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Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

I remember being handed Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future novel A Handmaid’s Tale in high school English and promptly trying to figure out a way to get out of reading it, seeing as Atwood’s novels are dreary ( her essays are anything but). So I tracked down a tape of the film at the local video store and watched. It was dark, dreary, dystopian, like Atwood, but there was this young actress, luminescent even in the red burqua they made the handmaids wear.

That was Natasha Richardson.

By all accounts, she was like that in life- boisterous, warm. with a throaty laugh and an energy that consumed the space she inhabited. She convinced confirmed bachelor Liam Neeson to marry, and their nearly fifteen year marriage was one of the most sane, normal, human relationships in Hollywood history. Their backgrounds couldn’t be more different- he, a working class lad from Ireland who fell into acting after a career as a boxer and a fork lift operator for Guinness ( that, my friends, is very Irish).  She was the member of a famous theatrical family whose legend predates modern acting, even film.  Her mother was an Oscar winning actress and activist. Her father was an Oscar winning film maker and well known rogue. Her uncle, her aunt, her sister- they all act. It’s the family trade. And she was wonderful at it.

It doesn’t take much for Natasha Richardson to worm her way into your heart by acting- the performance she gave as Patty Hearst is the stuff of legend. But her best performances never happened on screen. There was the electric 1993 production of Anna Christie, in which she and Neeson devastatingly portrayed lust while falling in love behind the scenes. Her now legendary turn as the luminous Sally Bowles in Sam Mendes’ reconfigured Cabaret, for which she was awarded a Tony award. Her most famous film role was that as Lindsay Lohan’s mom in the remake of  The Parent Trap, where she was amusing and charming and warm. It was my daughter’s favorite movie for years.

As a fan of film and theater, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Ms. Richardson yesterday. She passed away in New York, after being transferred from Montreal, suffering head trauma after a fallon a ski hill. She was only 45 years old.  My heart goes out to Mr. Neeson, their two sons, Micheal and Daniel, her mother, sister Joely, and the extended family and friends of this astonishingly beautiful, gifted woman.

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It seems that there is a plan for a musical version of the 1989 noir comedy classic Heathers– the one where you love your gay dead son and you get fucked gently with a chainsaw, and look out for Draino in coffee mugs?

I’m dubious about this. Heathersis one of my all time favorite movies. But it’s also a movie of it’s time, which is to say, pre-Columbine and every other devastating school shooting of the last decade. Would the threat of blowing up a school be frowned upon in the post-9/11 world? And who the hell would they cast to play JD? Christian Slater IS JD. And he’s way too old for the part now.

I’m gonna take a wait and see approach.

PS: EW.com is reporting that Veronica Mars herself has read for the role of… well, Veronica in Heathers: The Musical.  Kristen Bell? Awesomeness!!! Like that bit of casting, I really do.

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Eddie Murphy presents the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award to Jerry Lewis, who gives a short, humble speech. The orchestra then launches into a medley of Oscar nominated scores, and Slumdog’s A.R. Rahman wins that category. We then get a medley of Oscar nominated songs, in which John Legend aquits himself nicely doing Peter Gabriel, and we learn Jai Ho and We’re Going Down mix beautifully together ( Peter Gabriel- there’s your next record!). A.R. Rahman wins that one as well, for Jai Ho.

We finally get a WTF? winner- Freida Pinto and Liam neeson announce the only real surprise of the evening as Japan’s Departures beats out the better known Baader Meinhoff Complex, The Class, and preshow fave Waltz With Bashir ( the one that won almost every pre Oscar award it could). There has to be a surprise every Oscar,a nd this appears to be this years. So far.

Queen Latifah does the In Memorium section of our show. She sings ” I’ll Be Seeing You” beautifully as Paul Newman and Sydney Pollack win the applause-o-meter. So sad to see the faces of Stan winston, Michael Crichton, Bernie Mac, Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella, Harold Pinter, James Whitmore, Charlton Heston, Cyd Charrise, Newman, and Van Johnson pass by and remembering what they contributed to cinema.

Danny Boyle accepts his best director Oscar ” in the spirit of Tigger”, and gives a warm sppech in which he pays tribute to the city of Mumbai. He’s a delightful man. The award is well deserved ( Shallow Grave was one of my favorite films of the 1990s).

