Tag Archives: award season 2009

Baldwin and Martin to host Oscars!

OMG, I know I’m more than a few days late on this one, but, what an inspired idea for Oscar hosts! Sure, Wolverine was fun last year, but the idea of a comic — not to mention musical! — genius like Steve Martin hosting this year’s Academy Awards with his “enemy”, Alec Baldwin is kinda awesome.

This way, even if that lame 10 Best Picture nominees idea falls flat, the rest of the show will still rock. And, who knows, if the guys are any good in Nancy Meyers’ upcoming romantic comedy, “It’s Complicated”, they might just snag a nomination or two of their own. I mean, come on, they are starring opposite perennial-nominee Meryl Streep in this one, so, that kinda increases the odds.

"It's Complicated" (2009)

Either way, kudos to newly-minted Oscar producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman for picking the right guys for the job. Now, just keep the rest of the show running smoothly and Bob’s your uncle!

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Wolverine at the Oscars…

OK, I know this mini-review of the big night is a couple of days too late, but I gotta say that, surprisingly, Hugh Jackman did not totally suck as host of the Oscars. The opening number was actually pretty funny and he tried his damnedest to keep a very bloated telecast light and lively, but, any way you look at it, that second big dance number was a total train wreck.

2009 Oscars #1

First off, Beyoncé needs to simmer. Seriously, she should go into hiding for the rest of the year, America has had enough of her. And if the bitch sings “At Last” one more time, I swear to God, Etta James is gonna have to get in line to beat her down. Enough with that already! Yikes…

The most annoying  thing about that colosally over-produced number — aside from the fact that it serves as further proof that Baz Luhrmann has just plain lost his mind — was that most of the songs they “celebrated” were never even nominated for Oscars. So, what was the whole thing about? The return of the musical? What, because there were three big musicals released last year? Please…that was such a stretch.

I was also really annoyed with the clips they played this year too, those comedy and action scenes were kinda cool, but, seriously, sometimes it felt like we were watching the freaking MTV Movie Awards: “And now, Will Smith will present the award for Best Kiss.” Y’all are the Oscars, OK? You do not need to pander to kids with a bunch of clips from movies that most of your craggy-old membership has never even seen. Aside from being a total time-filler, it’s just lame…

2009 Oscars #2

2009 Oscars #3

And though I am so down with most of the winners — especially all the Oscar gold for “Slumdog” and the “Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto” quoting Japanese dude! — I have to admit that those creepy induction ceremonies with the past acting winners were just plain scary. Yes, it was great to see some of the old timers out there onstage, but, wow…that whole circle of five shit was freaky.

We kept joking that they were gonna give the winner a chalice of blood to drink from at the end of it all: “Welcome to the club. Now drink from the blood of Oscar and live forever…” Ahh!

Of course, being the Oscar nerd that I am, I went back later and re-watched each of the acting award presentations to see if maybe I missed something. I mean, were we just overreacting when we laughed through most of them? And guess what, we weren’t. That shit was crazy. Well-intentioned and very sweet sometimes, but still straight-up crazy.

2009 Oscars #4

2009 Oscars #5

I’ll write another post soon about the super cool Oscar-themed food we had at our party, but for now, here’s hoping the Academy works out the major kinks from this year’s show in time for next year’s bash.

Oh yeah, and I HATED the Ben Stiller as Joaquin Phoenix bit. I think Stiller stopped being funny like, ten years ago, but when he kept on mugging for the cameras as the clips from the nominated films played behind him, seriously, I wanted to kill the dude. That is just plain rude, man. Even hot-ass co-presenter, Queen Amidala, looked embarrassed…

2009 Oscars #6

2009 Oscars #7

But like I said, overall, a pretty decent show. I was pleased. Dying to hear what you guys thought of the big night, so comment away…

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Radiohead and the USC Marching Band make Grammy magic!

Just as Nostradamus predicted, this year’s Grammy Awards were as boring and fast-forwardable as usual, but there was one live performance that truly rocked our world. You guessed it…our boys from Radiohead did it again.

Radiohead @ the Grammys!

Not only did Thom Yorke and company take home two awards (one for Best Alternative Album and one for Best Box or Limited Edition Package) for their rocking “In Rainbows” album last night, but they also performed for the first time on the Grammy stage with the very able backing of the USC Trojan Marching Band. I know it sounds crazy, but, holy crap…it was awesome!

While several of the other performers last night sounded kinda shaky in that big old Staples Center, Radiohead and that badass marching band sounded freaking amazing. And you just know those USC dudes — who wore matching “In Rainbows” tour t-shirts like the super soft one I bought earlier this year at the Hollywood Bowl –were loving being up there with the premiere act of the night. Seriously, it was kind of magical.

