Most Anticipated Movies of Oscar Season
Courtesy of Sundance Selects

Spanning half a century, Charlotte Rampling’s filmography has included key works by Woody Allen, Luchino Visconti, Lars von Trier, Sidney Lumet and Francois Ozon — yet at 69, she may have sealed her career-defining role role this year in Andrew Haigh’s eggshell-delicate marital drama “45 Years.” Quietly wrenching as Kate Mercer, a rural retiree whose comfortable married existence crumbles when she learns a painful secret from her husband’s past, Rampling has thus far earned a shelfload of awards — including best actress from the National Society of Film Critics, the L.A. Film Critics’ Association, the European Film Awards and the Berlinale — for her performance. Yet the honors cap a bittersweet year for the actress, who lost her own partner of 17 years, French communications expert Jean-Noel Tassez, to a long-term illness in October.

***

Between “45 Years,” Guy Maddin’s “The Forbidden Room” and two hit U.K. TV shows — “Broadchurch” and “London Spy” — we’ve seen you shifting gears a lot this year.

I just like to do different things, I guess. That’s the only way I can describe my selection process. Different genres, different media, different scales of production — when I’ve done one, I like to move on to something else entirely. That’s how I keep myself interested.

What stood out to you about “45 Years,” then?

Purely the script. I remember receiving it out of the blue while I was away working somewhere in France; I read it in my hotel room one morning, and was really blown away. Those types of films only come along every so often — certainly to me, at least. And I seek out the unusual — whenever it’s there to be sought out. It made me think of “Under the Sand,” the film I did with Francois Ozon: a very sensitive story of a husband who disappears without explanation. They’re both stories of personal hauntings, in a sense, and those fascinate me. Something happens and you don’t know how the f— you’re going to get out of it, how to come to terms with the feelings that this particular thing is putting on you. And it can go on for a long time.

And do such stories compel you purely as an actress and storyteller, or do they resonate with you personally?

Oh, I feel very close to these situations, these people, these ways of life, these hauntings. I feel that I’m somehow connected to them. It’s the state of mind that Kate’s put into that interests me, because it’s the state of mind we’re all put into when unforeseen things happen. They unbalance us. That’s what I liked about this story; she’s led this life with her husband for a long time, and probably all sorts of things haven’t been addressed between them, but they’ve had a good life. But it’s the old problematics that you’ve never really addressed that, at some stage, come up when a certain button is pushed. Things you hadn’t bothered to think about, that you didn’t think were important — they all start dancing. And it all tumbles into a pile of chaos that makes you feel quite out of control and afraid and desperate.

Does that level of personal connection makes a role easier — or at least more intuitive — to play? Or more complicated?

Well, I’ve always been interested in roles that allow me to use what I know. I know it’s believable, that it’s going to be felt. Because I’ve been there, because it’s in me. I brought to Kate my understanding of these emotional states: We know what being unhappy is like, what being in pain is like, what being jilted is like, what being lonely is like. It’s acting, yes, but it’s more about being.

Did you have a rehearsal period to feel your way around these emotions? Did you play it very much as written?

The script was actually more explicit and more detailed than the final film. It had many more scenes in it so we could work it all out as we went. So there was no rehearsal, but it was more like a workshop in which everything was filmed. And because we knew we were going to be shooting in sequence, from beginning to end, with a small crew, we had time to experiment with a lot of ideas and emotions. Then when we came to the end, Andrew realized he didn’t want all these explanations. What we were doing, what we were able to convey in terms of feeling states, didn’t need all the extra words.

Your relationship with your onscreen husband, Tom Courtenay, feels particularly laden with unspoken history.

And I didn’t know Tom at all beforehand! When I agreed to do the film, Andrew said he wanted me to be involved in choosing the male lead. And when he said he was thinking of Tom, I just knew, quite instinctively, that he was the right one, and became quite desperate to get him. I can’t tell you why I knew, I just did. There was something in Tom that I knew I could absolutely relate to, so people would immediately understand that we were deeply involved.

You’ve already won several awards for “45 Years.” Do prizes have any particular meaning to you, to a film like this — or is it just a bonus?