As the show now runs 20 plus minutes over schedule, Sophia Loren, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry, Shirley MacLaine, and Marion Cotillard present Kate Winslet with her long overdue Oscar. Kate was warm, witty, and charming in her speech, almost tripping over her words as she honored Pollack and Mingehella for their role in The Reader. Sean Penn eked out a win over Mickey Rourke, and was funny and shit stirring in his speech, as he was the only one who acknowledged the protesters on the way in. Then Steven Spielberg presents the best picture award to Slumdog Millionaire.

Overall, I think that the show was one of the best in years. Hugh Jackman was a delightful host, and the show, while it did run long, felt a lot shorter than usual.  I thouroughly enjoyed myself despite the telegraphed winners.

And I’ll be back in 2010.

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Another video clip, this time directed by Judd Apatow, starring the Pineapple Express boys Seth Rogan and James Franco, with a cameo by two time Academy award winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski. Among one of the funniest things I  have ever seen at the Oscars.  The trio present the live action short award to a German short I cannot spell the mane of ( German not being a language i’m familiar with).

Hugh comes out in tails, and launches into a good Oscar musical number ( those are rarer than… well, I can’t recall the last one.) A tribute to Fred Astaire, a gorgeous reveal of Beyonce, add in Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens ( High School Musical), and Dominic Cooper and Amanda Seyfried ( Mamma Mia!), and we get a show stopper. Thanks, Baz Luhrman.

Best Supporting Actor- a foregone conclusion, but I still sobbed as Heath’s family payed tribute to the missing talent from the show.

Bill Maher presented the Doc categories, and Man On Wire wins best feature, and Smile Pinki wins short.

Will Smith shows up to present the post production awards after another thrilling video piece, and the go as follows:

Visual Effects Editing- Ben Button

Sound editing- The Dark Knight

Sound Mixing- Slumdog Millionaire

Editing- Slumdog Millionaire

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OSCARS! Live Blog Part 2

Well, Ben Button will not be going home empty handed ( fears were it would be the most nominated loser in Oscar history). It takes the Art Direction award ( deservedly- it’s gorgeous to look at). Costume design goes to The Duchess, another deserved award ( those costumes are astonishing).

Daniel Craig makes a funny! The award goes to Ben Button ( the only award it’s up for that it had no real competition for, unless the Academy went overboard on honoring the Dark Knight due to it’s oversight at Best Picture).

The show seems to be moving at a fast clip this year. I’m not bored at all.

Robert Pattinson ( sqealing commences- NOW!) Amanda Seyfreid looks gorgeous.  Another montage sequence- I like them better this year. They’re on point, have great music, and are edited superby.

Natalie Portman and Ben Stiller are funny as Ben channels Joaquin Phoenix ( Natalie gets off the best line -” You look like you work in a Hasidic meth lab.”) Slumdog wins again for cinematography.

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First off, Hugh Jackman was hilarious right off the bat, and that medley made my girls and I laugh for serious long stetch. ( Personal fave- having to mention Brad and Angie a minimum of five times). He’s also incredibly hot.

I’m also liking this new system of honoring the performers and performances. You pull out Anjelica Huston, Eva Marie Saint, Goldie Hawn, and Whoopi Goldberg, you get genuine emotion ( and with Whoopi, a few laughs). No surpsise that Penelope Cruz wins, and she’s emotional and warm and charming, finishing up in Spanish to quick for me to translate.

So far, I’m liking some of the changes the new producers put in the show. And Hugh Jackman is Wolverine.

The intro with Tina Fey and Steve Martin was another hilarious moment ( it’s safe to say that so far, this is the funniest Oscars in the last decade).  Dustin Lance Black wins origianl screenplay for Milk, and his speech almost made me cry. No surprise that Simon Beaufot wins best adapted for S;umdog Millionaire. Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black present Animated feature, and Wall-E wins, another no shocker. Animated short goes to La maison la petite cubes ( or, as Gwen pointed out immediately, The House of Small Squares- those provincially mandated french classes are paying off).

