After you watch this bizarre parody of "War Horse" from last night's "Saturday Night Live," a few observations.
With "The Artist" breathing down its neck and buzz growing for "Hugo," "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and "War Horse," the beginning of December wasn't the best of times for Team "Descendants." The critically acclaimed film had lost both the best picture honors of the NYFCC and the National Board of Review and while box office was fantastic, best picture hopes were fading fast. What a difference the last week has been.
Tate Taylor is living the dream. The screenwriter and director of "The Help" has seen his surprise blockbuster turn into an awards season darling. The film's biggest kudos so far came over the past two days as it was nominated for best ensemble at the SAG Awards, best picture - drama at the Golden Globes and three of his actors, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer, received both SAG and Golden Globe acting nominations. For a Hollywood lifer who spent over a decade trying to land his big break in the business, it sounds like he's still pinching himself.
No one has ever taken much stock in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's best of the year picks as a reliable precursors to the Academy Awards. At best, they are a well timed marketing tool that provides awards-centric films a publicity boost at the box office. And, this year in particular, for small films such as "We Need To Talk About Kevin," "Albert Nobbs," "The Artist" and "My Week With Marilyn" and "Shame," that could be significant. But after the SAG Awards were announced yesterday, an actual indicator of industry and AMPAS member sentiment, have the Globes ever seemed less relevant?
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced this morning that 10 short films have advanced to the next round of voting for the 2012 Live Action Academy Award. 107 short films originally qualified and out of that pool the following 10 were selected.
"Je Pourrais Être Votre Grand-Mère (I Could Be Your Grandmother)," Bernard Tanguy, director-producer (Rézina Productions)
"Love at First Sight," Michael Davies, director and Sandra Gorel, producer (Spellbound Films)
"Pentecost," Peter McDonald, director (EMU Productions)
"Raju," Max Zähle, director and Stefan Gieren, producer (Hamburg Media School/Filmwerkstatt)
"The Road Home," Rahul Gandotra, director-producer and Ameenah Ayub, producer (London Film School)
"The Roar of the Sea," Ana Rocha Fernandes and Torsten Truscheit, directors (Niama Filmproduktion GmbH)
"Sailcloth," Elfar Adalsteins, director-producer (Berserk Films)
"The Shore," Terry George, director-producer (All Ashore Productions Limited"
"Time Freak," Andrew Bowler, director and Gigi Causey, producer (Team Toad)
"Tuba Atlantic," Hallvar Witzø, director (The Norwegian Film School/Den Norske Filmskolen)
At this point, the Academy's Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now review the finalists and select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist for nomination. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco next month.
The 84th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 AM, 8:30 AM PT.
In one respect the film nominations for the 2012 Screen Actor's Guild Awards were not that surprising. They were broad. They were populist. And, for the most part, they didn't rock the boat. Before we go through each category, however, there are some major lessons already being learned from today's results.
Early tomorrow morning the Screen Actor's Guild will get a jump on the HFPA and announce the nominees for the 2012 SAG Awards. Unlike the Golden Globes, the SAGs are held in much higher esteem by most actors because they are being honored by their peers. Of course, with such a large group of voters on the nominating committee(4,200 randomly selected members) you're bound to get a few strange nods here and there. Moreover, as the largest branch in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, how the actors (er, SAG) falls is generally (but not always) a good indicator of where the Academy Award nominations will land. That being said, before you get up bright and early to hear Regina King and Judy Greer announce this year's nods, keep these 10 things in mind.
Funnyman Seth Rogen will host the 27th annual Independent Spirits Awards next year, lending his brand of smart-stoner sass to the proceedings.
He'll also have an interest in the show's results; Rogen co-produced and starred in this year's "50/50," with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, which is up for multiple Spirit Awards including Best Feature. Also nominated in that category are the films "Drive," "The Descendants," "Take Shelter," "Beginners" and "The Artist."
He also recently co-starred in the Toronto Fest hit "Take This Waltz," with Michelle Williams.
Rogen, whose first break was on TV's "Freaks and Geeks," has been everywhere in the last few years, and may be best known for his handful of films with "Freaks" producer Judd Apatow, including "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," "Superbad," "Knocked Up" and "Funny People."
“We’re incredibly excited to have Seth as the host for the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards and join us in celebrating this year’s exquisite films and talented filmmaking artists. Seth’s charm, intelligence and quick wit are sure to light up the room and will make for a truly entertaining afternoon,” said Film Independent's Sean Mc Manus in a release.
The 27th annual awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, February 25, and will air that evening at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.
Rogen's pal and frequent co-star James Franco did a less-than-stellar job of co-hosting the Oscars last year with Anne Hathaway, but we can assume that The Spirits and Rogen are a better match.
Last year's Spirit Awards show was hosted by "Community: star Joel McHale. Previous hosts have included Eddie Izzard, Steve Coogan, Rainn Wilson, Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Tilly, Sarah Silverman and frequent host John Waters.
Do you think Rogen's a good choice to host?
This is not your typical Angelina Jolie interview. This is not an interview discussing Jolie's humanitarian efforts across the globe. This is not an interview pestering Jolie about whether she thinks' longtime companion Brad Pitt will finally win an Oscar this year. This is not an interview diving into the ridiculous tabloid headlines that follow Jolie on a daily and sometimes hourly basis. This isn't an interview fishing for a bite on whether Jolie will star in sequels to "Salt" or "Wanted" or if and when the Kay Scarpetta movie is going to happen. No, this is an interview about Angelina Jolie the director.
The Golden Globes and SAG Awards nomination announcements are right around the corner and one film that could be a major surprise is "Bridesmaids." Sure, Melissa McCarthy seems like as shoe-in for a best supporting actress nomination for SAG and possibly the HFPA, but a best ensemble (SAG) and best picture - comedy or musical (Golden Globes) could also be in the works too. Screenwriters Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo may also find their way to a WGA Awards nomination in the original screenplay category. This all comes after McCarthy has already been lauded today by the Boston Society of Film Critics and the New York Online Film Critics. It seems appropriate then, that I share a long and intriguing conversation I had last month with the film's director, Paul Feig.