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Category: Sean Penn

Sly times at the Hollywood Awards

October 26, 2010 |  6:59 pm

It's a shame that the Hollywood Film Festival's Hollywood Awards aren't televised. There's a lazy, mischievous air about the gala that makes it seem like the Golden Globes on even more bubbly. They're held in the same space as the Globes — in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel — where stars giggle, prattle, meow, yell, insult, confess and laugh while not being barked at by TV producers rushing to commercial breaks. They throw a lot of f-bombs around. It's a hoot.

Monday night one of them almost even cried at the podium: Sean Penn as he accepted a humanitarian award for the charitable work performed by him and his organization JP/HRO to help victims of the earthquake in Haiti. He told a touching story of a Haitian policeman who saved 50 lives after enduring the horror of losing his wife and children. Penn also made startling confessions, including how his staffers "chuckled" when they heard that he, of all people — someone who subjects them to "tantrums" and other unpleasant behavior — was receiving a humanitarian award.

Those of us in the audience even learned that Helena Bonham Carter (winner of the Hollywood supporting actress award) has a nickname, "Cups," because she's always surrounded by cups of various, mostly caffeinated beverages. She was honored by the festival for performing two queens (the nasty red one in "Alice in Wonderland" and the beloved "queen mum" Elizabeth in "The King's Speech") and a witch (Bellatrix Lestrange in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"), only one of which was directed by Tim Burton ("Alice").

"I don't just work for my boyfriend!" she shouted to the room full of film titans. "I'm available for leading roles too!"

There was a funny exchange between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis when they presented a career achievement award to Sylvester Stallone. See video below. After the jump: Justin Timberlake, Andrew Garfield, Jesse Eisenberg and costars accept "The Social Network's" prize for ensemble acting.

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: David Fincher opens up to Mark Harris | Mel Gibson comeback? | 'Friends' reunited on 'Cougar Town'

September 22, 2010 | 10:42 am

David Fincher The Social NetworkMark Harris landed an interview with "The Social Network" director David Fincher for a New York magazine cover story. As there wasn't enough room in the print edition for the whole conversation, he has posted it online. In his intro to the transcript, Mark writes, "Here, Fincher dishes on the enormous difficulty of speeding up Aaron Sorkin's motormouth text ('Faster. That was my only real direction.'), his surprising 'enormous amount of empathy' for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and much much more."  VULTURE

• The Producers Guild of America will salute James Cameron at the 22nd annual edition of its kudos on Jan. 22. The Oscar winner is to receive the guild's highest honor, the Milestone award. Previous recipients include Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ron Howard & Brian Grazer, and Walt Disney. In a statement, Paula Wagner, chair of the PGA awards, said, “James Cameron is an exceptionally talented producer, a true innovator with the rare combination of technical ingenuity and creative vision. Jim has continued to change the film landscape with his ability to deliver groundbreaking masterpieces that present audiences and the industry with unrivaled beauty, originality and impact." PGA

Dave Karger defends the decision by Focus Features to position both Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in the lead race for their work in "The Kids Are All Right." Says Dave, "Both actresses have juicy roles and complete character arcs that merit inclusion in the lead category. Sure, Moore would have a better shot at her first Oscar win in supporting, but it would seem disingenuous to campaign her as such. As for Bening, despite her tough competition this year (notably 'Black Swan's' Natalie Portman and 'Blue Valentine's' Michelle Williams), I’d say she has a decent shot at a victory this time around." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Patrick Goldstein dismisses the notion put forth by our pal Pete Hammond that "The Town" — Ben Affleck's sophomore film as a director — could be a contender at the Oscars. He writes, "I'm already on record as being a big fan of 'The Town,' which is a terrific crime genre piece set in working-class Boston and loaded with gifted actors doing great work. But crime pictures (unless they have an eminence grise like Clint Eastwood or Martin Scorsese at the helm) rarely end up getting any serious Oscar consideration. The academy is partial to weighty dramas and historical fare. Genre pictures have about as good a chance as comedies at earning best picture nods." THE BIG PICTURE

