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Home Movie News Amy Adams Near Oscar Record & Melissa Leo Makes Academy Award History (of Sorts)

Amy Adams Near Oscar Record & Melissa Leo Makes Academy Award History (of Sorts)

22 minutes read

Amy Adams Oscar
Amy Adams: The Oscars’ Red Carpet.

Amy Adams Oscar photos

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Amy Adams is pictured at the 2011 Oscar ceremony, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in the fast-thumping heart of Hollywood.

Adams was – for the third time in six years (more info below) – a Best Supporting Actress nominee. This time around, she was shortlisted for her performance in David O. Russell’s The Fighter, a generally well-regarded and surprisingly successful (in the U.S.) boxing drama that earned fellow supporting actress Melissa Leo the evening’s Oscar.

Another The Fighter actor, Christian Bale (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight), took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar statuette. In fact, the film’s only major cast member left without an Oscar nomination in the acting categories was lead Mark Wahlberg (pictured with wife) – though he did get in as one of the producers of the Best Picture nominee.

The 2011 Best Picture winner was Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech. Distributed by The Weinstein Company in the United States, the British-made period drama stars Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and veteran Claire Bloom (Look Back in Anger, The Chapman Report).

Amy Adams photo: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.

Amy Adams Oscar
Amy Adams Oscar blue dress.

Amy Adams Oscar nominations

Once again, seen above is Amy Adams in her blue dress on the 2011 Oscars’ Red Carpet.

As mentioned earlier in this article, Adams’ Best Supporting Actress nod for The Fighter was her third. See below the list of Amy Adams Oscar nominations. (Updated in May 2015.)

  • Best Supporting Actress for Junebug (2005).
    Winner: Rachel Weisz for The Constant Gardener.
  • Best Supporting Actress for Doubt (2008).
    Winner: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
  • Best Supporting Actress for The Fighter (2010)
    Winner: Melissa Leo for The Fighter.
  • Best Supporting Actress for The Master (2012)
    Winner: Anne Hathaway for Les Misérables.
  • Best Supporting Actress for American Hustle (2013)
    Winner: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine.

A bit of trivia: Amy Adams has lost twice to (non-American) performers in Woody Allen movies, Penélope Cruz and Cate Blanchett.

Check out: Amy Adams’ Oscar nomination near-record in Best Supporting Actress category.

Besides The Fighter, The Master, and American Hustle, Amy Adams film releases of the early 2010s include James Bobin’s The Muppets, with Jason Segel; Walter SallesOn the Road, starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, and Kristen Stewart; Robert Lorenz’s Trouble with the Curve, opposite Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake; and, as Lois Lane, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, opposite Henry Cavill.

Photo of Amy Adams in blue dress on the Oscars’ Red Carpet: Richard Harbaugh | © A.M.P.A.S.

Melissa Leo, Oscar
Melissa Leo: Oscar winner in the Best Supporting Actress category.

Melissa Leo: Oscar history of sorts

Backstage, when one journalist asked Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Melissa Leo how it felt to drop “what I think is the first ever F bomb in the Oscars,” she apologized “to anyone that [such words] offend. There’s a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular.” Leo then added, “I really don’t mean to offend, and probably a very inappropriate place to use that particular word in particular.”

Anyhow, thanks to her expletive-colored speech Melissa Leo now has a particular place in Oscar history. She joins the likes of Best Actress Greer Garson (Mrs. Miniver, 1942), deliverer of the most long-winded Thank You Oscar speech on record, and Michael Moore, the director of Best Documentary Feature winner Bowling for Columbine (2002), whose speech was booed by some who felt offended by the filmmaker daring to speak the truth about the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq as it was taking place.

Kirk Douglas’ Best Supporting Actress presentation: Longest on record?

Veteran Kirk Douglas (Lust for Life, Spartacus) quite possibly deserves his own particular place in Academy Award history as well: for coming up with the most stretched-out announcement of an Oscar winner on record, teasing the Best Supporting Actress nominees with several “and now…” declarations.

When asked how she felt “when Kirk Douglas kept stretching and stretching and stretching” his presentation of the award, Leo claimed that he “was doing us all this huge favor, because the longer he strung it out, the calmer I got to be.”

That gave her time to take a couple of glimpses at competitor and fellow The Fighter actress Amy Adams, and to appreciate Douglas’ performance, which had previously included his sparring over a cane with Omar Sharif Jr. (Grandson of the Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago actor.) Leo told journalists that Douglas “strung it out in a rather delightful way for me and actually allowed a heart rate that had gotten fairly high as the category was announced to settle a little bit and wait and see what the envelope said.”

