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Tom O'Neil has the inside track on Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and all the award shows.

Category: Angelina Jolie

Poll: Is Brad Pitt dodging award shows because he's mad they're snubbing him?

January 27, 2010 |  6:09 am

Now that the reps for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have denied rumors of a bust-up and TMZ has reported that Brad — well, at least his beard — is back at home with his brood, there goes the theory that he's snubbing award shows because he's embarrassed about the collapse of his romance.

He didn't show up at the Golden Globes or Critics Choice Awards where "Inglourious Basterds" was nominated for best picture — and won for best supporting actor (Christoph Waltz). Brad didn't show up at the Screen Actors Guild where — surprise — he was among the winners when the "Basterds" cast claimed the ensemble award. "Basterds" also won best supporting actor for Waltz, but Brad wasn't nominated for his own, separate award.

Inglourious basterds 15

Is it possible that he's privately upset that he hasn't generated solo kudos buzz this derby season? Last year, Brad was generously available to promote "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" when it was up for best picture at the Oscars, Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards and he was nommed for best lead actor at all of those award shows. When "Babel" was a top player one year earlier, Brad made the kudos rounds as he received sporadic nominations such as a bid for best supporting actor at the Golden Globes. So why is he M.I.A. now? Is it just a coincidence that he hasn't scored any solo nominations?

A source within the Weinstein Co., who asked not to be identified because she wasn't speaking officially on behalf of the firm, told Gold Derby, "We're all baffled. When people ask us, 'Where's Brad?' we honestly don't know!"

Gold Derby contacted the office of Brad's rep to ask why he's been missing from award shows, but we did not receive a response to our inquiry.

It's not far-fetched to believe that celebrities might skip award shows where their films are lavished with nominations just because they personally didn't get a bid. Remember when "Titanic" sailed into the Oscar history books without its lead male star on board as its team accepted 11 record-tying awards at the Shrine Auditorium? Rumor had it that Leo DiCaprio was so irked the he wasn't nominated for best actor that he stayed home.

The Directors Guild of America has announced that Brad will attend its awards gala Saturday as a presenter, but a DGA rep says he doesn't know if Angelina Jolie will be with him. Of course, Brad's probably showing up to support his pal Quentin Tarantino. Not being a contender himself at DGA, Brad has no beef with the guild. However, it's possible that he's snubbing the other award shows because they snubbed him.

If true, will he snub the Oscars next? E! Online reports that Angelina Jolie will not attend the Academy Awards because "Jolie will be heading to Venice at the end of February to start production on 'The Tourist,' a remake of a French thriller costarring Johnny Depp in which Jolie plays a vengeful Interpol agent." But what about Brad?

Photo: the Weinstein Co.

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MTV Movie Awards: Will 'Twilight' vampires devour Oscars fave 'Slumdog'?

May 4, 2009 | 11:55 am

Sure, "Slumdog Millionaire" was top dog at the Oscars, but it merely came in second place behind "Twilight" today when the MTV Movie Awards nominations were announced. "Twilight" reigned with seven nominations, including best picture, best breakthrough performance male (Robert Pattison and Taylor Lautner) and best female performance (Kristen Stewart).

MTV Movie Awards Nominations Twilight 3849152

"Slumdog Millionaire" reaped six nods, including best picture, competing, in addition to "Twilight," against "The Dark Knight," "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" and "Iron Man."

"Slumdog" star Dev Patel competes against Pattinson and Lautner for best breakthrough performance male along with Ben Barnes ("The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian") and Bobb'e J. Thompson ("Role Models"). Co-star Freida Pinto is up for best female breakthrough performance along with Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens ("High School Musical 3: Senior Year"), Miley Cyrus ("Hannah Montana: The Movie"), Amanda Seyfried ("Mamma Mia!") and  Kat Dennings, ("Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist").

"Twilight" stars Pattinson and Stewart compete for best kiss opposite "Slumdog Millionaire" heartthrobs Patel and Pinto, as well as James Franco and Sean Penn ("Milk") and Paul Rudd and Thomas Lennon ("I Love You, Man").

"Twilight" and "Slumdog" will also square off in the new category for best song, in which Oscar champ "Jai Ho" from "Slumdog" takes on Paramore's "Decode" ("Twilight"), Bruce Springsteen's "The Wrestler," and Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" ("Hannah Montana: The Movie").

Another new category is "best WTF moment," which includes Amy Poehler peeing in the sink in "Baby Mama," Ben Stiller licking a decapitated head in "Tropic Thunder," young Jamal jumping into the outhouse excrement in "Slumdog Millionaire," Angelina Jolie killing all of her foes and herself with one curved bullet in "Wanted," and Jason Segel breaking up with Kristen Bell while naked in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

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'The Dark Knight' dominates Saturn Awards with 11 nods while 'Twilight' is almost shut out

March 11, 2009 |  4:39 am

"The Dark Knight" dominates the competition at the upcoming Saturn Awards, leading with 11 nominations, including a best picture bid as well as acting nods for leads Christian Bale and Maggie Gyllenhaal and supporting players Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart. Three years ago, "Batman Begins" won three of its nine Saturn Awards races — fantasy film, lead actor (Christian Bale), and writing (Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer).

The_dark_knight_saturn_awards

This 35th annual edition of the awards honors films across four genres — sci-fi, fantasy, horror and action/adventure/thriller. That last catch-all category is where "The Dark Knight" is competing against "Changeling," "Gran Torino," "Quantum of Solace," "Traitor," and "Valkyrie."

