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Category: Christian Bale

Gold Derby nuggets: SAG Awards sets calendar | Evening Standard long list includes budding stage star Keira Knightley

October 25, 2010 |  1:48 pm

• The Dec. 16 nominations announcement for the Screen Actors Guild Awards will air live on TNT from the Pacific Design Center. Nominees are determined by the 4,200 SAG members who sit on separate film and television screening panels. In the wake of the success of other awardscasts going live nationwide, the 17th annual edition of these kudos will follow suit. TNT and TBS will beam the Jan. 30 festivities from the Shrine Auditorium live from coast to coast beginning at 5 p.m. PT. SAG AWARDS

Scott Kraft chats with "Fair Game" star Naomi Watts and Valerie Palme, the real-life subject of the film. L.A. TIMES

Erik Childress surveys the lead actor field and speculates on a last-minute entry by Christian Bale ("The Fighter"). MOVIEFONE

Sasha Stone points out a clever marketing trick pulled off online by "The Social Network" and "Black Swan." AWARDS DAILY

Keira-Knightley • The long lists for one of the top three West End kudos have been released and, as Natalie Woolman notes, "Judi Dench, Gemma Arterton, Sheridan Smith and Keira Knightley are among the nominees for the Natasha Richardson Award for Best Actress." Knightley made her West End debut in a production of Moliere's "The Misanthrope" last spring and received generally good notices. Also in the mix is "Another Year" star Lesley Manville for her performance in "Six Degrees of Separation." The final list of nominees will be released on Nov. 21 with the winners announced at a ceremony one week later. THE STAGE

• Knightley is set to return to the West End in the new year headlining a revival of Lillian Hellman's provocative 1934 play "The Children's Hour" opposite Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"). The subject was quite shocking at the time -- two schoolteachers whose close friendship subjects them to the scurrilous rumor that they are lesbians. And, as per Patrick Healy, with all going well in the West End, American audiences will see Knightley make her Broadway debut next fall. ARTS BEAT

Anne Thompson dismisses the notion that Tyler Perry could get into the game for his screen adapatation of the 1977 Tony-nominated play "For Colored Girls." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

Greg Ellwood catches up with Jennifer Lawrence, lead actress hopeful for "Winter's Bone," during her whirlwind visit to L.A. during a break in filming "X-Men: First Class" in London. HIT FIX

Jeff Wells wonders why more pundits aren't predicting that Anne Hathaway in "Love and Other Drugs" will be in the awards mix. HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Photo: Keira Knightley in "The Misanthrope." Credit: Comedy Theatre.


Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Fighter' trailer packs a punch | Mark Zuckerberg on 'The Social Network' | Sasha Stone: supporting actress race 'wide open'

October 18, 2010 |  2:44 pm

Mark Wahlberg Christian Bale The Fighter • For Kyle Buchanan, the trailer for "The Fighter," which debuted during Sunday's airing of "Mad Men," was a "wowser." He thinks this preview of the biopic starring Mark Wahlberg is expert at "reestablishing the movie as a highbrow awards pick in a two-minute spot so confident that a dessicated, transformative Christian Bale gets less screen time than Melissa Leo's amazing hair. (But what hair it is! Oscars now for that, please.)" VULTURE

Pete Hammond has all the details of the Oscar push for "Alice in Wonderland." As he reports, "this 6th biggest grosser of all time will start an unusual four-day theatrical engagement Sunday aimed squarely at attracting Academy members and Hollywood guilds. A full-page Sunday newspaper ad will launch the 3D run at the Arclight Hollywood and AMC Santa Monica from October 18th to 21st. The run will be accompanied by an exhibit of Colleen Atwood's costumes in the Arclight lobby." DEADLINE

Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere) and Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) have fun sparring on their fourth Oscar podcast. OSCAR POKER

• Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt ("Little Miss Sunshine") will deliver the keynote address at the academy's 25th annual Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting presentation dinner Nov. 4 at the Beverly Wilshire. The academy annually awards up to five Nicholl fellowships of $30,000 each. This year, 10 scripts have advanced to the final round. Since the program's inception in 1985, 113 fellowships have been awarded. AMPAS

• Speaking at Stanford University on Saturday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg addressed being the subject of "The Social Network." As Rachel Sklar reveals, "Says every shirt in the movie he still owns; he's been with the same girl since before FB launched; did not do it for the girls: 'They just can't wrap their head around the idea that someone would build something because they like building things!' " MEDIAITE

• Don't look for Zuckerberg in the audience when the cast of "The Social Network" is feted with the ensemble award at the Hollywood Awards Gala on Oct. 25 at the Beverly Hilton. HFF

• For Guy Lodge, "admittedly, 11 out of 65 is a figure that is only impressive if you're counting the listenable tracks on most latter-day hip-hop albums, but as a measure of the number of Best Foreign Language Film contenders I've seen, it's more than I've ever managed by this early point in the race. For that, I have my growing trail of film festivals to thank (even if I also have Venice schedulers to blame for ensuring that I missed Canada's hot prospect 'Incendies' in favour of, of all things, 'Miral'), and this year's London Film Festival has served me particularly well in this regard." IN CONTENTION

From the Scream Awards, Matt Donnelly filed a dispatch, which opens as follows: "Though merely misty at Los Angeles' Greek Theatre on Saturday, it was raining celebs for Spike TV's Scream Awards -- an annual celebration of creepy, cringe-worthy and fanboy fare. Backed by a massive outdoor set inspired by Christopher Nolan's 'Inception,' tons of bold-face names came to present and claim trophies as well as to unveil new footage from upcoming films. In a tiny gold cocktail dress, Halle Berry opened the show by introducing Nolan, who scooped up several statuettes for his Leonardo DiCaprio-led flick." MINISTRY OF GOSSIP

Sasha Stone surveys the field of potential supporting actress contenders and finds, "This is going to be a wide open category, I suspect, but by December we should have a better idea where it's going." AWARDS DAILY

Nathaniel Rogers concurs, commenting that, "the Supporting Actress Race is, as you've presumably surmised (being the smarty that you are) unpredictable at the moment. Almost everyone who people think might be in the running is an uncertainty." THE FILM EXPERIENCE

Rihanna will be the opening act for the 38th edition of the American Music Awards, airing live on ABC on Nov. 21. That is five days after her new album "Loud" is released. Previously announced performers include Usher, Pink and Bon Jovi. RAP-UP

• Seven-time Emmy champ Ed Asner has inked a deal for a supporting role on "Working Class," the first sitcom from cablecaster CMT. As this report notes, "His return to TV follows recent successes for two fellow cast-mates from the legendary 'Mary Tyler Moore Show': Betty White on TV Land's 'Hot in Cleveland' and Cloris Leachman on Fox's 'Raising Hope.'" AP

• Voting is now underway to determine the nominees for this year's People's Choice Awards. Fans can vote in 40 categories for their favorites in movies, TV and music. The top five nominees in each category will be announced on Nov. 9 and Queen Latifah will host the 37th annual kudocast on Jan. 5. PCA

Photo: Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in "The Fighter." Credit: Paramount

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Can 'The Fighter' score a knockout at the Oscars?

September 16, 2010 |  6:59 am

The fighter-1

Boxing flicks have heavyweight status at the Oscars. Two slugfests have won best picture: "Million Dollar Baby" (2004) and "Rocky" (1976). And several pugilist performances were declared champs in the acting rings: Hilary Swank ("Million Dollar Baby"), Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull," best pic nominee of 1980) and Wallace Beery ("The Champ," best pic nominee of 1931-32).

"Cinderella Man" (2005) could've been a contender except for two problems: a too-early release date (May) and Russell Crowe knocking himself out of the lead-actor bout by hurling a phone at a Manhattan hotel clerk.

