Sally Hawkins

Oscar Predictions 2014: Supporting Actress

Every year, the Academy Awards kick into two extremely important categories quite early, swiftly doling out Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actors statuettes before most people have settled into their seats (both at the ceremony and at whatever shindig viewers are throwing in the safety of their own home). It’s a whirlwind and it’s a hell of way to start off the show, but damn if it doesn’t always feel a bit stilted. These are big awards, you guys, and they so often signal the arrival of new talents to watch out for, the kind of thespians we might soon see going for leading awards. Give them some space! The Supporting section also allows for a great variety of nominees, recognizing performers of every age, from veterans to newbies, and from every kind of performance, from those who appear alongside leads throughout features and those who show up for a memorable minute or so. This year’s Best Supporting Actress field, however, places a premium on heft — at least, on hefty performance time — including five actresses who quite easily helped make their features sing, and a few that might just have squeaked by with a Best Actress nomination instead (sorry, Julia Roberts). But who will win? Oh, we don’t know, but we’ve got some ideas. Keep reading for a look at all five nominees for Best Supporting Actress along with my predicted winner in red…

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Screen Shot 2013-04-20 at 3.00.25 PM

Almost Christmas, the latest film from Junebug director Phil Morrison, helps to explain the process of how all those Christmas trees get to the street corners of Brooklyn and why they cost so much. It does indeed take a lot to get them there, as we discover from a pair of tree-transporting frenenemies from Québec, played by Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd. Once you get past the fact that these guys are probably the only two Québecois who don’t speak French, the actors win in their roles. However, the film is filled with pacing issues as well as comic situations and characters that just fall completely flat. Giamatti plays Dennis, a guy who has just completed a four-year prison sentence for a botched heist. He heads to the home of ex-wife Therese (Amy Landecker) to see their young daughter (Tatyana Richaud), only to discover that she’s been told he died of cancer. He also finds out that Therese is in love with his best friend, Rene (Rudd). The two men already have a complicated relationship, as Rene bailed on their heist, which caused Dennis to be caught by the police.

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Sally Hawkins

What is Casting Couch? It’s starting off the week right with a new round of casting announcements. Read on to find out which project is going to unite the dream team of Ellen Burstyn and Luis Guzman. Godzilla has found another puny human to knock over a building onto. Deadline is reporting that Happy Go Lucky star Sally Hawkins has just been hired to take what is being described as the last lead role in Gareth Edwards’ currently-filming Godzilla. Though Hawkins has become something of a big name in the indie world over the last decade or so, this will be her first role in a blockbuster film that utilizes big action and effects work and whatnot, so it should be interesting to see if she’s one of those actors who transitions well into doing larger scale work, or if she’s one of those actors who looks disengaged and out of place whenever they’re involved in something with a big studio label on it. You know, like James Franco.

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Great Expectations Trailer

Seeing as we already got a version of Charles Dickens’ assigned-to-you-freshman-year-of-high-school classic “Great Expectations” that was adapted by a Harry Potter director (Alfonso Cuarón) back in 1998, some might be under the impression that we don’t need another. But Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire director Mike Newell would beg to differ, so he’s put together his own film version of the much-loved-except-by-high-school-freshmen story, and he’s challenged Cuarón to a secret benefactor showdown. For those of you (us) who slept through your high school English classes, Great Expectations centers on the character of Pip (War Horse’s Jeremy Irvine), a young boy of meager means who nevertheless befriends a creepy old rich lady named Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter), falls in love with her beautiful but twisted young ward Estella (Holliday Grainger), and eventually becomes a young gentleman with a bursting pocketbook and a wealth of potential due to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor (identity withheld). How does this all hash out in regards to Newell’s new film? If its new UK trailer [via Empire] is any indication, it gives Newell the chance to distance himself from the miserable failure that was his last film, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, re-embrace the spooky mood-building that made him a good fit for the Harry Potter franchise, and work with respected actors like Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, and Sally Hawkins.

