Well, Joe and I made it home safely from Oklahoma, despite near blizzard conditions here in Minneapolis. It was 50 degrees here on Thursday. There is now a foot of snow on the ground and tomorrow's low will be around 8. Ugh. Inclement weather in the midwest wasn't enough to stop the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Boston Society of Film Critics from awarding their top prizes in a variety of categories. Jennifer Lawrence helped cement her Oscar frontrunner status by being recognized by the L.A. critics for The Silver Linings Playbook in a tie with Emmanuelle Riva for Amour. The bigger story here is Riva, however, as she not only tied with Lawrence for L.A., but won Boston and the New York Film Critics Online.
There has been a lot of question about whether Riva will have enough support to garner an
Academy Award nomination, particularly because she's in a foreign film of the same language as another contender, former Oscar winner Marion Cotillard in Rust and Bone. I wager however that it's now more likely that if only one of the French women is recognized, it'll be Riva. I haven't seen either performance, but am far more interested in Riva's turn as an aging woman with dementia.
If I had to predict a top five for Oscar as of today:
1. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
2. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
3. Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
4. Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
5. Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)
Of course this could so easily be way off, especially that fifth slot. We've can't count out Naomi Watts, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench. But the top 3-4 seem like pretty good bets these days, unlike Meryl, who is likely going to have to settle for a Golden Globe nomination Thursday. But as I've said before, things could get really shaken up on Wednesday when the SAG nominations are announced.
It's also fun to see how entire films are matching up, specifically, both Silver Linings Playbook and The Master which are both Weinstein Company productions. Neither are likely to win best picture at the Oscars the way things are currently headed. Considering Harvey has won the past two years with The King's Speech and The Artist, it's probably best if we're more interested in him pushing August: Osage County next year. Four in a row will not happen. Plus, if neither Jennifer Lawrence and Philip Seymour Hoffman end up ultimately winning at the Academy Awards, all the more reason he'll push extra hard for Meryl in 2013-14, as he will have basically been skunked this year. The precedent was nicely set for Meryl and Harvey with The Iron Lady. Ba-ring it.