Now "The Fighter" comes out swinging this December. Directed by David O. Russell ("I Heart Huckabees," "Three Kings," "Flirting with Disaster"), it tells the real-life tale of "Irish" Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) struggling for the world junior welterweight title while being coached by his half-brother (Christian Bale), a boxer-turned-trainer who rebounded in life after nearly being KOd by drugs and crime. Wahlberg scored a surprise Oscar nom in the supporting slot for "The Departed" (2006) and now will compete in the lead race. Bale is overdue to reap a bid from academy voters.

Photo: Mark Wahlberg in "The Fighter" (Paramount)

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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).

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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: Oscars' telecast earned only $71 million, but 'Slumdog Millionaire' hits the b.o. jackpot | Emmy champ 'Breaking Bad' returns

March 5, 2009 | 10:32 am

• Hey, Derbyites: Do you wonder how popular your favorite blog is? Check out the latest LATimes.com traffic report. Last month Gold Derby came in fourth place among the more than 50 blogs here at the Times, clocking 898,618 page views. Thanks for clicking! Oh, yeah, and please keep clicking! And clicking. READERS' REPRESENTATIVE

• Last year Showtime was the first TV network to put sample episodes online for Emmy voters to see. This year it's upping digital innovation by making episodes of "Dexter," "Weeds" and "United States of Tara" accessible via iPhone and iPodTouch. VARIETY

Bryan_cranston_breaking_bad2

• Looks like "Breaking Bad" will even be badder than ever when it returns to AMC Sunday night after pulling off a dramatic upset victory for Bryan Cranston as best drama actor at last year's Emmy Awards. "How rough can life get for Walt White, a quiet chemistry teacher with a pregnant wife and a handicapped son, who becomes a crystal meth dealer after discovering he is dying of lung cancer?" asks Reuters. "Much, much worse when 'Breaking Bad' begins its second season." TV show "Extra" covered the official premiere. REUTERS / EXTRA

• "'Slumdog Millionaire' is enjoying one of the best Oscar bounces on record," reports Variety. "'Slumdog Millionaire' has crossed the $200 million mark at the worldwide box office, joining an elite group of indie titles to do that kind of business." VARIETY

• The Oscars telecast generated only $72 million in ad sales for ABC — that's a big drop from the $81 million sold last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence. "The web sold 26 minutes of ad time during the kudocast. It filled six minutes and 20 seconds with network promos, the most since 2006," reports Variety. "The tough economy forced ABC to charge $1.4 million per 30-second spot in an effort to sell the inventory. That's comparably less than the $1.7 million it brought in last year per spot." VARIETY

• The poster and trailer to "Public Enemies" are out. Director Michael Mann's flick is due out this summer starring Christian Bale as a saintly FBI agent who hunts down John Dillinger (Johnny Depp). JOBLO

Public_enemies_2

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Did Christian Bale throw away his Oscars hopes by throwing that tantrum?

February 3, 2009 | 11:01 pm

Christian Bale just starred as the title character in the second biggest-earning movie ever made, "The Dark Knight," and next he plays the saintly FBI agent who hunts down John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) in director Michael Mann's "Public Enemies," which will be released this summer. That means Christian Bale may soon be considered seriously for an Academy Award. But is he destroying his Oscars hopes by bad-boy antics on the set of "Terminator Salvation" and elsewhere?

Christian_bale_oscars_academy_award

Just a few months ago, Christian Bale was accused of assaultng his mother. Now he's caught on tape hurling a tirade of verbal abuse at "Terminator Salvation" director of photography Shane Hurlbut. You can hear the actual audio here, but beware of excessive profanity.

Is Christian Bale throwing away his Oscars hopes? Bad boys don't win Academy Awards. It's no coincidence that the Oscars' two biggest losers — Peter O'Toole (eight defeats) and Richard Burton (seven) — have been Hollywood's biggest hell-raisers.