But then again, despite all her previous wins this awards season, Leo did register shock when her name was announced. And a few moments later, she was bleeped – or rather, muted – when she used the word “fucking.” In other words, you couldn’t hear it, but you could “see” it – not sure which should be considered more indecent. Either way, perhaps Kirk Douglas was to blame?

Filming in Lowell, Massachusetts

About filming The Fighter in Lowell, Massachusetts, Melissa Leo affirmed that “it was an extraordinarily wonderful experience and I think a lot of what makes The Fighter such an incredible film is that we were there in Lowell with the actual people [seen in the movie …] And we were right there in the town, hearing the gossip and hearing the language and the dialect and all, and it was very, very helpful to the process.”

Regarding her real-life character, Alice Ward, Leo remarked that “I could not have played her without having met her. I wouldn’t have even known where to begin in many ways.” She added that David O. Russell and costume designer Mark Bridges were responsible for “the external part of Alice.”

Melissa Leo Oscar ad
Melissa Leo: Oscar ads that purportedly raised some eyebrows.

‘Controversial’ Oscar campaign ad

And finally, when one journalist asked Melissa Leo whether she “felt vindicated about the campaign now that you’ve won?” she replied that “there’s nothing to vindicate, and there was no campaign. It was a photograph in a magazine; I wanted a pretty photograph in a magazine, that’s all it was.”

The question referred to For Your Consideration (or rather, “Consider…”) ads displaying a glamorous Melissa Leo, who may or may not have paid for them. The ads were featured in several trade publications not long after the Oscar nominations were announced, generating some controversy – though it’s unclear how much of the to-do was media-engendered.

The Fighter was Leo’s second Oscar nomination. Two years ago, she was shortlisted in the Best Actress category for Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River. She lost to Kate Winslet, playing an illiterate former Nazi sympathizer in Stephen Daldry’s The Reader.

Melissa Leo movies

Besides The Fighter, which also features Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale, and Frozen River, in which she played opposite Misty Upham, Melissa Leo’s film credits include:

Photo of Melissa Leo holding her Best Supporting Actress Oscar: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.

Melissa Leo Oscar backstage Q&A text: Courtesy © A.M.P.A.S.

Melissa Leo Oscar ad “campaign” via CBC.

Omar Sharif Jr Kirk Douglas Melissa Leo Oscar history maker
Omar Sharif Jr., Kirk Douglas and Oscar history maker (of sorts) Melissa Leo.

Omar Sharif Jr. & Kirk Douglas spar, Melissa Leo makes Oscar history of sorts

Standing next to veteran Kirk Douglas at the 2011 Academy Awards is Omar Sharif Jr. – grandson of Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago star Omar Sharif and an Oscar ceremony supporting player, at one point humorously sparring with Douglas over a cane. Douglas then stole the spotlight at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, taking his time to name the eventual winner of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar: Melissa Leo for David O. Russell’s The Fighter.

Then it was Melissa Leo’s turn to steal the spotlight by making Academy Award history: she is the first person to (audibly) use the word “fuck” – in any form (past, present, future, noun, adjective, verb, etc.) – while onstage at an Oscar show. Well, at the very least Leo’s is the first such expletive to have gone on record.

Kirk Douglas Oscar nominations

Kirk Douglas never made a movie with Omar Sharif Jr.’s grandfather, but he did receive three Best Actor nominations:

  • As an ambitious boxer in Mark Robson’s Champion (1949).
    Winner: Broderick Crawford for Robert Rossen’s All the King’s Men.
  • As a ruthless movie producer in Vincente Minnelli’s The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).
    Winner: Gary Cooper for Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon.
  • As Vincent Van Gogh in Minnelli’s Lust for Life (1956).
    Winner: Yul Brynner for Walter Lang’s The King and I.

The 83rd Academy Awards ceremony was held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles.

March ’12 update: About a year after this photo was taken, Omar Sharif Jr. became news fodder after publicly coming out as a gay (Canadian-born, internationally raised) Egyptian man whose mother happens to be Jewish.

Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Melissa Leo, Kirk Douglas, and Omar Sharif Jr. photo: Michael Yada / © A.M.P.A.S.

Melissa Leo Oscar winner
Melissa Leo Oscar winner: Academy Awards’ Red Carpet.

