Inside Movies and Pop Culture with Gregory Ellwood
Almost five weeks from release, the film's marketing campaign begins with new poster
Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor in the new poster for Roman Polanski's "The Ghost Writer."
Credit: Summit Entertainment
There has been much speculation about Roman Polanski's new thriller "The Ghost Writer" since the controversy over his possible extradition to the United States began in Sept. And considering the commercial prospects of the material, its easy to see why.
Based on the Robert Harris novel of the same name, "Writer" centers on a celebrity ghost writer (Ewan McGregor) who is hired to help finish the autobiography of a disgraced ex-British Prime Minister (Pierce Brosnan). While the writer visits the PM in the states to work on the book, the former British leader is indicted by the World Court for his handling of terror suspects while in power. Needless to say, all hell goes loose politically, professionally and within the PM's personal life. As the days progress, the writer begins to tie together some of the more powerful people from the PM's life into a possible conspiracy. Is it real or all just the crazy speculation of an over-zealous author?
Contenders include Argentina, Bulgaria, Germany, France, Peru, Australia, Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands
Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon" has dominated the end of year awards for Best Foreign Language Film and is the leading contender for Oscar.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the nine semi-finalists -- for lack of a better term -- for the Best Foreign Language Film category.
The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Argentina, “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Juan Jose Campanella, director
Australia, “Samson & Delilah,” Warwick Thornton, director
Bulgaria, “The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks around the Corner,” Stephan Komandarev, director
France, “Un Prophète,” Jacques Audiard, director
Germany, “The White Ribbon,” Michael Haneke, director
Israel, “Ajami,” Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, directors
Kazakhstan, “Kelin,” Ermek Tursunov, director
Plus: A rundown of the top contenders in each category
Sandra Bullock looks more surprised than anyone that she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress Drama Sunday night. Don't expect it to end Sandra.
Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
Usually the winds of change during awards season rarely come after the Golden Globes show itself. In fact, the nominations can have more sway in influencing Academy voters because the last few years have found the deadline for Oscar nomination ballots before the Globes aired.
Not this year.
The Globes occurred almost two full weeks before ballots are due and that's a long time for Academy members to ponder the possibilities. Now, Bullock was in anyway after her SAG nod, but her win for the Best Actress - Drama Globe over such formidable candidates as Dame Helen Mirren and this year's expected ingenue Carey Mulligan was very significant. In fact, one prominent awards consultant whose company has nothing at stake whatsoever in this year's race told awards campaign to fully expect Bullock to beat Streep on Oscar night. Come again? Beat the legendary Streep? The year she's to be coronated with her third and much deserved Academy Award? It's not like she hasn't finally let the industry know she's annoyed with having lost so many times over the past 25 plus years (Perhaps it's time for Sony to ram that message down Hollywood and the media's throats?).
Let's just say this. If Bullock wins the SAG Award on Saturday night there is officially a race and "The Blind Side" star has taken the lead.
The Globes were full of other surprises such as James Cameron's win for Best Director. And as he shared, everyone including this pundit thought Kathryn Bigelow would win instead for "The Hurt Locker." We're still guessing 5,000 plus Academy members will be more amiable to rewarding Bigelow than the 80 members of the HFPA. Although, a DGA win would certainly help. With all that in mind, let's rundown the major categories and where they stand before the upcoming and important SAG Awards (remember: the largest member of the Academy is the acting branch and 99% of them are in SAG).
And is it a bad sign when Lindsay Lohan leaves before you do?
"Inglourious Basterds" Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson at the Golden Globes Warner Bros/InStyle party.
Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
The cast and crew of "The Hangover" are no doubt having a hangover this morning after celebrating their Golden Globes win for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy. And trust me, this pundit can relate after quite a night at the Warner Bros./InStyle Party.
After the Globes end, the Beverly Hilton turns into a party circuit with the attendees and more guests arriving to go from one shindig to another. This year the rain reportedly hindered the HBO and Weinstein Company events, but Summit, NBCUniversal and the notoriously hard to get a ticket for Warner Bros./InStyle events went off without a hitch. Fox had their own shindig at the ritzy Craft restaurant offsite in Century City which made it hard to co-ordinate attending anything else unless you had your own limo or wanted to get drenched walking in the rain.
'Glee,' 'True Blood,' 'Avatar,' '30 Rock,' 'Hurt Locker' - who will win?
Zoe Saldana of "Avatar" and "Star Trek" fame walks the red carpet at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards.
Credit: AP Photo/Matt Sayles
After weeks of anticipation the 67th annual Golden Globes are here. Ricky Gervais is promising to take no prisoners and if any of the nominees could make it through a red carpet interview with Billy Bush alive, they should have a great show in front o them.
Of course, we already have to wonder why NBC, Dick Clark Productions and the HFPA didn't have a tent to cover the red carpet with the pouring rain, but...it's NBC, DCP and the HFPA right?
[Speaking of NBC, for those over 21 (of course), drinking game time! Every time NBC is mocked or Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, Jeff Zucker, Carson Daly or The Tonight Show is mentioned, take a swig! Will you be sober half way through the show? We bet no.]
[To get a complete up to date list of nominees and winners, click here.]
4:57 PM PT
Plus: Paul McCartney says 'hi' at the annual BAFTA Tea Party
George Clooney and Paramount Pictures Chairman Brad Grey.
