October 31, 2007


>Name: Danny West
>Birthday and Age: November 22, 1984 (22)
>Location: Asheville, NC
>Education: UNC-Charlotte graduate
>What is it about the Oscars that you love so much? "Masses-unfriendly, but artistically important films getting their due."

>Future Aspirations: Screenwriting, Fiction Writing, Journalism and Music.

>Your favorite Oscar winning film of the 80 years: Schindler's List

>In your opinion, biggest Oscar snub: Brokeback Mountain

>Hobbies: "Fiction writing, Music, Magic: The Gathering and Playing video games that are way too old to be cool. I'm also very physically active."

>Predicted Best Picture nominees for 2007.
Charlie Wilson's War
Into The Wild
There Will Be Blood
No Country For Old Men

>Single, married, engaged, etc? None. (Whatever that means)

>Most embarrasing moment? "Saying The Black Dahlia would be good."

>Favorite films of all time: Fight Club, Mulholland Drive, Amelie, Requiem for a Dream, Seven, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Memento, Taxi Driver, Brokeback Mountain, Schindler's List
>Favorite actors and actresses. Naomi Watts, Ellen Burstyn, Gwyneth Paltrow. Brad Pitt, Viggo Mortensen, Martin Sheen.
>Anything you would like say to your fans and readers: "I love you."

>Besides yourselves, your favorite Igloo writer. "Clayton Davis is epic."

>Your favorite Oscar predictor out there: "Roger Ebert is the man. Pete Travers is not."

The Lone Director Spot: Will the trend continue?

Clever as usual, Josh Kirschenbaum discusses one of the most bizarre trends followed by AMPAS in recent years: The Best Picture/Director Split.

It seems AMPAS likes to believe some great films and eventual Best Picture nominees directed themselves and there wasn't, even if eccentric or quirky, a man behind the curtain involved...

"Stylization plays a big role in the Picture-Director split. When a filmmaker powerfully inserts his or her directorial style into a film, AMPAS tends to notice, even if they don't love the film enough for a Best Picture nomination. Fernando Meirelles, director of City of God, is a good example of this. While AMPAS didn't like the film a lot (many thought it was too violent), Meirelles' direction was too good not to recognize. Stylization can backfire though; just ask Baz Luhrmann, who was denied a Director nomination while his super-stylized film Moulin Rouge! made the top 5 in the Best Picture category."

Read the rest of this article here.

Who are this year's top contenders for the Lone Director Spot?

Awards Profile: Gone Baby Gone

Joey Magidson puts his two cents on Gone Baby Gone's Oscar potential, especially the very favorable odds for Amy Ryan right now:

"Amy Ryan is poised for a real breakout year. She’s received plenty of raves for this film, and with “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” and “Dan in Real Life”, two dark horse Oscar contenders on the horizon for this year, the Academy may find her hard to resist"

Is Amy Ryan on her way to a breakthrough Oscar nomination?

Read the full article here

October 30, 2007

DIGGING INTO: Josh Kirschenbaum

> >Name: Josh Kirschenbaum

> >Birthday and Age: September 3, 1991.

> >Location: Westchester NY

> >Education: Currently in my junior year at high school

> >What is it about the Oscars that you love so much?:
"There are many things I love about the Oscars. The single best part is seeing my favorites films of the year get rewarded (although often they are not). I love the complexities of the race. It's politics without the corruption, and with more emphasis on quality. Also, without the Oscars, there would be little incentive for studios to make good movies."

> >Future Aspirations: "Writing. I wish I could be more specific but to me, the specifics don't matter. As long as I'm writing, I'm happy."

> >Your favorite Oscar winning film of the 80 years.: Network

> >In your opinion, biggest Oscar snub (both nomination and winner): Winner: Network losing Best picture to Rocky in 1976. Nomination: John Goodman failing to be nominated for his work in Barton Fink in 1991.

> >Hobbies: "Watching movies, writing for the Igloo, writing for the school paper, reading old noir novels."

> >Predicted Best Picture nominees for 2007.
1. No Country for Old Men
2. Atonement
3. There Will be Blood
4. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
5. Michael Clayton

> >Single, married, engaged, etc?: Single

> >Most embarrasing moment?: "Losing a $20 bet on the 2005 best picture race with a friend who knows almost nothing about the Oscars (I chose BBM, he chose Crash)."

> >Favorite films of all time: Network-American Beauty-Barton Fink-Brazil-Badlands-Sunset Boulevard-Annie Hall-Boogie Nights-Citizen Kane-Princess Mononoke

> >Favorite actors and actresses.Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey, John Turturro//Actresses: Diane Keaton, Sissy Spacek, Frances McDormand

> >Anything you would like say to your fans and readers: "Thanks for reading. I hope you've enjoyed my articles so far and I'll try to keep you entertained and informed all the way up until the big night."

> >Besides yourselves, your favorite Igloo writer.: "Tom Houseman. The debate I did with him on Paul Haggis was very fun and I hope to work with him more in the future."

> >Your favorite Oscar predictor out there.: "Can I say the Igloo? If not, I guess it would have to be Sasha Stone over at Awardsdaily."

