously by the Oscar voters.


1) It's Nicole Kidman. She has been nominated twice, with a win for The Hours. While this means that the Academy does not owe her anything (heck, she won for wearing a prosthetic nose!), it's also indicative of general Oscar favor for Ms. Kidman. Though of course, there is the matter of the stinging snub for her performance in Cold Mountain (co-stars Jude Law and Renee Zellweger were nominated), not to mention having been ignored for strong roles in Birth, Dogville, and, as far back as 1995, To Die For. Since winning in 2002, Kidman has been playing strong roles in small films and ignored for them. Perhaps the Academy does owe her after all.

2) She might very well get a Golden Globe nomination. The HFPA, the people behind the Golden Globes, have SERIOUS love for Nicole Kidman, having given her seven nominations and three wins since 1992 and even citing her for two films (Moulin Rouge! and The Others) in 2002. She will most likely get a nomination in the Best Actress - Comedy/Musical category for her performance in Margot at the Wedding. Given the HFPA's predilection toward Kidman, they just might give her a nod in the Supporting Actress category, which would give her a big boost for the Oscar nom.

3) Mrs. Coulter is elegant, regal, and juicily nasty. Her having been cast as Mrs. Coulter is a real casting dream, a decision loved by fans of the book, much like McKellen's as Gandalf. The role fits Kidman perfectly: just like her Hollywood persona, Mrs. Coulter is stylish and strikingly beautiful, all glitzy glamor. Add to the mix a cruel streak and the Oscar voters might find it hard to resist placing her in this year's top five. It sure would make the actress categories significantly more interesting.

4) The role is a co-lead. If there is any type of role aside from long-suffering wife that this category favors, it's the co-lead, the role that could have worked in the lead category but was bumped to supporting for whatever reason. Julianne Moore (The Hours), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago), Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal), and any of the long-suffering wives are examples of this. Straddling the line between co-lead and supporting definitely applies to the role of Mrs. Coulter. Campaigning for lead would be suicide, so she should stick to this category.

5) It's a big film. The Golden Compass will likely be a major player in the technical categories of the Oscars and be a major box-office draw. It is also based on a critically praised, beloved novel. If the film adaptation ends up being a resounding critical success (see Against item #4 above), it can get attention even in the major categories, such as Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress for Kidman.

So am I completely sold on a nomination for Kidman? Not quite yet. All I'm saying is that it is a definite possibility that must be given more attention, and so in my next prediction update, Kidman will be in my list of top 10 potential nominees. We'll know pretty soon if I'm just being overly optimistic about her chances.

Images from

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Which horror movie character are you?

As the first of a series of things I'll be doing in honor of horror movies (my favorite genre) this Halloween month, I've created a personality test entitled: Which Horror Movie Character Are You? Ever wondered if you're most like one of the famous film slashers, or the young anti-Christ, or someone who crawls out of a TV? Take the test:

According to this test that I made, I'm most like the said anti-Christ. Hmm...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Unusually Crowded Actors' Races

I've always found the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress Oscar races more exciting. It's partly because I'm somewhat of an actressexual (a term introduced by Nathaniel of The Film Experience), but it's also because this race is often so competitive, with two or three slots open to surprise nominees up to nomination night. (Last year was an exception, with all five nominees in the lead actress race practically locks long before).

In an Oscar year that seems to be seeing an uncharacteristic dearth in competitive female performances, the male categories seem unusually, but pleasantly, crowded with so many possibilities. And while most of the significant female performances have already been seen (the few exceptions include Julia Roberts of Charlie Wilson's War, Halle Berry of Things We Lost in the Fire, and Giovanna Mezzogiorno of Love in the Time of Cholera), strong vehicles for male performances (the aforementioned three films, American Gangster, There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd, etc.) have yet to come out. The Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor races are shaping up to be the most exciting categories to watch for this year.

My current predicted nominees for the Best Actor race are Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Tom Hanks (Charlie Wilson's War), Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah), James McAvoy (Atonement), and Denzel Washington (American Gangster). Of these, only McAvoy and Jones are, as of this moment, safe bets. The other three could be replaced by a whole mob of potential nominees. Joaquin Phoenix (Reservation Road) and John Cusack (Grace is Gone) have had their buzz diminished for different reasons (failure of the film for Phoenix, failure to sustain buzz for Cusack). George Clooney (Michael Clayton) is a definite contender, with his characteristic clout in Hollywood and a film that was generally well received. The buzz for Philip Seymour Hoffman's turn in The Savages has a lot of people excited about how it plays out when the film is released to wider audiences later in the year. Johnny Depp may yet shine in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Javier Bardem may capitalize on his astounding success with No Country for Old Men (for which he's almost sure to get a nod for the supporting category) and get more attention with Love in the Time of Cholera.