Note: Aniston presents with Black, who costarred in Kung Fu Panda with Angelina Jolie, who is with Brad Pitt,  who used to be married to Aniston. Notice, though, Angie was laughing during their bit.

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This is the place to discuss fashion, your picks, and how RyRy Seacrest still annoys the crap out of you.Just look in the comments for my blinding wit…

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Same as the Grammys, but with preshow goodness as well, which means two hours more than Seacrest than one should really have in a week, but whatever, because there are clothes and Manolos and Fred Leighton…

Sorry, the realy girly girl part of me came out. i usually supress my fashionista side as I can afford nothing not available at Zellers and Superstore.

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First the good. The winners list from the Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature
The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky, Scott Franklin

Best Director

Tom McCarthy, The Visitor

Best First Feature

Synecdoche, New York, Charlie Kaufman

Best First Screenplay

Dustin Lance Black, Milk

Best Supporting Female

Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Best Supporting Male

James Franco, Milk

Best Female Lead

Melissa Leo, Frozen River

Best Male Lead

Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Best Cinematography

Maryse Alberti, The Wrestler

Best Foreign Film

The Class, Laurent Cantet

Best Documentary

Man on Wire, James Marsh

And now the heinous. The “winners” list from the RazzieHIS.addEntry({ title: “Razzies 2009”, url: “http://www.altfg.com/bs (* for the ” winner):

Worst Picture
Disaster Movie
The Happening
The Hottie and the Nottie
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
* The Love Guru
Meet the Spartans

Worst Actor
Larry the Cable Guy, Witless Protection
Eddie Murphy, Meet Dave
* Mike Myers, The Love Guru
Al Pacino, 88 Minutes and Righteous Kill
Mark Wahlberg, The Happening and Max Payne

Worst Actress
Jessica Alba, The Eye and The Love Guru
The cast of The Women (Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Meg Ryan)
Cameron Diaz, What Happens in Vegas
* Paris Hilton, The Hottie and the Nottie
Kate Hudson, Fool’s Gold and My Best Friend’s Girl

Worst Supporting Actor
Uwe Boll, Uwe Boll’s Postal
* Pierce Brosnan, Mamma Mia!
Ben Kingsley, The Love Guru and The Wackness
Burt Reynolds, Deal and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
Verne Troyer, The Love Guru and Uwe Boll’s Postal

Worst Supporting Actress
Carmen Electra, Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
* Paris Hilton, Repo: The Genetic Opera
Kim Kardashian, Disaster Movie
Jenny McCarthy, Witless Protection
Leelee Sobieski, 88 Minutes and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

Worst Screen Couple
Uwe Boll and Any Actor, Camera or Screenplay
Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher, What Happens in Vegas
* Paris Hilton and either Christin Lakin or Joel David Moore, The Hottie and the Nottie
Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy, Witless Protection
Eddie Murphy and Eddie Murphy, Meet Dave

Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel
“The Day the Earth Blowed Up Real Good” (The Day the Earth Stood Still)
Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
* Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Speed Racer
Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Worst Director
* Uwe Boll, 1968: Tunnel Rats, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and Uwe Boll’s Postal
Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
Tom Putnam, The Hottie and the Nottie
Marco Schnabel, The Love Guru
M. Night Shyamalan, The Happening

Worst Screenplay
Disaster Movie and Meet the Spartans
The Happening
The Hottie and the Nottie
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale
* The Love Guru

