Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Looks like "The Homesman" is happening

The question now remains as to whether or not Meryl will be involved.  If yesterday's news of casting Tim Blake Nelson (no clue) is any indication, it seems likely that Meryl is indeed still attached to star alongside Nelson, Tommy Lee Jones and Hilary Swank in the Western period piece.   The article makes no reference to the contrary.  In fact, it states that Swank and Streep have "already joined the picture." 

If one does a word search on IMDb, we find Meryl listed under the cast for The Homesman, but the film is not listed under Meryl's individual page.   Not quite sure how that works.  At this point I think we can assume this project is moving forward.  Shooting is slated to begin in New Mexico this spring.  If that happens, I suppose we could expect an early to mid 2014 release.  I'm still waiting to get concrete confirmation of Meryl's involvement, however.  Oh, and for Into the Woods(!).  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Streep again named favorite to portray Hillary Clinton

Fourth day in a row blogging!  Quick note on the SAGs last night:  I was 4-for-5 in predictions, only missing ensemble, which ended up going to Argo instead of my selection of Silver Linings Playbook.   That bodes well for Argo's continued momentum for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.  Despite predicting her, I was slightly surprised at Jennifer Lawrence's win for Silver Linings.   Her status as front-runner has definitely been cemented.  Um, thanks Harvey.

In other news, I came across a poll today which lists Meryl as the #1 pick of whom the public thinks should play Hillary Clinton in a biopic.  No such pic (of Clinton during her political career) is in the making, but it's fun to see Meryl mentioned again.  Goodness knows I'd love to see a film about Clinton made, and I think Meryl would of course nail it.  Clinton says goodbye as Secretary of State within the next couple of weeks, so a retreat from public life (hopefully brief (wink)) certainly gives screenwriters an opportunity to get their pens active.  I'll leave you with this video of Clinton with president Obama last night on 60 Minutes:

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My encounter with director of "Doubt"

Well, no Meryl sightings at Minnesota Opera's world premiere of Doubt last night, but we encountered the next best thing.  Upon entering the Ordway, we stepped into the coat check line right behind none other than the librettist, John Patrick Shanley.  Keep in mind this is the man who wrote the play of the same name and then adapted the screenplay and directed the film version in 2008 starring Meryl!

I was a bit surprised he was in the coat check line, but I was confident in his identity, having recognized him from Doubt interviews and DVD special features.   I joked (not super loudly but loudly enough to be sure he heard me) that I "couldn't believe they're making the librettist stand in the coat check line."  He turned around and smiled, noticed I was on crutches (hip surgery) and said something to the effect of "whoa that looks rough."  I then said I never got the chance to see the play but that I really enjoyed the film.  He replied "hey, two out of three ain't bad!"  I then proceeded to play it cool(?) by ignoring him, handed my coat to Joe and excused myself to the restroom.  I've officially decreased my degrees of separation to Meryl from six to one.

Ps- I read that Jennifer Lawrence has pneumonia and may not be attending the SAG awards tonight. Not kidding.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My SAG picks and a possible Meryl sighting tonight?

I feel I should explain that post title.  The SAG picks is pretty straightforward, but what the hell do I mean by "possible Meryl sighting?" Well, as I previously mentioned, Joe and I are season subscribers to the Minnesota Opera, and tonight is the world premiere of the company's latest New Works Initiative project entitled Doubt.  Yes, that Doubt.   It's the operatic version of the Pulitzer Prize winning play and Oscar nominated film by John Patrick Shanley.  He provides the libretto to this new work while the music was produced by Douglas J. Cuomo.  Apart from us knowing that Meryl was one of the actors nominated in the film version, we also know that she's a great fan of music.  Is it possible that she'll be on hand for the world premiere?!  Probably not, but a boy can dream.  I'll try to update Twitter at intermission to let let you know yay or nay.   I hope I didn't blow your cover, Meryl.

The SAG awards are tomorrow night, which should help shed some light on where things might go with Oscar.  Best Actress and Supporting Actor in particular are tough to call at this point.  Here goes.

Cast-- Silver Linings Playbook
Actor in a Leading Role-- Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Actress in a Leading Role-- Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Actor in a Supporting Role-- Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Actress in a Supporting Role-- Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

Day-Lewis is a slam dunk and I'd be shocked if Hathaway didn't win.  Small chance Sally Field could squeeze in there for Lincoln.  Cast could end up being Les Mis or Lincoln, but since SLP has all four acting categories nominated at Oscar, so I'm going with that.  I'd put Jessica Chastain a close second for Lead Actress in Zero Dark Thirty and Robert De Niro a close second for Supporting Actor in SLP, considering I was wrong picking Jones at the Globes.  Like I said, tomorrow's show may be a helpful barometer of where at least the actors body of the Academy is leaning. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Meryl to perform at Academy Awards?