"Valkyrie," directed by sci-fi veteran Bryan Singer, earned mixed reviews but did surprisingly well in terms of the Saturns. Besides that best picture bid, the film's seven Saturn nods include one for leading man Tom Cruise and another for Singer. Cruise is a previous seven-time Saturn nominee with one win for "Vanilla Sky" back in 2001, while Singer is a five-time contender winning for "X-Men" in 2000.

As the acting races span all four genres, Cruise's competition besides Bale (a two-time nominee) includes Oscar nominee Brad Pitt, who picked up his third Saturn nod with his bid for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." That epic time-traveling fantasy earned nine nods in total. Sci-fi hit "Iron Man" scored eight including a lead actor nom for Robert Downey Jr., who won this award in 1993 for "Heart and Souls" and had one other nod. Harrison Ford contends for his work in the sci-fi romp "Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which has six nominations in total. Ford won lead actor for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1982 and has now been nominated for all four films in the franchise.

Heartthrob Robert Pattinson was snubbed for his leading role in "Twilight." Did past four-time nominee Will Smith, who won the award last year for "I Am Legend," edge him out with his nod for "Hancock"? That critical flop but commercial hit also landed a bid for best fantasy film as well as a second supporting actress nod for Charlize Theron. The only nomination for "Twilight" came in the fantasy film race where it faces off against "Hancock" as well as "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and "Wanted."

Pattinson's "Twilight" love interest, Kristen Stewart, was likewise left off the list of lead actress nominees. Oscar contender Angelina Jolie competes here as "Changeling" earned her a third Saturn nod. Among her competiton are two other Oscar winners — Cate Blanchett, who picked up Saturn nod No. 4 for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and Gwyneth Paltrow, who landed her second Saturn nom for "Iron Man" — as well as four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, who is now a four-time Saturn nominee with her bid for "Blindness," newbie Emily Mortimer ("Transsiberian"), and one-time past Saturn nominee Gyllenhaal.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Campaigners crash after the Oscars | Did Jennifer Aniston snicker when Brad Pitt lost? | Will Penelope Cruz fall into Carmen Miranda's trap?

March 3, 2009 | 11:17 am

• After winning the lead actor award at the Oscars for "Milk," Sean Penn has joined the campaign to have Harvey Milk's birthday, May 22, recognized as "a day of significance" in California. VARIETY

Woody Allen's "Whatever Works" will open the next Tribeca Film Festival. It's the first movie he's made set in New York City since 2004. HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Anne Thompson reports that the early exit of programmer Peter Scarlet from the Tribeca Film Festival "is an act of protest indeed." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

Penelope_cruz_carmen_miranda

• "Penelope Cruz won the best supporting actress Oscar for a role that lampooned her foreignness," notes a London paper. "Let's hope she doesn't fall into the trap that claimed Carmen Miranda." GUARDIAN

• There are lots of groans over the news that Ed Zwick will make another movie: "In the Heart of the Sea," based upon the destruction of the ship Essex by a sperm whale in 1820. His last, "Defiance," had high Oscar hopes but crashed after it got panned by Variety, the New York Times and the L.A. Times. Produced for $32 million, it earned only $27 million domestically. Lately, it's becoming popular to bash Zwick movies. The reason: His films have compelling subject matter and are well directed and acted, but they're terribly written. Dialogue is clunky. Characters are cookie-cutter cliches. Zwick should stick to directing, period. For his upcoming flick, he's the co-writer, along with the accomplished Marshall Herskovitz, but that's little reassurance, since together they gave us the clunkily penned "Last Samurai," which also fell far short of Oscar expectations. VARIETY

• While the Oscar success of "Slumdog Millionaire" marks a triumph for films made in India, the local film industry is suffering an all-time low in ticket sales. THE AUSTRALIAN

Oscar consultants are suffering battle fatigue and planning a wrap-up party. L.A. TIMES

• "'Slumdog Millionaire' child star Azharuddin Ismail has fallen ill as fears grow about the psychological state of the two young Indian actors," reports a London paper. TELEGRAPH

Scott Feinberg has been busy counting up fascinating Oscars stats. Here's an interesting factoid, for example: "Slumdog Millionaire" is the 10th best-pic winner that received most of its financing outside the U.S. FEINBERG FILES

• The Associated Press tally is wrong! While reporting on "The Simpsons" being extended two more TV seasons to become the longest-running series in prime-time TV history (surpassing "Gunsmoke"), the wire service counts 22 Emmy victories for that crazy Springfield cartoon clan. Hey, they've actually won 24. Most impressive: 10 of those were for best animated program. "The Simpsons" needs 13 more wins to tie "Frasier" as the weekly series with the most Emmys. ASSOCIATED PRESS

• Wake-up call to the Tonys? The 1993 hit film "Sleepless in Seattle" is coming to Broadway, adapted by original screenwriter Jeff Arch, who's working with composer/lyricist Leslie Bricusse ("Stop the World—I Want to Get Off," "Jekyll & Hyde," '"Victor/Victoria"). The original film was nominated for two Oscars. Arch was up for best original screenplay with co-writers Nora Ephron and David S. Ward (they lost to "The Piano" writer Jane Campion), and the film tune "A Wink and a Smile" was up for best song (losing to Bruce Springsteen's "Philadelphia"). PLAYBILL

