After winning the New York Film Critics Circle award for Best Actress a week ago, Two Days, One Night‘s Marion Cotillard won the same award yesterday from the Boston Film Critics Society and the New York Film Critics Online. Today she was nominated for the same award by the Online Film Critics Society. A few hours ago I wrote some colleagues and asked why they were ignoring what I called “the Cotillard surge.” I also asked why none of the critics groups have even mentioned presumed Best Actress frontrunner Julianne Moore except the LAFCA lunch-breakers, who named her the Best Actress runner-up behind Boyhood‘s Patricia Arquette.
Marion Cotillard in Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardennes‘ Two Days, One Night.
“You can’t be total ostriches,” I said. “I’m as much of an industry whore with my hand out as anybody else, but at least I’m acknowledging that Cotillard has definitely elbowed her way into the Best Actress race…you can’t just keep saying ‘Julianne Moore is due’ over and over.”
“I’m gonna write about this,” said Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone,”but Julianne so has this.” (A couple of hours later she posted this.) “Moore has this, I get that, yes,” I replied, “but it seems right now as if you and yours are hiding your heads in the sand about the Cotillard surge. She doesn’t fit into the narrative and I get that, but she’s happening right now. You can’t push this idea away over and over. You have to let it in.”
An award columnist asked, “Is there an Oscar consultant hired for her campaign? Will the DVD be sent to AMPAS members? If no & no, she’s a bye-bye.”
Another award-season columnist wrote, “There are zero critics in the Academy. It means nothing. When else do you pay attention to what any Boston film critics have to say about anything?”
“Three film critics group wins,” I corrected. “New York, NY Online and Boston. And she’s been nominated this morning by the National Society of Film Critics. You can’t just call her wins an irritant, a fly buzzing around. It’s real.
“In all honesty, I just thought Cotillard was okay — fine, believable, whatever — in the Dardennes film, which is and was minor Dardennes in my view. Along with The Kid on the Bike. And I thought she was phoning her performance in The Immigrant. Doing that guilt-trip thing with her eyes over and over.
“But Cotillard is nonetheless happening,” I continued. “You can’t just go ‘tut-tut’ and swat the mosquitoes. It make you look like French royalty during the 1790s. You have to deal with what’s happening. It’s not how good she is or was. It’s that she’s happening right now. Will Julianne Moore win? Almost certainly. But you can’t wave away the Cotillard surge and call it nothing. It’s something.”
A colleague replied that “Cotillard’s work is on par with Swank’s for sure. But it’s hard to get a foreign language actress into the race. The film counted on critic support out of Cannes to build buzz, which it did not get. It went to Telluride trying to pick up buzz, which it did not get. The only time it got buzz is when the critics got a bee in their bonnet about The Immigrant and the Weinstein Co., which was more or less debunked by Mark Harris and David Poland on Twitter. I find the whole thing to be an annoying clusterfuck.”
Another colleague wrote that “there is no surge in terms of Cotillard. Anything outside these moronic critics groups who annually like to copy each other. And have you ever noticed that many of these critics join several groups? Why is Inkoo Kang, who writes for TheWrap in LA, also a member of other groups inc the online Boston critics etc? It’s all agenda voting.”