What makes this race so exciting, however, is the deluge of strong male performances from recent wide releases and Toronto hits. The acclaimed 3:10 to Yuma has lauded co-leads in Russell Crowe and Christian Bale. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, also a critics' favorite, has Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, though the latter would likely be placed in the supporting category. The victory of Eastern Promises in Toronto ups the chances of Viggo Mortensen for a first nomination, though how much it does so is unclear. Sean Penn directs Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild to a possible first nom of his own. And before we can say, "Whoa, there's too many of them already," Before the Devil Knows You're Dead swoops in from outside the radar with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke looking at awards consideration. Any of these could end up as nominees.

My predicted Best Supporting Actor nominees are currently Affleck, Bardem, Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood), Benicio del Toro (Things We Lost in the Fire), and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton). I'm least confident about the nods for del Toro and Dano, though the Academy likes the former enough (for a nom and a win) and the latter could be propelled by a highly probably nomination for his co-star Day Lewis. Wilkinson's role is too juicy to ignore, as are Bardem's and Affleck's. Hoffman's turn in Charlie Wilson's War has big potential to make him a major contender at year's end. Ben Foster might be given a shot at a first nom with 3:10 to Yuma. Philip Bosco could sneak in by playing the ailing patriarch in The Savages. Maybe oft-ignored Mark Ruffalo could bypass his film's bad reviews even if Phoenix can't. People are all a-buzz about Hal Holbrook in Into the Wild even more than they are about Hirsch in that film. Former nominee Armin Mueller-Stahl could get in for Eastern Promises. Will people remember John Travolta's antics in the well received Hairspray? Alan Rickman could be a scene-stealer in Sweeney Todd, as could Dustin Hoffman in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (he is Mr. Magorium, after all). And what about Hawke's co-lead performance in Devil (it can pit him here against co-star Albert Finney), and Crowe's own in American Gangster?

These are the types of races that make Oscar enthusiasts' hobby of predicting nominees so difficult and yet so fun and rewarding at the same time. Bring it on!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Up and Coming, For Your Consideration


Avengers: Infinity War
Beautiful Boy
Ben is Back
The Best of Enemies
Black Panther
Boy Erased
The Catcher Was a Spy
Christopher Robin
Come Sunday
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot
Eighth Grade
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
The Favourite
First Man
The Front Runner
George and Tammy
The Happy Prince
I Think We're Alone Now
If Beale Street Could Talk
The Irishman
Isle of Dogs
The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara
Leave No Trace
Mary Magdalene
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots
The Mercy
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
My Life On the Road
On Chesil Beach
On the Basis of Sex
Private Life
Ready Player One
The Seagull
Sorry to Bother You
A Star is Born
Trial By Fire
Where is Kyra?
Where'd You Go, Bernadette
The Wife
The Women of Marwen
A Wrinkle in Time
You Were Never Really Here

Alex Garland (Annihilation)
Anthony Russo, Joe Russo (Avengers: Infinity War)
Adam McKay (Backseat)
Felix van Groeningen (Beautiful Boy)
Peter Hedges (Ben is Back)
Robin Bissell (The Best of Enemies)
Ryan Coogler (Black Panther)
Ethan Hawke (Blaze)
Joel Edgerton (Boy Erased)
Andrew Heckler (Burden)
Ben Lewin (The Catcher Was a Spy)
Wash Westmoreland (Colette)
Joshua Marston (Come Sunday)
David Zellner, Nathan Zellner (Damsel)
Xavier Dolan (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan)
Sebastian Lelio (Disobedience)
Gus Van Sant (Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot)
Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade)
Joe Berlinger (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Damien Chazelle (First Man)
Jason Reitman (The Front Runner)
Taylor Hackford (George and Tammy)
Sebastian Lelio (Gloria)
Rupert Everett (The Happy Prince)
Ari Aster (Hereditary)
Reed Morano (I Think We're Alone Now)
Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Martin Scorsese (The Irishman)
Wes Anderson (Isle of Dogs)
Steven Spielberg (The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara)
Debra Granik (Leave No Trace)
Craig William Macneill (Lizzie)
Garth Davis (Mary Magdalene)
Rob Marshall (Mary Poppins Returns)
Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots)
James Marsh (The Mercy)
Anthony Mandler (Monster)
Julie Taymor (My Life On the Road)
Dominic Cooke (On Chesil Beach)
Mimi Leder (On the Basis of Sex)
Tamara Jenkins (Private Life)
Steven Spielberg (Ready Player One)
Michael Mayer (The Seagull)
Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You)
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
Luca Guadagnino (Suspiria)
Edward Zwick (Trial By Fire)
Jason Reitman (Tully)
Steven Soderbergh (Unsane)
Andrew Dosonmu (Where is Kyra?)
Richard Linklater (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Björn Runge (The Wife)
Paul Dano (Wildlife)
Robert Zemeckis (The Women of Marwen)
Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time)
Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here)

