Saturday, April 13, 2024

Oscar Irony: Both Front Runners in Acting Race Open in Huge Flops This Weekend


UPDATE FRIDAY AM: “Jupiter” down to 25, “Son” down to 8. See the Oscar nominees, rent a foreign film.

UPDATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT: “Jupiter” has scratched out a 37 so far on Rotten Tomatoes. “Seventh Son” is a solid zero with only four reviews, all negative, three from major publications.

EARLIER: Hollywood careers are full of ups and downs. And this week will really show the irony of actors who labor for love in independent movies and take occasional pay check studio films so they don’t have to eat cat food.

And so: Oscar front runners Julianne Moore and Eddie Redmayne are opening big flops this Friday. In fact, there are several ironies at work here. Julianne and Eddie once starred together in a very weird, little seen indie film called “Savage Grace,” which had overtones of incest.

Now Moore, tipped to win the Oscar for “Still Alice,” opens in “The Seventh Son” with Jeff Bridges. By all accounts, it’s very bad. A spy who caught is last week told me: “The movie is awful. I can’t believe they did it for anything but the money.”

Redmayne, in the Oscar lead for playing Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything,” opens with Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis in the Wachowskis’ much derided “Jupiter Ascending.” A sneak showing at Sundance last week went down like the Titanic.

In each case, reviews have been withheld until the very last minute so the public, already battered by losers like “TheĀ  Loft,” “Blackhat,” and “Mortdecai,” won’t figure out what’s going on. For “Seventh Son,” the marketing is using Moore and Bridges’ past joint appearance in “The Big Lebowski” as a talking point. We’ll see how that works out.

Will these terrible releases hurt the actors’ chances at getting their Academy Awards? I don’t think so. Academy members are smart enough to realize that everyone has to work, through the good and the bad. These two shall pass.

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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