Gold Derby nuggets: 'A Serious Man' goes for laughs at Globes | Oscarcast gets new director | 'Precious' honored by PGA
• Gold Derby has learned "A Serious Man" is aiming to enter the Golden Globes race in the comedy/musical classification where it will vie for best picture nods against such other strong rivals as "(500) Days of Summer," "It's Complicated," "Julie & Julia" and "Nine." There was speculation that "Inglourious Basterds" and "Up in the Air" may also shoot for the comedy classification, but they're both going for drama. (Note: Gold Derby incorrectly reported in an earlier draft of this blog article that "An Education" is aiming for comedy/musical slots, but it is going for drama.) Final determinations will be made by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. qualification committee.
• The prime-time Emmy Awards return to NBC for the first time in four years next Aug. 29. The 62nd edition of the kudos -- which usually kick off the fall TV season -- are airing early to accommodate the Peacock's commitment to Sunday night football. While August may be a low viewership month in general, the last go-round by NBC in 2006 also aired in the summer doldrums yet ranks as the highest rated of the last four Emmycasts. That is because the other nets in the rotating wheel have opted to schedule the awards show in September opposite an NFL game on NBC. The 2010 telecast marks the end of the current broadcast contract.
• Joining first-time producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman on the Oscarcast will be another Oscar newbie -- British director Hamish Hamilton who has helmed both the stateside and European versions of the MTV VMAs. In making the announcement Shankman said, “Hamish is a first-rate live-show director who will bring enthusiasm, experience and a fresh eye to the table. He”s also a master of working with all of the latest technology in television production, which speaks to the kind of cutting-edge show Bill and I are planning." Hamilton has a busy few months ahead as he will also be staging the half-time show for the Super Bowl in February. AMPAS
• According to Steve Pond, there are many Paul Revere wannabes among Oscarcast alumni bemoaning the coming invasion of the Brits. Says Steve, "Hamilton, who has directed numerous shows in the U.S over the past few years, generally brings his entire team of assistant and associate directors and camera operators from England. At the Oscars, staffers expect him to bring in his 'vision mixer' -- a British term for a job that doesn’t exist in the United States, a combination director/technical director who chooses most of the camera shots -- as well his main AD and a few other ADs and cameramen." As Steve explains, "One reason for anger among staffers is that American variety-show workers find it very difficult to obtain visas to work in the U.K. 'We’ll give all of his people visas, but it’s not reciprocal,' says a disgruntled awards-show vet. 'They’re going down a really terrible path, and a lot of people are angry.'" THE ODDS
• Fox Searchlight just shipped the DVD screener of "(500) Days of Summer" to all Oscar voters as well as members of the producers' and writers' guilds. Yesterday and today voters received "Bright Star" and "Young Victoria" too. Previously, all members of the academy received "An Education" and "The Messenger" (Nov. 16), "Coco Before Chanel," "Whatever Works" and "The Damned United" (Oct. 26) and "Anvil" (Oct. 8). Fox Searchlight studio will ship "Crazy Heart" after Thanksgiving.
• The PGA will honor "Precious" with the Stanley Kramer award at its 21st annual awards on Jan. 24. The kudo -- named for the Hollywood maverick behind such ground-breaking pictures such as "High Noon" and "The Defiant Ones" -- was established in 2002 "to honor a motion picture, television program, studio, network, producer, executive or other individual entity whose work illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion." Previous recipients include "Milk," "The Great Debaters," "An Inconvenient Truth," "Good Night, and Good Luck," "Hotel Rwanda," "Innocent Voices," "In America," "Antwone Fisher" and "I Am Sam." The PGA cited "Precious" as "a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome." PGA
• Roger Friedman thinks that of all the lovely ladies gracing "Nine," just two will figure in the Oscar races: "It does seem as though Marion Cotillard will wind up in the lead actress category, alongside Meryl Streep, Gabby Sidibe, Carey Mulligan, and Helen Mirren, maybe. Penelope Cruz goes into Supporting, with Patricia Clarkson, Mo’Nique, Julianne Moore, and maybe Diane Kruger or Mariah Carey." SHOWBIZ 411
• TCM will kick off the inaugural Classic Film Festival next April 22 with a restored print of the 1954 version of "A Star is Born." This musical remake of the 1937 drama marked one of the all-time great screen comebacks with Judy Garland proving herself a triple threat with her acting, singing and dancing. So sure was the academy that she would win the lead actress Oscar that they set up a television camera in Judy's hospital room where she was resting after having given birth to son Joey just days before. However, it was Grace Kelly's name that was announced, for her role as the dutiful wife to an alcoholic actor (Bing Crosby) in "The Country Girl." TCM
Photos, from top: "A Serious Man" poster (Focus Features); Oscar statues (AMPAS); "Precious" poster (Lionsgate)