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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd


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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

"What is happening with Nina Arianda's Janis film with Sean Durkin? It's still listed as "announced" on her IMDB. Are we to assumed that it is a lost cause?" -Ryan


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Entries in precursor awards (162)


RCL: London Film Critics Circle

I know you. I know what you woke up thinking. "Yeah, yeah, The Social Network won another Best Picture prize at the latest awards ceremony but WHAT WAS RUTH SHEEN WEARING?!?" As the resident eccentric (crazy cat lady?) of awards blogs, we shall provide the answer. 

We will also talk about the winners, but first the Actresses . (Photos repurposed from Zimbio for our Red Carpet Lineup pleasure.)

Thomas, Williams, Pike, Manville, Sheen

Kristin Scott Thomas wore what looks like leopard print and she does get a little animalistic in her sex scenes (have any of you seen Leaving?). Despite her primal force and sexiness onscreen in her 50s, this dress is a smidge dowdy (looks better with the jacket off). In brighter news, they claim her career tribute acceptance speech was quite amusing.

Olivia Williams and Rosamund Pike wore form fitting black and white respectively. Onscreen Olivia always seems dangerous and Pike like a heavenly angel (Made in Dagenham) even when she's a devilishly decadent (An Education) so it seems right.

Another Year's Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen also showed in black gowns (I love Sheen's shimmery wrap). I have a bone to pick with Sony Pictures Classics. I don't understand what they did with Another Year at all. It's like they weren't even trying and sometimes they try very hard with worthy adult-friendly movies. But barely releasing it and waiting until everyone was all obsessed with noisy Christmas blockbusters? Bizarre non-strategy if they were hoping to get people interested. Wouldn't September have been a nice spot for a melancholy four seasons Mike Leigh film?

Oh the winners?
Yes yes...

Film The Social Network
British Film The King's Speech
Foreign Film Of Gods and Men
Director  David Fincher, The Social Network
British Director Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Breakthrough British Filmmaker Gareth Edwards, Monsters
Screenplay Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Actress Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
British Actress Lesley Manville, Another Year
Actor Colin Firth, The King's Speech
British Actor Christian Bale, The Fighter (
British Supporting Actor Andrew Garfield, The Social Network 
British Supporting Actress Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer 
Young British Performer Conor McCarron, NEDs

Wouldn't it be HILARIOUS if American film prizes started divvying up their prizes like "Best American Film" and "Best Picture" wouldn't the nominees all be the same since America loves itself so much?

About the winners: The only title/person I'm unfamiliar with is NEDs. Any British readers want to let us know if McCarron was worthy of the honor? Annette Bening wasn't present. Busy season. You can't be everywhere. Aaron Sorkin picked up all four of The Social Network's trophies. Was Andrew Garfield too busy web-swinging or something?

BAFTAs are Sunday. They are broadcast tape-delayed here in America. 8 PM EST on BBC America so by the time they air, we'll already know the winners. But I so prefer to find out while watching! I haven't yet decided how to cover it due to this time lapse. Any suggestions?



Serial Mom reunion

Kathleen Turner and John Waters beaming with Happy at the Writer's Guild Awards. What do you think their Oscar ballots look like? (I'm not sure if they have them but the comment question remains.)



11 SAG Shots. Drink Up.

Since there is so little to parse anymore in terms of awardage, herewith a brief visual survey of SAG moments that lingered -- reaction shots mostly (fashion roundup still to come.)  During live blogs it's hard to discuss all the minutae. Particularly when you need pain killers. Anyone we always wonder what it's like to sit in the room, fully aware that the camera is constantly seeking you out. It must be excruciating madness for the camera hogs and the weirdly shy ones alike. Does anyone even nibble at their food?

Can Anyone Lip Read?

I never want to be able to lip read so much as when I'm watching awards shows. Something inconsequential had just gone on onstage and Andrew Garfield turns and chats with Jesse Eisenberg. Whatever could they have been talking about? If you can lip read, you must transcribe all these awards shows for us. Please and thanks.

Sometimes, particularly with emphatically earnest stars you can tell. After Juliana Margulies thanked her husband effusively, Hilary Swank says...



You could even make out the emphasis on the "so"... I bet she even sighed audibly after like "Awwww." I couldn't make out who she was saying this too but at another table Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban smiled at each other knowingly. Hmmmm.

Camera Tricks?

Mila Kunis and Natalie Portman wree onstage introducing the clip to Black Swan and when the clip ends they pan the Black Swan table and they're sitting right there. How could a pregnant woman move that fast? Are they still doing those "head replacement" visual fx?

Mila and Natalie are so foxy. Speaking of...