Charlie Wilson's War Poster

Courtesy of Comingsoon.net is the exclusive poster of Charlie Wilson's War.

A bit bland and a bit boring, this remains to yet be seen and we may be in store for a big time flop on our hands. But who knows anything anyway? We certainly don't.

October 29, 2007

DIGGING INTO: Kelly Doucette

Name: Kelly Doucette
Birthday and Age: April 11th - aged 20
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Education: sophomore at the University of WI-Milwaukee
What is it about the Oscars that you love so much?
"just love films and think they deserve accolades such as the Oscar."
Future Aspirations - to be a filmmaker (my major)
Your favorite Oscar winning film of the 80 years. - Annie Hall (1977)
In your opinion, biggest Oscar snub: Ray Liotta for Best Actor in GOODFELLAS

Hobbies: "movie watching, volleyball, hanging out, writing/reading, TRAVELING"

Predicted Best Picture nominees for 2007.
1) Charlie Wilson's War
2) Into the Wild
3) There Will Be Blood
4) Atonement
5) The Kite Runner

Single, married, engaged, etc? - single

Most embarrasing moment? - not sure
Favorite films of all time:
** No particular order
1) Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
2) The Last Picture Show (1971)
3) 8 1/2 (1963)
4) The Hours (2002)
5) The Thin Red Line (1998)
6) Pulp Fiction (1994)
7) Born on the Fourth of July (1989)
8) Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
9) Annie Hall (1977)
10) Goodfellas (1990)

Favorite actors and actresses.
1) Jack Lemmon 1) Cate Blanchett
2) Leonardo DiCaprio 2) Bette Davis
3) Marlon Brando 3) Katharine Hepburn

Anything you would like say to your fans and readers: "Thank you so much for your constant support. Without you, predicting the Oscars would be just another stupid habit."
Besides yourselves, your favorite Igloo writer. - Jonathan Alba

Your favorite Oscar predictor out there. - Roger Ebert

October 28, 2007

The Early Buzz: The Kite Runner

There's something special going on in Marc Forster's captivating drama The Kite Runner and there are many subtleties in its powerful story that AMPAS could easily embrace...

Here's a snippet from our early review:

"In a year were most of the films touted as Oscar contenders (even those competing for the Comedy/Musical spot on the Best Picture race) are too dark, too violent or both; Paramount Vantage’s spellbinding awards-hopeful The Kite Runner offers the kind of poignant storytelling and social relevance that AMPAS has effortlessly embraced in recent years"

Read the rest of our exclusive review here.

Is the Kite Runner on your Best Picture Predictions?

DIGGING INTO: Tom Houseman

Tom Houseman, a New York native has been one of the most creative and innovative critics of the Igloo. Drawing many readers and fans, people have been dying to know what makes Tom tick. Find out!
Name: Tom Houseman
Birthday and Age: October 1st 1987, 20
Location: New York
Education: College Student

What is it about the Oscars that you love so much? "The history."
Future Aspirations: Screenwriter and Producer

Your favorite Oscar winning film of the 80 years: Of the Best Picture winners, either Rain Man or On the Waterfront

In your opinion, biggest Oscar snub:Nomination: too many to count, but most recently The Fountain for Best Score. Winner: Memento- Best Original Screenplay 2001

Hobbies: "Other than movie related hobbies, watching sports, arguing about politics, playing poker."

Predicted Best Picture nominees for 2007:
American Gangster
The Kite Runner
Sweeney Todd
There Will Be Blood

Single, married, engaged, etc? In a committed relationship.

Most embarrasing moment? "Any time I walk the wrong direction in New York City for half a mile without noticing the street signs."

Favorite films of all time:Remember, these are favorites, not best: Empire Records, Harvey, Memento, The Princess Bride, The Shawshank Redemption

Favorite actors and actresses:Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Toni Collette. Johnny Depp, Gael Garcia Bernal, Peter Sarsgaard

Anything you would like say to your fans and readers: "If it weren't for you, I'd just be a weirdo sitting in my room obsessing over the Oscars, by myself, for no reason. You guys make me seem sane, and for that I thank you."

Besides yourselves, your favorite Igloo writer: Who else? Johnny Alba

Your favorite Oscar predictor out there: David Poland
Any questions for Tom or general comments? Tell him here!

For Your Consideration: Best Actor-Chris Cooper

Looks like they are going to campaign for Chris Cooper but in the leading category.

Early release date and a very competitive Best Actor race aren't looking too good in his favor.

Supporting might have been a better move for the studio.

October 27, 2007

The End for Bale

Some Awards sites from studios are up and Mr. Davis here has just read...

Christian Bale is going lead along with Russell Crowe for 3:10 to Yuma. That pretty much kills his chances now. Another year without Bale at the ceremony it seems. He is definitely a lead but people out there were secretly hoping for a supporting bid to increase his chances.
I guess we'll wait for The Dark Knight in 08' or Killing Pablo in 09' for Bale to be nominated. Well, maybe not 08'....

