Sherlock Holmes has landed an Art Director's Guild Nomination

"Sherlock Holmes" is no doubt very happy about its Art Director's Guild nomination.

Credit: Warner Bros.

'Sherlock Holmes' and 'True Blood' among Art Director's Guild Nominees

And 'The Jay Leno Show' gets some love in its last days

The nominees were announced today for the Art Directors Guild's 14th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards for 2009.  In order to recognize the worthy achievements in their field, the Art Director's break up their film nominees into three categories.  The only big surprise was the lack of a period nomination for "Nine."  The film may have gotten horrible reviews, but the production design wasn't one of the reasons why.  Another curious omission is the 81st Academy Awards which was nominated for an Emmy last year.  Is it possible production designer David Rockwell isn't in the guild or the show wasn't submitted?  In either event, congratulations to "Wheel of Fortune" for landing a nomination in its place.

Additionally, "Glee," "Mad Men" and "True Blood" were some of the popular shows recognized on the Television side.  Oh, and yes, that is a nod for the soon to be defunct "Jay Leno Show."

The complete rundown of nominees are listed below.

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Alan Rickman as Proffesor Snipe in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's" Alan Rickman made BAFTA's long list, but his chances at an eventual BAFTA nod are not so good.

Credit: Warner Bros.

The Brits get their first say at Oscar with BAFTA long list

Did Snipe and Spock really make the list?

The prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts has one of the more unusual protocols in how they determine the nominees for their annual Orange British Film Awards.  The influential organization has a substantial crossover with Academy membership so their choices are always curious when looking at potential Oscar nominees or winners.  But, unlike other voting groups, BAFTA makes their initial "long list" of potential nominees (round one of voting) public.  That occured today. The second round is the traditional nominees and the third round are obviously the winners. 

Also unlike the Academy Awards, BAFTA members nominate on every category, not just in their chosen field (actors for actors, composers for score, etc.). This tends to encourage lots of "pretty" pictures or actors making the long list.  To "clean up" the overall nods, the membership in each field gets a weighted vote and the nominees who received the most "chapter votes" are marked with an asterisk (*).  This "usually" means they are the favorites for a final nomination. Note: Best Film does not have a weighted vote.  Let's take a look shall we?

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James Cameron on the set of "Avatar"

James Cameron on the set of "Avatar."  This is his second DGA nomination.  He previously won for "Titanic" in 1998.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Avatar's' James Cameron and 'Hurt Locker's' Kathryn Bigelow top Director's Guild nominees

Lee Daniels, Quentin Tarantino and Jason Reitman also receive nods

The Director's Guild of America announced their nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2009 today.  While the nominees do not always match up to the equivalent Academy Award for Best Director, the winner usually does.  In fact, only six DGA winners did not go on to win an Oscar although it should be noted two of them, Ang Lee for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and Rob Marshall for "Chicago," took place within the last decade.

The nominees and their directorial teams are:

Kathryn Bigelow
"The Hurt Locker"
Ms. Bigelow's Directorial Team:

        * Unit Production Manager: Tony Mark
        * First Assistant Director: David Ticotin
        * First Assistant Director (Canadian Unit): Lee Cleary

James Cameron
"Avatar"
Mr. Cameron's Directorial Team:

        * Unit Production Manager: Colin Wilson
        * First Assistant Director: Josh McLaglen
        * Second Assistant Director/Additional Unit First Assistant Director: Maria Battle Campbell

Lee Daniels

"Precious: Based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire"
Mr. Daniels' Directorial Team:

        * Unit Production Manager: Tony Hernandez
        * First Assistant Director: Chip Signore
        * Second Assistant Director: Tracey Hinds                       
        * Second Second Assistant Director: Michael "Boogie"Pinckney                                                                  
        * Additional Unit Production Manager: Patrick D. Gibbons                                                                     
        * Additional First Assistant Director: Tom Fatone
        * Additional Second Assistant Directors: Kim Thompson, Mirashyam Blakeslee
        *  Location Manager: Gregory Routt

Jason Reitman
"Up In The Air"
Mr. Reitman's Directorial Team:

        * Unit Production Manager: Michael Beugg
        * First Assistant Director: Jason Blumenfeld
        * Second Assistant Director: Sonia Bhalla
        * Assistant Unit Production Manager: Samson Mucke
        * Second Second Assistant Director: Joseph Payton
        * Additional Second Assistant Director: Heather L. Hogan 

Quentin Tarantino
"Inglourious Basterds"
Mr. Tarantino's Directorial Team:

        * Unit Production Manager: Gregor Wilson
        * Unit Production Manager (Germany): Michael Scheel
        * First Assistant Director: Carlos Fidel
        * Second Assistant Director: Miguel Angelo Pate
        * Second Second Assistant Directors: Jill Moriarty, Tanja Däberitz 
 

There are no real surprises with today's announcement as these have been the major contenders all along.  However, it was thought "District 9's" Neill Bloomkamp, "Star Trek's" J.J. Abrams or "Invictus'" Clint Eastwood could sneak in instead of Daniels.  With Oscar's Director branch pretty much all members of the DGA, it would be surprising if a drastic change occurred before Academy ballots are due a little over two weeks from now on  Saturday, Jan 23.