Her Favorite Husband
Hugh Dancy, Hugh Dancy's Tongue, and Friend of Hugh Dancy (this shot is for Darryl)

He was reacting to Claire Danes singling him out as her favorite man and favorite husband as the music drowned her out.

Two Actresses Who Deserve a Good Gig

Since Christopher Guest does not make a movie at even close to the same speed as the Woody Allens and Clint Eastwood's of the world, why doesn't some sharp genius television creator give Catherine O'Hara her own series? You know she would ace it and make a character as memorable as Nurse Jackie or Valerie Cherish or other sitcom greats. And speaking of underemployed... Robin Wright was glowing. She hasn't looked this good since... well, ever. This new Robin Wright puts even The Princess Bride to shame. Look at her. What the hell happened? She looks 10 years younger and it sure doesn't look like surgery.

Mad (Wo)Men

It was not a good night for Mad Men as Boardwalk Empire became the new shiny toy of awards groups. Jon Hamm looked totally defeated when Buscemi won ("am I ever going to win anything for creating one of television's most iconic characters?") and when Christian Bale won for The Fighter we got this strangely frosty frozen shot of January Jones. After this split second she let her bottom lip drop a little, moving from frozen robot to sultry robot. But either way, she nails the frost in Emma Frost.

Speaking of Frosty...

This moment when barely anyone applauded for The Social Network and Andrew Garfield shrugged his shoulders 'you can applaud if you want' stuck a knife in me and twisted it. And not in the happy "omg. i died!" way. Just after that Justin Timberlake said something about the microphone volume so I guess there was a technical snafu in the room and [self delusion] there was actually thunderous applause from the crowd who must surely know that The Social Network is something the industry ought to be very very very very proud of and will SURELY know that it will be embarassing if they don't hand it "Best Picture". [/self delusion]

Now we need to cheer up...

Finally, Three Best Actress Reaction Shots.
Adieu Adieu to you and you and you...

Annette Bening looked genuinely happy all night -- but how silly is it that they always cut to the Bening-Beattys "Hollywood Royalty" whenever anyone over 60 is talking from the stage? Bening's joy in her own work and her movie is heartening since Her Majesty ain't ever winning an Oscar. Sigh. Nicole Kidman was a little embarrassed that they chose her single loudest moment in a quiet performance I think. But she also seemed happy. She never has any luck with "clips". Remember when they used her bizarre Three Stooges ready noisy-boudoir moment in Moulin Rouge! as her Oscar clip? Jennifer Lawrence giggles at her clip. I've already forgotten what her character Ree Dolly (Winter's Bone) was saying in the clip but it was some specific turn of phrase that was as regionally specific as Luke Skywalker bitching about Toshi Station Power Convertors on Tattoine. And just as alien, too.





SAG Live-Blog. Less Painful Than Oral Surgery?

 6:10 Here we are again. Another weekend, another awards show. Three more to go: SAG (tonight), BAFTA, and then the big Kahuna, Oscar Oscar Oscar. I warn you all up front that I am live blogging tonight with a terrible toothache. I fear I need a root canal. I've heard they're very painful but having lived through so many Oscar races, I figure I've had so much psychic pain -- Crash anyone? -- that my nerve endings are probably shot anyway. Hi Tom Hooper! So, what's a little oral surgery?

Armie Hammer is a dork, an adorable dork.

What's the word for someone who is just genius at something without trying to be, an idiot savant? That doesn't sound flattering. Soooo the flattering version of that. Whatever the term is. That's what Hailee Steinfled is. Hailee is home schooled and Mean Girls taught us that that makes for smart girls, Mathletes even. Every single time she's worn something amazing and she's not repeating looks either. She looks even better tonight in a bright colorful stripey thing that only a 14 year old could pull off at a big deal Hollywood event and still make it look glam. Who are her acting heroes?

Besides Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman is somebody I've always looked up to. Diane Lane I love. I don't know I just love the fact that they love what they do. They bring such joy to their work.

The Diane Lane answer totally surprised me. She gleeks out over blonde himbo Chord Overstreet from Glee who Guiliana (from E!) then grills about his hair. He claims "I just get out of the shower and shake it." That's what I do, too!

6:20 Guilina interviews Jesse Eisenberg. Asks him 'how did you get here?'

On a airplane. It's very efficient.

Ha. Love it. He just can't play the 'I love this inane IQ free banter.' game.



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Sundance Festival Awards Wrap

Mostly I've been just motoring along, not too sad about having missed Sundance this year until it occurred to me what a jump start it gave me on this current Oscar race -- not too mention my own rooting interests at the film bitch awards. Whoa unto us who cannot afford a week in the snowy Utah mountains. I'm dying to see Vera Farmiga's directorial debut but otherwise I have poured over precious few Sundance articles. There was too much Oscar noise this week to give it much thought. But here's what Sundance went for with a passion.

