Monthly Archives: November 2011

Oscar Watch: Can Meryl Streep Finally Win Another Best Actress Trophy?

Now that award season has kicked off with the announcement of the Independent Spirit Award nominations, the Movie Fanatic Oscar Watch takes a look at the women primed to be nominated for a Best Actress Oscar nomination. 2011 proved to be an astounding year for stellar performances by lead actresses and they ran the gamut in terms of new to the Oscar buzz and veterans used to the spotlight of the Academy Awards. Despite her record 16 nominations, each year it seems that Meryl Streep is up for another award, yet she loses. Streep has been nominated 16 times, yet has only won twice. This year, her turn as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady has her, in many eyes, finally feeling the grasp of her third win at hand.

Meryl Streep and Jim Broadbent in The Iron Lady
Movie Fanatic’s Oscar Watch takes our periodic look at the major Oscar categories and this week, we gaze firmly at the Best Actress category and offer our opinion on who could be, and should be, nominated.

Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady: Streep earned the Best Actress trophy from the New York Critics recently and we believe that this indeed could be her year, except there is another who might slip past her to walk across the Kodak Theatre stage and accept Best Actress. More on her soon, but in The Iron Lady, Streep achieves the impossible — again. Portraying a real life person is never easy, particularly one as well known as Thatcher. Yet, Streep is effortless in her ability to not only capture the nuances of the first female Prime Minister of the U.K., but to also deliver a performance that is astounding in its scope and breadth. She is a front-runner for sure, but Movie Fanatic believes she is in a tie for that position with…

Viola Davis for The Help: The entire cast of The Help could be looking at nominations, particularly Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer. But in terms of a Best Actress, a standout emerges: Viola Davis. Her turn as a maid in early 1960s Mississippi is the stuff of legend. She is equally powerful and vulnerable. Davis brings both humor and humility in a performance that should finally give the Oscar nominee for Doubt her first Oscar. In our eyes, Davis is the actress to beat.

Viola Davis The Help
Elizabeth Olsen for Martha Marcy May Marlene: There are breakout performances by an actress, and there is what Elizabeth Olsen achieved in Martha Marcy May Marlene. She exploded on the screen and commanded audiences’ attention in a film that riveted and could have been a solely powerful piece of filmmaking about one woman’s effort to leave an abusive cult behind. Instead, it was the Elizabeth Olsen show with the younger sister of the famous Olsen twins firmly stepping out into her own spotlight. Movie Fanatic thinks that Olsen is a lock for that third spot on the Best Actress nomination list.

Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn: Like Streep with The Iron Lady, Michelle Williams had the tough task of portraying an icon. In what could have been an imitation of Marilyn Monroe, Williams instead gave her layers upon layers of humanity that brought an approachable nature to a legend for legions of audience members who only knew Monroe from her tabloid life and screen history. Williams plays Monroe in My Week with Marilyn as a woman seeking affirmation, whether from men, her co-stars and the public at large. The actress is uncanny as Monroe and has set the standard for any actress seeking to slither into Monroe’s sexiness in the future.

My Week with Marilyn Star Michelle Williams
Charlize Theron for Young Adult: There is a trick to portraying a character that is less than sympathetic. Theron achieves that in droves with her turn in Young Adult. The actress plays an alcoholic Young Adult author heading home for her high school reunion. She is on a mission: To steal away her high school sweetheart from his happy marriage. Not the stuff that makes audiences pull for your character. Yet, in Theron’s hands, her character possesses a power that is palpable and allows the viewer to be right with her every step of the way.

Kirsten Dunst for Melancholia: In Melancholia, Kirsten Dunst achieves an Elizabeth Olsen type of announcement of her arrival on the scene. Only for Dunst, it is not a new announcement, simply a reminder of the talent this young actress possesses. Her characterization of a bride on her wedding day while the world is collapsing around her — literally — is commanding, complicated and every bit worthy of an Oscar nomination.

