Archived entries for

Screen Actor Guild's Awards winners

…and they were kind of predictable. Photos curtesy of Empire Online.

Best Ensemble Cast


WINNER: Little Miss Sunshine (Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Greg Kinnear)
Babel
Bobby
The Departed
Dreamgirls

Best Actor


WINNER: Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole – Venus
Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness

Best Actress

WINNER: Helen Mirren – The Queen
Penelope Cruz – Volver
Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal
Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet – Little Children

Best Supporting Actor

WINNER: Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Departed
Jackie Earle Haley – Little Children
Djimon Hounsou – Blood Diamond

Best Supporting Actress

WINNER: Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Adriana Barraza – Babel
Cate Blanchett – Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin – Little Miss Sunshine
Rinko Kikuchi – Babel

Ahhh, well. Can’t say the wins aren’t deserved, I haven’t seen any of the performances except Helen Mirren’s. Poor Leo DiCaprio left the ceremony empty-handed, while he was nominated twice. But these awards foreshdow what is going to happen on Oscar night, I guess. The Little Miss Sunshine cast winning over The Departed and Babel might be some sort of indication. They also pull off a suprise win at the Producers’ Guild Awards last week. At this point, anything is possible in the best film race. The acting categories, though, are pretty much locked.

Also, I wanted to point out that I don’t care much for the SAGs, since there isn’t any prize for directing or any sort of technical recognition. Which makes sense since it’s just the actors sef-congratulating each other. So, you know, whatever…

Last thing, especially for you, Juliette -Michael C. Hall attended the ceremony because he was nominated in for best TV actor in a drama series. Just as for the Golden Globes, he lost out to House‘s Hugh Laurie. But here’s a pretty picture taken on the red carpet, curtesy of the IMDb.

Siiiiiigh. Gorgeous, isn’t he… I really need to start watching Dexter!

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Review of the month

Okay, I haven’t seen Blood Diamond yet, but I reckon it’ll be featured in the Febuary review since it’s released on the last day of the month.
Here are some thoughts about the films I’ve seen in theaters this month. Last time I reviewed one was Stranger than Fiction, I think.
Since then, I’ve seen…

* Casino Royale, for the third time. What? I loved it. I couldn’t pass the opportunity of seeing Tobias Menzies, errr I mean, Daniel Craig on a big screen. Heh. Not my fault if the character of Villiers was more interesting than James Bond himself …I’m only joking, of course. James was really, really interesting. In a Jason Bourne way interesting. Hee. I’ll stop making fun of him now…

* Harsh Times, directed by David Ayer. It’s quite a gem. It was terrific, full of good ideas and actual character development. The filming, however, was a bit sloppy, which is a shame since the screenplay (also by Ayer) is great. It’s the sort of film which takes you in this completely fucked-up universe until you realize it’s our own little world. People living among violence, corruption and murder on the streets of a great American city? Definitely a reality. The core of the film is this very manly relationship between Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez (aaww, Rico! Our little Rico!). They both pull off amazing performances, and I’ll go as far as saying that Christian Bale’s Jim reminded me of Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle. Except that he has a friend. Of course, the film is nowhere near Martin Scoresese’s masterpiece, it’s close enough.

* Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, directed by Steven Shainberg. I’m not sure I’m really objective on that one since I waited for Shainberg to confirm the amazing talent he’d displayed in Secretary, but I thought the film was a bit of a bore. The rythym drags throughout the entire film, especially the first half, and it’s never enough to catch the viewer’s interest. They expect us to empathize with Diane, the main character, but there is nothing about her which is even remotely interesting. Yes, we know that Diane Arbus loved freaks, but is it really supposed to be the purpose of an entire film? If the film had a point, then I missed it. I just couldn’t get involved. Which is a shame since I love Secretary, and Nicole Kidman, as well as Robert Downey Jr., were sort of trying really hard to make us believe in their characters. I studied some of Arbus’ shots in class last year, and they were much more fascinating than the film itself…

* Cashback, directed by Sean Ellis. That was about the sweetest film I’ve ever seen, and with the best cast of characters in recent memory. I really, absolutely loved it. It was funny as hell, but also beautiful in the message it tried to convey, and the way it was shot. The wonderful thing was that it was so sincere, in the sense where you can immediately identify with the main character’s ordeals -who hasn’t suffered from love, or tried to find a meaning in life? It sounds hackneyed, but it isn’t. And the voice-over technique, which is typically overused and cliché, really works here. It pulls you in and never lets go. All the characters are both memorable and touching. Overall, an excellent film, really.

