Monday, December 21, 2009

Chicago Film Critics Awards

Featuring notably the great Roger Ebert, the Chicago Film Critics have named Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker as Best Picture of 2009. The film swept the awards picking up 5 including awards for Bigelow, its star Jeremy Renner, its writer Mark Boal and cinematographer Barry Ackroyd as well. There are no real surprises in the other categories so we'll see if the winners will come up on top at the Oscars.





Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan - An Education
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up In the Air
Best Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Best Animated Feature Film: Up
Best Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Best Cinematographer: Barry Ackroyd - The Hurt Locker
Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino - Up
Most Promising Performer: Carey Mulligan - An Education
Most Promising Filmmaker: Neill Blomkamp - District 9

What do you think?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shrek Forever After Trailer

Speaking of first trailers, here is the premiere of the fourth installment of the most successful animated franchise, Shrek Forever After. Returning voicing is Mike Myers, Oscar nominee Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas. What do you think?

Screen Actors Guild Nominations

Two days after the GG nominations were announced, the SAG went to work and revealed their choices for the year's best work in acting for films and television this year. Perhaps the biggest surprise you'll find is the absence of Julianne Moore in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category, instead we find Diane Kruger from Inglourious Basterds. Will Kruger manage to sneak in the category at the Oscars edging out one of the favorites? We'll have to keep an eye on this one. Here is the list of nominees:

Outstanding Lead Actor
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

Outstanding Lead Actress
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

Outstanding Supporting Actor
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Outstanding Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up In the Air
Anna Kendrick - Up In the Air
Diane Kruger - Inglourious Basterds
Mo'Nique - Precious

Outstanding Cast
An Education
- Dominic Cooper, Alfred Molina, Carey Mulligan, Rosamund Pike, Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson, Olivia Williams
The Hurt Locker - Christian Camargo, Brian Geraghty, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner
Inglourious Basterds - Daniel Bruhl, August Diehl, Julie Dreyfus, Michael Fassbender, Sylvester Groth, Jacky Ido, Diane Kruger, Melanie Laurent, Denis Menochet, Mike Myers, Brad Pitt, Eli Roth, Til Schweiger, Rod Taylor, Christoph Waltz, Martin Wuttke
Nine - Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Fergie, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, Sophia Loren
Precious - Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Mo'Nique, Paula Patton, Sherri Shepherd, Gabourey Sidibe

What do you think?

Iron Man 2 Trailer

It's finally here! The first official trailer for the return of Tony Stark/Iron Man from director Jon Favreau starring Oscar nominee Robert Downey, Jr. Also returning is Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, and rounding up the cast are Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson, Oscar nominee Don Cheadle replacing Terrence Howard and as Whiplash, nominee Mickey Rourke. Is this the box office hit of 2010? What do you think?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Original Song Shortlist

The list isn't short with 63 submissions, but here is the complete list of songs eligible for the Academy Awards:

“All Is Love” from “Where the Wild Things Are”
“Almost Over You” from “My One and Only”
“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“AyAyAyAy” from “The Maid”
“Back to Tennessee” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Being Bad” from “Duplicity”
“Blanco” from “Fast & Furious”
“Brothers in Arms” from “Brothers at War”
“Butterfly Fly Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Cinema Italiano” from “Nine”
“Colorblind” from “Invictus”
“Depression Era” from “That Evening Sun”
“Don’t Walk Away” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“Dove of Peace” from “Bruno”
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“Fly Farm Blues” from “It Might Get Loud”
“Forget Me” from “I Love You, Beth Cooper”
“God Bless Us Everyone” from “Disney’s A Christmas Carol”
“Here” from “Shrink”
“Hideaway” from “Where the Wild Things Are”
“Hoedown Throwdown” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“I Bring What I Love” from “Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love”
“I See You” from “Avatar”
“(I Want to) Come Home” from “Everybody’s Fine”
“If You’re Wondering” from “The Lightkeepers”
“Impossible Fantasy” from “Adventures of Power”
“Innocent Child” from “Skin”
“Invictus 9,000 Days” from “Invictus”
“Legendary” from “Tyson”
“Let Freedom Reign” from “Skin”
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36”
“Ma Belle Evangeline” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“My One and Only” from “My One and Only”
“Na Na” from “Couples Retreat”
“Never Knew I Needed” from “The Princess and the Frog”
“New Divide” from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
“New Jersey Nights” from “Adventures of Power”
“New York Is Where I Live” from “Did You Hear about the Morgans?”
“No Time for Love” from “Simon & Malou”
“One Day” from “Post Grad”
“Only You” from “The Young Victoria”
“Other Father Song” from “Coraline”
“Petey’s Song” from “Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” from “Ponyo”
“Possibility” from “The Twilight Saga: New Moon”
“Raining Sunshine” from “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
“Running Out of Empty (Make Ourselves at Home)” from “Lymelife”
“Smoke without Fire” from “An Education”
“Somebody Else” from “Crazy Heart”
“Stu’s Song” from “The Hangover”
“Take It All” from “Nine”
“Through the Trees” from “Jennifer’s Body”
“Trust Me” from “The Informant!”
“Un Bouquet des Violettes” from “New York, I Love You”
“We Are the Children of the World” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“We Love Violence” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart”
“When You Find Me” from “Adam”
“Winter” from “Brothers”
“The Word Is Love” from “Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!”
“You Got Me Wrapped around Your Little Finger” from “An Education”
“You’ll Always Find Your Way Back Home” from “Hannah Montana The Movie”
“You’ve Been a Friend to Me” from “Old Dogs”

The selection committee will receive DVD copies presenting a short clip for each songs and will select their nominees according to the new rules which were submitted earlier this year. Which songs do you think will make the cut?

Robin Hood Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Ridley Scott's next collaboration with Russell Crowe, the retelling ot the story of Robin Hood. The film also stars Oscar winner Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian. What do you think?

Alice In Wonderland New Trailer

Here is yet another trailer for Tim Burton's next film, Alice In Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Austin Film Critics Awards

The Hurt Locker continues its winning streak as it took home the Best Picture award at this year's Austin Film Critics awards. A big surprise here is the win by Melanie Laurent for Best Actress in Inglourious Basterds, so we'll see if this is simply a one-time fluke. Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Runners-Up:
Star Trek
Up
A Serious Man
Up In the Air
Avatar
Inglourious Basterds
District 9
Where the Wild Things Are
(tie) Moon, The Messenger
Best Foreign Language Film: Cary Fukunaga - Sin Nombre
Best Documentary: Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Best Animated Feature: Up
Best First Film: Neill Blomkamp - District 9
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Colin Firth - A Single Man
Best Actress: Melanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick - Up In the Air
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up In the Air
Best Cinematography: Barry Ackroyd - The Hurt Locker
Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino - Up
Breakthrough Artist Award: Christian McKay - Me and Orson Welles
Austin Film Award: Me and Orson Welles

What do you think?

