‘Avatar’ Best Picture Chances & Sandra Bullock from Razzie to Oscar
At this year’s Oscars, James Cameron’s mega-budget fantasy adventure Avatar tied with Kathryn Bigelow’s low-budget Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker. Each film received nine Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. That makes Avatar one of the two top contenders for the Best Picture Oscar, right?
Well, think again.
Yes, Avatar received a total of nine nominations – but not for best screenplay. Whether due to karma or just poor writing skills, Cameron was also bypassed for his Titanic screenplay 11 years ago. (Must be karma, considering the kind of stuff that gets nominated in the Academy’s writing categories.) Something else about Avatar‘s Oscar prospects: the film was also ignored in the four acting categories.
The only two acting-less, writing-less Best Picture winners* to date are William A. Wellman’s Wings and Edmund Goulding’s Grand Hotel. Wings was a silent movie. Grand Hotel was a 1932 release. The Oscars weren’t even known as “the Oscars” back then.
Among this year’s ten Best Picture nominees, the only other film that failed to get a writing nomination was The Blind Side.
But Avatar fans shouldn’t lose hope. After all, Kathryn Bigelow will probably become the first woman director to win an Oscar. So, why can’t Avatar become the second talkie to win for Best Picture without any acting or writing nominations?
Just make sure to think twice before betting any money on it.
* There were no official nominations in the Academy Awards’ second year, the year the musical The Broadway Melody won as Best Picture. However, one of that film’s stars, Bessie Love, was one of those “unofficially considered” for the best actress award.
In the Academy Awards’ second and third year, there was only one writing category. There were three writing categories from 1940 to 1956 (except for 1948, when there were only two). There was also some overlapping, as a number of movies were nominated in two different categories.
The best supporting actor/actress categories were instituted in 1936. Prior to that, most years had fewer than five nominees in the best actor or best actress categories.
What a difference a day makes. Sandra Bullock went from a Razzie nod to an Oscar nod in less than 24 hours. Bullock is up for a Razzie for the year’s Worst Actress for All About Steve (top photo, with Bradley Cooper). She’s up for an Oscar for the year’s best actress for The Blind Side (above, lower photo). Her performance in The Proposal earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Claudia Llosa’s The Milk of Sorrow is Peru’s first best foreign language film nomination, while Lee Daniels’ Precious is the first Best Picture nominee directed by a black person. Daniels is only the second black person to be nominated in the best director category. John Singleton came first, for Boyz n the Hood (1991).
Lee Daniels also happens to be openly gay. So are Rob Marshall and Pedro Almodóvar, who were nominated in 2002 for, respectively, Chicago (2002) and Talk to Her. So, Daniels may be the third openly gay man to be nominated for best director as well. But that’s a hard one to track down.
According to reports, prior to Avatar and District 9 only two other sci-fi (or at least sci-fiish) movies were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: George Lucas’ Star Wars (1977) and Steven Spielberg’s E.T. (1982).
Photos: The Blind Side (Ralph Nelson / Warner Bros.); All About Steve (Suzanne Tenner / 20th Century Fox)
To shore up the Oscar ceremony’s dwindling television audience, the Academy wanted bigger fare at the 2010 Oscars. So, they expanded the Best Picture category to include ten films, hoping that some blockbuster or other would get a nomination.
Indeed, it’s true that several of the most commercially successful Oscar contenders listed below – Up, The Blind Side, District 9 – would probably not have made the cut had the Academy kept the Best Picture field restricted to five films. Avatar, of course, would have been shortlisted even if there had been only three slots available.
Last year, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was a huge box office hit that received much critical praise. It was up for both the Producers Guild and the Directors Guild awards. But Academy voters preferred the much smaller ex-Nazi drama The Reader.
Below is a list of this year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees and their box office grosses, in descending order:
- Avatar, d: James Cameron, with Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Laz Alonso. 20th Century Fox, nine nominations, $598 million, released Dec. 18.
- Up, d: Pete Docter. Pixar / Disney, five nominations, $293 million, released May 29.
- The Blind Side, d: John Lee Hancock, with Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Quinton Aaron. Warner Bros., two nominations, $238 million, released Nov. 20.
- Inglourious Basterds, d: Quentin Tarantino, with Mélanie Laurent, Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Christoph Waltz. The Weinstein Co., eight nominations, $121 million, released Aug. 21.
- District 9, d: Neill Blomkamp, with Sharlto Copley. Sony, four nominations, $116 million, released Aug. 14.