Those are the leaders in terms of who we believe has a real shot at an Oscar nomination. But, there are some killer performances that could surprise and nab a nod from the Academy.

Rooney Mara for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: Simply seeing Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trailer and one can see the searing performance that Oscar voters adore. The film may be too gritty for the Academy, but will be hard to ignore. The David Fincher film’s success or failure hinges on his casting of Lisbeth and with Mara, not only does he have the perfect faulted heroine, but he may have cast an actress that will add Oscar nominee to her resume.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is Rooney Mara
Glenn Close for Albert Nobbs: There is no question that Glenn Close deserves an Oscar nomination for her performance in Albert Nobbs. The only problem is the film doesn’t deliver as many expected, and whether enough voters will see the work before voting closes remains a mystery.

Tilda Swinton for We Need to Talk About Kevin: Tilda Swinton has already scored an Oscar, but could pick up another nomination for her role in We Need to Talk About Kevin. The problem for her is the same for Close, will enough people see the film to give it and her the attention they so richly deserve?

Now, be sure to check out our thoughts on who should earn Oscar nominations for Best Actor!

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Final Poster Shows Shadows

The second chapter in Guy Ritchie’s cinematic series centered on Sherlock Holmes has debuted the final poster before the film premieres December 16. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows has Movie Fanatic truly thrilled as it features the notorious Sherlock villain Moriarty as played by Jared Harris.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows Final Poster
The Shadows of the title are reflected in this final one sheet as we see Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) chasing Moriarty (we can tell by his iconic hat) down the street with only the villain’s shadow being seen.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows also stars Noomi Rapace, Stephen Fry, Gilles Lellouche and Eddie Marsan.

Go Behind the Scenes with American Reunion: The Pie Posse’s Back Together

The gang from American Pie is getting back together with the arrival of American Reunion on screens April 6. Universal is taking fans of the series behind the scenes with a new feature where the cast gives us insight into the making of a new Pie.

American Pie became a cinematic comedy legend when it debuted in 1999 and made stars out of its cast including Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Tara Reid, Mena Suvari, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas and Seann William Scott (soon to be seen in Goon).

Ten years has passed in the Pie world and now the friends are gathering for that cultural rite of passage in American Reunion that is the ten year high school reunion. You know the hijinx will be at a fever pitch. Also returning are Eugene Levy and Jennifer Coolidge, who was unforgettable as Stiffler’s mom.

The Darkest Hour: Alien Warning Signs and Fight TV Spot

The Darkest Hour arrives on Christmas Day and brings holiday tidings in the form of an alien invasion film unlike any you’ve ever seen. Emile Hirsch leads a cast of young Americans in Moscow who survive an alien attack, only to have to fight for survival while the takeover of Earth commences. The film has released a new TV spot entitled Fight and Movie Fanatic has it for you as well as some new The Darkest Hour warning signs below inspired by the film.

Summit Entertainment has released the incredibly creative “Warning Signs” to help put audiences in the mindset of the survivors and the new reality that is their world.

Check out the creative “Warning Signs” from The Darkest Hour:

The Darkest Hour Warning Sign: What You Can't See

The Darkest Hour Warning Sign: Dogs Not Safe

The Darkest Hour Warning Sign: Not Safe Anywhere

The Darkest Hour Warning Sign: Danger is Invisible

John Carter: New Poster Premieres!

Fresh off of the release of new images from John Carter, Disney has unleashed the film’s new poster.

John Carter Movie Poster
Don’t you just love the red permeating through the new John Carter poster? It is employed to reflect the landscape of Mars, where our hero has been mysteriously transported from his Civil War era home on Earth.

Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch is John Carter and Disney promises a new trailer for the film later today and Movie Fanatic will bring it to you. Can’t wait! The movie looks rich with stunning visuals and a story that is based on a iconic series by author Edgar Rice Burroughs.

John Carter hits theaters March 9, 2012.