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Category: Cannes Film Festival

65 nations compete for best foreign film at the Oscars

October 13, 2010 |  1:12 pm

Movies from 65 nations will compete for best foreign film at the Oscars, including entries from Ethiopia and Greenland, which are new to the race.

The rundown just issued by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be whittled down to a short list of nine titles after they are screened and scored by academy members, who are divided into four color-coded teams (white, green, blue and red) that each view 16 movies between Friday and Jan. 13. The teams will select at least six titles. An academy review committee has the authority to add up to three more movies to complete a short list of nine to be announced in January. Then the semi-finalists are viewed and scored one more time by select academy members who decide the five nominees to be unveiled on Jan. 25. Only academy members who attend screenings of all five nominees may vote for the winner to be announced on Feb. 27.

Biutiful newsThere are two initial standouts, both of which recently won prizes at the Cannes Film Festival: Palme d'Or champ "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" (Thailand) and "Biutiful" (Mexico) starring best actor victor Javier Bardem. "Biutiful" is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, whose "Amores Perros" was nominated for best foreign film of 2000 and whose "Babel" was up for best picture of 2006. However, Cannes champs are often cursed at the Oscars.

Other films considered to be strong candidates for the short list include "Bal (Honey)" (Turkey), "Dogtooth" (Greece), "In a Better World" (Denmark), "Incendies" (Canada), "Kawasaki’s Rose" (Czech Republic), "Life, Above All" (South Africa), "Of Gods and Men" (France), "Outside the Law" (Algeria) and "Son of Babylon" (Iraq).

Below, the full official list, cited alphabetically by country:

Albania, "East, West, East," Gjergj Xhuvani, director
Algeria, "Hors la Loi" ("Outside the Law"), Rachid Bouchareb, director
Argentina, "Carancho," Pablo Trapero, director
Austria, "La Pivellina," Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, directors
Azerbaijan, "The Precinct," Ilgar Safat, director
Bangladesh, "Third Person Singular Number," Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director

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Toronto Film Festival lineup loaded with Oscar hopefuls

July 27, 2010 | 10:45 am

TIFFlogo-1024x309 The 35th annual edition of the Toronto Film Festival is scheduled to include the world and North American premieres of a slew of awards contenders. This year's festival is to kick off on Sept. 9 and run for 11 days.

Among the 50 titles announced Tuesday are the following films that could well figure in the contests for kudos this year:

"Another Year" -- The latest domestic drama by Mike Leigh ("Happy Go Lucky") is centered on a middle-aged couple (Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen) and their assorted friends and family, including a saucy alcoholic (Lesley Manville).

"Biutiful" -- Oscar champ Javier Bardem won best actor at Cannes for his portrayal of a dying father looking for redemption in this film from Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Babel").

"Black Swan" -- Darren Aronofksy's psychological thriller revolves around a dancer (Natalie Portman) in competition with a young upstart (Mila Kunis) for the prima ballerina position.

"Casino Jack" -- Two-time Oscar champ Kevin Spacey portrays jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff in this political drama from George Hickenlooper.

"The Conspirator" -- Robert Redford's film about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln features James McAvoy as a war hero defending a mother (Robin Wright) accused of aiding her son in the plot to kill the president.

"Conviction" -- Tony Goldwyn's stirring biopic stars two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank as the crusading Betty Anne Waters, who worked tirelessly to free her wrongfully imprisoned brother (Sam Rockwell) .

"The Debt" -- Oscar champ Helen Mirren joins forces with "Avatar" star Sam Worthington for John Madden's thriller about Israeli agents on the hunt for a Nazi in 1965.