• Fox News claims that the TV camera caught Jennifer Aniston snickering at the Oscars when her ex Brad Pitt lost lead actor and also claims you can see Brad being forced to his feet by Angelina Jolie when Kate Winslet beat her for best actress. Yeah, Brad's late getting up when everyone else stands around him, but he claps on cue when the winner's announced and, a short time later, he does rise. See the top video below. As for Jennifer, well, judge for yourself. See the bottom video. She's sitting right behind Sean Penn. She smiles when he wins. It's kind of a tilted, crooked smile. Is it really a snicker? FOX NEWS

Photos: The Weinstein Co., 20th Century Fox

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could be latest couple cursed at the Oscars

February 20, 2009 |  6:06 pm

For both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, the only speech they really need to rehearse for Sunday's Oscars is what to say when they run into his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston. After all, both Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are ranked by Gold Derby fourth in their respective lead races for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Changeling."

And the track record of couples both nominated for Oscars in the same year is not great. Of the 11 couples profiled below, only one — Frances McDormand and Joel Coen — both won on the same night. In four other derby years, the woman won while, in one instance, it was the man. And for the five others — including the most recent pairing of Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams in 2005's "Brokeback Mountain" — both of them lost.

Oscars_ethan_coen_frances_mcdorma_2

In 2005 Ledger and Williams met while making "Brokeback Mountain." He lost the lead actor race to Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote") while she lost the supporting actress Oscar to Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener").

In 1996, Joel Coen directed his wife Frances McDormand for the fifth time in "Fargo." She won her only lead actress bid (she has lost three supporting races) and he earned his first directing nod. While he lost that race to Anthony Minghella who helmed best picture champ "The English Patient" he shared the original screenplay Oscar with his brother Ethan Coen.

In 1995 Tim Robbins directed his partner Susan Sarandon to the lead actress Oscar in "Dead Man Walking." While Sarandon won on her fifth and, to date, final bid, Robbins lost his only helming nod to another actor turned director Mel Gibson who won for making best picture champ "Braveheart." Robbins would go on to win the supporting actor Oscar in 2003 for "Mystic River" which was directed by the ultimate crossover Clint Eastwood.

In 1968 Paul Newman directed his first film "Rachel, Rachel" with wife Joanne Woodward in the title role. Woodward lost the second of her four lead actress bids — she won with her first in 1957 for "The Three Faces of Eve" — to both Katharine Hepburn ("The Lion in Winter") and Barbra Streisand ("Funny Girl"). Newman was nominated for producing this best picture contender which lost to "Oliver!" He would go on to win on the seventh of his eight lead actor nods in 1986 for "The Color of Money" and earned a single supporting nod as well. Newman also received an honorary Oscar in 1985 and the Hersholt humanitarian Oscar in 1993.

Burton_taylor_virginia_woolf_oscars

In 1967 Katharine Hepburn won the the second of her record four lead actress awards for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" which was her final film with off-screen love Spencer Tracy. She always thought of this award as a tribute to Tracy, who died just days after filming finished on their ninth on-screen collaboration. Tracy lost his ninth and final lead actor race. He had won back-to-back Oscars in 1937 and 1938 for "Captains Courageous" and "Boys Town" respectively. "Dinner" was the only film they made together in which they were both nominated but Hepburn picked up the third of her 12 lead actress nods for their first collaboration "Woman of the Year" in 1942.

In 1966 husband and wife Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor contended in the lead races for "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" Taylor won the second of her two lead actress Oscars — the first was in 1960 for "Butterfield 8" — on her fifth and final nod. Burton lost the fifth of his seven nods to Paul Scofield ("A Man for All Seasons"). Burton shared the title of Oscar's biggest loser with his drinking buddy Peter O'Toole until O'Toole worsted him with his loss for "Venus" two years ago.

In 1963, Rex Harrison lost the first of his two lead actor bids for "Cleopatra" to Sidney Poitier ("Lilies of the Field") while wife Rachel Roberts lost her only best actress nod to Patricia Neal ("Hud"). Harrison would win the following year for reprising his stage role of Henry Higgins in best picture champ "My Fair Lady."

In 1957 husband and wife Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester were nominated for "Witness for the Prosecution." Laughton — already a lead actor champ for 1933's "The Private Life of Henry VIII" — lost the third of his three lead actor bids to Alec Guinness ("The Bridge on the River Kwai"). Lanchester lost the second of her two supporting actress noms to Miyoshi Umeki ("Sayonara").

In 1953 Ava Gardner successfully petitioned Columbia studio head Harry Cohn to cast her husband Frank Sinatra in "From Here to Eternity." While he won the supporting actor award she lost her only lead actress bid for "Mogambo" to Audrey Hepburn ("Roman Holiday"). Sinatra went on to earn one lead nod and was awarded the Hersholt humanitarian Oscar in 1970.

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Can Amy Adams really pull off an upset at the Oscars?

February 10, 2009 |  3:02 pm

When Tariq Khan makes a bold Oscar prediction, take heed. He's one of the savviest Oscarologists I know and this year he's going where no other guru dares: out onto a thin, shaky limb for Amy Adams ("Doubt") for supporting actress. Interesting call! That category, after all, is where most Oscar upsets happen.

Tariq has one of the best Oscar prediction rates every year. Check out the forecasts he made last year for Fox News — he scored 100%. Earlier this derby season he was one of the first pundits warning us that Kate Winslet might be nommed for "The Reader" instead of "Revolutionary Road."