* The Holiday, directed by Nancy Meyers. Another Christmas, another romantic comedy. This one really embodies the concept of ‘romantic comedy’, for better and for worse. On one hand, it’s sweet, delightful, entertaining. On the other, it’s already been done a thousand times, completely unrealistic and naive, and trying too hard to be funny. In other words, either you love it, or you don’t. And I guess I’m in the latter category, since it’s not really my type of films. I do like the giddiness of it all, but that’s about it. I really fell for Jack Black’s character, though. He’s a music composer who’s pretty much the man of my dreams. Except that of course, it’s all fiction… The actors’ performances were all very good, but the stand-out has to be Ms. Kate Winslet, who as usual, lights up the screen and succeeds in conveying pretty much any emotions imaginable without the tiniest bit of effort.

* The Illusionist, directed by Neil Burger. This film makes me scratch my head a little bit, because I still don’t know whether it’s a really good film or just a good film. I’m pretty sure than, had it been released before Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, it would have been fantastic. But the truth is, you can’t help drawing the comparaison (even if the two films are completely different) -and The Prestige being, well, the outstanding excellent film that it is, The Illusionist cannot possibly live up to it. And it is completely unfair and unfortunate to say so. The Illusionist is beautiful to look at (not to mention gorgeous to listen to, as Philip Glass’ music proves to be quite sensible indeed), but it lacks that extra dimension included in The Prestige, which takes its subject and characters way further than The Illusionist ever does. Although, I have to say, it still is a very satisfying film. Well-crafted and well-executed, I daresay. Edward Norton is still one of the best actors of his generation, and for a good reason. The photography is magnificient, and so is the production design.

* Little Children, directed by Tod
d Field. This one will get very high praise from me, because I absolutely, truely loved it. It was disturbing, provocative, emotionally challenging but most of all, smart and subtle. There were so many details, so many layers in all of its characters; I believe I’ve never seen a screenplay that was so polished and successful. The directing was so accurate, so incredibly focused. It’s the sort of directing where every single shot could be analyzed and discussed. It’s filled with tension and misunderstandings, underlying thoughts and unfufilled desires -lust, deperation and loneliness. I also loved the heavy, heavy silence which really gave it an edge -Thomas Newman’s music popping up here and there, and the delicate sound effects such as the train passing by -it all made me shiver. The subject deals with serious themes such as infidelity, pedophilia, frustration etc. but the storytelling never gives it a heavily dramatic, sort of unbearable and fake treatment. In other words, both the screenplay and directing are absolutely outstanding, and it’s really worth giving it a try. My favorite film this month. All the performances are excellent as well -from Kate Winslet’s Sarah to Jackie Earle Haley’s Ronnie. I do hope he’ll get the Academy Award, because that was one hell of a difficult part to take on. Kudos, really…

* The History Boys, directed by Nicholas Hytner. Another excellent British film for this month. It was so endearing and adorable! The hardships of school, tell me about it… It was genuinely funny, and I have to admit that once again, I had no difficulty whatsoever identifying with the main characters. And Hector, their teacher, bears a suspicious resemblance with one of my own teachers (some people know him as Bill, heh). The kind of teacher which inspires and fascinates you. Similar to Robin Williams’ character from Dead Poets Society as well, I guess. Well, I’m lucky enough to have one of those. Heeeem, anyway, the film was just delightful and sweet. Puts you in a really good mood, and has a very good soundtrack. It also features this brillant cast of young bright things who are all very good in their characters, as well as Richard Griffiths and Frances de la Tour in two excessively great roles. I couldn’t find a flaw in there if I tried… Highly enjoyable and recommended!

Well, that’s it for now -stay tuned, folks!

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Holocaust memorial day

Today is January 27th, and a crucial day of rememberance as it marks the liberation of the Nazis’ Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

A recent survey revealed that 41% of Brits believe a Holocaust could happen in Britain. The thought of it makes me really scared.
You can read more about it here.

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Academy Awards nominees!