Vera Farmiga, Dr. Nner and America Ferrara (photo from Zimbio)

The Sundance 2011 Awards broke down like so...

Grand Prize Dramatic Like Crazy
Grand Prize Documentary How To Die in Oregon
World Cinema Dramatic Happy, Happy
World Cinema Documentary Hell and Back Again

Like CrazyThe big breakout of the festival was Like Crazy, a cross-Atlantic romantic drama starring Actress winner Felicity Jones (the new Carey Mulligan they're saying... but isn't that just because Carey was a breakout at the same festival in a romantic drama?). It sold to Paramount for $4 million. If the past couple of festival years are any indication this does mean that Felicity Jones will be in the Oscar discussion a year from now. To be uncharitable and frank, I'm completely weirded out by this because a) she didn't register at all in Chéri despite a key role and b) I thought she was less than say "good" in The Tempest (2010) and all she had to do there was affectively portray falling in love as well as conveying being the sheltered child of a bossy mother. If Felicity Jones is a revelation here after that than Julie Taymor is an even worse director than I previously thought! Also weirding me out is the prospect of lil' Anton Yelchin as a romantic lead. Anton Yelchin. Isn't he that brainy little kid from Huff? Didn't he just look like a 12 year old playing at Chekov in Star Trek (2009)? My god they grow up so fast. ♪ sunrise sunset sunrise sunset ♫

Directing, Dramatic Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene
Directing, Documentary Jon Foy for Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of Toynbee Tiles
Directing, World Cinema Paddy Considine for Tyrannosaur
Directing, Documentary World Cinema James Marsh for Project Nim
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award Another Happy Day
World Cinema Screenwriting Restoration
Special Jury Prize (Acting) Felicity Jones for Like Crazy
Special Jury Prize (Dramatic) Another Earth
Special Jury Prize (Documentary) Being Elmo
World Cinema Special Jury Prize (Documentary) Position Among the Stars
World Cinema Special Jury Prize (Dramatic) The Acting in Tyrannosaur

Martha Marcy May MarleneOther than Vera Farmiga's film -- which I'm interested in mostly because I'm crazy for crazy-eyed Farmiga -- the one I'm most personally curious about is Martha Marcy May Marlene which won for Best Director. Fox Searchlight bought it and they do get behind their films. The film is about a young girl (Elizabeth Olsen. Yes, younger sister to the Olsen Twins) trying to adjust to life after fleeing a religious cult. She moves in with her sister (Sarah Paulson -yay) and her sister's fiance (Hugh Dancy - double yay!). John Hawke is the cult leader (triple yay... for Hawkes's involvement not dangerous cult leaders). Olsen won strong reviews and the film sounds like intriguing.

Paddy Considine and Olivia Colman on the set of "Tyrannosaur"Also looking forward to seeing Tyrannosaur. It's about the relationship between a rage filled man (Peter Mullan) and an abused woman (Olivia Colman) but one of our favorite character actors Paddy Considine is directing and if the world cinema jury felt the need to honor both its acting and its directing, maybe it's special and not just gritty miserabilism.

Documentary Editing If a Tree Falls
World Cinema Documentary Editing The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
Excellence in Cinematography, Dramatic Pariah
Excellence in Cinematography, Documentary The Redemption of General Butt Naked
World Cinema Cinematography All Your Dead Ones
World Cinema Cinematography, Documentary  Hell and Back Again
Alfred P Sloane Prize Another Earth directed by Mike Cahill
Sundance NHK International Filmmakers Award Cherien Davis
Jury Prize Short Filmmaking Brick novax Pt 1 & 2
Shorts Jury Honorable Mention: Choke by Michelle Latimer; Diarchy by Ferdinando Cito Filmomarioes; The External World by David O'Reilly; The Legend of Beaver Dam by Jerome Sable; Out of Reach by Jakub Stozek; Protoparticles by Chema García Ibarra

PariahFocus Features, who won The Kids Are All Right bidding war last year, also bought a lesbian film this year. Pariah, which won for cinematography, is about an African American teenager (played by Adepero Oduye) who is coming out of the closet in Brooklyn.

Audience Award
Dramatic Circumstance
Documentary Buck
World Cinema Kinyarwanda
World Documentary Senna
The Best of "NEXT" Audience Award to.get.her

CircumstanceLast year at Sundance the Dramatic Audience Award, Dramatic went to HappyThankYouMorePlease which was the writer/director debut of sitcom star Josh Radnor and surprise: it felt not unlike a sitcom. But the year before they chose Precious so you never know. This year's winner Circumstance is about an Iranian family struggling with rebellious teenagers.