Jeff Wells agrees with Patrick, using some very colorful language to make his point. HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE

Mel Gibson The Beaver • Pete Hammond also reports on the buzz about the Mel Gibson comeback picture "The Beaver," which was directed by his "Maverick"  costar Jodie Foster. She has proved a staunch supporter of the embattled actor, telling More magazine, “Of course, Mel is an undeniably gifted actor, and 'The Beaver' is one of his most powerful and moving performances." As Pete writes, "The big question now is when Summit Entertainment plans to release her film, which still remains officially undated, and if the studio will try to make an awards play. And the even bigger question is whether, after all his public travails, Mel Gibson could suddenly become a serious contender for a Best Actor Oscar nomination via a late-breaking qualifying run before the end of the year?" DEADLINE

• Canadian actor-director Jason Priestley is set to host the 38th edition of the International Emmys on Nov. 22 in New York. In making the announcement, Bruce Paisner, president and chief executive of the International Academy, said, "Jason Priestley is a household name for millions of viewers worldwide and we're delighted that he is joining our celebration of excellence in international television as our host." Another Canadian, "SNL" creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels, will receive the organization's Directorate award while Brit bad boy Simon Cowell will be on hand to accept the Founders prize. Expect Britain to dominate the 10 competitive categories as it has done for decades. INTERNATIONAL EMMYS

Sasha Stone says that Gywneth Paltrow could well be contending for her first best actress Oscar since winning the prize in 1998 for "Shakespeare in Love." In "Country Strong," Paltrow plays a country crooner and, as Sasha writes, "There isn’t much word out there that I could find about her performance, but traditionally, that type of role gets attention and then some." As she explains, "When I first started covering the Oscar race back in 1999, you really couldn’t get nominated if you weren’t already a big star with a few exceptions along the way — a GREAT performance could get in — but for the most part, it was a star’s game and much press was made if an unknown got in." AWARDS DAILY

Jennifer Aniston Courteney Cox Cougar Town • "Cougar Town" creator and executive producer Bill Lawrence confesses to Kate Stanhope that he jumped the gun on the reunion of "Friends" costars Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston. "I generally say things and then hope that they're going to happen. I announced last year that Jennifer Aniston was doing the show having never spoken to her or her representatives." Aniston appears on the second season premiere of a show that Lawrence says is now "a Courteney Cox-lead ensemble comedy."   TV GUIDE

• The Kennedy Center is $10 million richer courtesy of new board chairman David M. Rubenstein. The co-founder of the Carlyle Group designated this generous gift for a variety of the center's efforts, including $5 million for the National Symphony Orchestra and $1 million for staging the Kennedy Center Honors and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. KENNEDY CENTER

• The Hollywood Film Festival has named two-time Oscar winner Sean Penn as this year's recipient of its humanitarian prize. In making the announcement, fest founder Carlos de Abreu said, "It is an honor to recognize the inspiring humanitarian efforts that Sean Penn and his J/P Haitian Relief Organization have been providing to the great people of Haiti." Previous recipients include director of Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, Father Rick Frechette; Nobel Peace Prize recipient and president of East Timor, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta; and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams. The presentation will be made at a Oct. 25 gala at the Beverly Hilton. HFF

• The 19th edition of the ESPY Awards don't take place till next July 13, but ESPN has announced that "SNL" star Seth Myers will be returning to host the kudos. AP

Top photo: David Fincher on the set of "The Social Network." Credit: Columbia.

Middle photo: Mel Gibson in "The Beaver." Credit: Summit Entertainment

Bottom photo: Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston in "Cougar Town." Credit: ABC

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Cannes film festival competition short on Oscar contenders

April 15, 2010 |  1:43 pm

Cannes_festival_logo Only one American film -- "Fair Game" from Doug Liman ("The Bourne Identity") -- numbers among the 16 entries in the official competition of this year's Cannes Film Festival. This politically charged biopic about real-life diplomat Joe Wilson and his spy wife Valerie Plame stars two-time Oscar champ Sean Penn ("Mystic River," "Milk") and Naomi Watts who earned an Oscar nod opposite Penn in "21 Grams."