I could have done without presenter Gwyneth Paltrow’s strange, 80’s street whore ensemble, but hey, she introduced our favorite act of the night, so, I can live with it. I do wonder though if she had a hand in those fugly-ass military jackets her husband, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, and his band have been wearing this year. Love their music, and glad to see them get some Grammy love last night, but, wow…those jackets gotta go.

Coldplay at the Grammys!

Adele at the Grammys!

Oh yeah, also very excited to see Adele pick up the Best New Artist Grammy. Yay! Finally someone good and musically relevant wins in a category that usually celebrates the greatness of such luminaries as Paula Cole, Hootie and the Blowfish and the Starland Vocal Band. And best of all, the Jonas Brothers went home empty handed. Ha ha, suck it Jo Bros!

Anyway, dying to hear what the rest of you thought of the show, so, comment away, amigos. And in the meantime, kudos again to Radiohead for making our night! You know, they were so good, I think I’m gonna go undelete that shit and watch it again…

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Oscar Nominees 2009

Came home from Slamdance with a wicked cold, so, forgive me ahead of time if I don’t over-analyze this year’s Oscar nominees. It’s not that I’m not excited about them — because there are some really cool movies in the running this year –but having slept on the couch last night to avoid getting Christine sick, I am definitely not at my finest.

That said, if I had to describe this year’s crop of nominees in two words, I would call 2009 the year of the working actor. And with longtime journeyman actors like Frank Langella (“Frost/Nixon”), Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”), Melissa Leo (“Frozen River”), Tarija P. Henson (“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”), Viola Davis (“Doubt”) and even Josh Brolin (“Milk”) for that matter, all scoring first-time nominations, the acting categories have never been stronger.

Oscar nominees #1

Oscar nominee #2

Sure, some big stars snuck in there as well — Sean Penn for “Milk”, Meryl Streep for “Doubt”, Robert Downey Jr. for “Tropic Thunder” and the Oscar “it” couple du jour, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt scoring nods for their work in “Changeling” and “Benjamin Button” respectively. But the big story today is all about the old-school character actors.

And how refreshing is that? I mean, shit, Richard Jenkins has wracked up a whopping 82 onscreen credits since 1974, Leo has 78, Langella has 77, and Josh Brolin has been in 42 movies since his memorable debut in “The Goonies”. So, congrats to the “old-timers” of all ages…you guys have served your time and are totally due for some major gold!

Also surprised to see Kate Winslet nominated in the Best Actress category for her searing performance in “The Reader”. Till now, her “Reader” role has been relegated to the Best Supporting Actress category, with her role in “Revolutionary Road” taking the higher honor. I have always thought she was much better in “The Reader”, so, glad to see her pick up a nod for that performance instead.

Oscar nominee #4

Oscar nominees #3

Oh, and speaking of “Revolutionary Road” — which fared far worse in the nomination count than I think anyone expected — the biggest surprise for me was the Best Supporting Actor nomination for Michael Shannon. Playing the deeply-troubled grown son of Kathy Bates, Shannon ignites every scene he’s in. Seriously, “Road” would have been a hell of a lot more boring without him. Very, very happy to see him pick up his first Oscar nomination today. Yay!

And though I agree with most of the Adapted Screenplay nominations, I gotta tell ya, the Original Screenplay category is kind of crazy this year. I’m not saying any of these movies are bad, but, wow, even the most experienced Oscar prognosticator couldn’t have guessed that this bunch of scripts would pick up nods. I mean, we’ve only seen one of the nominated films in this category…and we see everything! Ha!

On the directing front, happy to see Danny Boyle pick up his first directing nomination for “Slumdog Millionaire” and even though I hated “Benjamin Button” — and hate even more the fact that it scored 13 nominations…yikes! — I do love me some David Fincher, so, kudos to him for finally making the cut!

Oscar nominees #5

Oscar nominees #6

Also kind of shocked that the Academy bucked the award-season trend by not awarding “The Dark Knight” a nod for Best Picture — giving the “wild card” fifth slot to “The Reader” instead. I guess Christopher Nolan and company will have to settle for their raft of technical nominations to go with the expected posthumous Supporting Actor nomination for Heath Ledger.

And while I was sad to see “Rachel Getting Married” and “The Wrestler” fail to pick up nominations in the Original Screenplay and Best Original Song categories, I was very happy to see the actors from both films pick up some very deserving nominations. So, yay!

Below is a list of most of the nominees in most of the major categories, to see the full list of nominated films, click here. And, as always, love to hear what you guys think of this year’s nominees…so, comment away!

