Carnage borrows awards strategy from Modern Family

2011-10-31 10:06

Is it possible to have a movie without a single lead actor or actress?

Apparently it is. In Roman Polanski’s screen version of the hit play Carnage, Jodie Foster is supporting Christoph Waltz, who is supporting Kate Winslet, who is supporting John C. Reilly, who is supporting Jodie Foster.

Or something like that.

Sony Pictures Classics has decided that all four actors, who make up the entire cast of the film, belong in the supporting categories in this year’s Oscar race, and they are suggesting as much on their awards website.

In doing so, they’re taking a cue from the television series Modern Family, which has campaigned for its entire cast in the supporting rather than lead categories at the Emmys.

The move worked: last year five of the six main actors were nominated, and this year all six received nods, four in the supporting actor category and two in supporting actress.

And they won in both categories, too, with Ty Burell and Julie Bowen taking home statuettes.

Carnage is unlikely to have that kind of record – and to be fair, the categories in which Foster, Reilly, Waltz and Winslet belong are not really the decision of Sony Pictures Classics.

Oscar acting ballots specifically advise voters to decide for themselves whether a performance is lead or supporting, regardless of the category suggested in campaign materials.

Still, voters usually go along with the studios; the most recent case in which they didn’t was when Winslet won best actress for The Reader, whose campaign tagged her as a supporting actress candidate.

The tricky case of Carnage is one of several instances this year in which actors could theoretically fit into either lead or supporting category.

Sony Pictures Classics has another this year with the David Cronenberg film A Dangerous Method, in which Michael Fassbender plays Carl Jung and Viggo Mortensen is Sigmund Freud.

But the film is really about Jung and his student Sabina Spielrein, played by Keira Knightley – so even though her wild performance might have a better chance of attracting attention in the supporting category, Sony Classics is pushing her as best actress.

Mortensen is relegated to supporting actor, a fitting category for his role.

DreamWorks, meanwhile, is splitting its two most formidable acting contenders for The Help between two categories: They’re suggesting Viola Davis for best actress (along with Emma Stone) and Octavia Spencer for supporting actress (in addition to Jessica Chastain, Bryce Dallas Howard, Allison Janney and Sissy Spacek).

Although some had urged DreamWorks to push for Davis in the supporting actress category under the theory that Stone is the true lead, Davis now appears to be among the favourites in the best actress category, while Spencer is a formidable contender in supporting.

Last year, Sony Classics campaigned strenuously for Lesley Manville in the best actress category for Another Year, a decision that led to major debate in the blogosphere and did not result in a nomination.

Summit Entertainment, meanwhile, pushed Sean Penn in the supporting actor category for Fair Game, a film in which he and Naomi Watts appeared to be co-leads. He wasn’t nominated, either.

TheWrap.com

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.