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Home Movie News Vera Farmiga + Charlize Theron + Prudence Oscar Row: Academy Awards

Vera Farmiga + Charlize Theron + Prudence Oscar Row: Academy Awards

Vera Farmiga
Vera Farmiga on the Oscars’ Red Carpet.

Best Supporting Actress nominee Vera Farmiga

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Vera Farmiga arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards, held on March 7 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Farmiga was a Best Supporting Actress nominee for her performance in Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, also featuring Oscar nominees George Clooney and, in the supporting category, Anna Kendrick.

As expected, the year’s Best Supporting Actress winner was Mo’Nique, the favorite among American critics’ groups. She plays Gabourey Sidibe’s mother in Lee Daniels’ urban drama Precious.

Previous Vera Farmiga movies include Breaking and Entering, Joshua, Nothing But the Truth, and Martin Scorsese’s Best Picture Oscar winner The Departed, also featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson.

Vera Farmiga photo: Matt Petit | © A.M.P.A.S.

Charlize Theron

Best Actress Academy Award winner Charlize Theron (Monster, 2003) is seen above on the Oscars’ Red Carpet. Theron received a second Best Actress nomination for North Country (2005). She lost to Reese Witherspoon in Walk the Line.

Charlize Theron photo: Matt Petit / © A.M.P.A.S.

Tom Ford Oscar
Tom Ford.

Tom Ford

Fashion designer Tom Ford became an acclaimed filmmaker in 2009 following the release of the psychological drama A Single Man, starring Best Actor Oscar nominee Colin Firth as a gay college professor at a loss after the unexpected death of his companion (Matthew Goode). Also in the cast: Julianne Moore and Nicholas Hoult.

Tom Ford photo: Richard Harbaugh | © A.M.P.A.S.

Anders Ostergaard Lise Lense-Møller
Anders Østergaard, Lise Lense-Møller and ‘Burma VJ’ contingent.

Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller

Director Anders Østergaard and producer Lise Lense-Møller, Academy Award nominees in the Best Documentary Feature category for Burma VJ, arrive with U Pyinya Zawta, a leader of Burma’s 2007 revolution, Aye Chan Naing, and guests. The winner was Louie Psihoyos’ The Cove, about the massacre of dolphins in Japan.

Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller photo: Richard Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.

Oscar hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin

This year, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin – Meryl Streep’s two leading men in Nancy Meyers’ It’s Complicated – shared duties as Oscar hosts. Martin had previously hosted the 2001 ceremony, when Ridley Scott’s Gladiator was selected as the year’s Best Picture, and the 2003 ceremony, held shortly after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq – and partly for that reason a ratings dud.

Alec Baldwin had never hosted an Oscar ceremony, but he was a Best Supporting Actor nominee for The Cooler (2003).

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin image: Matt Pettit / © A.M.P.A.S.

Roger Ross Williams, Prudence MabhenaRoger Ross Williams and Prudence Mabhena.

Roger Ross Williams and Prudence Mabhena

Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams and Zimbabwean singer-songwriter Prudence Mabhena are seen above at the Governors Ball following the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony.

There was a quite a bit of talk after Williams’ Oscar acceptance speech was cut short by fellow winner Elinor Burkett. The latter produced the year’s Best Documentary Short winner, Music by Prudence, which Williams directed.

Roger Ross Williams and Prudence Mabhena image: Greg Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.

Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

Best documentary short subject, Music by Prudence: Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett’s Oscar Acceptance Speech. Note: Following her odd appearance onstage during which she cut into Williams’ speech, former Salon contributor Burkett told that online publication’s Kelly Lauerman:

“What happened was the director and I had a bad difference over the direction of the film that resulted in a lawsuit that has settled amicably out of court. But there have been all these events around the Oscars, and I wasn’t invited to any of them. And he’s not speaking to me. So we weren’t even able to discuss ahead of the time who would be the one person allowed to speak if we won. And then, as I’m sure you saw, when we won, he raced up there to accept the award. And his mother took her cane and blocked me. So I couldn’t get up there very fast.”

