November 30, 2009

The Hurt Locker has a good night in Gotham as the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards announce their winners!

Here are the winners in full, but The Hurt Locker was the only film with multiple wins:

Best Feature
The Hurt Locker Kathryn Bigelow, director; Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier, Greg Shapiro, producers (Summit Entertainment)

Best Documentary
Food, Inc. Robert Kenner, director; Robert Kenner, Elise Pearlstein, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Ensemble Performance
The Hurt Locker

Breakthrough Director
Robert Siegel for Big Fan

Breakthrough Actor
Catalina Saavedra in The Maid

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
You Won’t Miss Me; Ry Russo-Young, director/producer

-Is this the beginning of a good precursor season for The Hurt Locker?

A new Trailer for Nine!

Behold:

-Thoughts?

Some new Reviews to be found on the Main Page of The Awards Circuit, along with a Tracker update and a third NBR article!

Yes, coming off of last week's rush of early screenings, we're now playing catch-up and trying to cover any movies we may have missed this season. As such, today we have new reviews of Bronson, the documentary Under Our Skin, and The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans for you to read. They can all be found here along with all our other reviews, so be sure to check them out!
We also have some updates on the Tracker page, so click here and see what's fallen off the chart and entered on to it, and as always, comment and let us know what we're missing...
Finally, we come to our third NBR article, this one on the Supporting Actor and Actress categories. It's a great read that can be found here, so check it out and let us know what you think.
-Thoughts?

Academy Idol: Group 2



Here is the next Group of 12. Vote for your favorites, as much as you want. Results on Friday!

The Golden Satellite nominations hit!

A day late, yes I know, but my apologies for that. Without further ado, here they are:

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

“Bright Star”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“The Messenger”
“Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
“The Stoning of Soraya M.”

Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical)
“The Informant!”
“It’s Complicated”
“Julie & Julia”
“Nine”
“A Serious Man”
“Up in the Air”

Best Director
Jane Campion, “Bright Star”
Neill Blomkamp, “District 9″
Lone Scherfig, “An Education”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Rob Marshall, “Nine”
Lee Daniels, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”

Best Actress (Drama)
Shohreh Aghdashloo, “The Stoning of Soraya M.”
Emily Blunt, “The Young Victoria”
Abbie Cornish, “Bright Star”
Penélope Cruz, “Broken Embraces”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Catalina Saavedra, “The Maid”

Best Actor (Drama)
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
Hugh Dancy, “Adam”
Johnny Depp, “Public Enemies”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”
Michael Sheen, “The Damned United”

Best Actress (Comedy Or Musical)
Sandra Bullock, “The Proposal”
Marion Cotillard, “Nine”
Zooey Deschanel, “(500) Days of Summer”
Katherine Heigl, “The Ugly Truth”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Best Actor (Comedy Or Musical)
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Bradley Cooper, “The Hangover”
Matt Damon, “The Informant!”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Nine”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “A Serious Man”

Best Supporting Actress
Emily Blunt, “Sunshine Cleaning”
Penélope Cruz, “Nine”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mozhan Marnò, “The Stoning of Soraya M.”
Mo’nique, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”

Best Supporting Actor
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
James McAvoy, “The Last Station”
Alfred Molina, “An Education”
Timothy Spall, “The Damned United”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Original Screenplay
Jane Campion, “Bright Star”
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, “(500) Days of Summer”
Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker”
Joel and Ethan Coen, “A Serious Man”
Bob Peterson and Pete Docter, “Up”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, “District 9″
Nick Hornby, “An Education”
Nora Ephron, “Julie & Julia”
Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air”

Best Motion Picture (Animated or Mixed Media)
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“Up”
“Where the Wild Things Are”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Broken Embraces”
“I Killed My Mother”
“The Maid”
“Red Cliff”
“The White Ribbon”
“Winter in Wartime”

Best Documentary Feature
“The Beaches of Agnes”
“The Cove”
“Every Little Step”
“It Might Get Loud”
“The September Issue”
“Valentino: The Last Emperor”

Best Art Direction
Terry Gilliam, Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
Nathan Crowley, Patrick Lumb and William Ladd Skinner, “Public Enemies”
Eddy Wong, “Red Cliff”
Chris Kennedy, “The Road”
Ian Philips and Dan Bishop, “A Single Man”
Barry Chusid and Elizabeth Wilcox, “2012″

Best Cinematography
Robert Richardson, “Inglourious Basterds”
Guillermo Navarro and Erich Roland, “It Might Get Loud”
Dion Beebe, “Nine”
Dante Spinotti, “Public Enemies”
Lu Yue and Zhang Yi, “Red Cliff”
Roger Deakins, “A Serious Man”

Best Costume Design
Consolata Boyle, “Chéri”
Monique Prudhomme, “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
Colleen Atwood, “Nine”
Tim Yip, “Red Cliff”
Sandy Powell, “The Young Victoria”

Best Film Editing
Julian Clarke, “District 9″
Chris Innis and Bob Murawski, “The Hurt Locker”
Greg Finton, “It Might Get Loud”
Claire Simpson and Wyatt Smith, “Nine”
Angie Lam, Yang Hongyu and Robert A. Ferretti, “Red Cliff”
David Brenner and Peter S. Elliot, “2012″

Best Original Score
Gabriel Yared, “Amelia”
Marvin Hamlisch, “The Informant!”
Elliot Goldenthal, “Public Enemies”
Michael Giacchino, “Up”
Rolfe Kent, “Up in the Air”
Carter Burwell and Karen O, “Where the Wild Things Are”

Best Original Song
“The Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart” (T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham)
“We are the Children of the World” from “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” (Terry Gilliam)
“Cinema Italiano” from “Nine” (Maury Yeston)
“I See in Color” from “Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire” (Mary J. Blige)
“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” (Randy Newman)
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” (Randy Newman)

Best Sound (Mixing and Editing)
“It Might Get Loud”
“Nine”
“Red Cliff”
“Terminator Salvation”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
“2012″

Best Visual Effects
“District 9″
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Red Cliff”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
“2012″

Best Ensemble
“Nine”

Outstanding New Talent
Gabourey Sidibe

Auteur Award
Roger Corman

Tesla Award (Achievement in Technology)
Roger Deakins

Mary Pickford Award (Outstanding Artistic Contribution)
Michael York

Ten Best Films of 2009
“Bright Star”
“An Education”
“(500) Days of Summer”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Nine”
“Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire”
“A Serious Man”
“The Stoning of Soraya M.”
“Up in the Air”

-It's a strange nomination list, to be sure (but that's to be expected), but it's not surprising to see 'Nine' lead the way with 11 nods...thoughts?

