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Jesus Christ-George W. Bush Connection? + Annette Bening Best Actress Oscar Favorite?

Jesus Christ-George W. Bush link?

According to Hollywood “observers,” claimed a Philadelphia Inquirer report published shortly before the early Nov. '04 U.S. presidential election, if George W. Bush was going to keep his job at the White House, Mel Gibson's controversial Jesus Christ movie The Passion of the Christ would be a likely nominee for the Best Picture Academy Award. But if Democrat candidate John Kerry were to win, then Michael Moore's equally controversial Fahrenheit 9/11 would likely be shortlisted.

As if it had to be one or the other. And as if the election of a U.S. president would in any way affect the voting of the few thousand Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences members for the five best-advertised films of the year. And really, what is the proportion of right-wing Republicans and/or Fundamentalist Christians among Academy voters?

Perhaps those Hollywood “observers” believe there's some kind of mystical link connecting John Kerry to Michael Moore, and/or – and this is really freakish – connecting W. to Jesus.

Now, in all fairness, with George W. Bush having won the election, wouldn't it be much more logical for the disastrous puppet parody Team America: World Police to get a Best Picture nod?

Golden Globes: Jesus in, Bush out

Mel Gibson's Jesus Christ biopic The Passion of the Christ can be considered for Golden Globes in all categories, except Best Picture – whether drama or comedy / musical – which is reserved for English-language films. Featuring Jim Caviezel and Monica Bellucci, The Passion of the Christ is spoken in Aramaic and Latin.

As for Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, it will be totally bypassed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association because it is a non-fiction film. The genre is not “recognized” by the group.

See also: “George W. Bush: Most Frightening Film Villain” and “'Fahrenheit 9/11' Controversy: Disney vs. Michael Moore.”

IFC Films acquires U.S. rights to 'Turtles Can Fly'

IFC Films has acquired U.S. rights in all media to Bahman Ghobadi's Iranian-Iraqi co-production Turtles Can Fly / Lakposhtha parvaz mikonand, winner of the Golden Shell at the 2004 San Sebastian Film Festival and one of the hottest-selling titles at this year's American Film Market. Additionally, Turtles Can Fly has been submitted as the Iranian entry for the 2005 Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award.

Set in Iraq's Kurdistan at the time of the U.S.-led invasion of that country, Turtles Can Fly revolves around the lives of three children, one of whom is an expert at setting up satellite dishes. The movie features Soran Ebrahim, Hiresh Feysal Rahman, Avaz Latif, Saddam Hossein Feysal, and other nonprofessional Kurdish “actors.”

The Kurdish-Iranian Ghobadi had previously directed two feature films: A Time for Drunken Horses / Zamani barayé masti asbha (2000) and Marooned in Iraq / Gomgashtei dar Aragh (2002).

New Line Cinema, for its part, has acquired the film rights to Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera. Oscar-winning screenwriter Ronald Harwood (The Pianist) has been tapped to adapt the classic novel for the screen.

See also: “Iraq Hostages: Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Deneuve Record Message.”

 

Image of Jim Caviezel as Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ: Newmarket Films.

Golden Globes website.

Annette Bening Being Julia Best ActressAnnette Bening in 'Being Julia': Best Actress Oscar contender.

Annette Bening: Best Actress Oscar favorite?

All bets are on! Well, maybe only a few. In any case, according to the website readabet.com, Annette Bening – at 5/4 – is the odds-on favorite for the 2005 Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as an actressy actress in István Szabó's Being Julia. At 13/10, Imelda Staunton comes in second. Little known internationally, Staunton has suddenly become a major Best Actress Oscar contender following her tour de force in Mike Leigh's Vera Drake, in which she plays the cuddliest little abortionist of the 1950s.

Other top 2005 Best Actress Oscar contenders listed at readabet.com are Laura Linney for Bill Condon's Kinsey – Linney is actually a supporting player, but never mind – Julia Roberts for Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Twelve, and Gwyneth Paltrow for John Madden's Proof.

One can only wonder if the bettors have actually bothered checking out – or at least getting themselves informed about – the movies in question. Julia Roberts in Ocean's Twelve? But then again, Roberts did take home the 2000 Best Actress Oscar for Soderbergh's ludicrous Erin Brockovich, so anything's possible.

Annette Bening has been nominated for two previous Academy Awards:

2005 Cecil B. DeMille Award goes to Robin Williams

Five-time Golden Globe winner Robin Williams will be handed the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globes ceremony on Jan. 16, '05.

Apart from a bit role in I. Robert Levy's little seen 1977 comedy Can I Do It 'Till I Need Glasses?, Williams' first feature film appearance was in Robert Altman's 1980 critical and box office dud Popeye, featuring him in the title role. (Shelley Duvall played Olive Oyl in the cartoonish musical.)

Robin Williams' Golden Globe wins were:

  • Best Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy for Mork & Mindy (1978).
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Barry Levinson's Good Morning, Vietnam (1987).
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King (1991).
  • Best Actor in a Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for Chris Columbus' Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).
  • A Special Golden Globe for his voice performance in the Walt Disney Studios' hit Aladdin (1992).
Patty DukePatty Duke.

More Nov. 2004 news: Oscar winner Patty Duke heart bypass surgery, Antarctica's first movie theater

  • Academy Award winner Patty Duke, 57, underwent heart bypass surgery on Nov. 3. Duke took home the 1962 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Helen Keller, opposite Best Actress winner Anne Bancroft as Anne Sullivan, in Arthur Penn's The Miracle Worker.
  • Hector Babenco's 2003 Brazilian prison movie Carandiru will become a television series on Brazil's Globo Network. Babenco's HB Filmes will produce the first 10 episodes of the series, which is supposed to air in spring 2005. According to Variety, Carandiru was Brazil's biggest box office hit in 14 years.
  • Omagh was voted Best Picture at the 2004 Irish Film Awards, held in Dublin. This retelling of the bloodiest IRA bombing ever stars Gerard McSorley, who was selected as the year's Best Irish Actor (or Best Actor in an Irish Film).
  • French-born composer Michel Colombier, who scored more than 100 motion pictures and television productions, died on Nov. 14 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County. Among the movies featuring Colombier's music are Jean-Pierre Melville's Dirty Money / Un Flic, Albert Magnoli's Purple Rain, and Taylor Hackford's Against All Odds and White Nights. Michel Colombier was 65.
  • Argentina will open the first movie theatre ever in Antarctica. The Argentine Cinema Institute and the country's Foreign Ministry have signed a cooperation agreement to build a 50-seat movie house on the 25 de Mayo Island. The complex will be located in the vicinity of scientific bases from Argentina, Chile, South Korea, Poland, Russia, China, Uruguay, and Brazil. Showings will be restricted to Argentinian films, which have enjoyed a resurgence in the last few years. The Spanish-language movies will have English subtitles. Source: Pravda.

 

Best Actress Oscar contender Annette Bening Being Julia image: Sony Pictures Classics.

Patty Duke image via the Patty Duke Online Center for Mental Wellness website.


         
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