Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oscar® Nominations Tomorrow - - Official Site and Media

Nominations for the 81st Academy Awards® will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, 22 January, 5:30 a.m. PT. As usual, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Sid Ganis will make the announcement assisted by a member of the Academy. Oscar-winning actor and Academy member Forest Whitaker (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND) will accompany him this year.

Ganis and Whitaker will unveil the nominations in 10 of the 24 award categories in a news conference at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Of course, hundreds of media representatives from around the world will be gathered.

The Academy's official Oscar Web site is now up and will be activated when the nominations are announced. Information for all categories will be distributed simultaneously to news media in attendance and via the Internet on the official Oscar Web site,

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, 22 February 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nine Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar® Race

Nine films on this shortlist will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 81st Academy Awards®. Sixty-five films originally qualified in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:
Austria, REVANCHE (Revenge), Gotz Spielmann, director;
Canada, THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE, Benoit Pilon, director;
France, THE CLASS, Laurent Cantet, director;
Germany, THE BAADER MEINHJOF COMPLEX, Uli Edel, director;
Israel, WAlTZ WITH BASHIR, Ari Folman, director;
Japan, DEPARTURES, Yojiro Takita, director;
Mexico, TEAR THIS HEART OUT, Roberto Sneider, director;
Sweden, EVERLASTING MOMENTS, Jan Troell, director;
Turkey, 3 MONKEYS, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director.

Foreign Language Film nominations for 2008 are determined in two phases. The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based members, screened the 65 eligible films between mid-October and January 10. That group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute this shortlist.

The provision for the Executive Committee to augment the first short list was added last year because certain films that were eligible, and had received a number of awards, were completely overlooked by the first committee. Main case in point was the Romania movie, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS, AND 2 DAYS, directed by Cristian Mungiu. Among its many awards was best film at Cannes, 2007. I am happy to see that at least four in the above list are, indeed on this short list, especially THE CLASS from France, which won best film at Cannes last May.

The other three are THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, WALTZ WITH BASHIR (won Golden Globe this past week for BFLF), and 3 MONKEYS. In THE CLASS (Entre les murs), French teacher and novelist François Bégaudeau plays a version of himself teaching a year with a racially mixed class in a tough Parisian neighborhood.

MEINHOF COMPLEX concerns Germany's terrorist group, The Red Army Faction (RAF), which organized bombings, robberies, kidnappings and assassinations in the late 1960s and '70s. Based on Stefan Aust's best-selling nonfiction book. In BASHIR, a young man tells the film's director about being chased by 26 vicious dogs. A family with problems refuses to hear, see, or talk about them, so they are like the 3 MONKEYS (Üç maymun) in the well-known bric-a-brac.

In Phase Two of the nomination procedure for this category, specially selected committees in New York and Los Angeles will winnow this list to five eligible for nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film (BFLF). The number of originally qualified films allows for a maximum of five nominees in the BFLF category. The committee members will spend this Friday, Saturday and Sunday viewing three of the films each day

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, 22 January 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT, in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.The Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, 22 February 2009, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Monday, January 12, 2009

SLUMDOG Tops Golden Globes 2009

SLUMDOG is Top Dog at Globes

Waltz with Bashir

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, the Hollywood Bollywood-inspired fantasy movie filmed in Mumbai, India, received four Golden Globes at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's (HFPA) Golden Globes Gala Sunday night. Not only did SLUMDOG win the Best Motion Picture Award, drama, the director (Danny Boyle), screenwriter (Simon Boufoy), and musical score composer (A.R. Rahman), all took home a Globe.

This is what I wrote about SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE in my post on this blog 12/12/2008, exactly one month before the Golden Globes Gala, in regards to the nominations: "In addition, the 'little movie that might,' SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, received a best picture (drama) nomination, and the director Danny Boyle received a best director nomination. SLUMDOG also received a best original score nomination for composer A. R. Rahman. This movie has been picked up by Fox Searchlight. Pay attention to it."

SLUMDOG could be the mighty little independent movie in the Oscar race this year. Think LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, JUNO, etc. SLUMDOG bested the heavyweight nominees THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJIMIN BUTTON (Brad Pitt), FROST/NIXON (directed by Ron Howard), REVOLUTIONARY ROAD (Winslet and DeCaprio), and THE READER (Winslet, again).

BENJAMIN BUTTON, FROST/NIXON and DOUBT all tied with five nominations, but went home sans statuette. So did actress Meryl Streep, having been nominated for best actress in DOUBT (drama) and MAMA MIA! (musical/comedy). However, there were delights with some of the other winners such as actress Kate Winslet. Nominated five times before in the acting category she had won nothing, and this year she hit a double. She received Globes in the drama category for best supporting actress as a Nazi concentration camp guard in THE READER, and the best actress for REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, the latter directed by her husband Sam Mendes.

Two other big winners for the evening were actors Collin Farrell and Mickey Rourke. Farrell won best actor, musical/comedy, for his portrayal of a hit man in the weakly distributed, IN BRUGES. It is available now on DVD. I saw it and highly recommend it.

Rourke, who makes a spectacular comeback in the comeback drama THE WRESTLER, won best actor, drama. I was not surprised that Rourke knocked out the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio (Revolutionary Road), Frank Langella (Frost / Nixon), Sean Penn (Milk), and Brad Pitt (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button). In the before-mentioned post I wrote, "However, the one to watch in this category is Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)."

Director Woody Allen, in my humble opinion, richly deserves VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA'S win as best musical/comedy motion picture, while the big surprise of the evening was British actress Sally Hawkins' win as best actress, musical/comedy, for her Pollyanna-like role in HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, directed by Mike Leigh.