Christian Bale (Backseat)
Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther)
Josh Brolin (George and Tammy)
Steve Carell (Beautiful Boy)
Steve Carell (The Women of Marwen)
Robert De Niro (The Irishman)
Ben Dickey (Blaze)
Peter Dinklage (I Think We're Alone Now)
Zac Efron (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile)
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Come Sunday)
Rupert Everett (The Happy Prince)
Colin Firth (The Mercy)
Ben Foster (Leave No Trace)
Paul Giamatti (Private Life)
Ryan Gosling (First Man)
Josh Hamilton (Eighth Grade)
Kit Harington (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan)
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (Monster)
Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased)
Garrett Hedlund (Burden)
Hugh Jackman (The Frontrunner)
Stephan James (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Alessandro Nivola (Disobedience)
Jack O'Connell (Trial By Fire)
Ed Oxenbould (Wildlife)
Robert Pattinson (Damsel)
Joaquin Phoenix (Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot)
Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here)
Robert Redford (Old Man and the Gun)
Mark Rylance (The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara)
Sam Rockwell (The Best of Enemies)
Paul Rudd (The Catcher Was a Spy)
Lakeith Stanfield (Sorry to Bother You)

Annette Bening (The Seagull)
Jessica Chastain (George and Tammy)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Toni Collette (Hereditary)
Lily Collins (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile)
Elle Fanning (I Think We're Alone Now)
Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade)
Claire Foy (Unsane)
Stefani Germanotta (A Star is Born)
Kathryn Hahn (Private Life)
Taraji P. Henson (The Best of Enemies)
Dakota Johnson (Suspiria)
Felicity Jones (On the Basis of Sex)
Keira Knightley (Colette)
Kiki Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Rooney Mara (Mary Magdalene)
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie (Leave No Trace)
Julianne Moore (Gloria)
Julianne Moore (My Life On the Road)
Chloe Moretz (The Miseducation of Cameron Post)
Carey Mulligan (Wildlife)
Michelle Pfeiffer (Where is Kyra?)
Natalie Portman (Annihilation)
Julia Roberts (Ben is Back)
Saoirse Ronan (Mary Queen of Scots)
Saoirse Ronan (On Chesil Beach)
Saoirse Ronan (The Seagull)
Chloë Sevigny (Lizzie)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Charlize Theron (Tully)
Tessa Thompson (Sorry to Bother You)
Mia Wasikowska (Damsel)
Rachel Weisz (Disobedience)

Jack Black (Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot)
Steve Carell (Backseat)
Michael Cera (Gloria)
Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)
Russell Crowe (Boy Erased)
Billy Crudup (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Colman Domingo (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Joel Edgerton (Boy Erased)
Dave Franco (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Wildlife)
Armie Hammer (On the Basis of Sex)
Armie Hammer (Sorry to Bother You)
Jonah Hill (Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot)
Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)
Harvey Keitel (The Irishman)
Logan Lerman (The Wife)
John Malkovich (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile)
Haley Joel Osment (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile)
Al Pacino (The Irishman)
Joe Pesci (The Irishman)
Jonathan Pryce (The Wife)
Sam Rockwell (Backseat)
J.K. Simmons (The Frontrunner)
Christian Slater (The Wife)
Corey Stoll (The Seagull)
Kiefer Sutherland (Where is Kyra?)
John Turturro (Gloria)
Sam Waterston (On the Basis of Sex)
Dominic West (Colette)
Forest Whitaker (Burden)
Jeffrey Wright (Monster)

Amy Adams (Backseat)
Kathy Bates (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan)
Kathy Bates (On the Basis of Sex)
Cate Blanchett (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Kayli Carter (Private Life)
Jessica Chastain (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Laura Dern (Trial By Fire)
Vera Farmiga (The Frontrunner)
Claire Foy (First Man)
Jennifer Hudson (Monster)
Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Rooney Mara (Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot)
Brit Marling (The Wife)
Rachel McAdams (Disobedience)
Frances McDormand (The Wife)
Elisabeth Moss (The Seagull)
Anna Paquin (The Irishman)
Andrea Riseborough (Burden)
Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots)
Saoirse Ronan (The Seagull)
Susan Sarandon (The Death and Life of John F. Donovan)
Molly Shannon (Private Life)
Kristen Stewart (Lizzie)
Tilda Swinton (Suspiria)
Maura Tierney (Beautiful Boy)
Jeanne Tripplehorn (Gloria)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Rachel Weisz (The Mercy)
Kristen Wiig (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians)