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Category: ChristianBale

'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

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• 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

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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.

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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.)


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.

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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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