Worst Career Achievement Razzie
Uwe Boll

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  • New Tragically Hip record to drop in April, called We are the Same. Hip.
  • Peter Gabriel will be at the Oscars Sunday, but he won’t sing. I don’t blame him. He’s Peter” Sledgehammer” Gabriel, the man responsible for the greatest love song of the last thirty years with ” In Your Eyes”. Let him sing all of that Wall-E song before he wins the damn award.
  • Shonda Rimes insists T.R. Knight and Katherine ” No Self Censorship” Heigl are NOT leaving Grey’s Anatomy. I wish the show would leave, it hasn’t been good since season two.
  • This is Conan O’Brien’s last week as host of Late Night. The White Stripes will perform on Friday’s show. I’m recording the whole week because I love Conan and the last fifteen years have brought me such absurdis joy.
  • Wanda Sykes to host the National Correspondents Dinner in D.C. Genius.
  • Mandy Moore engaged to a homeless man who resembles altcountry superstar Ryan Adams. Wait, it IS Ryan Adams.
  • Trump Entertainment ( the Casino Division) files for Chapter 11 for the third time.
  • Two And A Half Men‘s popularity continues to baffle comedy snobs, feminists, people with half a brain, and television critics. Sadly, I get why Chuck Lorre’s two most recent sitcoms center around men. See: Rosanne, Cybill Shepherd, Brett Butler.
  • Matt Selman at Time.com goes all fanboy giddy over seeing Watchmen.
  • Dumbass band name of the century: This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb. And they wonder why the TSA pulled them off for questioning.
  •  Interesting story of the day: A third of civil unions in France are done by straight couples as it is easier to get out of than marriage in the still predominantly Catholic country. So much for the theory that it protects the sancitity of marriage.
  • Some right wing zealots say gay marriage violates the first amendment. I say either the government gets out of the marriage business or everyone shut up. It can coexist as both a legal and religious ceremony, but they are not interchangable, or else Churches cannot discriminate against couples marrying interfaith or calling the children of marriages not done in the spectacle of the church bastards ( I’m looking at you, Pope Benny).

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Genie Award Nominees

ACHIEVEMENT IN ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN
MEILLEURE DIRECTION ARTISTIQUE
PATRICE BENGLE – Maman est chez le coiffeur / Mommy is at the
Hairdresser’s
CAROL SPIER, JANICE BLACKIE-GOODINE – Passchendaele
MATTHEW DAVIES, ERICA MILO – Fugitive Pieces
ROB GRAY – The Stone Angel
DANIELLE LABRIE – Le piège américain / The American Trap
ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
MEILLEURES IMAGES
NICOLAS BOLDUC – Le Banquet
BOBBY BUKOWSKI – The Stone Angel
PIERRE GILL – Le piège américain / The American Trap
GREGORY MIDDLETON CSC – Fugitive Pieces
SARA MISHARA – Tout est Parfait / Everything is Fine

MEILLEURS COSTUMES
FRANCESCA CHAMBERLAND – Ce qu’il faut pour vivre / The Necessities of Life
MARIE-GENEVIEVE CYR – Who is KK Downey?
MICHÈLE HAMEL – Le piège américain / The American Trap
MICHÈLE HAMEL – Maman est chez le coiffeur / Mommy is at the Hairdresser’s
WENDY PARTRIDGE – Passchendaele
ACHIEVEMENT IN DIRECTION
MEILLEURE RÉALISATION
RICHIE MEHTA – Amal
LYNE CHARLEBOIS – Borderline
BENOIT PILON – Ce qu’il faut pour vivre / The Necessities of Life
CARL BESSAI – Normal
YVES-CHRISTIAN FOURNIER – Tout est Parfait / Everything is Fine
ACHIEVEMENT IN EDITING
MEILLEUR MONTAGE
DOMINIQUE FORTIN, CARINA BACCANALE – Le Banquet
FRÉDÉRIQUE BROOS – C’est pas moi, je le jure! / It’s Not Me, I Swear!
RICHARD COMEAU – Ce qu’il faut pour vivre / The Necessities of Life
DOMINIQUE FORTIN – Maman est chez le coiffeur / Mommy is at the Hairdresser’s
YVANN THIBAUDEAU – Borderline
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC – ORIGINAL SCORE
MEILLEURE MUSIQUE ORIGINALE
NORMAND CORBEIL – Emotional Arithmetic
LAURENT EYQUEM – Maman est chez le coiffeur / Mommy is at the Hairdresser’s
NIKOS KYPOURGOS – Fugitive Pieces
ROBERT M. LEPAGE – Ce qu’il faut pour vivre / The Necessities of Life
JOHN MCCARTHY – The Stone Angel
ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC – ORIGINAL SONG
MEILLEURE CHANSON ORIGINALE
BATLAM, BIZ, CHAFFIK – Tout est Parfait / Everything is Fine – M’Accrocher?
DR. SHIVA – Amal – Rahi Nagufta
BRY WEBB – This Beautiful City – Big Smoke
ACHIEVEMENT IN OVERALL SOUND
MEILLEUR SON D’ENSEMBLE
MARIO AUCLAIR, LUC BOUDRIAS, FRANÇOIS SENNEVILLE – Le Banquet
CLAUDE LA HAYE, DANIEL BISSON, LUC BOUDRIAS, PATRICK LALONDE – Le piège américain /
The American Trap
SANJAY MEHTA, STEPHAN CARRIER, KIRK LYNDS – Amal
LOU SOLAKOFSKI, GARRELL CLARK, STEVE FOSTER – Passchendaele
DAVID OTTIER, DANIEL PRADO VILLAR – This Beautiful City
ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
MEILLEUR MONTAGE SONORE
JANE TATTERSALL, KEVIN BANKS, BARRY GILMORE, ANDY MALCOLM, DAVE ROSE – Passchendaele
CLAUDE BEAUGRAND, JÉROME DÉCARIE, NATALIE FLEURANT, JEAN-FRANÇOIS SAUVÉ – Le piège
américain / The American Trap
NELSON FERREIRA – This Beautiful City
ROBERT LABROSSE, LUCIE FORTIER, GUY FRANCOEUR, FRANCE LÉVESQUE, LORI PAQUET – La Ligne
brisée / The Broken Line
FRANÇOIS SENNEVILLE, ANTOINE MORIN – Le Banquet

