The more 'legit' international org continues to puzzle
With little fanfare, the International Press Academy announced their 10 Annual Golden Satellite Awards nominations today. Never heard of the IPA? Don't worry yourself about it. Originally intended as a more "legit" alternative to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the IPA have become an afterthought during awards season mostly due to their strange selections over the years and 2009 is no different. This is the only awards show where the organization's top ten selections don't match their nominees for best picture for the most part.
It's clear a majority of their membership hasn't seen "Invictus," "Avatar" or "The Lovely Bones," but obviously that didn't stop them from getting out of the gate early. Somewhat surprisingly, "Nine," "District 9" and “The Stoning of Soraya M.” dominated this year's nods. This is probably the most love the latter, well-respected drama will find this awards season.
In any event, the laundry list of nominations is certainly worth looking over as a general list of awards season contenders. Maybe.
The Golden Satellites will be announced (not handed out because none of the talent will show up) in the Grand Salon at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City on Dec. 20.
Best Motion Picture (Drama): â€¨“Bright Star,” â€¨“An Education,” â€¨“The Hurt Locker,” â€¨“The Messenger,” â€¨“Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” â€¨“The Stoning of Soraya M.”
Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)â€¨: “The Informant!” â€¨“It’s Complicated,” â€¨“Julie & Julia,” â€¨“Nine,” â€¨“A Serious Man,” â€¨“Up in the Air”
Best Directorâ€¨: Jane Campion, “Bright Star,” â€¨Neill Blomkamp, “District 9," â€¨Lone Scherfig, “An Education,” â€¨Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker,"â€¨ Rob Marshall, “Nine,” â€¨Lee Daniels, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
Best Actress (Drama): â€¨Shohreh Aghdashloo, “The Stoning of Soraya M.”â€¨ Emily Blunt, “The Young Victoria,” â€¨Abbie Cornish, “Bright Star,” â€¨Penelope Cruz, “Broken Embraces,” â€¨Carey Mulligan, “An Education,” â€¨Catalina Saavedra, “The Maid”
Best Actor (Drama): â€¨Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart,” â€¨Hugh Dancy, “Adam,” â€¨Johnny Depp, “Public Enemies,” â€¨Colin Firth, “A Single Man,” â€¨Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker,” â€¨Michael Sheen, “The Damned United”
Best Actress (Comedy Or Musical): â€¨Sandra Bullock, “The Proposal,” â€¨Marion Cotillard, “Nine,” â€¨Zooey Deschanel, “(500) Days of Summer,” â€¨Katherine Heigl, “The Ugly Truth,” â€¨Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”
Best Actor (Comedy Or Musical)â€¨: George Clooney, “Up in the Air,” â€¨Bradley Cooper, “The Hangover,” â€¨Matt Damon, “The Informant!”â€¨ Daniel Day-Lewis, “Nine,” â€¨Michael Stuhlbarg, “A Serious Man”
Best Supporting Actress: â€¨Emily Blunt, “Sunshine Cleaning,” â€¨Penelope Cruz, “Nine,” â€¨Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air,” â€¨Mozhan Marno, “The Stoning of Soraya M.” â€¨Mo’nique, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
Best Supporting Actorâ€¨: Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger,” â€¨James McAvoy, “The Last Station,” â€¨Alfred Molina, “An Education,” â€¨Timothy Spall, “The Damned United,” â€¨Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”
Best Original Screenplay: â€¨Jane Campion, “Bright Star,” â€¨Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, “(500) Days of Summer,” â€¨Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker,” â€¨Joel and Ethan Coen, “A Serious Man,” â€¨Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, “Up”
Best Adapted Screenplay: â€¨Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, “District 9," â€¨Nick Hornby, “An Education,” â€¨Nora Ephron, “Julie & Julia,” â€¨Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” â€¨Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air”
