Tuesday, January 31, 2006

OSCAR® NOMINATIONS ARE OFFICIAL

The cowboy love story BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN leads the nominations for the Academy Awards® with eight nominations, chief among them is best picture. Along with the top category nomination, the movie is up for: best director, Ang Lee; best actor, Heath Ledger; best supporting actor and actress, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams; best screenplay adaptation (from Annie Proulx's short story), Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana; best cinematography, Rodrigo Prieto; and best original score, Gustavo Santaolalla.

BROKEBACK made history today as the first movie openly addressing homosexuality to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar®. If it wins, hopefully it will help open the door for tolerance about sexuality, something sorely needed in America and world-wide.

The other best picture nominees include the usual suspects CAPOTE, the Truman Capote story, and the Edward R. Murrow chronicle GOOD NIGHT, and GOOD LUCK, each receiving six nominations. Steven Spielberg's assassination thriller MUNICH, about hunting down the terrorists after the carnage at the 1972 Olympics was a "maybe" on many lists, but it made it. There are two main reasons for the MUNICH nomination, and I shall discuss them in my next post.

The other nominee is the race-relations ensemble drama CRASH that has been mostly over-looked by some awards organizations and the general public. It edged out one of the favorites WALK THE LINE, the latter receiving only the best actor and actress nods. I shall also discuss the reasons for this in a subsequent post.

There are twenty-four categories for nominations. During the weeks preceding the Oscars, I shall discuss as many major categories as possible, and attempt to offer some insights as to the nominations and the possible winners on March 5.

I recommend you go to my Awards Page where you can track your favorite film, and see the major awards it has won so far this season. Also, there are many direct links to provide more information. The complete list of nominees is available on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences'® Official Oscar Site

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Academy Awards Nominations will be Announced Tuesday Morning

Nominations for the 78th Academy Awards® will be announced Tuesday, January 31, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' President Sid Ganis, and Oscar-winning actress and Academy member Mira Sorvino. They will unveil the nominations in ten of the 24 categories at a 5:30 a.m. (EST) news conference that will be attended by media outlets from around the world. Sorvino received an Oscar® in 1995 for her supporting role in "Mighty Aphrodite."

News media from around the world will be present at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hill, for the live announcement at 5:30 a.m., PST. Press releases of the nominations in all categories, including those not announced, will be distributed simultaneously to news media in attendance, and via the Internet on the official Academy Awards Web site, www.oscar.com.

Official screenings for Academy members of all pictures with a nomination are scheduled to begin February 4 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater and the Linwood Dunn Theater located at the Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study in Hollywood. Screenings in certain categories also will be held in London, New York and San Francisco.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2005 will be presented on Sunday, March 5, 2006, at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 8 p.m. EST. A one-hour red carpet arrivals show will precede the telecast at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

OSCAR® BALLOTS DUE THIS SATURDAY

Nomination ballots for the Academy Awards® from members of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences must be received at the offices of PriceWaterhouseCoopers by 5:00 p.m., PST, this Saturday, January 21. They will be counted and the nominations announced Tuesday, January 31, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills, 5:30 a.m. PST. See links on this blog for "Films Eligible for Oscars®".

So, will the Golden Globe wins really impact the results of the Oscars®? It's my opinion that they will not. As previously noted, the Globes are awarded by the relatively small Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has about 80 members, compared with the 5,800 film professionals eligible to vote for the Oscars®. The Globes have more categories, including comedy and musical films, and TV shows while the Oscars® are all about movies.

The Press Association is mainly composed of young men, most under age 45. The Academy members are also mostly male, but there are a greater number of females proportionately in the Academy, and the average age of voting Academy members is older. But, the most important difference is the cultural orientation. Academy members know and appreciate history, especially American history. They are "in tune" with American culture.

The foreign press, on the other hand, go for the younger actors, especially the beautiful young women, and if those young women happen to be blondes their chances of winning awards are much higher. The foreign press are intrigued with the old west, black culture, they l-o-v-e American music and musical performers, and movies that push the boundaries of cultural behavior.


The point I am making is that the nominees for the Oscars® will be somewhat similar, but they will also be different, as will the winners. There are a few Globe winners that will probably repeat at the Oscars®, but let's hold that speculation until the actual nominees are announced.