"The King's Speech" -- Colin Firth plays King George VI and Helena Bonham Carter his supportive wife, Elizabeth, in Tom Hooper's historical drama, which focuses on the work of a speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) who boosts the king's confidence.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Sandra Bullock returning to red carpet? | Can Cannes boost Oscar hopes? | Tonycast details

May 25, 2010 |  1:58 pm

Sandra Bullock MTV Movie AwardsSandra Bullock may actually be on hand to collect a golden popcorn bucket or two at the MTV Movie Awards on June 6. Ted Casablanca and John Boone deliver the scoop: "While nothing is confirmed, a fashionable source spills that Sandra's stylist has been pulling together outfits from top-notch labels for 'The Blind Side' babe to check out should she decide to strut her stuff for the photogs." Bullock is in the running for three awards -- best kiss (with her co-star from "The Proposal" Ryan Reynolds), best female performance ("The Blind Side") and best comedic performance ("The Proposal"). Bullock won three MTV kudos back in 1995 for her breakout hit "Speed" and contended for four more in the following two years.  E ONLINE

Sir Paul McCartney will be feted at the White House on June 2 when he will be presented with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The award -- bestowed by the Library of Congress -- has gone to Paul Simon (2007) and Stevie Wonder (2009). Wonder -- a one-time duet partner for McCartney -- is among those bold-faced names slated to perform during the ceremony. Also on hand will be Elvis Costello, Faith Hill and the Jonas Brothers with the event set to air July 28 on PBS.

• "Glee" will continue to sing for Fox for at least two more seasons. The network announced the renewal of the freshman hit -- which won the Golden Globe for best comedy series -- on Monday. Both of our Emmy experts -- Chris "Boomer" Beachum and Robert "Rob L" Licuria -- expect the show to be in the running for the top TV award when nominations are announced July 8.

Randee Dawn thinks that "Glee" will not be the only first-year series to figure in this year's Emmy Awards. For example, both "Modern Family" and "The Good Wife" feature likely nominees. However, she cautions, "despite the abundance of new contenders this year, the odds of a winner among them are slim. During the past five years, in the comedy categories only two first-time lead actress nominees have won (Felicity Huffman in 2005 for 'Desperate Housewives' and America Ferrera in 2007 for 'Ugly Betty') and only one lead actor (Ricky Gervais in 2007 for 'Extras'; he had won notice in other categories but not in acting). First-time nominees have even less luck in the lead actor and actress drama categories. Patricia Arquette ('Medium') was the last one, male or female, to win for her first nomination, and that was in 2005." THR

Javier Bardem Cannes Biutiful • The Envelope's Pete Hammond filed a series of must-read reports from the Cannes filmfest. In this final dispatch, Pete considers the awards potential of various films. "Of the prizewinners, expect to see Javier Bardem become a major player leading up to the 83rd Oscars once the Spanish-language 'Biutiful' finds a domestic distributor. The film is likely to be Mexico's foreign-language entry even though it was shot in Spain. Leading the list of foreign-language contenders is 'Of Gods and Men,' the moving, true drama about a group of monks under siege in war-torn Algeria. It follows nominees 2008 Palme d'Or winner 'The Class'  and 2009 grand jury winner, 'Un Prophète,' as the obvious French entry (Cannes fest director Thierry Frémaux is on the selection committee) but has a better chance than either of those actually to prevail in the category. I guarantee it will play very well with the academy's more conservative selection committee, whereas Thailand's 'Boonmee' may be too surreal for their tastes." And Pete says, "other movies not winning award recognition but making a big enough splash here to move on to the academy race include a potential best picture and actress (Lesley Manville) nominee in Mike Leigh's 'Another Year,' with 'Fair Game' also in picture and acting contests (Sean Penn, Naomi Watts). NOTES ON A SEASON

• Two helmers -- veteran Roger Corman and relative newcomer Lee Daniels -- will be honored by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television during the upcoming annual Festival of New Creative Work. Both will be in the spotlight on the closing night of the fest June 10.

