The Envelope Logo

Gold Derby

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

Category: Mo'Nique

Oscar poll: Who'll win best supporting actress?

October 27, 2010 |  7:31 pm

At this time last year, Mo'Nique was already out front in the Oscar race for best supporting actress based upon the early buzz generated by "Precious" at the Sundance Film Festival. And there was no stopping her thereafter, of course. This year, there is no leader.

Supporting actress

Some pundits say Helena Bonham Carter is ahead thanks to "The King's Speech's" status as a best picture front-runner, but, truth be told, her role as the beloved "queen mum" Elizabeth isn't very expressive. Other seers say Dianne Wiest is ahead for portraying Nicole Kidman's doting mom in "Rabbit Hole," but that's just because she's an automatic Oscar grabber with past victories for "Hannah and Her Sisters" and "Bullets Over Broadway."

Lots of Oscarologists are betting on Hailee Steinfeld because she's got the grandstanding role as a sassy tomboy in "True Grit," but that didn't help Kim Darby in 1969. Even though Darby stole every scene of the original film version (some from feisty John Wayne, who nabbed the gold for lead actor), she wasn't even nominated.

So what about Jacki Weaver, whose "Animal Kingdom" led with the most nominations at the Australian Film Institute Awards today? Read more here.

This is one of those Oscar categories that usually becomes more clear once we've heard from the film-critics' awards in early December — after they picked the likes of Marcia Gay Harden ("Pollock") or Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Cristina Barcelona") in past years. 

Photos: "True Grit" (Paramount), "The King's Speech" (Weinstein).

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.


My fearless, 100% accurate Emmy nominations predictions

July 6, 2010 | 11:35 am
Emmy Awards 12

Here's who I predict will score bids when Emmy Awards nominations are unveiled Thursday morning:

BEST DRAMA SERIES
"Breaking Bad"
"Damages"
"Dexter"
"Mad Men"
"The Good Wife"
"Lost"

ALTERNATES: "Big Love," "Friday Night Lights," "House M.D.," "Sons of Anarchy," "Treme"


BEST COMEDY SERIES
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Curb Your Enthusiasm"
"Family Guy"
"Glee"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

ALTERNATES: "Community," "How I Met Your Mother," "Entourage," "Nurse Jackie," "The Office," "Parks and Recreation," "Weeds"


BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Simon Baker ("The Mentalist")
Bryan Cranston ("Breaking Bad")
Michael C. Hall ("Dexter")
Jon Hamm ("Mad Men")
Hugh Laurie ("House")
Timothy Olyphant ("Justified")

ALTERNATES: Matt Bomer ("White Collar"), Kyle Chandler ("Friday Night Lights"), Matthew Fox ("Lost"), Peter Krause ("Parenthood"), Denis Leary ("Rescue Me"), Bill Paxton ("Big Love"), Wendell Pierce ("Treme"), Kiefer Sutherland ("24")


BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Glenn Close ("Damages")
Mariska Hargitay ("Law & Order: SVU")
January Jones ("Mad Men")
Julianna Margulies, "The Good Wife")
Katey Sagal ("Sons of Anarchy")
Kyra Sedgwick ("The Closer")

ALTERNATES: Sally Field ("Brothers and Sisters"), Anna Gunn ("Breaking Bad"), Holly Hunter ("Saving Grace"), Melissa Leo ("Treme"), Anna Paquin ("True Blood")


BEST COMEDY ACTOR
Steve Carell ("The Office")
Alec Baldwin ("30 Rock")
Larry David ("Curb Your Enthusiasm")
Matthew Morrison ("Glee")
Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory")
Tony Shalhoub ("Monk")

ALTERNATES: David Duchovny ("Californication"), Joel McHale ("Community"), Thomas Jane ("Hung"), Charlie Sheen ("Two and a Half Men")

Continue reading »

Oscars mystery: Whatever happened to Hattie McDaniel's Academy Award?

May 27, 2010 |  6:16 am

J. Freedom du Lac of the Washington Post has written a fascinating account of this unsolved mystery, tracing the Academy Award to the capital's Howard University, where it disappeared decades ago. Hattie McDaniel won the best supporting actress race at the 1939 Oscars for the role of Mammy in best picture champ "Gone With the Wind." She beat Edna May Oliver ("Drums Along the Mohawk"), Olivia de Havilland ("Gone With the Wind"), Maria Ouspenskaya ("Love Affair") and Geraldine Fitzgerald ("Wuthering Heights"). Upon her death in 1952, she bequeathed it to the historic African American college.

