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

Category: Golden Globe nominations

Gold Derby nuggets: Dave Karger predix Oscars | So does Sasha Stone | Oscars marketing gambits

February 23, 2010 |  4:12 pm

The Hurt Locker poster • Before revealing that he is sticking with "The Hurt Locker" for the best picture Oscar, Dave Karger recaps the derby parallels between that film and "Brokeback Mountain" four years ago: "'Brokeback' managed the rare feat of winning Best Picture and Best Director at both the New York and Los Angeles film critics awards; so did 'Hurt Locker.' 'Brokeback' also picked up those two big prizes at the Broadcast Film Critics Awards; so did 'Hurt Locker.' 'Brokeback' won the trifecta of PGA, DGA, and WGA trophies; so did 'Hurt Locker. 'Brokeback' won 4 BAFTAs, including Best Film, Director, and Screenplay; 'Hurt Locker' picked up 6 awards, including Best Film, Director, and Screenplay. And of course, 'Brokeback' lost the SAG cast award, and so did 'Hurt Locker.' (The main difference between the two films’ tallies is that 'Brokeback' did win four Globes, including Best Drama and Best Director, while 'Hurt Locker' went 0 for 3.)" ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• After noting that, "'The Hurt Locker' director Kathryn Bigelow could be the first woman to win Best Director, a triumph for female filmmakers everywhere," Nicole Laporte wonders, "is the Academy voting for her movie or her gender?" She begins her analysis of the issue with this anecdote: "At a recent awards ceremony where Bigelow accepted one of the many accolades she's earned on the pre-Oscar circuit, Bigelow, who is 58, was met with a whooping cry of 'Go, Girl!' It was the kind of remark that's hard not to smile at -- at least, at first -- but that lingers in the air, eliciting a longer-lasting cringe, and ultimately dumps out a suitcase's worth of sexist issues of the sort that have been trailing Bigelow on her long march to the Academy Awards." THE DAILY BEAST

Pete Hammond reports, "campaigners are pulling out all the stops trying to position their movie as the one with the gravitas that befits a best picture winner. In addition to the usual trade and newspaper ads, TV spots and billboards, at least one 'Hurt Locker' nominee apparently feels the best way may be hand-to-hand combat via e-mail. The Academy may frown at this direct attempt to contact its members, but 'Hurt Locker' co-producer Nicholas Chartier, who through his Voltage Pictures was the film's key financing wizard, is making pleas to friends and friends of friends to get out the vote for 'Hurt Locker' like it was some sort of political grass-roots campaign. His pitch isn't so much about the quality of the film, but rather its independent nature versus that movie with the blue people that cost so much to make. He doesn't mention 'Avatar' by name." NOTES ON A SEASON

• Gold Derby's Emmys forum has been buzzing with speculation over which category Showtime will enter "Dexter" star John Lithgow: supporting or guest? Lithgow recently won the Golden Globe in the supporting slot, but Showtime media chief Richard Licata tells us that Lithgow will compete in the guest slot at the Emmys. The actor won the first of his four Emmys as a guest performer on the series "Amazing Stories" back in 1986. The other three came for his regular lead role on the laffer "Third Rock From the Sun."

The Blind Side PosterSasha Stone offers up her Oscar predictions in a compelling piece of writing that includes these observations: "In the Best Actress category, it is perhaps a three-way race, with Sandra Bullock firmly in the lead, followed by Meryl Streep and then perhaps Carey Mulligan in a possible upset. There is little doubt that Meryl Streep gave the best performance, but Sandra Bullock has paid her dues and 'The Blind Side' managed to get a Best Picture nomination, which is practically a miracle. For Bullock to lose at this point there would have to be a good reason for it -- and that reason would probably be something like a messy divorce or a bar room brawl. Best Actor still feels like it’s Jeff Bridges’ to lose. There isn’t anyone gaining Adrien Brody-like steam. The only one would have been Viggo Mortensen in 'The Road' but he didn’t get a nod. Jeff Bridges is so beloved and his performance was so good -- and he was in a movie that people seem to really like, certainly enough to give Maggie Gyllnehaal the supporting nod." She also says, "Supporting actor and actress couldn’t be more locked. Both will seen as the big wins for their respective films, which means they can’t really lose. The two open categories right now are still Picture and Original Screenplay in the major categories. Everyone is so quick to call the race done and done, but the truth is, with ten nominees and preferential ballot, anything could happen." AWARDS DAILY