Below, Tariq makes his argument for Amy Adams, building his Oscar case carefully by citing past award trends and issues at play this year. I dare to disagree with him, though. I think the two points he's not giving enough due are the Babe Factor and the fact that, while, yes, Amy Adams has the most screen time, she doesn't have the big impact scene emotionally that, say, her costar Viola Davis has or even front-runner Penelope Cruz. The Babe Factor boosts Cruz hugely, I think, and it's a trump card that shouldn't be downplayed. Over the last two decades the largely male academy has turned the lead and supporting actress winners' circles into a beauty pageant.

But Tariq has proved me wrong often in the past. Just for Gold Derby readers, he's written out his case below.

Amy_adams_doubt_oscars_academy_awar

I know that most pundits seem to think that Penelope Cruz in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" is ahead in the supporting actress race. However, I am going to make a bold prediction: Penelope Cruz will lose to Amy Adams in "Doubt."

I'll admit that I'm not certain about this, the way I felt certain last year that Julie Christie in "Away From Her" would lose to Marion Cotillard in "La Vie en Rose." Still, there are some key historical voting patterns that suggest an upset victory by Adams over Cruz may be likely. Allow me to explain.

An Oscars upset usually happens when two factors are in place: support for the presumed front-runner is softer than people realize and support for another nominee is stronger than people realize.

First, let's take a look at reasons why support for Cruz may be weaker than we think it is.

1.) She lost both the Golden Globe and SAG Awards. True, she lost to Kate Winslet in "The Reader," who isn't competing in this category at the Oscars. But how can one really be a front-runner without winning at least one of the two awards? In the previous 14 years (since the inception of the SAG awards), only nine out 56 nominees have won an acting Oscar without a Globe or SAG win. They are Kevin Spacey in "The Usual Suspects," Juliette Binoche in "The English Patient," James Coburn in "Affliction," Russell Crowe in "Gladiator," Marcia Gay Harden in "Pollock," Denzel Washington in "Training Day," Adrien Brody in "The Pianist," Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine" and Tilda Swinton in "Michael Clayton." That's a 16% Oscar success race for those with neither a Globe nor SAG victory. It's true that the other four supporting actress nominees this year face the same odds -– but they're the same odds faced by Cruz.

2.) Her film, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," is up for no other awards. Remember the one-nomination wonder factor I used when dismissing the chances of Cate Blanchett in "I'm Not There" and Amy Ryan in "Gone Baby Gone" last year? Well, I'm using it again here. Over the past 15 years, only four actors have won Oscars for films not nominated for any other awards. They are Jessica Lange in "Blue Sky," Angelina Jolie in "Girl, Interrupted," Charlize Theron in "Monster," and Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland." That's four out of 60 nominees, just under 7%. And Jolie, Theron and Whitaker were all both Globe and SAG champs, while Globe winner Lange only lost the SAG race to Jodie Foster in "Nell" because no one had seen her long-shelved "Blue Sky." (The film played in just a handful of theaters for about a week.)

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Free Oscar campaigning on TV

February 5, 2009 | 11:29 am

Over the last week or so you may have noticed the parade of Oscar nominees like Mickey Rourke, Taraji P. Henson and stars of best picture nominee "Slumdog Millionaire" Dev Patel and Freida Pinto on the morning chat programs like "Today," "CBS Early Show" and "Good Morning America." Amazing coincidence? Ha! Well, I've tried valiantly to compile a list of just some of them on similar shows for, well, your consideration. I haven't yet even tallied up their interviews in magazines like Sean Penn's current visit with Rolling Stone.

LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN
2/3 - Richard Jenkins

TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO
1/30 - Dev Patel
2/2 - Kate Winslet, Danny Boyle,
2/4 - Penelope Cruz
2/6 - Frank Langella
2/10 - Viola Davis
2/11- Amy Adams

Sean_penn_oscars_academy_awards_cam

LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN
2/5- Taraji P. Henson

LAST CALL WITH CARSON DALY
2/2 - Dev Patel
2/6 - Danny Boyle

CRAIG FERGUSON
1/28 - Freida Pinto

DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART
2/3 - Dev Patel

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE
2/9 - Mickey Rourke
2/10 - Josh Brolin

ABC NIGHTLINE
2/2 - Meryl Streep
2/3 - Angelina Jolie
2/4 - Penelope Cruz

THE VIEW
2/3 - Dev Patel
2/4 - Richard Jenkins
2/11 - Kate Winslet

LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY
2/13 - Anne Hathaway

THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW
2/3 - Josh Brolin
2/4 - Penelope Cruz
2/5 - Taraji P. Henson

TAVIS SMILEY (PBS)
2/4 - Sean Penn
2/9 - Melissa Leo


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to be among no-show nominees at Oscars luncheon

January 31, 2009 | 12:23 pm

Oscars nominees get together for the annual academy luncheon Monday and 15 of the 20 acting nominees will be among the almost 120 attendees.

Oscar_statues_061908

However, missing from the festivities at the Beverly Hilton Hotel will be: Oscars' lead actor contender Brad Pitt, who is busy promoting "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" overseas; his gal pal, lead actress contender Angelina Jolie ("Changeling"), who has gone along for the ride; New York-based Meryl Streep, who just equalled Katharine Hepburn's record dozen lead-actress nods with this bid for "Doubt" (she has a record tally of 15 Oscars noms overall — she was also MIA from this luncheon two years ago when nomm'd for "The Devil Wears Prada"); and Streep's co-star, supporting actor contender Philip Seymour Hoffman.