The director of that 2003 film was Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, who went on to win the best director award at Cannes for the Palme d'Or-nominated "Babel" in 2006. Prior to that he had picked up two critics prizes in 2000 for "Amores Perres," and he returns to the Croisette with his first Spanish-language film since then, the crime drama "Biutiful" starring Oscar-winner Javier Bardem ("No Country for Old Men").

Mike Leigh -- who won the top prize at Cannes in 1996 for "Secrets and Lies" as well as the directing award for "Naked" in 1993 -- contends once more with "Another Year," which features Oscar-winner Jim Broadbent ("Iris") and Imelda Staunton, who was a lead actress Oscar nominee in 2004 for Leigh's "Vera Drake." 

Last year, 20 films competed at Cannes, and there is talk that this year's smaller field may well expand. Two possible additions are "The Tree of Life" from Terrence Malick, who won the director prize here for his second film "Days of Heaven" in 1979, and "Inception" by Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight").

The jury -- headed by American Tim Burton, who now makes his home in London -- also includes Oscar-winning actor Benicio del Toro ("Traffic") and Kate Beckinsale, who starred in "Nothing but the Truth," a 2008 fictionalized version of the Wilson-Plame imbroglio.

Continue reading »

Quiz: Which Oscar-winning role was not gay?

March 15, 2010 |  8:29 pm
James_coco_oscars_academy_awards

Last year Sean Penn ("Milk") became the sixth actor to reap an Oscar for a gay role. The other five are cited below. Which role does not belong on this list? To see the answer, click on the "Continue Reading" link below.

a.) William Hurt, "Kiss of the Spider Woman"
b.) Tom Hanks, "Philadelphia"
c.) John Gielgud, "Arthur"
d.) Nicole Kidman, "The Hours"
e.) Charlize Theron, "Monster"
f.) Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"

Continue reading »

Which winners would you force to give back their Oscars?

March 19, 2009 | 11:22 am

Come to think of it, maybe Matt Damon was right when he recently said that the Oscars "get it wrong more often than they get it right."

If I were the king of the Oscars (someday — just you wait, Derbyites!) and had the power to take away past wins, the first awards I'd yank from the clutches of undeserved winners are these: Reese Witherspoon ("Walk the Line"), Nicole Kidman ("The Hours"), Sean Penn ("Mystic River" — I'd let him keep the Oscar if he'd won for "21 Grams" that year), Russell Crowe ("Gladiator"), Geoffrey Rush ("Shine"), Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt ("As Good as It Gets"), Al Pacino ("Scent of a Woman" — he could keep the Oscar if he'd won it for any other nomination any other year), Sally Field ("Places in the Heart"), Glenda Jackson ("A Touch of Class"), Cliff Robertson ("Charly") and Elizabeth Taylor ("Butterfield 8").

Oscars_outrages_edited1

Those are examples just among the living. If I had the monarchical powers to reach beyond the grave, all of the following would be in big trouble: Paul Newman ("The Color of Money"), Jack Lemmon ("Save the Tiger"), John Wayne ("True Grit"), Katharine Hepburn ("Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"), Ingrid Bergman ("Anastasia"), Lee Marvin ("Cat Ballou") and Charlton Heston ("Ben-Hur")

Oh, yeah, and I'd not only force another member of the royal class, Princess Grace of Monaco, to abdicate as Oscar queen for "Country Girl," but I'd make her give the 1954 best-actress crown to Judy Garland ("A Star Is Born") — along with an apology. Ditto Judy Holliday ("Born Yesterday") to poor Gloria Swanson ("Sunset Blvd.").

"Best pictures" that must be rescinded: "The Departed," "Braveheart," "Unforgiven," "Dances With Wolves," "Out of Africa," "Gandhi," "Rocky," "Ben-Hur," "Around the World in 80 Days," "The Greatest Show on Earth," and "An American in Paris."