•The Channel 4 biopic "Mo" starring Julie Walters as the late Labour politican Mo Mowlam picked up three prizes at the BAFTA craft kudos Tuesday -- director, editing, and hair/makeup. Walters is nominated at next month's BAFTA TV awards for her gritty performance. "Red Riding" won two awards while "The X Factor" won the production team prize. BBC

• One of the Vulture wags -- Josh Duboff -- takes note of the surprisingly low number of tweets about Sunday's series finale of "Lost." As Josh writes, "While the numbers are still impressive - there were 437,613 'Lost'-related tweets the night of the finale, significantly higher than the average of 27,000 tweets posted per show during the season -- the series-ender's twitter chatter was tromped by that of other big events, like the Academy Awards, which saw about 780,000 Oscar-related tweets this past March. You know, we were thinking that church scene could have benefited from an uncomfortably long interpretative dance number." NEW YORK

Tony Awards logo Following Tuesday's announcement of Sean Hayes as host of this year's Tony Awards comes the first round of bold-faced names scheduled to appear on the June 13 CBS kudocast: Antonio Banderas, Justin Bartha, Cate Blanchett, Michael Douglas, Kelsey Grammer, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, Lucy Liu, Lea Michele, Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Chris Noth, Bernadette Peters, David Hyde Pierce, Tony Shalhoub, Liev Schreiber, Denzel Washington and Raquel Welch.

• Three-time Grammy champ Brandford Marsalis told Andrew Gans he was shocked to get a Tony nomination for his score for the revival of "Fences." As he explains, "When you've finished … a record, you're like, 'All right, this might get a Grammy nomination.' It crosses your mind, [but it] never crossed my mind, that, 'Wow, this ['Fences'] music might get nominated for a Tony.' It just never crossed my mind." As to whether the jazz composer would tackle a full-length tuner, he says, "When you think about the stuff that Gershwin wrote and Lorenz Hart and Hammerstein and Rodgers, they wrote these songs for these plays, and the songs are still being sung 60, 100 years later. And, then you look at some of the modern plays and some people have been able to do that, but that would be the challenge: to write songs that have a certain kind of universal appeal in an era like ours now. It would be a hell of a challenge. If this opens the door to that, that would be awesome." PLAYBILL

• Turns out current Tony nominees Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury are indeed irreplaceable. The two headline the nominated revival of Stephen Sondheim's 1973 Tony champ "A Little Night Music." While the run had been extended to Aug. 29, it will now shutter on June 20 which is the end date for these star troupers. There had been a rumor along the rialto that Oscar champ Gwyenth Paltrow ("Shakespeare in Love") and her Tony-winning mother Blythe Danner would head up a replacement cast.

Top photo: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds at the 2009 MTV Movie Awards. Credit: MTV

Middle photo: Best actor winner Javier Bardem at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. Credit: Reuters

Bottom photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: American Theater Wing

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Quelle surprise! 'Uncle Boonmee' nabs Palme d'Or at Cannes

May 23, 2010 | 12:54 pm
Cannes Film Festival winners Uncle Boonmee news

Thai film "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" became the first Asian movie since 1997 to win the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. The previous Asian champ was Japan's "The Eel," which shared the golden palm with Iran's "Taste of Cherry."

"Uncle Boonmee," by director Apichatpong Weerasethakul -- about a man taking a mystical journey as he dies of kidney failure -- pulled off a bit of an upset. Front-runners were considered to be Xavier Beauvois' "Of Gods and Men," which won the grand prize, and Mike Leigh's "Another Year," which won nothing. "Uncle Boonmee" may have been popular with the fest jury, but not with Hollywood execs. It failed to secure a U.S. distribution deal while unspooling on the Riviera.

Javier Bardem ("Biutiful") shared the best-actor prize with Italian actor Elio Germano ("Our Life"). Juliette Binoche ("Certified Copy") won best actress. Read more at 24 Frames.