Randy Lewis reports, "Jeff Bridges, T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham will make what may be their swan song appearance together in conjunction with the film 'Crazy Heart' when they perform one of the movie’s songs at  the 25h anniversary Spirit Awards ceremony on March 5 in Los Angeles. Rather than singing the much-lauded theme 'The Weary Kind,' the best-song Oscar-nominee that Bingham and Burnett wrote, the trio plans to offer up 'Fallin’ and Flyin’, written by the late Texas singer and songwriter Stephen Bruton, who oversaw the film’s music with producer and longtime friend Burnett. Bruton died of cancer shortly after completing work on the music." POP & HISS

Roger Friedman reports, "Monday night in the main ballroom at the Plaza Hotel, AFTRA, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, gave its lifetime achievement awards to an eclectic bunch. They were: 'Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, CBS' Charles Osgood, 'Soul Man' Sam Moore, the cast of 'Sesame Street' and Latin American artist Juanes. The winners inspired an equally eclectic group of presenters: Don Imus, for Sam Moore; Tony Bennett, for Juanes; Bill Geist for Osgood." SHOWBIZ 411

Oscars Expanded Best Picture RaceMelena Ryzik makes merry with the academy's proposed party kit for Oscar night. "When you think Oscars, you think, 'Bingo!' right? The Academy’s reaching-out-to-the-youth campaign continues with snazzy party-planning tips on its website, including a downloadable card for Oscar bingo, with squares for 'Crying,' 'Winner Accepts Oscar in a Foreign Language' and, mystifyingly, 'Lauren Bacall.' (Spoiler?!) Also on the Academy’s fun primer -- available at -- is a video with Cheryl Cecchetto, a producer of the Governors Ball, the official Oscar afterparty, offering 10 tips for throwing your own Oscar-watching party. 'Must-have number three,' according to Ms. Cecchetto: 'Set the mood by featuring the soundtracks of the nominated pictures.' (Right, since you won’t be hearing them on the actual show.) And must-have No. 4 is 'Champagne, Champagne and more Champagne.' No argument there." THE CARPETBAGGER

• While Heidi Klum won't be on hand, the academy is staging its own version of "Project Runway" this year. Nine up and coming designers -- five from LA, two from New York, and one each from Chicago and Phoenix -- have created gowns to be worn by the models who appear onstage at the Kodak Theater. But only of their creations will make it to the Oscars with online voting from now till March 1 determining the winner. The unveiling of this design will be in the pre-show airing on ABC just before the Oscars on March 7. AMPAS

• One star who has definite ideas about what she will be wearing to the Oscars is best actress nominee Carey Mulligan ("An Education"). As Phil Boucher writes, "Having already appeared once in Vogue, is Mulligan taking editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s advice on what to wear to the Oscars? Not according to Mulligan, who has visions of her own. 'Anna said I should wear short for the Oscars,' says Mulligan. 'I was like 'No, that is so not what I had in my head when I was six years old!'" PEOPLE


Poll: Can Carey Mulligan pull off an upset at the Oscars?

Gold Derby nuggets: OMG! Kristen & Taylor at the Oscars | Emmys for Betty White and Ann-Margret? | Memorable Oscars of yesteryear

'The Hurt Locker' wins six BAFTA Awards

Tom O'Neil's 'fearless, peerless, 100% accurate Oscar predictions'

Oscar predictions: best animated and live-action shorts

Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars nixed 'Bruno' for host | Dave Karger BAFTAs predix | WGA Awards preview

Beware: Here comes an 'Inglourious' upset at the Oscars

Top photo: "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit

Middle photo: "The Blind Side" poster. Credit: Warners

Bottom photo: Academy Award statuettes. Credit: AMPAS

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Psssst … Here's who will win the Golden Globes (Good news, 'Avatar' fans!)

January 17, 2010 | 12:08 pm

We asked more than two dozen "experts" who will triumph when Golden Globes are bestowed tonight (see their predictions here), but they based forecasts on whim, personal likes and dislikes, history, whatever — not real inside dish.

Avatar movie news golden globes

So let's add up all the spy reports we have on actual Golden Globe balloting. I've spoken to some of the 80 voting members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. So have lots of my industry pals and award consultants, who have shared their tattle with us. Pulling everything together, here's how the top races stack up.

"Avatar" will probably win best drama picture, although "Up in the Air" could pull off an upset. Ditto "Inglourious Basterds." "Avatar" director James Cameron will probably win best director too, but beware. At the Oscars, the same film usually wins best pic and helmer, but the opposite is true at the Globes. They like to spread the gold around.

I haven't heard much support for Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air"), but Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds") and Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") have a shot. Bigelow is the curious stealth contender. We all underestimated her and "The Hurt Locker" at the Critics Choice Awards where they pulled off upsets. I don't think "The Hurt Locker" has enough support in the Globes' best-picture race, but Bigelow has a long-shot chance to claim the helmer's prize (40% of Globe voters are women – they might help). Only one woman has won this category -- Globe darling Barbra Streisand in 1983 for her directorial debut "Yentl."

Best drama actor is a close contest between George Clooney ("Up in the Air") and Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart"). Voters usually like gritty, ham-bone, angst-packed performances (Mickey Rourke won for "The Wrestler" last year). That could help Bridges, who stumbles around, grumbling and drunk, for two hours in "Crazy Heart." But HFPA members utterly adore George Clooney, who's won twice in the past ("Syriana," "O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and will probably prevail again. If "Avatar" wins best picture, "Up in the Air" needs a consolation prize, so this is probably it. In terms of actual vote counts I've heard, Clooney has a slight edge.

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Fun trivia: How big is the Golden Globes' red carpet? How much bubbly will flow?

January 17, 2010 | 10:28 am

Golden globes ricky gervais news avatar There's more red carpet rolled out in front of the Golden Globes ceremony (30,000 square feet) than any other awards show I know. That's because the Beverly Hilton has such a huge, sprawling, U-shaped driveway. Here are more fun facts:

• This is the 41st time that the Golden Globes will be held at the Beverly Hilton. Dates: 1961, 1962, 1971-72, 1974-2010.

• The International Ballroom holds about 1,300 guests for the Golden Globes banquet. Nearly 3,000 additional guests will attend viewing parties throughout the hotel.

• More than 1,200 media members cover the Golden Globes in person for 185 outlets. Among them: 58 camera crews, 65 still photographers.

• Service to all 4,300 party participants and 1,200 media folk is provided by 40 chefs, 110 culinary staff, 50 bartenders and 250 servers. More than 10,000 silverware and plate settings will be used for the award show, viewing and after-parties. More than 600 bottles of wine and 220 bottles of Champagne will flow.

• It's big news that Ricky Gervais is hosting the kudocast. The Golden Globes ceremony hasn't had a host since 1995. John Larroquette ("Night Court," "The John Larroquette Show") and Janine Turner ("Northern Exposure") were the last to have the job, serving jointly as ringmasters the last time TBS aired the Golden Globes telecast before NBC's takeover.

Photo: NBC

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Golden Globes red carpet: Saturday morning

January 17, 2010 |  9:20 am

Here's what the Golden Globes' red carpet looked like around 11 a.m. one day before the big show at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Below, a chap touched up the gold paint on one of the signs below the empty bleachers. Here and there, TV crews shot segments to air later that day and rehearsed while dodging workers who were setting up the carpet area. There are more photos after the jump — click the "Continue Reading" link.

Golden globes paint news
Golden globes bleachers news
Golden globes red carpet 5 news
Golden globes red carpet 4
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Poll: What will win best comedy/musical picture at the Golden Globes?

January 15, 2010 |  7:25 am
Meryl Streep It's complicated Julie and Juilia

Each of the five Golden Globe nominees for best comedy/musical picture -- "(500) Days of Summer," "The Hangover," "It's Complicated," "Julie & Julia," and "Nine" -- is predicted to win by some of our pundits panel. Normally, Golden Globe voters automatically choose successful musicals in the race for best comedy/musical picture. Past champs include "Sweeney Todd," "Dreamgirls," "Walk the Line," "Chicago," "Moulin Rouge," "Evita," etc.

However, box office blockbuster "Mamma Mia" lost last year to "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," probably because film critics weren't dancing in the aisles alongside crazed moviegoers. That means "Nine" might be in trouble at the Golden Globes this year, if it doesn't rally soon with reviewers. It's only scoring 26% at RottenTomatoes.

Was the anti-"Mamma Mia" vote last year a slap at Meryl Streep? If so, she's got two films in contention in this category now: "It's Complicated" and "Julie & Julia."

