Monday, February 19, 2007

Will Peter Morgan write another winner in 2007?

Peter Morgan probably won't win best screenplay at the Academy Awards on Sunday for his screenplay for The Queen, BUT his films have certainly garnered some critical attention this year.

Peter Morgan scripted two very different films this year, The Queen and The Last King of Scotland.

What's interesting to me is that this years two lead acting winners of this years film season are clearly Helen Mirren and Forrest Whitaker, both in films penned by Peter Morgan.

So, it seems worth while to pay attention not just to Peter Morgan's upcoming projects, but also the actors in these films who could garner attention.

In 2007 Peter Morgan's next script will hit the screen with his adaptation of Philippa Gregory's novel The Other Boleyn Girl. The Other Boleyn girl takes place in the 1500s with young Mary Boleyn (Scarlett Johannson) being swept away as King Henry VIII's mistress. And although Mary is the mother of the King's daughter, outwardly Mary's coniving sister Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) steals all of Mary's potential glory.

I imagine than center stage actresses Portman and Johannson will be noticed for their work in this film, especially if 2007 is as weak for actresses as 2006 was, but I have to wonder if even more so Eric Bana will get a huge amount of buzz for his role as King Henry VIII.

Although Bana's roles recently have been in period/fantasy films (Troy, Munich, The Hulk), with the pen of Peter Morgan, you have to wonder if Bana might really be able to attract some attention.

Additionally, it's hard to tell who has the best chance of taking the most credit between Portman and Johannson. It seems to me that the Portman character is far more cunning and interesting. While both actresses have appeared in critical darlings in recent years, Portman's Oscar nod in 2005 for Closer gives her an early push, as well as an intense film schedule with a variety of projects at hand (Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, My Blueberry Nights, and the Darjeeling Limited).

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11 comments:

Jay said...

I always have sympathy for the overlooked writer, so I'm glad if he's getting noticed even if he isn't getting awards (I'm also of the opinion that the oscars are pretty meaningless anyway).

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I'm excited about any movie where Eric Bana will be featured in a pair of skin hugging, sausage casing-like, man tights. Oooh la la!

Mercurie said...

As to which actress will get more attention for her role, I am guessing it will be Portman. It just seems to me that Portman makes a habit of playing much more complex characters than Johannson and, as a result, is ultimately the better actresss.

Marina said...

I really enjoyed the novel and am interested to see what comes of it on the screen. As for Portman and Johansson, I'm always going to root for Portman. Johansson is a one trick pony. She's very good at playing a specific character but very poor at expanding into any other realms. Still, her character here fits perfectly into her range.

katie said...

King Bana will certainly attract my attention lol lol! Eagerly awaiting a couple of hours in his company!

Will said...

RC, thanks for the spot on Peter Morgan and this upcoming film. I'm with you, will it be Natalie or Scarlett? I'm almost hoping it's Natalie, since she hasn't gotten as much critical respect for her recent work (V for Vendetta, Closer) as Scarlett has.

Will said...

OK, that was dumb. I forgot Natalie had been nominated for Closer. I just remember thinking she should have won. Oh well.

rock.ur.socks said...

Hey, I was just wondering how you found my blog. Oh, and I didn't hear about the movie version of Mamma Mia! Meryl Streep? Does she do the singing/dancing/Abba thing?

rock.ur.socks said...

Thanks for the info on Meryl Streep. I had forgotten that she sang in Prairie Home Companion...it will be interesting to see if she can pull off Abba.

Kimberly Ann said...

i'm def. a portman fan. i think she is a much better actress and has the ability to pull off more complex roles than johannson.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I haven't read the book, but are they co-lead? We all know what the Academy does to co-leads.

I hadn't thought of the correlation between Morgan's scripts and the Best Lead Actor/Actress nominees/likely winners. How odd.

However, I hated The Last King of Scotland with a passion.

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