Yesterday, Showbiz 411 heralded news that the Academy Awards presentation on February 24 will include a tribute to movie musicals from the last decade.  We can therefore expect Mamma Mia! to be part of that list, which is why there is speculation of Meryl being courted for participation.  I certainly hope at the very least she shows up (healthy) to present the Best Actor category.  And hey, if she's already going to be there, why not show off your pipes at the same time?  If we get confirmation in the next few months of Meryl's official casting in the rumored filming of Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods, belting out a tune onstage at the Oscars could be a nice sort of "see, this is why they want me for another musical" moment.   I've only found one article that reports Meryl's possible involvement, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Tomorrow I'll post my SAG predictions. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Meryl lending her voice

Today we have news of two separate projects to which Meryl is providing her splendidly recognizable voice. The first is a film called Girl Rising, a portion of which was introduced yesterday at the Sundance Film Festival. It follows nine young girls in developing countries whose lives would be much improved if only they could be provided adequate educations.  Since the entire film wasn't finished, it technically was not up for any award recognition at the festival.  Although it sounds moderately interesting and is no doubt a very important cause, I likely won't see it. 

The second comes on January 31, where we can all tune in to PBS to hear Meryl narrate The '70s: Bold and Fearless.  The documentary is evidently part of a four part series PBS is producing to celebrate its 50 years of programming.  In the article I read, it recalls the fact that one of Meryl's first screen performances was in the PBS production of Uncommon Women and Others, which I happened to watch for the first time about a year ago.  Joe and I recently got rid of our cable but we can probably stream it from somewhere if I remember to look for it.   Since Meryl won't be acting in this either, I'm not particularly concerned about watching.  It's fun, however to update the masses on what she's doing professionally.    Keep your eyes out for both of these programs. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Update on Oscar race

As of this afternoon, I have seen all twenty acting performances nominated for an Academy Award this year.  Sadly, Meryl is not included in the list, and I briefly thought about making this a "snub" post but I'll need that to marinate a bit longer.  I do believe Meryl should fit into the top five, however.   I'd definitely put her performance in Hope Springs above that of both Quevenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild and Naomi Watts in The Impossible.   Not to take anything away from their fine performances, but Meryl in a non-baity role is still usually going to be top five. 

The last of the films I finished was Amour.  I have to give Emmanuelle Riva kudos for what was in my opinion the best performance by an actress this year.   My overall run down on ranking the lead actress nominees based on quality of performance is as follows:

1.  Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
2.  Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
3.  Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
4.  Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
5.  Quevenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)

Fairly big gap between Riva and Chastain and very small gap between Chastain and Lawrence.   After the Globes, my predictions for who will actually win goes like this:

1. Lawrence
2. Chastain
3. Riva
4. Watts
5. Wallis

Small gap between Lawrence and Chastain.  It'll be very interesting to see what happens next weekend at the SAGs and then at the BAFTAs on Feb 10.  Riva is not nominated at the SAGs but is as BAFTA.  I'm already wondering about the possibility of Riva pulling an Adrien Brody, who was not expected to win in 2003 for The Pianist over Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt and Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York.  Staying tuned. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meryl misses Globes ceremony due to illness

Sadly, Meryl was too ill with the flu last night to participate in the Golden Globes ceremony.  She was due to present Best Actor in a Drama and was of course herself up for Actress in a Musical/Comedy for Hope Springs.

As expected, Jennifer Lawrence took home the award in Meryl's category for her turn in Silver Linings Playbook

There was an absolute feeding frenzy of anger among some Streepers on Twitter and around the web after her comment about Meryl.  Had they known she was quoting Bette Midler in The First Wives Club, it would've saved a bit of awkward embarrassment.  Those who made nasty comments about Lawrence should seriously check themselves.   I picture Meryl being absolutely abhorred by such thoughtless and hateful commentary.  We already know that Lawrence loves Meryl.  How quickly we forget a recent article in which Lawrence makes known her adoration, saying:  "One time someone was introducing me to Bill Maher, and I saw Meryl Streep walk into the room, and I literally put my hand right in Bill Maher's face and said, ‘Not now, Bill!,' and I just stared at Meryl Streep."

As far as full results from last night, they can be seen here.  I did particularly well in the acting categories, with the exception of Cristoph Waltz winning for Django Unchained.  I predicted Tommy Lee Jones to take it for Lincoln, but I was pleasantly surprised by Waltz's win, as I saw it as the superior performance.  Possibly a bit if category fraud, but that's not his fault.

Meryl is not up for any more awards the remainder of this season, so fingers crossed that she agrees to present Best Actor at the Oscars next month. As I've said before, I just want to see her and Daniel Day-Lewis on the same stage.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Golden Globe predictions

Hey folks.  Tomorrow's Golden Globes is the first major televised awards show.  As we know, Meryl is up for her ninth win with a nomination for best performance by an actress in a musical or comedy for Hope Springs.  Last summer I thought she stood a shot at the win, but the overwhelming favorite in this category will be Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook.  I predict Jessica Chastain for the win in drama, which will set up an interesting night at the SAGs.  My full predictions in the major categories are as follows:

