Tag Archives: Brad Pitt

2012 Screen Actor’s Guild Award Nominees

I don’t normally stay up to watch the live broadcast of the SAG Award Nominations, but, was up anyway wrapping Christmas presents and dealing with a sick baby, so…I watched. And, well, it was kind of a snooze. No real big surprises. No gasping from the audience (or me, for that matter), just kind of the usual suspects at this point.

I’m not saying the nominees aren’t deserving, because they totally are — especially the cast nominations for “The Descendents”, “Bridesmaids” and “Midnight In Paris” — but I was a bit disappointed to see Charlize Theron overlooked for her stellar work in “Young Adult” and the same goes for Maria Bello’s incendiary performance on NBC’s recently-shelved “Prime Suspect”. Those are two of the best performances of the year in my book, and I was bummed to see them both overlooked by SAG.

But, hey, there’s always the Golden Globe nominations on Thursday. And you know those crazy foreign press guys love hot blonde chicks, so…I’m betting they both get a lot more love then. At least they’d better!

To see the full list of SAG Award Nominees, click here.

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Malick’s “The Tree of Life” takes the top prize @ Cannes

Despite being loudly booed at it’s first screening at Cannes, Terrence Malick’s controversial, love-it-or-hate-it, “The Tree of Life” took home the big prize at the Cannes Closing Ceremonies yesterday afternoon. Whoo-hoo! Go, Terry!

Of course, the famously-reclusive Malick was not there to collect his award (which was accepted in his absence by “Tree of Life’s” producers Dede Gardner and Bill Pohlad) but the fact that the movie won the top prize bodes well for it’s limited U.S. release this Friday.

I mean, man alive, if you thought I wanted to see “Life” before, just imagine how excited I am to see it now. Wow…I might start camping out for tickets tomorrow.

Another big American winner was Kirsten Dunst (yes, that Kirsten Dunst) who took home a Best Actress prize for her work in Lars Von Trier’s freaky-deaky-looking “Melancholia“. Trust me, if the movie is anywhere as dark and strange as Von Trier is, it’s gonna rock!

For a list of all this year’s big winners at Cannes, click here. And, until next year at this time…adieu, adieu, to you and you and you…

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Trailer Thursday: “The Tree of Life”

Alright, I know I’m already breaking my rule about blogging too much about Cannes, but, when I saw the first trailer for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life”, I knew I had to share it here as well.

I’m not entirely sure what the plot is here — it looks a little “2001”-ish to me, which would be awesome! — but Malick’s visuals, as always, look pretty damn spectacular. And what a cast! People who have seen previews of the movie are already saying Brad Pitt is a lock for a Best Actor Oscar. Whoa…

Either way, dying to hear what the Frenchie’s think of the movie when it premieres at Cannes on Monday. Go, team Malick!

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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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“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

I should start by saying that I absolutely love almost everyone associated with this movie, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, David Fincher, hell, even the writer of the source material himself, F. Scott Fitzgerald. But the movie that this extraordinarily-gifted crew has cobbled together is just plain bad.

BENJAMIN BUTTON #1

I won’t go into detail because I know a lot of people who are seriously dying to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, and I was too. I mean, that teaser trailer rocked! But, sadly, trailers are not movies, amigos…

I think the kindest compliment I can give this syrupy-sweet, butt-numbingly long movie — seriously, it makes “Australia” look like a short film — is that if you liked “Forrest Gump”, you’ll love “Benjamin Button”.

And if you hated “Gump”, like Christine and I did (sorry America), then you will probably hate this movie too. Brad Pitt’s hokey, ever-shifting accent aside, there are so many Gump/Button similarilities that you could do a scholarly work on it.

Just to give you an idea of how liberally “Button” borrows from “Gump”, there is a sassy Momma character, a crazy sea captain best friend, a legless man, a thwarted longtime love born in childhood, and even a lame ongoing joke that rivals that annoying “shrimp this, shrimp that…” sequence from “Gump”.

BENJAMIN BUTTON #2

BENJAMIN BUTTON #3

And yet all that said, I gotta tell ya, “Gump” is a much better movie. Yep, it seems that that old hambone Robert Zemekis has Fincher beat in the epic crowdpleaser department. And since I am not one to ever shower Bob Zemekis with compliments of any kind, you know I must have really hated “Button”. Yikes…

So, come Christmas, save yourself a little hard-earned dough and rent “Forest Gump”, or better yet, check out a truly great movie like “Frost/Nixon”, “Milk” or “Slumdog Millionaire” instead…

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