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Category: Harrison Ford

'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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Harrison Ford still hunting for elusive Oscar gold

June 10, 2008 | 10:33 am

While portraying a treasure hunter in a popcorn pic like "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull", Harrison Ford may not catch up with the Oscar gold that's eluded him so far throughout his career, but his next two movie roles may be more in line with the academy's taste.

And academy voters may well think it time to reward this 65-year-old movie icon, who lost his only Oscar bid — for "Witness" Crossing_over_harrison_fordin 1985 — to William Hurt ("The Kiss of the Spider Woman").

In "Crossing Over," due out Aug. 22, Ford plays a by-the-book officer caught up in the whirl of illegal immigrants in Los Angeles. The film, written and directed by Wayne Kramer ("The Cooler"), is said to evoke themes similar to those of "Crash," the 2005 best picture winner. Remember, it was Matt Dillon as a conflicted cop who scored that movie's only Oscar acting nod.

And as per Variety, Ford has just signed to star in "Crowley" as a scientist searching for the cure to a rare genetic disorder. Based on a true story, the film will follow the quest of parents hoping to save their children with the help of just one man. This role of medical mentor used to be surefire Oscar bait.

In 1936, Paul Muni won for "The Story of Louis Pasteur;" in 1938 Robert Donat got a nod as a do-good doctor in "The Citadel"; in 1943, Walter Pidgeon was nommed for playing the scientist-husband of "Madame Curie"; and in 1948, Lew Ayres was up for his role as a kindly doc in "Johnny Belinda."

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Can 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' earn green and gold?

May 22, 2008 | 10:52 am

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" opens today to good, if-not-always-great, notices. (CLICK HERE for L.A. Times scribe Kenneth Turan's review of this fourth film in the series.)

Gitesh Pandya of Box Office Guru is predicting a five-day domestic take of $165 million, leaving "Kingdom" just shy of the $173 million haul of "Stars Wars: Episode III" over the 2005 Memorial Day weekend. However, Steve Mason of Hollywood Wiretap thinks Indy and company will bump those other George Lucas-created characters from the top of the box office chart.

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Regardless of the first week's numbers, "Kingdom" is sure to rank among the top five films of the year when it comes to box office receipts. But can it be one of the five films to compete in the best picture race at the Academy Awards? Back in 1981, the original "Raiders of the Lost Ark," which was No. 1 at the box office that year, was a best picture nominee that lost out to "Chariots of Fire." Since then, the Oscars have tended to favor more serious fare with nominations, though there have been a few notable exceptions.

Just last year, the well-reviewed action adventure "The Bourne Ultimatum" was the No. 7 moneymaker (it had a $227-million domestic gross), but had no luck breaking into the big Oscar races. It did go three for three on the technical side, winning editing, sound, and sound editing.

The last popcorn movies to earn best picture nods were the three movies that made up "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The final film, "The Return of the King," scored with both Oscar voters (going 11 for 11) and audiences (the No. 1 movie of 2003 with a $377-million domestic gross). That same year, the high seas adventure "Master and Commander" picked up 10 nominations, including best picture. And in 1997, another movie set on the high seas, the all-time box office champ "Titanic," also won 11 Oscars, including best picture.

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Can 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' win over the Oscars?

May 19, 2008 |  4:38 pm

The first reviews are in for "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and they are good if not great. Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times is relatively enthusiastic, calling this fourth film in the series "one of the better ones." However, some of his colleagues who attended the Cannes screening Sunday were less kind. For the full review recap, CLICK HERE.

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Regardless of the reviews, the film, opening worldwide this week, is sure to be one of the top moneymakers of the year. While it may earn lots of green, how will it do in the gold department? Popcorn movies like "Kingdom" used to do well at the Oscars but their presence has waned in recent years. Could current Oscar darling Cate Blanchett land a sixth nod for her over-the-top performance in "Kingdom" as a Soviet spy?

The original "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was both the top-grossing movie of 1981 ($210 million domestic) and one of the best reviewed. It reaped 8 Oscar noms and won four –- editing, art direction, visual effects and sound. "Raiders" lost the best picture race to "Chariots of Fire." Steven Spielberg lost his second nom for helming to Warren Beatty ("Reds"), who had already beaten him at the Golden Globes and DGA. Cinematographer Douglas Slocombe lost to Vittorio Storaro for "Reds." For Slocombe, the "Raiders" trilogy capped off a 50-year career in film.

Still going strong is composer John Williams, who lost the Oscar to Vangelis ("Chariots of Fire") but won a Grammy for his "Raiders" score. With 45 Oscar nominations, Williams is tied with composer Alfred Newman for second place (Walt Disney is first with 59 nods). As he has won 3 of his 5 Oscars for Spielberg films ("Jaws," "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," and "Schindler's List") how fitting it would be if Williams broke that tie with his score for "Kingdom."

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Will 'Indiana Jones,' Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford come swashbuckling back into the awards fight?

May 8, 2008 | 10:18 am

With Steven Spielberg making a rare directorial return to bring us "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," we must take this May 22 release quite seriously. Here is the awards history of the first three installments.

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"Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981)
OSCARS: Nommed for eight, won four. Won best art direction, visual effects, film editing and sound. Nominated for best picture, director, music and cinematography. Special achievement award bestowed to sound effects editors.
DGA: Nomination for Seven Spielberg
WGA: Nominated for best comedy writing
GOLDEN GLOBES: Only one nomination -- best director
GRAMMYS: Won best original score (John Williams)
PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Won best picture

"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984)
OSCARS: Won for best visual effects. Also nommed for best musical score

"Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989)
OSCARS: Won best sound effects editing. Nommed for music and sound mixing.
GOLDEN GLOBES: Nommed for best supporting actor (Sean Connery)


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