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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Coraline' leads Annie noms | DGA lifetime kudo to Norman Jewison | Sandra Bullock saluted by Santa Barbara filmfest

December 1, 2009 |  3:37 pm

Coraline posterBrad Brevet comments on today's announcement of nominations for the 37th annual Annie Awards, noting, "Focus Features' 'Coraline' topped the list of feature nominees with 10, with Pixar's 'Up' following with nine and Disney's 'Princess and the Frog' scoring eight. All three films were included in the running for best animated feature along with 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,' 'The Secret of Kells' and 'Fantastic Mr. Fox.'" As Brad notes, "Last year the Annie Awards came under some scrutiny as 'Kung Fu Panda' blanked the soon-to-be Oscar-winner 'Wall-E.'" ROPE OF SILICON

• The always-readable David Carr, a.k.a. the Carpetbagger, has passed the baton this kudos season to Melena Ryzik, who kicked off her column with a delightful series of posts about the Gotham awards. Said Melena, "The Gothams, held Monday night at Cipriani Wall Street, are a looser, drunker entry in the whole shebang of pomp and etc. than most award shows, if still full of the usual 'it’s just great to be nominated' posery, though a former bank may have seemed an odd choice for the financially strapped movies the Gothams celebrate." NEW YORK TIMES

Dave Karger highlights those names missing from the list of today's Indie Spirit noms: "A Serious Man's" Michael Stuhlbarg, "A Single Man's" Julianne Moore, and "That Evening Sun's" Hal Holbrook. And as Dave points out, "'An Education's' Carey Mulligan wasn’t eligible (her film is not from the U.S.), and 'The Hurt Locker' received two nominations last year." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Jewison-lr-1Norman Jewison will be feted by his fellow helmers with the DGA lifetime achievement award at the 62nd annual kudos on Jan. 30. In making the announcement, DGA President Taylor Hackford cited Jewison as "a vibrant force in the motion picture industry for four decades. Nominated for three DGA Awards, the filmmaker has been personally nominated for four Oscars; his films have received 46 nominations and 12 Academy Awards. He has also been nominated for three best director awards. In 1999, Jewison received the prestigious Irving Thalberg Award at the Academy Awards." And, as per the announcement, "the winner is selected by the present and past presidents of the guild. In the guild’s 73-year history, only 32 directors have been recognized with the honor, including Cecil B. DeMille (1953), Frank Capra (1959), Alfred Hitchcock (1968), Orson Welles (1984), Billy Wilder (1985), Akira Kurosawa (1992), Stanley Kubrick (1997), Francis Ford Coppola (1998), Steven Spielberg (2000), Martin Scorsese (2003), and most recently, Clint Eastwood (2006)." DGA

Greg Ellwood crunches the numbers for past best picture nominee and determines the bottom line is that "the past decade has only one movie which has ended its lifetime gross under $20 million and still been nominated, Clint Eastwood's 'Letters from Iwo Jima.' That foreign-language drama found only $13 million in theaters in 2007." As Greg notes, "In general, however, the lowest-grossing pictures have been in the $28 [million]-$32 million range. A few examples this century include 'The Reader,'  'The Insider,' 'Capote" and 'Good Night and Good Luck' (even more telling though is that none of these films won the top prize)." HIT FIX

Geoff Boucher sits down for an in-depth interview with Oscar-winning composer James Horner ("Titanic") to discuss his reuniting with James Cameron on "Avatar." Horner says, "The sound world that I created for 'Avatar' had to be very different, really, than anything I ever created before. There is also three hours of music. I had to find a sound world that covered so much territory; it had to cover  both the human side of the story and the indigenous side of the story and the tremendous, epic battles that take place as well as the love story that is at the core of the film." HERO COMPLEX

Sandra Bullock • The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is jumping on the Sandra Bullock bandwagon, honoring "The Blind Side" leading lady with the American Riviera award, which recognizes "an actor who has had a strong influence on American cinema." At the 25th edition of the filmfest in February, Bullock will join the honor roll of past recipients including Mickey Rourke (2009), Tommy Lee Jones (2008), Forrest Whitaker (2007), Philip Seymour Hoffman (2006), Kevin Bacon (2005) and Diane Lane (2004). SBIFF

Pete Hammond details the efforts of British writer-director Joshua Newton, who "is on a mission to qualify his film 'Iron Cross' for awards season, which is why he is rushing through post-production on his feature directing debut. It also happens to be the last movie two-time Oscar nominee Roy Scheider ('All That Jazz,' 'The French Connection') made before succumbing to multiple myeloma cancer nearly two years ago." NOTES ON A SEASON

Photos: "Coraline" poster (Focus Features); Norman Jewison (DGA); Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side" (Warner Bros.)

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