Monday, November 30, 2009

Gotham Award Winners

The Hurt Locker hopefully gets some major buzz. Even though its the Gotham Awards, its an award/news article that gives The Hurt Locker some much needed buzz...and the winners are....

Best Feature:
The Hurt Locker
Kathryn Bigelow, director; Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro, producers (Summit Entertainment)

Best Documentary:
Food, Inc.
Robert Kenner, director; Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Ensemble Performance:
The Hurt Locker

Breakthrough Director:
Robert Siegel for Big Fan

Breakthrough Actor:
Catalina Saavedra in The Maid

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You:
You Won’t Miss Me; Ry Russo-Young, director/producer

Grammy Predictions

I am usually absolutely wrong about these things, but here goes nothing...Furthermore I skipped categories like Song of the Year where there is really no point in me even trying...

Album of the Year

Taylor Swift "Fearless"
Kanye West "808's & Heartbreak"
Maxwell "BLACKsummers Night"
U2 "No Line on The Horizon"
Allen Toussaint "The Bright Mississippi"

Record of the Year

Beyonce "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)"
U2 "I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight"
Lady Gaga "Poker Face"
Black Eyed Peas "I Gotta Feeling"
Kings of Leon "Use Somebody"

New Artist

Keri Hilson
Laura Izibor
Owl City
Zac Brown Band

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

Adele "Hometown Glory"
P!nk "Sober"
Whitney Houston "I Didn't Know My Own Strength"
Katy Perry "Waking Up in Vegas"
Kelly Clarkson "Already Gone"

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

Kanye West "Heartless"
Seal "If You Don't Know Me By Now"
James Taylor "Wasn't That A Mighty Storm"
Rob Thomas "Her Diamonds"
John Legend "This Time"

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

Beyonce "Single Ladies"
Jasmine Sullivan "Lions, Tigers, & Bears"
Whitney Houston "I Look to You"
Mary J. Blige "Stronger"
Chrisette Michelle "Epiphany"

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

J. Holiday "It's Your"
John Legend "Everybody Knows"
Maxwell "Pretty Wings"
Musiq Soulchild "( )"
Anthony Hamilton "()"

Best R&B Album

Melinda Doolittle "Coming Back to You"
Whitney Houston "I Look to You"
Maxwell "BLACKsummers Night"
Laura Izibor "Let the Truth Be Told"
Chrisette Michelle "Epiphany"

Best Contemporary R&B Album

The-Dream "Love vs Money"
Keri Hilson "In A Perfect World..."
Jamie Foxx "Intuition"
Beyonce "I Am...Sasha Fierce"
Keyshia Cole "A Different Me"

Best Rap Album

Fabolous "Loso's Way"
Eminem "Relapse"
Q-Tip "The Renaissance"
Mos Def "The Estatic"
Rick Ross "Deeper Than Rap"


The NBR Awards are announced Dec. 3rd, which is Thursday, but today, the Gotham Awards are announced, so I'll post as soon as I know anything.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Back on Track

I've been off my game lately, lots of work due for school, Thanksgiving Holidays, etc. But This week is the official start of the Oscar/Award Season. Tuesday NBR annouces its winners and the Grammy nominations are announced live!

Usually completley irrelvant, but the Golden Satellite Awards have announced their nominees. Three big contenders The Lovely Bones, Invictus, and Avatar, have been largely unseen, so it's no surprise they were left from the list. I like a lot of the choices, and we do get to see some of the major contenders emerging

Motion Picture, Drama

The Hurt Locker, Summit Entertainment
Bright Star, Apparition
An Education, Sony Pictures Classics
The Messenger, Oscilloscope Laboratories
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, Lionsgate
The Stoning of Soraya M., Roadside Attractions

Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical

Julie & Julia, Columbia Pictures
The Informant! Warner Bros.
A Serious Man, Focus Features
It’s Complicated, Universal Pictures
Up in the Air, Paramount Pictures
Nine, The Weinstein Company

10 BEST FILMS OF 2009 – [ listed alphabetically ]- (500) Days of Summer- A Serious Man- An Education- Bright Star- Inglourious Basterds- Nine- Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire- The Hurt Locker- The Stoning of Soraya M.- Up in the Air

