'Juno' Movie Review – Ellen Page, Michael Cera Jason Reitman

Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Juno Directed by Jason Reitman and written by 2008 Academy Award-winner Diablo Cody, Juno is what most teen movies are not: non-commercial, with an “agenda” between the pages of its screenplay. In other words, Juno isn't an excuse for promoting a soundtrack, and because of its low budget it can take risks without worrying about the bottom line – and risks […]

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

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 […]

Best Actor Oscar: Colin Firth & George Clooney + Jeff Bridges

Best Actor Oscar nominees Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Morgan Freeman, Jeremy Renner at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 2010 Oscar Nominees Luncheon held this afternoon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. This year's five Best Actor nominees are in the running for the following films: A Single Man (Firth), The Hurt Locker (Renner), Crazy Heart (Bridges), Invictus (Freeman), […]

Sandra Bullock: From Razzie to Oscar?

'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 […]

DGA Awards: Kathryn Bigelow First Woman Winner & Ceremony Focus on Gender

Jan. 31 update: Perhaps it's a good thing that the Directors Guild Award ceremony wasn't televised. TV audiences were spared having to listen to Quentin Tarantino say “both my testicles were totally tingling through the whole thing,” following Brad Pitt's introduction to his Inglourious Basterds director. Or The Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner saying – and I'm partly quoting The Wrap's Steve Pond's tweet here – […]

Meryl Streep & Sandra Bullock Best Actress Tie, Kiss: Critics' Choice Awards

"It's sort of surreal,” The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow told journalists backstage when asked about her Critics Choice Award victory over former husband James Cameron, in the running for the blockbuster Avatar. Cameron's 3D sci-fier, however, was the evening's big winner in terms of sheer number of trophies: six (not seven, as previously reported) in all, including best cinematography (Mauro Fiore), best visual effects, […]

Golden Globe Predictions: Meryl Streep & Sandra Bullock + George Clooney & Robert Downey Jr.

Vera Farmiga, George Clooney in Up in the Air (Dale Robinette / Paramount) Jan. 17 update: Hosted by Ricky Gervais, the 2010 Golden Globes ceremony will be broadcast live coast to coast later this evening, January 17, on NBC (5 to 8 pm PT, 8 to 11 pm ET) from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills. (Please, scroll down for our final predictions.) Golden […]

'Avatar,' 'Star Trek': WGA Awards – Nominations

Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms in The Hangover (Frank Masi / Warner Bros.) (top); Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia (Columbia Pictures) (bottom) The Writers Guild of America has announced the nominees for the 2010 WGA Awards. Both Avatar (James Cameron) and The Hangover (Jon Lucas and Scott Moore) have been nominated in the best original screenplay category. Wow. They'll be competing with the […]

Kathryn Bigelow & Lee Daniels: DGA Awards & Women, Blacks, Gays

Kathryn Bigelow directing The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment) Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) is a first-time Directors Guild of America nominee, but her former husband James Cameron (Avatar) won the DGA Award for his megablockbuster Titanic back in early 1998. Lee Daniels (Precious) and Jason Reitman (Up in the Air) are two other first-timers, while this is Quentin Tarantino's second nod (Inglourious […]

Kathryn Bigelow & James Cameron: DGA Award Nominations

Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker), James Cameron (Avatar), Lee Daniels (Precious), Jason Reitman (Up in the Air), and Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds) are the Directors Guild of America's five nominees for their best motion picture director of 2009 award. Among those not shortlisted by DGA voters were Joel and Ethan Coen (A Serious Man), Clint Eastwood (Invictus), Peter Jackson (The Lovely Bones), Rob Marshall (Nine), […]

Meryl Streep & Carey Mulligan + George Clooney & Christoph Waltz: U.S. Critics' Favorites

Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia. Meryl Streep & Carey Mulligan: US Critics' Best Actresses Only two actresses delivered great performances in 2009, at least as far as most US-based critics' groups were concerned: veteran Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Julie & Julia, and newcomer Carey Mulligan as a daring schoolgirl in 1960s London in An Education. The exceptions were critics in Las Vegas, […]

'Avatar': James Cameron Fantasy Is Global Blockbuster But December Record Goes Unbroken

Avatar: James Cameron directed and wrote the environmentally conscious futuristic action-adventure fantasy known as Avatar, a 3D extravaganza that has captured the imagination of popcorn-gobbling moviegoers the world over. British-born, Australian-raised actor Sam Worthington stars as paraplegic U.S. marine Jake Sully, who, once on the planet of Pandora, goes – quite literally – native, becoming a long-legged, long-eared, long-eyed, blue-hued Na'vi. Stephen Lang (pictured) plays […]

George Clooney & Viggo Mortensen: Awards Season's Unexpected & Expected

Utah Film Critics' Best Actor winner Viggo Mortensen in The Road. The performer best known for playing Aragorn in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Viggo Mortensen was the surprise Best Actor choice in Utah. In John Hillcoat's The Road, he portrays a man struggling to survive with his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in a desolate, freezing cold, post-apocalyptic world where global warming is […]