BEST PICTURE

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“Frost/Nixon”

“Milk”

“The Reader”

“Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST DIRECTOR

David Fincher – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Ron Howard – “Frost/Nixon”

Gus Van Sant – “Milk”

Stephen Daldry – “The Reader”

Danny Boyle – “Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST ACTOR

Richard Jenkins – “The Visitor”

Frank Langella – “Frost/Nixon”

Sean Penn – “Milk”

Brad Pitt – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Mickey Rourke – “The Wrestler”

BEST ACTRESS

Anne Hathaway – “Rachel Getting Married”

Angelina Jolie – “Changeling”

Melissa Leo – “Frozen River”

Meryl Streep – “Doubt”

Kate Winslet – “The Reader”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Josh Brolin – “Milk”

Robert Downey Jr. – “Tropic Thunder”

Philip Seymour Hoffman – “Doubt”

Heath Ledger – “The Dark Knight”

Michael Shannon – “Revolutionary Road”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – “Doubt”

Penélope Cruz – “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”

Viola Davis – “Doubt”

Taraji P. Henson – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

Marisa Tomei – “The Wrestler”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Courtney Hunt – “Frozen River”

Mike Leigh – “Happy-Go-Lucky”

Martin McDonagh – “In Bruges”

Dustin Lance Black – “Milk”

Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon and Pete Docter – “WALL-E”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Eric Roth and Robin Swicord – “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

John Patrick Shanley – “Doubt”

Peter Morgan – “Frost/Nixon”

David Hare – “The Reader”

Simon Beaufoy – “Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST ANIMATED FILM

“Bolt”

“Kung Fu Panda”

“WALL-E”

BEST FOREIGN FILM

“The Baader Meinhof Complex” – Germany

“The Class” – France

“Departures” – Japan

“Revanche” – Austria

“Waltz with Bashir” – Israel

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Alexandre Desplat

“Defiance” – James Newton Howard

“Milk” – Danny Elfman

“Slumdog Millionaire” – A.R. Rahman

“WALL-E” – Thomas Newman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Down to Earth” – “WALL-E”

“Jai Ho” – “Slumdog Millionaire”

“O Saya” – “Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

“Changeling” – Tom Stern

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Claudio Miranda

“The Dark Knight” – Wally Pfister

“The Reader” – Chris Menges and Roger Deakins

“Slumdog Millionaire” – Anthony Dod Mantle

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

“Australia” – Catherine Martin

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” – Jacqueline West

“The Duchess” – Michael O’Connor

“Milk” – Danny Glicker

“Revolutionary Road” – Albert Wolsky

BEST ART DIRECTION

“Changeling”

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“The Duchess”

“Revolutionary Road”

BEST MAKE-UP

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

BEST EDITING

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

“The Dark Knight”

“Frost/Nixon”

“Milk”

“Slumdog Millionaire”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“The Betrayal (Nerakhoon)”

“Encounters at the End of the World”

“The Garden”

“Man on Wire”

“Trouble the Water”

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2009 Golden Globe Nominees

Barring any last-minute drama by the fractured Screen Actors Guild — who just announced that they are presenting a strike authorization vote to their membership on January 2nd — this year’s Golden Globe Awards should play out a little better than last year’s lame, strike-addled affair.

Seriously, ask anyone who sat through last year’s Golden Globe “press conference” and they’ll you that that thing was a total disaster. If I never have to sit through Mary Hart and the rest of those old leathery gasbags reading names off a list again, I’ll die a very happy man indeed. Yikes…

"Rachel Getting Married" #1

"Rachel Getting Married" #2

But…I digress. This year’s crop of nominees are a pretty cool bunch. Sure, there are way too many nods for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Burn After Reading” (which we both kinda loathed), but I was seriously stoked to see “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Frost/Nixon” and “Milk” sneak in there in some pretty major categories. Those movies rocked hard, so, congrats to everyone involved.

Was really bummed to see Rosemarie DeWitt overlooked for her heartbreaking turn as Globe-nominee Anne Hathaway’s sister in “Rachel Getting Married”. Sure, Hathaway had all the big, “crazy girl makes a scene” moments in the movie, but DeWitt, playing the good, normal sister, stole every scene she was in. So, this is a huge oversight in my book.

I was stoked to see James Franco nominated for “Pineapple Express”. We haven’t seen the movie yet, but he kicked ass in “Milk”, so I’m rooting for him! And to have practically the entire cast of “Vicki Cristina Barcelona” score acting nominations is kind of awesome too. Especially that dreamy Rebecca Hall, who is almost supernaturally hot in both “Vicki Cristina” and “Frost/Nixon”. Yowza!

Penelope Cruz in "Vicki Cristina Barcelona"

Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall in "Vicki Cristina Barcelona"

Seth Rogen and James Franco in "Pineapple Express"

But I think the thing I’m most upset about today is Anna Faris being totally shut out for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for  “The House Bunny”. Laugh if you must, but Faris was hilarious in the kind of role that category was made for! For shame, Hollywood Foreign Press, for shame…

And finally, speaking of “The House Bunny”, I’m also very glad to know that poor, beleaguered Rumer Willis will finally get to fulfill her long-delayed role as Miss Golden Globes at this year’s show. You go, Rumer!

To see a complete list of all this year’s nominees click here.

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