Sunday, December 30, 2007

TOUR DE FORCE

Scott Feinberg, a Boston-based critic and editor of andthewinneris.blog.com, interviewed Marion about a month ago about her film career so far and her work on La Vie en Rose. Read the full interview here. He also spoke to her on the 14th, after her Globe nomination. Here's a snippet of the first interview:

TOUR DE FORCE!

THE PERFORMANCE OF MARION COTILLARD AS FRENCH ICON EDITH PIAF IN LA VIE EN ROSE IS NOT JUST ONE OF THE BEST OF 2007, BUT EVER. NOW, MEET THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MAGIC...

I read that you made a deliberate decision, when you were preparing to play Piaf, not to speak with people who knew her. Why was that?
Oh, no, no, no—I didn’t make that decision. I mean, I didn’t feel right away that I needed to meet people, but actually I met some people. I met two people who really helped me understand a lot of things about her. I met Georges Moustaki, who wrote ‘Milord,’ and who was one of her lovers. And I met Ginou, who was her best friend for fifteen years, and she really opened her heart and a part of her life for me in a very generous way, and she really helped me and supported me in all the process.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

WENN: "Cotillard has already won the Best Actress Oscar"

The World Entertainment News Network has named La Vie en Rose the sixth best film of the year, and has a nice bit about Marion's performance:

6. La Vie En Rose Marion Cotillard has already won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of tragic torch singer Edith Piaf in this heartbreaking film. The French actress truly 'becomes' Piaf and even she admits she "channeled" the spirit of the legendary performer, who died too young, for the part. A true cinema masterpiece.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Up for another?

Here's my end of the year wrap-up. I, too, haven't seen all the big movies (There Will Be Blood, Into the Wild), but here are my favorite films this year:

ONCE
Once is one of the best films produced this decade, and is certainly one of the finest musicals (modern musical, really) ever made. Beautiful, intimate, and poignant, every time I watch this film I am hit by this intense rush of feeling. It's a very simple story about Guy and Girl, both passionate musicians stuck in humdrum jobs (he fixes vacuum cleaners with his dad, she cleans houses and sells flowers). They meet one night while he is busking and immediately form a bond over music. Girl encourages Guy to record some his music, with her playing piano and singing back-up, and to go after his estranged girlfriend in London. The two leads aren't actors, but rather singer-songwriters. Their acting is charming and engaging, helped enormously by a wonderful script, but it's the music that'll stick with you. Almost like a Broadway musical, the music is well-placed int he film and plays a part in furthering the story. Glen Hansard (Guy) and Marketa Irglova (Girl), especially Irglova as she sings him "The Hill" midway through, act the songs as well as they perform them. If I had my way, this film would take Best Picture at the Oscars, but that seems unlikely. After being snubbed by the Golden Globes, I am confident Hansard and Irglova will score Best Original Song nominations for "Falling Slowly" and "If You Want Me." I highly recommend this film and its soundtrack, though I'm sure you won't be able to resist buying the soundtrack after watching the movie.

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
Despite my admiration for Tim Burton, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and Alan Rickman, I had reservations about this film. Can the actors really sing? Will Sweeney Todd, my favorite musical, end up being a Broadway play caught on tape rather than a film? My questions were answered, and let me just say: Thank God for Tim Burton and screenwriters John Logan (the screenwriter)! They've made a brilliant film out of Stephen Sondheim's genius musical. And, I should say, with Sweeney Todd, Johnny Depp officially proves that he can do anything. His singing voice is rough and harsh, which works wonderfully for the character. His acting is also top notch; he is completely transfixing, and, somehow, makes it feel as though the audience is participating rather than just watching. Angela Lansbury's Mrs. Lovett was always the play's laugh-getter, and Lansbury, who is brilliant (I saw a recording of the televised play), hams it up for the crowd. Bonham Carter has a quieter wit about her as Mrs. Lovett, which wouldn't work for a play but works wonders for the film. Her singing voice isn't as robust as Lansbury's, but it is rather light and airy ("A woman with limited wind," as Mrs. Lovett sings in 'The Worst Pies in London') which really fits the character. She and Depp earned well-deserved Golden Globes for their performances, and I'd like to see them make it to the Oscars, with Depp winning (finally!) for Best Actor. Burton's direction is fast and exciting -- excellent, really, and I'd like to see him walk away with the directing statue. Dante Ferretti's production design, Colleen Atwood's costumes, and Dariusz Wolski's cinematography should also be noted. Every piece comes together beautifully to make this film a modern masterpiece.
ATONEMENT
I'm not the type who goes for the big, sweeping epics; Cold Mountain didn't seem to end, The English Patient put me to sleep, and Dreamgirls gave me a headache. What sets Atonement apart, however, is the beating heart at the center of the story. It's a romance you care about, you actually feel. Boosted by excellent performances from central actors James McAvoy and Keira Knightley as well as supporting players Saoirse Ronan and Vanessa Redgrave (in a heart rendering cameo at the end of the film), the film grips you from the first shot and never loses energy. Joe Wright's direction, while not particularly original, is great. He gives us several beautiful shots, and with the help of Seamus McGarvey's gorgeous cinematography, Atonement is arguably the most visually stunning film of the year so far. Christopher Hampton's screenplay bounces along at a quick pace, and though sometimes his adaptation gets a little stuffy or self-aware, it provides us with a wonderful story of love, loss, betrayal, misunderstandings, regret, redemption, and, of course, the possibility of atonement. A special note should be made of Dario Marianelli's inventive score, which helps keep the energy of the film high and adds an extra layer to every scored scene. It really is rater remarkable how much his score adds to the overall feel of the film.
Some other films that made the grade for me: La Vie en Rose; Knocked Up; Superbad; No Country For Old Men; Ratatouille

Highlights

Granted, I haven't seen several of this year's most lauded films ("There Will Be Blood," "Once," "I'm Not There," "Sweeney Todd," etc.), but I started thinking about those I have seen and which made the strongest impact.

Atonement is, quite possibly, the best film I saw this year. I went into it knowing nothing about the story, and perhaps that's the reason I responded so positively to it. Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan are nothing short of exceptional. I left the theater angry -- as odd an emotion as I've ever felt toward a film. As the anger dissipated, I realized how much of an impact the film had made, and how much I believed in the love story of Robbie and Celia. The ingenious score, by Dario Marianelli, underscores the playfulness, suspense, and ultimately, the tragedy that plays out on the screen. Seamus McGarvey's cinematography is ethereal. Several shots, such as Celia, Marshall, and Leon taking in the sun by the lake, or something as simple as four children being children in a nursery evoke the intuitive work of Sven Nykvist. The film is not flawless -- the much-lauded Dunkirk Battle aftermath sequence bolted me out of my emotional connection to the characters. Rather than thinking about the abject misery and tragedy of it all, I was wondering how much longer Wright could keep the sequence going without a cut. Moreover, I felt that the sequence itself could have benefited by some merciful editing. Still, the film's greatness is such that it more than makes up for any perceived short-comings.




