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Category: Gotham Awards

Gold Derby nuggets: Steve Pond digs into documentary race | Guy Lodge on category fraud | Guests line up for Conan O'Brien

October 21, 2010 |  5:10 pm

Steve Pond delves into the selection process for the documentary feature Oscar race. As he reports, "in a remarkable year for non-fiction filmmaking of all kinds, the looming possibility of more Oscar-doc controversies means it’s time to take a look at a process in which: films are judged by surprisingly few people; the most active filmmakers are ineligible or unable to vote; and the final slate of nominees is almost invariably made up of issue-oriented docs — to the exclusion of the odder, entertaining works that make the field so vital these days." THE WRAP

Sasha Stone finds much to quote from the script for "The Social Network," leading off her list of favorite lines of dialogue with this one: "Let’s gut the nerd." AWARDS DAILY

Caitlin King says, "Gwyneth Paltrow will be taking the stage at next month's Country Music Association Awards as a performer. She'll sing the title track of her new movie, 'Country Strong,' and will be joined by Vince Gill." AP

• From London, Mark Shenton reports, "Four days of performances for Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Love Never Dies,' the sequel to 'The Phantom of the Opera,' have been taken off sale at London's Adelphi Theatre for the week commencing Nov. 22. Performances are set to resume Nov. 26. During the shutdown, revisions will be made to the show. A spokesman said, 'Some changes were written up over the summer and destined for the Australian production and as they make improvements to the show we'd be mad not to put them into the Adelphi [production in London].'" PLAYBILL

The Kids are All RightGuy Lodge asks, "Is Focus right to campaign both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as leads in 'The Kids Are All Right,' or would it be more appropriate (and tactical) for one to drop to supporting? Can Lesley Manville be declared a lead in 'Another Year' when her character flits around two more constant — but also more passive — presences in the film? Will 'True Grit' newcomer Hailee Steinfeld be the victim of the unwritten campaigning rule stating that minors are, by definition, supporting players — whether they’re carrying a film on their shoulders or not?" IN CONTENTION

Peter Knegt takes a closer look at the Gotham Awards nominations. "Handed out by Independent Feature Project (IFP) for the past twenty years, they have always offered an interesting and generally deserving batch of nominations. But they are also quite inconsistent both category to category and year to year, which to some degree makes them a bit difficult to prove a stable predictor of anything beyond them." INDIE WIRE

Jeff Wells reports from a screening of "Love and Other Drugs" that "Hathaway's performance is the killer, and it is, I suppose, because you can read every emotional tick and tremor on her face, and because your heart goes out to any character coping with a debilitating disease (stage-one Parkinson's) and who wants to keep herself aloof and in control. But Gyllenhaal gives his most winning performance ever — not the deepest or darkest or saddest, perhaps, but 100% likable with no audience-alienation issues except for emotional avoidance. They're quite a pair, these two. All you want is to see them keep it together and somehow make it work." HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Jean Bentley has the lineup of bold-faced names who will appear on the first week of Conan O'Brien's new TBS talker: "The first episode of Coco's new late night talk show will feature Seth Rogen and musical guest Jack White, along with the winner of the first guest poll — a hotly contested competition between The Pope, Jack Nicholson, Vladimir Putin, REO Speedwagon, The Sultan of Brunei, Justin Bieber, Thomas Pynchon, Gerhard Ertl, Arlene Wagner, Lady Gaga, the cast of the live-action 'Fat Albert' movie and Tom from MySpace to decide the first guest. Nov. 9 will feature Tom Hanks (fittingly, Hanks was the last guest on the O'Brien-hosted 'Tonight Show'), Jack McBrayer (another Coco pal) and Soundgarden. Nov. 10 will see Jon Hamm, Charlene Yi and Fistful of Mercy, and Nov. 11 will feature Michael Cera, Julie Bowen and comedian Jon Dore. TV SQUAD

• Writes Jenelle Riley,"Here's some video of the 'Conviction' Q&A we did with Sam Rockwell a couple weeks ago. The film opened in 11 theaters last weekend, averaging $10,000 per theater — a figure that is either pretty good or a complete disaster, depending on whose hype you believe. What's most important is that everyone I've spoken to who's actually seen the movie has high praise, particularly for Rockwell, who still looks like the one to beat for Best Supporting Actor come awards time." BACKSTAGE

• "South Park" skewered "Inception" on Wednesday night's episode and, as Brian Rafterty notes, "a DiCaprio doppelgänger tried to make sense of the film's dream-warrior premise. 'You just don't get it, 'cause you're not smart enough!'" VULTURE

Photo: Annette Bening, left, and Julianne Moore in "The Kids are All Right." Credit Focus Features.