All five directing nominees — Danny Boyle, Stephen Daldry, David Fincher, Ron Howard and Gus Van Sant — are scheduled to attend, as are many of the Academy Award nominees in the other 18 races. Look for the historic group photo here Monday afternoon.

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Oscar nominations follow guild awards as a guide

January 22, 2009 | 11:59 am

This year 18 of the 19 SAG acting nominees are repeating at the Oscars. Since double SAG nominee Kate Winslet was bumped up by the Oscars from supporting to lead for "The Reader," she was denied a lead nom for "Revolutionary Road." However, that film's Michael Shannon managed to knock SAG nominee Dev Patel of "Slumdog Millionaire" out of the supporting race.

Last year 15 of the 20 SAG nominees went on to compete at the Oscars. Two years ago, it was a staggering 19 of the 20 with the one variation coming from the same film — "The Departed" — as SAG nominee Leonardo DiCaprio was replaced at Oscar time by Mark Wahlberg.

Oscars_nominations_guild_awards_4

Four of this year's five SAG-nominated ensembles appear in Oscar-nominated best pictures with SAG contender "Doubt" replaced by "The Reader." Last year only one SAG ensemble nominee — "No Country for Old Men" — made it into the best-picture race, although that film won both awards. Two years ago it was three of five, with "Little Miss Sunshine" taking the SAG prize, but losing the top Oscar to "The Departed."

All five of the lead actress nominees are competing for both awards, though Kate Winslet contends at the Oscars for "The Reader" rather than "Revolutionary Road." Last year, it was four of five as the only SAG nominee not needing a babysitter come Oscar night was Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart") whose spot went to "The Savages" star Laura Linney.

The supporting actress race matches up four to five as the promotion of Kate Winslet for "The Reader" left room at the Oscars for the addition of Marisa Tomei ("The Wrestler"). Last year, this race was also four for five with SAG nominee Catherine Keener ("Into the Wild") replaced by Saoirse Ronan of "Atonement."

Lead actor matched up perfectly. Last year, it went three for five with SAG nominees and relative newcomers Emile Hirsch ("Into the Wild") and Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl") replaced by Hollywood vets Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") and Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah").

And, as mentioned, the supporting race is four for five with Shannon replacing Patel. Last year SAG nominee Tommy Lee Jones ("No Country") was replaced by Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Charlie Wilson's War").

The DGA picks for best director matched up with four of the five academy choices as DGA nominee Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") was edged out at the Oscars by Stephen Daldry ("The Reader"). Daldry has only helmed three films and has Oscar nods for all of them, the previous two being "Billy Elliot" (2000) and "The Hours" (2002). Last year, DGA nominee Sean Penn ("Into the Wild") lost his Oscar slot to Jason Reitman who helmed best pic nominee "Juno."

The PGA nominees for best picture also went four for five with the Oscar contenders as "The Dark Knight" was bumped by "The Reader." Last year, it was also four for five with PGA nominee "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" replaced by "Atonement."

The WGA nods for original screenplay were shut out save for Dustin Lance Black and his script for "Milk." Last year they lined up with the Oscar nominees except for "Knocked Up" which was knocked out of the competition by the team who whipped up "Ratatouille." However, the adapted screenplay race went four for five with only the WGA nominees for "The Dark Knight" bumped by David Hare, who adapted "The Reader." Last year Sean Penn, who wowed the WGA with his adaptation of "Into the Wild," was snubbed by the Oscars as was the scripter for "Zodiac." They were replaced by "Atonement" adapter Christopher Hampton and first time writer-director Sarah Polley.

The ASC choices for best cinematography lined up with the Oscar nominees except for "Revolutionary Road" shooter Roger Deakins, who was replaced by Tom Stern for "Changeling." Last year the ASC went five for five.

The ACE picks for best editing match those of the Oscars. Last year ACE nominee "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" was replaced by "Michael Clayton."

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Buzzmeter experts predict the Oscars nominations

January 19, 2009 |  5:51 pm

Our pundits are piping in at the Buzzmeter with who they believe will receive nominations in the top races when the bids are unveiled this Thursday. Below is a sampling from these gurus: Thelma Adams (Us Weekly), Pete Hammond (Notes on a Season, The Envelope), Elena Howe (The Envelope), Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly) and Tom Tapp.

BEST PICTURE Adams Hammond Howe Karger Tapp
'Benjamin Button'

4

2

2

2

2

'Dark Knight'

3

5

5

5

4

'Frost/Nixon'

5

3

3

4

3

'Milk'

2

4

4

3

5

'Slumdog Millionaire'

1

1

1

1

1

BEST ACTOR Adams Hammond Howe Karger Tapp
Clint Eastwood, 'Gran Torino'

1

2

4

4

3

Richard Jenkins,

'The Visitor'

5

5

3

  

 

Frank Langella, 'Frost/Nixon'

4

4

2

3

4

Sean Penn, 'Milk'

3

3

1

1

2

Brad Pitt, 'Benjamin Button'

 

 

 

5

 5

Mickey Rourke, 'The Wrestler'

2

1

5

2

1

BEST ACTRESS Adams Hammond Howe Karger Tapp
Anne Hathaway, 'Rachel Getting Married'