Best Motion Picture (Animated or Mixed Media)â€¨: “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” â€¨“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” â€¨“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” â€¨“The Princess and the Frog,” â€¨“Up,” â€¨“Where the Wild Things Are”
Best Foreign Language Film: â€¨“Broken Embraces,” â€¨“I Killed My Mother,” â€¨“The Maid,” â€¨“Red Cliff,” â€¨“The White Ribbon,” â€¨“Winter in Wartime”
Best Documentary Featureâ€¨: “The Beaches of Agnes,”â€¨“The Cove,”â€¨ “Every Little Step,” â€¨“It Might Get Loud,” â€¨“The September Issue,” â€¨“Valentino: The Last Emperor”
Best Art Directionâ€¨: Terry Gilliam, Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” â€¨Nathan Crowley, Patrick Lumb and William Ladd Skinner, “Public Enemies,” â€¨Eddy Wong, “Red Cliff,” â€¨Chris Kennedy, “The Road,” â€¨Ian Philips and Dan Bishop, “A Single Man,” â€¨Barry Chusid and Elizabeth Wilcox, “2012"
Best Cinematography: â€¨Robert Richardson, “Inglourious Basterds,” â€¨Guillermo Navarro and Erich Roland, “It Might Get Loud,” â€¨Dion Beebe, “Nine,” â€¨Dante Spinotti, “Public Enemies,” â€¨Lu Yue and Zhang Yi, “Red Cliff,” â€¨Roger Deakins, “A Serious Man”
Best Costume Designâ€¨: Consolata Boyle, “Cheri”â€¨Monique Prudhomme, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”â€¨Colleen Atwood, “Nine,” â€¨Tim Yip, “Red Cliff," â€¨Sandy Powell, “The Young Victoria”
Best Film Editingâ€¨: Julian Clarke, “District 9," â€¨Chris Innis and Bob Murawski, “The Hurt Locker,” â€¨Greg Finton, “It Might Get Loud,” â€¨Claire Simpson and Wyatt Smith, “Nine,” â€¨Angie Lam, Yang Hongyu and Robert A. Ferretti, “Red Cliff,” â€¨David Brenner and Peter S. Elliot, “2012"
Best Original Score: Gabriel Yared, “Amelia,” â€¨Marvin Hamlisch, “The Informant!”â€¨ Elliot Goldenthal, “Public Enemies,” â€¨Michael Giacchino, “Up,” â€¨Rolfe Kent, “Up in the Air,” â€¨Carter Burwell and Karen O, “Where the Wild Things Are”
Best Original Song: "The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” (T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham), â€¨“We are the Children of the World” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (Terry Gilliam), â€¨“Cinema Italiano” from “Nine” (Maury Yeston), â€¨“I See in Color” from “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” (Mary J. Blige), â€¨“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” (Randy Newman)â€¨, “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” (Randy Newman)
Best Sound (Mixing and Editing): â€¨“It Might Get Loud,” â€¨“Nine,” â€¨“Red Cliff,” â€¨“Terminator Salvation,” â€¨“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” â€¨“2012"
Best Visual Effects: â€¨“District 9," â€¨“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” â€¨“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus,” â€¨“Red Cliff,” â€¨“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” â€¨“2012"
Best Ensemble: â€¨“Nine”
Outstanding New Talent: â€¨Gabourey Sidibe
Auteur Award:â€¨ Roger Corman
Tesla Award (Achievement in Technology): â€¨Roger Deakins
Mary Pickford Award (Outstanding Artistic Contribution): â€¨Michael York
Ten Best Films of 2009â€¨: “Bright Star,” â€¨“An Education,” â€¨“(500) Days of Summer,” â€¨“The Hurt Locker,” â€¨“Inglourious Basterd,s ”â€¨“Nine,” â€¨“Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire,” â€¨“A Serious Man,” â€¨“The Stoning of Soraya M.”â€¨ “Up in the Air”
For constant updates on awards season and entertainment news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter at Twitter.com/HitFixGregory
Surprises will be plenty as crowded categories abound
There are a number of guilty pleasures only the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's annual rite of passage, the Golden Globe Awards, can provide. Whether its the intoxicated nominees, the magic of when the worlds of television and movies mix (or is that mutual disdain?) or arguably the biggest collection of true stars in one room (sorry Oscar), the Globes have cemented themselves as a must watch television event and an intriguing precursor to the movie industry's more serious and prestigious night down the road.
