Katharine Hepburn Oscars on display + chance to hold your own gold-plated naked bald man with a sword
In February 2007, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be displaying 50 brand new Oscars, four statuettes that belonged to record-breaker Katharine Hepburn, two Testimonial Awards, and one extra gold-plated naked bald man with a sword for visitors to hold while being photographed for posterity. The exhibition, named “Meet the Oscars, Los Angeles,” will take place between Feb. 9–24 on the third level of the Hollywood & Highland Center.
As per the Academy's press release, “Meet the Oscars, Los Angeles” will also include interactive “Oscar trivia” kiosks “where visitors can test their knowledge of Oscar winners, movie quotes and Academy Awards factoids.” (You can also test your Oscar knowledge – or lack thereof – here.)
Acting categories' record setter
Katharine Hepburn's four Oscars – a record in the acting categories – were for her performances in the following:
- Lowell Sherman's Morning Glory (for the period 1932—33), in which she plays an ambitious Broadway actress based on Tallulah Bankhead.
- Stanley Kramer's Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), as the open-minded, Bay Area mother of a young woman (Katharine Houghton) about to marry a black doctor (Sidney Poitier).
- Anthony Harvey's The Lion in Winter (1968), as Eleanor of Aquitaine. In a unique tie, Hepburn shared the Best Actress Oscar with Barbra Streisand for her portrayal of entertainer Fanny Brice in William Wyler's Funny Girl.
- Mark Rydell's On Golden Pond (1981), as the devoted wife of a grouchy old man (Henry Fonda) at odds with their daughter (Jane Fonda).
All four Hepburn wins were in the Best Actress category.
The two “Testimonial Awards” are the Honorary Academy Awards to be presented to veteran composer-conductor Ennio Morricone (Once Upon a Time in the West, Once Upon a Time in America) and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to be presented to former Paramount Pictures chairman Sherry Lansing, whose credits as a producer include Fatal Attraction (1987), The Accused (1988), and Indecent Proposal (1993).
Both are Oscar statuettes.
The other fifty (nameless) statuettes featured in the exhibition will be presented to winners at the 2007 Academy Awards ceremony next Feb. 25.
How heavy is an Oscar statuette?
In case you're planning on attending “Meet the Oscars, Los Angeles” and you've always dreamed of grabbing a naked bald man, etc., you're probably wondering, “How heavy is an Oscar statuette? Does one need to be in good shape before attempting to lift one of them?”
The simple answer is: no need to buff up.
Each Oscar statuette weighs an easily liftable 8½ pounds and stands 13½ inches tall. Handcrafted each year by R.S. Owens & Company in Chicago, they are made of the metal alloy britannia, and are plated in copper, nickel, silver, and 24-karat gold.
“Meet the Oscars, Los Angeles” will be open Sunday–Thursday from noon to 8 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturday, Feb. 24, the exhibition will remain open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Academy presents Oscar Shorts
In other Oscar 2007/Los Angeles area news, on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m., the Academy will present the program “Shorts!,” featuring this year's ten Academy Award nominees in the Animated and Live Action Short Film categories. The screening will be held at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.
Hosted by producer-director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentleman, Ray), an Oscar winner for the 1978 live-action short Teenage Father, “Shorts!” will feature onstage discussions with the nominated filmmakers (subject to availability). The screening films are the following:
Oscars' Best Animated Shorts
- The Danish Poet, dir.: Torill Kove.
A Danish poet travels to Norway to meet a celebrated writer.
- Lifted, dir.: Gary Rydstrom.
Alien abductor-in-training tries to get a sleeping farmer onto its spaceship.
- The Little Matchgirl, dir.: Roger Allers; prod.: Don Hahn.
Hans Christian Andersen's sad tale of the little girl and her matches.
- Maestro, dir.: Géza M. Tóth.
A singing bird gets ready for its grand performance.
- No Time for Nuts, dir.: Chris Renaud & Michael Thurmeier.
While trying to bury a nut during the Ice Age, Scrat discovers a time machine.
Oscars' Best Live Action Shorts
- Binta and the Great Idea / Binta y la gran idea, dir.: Javier Fesser; prod.: Luis Manso.
A seven-year-old African girl talks about her father, who has an idea he believes will change the world.
- Too Few of Us / Éramos Pocos, dir.: Borja Cobeaga.