Or consider Marlon Brando. Early in his career, when he exulted in being a 'tude-heavy dude fond of throwing his fists around Hollywood, he left the Oscar ceremony in 1951 hugely embarrassed — the only cast member of "A Streetcar Named Desire" not to win despite widespread predictions otherwise. Things just got worse after that. Over the next two years Marlon Brando lost best-actor nominations for "Viva Zapata!" and "Julius Caesar."

Then in 1954, desperate to win, he finally wised up, knocked that chip off his shoulder, put on a fancy tuxedo and started acting all sweet and thoughtful at the Golden Globes, where he won best actor first, then repeated the feat at the Oscars for "On the Waterfront."

Also consider what's happened to Christian Bale's "3:10 to Yuma" co-star Russell Crowe. Just a few short years ago Crowe was the biggest superstar in the galaxy. When "Gladiator" swept the Academy Awards in 2000, it was all about him, not his movie as academy members welcomed the star of "L.A. Confidential" and "The Insider" into the inner circle of filmmaking like he was a real gladiator triumphantly entering the Hollywood coliseum.

Christian_bale_russell_crowe_oscars

The next year he again joined the Oscar race as the lead star of the eventual best picture winner, "A Beautiful Mind." He was still such a white-hot actor that he coasted through the early derby, easily snagging a best actor trophy from the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, SAG and — egads — BAFTA. That Brit fest is where the gladiator really threw himself to the lions. He did so by "roughing up," according to the London Sun, a British TV producer for daring to edit down Crowe's rambling recitation of a poem during his acceptance speech. Crowe apologized, but it rang hollow and Denzel Washington claimed the prize for "Training Day."

Two years later, Russell Crowe proved he was still a commanding screen star, although no longer the ruler of his domain. He landed the lead role in "Master and Commander," an epic, high seas blockbuster that cost $150 million to make. While it earned only $93 million at the U.S. box office, it was a hit with Oscar voters, reaping a whopping 10 nominations, including best picture, but — ominously — no acting bid for the movie's master and commander: Crowe. It ended up winning only two Academy Awards, both in tech categories.

More disaster followed for Russell Crowe with his next project, "Cinderella Man." This 2005 biopic helmed by Ron Howard looked like perfect Oscars fare: a well-crafted, feel-good tearjerker starring Crowe as a down-on-his-luck boxing hero. Reviews and buzz were excellent when it opened but soon thereafter Crowe pulled his biggest blunder yet. He got furious while dialing his hotel phone in Manhattan, yanked it out of the wall, marched down to the lobby and hurled it at an innocent hotel clerk. The clerk struck back by filing criminal charges.

Unfortunately for Russell Crowe, the whole incident had been caught on videotape by a security camera. This time Crowe wasn't taking a punch at a pesky paparazzo or fellow Hollywood bad boy. He took a potshot at an honest, hard-working, innocent Everyman, a regular Joe, just the kind of guy who spends a chunk of his paycheck to see Russell Crowe movies. Produced for $88 million, "Cinderella Man" ended up earning only $61 million domestically.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Rosie O'Donnell returns to TV ... 'Nottingham' loses Christian Bale? ... George Lucas on 'Indy V'

July 29, 2008 | 12:56 pm

Roger Friedman of Fox News offers an exclusive report on the details of the TV show that will bring daytime diva Rosie O'Donnell to prime time. He says, "The new show could turn out to be a 2009 version of Carol Burnett or even 'The Ed Sullivan Show.' The latter would even be better with Rosie presenting it all live — as in not on tape — from a Broadway theater, possibly on Sunday night. The show would have skits but more important Rosie O’Donnell could feature all kinds of acts from comedy to drama to music -- exactly what’s missing from prime time." The mercurial talent won six consecutive daytime Emmys for hosting her talker, another five for producing it, and a prime-time Emmy for producing the 1998 Tony Awards.