Golden Globes Nominations

Since the awards season begun a lot of Oscar watchers were waiting for this: the announcement of the Golden Globe nominees since it is one of the biggest predictors of the upcoming Oscar nominations. For one thing, I am glad this year the Hollywood Foreign Press Association put only 5 nominees for every category, because it was starting to become overkill with 6-7 nominees per category. Jason Reitman's Up In the Air leads the charge with 6 nominations. We have a few actors who managed to pick up double nominations this year, notably Sandra Bullock with a Best Actress in a Drama for The Blind Side and in a Comedy for The Proposal. Matt Damon was also nominated twice, for The Informant! as a Best actor for Comedy and for Invictus in the supporting category. Finally Meryl Streep picked up, as most people predicted, two nominations in the Best actress in a Comedy category for Julie & Julia and It's Complicated, so we can expect her to walk away with that award. A big surprise is the absence of Jeremy Renner in the Best Actor in a Drama category since he picked up a few awards already this season with his film The Hurt Locker. Here he is replaced by Tobey Maguire (in a powerful performance as well) in Brothers, as the usual suspects complete the category. You may also notice Rob Marshall did not pick up a nomination for directing Nine, so he may be on a slippery slope. Saoirse Ronan is also absent for Best Actress in a Drama for The Lovely Bones, but she's been pretty consistent in awards season so we might see her on Oscar night. Another surprise is Nancy Meyers' nomination for her screenplay of It's Complicated as some major films are bumped from the category, notably Precious, Up or An Education. We'll see if that effects the outcome of the screenplay category at the Oscars. A pleasant surprise is to see pretty much everyone's favorite comedy of the year, Todd Phillips' The Hangover nominated for Best Motion Picture - Comedy. With the DVD release today, a lot of people should get it off the shelves. Anyway, here is the complete list of nominees:

Best Motion Picture - Drama
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
Up In the Air

Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical
(500) Days of Summer
The Hangover
It's Complicated
Julie & Julia
Nine

Best Actor In a Drama
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Tobey Maguire - Brothers

Best Actress In a Drama
Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious

Best Actor In a Comedy/Musical
Matt Damon - The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis - Nine
Robert Downey, Jr. - Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg - A Serious Man

Best Actress In a Comedy/Musical
Sandra Bullock - The Proposal
Marion Cotillard - Nine
Julia Roberts - Duplicity
Meryl Streep - It's Complicated
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up In the Air
Anna Kendrick - Up In the Air
Mo'Nique - Precious
Julianne Moore - A Single Man

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
James Cameron - Avatar
Clint Eastwood - Invictus
Jason Reitman - Up In the Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Best Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell - District 9
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Nancy Meyers - It's Complicated
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up In the Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Best Animated Feature Film
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
Up

Best Foreign Language Film
Baaria (Italy)
Broken Embraces (Spain)
The Maid (Chile)
A Prophet (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)

Best Original Score
Michael Giacchino - Up
Marvin Hamlisch - The Informant!
James Horner - Avatar
Abel Korzeniowski - A Single Man
Karen O & Carter Burwell - Where the Wild Things Are

Best Original Song
''Cinema Italiano'' (Maury Weston) - Nine
''I Want To Come Home'' (Paul McCartney) - Everybody's Fine
''I Will See You'' (James Horner, Simon Franglen & Kuk Harrell) - Avatar
''The Weary Kind'' (T Bone Burnett & Ryan Bingham) - Crazy Heart
''Winter'' (U2) - Brothers

Do you think these are good picks?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Critics Choice Awards Nominations

With the Golden Globes nomination announcement coming tomorrow, the Broadcast Film Critics Association has published their nominations for their best in cinema. Leading the way with 10 nominations each are Rob Marshall's Nine and Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Where Tarantino picked up a nomination for Directing, Marshall failed to get one so that may hurt his chances at a nomination come Oscar night, but there's still time to make his case. Although Basterds has the most nominations, it is worthy to note that is the case because the BFCA added new technical categories to reward, for which Tarantino's film dominates particularly. Nonetheless Christoph Waltz looks to be the favorite and it also picked up a nomination for Best Original Screenplay, so it may still make its way into the top 10 come Oscar night. Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones continues to get snubbed by the critics (this year's Dreamgirls perhaps?) as it failed to get both a Best Picture nomination and for Best Director as well. Still Saoirse Ronan and Stanley Tucci received nominations as they are the strong points from the film, as agreed by most critics, but we'll have a strong idea tomorrow for which films will make the cut. Avatar is starting to get noticed as it received a nomination for Best Picture as well. After winning the NYFCO award, it looks to start becoming a safe bet to make the top 10 but we'll have a better idea in the following weeks.

Here is the complete list of nominees:

Best Picture
Avatar
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Invictus
Nine
Precious
A Serious Man
Up
Up In the Air

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
James Cameron - Avatar
Lee Daniels - Precious
Clint Eastwood - Invictus
Jason Reitman - Up In the Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Viggo Mortensen - The Road
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

Best Actress
Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Saoirse Ronan - The Lovely Bones
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christian McKay - Me and Orson Welles
Alfred Molina - An Education
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress
Marion Cotillard - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up In the Air
Anna Kendrick - Up In the Air
Mo'Nique - Precious
Julianne Moore - A Single Man
Samantha Morton - The Messenger

Best Young Actor/Actress
Jae Head - The Blind Side
Bailee Madison - Brothers
Max Records - Where the Wild Things Are
Saoirse Ronan - The Lovely Bones
Kodi Smit-McPhee - The Road

Best Acting Ensemble
Inglourious Basterds
Nine
Precious
Star Trek
Up In the Air

Best Original Screenplay
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - (500) Days of Summer
Pete Docter & Bob Peterson - Up
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Best Adapted Screenplay
Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell - District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious
Tom Ford & David Scearce - A Single Man
Nick Hornby - An Education
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up In the Air

Best Cinematography
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Lovely Bones
Nine

Best Art Direction
Avatar
Inglourious Basterds
The Lovely Bones
Nine
A Single Man

Best Editing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Nine
Up In the Air

Best Costume Design
Bright Star
Inglourious Basterds
Nine
Where the Wild Things Are
The Young Victoria

Best Makeup
Avatar
District 9
Nine
The Road
Star Trek

Best Visual Effects
Avatar
District 9
The Lovely Bones
Star Trek
2012

Best Sound
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Nine
Star Trek

Best Animated Feature Film
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
Up

Best Action Movie
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek

Best Comedy
(500) Days of Summer
The Hangover
It's Complicated
The Proposal
Zombieland

Best Foreign Language Film
Broken Embraces
Coco Before Chanel
Red Cliff
Sin Nombre
The White Ribbon

Best Documentary Feature
Anvil
Capitalism: A Love Story
The Cove
Food, Inc.
Michael Jackson's This Is It

Best Song
''All Is Love'' (Karen O & Nick Zinner) - Where the Wild Things Are
''Almost There'' (Randy Newman) - The Princess and the Frog
''Cinema Italiano'' (Maury Weston) - Nine
''(I Want To) Come Home'' (Paul McCartney) - Everybody's Fine
''The Weary Kind'' (T-Bone Burnett & Ryan Bingham) - Crazy Heart

Best Score
Michael Giacchino - Up
Marvin Hamlisch - The Informant!
Randy Newman - The Princess and the Frog
Karen O & Nick Zinner - Where the Wild Things Are
Hans Zimmer - Sherlock Holmes

What do you think?