- Up in the Air, d: Jason Reitman, with George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick. Paramount, six nominations, $73 million, released Dec. 4.
- Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, d: Lee Daniels, with Gabourey Sidibe, Mo’Nique, Paula Patton, Mariah Carey. Lionsgate, six nominations, $45 million, released Nov. 6.
- The Hurt Locker, d: Kathryn Bigelow, with Jeremy Renner, Christian Camargo, Brian Geraghty, Anthony Mackie. Summit Entertainment, nine nominations, $12.7 million, released June 26.
- A Serious Man, d: Joel and Ethan Coen, with Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind. Focus, two nominations, $9.2 million released Oct. 2.
- An Education, d: Lone Scherfig, with Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Emma Thompson, Alfred Molina. Sony Pictures Classics, three nominations, $9 million, released Oct. 9.
Photos: Avatar (WETA / 20th Century Fox); The Blind Side (Ralph Nelson / Warner Bros.); An Education (Kerry Brown / Sony Pictures Classics)
Oscar presenters Penélope Cruz, Kate Winslet and Sean Penn
Penélope Cruz, Kate Winslet, and Sean Penn – the three living performers who won Oscars in the acting categories last year – will return as presenters at the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony on March 7.
Heath Ledger won a posthumous Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Ledger had been previously nominated in the Best Actor category for Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain. That year, he lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman in Bennett Miller’s Capote.
Cruz had been previously nominated in the Best Actress category for her Anna Magnani-esque star turn in Pedro Almodóvar’s Volver (2006), and she is up for an Oscar this year for her (non-Anna Magnani-esque) supporting performance in Rob Marshall’s musical Nine, starring Daniel Day-Lewis in the old (non-singing, non-dancing) Marcello Mastroianni role (8½).
Kate Winslet was last year’s Best Actress Oscar winner for Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, in which she plays a woman – sort of – coming to terms with her Nazi-acquiescent past.
Winslet has been nominated for five other Academy Awards:
- Best Supporting Actress for Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility (1995).
Winner: Mira Sorvino for Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite.
- Best Actress for James Cameron’s Titanic (1997).
Winner: Helen Hunt for James L. Brooks’ As Good As It Gets.
- Best Supporting Actress for Richard Eyre’s Iris (2001).
Winner: Jennifer Connelly for Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind.
- Best Actress for Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004).
Winner: Hilary Swank for Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby.
- Best Actress for Todd Field’s Little Children (2006).
Winner: Helen Mirren for Stephen Frears’ The Queen.
Academy voters, however, rightfully felt she was the female lead in The Reader. Since only one performance per actor/actress is allowed in any one of the acting categories, Winslet’s Revolutionary Road work was left unnominated.
Sean Penn has been nominated five times for the Best Actor Oscar; he won twice, for the following:
- Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River (2003).
- Gus Van Sant’s Milk (2008), in which he plays gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk.
Penn’s other nominations were for:
- Tim Robbins’ Dead Man Walking (1995).
- Woody Allen’s Sweet and Lowdown (1999).
- Jessie Nelson’s I Am Sam (2001).
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. In the U.S., the Oscar show will be televised live by ABC.
Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, and Penélope Cruz photos: Michael Yada / © A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy Awards’ Unglamorous Side: No Red Carpet as Oscar ballots mailed
All sensationalism aside, final ballots for the 2010 Academy Awards were mailed yesterday (Feb. 11) to the 5,777 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In the pictures you see representatives of PricewaterhouseCoopers as they check the final Oscar ballots just prior to mailing them.
Okay, so this Oscar 2010 segment, though crucial to the proceedings, isn’t nearly as glitzy and glamorous as the awards ceremony itself. But at the very least people do get to dress up for the job. They can also get to check out the groovy vintage posters currently on display in the Academy’s lobby.
As per the Academy’s press release, completed ballots must be returned to PricewaterhouseCoopers by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 2. Ballots received after the deadline will not be counted. Listed on the ballots are nominees in 19 awards categories.
Separate ballots for five categories (Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Foreign Language Film, Animated Short Film, and Live Action Short Film) will be distributed after verification of mandatory member attendance at the screenings.
Following the tabulation of the votes, the winners’ names will be placed in sealed envelopes to be opened at the Oscar ceremony.