Other winners:

Jury Prize: "A Screaming Man" by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad)

Best director: Mathieu Amalric, "On Tour" (France)

Best screenplay: Lee Chang-Dong, "Poetry" (Korea)

Camera d'Or (first-time director): "Ano Bisiesto" by Michael Rowe (Mexico)

Best short film: "Chienne d'Histoire," by Serge Avedikian (France)

Photo: Actress Charlotte Gainsbourg and director Apichatpong Weerasethakul as he accepts the Palme d'Or award for "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" at the Cannes Film Festival. Credit: Eric Gaillard / Reuters

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Pete Hammond's canny take on Cannes Film Festival

May 13, 2010 |  8:13 am

Cannes_festival_logo Our great pal and fellow Envelope contributor Pete Hammond has jetted off to the South of France and is filing a series of must-read reports on the annual Cannes film festival. For Pete, "the festival may not quite be an Oscar movie magnet. After all it is held in May and many academy-friendly movies just aren't ready and/or willing to make the trek and take the risk this early, but we have to say, if Telluride/Toronto/Venice in early September is the 'official' start of the season, then Cannes is the 'unofficial' start particularly for the foreign-film Oscar race."

As he notes, "last year the top two Cannes award winners, 'The White Ribbon' and 'Un Prophete,' both went on to academy nominations, as did competition winners 'The Class' and 'Waltz With Bashir' in 2008. Interestingly, in both years, the eventual Oscar victor was a more mainstream choice that never saw the light of day in Cannes, 'Departures' and this year's champ, 'The Secret in Their Eyes.' "

And, as Pete writes, "although you have to go all the way back to 1955 when 'Marty' took the top prize here, hope springs eternal that one day the best picture Oscar and the Palme d'Or will be a match again." As for the odds of that happening this year, he observes, "It doesn't help that the higher-profile films from past best-pic-winning directors here are all being presented out of competition, which include Oliver Stone's 'Wall Street' sequel, 'Money Never Sleeps,' French fave Woody Allen's latest, 'You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,' in addition to Ridley Scott's 'Robin Hood.' "

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Cannes film festival competition short on Oscar contenders

April 15, 2010 |  1:43 pm

Cannes_festival_logo Only one American film -- "Fair Game" from Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity") -- numbers among the 16 entries in the official competition of this year's Cannes Film Festival. This politically charged biopic about real-life diplomat Joe Wilson and his spy wife Valerie Plame stars two-time Oscar champ Sean Penn ("Mystic River," "Milk") and Naomi Watts who earned an Oscar nod opposite Penn in "21 Grams."

The director of that 2003 film was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who went on to win the best director award at Cannes for the Palme d'Or-nominated "Babel" in 2006. Prior to that he had picked up two critics prizes in 2000 for "Amores Perres," and he returns to the Croisette with his first Spanish-language film since then, the crime drama "Biutiful" starring Oscar-winner Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men").

Mike Leigh -- who won the top prize at Cannes in 1996 for "Secrets and Lies" as well as the directing award for "Naked" in 1993 -- contends once more with "Another Year," which features Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent ("Iris") and Imelda Staunton, who was a lead actress Oscar nominee in 2004 for Leigh's "Vera Drake." 

Last year, 20 films competed at Cannes, and there is talk that this year's smaller field may well expand. Two possible additions are "The Tree of Life" from Terrence Malick, who won the director prize here for his second film "Days of Heaven" in 1979, and "Inception" by Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight").