All of the above are examples only since 1950. I'm too lazy right now — and too whipped up with outrage since starting to write this post— to go back further or to address the supporting races (Goldie Hawn in "Cactus Flower"!).

But the posters in The Envelope's Gold Derby forums don't shrink from any Oscar year and have been playing this same fantasy game themselves since just before the recent Academy Awards in February. Check out their fumings here. Click through the page numbers at the bottom and top of the forum thread to keep reading. And then add your own picks for an Oscar pull-back.

Caresa: "I would take away 'Crash''s BP Oscar and give it to 'Brokeback Mountain' in 2005."

Pacinofan: "'Since I think no one ever squandered their Oscar win more than Cuba Gooding Jr., I would take his Oscar and give it to ... anyone I happened to come across on the streets."

AJ: "Jack Lemmon should give his 'Save the Tiger' Oscar to Al Pacino for 'Serpico,' but Jack Lemmon deserved the lead Oscar for 'Some Like it Hot' over Charlton Heston in 'Ben-Hur.' "

Continue reading »

Gold Derby nuggets: Kate Winslet will keep her Oscar 'in the loo' | Jennifer Hudson names her dogs Oscar and Grammy

February 28, 2009 |  7:36 pm

• Now that she's back in the U.K., Kate Winslet ("The Reader") comes clean about where she plans to keep her Academy Award statuette — right next to the one won by her husband Sam Mendes for directing best picture "American Beauty": "The Oscar's going in the loo, next to Sam's." London Daily Mail

• Oscar's best actor Sean Penn wants President Barack Obama to see "Milk" soon: "Eventually we are hoping for a White House screening. I think this film will be one of the steps forward. It will be part of the dialog." Agence France-Presse

• Two early U.K. investors in "Slumdog Millionaire" — Film4 and Celador — won't get a huge chunk of profits after its Oscar success, according a Brit newspaper. It claims biggest payoffs will go to theaters, distributors, Fox Searchlight and Pathe. London Independent

• A London tabloid reports that the joyous spirit of "Slumdog Millionaire's" Oscars victory didn't last long when one of the young stars returned India. The Sun

Chris Brown and Rihanna are reportedly back together after that nasty clash following a pre-Grammy party. Dish Rag

• A two-time past winner of the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion will head the fest's next jury: Ang Lee. Associated Press

Jennifer Hudson told Oprah Winfrey on Friday that she's named two of her dogs Oscar and Grammy! She also revealed how wowed she was to receive the Grammy for best R&B album recently from presenter Whitney Houston. "As soon as she stepped out on the stage, I lost it," Jennifer Hudson said. "That's when I got emotional." Chicago Tribune

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Oscars censored in 53 Asian nations

February 25, 2009 |  3:48 pm

The day after the Oscars, Keith Olbermann exulted in the bold expressions of free speech on the kudocast. He said on MSNBC, "If last night had been the 2003 Oscars, Dustin Lance Black, Bill Maher and Sean Penn probably would have spent the day raked over the coals by the yapping toadies of the media-government complex. Screw the toadies. They lost and free speech won!"

Oscars_censor_academy_awards_keith_

But not so on TV seen on the other side of the world.

Much of India was tuned in to the Oscars to see the victories by "Slumdog Millionaire," but they didn't get the whole telecast.

Asian satellite TV network STAR, owned by Rupert Murdoch, admits that it censored the acceptance speeches of "Milk" writer Dustin Lance Black and star Sean Penn in re-broadcasts, eliminating sound when the words "gay" or "lesbian" were spoken, because it had "a responsibility to take the sensitivities and guidelines of all our markets into consideration," spokeswoman Jannie Poon told the Associated Press. STAR reaches more than 300 million viewers in 53 nations.

However, a tipster tells Defamer.com that the words were also edited out of live broadcasts in India, but he doesn't identify the offending TV network.

Pang Khee Teik, a prominent Malaysian arts commentator, wrote a letter of protest to several media organizations, according to the AP. He said the gagging "sent a message ... that gays and lesbians are still shameful things to be censored from the public's ears."