Best Picture Drama: Lincoln
Best Picture Musical/Comedy: Silver Linings Playbook (possibly crazy not to pick Les Mis, but whatev)
Best Director: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Best Actor Drama: Daniel-Day Lewis (Lincoln)
Best Actress Drama: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty (which I saw today and enjoyed btw))
Best Actor Musical/Comedy: Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
Best Actress Musical/Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)

I'd have to put Meryl in third behind Lawrence and Judi Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) as far as chances for a win.  I've seen all three, and strictly on performance, Meryl is a solid second place.  Again, had she not won the Globe and Oscar for The Iron Lady last year, she'd probably be in much better standing.  Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to a fun night watching the ceremony with Scooter and Kristan and seeing Meryl present as well.   Let the games begin.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar noms and Meryl wins People's Choice Award

Last night Meryl received the "favorite movie icon" award from the People's Choice Awards.  This is like her thousandth 'People's" award.  I don't make a big deal about these, but it's a nice recognition and good to see so many fans out there who enjoy Meryl!  Oh, and the Oscar nominations came out this morning.  No surprise nomination for Meryl unfortunately.  The full list is here, but the women nominated in lead are:

Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Quevenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

Well, I was four-for-five.  I'm glad Riva ended up getting in.  If you look at my post from yesterday, I didn't predict Wallis, but that's kind of cool that she got in too.  Both the oldest and youngest lead actress nominees in history in the same year, one in a foreign language film, one African American...not too shabs.

Yesterday I retweeted a tweet from Sasha Stone over at Awards Daily saying that "57% of those polled thought that Meryl should've been a top five finalist for her role in Hope Springs."  I'm not exactly sure who "those" are, but it may have been something she read about Academy voters, or perhaps it was people on her own site.  Regardless, I'm part of the 57%.  Meryl was fantastic as Kay Soames, and if she hadn't been nominated or won last year I think there's a good chance we'd see her nominated this year.  But again, I'm more looking forward to next year where she'll likely be on the top of many people's list for a nomination for her role as Violet Weston in August: Osage County.  Yesterday I came across the first official 2014 predictions from a site called  No surprise, they have Meryl in their top five.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

BAFTA nominations and my Lead Actress Oscar predictions

This morning, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced its film award nominees.  As expected, Meryl was not among them for her performance in Hope Springs, but as usual, I like to keep abreast of the names in the race.  The full list of nominees can be seen here, but the five actresses nominated in lead are as follows:

Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)
Helen Mirren (Hitchcock)
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone)

With the Oscar nominations already coming out tomorrow morning (first time they've come out prior to Globes ceremony, at least that I'm aware of), we have a pretty good idea of who will be the top five. My predictions for tomorrow's lineup for Actress in a Leading role are:

Jennifer Lawrence
Jessica Chastain
Marion Cotillard
Emmanuelle Riva
Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

But seriously, after Lawrence and Chastain, there really aren't any sure things.  I'm reasonably confident(?) in Cotillard and much less so in Watts.  Riva could VERY easily be replaced by Helen Mirren (who's been nominated for Globe, SAG and BAFTA) or Quevenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild).  Riva for me is a bit of a long shot to be honest, but she's gotten quite a bit of critics' recognition and it's fun to speculate and be one of the minority who gets all five correct.  I wish I could be predicting Meryl, but it's not going to happen.  Next year.  

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meryl to present at Golden Globes

Jeeps, it's been almost a week since I've posted!  I was in New York for a long weekend and although no random Meryl sightings, I was occupied enough to not think about blogging.  This morning we learned that Meryl has been officially announced as a presenter at this Sunday's Golden Globe Awards.   I'm sure she'll be presenting Best Actor in a Drama, as it's fairly typical for the previous year's opposite-gendered recipient to do so.  The only major acting award she didn't win last year was the SAG, and although it is not an absolute rule that the previous winner presents at all these ceremonies, it's customary.  So, I think we can reasonably expect her to show up for the BAFTAs and certainly the Academy Awards.  Meryl tends to act fairly blasé about going to all of these award shows, but I have a feeling she actually really digs it...particularly when she's nominated.  She'll act like she can't remember how many Oscar nominations she has but I guarantee you she knows the total and for exactly which movies she was and was not nominated.  Speaking of which, nominations come out in TWO days!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013: off and running

This morning I came across an article on HitFix that made some entertainment-related predictions about 2013.  In it, Kris Tapley suggests that Meryl will be making a run for her fourth Oscar with the release of August: Osage County.

"Fans of Tracy Letts's dark Oklahoma comedy will likely file this one under "no-brainer," but why not saddle up to the safe bet? The role of pill-popping, sharp-tongued Violet Weston is catnip for any actress. Indeed, when I caught the Broadway production in 2007, Estelle Parsons's understudy killed so much I wasn't too disappointed I missed the play's star. Combine that with the industry's most lauded actress and you obviously have a recipe for an Oscar run, despite the fact that she already has three to her name. That won't stop The Weinstein Company from gunning hard, now will it? I wouldn't even be surprised if the film ends up being an overall frontrunner in the race."

These are all things I've already posted about in one way another, but I'm glad to see it being reiterated by a major Oscar prognosticator. "Saddle up" indeed.