Seven decades after McDaniel's historic victory, Mo'Nique became the fourth African American woman to be honored in this category with her win for "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire." Mo'Nique referenced the pioneer in her heartfelt acceptance speech, saying, "I want to thank Miss Hattie McDaniel for enduring all that she had to so that I would not have to." She wore a royal blue dress and gardenia in her hair as McDaniel had back on Feb. 29, 1940, when she attended the 12th Academy Awards.

The newsreel footage of that night below cut out the time it took for McDaniel to get to the podium. She had been seated far in the back of the venue -- the Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel. Note that McDaniel is presented with a plaque rather than the Oscar statue as were all supporting winners from the inception of these categories, in 1936, to 1942. Before announcing the name of the winner, Fay Bainter -- who had her own place in Oscar history as the first dual nominee with her 1938 bids for best actress ("White Banners") and supporting actress ("Jezebel"), winning the latter -- said, "It is a tribute to a country where people are free to honor noteworthy achievements regardless of creed, race or color." Bainter had not peeked into the envelope but been tipped by the Los Angeles Times, which had printed a list of the winners before the ceremony. The academy soon plugged the leak, instituting measures to ensure the secrecy of the results.

Mo'Nique has spoken of her desire to produce a biopic about McDaniel. Whoopi Goldberg -- only the second African American woman to win an Oscar -- took home a daytime Emmy Award in 2002 for producing the documentary "Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel." Goldberg -- one of only 10 people to sweep the grand slam of awards -- is also the only African American actress with two Oscar nods, losing lead actress for "The Color Purple" (1985) before winning the supporting award for "Ghost" (1990).

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.


Emmy battle of the 'Tonight Shows': Conan vs. Jay (plus watch out for Jon Stewart -- AND Mo'Nique)

May 21, 2010 |  9:39 am

Two TV shows produced by NBC Universal are curiously missing from the Emmy campaign DVD mailer the studio recently sent to voters: Jay Leno's disastrous foray into prime-time ("The Jay Leno Show") and the program that took its place later each night ("The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien").

But that doesn't mean both will be missing from the Emmy ballot. No, "The Jay Leno Show" hasn't been officially submitted for best variety series, but — surprise — "The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien" has, and it will compete against "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" — plus "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon," starring the host of the Emmy ceremony on Aug. 29.

"In the DVD campaign packages, typically we do not include shows that aren't returning," says Curt King, senior VP of Universal Media Studios. "In the race for best variety series, Conan decided to submit 'The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien' and we decided to enter 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for Jay.'"



Conan O'Brien Jay Leno Mo'Nique Tonight Show TV news 2

All of those programs will compete against three formidable foes, which have all submitted official entry forms to the TV academy: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," which has won the category for the last seven years in a row; "The Colbert Report," which is overdue to win (it's got an excellent chance to prevail this year thanks to an episode it plans to submit to Emmy jurors — Colbert's hilarious trip to Iraq); and "The Mo'Nique Show," starring the "Precious" actress who swept the last film awards derby (New York Film Critics Circle to Oscars) undefeated.

All of the above-mentioned programs will compete against one show that they don't need to worry about: "Real Time With Bill Maher." Not only has it failed to win a single Emmy, even in the crafts categories, but Maher is the new Susan Lucci — the biggest loser in the history of TV's top award, with 22 defeats and no wins for producing, writing and performance.

It took Conan O'Brien a full decade of hosting "Late Night" before the show landed its first Emmy bid in the variety comedy music series category in 2003. It contended unsuccessfully in that race for five years, always losing to "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," which O'Brien will now face head-on in the ratings when he launches his new chat fest on TBS. In both 2008 and 2009, "Late Night" lost its slot in the list of nominees to the resurgent "Saturday Night Live," while "The Daily Show" kept winning.

O'Brien and his scribes finally won an Emmy in the writing category in 2007 after being also-rans every year from 1996 to 2004 and then again in 2006. That was the only Emmy won by "Late Night" out of 29 nominations, including two more bids for writing in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, the "Late Night" writers lost to the team behind "The Colbert Report" and in 2009 to the scribes for "The Daily Show."

Prior to "The Daily Show" owning the series category, "Late Show With David Letterman" won that award five years in a row beginning in 1998. The CBS late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman has competed in the top Emmy race every year since its debut season in 1994, when it won. In addition, it has taken three technical Emmys for a total haul of nine awards out of 64 nominations.

