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Gold Derby

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

Category: Independent Spirit Award

Gold Derby nuggets: Emmys present and future | Natalie Portman Oscar-bound? | Tonys still without a date | 'Gone With the Wind' costumes saved

September 2, 2010 | 12:20 pm

Edie Falco Nurse Jackie Emmy Awards • In a provocative piece, Joel Keller wonders "when does a comedy stop being a comedy?" As a starting point, he uses this frank admission by "Nurse Jackie" star Edie Falco as she picked up the best comedy series actress Emmy: "Oh, this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever, ever happened in the history of this lovely awards show. I'm not funny!" For Joe, "The outcry that we're hearing about the show seems to stem from the fact that Falco, who won Emmys for playing the not-at-all-funny Carmela Soprano, beat out such comedic stalwarts as Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Amy Poehler. But just because she's a serious character in a lightly funny show doesn't mean she shouldn't be nominated in the comedy category." TV SQUAD

Alex Ben Block details one possible scenario for future Emmy Awards. "The major broadcast networks are serious about splitting the Primetime Emmys into two shows, and they have support among cable networks who share a frustration about HBO so thoroughly dominating the longform categories and the event's third hour. One show would honor all series and air on broadcast, while the other would recognize the TV movies and longform projects that run on cable, like HBO's 'Temple Grandin,' which went 5-for-5 at the Emmys on Sunday night. The broadcast version would use the time gained to become a more entertainment-oriented program." THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

• Fresh off his third consecutive Emmy win for best drama series actor, Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad") is set to show everyone his comedy chops by hosting "Saturday Night Live" on Oct. 2. As Greg Braxton reports, "It will be the first appearance on the sketch comedy series for the actor, who starred as the buffoonish father in 'Malcolm In The Middle' before his stint on the hit AMC drama, where he plays a chemistry teacher who gradually becomes a drug dealer." SHOW TRACKER

Natalie Portman Oscars Black Swan Venice • Our pal Anne Thompson is navigating the Venice filmfest and reports on the speculation that "Black Swan" could be the vehicle that transports Natalie Portman back to the Oscars. "While critics may admire [Darren] Aronofsky’s achievement here, and online fan sites responded enthusiastically to Searchlight’s trailer -- the movie could play to the young Searchlight smart-house crowd, but it’s not a genre horror flick -- I wonder how 'Black Swan' will fare on the Academy side. It may be painful for older voters to watch. (Yes, the largely male Academy granted Jonathan Demme’s 'Silence of the Lambs,' Mel Gibson’s 'Braveheart' and Ridley Scott’s 'Gladiator' best picture honors. But this is a smaller-scale production.) Actors may laud Portman and [Vincent] Cassel." THOMPSON ON HOLLYWOOD

Greg Ellwood details the Oscar hopes of Dreamworks for the animated film "How to Train Your Dragon." As he reports, "the studio sent out a mailer inviting industry professionals to see 'Dragon' in 3-D again in screenings in key markets (we're keeping that private for all you gate crashers). The invite features beautiful art by Pierre-Oliver Vincent and reminds potential voters about this 'thrilling,' 'magical' and 'heartwarming' adventure. Oh, and while listing all the possible nominees in different categories, the studio has no qualms about trying to fill one of the ten best picture slots themselves. Who can argue with that?" HIT FIX

• After moving forward by one day last season, the Independent Spirit Awards is returning to the traditional time slot of Oscar eve for the upcoming kudofest. That means these awards, now in their 26th year, will be handed out on Saturday, Feb. 26. Last time round, the locale shifted from the beach to downtown L.A. but there is no word yet on where the next edition will be held.

Tony Awards logo • The Tony Awards has yet to set the date for the 65th edition of these top theater kudos next spring. The problem is that the traditional venue -- Radio City Music Hall -- is unavailable -- due to an extended booking by Cirque de Soleil. Until the new site is found, the eligibility period can't be defined either, though it is said to be either April 21 or April 28. However, as Patrick Healy notes, "given the way Broadway tends to work, an April 21 cut-off could complicate plans for those bringing in springtime shows. Producers like to have as much of April as possible for rehearsals and preview performances to get shows in the best possible shape. That final week of Tony eligibility is typically a traffic jam of opening nights, with producers stampeding to put their shows into the running for Tonys." ARTS BEAT

David Bianculli does a crackerjack job detailing where and when you can tune in to see this year's Emmy winners on the tube. However, as he notes, "there are no scheduled repeat telecasts right now for HBO's 'Temple Grandin' or 'The Pacific.'" Rather, the telefilm champ is already out on DVD while the mini-series winner will be released Nov. 2. TV WORTH WATCHING

Jen Chaney takes the Emmys pre-show on NBC to task for having host Billy Bush and commentator Ryan Patterson criticizing the fashions worn on the red carpet and transmitting the live feed in the awards venue. As Chaney points out, "Kathy Griffin voiced her empathy for January Jones in particular, telling E!: 'They showed her on the freaking JumboTron and then they were talking smack about her.' When Griffin thinks you've been unnecessarily rude, you know you've really been unnecessarily rude." WASHINGTON POST