Control owes nothing to "Walk the Line," "Ray" or other musical biopics. It stands on its own as one of the most honest and realistic portrayals of an artist ever put on film. Perhaps it works better than other biopics because it isn't bogged down by a supernova iconic figure; rather, it features a tortured, vulnerable, and all-too human protagonist. Sam Riley is nothing short of a revelation, and I look forward to seeing him in future projects. His portrayal of Ian Curtis is balanced and assured -- he's just as effective when he works behind a desk at a government job as he is playing a young, conflicted husband and father. The musical sequences capture the Manchester music scene better than "24 Hour Party People" could ever hope to. Even more impressive, all the actors played their own instruments and Sam also sang many of the now classic Joy Division songs. To be sure, this is a tragic story, and Martin Ruhe's crisp black-and-white cinematography delicately depicts Curtis's downward spiral in what is surely the best photographed film of the year. My only regret is that this film hasn't received the recognition it so much deserves. However, Corbijn and company should be proud of a nonparaliel work of art.




No Country for Old Men is one of the finest films to come out of the US in years. It defies genre classifications and works as an almost other-wordly tale of good vs. evil. Javier Bardem embodies pure evil, in one of the scariest performances of the year, and Tommy Lee Jones embodies goodness, with Josh Brolin somewhere in the middle. The film is expertly directed by the Coen Brothers, in what amounts to their best film in ages. Their adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel is loyal to its source, but stamped with the unique Coen style of realistic gore. The film has made its way to most end of the year top-ten lists and it deserves all its accolades. It is perhaps a perfectly executed film, and would rank higher in my list were it not for the lack of an emotional connection to the story. I was impressed and sometimes in awe, but I wasn't particularly moved by any of the characters with the exception of Kelly McDonald's Carla Jean Moss. But that's a minor quibble when compared to what's on the screen thanks to the Coens, their actors, and Roger Deakins's brilliant cinematography.



Into the Wild is Sean Penn's best directorial effort to date. Based on the Jon Krakauer book, the film tells the story of Christopher McCandless, a young man who turned his back on society to embrace what nature has to offer. That's a simplistic one line description of a film that showcases so many big themes like death, love, and the searching spirit. Emile Hirsch gives one of the top performances of the year and is worthy of an Oscar nomination that will hopefully come his way. The supporting cast young McCandless (a.k.a. Alexander Supertramp) encounters is terrific. However, Hal Holbrook and Catherine Keener stand out as two of Christopher's guardian angels. The beauty of the film is that it captures a journey most people travel in a lifetime with simplicity and pathos. The joy of living and the certainty of death walk hand in hand in this unforgettable film, and hope wins out in the end.



The Lives of Others won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. I hadn't seen the film at the time, and I couldn't believe anything other than "Pan's Labyrinth" deserved the award. I was wrong. Ostensibly, the film might seem like a cloak & dagger tale of sorts, but it is much more than that. It is, not unlike "Into the Wild," about how the least-likely people can affect our lives. Unrelentingly suspenseful, the film shows man at his worst but also man at his very best. I confess I cried at the ending, which in lesser-hands might have proven disastrous, but which, in this case, manages to elevate the film above its peers.



Breach was a welcome surprise. I was familiar with the story of Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent who for years sold U.S. security secrets to the Soviet Union, resulting in the worst security breach in the history of the United States. While the film employs the oft-used device of the young, idealistic agent (Ryan Phillippe) setting up the fall of the villainous elder (Chris Cooper), the added element of religious conflict gave it a certain air of fresh story-telling. Chris Cooper is nothing short of genius in a contained, frightening performance that should be dissected by acting students for decades to come.



La Vie En Rose...yeah, never heard of it :)

French dressing

The Envelope has included a little tidbit about Marion in their 2007 Fashion Rewind to predict what this year's Golden Globe nominees will wear to the ceremony:

Marion Cotillard is nominated for portraying famed French chanteuse Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose." Wanna bet she wears yet another gown from the house of Coco Chanel, another legendary Frenchwoman? The only catch? If Chanel has promised Keira Knightley that they won't dress anyone else. Look out, couture catfight on the carpet!

VH1's Best Week Ever, and much more

VH1's Best Week Ever has named La Vie en Rose as the best film of 2007, and have called Marion's performance "one of the best on screen portrayals by any actress, ever."

1. La Vie En Rose. This heart-stopping biopic of French songbird Edith Piaf, played by French actress Marion Cotillard, is one of the best on screen portrayals by any actress, ever. The story of Piaf begins with her upbringing in a whorehouse and a circus, on through her worldwide success as one of the most famous, albeit cursed, singers ever. The perfect film to watch when you’re feeling down on life: It will either make you realize that things could be much, much worse, or make you kill yourself. Win, win!


Larry Ratliff of the San Antonio Express-News has also included La Vie en Rose on his top 10 list, having this to say about the film and Marion:

"La Vie En Rose": Don't worry, we'll get to films made in the U.S. in a second. This French import starring Marion Cotillard is a mesmerizing biographical portrait of late French songbird Edith Piaf. Writer-director Olivier Dahan dazzles with one of the best biopics of all time.


Pat Clark of the Modesto Bee also has La Vie en Rose in the #6 spot on his top 10 list:

6. La Vie En Rose (August) -- Marion Cotillard gives a virtuoso performance as French icon Edith Piaf. As brilliant a singer as she was a troubled person, her loves and losses are traced. By the time she steps up to the microphone to deliver her signature song, you'll have chills.


The Orlando Sentinel has named Marion's performance in La Vie en Rose as one of the best of the year, alongside other Best Actress contenders Amy Adams (Enchanted) and Julie Christie (Away from Her):

Best movie performances: Amy Adams, Enchanted; Brenda Blethyn, Introducing the Dwights; John Cusack, 1408; Julie Christie, Away From Her; Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose; Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah and No Country for Old Men; Catherine Keener, Into the Wild; Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises; Michelle Pfeiffer, Hairspray and Stardust; Keri Russell, Waitress; Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; George Clooney and Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton.


The Boston Herald, it it's look back on 2007, has a nice little mention of Marion's performance:

Marion Cotillard’s Little Sparrow enchanted us in “La Vie en Rose.”


Also, a little sour to note, David Thomson of the UK Guardian says it is "far-fetched" to nominate Marion at the Oscars this year, calling her portrayal of Edith Piaf a "robust yet dubbed impersonation." He's also got some pretty nasty things to say about actress who aren't Julie Christie. Here's hoping he'll be eating his words this January!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Reflection

Although this is one of the first things I posted on this blog, I'm posting it once again because I feel it captures the roller-coaster ride that is "La Vie en Rose" and the dynamo that is Marion Cotillard's Edith Piaf. So sit back and enjoy and think about what brought you to this blog to begin with. Cheers.

