Inside Movies and Pop Culture with Gregory Ellwood
'Princess and the Frog' and 'Coraline' lead with with three wins each
"Up" took home Best Animated Feature at the 37th Annual Annie Awards.
Credit: Walt Disney Studios
The men and women in the animation field honored their own last night at the the 37th Annual Annie Awards and as expected, Pixar Animation's "Up" took home the top prize for Best Animated Feature. However, the critical and box office blockbuster hardly dominated the theatrical categories. "Princess and the Frog" and "Coraline" each took home three statues, "Up" was awarded only two and "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" took home one award each ("Fox's" was significantly for Writing in a Feature Production). "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs" and "The Secret of Kells" left empty handed.
The biggest surprise of the night would have to be "Coraline's" Bruno Coulais winning the Music in a Feature Production award over Michael Giacchino's Golden Globe and Grammy-winning score for "Up." However, unlike the other guilds, ASIFA does not have as much representation within the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to really affect Oscar voting. Both "Up" and Giacchino's score are the frontrunners to win the Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score during the Academy Awards on March 7.
The complete list of winners, including those in the television categories, are as follows:
Best Animated Feature
"Up" — Pixar Animation Studios
Best Home Entertainment Production
"Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder" — The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Best Animated Short Subject
"Robot Chicken: Star Wars 2.5" — ShadowMachine
Best Animated Television Commercial
Spanish Lottery “Deportees” — Acme Filmworks, Inc.
Best Animated Television Production
"Prep and Landing" — ABC Family/Walt Disney Animation Studios
Best Animated Television Production for Children
"The Penguins of Madagascar" — Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation
James Mansfield “The Princess and the Frog” — Walt Disney Animation Studios
Character Animation in a Television Production
Phillip To “Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space” — DreamWorks Animation
Character Animation in a Feature Production
Eric Goldberg “The Princess and the Frog” — Walt Disney Animation Studios
Character Design in a Television Production
Bill Schwab “Prep and Landing” — Walt Disney Animation Studios
Character Design in a Feature Production
Shane Prigmore “Coraline” — Laika
Directing in a Television Production
Bret Haaland “The Penguins of Madagascar - Launchtime” — Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation
Directing in a Feature Production
Pete Docter “Up” — Pixar Animation Studios
Music in a Television Production
Guy Moon “The Fairly OddParents: “Wishology-The Big Beginning” — Nickelodeon
Music in a Feature Production
Bruno Coulais “Coraline” — Laika
Production Design in a Television Production
Andy Harkness “Prep and Landing” — Walt Disney Animation Studios
Production Design in a Feature Production
Tadahiro Uesugi “Coraline” — Laika
Storyboarding in a Television Production
Robert Koo “Merry Madagascar” — DreamWorks Animation
Storyboarding in a Feature Production
Tom Owens “Monsters vs. Aliens” — DreamWorks Animation
Voice Acting in a Television Production
Tom Kenny - Voice of SpongeBob - “SpongeBob SquarePants — Truth or Square” — Nickelodeon
Voice Acting in a Feature Production
Jen Cody - Voice of Charlotte - “The Princess and the Frog” — Walt Disney Animation Studios
Writing in a Television Production
Daniel Chun - “The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror XX” — Gracie Films
Writing in a Feature Production
Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach - “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — 20th Century Fox
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The critic's favorite may be making a comeback
It's come down to "Hurt Locker" vs. "Avatar" for Best Picture. Who can take the lead over the remaining few weeks of voting?
Credit: Summit Entertainment/20th Century Fox
The drama on Oscar night is looking as though it will come down to the final award and in terms of TV ratings the Academy couldn't ask for anything more. After seemingly jumping ahead as the Best Picture frontrunner, box office blockbuster "Avatar" ended up with just as many nominations, nine, as critic's favorite "The Hurt Locker." Logic would indicate a landmark epic which just became the highest grossing picture of all time worldwide with a staggering cume of $2.07 billion would easily trounce "Locker's" $12.6 million gross. Upon closer inspection, however, there is much more of a race here than many prognosticators, including this one, initially thought.
"Locker" strength just doesn't come from its end of year accolades from critic's groups such as the NY Film Critic's Circle or the Los Angeles Film Critic's Association. The film has won the Producer's Guild Award for Best Picture, the Director's Guild Award for Best Director and landed a SAG Ensemble nomination for Best Cast -- a feat "Avatar" did not accomplish. So, while "Avatar" may have won the Best Picture - Drama at the Globes, those 80 or so voters in the HFPA don't mean much when you're looking at major guilds who have sided with "Locker." More telling is that "Avatar" didn't land an Original Screenplay nod (being pushed out by "The Messenger" and "A Serious Man") and even more significantly not one acting nod. The last film to win Best Picture without an acting nomination? "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" six years ago. Before then? "Braveheart" in 1996. It's a rare, rare occurrence.