In case you wondered what Oscar voters will be watching...

...this is an idea of what they've gotten in the mail recently, from a Gold Derby article (found here):

NOV. 27: "Where the Wild Things Are," "The Informant!" "Two Lovers," "Funny People"

NOV. 25: "District 9," "Julie & Julia," "Pirate Radio," "Away We Go," "Taking Woodstock," "A Serious Man," "Coraline," "Up" and the animated feature "9"

NOV. 17: "(500) Days of Summer," "Bright Star" and "Young Victoria"

NOV. 16: "An Education," "The Messenger"

OCT. 26: "Coco Before Chanel," "Whatever Works" and "The Damned United"

OCT. 8: "Anvil"

-As if you had any doubts, the Oscar season is in full swing!

November 29, 2009

Behold our Early Reviews of Up in the Air, The Lovely Bones, and Everybody's Fine, along with a review of The Private Lives of Pippa Lee!

Yes, we have a trio of early reviews here at The Awards Circuit that aren't available in many other places. If you're curious about the Oscar chances for either Up in the Air, The Lovely Bones, or Everybody's Fine, you'd do well to read those reviews. Also, we have a new review up of the new release/Oscar hopeful indie flick The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. All these reviews can be found here, so be sure to read them and let us know what you think!
-Thoughts on the early reviews?

A couple of new clips from Up in the Air...

To get you through the week till the film actually comes out:



-I'm seeing the film on Wednesday and absolutely can't wait...thoughts?

Woody Allen manages to nab a First Lady for his next film...

...which will be partially shot in French it seems (so no, it's not Michelle Obama, it's the First Lady of France, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy). Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both have the story, so check either of those two links to get a feel for what Woody is up to next.
-Thoughts?

November 28, 2009

Academy Idol 3: Group 1 RESULTS

Did your favorite not make it? Make a bid for the Wildcard round. Comment.

Ever wanted your own movie studio?

According to this article in Variety, MGM can be yours for a paltry couple of billion bucks (in this economy, it's a bargain!), so let the bidding begin!

Curious how Best Picture is shaping up according to the Gurus of Gold? Well, just look...

I meant to put this up a few days ago, but Turkey Day threw me off, so apologies. In any event, how do the Gurus compare to your predicted 10 nominees?

In case you thought you'd have a full year before you had to hate The Twilight Saga more...

November 27, 2009

Our second article on the upcoming NBR awards is up on the Main Page, along with some new reviews!

Yes, this black friday is a day for updates at The Awards Circuit, two updates to be exact. The first one is the second in our NBR article series, in which one aspect of the National Board of Review's awards are broken down and analyzed. This article focuses on the Best Actor and Actress race, and can be read here. Be sure to let us know what you think of the articles!
We also have three new reviews on the site as we play catch up with some of the films that we still need to see/review before the end of the year. Today we have reviews of the well regarded documentary Food Inc., A Christmas Carol, and The Blind Side. They can be found here, and as always, read and comment please.
-Thoughts on the article and reviews?

Today's Posters: Greenberg, The Book of Eli, Salt, and The Spy Next Door




Thoughts?

November 26, 2009

Hollywood Reporter Ranks the top 10 Movies of the Decade


The List.

10. The White Ribbon
9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
8. Cache
7. Divine Intervention
6. Far From Heaven
5. 4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days
4. The Fog of War
3. No Country for Old Men
2. United 93
1. Letters from Iwo Jima

. . . Is it me, or is this list a little bit off?

I wish there was a more objective way to determine what movies are the best. Nonetheless, I'd like to hear your top tens of the decade (unless we've been down this road before).

The first official word on Invictus arrives...

...and it's positive, but not a rave. The review is found here from Newsweek and David Ansen, who also has a look at some other big upcoming movies like Up in the Air, Crazy Heart, The Last Station, and A Single Man. As for Invictus, this is the most positive thing I've heard about the flick yet, but it's still early, so Clint could be back in Oscar's favor sooner than you think.
-Thoughts?

Happy Turkey Day from all of us at The Awards Circuit!

The entire staff wants to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving. Whether you go see a movie, gather with the family, or just watch the Lions lose, remember to enjoy.
-Don't eat too much turkey folks!

A new trailer for Youth in Revolt

Since it features a Thanksgiving scene, I felt it was apt:

Youth in Revolt Trailer #2

Trailer Park | MySpace Video


-Thoughts?

November 25, 2009

Broadcast Film Critics Assocation expands Categories

Here's the full list:

BEST PICTURE
BEST ACTOR
BEST ACTRESS
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
BEST DIRECTING
BEST WRITING (Original Screenplay)
BEST WRITING (Adapted Screenplay)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
BEST ART DIRECTION
BEST EDITING
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKEUP
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST SOUND
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
BEST ACTION MOVIE
BEST COMEDY
BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION (Network or cable, including mini-series)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
BEST SONG
BEST SCORE

Academy Idol: Group 1 VOTING CLOSED

Results video will be up on Friday! Who do you think made it in?
Reminder: Top Original, Top Adapted, next highest vote-getter advance to the Top 12. After the 3 groups' round of voting, each staff writer and I will pick 2 films each for the Wild Card Round. The top three overall vote-getters will complete the Top 12.
Any wild card picks you can think of? (These can be films that you think are not going to advance that you think deserve to.)

The first in our series of articles on the NBR awards debuts, along with an early review of Brothers!