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In Memoriam: Oscars' winners and nominees

Sean Penn is the ninth actor to win two lead Oscars

Continue reading »

Sean Penn is the ninth actor to win two lead Oscars

February 23, 2009 |  6:24 pm

With his win for "Milk," Sean Penn became the ninth man to have matching lead actor Oscar bookends, having earned his first in 2003 for "Mystic River." While Penn only had to wait five years to win that second Oscar, last year's champ Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") didn't gain entry to this exclusive club until 18 years after winning his first Oscar in 1989 for "My Left Foot."

Sean_penn_oscars

The first seven actors to pull off this impressive feat were:

Spencer Tracy ("Captains Courageous" 1937; "Boys Town" 1938);

Fredric March ("Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" 1932; "The Best Years of Our Lives" 1946);

Gary Cooper ("Sergeant York" 1941; "High Noon" 1952);

Marlon Brando ("On the Waterfront" 1954; "The Godfather" 1972);

Dustin Hoffman ("Kramer v. Kramer" 1979; "Rain Man" 1988);

Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia" 1993; "Forrest Gump" 1994); and

Jack Nicholson ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" 1975; "As Good As It Gets" 1997).

Eleven women — Luise Rainer, Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Vivien Leigh, Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Glenda Jackson, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Jodie Foster, and Hilary Swank — each have two lead actress Oscars. And then there is Katharine Hepburn who reigns supreme with a staggering four lead actress Oscars.

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Will Oscar winners return to the race next year?

February 23, 2009 |  6:23 pm

Lead actor winner Sean Penn ("Milk") has completed production on "The Tree of Life." This new film from Oscar-nominated writer/director Terrence Malick ("The Thin Red Line") tells the tale of a boy growing up in the Midwest of the 1950s. As a framework to that, Penn plays the grown-up version of the character coming to grips with his past. Rival lead actor nominee Brad Pitt ("The Curious Case of Benjamin Button") also stars in this drama that has no definite release date as of yet.

Penelope_cruz_oscars

Today Variety is reporting that the politically minded Penn may play another real-life character — Ambassador Joseph Wilson, whose wife Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts) had her CIA cover blown by the Bush administration — in "Fair Game" from helmer Doug Liman ("Mr. and Mrs. Smith").

After back-to-back filming of grueling roles in both "The Reader" and "Revolutionary Road," lead actress winner Kate Winslet is taking a well-earned rest. However, there is no stopping supporting actress winner Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Christina Barcelona") who just wrapped production on the highly anticipated "Nine," which is due out at Thanksgiving.

This movie version of the 1982 Tony Award-winning musical (which was inspired by Federico Fellini's 1963 Oscar-winning "8 1/2") is loaded with Oscar winners: Daniel Day-Lewis as a wayward film director, Marion Cotillard as his faithful wife, Cruz as his mistress, Nicole Kidman as his protege, Judi Dench as his mentor and Sophia Loren as his mother. All are under the direction of Oscar nominee Rob Marshall ("Chicago").

And Cruz recently reunited with her good friend and mentor Pedro Almodovar to make "Los Abrazos Rotos" ("Loose Embraces"). Almodovar directed Cruz to a 2006 lead actress nomination for "Volver." For their fourth film together, they have made a modern-day film noir about a love square that will be released stateside in the fall.

RELATED POST:

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Live blogging the Oscars

Photo: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

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Week in Review - Oscars Edition: Predictions for every race | Telecast details | Nominees cursed and blessed | Quizzes galore

February 22, 2009 |  2:26 am

OSCAR PREDICTIONS

Gold Derby's gutsy, 100% accurate Oscars predictions

Gold Derby odds on the top Oscars races

Experts predict who'll win the Oscars

Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke in a real heavyweight bout

Can Meryl Streep beat Kate Winslet at the Oscars?

Rookie pundit needs a new Oscars crystal ball

Derby_horses

OSCARS TELECAST

Will Rob Pattinson sing with Mary Poppins at the Oscars?

Will Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Zac Efron and Rob Pattinson wow Oscars' viewers?