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Gold Derby nuggets: Fest faves James Franco & Carey Mulligan | Tom Bosley dead at 83 | Sasha Stone on best picture race

October 19, 2010 |  1:41 pm

• "127 Hours" leading man James Franco will receive the outstanding performance prize from the Santa Barbara filmfest on Jan. 29. In making the announcement, fest exec Roger Durling described him thus: "A truly exceptional actor who embraces the character and lives the story to tell it, James Franco eases onto the screen, seducing the audience no matter if he is the hero, the villain or the victim." Among the roster of talent that has taken home this prize in the past: Colin Firth (2010), Penelope Cruz (2009), Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), Kate Winslet (2005) and Charlize Theron (2004). SBIFF

Carey Mulligan will be feted by the Palm Springs filmfest with the breakthrough award on Jan. 8. Previous recipients include Mariah Carey -- who made headlines last year with her wobbly acceptance speech at the event -- Freida Pinto, Marion Cotillard and Jennifer Hudson. PSIFF

Steve Pond reports, "a handful of upcoming films got their first widespread exposure last week at the National Association of Theater Owners’ ShowEast conference in Orlando, Florida. And judging from conversations with exhibition executives who attended the four-day conference, the news is good for 'The Fighter' 'Tangled' and 'Morning Glory,' but not so much for 'Due Date' and 'Fair Game.'" THE ODDS

• Lionsgate marketing chief Tim Palen has captured the stars of "For Colored Girls" -- Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Kerry Washington, Whoopi Goldberg, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad and Loretta Devine -- in a series of "Living Portraits." They will be displayed at the Lehman Maupin gallery in Gotham between October 24 and 27. HIT FIX

Tom Bosley Happy DaysTom Bosley, best known as the kindly patriarch on the classic sitcom "Happy Days," died Tuesday at age 83. The veteran actor won the Tony Award in 1960 for his performance as colorful New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia in the Pulitzer-winning tuner "Fiorello!" Over the 11 seasons of "Happy Days," Bosley contended only once for the supporting Emmy, losing that 1978 race to Rob Reiner who won his second of two trophies for "All in the Family." Since "Happy Days" signed off in 1984, Bosley kept busy with several more series ("Murder, She Wrote" and "The Father Dowling Mysteries") as well as returning repeatedly to his first love, the stage, most recently in a tour of "On Golden Pond" with Emmy champ Michael Learned ("The Waltons").  TV GUIDE

Anthony Breznican sits down with Oscar champ Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") to discuss the remake of "True Grit," which reunites him with the Coen brothers 12 years after "The Big Lebowski." USA TODAY

• "Glee" will be showcasing two potential guest actress contenders in upcoming episodes. Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow appears on Nov. 16 as a substitute teacher who takes over the New Directions while six-time Emmy champ Carol Burnett debuts the following week as Sue Sylvester's (Jane Lynch) Nazi-hunting mother. PLAYBILL

• In anticipation of the Blu-ray release of his 1979 best picture nominee "Apocalypse Now," director Francis Ford Coppola chats with Alonso Duralde. MOVIELINE

Sasha Stone assesses the derby in light of the Gotham Award nominations and says, "The Best Picture race is nowhere near set. With each award announcement, the picture becomes clearer. 'Winter’s Bone' didn’t look like it would be one of the ten. 'Secretariat' did. Now, 'Winter’s Bone' looks good, and 'Secretariat' will need something extra to push it through. When the Los Angeles and New York film critics make their announcements, things will again shift. They will keep shifting through the Golden Globes, the Producers Guild, and most importantly, the Directors Guild." AWARDS DAILY

• After making note of the four films sent out by Sony Pictures Classic, Scott Feinberg says, "My only criticism related to SPC’s screeners is the decision -- which admittedly may not have been the studio’s alone — to promote Annette Bening's performance in 'Mother and Child' for best actress. Bening is terrific in the film, but the studio and Bening have to know that she stands an infinitely better chance at a best actress nod for her performance in the much higher-profile 'The Kids Are All Right' and that they -- unlike the people pushing her for that film -- could actually justify pushing her for 'Mother and Child' in the supporting category, which is wide open, because she’s but one member of a large ensemble." SCOTT FEINBERG

Ryan Adams passes along a post from a reader that reviews possible contenders for the cinematography award and finds 40 names in the mix. AWARDS DAILY

Photo: Tom Bosley in a promotional still for "Happy Days." Credit: ABC.

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Poll: Will 'Winter's Bone' be nominated for best picture at the Oscars?