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
MEILLEURE ADAPTATION
RICHIE MEHTA, SHAUN MEHTA – Amal

MARIE-SISSI LABRÈCHE, LYNE CHARLEBOIS – Borderline

JEREMY PODESWA – Fugitive Pieces
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT DRAMA
MEILLEUR COURT MÉTRAGE DRAMATIQUE
THE ANSWER KEY – Samir Rehem, Robin Crumley
LA BATTUE – Guy Édoin, Pascal Bascaron, Sylvain Corbeil
CAN YOU WAVE BYE-BYE? – Sarah Galea-Davis, Paul Barbeau
MON NOM EST VICTOR GAZON – Patrick Gazé, Antonello Cozzolino, Marie-Josée Laroque,
Annie Normandin
NEXT FLOOR – Denis Villeneuve, Phoebe Greenberg
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
MEILLEUR COURT MÉTRAGE D’ANIMATION
DRUX FLUX – Theodore Ushev, Marc Bertrand
THE FACTS IN THE CASE OF MISTER HOLLOW – Rodrigo Gudiño, Vincent Marcone, Marco Pecota
SLEEPING BETTY – Claude Cloutier, Marcel Jean
BEST DOCUMENTARY
MEILLEUR DOCUMENTAIRE
INFINIMENT QUÉBEC – Jean-Claude Labrecque, Yves Fortin, Christian Medawar
MY WINNIPEG – Guy Maddin, Phyllis Laing, Jody Shapiro
UP THE YANGTZE – Yung Chang, Mila Aung-Thwin, John Christou, Germaine Ying-Gee Wong
BEST MOTION PICTURE
MEILLEUR FILM
AMAL – David Miller, Steven Bray
CE QU’IL FAUT POUR VIVRE / THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE – Bernadette Payeur, René Chénier
NORMAL – Andrew Boutilier, Carl Bessai
PASSCHENDAELE – Niv Fichman, Francis Damberger, Paul Gross, Frank Siracusa
TOUT EST PARFAIT / EVERYTHING IS FINE – Nicole Robert
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
MEILLEUR SCÉNARIO
BERNARD ÉMOND – Ce qu’il faut pour vivre / The Necessities of Life
DEEPA MEHTA – Heaven on Earth
TRAVIS MCDONALD – Normal
RANDALL COLE – Real Time
GUILLAUME VIGNEAULT – Tout est Parfait / Everything is Fine
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
INTERPRÉTATION MASCULINE DANS UN PREMIER RÔLE
PAUL GROSS – Passchendaele
RUPINDER NAGRA – Amal
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – Emotional Arithmetic
AARON POOLE – This Beautiful City
NATAR UNGALAAQ – Ce qu’il faut pour vivre / The Necessities of Life