On the other hand, "Locker" winning would make it the lowest grossing Best Picture winner since "A Man for All Seasons" reportedly made $20 million in the U.S. and U.K. way back in...1966 (obviously it would be a lot more with inflation). Shoot, even "Annie Hall" made $38 million in 1976-77. So, what wins out? Historical trends, box office or guild support? It's just too close to call right now. However, momentum seems to be on "Hurt Locker's" side. And for now, you go with your gut and "Locker's" starting to kick.
With that in mind, here's a rundown of all the major categories on the line for the 82nd Academy Awards.
No controversy for producers this year
The producers of "The Blind Side" and "The Hurt Locker" can now breathe easy. Everyone gets a shot at Oscar.
Credit: Warner Bros.
Smartly avoiding unneeded controversy, the Acadmey of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved the producing credits for Best Picture nominees "The Hurt Locker" and "The Blind Side."
Academy rules state that only three names be associated with each Best Picture nominee after the honor was taken advantage of by "Shakespeare In Love's" five winning producers in 1999.
A statement from AMPAS read, "Academy rules state that normally no more than three producers may be named as nominees in the Best Picture category. However, the rules allow for an additional producer to be named under extraordinary circumstances. In finding that all of the producers of 'The Hurt Locker' had fully functioned as genuine producers of the film, the committee chose to exercise the 'extraordinary circumstances' provision of the rules."
Plus: Did Clint Eastwood really just get rejected by the Academy for the second year in a row?
Sandra Bullock's Best Actress domination was a clear sign 'The Blind Side' would make Oscar's ten.
Credit: AP Photo
As always, the announcement of the 82nd Academy Award nominations brought a slew of surprises to even those pundits who follow the awards season race on a year-round basis. Thanks to the 10 nominee change this year didn't have as many glaring oversights, besides Juliann Moore being skipped over, but it still provided good water cooler fodder for the 310-213 area codes. Let's review shall we?
"The Blind Side" lands a Best Picture nomination
I'd actually called this one around Christmas, but changed my predictions after it seemed as though the film was experiencing something of a backlash. Sandra Bullock's ascension to Best Actress frontrunner should have been a sign it would sneak into the 10. Still, even peeps at Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros. are no doubt as stunned as everyone else that it made it.
Plus: 'Gigli,' 'Freddy Got Fingered' or 'Battlefield Earth' for worst film of the decade?
Ali Larter and Beyonce Knowles both received worst actress or worst supporting actress Razzie nominations, but their film "Obsessed" was spared the shame of the Golden Raspberry honor.
Credit: AP Photo
In anticipation of the 2010 Oscar Nominations tomorrow morning, John Wilson and the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation announced their 2009 Razzie honorees today. Yes, it's that time again. To celebrate only the worst that Hollywood has to offer. Unfortunately, what sucks -- for lack of a better word -- about the Razzies is that it isn't really about the "worst" the movie industry offers. Instead it's about the easiest and most publicity friendly targets to mock. Sure, some of those performances may not be pretty weak, but recurring targets such as Ben Affleck, Eddie Murphy, Madonna and John Travolta clue anyone in that there is another agenda at work here. But, hey, they can be fun to snicker at. Especially during an awards season we all take way too seriously. So, with that in mind...your nominees are...
Which three films will make the final Best Picture slots?
Jeremy Renner, Sandra Bullock and the forces behind "Avatar" should all be smiling after the 82nd Academy Awards nominees are announced on Tuesday morning.
Just as you'd expect with a fundamental change to the Best Picture race, this Oscar season has been full of surprises. Films that were expected to be major players such as "Amelia," "A Serious Man," "A Single Man," "Brothers" and, most notably, "Nine," have fallen by the wayside and surprise candidates such as "Avatar," "District 9," "Crazy Heart" and "The Messenger" are primed to make some noise when nominations are announced early Tuesday morning.
However, while the new ten nominee system has made it more difficult than ever to predict the process, but that doesn't mean there aren't any guarantees. In fact, this pundit is willing to guarantee seven of the 10 Best Picture contenders, but beyond that? It's - for lack of a better phrase - up in the air.