Compare that with the track record of Jay Leno, who returned to the "Tonight Show" in March. While he may be beating longtime rival David Letterman once again in the ratings, don't expect Leno to contend anytime soon at the Emmys. After all, he and the show were snubbed by the Emmys for his (first) farewell tour last year. The last nomination for Leno's edition of the NBC staple was in 2005, when he contended for the now-defunct individual performance prize, losing to Tony Awards host Hugh Jackman.

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Come Fly Away' to Broadway | 3-D or not 3-D | Katherine Heigl on Emmy uproar

March 26, 2010 |  4:09 pm

Come Fly AwayTwyla Tharp -- who picked up a Tony in 2003 for choreographing "Movin' Out," set to the songs of Billy Joel -- is back with another dancefest. "Come Fly Away" tells the story of four couples to the tunes of Frank Sinatra. The musical opened Thursday to mixed reviews from the Gotham critics. "Movin' Out" landed 10 Tony nominations, including best musical, but took home just two awards (orchestrations was the other). Among the five acting bids were a lead one for John Selya and a featured one for Ashley Tuttle, both of whom appear in "Come Fly Away."

• No surprise that the BAFTAs will be held on Sunday, Feb. 13. As with this year, that places these kudos two weeks before the just-announced date of the Oscars.

• And no surprise that Oscar winner Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") is skipping Saturday's Kids' Choice Awards where she contends for favorite movie actress against Miley Cyrus, Megan Fox and Zoe Saldana. Her rep told People she was never slated to attend.

• The father of the alleged other woman -- Michelle McGee -- says that his daughter decided to come forward after seeing Sandra Bullock and her husband Jesse James attending the Oscars as a happily married couple. THE 33

How To Train Your Dragon • Friday brought a marked increase in the cost of seeing 3-D films in both regular cinemas and Imax. Director Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") and critic Roger Ebert offer up very different views on the 3-D explosion. For Nolan -- whose latest film, "Inception," is not in 3-D -- this resurgence is an "interesting development." However when reviewing "How to Train Your Dragon," Ebert opined, "The 3-D adds nothing but the opportunity to pay more to see a distracting and unnecessary additional dimension."

Oliver Stone explains to Claude Brodesser and Jada Yuan why the release date of "Wall Street 2" got bumped from April 24 to Sept. 23 despite high-profile cover stories for both Michael Douglas and Shia LaBeouf touting the earlier date. "'This is the flat-out truth: [Fox] said, 'We’d like this for April.' We’d finished shooting principal photography on December 9. That’s a tight squeeze, but I could have made it.' But then the possibility of Cannes arose, which Stone thought was a great platform; also contributing to the decision was the disturbingly close May 7 opening of the behemoth that will be 'Iron Man 2,' which 'gave Fox a bit of a shiver.' " NEW YORK

• Though the latest version of "Robin Hood" is slated to open the Cannes filmfest, it will be screening out of competition. The film -- which unspools on the Croisette two days before its U.S. and U.K. release -- marks the fifth collaboration for director Ridley Scott and actor Russell Crowe, who plays the title role; their first pairing was on 2000 best picture champ "Gladiator" which won Crowe his Oscar. Another Oscar winner -- Cate Blanchett ("The Aviator") -- costars as Maid Marian.

Entertainment-heigl-cover_1801 • "Grey's Anatomy" star Katherine Heigl -- who won the supporting actress Emmy in 2007 -- declined to submit herself for consideration in 2008, telling Gold Derby, "I did not feel that I was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination." This week the actress apologized for the furor she caused, telling Michael Ausiello, "I could have more gracefully said that without going into a private work matter. It was between me and the writers. I ambushed them, and it wasn’t very nice or fair." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

• Supporting actress champ Mo'Nique ("Precious") was all set to take her Academy Award out on the road as she tours the country with her comedy but she discovered, "Oscar's heavy, and I thought they would give me a hard time at the airport, so I left Oscar at home." However, she adds, "I'm going to bring him on some of the tour." CONTACT MUSIC

RELATED POSTS:

Gold Derby nuggets: Megan Mullally exits stage left | Chloe Sevigny: No love for 'Big Love' | Simon Cowell Int'l Emmy honoree

Why will the Emmys be telecast in August instead of September?

Robert Culp never cracked Emmy's secret code

Do early awards foretell Emmy luck for 'Glee'?

Tony Awards battle for best musical: 'American Idiot' vs. 'Fela'?

Gold Derby nuggets: Honors for Stephen Sondheim and Matt Damon | Good debut for 'Breaking Bad'

Can Rosie O'Donnell grab her old Emmy crown from Ellen DeGeneres?

Upcoming Emmy diva smackdown: 'Nurse Jackie' vs. 'United States of Tara'

Emmy predix for best drama series: 'Breaking Bad,' 'Damages,' 'Dexter,' 'Mad Men' and ...?