2010 Oscar ballots and PricewaterhouseCoopers personnel photos: Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.
Besides Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, in which Winslet plays opposite Ralph Fiennes and Bruno Ganz, the other movie for which Winslet could have received a nomination was Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road, co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Supporting Actor nominee Michael Shannon.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S.) website.
Official Oscar-Nominated Best Picture producers named for ‘The Blind Side,’ ‘The Hurt Locker’
Producer credits for 2010 Best Picture nominees The Blind Side and The Hurt Locker have been determined (Feb. 4) by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Producers Branch Executive Committee. Credits are as follows:
- The Blind Side – Gil Netter. Andrew A. Kosove. Broderick Johnson.
- The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow. Mark Boal. Nicolas Chartier. Greg Shapiro.
The Academy’s press release explains:
Academy rules state that normally no more than three producers may be named as nominees in the Best Picture category. However, the rules allow for an additional producer to be named under extraordinary circumstances. In finding that all of the producers of The Hurt Locker had fully functioned as genuine producers of the film, the committee chose to exercise the ‘extraordinary circumstances’ provision of the rules.
Four Oscar-nominated producers
Last year, Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella, Donna Gigliotti, and Redmond Morris shared producer credits for the Stephen Daldry-directed Best Picture nominee The Reader, starring Kate Winslet, David Kross, and Ralph Fiennes. Both Minghella (Best Director for The English Patient, 1996) and Pollack (Best Director for Out of Africa, 1985) were dead by the time the nominations were announced.
Producers for the other eight motion pictures nominated in the 2010 Best Picture category – Avatar, District 9, An Education, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, A Serious Man, Up, and Up in the Air – were announced on Feb. 2. The roster remains unchanged.
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the U.S., the Oscar show will be televised live by ABC.
‘The Cove’ Oscar nomination credits
Feb. 8, ’10, update: Nominee credits for Best Documentary Feature nominee The Cove have been determined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Documentary Branch Executive Committee. Credits are as follows:
- The Cove – Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens.
The Academy’s press release explains:
Rules for the documentary feature category state that a maximum of two persons may be designated as nominees, one of whom must be the credited director, and the other of whom must have a producer or director credit. Psihoyos is the film’s director, Stevens has a producer credit.
Nominees for the other four documentaries in competition – Burma VJ, Food, Inc., The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, and Which Way Home – were announced on Feb. 2.
Image of Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron in the Best Picture Oscar nominee The Blind Side: Ralph Nelson / Warner Bros.
Anne Hathaway Best Picture Nominations + Oscar Night America Charities
Producer credits for 82nd Academy Awards Best Picture nominees The Blind Side and The Hurt Locker have been determined by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Producers Branch Executive Committee. Credits are as follows:
The Blind Side – Gil Netter, Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson, producers.
The Hurt Locker – Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, producers.
As per the Academys press release, “Academy rules state that normally no more than three producers may be named as nominees in the Best Picture category. However, the rules allow for an additional producer to be named under extraordinary circumstances. In finding that all of the producers of The Hurt Locker had fully functioned as genuine producers of the film, the committee chose to exercise the extraordinary circumstances provision of the rules.”
Last year, Sydney Pollack, Anthony Minghella, Donna Gigliotti, and Redmond Morris shared producer credits for Best Picture nominee The Reader. Both Minghella and Pollack were dead by the time the nominations were announced.
Producers for the other eight motion pictures nominated in the 2010 Best Picture category – Avatar, District 9, An Education, Inglourious Basterds, Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air – were announced on February 2 and remain unchanged.
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the US, itll be televised live by ABC.
Photos: The Blind Side (Ralph Nelson / Warner Bros.); The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment)
Anne Hathaway and Academy president Tom Sherak announce Oscar nominees
Anne Hathaway, Best Actress Academy Award nominee for Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married (2008), and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak announced the nominees in the top 2010 Oscar categories at the Academy’s “nominations event” held at 5:30 a.m. PT on Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. (Click on the image above to enlarge it.)
There were no major surprises this year, though eyebrows were raised (there was some clapping as well) when John Lee Hancock’s sentimental Sandra Bullock star vehicle The Blind Side was named one of the ten nominees – the first time there have been more than five Best Picture contenders since early 1944.
The other nine movies are:
Dir.: James Cameron.
Cast: Sam Worthington. Zoe Saldana. Sigourney Weaver.
- District 9.
Dir.: Neill Blomkamp.
Cast: Sharlto Copley. Jason Cope.
- An Education.
Dir.: Lone Scherfig.
