The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner is up for the Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar, competing against George Clooney (Up In The Air), Morgan Freeman (Invictus), Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Colin Firth (A Single Man).
In the Best Director category, Bigelow will fight it out with her ex-husband Cameron, along with Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Lee Daniels (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire) and Jason Reitman (Up In The Air).
The Hurt Locker and Avatar will lead the Best Picture category - the films are among 10 nominees for the prestigious accolade, including Up In The Air, The Blind Side and Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire.
Avatar, which smashed box office records by grossing more than $2 billion this weekend (30-31Jan10) to become the best-selling international release of all time, is also nominated for a slew of technical awards, such as Best Art Direction, Best Editing and Best Cinematography.
Meanwhile, Sandra Bullock has landed her first Oscar nomination for The Blind Side - the star will go up against Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia), Helen Mirren (The Last Station), Carey Mulligan (An Education) and Gabourey Sidibe (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire) for the title of Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Matt Damon (Invictus), Woody Harrelson (The Messenger) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) are among the nominees for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Oscar, while Penelope Cruz (Nine), Mo'Nique (Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Horse) and Up In The Air's Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick will battle for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role prize.
The nominees for 10 of the 24 categories were unveiled by Anne Hathaway and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak at an early morning news conference on Tuesday (02Feb10) at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
The Oscars, presented by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, will be handed out on 7 March (10) at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
The nominees for the 10 main categories are as follows:
Best Actor in a Leading Role:
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Best Actress in a Leading Role:
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
Best Actor in a Supporting Role:
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds
Best Actress in a Supporting Role:
Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up In The Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Horse
Anna Kendrick - Up In The Air
Mo'Nique - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
James Cameron - Avatar
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Lee Daniels - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Jason Reitman - Up In The Air
The Blind Side
The Hurt Locker
Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up In The Air
Best Original Screenplay:
Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman - The Messenger
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen - A Serious Man
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy - Up
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche - In the Loop
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell - District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher - Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
Nick Hornby - An Education
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner - Up In The Air
Best Animated Film:
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells
Best Foreign Language Film:
El Secreto de Sus Ojos (Argentina)
Un Prophete (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
The Milk of Sorrow (Peru).
A “bedtime story” is a fairly succinct way to describe Lady. Of course a bedtime story being told by M. Night Shyamalan can go into any number of weird and wild directions. The writer/director says the idea for Lady was based on a story he’d told his kids which began with “Did you know that someone lives under our pool?” and revolves around Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti) a lowly superintendent for an apartment building who inadvertently finds Story (Bryce Dallas Howard) a mysterious nymph-like “narf ” living in the pool. She’s there to complete a task and now that it’s done she needs to go home back to the Blue World. But that’s easier said than done. She only has a small window of opportunity and apparently there’s a ferocious beast called a “scrunt” lurking in the grass around the pool waiting to kill her if she tries to leave. Now Cleveland and a few of the other tenants—who find themselves intricately tied to Story’s plight—must help her escape to freedom. Thank god for Sideways. Without it Giamatti would have gone on playing under the radar without the recognition—and juicier parts—he deserves. He is truly a wonder as Cleveland a sad little man with a stutter who is quietly trying to hide from a tragic past. It’s only when Story comes into his life does he face his personal tragedy and learn to live again. Howard on the other hand who wowed most of us with her stunning performance in The Village doesn’t have nearly as much to work with as the pale water nymph. The mystical character is fairly one note—befuddled and cheerless. But the rest of the apartment tenants shine: Jeffrey Wright (Syriana) as a single dad who has a penchant for crossword puzzles; Freddy Rodriguez (HBO’s Six Feet Under) as a weight builder who only lifts weights on one side of his body; Bob Balaban (A Mighty Wind) as a pompous film critic (and as a critic I’m not at all offended when he gets his comeuppances); Cindy Cheung as a Korean college student who is key in telling the epic bedtime story; Sarita Choudhury (She Hate Me) as a quippy young woman looking for her mission in life and Shyamalan himself as her brother the person Story is meant to inspire to write something extraordinary. There’s never a dull moment with this crew around. In a way M. Night Shyamalan has become his own worst enemy having to live up to this reputation as a master of suspense and surprise twists. His last effort The Village left many of his fans feeling unsatisfied—and unfortunately he may alienate more with Lady in the Water. But the fact of the matter is he is still one of Hollywood's more brilliant minds on par with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for originality who has an innate talent for crafting ingenious stories filled with genuine human emotions. So maybe this time around he’s made a movie more for those most ardent of his fans who simply revel in the way his mind works no matter how incomprehensible and frivolous it may seem. So what? The diehards might feel compelled to defend Shyamalan’s choices with Lady—how he has come up with an entire universe where things like “scrunts” and the “Tartutic” (simian-like creatures who form an invincible force that maintains law and order in the Blue World) and “Madam Narfs” interact with humans in the real world. If the story actually took place in the Blue World then maybe it’d be easier to swallow. But that’s sort of the genius of Shyamalan. It’s as if with Lady in the Water he’s crafted a child-like movie for those adults who remember being told wildly creative bedtime stories who then in turn tell the stories to their kids.