DIGGING INTO: Lee Hernandez

Name: Lee Hernandez

Birthday and Age: 24. June 1st, 1983

Location: West New York, New Jersey

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communications/Saint Peter's College>

What is it about the Oscars that you love so much? Nothing.

Future Aspirations I aspire to a career in arts journalism.

Your favorite Oscar winning film of the 80 years. 1999's American Beauty

In your opinion, biggest Oscar snub (both nomination and winner)
"Recently, the omission of Catherine O'Hara (For Your Consideration) was appauling. But Jennifer Hudson's undeserved win for Dreamgirls has been most dissapointing."

Hobbies: "Reading about movies and journalism, restaraunts, and going to the movies"

Predicted Best Picture nominees for 2007.
Into the Wild
No Country for Old Men
Charlie Wilson's War
Before the Devil Knows You're Dead

Marital Status: Single

Favorite films of all time:
Rear Window, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Sunset Blvd, All About My Mother, You Can Count on Me, American Beauty, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Schindler's List, Broadcast News

Favorite actors: James Stewart, Sean Penn, Kevin Spacey

Favorite Actresses: Julia Roberts, Annette Bening, Vivian Leigh

Besides yourselves, your favorite Igloo writer: "He's no longer with us, but I liked Ben Samara's reviews"

Your favorite Oscar predictor: "I don't know if this seems biased, but I think Johnny (Alba) is always first to predict the "big surprises" every year. He takes risks in his predictions which makes it fun, and most of the time, his choices make it."

October 26, 2007

DIGGING INTO: Myles Hughes

One of newest and youngest members to the Igloo is Myles Hughes. With three articles to his credit, and more to come, he has already made an impression on the staff and YOU, the readers. Dig into our own Maryland boy.

Name: Myles Hughes

Age: 18

Birthday: October 8

Location: Bethesda, MD

Education: Senior in High School

What is it about the Oscars that you love so much?:

I love movies, and I love seeing good movies get rewarded. There are people who like to bet on outcomes for the Superbowl, or American Idol, or Survivor. I'm like them, but my thing is movies, so the Oscars are my natural home.”

Future Aspirations: Ambition is to become either a director or actor in the film industry.

Your favorite Oscar winning film of the 80 years: The Godfather, arguably one of the best films ever made.

In your opinion, biggest Oscar snub: For nomination, my biggest qualm of the last few years has been no dice for Viggo Mortensen for A History of Violence (or the movie in general's lack of attention, such as for Best Director). For win, it's easily Russell Crowe losing the Oscar for A Beautiful Mind to Denzel Washington for Training Day.

Hobbies: “I try to average watching 3-5 movies a week, with at least one being a film I haven't seen yet. Other than that, I work in my school's theatre department (I'm currently Assistant Student Director for our production of "Aida"), as well as with local theatre companies. I enjoy socializing, hiking, tubing, reading, writing, and acting.”

Predicted Best Picture nominees for 2007:
No Country for Old Men
There Will Be Blood
American Gangster
Charlie Wilson's War

Relationship Status: I'm currently single, for what it's worth.

Most embarrassing moment: “Any time I've ever asked out a girl who's already in a relationship that I didn't know about.”

Favorite films of all time: A Beautiful Mind, American Beauty, The Godfather, The Silence of the Lambs, Memento, Pulp Fiction, L.A. Confidential, The Lives of Others, Traffic, GoodFellas.

Favorite Actors: Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, and Edward Norton.

Favorite Actresses: Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett, and Frances McDormand.

Anything you would like to say to your fans and readers: “Whatever you do, do not pass judgement on a film's chances until January 1st.”

Besides yourself, your favorite Igloo writer: Johnny Alba, definitely.

Your favorite Oscar predictor out there: See above.

Have any questions for Myles? Want to get to know him better? Ask him right here! Comment.

October 24, 2007

Lars and the Real Buzz...

Quirky, heartfelt comedy Lars and the Real Girl is gaining lots of Oscar buzz for his leading man: Ryan Gosling (in an unusual, yet highly sympathetic, role). Joey Magidson analyzes the film's real awards prospects:

"Would a better title for this film be Lars and the Real Chance at a Nomination? Probably not, as it would make no sense in relation to the story but when it comes to Ryan Gosling, the actor in the title role, that is a different case. Gosling may be on his way to a second consecutive Oscar nod for this decidedly unconventional part"

Read the rest of this article here

And click here to read Lars and the Real Girl's reviews on RT...

Can Gosling return to the Oscars for a consecutive year or will the small film be too offbeat for AMPAS?

October 23, 2007

The Dreamgirls/Departed Effect: Is AMPAS Changing?

Our latest article by Josh Kirschenbaum is all about studios learning from past mistakes and at the same time, making the race a lot more accesible for the small, early-released and un-baity films...

"When the academy decided to forsake the ubiquitously campaigned Dreamgirls for the atypical and less campaigned contender The Departed, they sent the message that they were tired of being told who to vote for. From now on, they would decide for themselves. Right?"

Read the rest of this very honest article here.

Is there a change in progress within AMPAS?

