I’ve always thought there should be an ESPN of acting, a Sports Center of film, or just a place for film fanatics to chat? When you’re a lover of all things film, award season is the business, even if you haven’t seen all the nominated films. Hell, it might be better that way, because you get to
have semi-heated discussions with strangers who clearly have no life and sit in cafes with the sole purpose of eavesdropping on your conversation, all so they can defend Jennifer Lawrence and some imaginary title (Best Actress to Ever Exist) that she has allegedly earned and continues to defend have really fun discussions with your friends, analyzing the careers and choices of the entire film community. Since I’m not around my theatre, film, or pop culture friends at the moment, I reached out to a few and got their predictions for this years Oscar ceremony. And I’m sure you know where I found them…. Inside The Green Room.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood” WINNER
Laura Dern in “Wild”
Keira Knightley in “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone in “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Meryl Streep in “Into the Woods”
I met Spencer Rhys Hughes about a century ago when we both performed in a staged reading during The American College Theatre Festival. Since then, social media has allowed me to follow him as an actor, author, and attractive-in shape person, with views I often agree with. So, I hit him up to hear his predictions for supporting actress. So, Spencer, what do you think?
Jennifer Jason Leigh (Hateful 8)
Does this woman have to give Quentin Tarantino a footjob to get an award? Guys, she was in A Hudsucker Proxy. That movie was…patently absurd. Not good, mind you, but absurd. And her career has just been…long. She’s been in so many movies. I mean, I wouldn’t give any of them any awards, but…she’s been in them. Like a lot of them. Oh, and she was part of Anomalisa which was great and she was in Kill Your Darlings which I read an article about, once, and decided not to see, so…I dunno…do the Oscars have an “honorable mentions” category? And I didn’t even see Hateful Eight but I’m sure it’s…I mean, I’m sure Quentin Tarantino directed it, and he’s directed some other great movies, too, but I don’t hear any of my friends comparing Hateful Eight to Pulp Fiction so maybe there’s a reason for that. Look, Jen, I think you’re great and everything, and I really appreciate your literal decades of hard work, but…I’m not sure if the Oscars are really for you, you know?
Rooney Mara (Carol)
First of all, Rooney Mara still needs a statue for her Girl with a Dragon Tattoo performance. Oh my god she was amazing. Second of all: Carol was awesome. Also, hers was the only performance I’ve actually seen, so of course I think it’s the best. Yes, that’s right: I’ve only seen one of these movies and I’m judging all of them. But let’s get back to the Dragon Tattoo of it all. Rooney turns in solid performances all the time, even in movies that otherwise, um, “underwhelm.” Looking at you, Side Effects. And whose brilliant idea was it to do a live-action Peter Pan? Hollywood is an awful place. Yes, God is indeed dead and Hollywood is Hell, itself. But, still, give this woman an award for her tireless efforts to make good films great and bad films watchable.
Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)
Ummm… remember Mean Girls? Come on, people, this is a cultural icon we’re talking about! Not to mention the single coolest part of the massive, tragic train-wreck that was season two of True Detective. Oh, god, that was awful. I mean, it was really, really awful. Especially after season one was so good. I mean, I watched The Dallas Buyers Club (because I got a free copy from SAG-AFTRA), but I’m 100% sure Matthew McConaughey won his Oscar because of the first season of True Detective. And then season two showed up just to remind us that dreams don’t come true. But we’re not talking about True Detective, we’re talking about Rachel McAdams. The woman who sacrificed herself at the altar of Nicholas Sparks to bring us the panty-dropping classic The Notebook? And remember when Guy Ritchie was trying to Snatch the Sherlock Holmes franchise? Guys. Come on. I didn’t even see Spotlight and I’m tempted to pick Rachel McAdams over my future wife Rooney Mara.
Alicia Vikander (The Swedish Girl)
Confession: I did not see The Swedish Girl. I mean, I think I already clarified that Carol was the only thing on this list I actually watched, but…I feel kinda bad for not seeing this movie? People were pretty psyched about it? I mean, people were psyched for the Hateful Eight, too, but nobody told me I absolutely had to see it…and someone did tell me I absolutely had to see The Swedish Girl (sorry, Ken, I didn’t.) Anyway. What I did see was Ex Machina which was like the original Ghost in the Shell but…sexier?…or something. Like most AI-related movies, it flailed wildly at the misconceptions and terrors that misinform our regard for science, and like most anything-related movies it revolved around how much men really like to fuck women. But Alicia was actually excellent in that movie, regardless of how much I was (ahem) “underwhelmed” by the film as a whole, so I assume she was also excellent in this one. Which was a “biographical romantic drama” inspired by an historical fiction novel inspired by a true story? So…people in Brooklyn must really like it? Because it’s so meta?
Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)
Oh, no, she’s not going to win. She already won a best actress Oscar in 2009. She’s fine. She has that shit on her mantle. Like, we get it: she’s hot, she’s charming, she was in Contagion or Titanic or whatever your favorite film was that she was in…but those were all years ago. Decades, if you went with Titanic, which my family forced me to sit through in theatres and for which I will never forgive Leo or Kate or James Cameron. You know how much 10-year-old me wanted to watch Titanic? Oh, was your answer “not at all?” Because if it wasn’t, you were wrong. My favorite part of the movie? When everyone fucking died. EAT THAT, JOHN ASTOR! Ahem. Sorry. And why are we making Steve Jobs biopics already? I mean, we all love the iPod or whatever, but come on, could we have waited until he was cold, at least? Or was Hollywood just trying to get it in before Apple imploded and released the Apple Watch? (The Apple Watch, by the way, is the fastest way to tell if someone is an asshole in the modern world.) I’m sorry, Kate Winslet, but I really, really, really hope your Oscar dreams go the way of the Titanic. By which I mean: I hope they crash and sink and I don’t mind overly much if deaths are involved.
I predict Rachel McAdams, personally. I love Rooney and I think she was robbed in 2012 (sorry, Meryl, I love you but did you even see Rooney in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? – and don’t you have enough awards already!?) but I don’t see her winning; I would be personally shocked if Ms. Leigh or Ms. Vikander won; and I’m actively rooting against Kate Winslet…so that leaves me with just the one option. Congratulations, Rachel: even if you don’t win an actual Oscar, you’ll always be the Oscar winner in my mind*.
*statue not included, void where thoughtcrimes are prohibited, offer absolutely unrewarding in every imaginable way.
I greatly enjoyed that thorough analysis. I’m going to look to the past, to get an idea of the future.
Last year, I was surprised by Patrica Arquette taking home the trophy. She gave a good performance, don’t get me wrong, I thought she was great. I’m sure part of the reason she won, was that she gave a marathon performance, considering how the film was made, but I easily forgot about it (it being both her performance and the film). I would have bet my life that Keira Knightley wasn’t going to win last year… I just didn’t think it was her time (I’m also not sure she will ever have “a time”). Emma Stone was cool, I really liked Laura Dern’s performance (I loved everything about Wild, so I’m bias), and Meryl Streep was an obvious choice for an “obvious role” and yet she didn’t win.
With all that in mind, I’m gonna go with Rooney Mara. Doesn’t the academy love cheating people and then paying them back years later? I think so… I guess, we’ll see.