The win by the animated movie from Israel, WALTZ WITH BASHIR, is an odd choice for Best Foreign Language Film, but the HFPA may not be out in left field about this award-winning animated movie.

The late actor Heath Ledger was honored posthumously for the Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT. There is speculation about an Oscar repeat for Ledger. Only one actor has won a posthumous best-actor Oscar, and that is Peter Finch for NETWORK, 1976.

Of, course, I can't forget Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen who won the best song in a motion picture for THE WRESTLER'S "The Wrestler".

Congratulations to director / producer Stephen Spielberg, this year's recipient of the prestigious Cecil B. DeMille Award! Now, the big question is, "Are the winners of the Gold Globe Awards precursors of the upcoming Oscars?"

Motion Picture Winners (Sunday, 11 January 2009)

Best Motion Picture - Drama: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
Best Motion Picture - Musical/Comedy: VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
Best Animated Feature: WALL-E
Best Foreign Language Film: WALTZ WITH BASHIR, Israel, Animated

Best Performance by an Actress - Drama: KATE WINSLET (Revolutionary Road)
Best Performance by an Actor - Drama: MICKEY ROURKE
Best Performance by an Actress - Musical/Comedy: SALLY HAWKINS (Happy-Go-Lucky)
Best Performance by an Anctor - Musical/Comedy: COLIN FARRELL (IN BRUGES)
Best Performance by an Actress in a supporting role: KATE WINSLET (The Reader)
Best Performance by an Actor in a supporting role: HEATH LEDGER (The Dark Knight)

Best Director - Motion Picture: DANNY BOYLE (Slumdog Millionaire).
Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: SIMON BEAUFOY (Slumdog Millionaire).
Best Original Musical Score - Motion Picture: SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE, Composed by A. R. Rahman.
Best Original Song - Motion Picture: THE WRESTLER, Music & Lyrics by: Bruce Springsteen.

To see all the winners and nominees for motion pictures and television CLICK.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Golden Globes® Gala Tonight

The second annual biggest party in the electronic Universe, the Golden Globes Gala, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), is back tonight after a horrible makeshift televised awards program last year. More than 50 Hollywood stars are confirmed as presenters.

Steven Spielberg will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field." He was scheduled to receive it last year, but the HFPA postponed it due to the scaled down event.

The HFPA Golden Globes honor their choices for both the film and television professionals at the same gala. So, welcome back HFPA. I, among many others, missed the glitz and glam last year.

There is no doubt that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association suffered financial loss and the honorees lost valuable "buzz" because the gala was canceled due to the Writers Guild strike. The HFPA promises that the 66th annual gala tonight, broadcast on NBC (8-11 EST), will be bigger and better. The Globe nominations are a roster of the hot and new films, actors, technical achievements, etc.

Because the members represent the foreign press there is a much greater emphasis on who and what is hot at the very moment they fill out their nomination, or final, ballots. Their choices are often based on the feedback the members get from residents of their native countries. After all, they want as many of their fellow country persons to watch as possible.

One advantage of the Globe broadcast is that it is leaner, cleaner, tighter, and not as long, as the top awards show, the Academy Awards®, a.k.a., The Oscars. In the past, one disadvantage was the members seemed to nominate and vote for their favorite "eye candy," not necessarily upon the film or nominee's professional achievements and skills.

The Golden Globes broadcast has been increasing the number of countries and cities where it is broadcast, undoubtedly helped by Internet broadcast. In other words, what fifteen years ago was a little step child of the Oscars is no longer.

It's a big self-sufficient grownup player. One thing evident is that the members of the foreign press are becoming more knowledgeable about cinematic arts and less into voting for that "eye candy".

However, I'm sure there will be lots of hot new eye candy, and they venerate those older actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers and writers, honoring them whenever they can. They don't wait until the film professionals are 80 years old, or almost on their deathbed to do it.

Check the Links Relevant at the bottom of this post to quickly find some information that will increase your viewing pleasure.

For quick access to posts on this blog you can sign up for an Atom instant notice when Mimi makes a post. Look at the top of the right sidebar under "Profile" for Atom.


Yahoo article about Globes Gala tonight.

Mimi's Quick Links to helpful info about tonight at the Golden Globes' Gala.

Link to Mimi's previous post about the 66th Golden Globes on "Mimi at the Movies" blog.

Private Golden Globes Web Site with archive of previous winners.

HFPA Site.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Short List for Visual Effects Oscar®

Seven movies made the short list for possible nomination for an Oscar in the Visual Effects category for the 81st Academy Awards®, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today. The films are listed below in alphabetical order: AUSTRALIA, THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON, THE DARK KNIGHT, HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY, IRON MAN, JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, and THE MUMMY: TOMB OF THE DRAGON EMPEROR.

On Thursday, 15 January, 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.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, 22 January 2009, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

281 Feature Films Vie for 2008 Oscar® Nominations

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has certified 281 feature films eligible for the Academy Award® for Best Picture of 2008, and only five will be nominated to compete. Participants in these films are eligible for other Oscar nominations such as Best Director, Best Actress, Best Costumes, etc.

To be eligible for 81st Academy Awards® consideration, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by midnight, 31 December and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days. Feature films that receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release are not eligible for Academy Awards in any category.

Under Academy rules, a feature-length motion picture must have a running time of more than 40 minutes and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format. See the full list (in .pdf) of 281 films, and read more about the rules, by clicking the title of this post.

The 81st Oscar nominations will be announced 5:30 a.m. PT, Thursday, 22 January 2009, at in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2008 will be presented on Sunday, 22 February 2009, in the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live by the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.