Top Photo: "Come Fly Away" playbill. Credit: Marquis Theater

Middle Photo: "How to Train Your Dragon" poster. Credit: Paramount

Bottom Photo: Katherine Heigel on "Entertainment Weekly" cover. Credit: EW

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.


Gold Derby nuggets: Banned 'Hurt Locker' producer's Oscars speech | Stone & Hammond on 'Avatar' loss | Alec Baldwin on Oscars gig

March 9, 2010 |  2:29 pm

The Hurt Locker posterEugene Hernandez does a crackerjack job reporting on how banned "Hurt Locker" producer Nicolas Chartier spent Oscar Sunday. He was feted by 300 people gathered at the Malibu home of reality TV/film producer Mike Fleiss,  who co-hosted with WME Global chief Graham Taylor and his producer wife Lynnette Howell ("Half Nelson"). As Eugene writes, "The crowd was clearly biased in favor of 'The Hurt Locker' and when the movie won the final award of the night, an uproar was unleashed. Chartier silenced the crowd to listen to the televised speeches and then stepped onto a footstool for his own acceptance. Someone handed him a small plastic statue that looked a bit like an Oscar." Eugene's thorough report also includes video of the "acceptance" speech, including this soundbite: "It’s about the movies. This is what we live for, to tell stories, to make people laugh and cry. To entertain and sometimes to make art." INDIE WIRE

• As Steve Krakauer reports, documentary short Oscar winner Roger Ross Williams ("Music for Prudence" got interrupted again on "Larry King Live" Monday night. After a brief interview in which he spoke about the film's producer -- Elinor Burkett -- who cut short his acceptance onstage at the Oscars Sunday, Williams was to give his complete speech but time ran out and he was pre-empted, this time by "Anderson Cooper 360."  MEDIAITE

David Letterman made merry with this "Kanye" moment on Monday's "Late Show." As Steve Itzkoff writes, "Mr. Letterman was performing a set of jokes about the unending Oscars telecast when he, too, was halted by a protester who demanded, 'Let the woman talk!' "  Video of these hijinks is included in the write-up. NEW YORK TIMES

Steven Zeitchik fills us in on what we can expect next from this year's crop of Oscar champs. Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") is shooting "True Grit" while Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") has "Green Hornet," in the can with both films due out in December. Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") has nothing lined up and Mo'Nique is busy with her BET talker. Two-time winner Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") turned down the Spider-Man reboot and "her next project will likely be her reteaming with Mark Boal on 'Triple Frontier.' The Paramount film is an adventure story set on the border of several South American counties." 24 FRAMES

Avatar PosterSasha Stone weighs in on why "Avatar" lost the best picture race at the Oscars. As Sasha says, "why not be happy with what 'Avatar' is, not what it isn’t. It isn’t an Oscar movie, not with that screenplay. It only had to be a little better, a little less cliched.  A little less 'Pocahontas' and 'Dances with Wolves' and a little more innovative in terms of STORY, not just in terms of effects. Most of the members of the Academy are actors, writers and directors. Is it that much of a surprise that they would pick A) the film that moved them the most, and B) the film they wanted to make the most?  How many of them really want their future to be wrapped up in 3-D technology, motion-capture actors?" AWARDS DAILY

• For Pete Hammond, "If ever there was a question in my mind as to why 'Avatar' probably had no realistic chance of taking the best picture Academy Award, it was answered at the Oscars viewing party, "Night Of 100 Stars," I covered Sunday night at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was the actors branch, dummy. With 1,205 members, three times as many as any other peer group in the academy, they are collectively a powerful voice and if you don't have them behind you, your best- picture chances are slim." NOTES ON A SEASON

• "Up in the Air" was shut out of Sunday's Oscars, despite six nominations including a best picture bid. One of the deleted scenes from the film has been released by Paramount to promote Tuesday's DVD release. In the scene, the inveterate traveler played by best actor nominee George Clooney dreams of wandering home in an astronaut suit as Ricky Nelson singing "Lonesome Town" plays in the background. ZAP2IT

Emma Rosenblum talks to the Emmy-winning Sherri Shepherd ("The View") about her gig Sunday as one of three hosts of the frenetic 30-minute Oscars pre-show. Reveals Sherri, "I love Taylor Lautner, but I couldn't ask him too many questions. We had a lot of red tape and protocol from ABC, and they told me I couldn't ask Taylor about the 'Twilight' sequel or his body. And I said, 'Then what am I going to talk to him about?!' He's a big boy, he could handle it." NEW YORK

