Tag Archives: Academy Awards

Midnight in Paris might win Oscar for Best Art Direction


Brief Review:

Midnight in Paris rated 7.8 on IMDB, 93% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes,  premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, winning Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay in Jan 2012 is  Woody Allen‘s  romantic comedy film, nominated for coming  Academy Awards for  Best PictureBest DirectionBest Original Screenplay and Best Art Direction.

This movie is for people who like History, Music and Literature. The movie goes around a  young successful but distracted Hollywood screenwriter getting married who is passionate about literature and writing a novel and explores the Golden Era by his magical experiences at Mid Night in Paris.

Nominations received in Academy Awards (4):

Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay and Best Art Direction

Bottom Line: The movies has no action or fights but old music, art, historical people and places  and horse cabs to fascinate you -:)

Oscar Week Parties: ‘Vanity Fair’ And ‘Interview Magazine’ Host Star-Studded Events

Oscar week is in full swing in Los Angeles, and celebrities hit the red carpet for three big industry events on Tuesday, Februrary 22. In the early evening, stars like Pierce Brosnan, Jeremy Piven, and The Social Network‘s Armie Hammer headed to Eveleigh on Sunset for an event hosted by director Paul Haggis and Vanity Fair. Presented by Briani, the party celebrated Artists for Peace and Justice, an organization dedicated to providing relief to Haiti.

Across town, Vanity Fair hosted another party honoring Wendy Stark Morrissey at the opening of Ray’s and Stark Bar at LACMA. Attendees included Suzanne Sommers, Brian Grazer, and Dianne Von Furstenburg. Some stars, like actress Joan Crawford and Mamie Gummer, party hopped between both events, and also made an appearance at Interview Magazine and Hugo Boss’ dinner honoring director David O. Russell‘s Oscar nomination for The Fighter. Other guests included Milla Jovovich, Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick, and of course, Russell himself.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/23/oscar-week-parties-vanity_n_827228.html#s244724

Anne Hathaway, In Oscar Promo, Sings ‘Evita,’ Shakes Her Rump


Expect a clash of classics and… rump shaking in Sunday’s Oscar telecast.

Anne Hathaway, joined by James Franco as very untraditional Oscars co-hosts, is working to quiet the doubts about her comedic chops and get viewers excited about a new generation of hosts. And if she can go from classic opera to hip hop like this on the real telecast, well, the Academy may have made a very inspired choice.

The star, continuing her series of re-imagined film classics, quickly makes the switch from the iconic “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” from Evita to Wreckx-N-Effect‘s “Rump Shaker” in this promo. It’s hard to tell whether she’s more dictator’s wife or hip hop impresario — why don’t you watch and decide?

But remember: no cruel jokes. After all, Hathaway won’t be making them, either. Hear that, Ricky Gervais?

Oscar Nominee Josh Fox Speaks Out About Oil Lobby’s Efforts to Crush His Film

Josh Fox‘s home sits in the woods of Milanville, Pennsylvania, near the rushing waters of the Delaware River. In May 2008, a strange letter appeared in his mailbox. A natural gas company was offering him $100,000 if he granted them permission to drill on his property.

Instead of signing, Fox decided to investigate. Armed with a video camera and a banjo, he set off on a journey up and down the Marcellus Shale, a massive reserve of natural gas that stretches 600 miles from Pennsylvania to Maryland, Virginia and into Tennessee. Known as the “Saudi Arabia of natural gas,” the shale contains billions of dollars in untapped fuel.

Fox wanted to know: What happened to other families who agreed to drilling on their property?

What he found was a heartbreaking collection of severely ill families whose aquifers had become so tainted by the gas, they could literally light their tap water on fire. He edited his footage into a modest documentary, Gasland, which was soon embraced by outraged viewers across the country. It won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize, and now has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary.

With the spotlight, Fox has been transformed from a mild-mannered art director at a Brooklyn theater company to a respected filmmaker to an outspoken activist on par with Erin Brockovich, a professional thorn in the side of the natural gas industry. A few weeks before his Oscar nod, Fox spoke with me about the unexpected acclaim and the oil lobby’s efforts to crush his documentary.

Kors: The movie opens with you, in 2008, getting a letter from a natural gas company offering $100,000 to drill on your family’s land. Was that really how your investigation started, or were you looking to make a documentary about natural gas?

Fox: Oh, not at all. When I got that letter, I was working down in the city as an art director, doing shows with actors and dancers. I didn’t know anything about natural gas. I certainly didn’t intend to make a documentary about it… or spend years investigating it.

