Sunday, May 19, 2024

Oprah: “Don’t Worry. Really. I’m OK” With Oscar Snub


Oprah Winfrey wants everyone to know: she is okay not getting an Oscar nomination for her extraordinary performance in “The Butler.”

“Really,” she told me last night at the Critics Choice Awards. “I’m ok. Don’t worry. I’m fine with it.”

She meant it, too. Oprah sat between Forest Whitaker and Harvey Weinstein, at the same table with Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and Chris Cooper. She was in fine form, toasting Whitaker from the stage for his charitable work. Forest won the Joel Siegel Award, named for our great friend and movie critic who passed away much too young in 2007 from cancer.

Oprah, who runs a cable network– OWN– and has lots of projects will keep acting if the parts are there. When he overheard me asking about her future acting, Harvey Weinstein jumped right in. “We’re doing the Richard Pryor story,” he said. Lee Daniels is directing. Oprah’s ear perked up.  She spent the two hours of Critics Choice taking pictures with fans and enjoying the night.

Meanwhile, at the opening of the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford let the distributors of his film “All is Lost” really have it for not getting him or the film any Oscar nominations– or box office. He lambasted Roadside Attractions for conducting no campaign or spending any money.

I must agree with Redford. I call that company Roadkill. I knew it in Cannes when they went out of their way to insult the press and diss the movie’s producers. “All is Lost” is going to be remembered as a little masterpiece. Redford’s performance is a work of art. Roadkill did NOTHING for it. It was out of their league.

If Harvey Weinstein or Fox Searchlight had had “All is Lost,” we’d be talking today about Redford getting Best Actor. Shame on Roadkill. This should be a lesson to filmmakers in the future. It’s not always about the money. A couple of great little films died this season because their distributors were wholly inadequate.

I do NOT mean CBS Films, which did a great job on “Inside Llewyn Davis.” They did everything they could to make the Coen brothers film an Oscar nominee. Oscar Isaac was outstanding in it, so was everyone else. I think it will win some Indie Spirit Awards, too.

PS Maybe the Academy will let Redford present Best Picture this year as a consolation.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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