An Artist in Motion
Meryl Streep [2.36] is looking like a slightly tastier alternative to take out the Globes/Oscar double for her remarkable rendition of Maggie Thatcher.
Just a week out from the 84th Academy Awards, Paul Bugeja laments the quiet year it is for the Aussies, with only a couple hoping to bring home gold.
Although there will be the usual coterie of Hollywood-ised Australians walking down that Red Carpet at the Kodak Theatre this Sunday (Monday AEDT), only two will be there as nominees.
Grant Hill presents for his work as Producer on The Tree of Life in the "Best Picture" category and Kirk Baxter, a winner in 2011 for his work on David Fincher's The Social Network, will once again front up for more of his editing genius on the US adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in the "Film Editing" category
The Oscars more generally look like a two horse-field, with The Artist and The Descendants leading the way in many categories, vying for most of the majors, including "Best Picture, "Directing", and "Actor in a Leading Role".
In "Best Picture", The Artist at [1.1] is an almost unbackable favourite, so ahead of its nearest rivals (The Descendants [25.0], Hugo [44.0] and The Help [46.0]), that it looks like a done deal.
Similarly in "Directing", all the money has come in for Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist at [1.18] as he sits miles in front of Martin Scorsese at [7.8] for Hugo and Alexander Payne at [38.0] for The Descendants.
It's difficult to see The Artist not taking the top two, if not three awards (if the Academy can get over its love affair with George Clooney at [2.32] and give the "Leading Actor" gong to Jean Dujardin at [1.76]), and deservedly so.
The film, for those who have not seen it, is the tale of a successful silent film actor who finds himself becoming redundant during the major shift from the silent era to the 'talkies'. For a director, cast and crew to carry off such a film--a film that is silent itself and very much tries to replicate the tone and feel of a silent film--is remarkable and worthy of merit.
The one category, interestingly, in which neither The Artist nor The Descendants features is "Leading Actress", where Viola Davis for The Help is the favourite at [1.78].
However, Meryl Streep at [2.36] is looking like a slightly tastier alternative to take out the Globes/Oscar double for her remarkable rendition of Maggie Thatcher in the sadly not-so-remarkable film Iron Lady.
The only other two categories where the favourites might be toppled are the writing ones.
In "Adapted Screenplay", The Descendants at [1.29] sits ahead of the pack, and yet the American love of sport might see Moneyball at [6.4] be the smokie to take this one (and it's not a bad flick for those sports lovers who haven't seen it!)
Similarly, in "Original Screenplay", although Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris at [1.37] is well-deserved favourite, The Artist at [3.4] might scoop the Quaddie (Acting, Directing, Best Film, Screnplay) and take this also.
Whatever happens, let's hope there is more of an Aussie showing next year!
Meryl Streep for "Leading Actress" in Iron Lady.