And Thomas Newman is one of them!!
God, those nominations made me ECSTATIC. First I recieved a text message during my literature class from Marie on my phone, telling me that Paul Greengrass was nominated for Best Director and I went BERSERK. I tried to get a grip since there were about thirty people around me –but now I’m in my bedroom and insanely happy to see the people getting recognized. See, the thing about the Oscars is that there is so much build-up, with all the Golden Globes and Guild awards and whatnots, that it all feel quite dizzy and confusing when the actual Oscar nominees are announced. And of course, I don’t care about the Academy since they gave the Big Prize to bloody Crash last year instead of Brokeback Mountain. But still, heh.
ANYWAY, let’s discuss the nominees right now!

Best Picture
Babel
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Teh Category, of course. I predict the winner will be Babel, as a sort of consolation prize, but I reckon Letters From Iwo Jima could pull off an upset (since Crash did so very unfairly, you never know). I’m rooting for Little Miss Sunshine in this category, the little crowd-pleaser which was quite unexpected here. So is the fact that there is no Dreamgirls in there.

Best Director
Alejandro González Iñárritu – Babel
Martin Scorsese – The Departed
Clint Eastwood – Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears – The Queen
Paul Greengrass – United 93

OKAY, I know, I know. Greengrass will never, ever win this –but the nomination alone is the coolest thing ever from the Academy. Think of how they’ll be able to put in movie trailers and posters ‘Academy-Award nominee Paul Greengrass’! Heh. But, hem, back on track. I’m insanely devoted to Greengrass’ work but MARTY CANNOT NOT WIN THIS ONE. Or else, he might just shoot himself and everyone at the Warner Bros. PR departement. Clint Eastwood looks very threatening here, but if Marty doesn’t win this year, I just don’t know what to say anymore. We’ll know when the Directors’ Guild Awards winner is announced, and when the ceremony will take place, obviously (February 25th, that is). But, yeah, two words: GO MARTY (even though Paul Greengrass obviously…)

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio – Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole – Venus
Will Smith – The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker – Last King of Scotland

‘Academy-Award nominee Ryan Gosling’, heh. It’s just so cool that he gets recognized while being so young. I guess they can stop calling him “up-and-coming” now. Anyways, Leo gets nominated and beaten again, because this category is such a lock for such a long time that further debate is useless. Forest Whitaker, ladies and gentlemen, is our Best Actor ’07.

Best Actress
Penelope Cruz – Volver
Judi Dench – Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren – The Queen
Meryl Streep – The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet – Little Children

Well, that one’s a lock, too. Dame Helen Mirren should and will win, of course.
I daresay Kate Winslet is nominated for the fifth time and has still won nothing. Are they waiting for her to be a Dame or what?
Meryl is now at a grand fourteen nominations if my memory’s correct, a record. Dame Judi obviously has a record of her own –winning the Best Supporting Actress ’99 for an eight-minute role, so I reckon she got enough love from the Academy for eternity.
But long live Dame Helen for a truely delightful performance. She’s the rightful winner here.

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin – Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley – Little Children
Djimon Hounsou – Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy – Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg – The Departed

Oooh, the weirdest race this year, and indeed the picks are quite surprising. I heard Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children is really amazing, but I’ll predict Eddie Murphy as the winner here. I’d root for Alan Arkin, although Mark Wahlberg was really quite amazing in The Departed. Totally stole the show, and the proof is that he got nominated over Jack Nicholson. That’s quite something to pull off, isn’t it? Well done, Wahlberg, well played…

Best Supporting Actress
Rinko Kikuchi – Babel
Cate Blanchett – Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin – Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson – Dreamgirls
Adriana Barraza – Babel

Love the two Babel ladies getting recognized! They were just both fantastic… And of course, lovely little Abigail getting nominated is just great. I’ll root for her, naturally, but the actually winner will probably be Jennifer Hudson, since she’s the hottest thing in Hollywood right now and people can’t shut up about how great she was in Dreamgirls.

Best Original Screenplay
Guillermo Arriaga – Babel
Iris Yamashita – Letters From Iwo Jima
Michael Arndt – Little Miss Sunshine
Guillermo del Toro – Pan’s Labyrinth
Peter Morgan – The Queen

Heh! Pan’s Labyrinth, who would have thought the Academy would be smart enough?! Anyways, I’m rooting here for Peter Morgan’s amazing screenplay for The Queen. Well, I haven’t seen Letters From Iwo Jima, so I can’t really say… but the four screenplays left are quite amazing indeed. The Queen stands out here for me, because there was so much more beyond the words. The other three screenplays were quite straightforward, if I might say so. They certainly lacked the level of subtlety displayed in The Queen. But I really loved them all, so if any of these wins, it’s fine by me.
I can’t predict a winner here, though. It’s a close call between Letters From Iwo Jima and The Queen, I think.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer – Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton & David Arata & Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby – Children of Men
William Monahan – The Departed
Todd Field & Tom Perrotta – Little Children
Patrick Marber – Notes on a Scandal