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Phil Morrison, the director of June Bug, has another project in the works, and it’s worth noting because it’s going to be starring my two favorite Pauls currently working in Hollywood. Lucky Dog is a comedy about a couple of French-Canadian con men who go in together on a Christmas tree selling scam, despite the fact that their friendship has recently been on the outs. The previously mentioned Pauls are Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd, both accomplished comedic actors who also bring some dramatic chops to the table. So, the directions this one could go in are myriad. Adding to the intrigue is the news that Sally Hawkins, an actress who has recently been impressing me in movies like Never Let Me Go and Submarine, has also signed on to join the cast. There isn’t any word on what kind of character she will be playing, but is it safe to assume that there might be some sort of love triangle going on among the former friends? Good luck with that one, Giamatti. Rudd is, like, cut. From marble. He’s gorgeous. He’s like this beautiful face and this incredible body, and I genuinely don’t care that he’s kinda lame. And I don’t even care that he cheats on me.

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Submarine is the coming-of-age tale of a cold, calculated, and pretentious teen by the name of Oliver Tate. Oliver, like Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate, could easily come off as a downright off-putting and self-absorbed kid. He starts off as an arrogant and creepy kid dealing with what seems to be the weight of the world on his shoulders. Oliver’s romance that comes out of seeking pure lovemaking turns into something genuine. His parents’ love is dying, and he can’t fix it. Through nearly all of this, Oliver stays near-emotionless and blank. His transformation and revelations are shown through writer-director Richard Ayoade‘s unique visual eye, which also never sugarcoats Oliver’s oddness. Ayoade has crafted a young protagonist that while many will love many others will question his sanity… a rare type of lead these days. Here’s what Richard Ayoade had to say about not writing too much style, the moral ambiguity of the film’s characters and, of course, Oliver Tate.

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Richard Ayoade’s Submarine is a much-needed corrective to the twee adolescent indie dramedy. The film maintains many of the recognizable bells and whistles of that exceedingly tired subgenre, but like the potential available in any catalog of clichés, Submarine finds a way to make them work. Instead of simply presenting us a socially outcast teen protagonist who speaks and thinks like somebody possessing cleverness and insight far beyond his years, Submarine provides specific reasons why its protagonist is so articulate while still giving us plenty of evidence that he is indeed an inexperienced teenager who has a lot to learn. Instead of assembling random visual quirks into a Jared Hess-style landscape in which decades of fashion are collapsed into one oppressively ironic and ahistorical moment, the setting and style of Submarine is (mostly) consistent in presenting a historical moment informed by nostalgia, even if we don’t quite know when that moment is (but we don’t really need to). In short, Submarine is refreshingly sincere. It’s an all-too-familiar coming of age tale, but the film gives us plenty of reasons to give a damn – its story in particular.

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Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go continues to prove that it’s a contender for Awards Season. The trailer showed exactly how calm and desperate the entire thing might be, and Romanek’s history points to the movie being soul-crushingly depressing. Fortunately, that depression comes with a British accent, so it’s not quite so hard to take. Scratch that. Any sentiment of sweetness is blown out of the water by this clip featuring Kiera Knightley, a not-at-all-veiled threat against Carey Mulligan’s character, and what looks like the creepiest time possible to kiss another girl on the lips. Check it out after the jump.

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Few actors working today have the effortlessly funny quality of Rhys Darby, most notable for his role as Murray Hewitt on Flight of the Conchords. The man is simply funny no matter what he’s doing, no matter the environment around him. He’s a champion of awkward…

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Sally Hawkins Joins

Last year, we fell in love with Sally Hawkins, and this year she wants our sex. Maybe not “our sex” necessarily, but she wants sex of some kind. Or at least she’s starring in a film called We Want Sex. You do the math.

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2008review-overlooked

The equivalent of the wallflower you knew in high school that blossomed into a college beauty, here are eleven films that flew under the radar in 2008.

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2008review-ladies

The 2008 film season brought us beauty in both traditional and unconventional ways. While there has been an argument that leading ladies are few and far between, I think there’s a strong case to be made against that. This list of ten female figures will hopefully offer proof of that.

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Happy-Go-Lucky Poster Giveaway

In order to help get the word out on Mike Leigh’s new film, which hits theaters in limited release on October 10th, we’ve received a few posters to give away.

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Sally Hawkins in Happy Go Lucky

Here comes a very enjoyable trailer for the film Happy-Go-Lucky, which stars Sally Hawkins (The Painted Veil, Vera Drake) as a woman who is, as the title states, very happy-go-lucky.

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