Oscars Steve Martin Alec Baldwin • Oscars co-host Alec Baldwin penned a post with his thoughts on the gig. "Hosting the show is an odd experience because you're out there, but it isn't about you. Steve Martin and I worked rather hard, along with the writers and producers, to make sure our contribution did not detract from the primary purpose of the evening, honoring the highest achievements in film. We tell some jokes and show some clips, but the night belongs to the great talent in that room." HUFFINGTON POST

Brian Moylan solves 10 mysteries of the Oscars, including this one: "Why the hell was there street dancing at the Oscars?" As Brian writes, "a troupe of television dancers were given the stage to do strange hip-hop contortions to the classically-influenced music of the Best Score nominees. We solved how it happened -- director Adam Shankman who is a choreographer and TV dance show host -- but we will forever be asking why. Why, why, why?" GAWKER

• And if you are still in need of an Oscars fix, surf over to the telecast's official website for clips from the red carpet, backstage and VIP room, as well as speeches from the winners into the "thank you" cam. Best actor champ Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") had so many people to thank that his speech is split up into five parts. OSCARS

RELATED POSTS:

Complete List of Oscar winners

How did 'The Hurt Locker' defy the odds at the Oscars?

Oscars ratings highest in five years

Oscar winners were predicted by guild awards

'The Hurt Locker' wins six Oscars, including history maker for director Kathryn Bigelow

This Oscars show was not a winner

Poll: What did you think of the Oscars telecast?

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

Middle photo: "Avatar" poster. Credit: Fox

Bottom photo: 82nd Academy Awards poster. Credit: ABC

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom


Oscar winners were predicted by guild awards

March 8, 2010 | 11:57 am

Kathryn Bigelow The Hurt Locker Oscars 82nd Academy Awards "The Hurt Locker" won a leading six Oscars, including best picture and best director for Kathryn Bigelow. The Iraq war drama also picked up prizes for original screenplay, editing, sound mixing and sound editing. As is often the case at the Oscars, many of these wins followed up on equivalent kudos from the respective guilds, largely because the two sets of awards share many of the same voters.

But the scale is hugely different. There are, for example, 1,240 members of the academy's acting branch but more than 100,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild. The academy includes 374 directors while the vast majority of the 13,000 helmers who belong to the DGA create TV shows, commercials and music videos instead of feature films.

"The Hurt Locker" won with the Producers Guild of America,
helmer Kathryn Bigelow won with the Directors Guild of America,
scripter Mark Boal won with the Writers Guild of America,
cutters Chris Innis and Bob Murawski won with the American Cinema Editors, and
sound mixers Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckettwon with the Cinema Audio Society.

Among the four Oscar acting winners, the supporting  champs -- Christoph Waltz("Inglourious Basterds") and Mo'Nique ("Precious") -- had taken virtually every precursor prize leading up to Sunday night, including from the Screen Actors Guild.

Oscars_guild_awards

Lead actor winner Jeff Bridges("Crazy Heart") likewise had a good run, winning with the Screen Actors Guild, as well as with the Golden Globes, Indie Spirits, L.A. critics and Critics Choice. Bridges lost the National Board of Review and New York film critics prizes to George Clooney

Lead actress champ Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") also won with the Screen Actors Guild as well as the Golden Globes and tied with Meryl Streep at the Critics Choice. Streep also won the Golden Globe (comedy) and the New York film critics prize.

There is no music guild that bestows equivalent kudos, but "Up" composer Michael Giacchinodid win with the Golden Globes and BAFTA as well with the IFCMA. The theme from "Crazy Heart" -- "The Weary Kind" -- won the Golden Globe for best song.

Continue reading »

Complete list of Oscar winners

March 7, 2010 |  9:19 pm

Here's a full list of the winners at the 82nd Academy Awards, which were bestowed Sunday night at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. The Oscars ceremony was telecast on ABC, hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

Oscars 3 Academy Awards winners news

BEST PICTURE: "The Hurt Locker"
LEAD ACTOR: Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
LEAD ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock, "The Blind Side"
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz, "Inglourious Basterds"
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo'Nique, "Precious"
DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow, "The Hurt Locker"
ANIMATED FEATURE: "Up"
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "El Secreto de Sus Ojos" (Argentina)
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: "The Hurt Locker," Mark Boal
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: "Precious," Geoffrey Fletcher
ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE: "Up," Michael Giacchino
SONG: "The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)" from "Crazy Heart"

Continue reading »

Who'll win the Oscars and WHY -- category per category (even those pesky shorts)

March 7, 2010 | 10:55 am

BEST PICTURE
"The Hurt Locker" seems to have the most No. 1 votes in this Oscars derby, followed by "Avatar," but, remember, a preferential ballot is being used that requires voters to rank Academy Award choices. Just as both films have strong advocates, they both have many detractors who gave those pix low ranking on their ballots. Most voters have "Inglourious Basterds" ranked in the top three. Upset? If I were betting a ranch, I'd put it on "Hurt Locker," but since I'm merely wagering my professional reputation, I'm sticking with "Basterds."