DIGGING INTO: Joey Magidson

D.O.B.: Born March 13, 1987

Zodiac Sign: Pisces

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Current Location: Long Island, NY

Marital Status: Single [and looking :)]

Favorite Igloo Writer: Tom Houseman

Education: Stony Brook University,Degree in Progress English Literature. (Changing to Cinema & Cultural Studies)

Future Goals: Writer for Entertainment Publications with secondary plan to be a High School English Teacher.

Joey’s Snubs: The Shawshank Redemption not winning Best Picture. Chasing Amy failing to get a screenplay nomination.

Favorite Oscar Predictor: Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily)

Hobbies: "Reading, Writing, playing baseball, playing video games, hanging out with friends, girls, and other random/average 20 year old guy stuff."
Favorite Oscar films:
Annie Hall (1977)
Rocky (1976)
American Beauty (1999)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
The Departed (2006)
Favorite Films of All Time: (no order)
The Shawshank Redemption, Chasing Amy, Pulp Fiction, The Fountain, Almost Famous, Garden State, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Clerks, Magnolia, Lost in Translation
Favorite Actors – Actress
John Cusack - Scarlett Johansson
Tom Cruise - Natalie Portman
Mark Ruffalo - Rachel McAdams
What is it about the Oscars that you love so much?
The feeling of joy you get when a film you've championed to people wins the big one
Most embarrasing moment?
Ran through a closed mesh screen door when I was a child
Current Best Picture Predictions:
Charlie Wilson’s War
Into the Wild
There Will Be Blood

Anything you would like say to your fans and readers:
Thanks for taking the time to read what I write, it means the world to me, and if you ever want to contact me my email is joeymagz@aol.com and my AOL screen name is joeymagz...im always down to chat

October 22, 2007

Dig into the Igloo

Coming later this week!

Get to know your fellow Igloo writers. We'll have personal profiles of each one ranging from their predicted nominees for 2008 to most embarrassing moments. More than the bios in the About Us section, it's one on one with you, our readers. You can ask questions, comment or just get to know someone in our lonely world of Oscar watching.

Who are you looking most forward to getting to know?

Johnny Alba
Robert Cameron
Clayton Davis
Kelly Doucette
Lee Hernandez
Tom Houseman
Myles Hughes
Josh Kirschenbaum
Joey Magidson
Danny West

Taking a step from Oscar for a moment...

Here's the poster for the new Rambo film hitting theaters in January.
With semi-not sucking success of Rocky Balboa, Stallone is trying to ride his own wave.
Could this be in contention for technical nods for 2009's Oscar? More than likely, NOT.

October 21, 2007

Top 10: Oscar Flops!

Early hype can do wonders for small films with big aspirations like Little Miss Sunshine or Half Nelson but it can also be deadly for those big-budgeted, studio products made for awards attention in mind if they fail to live up to their massive buzz. The story of the Academy Awards is full of Oscar flops; films that generally sacrificed substance for (over-the-top) style and here's our overview of the ten most shameful attempts at awards attention in recent memory:

Dishonorable Mention: Kingdom of Heaven/Elizabethtown

It was recently reported that Orlando Bloom was taking acting lessons for his next film but would it have hurt the England-born heartthrob to take them back in 2004 before starting production of his prominent appearances in Elizabethtown and Kingdom of Heaven? The actor (at least partially responsible of both films’ financial and critical failures) proved to be an ineffective and inexperienced lead for heavyweight directors Cameron Crowe and Ridley Scott. Recently, Bloom has failed to land prominent roles in serious projects and both Elizabethtown and Kingdom of Heaven are still remembered as the weakest from both directors’ filmographies.

10. The Family Stone

At the start of the Oscar season in 2005, Diane Keaton was hyped as a lock in the Best Supporting Actress category by several online sources. The film was also touted as the next big holiday film and it was expected to emerge as the one to beat on the Comedy/Musical categories of the Golden Globe Awards. The film then opened to poor reviews and a forgettable box-office run. Writer/Director Thomas Bezucha (who basically disappeared from the face of the Earth after the film’s lousy debut) also made Diane Keaton look unsympathetic and I’m sure in everyone’s book, that’s unforgivable.

9. All the King’s Men

To be fair, nobody was expecting Oscar winner Steve Zaillian’s remake to the top the original but certainly; there was a bit of hope when it was announced that the writer of Schindler’s List had recruited an A-list ensemble to bring the classic novel/film back to life. It turned out to be one of the biggest flops in the careers of Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins, Patricia Clarkson and of course; Zaillian himself. All the King’s Men (2006) was such a flop that even the Razzies forgot to nominate it in any category.

8. Proof

It’s not a secret Gwyneth Paltrow’s post-Shakespeare in Love career has not been the most desirable and luck hasn’t been on director John Madden’s side for a while either. His first post-Shakespeare in Love project was the shameful fiasco Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Paltrow’s string of disappointments included Bounce, View from the Top and Sky Captain. When it was announced they would team up again in the adaptation of the Tony-winning play Proof, every Oscar buzzer predicted big things for the Miramax project. By the time the film’s flaws were evidenced; all Oscar hopes were gone and as of today, we are still waiting for the project that will bring back some sense of dignity to Paltrow’s and Madden’s careers.