Today's announcement sets up an eventual Oscar showdown between Cameron and Bigelow who used to be husband and wife, but now seem to get along swimmingly.  There is a tremendous amount of sentiment for Bigelow not only because she's the first woman who could actually win the award (yes, "it's time" is being heard), but because of her struggle to get "Locker" made, what she accomplished on a relatively miniscule budget and a pretty much no-name cast.  Cameron, on the other hand, is being lauded by his peers for changing the way movies will be made with his global 3-D blockbuster. Our bet?  Bigelow wins both directing awards, Cameron takes home the Best Picture gold and everyone celebrates at the Vanity Fair party.  Maybe.

The DGA winner will be named at the 62nd Annual DGA Awards Dinner on Saturday, January 30, 2010, at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

As the season heats up, look for breaking awards season news and commentary daily on Awards Campaign.  For the latest, follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.
 

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Optimus Prime in Transformers Revenge of the Fallen

Can Optimus Prime and the Autobots make the final cut for Oscar's Visual Effects Oscar? 

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Avatar,' 'Star Trek' and 'Transformers 2' still in running for VIsual Effects Oscar

'District 9,' 'Harry Potter,' 'Terminator Salvation' and '2012' round out the field

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that seven films remain in the running in the Visual Effects category for the 82nd Academy Awards®.  In all seriousness, this competition is really only to determine who the other two nominees will be as "Avatar" is the understandable favorite.

The films are listed below in alphabetical order:

    “Avatar”
    “District 9
    “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
    “Star Trek
    “Terminator Salvation
    “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
    “2012


On Thursday, January 21, all members of the Academy’s Visual Effects Branch will be invited to view 15-minute excerpts from each of the seven shortlisted films. Following the screenings, the members will vote to nominate three films for final Oscar consideration.

At this point, "District 9" is probably the only other favorite to receive a nod.  "Transformers," "2012" and "Star Trek" will most likely battle it out for the third slot.  

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

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Woody Harrelson in The Messenger

"The Messengers'" Woody Harrelson has become a legit conteder for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

Credit: Oscilloscope Laboratories

Oscar Watch: 'The Messenger' becomes a Best Picture wild card

Plus: Publicists honor their own, Gerard Butler goes Golden and more

With films such as "Avatar," "The Hurt Locker," "Up," "Precious," "Up in the Air," "An Education" and "Inglourious Basterds" already viewed as safe Oscar bets there has been lots of speculation about which pictures will fill the last two to three slots in the Academy's new ten nominee Best Picture system.  Following the holiday break, a somewhat surprising wild card entry has appeared on the scene: "The Messenger." 

Oren Moverman's moving portrait of a returning Iraq soldier who has to deal with the difficult task of being assigned to notify the kin of fallen servicemen wasn't one of the major discoveries at last year's Sundance Film Festival, but throughout the year buzz slowly grew on the drama. More importantly, praise for performances for stars Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson and Samantha Morton.  However, without a major indie studio behind it how could it really make a mark?  In past years no, but 2010 is a whole new ball game.

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"Avatar" leads the ten Producer's Guild of America nominees.

"Avatar" leads the ten Producer's Guild of America nominees.

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Avatar,' 'Star Trek' and 'The Hurt Locker' headline PGA Nominations

"District 9," "An Education" and "Inglourious Basterds" also make the list

The Producer's Guild of America announced ten nominees for the the Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures category that will advance in the voting process for the 21st Annual PGA Awards, which will take place on Sunday, January 24th at the Hollywood Palladium. The PGA also announced nominees in other categories including: the PGA Producer of the Year Award in Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures; the PGA Producer of the Year Award in Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures; and the David L. Wolper Producer of the Year Award in Long-Form Television.

 

The nominees along with some initial analysis for one of the traditionally foreshadowing honors for Oscar are listed below.

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Michael Cera talks about his new comedy Youth in Revolt.

Michael Cera talks about his new comedy Youth in Revolt.

Credit: HitFix

Is Michael Cera the worst interview in Hollywood?