Rosie_odonnell_christian_bale

Lou Lumenick of the New York Post is following up on the just announced postponement of "Nottingham," Ridley Scott's revisionist take on the tale of Robin Hood, with bad boy Russell Crowe as the now good sheriff. While initial reports had shooting delayed due to scripting problems, Lou wonders, "If it's because of uncertainty over who will play the still unofficially cast role of Robin Hood, who is apparently a villain in this version (Sienna Miller was recently announced Maid Marion). As late as last week, the IMDB listed Christian Bale (Crowe's co-star in '3:10 to Yuma') as 'rumored' to swap his Batman tights for a more greenish hue. Today, IMDB lists Sam Riley ('Control') as 'rumored' to be playing Robin. Did Christian Bale bail because of his recent arrest? You'd think Universal would be much happier with the red-hot Christian Bale — even if they have to wait for him to straighten out his legal problems and maybe finish the two films he is reportedly currently shooting."

Anne Thompson of Variety faults the Times of London for "burying its lead in a long, unrevealing puff piece on George Lucas in conjunction with the upcoming release of the new 'Star Wars: Clone Wars' animated movie." Says Lucas to the Times on the possibility of another "Indiana Jones" picture: "If I can come up with another idea that they like, we’ll do another. Really, with the last one, Steven (Spielberg) wasn’t that enthusiastic. I was trying to persuade him. But now Steve is more amenable to doing another one. Yet we still have the issues about the direction we’d like to take. I’m in the future; Steven’s in the past. He’s trying to drag it back to the way they were, I’m trying to push it to a whole different place. So, still we have a sort of tension. This recent one came out of that. It’s kind of a hybrid of our own two ideas, so we’ll see where we are able to take the next one."

(Photos: ABC, Warner Bros.)


Goodbye, Oscar? Does Shia LaBeouf's hooliganism kill his future award hopes?

July 28, 2008 |  2:09 pm

Earlier this year, BAFTA singled out Shia LaBeouf for a special laurel that revealed that the lofty U.K. film organization — the equivalent to Hollywood's motion-picture academy — believes he'll be back someday as a serious player for further kudos. Shia LaBeouf received its rising star award.

Shia LaBeouf was taken seriously last year by the Screen Actors Guild when he was nominated for the ensemble award along with the rest of the cast of "Bobby." LaBeouf won a Daytime Emmy as best child performer of 2003 for his role as average American boy in Disney Channel's "Even Stevens."

Shia_labeouf_even_stevens_bobby_4

So all of that means he's poised to be a kudos player ahead. But Shia LaBeouf needs to be taken seriously as a person too. That means avoiding a different kind of public recognition — like his recent wacky arrests for suspicion of drunk driving in Hollywood and criminal trespassing in Chicago.

Lucky for Shia LaBeouf, the most serious damage he suffered physically was a busted hand and bruised knee when he flipped over his truck at La Brea and Fountain at 3 a.m. Sunday morning, Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies said. The charge against him is significant — drunk driving — but it's a misdemeanor and he was fortunate that the charges against him in Chicago were dropped when Walgreens decided not to pursue their complaint that Shia LaBeouf hassled their security guards after he partied all night at the Underground.

Memo to Shia LaBeouf: Straighten up, kiddo. If you ever want to win an Oscar, Golden Globe or prime-time Emmy — then you can't become one of those Hollywood hooligans. Remember: Two of the town's most notorious rascals — Peter O'Toole and Richard Burton — are Oscar's biggest losers (eight defeats for O'Toole, seven for Burton). Russell Crowe hasn't been nominated since he assaulted that BAFTA producer and hurled a phone at that Manhattan hotel clerk. CLICK HERE to continue reading more about how bad boys don't win Oscars.

KEEP READLING - CLICK HERE!

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VOTE: Can Heath Ledger win at the Oscars for 'The Dark Knight'?

July 23, 2008 | 12:31 pm

OK, so there's Oscars buzz across the media (CLICK HERE and HERE and HERE) insisting that Heath Ledger can win an Academy Award for the Joker's diabolical clash with Batman (Christian Bale) in "The Dark Knight," but is it really true? Now it's time for you to decide.