Gwtw-green-dress • The academy didn't start handing out Oscars for costume design till 1948. Had they been in that business in 1939, no doubt Walter Plunkett would have been a strong contender for his creations for "Gone With the Wind." Several of the iconic costumes worn by Oscar champ Vivien Leigh, including this green curtain dress, are owned by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. A recent appeal for funds to restore these dresses in advance of the film's diamond anniversary in 2014 yielded $30,000. In a statement, the Center's film curator Steve Wilson said, "These generous donations confirm that the film's legions of fans do, in fact, care." He added that the donations will allow the Ransom Center to restore the dresses and purchase protective housing and custom-fitted mannequins to allow for them to be exhibited according to conservation best practices and standards. Plunkett contended for 10 Oscars for his later work, winning for "An American in Paris" in 1951. YAHOO

Top photo: Edie Falco at the 62nd Annual Emmy Awards. Credit: ATAS

Second photo: Natalie Portman in "Black Swan." Credit: Fox Searchlight

Third photo: Tony Awards logo. Credit: Tony Awards.

Bottom photo: Vivien Leigh in "Gone With the Wind." Credit: MGM/UA

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Gold Derby nuggets: Big bash for banned Oscars nominee | Mixed reviews for Indie Spirits

March 6, 2010 |  5:12 pm

The Hurt Locker posterMike Fleming of Deadline reports: "Sunday's Oscar viewing party for 'The Hurt Locker' producer Nicolas Chartier has officially become a hot ticket. I'm told the bash had to be relocated to the Malibu home of reality TV/film producer Mike Fleiss when the guest list tripled. Three hundred people are now expected to attend or stop by. Fleiss is co-hosting the bash with WME Global chief Graham Taylor and his wife Lynnette Howell, the producer of 'Blue Valentine' and 'Half Nelson.' " 

Peter Bowes of the BBC talks to first-time Oscars director Hamish Hamilton. " 'There are so many emotions going through my head,' says Mr. Hamilton, who admits to being nervous about the big night. 'I'm genuinely excited, genuinely thrilled, really prepared, and I feel like I'm peaking at the right time. I'm also incredibly honored, but I'm feeling the weight of the world and Hollywood on my shoulders.' The job comes with a formidable responsibility to orchestrate a show with a global audience of hundreds of millions. 'It can make you shiver,' he says." 

• Gold Derby on TV: Tune in to KTLA's red-carpet Oscar show on Sunday between 3 and 5 p.m. PT. You'll find me teaming up with Sam Rubin and Jessica Holmes, but not on the actual red carpet. I've got a busted foot that's in a cast, so I plan to hang back in a comfy chair in the studio and get beamed into the show. On early Sunday morning, I'll be on KNBC with Ted Chen at 7 a.m. Over the next few days I'm on TV Guide Channel giving you the career dish on Oscarcast co-host Steve Martin: March 6 (10:30 p.m. ET/PT), March 7 (noon, ET), March 9 (2 p.m. ET/PT), March 14 (midnight ET/PT).

• For Sasha Stone of Awards Daily, "It’s time to do our final No Guts, No Glory for the year. Up to three, and here’s to making it count. Don’t pick alternates (like 'Avatar' for Best Pic) but real and true upsets. Here are mine. And by the way, as soon as I type them I know they won’t come true. 1. 'In the Loop' upsets in the Adapted Screenplay category. 2. 'Star Trek' wins in both Sound categories. 3. 'The Blind Side' wins Best Picture." 

Independent Spirit Awards LogoAnne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood bemoans the shift in locale for the Indie Spirit awards. "I wasn’t able to take my sunny beachside pictures of the indie gang because it was dark on the rooftop at L.A. Live, a monstrously large modern complex near the L.A. Convention Center. On a Friday night, many people had to escape early from work, hitting heavy traffic heading downtown -- I had spectacularly bad luck, hitting an accident bottleneck on the Santa Monica Freeway -- and some folks were tired. (In fact, three grown men -- Scott Cooper, Lee Daniels and Geoffrey Fletcher -- broke down and cried during the course of the evening.) There was competition too: many Spirits attendees blew off the IFC after-party across the street in favor of WME and/or CAA pre-Oscar fetes."

• However, for Steven Zeitchik of 24 Frames, "Concerns that the casualness of the event would be lost without the Santa Monica beachside setting turned out to be misplaced, as the usual preshow mingling, and in-show strolling and table-hopping, unfolded pretty much as it always has. Fears, meanwhile, that a popular Friday night slot would have the Spirits a sparsely populated second choice for Oscar weekend partiers proved overblown as well. Although some attendees rushed from or to agency parties -- a William Morris Endeavor Entertainment fete at Ari Emanuel's house and a party thrown by CAA's Bryan Lourd -- the event still felt packed with industry insiders and stars. Of the major nominees, the Coen brothers and Joseph Gordon-Levitt were among the few that didn't show. (Jeff Bridges, Carey Mulligan, Woody Harrelson and Mariah Carey were among those who did.)" 