Yes, the two updates to The Awards Circuit are good ones indeed. First of all, we begin our focus on the National Board of Review with an article that focuses on the Best Picture and Best Director race. It's an excellent read, so go here and read it. Keep your eye out for our next article in the series in a few days, that one focusing on the Lead Actor and Actress races!
We also have a new review, this one from the New York premiere of Brothers. Check it out here and let us know what you think.
-Thoughts on the article and review?

Trailer for The Last Station

Behold:


-Thoughts?

The cavalcade of Nine posters continues!

I think this one tells you a lot about the character...thoughts?

Judd Apatow continues to stockpile comedies by people he likes working with...

Simply put, he surrounds himself with talented friends, it appears. From Variety:

Judd Apatow and Universal Pictures have picked up a trio of comedy pitches from Aziz Ansari and Jason Woliner.

Ansari, who stars opposite Amy Poehler on NBC laffer "Parks and Recreation," is attached to star in the disparate pics.

Ansari and Woliner, who previously worked together on the MTV cult skein “Human Giant,” will team to write at least one of the projects, which will be produced via Apatow’s Universal-based shingle.

Thematically, the projects have nothing to do with one another. The first, tentatively titled “Let’s Do This,” is a road movie about two guys who work for a motivational speaking company. The second, which is untitled, follows a disgraced cosmonaut (Ansari) who is forced to return to outer space to clear his name. The third, also untitled, sprang from Ansari’s supporting role in the Apatow-helmed comedy “Funny People.”

“We didn’t expect all three to work,” said Ansari. “We had a breakfast meeting with Judd and pitched them. We were like, ‘Which one do you like?’ He wanted all three.”

Woliner is attached to direct the pics, whose loglines are being under wraps. “We are hesitant to say too much about our ideas,” joked Ansari. “A few years ago, we announced our new idea about a film where the world ended in the year 2014. We have since had to stop developing this movie.”

Ansari will be seen next year in director Nick Stoller’s “Get Him to the Greek,” which Apatow is producing for Universal. His Comedy Central standup special “Intimate Moments for a Sensual Evening,” which Woliner helmed, will air on Jan. 17, with a CD and DVD set for release on Jan. 19.

Woliner is now directing the pilot “Eagleheart,” starring Chris Elliott, for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. He recently directed an episode of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and several segments for HBO’s upcoming series “Funny or Die Presents.”

-Thoughts?

November 24, 2009

The first words on 'The Lovely Bones' (and a new Poster) begin to emerge...

...and the word is mixed, right now. Keep in mind that it's still very early, but with some people raving (here is one example), but also some people not caring for it at all (a review from Variety, found here). What's the verdict going to be? We'll know for sure soon, but right now it's too early to tell if this will be a critical hit or miss.
-Thoughts?

One of my favorite films of the year comes to DVD this week!

Now, I'd have said it was one of the best in general, but fearing another unleashing of fury against me, I decided to hedge my bet. That being said, I do consider my PICK OF THE WEEK to be undoubtedly one of the 10 best flicks of the year (so far). It's:
Funny People
I thought that Judd Apatow hit an absolute home-run with his third film behind the camera, a dramatic comedy about just how damaged comedians are. With a plot that takes its cues from The Great Gatsby and in many cases career best performances from his cast, this is a fantastic film, one that I think will be more highly regarded by the masses in time, when expectations for the film have changed.
-The only other movie out this week worth mentioning in any good way is Gomorrah, which is one of the better mafia movies of late. If you have no issue with subtitles, this is a flick that you might enjoy quite a bit.
-The other releases this week do nothing for me. From Tom Hanks pretending to care about religion in Angels & Demons to Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon suffering through Four Christmases to Robert Rodriguez trying to entertain kids again in Shorts, none of these movies are any good, so you have no real reason to be concerned about them, unless somehow you're a fan, in which case, enjoy...
-My Vintage pick is, in honor of the release this week of Me and Orson Welles, a trio of other movies with Claire Danes that you might actually like (give or take Me and Orson Welles). Anything from the following list will do: Shopgirl, The Rainmaker, and The Family Stone. She's good in all of them, so enjoy!
-What will you be watching on DVD this week?

Trailer for 'Greenberg'

Noah Baumbach looks to re-capture 'The Squid and the Whale' as opposed to 'Margot at the Wedding' with his latest film:

-Thoughts?

The Road gets a new Poster

Thoughts?

Learn more about us....

here, and also find out about opportunities at The Awards Circuit!

November 23, 2009

A bunch of new Posters for Nine



Thoughts?

IFP Announces the Jurors for 19thAnnual Gotham Independent Film Awards™

Patricia Clarkson, Richard LaGravenese, Rosie Perez and Sam Rockwell

New York, NY (November 23, 2009) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers announced today the line-up of jurors determining the recipients of the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. The awards ceremony will be held at Cipriani Wall Street on Monday, November 30. As previously announced, career tributes will be presented as part of the ceremony to actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow and producer/executives Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, Co-Chairman of Working Title Films. The awards ceremony will be hosted by the up-and-coming comedian, Kumail Nanjiani.

Newly confirmed award presenters include: actors Patricia Clarkson, Rosie Perez and Sam Rockwell and writer/director Richard LaGravenese. They are joining the previously announced line-up of presenters including: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Ellen Burstyn, Joel and Ethan Coen, Willem Dafoe, Anthony Mackie, Oliver Platt, Jim Sheridan, Brooke Shields and Meryl Streep.

Competitive awards will be given out across six competitive categories including: Best Feature, Best Documentary, Breakthrough Director, Breakthrough Actor, Best Ensemble Performance and Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You®.

For Best Feature, jurors include: Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actress Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog, “House of Saddam”); Academy Award-nominated and Tony Award-winning theater director filmmaker Julie Taymor (Frida, Across the Universe), Academy Award-winning veteran filmmaker William Friedkin (The French Connection, The Exorcist), Academy Award-winning producer Wendy Finerman (Forrest Gump, The Devil Wears Prada) and Police co-founder and film composer Stewart Copeland (Rumble Fish, Wall Street).