New York Film Critics Awards

The Online Critics gave out their awards yesterday as their counterparts from L.A. Today the New York Film Critics Circle agreed with the LAFCA instead of their online critics and awarded their Best Picture award to The Hurt Locker. With an incredible streak going their way, the film is on its way to become the heavy favorite come Oscar night. Unless other films pick up awards in the upcoming ceremonies (including the prestigious Golden Globe Awards for which the nominations will be announced in just under 10 hours), Kathryn Bigelow's latest war film just seems unstoppable at this point, but there's still a long way to go. Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: George Clooney - Up In the Air & Fantastic Mr. Fox
Best Actress: Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious
Best Screenplay: In the Loop
Best Cinematographer: Christian Berger - The White Ribbon
Best Animated Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Best Non-Fiction Film (Documentary): Of Time and the City
Best Foreign Film: Summer Hours
Best First Film: Steve McQueen - Hunger
Special Award: Andrew Sarris

What do you think?

New York Film Critics Online Awards

Having being snubbed by the AFI's top 10 list just a few hours earlier, the NYFCO voted James Cameron's Avatar as Best Picture of 2009. Fans of the visual spectacle will be pleased to see the film finally win an award since it needs to pick up the pace to make the top 10 at the Oscars. With the GG announcement scheduled tomorrow, we'll certainly keep an eye out for it. Here is the complete list of winners as selected by the NYFCO:


Best Picture: Avatar
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
Best Actress: Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious
Best Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Best Breakthrough Performer: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Debut Filmmaker: Marc Webb - (500) Days of Summer
Best Ensemble Cast: In the Loop
Best Documentary: The Cove
Best Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Best Animated Feature: Up
Best Cinematography: Robert Richardson - Inglourious Basterds
Best Film Music/Score: T-Bone Burnett & Stephen Bruton - Crazy Heart

What do you think?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

AFI Top Ten of 2009

Here you can make your debates of which films deserve to make this list, but the AFI has released their list of the 10 best films of 2009:

  1. Up
  2. Up In the Air
  3. Coraline
  4. The Hangover
  5. The Hurt Locker
  6. The Messenger
  7. Precious
  8. A Serious Man
  9. Sugar
  10. A Single Man
Do you agree with these choices?

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards

After winning the Boston FCA earlier, The Hurt Locker also won the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards as the winners were announced just now. Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker (Runner-Up: Up In the Air)
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker (Runner-Up: Michael Haneke - The White Ribbon)
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart (Runner-Up: Colin Firth - A Single Man)
Best Actress: Yolande Moreau - Seraphine (Runner-Up: Carey Mulligan - An Education)
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds (Runner-Up: Peter Capaldi - In the Loop)
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious (Runner-Up: Anna Kendrick - Up In the Air)
Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up In the Air (Runner-Up: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche - In the Loop)
Best Animation: Fantastic Mr. Fox (Runner-Up: Up)
Best Foreign Language Film: Summer Hours (Runner-Up: The White Ribbon)
Best New Generation: Neill Blomkamp - District 9
Best Music/Score: T-Bone Burnett & Stephen Bruton - Crazy Heart (Runner-Up: Alexandre Desplat - Fantastic Mr. Fox)
Best Production Design: Philip Ivey - District 9 (Runner-Up: Rick Carter & Robert Stromberg - Avatar)
Best Cinematography: Christian Berger - The White Ribbon (Runner-Up: Barry Ackroyd - The Hurt Locker)
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film (tie): The Beaches of Agnes & The Cove
Douglas E. Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video: Anders Edstrom & C.W. Winter - The Anchorage

A big surprise would be Yolande Moreau for Best Actress as this is the first major award won by the actress. Up's streak may be in jeopardy as Wes Anderson's animated Fox takes the award this time. What do you think?

Boston Film Critics Awards

Kathryn Bigelow's war film The Hurt Locker continues to gain attention as it sweeped the Boston Film Critics Awards. Not only did it take home the Best Picture honor, it also received awards for Bigelow, its star Jeremy Renner for Best Actor, Best Editing and Best Cinematography. Check out the complete list of winners below:






Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Best Actress: Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious
Best Screenplay: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Best Cinematography: Barry Ackroyd - The Hurt Locker
Best Documentary: The Cove
Best Foreign Language Film: TBA
Best Animated Film: Up
Best Film Editing: Bob Murawski & Chris Innis - The Hurt Locker
Best New Filmmaker: Neill Blomkamp - District 9
Best Ensemble Cast (tie): Precious & Star Trek
Best Use of Music in a Film: Crazy Heart

What do you think?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

European Film Awards

It looks like Michael Haneke's latest film will be a heavy favorite in the Foreign Language Film category. Indeed, The White Ribbon was named Best European Film by the European Film Academy earlier today and Haneke received awards for Writing and Directing. So far it looks like it's biggest competition is France's submission at the Academy A prophet from director Jacques Audiard. The film took home awards for Best Actor for Tahar Rahim and the Academy Prix D'Excellence for Sound Design. Last year's Oscar winner for Best Picture Slumdog Millionaire won the People's Choice Award and its cinematographer, Anthony Dod Mantle, shared the award for Best Cinematographer for the film and Antichrist. Kate Winslet won for Best Actress for The Reader. Two-time Oscar nominee Alberto Iglesias won the Best Composer award for Broken Embraces. Palme D'Or winner Ken Loach was rewarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award and French actress Isabelle Huppert received the Achievement in World Cinema. What do you think?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Visual Effects Shortlist

The AMPAS announced today the 15 films which will compete for the 3 slots in the Visual Effects category at the upcoming Oscars. The list is as follows:

  1. Angels & Demons
  2. Avatar
  3. Coraline
  4. Disney's A Christmas Carol
  5. District 9
  6. G-Force
  7. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra
  8. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  9. Sherlock Holmes
  10. Star Trek
  11. Terminator Salvation
  12. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  13. 2012
  14. Watchmen
  15. Where the Wild Things Are
While it seems certain at this point Avatar will take the award, it will be interesting to see which 2 other films will be nominated. Which films do you think will make the final cut?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Washington Critics Awards

