Tuesday, March 30, 2010

IS THIS THE FILM THAT FINALLY WILL GET ANNETTE BENING THAT ELUSIVE OSCAR?

Or will Hilary Swank, coming soon in Betty Anne Waters, rain on her parade once again? If she does, I'm through with the Academy for good, and I don't see that happening. Hopefully, Betty Anne Waters will be another Amelia, making 2011 another Hilary-free Oscars.

But here is my other pressing question regarding Mother and Child: How did Naomi Watts get top billing over Annette Bening? Let's size up both actresses: Annette is a three-time Oscar nominee, the wife of Warren Beatty, largely seen as the actress most overdue for an Oscar this side of Julianne Moore, Glenn Close and Sigourney Weaver, and, over the past 20 years, star of such hits as The Grifters, American Beauty and The American President. Naomi Watts has her own Oscar nod, and several critical and commercial hits on her CV (among them, Mulholland Drive, The Ring, King Kong and Eastern Promises).

All that and Liev Schreiber, too. But she is not in Annette's league. Not yet. Not only has Annette been around longer, but if anyone goes to see this movie, it will be because of Annette, to see if she might finally snag an Oscar. Perhaps shifting her name to the left so that it's possibly the first one you read is supposed to be some kind of consolation, but facts are facts: Good as Naomi Watts is (and I do love her), no one goes to see a movie because she's in it.

I wonder what will be the billing order for Annette's other 2011 Oscar hopeful, The Kids Are Alright, her upcoming film with Julianne Moore, the equally Oscar-due star who just might be her 2011 best actress competition. If she couldn't score top billing over Naomi, there's no way she will rise above Julianne Moore -- who, if you recall, was billed in The Hours over Nicole Kidman (an infinitely bigger star than Naomi), who was top-billed in The Interpreter over Sean Penn, who was top-billed over Naomi in 21 Grams -- in the poster credits.

The Hollywood billing system baffles me, but I love dissecting it anyway.
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