Children of Men! Children of Men! Children of Men! *dies*
Well, naturally, that’s the one I’m rooting for. That’s a bit of a surprise –were they even nominated at the Writers’ Guild Awards? I can’t remember…
The predicted winner, though, is William Monahan’s The Departed.
Heh for Borat, too! Who would have thought? And I *love* Patrick Marber, I bet his adaptation of Notes on a Scandal is excellent, but it hasn’t been released in France yet.

Best Foreign-Language Film
After the Wedding (Denmark)
Days of Glory (Indigènes) (France)
The Lives of Others (Germany)
Pan’s Labyrinth (Mexico)
Water (Canada)

Oooh a nomination for France! Yay! *not objective at all*
I’ll be rooting for Pan’s Labyrinth no matter what, but the predicted winner is The Lives of Others, who’s won pretty much all the European prizes I can think of this year. Or it might just well be Pan’s Labyrinth, for that matter, since it seems to have gotten loads of Academy love. No Apocalypto, HEH.

Best Animated Film of the Year
Cars
Happy Feet
Monster House

Cars! Go Pixar! Fuck penguins!
Heeeeeem. I didn’t mean that. Happy Feet was actually pretty cute and everything. So was Monster House. But it’s nowhere near Cars‘ achivement in terms of detail and rendering.
Too bad Flushed Away didn’t get a nod. Why isn’t there five nominees like every other category? Knobheads.

Best Art Direction
Dreamgirls
Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
The Good Shepherd
Art Direction: Jeannine Oppewall; Set Decoration: Gretchen Rau and Leslie E. Rollins
Pan’s Labyrinth
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Art Direction: Rick Heinrichs; Set Decoration: Cheryl A. Carasik
The Prestige
Art Direction: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Julie Ochipinti

Woo hoo! Best cateogry ever! Especially the presence of Nathan Crowley! Congratulations to him and the entire Prestige art departement, they did a terrific job.
Are you wondering why I’m not bitching about Pirates of the Carribean‘s presence? Well, don’t fret; one of the few things I actually loved was Rick Heinrichs’ awsome design for the whole film. He’s one of Tim Burton’s famous collaborators, and he has a knack for making everything look gorgeous. I predict he’ll win the little golden statue… even if I’m rooting for Nathan Crowley, obviously!
If John Myhre wins, it’ll be his third consecutive win. Go figure…
Where is Marie-Antoinette, though?

Best Cinematography
Vilmos Zsigmond – The Black Dahlia
Emmanuel Lubezki – Children of Men
Dick Pope – The Illusionist
Guillermo Navarro – Pan’s Labyrinth
Wally Pfister – The Prestige

AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! That’s me being hysterical over Chivo’s nomination for Children of Men! Hehehehehehe.
Okay, let me explain –Emmanuel Lubezki, nicknamed Chivo by his peers, is one of my favorite directors of photography. Very much like Rich Heinrichs, he worked with Burton on Sleepy Hollow and has a gift for lighting anything and everything and make it look like a fuckin’ piece of art. That’s how talented he is. And definitely the one I’m rooting and crossing my fingers for!
Of course, there’s a huge dilemma here since Wally Pfister gets his second straight nomination and I LOVE THE ACADEMY FOR THIS. The Prestige was nowhere to be seen during this year’s award season, and here it pops, making me really happy and proud. Because ol’ Wally has been working with Christopher Nolan since Memento, and he’s really what Janisz Kaminski is to Steven Spielberg –a brillant collaborator which fits the director’s vision in a way no one else can. Otherwise, they’d pick different ones, but they don’t. And since I love Christopher Nolan so badly, it makes sense that Wally Pfister gets my wholehearted support, too. Only half-hearted here since he’s up against Lubezki, and Chivo’s almost this person who got me interested in cinematography in the first place. I remember having the exact same thoughts last year, since they were both nominated last year, too. But then Dion Beebe won for Memoirs of a Geisha and made this awfully sweet speech and he deserved the Oscar as well, so it wasn’t too bad.
The winner might just be Lubezki, but who knows? Zsigmond is a very highly regarded cinematographer, and indeed The Black Dahlia looked absolutely fantastic –and The Illusionist‘s single nomination is this category as well. Pope is part of the BSC, but I don’t think that would hurt his chances. I don’t know much about Navarro except that his work on Pan’s Labyrinth was quite awesome. That is such a close call…
Definitely the most interesting race this year!