7. An Unfinished Life

Lasse Hallström was at his prime in the time of such shameless Oscar-vehicles as The Cider House Rules and Chocolat. He stumbled with The Shipping News and then, he collapsed with An Unfinished Life. Filmed in 2003 and delayed until 2005, the film was plagued by many production troubles and continuous rumors about disastrous test-screenings. In the end, the central character played by Jennifer Lopez was basically removed and the remaining storyline between the characters played by Robert Redford and Morgan Freeman was nothing special either.

6. Evening

I wouldn’t place a 2007 film on this Top 10 unless I was sure it didn’t stand a chance at the upcoming Academy Awards. This is the case of Evening; the summer Oscar flop by Hungarian director Lajos Koltai. Proving that even Meryl Streep can star in critical flop from time to time, Evening boasted by far the best ensemble of any film this year: Vanessa Redgrave, Toni Collette, Hugh Dancy, Patrick Wilson, Natasha Richardson, Glenn Close, Mamie Gummer (Streep’s daughter) and Claire Danes (as the lead and also weakest link). Written by unknown Susan Minot and released in the summer, it’s obvious the film didn’t have much going for it but still; it will be remembered as one of this year’s first and most notorious flops.

5. Spanglish

With Terms of Endearment, Broadcast News and As Good as It Gets on his resume, James L. Brooks is one of the directors that today’s award-buzzers can easily tag as a serious Oscar threat for practically any project. That was the dooming factor for Brooks’ last film, the mildly reviewed Spanglish starring Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni. On paper, Spanglish had all the elements to become an awards magnet: a relevant and contemporary concept, likeable (if unproven) leads and a very successful director on the helm. Despite being released in December and being buzzed about since production started; the bi-cultural dramedy became a financial and critical disappointment. While the Screen Actors Guild honored Cloris Leachman for her portrayal of an empathic alcoholic; Adam Sandler’s follow-up performance to the critically-praised Punch Drunk Love lacked depth and Tea Leoni was panned for her schizophrenic and annoying turn.

4. Cold Mountain

To me, the film was doomed when it was compared to Gone with the Wind on early reviews. By the time Cold Mountain opened, expectations were already unmatchable and that created a notorious gap between the people who loved it and those who didn’t. While the film did relatively well with 7 Oscar nominations and 1 win for Zellweger as the loud-mouthed Ruby; it failed to receive a Best Picture nomination (AMPAS’s not-so-subtle way to bitch-slap the Weinstein brothers and Miramax for their beautiful but shallow work).

3. The Phantom of the Opera

Was eccentric director Joel Schumacher on his way to redemption with the 2004’s adaptation of Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera? That’s what top Oscar buzzers were predicting back then. Early hype was encouraging and there were some influential names backing up the film and calling it the one to beat. Yet, when the film was finally screened and everyone realized it was basically a cheesy reenactment of the Tony-winning musical where nipples are shown everywhere and candle lights turn on automatically; the buzz faded quickly. The film bombed at the box-office and it failed to make stars of Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler. Worst of all, it confirmed Schumacher’s inability to innovate or at least, to stay away from his usual fetishes.

2. Memoirs of a Geisha

Right after triumphing with Chicago at the 2003 Oscars, Rob Marshall took the challenge of proving the world he was more than jazz fingers and beautiful costumes with the ambitious adaptation of the worldwide famous novel: Memoirs of a Geisha. Marshall chose rising Chinese star Ziyi Zhang to play the iconic Japanese heroine and obviously, that generated a controversy that haunted the film till its release. Although the film was visually stunning (and it has 3 Academy Awards to prove it), Marshall failed (like many others) to bring new depth to the source material. Instead, Memoirs of a Geisha became a stereotypical Asian version of Valley of the Dolls and it is still remembered as one of the most unashamed attempts at Oscar attention (with gorgeous sequences though).

1. Dreamgirls

The marketing department at DreamWorks did an outstanding job promoting the Broadway adaptation a year in advance and economically, this was enough to help the musical succeed were very few musicals had recently. Hype was strong enough to make American Idol’s Jennifer Hudson a top contender throughout 2006 (In our case, she never left the frontrunner position since our first update) and the film itself was launched as the Oscar-vehicle of the year before production was even finished.

Like its predecessors, Dreamgirls was hyped to the extreme by both the studio and the online community and right when the film’s trailer debuted; there was no doubt about the film’s artistic and technical aspects.

But what about the substance? While Dreamgirls didn’t get the treatment of Memoirs of a Geisha or Cold Mountain, it opened to mostly good but not great reviews; a consensus that was tough enough to kill its chances. Critics didn’t love leads BeyoncĂ© Knowles and Jamie Foxx but Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy were unanimously praised as predicted. However, a film that was promoted as a masterpiece couldn’t afford to get just good reviews and by the time Oscar nods were announced, the Golden Globe champ was missing on the most important category. (Once again, AMPAS opted to punish a studio for their shameful attempts).