More lists

Marion has been named by USA Today as one of the Top 100 People of 2007. She comes in at #57, in between Quentin Tarantino at #58 and Roky Erikson at #56. The blurb also mentions an upcoming project with "No. 41" -- Javier Bardem:

57. Marion Cotillard. The French actress embodied the soul of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. Chances are, we'll be hearing much from her in the years to come; her next project is a film with No. 41 on this list.


La Vie en Rose
has placed on a few more top 10 lists -- two in Vancouver and one in Atlanta.

Two critics from Canadian entertainment site, straight.com, both have La Vie en Rose as one of the ten best films of the year (there are no rankings). Janet Smith says:

Edith Piaf's surreal life becomes a gorgeously wrought morphine dream punctuated by poignant revelations. It helps that Marion Cotillard seems to channel the "little sparrow" herself.


Mark Harris, another columnist, says:

Here solely on account of its star, Marion Cotillard, whose interpretation of Edith Piaf is nonpareil.


Felicia Feaster of Atlanta's Creative Loafing puts La Vie en Rose at the number 2 spot, having this to say about the film:

Director Olivier Dahan's subtext-laden, tight and emotionally devastating film about the legendary French chanteuse Edith Piaf was far from the sorrow-jonesing, pity-party biopic too many critics dismissed this film as. Because along with Marion Cotillard's uncanny impersonation of Piaf, La Vie en Rose was a film that did that rarest of things: celebrating with style, sadness and wit the life of an exceptional and exceptionally damaged woman who never succumbed to the worst life gave her.

Layout

I'd like to thank K for the lovely banner you see on the blog. I've also changed the overall layout (yet again) to ring in the New Year. Hope you like it!

IMDB

The Internet Movie Database has just launched its annual Road to the Oscars page, which updates all the latest news and has a comprehensive breakdown of all the serious contenders in every category. It's a great resource for those who are interested.

They name Marion as a "Heavy Favorite" for Best Actress in their Award Contenders section ("Her Edith Piaf made critics sing, and it may be a perfect performance for Academy members to discover on DVD."), and their Critics Award Grid is visual and easy to read.

In other news, the official Academy Award nomination ballots were sent out yesterday. Here's hoping for a Best Actress nod!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Forest


I hope you guys had a lovely Christmas. Here's a snippet I discovered through the Goldderby forums. Roger Friedman was recently talking to Forest Whitaker about the upcoming awards race, and this is what transpired:

"At the screening, I asked Forest Whitaker, slimmed down and refreshed from his Oscar win last winter for "The Last King of Scotland," to whom he expected to hand the Best Actress award in February — assuming we have an Oscar ceremony.

"Marion Cotillard!" he shouted. "Did you not see her in 'La Vie En Rose?' She’s transforming! That’s it!" It’s nice to see someone has an opinion."


Pretty cool, says I. As you might remember, Marion co-starred with Forest in "Mary," a film I've been wanting to see for a long time but which has yet to be released in the US.

Earlier this year I speculated on the possibility of Forest, as last year's Best Actor winner, reading Marion's name from the envelope and handing her the Oscar...sigh.

Along with Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, Ryan Gosling, Julia Stiles and now Forest, it's pretty cool to see that actors, Marion's peers (and, as it happens, the largest voting branch of the Academy) are coming out in her support.

In any case, nice to see Forest supporting his girl.

Source

Monday, December 24, 2007

Tribute

A fan created this fantastic montage -- I just had to share it.

Someone should burn this onto DVDs and send them out to Oscar voters.

Greetings

I'd like to echo K's warm thoughts and wish you all regular visitors (and newbies!) a very wonderful Christmas. A special thanks to K, whose invaluable contributions to this blog are warmly appreciated. Cheers everyone and thanks for the lovely thoughts you send my way during this past week; my vacation was lots of fun and I'm sure the positive vibes y'all sent helped make it such. Happy holidays!

Happy Holidays, and all that

Coming off another loss (Oklahoma chose Ellen Page as Best Actress), I figured that a fun little holiday treat for all the readers was in order.

As you may or may not know, Marion has appeared in two different music videos -- one for a song called Givin' Up and another called No Reason To Cry Out Your Eyes by one of her favorite musicians (Hawksley Workman).

Givin' Up


No Reason To Cry Out Your Eyes


Happy holidays and happy (early) new year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Latest critics awards

Here is a brief (and rather sour) run-down of the latest critics' award winners:

- The Detroit Society of Film Critics, who nominated Marion earlier this week for Best Actress, went with Ellen Page (Juno).

- Marion was recently named first runner-up to Julie Christie (Away from Her) at the Dallas Fort-Worth Film Critics Association Awards. La Vie en Rose was also first runner-up in the Foreign Language Film category, losing to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

- La Vie en Rose was first runner-up to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for Best Foreign Language Film at the Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards.

- The Utah Film Critics Association named Ellen Page the Best Actress, with Amy Adams (Enchanted) as the runner-up.

- The Austin Film Critics Association went with Ellen Page for Best Actress.

- The Alliance of Women Film Journalists named Julie Christie as Best Actress. They seem to really like her, as they Christie about four other awards, including Lifetime Achievement, Bravest Performance, Performance of the Year, and the Actress Defying Age and Ageism award.

- The San Diego Film Critics Society went with Julie Christie for Best Actress.

- The Florida Film Critics Circle Awards gave the Best Actress honor to Ellen Page.

- The St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association named Ellen Page as their Best Actress, with Marion as first runner-up. La Vie en Rose tied with Once as first runners-up to Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street or Best Music. La Vie en Rose didn't place for Foreign Language Film, which went to The Diving Bell and the Butterfly for the win and The Kite Runner as first runner-up.

Just to further sort myself out...

First Runner-Up (Marion): Dallas Fort-Worth Film Critics Association (Best Actress); St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association (Best Actress)
First Runner-Up (La Vie en Rose): Dallas Fort-Worth Film Critics Association (Foreign Film); Southeastern Film Critics Association (Foreign Film); St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association (Best Music - tied with Once)
Nomination, but no placement (Marion): Detroit Society of Film Critics (Best Actress)
Nomination, but no placement (La Vie en Rose): St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association (Foreign Film)
Single winner, loss: Utah Film Critics Association; Austin Film Critics Association; Alliance of Women Film Journalists; San Diego Film Critics Society; Florida Film Critics Circle

Marion Cotillard: Performance of the Year


In this month's issue, Entertainment Weekly columnist Missy Schwartz has named Marion Cotillard's performance in La Vie en Rose as one of the best of the year, joining the likes of Hal Holbrook (Into the Wild), Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Keri Russell (Waitress) and Javier Bardem/Josh Brolin (No Country For Old Men).

My scanner isn't working, but there is a small blurb about her performance in the issue, which reads:


A striking beauty, Cotillard shaved her eyebrows and hairline to play Edith Piaf. But the physical transformation is only part of what makes her performance remarkable. Her Piaf is crass, funny, vulnerable -- everything that endeared her to her fans. When the actress mimes "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" with uncanny precision, she even turns lip-synching into an art.

The magazine is on news stands now.

ALSO, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times has named La Vie en Rose one of the top ten films of the year. It comes in at number 8.