Globers don't usually endorse laffers with a fratboy sensibility like "The Hangover." They didn't even nominate "Knocked Up" or "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," but I hear that HFPA members are popping champagne corks over this one this year.

"(500) Days of Summer" was a surprise inclusion, bumping out "A Serious Man." Does that mean that there's a wellspring of love for this romantic comedy that could erupt in a big upset victory?

Left photo: A scene from "It's Complicated. " Credit: Universal

Right photo: A scene from "Julie & Julia." Credit: Columbia

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Poll: Who'll win the Golden Globe for best drama actor? George Clooney? Jeff Bridges?

December 16, 2009 |  8:38 am

The reason that "Up in the Air" soared off with the most Golden Globe nominations is obvious: Everybody's gone Clooney-crazy this year. So doesn't that mean that George will automatically win best drama actor?

Hold your horses, Derbyites! Golden Globe voters like to spread their gold around. As things stand now, most pundits predict that "Up in the Air" will win best drama picture. Sometimes voters give out a best-actor bookend with the Globe prize (Leo DiCaprio won for best picture champ "The Aviator," Russell Crowe won for best pic "A Beautiful Mind"), but often they don't (Crowe didn't win for best pic "Gladiator").

Golden globes up in the air George Clooney

Globe voters like big, hambone performances, the showier the better, like the last two previous winners: Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") and Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood"). If that same pattern repeats, then Jeff Bridges has the edge for stumbling around drunk, flashing lots of ham while shirtless and howling hillbilly tunes and acting all angst-beset and doomed in "Crazy Heart."

Bridges is Globeless in addition to being Oscarless, having lost both contests four times. Clooney won both awards in the supporting slot for "Syriana" and in the lead Globe race for "O Brother Where Art Thou."

If votes split between Clooney and Bridges, there's a slight chance that Morgan Freeman ("Invictus") could prevail. It's a grand portrayal, packed with pork, of a real person (saintly Nelson Mandela) — that's always a plus — but voters don't seem to like "Invictus" much. They didn't nominate it for best picture. Freeman won a Globe for "Driving Miss Daisy."

Apologies to Tobey Maguire and Colin Firth, but I don't think they have a prayer. Firth maybe. Sometimes voters like to take surprising artsy turns, but we tend to see that more in the actress race (Brendan Blethyn in "Secrets and Lies," Felicity Huffman in "Transamerica").  Both are Globeless, both now enjoying their first bids.

Left photo: A scene from "Up in the Air." Credit: Paramount

Right photo: A scene from "Crazy Heart." Credit: Fox Searchlight


Pssst ... Here's who is ahead to win the Golden Globes

Golden Globes welcome TV newcomers

Meryl Streep reaches 25 Golden Globe nominations

Biggest snubs at the Golden Globe nominations: Hey, where's 'Invictus,' 'A Serious Man' and poor Bryan Cranston?

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Pssst ... Here's who is ahead to win the Golden Globes

December 15, 2009 | 10:58 am

Now that nominations are out, I'll have to resume snooping amidst Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. members soon and count up Golden Globe votes to give you the best spy report. Till then, here's my handicapping of the top film categories. Winners will be announced Jan. 17.

Forget "Avatar." Normally the HFPA scorns popcorn pix, so it's a miracle that the Golden Globes nominated it. "Precious" is probably out of it, too. Voters love it, but they're not bonkers about it like some other Hollywood insiders. They didn't nominate Lee Daniels for best director.

Up in the Air George Clooney Golden Globe nominations

"The Hurt Locker" has momentum coming off its double victories at the voting conclaves of the New York and L.A. film critics in recent days, but little gritty indies don't win here unless they star Brad Pitt and other A-listers. (Think "Babel," which the Globes preferred over eventual Oscar champ "The Departed.")

Speaking of Pitt, he toplines a contender in this race that I've been warning you about for weeks, but my fellow Oscar bloggers refused to take seriously till yesterday (Critics Choice nominations — it led with the most) and today: "Inglourious Basterds." This category is a close race between "Basterds" and "Up in the Air," which led with the most nominations (six). When I checked in with Globers a few weeks ago, they were so Clooney crazy (the HFPA had been hanging out with him socially) that their views may have been clouded a bit. They told me that "Up in the Air" is ahead here. And, as of right now, it probably still is, but voters adore Quentin Tarantino and "Basterds" too.

