Iraq War & Corporate Downsizing Top WGA Awards + Stark German Drama Is Surprise ASC Winner

by S. Montgomery
Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker
Jeremy Renner in Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker.

'The Hurt Locker,' 'Up in the Air': WGA Awards

The Writers Guild of America came up with some pretty shocking choices at their 2010 awards held this evening: Mark Boal's The Hurt Locker (directed by Kathryn Bigelow) for best original screenplay, Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner's Up in the Air (directed by Reitman) for best adapted screenplay, and Mark Monroe's The Cove (directed by Louie Psihoyos) for best documentary screenplay. Okay, so maybe those weren't exactly shocking choices – unless you see them as shocking in their utter predictability.

According to one tweet by Thompson on Hollywood's Anne Thompson, Mark Boal, a journalist who spent time with the US military's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team in Baghdad in 2004, thanked The Hurt Locker's Kathryn Bigelow “for believing in an unpopular project about an unpopular war.” The WGA win marked the third major guild victory for the Iraq War drama, following Bigelow's historic Directors Guild win (first woman to get the award) and the film's unexpected Producers Guild victory over James Cameron's blockbuster Avatar.

Other WGA winners included Modern Family in the new series category, Georgia O'Keefe for the longform television (adapted) and Taking Chance for longform television (original). Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart tied in the comedy-variety category. Honorary awards went to Barry Levinson, Larry David, Stan Berkowitz, Anthony Peckham, and Carl Gottlieb.

Expect Reitman and Turner to win the best adapted screenplay Oscar as well, especially since their movie has little chance of getting the Best Picture award – or any other major or minor award on March 7, for that matter. Mark Boal's fate at the Oscars is iffier, for he'll be competing against Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. Since Tarantino isn't a WGA member, his World War II revenge fantasy couldn't be considered for the award.

Photos: The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment); Up in the Air (Dale Robinette / Paramount)

'The White Ribbon' Surprise Winner: Cinematographers Award

A good surprise at the American Society of Cinematographers awards ceremony held Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles: Christian Berger won the ASC Award for Best Cinematography for his work on a “small” black-and-white foreign-language film, Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon. Berger's competitors were in the running for movies with a much higher profile: Barry Ackroyd for The Hurt Locker, Mauro Fiore for Avatar, Robert Richardson for Inglourious Basterds, and Dion Beebe for Nine.

Berger's win marked the first time a foreign-language feature film won the ASC Award. The White Ribbon is also the second black-and-white movie to win in the last ten years, following the Roger Deakins-shot The Man Who Wasn't There in 2002. Previously, three US critics' groups had handed Berger the Best Cinematography Award for The White Ribbon: the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and the National Society of Film Critics.

The White Ribbon, about strange occurrences taking place in a small German town shortly before the outbreak of World War I, is the favorite to win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar – though when it comes to the voters in that category, one never knows. Also, Jacques Audiard's widely acclaimed A Prophet, which swept the French Academy's Cesar Awards earlier this evening, may pull an upset win. Audiard's prison drama has already won the London Film Critics' Best Picture Award and the British Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Also, don't expect The White Ribbon to win the Best Cinematography Oscar. Stranger things have happened, but the Academy voters tend to take the mainstream route when picking their winners. The Hurt Locker may have been a box office flop, but it's in no way an “arthouse” production. The White Ribbon has “arthouse” written all over it.

Another ASC Awards first: along with the Austrian-born Berger, two other cinematographers not born in the US took home the ASC Award, Canadian Alar Kivilo in the television movie/miniseries category for Taking Chance and Icelandic-born Eagle Egilsson in the episodic category for the “Venice Kings” episode of Dark Blue.

Additionally, Caleb Deschanel was presented the ASC Lifetime Achievement Award by his daughters, actresses Zooey Deschanel and Emily Deschanel. Deschanel earned Oscar nominations for The Right Stuff, The Natural, Fly Away Home, The Patriot, and The Passion of the Christ. (But not for his stunning work on The Black Stallion.)