The jury -- headed by American Tim Burton, who now makes his home in London -- also includes Oscar-winning actor Benicio del Toro ("Traffic") and Kate Beckinsale, who starred in "Nothing but the Truth," a 2008 fictionalized version of the Wilson-Plame imbroglio.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Laura Dern 'Enlightened' by HBO | ACM honorees include Keith Urban | Tony Awards eligibility updates

April 8, 2010 |  4:57 pm

Laura Dern Enlightenment HBOLaura Dern has inked a deal with HBO for her first regular TV gig. She and Mike White -- who directed her in "Year of the Dog" in 2007 -- have created "Enlightened" a half-hour single-camera comedy about "a self-destructive woman who has a revelatory experience at a treatment center and becomes determined to live an enlightened life, creating unexpected havoc at home and work." Dern's mother, Diane Ladd, as well as Luke Wilson and Sarah Burns are to co-star in this showcase for Dern, which will begin its 10-episode run this year. Last year, Dern won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris in the HBO political drama "Recount." THR

Anne Thompson is aces at covering the Cannes filmfest and reports, "filmmaker Claire Denis ('White Material') will preside over the Un Certain Regard jury. I have also learned that Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal (whose new Spanish film 'Even the Rain' is tagged for possible inclusion in the fest) and Italian actress Giovanna Mezzogiorno ('Vincere') will join Tim Burton’s competition jury, while Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan ('Chloe') will preside over the Cinefondation Jury. And the Director’s Fortnight will award Agnes Varda with its 8th Carosse d’Or life achievement award." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

ACM logo • Australian crooner Keith Urban will be feted at the upcoming Academy of Country Music kudocast on CBS with the Jim Reeves International Award. Past recipients include Garth Brooks, Roy Clark, Buck Owens and Dolly Parton. Mel Tillis and the late Marty Robbins will be the recipients of the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award which has gone previously to such country legends as Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Brenda Lee and Loretta Lynn. Don Schlitz and the late Cindy Walker are to be honored with the Poet's Award and "Crazy Heart" will be given the Tex Ritter Award for showcasing country music on the big screen. The ACMs will handed out in Las Vegas on April 18.

• "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is coming to the TV Guide network beginning June 2, and while the basic cablecaster will edit the show for nudity and language, it is not cutting it for length. "Curb" ran 30 minutes or so on commercial-free HBO, so to round out the hour time slot, the net is programming "Curb: The Discussion." Hosted by "Curb" star Susie Essman and co-produced by the show's creator and star Larry David, the first panelists will be David's old pal Jerry Seinfeld, Emmy nominee Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") and Oscar nominee Taraji Henson ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"). TV GUIDE

• The 24th annual Genesis Awards air on Animal Planet on the weekend of April 24. The kudos -- honoring the media for their coverage of animal protection issues -- were handed out on March 20 at the Beverly Hilton. Among the recipients of the 19 awards were the Oscar-winning films "Up" and "The Cove" and the TV series "Bones" and "Family Guy." Actress Tippi Hedren was presented with the lifetime achievement award by her daughter Melanie Griffith. GENESIS

Tony Award • The administration committee for the Tony Awards convened for the third of four times this theater season on Thursday. The committee is made up of two dozen theater folk, with 10 apiece from the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing -- which jointly host these top theater kudos -- and one each from the Dramatists Guild, Actors' Equity Assn., United Scenic Artists and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. They rule on category placement as usually only those performers listed above the title are eligible to contend in the lead categories at the Tony Awards. However, with the increase in equal billing for all, there is a need to separate out the true star turns from the supporting players. As such, two-time nominee Laura Linney will contend as a lead for "Time Stands Still" as will Patrick Breen for "Next Fall." And of the four actors in "A Behanding in Spokane," only Oscar champ Christopher Walken was found to be in a leading role.

• And finally, file this in the truth-is-stranger-than fiction drawer. Turns out that Hungarian-born adventurer Count Laszlo de Almásy -- who inspired the romantic hero played by Ralph Fiennes in the 1996 Oscar-winning "The English Patient" -- was "actually homosexual and in love with a young soldier, according to letters discovered in Germany." DAILY TELEGRAPH


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Top photo: Laura Dern at the 2009 Golden Globe Awards. Credit: NBC

Middle photo: Academy of Country Music logo. Credit: ACM

Bottom photo: Tony Award statuette. Credit: American Theater Wing

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Glee' gives back | Tonys a no-go for Conan O'Brien | 'Avatar' rules Empire awards | 'Lost' finale finds big bucks

March 30, 2010 |  7:00 am

Glee_logo • "Glee" fans who can't wait for the return of the freshman hit to Fox on April 13 can see the show a few days early at "Glee" charity screenings in nine cities nationwide. Monies raised from the preview of the 14th episode of the Golden Globe-winning musical comedy series will support the school music program run by the Grammys foundation.