There were few surprises when the winners of the Washington Critics Awards were announced, but that will only reinforce their chances at the upcoming Golden Globe and Oscar ceremonies. Here are the winners:

Best Film: Up in the Air
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: George Clooney - Up in the Air
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan - An Education
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious
Best Ensemble: The Hurt Locker
Best Breakthrough Performance: Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up in the Air
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Best Animated Feature Film: Up
Best Foreign Language Film: Sin Nombre
Best Documentary Feature: Food, Inc.
Best Art Direction: Nine

The biggest surprise might be Quentin Tarantino's win for Best Original Screenplay, so we'll have to follow this in the next few days to find out if a streak is starting or a one time fluke. Kathryn Bigelow is racking up the awards but it's a tough field so we'll see who would be bumped down instead of her. What do you think?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Live Action Short Shortlist

The AMPAS announced today the 10 films which will compete for a nomination at the upcoming Oscar ceremony. The Short Films and Feature Animation branch will select three to five nominees from the list and they will be announced on February 2nd. Here are the films:

  1. The Door - Juanita Wilson (director) & James Flynn (producer)
  2. The Ground Beneath - Rene Hernandez (director) & Kristina Ceyton (producer)
  3. Hotel - Tim Conrad (director-producer)
  4. Instead of Abracadabra - Patrik Eklund (director) & Mathias Fjellstrom (producer)
  5. Kavi - Gregg Helvey (director-producer)
  6. Miracle Fish - Luke Doolan (director) & Drew Bailey (producer)
  7. The New Tenants - Joachim Back (director) & Tivi Magnusson (producer)
  8. The Response - Adam Rodgers (director) & Sig Libowitz (producer)
  9. Short Term 12 - Destin Daniel Cretton (director-producer) & Michelle Steffes (producer)
  10. Sidney Turtlebaum - Tristram Shapeero (director) & Daniel Jewel (producer)
What do you think?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

National Board of Review

Today the NBR announced its top 10 films of 2009 and their choices for Best in the film industry. The NBR is composed of film educators, students and historians and is a key player in the award seaon. Here is the complete list of winners:

Best Picture: Up in the Air

TOP 10 FILMS
An Education
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Invictus
The Messenger
A Serious Man
Star Trek
Up
Where the Wild Things Are

Best Director: Clint Eastwood - Invictus
Best Actor (shared): George Clooney - Up in the Air & Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan - An Education
Best Supporting Actor: Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Best Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Best Original Screenplay: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up in the Air
Breakthrough Actor: Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Breakthrough Actress: Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Best Foreign Language Film: A Prophet

TOP 5 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS
The Maid
Revanche
Song of Sparrows
Three Monkeys
The White Ribbon

Best Documentary: The Cove

TOP 5 DOCUMENTARIES
Burma VJ
Crude
Food, Inc.
Good Hair
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers

Best Animated Feature Film: Up
Best Ensemble: It's Complicated
Best Directorial Debut (shared): Duncan Jones - Moon, Oren Moverman - The Messenger & Marc Webb - (500) Days of Summer
BVLGARI Award for Freedom of Expression (shared): Burma VJ & Invictus

TOP 10 INDEPENDENT FILMS
Amreeka
Goodbye Solo
Humpday
In the Loop
Julia
Me and Orson Welles
Moon
Sugar
Two Lovers

The big winner is of course Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, taking home 4 awards and will figure to become a big favorite come Oscar night. Woody Harrelson is starting to look like a serious contender for Best Supporting Actor. Will Clint pick up another nomination for directing this decade? This would be his 4th nomination in that span so we'll pay attention. Carey Mulligan looks to be the favorite for Best Actress, and we might be surprised in the Supporting category. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Independent Spirit Awards Nominations

The Independent Spirit Film nominations were announced earlier today. Leading the way are The Last Station and Precious with five nominations each. The Hurt Locker, which won the Gotham Award for Best Film is not nominated due to the fact that it was nominated last year having played in many festivals. Here is the complete list of nominees:

BEST FEATURE
(500) Days of Summer
Amreeka
Precious
Sin Nombre
The Last Station

BEST DIRECTOR
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Lee Daniels - Precious
Cary Joji Fukunaga - Sin Nombre
James Gray - Two Lovers
Michael Hoffman - The Last Station

BEST SCREENPLAY
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman - The Messenger
Michael Hoffman - The Last Station
Lee Toland Krieger - The Vicious Kind
Greg Mottola - Adventureland
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - (500) Days of Summer

BEST FIRST FEATURE
A Single Man
Crazy Heart
Easier With Practice
Paranormal Activity
The Messenger

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Sophie Barthes - Cold Souls
Scott Cooper - Crazy Heart
Cherien Dabis - Amreeka
Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious
Tom Ford & David Scearce - A Single Man

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
Big Fan
Humpday
The New Year Parade
Treeless Mountain
Zero Bridge

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Maria Bello - Downloading Nancy
Nisreen Faour - Amreeka
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Gwyneth Paltrow - Two Lovers
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious

BEST MALE LEAD
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days of Summer
Souleymane Sy Savane - Goodbye Solo
Adam Scott - The Vicious Kind

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Dina Korzun - Cold Souls
Mo'Nique - Precious
Samantha Morton - The Messenger
Natalie Press - Fifty Dead Men Walking
Mia Wasikowska - That Evening Sun

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Jermaine Clement - Gentlemen Broncos
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christian McKay - Me and Orson Welles
Raymond McKinnon - That Evening Sun
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins - A Serious Man
Adriano Goldman - Sin Nombre
Anne Misawa - Treeless Mountain
Andrij Parekh - Cold Souls
Peter Zeitlinger - Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Food, Inc.
More Than a Game
October Country
Which Way Home

BEST FOREIGN FILM
A Prophet
An Education
Everlasting Moments
Mother
The Maid

ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Kyle Patrick Alvarez - Easier With Practice
Asiel Norton - Redland
Tariq Tapa - Zero Bridge

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Natalia Almada - El General
Jessica Oreck - Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo
Bill Ross & Turner Ross - 45365

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Karin Chien - The Exploding Girl, Santa Mesa
Larry Fessenden - I Sell the Dead, The House of the Devil
Dia Sokol - Beeswax, Nights & Weekends

I found weird that An Education would not be nominated for Feature Film (or Carey Mulligan for Lead Actress for that matter) but it is nominated for Foreign Film. Very strange. Otherwise, what do you think?