For Best Documentary, jurors include: Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Edet Belzberg (Children Underground, The Recruiter), Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen (On the Ropes, Chicago 10), editor Sabine Hoffman (Private Lives of Pippa Lee, Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela), filmmaking duo Albert and Allen Hughes (Menace II Society, upcoming The Book of Eli), and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Julia Reichert (Seeing Red, A Lion in the House).

For Breakthrough Director, jurors include: Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning actor William H. Macy (Fargo, Magnolia), filmmaker Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace), Academy and Emmy Award-nominated actress Rosie Perez (Do the Right Thing, Fearless), producer Heather Rae (Frozen River, Trudell), director of photography Matthew Libatique (Requiem for a Dream, Inside Man), editor Christopher Tellefsen (The People vs Larry Flynt, Analyze This).

For Breakthrough Actor, jurors include: Academy, Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, Requiem for a Dream), actress Melonie Diaz (Raising Victor Vargas, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints), former bassist for the Lemonheads and filmmaker Jesse Peretz (The Chateau, First Love Last Rites), Tony and Emmy Award-nominated actor Oliver Platt (Bullworth, Frost/Nixon), and filmmaker David O. Russell (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees).

For Best Ensemble Performance, jurors include: prior Gotham Award recipient for Breakthrough Actor Dylan Baker (Happiness, The Laramie Project), Emmy Award-winning actor America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty,” Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants), Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker Richard LaGravenese (The Fisher King, P.S. I Love You), model/actor/author Brooke Shields (“Lipstick Jungle,” “Suddenly Susan”), and producer Susan Stover (High Art, The Business of Strangers).

Nominees and recipient of the Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You are determined by the editors of Filmmaker magazine, an IFP publication and a curator from the Museum of Modern Art ’s Department of Film.

Gotham Independent Film Awards™ provide critical early recognition and media attention to worthy independent films. Previous winners for Best Feature and Best Documentary include FROZEN RIVER (2008), TROUBLE THE WATER (2008), INTO THE WILD (2007), SICKO (2007), HALF NELSON (2006), IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS (2006), CAPOTE (2005), MURDERBALL (2005), SIDEWAYS (2004) and THE AGRONOMIST (2004). The awards are also unique for their ability to assist in catapulting its Breakthrough Actor recipients prominently into national awards season attention, including recent winners and ultimate Oscar® contenders: Melissa Leo (2008), Ellen Page (2007), Rinko Kikuchi (2006), Amy Adams (2005) and Catalina Sandino Moreno (2004).

Lee Daniels has another project in the works...

From Variety:

Helmer Lee Daniels is in advanced negotiations to direct "Selma," which will trace the historic 1965 march in the Alabama town that marked the political and emotional peak of the civil rights movement.

Daniels, whose "Precious" has received lavish critical kudos and is emerging as an indie awards season contender, will be teaming on the project with U.K. producer Christian Colson.

"Selma" will be the first new project for Colson and his shingle Cloud Nine Films ­­ -- which launched in March -- since the producer enjoyed eight Oscar wins and a worldwide cume of more than $200 million with his indie awards season dark horse, Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire," earlier this year.

Pathe U.K., with which Colson made a five-year development, production, sales and distribution pact in March, will take the lead on financing, with Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner's Plan B shingle co-producing.

Paul Webb ("Lincoln") has penned the much-buzzed-about script. Lensing is set to take place by early spring. No cast has been attached yet, and the project's final budget is still being sorted out.

Despite a measured start at Colson's Cloud Nine shingle, the next few months is set to establish him as one of the U.K.'s most prolific producers.

He has a trio of projects in the can dating back to his days at Celador Films. Helmer Jon Harris' horror sequel "The Descent Part 2," director Tom Harper's dark coming-of-age tale "The Scouting Book for Boys," as well as Brit director Neil Marshall's historical epic "Centurion," are all set for release in 2010. "Centurion," set in 87 A.D. during the Roman invasion of Britain, stars Michael Fassbender, Noel Clarke and Olga Kurylenko.

As previously announced, Boyle and Colson will be reteaming on "127 Hours," a film about mountaineer Aron Ralston (Variety, Nov. 4). "127 Hours" is financed and distributed by Fox Searchlight in partnership with Pathe. Production will begin next year for a late 2010 release.

-Thoughts?

A Thing of Beauty . . .

The anticipation builds (for me at least).

A Break From Oscar Season For a Moment...

Cause it's just that funny!

In case you still doubt me when I say that at this point, everything is still in race...

I rest my case....(that's from Variety, by the by)

Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Stanley Tucci, and Christoph Waltz are honored in Santa Barbara!

It's apparently a good place to be if you're looking for a Supporting nomination this year, as Variety details:

Vera Farmiga, Peter Sarsgaard, Stanley Tucci and Christoph Waltz will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award at the Santa Barbara fest's 25th edition. Fest runs Feb. 4-14.

The kudos ceremony will be Feb. 12 at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara.

In previous years the honor has been giving to Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Gosling.

Fest exec director Roger Durling said, "This group of supporting actors encompasses the best of the best; their roles have made us love them as well as hate them, sometimes all at the same time. I am so pleased to have all of them together, in one place to celebrate them and thank them for the cinematic treasures they have created."

-Congrats to them...

November 22, 2009

Two new clips from 'Up in the Air'

Enjoy:





-I can't wait...

Readers, I need an explanation . . .


Opening Weekend: 140.7 Million dollars.

We have a whole mess of new predictions for you today at The Awards Circuit!

Yes, on all ends of the spectrum at The Awards Circuit we have new predictions. Our fearless leader Clayton continues to update his predictions, this time focusing on Original and Adapted Screenplay (found here), as well as the technical categories (found here). Be sure to check them out and let him know how he's doing!
If you're curious what everyone else is predicting to get nominated (and win), then you're in luck with this latest update. We have updated staff predictions found here, in which myself (Joey), Myles, and Keith all throw out what we feel the nominations will look like. We all also have our updated chart predictions here, where we all guess as to what or whom will take home the top prizes. Make sure you read them and let us know if we're on the mark at all.
-Thoughts on all of the new predictions?

Variety breaks down how Comedies (and a Musical) at the Golden Globes may predict the Oscar nominees...