Best Actress, Drama

Emily Blunt The Young Victoria Apparition
Abbie Cornish Bright Star Apparition
Carey Mulligan An Education Sony Pictures Classics
Shohreh Aghdashloo The Stoning of Soraya M. Roadside Attractions
Catalina Saavedra The Maid Elephant Eye Films
Penélope Cruz Broken Embraces Sony Pictures Classics

Actor In A Motion Picture, Drama

Johnny Depp Public Enemies Universal
Hugh Dancy Adam Fox Searchlight Pictures
Jeremy Renner The Hurt Locker Summit Entertainment
Jeff Bridges Crazy Heart Fox Searchlight Pictures
Michael Sheen The Damned United Sony Pictures Classics
Colin Firth A Single Man The Weinstein Company

Actress In A Motion Picture, Comedy Or Musical

Meryl Streep Julie & Julia Columbia Pictures
Zooey Deschanel (500) Days of Summer Fox Searchlight
Katherine Heigl The Ugly Truth Columbia Pictures
Sandra Bullock The Proposal Walt Disney Studios
Marion Cotillard Nine The Weinstein Company

Actor In A Motion Picture, Comedy Or Musical

Daniel Day-Lewis Nine The Weinstein Company
Bradley Cooper The Hangover Warner Bros.
Matt Damon The Informant! Warner Bros.
Michael Stuhlbarg A Serious Man Focus Features
George Clooney Up in the Air Paramount Pictures

Actress In A Supporting Role

Emily Blunt Sunshine Cleaning Overture Films
Mozhan Marnò The Stoning of Soraya M. Roadside Attractions
Mo’Nique Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire Lionsgate
Anna Kendrick Up in the Air Paramount Pictures
Penélope Cruz Nine The Weinstein Company

Actor In A Supporting Role

Christoph Waltz Inglourious Basterds Universal Pictures / The Weinstein Co.
Alfred Molina An Education Sony Pictures Classics
Woody Harrelson The Messenger Oscilloscope Laboratories
James McAvoy The Last Station Sony Pictures Classics
Timothy Spall The Damned United Sony Pictures Classics

Motion Picture, Foreign Language Film

Red Cliff China Magnet Releasing
The Maid Chile Elephant Eye Films
The White Ribbon Germany Sony Pictures Classics
Broken Embraces Spain Sony Pictures Classics
I Killed My Mother Canada Here Films
Winter in Wartime Netherlands Benelux Films

Motion Picture, Animated Or Mixed Media

Up Disney – Pixar
Where the Wild Things Are Warner Bros. Pictures
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Warner Bros. Pictures
The Princess and the Frog Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Fantastic Mr. Fox Fox Searchlight Pictures
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Columbia Pictures

Motion Picture, Documentary

Every Little Step Sony Pictures Classics
The Cove Lionsgate
It Might Get Loud Sony Pictures Classics
The September Issue Roadside Attractions
The Beaches of Agnès Cinema Guild
Valentino: The Last Emperor Truly Indie / Vitagraph Films


Neill Blomkamp District 9 Tristar Pictures
Rob Marshall Nine
Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker
Lee Daniels Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Jane Campion Bright Star
Lone Scherfig An Education

Screenplay, Original

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

Screenplay, Adapted

Nora Ephron Julie & Julia
Nick Hornby An Education
Geoffrey Fletcher Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell District 9
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner Up in the Air

Original Score

Elliot Goldenthal Public Enemies
Rolfe Kent Up in the Air
Michael Giacchino Up
Carter Burwell, Karen O Where the Wild Things Are
Marvin Hamlisch The Informant!
Gabriel Yared Amelia

Original Song

"Almost There”Randy Newman The Princess and the Frog
“I Can See in Color”Mary J. Blige Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
“Down in New Orleans”Randy Newman The Princess and the Frog
“Cinema Italiano”Maury Yeston Nine
“The Weary Kind”Ryan Bingham & T Bone Burnett Crazy Heart
“We are the Children of the World”Terry Gilliam The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Sony Pictures Classics


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

Visual Effects

Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Wayne Billheimer, John Frazier Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Craig Hayes Red Cliff
John Paul Docherty, Richard Bain The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Tim Ledbury Fantastic Mr. Fox
Robert Habros, Charlie Bradbury, Stephen Pepper, Winston Helgason District 9
Volker Engel, Marc Weigert, Mike Vezina 2012