And you thought those things only happened at the movies…

Asked about the reason for the conflict, Burkett explained that Music by Prudence should have been about the entire band, Liyana, but “the director and HBO decided to focus solely on Prudence.”

Here’s the transcript of the Williams-Burkett Oscar acceptance speech:

Roger Ross Williams: Oh, my god. This is amazing. Two years ago when I got on an airplane and went to Zimbabwe, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I’d end up here. This is so exciting. This is so exciting. So exciting.

Elinor Burkett: …Let the woman talk. Isn’t that the classic thing? In a world in which most of us are told and tell ourselves that we can’t. Liyana, the band behind this film, teaches us that we’re wrong. Against all odds they did, so we can. So the bottom line is, to me, my role models and my heroes, Marvelous and Energy, Tapiwa, Goodwell, the whole rest of the band and especially Prudence.

Roger Ross Williams: And Prudence who is here. Who is back there. Prudence is here tonight. This is for Prudence.

Carey Mulligan, Roger Ross Williams, Zoe Saldana, Elinor Burkett

And here are Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett (above, with Carey Mulligan and Zoe Saldana) answering questions from journalists backstage:

Q. So how did you hear about Prudence, and do you have any plans to expand this into a feature film?

Elinor Burkett: I live in Zimbabwe, and I moved to Zimbabwe five years ago from the Catskills where we both live. And I began to hear the band and Prudence as part of my daily life. And Roger was my neighbor and was asking for ideas for documentary films. And I came up with this idea and I called Roger and he came over and he directed the film. Feature film is being cut for European/ African news and already cut out for sale.

Q. We saw you on the red carpet, we were so excited. We heard the young lady singing and she’s amazing. What do you think this story will do now to introduce people to not only all of the atrocities going on in Zimbabwe, but in Africa in general in terms of the people like this young lady?

Roger Ross Williams: Well, the disabled are the forgotten kids of Africa, and I hope this raises money for the school that Prudence went to, King George the VI School for Disabilities. I hope this raises awareness for the issue. I hope that this helps the band. There’s so much that I hope this film does, and I just I can’t I am in shock, so…

Photos: Michael Yada / © A.M.P.A.S.

Colin Firth, Carey Mulligan, Morgan Freeman, Gabourey Sidibe, Jeremy Renner, Meryl Streep Photos: Matt Petit / © A.M.P.A.S.

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep Photos: Michael Yada / © A.M.P.A.S.

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet

Kate Winslet Photos: Matt Pettit / © A.M.P.A.S.

Photos: Matt Petit / © A.M.P.A.S.

Pedro Almodovar Quentin Tarantino together at lastPedro Almodóvar and Quentin Tarantino together at last: Academy Awards.

Pedro Almodóvar and Quentin Tarantino: Oscar ceremony

Memorable moments at the 2010 Oscar ceremony included Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and All About My Mother filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (above, together with Quentin Tarantino) introducing some of the Best Foreign Language Film nominees; a moving speech by art director Robert Stromberg (Avatar), who survived some unspecified, potentially deadly illness; and the presence of several John Hughes alumni in an otherwise poorly staged tribute to the director and/or screenwriter and/or producer of Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Home Alone. (Needless to say, an Oscar tribute to the recently deceased Eric Rohmer would have been unthinkable; but Rohmer did get his due at the Césars.)

For the John Hughes tribute, in attendance at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, on Sunday, March 7, were Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Matthew Broderick, and others. Proof positive that, apart from Kathryn Bigelow and Susan Sarandon, time doesn’t stop for anyone.

Pedro Almodóvar movies

Besides the two titles mentioned above, Pedro Almodóvar has directed about 30 features and shorts, among them:

Pedro Almodóvar and Quentin Tarantino photo: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.

James Taylor and wife CarolineJames Taylor and wife Caroline.

James Taylor and wife at Governors Ball

Pictured above are singer James Taylor and wife Caroline “Kim” Taylor at the Governors Ball following the 82nd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre. Taylor sang during the Academy’s “In Memoriam” tribute which, as usual, was much criticized for the way it was set up and for several questionable inclusions and several glaring omissions.