The 67th edition of the Globes will have some big changes, however. The always hilarious Ricky Gervais comes on board as the first host in eons and happily, the show will finally be broadcast live on the West Coast thereby exploding the Globes party scene across the greater Los Angeles basin (gotta love that 5 PM start time).
In terms of the actual awards, the HFPA's habits of recognizing their international brethren, making the trendy picks and rewarding actors with mutual nominations remain intact. This year, Sandra Bullock ("The Proposal," "The Blind Side"), Meryl Streep ("Julie and Julia," "It's Complicated"), George Clooney ("The Men Who Stare At Goats," "Up in the Air") and Stanley Tucci ("Julie and Julia," "The Lovely Bones") all have a legitimate shot at double acting nods and global critical stands outs such as Neil Bloomkamp's "District 9" may receive the deserved recognition Oscar may deny them.
Plus: Can Christian McKay sneak into the best supporting actor race?
A little over a year ago, Zac Efron was riding high as "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" had made a boatload of money at the box office. Privately, Efron was no doubt thrilled his commitment to the franchise that launched his career was officially over because he'd already moved on to more serious and challenging work. In fact, less than six weeks before "HSM3" opened, Richard Linkletter's "Me and Orson Welles" made its debut at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival featuring Efron and a classy ensemble of actors including Claire Danes, Ben Chaplin, Eddie Marsan and Christian McKay on board.
A fictional story set during Orson Welles tumultuous rehearsal period for his groundbreaking staging of "Julius Caesar" in 1937, the dramedy finds Efron as a high school student dreaming of making it big on Broadway. With some luck and hutzpah he convinces Welles to give him a last minute part in "Caesar." Over the following week the audience follows his experiences dealing with the stress and drama of trying to get the show off the ground.
Plus: Wes Anderson talks 'Fox,' More 'Nine' and 'Lovely Bones' clips
Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" premiered in London on Tuesday night as the 2009 Royal Film Performance and the English papers and domestic trades have already weighed in on the potential Oscar contender.
Variety's Todd McCarthy was not a fan saying, "the massive success Jackson has enjoyed in the intervening years with his CGI-heavy "The Lord of the Rings" saga (the source of which receives fleeting homage in a bookstore scene here) and "King Kong" has infected the way he approaches this far more intimate tale. Instead of having the late Susie Salmon occupy a little perch in an abstract heavenly gazebo from which she can peer down upon her family and anyone else -- all that is really necessary from a narrative point of view -- the director has indulged his whims to create constantly shifting backdrops depicting an afterlife evocative of "The Sound of Music" or "The Wizard of Oz" one moment, "The Little Prince" or "Teletubbies" the next."
The normally easy to please Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter also came away disappointed noting, "Sebold's otherworldly meditation on unspeakable tragedy and hard-earned healing has been transformed by Jackson into something akin to a supernatural suspense thriller. A philosophical story about family, memory and obsession has regrettably become a mawkish appeal to victimhood."
'The Hurt Locker's' Kathryn Bigelow may crack the ceiling
Ask any Oscar consultant about any race this awards season and they'll mostly throw their hands up in the air in exasperation on who will get in any category let alone who will win one. It's all due to the expansion of the Best Picture race to ten nominees the uncertainty the change has brought to everything else. One of the hardest categories to predict is turning out to be Best Director.
Before this year, it wasn't uncommon for filmmakers to recognize a peer or two whose films didn't get nominated for Best Picture. In 2010, it's a certainty that at least five won't get an individual honor (won't that be fun at the annual Oscar luncheon?). More intriguing, however, is the legitimate chance that not only one, but two women may be nominated for Best Director. Oh, and yes, considering only four women have ever been nominated in this category in the Academy's history,it's about time.
Latest Contender Countdown finds "Invictus" still on top
Having sat through 22 minutes of "Avatar" in 3-D this past July at Comic-Con, it was hard to believe the buzz that James Cameron's return to narrative filmmaking was a true Academy Award contender. The dialogue was stilted, the imagery reminded many in attendance of countless other Sci-Fi films, novels or video games over the years and the ludicrous rumors that watching the footage in 3-D would lead the viewer to have a "transcendent experience" rang extremely false. Instead, while Cameron had made some big steps in motion-capture animation by seemingly solving the peer Robert Zemeckis' "dead eye" problem, but his storyline also came across as trite and overly familiar. Has time changed this writer's opinion?