Any bonus is useful, particularly if its draws a few more people to see the film. Awards give a film an added identity, which can be very beautiful. I can’t say anything against it. You say the role is the reward, but not if it’s not seen. If a film finds it’s audience, as this one has, that’s the most precious reward. And then afterwards, if the industry shows its appreciation too, that’s incredibly valorizing.

And are there any of your past roles or films that you wish had found such an audience?

To be honest, I don’t look back. I really, really don’t. I probably don’t want anything to come out of the past — not like what Kate has to deal with.

Latest Predictions:

Spotlight Picture
  1. "The Big Short" Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

  2. "Spotlight" Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin and Blye Pagon Faust

  3. "The Revenant" Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Mary Parent and Keith Redmon

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt and Kristie Macosko Krieger

  5. "The Martian" Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, and Mark Huffam

See Full Listing
Best Director Oscar Preview Director
  1. Alejandro G. Inarritu "The Revenant"

  2. Adam McKay "The Big Short"

  3. Tom McCarthy "Spotlight"

  4. George Miller "Mad Max: Fury Road"

  5. Lenny Abrahamson "Room"

See Full Listing
One of the year's most critically acclaimed films was also a major B.O. disappointment. After failing to gross $20 million domestically, "Steve Jobs" was pulled from U.S. theaters after less than three weeks. Actor
  1. Leonardo DiCaprio "The Revenant"

  2. Bryan Cranston "Trumbo"

  3. Michael Fassbender "Steve Jobs"

  4. Matt Damon "The Martian"

  5. Eddie Redmayne "The Danish Girl"

See Full Listing
Best Actress Oscar Contenders Actress
  1. Brie Larson "Room"

  2. Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"

  3. Cate Blanchett "Carol"

  4. Charlotte Rampling "45 Years"

  5. Jennifer Lawrence "Joy"

See Full Listing
Oscar Nominations Reactions Sylvester Stallone Supporting Actor
  1. Sylvester Stallone "Creed"

  2. Mark Rylance "Bridge of Spies"

  3. Mark Ruffalo "Spotlight"

  4. Christian Bale "The Big Short"

  5. Tom Hardy "The Revenant"

See Full Listing
Carol Rooney Mara Supporting Actress
  1. Alicia Vikander "The Danish Girl"

  2. Rooney Mara "Carol"

  3. Kate Winslet "Steve Jobs"

  4. Jennifer Jason Leigh "The Hateful Eight"

  5. Rachel McAdams "Spotlight"

See Full Listing
(Nov. 4, Fox Searchlight)
Fox Searchlight, the reigning back-to-back best picture champ, has an interesting pair of contenders in this and Paolo Sorrentino’s “Youth.” But John Crowley’s coming-of-age portrait of the immigrant experience is the warmer feel-good player. Adapted Screenplay
  1. "The Big Short" Adam McKay, Charles Randolph

  2. "Room" Emma Donoghue

  3. "Carol" Phyllis Nagy

  4. "Brooklyn" Nick Hornby

  5. "The Martian" Drew Goddard

See Full Listing
Walt Disney
Pixar’s family-friendly head trip is the sort of emotional powerhouse that, like “Up” and “Toy Story 3” before it, could crack the best picture race. A nomination for animated feature should be assured, but an original screenplay mention could also be in the cards (“original” being the operative word). Original Screenplay
  1. "Spotlight" Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer

  2. "Inside Out" Josh Cooley, Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve

  3. "Ex Machina" Alex Garland

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Matthew Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

  5. "Straight Outta Compton" Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus

See Full Listing
Josh Brolin Sicario Cinematography
  1. "The Revenant" Emmanuel Lubezki

  2. "Mad Max: Fury Road" John Seale

  3. "The Hateful Eight" Robert Richardson

  4. "Carol" Edward Lachman

  5. "Sicario" Roger Deakins

See Full Listing
Focus Features
Reteaming with “The King’s Speech” director Tom Hooper, Eddie Redmayne follows his Oscar-winning turn as Stephen Hawking with an entirely different acting challenge, projecting the inner soul of transgender pioneer Einar Wegener. As in that earlier film, his understanding onscreen wife, Alicia Vikander, could be recognized for the stability she provides. Costume Design
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Jenny Beavan

