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This morning's Screen Actors Guild (SAG) nominations announcement wasn't going to have a lot of surprises. At this stage, most of the players are known. It's a dense race, however, so the only question was, who was going to get squeezed out?
One of the defining traits of The Quality TV Deluge of 2013 has been the arrival of so many impressive new series to add to a landscape that already included the shows of HBO, AMC, FX, et al. The likes of "Orange Is the New Black," "Masters of Sex," the different Sundance series, "The Americans," and more added so much vitality to television — and so many indelible performances, like Tatiana Maslany playing a half dozen roles on "Orphan Black."
If showbiz awards are designed in part as a historical record of what a particular year was like, then today's Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations didn't do a great job of telling the story of 2013. It featured most of the usual suspects(*) like "Breaking Bad" and "Boardwalk Empire" and "Modern Family" and "Downton Abbey," and as a result there was virtually no room to recognize newcomers.
The Screen Actors Guild announced this year's nominees for the 2014 SAG Awards. The winners will be announced during a live telecast on TNT and TBS on Saturday, Jan. 18. The nominees are as follows...
It happens pretty much every year: some adorable animal in one of the year's major awards titles charms critics enough that its "performance" places in various year-end polls, while others make irony-laced calls for awards recognition. Two years ago it was that craven red-carpet whore Uggie; this year, it's the cat/s of "Inside Llewyn Davis" that has surfaced in the Indiewire critics' poll for Best Supporting Performance. Joe Reid, albeit with his own tongue fairly far in cheek, is tired of the joke: "Handing an Academy Award to your cat is something to do when you're eight years old and holding pretend Academy Awards in your bedroom, because you're an only gay child who just wants to re-enact the Whoopi Goldberg-hosted 1998 Oscars, and the cat makes a better Gwyneth Paltrow than you do." The old Billy DeWolfe song "Don't Dress Your Cat in an Apron" comes to mind. [The Wire]
Kurt Sutter had "Sons of Anarchy's" Season 6 finale shocker planned for years
"I knew early on in the series," he says. "I won't say from the very beginning, but fairly early on ... Obviously, I wasn’t quite sure of the circumstances that would get us there, but I knew that that’s what we were ultimately writing towards." PLUS: Maggie Siff on how she prepared for the finale, Sutter is surprised by hatred toward Tara, Rockmond Dunbar and Theo Rossi talk about their pivotal scenes, and Katey Sagal talks "Team Gemma."
If you happened to watch "Saturday Night Live" last weekend, you might have caught the show's spoof on the recent trend of African-American themed holiday films entitled "White Christmas." The skit featured Paul Rudd as a Caucasian version of Tyler Perry's signature Madea character as well as also poking fun at the box office smash "The Best Man Holiday." Conveniently, HitFix spoke to Perry, who was promoting "A Madea Christmas," less than 12 hours after the skit aired and asked him what his reaction was.
When I first started writing about movies online, we were smack-dab in the middle of the first era of Mike De Luca. At that point, he was the enfant terrible of New Line Pictures, the guy who helped transform them from a sort of low-grade exploitation house into the studio that ended up winning Best Picture with "Return Of The King." De Luca was the risk-taker, the guy who championed films like "Boogie Nights," and along with Richard Brener and Stokely Chafin, he built New Line into something bigger and better than just "the house that Freddy built."
De Luca was young, though, and he embraced a certain kind of lifestyle that led to bad press, fair or unfair. He became a liability for the company, and he eventually left under a dark cloud. It has taken him years to build himself back up, and he's done it by working hard and completely rebuilding his image in the industry. When he was just promoted to co-president of production for Sony Pictures, it was a major, major moment for him, a redemption fulfilled, and it happens at a moment where the industry could use a guy with the same sort of edgy sensibilities that made him such a superstar in the first place.
Forgive me if this goes astray, but I'm still working through my stages of grief over this "Sons of Anarchy" finale. I'm currently on depression, and hoping that writing this will move me toward acceptance.
[Here's an obligatory spoiler alert if you decided to click on an article about the "Sons of Anarchy" finale and yet don't want to know a thing about it. I'm not going to bury the lede because it's really the only thing worth talking about. Most of this episode was extremely slow and incredibly boring.]
It's not a new trick to put Oscar contenders that have mostly come and gone from the multiplex back into theaters this time of year. It can often help regain steam heading into the voting period or, better yet, rack up on extra box office dollars in the latter-year fog of awards season.
Today, Sony Classics and Sony Pictures each announced that Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine" and Paul Greengrass' "Captain Phillips," respectively, would be heading back to screens. Allen's film, which features a Cate Blanchett performance that has been dominating on the critics circuit and may well win the Oscar, will re-release into 300 theaters this weekend, while Greengrass' gripping account of Somali piracy off the coast of Africa starring Tom Hanks will expand into a whopping 1,000 theaters on January 15, just one day before the Oscar nominations.