Film Editing

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

Sound (Mixing & Editing)

Cameron Frankley, Mark Ulano, Richard Van Dyke, Ron Bartlett Terminator Salvation
Ethan Van Der Ryn, Erik Aadahl, Geoffrey Patterson, Gary Summers, Greg P. Russell Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Joel Dougherty, Chuck Fitzpatrick It Might Get Loud
Steve Burgess Red Cliff
Paul N.J. Ottosson, Michael Mcgee, Rick Kline, Jeffrey J. Haboush, Michael Keller 2012
Margit Pfeiffer, Jim Greenhorn Nine

Art Direction & Production Design

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
Barry Chusid, Elizabeth Wilcox 2012
Ian Phillips, Dan Bishop A Single Man

Costume Design

Tim Yip Red Cliff
Consolata Boyle Chéri Miramax Films
Monique Prudhomme The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Sandy Powell The Young Victoria
Colleen Atwood Nine

Tesla Award In Recognition Of Visionary Achievement In Filmmaking Technology

Roger Deakins

Auteur Award

Roger Corman


Nine The Weinstein Company


True Blood


Kristin Chenoweth for Glee


Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Documentary Short List

It seems this year the Academy was trying to pick movies no one has seen? Ok that's not entirely true, but the biggest docs of the year in terms of popularity such as This Is It...(not eligible I think), Anvil! The Story of Anvil, Capitalism: A Love Story, Earth, and Good Hair, were all excluded, to my dismay. Given this list I'd say its a showdown between The Cove and Food, Inc., but hey what do I know? This category has always confused me

The Beaches of Agnes
Burma VJ
The Cove
Every Little Step
Facing Ali
Food, Inc.
Garbage Dreams
Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers
Mugabe and the White African
Soundtrack for a Revolution
Under Our Skin
Valentino The Last Emperor
Which Way Home

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the Oscar Goes to....Jeff Bridges?

Below is a link to the trailer of Crazy Heart.

To be honest, it looks almost exactly like The Wrestler, which is definitely a good thing. There seems to be a lot of buzz building about it, and with the right campaign, this late entry will not only give Jeff Bridges his 5th nomination, but may go where Mickey Rourke couldn't , and get the win as well. I also think Maggie Gylenhaal looks fantastic and I hope that she gets her own campaign to get her first nomination.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Precious is Golden

It had the buzz, the backing of Oprah, and the critics, all it need was the box office. Not only did Precious do well at the box office this weekend, it was "remarkable". Only expanding from 18 to 174 theaters, it hit the #4 spot, grossing $6 million, with an average of $35,000, Precious is truly precious. It has cleared the last major hurdle and now has a pretty open path to an Oscar nomination. Congratulations!

Honorary Oscars

Since the Oscars have dissed the honorary winners, I'd like to just publicly say that these four individuals are incredibly talented, overwhelming legends, and that the Academy needs to figure out how to work them back into the ceremony next year. Congratulations Roger Corman, Lauren Bacall, Gordon Willis and John Calley!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

First Golden Globe Predictions

The Globes, to me at least, are a little lighter, a little more fun, especially with Ricky Gervais this year, and splitting along genre lines allows for honoring of people Oscar sometimes ignores. However, with 10 nominees this year, the Globes could play a bigger role as a precursor, and may even be the boost for some movie to become a surprise nominee. Here are my early predictions:

Best Picture Drama:
Precious: Based on the novel PUSH by Sapphire
Up in the Air
The Lovely Bones
Inglourious Basterds
Alternates: Sherlock Holmes, An Education, The Hurt Locker, A Serious Man, A Single Man, Bright Star, Avatar.
Explanation: The Globes like Big Movies...period. So smaller movies like The Hurt Locker and An Education, who I think will get Oscar nods, will miss out at the Globes. Inglorious Basterds might confuse some, but the Globes like Tarantino, and I think they give him a nom this year.

Best Picture Comedy:
Julie & Julia
It's Complicated...
The Hangover
In the Loop
Alternates: (500) Days of Summer, Away We Go, The Informant!
Explanation: I'm probably going to regret excluding (500) Days of Summer, but it's only the first predictions. The two Meryl movies, I think, are going to get in, one we know got good reviews, and the other one just seems like a Globe-esque movie (Big names, potenital hit, etc.), plus they love Meryl Streep. Nine is in unless it just completely bombs. I'm going with In the Loop because last year they went for another obscure British comedy In Bruges, and this feels like a similar case.