• Oscars co-host Steve Martin told Sandy Cohen he wasn't nervous the second time around on the stage of the Kodak Theater because he has been performing live so much as of late. The musical Martin has been strumming the banjo out on tour with the Steep Canyon Rangers. AP

• Add comic-book star to the list of achievements for daytime and prime-time Emmy champ Ellen DeGeneres. The one-time Oscar host is featured in a series of comics from Bluewater Productions that salute women of power. Previous installments of the series have spotlighted politicos Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi as well as TV legends Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey.

• Reporting on Sunday's American Cinematheque fete for Matt Damon, Josh Duboff notes, "It was more like a Comedy Central roast than a stuffy Hollywood ceremony." Among those skewering Damon were his best bud and Oscar-winning screenplay collaborator Ben Affleck ("Good Will Hunting"), that film's acting Oscar champ,  Robin Williams, and Oscar winners George Clooney, Clint Eastwood and Charlize Theron. The ceremony will air on ABC sometime in the coming months. NEW YORK

Tony Award • CBS offered Conan O'Brien the hosting gig at the upcoming Tony Awards, but the onetime NBC star declined. Reports are that O'Brien had agreed to forego appearing on TV until Sept. 1 when the peacock net paid him nearly $45 million after he was yanked from "The Tonight Show" just seven months into his contract. However, O'Brien is still going legit as he hits the road beginning April 12 with the 30-city tour of the aptly titled "The Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television Tour." GOSSIP COP

• Two contenders for this year's Tony Awards are shuttering on Sunday, well in advance of the June 13 ceremony. The first rialto revival of the 1960 Tony-winning play "The Miracle Worker," starring Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine") and Tony nominee Alison Pill ("The Lieutenant of Inishmore), opened to mixed reviews March 3. And the musical melange "All About Me" with Tony champ Dame Edna Everage ("The Royal Tour") and cabaret darling Michael Feinstein never found its footing after debuting March 18 to middling notices. These unexpected theater vacancies may well be filled by other shows rushing into town before the April 29 cutoff for Tony eligibility.

• Investing in a Broadway show is not for the fainthearted so the news that the musical "Next to Normal" has recouped its $4-million budget is indeed welcome. The tuner, about a woman battling bipolar disorder, won star Alice Ripley the lead actress award at last year's Tonys, bested "Billy Elliot" for score and tied with that show for orchestrations as well. Composer Tom Kitt credits the performance by the cast on the kudoscast with making the difference between profit and loss. "It seemed that our performance in a national forum that night created a new interest in the show." NEW YORK TIMES

Avatar Poster • On Sunday, "Avatar" picked up three awards, including best picture, from the U.K. film magazine Empire. James Cameron, who took the best director prize, attended the ceremony at London's Grosvenor House and said in his acceptance speech (with tongue firmly planted in cheek) that, "clearly the Empire magazine readership is more discerning than the British or American academies." No doubt Cameron was especially pleased that the film's performance-capture star Zoe Saldana won best actress. Supporting actor Oscar champ Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") went home with the best actor award. EMPIRE

• 1996 supporting actress Oscar champ Juliette Binoche ("The English Patient") has a starring role on the official poster of the Cannes film festival, set to unspool for the 63rd time beginning May 12 for a dozen days along the Croisette.