A guy who usually doesn't have luck with the ladies Matt Saunders (Luke Wilson) has finally found the perfect girl. Egged on by his buddy Vaughn (Rainn Wilson) Matt pursues the mousy and innocent-looking Jenny Johnson (Uma Thurman) after the two meet on a subway. But Jenny has a few secrets--and what Matt doesn't know in this case can hurt him. See Jenny is really G-Girl a superhero and although it's a side most superheroes don't show G-Girl is a bit possessive and essentially has a borderline personality. So when Matt wants to dump her so he can go out with his quiet and cute co-worker Hannah (Anna Faris) Jenny er G-Girl goes ballistic. She unleashes her superpowers on Matt and unsuspecting Hannah doing things like throwing a shark through his window while they're making out tossing his car around immature things like that. What Matt doesn't do is obey the cardinal rule: Never break up with a girl when she's holding a knife--or when she can throw you through a wall by blowing on you. This should be Luke Wilson's moment to shine and he seizes it. He's had little chance to break away from his goofier-looking and more popular brother Owen and has never carried a movie as much as this one. It's perhaps his meatiest role in which he gets to show a restrained comedic side as well as a dramatic angry and perplexed side. Although it's a typical romantic comedy plot the storyline allows for more reach because of the absurd nature of the jealousy by G-Girl’s arch nemesis Professor Bedlam played perfectly by Brit comic Eddie Izzard as well as the persistently bad advice from Matt’s friend Vaughn played by scene-stealer Rainn Wilson (TV's The Office). Rainn is a definitely a talent to watch out for. Unfortunately Thurman is the biggest disappointment. She's exciting only when she rekindles her Kill Bill persona but is mostly outshined by the cute and fun Anna Faris who's so naively brilliant in the Scary Movie spoofs. Expectations would have to be high if you have director Ivan Reitman on board the guy behind such classic comedies as Animal House Ghostbusters and Dave. Perhaps that's why it's so disappointing--and so very familiar. The comic moments are retreads from the past. Sure we've seen the odd moments where mortals make it with super-human characters--Superman II Bewitched I Dream of Jeannie--and every once in a while the character with super powers gets a bit peeved and goes off the deep end. The best contribution Reitman makes is to keep the over-the-top comedic aspects in check. He doesn’t have the actors play it for laughs. But if you look at past history female superhero movies don't seem to do well at the box office (Elektra and Catwoman anyone?) maybe because guys don't like to take dates to see movies about women who will kick their butts. And guys will be cringing in their seats BIG time when Jenny is trying to analyze the real meaning of the color of a rose that she just got. "Red means that you're in love with the girl. Of course I'm not trying to pressure you." Ugh! Just take the flower.
The premise to Old School sounds a bit cringe-worthy when you first hear it--visions of sexist frat house humor wild parties buxom babes and beer bongs dance through your head. OK maybe there's a little of that going on in Old School but the heart of the film is surprisingly more centered than your average balls-out comedy. A trio of twentysomething friends have found themselves at a crossroads in their lives. Mitch (Luke Wilson) a promising real estate lawyer unfortunately catches his girlfriend (Juliette Lewis) in a compromising position. Frank (Will Ferrell) a lovable doof marries the sweet Marissa (Perrey Reeves) before realizing he made a big mistake and Beanie (Vince Vaughn) the owner of a successful chain of stereo stores refuses to believe he is the only true family man of the three. When Mitch rents a house near their old alma mater Beanie sees it as a chance to recapture some of that fun-filled college exuberance and turns the house into a fraternity which accepts not just students but any guys out there who want to escape adulthood's travails. The film's antagonist comes in the form of an uptight university dean Pritchard (Jeremy Piven) who bears an old grudge against our intrepid trio and does everything he can to shut the house down. But true brotherhood prevails.
Old School works far better than it should thanks to the chemistry of the three leads. Each has his own particular brand of comedy and the combination keeps you rolling in the aisles. Providing physical comedy Ferrell's Frank a goofy college wild man tamed by matrimony is wonderfully outrageous (but someone should tell him to keep his clothes on). Ferrell also shows a dramatic flair especially when dealing with his troubled marriage. Who would have thought this Saturday Night Live alum could act? Vaughn shows his infinite skill at zingin' out quick-witted one-liners (as he does so well in Swingers). Yet his smarmy Beanie also hints that he loves his life as a stable dad more than he cares to admit. Then there's the likable straight man Mitch a character the easygoing Wilson has perfected to a tee ever since his debut in Bottle Rocket opposite wacky brother Owen. Piven who usually plays wild men in films such as PCU and Very Bad Things gets to try on a different hat as Pritchard the nerd who grew up to be the dean of the school--and it looks like he had fun.
