Mo'Nique defies media criticism to find Oscar in her sights
When this pundit attended the world premiere of "Precious," then known as "Push," at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, the entire audience knew the actress and comedienne known as Mo'Nique had delivered a career-defining performance. To be blunt, it was jaw-droppingly unexpected.
As perhaps one of the most hateful mothers in modern screen history, Mo'Nique accomplished almost the impossible in making the audience teeter on the verge of sympathy for a character you'd grown to hate. It was a role that everyone in that theater knew would be an Oscar player. However, as the days and months progressed, it was clear there was very little competition that could match the intensity of Mo'Nique's work. But then the media reared its ugly head.
Looking for a story, perhaps wanting to discredit the unconventional contender or for reasons that still aren't clear to this day, a number of journalists began harping on the fact that unlike the rest of her co-stars, Mo'Nique had not attended the film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival or the New York Film Festival ("how dare she not hit the campaign trail"). Rumors, that were never verified mind you, spread that Mo'Nique had insisted she be paid for those appearing at those red carpet events and to promote the film in general. What was completely missing from their reports, of course, was that Mo'Nique was busy in Atlanta getting her new weekly BET talk show ready to launch and then actually shooting the show on a nightly basis. She did appear at a "Precious'" screening at the Oscar-friendly AFI Fest at the beginning of November, but her demeanor displayed how disappointed she must have been to feel she "had" to be there.
It's hard for the media to believe, but contenders are not required to campaign. And a majority of Academy members don't see it as a necessity either (thank god). In fact, this year, George Clooney hardly did any specific Academy campaigning for "Up in the Air" (although he did some immediately before the nomination deadline for "Michael Clayton") nor Meryl Streep for "Julie & Julia," but you hardly heard a cry of criticism from the media regarding those icons. And in what could only be described as a "in your face" result, Mo'Nique has only gone on to win every major Best Supporting Actress Award this year: the Golden Globes, the Critic's Choice Awards, the SAG Awards and even the Orange British Academy Awards among others. It's an excellent reminder that even in a business where publicists strategize on a daily basis on how to win an Oscar, sometimes it's just about the work. Imagine that.
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Penelope Cruz, "Nine"
Vera Farmiga, "Up in the Air"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart"
Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"
Mo'Nique, "Precious: Based on 'Push' a novel by Sapphire"
Who Will Win: Mo'Nique for "Precious"
Who Should Win: Mo'Nique for "Precious"
Upset Contender: Potentially, "Up in the Air's" Kendrick could pull the young ingenue card and upset, but that would be a truly shocking event. Especially with the expected split vote with her "Air" co-star Farmiga.
Look for more stone cold lock Academy Award predictions over the next week. [Please note the updated rundown below.]
Best Original Score, Best Original Song
Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay
Animated Film, Documentary, Foreign Language Film
Sunday, February 28
Live Action, Animated and Documentary Shorts
Monday, March 1
Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes and Make Up
Tuesday, March 2
Wednesday, March 3
Thursday, March 4
Friday, March 5
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
Let Streaming Genie help you.