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Angelina Jolie Political Film Leads to Controversy & Award

In the Land of Blood and Honey, Angelina Jolie, Zana Marjanovic, Ermin Sijamija
Zana Marjanovic, Ermin Sijamija, In the Land of Blood and Honey

Angelina Jolie Drama Angers Some Serbs & Wins Producers Guild Award

Some Serbians may be furious at Angelina Jolie and her first directorial effort, the Bosnian War drama In the Land of Blood and Honey, but the Producers Guild of America feels differently. Jolie's socially conscious film has been named the recipient of this year's Stanley Kramer Award given to “a motion picture, producer or other individual, whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion.” In In the Land of Blood and Honey, a Bosnian woman is held captive – and used as a sex slave – at a Serbian prison camp while her former lover is fighting on the side of the Serbs.

As per PGA co-presidents Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon, quoted in a press release, In the Land of Blood and Honey “is an extraordinary film that portrays a complex love story set against the terrors of the Bosnian War, especially towards women. This film truly embraces the legacy of Stanley Kramer.” The film's producers are Jolie, Tim Headington, Graham King, and Tim Moore.

So far, In the Land of Blood and Honey has been all but ignored by the various US-based critics' groups that have already named their Best of 2011. Possibly, Jolie's movie hasn't been made as widely available to critics as, say, late-year releases such as David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, both of which have managed to get several nods from the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

With dialogue in Serbo-Croatian and English subtitles, In the Land of Blood and Honey opens in the U.S. on December 23. Goran Kostic and Zana Marjanovic star. The PGA Awards ceremony will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 21, 2012.

As for Stanley Kramer, he was a producer/director whose films tended to be quite humanistic and well-intentioned in a mainstream, inoffensive kind of way. The best of those are Inherit the Wind (1960), about the Scopes Trial that pitted radical Christians against secularism, and Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), both starring Spencer Tracy.

On another level, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) is immensely helped by the performances of both Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as the parents of a young woman (Hepburn's real-life niece Katharine Houghton) whose husband-to-be is Sidney Poitier. Also worth mentioning is that Kramer's movies solely as producer include Fred Zinnemann's post-war drama The Men (1950), which marked Marlon Brando's film debut, and Zinnemann's classic Western High Noon, which earned Gary Cooper his second Best Actor Oscar.

In the Land of Blood and Honey photo: Dean Semler / FilmDistrict and GK Films

Houston Film Critics Winners

George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, The Descendants
George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Picture
The Descendants

Best Foreign Film
I Saw the Devil

Best Director
Nicolas Winding RefnDrive

Best Actor
Michael FassbenderShame

Best Actress
Tilda SwintonWe Need to Talk About Kevin

Best Supporting Actor
Albert BrooksDrive

Best Supporting Actress
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best Animated Film

Best Documentary
Project Nim

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Tree of Life

Best Original Score
Ludovic BourceThe Artist

Best Original Song
"Life's a Happy Song” from The Muppets, music & lyrics by Bret McKenzie

Technical Achievement
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Worst Film of the Year
Your Highness

Via Film Misery

The Descendants photo: Merie Wallace / Fox Searchlight

'The Smurfs' Disqualified from Best Animated Feature Oscar? + 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' Box Office Reunion

Neil Patrick Harris, The Smurfs
Neil Patrick Harris, The Smurfs

First the Golden Globes, now the Oscars. According to TheWrap's Steve Pond, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has disqualified Raja Gosnell's international box office hit The Smurfs from the roster of Best Animated Feature contenders.

The live action/animation hybrid in which blue creatures that sound like Katy Perry, Paul Reubens, and Jonathan Winters frolic about with the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Hank Azaria and Sofia Vergara, The Smurfs has apparently not met the Academy's qualification requirement that “a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture's running time.”

Seventeen animated films are still in the running, which means that – unless there is at least one more future disqualification and the list of contenders falls below 16 – there'll be five Academy Award nominees for Best Animated Feature of 2011. Still in the race are Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, George Miller's Happy Feet Two, Carlos Saldanha's Rio, and Gore Verbinski's Rango, among others.

Noomi Rapace, Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Noomi Rapace, Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

An unexpected Girl with the Dragon Tattoo family reunion will take place at the North American box office on Tuesday evening, when David Fincher's Swedish-set American remake (go figure) of Niels Arden Oplev's mystery thriller opens at 7 p.m. In addition to Fincher's movie, we have the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's Michael Nyqvist supporting Tom Cruise in Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the dragon-tattooed girl herself, Noomi Rapace, supporting Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Coincidentally, both movies opened at midnight Thursday.

Here's wondering which The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo connection will top the North American box office during the Christmas holiday.

Distributed by Sony Pictures, the new The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo features Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Robin Wright, Goran Visnjic, Steven Berkoff, Geraldine James, Joely Richardson, and Julian Sands.


Noomi Rapace, Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law/Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows photo: Daniel Smith / Warner Bros.

The Smurfs photo: K.C. Bailey / Sony Pictures

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2 Comments to Angelina Jolie Political Film Leads to Controversy & Award

  1. Elizabeth

    A good movie should anger people, especially people who are afraid to take a look at themselves. When people start making a big fuss and threaten to boycott, or to ban a movie then that only helps to strengthen the movie's power - most people have learned that by now.

  2. Guest

    It's not so much that it's been “ignored” by the critics groups… the critics groups for the most part haven't seen it! Some of them has said as much, that many members did not get a chance to screen the film before the voting. I'm surprised the studio managed to get it into contention for these.