Cast: Carey Mulligan. Peter Sarsgaard. Alfred Molina. Emma Thompson.
- The Hurt Locker.
Dir.: Kathryn Bigelow.
Cast: Jeremy Renner. Guy Pearce.
- Inglourious Basterds.
Dir.: Quentin Tarantino.
Cast: Brad Pitt. Michael Fassbender. Diane Kruger. Mélanie Laurent. Rod Taylor.
Dir.: Lee Daniels.
Cast: Gabourey Sidibe. Mo’Nique. Paula Patton. Mariah Carey.
- A Serious Man.
Dir.: Joel and Ethan Coe.
Cast: Michael Stuhlbarg. Richard Kind.
- Up. Dir.: Pete Docter.
Voice Cast: Edward Asner. Christopher Plummer.
- Up in the Air. Dir.: Jason Reitman.
Cast: George Clooney. Vera Farmiga. Anna Kendrick.
‘The Hurt Locker’ vs. ‘Avatar’
The two Best Picture favorites this year are the sci-fi adventure Avatar and the Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker. Each has nine nominations, including Best Director. The Hurt Locker was also shortlisted in the Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal) and Best Actor (Jeremy Renner) categories.
For the record, the 1943 Best Picture Oscar winner was Michael Curtiz’s Casablanca. Other nominees included George Stevens’ The More the Merrier, Clarence Brown’s The Human Comedy, Mervyn LeRoy’s Madame Curie, and Henry King’s The Song of Bernadette.
‘Oscar Night America’ charities
The 2010 Oscar ceremony will contribute not only to the career of various film artists and technicians, but also to charities across the United States. On Sunday, March 7, official Oscar viewing parties will be hosted by charities in 51 U.S. cities as part of Oscar Night America (ONA), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ grassroots outreach program.
The Academy allows charity institutions throughout the country to host viewing parties on Oscar Night, with proceeds directly benefiting those charities. According to the Academy’s press release, all parties will feature the live broadcast of the Oscar presentation, while some will include Hollywood-style party to-dos, including red carpet arrivals, the presence of local celebrities, predict-the-winner contests, live entertainment, and – why not – paparazzi.
Oscar Night ‘specials’
The Academy sets these events apart from thousands of others taking place on Oscar Night by providing each ONA party with copies of the official commemorative poster and the official Oscar show program.
Only one charity party in a given media market may take part in ONA. The events are entirely produced by local nonprofit organizations, with the assistance of the local ABC-TV affiliate station.
Oscar Night America charities
The 2010 Oscar Night America charities and cities are (alphabetical by city):
- The Center for Family Resources, Atlanta, GA.
- LifeWorks, Austin, TX.
- AIDS Interfaith Residential Services, Baltimore, MD.
- The Ellie Fund, Boston, MA.
- Shea’s Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, NY.
- United Family Services, Charlotte, NC.
- Virginia Film Festival, Charlottesville, VA.
- Gene Siskel Film Center of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL.
- People Working Cooperatively, Inc., Cincinnati, OH.
- USA Film Festival and KidFilm Festival, Dallas, TX.
- Denver Film Society, Denver, CO.
- Southgate Community Players, Detroit, MI.
- Waterfront Film Festival, Grand Rapids, MI.
- Community Theatre of Greensboro, Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC.
- Junior League of Greenville, Greenville, SC.
- Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition, Hartford, CT.
- Hawaii International Film Festival, Honolulu, HI.
- Houston’s Ronald McDonald House, Houston, TX.
- United Way of Central Indiana, Indianapolis, IN.
- Variety of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City, MO.
- Variety - The Children’s Charity of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas, NV.
- Wolfe Street Foundation, Inc., Little Rock, AR.
- Family & Children’s Place, Louisville, KY.
- Ronald McDonald House of Memphis, Memphis, TN.
- Miami Beach Film Society & Cinematheque, Miami, FL.
- COA Youth & Family Centers, Milwaukee, WI.
- Aegis Foundation, Minneapolis, MN.
- The Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN.
- American Red Cross Southeast Louisiana Chapter, New Orleans, LA.
- NYC & Company Foundation, New York, NY.
- Ronald McDonald House of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma City, OK.
- Alzheimer’s Association Midlands Chapter, Omaha, NE.
- Variety - The Children’s Charity of Florida, Orlando, FL.
- Palm Beach International Film Festival, Palm Beach, FL.
- Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, Philadelphia, PA.