Anything from Sundance 2011 interesting you from what you've read here or elsewhere?




Birthday Bale

Here's to Christian Bale, future Oscar winner (unless this King's Speech thing *really* gets out of hand), on his 37th birthday! He might even win the SAG Award tonight on his birthday.

It's hard to remember that he's not even 40 yet. He's been in the movies for so long!

Christian Bale, the 12 year old star of "Empire of the Sun"

Since that auspicious debut in Steven Spielberg's Empire (1987) which was nominated for 6 Oscars (but strangely didn't catch fire in any of the top categories, despite being a World War II epic) it's been quite a trip: He assisted a royal Oscar powerhouse (Henry V); ended his teenage years dancing (Swing Kids) and singing (Newsies); got curiously soft and swoony (Pocahontas, Little Women); was overcome by hormonal confusion in his mid 20s (Velvet Goldmine, Metroland, A Midsummer Night's Dream); played God and then the Devil back to back in his late 20s (Mary, Mother of Jesus & American Pyscho) as if to warn us, spiritually, of his physical yo-yoing to come; and then the films came fast and furious with the actor jumping genres and personas and body types left and right (Laurel Canyon, Reign of Fire, Equilibrium, The Machinist, Batman Begins, The New World, Rescue Dawn, The Prestige, I'm Not There, etcetera).

[gif source]

It's been hard to keep up with him. He's dancing as fast as he can through the cinema.

What's your favorite Bale performance?



Producer's Guild Loves Bertie, Disses Zuck

True Blood's Joe Mangianello presents an awardThe PGA (the producers not the golfers) have chosen The King's Speech as the best produced film of 2010. [Dumb joke] No word yet on which film the golfers prefer... maybe True Grit with all those wide open spaces or The Kids Are All Right with its landscaping subplot? [/Dumb joke] Stammering Bertie's win may come as a surprise to the producers of The Social Network who are very used to winning things for their exciting film about the billion dollar rise of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. Why it's almost as if the Producers Guild have been reading all these speculative premature blog pieces "can TKS take it from TSN?" and decided that since they were producers of entertainment... they ought entertain by raising the stakes.

I'm not sure that this makes it a dead heat but it definitely raises one eyebrow. Que?

This Year's Prizes:
Theatrical Motion Picture: THE KING'S SPEECH
Animated Feature: TOY STORY 3
Documentary Feature: WAITING FOR 'SUPERMAN'
Episodic Television Comedy: MODERN FAMILY
Episodic Television Drama: MAD MEN (third consecutive win)
Longform Television: THE PACIFIC
Non-Fiction Television: DEADLIEST CATCH
Live Entertainment and Competition: Television THE COLBERT REPORT

and the honorary non-competition prizes
Milestone Award: JAMES CAMERON
Norman Lear Achievement (Television): TOM HANKS and GARY GOETZMAN
David O. Selznick Award (Film): SCOTT RUDIN
Visionary Awards LAURA ZISKIN
Stanley Kramer Award (which usually goes to a film, not a person): SEAN PENN

Amy Adams and Helen Mirren presenting...

For what it's worth...

here are the last 20 PGA winners and how they fared with Oscar
2009 The Hurt Locker (won)
2008 Slumdog Millionaire (won)
2007 No Country For Old Men (won)
2006 Little Miss Sunshine (lost)
2005 Brokeback Mountain (*sniffle*)
2004 The Aviator (lost)
2003 The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King (won)
2002 Chicago (won)
2001 Moulin Rouge! (lost which we knew it would but god bless them for going there.)
2000 Gladiator (won)
1999 American Beauty (won)
1998 Saving Private Ryan (lost)
1997 Titanic (won)
1996 The English Patient (won)
1995 Apollo 13 (lost)
1994 Forrest Gump (won)
1993 Schindler's List (won)
1992 The Crying Game (lost)
1991 The Silence of the Lambs (won)
1990 Dances With Wolves (won)
1989 Driving Miss Daisy (won -- this was the first year of the PGA prize)

Or, in the past 21 years, Oscar lines up 66% of the time. If you can find a pattern with the losers, you're my god. I can't see any patterns. All kinds of films win or lose, from big to small to American to British.

In other news: Amy Poehler and Justin Timberlake were there. Funny thing is, this is EXACTLY what happens when I talk* to Amy Poehler.

* ...and by "talk to" I mean watch her on Parks and Recreation. Aren't you glad that show is finally back?

What do you make of The King's Speech win here? A fluke or a real and present danger for Zuck and company come Oscar night?