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Entries in Oscars (11) (326)


Happy 50th Birthday, Alexandre Desplat

Robert G here from Sketchy Details wishing a Happy Birthday to the most in demand film composer of our time.

Can you believe that Alexandre Desplat has scored 128 separate film and television projects since 1985? How about how a year hasn't gone by since 1991 where he didn't score at least three different TV or film productions? He has had quite the successful career in France and has started to work consistently in America in the past eight or so years.

Desplat has been nominated for Best Original Score four times at the Academy Awards: The Queen, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The King's Speech. He's clearly doing something right to get the Music Branch's attention. His work is especially noticeable for not being the super flashy film scoring that demands attention. He does what needs to be done to set the right tone and lets the film be the focus.

Indeed, every year he lost the Oscar, he lost to a film with a far flashier or more pronounced score...

Click to read more ...


Hey, who Abducted my links?

Taylor Lautner, that's who!
and Kate Winslet but we'll get to her in a minute.
Michael Musto wonders if Taylor Lautner can be a film star outside of Twilight. My guess is no... but that he'll be crying all the way to the bank for the rest of his life by association. But, really, if you can't even sell a performance (Abduction) for two minutes in a trailer, how are you going to carry an entire film? 
Ultra Culture also has some words about the disingenousness of the promotional efforts for Taylor's BabyBourne film and...
Movie|Line giggles about how desperately Abduction wants to be seen as Teen Bourne.
Biblioklept "all four Twilight books in one comic" by Lucy Knisey is totes funny so read it. Unless the previous words about Taylor hurt your feelers.

P.S. I don't follow these things: Is there another Twilight about to come out or something? Cuz why is everyone talking Twilight again just as Harry Potter finally shut up? Blargh! Put new things into the world. Why is 2011 just like 2007? Noooooooo

And since you're all talking about it in the comments without me even posting it, here is an early teaser/trailer (?) for CARNAGE.

For those of you who haven't seen the play you're seeing two of the three big moments from Winslet's character.... and almost none of anyone else's. Which is interesting choice for marketing... but doesn't necessarily mean anything in terms of the movie as a whole.

My New Plaid Pants "who the hell wears this to dinner?" Sophia Loren, that's who!
Lemonwade the author of War Horse already has another film adaptation of his work, lined up. Private Peaceful is about two young farm brothers and, like War Horse, also takes place during The Great War.
Art & Design on the Jim Henson exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image and Cookie Monster's origins. Have I ever told you how much I love Cookie Monster? Probably not. I do.
Towleroad True Blood's Carrie Preston records an "It Gets Better" video.  (Loooooove her. Wish she'd do more supporting roles in movies as the last few were awesome)
Towleroad I'm not one for bathroom humor but Anderson Cooper is the world's cutest giggler - totally loses it when discussing Gerard Depardieu's urination incident.


Leo vs. Ryan: Oscar's Golden Young Men?

If this year's Best Actress competition is the race of the sixty-somethings (Close vs. Streep) that most people are predicting with the films still sight unseen, what kind of shape will the corresponding male category take? Could we see a race between 30-somethings in a sort of reverse age scenario of what normally occurs with actresses winning young and actors winning as soon as they have a gray hair or fifty.

Leo frets. It's not always good news to be the early unarguable frontrunner.

As an Oscar pundit I'm always trying to roll different scenarios on my tongue to see how they taste. How about this: What if this year's race is between Leonardo DiCaprio in J Edgar who will draw strength both from his past Oscar history and from AMPAS Official Favorite Genre (the biopic) and Ryan Gosling in The Ides of March? Gosling will be propped up by last year's Blue Valentine snub, his sure to be iconic character in Drive, and his general quickly achieved status as THE best of his generation...on this side of the Atlantic at least. I assume Michael Fassbender is just warming up. And what if the vote siphoning ingredient is not Clooney or Fassbender or whomever but Cannes Best Actor winner Jean DuJardin in The Artist?

I know most people have called this one for Leo despite  J Edgar being sight unseen and Clint Eastwood's Oscar appeal slightly faded. On paper (Oscar weight paper), yes he looks unstoppable. That's especially true because if Gosling proves his main competition, well, Gosling is very young still for Oscar votes being only one year older at this writing as the youngest Best Actor winner ever (Adrien Brody, The Pianist). But I always hesitate to assume that we know winners before we have seen virtually any of the competitive work. I mean, would fans of other young movie giants of their day ever assume that Paul Newman or Al Pacino or Peter O'Toole or whomever would have to wait as long as they did or are? Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, both as big as Leo, are still waiting, too.

Nothing is certain until it's already happened.

As for Supporting Actor, The Ides of March is the big reigning question mark in the same way that The Help (previous posts) is for the ladies with multiple appealing choices for voters. The political drama has three former Oscar nominees, two of them winners, all circling 'round and talking at Ryan Gosling in the actor friendly piece. Who will voters favor: showy Philip Seymour Hoffman, subtle (at least in comparison) Paul Giamatti, or charismatic George Clooney?