It's hard to predict who'll win what because you don't see sweeps at the Golden Globes like you do at the Oscars. Voters like to spread their gold around. That means they might give Tarantino the award for best director and "Up in the Air" the prize for best picture. At the Oscars, those categories usually match up, not so at the Globes. What makes handicapping all the more complicated here is Clooney being in the race for best drama actor. Is that the category where they'll put their "Up in the Air" vote -- and only there?

Interesting side note: One of the two Globe awards for best pictures (drama, comedy/musical) usually wins the top Oscar, but not lately. The recipients have not matched up four times in the last five years.

This appears to be a close contest between Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") and George Clooney. If "Up in the Air" wins best drama picture, that could spell doom here for Clooney. There are occasions when the star of a best picture also claims a chunk of gold (Leo DiCaprio and "The Aviator," Russell Crowe and "A Beautiful Mind"), but they often split up. Crowe didn't win best actor at the Globes for "Gladiator," for example. There's an outside chance we could see an upset by Colin Firth ("A Single Man") or Morgan Freeman ("Invictus"), but Tobey Maguire ("Brothers") is out of it.

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Biggest snubs at the Golden Globe nominations: Hey, where's 'Invictus,' 'A Serious Man' and poor Bryan Cranston?

December 15, 2009 |  7:23 am

When Golden Globe nominations were unveiled this morning, Clint Eastwood was nominated for best director and Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon scored bids as thespians, but "Invictus" was snubbed in the race for best drama picture. This same odd split occurred in 2006 when Eastwood was nominated TWICE for best director for "Flags of Our Fathers" and "Letters From Iwo Jima," but "Flags" was snubbed for best drama picture. ("Iwo Jima" wasn't eligible for that category but ended up contending for best foreign-lingo film.)

Speaking of that directors' category: where's Lee Daniels ("Precious")?

Other Golden Globe oddities: "A Serious Man" wasn't taken too seriously in the race for best comedy/musical picture. It got skunked, but star Michael Stuhlbarg made the list for best actor. By contrast, over the last week, "A Serious Man" was nominated for best picture by the Critics' Choice Awards, and it made the top 10 lists from the American Film Institute and the National Board of Review.

Golden Globes nominationos news

There's something else funny (or not so funny) about the Golden Globes' comedy race: "(500) Days of Summer" and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt were nominated for best picture and actor, but costar Zoey Deschanel ("Summer" herself! — that's the lead character's name) got the cold shoulder!

Alec Baldwin wasn't nommed for "It's Complicated" — oh, no! Let's hope that doesn't hurt his odds for an Oscar bid. For maximum mischief and drama's sake, Baldwin must be nominated while hosting the Academy Awards ceremony, don't you agree?

Over on the TV side: poor Bryan Cranston. The "Breaking Bad" star recently won best drama actor twice at the Emmys, but he can't catch a break at the Globes.

Considering how much the Globes usually love the hottest new TV shows, it's surprising not to see "FlashForward" or "The Good Wife" up for best drama series.

"The Blind Side"
"District 9"
"The Lovely Bones"
"The Messenger"
"An Education"
"A Single Man"

"The Proposal"
"A Serious Man"
"Sherlock Holmes"

Nicolas Cage, "Bad Lieutenant"
Sharlto Copley, "District 9"
Robert De Niro, "Everybody's Fine"
Ben Foster, "The Messenger"
Hal Holbrook, "That Evening Sun"
Viggo Mortensen, "The Road"
Brad Pitt, "Inglourious Basterds"
Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"
Michael Sheen, "The Damned United"

Shohreh Aghdashloo, "The Stoning of Soraya M."
Brenda Blethyn, "London River"
Abbie Cornish, "Bright Star"
Penelope Cruz, "Broken Embraces"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Crazy Heart"
Saoirse Ronan, "The Lovely Bones"
Audrey Tautou, "Coco Before Chanel"

Jim Carrey, "A Christmas Carol"
Sacha Baron Cohen, "Bruno"
Bradley Cooper, "The Hangover"
Ryan Reynolds, "The Proposal"

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Inside track: Golden Globes nominations

December 14, 2009 |  3:06 pm

Golden-globes Before Justin Timberlake, John Krasinski and Diane Kruger read out the nominees for the 67th annual Golden Globe awards on Tuesday morning, be sure to read all the previews listed below:

Inside track: Golden Globes' race for best drama picture

Inside track: Golden Globes' race for best comedy/musical picture

Inside track on the Golden Globes' race for best drama actor

Inside track: Golden Globes' race for best drama actress

Inside track: Golden Globes' race for best comedy/musical actor

Inside track: Golden Globes' race for best comedy/musical actress

Inside track: TV drama series races at the Golden Globes

Inside track: TV comedy races at the Golden Globes

Photo: Golden Globe telecast Credit: NBC

Gold Derby nuggets: Mo'Nique reveals 'Precious' moment | Ricky Gervais toasts Golden Globes | Marvin Hamlisch scores again

December 9, 2009 |  8:00 pm

Monique Precious Oscars • Time magazine film critic Richard Corliss delivers a top 10 movie list -- animated films "The Princess and the Frog," "Up" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" top the chart -- as well as a roster of the top 10 performances which is led off by "Precious" supporting player Mo'Nique. TIME

Pete Hammond wonders whether Mo'Nique can win the Oscar without playing the game. Writes Pete, "with a five-night-a-week talk show that tapes in Atlanta, some things just aren't gonna happen. Believe me, her presence is felt at every Q&A director Lee Daniels and the other cast members do. I happened to moderate one with Daniels, Gabourey Sidibe and Paula Patton last night at the Crest Westwood for SAG, and even though Mo'Nique was not in the house, those voting members in the audience were very much aware of her work through the pointed nature of the questions asked by SAG members who had just viewed the movie and the answers given by the panel lauding her performance. Does absence make the heart grow fonder for Mo'Nique or give her potential competitors an opening?" NOTES ON A SEASON

• Mo'Nique did sit down for a revealing roundtable discussion with five other awards hopefuls -- Emily Blunt ("Young Victoria"), Patricia Clarkson ("Whatever Works"), Vera Farmiga ("Up in the Air"), Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Robin Wright ("The Private Lives of Pippa Lee"). During the frank conversation, she revealed how she handled the request by Daniels to film a very intimate moment for her character. THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• Both of the New Yorker film critics -- David Denby and Anthony Lane -- include "Up" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" in their top films of the year. The only other movies they agree on are "Up in the Air" and "The White Ribbon." NEW YORKER

• The seventh annual edition of the Emmy Awards for Business and Financial Reporting were handed out on Monday afternoon at Fordham University in Gotham. CBS won four of the eight competitive races, and lifetime achievement awards went to Paul Kangas, anchor of "Nightly Business Report" on PBS, and Linda O'Bryon of Northern California Public Broadcasting. NATAS

Golden_globesAnn Oldenburg has more of the bon mots delivered by Ricky Gervais during a recent conference call promoting his upcoming gig as host of the Golden Globes. "Gervais said more than once that he plans to have a cocktail or two while on the job. 'Over the three hours, I imagine my tie's going to come off and I'll get drunker and drunker. I don't know what the last hour's going to be like, but the first hour will be watchable.'" For Gervais, " 'This is the only' award show he can see doing. 'In all honesty. No one wants to see me mucking around at the Oscars. They're there to see if they've won the most important award of their life.' And the Emmys? 'I couldn't do the rehearsals. This is perfect. They said I could turn up and say what I wanted and get drunk. What's also nice is I've only been in this business about 10 years -- because I'm a very lazy person -- and I've achieved enough. I only do things that could possibly end my career. Cheers!' " USA TODAY

Mavis Spencer -- daughter of Golden Globe winning actress Alfre Woodard ("Miss Evers' Boys") and producer Roderick Spencer -- will be handing the hardware to the presenters at this year's Golden Globes. The gig always goes to the son or daughter of some famous Hollywood folk -- last year Rumer Willis (daughter of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis) was Miss Golden Globes. GOLDEN GLOBES

Paul Gaita reports that Emmy and Tony winner Kristen Chenoweth will be hosting the 15th annual edition of the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. kudos Jan. 15 from the Hollywood Palladium. The newly named Critics Choice Movie Awards boast additional categories and will air on VH1. THE CIRCUIT