Melissa Leo Oscar winner

Donning a white dress, Melissa Leo is seen above on the 2011 Oscars’ Red Carpet. The Best Supporting Actress winner’s competitors were the following:

“Controversial” Oscar ads or no, Melissa Leo’s victory was no surprise, as she had already taken home a number of Best Supporting Actress awards this season. The surprise was the fact that on television her thank you speech was briefly muted as a result of her choice of words – as mentioned earlier in this post.

Two years ago, Leo was shortlisted in the Best Actress category for Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River, costarring Misty Upham. She lost to Kate Winslet in Stephen Daldry’s The Reader.

To date, Melissa Leo has never made a movie with either Omar Sharif Jr.’s grandfather or with Best Supporting Actress Oscar presenter Kirk Douglas.

Oscar ceremony: A couple of surprises, little humor

So far there have been a couple of surprises at the 2011 Academy Awards:

  • Tim Burton’s lavish Alice in Wonderland won for Best Art Direction – instead of either Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech or Christopher Nolan’s Inception.
  • Inception cinematographer Wally Pfister, not the True Grit veteran Roger Deakins, took home the Best Cinematography Oscar.

Opening movie clips featuring 2011 Oscar hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway went smoothly, but “funny” wasn’t quite the word for them.

Melissa Leo Oscar Red Carpet photo: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.

Yorgos Lanthimos Ariane Labed Aggeliki Papoulia
Yorgos Lanthimos, Ariane Labed (left) and Aggeliki Papoulia: Looking dead serious on Oscars’ Red Carpet.

Ariane Labed, Yorgos Lanthimos and Aggeliki Papoulia: ‘Dogtooth’ contingent on Oscars’ Red Carpet

Yorgos Lanthimos, whose Dogtooth was shortlisted in the 2011 Oscars’ Best Foreign Language Film category, arrives with his wife, 2010 Venice Film Festival Best Actress winner Ariane Labed (for Attenberg), and Dogtooth actress Aggeliki Papoulia at the 83rd Academy Awards.

The Greek Dogtooth lost to Susanne Bier’s Danish drama In a Better World.

Although widely acclaimed, Dogtooth was considered an unlikely Oscar contender because of its “unusualness.” This year’s three other Best Foreign Language Film nominees were:

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful (Mexico).
  • Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies (Canada).
  • Rachid Bouchareb’s Outside the Law (Algeria).

Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia, and Yorgos Lanthimos photo: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.

Tom Hooper Kathryn Bigelow
Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow, both Best Director Oscar winners, at the Academy Awards.

Tom Hooper Oscar acceptance speech for ‘The King’s Speech’

Tom Hooper was the Best Director Oscar winner at the 2011 Academy Awards ceremony held at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday evening, Feb. 27. His film, the British period drama The King’s Speech, was also voted the Best Picture of the year.

The King’s Speech stars Best Actor Oscar winner Colin Firth and supporting nominees Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. Also in the cast is veteran Claire Bloom (Richard III, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold).

After accepting the Oscar statuette from last year’s Best Director winner Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), Tom Hooper thanked his “wonderful actors,” singling out the “triangle of man love which is Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, and me.”

He also thanked producers Iain Canning, Gareth Unwin, and Emile Sherman (see Red Carpet photo below), along with screenwriter David Seidler, “whose extraordinary journey from childhood stammerer to the stage of the Kodak I find so profoundly moving.”

Below is a brief excerpt from Tom Hooper’s Oscar acceptance speech, in which he extols the important role moms – and serendipity – play in people’s lives.

… I know there’s been a lot of thanking of moms, but this is slightly different because my mom in 2007 was invited by some Australian friends – she’s Australian in London – to a fringe theater play reading of an unproduced, unrehearsed play called The King’s Speech.

Now she’s never been invited to a play reading in her entire life before, she almost didn’t go because it didn’t sound exactly promising, but thank God she did because she came home, rang me up and said, “Tom, I think I found your next film.”

So with this tonight, I honor you. And the moral of the story is listen to your mother.

Tom Hooper’s fellow Best Director Oscar nominees – it’s unclear whether or not they listened to their moms – were:

Tom Hooper Oscar acceptance speech text: Courtesy © A.M.P.A.S.

Best Director Oscar winners Tom Hooper and Kathryn Bigelow photo: Rick Slayer / © A.M.P.A.S.

Tom Hooper director Oscar Red Carpet
Tom Hooper on the Oscars’ Red Carpet.