'Twilight' star Robert Pattinson will be an Oscars presenter

Some Oscars TV ads still for sale — only $1.4 million a pop!

Oscars are the Emmys' biggest winner

OSCARS HOST: HUGH JACKMAN

Sneak Peek: See Hugh Jackman warming up his Oscar act

Can Hugh Jackman continue the Oscars' love affair with Emmys?

OSCAR NOMINEES

Heath Ledger's ultimate joke on the Oscars?

Heath Ledger's family plans to take his Oscar, which should go to Matilda if he wins!

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could be latest couple cursed at the Oscars

Will Brad Pitt lose best actor due to Oscars' Slap the Stud Syndrome?

Will the Babe Factor help Kate Winslet in a close Oscars contest with Meryl Streep?

Watch out, Mickey Rourke: Indie Spirit is Oscar's consolation prize

Penelope Cruz: 'Whatever happens, I will probably have a few beers and I don't drink!'

No 'Doubt' Viola Davis could win at Oscars for portraying a long-suffering wife

OSCAR RACES

'Slumdog Millionaire' isn't doomed at the Oscars just because its actors got snubbed

The Oscars' best picture usually = big picture

Could 'Curious Case of Benjamin Button' suffer the worst shut-out in Oscars history?

No, there is no bias against foreigners at the Oscars

Here's why there will be an Oscars upset for best foreign film

OSCAR FLASHBACK

Did 'Ben-Hur' deserve to win best picture at the Oscars?

OSCAR QUIZZES

Quiz: Which actor had the most Oscar bids in a row?

Quiz: Which Bette Davis flick suffered the worst Oscars' shut-out?

Quiz: Who turned down Jodie Foster's Oscar-winning role in 'Lambs'?

Quiz: Who won an Oscar on her birthday?

Quiz: Which Oscar-winning role was not gay?

Quiz: How much does an Oscar cost to make?

Quiz: Which movies won for writing, directing and acting, but failed to win best picture?

Illustration by Ty Wilson

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Spirits regain some independence from Oscars

February 21, 2009 |  6:30 pm

After flirting with the Oscars for much of its 24-year history, this year's edition of the Independent Spirit Awards struck out on its own somewhat. For the first time in six years, none of the best picture contenders at the Spirits went on to reap an equivalent Oscar bid, though the ultimate winner — "The Wrestler" — was in the mix. By snubbing "Milk" as a best-picture nominee in favor of fare like "Ballast" and "Wendy and Lucy" that had no chance of making it into the final five at the Oscars, the Spirits regained a degree of their one-time independence.

Spiritslogo

However, while the acting nominees — as selected by screening committees — also had their fair share of unlikely Oscar hopefuls, the winners as chosen by the members of Film Independent are either Oscar contenders — Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler"), Melissa Leo ( "Frozen River") and Penelope Cruz ("Vicky Christina Barcelona") — were also Oscar nominees or were from a film with eight Oscar nominations, albeit not one for him — James Franco ("Milk"). But don't make too much room on your mantle just yet, Mickey. The Spirits have taken on the status of consolation prize for Oscar acting contenders. As the saying goes, "Win on Saturday, lose on Sunday." That's not always true. Recent Spirit champs like Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Capote") and Charlize Theron ("Monster") repeated on a day later, but those victories tend to be the exception, not the rule.

"Milk" scripter Dustin Lance Black won the first screenplay prize at the Spirits while Woody Allen won the regular screenplay award for "Vicky Christina Barcelona." That Black is a contender at the Oscars for his original script for "Milk" is no surprise but that Allen was not Oscar nominated after 14 previous bids, including two wins, was quite the jaw-dropper. Oscar frontrunner "Man on Wire" won best documentary. And Oscar nominee "The Class" won foreign film, but I do not believe it will repeat tomorrow night at the Oscars. Read the Associated Press report on the winners here.

Oscar winning scripter Charlie Kaufman won the first feature prize for helming "Synecdoche, New York" while Thomas McCarthy took the directing award for "The Visitor." And Maryse Alberti won cinematography for "The Wrestler."