New York Film Critics: Meryl Streep & George Clooney + Olivier Assayas' French Drama Are Top Picks

The Hurt Locker with Guy Pearce and Brian Geraghty. After being all but ignored at this year's Venice Film Festival and at the 2008 Spirit Awards – where it received only two nominations in the acting categories (Best Actor for Jeremy Renner; Best Supporting Actor for Anthony Mackie), Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War thriller The Hurt Locker, revolving around a U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, is […]

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards: Three Major French Surprises + French Cinema Icon Gets Career Award

The Hurt Locker with Jeremy Renner. The Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles film critics' Best Picture is a low-budget Summit Entertainment release that turned out to be a major box office disappointment. Curiously, the Kathryn Bigelow-directed, Mark Boal-written Iraq War-set thriller about a U.S. Explosive Ordnance Disposal team was all but ignored at this year's Venice Film Festival and at the 2008 Spirit Awards […]

Louis Delluc Prize for Violent Prison Drama & Blockbuster Surprise + Honorees Julianne Moore & Jason Reitman

A Prophet with Tahar Rahim, winner of the Louis Delluc Prize. Jacques Audiard's violent prison drama chronicles the difficulties facing a young Frenchman of Algerian ancestry who, after being sent to jail for six years, must navigate between two warring factions while behind bars: the Corsicans and the Muslims. Shades of Eleanor Parker's suffering, toughening up, and progressive corruption while in a women's prison – […]

NBR: Carey Mulligan Pushes Meryl Streep Aside & Fave Clint Eastwood Returns

Up in the Air with George Clooney and Vera Farmiga. As the United States remains mired in one of its worst economic crises ever, the National Board of Review (NBR) has selected Jason Reitman's Up in the Air – the story of a frequent-flying, company-downsizing expert – as the year's Best Picture. Also: Best Actor for George Clooney (tied with Morgan Freeman in Invictus), Best […]

Dominic Cooper & Ben Whishaw + Emma Thompson & Carey Mulligan: London Film Festival

Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson (Best Actress for Howards End, Best Adapted Screenplay for Sense and Sensibility), Carey Mulligan and Dominic Cooper arrive for the premiere of An Education during the Times BFI 53rd London Film Festival at the Vue West End on October 20. Both Thompson and Mulligan are potential Oscar 2010 contenders; the former in the best supporting actress category, the latter as […]

Student Academy Awards: Caleb Deschanel, Jason Reitman Among Presenters

'Simulacra.' 'Simulacra,' 'On the Line' among Student Academy Award winners The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 35th Annual Student Academy Awards ceremony was held earlier this evening, June 7, '08, at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. (See further below images from the Student Academy Awards ceremony.) The winners were: Honorary Foreign Film On the Line (Auf der Strecke), Reto Caffi. […]

Javier Bardem & Kristin Chenoweth + Tilda Swinton & Glen Hansard: Academy Awards

Javier Bardem: Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for Joel and Ethan Coen's 'No Country for Old Men.' Javier Bardem Academy Award winner Javier Bardem was the year's Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner for his performance as a merciless hired killer in Joel and Ethan Coen's thriller No Country for Old Men. The 2008 Oscar ceremony took place on Feb. 24, '08, at the Kodak […]

Jon McLaughlin 'So Close' + Daniel Day-Lewis & Amy Adams: Academy Awards

Jon McLaughlin 'So Close.' Jon McLaughlin 'So Close': Oscar ceremony 2008 At the 2008 Academy Awards ceremony, singer Jon McLaughlin performed “So Close,” the Oscar-nominated song from Kevin Lima's box office hit Enchanted, starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey. Curiously, Enchanted was nominated for three Academy Awards, all three in the same category: Best Original Song. Besides “So Close,” the other nominees were “Happy Working […]

Nicole Kidman & Keith Urban + Robert Osborne & Miley Cyrus: The Oscars

Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman on the red carpet at the 2008 Oscars. Nicole Kidman has been nominated for two Best Actress Academy Awards: Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! (2001), with Ewan McGregor, and Stephen Daldry's The Hours (2002), with Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore. Kidman won for the latter film. Among Nicole Kidman's other notable film roles are Anthony Minghella's […]

Casey Affleck & Sissy Spacek + Julie Christie & Ellen Page: Oscar Luncheon

Sarah Polley, Tamara Jenkins, Julie Christie At the 2008 Oscar luncheon at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Monday, Academy president Sid Ganis remarked that “regardless of those circumstances, which are beyond our control, we will be presenting the awards as scheduled.” Needless to say, “those circumstances” are the Writers Guild strike, which actually may be coming to a close. Ganis added, “it would be such […]

Oscar Nominations: Greed & Murder + Corruption & Deception + Where's Vanessa Redgrave?

Atonement with Vanessa Redgrave. Having made her big-screen debut in the late 1950s (Behind the Mask) and a steady film actress since the mid-1960s (Blow-Up, Camelot), Vanessa Redgrave was bypassed by the 2008 Oscars for her performance in Joe Wright's period drama Atonement, which earned a total of seven nominations. In years past, Redgrave was the 1977 Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner for Fred Zinnemann's Julia. Besides, […]