2

3

2

2

3

Sally Hawkins, 'Happy-Go-Lucky'

4

5

 

4

 

Angelina Jolie, 'Changeling'

 

 

5

4

Melissa Leo, 'Frozen River'

5

4

4

 

 

Meryl Streep, 'Doubt'

3

2

3

3

2

Kristin Scott Thomas, 'I've Loved You So Long'

 

 

 

 

5

Kate Winslet, 'Revolutionary Road'

1

1

1

1

1

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Adams Hammond Howe Karger Tapp
Josh Brolin, 'Milk'

2

2

2

3

2

Robert Downey Jr., 'Tropic Thunder'

4

4

5

5

4

James Franco, 'Milk'

       

5

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 'Doubt'

3

3

3

2

3

Heath Ledger, 'The Dark Knight'

1

1

1

1

Dev Patel, 'Slumdog Millionaire'

5

5

 

4

 

Michael Shannon, 'Revolutionary Road'

 

 

4

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Adams Hammond Howe Karger Tapp
Penelope Cruz, 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'

1

1

3

2

2

Viola Davis, 'Doubt'

2

3

2

3

4

Rosemary DeWitt, 'Rachel Getting Married'    

5

   
Taraji P. Henson, 'Benjamin Button'

4

5

 

5

5

Marisa Tomei, 'The Wrestler'

 

4

4

4

3

Kate Winslet,

'The Reader'

3

2

1

1

1

Debra Winger, 'Rachel Getting Married'

5

   

 

  

  

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Gold Derby nuggets: SAG exec apologizes for nominees boycott | Vultures' Oscars view: 'Slumdog' up; 'Dark Knight' down | Karger: Meryl Streep could be front-runner

January 16, 2009 |  8:05 pm

• Fandango asked moviegoers to name their biggest gripes about the Oscars. No surprise: Half the respondees (51%) want the celebrities' political speeches nixed. Rants one poster to the contenders: "Shut up and entertain us. We don’t care what you think about politics. A bit of graciousness would be in order." FANDANGO

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• Variety reports SAG board member Frances Fisher has apologized for suggesting a boycott of eight nominees at the upcoming guild awards who oppose the union exec's efforts to get a strike authorization. "I apologize directly to Josh Brolin, Kevin Spacey, Susan Sarandon, Michael C. Hall, Sally Field, Alec Baldwin, Steve Carell and Tony Shalhoub for any discomfort my actions may have caused," Fisher said. Earlier this month, she forwarded a pair of anonymous e-mails proposing that SAG members not vote for the eight. That prompted former SAG president Richard Masur to compare Fisher's action to the blacklist of the 1950s. SAG president Alan Rosenberg also said that voting for the awards should be purely on artistic merit but added that he understood the "anger and frustration" that had prompted the boycott suggestion. VARIETY

• In the final Oscar Futures issued before nominations are announced next Thursday, the Vultures see the rise of "Gran Torino" -- "Yes, it would almost certainly lose to 'Slumdog Millionaire,' but Oscar-watching Daves Karger and Carr think its surprise box-office victory means it could sneak in there" — and the decline of "The Dark Knight" –- "Ignored by BAFTA, maybe it's not a lock for that fifth slot!" Also way up is Danny Boyle — "His predictable victory at the Golden Globes and 'Slumdog's' BAFTA nomination count (along with the fact that his movie's won basically every other award), make his lead seem even more insurmountable than it was last week" — while "Knight" helmer Christopher Nolan is down — "With 'Gran Torino' and 'The Reader' making last-minute surges, will he and his movie get snubbed?" NEW YORK

Dave Karger takes a closer look at the lead fillies in the best actress race and notes that there is only "one actress who's been recognized by each and every big pre-Oscar group and has a substantial win under her belt: Meryl Streep, who claimed the other best actress prize from the BFCA." As he concludes, "In this year's tightest major race, will consistency make the difference and propel Streep to her third Oscar win after all? Or will Kate Winslet or Anne Hathaway overcome a past snub to win favor with the academy? When the nominations are announced next Thursday, we'll see perhaps the most important factor: How many nominations voters throw to 'Revolutionary Road,' 'Rachel Getting Married' and, of course, 'Doubt.' I'm convinced that overall academy support for the eventual winner's film will be the deciding factor in which actress goes home with the trophy." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Clint_eastwood_gran_torino_oscars2

• And T.L. Stanley, who pens Gold Rush, revisits the best actor race, wondering whether Clint Eastwood can make another of his last-minute surges and "pull out nominations for himself and 'Gran Torino?' If he does, we're wondering at whose expense his nods will come. 'The Dark Knight' and Christopher Nolan, if he's a contender for best picture and director? And in the best actor race, could he bump Richard Jenkins or Leonardo DiCaprio, who are seeming like longer shots with each passing day? (That means the race could shape up like this: Sean Penn, Mickey Rourke, Frank Langella, Brad Pitt and Eastwood). There's no denying how revered Eastwood is, particularly by the male Hollywood establishment and, by extension, lots of academy voters." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• The American Film Institute lifetime achievement kudos fest has found a new home on TV Land, reports Variety. "The channel has signed a four-year deal with the AFI for exclusive broadcast rights to the event starting this year. Deal kicks off with the 37th annual lifetime kudo, which will be handed to Michael Douglas June 11 in Los Angeles. Event will premiere July 19 on TV Land’s prime-time programming block." VARIETY