First off, keep in mind that Heath Ledger faces tough odds considering that only one star has ever won an Oscar from the grave. And Peter Finch ("Network") had a timing advantage. Finch keeled over from a heart attack just two weeks before the Golden Globes while vigorously campaigning to stop Robert DeNiro, who swept the early awards of 1976 for "Taxi Driver." Voters were overwhelmed with shock and grief when they ditched DeNiro for Finch. Next January when the Oscar noms come out, Heath Ledger will have been gone a full year. Will that matter? Is he also cursed because he stars in a popcorn pic like "The Dark Knight"? Read more about "Is Heath Ledger Doomed at the Oscars?" — CLICK HERE!

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However, "The Dark Knight" star may have a secret edge: an old Oscars IOU the ghost of Heath Ledger now may redeem for having lost best actor for "Brokeback Mountain." That could be the Joker's real wild card to trump all rivals considering how voters love to catch up with great actors after wrongly snubbing them in the past. CLICK HERE to read more — "Does Heath Ledger have an Oscar IOU for 'The Dark Knight'?"

If the Joker plays that wild card right, he should easily nab a nomination, but in which category: lead or supporting? Just because Christian Bale has the title role, doesn't automatically make Heath Ledger a supporting star. Forest Whitaker (" Last King of Scotland") had a smaller role, as measured in terms of screen time and dialogue, compared to James McAvoy in "Last King of Scotland" and Denzel Washington had less screen prominence than Ethan Hawke in "Training Day," but both managed to win best lead actor for bombastic sinister roles like Ledger's. Read more about the great debate — "What's the best Oscars strategy for Heath Ledger in 'The Dark Knight'?" — CLICK HERE .

Speaking of Oscar Batmania, check out Gold Derby's take on how "The Dark Knight" might do in other races: CLICK HERE. Plus consider how the recent accusations against Christian Bale might hurt his shot at future Oscars: READ MORE


(Warner Bros.)


If Batman's truly gone bad, has Christian Bale doomed his Oscar hopes?

July 22, 2008 |  2:38 pm

Finally, after an admirable, but low-key career spanning two decades, Christian Bale is the biggest star in the world — at least as measured by having the title role in the most important movie right now: "The Dark Knight." Christian Bale has given Oscar-worthy performances in the past in prestige flicks like "Rescue Dawn" and enjoyed a notable cult following, but he's never been recognized by Oscar voters. No, he won't get nominated for a popcorn pic like "The Dark Knight," but Christian Bale is now such a superstar that he's perfectly positioned, soaring high in his bat cape over filmland, to be noticed by academy voters in the future.

That is, unless Christian Bale may have shot down his award hopes after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mum and sister, questioned by London police and released without being charged.

Christian_bale_batman_the_dark_knig

Has Christian Bale just thrown away his Oscar hopes?

Being a bad boy off screen can seriously hurt your shot at winning an Oscar for your on-screen work, however brilliant. Academy Awards are all about bestowing hugs, of course, and nobody wants to embrace a thug.

It's no coincidence that Oscar's two biggest losers — Peter O'Toole (eight defeats) and Richard Burton (seven) — have been Hollywood's biggest hell-raisers.

Or consider Marlon Brando. Early in his career, when he exulted in being a 'tude-heavy dude fond of throwing his fists around Hollywood, he left the Oscar ceremony in 1951 hugely embarrassed — the only cast member of "A Streetcar Named Desire" not to win despite widespread predictions otherwise. Things just got worse after that. Over the next two years Marlon Brando lost best-actor nominations for "Viva Zapata!" and "Julius Caesar."

Then in 1954, desperate to win, he finally wised up, knocked that chip off his shoulder, put on a fancy tuxedo and started acting all sweet and thoughtful at the Golden Globes where he won best actor first, then repeated the feat at the Oscars for "On the Waterfront."