1. Juno
2. No Country for Old Men
3. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
4. Atonement
5. The Kite Runner
6. Away From Her
7. Across the Universe
8. La Vie En Rose
9. The Great Debaters
10. Into the Wild

And here's what he says about La Vie en Rose:

A virtuoso performance by Marion Cotillard as the beloved “Little Sparrow,” the legendary singer closest to the hearts of the French. Raised in a brothel and then the “property” of a gangster, she was only 4’8” tall, but had a voice that filled the city. Cotillard portrays her rising from the gutters to international stardom, and then dying of an overdose at 47. The title refers to her most famous song, about life through rose-colored glasses. The film ends with “Non, je ne regrette rien” (“No, I regret nothing”). The period is vividly re-created by director Olivier Dahan. One of the greatest of musical biopics.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

SAG Awards

Today at 9 a.m. EST, this years Screen Actors Guild Award nominees will be announced. This post will be updated with any pertinent news regarding Marion.

Best Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie, Away from Her
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Angelina Jolie, A Mighty Heart
Ellen Page, Juno

This is big news, because the SAG members who are also members of the Academy will be voting for the twenty acting nominees (and four winners!) at the Oscars!

Congrats to Marion!

See a full list of nominees here!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

AAFCA, STLGFCA

The African American Film Critics Association has made Marion Cotillard their winner this year for Best Actress. This was a surprise, as the AAFCA honors black performers each year for their outstanding contributions to film. Gil Robertston IV, the President of the Association, says:

"Although our organisation gives specific consideration to work by artists of African descent, Ms. Cotillard's astonishing portrayal of Edith Piaf is a standout performance worthy of recognition."


The other performers honored are Don Cheadle, who won Best Actor for his performance in Talk To Me; Chiwetel Ejiofor, who won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Talk To Me; and Ruby Dee, who picked up the Best Supporting Actress award for her turn in American Gangster.

See their top 10 films of the year at their official website here.

Also, the St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association has nominated Marion for their 2007 Best Actress award. Also nominated are Julie Christie (Away from Her), Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), Ellen Page (Juno), Laura Linney (The Savages), and Jodie Foster (The Brave One).

La Vie en Rose also goes up against The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Persepolis, The Host, The Kite Runner, and Lust, Caution for Best Foreign Language Film.

As well as being a Foreign Language nominee, La Vie en Rose is also in competition for Best Score/Music, along with Atonement, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, There Will Be Blood, Juno, Once, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

The STLGFCA has all of the nominees up on their official site. The winners will be announced on December 21.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Marion nominated in Detroit

Marion's been nominated for Best Actress by the Detroit Society of Film Critics, a new association formed earlier this year. Julie Christie (Away from Her), Ellen Page (Juno), Laura Linney (The Savages), and Amy Adams (Enchanted) are the other four Best Actress nominees.

The DSFC will announce their winners on Friday, December 21.

See the full list of nominees here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Marion wins big @ Satellite Awards

Marion beat out Julie Christie (Away from Her), Keira Knightley (Atonement), Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart), Laura Linney (The Savages), and Tilda Swinton (Stephanie Daley) to pick up the Best Motion Picture Actress (Drama) prize at the 2007 Golden Satellite Awards yesterday. La Vie en Rose was up for six other awards, including Best Foreign Language Film, Best Director (Olivier Dahan), and Best Supporting Actress (Emmanuelle Seigner).

Ellen Page won for Best Actress (Comedy) for Juno, Viggo Mortenson won the Best Actor (Drama) award for his performance in Eastern Promises, and Ryan Gosling won the Best Actor (Comedy) award for Lars and the Real Girl. Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton) tied for Best Supporting Actor, while Amy Ryan picked up yet another Best Supporting Actress win for her work in Gone Baby Gone.

No Country For Old Men and Juno took home the two Best Picture prizes, while Sicko won for documentary, Lust, Caution won for foreign language, and Ratatouille won the animated feature award.

See the full list of winners here. Image from GettyImages.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cheers



All right, guys. I'll be off on vacation for the rest of the week. Can you guess my destination? I'll give you this hint: it ain't Fiji and it ain't Brazil.

In any case, I'm not sure whether I'll have internet access where I'm staying, and even if I do, I'll probably be doing loads of sight-seeing, leaving me no time to follow the awards scene too closely.

I'm sure K will do a magnificent job keeping the blog updated, so no worries there. Here's to hoping more awards come Marion's way this week. Cheers!

WFCC Awards, FYC Ad

The Women Film Critics Circle named La Vie en Rose and Persepolis as the year's best foreign language films. Marion didn't win anything, but all the critical success for La Vie en Rose this awards season is helping to cement her status as the Best Actress Oscar frontrunner.

See the full WFCC list of winners (and losers!) here.

Also, this site has a bigger, clearer version of an ad that had been posted here before (click on the image):

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Uncut

UK Magazine Uncut has named its top 20 films of the year. Check it out:

It is an interesting list -- very varied in genre. Thanks for the info and images, John! This is the complete list.

20. 3:10 To Yuma
19. La Vie En Rose
18. American Gangster
17. Superbad
16. Into The Wild
15. The Darjeeling Limited
14. Michael Clayton
13. Eastern Promises
12. Letters From Two Jima
11. The Simpsons Movie
10. This Is England
9. Atonement
8. Inland Empire
7. Control
6. Knocked Up
5. The Assasination Of Jesse James...
4. The Lives Of Others
3. Zodiac
2. The Bourne Ultimatum
1. I'm Not There

More Globe Reaction

Globe nominee Cotillard has rosy future
By Greg Hernandez, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Daily News

It's always nice to talk with someone when they are having a good day.

Thursday was a very good day for Marion Cotillard, who called from Paris in good spirits because she had just been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress for her acclaimed performance in "La Vie En Rose."

"It means that people appreciate your work, so it is something," she said. "You can say that it's very subjective or about an awards campaign. Me? I just enjoy the whole thing. Deeply, deeply, I don't care about awards. But I'm starting to have sparkles in my heart. So I asked myself, Well, you do like that. Be honest."

In "Rose," the 32-year-old actress portrays French singer Edith Piaf from her late teenage years into her late 40s. The movie's title is French for "Life in Pink," which was the signature song of Piaf.

"I didn't think about (awards) while we were shooting," Marion said. "We didn't have any idea of what it could be because it was very, very risky, to ask only one actress to do the whole thing from 19 years old to 47. Usually you ask two actresses. When I read this part with such a powerful character, I thought, This is bigger than my dream to play a whole life - an extremely intense, passionate life."

While she is enjoying the acclaim for "Rose," Marion is eager for the writers strike to end so she can work on director Rob Marshall's film version of the Broadway musical "Nine." After that, she has a French film which she describes as "an amazing love story in the African desert in the '30s."

But before work, there will be glamour.

Marion was named Best Actress recently at the Los Angeles Film Festival and returns to Southern California in just a few weeks to be honored by the Palm Springs Film Festival.

