Jan 20, 2014

It is Steve Coogan's world, and we are all just living in it.

Note:  Over the coming weeks I will be writing about the Oscars, giving you my personal, sometimes very idiosyncratic, picks on who or what should win (whether they were nominated or not), and then give you my opinion on who is likely to win from the nominees.  Today I am going to speak about Steve Coogan.

There is a very funny moment near the end of Michael Winterbottom's film, The Trip, which stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, essentially "playing" themselves.

As the two actors tuck in to a large English breakfast, Brydon asks Coogan to just what lengths he would go to for a BAFTA award.  Then, Brydon ups the stakes:  "Best Actor.  Academy Award winner, Steve Coogan."  Coogan eventually concedes that he would consider letting his child suffer through a brief bout of appendicitis  -- the child would recover fully -- in order to win Best Actor.  Of course, they are joking.  (Right?)

Naturally, Coogan did win a BAFTA television award for his performance in The Trip.  (The film version that I am referring to is actually an edited version of a British television series.) And, he won a couple more BAFTA TV awards last year for resurrecting his Alan Partridge character in Alan Partridge:  Welcome to the Places of My Life.

But, now is the big time, and perhaps we should check on his daughter's health, because Coogan is not only up for some big time BAFTA film awards but he is up for some Oscars, as well.  He is not up for Best Actor, but is up for Best Adapted Screenplay (with his co-writer, Jeff Pope), and, because he is one of the producers, Best Picture (Philomena), too.

Philomena was certainly one of my favorite films of last year, and I think it is deserving of its nomination.  And, I am very proud of Coogan for bringing this story to the cinema, and assembling a great team (Stephen Frears directs and Dame Dench is up for Best Actress again -- rightfully so) to get it done.  But, I am also just as proud for him for his performance in another film that is getting absolutely no mention at all this awards season, which is What Maisie Knew.

Which is why if I were King Academy Award, I would give the Best Supporting Actor Award to Steve Coogan for his performance in What Maisie Knew.

Onata Aprile and Steve Coogan in What Maisie Knew

Although, unfortunately for Mr Coogan, if I were King Academy Award I would give the Best Adapted Screenplay Award not to Coogan and Pope for Philomena but to Nancy Doyne and Carroll Cartwright for What Maisie Knew and have them share that award with Tom Stoppard for his screenplay for the HBO miniseries, Parade's End.

What is actually likely to happen is Jared Leto will win  Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Dallas Buyer's Club, which is perfectly fine by me; and either Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street) or John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) will win Best Adapted Screenplay.  Right now I am leaning towards Ridley for the award, but that could change right at the last minute.


This household loves ourselves some Steve Coogan, and part of me would like to see him do something outrageous if he wins an Oscar.  But, I do not think he stands much of a chance in either category.  And, he was very well behaved at the Golden Globes, too, sharing the stage with the real Philomena.  In any event, I think Mr Coogan's daughter, Clare, can rest easy, and make the trip to Hollywood with her Da.

Mwah, ... 

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