As for the remaining "major" categories -- acting, directing and screenwriting -- there is still room for some unexpected honorees, especially in the scripted realm. That being said, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress are pretty much set. The Supporting nods? Well, let's just predict the fifth member of each pool may lead to some feigns of surprise from the assembled press and publicity core at the Academy Theater for the announcements. Taking all of this into account, I've prepared my final nomination predictions with a few wildcards for each category thrown in for good measure. Any candiate that is starred is pretty much a stone cold lock. We'll find out for sure very early on Tuesday morning.
'The Hurt Locker' has now won both PGA and DGA awards
Kathryn Bigelow defeated her ex-husband, but good friend James Cameron to win the 2010 DGA Award for best Film Direction.
Credit: AP Photo
History was made Saturday night as Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Director's Guild of America Outstanding Direction of a feature film award for "The Hurt Locker."
Bigelow defeated a number of strong nominees including her ex-husband, but now good friend James Cameron ("Avatar"), Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds"), Lee Daniels ("Precious") and Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air"). Only twice in the past ten years has a DGA winner not gone on to win the equivalent Academy Award. Those exceptions occurred in 2001 when Ang Lee won for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (Steven Soderbergh won the Oscar for "Traffic") and in 2002 when Rob Marshall won for "Chicago" (Roman Polanski won the Oscar that year for "The Pianist"). In that time span, it should be noted the last six DGA winners went on to win Oscar.
Guess where 'Precious,' 'An Education' and 'The Cove' debuted
Jonah Hill, kneeling at left, a cast member in "Cyrus," joins hands with fellow cast member John C. Reilly at the premiere of the film during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010. Standing from left to right are cast members Matt Walsh, Katie Aselton, Catherine Keener and Marisa Tomei, and co-writers and co-directors Jay and Mark Duplass.
Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
It's less than a week until the nominations for the 2010 Academy Awards are announced, but with this year's Sundance Film Festival almost in the books candidates for 2011's Oscars are already making some noise. And no, don't laugh, it's not to early to recognize the festival's influence on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Over the past decade alone, Sundance has become a key contributor to awards season with Best Picture nominees such as "Little Miss Sunshine," "In the Bedroom," and Best Documentary winners such as "March of the Penguins," "Man on Wire" and "An Inconvenient Truth." The festival has also provided a slew of acting nominees including Ryan Gosling for "Half Nelson," Melissa Leo for "Frozen River," Amy Adams for "Junebug," Laura Linney for "You Can Count On Me," Terrence Howard in "Hustle & Flow," Catalina Sandino Moreno in "Maria full of Grace" as well as numerous nominations for films such as "Once," "Super Size Me," "The Squid and the Whale" and "Murderball."
Plus: 'Night Catches Us,' 'Sympathy For Delicious,' 'I Am Love'
Ashley Greene and Shiloh Fernandez in "Skateland"
The 2010 Sundance Film Festival is almost over and the whirlwind of screenings sometimes make it difficult to get all a critic's reactions to a film up as timely as possible. With that in mind, here is some quick commentary on a number of prominent titles that have debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Lowdown: Sharing too much similarity to Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" as well as a bit of a faux John Hughes vibe, "Skateland" centers on 19-year-old Ritchie (Shiloh Fernandez) a roller skating rink manager who is at a crossroads in his life. Does he stay in his small town and just go from one lame job to another or does he use his writing skills to get into a good university? Complicating matters is his relationship with "best friend" Michelle (a pretty good Ashley Greene) and the return of her older brother Brent (Heath Freeman who also wrote and produced the flick). Unfortunately, there is little original in this familiar scenario or how its executed. More disappointing, Fernandez has little on screen charisma which doesn't help. And when it all comes down to it, the film is just a big bore.
Acquisition Chances: Probably a DVD deal to showcase the "Twilight"-friendly Greene, but that's it.
Director calls new drama with Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel 'work in progress'
Rebecca Lawrence, Adam Brody and Katie Holmes in "The Romantics."
Does anyone remember when Katie Holmes was considered a good actress? Anyone remember when she was among the most promising actresses of her generation? While "Dawson's Creek" brought Holmes celebrity fame, it was her performances in films such as "The Ice Storm," "Go," "Wonder Boys," "The Gift" and "Pieces of April" which brought her artistic credibility. That was all washed away during the seemingly bizarre courtship and quickie marriage to Tom Cruise around the release of "Batman Begins." Now, five years later, Holmes has proved she hasn't lost her chops after the 2010 Sundance Film Festival premiere of "The Romantics."