It's a very interesting read, found here. The article deals with long shots and sure things, and the movies they mention are Bruno, Easy Virtue, (500) Days of Summer, Funny People, The Hangover, The Informant!, In the Loop, The Invention of Lying, It's Complicated, Julie & Julia, The Men Who Stare at Goats, Nine, A Serious Man, Up in the Air, and Where the Wild Things Are. Take note that Up in the Air is actually competing in the drama category, but other than that, it's a solid list.
-Thoughts on the article and which films have the best chances at a nomination?

Today's Posters: The Young Victoria, Crazy on the Outside, and The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond



Thoughts?

November 21, 2009

Early Creation Review

We have double review for an early screening of Jon Amiel's Creation. Read HERE.

Do you think Paul Bettany will get nominated? Connelly? Anything for the film at all?

Comment.

The latest updates to The Awards Circuit: An Awards Profile for Crazy Heart and tweaks to the Tracker!

Yes, there's two new updates today to The Awards Circuit, and both are good ones. We start with another of our renowned Awards Profiles, this one tackling the newest entry into the Oscar race, Crazy Heart. Go here to see what we think its chances might be in the long run.
We also have some updates to the Tracker page, which you can see here. Be sure to let us know what we need to add/subtract!
-Thoughts on the update?

5 of these 10 Animated Shorts will compete for Oscar glory...

...and here they are:

  • The Cat Piano, Eddie White and Ari Gibson, directors (The People’s Republic of Animation)
  • French Roast, Fabrice O. Joubert, director (Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films)
  • Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, Nicky Phelan, director, and Darragh O’Connell, producer (Brown Bag Films)
  • The Kinematograph, Tomek Baginski, director-producer (Platige Image)
  • The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte), Javier Recio Gracia, director (Kandor Graphics and Green Moon)
  • Logorama, Nicolas Schmerkin, producer (Autour de Minuit)
  • A Matter of Loaf and Death, Nick Park, director (Aardman Animations Ltd.)
  • Partly Cloudy, Peter Sohn, director (Pixar Animation Studios)
  • Runaway, Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada)
  • Variete, Roelof van den Bergh, director (il Luster Productions)
-Thoughts?

November 20, 2009

Curious how the Oscar ballot process works?

Well, we all are to one degree or another, and this article in Variety does a good job of breaking it down. It's quite long, but here's a taste:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences consists of 15 branches; voters nominate work in their own branch (directors nominate directors, editors nom editors, etc.). Everyone nominates best pic.

Nomination ballots will be mailed Dec. 28, and voters will receive a card with five blank spaces (in most categories) to fill in their top five choices.

OK, so far it’s easy, isn’t it? But now comes the hard part.

This year, the best-pic category will feature 10 blank spaces because of the expanded number of noms. Many voters will agonize over the order of their 10 choices. These voters mistakenly believe all 10 will count for something. In truth, only one of them will. And it may not be their first choice.

Confused?

Of course you are.

PricewaterhouseCoopers executives Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas explained it to me, and I will try to pass it along to you. But a disclaimer: I went over this several times with Rosas and Oltmanns (who are smart, have a great sense of humor and, crucially, are patient). I’ve written about it before and I still don’t completely get it. So if the following seems confusing, don’t blame yourself. But it does kinda/sorta make sense.

Here’s a case study. The directors branch had 375 voting members (as of 2008). So the PWC mavens take the number of possible nominees in that category (five) and add one. That total, six, is divided into the 375, which yields the magic number of 63. In round one of nomination tallies, the PWC folks take all the directors’ ballots and count up voters’ first-place choices: Any contender who earns the magic number — 63 votes — automatically has enough for a nomination.

The PWC mavens then set aside the ballots of those members who voted for that director, never to look at the other choices, because that voter’s voice has been heard. (And it’s possible more than one director has achieved that magic number.)

Then the team goes to round two: They take the stack with the fewest number of votes, and look at the second choice, and redistribute the ballots among the stacks. However, if a voter picked a director who had already hit the magic number, they go to the voter’s next choice. For each round, they look to a voter’s next highest choice — second, third, fourth, fifth — so long as that director remains in the running and has not otherwise hit the magic number.

OK, you totally understand the nomination process, right? Good, because we will explain the final ballots, and then there will be a quiz (and, yes, I do take off points for misspellings and bad penmanship).

-The whole article can be found here, and it's a good read...thoughts?

'Crazy Heart', the movie that almost never came to movie screens but now is an Oscar contender...sound familiar?

If it does, that's because this film is taking a somewhat similar route that Slumdog Millionaire took last year. This article here in The New York Times does a really good job of breaking down how the film finally ended up coming out this year after flirting with disaster.
-Thoughts on the article and 'Crazy Heart' in general?

A new Poster for Precious

Thoughts?

November 19, 2009

Academy Idol Season 3: Group 1

Voting has begun for Group One of this year's Academy Idol!

Yes, it's exciting times here at The Awards Circuit, and we hope you vote early and vote often for Academy Idol. You can either go here to watch the video and vote, or if you just want to vote with no frills attached, you can do so on the top right of this here blog (the weekly poll is a bit lower down, but it's still there, so vote on that too). We hope you enjoy!
-What films are you supporting in this group for Academy Idol?

PRODUCERS GUILD OF AMERICA TO HONOR PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE WITH 2010 STANLEY KRAMER AWARD

This is just the beginning of the sweep "Precious" could make this season. Could Daniels' film be our critic darling of the year?

LOS ANGELES (November 18, 2009) - The Producers Guild of America (PGA), a national non-profit trade group committed to protecting the rights and credits of producers in film, television and new media, announced today that PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE will be honored with the 2010 Stanley Kramer Award. The film’s producers will be honored with the award at the 21st Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Sunday, January 24, 2010 at the Hollywood Palladium.

The Stanley Kramer Award was established in 2002 to honor a motion picture, television program, studio, network, producer, executive or other individual entity whose work illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion. Kramer, considered within the film industry to have served as “Hollywood’s Conscience” during his career as film director and producer, created some of the most respected and successful works in the annals of American motion pictures. He was the master behind such classics as “The Caine Mutiny,” “High Noon,” “The Defiant Ones,” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” Previous recipients of the Kramer award include “Milk,” “The Great Debaters,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Innocent Voices,” “In America,” “Antwone Fisher” and “I Am Sam.”

PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome. Set in Harlem in 1987, the film is the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones (Gabourey Sidibe), a sixteen-year-old African-American girl born into a life no one would want. She’s pregnant for the second time by her absent father; at home, she must wait hand and foot on her mother (Mo’Nique), a poisonously angry woman who abuses her emotionally and physically. School is a place of chaos, and Precious has reached the ninth grade with good marks and an awful secret: she can neither read nor write. Precious may sometimes be down, but she is never out. Beneath her impassive expression is a watchful, curious young woman with an inchoate but unshakeable sense that other possibilities exist for her. Threatened with expulsion, Precious is offered the chance to transfer to an alternative school, Each One/Teach One. Precious doesn’t know the meaning of “alternative,” but her instincts tell her this is the chance she has been waiting for. In the literacy workshop taught by the patient yet firm Ms. Rain (Paula Patton), Precious begins a journey that will lead her from darkness, pain and powerlessness to light, love and self-determination.

“‘Precious’ is a remarkable film that sends a powerful message of hope - brilliantly reminding us that we have the power to persevere regardless of life’s difficulties. Stanley Kramer’s legacy is ideally celebrated with the selection of this very worthy film,” said PGA Awards Co-Chairs David Friendly and Laurence Mark.

“Stanley’s films always talked about things we wanted to ignore. He taught us so much about ourselves and made us think about our values and purpose,” said Karen Kramer. “‘Precious’ is truly a film that embraces this philosophy. It tells us quite eloquently that it isn’t what happens to us that defines who we are, but rather what we choose to become.”

Honored with the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival’s Cadillac People’s Choice Award, an Official Selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival - Un Certain Regard, and winner of three awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival including the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award in the U.S. Dramatic Competition, PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE stars Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz and introducing Gabourey Sidibe.

Lionsgate in association with Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry present A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production of PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE, directed by Lee Daniels from a screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher based on the novel Push by Sapphire. The film is produced by Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness, and Gary Magness. Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Lisa Cortés, and Tom Heller are Executive Producers; Simone Sheffield serves as Co-Executive Producer; Mark G. Mathis is Co-Producer; and Asger Hussain serves as Associate Producer.

About the Producers Guild of America
The Producers Guild of America is the non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The PGA has over 4,000 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by providing members health benefits, enforcing workplace labor laws, the creation of fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts. The PGA hosts important industry events including the annual PGA Awards and the Produced By Conference. Visit www.producersguild.org for more information.

Is Richard Linklater making a "spiritual sequel" to Dazed and Confused?

It seems that he's trying to at least, this one set at college. This interview here has a lot of the info, and it's pretty interesting. Personally, Dazed and Confused is one of my all time favorite films, so Linklater tackling college like he tackled high school excites me.
-Thoughts on this potential project?

The Oscars get a director...

...and it's Hamish Hamilton, according to this in Variety:

Continuing its mantra of shaking up the status quo, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has tapped Hamish Hamilton to direct the 82nd Oscar ceremonies.

Like the telecast's producers, Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, Hamilton is a newcomer to Oscar duties.

However, Hamilton has directed many live kudos events for TV, including the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Europe Music Awards. He's also helmed live concert perfs by U2, Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder and Christina Aguilera, among others. Aside from directing the March 7 Academy Awards, he's set to helm the Super Bowl XLIV half-time show on CBS in February. "Hamish is a first-rate live-show director who will bring enthusiasm, experience and a fresh eye to the table," said Shankman. "He's also a master of working with all of the latest technology in television production, which speaks to the kind of cutting-edge show Bill and I are planning."

In addition to the new faces this year, the Academy introduced the Governors Awards last Saturday, the first time the org has broken off those career nods from the televised ceremonies. (And several people at the event commented about how liberating it was to honor people without the time constraints of TV.)

The 81st ceremonies similarly featured a new team, with producer Laurence Mark, exec producer Bill Condon and director Roger Goodman.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced Feb. 2.

-Thoughts?

November 18, 2009

The shortlist for Documentary Feature hits, and many Docs are left in the dust!

The press release can be found here, but these are the 15 finalists:

  • “The Beaches of Agnes,” Agnès Varda, director (Cine-Tamaris)
  • “Burma VJ,” Anders Østergaard, director (Magic Hour Films)
  • “The Cove,” Louie Psihoyos, director (Oceanic Preservation Society)
  • “Every Little Step,” James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, directors (Endgame Entertainment)
  • “Facing Ali,” Pete McCormack, director (Network Films Inc.)
  • “Food, Inc.,” Robert Kenner, director (Robert Kenner Films)
  • “Garbage Dreams,” Mai Iskander, director (Iskander Films, Inc.)
  • “Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders,” Mark N. Hopkins, director (Red Floor Pictures LLC)
  • “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, directors (Kovno Communications)
  • “Mugabe and the White African,” Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, directors (Arturi Films Limited)
  • “Sergio,” Greg Barker, director (Passion Pictures and Silverbridge Productions)
  • “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, directors (Freedom Song Productions)
  • “Under Our Skin,” Andy Abrahams Wilson, director (Open Eye Pictures)
  • “Valentino The Last Emperor,” Matt Tyrnauer, director (Acolyte Films)
  • “Which Way Home,” Rebecca Cammisa, director (Mr. Mudd)
-Thoughts on the exclusions of things like Capitalism: A Love Story, Tyson, It Might Get Loud, Earth, and Anvil, among others?

The films for this year's Academy Idol are selected, plus an Awards Profile for Invictus!

Indeed, the Main Page of The Awards Circuit has two new updates for you, beginning with a video found here in which we reveal the 36 films that will be in competition for Academy Idol this year. By the way, if you're curious what films didn't make the cut, listen to our most recent Podcast where we began the selection process, found here.
We also have another in our continuing series of Awards Profiles, this one focusing on the film Invictus. It can be read here, so do so and let us know what you think!
-Thoughts on the films in contention for Academy Idol this year?