Tom Hooper is seen above on the 83rd Academy Awards’ Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Hooper left that evening carrying a Best Director Oscar statuette for The King’s Speech.

This was Tom Hooper’s first Best Director Academy Award nomination. Earlier this year, he also took home the Directors Guild of America Award. Only six times since 1950 has the DGA winner failed to also win an Oscar.

Tom Hooper photo: Darren Decker | © A.M.P.A.S.

The King's Speech producer Iain Canning
The King’s Speech producers Gareth Unwin, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman on the Oscars’ Red Carpet.

Iain Canning, Gareth Unwin and Emile Sherman: ‘The King’s Speech’ Oscar-winning producers

Producers Gareth Unwin, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman, whose The King’s Speech won the 2011 Best Picture Oscar, are pictured above arriving at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony.

Directed by Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech wasn’t considered a likely Oscar winner – David Fincher’s The Social Network was the U.S. critics’ favorite – until it received top honors at the 2011 Screen Actors Guild, Producers Guild, and Directors Guild ceremonies.

The King’s Speech also won Oscars for Best Director, Best Actor (Colin Firth), and Best Original Screenplay (David Seidler).

The year’s most nominated film, The King’s Speech had been shortlisted in 12 categories.

Oscar-savvy The Weinstein Company distributed the film in the U.S. Both Harvey Weinstein and Bob Weinstein were listed as co-producers.

The King’s Speech producers Gareth Unwin, Emile Sherman, and Iain Canning photo: Ivan Vejar / © A.M.P.A.S.

David O. Russell makes fashion and facial statement at Oscars
David O. Russell makes fashion statement on the Oscars’ Red Carpet.

David O. Russell: Fashion statement and Oscar nomination

David O. Russell, a Best Director Oscar nominee for the surprisingly successful boxing drama The Fighter, makes both a fashion and a facial statement upon his arrival with guests at the 2011 Academy Awards held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. This was his first Best Director nomination.

About five years ago, David O. Russell made headlines thanks to leaked videos showing him having a volcanic, expletive-filled confrontation with Lily Tomlin on the set of I Heart Huckabees – an ambitious all-star comedy that turned out to be much less successful than the outrageous behind-the-scenes video clips. (Check out Paul Rudd in a parody of the I Heart Huckabees blow-up.)

Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees alumnus Mark Wahlberg has said that he had to fight with Paramount executives to have David O. Russell direct The Fighter, which to date has grossed more than $90 million at the domestic box office. Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Adams, and supporting category winners Melissa Leo and Christian Bale co-star.

The year’s Best Director Oscar winner, as expected, was 2011 DGA Award winner Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech, starring Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, and veteran Claire Bloom (The Chapman Report, A Doll’s House).

David O. Russell made his feature film debut in 1994, with the dramatic comedy Spanking the Monkey, starring Jeremy Davies.

Anne Hathaway, Gwyneth Paltrow posts

Update: An internal server glitch may have accidentally redirected you from an external website to this David O. Russell Oscar post. If so, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Alt Film Guide in one (or more?) of the posts below:

  • Image of Oscars host Anne Hathaway & Lambasted Show Among Least Watched This Century.
  • Image of Gwyneth Paltrow Oscar Dress.
  • Images of Zachary Levi and Mandy Moore: Oscar Red Carpet Photos.

Photo of David O. Russell making a fashion statement on the Oscars Red Carpet: Ivan Vejar / © A.M.P.A.S.

Darren Aronofsky Best Director Oscar nominee
Darren Aronofsky: Best Director Oscar nominee on the Red Carpet.

‘Black Swan’ director Darren Aronofsky

Darren Aronofsky, a Best Director Oscar nominee for the psychological thriller Black Swan, is pictured above on the 83rd Academy Awards’ Red Carpet just outside the Kodak Theatre. Aronofsky was a first-time Best Director nominee.

Starring eventual Best Actress winner Natalie Portman, Black Swan also features Mila Kunis (at one point touted as a likely Best Supporting Actress Oscar contender), Barbara Hershey (another top Best Supporting Actress contender earlier this awards season), Winona Ryder, Vincent Cassel, and Portman’s husband-to-be Benjamin Millepied.

Darren Aronofsky lost the Best Director Oscar to Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech. Their fellow competitors were:

  • David O. Russell for The Fighter.
  • David Fincher for The Social Network.
  • Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit.

