Awards Circuit has an interesting article on films Lionsgate are pushing for awards consideration this year, and The Impossible is one of their big ones. Read the bit mentioning Naomi (it’s good — really good) below, and the full article at AwardsCircuit.com.
You can view Lionsgate’s official ‘For Your Consideration’ awards page at lionsgateawards.com. This shows you the films they are pushing and in which categories.
Two Lead Contenders on Lionsgate Awards Plate
When the Lionsgate Awards site went LIVE today and listed their slate of contenders involving Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Fisher Stevens’ Stand Up Guys, Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games, Nicholas Jarecki’s Arbitrage, and J.A. Bayona’s The Impossible, I started to analyze how this year could pan out for smaller films that are trying to make a play; even more so, the performances in them.
Lionsgate has sent out screeners this past week to BFCA and Oscar voters which could start a reaction from members. Especially when many late-year entries will be competing to be seen by the early deadline set by AMPAS, an accessible, timely film like Arbitrage might do the trick for many.
Also on Lionsgate’s roster is J.A. Bayona’s The Impossible, featuring a fierce and ferocious performance by Naomi Watts. Watts, previously nominated in Alejandro Gonzalez Inaritu’s 21 Grams (2003), hasn’t found herself on Oscar’s radar since. As ‘Maria,’ the desperate and brave mother, Watts engulfs herself into the role, naked, bare, and completely relatable. In a year where Lead Actress is nearly vacant, a powerful turn by Naomi Watts could easily find herself in a lineup. With the only Lead Actress to push is Jennifer Lawrence in The Hunger Games, Lionsgate can make a strategic, smart decision and put their money where its going to count.
As the film beats the heartstrings to death, Watts’ role along with co-stars Tom Holland and Ewan McGregor gather such a love from the audience, it’s hard not to think about the actual family long after the film ends. Watts’ film choices have been eclectic to say the least. Before 21 Grams, Watts wowed critics alike in David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr. (2001). After her Oscar nomination, fanboys attempted to unite to push her through for her towering work in Peter Jackson’s King Kong (2005). Since then, Watts has only gathered minuscule buzz for works in Fair Game (2010) and Mother and Child (2011).
I truly believe, given the right campaign and push, Watts’ work is the type of performance that could not only be nominated but win on Oscar night. A scene involving Holland and herself walking through the rubble and discovering wounds that are beyond anything seen in a disaster film is quite engrossing. A naked and vulnerable breast bridged with an authoritative “what?!” encapsulates her entire character’s motivation and brilliance. It’s Watts’ most impressive turn yet as the film as sat with me. It’s natural and believable. I can’t imagine what she did to prepare for a role like this.
Unfortunately Holland has nearly nil chance at any citation given the Lead Actor field and McGregor, though admirable in his role, pales in comparison to the dedication and ferocity of the two leads. As the film clearly states itself as a true story, screenwriter Sergio G. Sanchez does his best to bring this harrowing story to life. What I believe gives many dismissal of the film and story, is the lack of belief that this is in fact true. Hopefully, people don’t dismiss but embrace.
If there are two ponies to push from Lionsgate, Richard Gere and Naomi Watts are both realistic and worthy. Arbitrage is available on-demand and The Impossible opens December 21, 2012 in New York and Los Angeles.