Singer Kacey Musgraves will lead the way at the 2013 Country Music Association (CMA) Awards after landing five nominations. The star has received nods for Female Vocalist, New Artist, and Album of the Year for Same Trailer Different Park, and her track Merry Go 'Round is on the shortlist for Song of the Year and Single of the Year.
Taylor Swift is in with a chance of winning Entertainer of the Year after she was announced as a contender alongside Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, George Strait and Blake Shelton.
She will also compete for the Female Vocalist award with Musgraves, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood, and for Album of the Year for Red, alongside Blake Shelton (Based on a True Story), Carrie Underwood (Blown Away), Musgraves (Same Trailer Different Park), and Little Big Town (Tornado).
Shelton leads the Male Vocalist category with Aldean and Bryan, as well as Eric Church and Keith Urban.
Other categories announced by Sheryl Crow and country duo Florida Georgia Line on Tuesday (10Sep13) included Vocal Duo of the Year, which will be a fight between Big & Rich, Love and Theft, Sugarland, The Civil Wars and Thompson Square. The announcers, Florida Georgia Line, will also compete in the category, while the New Artist prize will be a fight between Lee Brice, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Kip Moore and Musgraves.
The Country Music Association Awards will take place on 6 November (13).
The full list of nominations is as follows:
Entertainer of the Year:
Female Vocalist of the Year:
Male Vocalist of the Year:
Album of the Year:
Based on a True Story - Blake Shelton
Blown Away - Carrie Underwood
Red - Taylor Swift
Same Trailer Different Park - Kacey Musgraves
Tornado - Little Big Town
Song of the Year:
I Drive Your Truck - Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, and Jimmy Yeary
Mama's Broken Heart - Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, and Kacey Musgraves
Merry Go 'Round - Kacey Musgraves, Josh Osborne, and Shane McAnally
Pontoon - Natalie Hemby, Luke Laird, and Barry Dean
Wagon Wheel - Bob Dylan and Ketch Secor
Duo of the Year:
Big & Rich
Florida Georgia Line
Love & Theft
The Civil Wars
New Artist of the Year:
Florida Georgia Line
Vocal Group of the Year:
Eli Young Band
Little Big Town
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Single of the Year:
Cruise - Florida Georgia Line
Highway Don't Care - Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert
Merry Go 'Round - Kacey Musgraves
Wagon Wheel - Darius Rucker
Musician of the Year:
Sam Bush (Mandolin)
Paul Franklin (Steel Guitar)
Dann Huff (Guitar)
Brent Mason (Guitar)
Mac McAnally (Guitar)
Musical Event of the Year:
Boys 'Round Here - Blake Shelton (featuring Pistol Annies)
Cruise - Florida Georgia Line (with Nelly)
Don't Rush - Kelly Clarkson (featuring Vince Gill)
Highway Don't Care - Tim McGraw (with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban)
The Only Way I Know - Jason Aldean with Luke Bryan and Eric Church
Music Video of the Year:
Blown Away - Carrie Underwood
Boys 'Round Here - Blake Shelton featuring Pistol Annies
Downtown - Lady Antebellum
Highway Don't Care - Tim McGraw with Taylor Swift and Keith Urban
Mama's Broken Heart - Miranda Lambert
Tornado - Little Big Town.
In Larry Crowne Tom Hanks plays the title character an affable middle-aged floor manager at a big box department store who loses his job because he never went to college. Lacking a secondary income source (his wife divorced him a few years prior) and underwater on his mortgage he sets out to find new employment but is met with universal rejection. If any of these developments affect him in any significant way you can scarcely tell from his countenance: A plaintive drive home and the occasional watering of the eyes are the only indications of any kind of turmoil within.
All of which hints that Larry Crowne which Hanks also directed and co-wrote (with Nia Vardalos) might be one of those films in which a repressed and emotionally stunted individual gradually comes to face the pain he’s buried enjoys an epiphany or two and lets go of it all in a grand (and presumably Oscar-worthy) catharsis. (That or he shoots up a Dairy Queen.) Only it isn’t. It’s a breezy genial comedy about a guy who enrolls in a community college joins a crew of scooter-riders and hits it off with his speech teacher.
The teacher Mercedes (Julia Roberts) is everything Larry isn’t: dry cynical tired. She’s lost her passion for education and is mired in a toxic marriage with a noxious layabout (Bryan Cranston) whose novel-writing efforts are really just a cover for an internet porn obsession. There’s no reason the two should connect romantically other than the fact that he’s Tom Hanks and she’s Julia Roberts. This appraisal might as well extend to the film as a whole which skates by lazily on the charm and charisma of its two stars never deigning to proffer anything more substantial than their adorable mugs.