After his wife leaves him, Joaquín (Ramón Barea) enlists the help of his son (Alejandro Tejerías) to get his soon-to-be-ex-mother-in-law (Mariví Bilbao) to help them keep house.
- Helmer & Son, dir.: Søren Pilmark; exec. prod.: Kim Magnusson.
A man goes to a rest home to deal with his father, who has locked himself up inside an armoire.
- The Saviour, dir.: Peter Templeman; prod.: Stuart Parkyn.
A Mormon evangelist (Thomas Campbell) finds himself in love with a married woman (Susan Prior). Of note, Nicholas Hammond (The Sound of Music, TV's The Amazing Spider-Man) plays a pastor.
- West Bank Story, dir.: Ari Sandel.
A West Side Story-inspired musical comedy set in the falafel stands of the West Bank.
As explained in the Academy's press release, free advance tickets to “Shorts!” are necessary to secure admission. Tickets will be available beginning Feb. 1 at the Academy's ticket office at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. There is a two-ticket per person limit. For ticket order information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org/events.
Feel-good comedy 'Little Miss Sunshine' tops Producers Guild Awards
More awards season news: directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris from a screenplay by Michael Arndt, the would-be offbeat family comedy Little Miss Sunshine was the surprise feature film winner at the 2007 Producers Guild Awards, announced on Jan. 20 at the Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.
Of note, Little Miss Sunshine has also been shortlisted for the Directors Guild Awards and for the Screen Actors Guild Awards in the Best Cast category. Cast members include: Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Abigail Breslin, Paul Dano, and two-time Best Actor Oscar nominee Alan Arkin (The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming, 1966; The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, 1968).
Five individuals – Marc Turtletaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger, and Ron Yerxa – were listed as the producers of Little Miss Sunshine. Since Academy rules allow a maximum of three producers per Best Picture nominee, only Friendly, Saraf, and Turtletaub have been shortlisted for the Oscars.
PGA Awards vs. Academy Awards
Now, how good are Little Miss Sunshine's Oscar chances?
Since its inception in 1989, only six PGA Award feature film winners have failed to take home the Best Picture Oscar. Two of these mismatches took place in the last two years. Here they are:
- 1992: The Crying Game (PGA) vs. Unforgiven (AA).
- 1995: Apollo 13 (PGA) vs. Braveheart (AA).
- 1998: Saving Private Ryan (PGA) vs. Shakespeare in Love (AA).
- 2001: Moulin Rouge! (PGA) vs. A Beautiful Mind (AA).
- 2004: The Aviator (PGA) vs. Million Dollar Baby (AA).
- 2005: Brokeback Mountain (PGA) vs. Crash (AA).
This year could well be the third time in a row that the Producers Guild and the Academy go their own way.
More PGA Award winners
Among this year's other PGA Award winners were:
- Best Animated Feature: Cars, produced by Darla K. Anderson, and directed by John Lasseter and (co-director) Joe Ranft. The voice cast includes Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, and Best Actor Oscar winner Paul Newman (The Color of Money, 1986).
- Best Long-Form Television: Elizabeth I, produced by Suzan Harrison, George Faber, Charles Pattinson, and Barney Riesz, and directed by Tom Hooper. In this Anglo-American production, Helen Mirren stars as the British queen, with Hugh Dancy and Jeremy Irons as two of the men in her life.
According to Variety, Al Gore gave a well-received speech at the presentation of the Stanley Kramer Award to the producers of the Davis Guggenheim-directed global warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth, starring the former U.S. vice president.
See below a partial list of this year's PGA Award winners and nominees.
Producers Guild of America Awards: Winners & nominations (partial list)
Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Ice Age: The Meltdown.
* Elizabeth I.
High School Musical.
Bavarian Film Awards: Veterans Monica Bleibtreu & Katharina Thalbach among winners
Further awards season news: the winners of the 2007 Bavarian Film Awards – the most important German film prize after the German Academy's Lolas – were announced on Jan. 19 at a gala ceremony held at the Prinzregententheater in Munich.
The Porcelain Pierrot (worth €200,000) for Best Film – or Best Production – went to a local effort, Marcus H. Rosenmüller's Grave Decisions / Wer früher stirbt, ist länger tot (literally, “Whoever dies earlier, will remain dead longer”), which also earned the newcomer the Best Young Director prize. Spoken in one of the local Bavarian dialects, Grave Decisions became a surprise hit in Germany, scoring more than €10 million at the box office.