Playing the good guy can be awards bait, but not if you are a bad boy in real life. Consider the backlash against Christian Bale's "3:10 to Yuma" co-star Russell Crowe. Just a few short years ago Crowe was the biggest superstar in the galaxy. When "Gladiator" swept the Academy Awards in 2000, it was all about him, not his movie as academy members welcomed the star of "L.A. Confidential" and "The Insider" into the inner circle of filmmaking like he was a real gladiator triumphantly entering the Hollywood coliseum.

The next year he again joined the Oscar race as the lead star of the eventual best picture winner, "A Beautiful Mind." He was still such a white-hot actor that he coasted through the early derby, easily snagging a best actor trophy from the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice, SAG and — egads — BAFTA. That Brit fest is where the gladiator really threw himself to the lions. He did so by "roughing up," according to the London Sun, a British TV producer for daring to edit down Crowe's rambling recitation of a poem during his acceptance speech. He also threw away his chance to nab an Oscar for "A Beautiful Mind." Instead, Denzel Washington claimed the prize for "Training Day."

Two years later, Crowe proved he was still a commanding screen star, although no longer the ruler of his domain. He landed the lead role in "Master and Commander," an epic, high seas blockbuster that cost $150 million to make. While it earned only $93 million at the U.S. box office, it was a hit with Oscar voters, reaping a whopping 10 nominations, including best picture, but — ominously — no acting bid for the movie's master and commander: Crowe. It ended up winning only two Academy Awards, both in tech categories.

More disaster followed for Crowe with his next project, "Cinderella Man." This 2005 biopic helmed by Ron Howard looked like perfect Oscar fare: a well-crafted, feel-good tearjerker starring Crowe as a down-on-his-luck boxing hero. Reviews and buzz were excellent when it opened but soon thereafter Crowe pulled his biggest blunder yet. Allegedly drunk and unhinged in the middle of the night, he got mad when he had trouble dialing his hotel phone in Manhattan, yanked it out of the wall, marched down to the lobby and hurled it at an innocent hotel clerk. The clerk struck back by filing criminal charges.

Unfortunately for Crowe, the whole incident had been caught on videotape by a security camera. This time he wasn't bullying another media pro he had a quarrel with. Or it wasn't like this hotel clerk was a pesky paparazzo (like the kind that Sean Penn went after). He was an honest, hard-working, innocent Everyman, a regular Joe, just the kind of guy who probably spends a chunk of his paycheck to see Russell Crowe movies. Produced for $88 million, "Cinderella Man" ended up earning only $61 million domestically.

While voters for the Screen Actors' Guild and Golden Globes thought his performance in "Cinderella Man" was good enough to merit a best actor bid, Crowe was snubbed by the Academy Awards. And for his acclaimed 2007 roles in "3:10 to Yuma" and "American Gangster" he had to make do with a pair of SAG ensemble nominations.

Christian Bale has never had a hooligan reputation like Russell Crowe. That may help him to be easily forgiven now, if this current mess plays out OK.

Christian Bale certainly deserves another chance to be reconsidered for his excellent screen work. While the actor has denied that such an assault took place in London Sunday just hours before the premiere of the highly anticipated sequel to "Batman Begins," the damage to Bale's reputation may be irreparable. Though Christian Bale earned critical acclaim for transforming himself physically for roles in edgy films like "American Psycho" and "The Machinist," he never broke into the mainstream until taking on the iconic role of Batman in 2005. Since then, Bale has appeared in a range of big budget movies with varying degrees of success.

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Besides Heath Ledger's, what other Oscars could 'The Dark Knight' win?

July 22, 2008 |  8:46 am

With all of the frenzied Oscar talk about Heath Ledger being nominated for best lead or supporting actor (see HERE and HERE and HERE), where is the buzz for "The Dark Knight" in other categories, eh?

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Of course, Warner Bros. would like us all to believe that "The Dark Knight" is a shoo-in for best-picture and director noms, but those may be a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h, even for mighty Batman. However, director/co-writer Christopher Nolan might be nominated along with his brother Jonathan for crafting such words as these growled by the Joker (Heath Ledger) to Batman (Christian Bale): "You're just a freak . . . like me!"