• Tony, Emmy and SAG Award champ Christine Baranski will return to series TV with her upcoming guest spot on "The Big Bang Theory." She will appear as the mother of Leonard, played by Johnny Galecki. Last season, according to TV Squad, his fellow "Roseanne" alum, "Emmy-winner Laurie Metcalf, appeared in season one as a super-religious Texas mama who knows better than anyone how to get to Dr. Sheldon Cooper. Now Leonard's mother is going to be introduced . . . and she's a brainiac. Her specialty is research on the human brain, and according to Bill Prady, 'Big Bang' executive producer, 'There's the possibility that Leonard is the least successful in his family, that his parents always pushed him toward academic success.'" TV SQUAD

• Army Archerd revisits his 1969 column that reported that the "totally new concept in Academy Awards shows gets under way this weekend as Gower Champion tells Gregory Peck and board members plans for the gala April 14 doings at the Music Center setting." As Archerd writes, "Laurence Mark and Bill Condon, producer and exec producer of the 81st Oscars, Feb. 22, are heavily into meetings and awaiting the academy's announcement of nominees Thursday. When I read the above excerpt of my 40-year-old column about that year's show to the two of them they both happily exclaimed, 'That's absolutely the show that inspired us.' It was the first old Oscars tape they asked the academy to show them. 'It was one of my first significant showbiz inspirations,' Condon said. 'He [Champion] gave it [the Oscars] elegance.'"VARIETY

Read related posts:

Gold Derby nuggets: Dave Karger on wide-open acting races| Sasha Stone previews BAFTAs| Will TV's 'Arrested Development' and 'Pushing Daisies' make it to big screen?

Gold Derby nuggets: Will Oscars imitate Golden Globes? | Karger: Could 'Gran Torino' get best picture nod? | Will 'Mad Men' creator Matt Weiner return for third season?

"Dexter" photo courtesy of Showtime, "Gran Torino" photo courtesy of Warner Bros.

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100% perfect, can't-be-wrong Golden Globes predictions

January 11, 2009 | 12:54 am

Slumdog_millionaire_golden_globes_2

Here's my analysis of the top Golden Globe Awards races. Category per category. See a breakdown of predix from more than a dozen top pundits HERE. Film critic Gene Seymour outlined his analysis for Gold Derby readers HERE. See a full list of nominees HERE.

BEST DRAMA PICTURE
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
"Frost/Nixon"
"The Reader"
"Revolutionary Road"
X - "Slumdog Millionaire"

It's Goliath versus David — the big, epic studio film packed with superstars ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button') up against a sly underdog indie (make that "Slumdog") featuring actors we don't know.

Usually, the Golden Globes prefer big pictures as best picture like last year's winner "Atonement" over Oscars champ "No Country for Old Men." Remember, these awards are voted upon by foreign journalists who seem to have a special appreciation for big magic made by the goliath Hollywood studios that once mesmerized them from afar, back in their native lands. If they're still so bedazzled now, they'll go for "Button," which also features the kind of A-list celebs that the voters usually demand.

But that's where things get confusing this year. Did the inclusion of Brad Pitt in "Babel" help it to win best picture two years ago? "Babel" seems to have a lot in common with "Slumdog Millionaire." Both are set overseas in poverty-stricken locales and include foreign dialogue. But "Slumdog"  doesn't have Western stars like "Babel." Does that matter?

I don't think so. Instead, I suspect that these outlander journalists are comfy with foreign-set films as long as the pix are popular among the Hollywood cool crowd. "Slumdog Millionaire" seems to be Oscar-bound. Usually, the Oscars and Golden Globes agree on best picture — they've done so 42 times over the past 64 years, mostly in the drama category, of course, but some in the musical/comedy genre ("Chicago," "Shakespeare in Love"). Over the past three years they disagreed. "Slumdog Millionare" strikes me as just the kind of movie that can hit both jackpots.

Mamma_mia_golden_globes

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL PICTURE
"Burn After Reading"
"Happy-Go-Lucky"
"In Bruges"
X - "Mamma Mia!"
"Vicky Cristina Barcelona"

Most pundits are predicting "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" because they think that Golden Globe voters think (like they do) that Woody Allen is cool. And they may be right. It was at the Globes years ago that his quirky roles in "Mighty Aphrodite" (Mira Sorvino) and "Bullets Over Broadway" (Dianne Wiest) got noticed before the Oscars and, while Globers preferred Neil Simon's "The Goodbye Girl" to "Annie Hall" for best musical/comedy picture of 1977, they did crown "Hannah and Her Sisters" as the best of 1986.

Furthermore, the foreign journalists may really like the fact that "Vicky" is set in Spain.

However, I believe in the awards-prediction theory that, at the Golden Globes, successful musicals trump comedies.

Look at the list of past winners in this race. For the most part, whenever a successful tuner was nominated, it won — "Sweeney Todd," "Dreamgirls," "Chicago," "Moulin Rouge," "Evita," "The Lion King." Other champs like "Walk the Line" and "Almost Famous" were really musicals too, let's face it. Sure, "Phantom of the Opera" and "Ray" lost to "Sideways," but that's probably because the musical vote split (and "Phantom" wasn't a success).

"Mamma Mia!" is not only a successful musical, it's one of the biggest foreign musical hits ever — back in the home countries of the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. Don't you think voters are tempted to validate the view of their kin with a Hollywood award?