Best Actor - Drama
Jeff Bridges "Crazy Heart"
Morgan Freeman "Invictus"
Johnny Depp "Public Enemies"
Colin Firth "A Single Man"
George Clooney "Up in the Air"
Alternates: Jeremy Renner "The Hurt Locker" Michael Stuhlbarg "A Serious Man".
Explanation: Unless I'm completely wrong about their love of The Hurt Locker, I think the 5 biggest names in the race will get the nods.

Best Actress - Drama
Carey Mulligan "An Education"
Helen Mirren "The Last Station"
Abbie Cornish "Bright Star"
Gabby Sidibe "Precious"
Saoirse Ronan "The Lovely Bones"
Alternates: Michelle Pfeifer "Cheri", Audrey Tatou "Coco Before Chanel", Penelope Cruz "Broken Embraces"
Explanation: With big names like Hillary Swank falling fast, these five feel like the best bets, although I wouldn't count out the popularity of Penelope Cruz.

Best Actor - Comedy
Daniel Day-Lewis "Nine"
Matt Damon "The Informant!"
Sacha Baron Cohen "Bruno"
Peter Capaldi "In the Loop"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt "(500) Days of Summer"
Alternates: Philip Seymour Hoffman "Pirate Radio"
Explanation: If Nine is good, Day-Lewis is in. The rest are just based on popularity. The Bruno nod might surprise, but the last time he did this, he won. I really hope we see a Colin Farrell win with Peter Capaldi, but he'll have to get nominated first.

Best Actress - Comedy
Meryl Streep "Julie & Julia"
Meryl Streep "It's Complicated"
Marion Cotillard "Nine"
Maya Rudolph "Away We Go"
Zooey Deschanel "(500) Days of Summer"
Alternates: Emma Thompson "Pirate Radio", Sandra Bullock "The Proposal"
Explanation: With all of the Nine women going supporting, this race is harder to predict than I thought. Yes, the Globes love Meryl that much, and I think they will give her both nominations. The others are critics darlings.

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz "Inglourious Basterds"
Stanley Tucci "The Lovely Bones" or "Julie & Julia"
Alfred Molina "An Education"
Matt Damon "Invictus"
Christopher Plummer "The Last Station"
Alternates: Anthony Mackie "The Hurt Locker", Christian McKay "Me and Orson Welles".
Explanations: These are my predicts for the Oscar, so I'm not going to change them all of the sudden. I think there could be some surprises, I just haven't thought of any at this point.

Best Supporting Actress
Mo'Nique "Precious"
Judi Dench "Nine''
Penelope Cruz "Nine"
Julianne Moore "A Single Man"
Melanie Laurent "Inglorious Basterds"
Alternates: Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick "Up in the Air", Susan Sarandon "The Lovely Bones"
Explanations: I'm still sticking with my current Oscar predicts, but I think this category could be different at the Globes. The Up in the Air girls could easily get in, but I think they will like Nine better than Up in the Air cause they love musicals, and somehow vote splitting excludes them both, once again, with the Oscars I don't think this will happen. The Melanie Laurent inclusion maybe be shocking, but Tarantino has gotten acting noms with Kill Bill which didn't even get considered by the Academy. With Basterds doing better in the race than the other two, I think we could see this shocker.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bookoos of Updates

1. New Sherlock Holmes trailer makes it appear to be similar to the first Pirates of the Caribbean, which is a heavy compliment. More importantly, early screeners of the film have cheered it saying that it exceeded expectations. From the looks of it Sherlock Holmes as well as Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams, could be last minute spoilers in the Oscar race.

2. With the failure of Amelia, it looks as if Fox Searchlight has looked to another vehicle, Crazy Heart. Now that it has a release date of December 16th, the blogosphere is bursting from the seams claiming that Jeff Bridges is not a lock for another Oscar nomination. Word is that Maggie Gyllenhaal, who is WAY overdue could also join the pack...we'll see!

3. Another late entry appears to be Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side. I've always liked Bullock and felt that if she could just find the right vehicle, she would get some recognition. Early word is that she is fantastic in the movie, and that it could be just the right vehicle to push her to her first Oscar nomination.