A French Poster for Avatar

Thoughts?

TWC decides to push Melanie Laurent as a Lead Actress candidate for Inglourious Basterds!

This certainly hurts her chances a lot, but the story truly is about her, so I suppose it's an accurate decision, but a huge risk. The evidence of this can be found here on The Weinstein Company's FYC page for Inglourious Basterds.
-Thoughts on this decision?

'Agora' ends up getting distribution after all...

...though it will come out next year, according to this in Variety:

Newmarket Films has acquired U.S. rights to Alejandro Amenabar's "Agora" and will release historical epic during the first half of next year.

It's the first acquisition for Newmarket -- best known for handling "The Passion of the Christ" -- since the company was bought earlier this month by Exclusive Media Group.

"Agora," which had its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, has become a hit in Spain with $30 million after a month. It grossed $7.9 million in its first three days and has stayed in first place in the Spanish box office for four weeks.

The pic, directed by Amenabar ("The Sea Inside") from a script he co-wrote with Mateo Gil, stars Rachel Weisz, Oscar Isaac and Max Minghella. "Agora" was produced by MOD Prods., Himenoptero and Telecinco Cinema, with the participation of Canal Plus Spain.

Set in ancient Egypt under Roman rule, English-language "Agora" follows a female astronomer who leads a group of disciples fighting to save the wisdom of the ancient world, as violent religious upheaval spills into the streets of Alexandria.

Newmarket, which also handled "Memento," "Whale Rider," and "Downfall," recently acquired Jon Amiel's "Creation," starring Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany and focuses on Charles Darwin's struggle to reconcile his love for his religious wife with his own growing belief in evolution. Newmarket will release "Creation" in January.

-Thoughts?

November 17, 2009

The Golden Globes (along with the Oscars) will have 5 Animated Feature nominees...

Variety has the story:

The Golden Globes' animated feature category has been expanded from three to five after a vote last week by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.

Nominees for the newly expanded category will be announced Dec. 15 at 5 a.m. The two extra spots should afford a better opportunity to nonstudio films as well as hybrids of live action and animation.

The new rules say that any nominated film must be feature length (70 minutes or longer) and can have no more than 25% live action; if fewer than 12 films qualify, the category will revert to three nominees.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences recently confirmed that there are sufficient contenders for the Oscars' animation category this year to result in five nominees.

-Thoughts?

There's an insane amount of variety this week in terms of new DVD releases!

Yes, this week is loaded, and a good deal of the films in question are actually good for a change, which always helps. In terms of my PICK OF THE WEEK, it wasn't a particularly difficult decision, being as my pick was one of the best films of the first half of 2009. It's:
Star Trek
This was just a good time at the movies, besides being an almost shockingly good franchise reboot. It did just about everything right, and the result was a hit with audiences and critics alike. Do yourself a favor and pick up this great flick on DVD and boldly go where, well, you know how it goes...
-Also out scoring high marks from me are films like My Sister's Keeper, which managed to somehow not be manipulative and instead was a very well made drama about death, and Humpday, which put a humorous and indie spin on the male bonding genre of film, albeit in a very interesting way. I'd also like to point out the Michael Caine film Is Anybody There? and the vampire flick Thirst. Both of which are pretty good and deserved to be seen, but any of these four films are good bets this week.
-The remaining films fall into two categories; the average flicks that don't leave an impression, and the sub-par ones that leave a bad impression. Falling into the former category are the road trip flick The Open Road, the opaque indie flick The Limits of Control, and the Ryan Phillippe/Eva Green drama Franklyn. Falling into the unfortunate latter category are Bruno and The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard. None of these are really worth your time, but the first three are at least decent.
-My Vintage pick this week is, in honor of the release of The Blind Side, another inspirational sports film. It's Miracle, and it feature a phenomenal performance by Kurt Russell as legendary hockey coach Her Brooks. It's fantastically entertaining, and if you've never seen it before, do yourself a favor and check it out.
-What will you be watching on DVD this week?

Another new Poster for Alice in Wonderland

Thoughts?

November 16, 2009

Trailer for Crazy Heart

Behold:

-I think we have a real big contender on our hands, in a bunch of categories...thoughts?

Is 'Moneyball' getting closer to finding a director?

Perhaps, if this article here in 'The Hollywood Reporter' is to be believed:

Several months after Aaron Sorkin came aboard “Moneyball” — and slightly longer since the plug was pulled on Steven Soderbergh just before the start of production — the underdog baseball pic is well into its next stage, or inning, if you’re in a punning mood.

Several directors have met with star Brad Pitt, studio execs and/or producers over the past weeks. And while the studio has not formally made any offers, a number of names have surfaced, including that of the Oscar nominee Bennett Miller and the suddenly ubiquitous Marc Webb.

Webb has been entertaining a slew of interest since his “(500) Days of Summer” jolted critics and the development community this summer. He’s attached to a remake of the Danish thriller “Just Another Love Story” and met on Universal’s remake of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” to name a couple.

None of those projects is set to go, however, which isn’t the case with “Moneyball,” a project Sony is keen to move forward now that the script and concept have been rejigged.

“Capote” helmer Miller, for his part, has been taking his time since his breakout out four years ago with the dramatized story of a fish-out-of-water journalist. The only thing he’s been documented as developing is “Foxcatcher,” another real-life tale, this one about a schizophrenic member of the DuPont family (Miller is known as a director who likes to spend time honing before jumping on six new trains).

How suitable would each be for “Moneyball”? Webb is a director with style to burn, something that could help as you try to tell an unconventional story of the modern-day Oakland A’s. (though not as unconventional as when Soderbergh was on it). Miller brings the Oscar street cred, something no doubt important to Pitt, at least, and possibly others.

There have been enough stops and starts on “Moneyball” that nothing is a sure thing. But with a number of conferences now taking place on the mound, it may not be long before someone starts throwing heat.

-Thoughts on the potential directors?

Nine gets a new Trailer...

...this one very Kate Hudson-centric:

-Thoughts?

The Supporting Categories get new predicitions along with some new reviews during this latest update to The Awards Circuit!