The Spirits are handed out in a very spirited daytime party held in a tent on the Santa Monica beach. As Variety once reported: "Many celebrities mused that they could think of no other Hollywood awards show where the guests had to wait in line for portable toilets while facing hordes of autograph-seeking fans." The wine flows almost as freely as the profanities. Just how will AMC edit Mickey Rourke's F-bomb laden acceptance speech for the rebroadcast tonight? The free-wheeling nature of the event has led to many other memorable moments over the years. One that sticks with me still is when director Kevin Smith won for the screenplay of "Chasing Amy" in 1997 and said in his acceptance speech: "This makes up for every chick who ever told me I had a small d**k."

The Spirits declared itself to be just that with the first best film back in 1985 — Martin Scorsese's "After Hours," described by Variety as "a nightmarish black comedy [in which] the cinema of paranoia and persecution reaches an apogee." But the award went mainstream the following year and opted for "Platoon," which went on to win best picture at the Oscars as well. From then on, most of the Spirits' picks for best pic would be players to one degree or another at the Oscars.

Continue reading »

Oscars predictions: Sean Penn and Mickey Rourke in a real heavyweight bout

February 15, 2009 |  9:39 pm

Oscar_predictions_academy_awards_ne

Check out The Envelope's Buzzmeter, where our shrewd Oscar seers are posting updated predix. Below is a random sampling with a few surprises. While Sean Penn ("Milk") leads among all of our pundits, Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") gets the backing of most of these leading Oscarologists for best actor.

Prognosticators featured in our chart below: Thelma Adams (Us Weekly), Pete Hammond (Notes on a Season, The Envelope), Mark Olsen (The Envelope), Sasha Stone (AwardsDaily.com), Kris Tapley (InContention.com), Jeffrey Wells (Hollywood-Elsewhere.com).

BEST PICTURE Adams Hammond Olsen Stone Tapley Wells
'Benjamin Button'

3

2

3

2

3

4

'Frost/Nixon'

5

5

4

4

5

5

'Milk'

2

5

2

3

2

2

'The Reader'

4

3

5

5

4

3

'Slumdog Millionaire'

1

1

1

1

1

1

BEST ACTOR Adams Hammond Olsen Stone Tapley Wells

Richard Jenkins, 'The Visitor'

4

4

5

5

4

3

Frank Langella, 'Frost/Nixon'

3

3

3

3

3

4

Sean Penn, 'Milk'

1

1

2

2

2

2

Brad Pitt, 'Benjamin Button'

5

5

4

4

5

Mickey Rourke, 'The Wrestler'

2

2

1

1

1

1

BEST ACTRESS Adams Hammond Olsen Stone Tapley Wells

Anne Hathaway, 'Rachel Getting Married'

4

5

3

3

3

3

Angelina Jolie, 'Changeling'

5

3

5

5

5

5

Melissa Leo, 'Frozen River"

3

4

4

4

4

4

Meryl Streep, 'Doubt'

2

2

2

2

2

1

Kate Winslet, 'The Reader'

1

1

1

1

1

2

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Adams Hammond Olsen Stone Tapley Wells

Josh Brolin, 'Milk'

4

3

2

3

4

2

Robert Downey Jr. 'Tropic Thunder'

3

2

5

2

2

5

Philip Seymour Hoffman, 'Doubt'

2

4

3

4

5

3

Heath Ledger, 'The Dark Knight'

1

1

1

1

1

1

Michael Shannon, 'Revolutionary Road'

5

5

4

5

3

4

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Adams Hammond Olsen Stone Tapley Wells

Amy Adams, 'Doubt'

5

4

5

5

5

Penelope Cruz, 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'

1

1

1

1

1

1

Viola Davis, 'Doubt'

2

2

2

4

2

2

Taraji P. Henson, 'Benjamin Button'

4

5

4

3

3

4

Marisa Tomei, 'The Wrestler'

3

3

3

2

4

3

Photos: Focus Features, Fox Searchlight


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