October 18, 2010 |  4:20 pm

Winter's bone gotham awards news

Now that "Winter's Bone" leads with the most nominations at the Gotham Independent Film Awards (three), its Oscar hopes brighten. But how much? Only three previous Gotham champs were nommed for best picture in the past: "The Hurt Locker," "Capote" and "Sideways."

"Winter's Bone" faces a crowded field at the upcoming Oscar derby. Currently, there are 13 front-runners competing for the 10 best-picture slots: "127 Hours," "Black Swan," "The Fighter," "Hereafter," "How Do You Know," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "The King's Speech," "The Social Network," "The Town," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit" and "The Way Back."

Jockeying right behind: "Alice in Wonderland," "Another Year," "Blue Valentine," "For Colored Girls," "The Ghost Writer," "How to Train Your Dragon," "Made in Dagenham," "Love and Other Drugs," "Rabbit Hole," "Secretariat" and "Shutter Island."

Can "Winter's Bone" break through?

 

Photo: "Winter's Bone" (Roadside Attractions)

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Do Gotham Award nominations boost Oscar odds of 'Winter's Bone'?

October 18, 2010 |  3:38 pm

Winter's BoneOscar hopes run high now that "Winter's Bone" received three nominations from the Gotham Independent Film Awards. That's the same number as "The Hurt Locker" reaped last year before it romped at the Oscars.

"The Hurt Locker" won best picture at both awards, but that's the first time the  groups' champs aligned. Over the past several years, none of the Gotham Awards' winners were even nominated for best picture: in 2008 ("Frozen River"), 2007 ("Into the Wild") and 2006 ("Half Nelson"). The previous two Gotham victors did make the Oscar high five, however: "Capote" (2005), "Sideways" (2004).

Last year, it was extremely odd that the Gotham Awards, based in New York City as their name suggests, didn't nominate "Precious" for best picture even though it was the most praiseworthy indie shot in Manhattan. In 2007, they didn't nominate "Juno" in the top race, although Ellen Page won best breakthrough performer.

Nonetheless, the Gotham Awards can boost an indie's profile in trophy season in a significant way. While many Oscarologists have considered "Winter's Bone" star Jennifer Lawrence a serious contender to break into the academy's lead actress race, they felt the film had little hope of getting into Oscar's Top 10. That may change now, especially if the movie wins at the Nov. 29 event.

For a full list of nominees, see my colleague Susan King's earlier report here.

 Photo: "Winter's Bone" (Roadside Attractions).

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Gold Derby nuggets: Pete Hammond: Oscars in November | 'The Hobbit' sets starting date | Supporting race surprises

October 15, 2010 |  5:23 pm

• After reviewing the pros and cons of moving the Oscars, Pete Hammond proposes that they should indeed change the ceremony's timing. However, for Pete, such a shift should not be just the few weeks being bandied about as of late but months earlier -- in November. DEADLINE

Sasha Stone considers five films that could replicate the success of "The Blind Side" at this year's Oscars. Leading her list is "For Colored Girls" followed by "Love and Other Drugs" and "Secretariat." "How Do You Know" and "The Town" round out her selections for that slot. AWARDS DAILY

Kris Tapley and Anne Thompson welcome In Contention contributor Guy Lodge and Indie Wire blogger Peter Knegt to the latest installment of their weekly Oscar Talk podcast. IN CONTENTION

The Hobbit • "The Hobbit" is a go, says Sharon Waxman. Peter Jackson, who hauled home three Oscars for his work on the final film in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, is helming the two prequels with lensing on the first to start in February. As Sharon notes, "Jackson was already on board to write and produce 'The Hobbit.' But because of financial turmoil at MGM, which owns half of the franchise together with Warners' New Line Cinema, the project became one of the most torturous in Hollywood history. Sets have already been built in New Zealand, and actors -- including Sir Ian McKellan -- have been on hold for months; Martin Freeman has been rumored to play Bilbo Baggins." THE WRAP

• On Oct. 18 at 1 p.m. ET, former New York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell will host a live webcast to reveal the nominees for the 20th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. The awards will be handed out on Nov. 29 at Cipriani Wall Street. In addition to the competitive kudos, actors Robert Duvall and Hilary Swank, director Darren Aronofsky and Focus Features’ CEO James Schamus will each be presented with a career tribute. GOTHAM AWARDS

• With two-time Oscar champ Hilary Swank's latest film, "Conviction," opening Friday, Kyle Buchanan and Claude Brodesser-Aknera analyze her award and career prospects. As they observe, "Unlike many actresses her age, the 36-year-old Swank is better suited for award-caliber dramas than romantic comedies, and while Hollywood is rough on women already, it's even less receptive to the idea of building a mid-priced drama around one." VULTURE