- Arthritis Foundation Greater Southwest Chapter, Phoenix, AZ.
- Film Action Oregon, Portland, OR.
- Rhode Island International Film Festival, Providence, RI.
- Theatre In The Park, Raleigh, NC.
- Central Virginia Film Institute, Richmond, VA.
- Capital City AIDS Fund, Sacramento, CA.
- Cinema St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.
- Utah AIDS Foundation, Salt Lake City, UT.
- Special Olympics Texas, San Antonio, TX.
- San Diego Film Foundation, San Diego, CA.
- California Film Institute, San Francisco, CA.
- Starlight Children’s Foundation - Washington, Seattle, WA.
- Isabel’s House - Crisis Nursery of the Ozarks, Springfield, MO.
- Tampa Theatre, Tampa, FL.
- Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation, Tucson, AZ.
- American Red Cross of the National Capital Region, Washington, D.C.
$3 million raised
The Academy’s release adds that “last year 52 charities hosted viewing parties for the 81st Academy Awards with more than 16,000 guests in attendance nationwide. More than $3 million was raised, all of it remaining in local communities.”
The release adds that since its inception in 1994, Oscar Night America “has generated nearly $27 million in funding for a wide spectrum of charitable organizations – every cent staying within the community where it was raised.”
For the 17th consecutive year, Concept Marketing Development of Santa Barbara, California, will assist the Academy in coordinating the program.
The 2010 Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, March 7 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. In the U.S., the Oscar show will be televised live by ABC.
Ted Sherak and Anne Hathaway photos: Todd Wawrychuk and Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.
Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin Oscar Poster, Winners’ Statuette Engravings
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, the two co-hosts of the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony, are featured on the shoulders of a gigantic Oscar statuette in the official poster of the March 7 telecast. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that the poster is now available for purchase.
According to the Academy’s press release, “the 27×40-inch color poster is printed on premium quality, Forest Stewardship Certified paper. LA-based creative shop Omelet is responsible for the concept and execution of the design.” This year’s Oscar ceremony slogan is “You’ve Never Seen Oscar Like This.”
Posters are available for purchase on the Academy’s Web site at http://www.oscars.org/academy/posters-books/posters/ or by calling 1-877-335-8936. Each poster is $25, plus shipping and handling. This is the only 82nd Academy Awards commemorative item available for sale to the public. Thousands of posters will also be distributed to a variety of venues worldwide.
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.
According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ press release, for the first time Academy Award winners will be able to have their Oscar statuettes personalized with engraved nameplates right at the Governors Ball, the Academy’s official party immediately following the 2010 Academy Awards on Sunday, March 7.
Also from the press release: “In preparation for the night, the Academy will create 197 nameplates, one for each 2009 nominee in every category. The engraving will include the nominee’s name, category, film title and year. After the winners have been announced, the unused nameplates will be recycled.”
The Governors Ball will be held at the Grand Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center in downtown Hollywood. Academy Award winners will be invited to enter a specially designed area where Academy technicians will affix the personalized nameplates to each Oscar. In the past, winners had to bring their Oscars to the Academy in the weeks following the ceremony to have their nameplates affixed to the statuettes.
R.S. Owens, the company that manufactures the Oscar statuettes, will produce and engrave the nameplates for the Academy.
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: Governors Ball preview (Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.)
‘Evening Standard’ Film Award Nominations: Jane Campion
The winners of London’s Evening Standard awards will be announced at the London Film Museum on Monday, Feb. 8. Curiously, all three best picture nominees were either directed or co-directed by women: Jane Campion’s Bright Star, about the love affair between John Keats and Fanny Brawne; Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank, in which a teenager rebels against her mother’s new boyfriend; and Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor’s Helen, the tale of two friends, one of whom has gone missing. Neither of the Bright Stars leads, Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish, was nominated, but Fish Tank‘s Katie Jarvis is up for the most promising newcomer award.
Anne-Marie Duff was shortlisted in the best actress category for Sam Taylor-Wood’s film debut Nowhere Boy, in which she plays John Lennon’s mother. Her fellow nominees are Kelly Macdonald as a woman trying to escape from an abusive relationship in The Merry Gentleman and Academy Award and BAFTA nominee Carey Mulligan as a high-school student involved with a man twice her age in An Education.