Marvin HamlischTodd Martens talks to grand slam awards winner Marvin Hamlisch about his score for "The Informant!" The three-time Oscar champ admitted, "Being about an unconventional character required an unconventional way of going about the score." As Todd writes, "For two weeks, Hamlisch said he composed and threw out multiple takes on the score before settling on the jovial direction the music ultimately took. 'We were playing the ultimate mind game. What we were trying to do was get into the mind of this guy, and given that he's under more pressure, what would he be thinking? It starts out where he has no problems. Slowly and surely the problems start, and he's lying bigger and bigger. The more he escalates, the more we get wilder and wilder -- get me some serotonin quick!' " POP & HISS

Dave McNary reports that the DGA will be feting Roger Goodman, Cleve Landsberg and Maria Jimenez Henley for lifetime career achievement and extraordinary contribution to the guild at the annual awards dinner Jan. 30. "Goodman draws the kudo for news direction, while Landsberg has been tapped for the Frank Capra trophy, given to an assistant director or unit production manager. Henley will receive the Franklin J. Schaffner award, given to an associate director or stage manager." VARIETY

Greg Ellwood previews next week's three movie kudofests -- the L.A. and Gotham film critics awards and the AFI top 10 list. Says Greg, "The big question is: can 'Up in the Air' go for the sweep? Well, yes, but most likely no." He thinks the three films in play with the critics will be "A Serious Man," "A Single Man" and "The Hurt Locker." And Greg thinks, "the AFI top ten will be a strong bellwether by many of who are serious contenders for Oscars' final ten this year (and by not making the list who isn't)." HIT FIX

Photos: Monique in "Precious" (Lionsgate); Golden Globes (NBC); Marvin Hamlisch (Los Angeles Times)

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Inside track: TV drama series races at the Golden Globes

December 9, 2009 |  9:12 am

Unlike the Emmys, you can always count on the Golden Globes to nominate the hottest new TV series. That means "FlashForward" and "The Good Wife" are a cinch to get in next Tuesday morning when bids are unveiled. But what else? Here's our handicapping.

* = nominated last year

** = won last year

Flashforward the good wife

"Breaking Bad"
* "Dexter"
"The Good Wife"
** "Mad Men"
* "House M.D."
* "In Treatment"
"Sons of Anarchy"
* "True Blood"
"The Mentalist"

SPOTLIGHT: "True Blood" almost won last year. It was nominated, and Anna Paquin won best actress. Now can the vampire-mania whipped up by "Twilight: New Moon" help it to swoop in for the kill?

"Big Love"
"The Tudors"

"Burn Notice"
"Rescue Me"
"The Vampire Diaries"
"White Collar"

Simon Baker, "The Mentalist"
** Gabriel Byrne, "In Treatment"
Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"
Joseph Fiennes, "FlashForward"
* Michael C Hall, "Dexter"
* Jon Hamm, "Mad Men"
* Hugh Laurie, "House M.D."
Bill Paxton, "Big Love"

SPOTLIGHT: Usually, the Emmy (industry establishment award) copies the Globe (prize for hot new thing), but expect a flip-flop for Bryan Cranston. He's already won two Emmys for "Breaking Bad" but will finally nab his first Globe bid for the role this year.

Matthew Bomer, "White Collar"
Nathan Fillion, "Castle"
Joshua Jackson, "Fringe"
Lucien Msamati, "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency"
Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, "The Tudors"

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: Can Jeff Bridges win with sentiment? | Greg Ellwood: 'Avatar' wows HFPA | Oscarcast producer takes to Twitter

December 8, 2009 |  3:19 pm

Crazy Heart PosterRobert Abele looks at the role of sentiment in the awarding of Oscars. As he writes, "compassion for those who have never won and who find their work again in the running becomes an issue once more. For instance, four-time nominee Jeff Bridges has a lauded turn as an alcoholic country singer in the December release 'Crazy Heart.' Is this his year, finally? Might he win because he's 'due'?" Vogue film critic John Powers thinks, "He's the great actor of that generation. Actors want to act with him. Directors want him because he has weight. He's the kind of person you could imagine the sentiment for, if it weren't for the fact that the industry has all the sentiment of a slot machine." However, film critic Leonard Maltin warns, "If you want to know whether or not so-called sentiment trumps other feelings at the academy, talk to Lauren Bacall and Juliette Binoche. They were the two most shocked people at the Academy Awards that night." VARIETY