Rachel Weisz -- the 2005 supporting actress Oscar winner for "The Constant Gardener" -- may be battling James Bond in the 23rd installment of the long-running movie franchise. Weisz, who appears opposite Bond star Daniel Craig in the upcoming "Dream House," has joked in the past about being a Bond girl. But the plan is to have her star as the head of Quantum, the evil organization that has beset Bond in the last two movies. CINEMA BLEND

• Last year, Tim Allen reunited with the cast of "Home Improvement" to receive the Fan Favorite prize at the TV Land Awards. On April 17, he will host the eighth edition of these kudos at Sony Studios, with the festivities airing on the cable net on April 25. Among the already announced recipients are "Everybody Loves Raymond" (Impact award), "Glee" (Future Classic award) and, appropriately enough, the Legend award to both Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner. And Farrah Fawcett -- who was left out of the "In Memoriam" segment of the Oscars -- will be paid tribute by her "Charlie's Angels" costars.

Lost_Logo • The 2005 Emmy-winning best drama series "Lost" signs off for good on May 23, and the alphabet net is reportedly looking for $900,000 -- that is four times the usual rate -- for a 30-second spot on the two-hour finale. Although that would make it the most expensive ad buy for a series this season, it is a real bargain next to the $2.3 million that some advertisers paid to NBC for spots on the finale of "Friends" in 2004. No word yet on what Fox will charge for the two-hour series finale of the 2006 Emmy-winning best drama series -- "24" -- when it airs the following night. AD AGE

• Add Adam Lambert to the list of bold-faced names topped by Tom Ford appearing at the L.A. celebration of the 21st annual GLAAD Media Awards on April 17. Constance McMillen, the Mississippi teenager whose high school canceled the prom rather than allow Constance and her girlfriend to attend, will present the Stephen F. Kolzak Award to Wanda Sykes. GLAAD


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First photo: "Glee" logo. Credit: Fox

Second photo: Tony Award statue. Credit: American Theater Wing

Third photo: "Avatar" poster. Credit: Fox

Fourth photo: "Lost" logo. Credit: ABC

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Christoph Waltz: The glorious villain in 'Inglourious Basterds'

August 21, 2009 | 11:40 am

As a sadistic Nazi officer in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds," Christoph Waltz is the most deliciously evil villain seen by movie-goers since Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men" and Anthony Hopkins in "Silence of the Lambs." Wait! Is it a coincidence that both of those roles were Oscar winners — in flicks that won best picture?

Christoph Waltz won best actor at the Cannes Film Festival in May for "Inglourious Basterds" and now "is probably also destined for an Academy Award nomination," according to Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. But in which category? Waltz has more screen time than Hopkins, who won in lead, and a comparable amount to Bardem, who won in supporting. My guess is supporting, but I thought I'd torment the celebrated screen Nazi for his opinion.

Granted, Brad Pitt is dastardly in "Inglourious Basterds" too — ordering the beating (with a baseball bat) and scalping of German soldiers — but, hey, he's on our side.

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Will Cannes Film Festival winners repeat at the Oscars?

May 24, 2009 |  5:23 pm

The Cannes Film Festival unveiled its award champs: Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon" (best picture), Christoph Waltz in "Inglourious Basterds" (best actor) and Charlotte Gainsbourg in "Antichrist" (best actress). However, odds say they won't repeat at the Academy Awards.

Cannes Film Festival news The White Ribbon

Only one movie has won Cannes' Palm d'Dor and Oscar's best picture prize: "Marty" (1955). Other champs prevailed in other Oscar categories like "The Pianist" (best director for Roman Polanski, best actor for Adrien Brody, 2002). Some nabbed best-picture nominations, like "Secrets and Lies" (1996) and "Pulp Fiction" (1994).

Only three best actors have been shared by both kudos: Ray Milland ("The Lost Weekend," 1945), Jon Voight ("Coming Home," 1978) and William Hurt ("Kiss of the Spider Woman," 1985).

