Forget Roberts in “War”

Update: No one has yet seen Charlie Wilson’s War, but the Gurus of Gold consensus so far is that Julia Roberts is a prime Best Supporting Actress contender. The Gurus are voting this way for the usual reasons — i.e., to show obeisance before the power of Roberts’ legend and the economic power of Universal Pictures. (Note: I erred earlier today in thinking that Variety‘s Anne Thompson had herself decided that Roberts in a likely contender in this category. She was in fact quoting from the Gurus of Gold list.)

The bottom-line is that I’ve read an ’06 draft of Aaron Sorkin‘s script of Charlie Wilson’s War and Roberts’ role — she plays Joanne Herring, a real-life Houston multi-millionaire — is fairly small. Sorkin and director Mke Nichols might have enlarged the part since, but it was almost cameo-level on the page.

On top of which the trailer suggests that Roberts’ performance is mainly about that not-quite-right Texas accent and selling that openly scheming, anti-Communist, sexually-provocative routine with Hanks as they discuss finding a way to help Afghanistan’s Muhjadeen resistance fight the Soviet invaders. Buttressed, of course, by that problematic blonde coiffure favored by conservative Houston ladies of a certain age.

So forget it, okay? Not enough screen time, no dimension to the role, limited acting chops, big hair = not in the game.

  • abraham

    ANNE THOMPSON IS A FRAUD: How can she include Julia Roberts in her “supporting actress” category if she hasn’t seen the film as of yet?

    The only reason is that ANNE THOMPSON may have been hitting the sauce again. Everyone knows that her views are bias and for her own self interest to insure favor with whomever she wants to please at the time.

    Basically she only cares about moving her OWN agenda forward.

    After all, she has to keep getting invited to those lunches and cocktail parties to feed her raggedy ass.

  • I’m still confused about your advocacy vs. prediction stance when it comes to Oscars.

    Which one are you taking right now? If you turn out to be right it was a prediction and if not it was just advocacy? Is that how it’s going to play out?

  • T. Holly

    Most women have to fall back on their intelligence, but not Julia — what a costume!

  • Zimmergirl

    Right, so Jeff is also a fraud because he has CWW in his own best pic predictions?

    Or are you joking, Abraham? I sure hope so.

    “So forget it, okay? Not enough screen time, no dimension to the role, limited acting chops, big hair = not in the game.”

    Great. Note to self: file it next “There Will Be oscars” for the Jeff Oscar quotes of the year.

    A little reality check for those who don’t know jack about the Oscar race: if the film is good, as good as the script, Julia is in. If the film is bad and doesn’t live up to expectations Julia is out. The part as written is more than enough for a nomination. Judi Dench anyone?

    She already commands what little screen time I’ve seen of her. This is a slam dunk — but only if the movie is good enough to make the best pic lineup.

  • T. Holly

    Abraham, if you think Wells opened the door to your “how can she” lede to a free associating, anxiety ridden, testosterone fueled, maniac’s rant about booze, interest, favors and maneuvering, you’re not only crazy to think so, your thoughts are unhinged, too. We don’t care how upset you are about things you have no control over, which is basically everything in your life, apparently.

  • Rod32303

    Your disdain for Roberts continues, I see.

    Have YOU seen it? You’ve read a lot of scripts, only to be either surprised by how they were ruined on the screen, or shocked at how much better they were.

    Limited acting chops? Funny how you didn’t say that during the Erin Brockovich reign – you had nothing but positives about that performance, and you were pretty cool about her in “Closer” and you even found her scene with Gandolfini in “The Mexican” charming, despite your hatred for that film.

    You from Texas, Jeff? Because Roberts is from Smyrna, Georgia, and I’ll take her chances on a real southern accent before I’ll take yours.

    Fuckin’ hater as usual when it comes to Roberts.

  • Rod32303

    Also, cause you started this, you said the same thing about Murphy’s screen time in “Dreamgirls,” and his nomination was a lock.

    Cool picture of Roberts, though.

  • Loved that you included pretty much the worst pic of Roberts in existence.

    Anyway, yeah. I’ve been saying this for some time, but then again, who knows if the part may have been fleshed out some more through production.

  • p.Vice

    Knowing this bitch she probably had the screenplay re-written to beef up her part. Give the star everything, no?

  • gruver1

    Wells to Tapley: I think Roberts looks nice in this photo, actually. Those glasses are kinda cute. ells to Rod32303: I said the same thing about Murphy in “Dreamgirls,” you say? Uh-huh…and what happened with him last year? Triumph, trumpets & rose petals thrown before his feet?