• A trio of intrepid USA Today reporters -- William Couch, Arienne Thompson and Joshua Hatch -- present an assortment of Oscars facts and figures in this interactive illustration. As the introduction notes, "This year’s Academy Award acting nominees cover the spectrum from been-around-forever veteran (Christopher Plummer) to never-acted-before newcomer (Gabourey Sidibe). Yet, you may be surprised to learn that they all share connections in their personal and professional lives that bind them together, no matter how long their résumé." 

Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter counts down "the 10 most interesting Oscar-related lawsuits ever" with the top case being when "Disney sues the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, alleging that the infamous Rob Lowe-Snow White duet at the 1989 Oscars was unflattering to the beloved character and lacked permission." 

RELATED POSTS

'Precious' sweeps Indie Spirit Awards ... Oscars next? (Hey, where was 'The Hurt Locker'?)

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

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See costumes and props from Oscar nominees at the Hollywood Museum

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Photos: (Top) "The Hurt Locker" poster. Credit: Summit   (Bottom) Independent Spirit Awards logo. Credit: Film Independent

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'Precious' sweeps Indie Spirit Awards ... Oscars next? (Hey, where was 'The Hurt Locker'?)

March 5, 2010 | 11:50 pm

With winners like best actor Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") and Mo'Nique ("Precious"), the Independent Spirit Awards looked a lot like the Oscars. But that's not unusual. When Oscar front-runners compete at the Indie Spirits, they usually win. Recent examples: Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona"), Alan Arkin ("Little Miss Sunshine"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote"), Charlize Theron ("Monster").

Now and then there are rare exceptions – like last year when Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") beat Sean Penn ("Milk") – but that may have occurred in part due to griping that "Milk" wasn't really an indie since it was produced for more than $20 million.

Precious indie spirits independent spirit awards

Missing from the nominees this year was the most notable indie of 2009 — "The Hurt Locker" — but that's because it competed at last year's Indie Spirits where it fared poorly. It wasn't nominated for best film, director or screenplay, only for two acting spots (Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie). Both lost. Considering how solid "The Hurt Locker's" awards sweep has been since, it really makes you wonder how much of that is due to a bandwagon effect gathered as "The Hurt Locker" juggernaut crashed through, first, the film critics awards, then the guild prizes, then tying "Avatar" for the most Oscar nominations. Would other award groups weigh it as lowly as the Indie Spirits did last year if not affected by what other awards do?

However, with "The Hurt Locker" out of the way, "Precious" got its due. At the start of derby season, back in November, it was widely considered to be the standout indie of the year. Some Oscarologists even pegged it to win the Oscar for best picture. Now it reaped five impressive Indie Spirit victories, including best picture, director, screenplay, actress (Gabby Sidibe) and supporting actress. That's one short of the record (six) held by "Fargo," "Sideways" and "Stand and Deliver."

Meantime, "The Hurt Locker" still got its own separate due from the rival awards for indie film bestowed on the opposite American coast early this derby season, the Gotham Awards, which broke off from the Indie Spirit Awards in 2006.  Back on Nov. 30, it won trophies for best film and ensemble.

However, the Gothams chose to snub "Precious." Thus the curious game continues between these competing awards that, year after year, pick one of two top indies to the exclusion of another. Doesn't that make you wonder how they would vote if not influenced by other awards?


BEST FEATURE: "Precious"
BEST DIRECTOR: Lee Daniels, "Precious"
BEST ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
BEST ACTRESS: Gabby Sidibe, "Precious"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo’Nique, "Precious"
BEST FIRST FEATURE: "Crazy Heart"
BEST SCREENPLAY: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber, "(500) Days of Summer"
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY: Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious"
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins, "A Serious Man"
BEST DOCUMENTARY: "Anvil!"
BEST FOREIGN FILM: "An Education"
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD: "Humpday"
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD: Director and Cast of "A Serious Man"
PRODUCERS AWARD: Karen Chien ("The Exploding Girl," "Santa Mesa")
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD: Kyle Patrick Alvarez, "Easier With Practice"
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD: Bill Ross, Turner Ross, "45365"

Photo: "Precious." Credit: Lionsgate

RELATED POST

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

Tom and Pete dish Oscars: Does Sandra Bullock deserve to win?

See costumes and props from top Oscar nominees at the Hollywood Museum

Oscar predictions: Tom vs. Pete -- who's correct?

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Getting 'Vicious' with Indie Spirit nominee Adam Scott

February 18, 2010 | 10:08 am
The-Vicious-Kind

"Featuring a knockout performance by Adam Scott, a much-deserved Independent Spirit Award nominee for best male lead, 'The Vicious Kind' upends the heavily tread dysfunctional family drama in ways that are unique, surprising and memorable," notes the L.A. Times review. See the film's trailer here.

The best actor contender portrays a chain-smoking bully who sets out to protect his romantically naive younger brother from trouble he suspects might come from a new punk gal pal. Then the bully decides that the punk gal might just be the perfect rascal for himself. That's when things get really vicious. Check out my webcam chat with Scott, who also appears in "Party Down" on the Starz TV network.

Photo: Alex Frost, Brittany Snow and Adam Scott in "The Vicious Kind" (72nd Street Productions)


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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