4. For all those who thought Robert DeNiro could make it into the derby again, word is that Everybody's Fine is a mess, and so goes his chances as well as the rest of the cast.

5. (500) Days of Summer is getting a big push from the studio, which is wonderful! They hope to have another Little Miss Sunshine or Juno on their hands.

6. Saoirse Ronan is also getting a lot of buzz for Best Actress, because word is she is in almost every scene of the movie; all we need now are reviews.

7. Two new entries into the Animated Feature category have pushed the number to 17, meaning that in this great year for animation, we now have a great possibility of 4 or 5 nominees.

8. Finally the reviews are starting to make sense! This morning Precious sits at a 76 on Metacritic, an 89 at BFCA, and an 86% (88% with Top Critics) Freshness at RT. We can all breathe now, its back in...

Whew! Told you it was a lot...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Best Picture

Here is a quick list of potential nominees still on the slate. Guaranteed, we haven't see a lot of them, but based on reviews/buzz depending on the situation, we've included them. My nominee predictions are in bold.

Precious: Based on the Novel PUSH by Sapphire
The Lovely Bones
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Up in the Air
A Serious Man
The Last Station
Inglourious Basterds
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
A Single Man
Bright Star
Star Trek
District 9
The Road
Capitalism: A Love Story
This is It
Sherlock Holmes
The Blind Side
The White Ribbon
Julie & Julia
It's Complicated...
(500) Days of Summer

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New York Film Critics: Precious Backlash?

As reviews for the highly-anticipated Precious role in, I am shocked by the backlash that is occuring among a certain group of critics: New Yorkers. Set in Harlem, a story of struggle and eventually triumph kind of has New York written all over it. Despite a decent review in Village Voice, the critics of the Big Apple such as Keith Uhilich of Time Out New York, Anthony Lane of The New Yorker, and David Edelstein of New York Magazine, have brought down the Metacritic score to a 57 with 6 reviews up. Will these bad reviews but respectable critics hurt its Oscar chances? No. First off, the New York based Gothan Awards also snubbed it, so it may just be a regional thing. Second off, there are other publications from New York that have yet to post reviews, and most importantly, the rest of the country's major critics are loving it. It just happens that these are some of the first reviews calculated into the score, and there are plenty more great ones to come. Precious is setting Hollywood on fire, and I think it's going to take a very sturdy brick wall to stop its momentum.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin to Host Oscars

Although they may not have the Broadway-esque charisma of Hugh Jackman, I think the Academy made a great decision today. First off, their new movie It's Complicated makes them relevant. Second off, these two together, say for example on SNL, play off of each other really well. The point is, they are hilarious, and I personally applaud the move and am starting to get really excited as awards season will be before we know it!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Year of Horror

My last post dealt with the plethora of documentaries that were making a splash. Well they are no the only ignored category that is having a banner year. With the expansion to ten, the question remains whether that means different categories such as documentaries and science fiction will start to get some respect. Another category can be added to that list: horror. Of course these are the same people that never gave Hitchcock an Oscar so I'm a little hesitant. But this year we have had some well-reviewed/box office hits horror movies that I hope will not be ignored. Of course I don't think any of these will get Oscar nominations or anything close, I just wanted to point out that with the expansion of ten, categories that are usually ignored could be receiving another look, and why not?

Drag Me to Hell - Sam Raimi's return to horror was a glorious one. This summer hit was not only a crowd-pleaser, but critics ate it up, comparing it to the old days of Evil Dead. After directing the Spiderman movies, Raimi seemed to be itching to go back to horror, and his return was triumphant.

Paranormal Activity - The buzz for this movie exploded, taking an $11,000 movie and making it gross almost $85 million dollars to date, and rising. I personally found it fascinating and scary, and it definitely deserves any recognition it gets.

The House of the Devil - This 70's cliche movie is getting a lot of warm critical reception, and is RT's Guaranteed Fresh Pick. Unlike many unsuccessful attempts in this last decade to recapture the 70's B-rated horror glory, this one apparently is an exception in the sense that it rises above the mundane and is scary, convincing, and (Shock!) actually has a plot and characters that are interesting enough to sustain a story without the chopping up of body parts.