Kors: Your film gets into the dirty details of this new drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, where they bore a long, narrow hole thousands of feet into the Earth, then blast into it with water, sand and chemicals, cracking the rock and freeing the natural gas. Every town you visit in the film, the fracking has begun, and the drinking water has already become poisoned. Now, the drilling companies are saying the chemicals they’re blasting into the Earth can’t possibly escape their pipes and, thus, can’t leach into the drinking water. So, how is the water getting contaminated?

Fox: Nobody knows. There’s never been an investigation. But everywhere they use this fracking process, all these illnesses keep popping up: cancer, liver damage, birth defects. And yet every single investigation into fracking has been shut down. The [Environmental Protection Agency] wanted to investigate in 2004, but the Bush administration shut that down because it was obvious who was to blame… The EPA has just started an investigation into all this. It’s not adequately funded, but it is moving forward. Two years from now, when the study comes out, we’ll see what they have to say.

Kors: I spoke with residents of Dimock, Pennsylvania, where the drilling has left a lot of people ill, and they told me Washington should suspend the drilling until they figure out how the chemicals are leaching into the drinking water.

Fox: Makes sense to me. If they push forward with this drilling, and people keep getting sick, they’ll have to admit what this really is: a huge experiment on the American people. It’s completely irresponsible.

Kors: The natural gas companies are saying there’s no proof that fracking is causing this wave of diseases.

Fox: Well, of course you can’t prove something that’s never been investigated. (Fox laughs.) That “proof” claim has become the industry’s mantra: the link between the diseases that occur everywhere they drill and the fracking toxins isn’t proven. In any field, it’s very hard to establish a direct, causal link.

Kors: That would take an extensive investigation.

Fox: Absolutely. You have to watch their language too. When they say there’s no proof that “fracking” has caused harm, they’re talking specifically about the drilling and pushing of water into the ground. The reality, though, is that fracking is a much more complicated process than just drilling into the ground. It involves trucking in the toxic chemicals and trucking out the waste water: 1,200 trucks coming and going to maintain a fracking site. Forget the drilling: the possibility for an accident and massive contamination right there, with those trucks, is very high.

Kors: One theory is that the tubes the companies are using to pipe chemicals into the ground are failing.

Fox: That’s right. That’s the main theory: that the tube casings are failing. And when I learned about the way the casings are tested — the lack of regulations on them — it’s amazing. The companies test the strength of their tubes by applying 7,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. But when they’re inserted into the ground and used for fracking, the casings have to withstand up to 20,000 pounds per square inch. So, is it any wonder that they’re failing? How could the companies possibly reassure us that their tubes are safe if they’re not even testing them at full capacity? It’s ridiculous and really dangerous.

Kors: I spoke with Susan Riha, director of Cornell University’s Water Resources Institute, and she said something interesting: “There’s an incredible demand for energy in this country. To those who oppose fracking, I would say, ‘You can’t just be against gas drilling. You have to be for something.'”

Fox: That’s right. We’re for renewable energy: wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels. Right now the natural gas industry is in competition with renewable energy. Middle school kids should be looking forward to a cleaner planet, and it’s natural gas that stands between them and that future. You know, I was just in Iceland, and there, it’s almost all geothermal and hydroelectric power.

Kors: Yeah, but Iceland is much smaller. It’s less than half a million people. And Riha was very clear. She said renewable energy simply isn’t ready.

Fox: That’s ridiculous. I mean, natural gas is not ready either. We’re laying down billions of dollars worth of pipelines to run this country on natural gas, and it’s going to take decades to set that up. Of course, in their commercials, the industry is trying to sell natural gas as not just ready but as a clean alternative.

Kors: Right. “Clean, abundant natural gas.” The fuel of the future.

Fox: But the way the refining process vents off raw methane, natural gas is on polluting par with coal… We’re in a race right now to stop climate change. And we are running out of time. It’s attitudes like Riha’s that keep pushing us in the wrong direction. We have enough wind to potentially power a large portion of this country. And it’s utterly specious to say that with a solid investment, renewable sources couldn’t become our main source of energy. Look at the incredible solar fields in Germany. That’s the direction we should be moving in.

Kors: You feel passionately about this.

Fox: (Fox laughs.) Yeah, I do. I’d say, even if we had rolling blackouts — if the electric company had to turn the lights off six hours a day — that would be better than poisoning our water with drilling. The message needs to get out there: Once you contaminate an aquifer, you can’t go back. There are projections that within 10 years, our solar and wind farms could be up and running in a serious way. What’s stopping us, I think, is not technological obstacles or logistical problems, it’s the power of the gas industry’s lobby.

Kors: The gas industry is not that happy with you.

Fox: (Fox laughs.) No, they’re not.

Kors: They put out this bizarre video of a beautiful woman speaking passionate, breathy words about how majestic our country is and how many factual errors there are in your documentary.