Make your wild guesses now! Soon the movies are upon us. Wheeee

UPDATED PREDICTIONS: Index | Picture | Director | Actor | Supporting Actor 


Prediction Updates: Lead and Supporting Actress

Oscar obsessives around the web, including myself, have been hung up on the Glenn Close vs. Meryl Streep Best Actress '80s Rematch! narrative for quite awhile now with Albert Nobbs and The Iron Lady still without real movie trailers to give the already popular media angle extra flavor. Less often discussed, and it's been nagging me for awhile now, is which young actress the Oscars will glom onto this year. Best Actress is often, statistically speaking, a beauty pageant who's who of hot 20 and 30something stars. This is not to say that the main race can't be between two 60-something ladies (it can if their names are Close & Streep) but we already know that that won't be the whole story even if it does turn out to be The Story.

There are three more slots to consider and more than that if you include the possibility that Close or Streep might not happen, if you include the precursor awards (which have room for more players) and the Supporting Actress category which has slightly more diverse preferences but which is still a sucker for a new "it" girl.

Which young beauties will be competing for gold? There isn't room for all of them.

Fresh Faces.
Which will Oscar get a Mulligan / Lawrence style insta-crush on?
ROONEY MARA, 26, with sociopathic edge and punk styling in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
FELICITY JONES, 27, doing young romance drama in Sundance hit Like Crazy.
ELIZABETH OLSEN, 22, winning acclaim as cult member in Martha Marcy May Marlene and probably winning credit for being talented younger sibling of the gajillionaire Olsen twin sisters.
MIA WASIKOWSKA, 21, proving she can carry a film and also be excellent while doing so in Jane Eyre.
ANDREA RISEBOROUGH, 29, soon to be winning "best in show" attention for W.E. 
JESSICA CHASTAIN, 30, seemingly in every other movie released in 2011 and hardly recognizable from one to the next.  

Already Stars.
Oscar's sweet spot for Best Actress wins is late 20s to early 30s. 
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, 26, serving mental patient realness in A Dangerous Method.
KIRSTEN DUNST, 29, undoubtedly memorably victimized in Von Trier's Melancholia.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS, 30, doing biopic iconography for My Week With Marilyn and romance for Take This Waltz 
EMMA STONE, 22, who won't get nominated for The Help but the enthusiasm about her career this year is totally hogging some of the spotlight that the other hopefuls are going to need. 

Who do you think will be showered with love and media attention 'round the holidays this year? Who will come up wanting? Which of the newbies will ever have careers as big as the "already stars"? Share your projections / wild prophesies in the comments.

Best Actress chart | Best Supporting Actress chart


Foreign Oscar Tracking: South Korea

Korean cinema has really been a hotspot this past decade, what with Kim Ki-Duk (Time, 3-Iron, Spring Summer...), Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother, Memories of Murder), Park Chan-wook (Thirst, Oldboy... the upcoming Stoker) and Lee Chang-dong (Poetry, Oasis, Peppermint Candy) winning over critics and Asian film fans quite regularly. South Korea's steady stream of great performances by actresses isn't hurting their rep either... especially not with The Film Experience ;) Just the other day I was skimming over The Housemaid again and, gah, actressy heaven. All four female players were totally working those roles.

The Front Line, Sunny, and Poonsang

So we're curious as to what they'll submit this year.  The Korean Film Commission has narrowed it down to six titles so one of these will be your Oscar contender:


  • Poonsan (Juhn Jai-hong) is a romantic drama about a South Korean messenger and his pick-up from North Korea that he's to smuggle across the border. 
  • The Yellow Sea (Na Hong-Jin) is about a gambling addict taxi driver who takes an assassination job to pay off his debts. Trouble follows, naturally.
  • The Front Line (Jang Hoon) The director used to be an assistant director to the great Kim Ki-Duk. Apparently there is now friction between the two of them in regards to the goings on of the Korean film industry. This is a big budgeted war drama taking place in 1951. 
  • Sunny (Kang Hyeong-cheol), is the year's biggest hit in Korea. And -- actress alert! -- it's about a group of girlfriends from school who reunite 25 years later to reminisce. 
  • The Day He Arrives (Hong Sang-soo) is a black and white picture about a man wandering around Seoul, running into friends and ex girlfriends and the like. It played at Cannes.
  • Hanji (or Scooping Up the Moonlight) (Im Kwon-taek) a government employee is assigned to revive the Hanji paper industry and he falls in love with it. Kwon-taek has been submitted once before with Chunhyang (2000)


It's tough to say what the Film Council will go for as there are a wide variety of factors in play from homefield success, through international auteur reps, to which films might appeal to AMPAS's sensibility. But the sad truth is that, whatever they choose, it's an uphill battle. Oscar has yet to nominate a Korean film... despite recent submissions as hugely acclaimed and well loved as Oasis (2002), Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...and Spring (2003), Secret Sunshine (2007) and Mother (2009).

Have you caught up with recent Korean successes like Mother, Poetry (my review), The Host or The Housemaid

Oscar Pages for Foreign Film Submission Lists