The dark comedy follows an 11-year-old Catholic Bavarian boy (Markus Krojer) who believes he has committed too many sins – including the death of his mother (not really his fault) – to be allowed into heaven. What to do?
Well, immortality – i.e., not to die at all and thus not having to deal with the heaven issue – would be a solution. Strategic plans include seducing his teacher (Jule Ronstedt), plotting to murder her husband, and becoming a rock star.
Ursula Woerner, Annie Brunner, and Andreas Richter produced Grave Decisions.
Best Director Tom Tykwer + Best Actress tie
The Bavarian Film Awards' Best Director was Tom Tykwer for Perfume: The Story of a Murderer / Das Parfum – Die Geschichte eines Mörders, the English-language film adaptation of Patrick Süskind's bestseller about a sniffing freak (Ben Whishaw, up for a rising star BAFTA Award) who becomes fascinated with the body odor – or, to put it politely, body scent – of a nice-looking young woman (Karoline Herfurth).
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, which also earned Uli Hanisch the Best Production Design award, has grossed more than €50 million in Germany alone.
Other Bavarian Film Award winners include Jürgen Vogel, named Best Actor for his portrayal of a man who discovers love while dying of cancer in Sven Taddicken's Emma's Bliss / Emmas Glück, and veterans Monica Bleibtreu and Katharina Thalbach, who tied in the Best Actress category for their performances as, respectively, a piano teacher working with a violent but talented inmate in Chris Kraus' 4 Minutes / Vier Minuten and a half-illiterate woman who becomes one of the founders of Poland's Solidarity movement in Volker Schlöndorff's Strike / Strajk – Die Heldin von Danzig.
4 Minutes, also the top winner at the 2006 Shanghai Film Festival, won three other Bavarian Film Awards: Best Screenplay for Kraus, Best New Performer for Hannah Herzsprung (as the piano-playing inmate), and the VGF Award for Best New Producers Meike and Alexandra Kordes. Strike won a second award for Andreas Höfer's cinematography.
More Bavarian Film Award winners
Wrapping up the list of Bavarian Film Award winners:
- Joseph Vilsmaier and Dana Vávrová's The Last Train / Der letzte Zug, about a cattle train filled with 688 Berlin Jews headed for Auschwitz, received a special award.
- Gregor Schnitzler's The Cloud / Die Wolke, the story of a nuclear plant disaster, was chosen Best Youth Film.
- Florian Borchmeyer and Matthias Hentschler's Havana – The New Art of Building Ruins / Havanna — Die neue Kunst, Ruinen zu bauen was named Best Documentary.
- Sönke Wortmann's Deutschland. Ein Sommermärchen (“Germany. A Summer Tale”), a flag-waving documentary about Germany's soccer team during the 2006 World Cup, received the Audience Award. Deutschland. Ein Sommermärchen was a solid box office hit upon its release last fall.
Honorary Award recipient Michael Verhoeven
And finally, veteran filmmaker Michael Verhoeven received the Honorary Award.
Verhoeven's extensive list of credits includes the real-life-inspired anti-Vietnam War drama o.k. (1970), which created a furor at the Berlin Film Festival due to its portrayal of U.S. soldiers as murderers and rapists; The White Rose (1982), starring Lena Stolze as anti-Nazi resistance leader Sophie Scholl; and the equally real-life-inspired Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee The Nasty Girl (1990), once again toplining Stolze, this time as a young woman digging into her town's Nazi past.
Michael Verhoeven, by the way, is unrelated to Dutch filmmaker Paul Verhoeven of Turkish Delight, RoboCop, and Basic Instinct fame and Showgirls infamy.
Making things a tad confusing, the o.k. director is related to another Paul Verhoeven: he's the son of the German actor-director (1901–1975) whose behind-the-camera credits include The Court Concert (1948), A Heidelberg Romance (1951), and A Woman of Today (1954). His mother was actress Doris Kiesow (1902–1973).
Katharine Hepburn and Adolphe Menjou Morning Glory image: RKO Pictures.
The Danish Poet image: National Film Board of Canada and Mikrofilm.
Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, and Abigail Breslin Little Miss Sunshine image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
Monica Bleibtreu 4 Minutes image: EuropaCorp.
“Katharine Hepburn Oscars Exhibition + Crowd-Pleasing Indie Tops Producers Guild Awards” last updated in September 2018.