Best Costume Design
Yee Chung Man – Curse of the Golden Flower
Patricia Field – The Devil Wears Prada
Sharen Davis – Dreamgirls
Milena Canonero – Marie Antoinette
Consolata Boyle – The Queen

Wow, all those new costume designers! That’s quite a list, though, and sadly enough, the only nomination for Curse of the Golden Flower, which had huge Oscar buzz very early on.
The Queen will probably win this category, although I’m rooting for Marie-Antoinette.

Best Editing
Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise – Babel
Steven Rosenblum – Blood Diamond
Alex Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón – Children of Men
Thelma Schoonmaker – The Departed
Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson – United 93

Best. Nominees. Ever! Oh, well, I haven’t seen Blood Diamond yet but I’m familiar with Steven Rosenblaum. More or less, since he edited the first X-Men film, if I remember correctly. That’s weird, because I picture John Ottman as being Bryan’s editor.
Anyhow, United 93 getting into this category is downright brillant, and so are the other three, really. I’m rooting for both United 93 and Babel, but that’s only because Thelma Schoonmaker already got an Academy Award a few years ago. I didn’t know Alfonso Cuarón actually edited Children of Men as well, but it’s just great. Mind you, directors are always so closely involved in their editing, it’s not such a big surprise after all.
The win should go to Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise, though, and a well-deserved one it would be!

Best Makeup
Adlo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano – Apocalypto
Kazuhiro Tsuji and Bill Corso – Click
David Marti and Montse Ribe – Pan’s Labyrinth

What a weird group of nominees! No need to say I’m rooting for Pan’s Labyrinth, not only because it was a visual feast, but also because the thought of Click getting the same number of nomination as, say, Superman Returns, is beyond my comprehension. Is that because of Adam Sandler’s aging at the end of the film? Any good makeup artist could have pulled if off, I reckon. So I’ll just ignore the fact that Click is nominated.
Predicted winner, though, is Apocalypto.

Best Music (Score)
Gustavo Santaolalla – Babel
Thomas Newman – The Good German
Philip Glass – Notes on a Scandal
Javier Navarrete – Pan’s Labyrinth
Alexandre Desplat – The Queen

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
And that’s when I go very crazy on your ass again because this is the EIGHTH nomination for Thomas Newman, if my memory’s correct (and it might not be). How awesome is that?! I’m so proud of him. Yet again, he’s done an amazing job, I’m sure -well, I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m such a HUGE fan of his works that there’s no way I can be objective in that category.
I might point out, though, that I love Philip Glass and Alexandre Desplat, both very classic in their own ways, and of course, Gustavo Santolalla, who won last year for Brokeback Mountain. And the music in Pan’s Labyrinth, I daresay, is so intertwined with the film itself that it’s as fantastic as the screenplay is.
But I’ll still root for my Tom on this one. I’m so bloody proud of him.
The winner will probably be Alexandre Desplat, because his score for The Painted Veil got quite a reaction as well. And his work on The Queen was outstanding, so… oh, and he’s French. Yay!

Best Music (Song)
“I Need to Wake Up” – An Inconvenient Truth
Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge
“Listen” – Dreamgirls
Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler; Lyric by Anne Preven
“Love You I Do” – Dreamgirls
Music by Henry Krieger; Lyric by Siedah Garrett
“Our Town” – Cars
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Patience” – Dreamgirls
Music by Henry Krieger; Lyric by Willie Reale

Huh yeah, okay, that cheesy song from An Inconvenient Truth? No offense, but it was really quite mushy and all.
What are the odds of Dreamgirls losing this one? Answer: none.
I loved Randy Newman’s song for Cars, it was so sweet! Plus, he’s Thomas Newman’s cousin, so… What a brillant dynasty of composers, those guys.