Annie Award Nominations

The International Animated Film Society announced today their nominees for the 2009 Annie Awards which will be awarded on February 6th. The Society honor the best in film and television animation every year and it is usually a good predictor of the Animated Feature Film category, although last year it chose Kung Fu Panda as the Best Animated Film of the year, so we'll see this year. Here is the complete list of nominees:

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Up

BEST ANIMATED EFFECTS
Scott Cegielski - Monsters vs. Aliens
Alexander Feigin - 9
Eric Froemling - Up
Tom Kluyskens - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
James Mansfield - The Princess and the Frog

BEST CHARACTER ANIMATION
Andreas Deja - The Princess and the Frog
Eric Goldberg - The Princess and the Frog
Travis Knight - Coraline
Daniel Nguyen - Up
Bruce Smith - The Princess and the Frog

BEST DIRECTING
Wes Anderson - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Pete Docter - Up
Christopher Miller & Phil Lord - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Hayao Miyazaki - Ponyo
Henry Selick - Coraline

BEST MUSIC
Bruno Coulais - Coraline
Michael Giacchino - Up
Joe Hisaishi - Ponyo
John Powell - Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

BEST STORYBOARDING
Sharon Bridgeman - Astro Boy
Chris Butler - Coraline
Ronnie Del Carmen - Up
Tom Owens - Monsters vs. Aliens
Peter Sohn - Up

BEST VOICE ACTING
Jen Cody - The Princess and the Frog
Dawn French - Coraline
Hugh Laurie - Monsters vs. Aliens
John Leguizamo - Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Jennifer Lewis - The Princess and the Frog

BEST WRITING
Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach - Fantastic Mr. Fox
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy - Up
Timothy Hyde Harris & David Bowers - Astro Boy
Christopher Miller & Phil Lord - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

A little disappointing to see Ponyo go unnoticed in the Feature Film category, but that might not be the case come Oscar night. What do you think?

Gotham Awards

The Gotham awards were handed out last night, and The Hurt Locker became the first official Best Feature winner of a major Award ceremony taken into account for the Oscar season. Its cast was also honored for Best Ensemble so this will give Jeremy Renner some notice for the Best Actor category. Chilean actress Catalina Saavedra won the Breakthrough Award for The Maid. Winners in this category for the past 5 years went on to become Oscar nominees so Ms. Saavedra is definitely worth a look on your radar. Robert Siegel took the Breakthrough Director award for Big Fan. Food, Inc. was named Best Documentary Feature, so this will boost its chances for a nomination. Ry Russo-Young's You Won't Miss Me was named Best Film not Showing in a Theater Near You. Among the Special Honorees were producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, actors Stanley Tucci and Natalie Portman and director Kathryn Bigelow. So the hunt is on for The Hurt Locker and its cast and crew. What do you think?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Satellite Awards Nominations

Yesterday the International Press Association announced the nominees for the 14th Satellite Awards. The awards are usually awarded mid-December, so this is the 1st major precursor for the Oscar ceremony. Last year it correctly predicted Slumdog Millionaire for Best Picture, WALL-E as Best Animated Feature Film and Danny Boyle as Best Director. The acting awards were a completely different story however (Richard Jenkins and Angelina Jolie for Drama and Sally Hawkins and Ricky Gervais for Comedy) so we'll see how this year's winners will do. Here is the complete list of nominees:

BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
Bright Star
An Education
The Hurt Locker
The Messenger
Precious
The Stoning of Soraya M.

BEST MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY/MUSICAL
The Informant!
It's Complicated
Julie & Julia
Nine
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

BEST DIRECTOR
Jane Campion - Bright Star
Neill Blomkamp - District 9
Lone Scherfig - An Education
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Rob Marshall - Nine
Lee Daniels - Precious

BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA
Shohreh Aghdashloo - The Stoning of Soraya M.
Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria
Abbie Cornish - Bright Star
Penelope Cruz - Broken Embraces
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Catalina Saavedra - The Maid

BEST ACTOR - DRAMA
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
Hugh Dancy - Adam
Johnny Depp - Public Enemies
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Michael Sheen - The Damned United

BEST ACTRESS - COMEDY/MUSICAL
Sandra Bullock - The Proposal
Marion Cotillard - Nine
Zooey Deschanel - (500) Days of Summer
Katherine Heigl - The Ugly Truth
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

BEST ACTOR - COMEDY/MUSICAL
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Bradley Cooper - The Hangover
Matt Damon - The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis - Nine
Michael Stuhlbarg - A Serious Man

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Emily Blunt - Sunshine Cleaning
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Mozhan Marno - The Stoning of Soraya M.
Mo'Nique - Precious

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
James McAvoy - The Last Station
Alfred Molina - An Education
Timothy Spall - The Damned United
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Jane Campion - Bright Star
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - (500) Days of Summer
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Pete Docter & Bob Peterson - Up

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell - District 9
Nick Hornby - An Education
Nora Ephron - Julie & Julia
Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up in the Air

BEST ANIMATED or MIXED MEDIA FEATURE FILM
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
The Princess and the Frog
Up
Where the Wild Things Are

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Broken Embraces (Spain)
I Killed My Mother (Canada)
The Maid (Chile)
Red Cliff (China)
The White Ribbon (Austria)
Winter in Wartime (Netherlands)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Beaches of Agnes
The Cove
Every Little Step
It Might Get Loud
The September Issue
Valentino: The Last Emperor

BEST ART DIRECTION
Terry Gilliam, Dave Warren & Anastasia Masaro - The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Nathan Crowley, Patrick Lumb & William Ladd Skinner - Public Enemies
Eddy Wong - Red Cliff
Chris Kennedy - The Road
Ian Philipps & Dan Bishop - A Single Man
Barry Chusid & Elizabeth Wilcox - 2012

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Robert Richardson - Inglourious Basterds
Guillermo Navarro & Erich Roland - It Might Get Loud
Dion Beebe - Nine
Dante Spinotti - Public Enemies
Lu Yue & Zhang Yi - Red Cliff
Roger Deakins - A Serious Man

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Consolata Boyle - Cheri
Monique Prudhomme - The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Colleen Atwood - Nine
Tim Yip - Red Cliff
Sandy Powell - The Young Victoria

BEST FILM EDITING
Julian Clarke - District 9
Chris Innis & Bob Murawski - The Hurt Locker
Greg Finton - It Might Get Loud
Claire Simpson & Wyatt Simpson - Nine
Angie Lam, Yang Hongyu & Robert A. Ferretti - Red Cliff
David Brenner & Peter S. Elliot - 2012

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Gabriel Yared - Amelia
Marvin Hamslich - The Informant!
Elliot Goldenthal - Public Enemies
Michael Giacchino - Up
Rolfe Kent - Up in the Air
Carter Burwell & Karen O - Where the Wild Things Are

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
'The Weary Kind' (T-Bone Burnett & Ryan Bingham) - Crazy Heart
'We Are the Children of the World' (Terry Gilliam) - The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
'Cinema Italiano' (Maury Yeston) - Nine
'I See in Color' (Mary J. Blige) - Precious
'Almost There' (Randy Newman) - The Princess and the Frog
'Down in New Orleans' (Randy Newman) - The Princess and the Frog