Oscars 2 Academy Awards news

BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") can't lose because he's got everything going for him. He is an overdue veteran (four past losses) and plays drunk. Oscar voters are suckers for that. Think Nicolas Cage ("Leaving Las Vegas") or, in terms of recent upset, James Coburn ("Affliction").

BEST ACTRESS
Most pundits say Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") will win easily, but that's not what you hear when dishing with academy members. Their votes are split all over the place. Meryl Streep ("Julie & Julia"), Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Gabourey Sidibe ("Precious") are really in this race. Many voters don't believe that Bullock's performance is really Oscar-worthy in the film, so that makes her vulnerable, but I still think she'll prevail. Heck, no one really thought Reese Witherspoon gave the best performance of the year in "Walk the Line" (she was really a supporting player giving a rather passive performance), but she won anyway. Bullock's already won the Golden Globe and SAG Award. With rare exceptions like Julie Christie ("Away From Her") and Lauren Bacall ("The Mirror Has Two Faces"), that almost always equals Oscar victory.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR AND ACTRESS
Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") and Mo'Nique ("Precious") have won everything and are thus unstoppable. Only once in modern history has a star won every major precursor award, then failed to nab the Oscar: Michelle Pfeiffer ("Fabulous Baker Boys") was stopped by Jessica Tandy ("Driving Miss Daisy").

BEST DIRECTOR
Even if "Avatar" or "Inglourious Basterds" wins best picture, Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker") will still prevail here because Oscar is ashamed that he's never given this prize to a woman.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
"Up" looms above all rivals because it's the only nominee here also in the running for best picture, a rare accomplishment.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Close race between "The White Ribbon" (Germany), "The Secret in Their Eyes" (Argentina) and "A Prophet" (France). "Ribbon" won Cannes' Palme d'Or, which is usually the kiss of death in this race, but it has the snooty art-house appeal that the other nominees don't. We hear that "Secret" played best among academy members who attended the screenings in L.A. and New York -- it generated the most buzz in the lobby afterward -- but it's a crime thriller that may seem too much like a TV episode of "C.S.I." "Prophet" is a violent mafia flick a lot like "Gomorrah," which many pundits thought would win last year, but it didn't even get nominated. So I'm picking recent Golden Globe champ "White Ribbon" because of its pretentiousness and snob appeal.

BEST SCREENPLAY (ORIGINAL)
Quentin Tarantino won this for "Pulp Fiction" and should claim this again, but not if there's a "Hurt Locker" juggernaut. My prediction is that Tarantino will prevail, but sweeps can be powerful things at the Oscars.

Continue reading »

'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?

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.


Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars countdown | James Cameron OK with 'Avatar' Oscars spoof | Oscar gold equals box office green

March 4, 2010 |  2:10 pm

Oscars New Members movie news 1357986Sandy Cohen reports, "Oscar producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic are bridging stage and screen with an advanced, automated set at the Kodak Theatre and a super high-tech program planned for TV viewers. After days of technical tests on their stage setup, Shankman and Mechanic moved into the Kodak Theatre Wednesday, where they're seeing their whole show come to life in person and on screen. 'Today's the first day we're up fully running,' Mechanic says. 'We had three days of tech and now it's camera...' 'Camera, scripting, scenic transition, we're camera-blocking some stuff,' Shankman says, finishing his partner's sentence. 'This is probably as technically advanced a show as you've ever seen or as you will have ever seen,' Mechanic says. 'But what I really like about it, and yes that's true,' Shankman says. 'But on the monitors it actually looks much more simple in a weird way. It's elegant and it is more advanced but it's actually very focused and very simple.' " AP

• Half a dozen Oscar nominees have the added pressure of presenting on Sunday's big show. Two of the six already have Oscars on their shelves. Both supporting-actor contender Matt Damon ("Invictus") and writer-director Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds") won original-screenplay Oscars, Tarantino in 1994 for "Pulp Fiction" and Damon three years later for "Good Will Hunting." Five-time nominee Jeff Bridges ("Crazy Heart") is the favorite in the lead-actor race this year, as is first-time nominee Sandra Bullock ("The Blind Side") in the lead-actress race. Also presenting are first-time nominees Carey Mulligan ("An Education") and Anna Kendrick ("Up in the Air"). AMPAS