Then a few weeks later comes the Golden Globes.

"Of course I will be there," she said. "I'm really looking forward to coming because this is a very unique thing for a French girl. To have the opportunity to meet people I admire so much. I am just enjoying the present time. No pressure at all."

Source.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Reaction


Reelz Channel interviewed a few Golden Globe nominees. Hear Marion's reaction to her nomination here. Also interviewed are Saoirse Ronan and Tom Wilkinson. Congratulations to all three!

More on Marion's reaction:

"I'm in the old section of Paris drinking Edith Piaf's favorite champagne, Bollinger, which has become mine," said exuberant "La Vie en Rose" star Marion Cotillard of her best musical actress nomination. "The first big reaction was when it did well in France, and then the film got recognition all around the world. It's just been a series of surprises, and I hope it never ends." Picturehouse president Bob Berney wasn't surprised by Cotillard's success. "For me, it was expected. I think when people in Los Angeles met her in person, it was shocking to them how different she was from the character."


Source.

Santa Barbara to honor Cotillard

Santa Barbara International Film Festival has created a new award, the Virtuosos Award, to honor this year's top performances. Its intent is to "recognize a select group of young actors who have distinguished themselves in film."

Marion Cotillard, Casey Affleck, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, and Amy Ryan will be rewarded with the 2007 Virtuosos Award on January 30, 2008.

SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling explains:

“There will always be one or two performances that stand out, but this year in particular there were several performances by actors that truly set them apart from the pack. These talented actors have proven themselves to be a strong presence on-screen, and these performances have given a glimpse at the bright future that cinema has to offer audiences for years to come.”

Read the whole article on the Critics and Monsters web page.

La Vie en Rose wins @ NRJ Ciné Awards; Baltimore blurb

The NRJ Ciné Awards, the French equivalent to the People's Choice Awards, have awarded 3 honors to La Vie en Rose, two of which went to Marion for her performance in the film.

The film beat out Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Spiderman-3, and Arthur and the Invisibles for the Top of the Box Office Award.

Marion won for French Actress of the Year, besting Audrey Tautou, Charlotte Gainesbourg, and Cécile de France. She was also picked for Best Look over Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat, Kirsten Dunst for Marie Antoinette, and Alain Chabat and Charlotte Gainsbourg for How to Get Married and Stay Single.

You can see all the winners and nominees at the official site, here.

Also, The Baltimore City Paper has a nice blurb about La Vie en Rose, Marion, and other musical biopics prefacing their Top Ten:

La Vie en Rose, Control, and I'm Not There didn't merely rescue the music biopic from Hollywood; they represent the best of what 2007 movies offered: an explosion of cinematic craft. Olivier Dahan's La Vie en Rose, the most conventional of the above biopics, was anchored by a bruising performance from Marion Cotillard. Anton Corbijn's Control deftly avoided nostalgic romanticism for something closer to a quiet family drama laced with music. And Todd Haynes' glorious I'm Not There completely reinvented the music biopic to create a dazzling celebration of the creative act. In each instance it isn't just an actress, script, or director leaving thumbprints all over the screen, but an orchestrated synthesis of sound, vision, and performance.
La Vie en Rose didn't make their final list, but it was a nice shout-out. View the article here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

LFCA

The London Film Critics Awards have announced their nominations for 2007. OK, what's up with Critics groups having nominations? Why can't they just name the winners -- it's just silly. In any case, here are the nods for "Actress of the Year":

Actress of the Year
Laura Linney – The Savages (Fox)
Marion Cotillard – La Vie En Rose (Icon)
Maggie Gyllenhaall – Sherry Baby (Metrodome)
Angelina Jolie – A Mighty Heart (Paramount)
Anamaria Marinca – 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (Artificial Eye)

As for Ms. Christie, she's nominated under the "British Actress of the Year" category:

British Actress of the Year
Samantha Morton – Control (Momentum)
Julie Christie – Away From Her (Metrodome)
Keira Knightley – Atonement (Universal)
Helena Bonham Carter – Sweeney Todd (Warner)
Sienna Miller – Interview (The Works)

See the rest here.

Golden Globes

The HFPA will be announcing this year's Golden Globe nominees shortly. This post will be updated with any pertinent Marion Cotillard/La Vie en Rose news.

EDIT: Marion is in!!!

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Helena Bonham-Carter, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose
Ellen Page, Juno

All in all, though, the nominees this year are really unimpressive. The full list can be found at the HFPA's official site, here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Loder

Kurt Loder (wasn't he like an MTV anchorman or something?) just named his top ten for the year (again, shrug). He also selected the best performances of the year, and here's his pick for Best Actress:

Best Actress: Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"

Some of the most memorable performances by women came from abroad this year — the startling Tang Wei in Ang Lee's otherwise static "Lust, Caution"; the fearless Carice van Houten in Paul Verhoeven's World War II spy thriller, "Black Book." No one anywhere outdid Cotillard, though, playing the French songbird and national treasure Edith Piaf from boozy youth to desolate middle age (she died at 47). The movie itself was an awkwardly concocted melodrama, but this 32-year-old actress invested it with unforgettable emotional fire. To pass over Cate Blanchett ("I'm Not There"), Sienna Miller ("Interview"), Laura Linney ("The Savages"), and, yes, the superlative Ellen Page ("Juno") in an attempt to pick a winner among such dissimilarly gifted performers demonstrates the pointlessness of the enterprise. It can be argued that no one was better than Cotillard, though, so that'll have to do.

Source.

CFCA Analysis

There seems to be a good standing for foreign performers at the CFCAs.

The CFCAs, unlike the BSFCs, often hand out out several awards to foreign performers and films. Rinko Kikuchi (Babel), Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), and Audrey Tautou (Le Fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain) are all recent acting and breakthrough honorees. And one of Cotillard’s films, A Very Long Engagement, was awarded the Best Foreign Film title back in 2004. (Cotillard won a César - the French equivalent to the Oscars - for her performance in A Very Long Engagement.)

The Chicago critics, in their reviews, seemed to be completely divided on La Vie en Rose – some thought it was mess while others loved it. There were very few grey areas. One common thread, though, was that the majority of the Chicago critics I found (even the ones who hated the film) thought Cotillard was dazzling. Most of the reviews were very enthusiastic about Cotillard’s work, so what it comes down to in the end is whether or not there are enough of these critics to out-vote the films’ detractors.

Having said that, La Vie en Rose has been picked as one of the CFCA’s nominees for Best Foreign Film. While I doubt it will win, it removes most of the doubt I had about a win for Cotillard. Critics are far more likely to hold the flaws of a film against the performer than actors are (actors vote for Oscar and SAG winners/nominees), and La Vie en Rose certainly has its flaws. However, the fact that the picture is up for Foreign Language Film means that the CFCA thinks it’s one of the best – flaws and all – and this could help elevate Cotillard to victory.