Indeed, the Main Page of The Awards Circuit has some new stuff on it for your reading pleasure. We start with updates to the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories. They can be found here and here, so check them out and let us know how the latest predictions are shaping up.
We also have some new reviews to be read. In addition to a third review for Precious, we have new reviews of the documentary Earth and the new film Pirate Radio. They can all be found here, so give them a read.
-What do you think of the new predictions and reviews?

HAL HOLBROOK HONORED WITH EXCELLENCE IN ACTING AWARD

Denver, CO, November 15th, 2009 – Hal Holbrook, who is receiving strong critical praise for his peformance in “That Evening Sun, “ which, at age 84 is his first lead role in a film, was honored with the Excellence in Acting Award on Saturday night at this year's Starz Denver Film Festival. Mr. Holbrook was given the award by film journalist Joe Leydon, who said, about presenting the award, “This is one of the greatest honors and privileges I've had in 35 years of writing about movies. It is humbling to give an extraordinary actor this award for this extraordinary performance.” In Mr. Holbrook’s acceptance speech, he spoke passionately about his portrayal of Abner Meecham in “That Evening Sun,” saying “It feels wonderful to be recognized this way. Our film is like the 'little engine that could' and we have been so warmly embraced by the Denver Film Festival and the fine people of this beautiful city.“
An Emmy- and Tony-Award winning actor, Hal Holbrook is one of the great craftsmen of stage and screen. He is best known for his performance in his one-man show as Mark Twain, the longest running traveling show in history, for which he won both a Tony and the first of his ten Emmy Award nominations. Among Holbrook's most famous roles were the Major in the original Broadway production of Arthur Miller's "Incident at Vichy"; Abraham Lincoln in a TV special based on Carl Sandburg's acclaimed biography of the 16th President; and the enigmatic Deep Throat in “All the President’s Men.“ He also had critical roles in Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street” and Sydney Pollack’s “The Firm.” On January 22, 2008, he became the oldest male performer ever nominated for an Academy Award, for his supporting turn in “Into the Wild.”
In “That Evening Sun,” Mr. Holbrook portrays Abner Meechem, an aging Tennesee farmer who returns to his homestead and must confront a family betrayal, the reappearance of an old enemy and the loss of his farm. It is based on the short story “I Hate to See That Evening Sun Go Down” by William Gay and was written and directed by Scott Teems, whose screenplay won the Emerging Narrative Screenplay Award at the IFP Market. This marks his directorial debut. The film is produced by Laura Smith and Terence Berry, executive produced by Adrian Jay, Larsen Jay and Raul L. Celaya of Dogwood Entertainment and produced by Raymond McKinnon and Walton Goggins.
“That Evening Sun, “ which is being distributed by Freestyle Releasing opened in NY on November 6th and will open in Los Angeles this Friday, November 20th for an Academy qualifying run. It will open around the country in January. The film has won over a dozen awards at festivals around the United States.

November 15, 2009

Oscar gives out its Governors Awards

The whole article in Variety is here, but here's a piece of it:

On hand to receive Honorary Oscars were producer Roger Corman, cinematographer Gordon Willis and thesp Lauren Bacall. John Calley, the producer and former Sony and Warner Bros. honcho, was saluted as the 35th recipient of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, but he was too ill to attend. In his place, a lineup of seven previous Thalberg winners took the stage with Tom Hanks to salute Calley, with Steven Spielberg accepting on Calley's behalf.

The event delivered on AMPAS prexy Tom Sherak's promise to mix old Hollywood and new. The celebrity-studded crowd featured showbiz royalty, from the honorees to presenters Warren Beatty, Anjelica Huston, Quentin Tarantino and Jeff Bridges, previous Oscar winners such as Marisa Tomei, alongside "Precious" star Gabourey Sidibe.

-Congrats!

Awards Profile for Nine

Staff Writer Keith Lucas explores the Oscar frontrunner and it's shots at Gold. It can be read HERE

A look at this year's Oscar Long Shots....

...can be found by going to the Main Page of The Awards Circuit and looking at this article here. Especially in terms of Best Picture, there's perhaps the greatest chance in a long time for a real long shot to make the cut. It's something to think about at least, and we all certainly do think about this kind of stuff a lot.
-What do you think are the long shots with the best chances this year?

Curious what Focus Features will have on display in 2010?

Curiosity killed the cat, but here's the answer anyhow, via The Hollywood Reporter:

Focus Features has finalized dates for a chunk of its 2010 release slate and confirmed that it will unspool the Sofia Coppola drama "Somewhere," the Roman epic "Eagle of the Ninth" and the George Clooney thriller "The American."

The Universal specialty division announced 2010 releases for a half-dozen pics, including "American," the Anton Corbijn-directed and Clooney-toplined story of assassins in Europe, on Sept. 1; "Ninth," Kevin Macdonald's Roman epic, in the third quarter; and "Somewhere," in which Stephen Dorff stars as a bad-boy actor reunited with his daughter, sometime during the year.

It also said that it will release Noah Baumbach's relationship dramedy "Greenberg," the Scott Rudin-produced pic starring Ben Stiller as a man who finds an unlikely romance, on March 12; Thomas Balmes' doc "Babies," which follows the birth of four children around the world, on April 16; and the Ryan Fleck-Anna Boden dramedy "It's Kind of a Funny Story," in November.

Focus topper James Schamus called the slate "as audacious as any in our history," and president Andrew Karpen said that the recently concluded AFM "once again proves the resiliency and flexibility of Focus' global approach to the business."

The announcement, in addition to setting dates, also seemed designed to reassure a nervous film community that Uni remains in the specialty business for the foreseeable future at a time when Miramax and other counterparts have been shuttered.

Uni co-chair Donna Langley noted that "Focus' 2010 slate further demonstrates its unique ability to continually develop and deliver some of the best and most compelling specialty films in our industry."

The company also noted that it crossed the $1 billion threshold in total boxoffice dating back to its formation eight years ago.

This fall, Focus has had Shane Acker's "9" and the Coen brother's "A Serious Man" among its releases.

-Thoughts?