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
INTERPRÉTATION MASCULINE DANS UN RÔLE DE SOUTIEN
NORMAND D’AMOUR – Tout est Parfait / Everything is Fine
BENOIT MCGINNIS – Le Banquet
CALLUM KEITH RENNIE – Normal
RADE SHERBEDGIA – Fugitive Pieces
MAX VON SYDOW – Emotional Arithmetic
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
INTERPRÉTATION FÉMININE DANS UN PREMIER RÔLE
ISABELLE BLAIS – Borderline
ELLEN BURSTYN – The Stone Angel
MARIANNE FORTIER – Maman est chez le coiffeur / Mommy is at the Hairdresser’s
SUSAN SARANDON – Emotional Arithmetic
PREITY ZINTA – Heaven on Earth
PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
INTERPRÉTATION FÉMININE DANS UN RÔLE DE SOUTIEN
CÉLINE BONNIER – Maman est chez le coiffeur / Mommy is at the Hairdresser’s
KRISTIN BOOTH – Young People Fucking
EVELINE GÉLINAS – Ce qu’il faut pour vivre / The Necessities of Life
ANIE PASCALE – Tout est Parfait / Everything is Fine
ROSAMUND PIKE – Fugitive Pieces

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BAFTA Winners

BEST FILM
“Slumdog Millionaire”

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
“Man On Wire” – Simon Chinn / James Marsh

LEADING ACTOR
Mickey Rourke – “The Wrestler”

LEADING ACTRESS
Kate Winslet – “The Reader”

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger – “The Dark Knight”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz – “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

DIRECTOR
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Danny Boyle

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“In Bruges” – Martin Mcdonagh

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Simon Beaufoy

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
“I’ve Loved You So Long” – Yves Marmion / Philippe Claudel

THE CARL FOREMAN AWARD FOR SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT BY A BRITISH DIRECTOR, WRITER OR PRODUCER FOR THEIR FIRST FEATURE FILM
Steve Mcqueen, director/writer – “Hunger”

ANIMATED FILM
“Wall-E” – Andrew Stanton

MUSIC
“Slumdog Millionaire” – A. R. Rahman

CINEMATOGRAPHY
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Anthony Dod Mantle

EDITING
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Chris Dickens

PRODUCTION DESIGN
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Donald Graham Burt / Victor J. Zolfo

COSTUME DESIGN
“The Duchess” – Michael O’connor

MAKE UP & HAIR
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Jean Black / Colleen Callaghan

SOUND
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Glenn Freemantle / Resul Pookutty / Richard Pryke / Tom Sayers / Ian Tapp

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Eric Barba / Craig Barron / Nathan Mcguinness / Edson Williams

SHORT ANIMATION
“Wallace And Gromit: A Matter of Loaf And Death” – Steve Pegram / Nick Park / Bob Baker

SHORT FILM
“September” – Stewart Le Maréchal / Esther May Campbell

ACADEMY FELLOWSHIP
Terry Gilliam

OUTSTANDING BRITISH CONTRIBUTION TO CINEMA
Pinewood Studios / Shepperton Studios

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The Writer’s Guild Of America handed out their awards last night. Simon Beaufoy won again for Slumdog Millionaire, Dustin Lance Black picked up the Original Screenplay honor for Milk,  and 30 Rock and Mad Men won for television. Other winner include In Treatment as best new series, Recount and John Adams for television movies/mini series, and the writers of SNL for varitey series.