Best Sound Mixing
Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Fernando Camara – Apocalypto
Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ivan Sharrock – Blood Diamond
Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton – Dreamgirls
John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin – Flags of Our Fathers
Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes and Lee Orloff – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Awww, sad. The only nominations for Flags of our Fathers are in the sound categories. I mean, it’s good enough, and there’s NO WAY I’m rooting for either Pirates of the Carribean or Apocalypto over Clint’s films so I’ll just root for Flags of our Fathers here and predict Dreamgirls as the winner. They do seem to love musicals in this category -fair enough, the sound mixing is admittedly a bit trickier in that kind of film.

Best Sound Editing
Sean McCormack and Kami Asgar – Apocalypto
Lon Bender – Blood Diamond
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman – Flags of Our Fathers
Alan Robert Murray – Letters From Iwo Jima
Christopher Boyes and George Watters II – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Oooh, a double nomination. You won’t see that a lot. Guess the afromentioned Alan Robert Murray is bound to win. And I’ll root for him too because, ditto what I said earlier, I can’t believe Pirates and Apocalypto get nodded in the tech categories. And I haven’t seen Blood Diamond.

Best Visual Effects
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Boyd Shermis, Kim Libreri, Chaz Jarrett and John Frazier – Poseidon
Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould, Richard R. Hoover and Jon Thum – Superman Returns

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! That’s me screaming outloud again, because I want Supes to win so badly. And expect a LONG ranting when I’ll be seeing Dead’s Man Crap winning over Superman Returns. GOD.
And what’s up with Poseidon? Is Industrial Light and Magic giving away huge giftbaskets or what? Because there’s no other explantions, really.
I wish Mark Stetson won this one. On behalf of all the people who worked so hard on Superman Returns, both at Rhythm & Hues and Sony Pictures Imageworks, but also because he’s such an inspiration to all the VFX people out there. I know he was part of the winning team for Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, but that was five years ago. Pretty please? Can you get it right for once? It’s the category I care the most about! After err, the Best Directing, Picture, Cinematography, Screenplay and Editing ones. Heh.

The categories left are the short films category. Well I don’t know shite about those, so I’ll just post the nominees here without any idea of what they actually are. Sorry…
Best Documentary Short Subject
The Blood Of Yingzhou District
Recycled Life
Rehearsing A Dream
Two Hands

Best Animated Short Film
The Danish Poet
Lifted
The Little Matchgirl
Maestro
No Time For Nuts

Best Live Action Short Film
Binta And The Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)
Éramos Pocos (One Too Many)
Helmer & Son
The Saviour
West Bank Story
You might want to check this year’s Newsweek’s Oscar roundtable, which is sort of a tradition now. It’s this interview with six of the acting nominees, and this year, they are : Brad Pitt (oops, not nominated this year), Forest Whitaker (future winner), Helen Mirren (future winner), Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio and Penelope Cruz.
I have to say, this year’s nominations are pretty satisfying. Especially for Paul Greengrass, actually. He sort of nicked Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ spot, but I just… it’s so important to recognize his work, and the incredible accomplishment United 93 represented as a whole. And to acknowledge him –not just as a director, but as a person who has things to say, and to show, about what was truely one of the darkest days in recent memory. And not putting forward any political opinion about it, but just showing the truth, as raw and brutal as it gets. I mean, I don’t need the bloody Academy to tell me that, but the industry apparently does. And he’s just… what Greengrass does, to me, is this new form of cinema, literally, with both Bloody Sunday and United 93. It’s this new way of telling a story, which is basically a fiction, but putting it into a relevant context for today’s audiences -but also for the next generation and so on, and trying to depict the events as accurately as possible. And truely, it constitutes a complex and exciting challenge, to both the filmmaker and viewer –because us, as ordinary people, have to react to it by not only getting emotionally involved but actually rethinking the whole situation. I love movies as entertainement of course, but ultimately, there’s always a part of it which is in touch with our reality, our times. And to me, he’s just it.
So, congratulations Paul for your well-deserved nomination, and here’s to you, looking forward to seeing your next movies in theater, even if the upcoming one is this tiny little-budgeted thing called The Bourne Ultimatum.