Monday, January 16, 2006

GOLDEN GLOBES TONIGHT

The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, will be telecast live tonight on NBC, 8:00 p.m. (EST), it is a potential breakthrough night for movies dealing with homosexuality or transsexualism. The cowboy romance BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (homosexuality); the movie about In Cold Blood author Truman Capote, CAPOTE (a homosexual); and TRANSAMERICA (transsexuality), which is expected to catapult "Desperate Housewives" Felicity Huffman's career with a best actress award, are among the key contenders. The Globes are awarded by the relatively small Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which has about 80 members, compared with the 5,800 film professionals eligible to vote for the Oscars®. The Globes have more categories, including comedy and musical films, and TV shows. Yet, the Globes have an excellent track record at predicting the Oscars®, and winners catch momentum that can boost their chances come Oscar® night.

The members of the Association like movies that push the boundaries of movie making, and the five films nominated in the Best Dramatic Film category this year do that. They are: BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN; THE CONSTANT GARDENER; GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK; A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE; and MATCH POINT. Some would say the levity is that SirAnthony Hopkins will be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

In the Best Foreign Film category, KUNG FU HUSTLE (Gong fu, Hong Kong Mandarin title) is the only film in the running not submitted to AMPAS® for a possible Oscar® nomination in that category, but it has already received awards at the Broadcast Critic's Choice Awards and the Boston Film Critics.

For more, see my Awards Page.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Golden Globes Monday Night - Here Come Oscars®

The 63rd Annual Golden Globe Awards will be telecast live on NBC, Monday, January 16, 2006. Anthony Hopkins will be honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement.

SOME OF THE NOMINEES ARE (To view this with film links, Mimi's Awards Page):

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN garnered seven nominations: Best Picture, Drama; Actor (Heath Ledger); Supporting Actress (Michelle Williams); Director (Ang Lee); Screenplay (Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana); Original Score (Gustavo Santaolalla); Original Song ("A Love That Will Never Grow Old"). The surprise? Jake Gyllenhaa, who co-stars did not receive a nomination.

Other films nominated in the Best Drama category: THE CONSTANT GARDENER; GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK; A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, and MATCH POINT, Woody Allen's latest.

Foreign Films nominated: KUNG FU HUSTLE (Gong fu, Hong Kong Mandarin title); MERRY CHRISTMAS (JOYEUZ NOEL, France); PARADISE NOW (Palestine); THE PROMISE (WU JI, People's Republic of China); and TSOTSI (South Africa). All but Kung Fu Hustle have been submitted for a possible Oscar® nomination in the Best Foreign Film Category.


For the full list of nominations:
http://www.thegoldenglobes.com/

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Jon Stewart Will Host Academy Awards®

Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" was tapped today to host the 2006 Oscars®, ending speculation that the host might be Steve Martin, late-night hosts Jay Leno or Conan O'Brien. Stewart hosted the Grammys® Music Awards in 2001 and 2002.

The 43-year-old star of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" follows a long line of standup comedians who have hosted the Oscars
®: Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, etc.

"The Daily Show" has earned seven Emmys and a Peabody award. Stewart also won the 2005 Thurber Prize for American Humor for his book written with "The Daily Show" writers, America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction.

"I love a comic who can deal with the unexpected and has the ability to run the room," said Gil Cates, the producer of this year's 78th Academy Awards
®, airing 5 March on ABC. "The speed of mind and fearlessness of a comic really adds to the show. My wife and I watch him every night," he said. "Jon is the epitome of a perfect host -- smart, engaging, irreverent and funny."

"He's a very, very popular entertainer with a mind that is quick, and you need that on a show like this," said Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
"I'm very excited. Stewart is a superb choice — witty, current, intelligent and charming. What a terrific addition to our roster of great hosts!"


Hope these expectations are not too high. Good luck, Jon!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

An Interesting Charlie Chaplin Tidbit

Read today that Aurélia Thierrée is acting in a production at the Teatro Principal (Principal Theatre) in Valencia, Spain, 4-8 January, entitled, "El Oratorio de Aurélia" (“Aurélia’s Oratorio”). Aurélia's mother and father, Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Thierrée, developed and previously performed the piece as "The Invisable Circus," which evolved with a particular mix of clever transformations, magic acts, and circus-style balancing over the past two decades. Their aim was to delight and amuse their audiences, always careful not to let their light touch become heavy-handed overkill. It was an astute commentary on the traditional circus laden with tigers and trapezes. Now, Victoria has revised it for, and with, her daughter Aurélia, utilizing optical illusions with magical light effects mixed with nostalgic music hall nuances.

Victoria's parents were Charlie and Oona O'Neill Chaplin, so Aurélia's aunt is, of course, actress Geraldine Chaplin. One article I read states that Aurélia has a good relationship with her aunt.

One reviewer wrote, "Sit back, hold tight and return to the lost land of fantasy, where curiosity and marvels abound, and there is simply no limit to your imagination! You will be amazed and enchanted at the same time."

Sounds like a yummy theatrical experience that Charlie would have loved!