Other ASC winners were Morgan Freeman, who was given the Board of Governors Award; British cinematographer Chris Menges, presented with the ASC International Award; John C. Flinn III, the recipient of the Career Achievement in Television Award; and Sol Negrin, who received the ASC Presidents Award.

The ASC Richard Moore Student Heritage Awards went to graduate student Benji Bakshi of the American Film Institute and to undergrad Garrett Shannon from Loyola Marymount University.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

'The Young Victoria,' 'Crazy Heart': Costume Designers Guild Winners

The Young Victoria, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and Crazy Heart were the winners at the 2010 Costume Designers Guild Awards held Thursday night at a ceremony hosted by Parker Posey at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Sandy Powell won for The Young Victoria in the period film category, repeating her BAFTA feat this past weekend, and also accepted the Lacoste Career Achievement in Film Award. Powell is now the clear favorite to win the 2010 Oscar for Best Costume Design. The Young Victoria star Emily Blunt, for her part, was handed the Swarovski Award.

Monique Prudhomme won for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in the fantasy film category, while Doug Hall was the winner for Crazy Heart in the contemporary film category. The television winners were Mad Men (Janie Bryant), Glee (Lou Eyrich), and Grey Gardens (Catherine Marie Thomas).

Other honorary award recipients were Nine director Rob Marshall, who received the Distinguished Collaborator Award; designer Michael Travis, who was given the Career Achievement in Television Award; and the late designer Robert Turturice, who was inducted into the Costume Designers Guild's Hall of Fame.

'The Hurt Locker' Wins Best Sound Mixing Award

Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker, the favorite to take home this year's Best Picture Oscar (despite the ongoing e-mail scandal), won for outstanding achievement in sound mixing in 2009 at the Cinema Audio Society's CAS Awards held at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Production mixer Ray Beckett and re-recording mixer Paul J. Ottosson were the award recipients.

The other feature-film nominees were James Cameron's Avatar, Neill Blomkamp's District 9, J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, and Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This represents one more “technical” Guild award that Avatar has lost this season. Also this evening, Christian Berger won the American Society of Cinematographers Award for his work on Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon. Earlier this month, The Hurt Locker won the Eddie Award from the American Cinema Editors. A few days ago, the Costume Designers Guild Award in the fantasy film category went to The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Avatar did, however, win two awards from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, which hands out awards for sound editing (instead of sound mixing), and came out on top in the Art Directors Guild Awards' fantasy film category.

Grey Gardens, which stars Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore, was the CAS winner in the television movie/miniseries category. The CAS recipients were production mixer Henry Embry and re-recording mixer Rick Ash.

Other television winners were the Mad Men episode “Guy Walks into an Advertising Agency” in the TV series category and the “Stay Focused or Die” episode of Deadliest Catch in the TV, variety or music category.

Additionally, Coraline director Henry Selick was presented the CAS Filmmaker Award, while 14-time Oscar-nominee and two-time winner Randy Thom was handed the CAS Career Achievement Award. Thom's Oscar wins were for The Right Stuff (1983, Best Sound) and The Incredibles (2004, Best Sound Editing). Manfred N. Klemme received the CAS President's Award.

Barbra Streisand & Bradley Cooper In, Sacha Baron Cohen Out: Oscar Presenters

March 4 update

Oscar nominees Crazy Heart's Jeff Bridges, The Blind Side's Sandra Bullock, Invictus' Matt Damon (above), Up in the Air's Anna Kendrick, An Education's Carey Mulligan and Inglourious Basterds' Quentin Tarantino will be presenters at the 2010 Academy Awards.

Jeff Bridges received his fifth Oscar nomination for his lead performance in Crazy Heart. He'd previously earned a Best Actor nomination for Starman (1984) and Best Supporting Actor nominations for The Last Picture Show (1971), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) and The Contender (2000).