To further humiliation, Dreamgirls received 8 Oscar nominations (more than any other film last year), although 3 of these nods belonged to the same category: Best Original Song. The film ended up winning Best Supporting Actress (Jennifer Hudson, set to star in Sex and the City: The Movie) and Best Sound Mixing.

As you can see, money and good marketing can't buy an Oscar (at least, not as easily as we could think) and this year won't probably be any different for one of the big movies coming out in December? Will it be Charlie Wilson's War, Sweeney Todd or Atonement? Share your thoughts.

October 20, 2007

Update: Best Actress

The Best Actress race is turning into Amy Adams' own fairy tale! Cate is its evil witch and Ellen, Keira and Marion are just living in it...

Read our BEST ACTRESS update here!

Is Amy Adams Oscar-worthy?

Into the Oscar Race...

Josh Kirschenbaum analyzes the Oscar prospects of Sean Penn's Into the Wild in our latest Awards Profile...

"Penn’s direction is very stylized, a quality that can either ensure you a best director nod (Like Paul Greengrass for United 93) or ruin your chances (Baz Luhrmann for Moulin Rouge!). Either way, Penn’s chances for a director nomination are not intrinsically linked with the film’s getting a Best Picture nod"

Read more here.

Is Into the Wild a serious Oscar contender? What do you think?

Best Foreign Language Film

France is a serious threat as usual; Spain, Mexico and Germany have turned into consistent contenders over the last decade and Romania is looking for its first nod!

63 nations compete in this year's Best Foreign Language Film race and our own Tom Houseman discusses what films are getting, right now, Hollywood's attention:

"Excluding the short films, there is no category at the Oscars that is more difficult to comprehend, let alone predict, than Best Foreign Language Film. The selection process alone is absurdly complicated..."

Read more here

October 17, 2007

Actors Behind the Camera

The Oscar Igloo writer Tom Houseman takes an in depth look at acclaimed actors going from in front of the camera to behind it.

With Academy Award winners Sean Penn (Into the Wild), Denzel Washington (The Great Debaters) and Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone) all providing quality films this year, along with a debut from actress Sarah Polley (Away From Her), we may be on the brim of our new Clint Eastwood or Mel Gibson.
Read his article HERE.

The Diving Bell and Butterfly Poster

Gorgeous, innovative, intriguing...looks to be a sleeper hit with critics and possible spoiler for this year's awards season. Look for a lone director nod and an overdue Oscar nomination for Max Von Sydow. But this is all talk, it could be a disaster or too artsy for Oscar's liking like The Squid and the Whale and Roger Dodger.
It does have some type of fashion-editorial and artistic edge to it that draws me to it...Sorry, just saw "America's Next Top Model" and I'm in Vogue-Seventeen mode right now. LOL

October 16, 2007

The Best Supporting Actor Fiasco Part II

Well, here we are, October 2007, no idea who the hell is a frontrunner and no idea where the nominations are heading. Last year, Alan Arkin surprised critics and predictors alike (not me) in winning the Supporting Actor award for Little Miss Sunshine over Globe and SAG winner Eddie Murphy. We’ve seen surprise instances like that before in categories; James Coburn winning over Thornton and Harris for Affliction, Marisa Tomei winning over Judy Davis and Joan Plowright for My Cousin Vinny and even though not all agree, Jim Broadbent over Ian McKellen for Iris.

Last year, the first Supporting Actor Fiasco piece came out after most of the big precursors had been announced, this year I present it to you before any nominations are announced. Trying to see how good of predictors I can really be.
Without a doubt, Javier Bardem is a huge contender for No Country for Old Men with dozens of critics singling him out and Oscar predictors having him on all predictions list. His frightening turn should of Oscar written all over it but it does have some things against it. Not exactly a warm hearted film with dark material that may not sit well with certain members. However, Bardem has the “overdue” card to play with a previous nomination for Before Night Falls and a previous snub for The Sea Inside.

Mark Ruffalo who started off back in March the near frontrunner has completely disappeared along with his film Reservation Road in the past weeks. The film received mediocre early reviews but he was called out few times in those reviews for giving a compelling performance. His snub for You Can Count on Me and even in some opinions, We Don’t Live Here Anymore may still be on voters mind. They may feel inspired to give him a makeup nomination.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is having a fantastic year with one powerful performance in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, the unseen Charlie Wilson’s War and festival favorite The Savages. Hoffman’s buzzed has increased greatly in the past weeks and could get brought in easily in this category even if the latter fails. Voters may want to make him not just a one hit wonder with Oscar. The fact that he won recently for Capote may help his nomination but nearly destroy his win chances unless it’s a unanimous appraisal of artistry. He might suffer from a vote split though, so watch out for great performances for all but no nominations come awards time.
Philip Bosco and Armin Mueller-Stahl have the veteran cards to play with acclaimed performances in The Savages and Eastern Promises. Bosco’s film has yet to be seen by audiences but early reviews calling his performance the best of the year. It also helps that Bosco is starring with other Oscar favorites Laura Linney and the earlier mentioned Hoffman. Mueller-Stahl’s film won the audience award at the Toronto International Film Festival which helps his cause however, he has minimal screen time which doesn’t always spell doom but doesn’t place him at the top. He is a previous nominee for Shine and snubee for Out of Africa which brings him into the spotlight and gives another villainous turn for supporting actors this season. Very reminiscent of past nominee William Hurt could make this year, his year.
Tom Wilkinson is another veteran and previous nominee struggling to capture Oscar. Based on heart, tenacity and sheer brilliance many critics believe he should of won for In the Bedroom. This year he stars opposite winner George Clooney and Michael Clayton has received some of the best reviews of the year and has now been considered a Best Picture contender. But he isn’t cited as much as Clooney and co-star Tilda Swinton as one might hope. He has an uphill climb ahead indeed.