Writer/director Todd Phillips obviously enjoyed his college years. His first studio-released film the 2000 Road Trip offered a raucous yet refreshing look at college life that didn't necessarily go for the gross-out humor at every turn (although some turns were certainly made especially given star Tom Green). With Old School Phillips has matured--a little. Thankfully the film doesn't go for the joke for the joke's sake but remains rooted in how these three men are dealing with the pressures of adult responsibilities coming up with their somewhat misguided remedy to those pressures. But it's still a comedy about aging frat boys. You know going in there's going to be a wild party or two some contemptible drunken behavior perhaps even a hazing scene where new recruits have cinder blocks tied to their nether regions. It happens. Phillips also feels the need to incorporate a clichéd romantic twist around Mitch and a girl he had a crush on in high school. A sweet gesture but not nearly as entertaining as watching three grown men slosh around in K-Y jelly in a female wrestling match.
Ehhh, what's up, doc? Warner Bros. is bringing back the cartoon short, which has been absent from theaters now for decades. According to Reuters, the studio is now producing a new series of animated briefs--starring its stable of Looney Tunes characters including Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Foghorn Leghorn--which will run before feature-length family features like the upcoming Harry Potter film. Once a leader in animation briefs, WB has created some the most memorable shorts, including the Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner series. But the resurgence of animated shorts is no happenstance: It coincides with WB's upcoming live-action pic Looney Tunes: Back in Action, starring Brendan Fraser, which is scheduled for release in November 2003. The studio also plans to launch Baby Looney Tunes, a new TV series on the Cartoon Network.
Actress Shannon Elizabeth, who played the foxy foreign exchange student in the American Pie films, married her longtime beau, actor Joseph Reitman, The Associated Press reports. The ceremony took place June 15 at Hotelito Desconocido in Jalisco, Mexico. It the first marriage for the two stars, who met in an acting class in 1996. They appeared together in Kevin Smith's 2001 comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
The British Appeal Court has given the owners of a sports memorabilia shop the OK to sue former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham for slander due to her alleged "loud and rude" outburst in their store, the AP reports. Timothy, Glynis and Anthony McManus and their company, GT's Recollections, claim their trade was hurt after Beckham accused them of selling fake autographs of her husband, soccer captain David Beckham. Her comments were later reported in the press.
A schizophrenic man who broke into George Harrison's house and stabbed the former Beatle in 1999 has been discharged from the Scott Clinic secure mental hospital outside Liverpool, England. A lawyer for Michael Abram told Reuters that his client had responded to drug treatment for his schizophrenia and that he had been symptom-free for two years. Harrison survived the stabbing but died of cancer last November.
Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel (The Deep End) will helm the virus thriller The Hot Zone for 20th Century Fox. According to Variety, the film is based on Richard Preston's bestseller, based on the real-life story of an Army SWAT team containing a killer virus that wiped out the primate population at a Virginia research lab in the late '80s.
A fire forced Tony Bennett to stop a concert in London midway through his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," the AP reports. Bennett, 75, informed the crowd of the fire and asked people not to panic. As the evacuation started, he tried to calm the audience by joking, "I knew I was hot, but not that hot." The fire was put out shortly after 9 p.m.
British pop group Duran Duran, which dominated the charts in the '80s with hits including "Hungry Like the Wolf," "The Reflex" and "Notorious," announced a worldwide tour Thursday, Reuters reports. The band, whose members are remembered for their kohl-lined eyes and pixie boots, has sold more than 60 million albums since forming in 1978.
Former Eagles guitarist Don Felder--who sued bandmates Don Henley and Glenn Frey in February 2001, claiming he was wrongly terminated--will get his day in court on July 5, Reuters reports. Felder was let go shortly after the Eagles performed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles as part of the Millennium celebration. Henley and Frey's attorney said the chemistry just wasn't there.
Bad news for all Jay and Silent Bob fans, as occasional "X"-man David Duchovny has had to give up his plans to appear in the next Kevin Smith-directed project.
A posting on the wizardworld.com Web site says that Duchovny had been approached about playing a role in the upcoming film "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" by writer/director/actor Smith, a self-professed fan of Duchovny's. While Duchovny had expressed interest in the role, his schedule has prevented him from taking the role.
In addition to his upcoming return to "The X-Files," Duchovny is starring in this summer’s Ivan Reitman-directed sci-fi/comedy "Evolution" opposite Julianne Moore and William H Macy.
Smith has said that there is another actor being considered for the role, "but it’s too early to say just who it is." However, don’t feel bad for Smith, who named his golden retriever Mulder. He went on to say: "I am a sad, overweight geekity geek who takes small consolation in the fact that I have a hot wife and I’m a millionaire."