Fox: Yeah. On their website too they put up an essay detailing the “errors” in the film. Everything they said was 100 percent false. It was a smear campaign. If anybody wants to read it, we put a point-by-point rebuttal to their rebuttal on our website.

Kors: This movie, I imagine, must feel like a long, strange trip. What’s been the most surprising turn of events?

Fox: Actually, it was that: the industry’s reaction, that they attacked us so head-on. I knew the movie was going to turn a lot of heads. But by attacking it, they drew so much more attention to the film than I ever could have. And all that scrutiny just shined a brighter light on how false all of their claims were. But… I guess that’s what they thought they had to do.

Kors: One of the reasons the film is so powerful is that you really get to see what life is like inside these families ruined by poisoned water. They let you into their homes. They show you how their water is so tainted it can be lit on fire. The mothers talk about how they’ve fallen ill and have kids to take care of.

Fox: Yeah, I really grew close to those families, and it was painful to see all that they were going through. I hope the larger message doesn’t get lost, though. This isn’t about one or two families, or even one or two towns. Drilling is underway in dozens of states, and there’s no moratorium until they “get the process right.”

Kors: The part of the movie that really angered me focused on the so-called “Halliburton loophole,” which was inserted into the 2005 energy bill at the urging of Vice President Cheney, the former CEO of Halliburton. That provision strips the EPA of its authority to regulate fracking.

Fox: That’s right. If it weren’t for the Halliburton loophole, the oil companies wouldn’t be able to do what they’re doing. Now, thanks to the loophole, they’re allowed to blast toxins into the ground without reporting it or even telling us what chemicals they’re using. If we don’t know exactly what’s being injected into our land, how can we know whether it’s safe or not?… When I started making the film, most congressmen weren’t even aware of that loophole. Hopeful now more of them will get involved in this fight.

Kors: You’ve gone from doing Brooklyn theater to winning at Sundance, accepting the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize in Reykjavik, and now the Oscars coming up.

Fox: The whole thing is dizzying. With each film festival and award ceremony, the movie’s gotten more attention, and so has the larger issue of drilling and water contamination. I hope that continues, that more people learn about the movie, embrace its message and become a part of the movement.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joshua-kors/director-josh-fox-receive_b_814590.html

Oscars 2011 Nominations List: Academy Awards Nominees


The British monarchy saga “The King’s Speech” leads the Academy Awards with 12 nominations, including best picture and acting honors for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

“This story has struck such a rich resonant chord with audiences of all ages, which is very exciting – to have your work honored by your industry peers is even better,” Rush said in a statement.

Also nominated for best picture Tuesday were the psychosexual thriller “Black Swan”; the boxing drama “The Fighter”; the sci-fi blockbuster “Inception”; the lesbian-family tale “The Kids Are All Right“; the survival story “127 Hours”; the Facebook chronicle “The Social Network“; the animated smash “Toy Story 3”; the Western “True Grit”; and the Ozarks crime thriller “Winter’s Bone.”

“True Grit” ran second with 10 nominations, including acting honors for Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld.

The Feb. 27 Oscars set up a best-picture showdown between two favorites, “The King’s Speech” and “The Social Network.” “The Social Network” won best drama at the Golden Globes and was picked as the year’s best by key critics groups, while “The King’s Speech” pulled an upset last weekend by winning the Producers Guild of America Awards top prize, whose recipient often goes to claim best picture at the Oscars.

The favorites in the male-acting categories both were nominated, Globe winners Firth as best actor for “The King’s Speech” and Christian Bale as supporting actor for “The Fighter.”

The best-actress field shapes up as a two-woman race between Annette Bening for “The Kids Are All Right,” who won the Globe for actress in a musical or comedy, and Natalie Portman for “Black Swan,” who received the Globe for dramatic actress.

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The favorites in the male-acting categories both were nominated, Globe winners Firth as best actor for “The King’s Speech” and Christian Bale as supporting actor for “The Fighter.”

The best-actress field shapes up as a two-woman race between Annette Bening for “The Kids Are All Right,” who won the Globe for actress in a musical or comedy, and Natalie Portman for “Black Swan,” who received the Globe for dramatic actress.

“The Social Network” casts Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who’s depicted as an interpersonal lout in one-on-one relations but a genius for the masses, creating an online hangout where half a billion people now keep connected with friends.

“The King’s Speech” stars Firth as Queen Elizabeth II’s father, the stammering George VI, who reluctantly came to the throne after his brother abdicated in 1936, a terrible time for a stuttering monarch as British subjects looked to their ruler for inspiration via radio as World War II approached.

The two films represent a showdown between classy, traditional Oscar bait and edgy, youthful, up-to-the-minute drama.