James Taylor and wife Caroline “Kim” Taylor photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.

“I’m the belle of the ball? Yay me!” That’s Gabourey Sidibe, after ABC’s red carpet interviewer went on about her “Cinderella story.” Of the quotes I’ve heard thus far, Sidibe’s joyful remark and her sheer presence have been the highlight of the Oscar Red Carpet.

All but unbeatable Best Supporting Actor nominee Christoph Waltz was asked about his crucial importance to Inglourious Basterds – without an appropriate Nazi, Quentin Tarantino said he wouldn’t have made the film. How does that make you feel, inquired the red carpet interviewer. Waltz replied that he “couldn’t comment” on that, only to go on commenting for a couple of minutes. I hope he remembers his 45-second limit while onstage.

Jake Gyllenhaal plugged Prince of Persia, Sarah Jessica Parker plugged Sex and the City 2, and I’m assuming Matt Damon must have plugged the upcoming Green Zone. (I got distracted during Damon’s brief q&a.)

Another interesting remark: Matthew Broderick’s comment about how difficult it is to even reach the red carpet, as everyone there has to wait in line, go through security and all. At least it isn’t raining. That would have made things worse.

Richard Harbaugh / © A.M.P.A.S.

Mo'Nique, Sidney Hicks

Oscar winner Mo’Nique with husband Sidney Hicks at the Governors Ball after the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Mo’Nique won her Oscar for Lee Daniels’ Precious, in which she plays Gabourey Sidibe’s abusive mother. That was her first nomination.

Photo: Darren Decker / © A.M.P.A.S.

Robin Williams, Mo'Nique

Best Supporting Actress winner Mo’Nique poses backstage with Robin Williams during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Mo’Nique was the expected winner for her work in Lee Daniels’ Precious, in which she plays Gabourey Sidibe’s abusive mother. Robin Williams won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1998 for his work as Matt Damon’s psychiatrist in Gus Van Sant’s Good Will Hunting.

Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.

Michael Giacchino, Jennifer Lopez

Best Original Score winner Michael Giacchino poses backstage with Jennifer Lopez during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Giacchino was the expected winner for his work on the blockbuster Up, directed by Pete Docter. Up, also as expected, won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature of 2009.

Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.



Photos: Matt Pettit / © A.M.P.A.S.

Tom Ford, Sandy Powell

Best Costume Design winner Sandy Powell backstage with Tom Ford during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA on Sunday, March 7, 2010. Designer Tom Ford made his first film in 2009, A Single Man, which earned Colin Firth a Best Actor Oscar nomination and a BAFTA Award. Sandy Powell won for the period piece The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt and Rupert Friend. When she got onstage to pick up her Oscar, Powell remarked, “I’ve already got two of these at home so I’m feeling greedy.” She then dedicated her award to costume designers working on low-budget movies.

Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / © A.M.P.A.S.

Geoffrey Fletcher, Sheldon Turner

Precious screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher, Up in the Air co-screenwriter Sheldon Turner

Geoffrey Fletcher and Sheldon Turner photo: Matt Pettit / © A.M.P.A.S.

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

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haura -

j lo your always hot…….

Paul Beckett -

At the Telluride MountainFilm Festival on Memorial Day I met Roger Williams, saw the movie Music by Prudence, and heard Prudence perform live. Wonderfully Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary) came on stage and performed with Prudence. All of this was a wonderful experience. Roger Williams is a delightful person to meet and continues to support Prudence in the joys that follow their mutual recognition by the Academy.

As a result of their participation at the Telluride FilmFest, Dr. Rick Hodes who stars in “Making the Crooked Straight” has arranged to have Prudence’s spinal problems corrected by a foremost back surgeon in New York plus corrective surgery for her hand as well. Anyone who was inspired by this movie and wants to help Prudence can do so by going to and clicking on donate.