BEST DIRECTOR
X - Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"
Stephen Daldry, "The Reader"
David Fincher, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Ron Howard, "Frost/Nixon"
Sam Mendes, "Revolutionary Road"

This race is where we often see the most dramatic evidence of voters' desire to spread the wealth — that is, those Globes of gold. Whereas the directors' award usually lines up with best picture at the Oscars, the two prizes often split here. Since the year 2000, the Globes for directing and picture(s) have split six times in eight years. However, before we get too carried away with that statistic, we should note that there was much more agreement during the 1990s.

Many kudos watchers believe these two Globes will split again this year. It makes more sense to predict that best director will go to "Slumdog's" Danny Boyle since he's British and because the director's award tends to go to the more artsy flick (like "Diving Bell and the Butterfly" helmer Julian Schnabel last year). There's a lot of backlash against "Button" helmer David Fincher of late, so it seems unlikely he can win. That's why some award gurus are predicting "Button" for best drama picture and "Slumdog's" Boyle for director.

But I'll stubbornly stick with "Slumdog" here too.

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio, "Revolutionary Road"
X - Frank Langella, "Frost/Nixon"
Sean Penn, "Milk"
Brad Pitt, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler"

Expect an upset here. Sure, Sean Penn's won practically every precursor award so far, but he frequently snubs the Golden Globes. This year he didn't participate in the "Milk" press conference at HFPA. When he won four years ago, he didn't show up. That night Clint Eastwood raced to the stage to accept on Sean's behalf and save face for the "Mystic River" team. Afterward, Penn promised he'd attend the Globes the following year to present an award. Again, he didn't show up.

Furthermore, it's apparent that voters don't like "Milk." It's not nominated for best picture or in other top races.

That's why I think Frank Langella will prevail. He not only portrays a real person (all voters of showbiz awards are suckers for that), but a really (in)famous American one — the utterly fascinating, bizarre Richard Nixon. If you've ever met HFPA members, you know that they're mostly of a certain age. No doubt they remember his tragic presidency well and are rightfully impressed with how brilliantly Langella nails him.

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
X - Anne Hathaway, "Rachel Getting Married"
Angelina Jolie, "Changeling"
Meryl Streep, "Doubt"
Kristin Scott Thomas, "I've Loved You So Long"
Kate Winslet, "Revolutionary Road"

First off, let's deal with this Kate Winslet problem. Support for "Revolutionary Road" is lukewarm. If voters are going to give her a Globe (she's lost five times just like she has at the Oscars), they're probably going to give it to her in supporting. I hear that voters really, really like "The Reader" a lot and want to give it a prize.

That means this lead category is between those former "The Devil Wears Prada" costars who just tied at the Critics' Choice Awards. What's great about the Globes is that they don't punish older gals like Oscar voters do. Meryl Streep hasn't won an Oscar in more than 25 years, but she bagged a Globe two years ago for "Prada" and five years ago for "Adaptation." (In between, she triumphed in the TV races for "Angels in America.")

But Globers really like to crown hot, sexy new ingenues too — they seem to like that most of all. Anne Hathaway just made an impressive crossover from blockbuster popcorn pix like "The Princess Diaries" to artsy fare. They gave a Globe to Julia Roberts for doing the same in "Erin Brockovich."

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTOR
Javier Bardem, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
X - Colin Farrell, "In Bruges"
James Franco, "Pineapple Express"
Brendan Gleeson, "In Bruges"
Dustin Hoffman, "Last Chance Harvey"

Everybody except Brendan Gleeson has a real chance to win. I'm going with Colin Farrell because the Globers I've spoken to are crazy for "In Bruges" and are eager to get it attention. Besides, Farrell's a sexy superstar who's overdue to be taken seriously with a chunk of kudos gold.

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL ACTRESS
Rebecca Hall, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Sally Hawkins, "Happy-Go-Lucky"
Frances McDormand, "Burn After Reading"
X - Meryl Streep, "Mamma Mia!"
Emma Thompson, "Last Chance Harvey"

Yeah, yeah, Golden Globe voters love director Mike Leigh's leading ladies (Brenda Blethyn, "Secrets and Lies") and it's true that Sally Hawkins has a shot here. But if you buy the idea that Globers will give their darling Meryl an award somewhere, here is the logical place. This is where she wowed us with her versatility. "Postcards From the Edge" was so long ago that we'd forgotten she could sing!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Cruise, "Tropic Thunder"
Robert Downey Jr., "Tropic Thunder"
Ralph Fiennes, "The Duchess"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Doubt"
X - Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight"

There's a remote possibility that they'll go for Robert Downey Jr. or Philip Seymour Hoffman, but only remote. This belongs to Heath Ledger, of course.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, "Doubt"
Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"
Viola Davis, "Doubt"
Marisa Tomei, "The Wrestler"
X - Kate Winslet, "The Reader"

If you buy the theory (and it does make sense) that voters will want to give "Vicky" something, here's the logical place to reward it — that is, if "Vicky" loses best musical/comedy picture to "Mamma Mia!" Penelope Cruz has several other strong pluses. She romped through early awards from the New York and Los Angeles critics and the National Board of Review. She's foreign — just like voters — and she's the kind of sexy superstar voters adore.

But I think Cruz will be hurt here by the fact that "Vicky" is a comedy and "The Reader" is a gripping drama they want to reward.

BEST ANIMATED FILM
"Bolt"
"Kung Fu Panda"
X - "Wall-E"

No explanation necessary.

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