With its aristocrats, statesmen and perilous times, “The King’s Speech” is a throwback to the majestic, eye-filling costume pageants that dominated film awards in Hollywood’s earlier decades. Its nominations also include best director for Tom Hooper and supporting-acting slots for Bonham Carter as the king’s devoted wife and Rush as his wily speech therapist.

“The Social Network” is an immediate story, set not in palaces but college dorm rooms, cluttered start-up space and anonymous legal offices where Zuckerberg battles former associates over the proceeds of his invention.

David Fincher is the best-directing favorite for “The Social Network” after winning that prize at the Globes.

Along with Firth and Eisenberg, best-actor contenders are Javier Bardem as a dying father in the Spanish-language drama “Biutiful,” which also is up for best foreign-language film; Bridges as boozy lawman Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit,” a role that earned John Wayne an Oscar for the 1969 adaptation of the Western novel; and James Franco in the real-life tale of a climber trapped in a crevasse after a boulder crushes his arm in “127 Hours.”

Bening was nominated for best actress as a lesbian mom whose family is thrown into turmoil after her teenage children seek out their sperm-donor father in “The Kids Are All Right.” Portman was nominated as a ballerina losing her grip on reality in “Black Swan.”

Other best-actress nominees are Nicole Kidman as a grieving mother in “Rabbit Hole”; Jennifer Lawrence as a teen trying to find her missing father amid the Ozark Mountains‘ criminal underbelly in “Winter’s Bone”; and Michelle Williams as a wife in a failing marriage in “Blue Valentine.”

Joining Fincher among best-director picks are Darren Aronofsky for “Black Swan”; Joel and Ethan Coen for “True Grit”; Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”; and David O. Russell for “The Fighter.”

The directing category is back to an all-male lineup after Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win that prize last year for “The Hurt Locker,” which also claimed best picture.

The Oscar ceremony will be televised live on ABC from Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre.


Best Motion Picture of the Year
Black Swan
The Fighter
The Kids are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
James Franco (127 Hours)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale (The Fighter)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3

Best Documentary Short Subject
Killing in the Name
Poster Girl
Strangers No More
Sun Come Up
The Warriors of Qiugang

Best Short Film (Animated)
Day & Night Teddy Newton
The Gruffalo Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
Let’s Pollute Geefwee Boedoe
The Lost Thing Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary) Bastien Dubois

Best Short Film (Live Action)
The Confession Tanel Toom
The Crush Michael Creagh
God of Love Luke Matheny
Na Wewe Ivan Goldschmidt
Wish 143 Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Achievement in Art Direction
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
The King’s Speech
True Grit

Achievement in Cinematography
Black Swan (Matthew Libatique)
Inception (Wally Pfister)
The King’s Speech (Danny Cohen)
The Social Network (Jeff Cronenweth)
True Grit (Roger Deakins)
Achievement in Costume Design
Alice in Wonderland (Colleen Atwood)
I Am Love (Antonella Cannarozzi)
The King’s Speech (Jenny Beaven)
The Tempest (Sandy Powell)
True Grit (Mary Zophres)

Achievement in Directing
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)

Best Documentary Feature
Exit through the Gift Shop Banksy, director (Paranoid Pictures)
Gasland Josh Fox, director (Gasland Productions, LLC)
Inside Job Charles Ferguson, director (Representational Pictures)
Restrepo Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger, directors (Outpost Films)
Waste Land Lucy Walker, director (Almega Projects)

Achievement in Makeup
Barney’s Version
The Way Back
The Wolfman

Achievement in Film Editing
Black Swan (Andrew Weisblum)
The Fighter (Pamela Martin)
The King’s Speech (Tariq Anwar)
127 Hours (Jon Harris)
The Social Network (Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall)

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year
Biutiful (Mexico)
Dogtooth (Greece)
In a Better World (Denmark)
Incendies (Canada)
Hors la Loi (Algeria)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
How to Train Your Dragon (John Powell)
Inception (Hans Zimmer)
The King’s Speech (Alexandre Desplat)
127 Hours (A.R. Rahman)
The Social Network (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from Country Strong Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from Tangled Music and Lyric by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from 127 Hours Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Achievement in Sound Editing
Toy Story 3
TRON: Legacy
True Grit

Achievement in Sound Mixing
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit

Achievement in Visual Effects
Alice in Wonderland
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Iron Man 2

Adapted Screenplay
127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle)
The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)
Toy Story 3 (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)
True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
Winter’s Bone (Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini)

Original Screenplay
Another Year (Mike Leigh)
The Fighter (Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silverand Paul Tamasy)
Inception (Christopher Nolan)
The Kids are All Right (Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko)
The King’s Speech (David Seidler)

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/25/oscars-2011-nominees-list-academy-awards-nominations_n_813399.html

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