Maren -

Madge, I would take anything Ms. Burkett says with a grain of salt. She WAS included in earlier Oscar week events, Roger Ross Williams WAS the designated acceptance speaker (while more than one person may speak for larger awards, the shorts were strictly limited to a single speaker), and she DIDN’T name all members of the band — she named four, fobbed off three others as “all the others” and then named Prudence (who, if you look at the clip and the reaction shot of Prudence in the audience, very subtly shared a look with the woman seated to her right, that didn’t seem to reflect too well on Elinor!).

As for “running to the stage” — I’ve seen plenty of Oscar winners run for the stage, especially if they’re seated in the back, and I have seen speakers begin before the entire group arrives, especially if it’s a large group of recipients.

This is a woman who Betty Friedan hung up the phone on! (She protested Elinor Burkett’s crusade against “special favors” given to parents!)

Also, note that Roger Williams was also a producer as well as the director. Patrick Wright was another co-producer, as well as associate editor. HBO provided funds, as well. Elinor Burkett is a wealthy woman who dissociated herself from the film because she didn’t like the creative direction it was taking and sued the rest of the people working on the project. Real nice. She could afford to sue, and I’m sure HBO and Williams wanted to settle before running up huge legal bills — I’m guessing the settlement included Burkett retaining a producing credit. But I think the proof of the validity of the creative direction (that Burkett didn’t like) is in the pudding, er… Oscar.

I’m really amazed at people who think Roger Williams was rude!!! He seemed the epitome of class to me.

Madge P, Morgan -

I was watching the Oscars and I thought ‘Why is he running off and leaving that lady’? The particulars of what went down between Mr. Williams and Ms. Burkett did not matter. She made him aware of Liyana, and she produced it. He should not have shut her out when the Doc was nominated, he should not have ignored her attempts to contact/talk to him, and definitely should not have run up there to accept the Oscar without her. She made sure to mention everyone in the group. He brought that ruinous moment on himself. Still, Music by Prudence deserved to win the Oscar, touches my heart and soul, and makes me cry. I will be purchasing my very own DVD soon.

jane -

i love this dress though there were other absolutely stunning dress such as demi moore, kristen stewart, rachel Mc adam…but this one is particular with all those pleats!!!! should be daring to wear this, though.

Maren -

EtiquetteB — the transcript is EXACTLY correct — Burkett said “and especially Prudence” and Williams said the rest (with Burkett trying to interrupt him again, echoing “who is here tonight”)

Watch the clip:

luvsthecity -

Elinor Burkett was clearly out of line. By her own words, she said that the movie took a direction that she did not endorse. She said that she left the movie over a year ago. She was only able to be on the ballot as a technicality. It’s not her vision, it’s not her film, the vision which won the award was the director’s. He should have gotten the award. She didn’t deserve it and she stole his moment!

Wondering -

So many people are giving her crap for supposedly pulling a “Kanye” but I’m wondering if she’s the one that got shafted. If you look at the video when the winner is announced, she clearly gets up at the same time he does but for some reason can’t get through the aisle. He just happened to be closer and ran to the stage. Plus, it makes no sense that they would only allow one person to accept the award if there were obviously two.

KD -

In her own words, ‘the director and I had a bad difference over the direction of the film that resulted in a lawsuit…’, meaning, she didn;t agree with what he did – and yet, when it wins, she’s up there to claim it

Ed -

I could not believe what I was seeing. It made no sense! Just rude and out of place. She had no respect for him at all, I wonder why!

Mary Mokhtari -

Hard work and professional accomplishment must be acknowledged. This was not a lone project. You go girl.

etiquette bitch -

technically, yes, it was rude, but i’m giving burkett a pass on this one. she was due to accept the oscar as well, and his mom blocked her with her cane???

and I don’t think the transcript is right. it was burkett who said, “she’s here tonight.” and if i recall right, williams went on about how he wanted to do this since he was a child. (?)


What trash! Unbelievable! People like that are never anything but low class. I turned off the show during her unwanted visit to the stage and did not watch the rest.

Daniel -

She was seriously very rude for interrupting him. He deserved to soak in the moment and finish his gracious speech.

Zayla -

That was really stupid of her to interupt his speech..what is wrong with people? Do they not have any manners?


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