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in the world of movies this week…

*Quite obviously, the Golden Globes results. Now, I love the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but what’s up with Dreamgirls winning 3 major awards? I haven’t seen the film, but I’m pretty sure Little Miss Sunshine was better. Similarly, supporting actor going to Eddie Murphy rather than good ol’ Jack or Mark Wahlberg for The Departed is kind of weird. Speaking of which, Marty Scorsese winning Best Director –heeee. That made me quite happy. So did Cars for Best Animated Feature (the most interesting category, I daresay). Peter Morgan winning for The Queen‘s screenplay was also a pleasant surprise. All the other wins were sort of predictable. The ceremony itself was pretty funny (mostly thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen’s awesome speech), but nothing too interesting, especially since United 93 wasn’t even nominated. Knobheads.
Pictures of the glam and the glitz are up at the IMDb, Yahoo! TV, MSN Movies and Empire Online. Emily Blunt, Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet were possibly the prettiest ladies of the evening, while Micheal C. Hall was definitely the better looking one in the whole bunch. Yup, even prettier than Brad Pitt in my opinion. Heeem, back to serious business now…
The award season was full-on this week as several guilds announced their nominees. Here they are, I’ll only give the main categories, and there’s a link if you want the full list–
  • The Baftas! My favorite ceremony of the year, and the best picks I’ve seen so far.
    Best Film : Babel, The Departed, The Last King of Scotland, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen
    Best British Film : Casino Royale, The Last King of Scotland, Notes on a Scandal, The Queen, United 93
    Best Director : Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu for Babel, Martin Scorsese for The Departed, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for Little Miss Sunshine, Stephen Frears for The Queen, Paul Greengrass for United 93
    I have to say, I was thoroughly pleased with all the nominees. 9 nominations for Casino Royale! Pan’s Labyrinth and United 93 for Original Screenplay, Flushed Away in Best Animated Feature, James McAvoy for Best Supporting Actor, Abigail Breslin and Toni Collette for Best Supporting Actress, Children of Men for Cinematography, United 93 for Editing, Superman Returns for the visual effects –all those nominations are just incredible. To me, anyways. The British Academy rocks my socks. They always did, especially when they got Ralph Fiennes a tremendously deserved nomination in the Best Actor category last year while no one else did, for The Constant Gardener.
  • Costume Designers Guild
    Contemporary Film : Babel, Casino Royale, Little Miss Sunshine, The Devil Wears Prada, The Queen
    Period Film : Curse of the Golden Flower, Dreamgirls, The Illusionist, Marie-Antoinette, Pirates of the Carribean – Dead’s Man Chest
    Fantasy Film : Eragon, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Fountain, X-Men – The Last Stand, V for Vendetta
    Dang! I can’t believe Louise Mingenbach got snubbed, Supes’ new suit was quite good. I love how The Fountain could have fit in any of those categories, but was finally in the fantasy one. Anyway, the nominees are pretty okay, except for Eragon, of course, which was ridiculously unoriginal and therefore not worthy of any nominations whatsoever. Since I’ve seen all the movies in the contemporary and fantasy categories, I reckon that the most deserving winners are Little Miss Sunshine -I loved how their outfits all said something about the characters- and V for Vendetta.
  • American Society of Cinematographers Achievement Awards
    Best Cinematography : Children of Men, The Illusionist, The Good Shepherd, Apocalypto, The Black Dahlia
    Wow, what an unusual list! Of course, as long as Emmanuel Lubezki is nodded for his outstanding work in Children of Men, he’s the one I’m rooting for. The only other movie I’ve seen in this nominees’ list is The Black Dahlia, and although it wasn’t a great film, it looked absolutely neat, so Vilmos Zsigmond’s nod is only fair.
  • The Eddies, the American Cinema Editors’ awards.
    Best Editing – Drama : Babel, Casino Royale, The Departed, The Queen, United 93
    Best Editing – Comedy : The Devil Wears Prada, Dreamgirls, Little Miss Sunshine, Pirates of the Carribean – Dead’s Man Chest, Thank You For Smoking
    WOOT! The Drama category is awesome. Stephen Mirrione (who edited Babel with Douglas Crise) is one of my favorite film editors, but I have to root for United 93 here, because the team of editors (Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson) did such a terrific job at keeping the pace up while tracking the events on both the plane and the ground. It was fantastic. In the comedy category though, what’s up with Pirates of the Carribean up there? The film was such a MESS –I can’t believe people actually cut that shit up and pieced it all together. I reckon that’s why they got a nomination, because the screenplay was so crappy and they had to make sense out of it (in which they didn’t exactly succeed, if you want my opinion).
  • Writers Guild Awards, one of the most important race to me!
    Best Screenplay – Original : Babel, Little Miss Sunshine, The Queen, Stranger than Fiction, United 93
    Best Screenplay – Adapted : Borat, The Departed, The Devil Wears Prada, Little Children, Thank You For Smoking
    WOOT again! I love those nominees –Guillermo Arriaga, Michael Arndt, Peter Morgan, Zach Helm, and best of all, Paul Greengrass! They all deserve the award, really. And I love that the WGA was not scared of recognizing first-time writers such as Michael Arndt and Zach Helm. Way to go! The adapted screenplay category is also quite surprising –three comedies! Is Borat really adapted? Anyway…
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards
    Best Ensemble Cast : Babel, Bobby, The Departed, Dreamgirls, Little Miss Sunshine
    Best Actor : Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond, Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson, Peter O’Toole for Venus, Will Smith for The Pursuit of Happyness, Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland
    Best Actress : Penelope Cruz for Volver, Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal, Helen Mirren for The Queen, Meryl Streep for The Devil Wears Prada, Kate Winslet for Little Children
    Well, those were predictable, especially for the women. Those five are highly likely to be the Best Actress Oscar nominees of this year. Too bad Kate Winslet keeps getting nominated, and never wins… But then again, if Helen Mirren doesn’t win this year, it would be completely insane and un
    fair. For the men, it also looks like the five final Best Actor Oscar nominees, although I’m not sure Leonardo DiCaprio will get nominated for Blood Diamond over The Departed. If you click on the link, you’ll see that Leo actually got a Screen Actor Guild nomination for his work in The Departed in the Best Supporting Actor category, which was the weirdest thing EVER, and pushed Jack Nicholson or Mark Wahlberg out of the list. That’s what too many good performances in one film will do, and it’s completely silly. Abigail Breslin also got a nod for Best Supporting Actress (yay!) but Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls is way ahead of little Abigail in this race. Shame…
Well, I think that’s about it. The only thing I really care about, as far as award season is concerned, are the fates of United 93 and Little Miss Sunshine as well as MARTY WINNING THE BEST DIRECTOR OSCAR. Even if it means that poor, deserving Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu and Stephen Frears have to lose.