Four months later, "Avatar" has weather a storm of criticism which has been eerily similar to the industry dismissal that met Cameron's triumph"Titanic" before its debut. Now, the film is positioning itself as one of the biggest openings of the year and a true online phenomenon. Whether the film can make back it's $400 million plus price tag is a legitimate subject for debate, but it's "Avatar's" hovering over awards season that is much more intriguing.
As the moment there are really only three films that appear to have enough Academy elements to gain universal consensus to win Best Picture: "Invictus," "Precious" and "Up in the Air." Granted, things can absolutely change and no doubt will over the next two months, but in this prognosticator's opinion that's where it stands today. All the other top ten contenders constantly waxed over weekly in Movie City News' Gurus of Gold or The Envelope's Buzzmeter (both of which this prognosticator participates in) could get nominated, but they are not slam dunk locks. Each has a specific fault or question mark that could easily find them ignored as Academy members embark on their yearly ritual of screenings and screener watching nights. And that's where "Avatar" comes in.
As 20th Century Fox mounts its marketing campaign and the buzz around the film increases, this pundit has had a sinking feeling Cameron's potential folly could sneak into the 10. Perhaps it's the lack of a characteristic Oscar epic in such a large nominee field, little visible excitement around more than a few of the potential nominees or maybe that the Academy may just reward Cameron for a groundbreaking and "years in the making" endeavor -- assuming it's a hit, of course. And yet, every time Awards Campaign thinks "Avatar" might sneak in, Fox releases a new clip. Say, like the one that debuted today on IGN.
And after watching this preview, reality hits and the words "What was I thinking?" pop in my head. As the Comic-Con preview proved, so much of "Avatar" is filled with the animated aliens who still come off like, um, animated avatars in a big ol' video game. And there appear to be so many holes in the 10-year-old script it's hard to believe that a 60 Minutes piece or publicists spinning the new technology and "amazing" world Cameron has created can really elevate the film to Oscar status. And still, with that gut continuing to whisper "Avatar" every few days or so, the genre flick cautiously rises to no. 12 on the Contender Countdown. For now, at least.
Speaking off the countdown, here is this pundit's latest ranking of the top 12 contenders for Oscar gold. These picks should be reflective of Award Campaign's votes on Gurus of Gold and Buzzmeter shortly.
A crowd-pleasing, emotional and inspirational story that has all the elements to win the big prize, but will critics eventually knock it from the top spot?
Continues its phenomenal limited release, but winning a major critics group best picture honor could help vault it to the top spot.
3. "Up in the Air"
Every member of the media in the Western hemisphere has seen it, now its time for guild and Academy screenings.
4. "The Hurt Locker"
OK Summit, you've made a boatload on "New Moon." Time to start spending on this Oscar campaign. Waiting until late December is just too dangerous.
Some believe the acclaimed Pixar flick can win it all. We'd remind them of Oscar history and that the "win" is the nomination for this one.
6. "An Education"
Gone a bit quiet on the box office and campaigning front. When does SPC turn up the heat again?
7. "Inglourious Basterds"
One of the few films that feels like it's in without having to really launch a massive campaign, but it's good Tarantino is starting to hit the scene again.
8. "The Lovely Bones"
Those who love, love it. A broader consensus should emerge after the Prince's Trust screening in London this week.
The ladies will get it in. It's that simple.
10. "A Serious Man"
Another film that could benefit from critic's love. Why does this one feel like a lock for NYFCC?
11. "Crazy Heart"
Is it more about Bridges, Gyllenhaal and the songs or could it sneak into the big race too? Still unclear at this point.
Do you think "Avatar" has a real shot to get nominated? Share your thoughts below.