The young and great Paul Dano who shares screen time with Daniel Day-Lewis has been said to give a gripping turn in There Will Be Blood. His work in last year’s, Little Miss Sunshine keeps him fresh in voters minds and able to sneak into the race especially if his film gets a Best Picture nomination. This category is kinder to young ones which also increases his chances.

Russell Crowe gives one of the year’s best performances in 3:10 to Yuma which has been also gained favorable reviews. Its his role in the true story, American Gangster that has people predicting him for a nomination. It’s a little hard to imagine a big star like Crowe coming up in the supporting category but if co-star Denzel Washington goes lead and steals the show, Crowe may have no choice. His performance seems more responsive the outlandish and Oscar has a hard time often reward subtlety.

Other possibilities include Shaun Toub for the hard to watch The Kite Runner and the breakout star of the year thus far, Casey Affleck for his enthralling and absorbing performance in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Affleck is having an amazing year and his role in Gone Baby Gone should keep him in contention for the remainder of the year. There is also the summer performance that people loved, John Travolta in Hairspray. Travolta, also a previous nominee, has been cited for giving his best performance in years.

Is there anyone else we’re missing? People can throw out Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild, Christian Bale for 3:10 to Yuma, Max Von Sydow for The Diving Bell and Butterfly or Alan Rickman for Sweeney Todd. Truth is we have no idea and some surprises such as Ed Harris in Gone Baby Gone or Morgan Freeman in The Bucket List can join the race in the coming weeks.

Who do I predict to win right now? I’m going to say Mueller-Stahl for Eastern Promises. With a solid campaign and the love for David Cronenberg (not from Oscar obviously) we can see some momentum building for him in the coming months. But saying Stahl is all confidence, the safe answer is obviously Javier Bardem but I don’t like being ordinary. A big part of me wants to put Ed Harris upfront but there’s been no buzz for him so I’ll pass on it. Oh well…It’s a fiasco indeed this year for the supporting actors, a fiasco indeed.

Speaking of Gone Baby Gone

Amy Ryan and Ben Affleck have been getting good citations for their works in Gone Baby Gone. Ryan has been an up and comer for years with roles in Television's "The Wire" and films such as You Can Count on Me and this year's Before the Devil Knows You're Dead.

Affleck has been praised for his directorial debut in Gone Baby Gone. Looks like he may not be a joke anymore and the film screams Oscar bait. So far with 11 reviews counted (which is nearly nothing) It stands at a 91%! Affleck may have found his niche and could be our future Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson and Sean Penn.
The trailer does give off a Mystic River feel to it and we could even see Ryan being pulled in with let's say.....ED HARRIS. Harris is 0 for 4 on the Oscar poll and this looks to be some scenery he can chew on quite well. We'll wait and see for more reviews. Here's the trailer to observe.

Is Angelina on her way to a nomination?

Academy Award winner Angelina Jolie has just been named Outstanding Performance of the Year by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for her performance in A Mighty Heart. Past recepients have been last year's winner Helen Mirren and previous nominees Heath Ledger and Kate Winslet. Does this mean Angelina could be nominated? Maybe.

I think if she gets brought in that we should definitely see Brad Pitt for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford who's buzz has been nearly diminished in the past weeks with the exception of Casey Affleck and along with the buzz from Gone Baby Gone, that should keep Affleck in the spotlight for the rest of the year.

Back to Jolie, does she have a chance. Share with us!

October 12, 2007

Quick Question...

Just a quick wondering here, could Will Smith be a sneak attack that we are not expecting? Based on the trailer we could have a Tom Hanks-Cast Away meets Sigourney Weaver-Aliens thing happening. I Am Legend could be a potential nominee threat if other prospects fail for Best Actor and other tech awards that we just aren't expecting. Wouldn't that be exciting?! Do you agree? Share your thoughts. Watch the trailer!

More Elizabeth Bashing....

With now 53 Reviews Counted, Elizabeth: The Golden Age has moved up to a weak 26%. Movies like The Game Plan and The Heartbreak Kid are even sitting higher than it.

This is a travesty my people. We have some big A-list actors, Oscar winners and nominees and an up and coming star and we still can't get a decent score out of it: Closer's Clive Owen, In America's Samantha Morton, Shine's Geoffrey Rush and Candy's Abbie Cornish.

