The awards season is around the corner and two roles are stirring up conversation, starting with Helen Mirren as a frontrunner for Best Actress with her role in The Queen and a rumor I heard about Peter O’Toole being the frontrunner for a movie called Venus. I looked at those two names and thought, “Damn, the Academy wants more viewers and younger viewers to watch the Oscars and these are the two frontrunners for Best Actor and Actress?” Needless to say, two movies like The Queen and Venus are not going to be teenage box-office draws, even though The Queen is a fantastic movie, but more on that in a sec.
What I am here to discuss is a little update and a little article that crossed my Microsoft Outlook desk today. First off The Weinstein Company unveiled their new release schedule and this thing had Oscar written all over it as the Anthony Minghella flick Breaking and Entering solidified its spot with a December 8 release only to go wide on January 19, 2007 and Factory Girl went from previously not having a release date to December 29 with a wide release planned for early 2007.
Yeah, so what? So what? Well the “what” you are referring to is related to an article over at the Los Angeles Times website titled “Does Harvey have a new blonde muse?” referring to Sienna Miller and her role in Factory Girl. Apparently Harvey Weinstein is ready to roll and push for Miller as Best Actress. An aide to Weinstein is quoted saying, “Sienna is so amazing in the film that Harvey’s planning a big, last-minute academy push… he’s convinced she can win. Sienna’s the new ‘It Girl’ Ã¢â‚¬â€ she’s stylish, gorgeous, British and she really did her homework to prepare for the role.”
So who is the competish? Well, I mentioned Helen Mirren already but there is also Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada, Annette Bening for Running with Scissors, Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal (another film that just recently secured itself a Dec. 25 release), Penelope Cruz for Volver and finally Renee Zellweger for Miss Potter, another Weinstein Co. release.
When I look at the list I quickly remove a couple of names such as Mirren since she is really only half of what makes The Queen so good, Michael Sheen is fantastic as Tony Blair, I would get rid of Cruz for the win since she has never even been nominated she would be more likely to get the nom and that would be considered a win on some level and I would get rid of Streep, not only because she seems to be nominated every year and already has two Oscars, but also because she isn’t really the lead actress in the film.
With Dench, Bening, Zellweger and Miller left there are a myriad of reasons why I could say one or the other. Such as Dench has never won Best Actress and neither has Zellweger or Bening.. or Mirren. See, that was easy.
However, none of them have the notoriety of being Jude Law‘s leftovers and in such a public fashion. To go along with that she has the young, and more importantly, sexy look that just might bring in a few more viewers. However, considering the movie is still not a movie teens are clammoring to go see I don’t think it will make a significant difference in the ratings.
Do I think Sienna will win? No, not really. The cards are stacked against her with those powerhouse names in front of her, a couple of which are yet to take home the golden knight themselves (Mirren and Bening). When you have five actresses in front of you that have all been nominated and three that have won Oscars you are really trying to break into quite an exclusive group.