Credit: AP Photo
It used to be that all the parties on Golden Globes weekend took place after the show. That's still somewhat the case, but there are some other traditions popping up with all these stars in town eager to campaign for big ol' Oscar.
After Friday night's Critics Choice Awards, Saturday found four major events: an Independent Spirit Award Luncheon, the annual BAFTA Tea Party, Paramount Pictures' second Golden Globes party at the Chateau Marmont and Lionsgate's "Precious" event. This pundit was invited -- cough -- made two of the four events and boy was it stars on parade.
BAFTA's tea party was dominated by Brits such as Emily Blunt, Helen Mirren, Christian McKay and Saoirse Ronan, but also saw a large American contingent including "The Hurt Locker's" Jeremy Renner, Quentin Tarantino, "Up" director Pete Doctor, "Avatar" and "Titanic" producer Jon Landeau, Tom Ford, Julianne Moore, "Up in the Air's" Anna Kendrick and Jason Reitman, "Precious" star Gabby Sibide, Claire Danes (workin' it everywhere this weekend) and "Crazy Heart's" Maggie Gyllenhaal. Other attendees included Euros such as "Inglourious Basterds" Diane Kruger (with boyfriend Joshua Jackson) and Christoph Waltz.
Does the industry really need this event?
Former husband and wife James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow are friends today as displayed by this pose at the 15th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards.
Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Complete disclosure: this prognosticator is not a fan of the Critics Choice Awards.
With so many legitimate critics groups giving out awards in December and January and the advent of the Globes and SAG Awards, a "fourth" star-studded event just doesn't seen necessary. To make matters worse, the majority of the members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association aren't real critics. Most are just the TV reporters who appear on your local news in markets across the country. Some of them are major quote whores who will say almost anything positive about a movie to make a studio happy (cough, Shawn Edwards, Fox TV) and, sadly, many of them have incredibly questionable taste. Their organization seems to only exist to service this awards show (and get on the screener circuit because of it). For all their faults at least the HFPA uses its muscle and money to donate large sums to charity and non-profit filmmaking endeavors. That said...
...attending the show was a blast.
(Ah, the guilt.)
Again, it's unclear where the Critic's Choice Awards fit into awards season at all or if nominations or wins are even a legitimate marketing tool for the films recognized. However, the show VH1 put on and the starpower on hand Friday night was very impressive. Hints that the Critic's Choice could start becoming a real red carpet event began when Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt started showing up three years ago (they skipped out this year), but besides George Clooney, almost every player who will be at the Globes on Sunday found their way to Hollywood Friday afternoon for this show. So, with that in mind, here are 10 things I learned sitting in the audience at the 15th Annual Critics Choice Awards.
Yep, the 'Last Station' duo will charm the pants off you
James McAvoy and Helen Mirren talk about "The Last Station," "Red" and "Wanted 2."
One of the expected "locks" for a nomination in the Best Actress race this year is Helen Mirren's turn in "The Last Station." The irony is that compared to some of her counterparts, Mirren hasn't gotten that much media attention over her fantastic performance. That's partially because the film only played in New York and Los Angeles for a one week qualifying run last month. Now, "Last Station" is opening in limited release before an expected national rollout over the next few weeks and the buzz for the former Oscar winner should grow.
DreamWorks sneaks new films including 'Megamind' and 'Shrek Forever After'
Old buddies Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson reunite in DreamWorks Animations "How To Train Your Dragon."
DreamWorks Animation had a very entertaining show and tell for its 2010 slate today. The animation powerhouse showed extended scenes of the Will Ferrell and Brad Pitt voiced "Megamind," a nice chunk of "Shrek Forever After" and an almost completed full cut of this March's "How To Train Your Dragon." And while all three were entertaining and fun to watch, the best part of the event came when "Dragon" stars Gerard Butler and Craig Ferguson sat down to chat during a reception afterward.
Friends for 25 years, the Scottish duo met when they both met while studying at the University of Glasgow. Ferguson joked that Butler used to listen to his stand up act while they were in college and now he plays his sidekick in movies. "He's the real star," Ferguson says humbly.
"Dragon" centers around Hiccup, a young Viking voiced by Jay Baruchel who can't live up to the warrior mantle of his father and village leader Stoick (Butler). Ferguson plays Gobber, Stoick's longtime friend who runs the weapons armory where Buttercup works. The Viking's village is regularly attacked by numerous different kinds of dragons and they have learned to stop all of them except for one in particular -- the night fury. Hiccup eventually captures a fury -- soon named toothless -- and learns they might not be as vicious as his fellow Vikings believe.
How lucky is the Academy that 'Avatar' will domiante this year?
Taylor Lautner accepts an award at the People's Choice Awards. He's been at almost every award show except the Emmys and AMA's this year.
Credit: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello
Following a hit show is never easy whether its in the 9:30 PM slot on NBC Thursday nights or you're that over-hyped new show in the post Super Bowl slot. So in some ways, you have to feel for new Oscar producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman. Publicly the second choice after last year's heralded team of Larry Mark and Bill Condon brought surprise, style and class back to the king of award shows, the mismatched duo have been hard at work trying to make the 82nd Oscars just as memorable. Well, they are certainly trying.