Among a rote and forgettable assemblage of supporting characters the only one who manages to register at all is Talia (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) a coquettish free-spirited fellow-student who makes Larry her personal project re-arranging his living room upgrading his wardrobe and coaxing him to be more adventurous. Why she bothers to do any of this is never explained. Is she luring him into a shady business scheme? Is she the recruiter for an apocalyptic cult? An insatiable schlub fetish perhaps? Without any discernible motive we’re left to assume that she takes to him simply because he’s Tom Hanks. I mean who wouldn’t want to ride scooters with Tom Hanks? (I’ll tell you who: Al Qaida.)
Larry Crowne is a film I desperately wanted to like. Certainly its central message of perseverance and optimism in the face of hardship is a noble one. But aside from its two stars a few laughs and a handful of endearing moments there’s precious little to it. By the end of the film I felt like I barely knew any of these people despite having spent the last 90 minutes with them. Nor did I particularly want to know them. Except for Tom and Julia of course. Aren’t they just wonderful?
Follow Thomas Leupp on Twitter.
April 23, 2008 7:20am EST
The Cannes Film Festival lineup was unveiled Wednesday morning in Paris with a few surprises in the mix.
Variety had reported late yesterday that Clint Eastwood’s Changeling would get a competition berth, which it did. Further, despite rumors of the films not being completed, Steven Soderbergh’s Che Guevara biopics, both starring Benicio Del Toro, are slotted to run back-to-back in a four-hour competition screening.
As predicted, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull will screen out of competition and mark Steven Spielberg’s return to the red carpet for the first time since 1985’s Color Purple.
Jury members at Cannes include president Sean Penn, actress Natalie Portman, and filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron and Rachid Bouchareb, but the total curiously amounts to only seven this year. In previous years, it has been the norm to have a nine-member jury. Still, given that the Un Certain Regard and Camera d'Or juries are as-yet incomplete, there may be more names to come.
At present, there are 19 titles in competition as compared to last year's 22. Three, including Soderbergh’s opus and Eastwood’s Changeling, are from the U.S., along with Charlie Kaufman's directorial debut Synecdoche, New York.
In addition to Indiana Jones, films screening out of competition include Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, with Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz, and Mark Osborne and John Stevenson's Kung Fu Panda, featuring the the voice of Jack Black.
Variety says what’s really eye-catching about Cannes’ 2008 Official selection is how the competition throws the spotlight on a clutch of directors who are hardly branded auteurs, however much their films are being talked up in their home countries.
The Israeli industry’s been buzzing for months, Variety points out, about Ari Folman’s competition entry, Waltz with Bashir, an animated feature about Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Last year's Palme D'Or went to Romanian abortion drama 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.
The festival kicks off May 14 and runs through the 23rd, although neither the opening nor closing night films have been announced.
December 18, 2003 12:55pm EST
Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) a novice professor from UCLA lands a job in the art history department at Wellesley College in the fall of 1953 and she's thrilled at the prospect of educating some of the brightest young women in the country. But her lofty image of Wellesley quickly fizzles when she discovers that despite its academic reputation the school fosters an environment where success is measured by the size of a girl's engagement ring. Besides learning about fresco techniques and physics the women take classes in the art of serving tea to their husband's bosses something that doesn't sit well with the forward-thinking Katherine who openly encourages her students to strive for goals other than marriage. Katherine inspires a group of students specifically Joan (Julia Stiles) and Giselle (Maggie Gyllenhaal) but newlywed Betty (Kirsten Dunst) feels Katherine looks down on her for choosing a husband over a career. Betty goes on the offensive and uses her column in the school paper to drive a wedge between the professor and the stuffy faculty. But while Betty puts on a happily married face her hostility towards Katherine is actually misplaced anger stemming from her miserable marriage to a cheating charlatan.
Katherine is Mona Lisa Smile's most complex and intriguing character and Roberts is a fitting choice for the part. Like an old soul the actress has a depth that's perfect for a character like Katherine who's enlightened and ahead of her time. But Katherine never emotionally connects with any of her students which isn't surprising since they're so bitchy and self-absorbed. Perhaps more time should have been spent developing the young women's characters and building their relationships with Katherine sooner but as it is the underdeveloped friendships between the women will leave viewers feeling indifferent rather than inspired. The worst of the bunch is Dunst's character Betty who is intent on making everyone around her feel unworthy. She has her reasons of course but they're revealed so late in the story that it's hard to suddenly empathize with her after having spent three-quarters of the film hating her guts. Stiles' character Joan is perhaps the most congenial but like Betty she never develops a strong bond with her teacher. The most "liberal" of the girls is Giselle played by Gyllenhaal but the character suffers the same burden as the rest: She's unlikable. Giselle's penchant for sleeping with professors and married men is so odious that not even her 11th hour broken-home story can salvage her character.