Popcorn pix like "The Dark Knight" aren't often appreciated by the academy for writing, but sometimes voters nominate the screenplays of animated pix ("Ratatouille," "The Incredibles," "Finding Nemo"), blockbusters ("Gladiator"), comedies ("Big"), even fantasies ("Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" won).

Besides, the Nolans are past nominees for best screenplay — for "Memento." Sadly, they got robbed by the overrated script to "Gosford Park," so the academy owes 'em. That's how I look at it.

And considering the Oscar pedigree of many other members of its creative team, "The Dark Knight" could be a major player in many top races.

ART DIRECTION —Nathan Crowley scored a bid for "The Prestige."

CINEMATOGRAPHY — Wally Pfister was nominated for "The Prestige" and "Batman Begins."

COSTUMES — Lindy Hemming won for "Topsy-Turvy."

EDITING — Lee Smith was nommed for "Master and Commander."

MAKEUP — Messing up the gook on Heath Ledger's face like that was brilliant. This Joker looks crazier than ever . . . and he IS, natch. The academy may want to thank Peter Robb-King, who was nommed for "Legend."

MUSIC —  James Newton Howard (seven nominations, including "Michael Clayton," "My Best Friend's Wedding," "The Prince of Tides") and Hans Zimmer (seven noms; he won for "The Lion King").

SOUND EDITING — Richard King won for "Master and Commander" and was nominated for "War of the Worlds."

SOUND MIXING —Ed Novick was up for "Spider-Man."

VISUAL EFFECTS — Ian Hunter is long overdue for Oscar recognition, having three previous noms from the Visual Effects Society for socko work on the likes of "Spider-Man 3" and "Live Free or Die Hard."

But what about Heath Ledger's shot at an Oscar in the acting categories? First, the studio must decide if he should compete in lead or supporting — READ MORE about that hot debate.

Many Oscarologists believe that Heath Ledger's ghost holds an I.O.U. after having lost the best-actor award for for "Brokeback Mountain" — CLICK HERE to read more! Other Oscar gurus believe Heath Ledger is doomed and can't win — READ MORE, CLICK HERE!

Has Christian Bale nixed his future Oscar hopes because of his recent clash with his family? At the Oscars, bad boys pay a high price for their off-screen antics: READ MORE

(Warner Bros.)


Christian Bale calls Heath Ledger 'incredibly intense' in 'The Dark Knight' — Hmmm, but what will Oscar voters say?

May 27, 2008 |  5:56 pm

Heath Ledger died in January several months after completing his role as the Joker in the "The Dark Knight" opposite Christian Bale. In anticipation of the July 18 opening of this second installment in the renewed Batman franchise, Bale talked to Details about the film and acting opposite Ledger, who could score a rare, belated Oscar nomination.

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"He was incredibly intense in his performance," said Bale, "but incredibly mellow and laid-back." For Bale, Ledger's commitment to the part was commendable. "Certainly there was this great anarchistic streak to it, just getting dirtier than anybody's envisioned the Joker before."

Back in March, director Christopher Nolan told the New York Times that Ledger's performance as the Joker is "stunning" and "iconic" and that "it's going to just blow people away."

If he turns out to be that good, Ledger might well earn an Academy Award nomination. When Jack Nicholson played the role in director Tim Burton's "Batman" in 1989, he didn't get an Oscar nod, but he was nominated in the supporting race at BAFTA and in the lead comedy/musical category at the Golden Globes.

Ledger was nominated for the lead-actor Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005 but lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote"). However, he was a winner with one top kudofest that year: the New York Film Critics Circle, where he beat Hoffman by a score of 35 to 33 in the best-actor race.

Heath Ledger might be considered a sentimental favorite if he's nominated in either lead or supporting for "The Dark Knight," but Hollywooders are notoriously hard-hearted. Only one acting Oscar has ever been bestowed posthumously: Peter Finch ("Network") in 1976.

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