The 'Scott Pilgrim' star is as forthcoming as ever

First off, "Youth in Revolt" is a very entertaining movie.  I had the opportunity to watch it right after the Toronto Film Festival way back at the beginning of October and it's a sweet, funny and daring comedy that totally deserves to find an audience.  In fact, you can't argue with The Weinstein Company moving the film from a late Fall release date they weren't prepared for to an early January opening that should have been less competitive (that was until of this little movie phenomenon called "Avatar").  Unfortunately, Cera is continuing to show that as talented and personable he is onscreen and off camera, he's becoming one of the most uninteresting interview subjects in the business.

This is at least the sixth time I've seen Cera interact with the media either at a press conference, roundtable or TV interview.  Ironically, the more singular the interview gets the less forthcoming Cera becomes.  It's not that Cera won't answer any questions, but his responses are about as interesting as paint drying.  Shoot, "Revolt" was a passion project for Cera who wanted to make it for a number of years.  I even prompt him about that and get a throw away answer in return.  

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District 9 could sneak into Oscar's Best Picture field.

Yep, it's true. "District 9" could sneak into Oscar's Best Picture field.

Credit: Sony Pictures

Oscar's 10 biggest questions as 2010 begins

Can 'District 9" sneak into the Best Picture race?

As a new year begins, its somewhat surprising that so much seems settled in this year's Oscar race.  True, there are two spots (possibly three) at play for Best Picture, but what other questions are racking the brains of studio publicists, consultants, actors and filmmakers clamoring for their shot at Oscar gold?  Let's take a look, shall we?


Is "Nine" out or is it in?
Lord, it would be a big surprise if it made it.  The critic's mostly skewered it and its being perceived as a box office bomb within the industry (which is pretty much true...baring a miraculous turnaround).  The musical's big test?  Making the PGA's ten nominations for best picture on Tuesday morning.  If it doesn't, it's pretty much over.

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Jeremy Renner in the acclaimed drama "The Hurt Locker"

Jeremy Renner is looking like a Best Actor nominee for his work in "The Hurt Locker."

Credit: Summit Entertainment

'Hurt Locker' dominates National Society of Film Critics winners

Best Picture contender also wins Best Director and Best Actor

The National Society of Film Critics announced their 2009 winners today.  The organization was formed back in the 1960s by film critics who were denied entry into the New York Film Critic's Circle.  Historically one of the last critic's groups to announce their picks there were only a few surprises in their selecitons today.  Here's a quick rundown of the winners and some quick thoughts on each.

Picture: "The Hurt Locker"

If you were to believe critics, "Hurt Locker" has the best chance of beating "Avatar" for Best Picture.  However, until proven otherwise, "Up in the Air" has to be considered the alternate choice among Academy members.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
Her former husband may be her biggest competition, but after so many accolades its still hard to see Bigelow not becoming the first woman to win Best Director.

Actor: Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"
These sort of wins are big for Renner who is trying to sneak into the final five Best Actor nominations.

Actress: Yolande Moreau, "Seraphine"

These late season accolades for Moreau could have helped "Seraphine" when it was released way back in June to little fanfare.

Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds," and Paul Schneider, "Bright Star"
Some nice love for Schneider, but Waltz is running away with this one at Oscar.

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Golden Globe nominee Emily Blunt talks about The Wolfman and Young Victoria.

Golden Globe nominee Emily Blunt talks about The Wolfman and Young Victoria.

Golden Globe contender Emily Blunt on 'Young Victoria' and 'The Wolfman'

Brit says Del Toro is 'terrifying' as a werewolf

To say Emily Blunt is a favorite of the Hollywood Foreign Press is a bit of an understatement.  The 26-year-old Brit was a surprise Best Supporting Actress nominee for her breakout role in "The Devil Wears Prada" (Oscar didn't agree) and won a statue the same year for her supporting Television performance in "Gideon's Daughter." Therefore, there was little surprise among the industry when Blunt was nominated this year for playing Britain's longest reigning monarch in "Queen Victoria."

The period drama received stronger reviews stateside than it did overseas and has done well since opening in limited release a few weeks ago.  Blunt sat down and talked to Awards Campaign about the responsibility of playing Queen Victoria and whether she'd return to depict another era of Victoria's dramatic 63 year reign.  More intriguing, and you can see her slight smile when discussing it, Blunt gives some tidbits on the growing buzz over her long in production remake of "The Wolfman" alongside Benecio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.

You can check out the interview embedded in this story our watch a larger version here.

"The Young Victoria" is now playing in select cities and is expected to expand nationwide later this month.

As the season heats up, look for breaking awards season news and commentary daily on Awards Campaign.  For the latest, follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.
 

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