While Mona Lisa's smile in Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting has often been described as subtle director Mike Newell's star-studded drama is anything but that; Mona Lisa Smile is so heavy-handed that unlike the painting for which it was named there is nothing left for moviegoers to ponder or debate. The film plays like a montage of '50s ideological iconography: A school nurse gets fired for dispensing birth control; a teacher refers to Lucille Ball as a "communist"; Betty's prayers are answered when she gets what every woman dreams of--a washer and dryer. But the film's critical insight into '50s culture isn't as shocking as it thinks it is and the way it highlights feminist issues is as uninspired as trivial as a fine-art reproduction. Newell also spends too much time basking in the aura of the '50s era focusing on countless parties dances and weddings sequences that while visually ambitious are superfluous. The film may be historically accurate but its characters story and message will leave moviegoers feeling empty. A climactic scene for example in which Katherine's students ride their bikes alongside her car as a show of support comes across as a tool to evoke sentiment that just doesn't exist.
All Daphne Reynolds (Amanda Bynes) has ever really wanted is to meet the dad she's never known. Growing up in New York with her loving and free-spirited musician mother Libby (Kelly Preston) she makes her mom tell the story of her parents' whirlwind romance over and over. How much in love they were but how unbeknownst to him his aristocratic family drove Libby away. Now at 17 Daphne is determined to live the fantasy of the father-daughter relationship she craves. Arriving in London she finds out pop is Lord Henry Dashwood (Colin Firth) a high-profile politician who is about to marry the snooty Glynnis (Anna Chancellor). Needless to say Henry is dumbfounded to discover he has a daughter and together with his regretful mother Lady Jocelyn (Eileen Atkins) they open Dashwood manor to the spirited girl. As Daphne and Henry tentatively test their newfound relationship the teen has a hard time fitting in with stuffy British high society and soon begins to jeopardize her father's political career. She tries to suppress her bubbly personality and turn herself into a respectable debutante but Daphne soon realizes she's giving up too much of herself to be Henry's daughter. The question is will Henry realize it is he who is not made for the suffocating life he's been shoved into and reclaim his daughter and the only woman he has ever loved? Oh stop the suspense is killing us.
The 17-year-old Bynes is already a brand name in comedy--at least to the 'tween set who from the time Bynes was 10 years old have enjoyed her slapstick antics on Nickelodeon's variety show All That her own variety show The Amanda Show and her current WB sitcom What I Like About You. Bynes is all grown up now and as the cute sexy--and klutzy--Daphne she excels at performing pratfalls and infuses as much charm as she can into the character. It is clear however the young comedian has some work to do before becoming a good actress. Thank goodness she is surrounded by talented actors such as Atkins (Gosford Park) and even Preston who does a nice job as the bohemian Libby. Yet it's Firth (Bridget Jones's Diary) who truly elevates the film when on-screen and helps Bynes reach those dramatic highpoints. He has the uncanny ability to turn even the most insipid of parts into something worth watching. His best moment as Henry is when he tries on some old leather pants and dances around in his opulent bedroom pretending to be a rock star. It's very un-British of him--and it's brilliant.
To put it mildly What a Girl Wants really looks bad. TV director Dennie Gordon obviously hasn't mastered the art of filmmaking in any way because not only are many of the shots blurry and poorly lit often times it seems Bynes is shot through an entirely different softer lens than the other actors. Usually that kind of treatment is given to older actresses who want to hide all the little imperfections but for a 17-year-old cutie? Obviously it's a mistake. As well the sugar-pop theme gets out of hand trying way too hard to appeal to the hip and cool 'tweeners. To a rockin' soundtrack look how Daphne can turn a pretentious coming-out ball into a choreographed dance number! Or see how she can try on different '70s outfits and funky glasses while her father amusedly looks on! (Even Firth looks uncomfortable). Sure 11-14-year-old girls are going to love it especially the sweet love story between Daphne and a local London musician Ian (Oliver James). It's only the heart of the story--the father-daughter relationship--that keeps the film from falling into just another Teen Beat tableau.