As she has for all of the past critics’ awards, Cotillard will be battling mainly against Julie Christie (Away from Her), another Best Actress nominee. Ellen Page (Juno), who was revealed to be Christie’s biggest competition at the NYFCC, could also sneak up and win, as the CFCA likes young talent. Other nominees include Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart) and Laura Linney (The Savages).

The winners will be announced on December 14, 2007.

---

Chicago Film Critics Association Member Reviews of La Vie en Rose

Roger Ebert, Chicago-Sun Times, “One of the best biopics I’ve seen”:

“Olivier Dahan's "La Vie en Rose," one of the best biopics I've seen, tells Piaf's life story through the extraordinary performance of Marion Cotillard...”

David Kaplan, Kaplan Vs. Kaplan, “An exceptional film”:

“..a hugely entertaining biography of the great French chanteuse, Edith Piaf, featuring a staggering performance by 31-year-old actress Marion Cotillard as the petite fireball that was Piaf…The first-rate cast never misses a beat, the characterizations being completely authentic. But it is Cotillard who clearly carries this film. If you see the movie, and it really is a must for serious moviegoers, you should check out photos of the real Edith Piaf to see how closely Cotillard resembles her facially. It’s an almost uncanny likeness, and while Cotillard does sing in the film, most of the time she is lip-synching, although it’s beautifully done and impossible to detect. This is one of those incredible performances that simply cannot be ignored at Oscar time. The range of emotions from Cotillard, in so many difficult sequences in the film, is magnificent, and it will require a mighty coup by some other actress to top her interpretation in “La Vie En Rose”.”

Jeanne Kaplan, Kaplan Vs. Kaplan, “Truly a remarkable film”:

“…brilliantly acted by Cotillard. Much like the recent biopics of Truman Capote and Idi Amin, she totally embodies the character of Edith Piaf, beginning with her days as a 20-year-old waif, singing on street corners, to the end of her life - arthritic, bent and misshapen. It’s a stunning performance - one that keeps the audience enraptured throughout…it is Cotillard that makes this movie an unforgettable experience.”

Steve “Capone” Prokopy, Ain’t It Cool, “One of the best biopics EVER”:

“A dizzying, time-jumping, fierce experience, LA VIE EN ROSE traces the cradle-to-grave life of singer and consummate Parisian Edith Piaf, played with a ferocity and shocking bravery by Marion Cotillard…Cotillard's performance is staggering. The timing of this film's release almost guarantees that Cotillard (last seen as Russell Crowe's stubborn love interest in the otherwise unremarkable A GOOD YEAR) won't be considered come awards season, and that's criminal. To believably play this character from her teenage years to the last days of her life by doing little more than adjusting her posture and changing her wig and makeup is astonishing. It's almost exhausting, in the best possible sense…There are several very good performances here, but Cotillard essentially makes them all forgettable by being so powerful.”

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, “Wildly uneven”:

“Yet in the middle of it you have Marion Cotillard, scrunching her strapping 5-foot-6-inch frame into Piaf's rickety 4-foot-8-inch universe, working like the devil to inhabit and interpret Piaf. She's pretty dazzling…The way Cotillard jams her hands on her hips and wallops an audience in the performance sequences, lip-synching very skillfully, you sense Piaf's intertwined fear and desire of the public.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Critics Choice Awards

The Critics Choice Awards (also known as the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards) will be announcing their honorees this morning at 8:30 a.m. EST. This post will be updated with nominees.


EDIT: MARION GOT A NOMINATION!!

Best Actress
Amy Adams - Enchanted
Cate Blanchett - Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Julie Christie - Away From Her
Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose
Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart
Ellen Page - Juno

La Vie en Rose also secured a Best Foreign Language Film nomination.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Lust, Caution
La Vie en Rose
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
The Orphanage

I guess people can stop saying, "Well Cotillard's film isn't being well-received so her chances are hindered..." because several groups have honored La Vie en Rose as being one of the best foreign language films of the year.

Full list of winners here. Note: The site is a little off. They don't have Cotillard listed, but I watched the live broadcast and she is definitely nominated. Plus, they have Julie Christie there for La Vie en Rose, so there must be a format glitch.

San Francisco critics name Christie Best Actress

This is k_obrien, the new kid, so be nice.

Tonight the San Francisco Film Critics Circle Awards have honored Julie Christie (Away from Her) with the Best Actress award over Marion Cotillard. I'd feel disheartened by this point, except that they've got an odd mix of winners this year (below):

Best Film:
The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford by Andrew Dominik

Best Foreign Language Film:
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Julian Schnabel

Best Documentary:
No End in Sight by Charles Ferguson

Best Director:
Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country for Old Men

Best Actor:
George Clooney for Michael Clayton

Best Actress:
Julie Christie for Away from Her

Best Supporting Actor:
Casey Affleck for The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone

Best Original Screenplay:
Tamara Jenkins for The Savages

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Sarah Polley for Away from Her

We'll be keeping an eye out this week for the Golden Globe, Broadcast Film Critics Association, Chicago Film Critics Association, and American Film Institute honorees.

Monday, December 10, 2007

FYC

Let us reflect for a minute...


UPDATE: Marion has been nominated for Best Actress of the year by the Chicago Film Critics Association. They will announce their winners on December 14.


Other upcoming awards this week are:

- Broadcast Film Critics: December 11
- AFI Awards: December 16


I have a feeling Marion could do well with the Broadcast Film Critics...we'll see if my hunch is proven right.

Thanks for the heads up, K.

LATimes

Per K's suggestions, here's a short Q&A the LA Times did with Marion a few days ago. Enjoy:

MARION COTILLARD'S LIFE IN PINK
Marion Cotillard can't escape Edith Piaf, nor is she trying to: She's enjoying it.
By William Georgiades, Special to The Times
December 5, 2007

NEW YORK -- MARION Cotillard has appeared in more than 40 movies, including Tim Burton's "Big Fish," Ridley Scott's "A Good Year," Luc Besson's "Taxi" movies and, most recently, "La Vie en Rose," in which she played Edith Piaf. That performance has been generating Oscar buzz since before it was released in June. It's an astonishing feat of metamorphosis -- Cotillard managed to appear a foot shorter than she is to play the French singer and icon, and though she is 32, she plays Piaf convincingly from age 17 to her death at 47.

In person, in a midtown hotel here, she is lovely, elegant and low-key enough to request hot water from a waiter, producing her own bags of green tea.

You've been talking about "La Vie en Rose" for more than two years now. You've been in more than 40 movies, but it sometimes seems this is the only film you've done.

I shaved back my hairline and shaved off my eyebrows back in September 2005 and we started shooting in January last year and started the promotion shortly after that, so, yes, I have been living with this role for over two years now. But I'm really enjoying all the adventure so I can't complain. Sometimes you get the same questions over and over, but you just have to laugh about it. It's pretty easy to handle. And there will be an end to it all.


In February?

Yes.


So do you have your Oscar acceptance speech rehearsed yet?

No! I'm not working on any speech. We really have to wait and see if I even get a nomination. That would be something huge for me. When I even say this, it makes me laugh, like what am I even talking about. I could never have imagined that one day I would talk seriously about Oscars. I'm just very happy for the movie.