Oscar nominee Lee Daniels ("Precious") tells Donna Freydkin that "work has been a welcome distraction from the madness of awards season. 'Simultaneously I'm working on a pilot for HBO. It pulls me away from having to think about the Oscars. It's God's way of pulling me away.' Daniels is very busy prepping the feature film 'Selma' about the civil rights struggle and says, 'I have to really start casting the movie because we're shooting it soon. The only person I've nailed in for sure is Hugh Jackman. It's all over the place.' " USA TODAY

James Cameron Avatar OscarsCristina Gibson says, "At least one person wouldn't mind an 'Avatar' Academy Awards this Sunday. James Cameron. The Oscar-nominated director told me this exclusively tonight at the Global Green party at Avalon. Cameron said he wasn't aware that a proposed 'Avatar' sketch involving Ben Stiller and Sacha Baron Cohen had been cut from the show, presumably to avoid upsetting the director. 'I don't know anything about that. ... I don't produce the Oscars. If they want to poke fun at 'Avatar' Sunday, that's OK by me,' said Cameron, 'I'm sure we'll laugh.' " E ONLINE

• The second edition of "The Oprah Winfrey Oscars Special" on ABC -- which paired up Oscar champs and nominees like Halle Berry ("Monster's Ball") and Penelope Cruz ("Nine") as well as James Cameron and his "Avatar" cast for intimate conversations with narration by Winfrey -- was a bust in the ratings Wednesday, down 19% from the recently canceled "Ugly Betty" in the time slot. THE LIVE FEED

• Had Winfrey worked the late-night circuit like Barbara Walters has been doing in advance of her final Oscar-night special, she might have reaped more ratings points. Walters did the top 10 on Wednesday's "Late Show With David Letterman" and then dropped by "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" to dish on her decision to stop these gabfests after 29 years.

• As Zachary Pincus-Roth discovers, "In recent years, a number of Oscar-nominated performances have involved some form of low-talking, be it mumbling, muttering, slurring, or a lack of volume, either because of the actor's choice or the requirements of the role. It's not that they're completely unintelligible -- it's that on the spectrum that runs from Laurence Olivier in 'Richard III' to the Olsen twins in 'Full House,' they're a few standard deviations toward the latter. Every year, there are at least one or two acting nominees who are in this category, and this year it's Jeff Bridges and the tight-lipped Gabourey Sidibe in 'Precious.' Last year, it was Frank Langella's gravelly former president in 'Frost/Nixon' and Robert Downey, Jr.'s white actor pretending to be black in 'Tropic Thunder.' Recent low-talking winners include Tim Robbins in 'Mystic River,' Javier Bardem in 'No Country for Old Men,' Renée Zellweger in 'Cold Mountain,' Benicio Del Toro in 'Traffic,' and Jamie Foxx in "Ray.'" THE DAILY BEAST

Sandra Bullock • In a fascinating read, Michael Cieply writes, "When the estimated salaries of all 10 of the top acting nominees are combined, the total is only a little larger than the $20 million that went to Julia Roberts for her appearance in 'Erin Brockovich,' a best-picture nominee in 2001, or to Russell Crowe for 'Master and Commander,' nominated in 2004." As Michael reports, "the fashionable deal now is called 'CB zero.' It stands for “cash-break zero,” and refers to an arrangement under which the star or filmmaker begins collecting a share of profits after the studio has reached the break-even point. Such deals can be extremely lucrative when they give stars a substantial share in home-video revenue. So Sandra Bullock, who cut her usual $10 million fee to just $5 million for 'The Blind Side,' another of this year’s nominees, will eventually make $20 million or more from the movie because it was a hit. Mr. Clooney similarly stands to make additional millions when all the revenue from 'Up in the Air' is finally counted." NEW YORK TIMES

• Everyone can predict the winners in at least a couple of the Oscar races this year -- supporting actor and actress for a start. But getting them all wrong -- that takes talent. Sasha Stone is running a contest looking for someone to score 0 out of 24. But be warned for, as Sasha writes, " It is a lot harder than you might think.  My friend Ed is the one who does this every year, and despite his best intentions, last year he actually got a few right." AWARDS DAILY