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  • At least Bikini Girl left AI, but still- sucks is an understatement.
  • Apatow to make short film for Oscar show. Male frontal nudity on ABC, y’all.
  • James Franco wins Harvard’s prestigious Hasty Pudding Award. He’ll make a pretty drag queen, I must say.
  • Speaking of pretty girls, Jude Law to play transsexual model in Sally Potter’s upcoming film. Leaked pic has him looking like a more tragic early 90s Winona Ryder.
  • Big Love for Big Love at HBO, picked up for fourth season.
  • M.I.A., Goddess, has announced she will attempt to perform Sunday at the Grammys- her due date. Oscars- still up in the air.
  • Punk fans around the world mourn the loss of Lux Interior, the leader of The Cramps, who were the ultimate psychobilly purveyors of the 70s through the millennium. He was 62 ( or 60, depending on the source), and had died of a long time heart affliction. He will be missed.
  • This could get me in huge trouble with Twilight fans, but- I’m sorry, Stephen King is right, Stephanie Meyer’s is not a great writer. Where he’s wrong is that she is a perfectly adequate writer with an inability to build a story successfully, which plagues many writers of popular fiction ( as opposed to the heady lit elite types like a Cheever or an Irving or an Updike- although they can fall prey on occasion as well). I know this because it’s my own issue when I write, I just haven’t been lucky enough to catch an agent or a publisher willing to look the other way ( plus I don’t write about vampires or wizards). The fact is, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is much better written as it was meticulously planned out , every plot point, over years before she committed a word to paper, leaving a clear channel for her to tell a very complex story about good and evil. While I found Twilight an amusing diversion, each preceding novel of the Meyer’s series seemed to lose the plot a bit until Breaking Dawn, which was so bizarre and out of character as to make the whole series seem ridiculous. Her prose is clunky, her dialog cliched, her story fantastical even in the realm of fantasy fiction ( believe and stick to your own mythology- never waiver). So please keep the blood spatter to a minimum, Twilight fans. It’s innocuous enough as a series that I don’t hate it, but I really can’t call it great literature. Stephen King is fundamentally right ( all though, I admit, tact is not his strong suit).

I’ll await my death over by the water cooler. Have a wonderful day.

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  • Yay, Steelers!!!! Way to pull it out.
  • Yay, Boss!!!! Way to kick ass during halftime. Born To Run!!!!!
  • Why the fuck are people acting like idiots about Michael Phelps taking a good hit off a bong? Seriously? The dude’s not in competition, and the last drug on earth that enhances anyone’s performance in any sport is marijuana, so for Hendrix’s sake people, quit stroking out. ( Um… you could probably guess where I fall on the issue of pot…).
  • Idol sucks this year. Just reiterating. But seeing Fantasia’s performance of ” Lady Marmalade”, Kelly’s new video, and J-Hud’s astonishingly moving ” Star  Spangled Banner”, it just made the past five episodes even more painful.
  • Liam Neeson as Charles Bronson wins the box office ( seriously, is Taken anymore than a revisitation of the Death Wish movies?)
  • I accidently slept through the Dundler Mifflin hour. I apologize, Michael and gang.
  • New episodes of Big Bang Theory, HIMYM, and House tonight.

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WATCHMEN countdown

As you know, big fan of the legendary graphic novel. I’m a Comedian girl myself, as he never gave a rat’s ass. The movie opens on March 6, 2009.

So that’s five weeks- and I’m waiting. Desperately.

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And it goes to Danny Boyle and Slumdog Millionaire. Looking as if the little British film about Indian slums and game shows will be the big winner in three weeks.

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  • NBC rejects a PETA ad set to air during the Superbowl. Because vegans can’t possibly be football fans, you know.
  • The couple in Once had a fairy tale year last year. They fell in love, were in the best movie of 207, and won an Oscar for writing one of my favorite songs. Sadly, they have ended their two year relationship.
  • A woman has octuplets in California. And the eighth one was a surprise. I’m just thinking she’s nuts to attempt to try and breastfeed them all ( note- lactation supporters do not gang up on me- I breast fed my own kids, but seriously, all eight? No.)
  • Matt Damon states the obvious, Bill Kristol is an idiot, James Bond is a misogynist sociopath. Wait, say what on that last one?
  • Three arrested in the Bahamas for extortion after they try to scam $25 million from the Travoltas to prevent pictures of Jett’s lifeless body from making rounds. I am never going to the Bahamas.
  • Wikipedia contemplates rule changes after obits appear for Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd.
  • Donny Osmond lets slip he’ll be on Dancing With The Stars. Expect a Foxtrot to ” One Bad Apple”, a waltz  to ” Puppy Love”, and a rhumba to ” Any Dream Will Do”.
  • Project Runway filming at Bryant Park despite having no airdate for season six.
  • Mike White ( writer, Chuck And Buck, actor, School Of Rock, famed apatow crowd reject) to appear on The Amazing Race with his gay activist dad. This will be interesting…
  • Natascha McElhone ( Californication, The Truman Show) lost her husband to a heart attack only a few months ago while pregnant with their third child. This weekend, she finally brought him out into public, and his name is Rex.
  • Government decides to postpone mandatory conversion to digital from analog till this summer, angering fans who have put off sweeps viewing till March, and PBS, who will lose $22 million dollars due to the delay.
  • Rick Warren’s magazine Purpose Driven Connection debuts with an interview with President Obama. I guess they both meant it when they talked about post-partisanism.
  • M.I.A. is thrilled with her Oscar nom, but the real question is- will she be able to perform? She’s due to give birth on February 8- Grammy night ( which will explain her absence), and the Oscars are only a mere two weeks later.
  • Geeks, rejoice! Red Dwarf is returning.
  • Daniel Radcliffe invites the Obama girls to visit Hogwarts with him.
  • ABC has approved pilots of V ( yes, based on the early 80s sci-fi mini series classic), Lost In The 80s ( The Wonder Years meets Fast times At Ridgemont High meets The Ice Storm– I so wanna see it now…)
  • Marvel is being sued for $750 million because they ain’t sharing the Spidey pie.