"Cate Blanchett can do anything, even play Bob Dylan, but she can't save this creaky sequel to her star-making 1998 biopic of Elizabeth I."
-Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Silence would be a blessing to Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which substitutes symphonic din in place of drama."

"We are left choking in the billows and folds of Queen Elizabeth I's fabulous finery without a single insight into the woman among them, let alone the most celebrated period in English history."

October 11, 2007

Speaking of Trailers

Just thought our readers would like to remind themselves how good this movie originally seemed.

Elizabeth: The ROTTEN Age

Elizabeth: The Golden Age directed by Shekhar Kapur has been sliced and diced by critics alike. It stands at a 24% on Rotten Tomatoes with 45 reviews counted; critics are calling it:

"Highbrow camp masquerading as a history lesson soapier than any bottle of detergent."

"Too bad Kapur's new, glittering sequel shows up feeling prematurely old, square, and cautious."

Can Cate Blanchett survive the abuse of the film? Crazier things have happened. But it looks we will see Cate regardless in the supporting category, the issue is will she be a dual-nominee.

But we should all take a moment here and not be surprised that it is failing the way it is. It's a sequel for Pete's sake and very few get acknowledged unless you're a fantasy franchise or a grandeur mafia film. This goes to show you...


Read the other reviews of the film here on Rotten Tomatoes.

Charlie Wilson's War Trailer!

Charlie Wilson's War Full Trailer is online now. Looks like a solid bet but we'll have to wait for official reviews but it suffers from massive hype which hurts if it doesn't get less than stellar reviews.

The trailer is here. You tell us what you think.

October 9, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War - Sneak Peek

Here is the Charlie Wilson's War - Sneak Peek. You judge it! Is it Oscar worthy?

The Top 4 Films of 2007 So Far....

  • On Rotten Tomatoes, the top 4 rated films of the year:
1. Once: Standing at a staggering 97% all year, AwardsDaily's Sasha Stone still believes this could make the Best Picture cut at the end of the year. A lot more critics out there foresee the Original Screenplay nomination.
2. Ratatouille: A very strong 96%, this has been said to be the Best Pixar film ever. A definite frontrunner in the Animated race and a possible threat in Screenplay.
3. Hairspray: Holding strong at 93%, this film has fallen off the radar. The buzz for John Travolta has nearly died out and Michelle Pfeiffer only stays barely afloat due to a extremely weak category and still can't seem to break into the top five. Some technical nods could be in its future, but this suffers from an early release date big time. It needs a resurrection at the Globes but that doesn't even guarantee anything. (See: Dreamgirls)
4. The Bourne Ultimatium: A very impressive 93%, this is easily the best of the trilogy. A great action-flick but no real contention in any category. Maybe a tech or two but will likely go down as one of the greatest action films of the 21st century that got ignored.
Will these films make an impact, you be the judge? Answer on the forum or Comment the post!

Enchanted: What's the Buzz?

In less than a week, Disney's Enchanted went from potential B.O. hit to potential B.O. mega-hit AND Oscar-worthy film... Everybody is talking about Amy Adams but what's the real deal about her performance?

The film's trailer doesn't really show much about Adams and instead, it focuses on much of the physical comedy provided by James Marsden. Still, I can see AMPAS honoring this self-aware satire of the many stereotypes perpetuated by the Mouse Studio for decades and let's face it; even if Adams ends up with only a Golden Globe nomination; Enchanted is poised to become a very successful family film and make very good things for the actress' career.

October 8, 2007

Predictions Update: Is Juno this year's Sideways?

More Updates at the Igloo: Original Screenplay and Adapted Screenplay.
Is Juno going to pull a Sideways sweep this year?
Will P.T. Anderson gets his due?
Is the Academy cool enough to nominate Knocked Up?
Check it out:

Charlie Wilson's War Trailer Tomorrow!

On Entertainment Tonight, the trailer for Charlie Wilson's War, the anticipated project from Director Mike Nichols will play.
The film stars Academy Award winners Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman; all of which are generating buzz. Will it deliver?
Look for it at 7:30 ET, on CBS!
If you miss it tomorrow, it will surely be online at some point during the week. We'll make sure to bring it to you.

Haggis: Hack or Genius

Our two Igloo critics Tom Houseman and Josh Kirschenbaum have it out about Paul Haggis and his newest film, In the Valley of Elah. Who has a good point? You be the judge, check it out here:

FINALLY! Sweeney Todd Trailer

More Predictions Out and About....

We have new predictions in Best Actress, Supporting Actress, and Director categories.

Knightley's losing some steam, Bonham Carter is going Lead, and Ridley Scott seems to still have an edge.

Check it out!


October 3, 2007

Best Picture Predictions Update!

Editor, Johnny Alba has updated the Best Picture Predictions. See who's got the momentum and who's losing steam fast....


No Country for Old Men Early Review

Posted on The Main Site is Igloo newcomer, Josh Kirschenbaum's early review of No Country for Old Men. It looks to be Javier Bardem's show bringing him closer to a nomination.

Also check out new added reviews for Transformers and The Bourne Ultimatium.