You were in New York just three years ago to study English.

Yes, I came here right after I did "Big Fish" with Tim Burton, where I had a very hard time understanding people. So I took a Berlitz course for a few weeks and I've been practicing ever since.


Your parents are both actors and you started working very young.

I did work when I was 5 because one of my parents' friends was about to direct a TV movie and asked me to be a part of it. But then I did have a very normal childhood. Without explaining it to me, I understood that to be an actor you have to live your life and go through normal joy and normal pain because an actor is telling people stories and you have to live normally to know how it works in real life, and then when I was 18 I started to work again.


Just before playing Edith Piaf, you played the love interest to Russell Crowe in Ridley Scott's "A Good Year." How was working with those two?

I'd been told of Russell Crowe's reputation, but he's really the nicest guy. And I'm not doing an American-type promotion. He really wanted people to be happy on the set, and he would do anything to make you at ease.


You've said that in playing Piaf you didn't want to imitate her, that you wanted to express her.


It's not interesting to imitate someone who existed in real life. You have all the information about this person and you have to understand them. That is what's interesting. So I think that Jamie Foxx (as Ray Charles) or Will Smith (as Muhammad Ali) or Joaquin Phoenix (as Johnny Cash), I'm sure they didn't try to imitate because that's technical. I had to learn cello for another movie and it was mechanical to learn the cello, but the fun part is when the mechanical part is all in your hands and you can play with the emotions.


You only sing in one small part of "La Vie en Rose," when your character is drunk, but you've sung before, and your next project "The Nine," directed by Frank Marshall and co-starring Javier Bardem, is a musical, yes?
Oh, yes, I love to sing! But I couldn't sing like Edith Piaf and with three months to prepare, I wouldn't have had time to have her voice. And I've been practicing my songs for "The Nine." It's good to sing, music is a good way to enjoy life. You see people in the street listening to music but you don't see them walking with a movie. You can take music everywhere!

NYFCC

The group is voting right now. These are the results so far:

Best Foreign Film The Lives of Others
Best Animated Film Persepolis
Best First Film Sarah Polley Away from Her
Best Documentary No End in Sight
Best Cinematographer Robert Elswit There Will Be Blood
Best Screenplay Joel and Ethan Coen No Country for Old Men
Best Supporting Actress Amy Ryan Gone Baby Gone

I have a bad feeling...I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE:

Best Actor Javier Bardem No Country for Old Men
Best Actress Julie Christie Away from Her

Oh well.

UPDATE 2:

Actual winners

Best Foreign Film The Lives of Others
Best Animated Film Persepolis
Best First Film Sarah Polley Away from Her
Best Documentary No End in Sight
Best Cinematographer Robert Elswit There Will Be Blood Best
Screenplay Joel and Ethan Coen No Country for Old Men
Best Supporting Actress Amy Ryan Gone Baby Gone
Best Supporting Actor Javier Bardem No Country for Old Men
Best Actress Julie Christie Away from Her
Best Director Joel and Ethan Coen No Country for Old Men
Best Actor Daniel Day Lewis There Will Be Blood Best Picture No Country for Old Men Lifetime Achievement Sidney Lumet Special Critics' Award Charles Burnett Killer of Sheep

I'll be the bigger person and not say what I'm thinking (mainly that their Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress picks suck butt cheeks), and say instead jolly good NYFCC, you might have missed the boat on this one, but you did it with panache. Stay classy (eye roll).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Possibilities

Here's a post from contributor extraordinaire, K, where she reflects on the latest developments in what's turning out to be a nail-biting awards season and dissects Marion's possibilities for a NYFCC win tomorrow. Enjoy.

As early as this morning, I really believed that the one major obstacle Marion Cotillard would face this awards season would be the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. I felt confident about Los Angeles, I’m feeling confident she’ll walk away with at least a Breakthrough Performer award from Chicago, and I feel confident she’ll earn a Golden Globe nomination this week from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

The NYFCC, more than many of the other critics’ groups, tend to award films that don’t have a full-blown campaign backing them. They prefer to honor the indie films that made almost no profit and have little (to no) Oscar buzz. Here are the small films the NYFCC have honored in the past 10 years:

2006

United 93 (Best Picture)

The Last King of Scotland (Best Actor - Forest Whitaker)

The Queen (Best Actress - Helen Mirren; Best Screenplay)

Little Children (Best Supporting Actor - Jackie Earle Haley)

2005

The Squid and the Whale (Best Screenplay)

A History of Violence (Best Supporting Actor - William Hurt; Best Supporting Actress - Maria Bello)

Howl's Moving Castle (Best Animated Feature)

2004

Sideways (Best Picture; Best Actor - Paul Giamatti; Best Supporting Actress - Virginia Madsen; Best Screenplay)

Vera Drake (Best Actress - Imelda Staunton)

Closer (Best Supporting Actor - Clive Owen)

2003

Lost In Translation (Best Actor - Bill Murray; Best Director - Sofia Coppola)

The Secret Lives of Dentists (Best Actress - Hope Davis; Best Screenplay)

American Splendor (Best Actress - Hope Davis)

A Mighty Wind (Best Supporting Actor - Eugene Levy)

House of Sand and Fog (Best Supporting Actress - Shohreh Agdashloo)

2002

Far From Heaven (Best Picture; Best Actor - Dennis Quaid; Best Supporting Actress- Patricia Clarkson)

Spirited Away (Best Animated Feature)

2001

Mulholland Drive (Best Picture)

In the Bedroom (Best Actor - Tom Wilkinson; Best Actress - Sissy Spacek)

Ghost World (Best Supporting Actor - Steve Buscemi)

Gosford Park (Best Supporting Actress - Helen Mirren; Best Director - Robert Altman; Best Screenplay)

2000

You Can Count On Me (Best Actress - Laura Linney; Best Screenplay)

Pollock (Best Supporting Actress - Marcia Gay Harden)

Erin Brockovich (Best Director - Steven Soderbergh)

1999

Topsy-Turvy (Best Picture; Best Director - Mike Leigh)

The Straight Story (Best Actor - Richard Farnsworth)

Boys Don't Cry (Best Actress - Hilary Swank)

Being John Malkovich (Best Supporting Actor - John Malkovich; Best Supporting Actress - Catherine Keener)

Election (Best Screenplay)

1998

Affliction (Best Actor - Nick Nolte)

Rushmore (Best Supporting Actor - Bill Murray)

The Opposite of Sex (Best Supporting Actress - Lisa Kudrow)

1997

Ulee's Gold (Best Actor - Peter Fonda)

Afterglow (Best Actress - Julie Christie)

Critics groups are more likely to hold the flaws of the film against the performer. Other actors (who vote for nominees/winners at the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Oscars) focus more on the performance than the structure of the film, which is why I haven’t had any worries about Cotillard’s chances at those functions. New York critics, in particular, seemed to be very hard on La Vie En Rose, which was my main concern. However, upon realizing that Marion Cotillard/La Vie en Rose supporters Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Jan Stuart (Newsday), and Owen Gleiberman (Entertainment Weekly) are all voting members of the NYFCC, I feel that Cotillard’s chances at a win have increased enormously.
Now knowing who (courtesy of the NYFCC official website) exactly, will be voting (Peter Travers, for example), and who wouldn’t be (A.O. Scott of The New York Times, who admired Cotillard’s “ferocity”), I went out and searched for NYFCC member reviews of the film. I now feel reassured about Cotillard’s chances tomorrow. Even those critics who disliked the film, like David Edelstein of New York Magazine, seemed to have something positive to say about Cotillard.