Nathaniel Rogers turns his attention to the supporting actor race. As he notes, "Lately, Oscar voters have been on a villainous bender in the Supporting Actor category. There are many reasons for this, the first being who the hell would deny Ledger in '07, Bardem in '08 and Waltz in '09? But aside from a great quality performance -- not usually the deciding factor -- Oscar has always enjoyed a good stock role, particularly in the Supporting categories. Are they in the mood for The Sidekick, The Villain, The Wisened Old Man/Mentor, The Sad Sack, or The Eccentric Weirdo?" THE FILM EXPERIENCE

Erik Childress makes the provocative suggestion that Annette Bening should consider dropping down to the supporting race for her performance in "The Kids Are All Right." MOVIEFONE

Image: "The Hobbit" book cover. Credit: Houghton Mifflin Co.

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Grammy predix for best record: Katy Perry or Train?

October 8, 2010 |  5:04 pm

Katy Perry Train Grammy news

Now that we have David "Guru" Schnelwar's Grammy predictions for best record of the year to compare with the ones we already published from Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch, it's curious to see the overlap. They agree on four of the five nominees, but Schnelwar opts for Katy Perry's "California Gurls" instead of Train's "Hey, Soul Sister" (Dortch's choice) in that last slot.

Below: Schnelwar's commentary and predix:

Eminem is no stranger to the record of the year category. He was previously nominated for "Without Me" (in 2002) and the Academy Award-winning "Lose Yourself" (in 2003). Eminem is likely to return for either his collaboration with Rihanna "Love the Way Yo Lie," which was No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks, or his other No. 1 song "Not Afraid."

Carrying over from the last quarter of 2009 is "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga and "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. These songs stayed relevant throughout 2010 and are serious contenders for best record. It could be a battle between New York and California.  Katy Perry is trying to earn her first record of the year nomination for "California Gurls" with Snoop Dogg.

Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" is a song that could have been nominated for a Grammy in the '70s, '80s or '90s. It is the type of song that Lionel Richie or Phil Collins could have made a hit and received a nomination.

RECORD OF THE YEAR
(Front-runners)
"Love the Way You Lie," Eminem featuring Rihanna
"Empire State of Mind," Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys
"Need You Now," Lady Antebellum
"Bad Romance," Lady Gaga
"California Gurls," Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg

(Possible)
"Nothin' on You," B.O.B. featuring Bruno Mars
"Airplanes," B.O.B. featuring Hayley Williams
"Not Afraid," Eminem
"Dog Days Are Over," Florence + The Machine
"Telephone," Lady Gaga and Beyonce

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Everybody loses: Gotham Awards vs. Indie Spirits ('Hurt Locker' vs. 'Precious')

December 1, 2009 | 11:47 am

Just as we expected, Independent Spirit Awards lavished nominations upon "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" today, thereby addressing the film's ridiculous snub by the other, rival prize for independent films, the Gotham Awards, which gave their top trophy last night to "The Hurt Locker."

The Hurt Locker Precious Gotham Awards Indie Spirit newsThis year's clash between the two awards — bestowed by rival factions of an organization that split in 2006 — marks the height of absurdity in awards land. Each side is embracing one of the two top indies — "The Hurt Locker" or "Precious" — to the exclusion of the other. In the end, both awards look foolish and everybody loses.

"The Hurt Locker" isn't eligible at the Indie Spirits this year so it won't be going head to head with "Precious" on awards night, but it was eligible last year and failed to be nominated for best picture. How clueless is that? Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie received lead- and supporting-acting bids, so we know that it was on voters' radar. They just didn't think it was worthy of consideration for the top prize. Instead, nominees were "Ballast," "Frozen River," "Rachel Getting Married," "Wendy and Lucy" and the winner, "The Wrestler."

In recent months, "The Hurt Locker" has built up deafening buzz. The Gotham Awards — based in Manhattan — saw their chance to swoop in and give "The Hurt Locker" the kudos love it should have received from their Los Angeles counterpart, but, strangely, the Gothams decided to snub the other top indie film in the process: "Precious."

Get the picture? Can you guess what's going to win the Indie Spirit Award this year? Does it even matter that there are four other nominees: "(500) Days of Summer," "Amreeka," "Sin Nombre" and "The Last Station"?

This game of tug-of-war (or, rather, snub and makeup hug) between the indie awards goes on all the time. The Spirits voted "Juno" best picture of 2007, for example, after it failed to nab a top nom at the Gothams.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? On one hand, it's outrageous to watch these awards take turns pointing out how foolish their rival is, but maybe it's a good thing because, in the end, more worthy indie films get recognized.

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