For constant updates on awards season and entertainment news follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter at Twitter.com/HitFixGregory
Plus: Marc Shaiman joins the show, 'Nine' gets some posters and more
She's won five Grammy Awards, but is Mariah Carey ready for Oscar? Eh, probably not.
The hip-hop diva delivered a solid performance as a sympathetic, but tough social worker in Lee Daniels' phenomenal "Precious: Based on Push a Novel by Sapphire" and it's certainly the best cinematic performance of her career. However, even if the Best Supporting Actress field wasn't a logjam of epic proportions this year it would be hard for her to jump over co-stars frontrunner Mo'Nique and Paula Patton. Still, The Palm Springs Film Festival announced today that Carey would be honored with the Breakthrough Performance Award during the organization's Jan. 5 awards show. You can't argue tough that Carey's come a long way since the cult misfire "Glitter" and, moreover, you've got to credit her for sticking with it.
Carey actually joins an esteemed group of previous winners for this award including Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Hudson, Felicity Huffman and Frieda Pinto. Other honorees this year include Morgan Freeman for "Invictus" and Anna Kendrick for "Up in the Air."
In other news...
Watch: A dramatic scene from the new Jim Sheridan Oscar contender
One new film that has gone a tad under the awards season radar, but might be itching to make something of a comeback is Jim Sheridan's "Brothers."
Based on Susanne Brier's acclaimed Danish film of the same title (translated at least), the dramatic thriller centers on a soldier's wife (Natalie Portman) who is comforted and develops a relationship with her brother-in-law (Jake Gyllenhaal) after her husband (Tobey Maguire) goes missing in Afghanistan. When he unexpectedly returns, it causes an extreme amount of drama that only filmmakers at Sheridan's or Brier's level could play out in a realistic manner.
Lionsgate has provided Awards Campaign with an exclusive clip of "Brothers" that features Portman and none other than Carey Mulligan. Yep, the same 24-year-old Brit who is getting major Best Actress buzz for her work in "An Education." In "Brothers," she has a supporting role as one of the wives in Portman's hometown and in this scene comes over to apologize to Portman's character. There is some irony in that both actresses may be going up against each other in the same category (although it's not unheard of). And considering the growing buzz regarding the performances from the Portman/Gyllenhaal/Maguire trio, that's not out of the question. The filmmakers could have quickly released "Brothers" last year, but decided to hold the film until this late date and if word on the street is correct, it may have been worth the wait.
You can view the dramatic scene embedded in this post or, for a larger version click here.
Look for more from "Brothers," which opens nationwide on Dec. 4, over the next few weeks on HitFix.
Plus: Oscar gets a director, screeners make the Thanksgiving holiday and 'Inglourious Basterds' is a lock to win Best Picture?
"New Moon" may be set to dominate the box office and entertainment headlines this weekend, but Lee Daniels "Precious" will continue its remarkable limited release run by expanding to a respectively miniscule 600 theaters. Already one of the most lauded films of the year, "Precious" has already broken box office records grossing $9.6 million in 12 days in no more than 174 theaters. Lionsgate has balanced a delicate line between appealing to upscale/art house, African American and broad audiences so tha the drama will need to not only be profitable, but hopefully ride a path to Oscar glory.
The studio has already release two impressive posters for the picture, but until now they had not put star Gabby Sidibe front and center in the film's print campaign. That all changes with this brand new awards season design provided exclusively to HitFix. Featuring some of the top critical notices "Precious" has already received, the poster will not only grab the attention of Academy and Guild voters, but accurately places it as a prestige picture moviegoers who only see three to four films a year can't miss.
AMPAS also overlooks indie hit 'The September Issue,' 'Tyson,' 'We Live in Public' and 'Good Hair'
At first glance there are two surprising commissions from the list: Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story" and the indie hit "The September Issue." Awards Campaign has confirmed that Overture Films submitted "Capitalism," but like last year's "Religulous" it didn't make the cut.
Other notables missing include "Tyson," "We Live In Public" (which won this year's Sundance Grand Jury Documentary Award), Disney's "Earth," Chris Rock's "Good Hair" and, thank god, "Anvil! The Story of Anvil."
In the meantime, here is a breakdown of the 15 finalists as announced by the Academy.