BEST SOUND (MIXING & EDITING)
It Might Get Loud
Nine
Red Cliff
Terminator Salvation
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
2012

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
District 9
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Red Cliff
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
2012

BEST ENSEMBLE
Nine

OUTSTANDING NEW TALENT
Gabourey Sidibe

AUTEUR AWARD
Roger Corman

TESLA AWARD (ACHEIVEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY)
Roger Deakins

MARY PICKFORD AWARD (OUTSTANDING ARTISTIC CONTRIBUTION)
Michael York

TEN BEST FILMS OF 2009
Bright Star
An Education
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Nine
Precious
A Serious Man
The Stoning of Soraya M.
Up in the Air


Well you've probably noticed major absences from the nominations, notably The Lovely Bones and Avatar (we'll have to see the critics to see the buzz). Nine leads the way with 10 nominations so look for this to be the early favorite going into this year's award season. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Last Station Trailer

Here is the trailer for Michael Hoffman's (The Emperor's Club) new film The Last Station. It stars Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen), Christopher Plummer, James McAvoy and Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man, Sideways). What do you think?

Monday, November 23, 2009

New Nine Posters





Check out these new posters for Rob Marshall's next film Nine starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Guido Contini. As you can tell, the ladies that are featured will certainly steal the spotlight. Are they prepping for Oscar glory or what? Are you ready to be Italian? What do you think?

Oscar Music Director






It was announced today by Oscar producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic that 5-time Oscar nominee Marc Shaiman will be the music director for this year's ceremony. He will have a lot of work on his hands with 10 Best Picture nominees to parody. What do you think of the choice?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Animated Short Film Submissions

The Academy announced today the 10 films which will compete for the five spots in the Animated Short Film category. There were 37 films which were submitted for the first round of voting. Here are the films:

  1. The Cat Piano - Eddie White, Ari Gibson
  2. French Roast - Fabrice O. Joubert
  3. Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty - Nicky Phelan
  4. The Kinematograph - Tomek Baginski
  5. The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte) - Javier Recio Garcia
  6. Logorama - Nicolas Schmerkin
  7. A Matter of Loaf and Death - Nick Park
  8. Partly Cloudy - Peter Sohn
  9. Runaway - Cordell Barker
  10. Variete - Roelof van der Bergh
What do you think will make the cut?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Documentary Feature Film Candidates

Earlier today the Academy announced the 15 films who are eligible to compete for the Documentary Feature Film category. Five will be selected to be nominees, so which ones do you think will make the cut? Here is the shortlist:

  1. The Beaches of Agnes - Agnes Varda
  2. Burma VJ - Anders Ostergaard
  3. The Cove - Louie Psihoyos
  4. Every Little Step - James D. Stern, Adam Del Deo
  5. Facing Ali - Pete McCormack
  6. Food, Inc. - Robert Kenner
  7. Garbage Dreams - Mai Iskander
  8. Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders - Mark N. Hopkins
  9. The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers - Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith
  10. Mugabe and the White African - Andrew Thompson, Lucy Bailey
  11. Sergio - Greg Barker
  12. Soundtrack for a Revolution - Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman
  13. Under Our Skin - Andy Abrahams Wilson
  14. Valentino the Last Emperor - Matt Tyrnauer
  15. Which Way Home - Rebecca Cammisa
It would be important to note a couple of misses here, notably Anvil! which currently has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and was the first film screened 'For Your Consideration' this year for the Academy. Other big documentaries missing are Capitalism: A Love Story by Michael Moore and Tyson by James Toback. Do you think others were snubbed? Make your picks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Golden Globes New Rule

This year, the Golden Globes will expand their Animated Feature Film category from their usual 3 nominees to 5 nominees this year. This, of course, will happen if at least twelve films qualify to be contenders. If there are less than 8 films that qualify, in that case there will be no award but the films will then run for Best Picture. If the number of films which qualify are between 8 and 12, then only 3 nominees will be presented at the ceremony. What do you think?

Crazy Heart Trailer



Here is the first trailer for Scott Cooper's directorial debut Crazy Heart. There is a lot of buzz for its star, 4-time Oscar nominee Jeff Bridges (Starman, The Big Lebowski). Also starring Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Dark Knight), Colin Farrell (In Bruges) and Oscar winner Robert Duvall (Tender Mercies, The Godfather I & II). Do you think it has what it takes to make the top 10?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nine Trailer #2

Here is a sample of this year's most talked about musical from director Rob Marshall (Chicago). Expect this song (sung from Kate Hudson no less) to be a favorite for this year's ceremony. What do you think?

Golden Globes Predix

With less than a month until the official announcement of the Golden Globes Award nominees, it is time to offer my first predictions for the ceremony in the movie categories. Here goes:

BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA
An Education
Invictus
The Lovely Bones
Precious
Up in the Air

BEST MOTION PICTURE - COMEDY/MUSICAL
(500) Days of Summer
In the Loop
The Informant!
The Men Who Stare at Goats
Nine

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Viggo Mortensen - The Road

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY/MUSICAL
Peter Capaldi - In the Loop
George Clooney - The Men Who Stare at Goats
Matt Damon - The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis - Nine
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days of Summer

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Penelope Cruz - Broken Embraces
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Saoirse Ronan - The Lovely Bones
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY/MUSICAL
Marion Cotillard - Nine
Zooey Deschanel - (500) Days of Summer
Maya Rudolph - Away We Go
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
Emma Thompson - Pirate Radio

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Matt Damon - Invictus
Alfred Molina - An Education
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Mo'Nique - Precious
Julianne Moore - A Single Man
Susan Sarandon - The Lovely Bones

BEST DIRECTOR
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Lee Daniels - Precious
Peter Jackson - The Lovely Bones
Rob Marshall - Nine
Jason Reitman - Up in the Air

BEST SCREENPLAY
Nick Hornby - An Education
Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh - The Lovely Bones
Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen - A Serious Man
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner - Up in the Air

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Paul Englishby - An Education
James Horner - Avatar
T-Bone Burnett - Crazy Heart
Brian Eno - The Lovely Bones
Michael Giacchino - Up

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
''Time for Miracles'' - 2012
''The Weary Kind'' - Crazy Heart
''Cinema Italiano'' - Nine
''100 Percent'' - Precious
''Down in New Orleans'' - The Princess and the Frog

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Coraline
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ponyo
The Princess and the Frog
Up

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Broken Embraces (Spain)
Mother (South Korea)
Police Adjective (Romania)
A Prophet (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)

What do you think?