Five lead actresses have overlapped: Shirley Booth ("Come Back, Little Sheba," 1952), Simone Signoret ("Room at the Top," 1959), Sophia Loren ("Two Women," 1961), Sally Field ("Norma Rae," 1979) and Holly Hunter ("The Piano," 1993).

However, it should be stressed that many Oscar contenders probably owe their nominations to early triumphs at Cannes. I believe that a best-actress victory at Cannes helped Penelope Cruz to earn an Oscar bid for "Volver," which, in turn, surely helped her to win in the supporting race for "Vicky Cristina Barcelona."


The 2009 Palme d'Or goes to Michael Haneke's 'The White Ribbon'

Daily updates from the fest at the Awards and Festivals News Blog

The Envelope's photo gallery: The scene at Cannes

'Antichrist' is controversial, but therapeutic for director Lars von Trier

Terry Gilliam used magic to finish 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'

Photos: Sony Pictures Classics, United Artists

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Oscars buzz from the Cannes Film Festival

May 23, 2009 | 11:32 am

So far the flick with the most Academy Awards buzz at the Cannes Film Festival is "Bright Star" by Jane Campion of "The Piano," which won best screenplay in 1994 and garnered nominations for best picture and director.

Bright star cannes film festival

Variety's review: "Breaking through any period-piece mustiness with piercing insight into the emotions and behavior of her characters, the writer-director examines the final years in the short life of 19th-century romantic poet John Keats through the eyes of his beloved, Fanny Brawne, played by Abbie Cornish in an outstanding performance. Beautifully made film possesses solid appeal for specialized auds in most markets, including the U.S., where it will be released by Bob Berney and Bill Pohlad’s yet-to-be named new distribution company, although its poetic orientation and dramatic restraint will likely stand in the way of wider acceptance."

Roger Ebert reports, "I think I may have just seen the 2010 Oscar winner for best foreign film." Dishing "A l'origine" by director Xavier Giannoli, he adds, "Based on an incredible true story, it involves an insignificant thief, just released from prison, who becomes involved in an impromptu con game that results in the actual construction of a stretch of highway."


Daily updates from the fest at the Awards and Festivals News Blog

The Envelope's photo gallery: The scene at Cannes

'Antichrist' is controversial, but therapeutic for director Lars von Trier

Terry Gilliam used magic to finish 'The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus'

Photo: Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish in "Bright Star." Credit: BBC Films

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Cannes Film Festival tattle: Oscar hopes looking up for 'Up'

May 13, 2009 | 10:39 am

Pixar's 10th flick, "Up," is getting a joyous reception at the Cannes Film Festival. It's the fanciful tale of a grumpy old man (voice of Ed Asner) who ties thousands of balloons to his house so he can travel in comfort and see South America. Four previous Pixar flicks won best animated feature at the Oscars: "Wall-E" (2008), "Ratatouille" (2007), "The Incredibles" (2004), "Finding Nemo" (2003).

Up Cannes Film Festival 83719264 news

In an interview article with "Up" filmmakers, the Associated Press says, "The Oscars compartmentalize animated films into their own category. Audiences often do the same, lumping animation in as a genre meant mainly for kids. But Pixar's creative minds feel the choice of "Up" as the Cannes curtain raiser signals that animation can stand alongside the best that live-action films might offer."

In its review, Variety calls "Up" "a captivating odd-couple adventure that becomes funnier and more exciting as it flies along. Tale of an unlikely journey to uncharted geographic and emotional territory by an old codger and a young explorer could easily have been cloying, but instead proves disarming in its deep reserves of narrative imagination and surprise, as well as its poignant thematic balance of dreams deferred and dreams fulfilled."

The Hollywood Reporter review says, "What gives 'Up' such a joyously buoyant lift is the refreshingly nongimmicky way in which the process has been incorporated into the big picture — and what a wonderful big picture it is. Winsome, touching and arguably the funniest Pixar effort ever, the gorgeously rendered, high-flying adventure is a tidy 90-minute distillation of all the signature touches that came before it."

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