  2. "The Danish Girl" Paco Delgado

  3. "The Revenant" Jacqueline West

  4. "Carol" Sandy Powell

  5. "Cinderella" Sandy Powell

See Full Listing
Director: Adam McKay 
By Terry Gilliam 
At last... a smart, funny and beautifully directed film about something important. I wish it had been mine, but sadly it’s the handiwork of Adam McKay who really knows what he is doing and has the clout to gather a great cast who entertain, educate, and immerse us in the foolish, greed-driven world that arrogantly marched our economy off the cliff. His flair at telling the tale gets my vote for hero of the year. Film Editing
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Margaret Sixel

  2. "The Big Short" Hank Corwin

  3. "The Revenant" Stephen Mirrione

  4. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey

  5. "Spotlight" Tom McArdle

See Full Listing
mad max fury road Makeup & Hairstyling
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin, Elka Wardega

  2. "The Revenant" Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman and Robert Pandini

  3. "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" Love Larson and Eva von Bahr

See Full Listing
(Dec. 25, Weinstein)
Quentin Tarantino (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained”) offers an incentive to experience films in the theater, with a limited 70mm roadshow engagement that’s sure to seduce celluloid purists. Original Score
  1. "The Hateful Eight" Ennio Morricone

  2. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" John Williams

  3. "Carol" Carter Burwell

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Thomas Newman

  5. "Sicario" Jóhann Jóhannsson

See Full Listing
Lady Gaga Best Original Song
  1. "Til It Happens To You" from "The Hunting Ground"

  2. "Writing's on the Wall" from "Spectre"

  3. "Earned It" from "Fifty Shades of Grey"

  4. "Simple Song #3" from "Youth"

  5. "Manta Ray" from "Racing Extinction"

See Full Listing
Touchstone
Steven Spielberg is never one to be counted out of the top categories, especially when there’s a resonant history lesson involved. Tom Hanks’ performance is as laudable as the film’s Coen brothers-polished script, but the revelation here is Mark Rylance, considered a lock for his richly understated supporting turn as a Soviet spy. Production Design
  1. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Colin Gibson; Katie Sharrock, Lisa Thompson

  2. "The Danish Girl" Eve Stewart; Michael Standish

  3. "The Revenant" Jack Fisk; Hamish Purdy

  4. "Bridge of Spies" Adam Stockhausen; Rena DeAngelo, Bernhard Henrich

  5. "The Martian" Arthur Max; Celia Bobak, Zoltan Horvath

See Full Listing
star wars the force awakens bb8 Sound Editing
  1. "The Revenant" Martin Hernandez and Lon Bender

  2. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Mark Mangini and David White

  3. "The Martian" Oliver Tarney

  4. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Matthew Wood and David Accord

  5. "Sicario" Alan Robert Murray

See Full Listing
Matt Damon The Martian Sound Mixing
  1. "The Revenant" Chris Duesterdiek, Frank A. Montaño, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom

  2. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo

  3. "The Martian" Mac Ruth, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor

  4. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

  5. "Bridge of Spies" Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Drew Kunin

See Full Listing
Golden Globe Nominees 2016 Reactions Animated Feature
  1. "Inside Out" Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera

  2. "Anomalisa" Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson and Rosa Tran

  3. "Shaun the Sheep Movie" Mark Burton and Richard Starzak

  4. "Boy and the World" Ale Abreu

  5. "When Marnie Was There" Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Yoshiaki Nishimura

See Full Listing
Oscar Documentary Contenderts 2016 Documentary Feature
  1. "Amy" Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees

  2. "Cartel Land" Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin

  3. "What Happened, Miss Simone?" Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes

  4. "The Look of Silence" Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sorensen

  5. "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom" Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

See Full Listing
Son of Saul Cannes Film Festival Foreign Language
  1. "Son of Saul" Lazlo Nemes; Hungary

  2. "Mustang" Deniz Gamze Erguven; France

  3. "Theeb" Naji Abu Nowar; Jordan

  4. "A War" Tobias Lindholm; Denmark

  5. "Embrace of the Serpent" Ciro Guerra; Colombia

See Full Listing
Original Screen Play Oscar Race Visual Effects
  1. "The Revenant" Rich McBride, Matthew Shumway, Jason Smith and Cameron Waldbauer

  2. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

  3. "Mad Max: Fury Road" Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams

  4. "The Martian" Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner

  5. "Ex Machina" Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington and Sara Bennett

See Full Listing

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0