*The full Sunshine trailer was released this week. Because it is directed by Danny Boyle (and not because Cillian Murphy’s in it), I hiiiighly anticipate this film. Oh well, right, maybe Cillian’s got something to do with it. You can see it right here.

*We also got a good look at our Spider-Man 3 heroes, in brand new pictures from the brand new official site. They are all distractly good-looking in this new, shiny film -hee. You an see more new pics in the gallery at the link above.


I love Bryce Dallas Howard better than Kirsten Dunst, but whatever.
I really love this new Sandman pic as well. Dunno why, I just do.

*More informations about Spidey 3 are to be found in Premiere’s extract of their exclusive featured article on the film.
*There’s a brand new Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix pic as well- * -and three new production stills for The Bourne Ultimatum.

*Speaking of which, Variety announced this morning that Paul Greengrass’s next project was to “write and direct a movie about the aftermath of the Iraq invasion”. This will worry tons of people, but since this is PAUL GREENGRASS, and Working Title is producing, I’m not one of them. To tell you the truth, I can’t think of a better person to do a movie about Iraq.
*There’s a rather interesting interview of Stephen Merchant at Radar Online. I adore this guy as much as I love Ricky Gervais -their collaboration is pure genius. Plus, he really cracked me up on The Office DVD extras.

Well, I think that’s about it for this week’s movie news.
What about my week? I…
*Finished my Lord of the Rings marathon!
*Had a fantastic weekend in Canterbury, then a very full and exhausting Monday in London.
*Have been back to school since Tuesday, at the same ol’ university.
*Turned eighteen on Wednesday. It felt… quite normal, actually.
*Learnt that Simon Woods was going to be playing older Octavian in Rome and almost died of a heart attack.
*Recieved amazingly amazing gifts from my friends and family, but mainly DVDs. And here’s where I have to thank Pariss again for giving me the Six Feet Under Complete Series Box Set. I still can’t get over it, I really can’t!
*Have been to the movies three times this week but will from now on review all the movies at the end of the month because I’ve got loads of homework waiting…
*Started and finished reading the first book of the Dark Materials trilogy, Northern Lights. I actually read them for the first time about four years ago, but that was in French. So I’m pretty glad to get to reread them in English. I’m now moving unto the Subtle Knife.
*Am eagerly awaiting the new Rome and Prison Break episodes, of course!
*…and will have to work for the rest of weekend now that I’ve wasted so many minutes writing on my blog. Darn it!

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