Scott Bowles sits down with two of the stars of "The Lovely Bones" for a revealing conversation. As Scott writes, "For Saoirse Ronan, a knowing 15-year-old Irish girl already drawn to adult dramas, the movie is her grimmest yet -- and she was in 'Atonement.' 'This was the first time I felt like a grown-up and really absorbed the material,' she says." And for Stanley Tucci, "the 49-year-old who lost his wife, Kate, to breast cancer in April, 'Bones' was a test of how dark he could take a character and not let it invade a personal life already set on its ear. 'I've seen the finished movie. But to tell you the truth, I'm not sure how many times I'll be able to see it again.'" USA TODAY

Scott Feinberg recaps the Nov. 9 episode of Oscar hopeful Mo'Nique's BET talkfest: "Her guests are 2 of the mere 42 black actors who have ever received Oscar nominations: her good friends Terrence Howard ('Hustle and Flow,' 2005) and Taraji P. Henson ('The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,' 2008), and before long the conversation shifts to a frank discussion about the good, bad and ugly aspects of an Oscar campaign." Scott thinks, "this may have been a turning point in Mo’Nique’s personal outlook/willingness to do the work necessary to snag an Oscar, as it provided her with answers to questions that apparently kept her from joining her 'Precious' castmates at the Sundance and Toronto film festivals and from doing some of the other promotional duties that come with a full-fledged awards push -- things that she has subsequently seemed more willing to do." AND THE WINNER IS

Avatar PosterGreg Ellwood reports that the HFPA screening of "Avatar" Monday went so well that it is "now very likely to be nominated in both the best picture (drama) and best director categories when the Golden Globe nominations are announced next Tuesday. This was almost unthinkable a week ago and may push expected Globe nominees such as 'The Hurt Locker' or 'An Education' out of the best picture -- drama race. Additionally, this could (emphasis on 'could') find 'Avatar"' seriously being considered for one of the 10 nominees for Oscar's best picture trophy -- especially considering the eighth to 10th slots hardly seem secure at this point in the race." HIT FIX

Danielle Lawler details the extraordinary meeting between Lady Gaga and Queen Elizabeth II on Monday at the annual Royal Variety Performance. "The singer who loves to shock had hoped to perform the stunt -- in which she 'stabs' herself and is drenched in fake blood -- but panicking organizers of the Blackpool extravaganza ordered her to water down her routine. GaGa said: 'I wanted to do the suicide scene I did at the MTV Awards, but I was told it wouldn’t be appropriate. And not only has that been vetoed, but I have had to tone down my act generally. But all of that doesn’t matter because I’m a massive fan of the queen -- I was so excited and have even been practicing my curtsy.'" DAILY MIRROR

Lynn Elber says that Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais is promising gentle ribbing of the bold-faced names in attendance, telling "a teleconference Tuesday he'll avoid anything cruel or distasteful, but those younger, thinner or more attractive than him will face teasing. George Clooney, whom Gervais called a handsome, kind man and a fine actor, likely is safe. Gervais said poking fun at him would be like 'having a go at Mother Teresa.'" AP

Adam-shankman-sytycd • While the Globes have a new host in Gervais, the Oscarcast is being produced by a pair of  first-timers, and one of them -- helmer Adam Shankman -- asked his 48,000 followers on Twitter: "Curious: what and who do u wanna see on the oscars? What would make u watch?" Reports Gregg Kilday: "The fans responded in a frenzy. Lots of requests for 'High School Musical' stars Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, scattered calls for the kids from 'Glee' and Neil Patrick Harris as well as impassioned pleas for 'Twilight's" Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. And lots of Adam Lambert's fans demanded he be included." And Gregg says, "when Shankman posed the follow-up question, 'would u watch the oscars with more excitement if I cast some sytycd dancers if there are musical #s,' the fans went nearly berserk with excitement." HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Dave Karger thinks, "Shankman is just having a little fun here, and certainly most of these ideas are unlikely at best." Then he notes, "it raises an interesting question: Should the Academy Awards, whose ratings have been slipping over the years, pander to younger fans by including tween stars and reality-show dancers even though they don’t truly belong at the telecast? (Let’s not forget that Robert Pattinson presented last year.) Or should the academy be most concerned with upholding its integrity even if that means lower viewership? Will you only watch the Oscars if Vanessa Hudgens is there? Or is Gabby Sidibe enough to get you to tune in?" ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Photos: "Crazy Heart" poster (Fox Searchlight); "Avatar" poster (Fox); Adam Shankman (Fox TV)

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