Natalie Portman was the only Black Swan nominee to take home an Oscar statuette.

Darren Aronofsky movies

Below is a list of notable films directed by the Brooklyn-born (Feb. 12, 1969) Darren Aronofsky.*

  • Black Swan (2010).
    Cast: Natalie Portman. Mila Kunis. Barbara Hershey. Winona Ryder.
  • The Wrestler (2008).
    Cast: Mickey Rourke. Evan Rachel Wood. Marisa Tomei.
  • The Fountain (2006).
    Cast: Hugh Jackman. Rachel Weisz. Ellen Burstyn.
  • Requiem for a Dream (2000).
    Cast: Ellen Burstyn. Jared Leto. Jennifer Connelly.
  • Pi (1998).
    Cast: Sean Gullette. Mark Margolis. Ben Shenkman.

Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky photo: Richard Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.

Helen Mirren Oscar dressHelen Mirren Oscar dress parade.

Helen Mirren fashion show on the Oscars’ Red Carpet

On the Oscar Red Carpet, even multiple award-winning film, stage, and television veteran actresses play the role of fashion show models. Pictured above is Oscar, Bafta, SAG Award, etc. winner Helen Mirren, dressed in elegant, old-fashioned gray, as she arrives at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony.

The British Mirren and her equally British Arthur co-star Russell Brand – whose moderately successful comedy Get Him to the Greek came out in 2010 – introduced the winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.* That happened to be Susanne Bier’s Danish drama In a Better World.

Helen Mirren’s Best Actress Academy Award was for Stephen Frears’ The Queen (2006), in which she plays Queen Elizabeth II. Additionally, Mirren was nominated as:

  • Best Supporting Actress for Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of King George (1994).
    Winner: Dianne Wiest in Woody Allen’s Bullets Over Broadway.
  • Best Supporting Actress for Robert Altman’s all-star mystery-comedy Gosford Park (2001).
    Winner: Jennifer Connelly in Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind.
  • Best Actress for Michael Hoffman’s The Last Station (2009).
    Winner: Sandra Bullock in John Lee Hancock’s The Blind Side.

Last year, Helen Mirren was kept busy on the big screen. Her 2010 movies include:

‘Arthur’ 1981

* The original Arthur, a sleeper blockbuster back in 1981, starred Best Actor Oscar nominee Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli, Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner John Gielgud, and veteran Geraldine Fitzgerald (Wuthering Heights, Dark Victory).

Helen Mirren Oscar dress photo: Ivan Vejar / © A.M.P.A.S.

Kathryn Bigelow and Mark BoalKathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal on the Oscars’ Red Carpet.

‘The Hurt Locker’ director and screenwriter: Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal

Pictured above are Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal on the 83rd Academy Awards’ Red Carpet, just outside the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Kathryn Bigelow won last year’s Best Director Oscar for the Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, which starred one of this year’s Best Supporting Actor nominees, Jeremy Renner (for Ben Affleck’s The Town). Mark Boal was The Hurt Locker‘s Oscar-winning screenwriter. Additionally, as two of the film’s producers, both Bigelow and Boal took home Best Picture Oscar statuettes.

After being introduced by two-time Best Actress winner Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby), Kathryn Bigelow presented this year’s Best Director Oscar to Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech, a sleeper hit starring Best Actor winner Colin Firth, Best Supporting Actor nominee Geoffrey Rush, Best Supporting Actress nominee Helena Bonham Carter, and veteran Claire Bloom (Charles Chaplin’s Limelight, Robert Wise’s The Haunting).

That was Tom Hooper’s first Best Director Academy Award nomination. Kathryn Bigelow was also a first-time nominee last year. Besides, she was the first woman to take home the Best Director Oscar – from the hands of Yentl and Prince of Tides star-filmmaker Barbra Streisand.

Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow photo: Richard Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) website.

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1 comment

Kyriakos Hizanidis -

I do not have any information as yet (if you do, please let me know) if Mr. Lanthimos added at last an acknowledgment in the honor of his (much senior) colleague Arturo Ripstein, the Mexican director whose the 1973 movie “el castillo de la pureza” inspired (actually was the basis scenario-wise and cinematographically) for his “dogtooth”. If not, the very fact he was not finally nominated, it could be a fortunate outcome. Imagine what could happen (in the case the “source of – not only -inspiration” for Mr. Lanthimos were kept in the dark) if the critics discovered later the movie is rather a remake of an almost 40 years old (and, to my opinion, better) Mexican movie!


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