Honorary Oscars

For the first time in Academy Award history, the Honorary Oscars were handed out at a private ceremony and not during the telecast of the official ceremony. Among the winners, legendary B-movie producer/director Roger Corman, 2-time Oscar nominee cinematographer Gordon Willis (The Godfather trilogy, Zelig), Oscar nominee Lauren Bacall (The Mirror Has Two Faces) and producer John Calley was the recipient of the prestigious Irving G. Thalberg Award. The ceremony took place at the ballroom above the Kodak theatre this weekend.

The White Ribbon Trailer

Here is the trailer for this year's Palme D'Or winner at the Cannes Film Festival from director Michael Haneke (Caché). It is currently the favorite to take the Foreign Language Film Oscar. What do you think?

A Single Man Trailer

Here is Tom Ford's feature film debut gaining a lot of buzz for its main actors Colin Firth and Julianne Moore for nominations. Will the film itself make the top ten? What do you think?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Another Honor for Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese, the Academy Award winning director for The Departed and numerous classics of modern cinema (GoodFellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver to name a few) will receive the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globe awards ceremony on January 17th. The nominations will be announced on December 15th and so, in three days time, I'll offer my first predictions for the Golden Globe nominees.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Animated Feature Film Submissions

Today the Academy announced 20 titles which will be competing for the five slots for Best Animated Feature Film for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. This will mark the first time since 2002 that there will be five nominees in this category. Here are the films who will be competing this year:

  • Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
  • Astro Boy
  • Battle for Terra
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
  • Coraline
  • Disney's A Christmas Carol
  • The Dolphin - Story of a Dreamer
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
  • Mary and Max
  • The Missing Lynx
  • Monsters vs. Aliens
  • 9
  • Planet 51
  • Ponyo
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • The Secret of Kells
  • Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
  • A Town Called Panic
  • Up
Which films do you think will make the final cut?

Date Night Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Shawn Levy's (Night at the Museum) next comedy, Date Night, starring NBC's favorite headliners Steve Carell (The Office, 40 Year-Old Virgin) and Tiny Fey (30 Rock, Mean Girls). Also headlining the cast is Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg (The Departed), Mila Kunis, James Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Ray Liotta and Oscar nominee Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). What do you think?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Salt Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Phillip Noyce's new thriller Salt starring Oscar winner Angelina Jolie. Expect loads of action, thrills and sexy moments. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Host Announcement

It has yet to be confirmed by the Academy, but according to several reports, it would appear both Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, who will co-star in the upcoming Nancy Meyers romantic comedy "It's Complicated" alongside Meryl Streep, have been chosen to co-host the 82nd annual Academy Awards. These look like very interesting and good choices here. Baldwin is a former nominee for The Cooler and is enjoying success on his hit show 30 Rock (for which he won 2 Emmys and 2 Golden Globes). Martin is arguably "the" SNL alumni who has been nominated for 5 Golden Globe awards and will host the Oscars for the third time (this is his first co-hosting). This will be the first time since 1987 the Oscars will have more than one host, so another interesting change this year. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Green Zone Trailer

Two Matt Damon trailers in one day! Reuniting with Bourne director Paul Greengrass, here is their next project slated for a March 2010 release. What do you think?

Hollywood Awards

The award season is officially underway with the announcement of the Hollwood Awards early this morning. So we finally have an idea of the early favorites for this year's Oscar race. Here are the winners:

Hollywood Film (as voted by Yahoo Movies! fans) : Star Trek
Hollywood Male Star of the year : Gerard Butler
Hollywood Female Star of the year : Megan Fox
Hollywood World Award : The White Ribbon
Hollywood Best Actor : Robert De Niro - Everybody's Fine
Hollywood Best Actress : Hilary Swank - Amelia
Hollywood Best Supporting Actor : Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Hollywood Best Supporting Actress : Julianne Moore - A Single Man
Hollywood Best Director : Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Hollywood Best Screenplay : Nora Ephron - Julie & Julia
Hollywood Breakthrough Actress : Carey Mulligan - An Education
Hollywood Breakthrough Actor : Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Hollywood Breakthrough Director : Lee Daniels - Precious
New Hollywood Award : Gabourey ''Gabby'' Sidibe - Precious
Hollywood Spotlight Award : Shohreh Aghdashloo, Zachary Quinto, Melanie Lynskey, Paul Schneider
Hollywood Comedy Award : Bradley Cooper - The Hangover
Hollywood Animation : Pete Docter - Up
Hollywood Film Composer : Alexandre Desplat - Julie & Julia, The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Hollywood Cinematographer : Roger Deakins - A Serious Man
Hollywood Film Editor : Dana Glauberman - Up In the Air
Hollywood Visual Effects : Scott Farrar - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Hollywood Production Designer : Rick Carter - Avatar
Hollywood Costume Designer : Colleen Atwood - Public Enemies, Nine

What do you think?

Invictus Trailer

Pardon the long absence, but now that Oscar season is about to begin, it is time to start posting again. Here I present the first trailer for Clint Eastwood's next film Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman as former South African president Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pineaar, captain of the national rugby team. Together, they sought to unite a nation after the apartheid which divided it for so long. Expect major buzz for both actors and Clint, and even possibly for the film now that the field is up to 10 nominees. What do you think?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Empire's Early Contenders

Since the Academy has announced the Best Picture category will have ten nominees this year, numerous early speculations have been made as to which films will make the list. I always found it pointless this early in the game to try to guess who will make the Best Picture list because some films which get nominated aren't on anyone's radar (Frost/Nixon, The Reader and winner Slumdog Millionaire from last year weren't on a lot of early shortlists) but it gives a good idea on which films to watch to see if they live up to the early buzz, who to look at for acting, directing and screenwriting noms. On Empire's Internet site I saw a slideshow of 31 films believed to be early contenders for next year's Oscar race. They included what they believe to be their chances to pick up a nomination by marking their status. I'd like to share with you what they think of the films they mentionned according to the status they chose:
Locks: Up, Invictus, Nine, Shutter Island, The Lovely Bones
Looking Good: Green Zone, Public Enemies, The Informant, The Road, The Tree of Life, Avatar, Funny People, Brothers
Dark Horses: The Hurt Locker, A Serious Man, Inglourious Basterds, Cheri, 500 Days of Summer, Julie & Julia, Where the Wild Things Are, A Christmas Carol, The Twilight Saga's New Moon, My Sister's Keeper
Rank Outsiders: In the Loop, I Love You Phillip Morris, Star Trek, Watchmen, An Education, The Time Traveler's Wife
Dead in the Water: Away We Go (their argument is its mixed reviews, indie status and summer release will hurt its chances at an Oscar nom. While not saying I believe this film will end up in the top 10, personally I loved it and seeing films like Watchmen and New Moon ranked as Outsiders or Dark Horses, I would consider this film having a better chance than the latter, but that's just my opinion).
And as the winner (forcing Empire to dive up the top of mappin house in despair) they jokingly declared the untitled Nancy Meyers Comedy.
According to the Internet movie database, Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life is scheduled only for a 2010 release, so that would mean if you include the top 2 categories, we would have 12 potential films vying for the 10 spots, meaning these would make the shortlist:
Up
Invictus
Nine
Shutter Island
The Lovely Bones
Green Zone
Public Enemies
The Informant
The Road
Avatar
Funny People
Brothers
While this list might seem good right now, there are a few films I could name we could try to categorize, notably Amelia, Precious which is getting good reviews especially for Mo'Nique's performance, Pedro Almodovar's Broken Embraces and Jason Reitman's next project, Up in the Air starring George Clooney and Jason Bateman. Of course, there will probably more films to speculate on in the following months most of us haven't heard of yet, some could get pushed back to next year or some will not live up to the hype. Needless to say, I expect this list to change somewhat in time and I think around October, probably November we will have a better idea on which films to include in that prestigious top 10. What do you think?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Brothers Trailer