Sandra Bullock, Carey Mulligan and Anna Kendrick are first-time nominees, Bullock and Mulligan in the Best Actress category for The Blind Side and An Education, respectively, and Kendrick for her supporting role in Up in the Air. All three films are also in the running for Best Picture.

Matt Damon's supporting actor nomination for Invictus is his third. In 1997 he shared the Best Original Screenplay Oscar with Ben Affleck for Good Will Hunting, for which Damon was nominated as Best Actor.

Tarantino's nominations for writing and directing Inglourious Basterds are his third and fourth. In 1994 he was nominated for writing and directing Pulp Fiction, winning the Oscar for Original Screenplay. Inglourious Basterds is also a Best Picture contender.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, it'll be televised live by ABC.

Photo: Invictus (Keith Bernstein / Warner Bros.)

March 3 update

According to New York magazine's Vulture blog, Sacha Baron Cohen has been axed from the Oscar telecast because the Borat/Brüno performer who once landed on Eminem's lap was supposed to have appeared in a sketch with Ben Stiller that might have offended Best Director nominee James Cameron. The Avatar filmmaker has a reputation of being short tempered, and his blockbusting sci-fi epic is in the running for nine Oscars.

“An insider” told Vulture that Oscarcast co-producer Bill Mechanic feared that the Baron Cohen-Stiller skit might leave Cameron so incensed that “he might even walk out of the Oscar broadcast on live TV.”

In the skit, Baron Cohen was to show up onstage “as a blue-skinned, female Na'vi, with Stiller translating 'her' interplanetary speech. As the skit went on, though, it would become clear that Stiller wasn't translating properly, because Cohen would grow ever more upset. At its climax, an infuriated Baron Cohen would pull open 'her' evening gown to reveal that s/he was pregnant, knocked up with Cameron's love child, and would go on to confront her baby daddy as if s/he were on Jerry Springer.”

Mechanic was head of 20th Century Fox when Cameron's expensive Titanic was being produced by the studio.

We've contacted the Academy, but haven't heard back from them on the issue.

Photo: Sacha Baron Cohen in Bruno (Universal)

Barbra Streisand (above in Funny Girl), Kathy Bates, and Charlize Theron – three former Best Actress winners – will join former Oscar nominees Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Queen Latifah and John Travolta as presenters at the 2010 Academy Awards, telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic have announced.

Kathy Bates won her Academy Award for Misery (1990). Barbra Streisand won a Best Actress Oscar in 1968 for Funny Girl (the other Best Actress Oscar that year went to Katharine Hepburn for The Lion in Winter) and in 1976 she and Paul Williams won for the Original Song Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born). In 2003, Charlize Theron received the Best Actress Oscar for Monster.

Robert Downey Jr earned Oscar nominations for his lead performance in Chaplin (1992) and his supporting role in Tropic Thunder (2008). Samuel L. Jackson and Queen Latifah received nominations for their supporting roles in Pulp Fiction (1994) and Chicago (2002), respectively. John Travolta earned Best Actor nominations for both Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Pulp Fiction (1994).

Photo: Columbia Pictures

The Bounty Hunter's Gerard Butler, The Hangover and The A-Team's Bradley Cooper, A Single Man's Tom Ford, Brokeback Mountain, Brothers, and Lovers and Other Drugs' Jake Gyllenhaal, Star Trek's Chris Pine, Henry's Crime and The Day the Earth Stood Still's Keanu Reeves, The Proposal, Buried and Green Lantern's Ryan Reynolds, and The Debt and Avatar's Sam Worthington (above) will be presenters at the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony.

Butler, Cooper, Ford, Pine, Reynolds and Worthington will be making their debut appearance on the Oscar show. This will be Gyllenhaal's third appearance and Reeves' fifth.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, it'll be televised live by ABC.

Photo: Avatar (WETA / 20th Century Fox)

Robert Osborne, Turner Classic Movies host, The Hollywood Reporter columnist, and film historian, will be greeting Academy Award nominees and presenters on Oscar's red carpet on Sunday, March 7. Red carpet guest arrivals are expected to begin at approximately 3 p.m. PT and conclude at the start of the Oscar show at 5 p.m. PT.