  • lazarus

    Christ she’s got a big mouth.

    I still think they should have considered her for The Joker.

  • MiraJeffAICN

    Based on what I’ve seen, here’s what I think.

    Jennifer Jason Leigh- Margot at the Wedding
    Kelly Macdonald- No Country For Old Men
    Shelan O’Keefe- Grace is Gone
    Amy Ryan- Gone Baby Gone
    Susan Sarandon- In the Valley of Elah*

    (HM: Jennifer Connelly, Reservation Road; Ruby Dee, American Gangster; Emily Mortimer, Lars and the Real Girl; Samantha Morton, Control; Meryl Streep, Lions for Lambs; Marisa Tomei, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead)

    That said, I completely acknowledge that Cate Blanchett and Saoirse Ronan are probable locks for I’m Not There and Atonement, respectively. I also think Ryan is a surefire nominee. So who gets the other two? Well I think Sarandon is most deserving. Whether or not she gets it is another story. The fifth slot, in my opinion, belongs to Jennifer Jason Leigh, who is by far the best thing about Margot at the Wedding. She seems to be flying under the radar, maybe because the NYFF reaction to the film was only mixed. So if Sarandon and Leigh don’t fit, who else is there. Well I thought Morton and Mortimer were both excellent, but I feel like Macdonald made more of an impression with her brief role in No Country. That said, the actress who surprised me the most was young Shelan O’Keefe from Grace is Gone, who impressed me more than say, Abigail Breslin in Little Miss Sunshine last year. Dee was solid in her outing as Denzel’s momma, and her character was the only well-written female role in A.G, but still kinda small. Tomei was also very good but that film belonged to Hoffman and Hawke, and it’d be a crime for her to get acknowledged and not them. I HIGHLY DOUBT Roberts is in play for CWW. She is a good actress but the role does not suit her. Oh, and FYI, I also liked that Roberts picture. Sorry Kris, but I’m a sucker for chicks in glasses and Julia’s horse mouth. Me thinks she’s very purty.

  • erniesouchak

    If the academy would reward her for the push-up bra passing as a performance in “Erin Brockovich,” it could well nominate her for anything. Plus, she’s been gone awhile. But honestly, has anybody missed her?

  • Re MiraJeff’s post:
    Actually, I thought that Romola Garai was quite good as the older Briony in ATONEMENT. But I wouldn’t be unhappy about Saorise Ronan getting deserved recognition for her work as the young Briony in the first third of the film.

  • Re Rod’s post:
    I’m from Texas and the Texas accent is a bit more twangy than the Georgia variety.

  • bacio

    but wells had her listed too, until very recently.

  • sapo

    Good picture of Roberts.

    And Wells, at least wait until you ACTUALLY see the F****NG movie.

  • TheJeff

    Roberts is the most dominant presence on the poster, so I’m guessing it’s a helluva lot more than a cameo now.

  • D.Z.

    “and the economic power of Universal Pictures.”

    What economic power? They’re supporting HD-DVD, for crissakes!

  • akstanwyck

    Anne Thompson was listing the top five consensus picks at gurus ‘o gold. Look at her picks; she has not voted for Julia Roberts. On the blog she has consistently made the point that no one has seen Charlie Wilson’s War.

  • francinefishpaw

    Jesus, Jeff. That’s a really horrid photo you threw up on the homepage of Julia. She looks like a junkie.

    In regard to her performance, I think Mike Nichols is just the director to show a different side to her (just as he showed up her chilly side in CLOSER).

  • Rod32303

    No, Jeffrey, but he was NOMINATED. Even with your vitriol…he was NOMINATED. He won the Golden Globe and was NOMINATED for a SAG, and was NOMINATED for an Oscar.

    Isn’t this about the NOMINATION? Get ready to be pissed again, which will bring me much joy.

  • Mgmax

    Every time I scroll past that picture, I feel like the gravitational pull of those teeth is drawing me toward my doom.

  • Craptastic

    Could never stand her and never will. She’s a pure celebrity and nothing more.

    Granted, I love “Closer” with a fever but she’s the one thing about it that keeps it from making “my list”.

    In my opinion, its pointless putting her in any movie.

    And don’t get on Wells for posting that photo. That looks like a genuine, no gloss or photoshop image of what she really looks like. A horse-toothed whale shark.

    Brine anyone?

  • Rod32303

    Roberts is fuckin’ awesome. And a zillionairess. Hate on her all you want, fuckin’ tards. She’ll continue to look like this photo as she laughs her way to the bank.