• That sassy Tariq Khan is not content just to be aces at predicting the Oscars; now he wants to be part of the action and has offered up some jokes for your consideration. As he writes, "Hosting the Oscars is no easy task. Just ask David Letterman. (Remember the “Uma …Oprah” bit?) Keeping the show moving and the audience laughing for as long as four hours requires a lot of humor. But not just any humor -- OSCAR humor. To help out this year’s co-hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, Fox411 has come up with some award-worthy jokes. We think they’re pretty funny and bet that the Academy (and Oscar audience) will, too. So Steve and Alec -- please feel free to read, laugh and lift from the list below. And if you use any of them, maybe you can give 411 a little plug. That’s not too complicated, is it?" FOX 411

OTHER POSTS:

Gold Derby nuggets: Sacha Baron Cohen bounced from Oscars | 'The Hurt Locker' hit by lawsuit | Michael Buble leads with six Juno noms

Gold Derby nuggets: Pete Hammond: Best actress 'down to the wire' | Oscars leading men

Oscars bar 'Hurt Locker' producer from attending ceremony

Daytime Emmys narrow down field with pre-nomination ballot

Prediction: Sandra Bullock will beat Megan Fox for the Razzie

Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood vie for ACM entertainer of the year award

Get drunk, win Oscar

Can Evan Lysacek win 'Dancing With the Stars' that elusive choreography Emmy?

ABC '20/20' Oscar TV special: 'Before They Were Famous'

Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars selling out ads | Sasha Stone: 'Avatar' to win | 'The Hurt Locker' also top pick for top pic

'The Hurt Locker' debate: accuracy vs. entertainment

Poll: Do you prefer Sacha Baron Cohen as Oscar host?

Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars odd couple | 'Lost' actors find new work

Will 'The Hurt Locker' team be punished for breaking Oscar rules?

'Hurt Locker' producer apologizes for his 'extremely inappropriate' e-mail

Top photo: Academy Award statues. Credit: AMPAS

Middle photo: James Cameron on the set of "Avatar." Credit: Fox

Bottom photo: Sandra Bullock in "The Blind Side." Credit: Warners

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.


Gold Derby nuggets: Mo'Nique admits she wanted those Benjamins | Oscarcast won't be a dance-a-thon

February 28, 2010 |  2:48 pm

Mo'Nique has confirmed reports that she refused to Oscar campaign for "Precious" because she wouldn't be paid for it. In an interview with the Associated Press, she recounts what she told Mo'Nique Academy Awards Oscars news studio execs when asked to promote the film for free, "OK, baby. Well, then, that's not something we can do." Adding to the reporter, "Because, when I leave out, why ever would I go do something for free when I can go and do something and bring money back home to my family?" Earlier this derby season, after Mo'Nique snubbed the Toronto and New York film festivals, a source told the New York Daily News, "Mo'Nique said she signed on to do this film for a small amount of money. She said she didn't care about 'no Oscar' — all that mattered was 'those Benjamins!' Because Oprah and Tyler Perry are backing the film, she feels as though there should be a budget to pay for her promotional duties." Oscar campaigners for "Precious" dismissed the report as untrue. AP

• The Associated Press picked up on "The Hurt Locker" e-mail scandal broken by The Envelope's Pete Hammond. Its report quotes an academy member on the producer who's shattered academy rules. "If 'The Hurt Locker' doesn't win best picture, I wouldn't want to be that guy. They'll be pointing at him." AP

• Oscarcast producer Bill Mechanic tells Sharon Waxman that the ceremony will be "mobile," "emotional," but not packed with dance numbers, which is surprising since coproducer is Adam Shankman (director of "Hairspray" and "Step Up," TV judge on "So You Think You Can Dance"). Mechanic says, "There will be a 'couple' of musical numbers, but nothing like the show-stopper last year that had Beyonce and Hugh Jackman in full Moulin Rouge regalia." THE WRAP

RELATED POSTS:

ASC focused on 'The White Ribbon'

'The Hurt Locker' sounded like a winner to CAS

'The Hurt Locker' debate: accuracy vs. entertainment

Poll: Do you prefer Sacha Baron Cohen as Oscar host?

Gold Derby nuggets: Oscars odd couple | 'Lost' actors find new work

Will 'The Hurt Locker' team be punished for breaking Oscar rules?

'Hurt Locker' producer apologizes for his 'extremely inappropriate' e-mail

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

Photo: "Precious" (Lionsgate)

Get Gold Derby on Twitter. Join the Gold Derby Group at Facebook. Become friends with Tom O'Neil on Facebook. Get Gold Derby RSS feed via Facebook. RSS Feedburner. RSS Atom.


Connect

Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Stay Connected:


About the Blogger


Pop & Hiss



Categories


Archives
 



In Case You Missed It...