This year will be Osborne's fifth stint on the red carpet for the Academy. According to the Academy's press release, Osborne's “red carpet celebrity chats will be audible to the other arriving guests as well as to the bleacher fans on the opposite side of the carpet.” Osborne is the author of the Academy's 80 Years of the Oscar, the official history of the Academy Awards. Additionally, he hosts Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival in Athens, Georgia.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, it'll be televised live by ABC.

Pedro Almodóvar (above, with Penélope Cruz), Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Demi Moore, and Zoe Saldana will be presenters at the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony.

Almodóvar, whose Broken Embraces was snubbed by Spain – their committee opted to submit Fernando Trueba's The Dancer and the Thief instead – will probably be presenting the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, which may go to Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon. Unless, of course, the relatively few and generally older voters in that category decide to pick A Prophet (less likely; too tough) or The Secret in Their Eyes.

Almodóvar made his first appearance in years at the 2010 Spanish Academy Awards – the Goyas – earlier this year. He was welcomed by a long standing ovation.

Tina Fey & Sacha Baron Cohen, Jason Bateman & Steve Carell: Oscar Presenters

Sacha Baron Cohen, Jason Bateman, Steve Carell, Tina Fey and Ben Stiller will be presenters at the 2010 Academy Awards telecast, the Academy has announced. This will be the debut appearances for Bateman and Baron Cohen – who had been rumored as a possible Oscarcast host. Stiller has appeared on five previous Oscar telecasts, in one of which dressed as a frog. Or perhaps it was a squid. Carell has presented three times and Fey made her debut last year, stealing the show with the assistance of co-presenter Steve Martin, one of this year's co-hosts.

Sacha Baron Cohen's first hit was the 2003 HBO series Da Ali G Show, in which he played the title character. His film credits include Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, Sweeney Todd The Barber of Fleet Street and Brüno.

Jason Bateman has a supporting role in the Oscar-nominated film Up in the Air. His other film credits include Juno, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hancock and State of Play. He previously starred in the comedy cult hit Arrested Development, which was so quirky and witty it didn't last long on American television.

Steve Carell will be seen next in Date Night and recently completed work on Despicable Me and Dinner for Schmucks. His other film credits include The 40 Year-Old Virgin, Evan Almighty, Dan in Real Life, Little Miss Sunshine, and Get Smart.

Tina Fey came to prominence as a regular on Saturday Night Live, doing spot-on impersonations of Republican vice president contender Sarah Palin. Fey currently stars in, produces and writes for 30 Rock. She will be seen next opposite Carell in Date Night. Her other film credits include Mean Girls and Baby Mama.

Ben Stiller recently completed work on Meet the Fockers Sequel, a follow-up to Meet the Fockers, one of the worst movies of the 21st century. His film credits include Empire of the Sun, Reality Bites, Flirting with Disaster, The Royal Tenenbaums, Night at the Museum and Tropic Thunder.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, it'll be televised live by ABC.

Playwright-turned-producer-director-actor and sometimes on-screen-drag-queen Tyler Perry (above in Madea Goes to Jail) will be a presenter at the 2010 Academy Awards. This will be Perry's first appearance on the show.

Tyler Perry wrote, produced and starred in the Darren Grant-directed the sleeper hit Diary of a Mad Black Woman in 2005. (I haven't watched the movie, so I don't know whether or not Perry played the mad black female diarist.) Perry's subsequent film credits include Madea's Family Reunion, Madea Goes to Jail, Daddy's Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married?, Meet the Browns, The Family That Preys and I Can Do Bad All by Myself. 

Why Did I Get Married Too? is scheduled to be released in April. Perry also created and directs two current television series, House of Payne and Meet the Browns.

The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the United States, it'll be televised live by ABC.

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1 comment

Katerine Lanius -

Charlize Theron is such a very very beautiful woman. She also has a flawless skin and i love her acting skills.


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