This is the first trailer for Jim Sheridan's Brothers, the story of a love triangle between brothers Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire with Natalie Portman as a family struggles to cope with the return of a soldier from war. What do you think?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

R.I.P. Karl Malden (1912-2009)

The Oscar winner for A Streetcar Named Desire and star of On the Waterfront and Patton has passed away today at the age of 97. The Chicago native enjoyed a fabulous movie career and he will be missed.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Informant! Trailer

Here is the first trailer for Steven Soderbergh's upcoming The Informant starring Matt Damon. Expect good laughs from Damon here. What do you think?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Best Song category

Last year it was declared that no film could receive more than 2 Oscar nominations in the Best Song category. This year, a new rule has been applied that could affect the number of nominees in the category altogether. Indeed, a song must now receive a tuning score of over 8.25 between 6 and 10 to be determined by Academy members in order to qualify for a nomination. That means that if no song receives a score higher than 8.25, then no Best Song Oscar will be awarded that year. If only one song gets the score, then the next song with the highest score qualifies for a nomination and only 2 songs would be nominated. And with this new rule, the number of nominees will vary between 2 and 5 every year. Not to judge too harshly, but does the Academy really want to be too difficult with this category? This looks very ridiculous in my view, but what do you think?

Amelia Trailer

With already two Oscars in hand, Hilary Swank seems like an early favorite for Best Actress as she stars in the biopic of Amelia Earhart from director Mira Nair (Vanity Fair). Also starring Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor, look for this film to pick up a few nominations in the technical categories and quite possibly, due to the new rule change, a Best Picture candidate perhaps. What do you think?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oscar goes back to its roots

It was announced by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences president Sid Ganis that at next year's Oscar ceremony, the Best Picture category will expand its list from five nominess to ten. While the move is not unprecedented (until 1944, the Oscars had 10 or more nominations in the category), it certainly comes as a surprise to many. The idea of the Academy making a top 10 might open the door to many films which might not usually make the traditional cut (just last year, The Dark Knight and WALL-E may have in all logic been nominated were there 10 nominees) which will certainly please movie fans but where exactly do we draw the line? While certain films deserve to be nominated for a Best Picture within a certain year without making the cut, the purpose is to select the films which will be remembered through time as the absolute best. We must question as whether all ten films really deserved to be labeled as Best Picture nominees. Anyway, ten nominees certainly open the door for more fan-favorite films so we might see blockbusters or animated films slip into the category from now on. What do you think?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Bond gets a heavy... writer

With Academy Award winner Paul Haggis working on the last two Bond films with usual scribes Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, successfully 'rebooting' the franchise, it has been confirmed that the next Bond film will be penned by Purvis, Wade and two-time Oscar nominee Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon). It is unclear if Haggis will participate at this point but it will definitely be interesting to have a fresh and talented mind behind this popular franchise. What do you think?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Shutter Island Trailer

A lot of questions surround this film for the upcoming Oscar season. This marks the fourth collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. All three previous films went on to be nominated for Best Picture and Best Director for Scorsese, winning both for The Departed. DiCaprio was nominated for Best Actor for The Aviator, losing to Jamie Foxx for Ray. For both The Aviator and The Departed, Scorsese faced off against Clint Eastwood for Million Dollar Baby (winning against Aviator) and Letters from Iwo Jima. With his Invictus coming out this year, will these two (arguably of the best filmmakers of our generation) be facing each other yet again? With these questions in mind, here is the first trailer for Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island. Enjoy!

J.J. and Tom pair again

It appears that J.J. Abrams is not looking for a break. He will join up with Tom Cruise as a producer for the upcoming Mission:Impossible 4 in which Cruise will star again as Ethan Hunt. They are already working on a plot for the film. What do you think?

Three confirmed for The Hobbit!

According to Guillermo Del Toro in a recent interview, it appears that Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Andy Serkis (Gollum) and Hugo Weaving (Elrond) have confirmed to participate in The Hobbit films in their original roles, so that is great news for LOTR fans who will be looking forward for the two films. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Whiplash premiere

Here is your first look of Mickey Rourke as Russian baddie Ivan Vanko a.k.a. Whiplash in the upcoming Iron Man 2 opposite Robert Downey Jr. It is still unclear if this character will be employed by Tony Stark's competitor Justin Hammer, played by Sam Rockwell, but you can see his Russian tattoos and a design of his suit and whips, so we'll see how much he'll be able to pound Iron Man. What do you think?

Monday, June 8, 2009

A new Expendable?

According to Moviehole, Steven Seagal recently turned down an offer to participate in one of the biggest action projects in years, Sylvester Stallone's The Expendables because of disagreements with Avi Lerner, one of the film's producers. Fans shouldn't be too disappointed, because it is now rumored that none other than Bruce Willis is currently in talks to participate in the film. Adding John McClane to an all-stellar action cast (Sly, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Terry Crews, Eric Roberts, Danny Trejo and Randy Couture, not to mention a cameo by Arnold Schwarzenegger), this should promise to be a great hit. What do you think?

Monsters, Inc. Sequel?

With Pixar's tenth hit at the box-office in Up, director Pete Docter is rumored to be working on a sequel to the 2001 Monsters, Inc. which was nominated for a Animated Feature Film award (Shrek won the award). The film went on to make over 250 million dollars at the domestic box office. It would be fun to see if the original characters would be involved. We'll keep you updated.

Full House Film?

Rumours are currently circulating that John Stamos is working to adapt the television series in which he starred in into a motion picture event. A TV series turned into a movie is often a big risk, especially when younger audiences haven't seen the series run, but Get Smart was a good comedy last summer, so we'll see if this project becomes a reality in the near future.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Invictus release date

According to Variety magazine, Clint Eastwood's next pic Invictus will be released on December 11th, just on time for Oscar season. The Nelson Mandela biopic starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, once called the Human Factor, should be a heavy favorite especially for Freeman if Clint continues his hot streak. What do you think?