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  • Kate Winslet looked amazing.
  • Meryl Streep is apparently not used to winning despite the fact she is the greatest living actress, for which I apologize calling her, since she seems clearly embarrassed when people call her that, even though she is. Just not in Doubt.
  • Sean Penn needs to shut up. Che? Seriously, dude? ( I am looking forward to it, but I’ll follow Soderbergh to the grave he dug for me and praise him as he tosses handfuls of dirt until I’m buried and have suffocated, so I might not be the best judge, as I also sat through Solaris and Bubble).
  • Heath Ledger won-again. The term shoo in at the Oscars no longer applies, it’s destiny in possibly the saddest possible way.
  • Jane Krakowski should be forbidden to give acceptance speeches anymore on the behalf of 30 Rock . That was agonizing.
  • James Earl Jones is God.
  • Anthony  Hopkins looked shockingly frail, and now I’m fretting about him.
  • Surprise of the night, TV side- Well, Hugh Laurie beating out Jon Hamm and then being funny.
  • Surprise of the night, Movie side- Meryl. Meryl. Oy, Meryl.
  • Slumdogcontinues on it’s way to coronation.
  • Let’s face it based on the cheers from the audience- any other year, Ben Button would win. Or come in a close second to Milk. But this year, the little British and Indian film has stolen the thunder.
  • I wanna be Tina Fey. I know I say that ever award show.

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  1. EW’s Ausiello confirmed with David Shore and Katie Jacobs that indeed House and Cuddy will get it on later this season. Seriously? How much of Hugh Laurie do I get to view?
  2. Question put to Idol fans- should anyone who has had a major label deal at one point be banned from competeing? Then at least the controversy will stop, right? I think the key is major label- indie artists have a much tougher go at it, but after Carly Smithson last year and that Joanna girl this year, the naysayers are sapping all joy out of the show. BTW- I didn’t think Joanna was all that and a popsicle.
  3. The Dark Knight will reappear at IMAX screen across the universe. I’m gonna go see it again. You?
  4. That Nimoy napkin on the Saturnalia episode of TBBT? Well, they got one actually signed by Spock himself and now they’ve put it on the auction block. Proceeds go to The Beit T’Shuvah “Steps to Recovery” Gala , Nimoy’s charity of choice. Suh-WEET!
  5. Apparently, Elisabeth Moss ( Peggy Olsen on Mad Men and one time Zoe Bartlett in an alternate universe where Josiah Bartlett once ruled Ameirca) is engaged to SNL funny man Fred Armisen. Rumor is it was a whirlwind romance, but I wish them both luck, as she’s amazing and he makes me laugh consistently.
  6. Some people are worried about the increasing Googlization of the arts- as Google wins the right to upload books to the net. Books. You know, those things with pages and covers that sit on shelves but no oneever opens anymore while waiting for th inevitable disappointment of a movie with companion video game?
  7. Anderson Cooper- drunk. ( I’ll post the link ths evening).
  8. Oh, and that Oscar show thing got rolling this week.
  9. The Screen Actor’s Guild Awards are on this weekend.

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