All in all, I’d say Cotillard’s chances are very strong. If she loses to anyone, it’ll be to Julie Christie for Away From Her. Christie took the New York Online Film Critics Awards prize for Best Actress today, and several of their members also sit on the NYFCC.

New York Film Critics Circle Member Reviews of La Vie en Rose


Peter Travers, Rolling Stone:
“And Marion Cotillard, lip-syncing Piaf's songs and digging into her soul with gale-force urgency, gives a performance for the ages.”

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly:


“I'm not usually in the business of hailing a performance as ''award-worthy,'' but why is La Vie en Rose, with its furious turn by Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf — less a performance than a possession — coming out in early summer? Hurtling and impassioned, driven by some of the greatest popular music ever recorded, this wildly overripe and unkempt biopic is a true experience, yet I suspect it needs the backdrop of a duskier time of year — and, yes, awards season — to draw audiences to the mad intensity of Cotillard's acting. She fills the diminutive, firebrand Piaf with life force at every age: as a lusty teen urchin, warbling on the streets of Paris for her supper; as the imp-diva with drawn-on eyebrows, looking like a depressed mime as she belts out her sublime cabaret ballads in a voice as strong and clear as a bell; and as Piaf the arthritic, morphine-addicted wreck (she died at 47), a Gallic Judy Garland who extinguished everything inside but the flame of her will.”

Lou Lumenick, New York Post:

“FRENCH actress Marion Cotillard delivers a tour de force as legendary singer Édith Piaf in "La Vie En Rose," an otherwise conventional and sometimes confusing portrait about yet another tortured musical genius…Thanks to the extraordinary performance of Cotillard, who expertly lip- syncs to Piaf recordings and disappears into the part, few will regret seeing "La Vie En Rose," named after a famous Piaf tune.”

Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal:

“Olivier Dahan's phantasmagorical biopic gives us a brilliant performance by Marion Cotillard as the passionate, tortured Piaf, and Ms. Cotillard gives us something new in a show-business portrait -- a sense of what the song does to the singer.”

David Edelstein, New York Magazine:
“Virtually all showbiz biopics have lapses and groaners, but as Jamie Foxx, Joaquin Phoenix, Sissy Spacek, and almost everyone except Kevin Spacey can affirm, they pay off in awards for actors willing to hurl themselves into the volcano. Marion Cotillard is a hurler. She’s prettier than Piaf, with round eyes that take up half her face, but she doesn’t get by on her looks. She knows you can’t play Piaf halfway. As the diva in her prime, she still gives you glimpses of the child famished for connection.”

Melissa Anderson, Time Out New York:

“The greatest obstacle in mounting a successful biopic—a genre in dire need of a shot of adrenaline—is for the lead performer to overcome ventriloquism. Although Marion Cotillard, in a career-defining performance, lip-synchs all of Edith Piaf’s songs, the actor is no dummy. She doesn’t merely embody the French singing legend; she is possessed with all of the monstrous talent—and behavior—that burst out of the 4'8" chanteuse.”

Rex Reed, The New York Observer:


“Imitation isn’t always the sincerest form of flattery. This is why Marion Cotillard’s sensational performance as Edith Piaf in the awesome new film La Vie en Rose is so unforgettable. Like Stephen Fry’s Oscar Wilde in Wilde and Toby Jones’ memorable Truman Capote in Infamous (light years ahead of Philip Seymour Hoffman), Ms. Cotillard doesn’t try to imitate Piaf, the greatest French chanteuse of all time. She channels Piaf. “The little sparrow” comes to life before the camera in this long, exhilarating and dazzling movie masterpiece, while Ms. Cotillard delivers one of the most inspired and breathtaking performances in film history. La Vie en Rose left me devastated…

Ms. Cotillard has more faces than Piaf’s saga has chapters. Flawlessly lip-synching the icon’s passionate voice, she synchronizes Piaf’s energy, eyes, body language, madness, tragedy, triumphs and outrageous humor until you are galvanized by her greatness…

The movie, the voice of Piaf, and a performance that turns Marion Cotillard into a great new star shimmer with the kind of beauty, power, intensity and visual opulence you might want to experience again and again.”

Andrew Sarris, The New York Observer:


“Marion Cotillard gives a highly charged, heavily made-up performance as the grown-up and decidedly unattractive Piaf…”

Jan Stuart, Newsday:
“...it is hard to imagine any open-hearted Yank not responding to this swaggering musical biography and its sublime leading lady, Marion Cotillard…In stripping away that legendary warble for a brief moment, Dahan also makes us fully cognizant of the magnitude of Cotillard's acting triumph. While Cotillard lip-synchs to Piaf's recordings with enormous fervor, she is never more heartrending than when listening: taking in the praise of an adoring Marlene Dietrich, or lighting up as a French army corporal sits at a piano and plunks out the first bars of a song he has composed for her.”

Armond White, NY Press:
“It’s early for Oscar baiting but Marion Cotillard’s performance as Édith Piaf in La Vie En Rose puts itself on the hook…Cotillard’s Piaf is genuinely impressive. Cotillard goes through Piaf’s pathological shyness, her on-stage desperation, her constant vulnerability, her sexual passion, her aging and debilitation. But this showcase of phenomenal skill has to compensate for the movie’s totally unoriginal biopic framework…Cotillard shows a trained actress’ craft.”

Stephen Whitty, Newhouse Newspapers:
“The film belongs to Cotillard, who throws herself into the part.”

Non-member review:
A.O. Scott, New York Times:

“No one else could possibly be Édith Piaf, or Johnny Cash or Ray Charles (or Truman Capote or Muhammad Ali or anyone else on the ever-growing list). Their larger-than-life self-sufficiency adds a thrilling element of risk to the task of portraying any of them on film. Or so it would seem. Really, though, the audacity involved in taking up such a challenge predisposes audiences (and critics) to applause, as does the durable popularity of the originals. So it is hard not to admire Ms. Cotillard for the discipline and ferocity she brings to the role…And it is true that Ms. Cotillard is a dynamic, quick-witted performer, one whose sheer force of will goes some way toward showing how a funny-looking, abrasive street urchin could become the idol of postwar France.”

Trades

Thanks to K for bringing this ad to my attention. I think it's very smart to showcase/contrast the real Cotillard with her portrayal of Piaf--afterall, a picture is worth a thousand words.


Source.