In the best actor category, three performers were nominated for portraying real-life characters: Tom Hardy as inmate Charles Bronson (the man had a fixation on the Hollywood star), Christian McKay as Orson Welles, and The Lord of the Rings’ Andy Serkis as rocker Ian Dury. The fourth nominee was Alex MacQueen, in the running for his birdwatcher in Mark Losey’s thriller The Hide.
The Evening Standard Award judges are Standard critics Derek Malcolm, Andrew O’Hagan and Charlotte O’Sullivan, in addition to Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph and Catherine Shoard of The Guardian.
Complete list of nominees:
Bright Star, Jane Campion
Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold
Helen, Joe Lawlor/Christine Molloy
Tom Hardy, Bronson
Christian McKay, Me And Orson Welles
Alex MacQueen, The Hide
Andy Serkis, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
Anne-Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy
Kelly Macdonald, The Merry Gentleman
Carey Mulligan, An Education
The Peter Sellers Award for Comedy
Peter Capaldi, In The Loop
Sacha Baron Cohen, Bruno
Ricky Gervais, The Invention Of Lying
Jesse Armstrong/Simon Blackwell/Armando Iannucci/Tony Roche, In The Loop
Nick Hornby, An Education
Paul Laverty, Looking for Eric
London Film Museum Award for Technical Achievement
Barry Ackroyd, Cinematographer, The Hurt Locker
James Herbert, Film editor, Sherlock Holmes
Tony Noble, Production designer, Moon
Most Promising Newcomer
Katie Jarvis, for her performance in Fish Tank
Duncan Jones, for his direction of Moon
Peter Strickland, for his direction and screenplay of Katalin Varga
Afghan Star, Havana Marking
Anvil! The Story Of Anvil, Sacha Gervasi
Sleep Furiously, Gideon Koppel
Source: Evening Standard
Anne Marie Duff, Andy Serkis: ‘Evening Standard’ Award Winners
Feb. 10 update: The winners of London’s Evening Standard awards were announced on Monday, Feb. 8. Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank (above), the tale of a working-class teenager (Katie Jarvis) who resents her mother’s new boyfriend (Michael Fassbender) was chosen as the best British film of 2009. Although it’s been received warmly by critics, Fish Tank is up for only one BAFTA Award: Best British Film.
Anne-Marie Duff was the best actress winner for her performance as young John Lennon’s mother in Sam Taylor-Wood’s film debut Nowhere Boy (Academy Award nominee Carey Mulligan was also in the running for An Education). Andy Serkis, best known for his Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, was voted best actor for his impersonation of rocker Ian Dury in Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll.
The other Evening Standard winners were Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, and Tony Roche for their In the Loop screenplay; most promising newcomer Peter Strickland for his direction and screenplay of Katalin Varga; and Sacha Gervasi’s Anvil! The Story of Anvil as best documentary.
Also, Bruno‘s Sacha Baron Cohen won the Peter Sellers Award for Comedy, while the Alexander Walker Special Award went to veteran filmmaker and cinematographer Nicolas Roeg (Walkabout, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don’t Look Now) for his contributions to film. Roeg’s latest effort, Night Train, is scheduled to be released later this year. The cop thriller stars Sigourney Weaver, Michael Madsen, and Raoul Bova.
Photo: Fish Tank (Holly Horner / IFC Films)
‘Up in the Air’ Wins Scripter Award
Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner, and author Walter Kirn won USC’s 2010 Scripter Award for the socially conscious comedy drama Up in the Air this past Saturday. The Scripter Award goes both to the screenwriter(s) of an adapted screenplay from a literary work and to the author of the source material.
Directed by Reitman, and starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, and Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air tells the story of a corporate-downsizing expert who spends most of his time either at airports or among the clouds. Competing against Up in the Air were Crazy Heart, District 9, An Education, and Precious. The last two Scripter Award winners, Slumdog Millionaire (2009) and No Country for Old Men (2008), went on to win Oscars for best adapted screenplay.
Another award winner was Eric Roth, who received the Literary Achievement Award for his body of work, which includes Oscar-winning box office hit Forrest Gump; Oscar nominees The Insider, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Munich; and bombs such as The Concorde … Airport ’79 and Kevin Costner’s The Postman.
In addition to acknowledging about two dozen collaborators on the writing of the Up in the Air screenplay, former USC student Reitman remarked in his acceptance speech that his father Ivan Reitman used the university’s library as a stand-in for the New York Public Library while shooting Ghostbusters in 1984.
Photo: George Clooney, Jason Reitman while filming Up in the Air (Dale Robinette / Paramount)