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Category: Tom Hanks

Will critically acclaimed 'Toy Story 3' win over Oscars too?

June 18, 2010 |  9:10 am

Toy Story 3 Tom Hanks Tim Allen Oscars Although "Toy Story 3" opens before the year is even half over, it is already a front-runner for the Oscars. Like "Up" -- last year's offering from Pixar -- "Toy Story 3" earned rave reviews, scoring an astounding 100% approval with Rotten Tomatoes and 90 at MetaCritic. This third trip to toyland could land a best picture nomination and is a strong contender in the animated feature race at the Academy Awards.

All of the old toys are back in "Toy Story 3" -- Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), Mr. Potato Head (Don Rickles), Hamm (John Ratzenberger) and Barbie (Jodie Benson) -- joined by newcomers Ken (Michael Keaton) and Stretch (Whoopi Goldberg), among others. The film was helmed by "Toy Story 2" co-director Lee Unkrich from a script by Oscar champ Michael Arndt ("Little Miss Sunshine").

Both the original "Toy Story" (1995) and the equally successful sequel "Toy Story 2" (1999) predated the separate animated feature race at the Oscars. "Toy Story" contended for best original screenplay ("The Usual Suspects" won) as well as song and musical/comedy score ("Pocahantas" won both awards) and the sequel also had a song contender ("You'll Be in My Heart" from "Tarzan" won).

Pixar has produced five of the nine Oscar winners in the animated film category since it was introduced in 2001: "Finding Nemo" (2003); "The Incredibles" (2004); "Ratatouille" (2007); "Wall-E" (2008); and "Up" (2009). Pixar's other two films of this era also contended for this prize -- "Monsters, Inc." lost the inaugural race to "Shrek" and "Cars" was kicked aside by "Happy Feet" in 2006.

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Mad Men' returns in July | 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' back next year | '24' movie script ready

April 20, 2010 |  5:35 pm

Mad-men-logo-300x159 • "Mad Men" returns to the AMC lineup for a fourth season on July 25 at 10 p.m. ET. The reigning two-time Emmy champ for best drama series is a strong bet to contend for a third consecutive year when nominations are announced on July 8. The third season ended with many of the characters in a state of flux. Just how long this series will continue to explore the lives of Don Draper and company is up for debate. Creator Matthew Weiner has voiced concern about continuing beyond six seasons, but the network says no end date has been discussed. TV SQUAD   

• As Steve Pond reports, "The Screen Actors Guild has chosen the nominating committees for its 2011 SAG Awards, selecting 2,100 of its more than 125,000 members for a committee that will select the feature film nominees, and another 2,100 to choose the television nominees." Actors are only allowed to serve on a committee once every five years. And the studios are kept from knowing the names of the nominators, with SAG acting as a clearinghouse for screeners. Nominations for the 17th annual kudos will be announced Dec. 16, with the awards handed out Jan. 30. THE ODDS

564_curb_your_enthusiasm_468 • "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will be back for a 10-episode eighth season in 2011. The five-time Emmy contender for comedy series drew its best ratings for Season 7, which used a reunion of "Seinfeld" as a plot device for creator and star Larry David to repair his TV marriage. In making the announcement, David said, "After much soul searching — and by the way, it was nowhere to be found — I have decided to do another season of 'Curb.' I look forward to the end of shooting, when I can once again resume the hunt for my elusive soul. I know it’s here somewhere or perhaps in the rugged mountainous regions of Pakistan." ZAP 2 IT

Emily Christianson has compiled a fun and fact-filled photo gallery saluting the various casts of classic TV fare who have reunited over the years at the TV Land Awards. This year, it was two-time Oscar champ Tom Hanks who joined his "Bosom Buddies" on-stage. In years past, these kudos have saluted Emmy-winning fare like "The Carol Burnett Show" and "The Golden Girls" as well as rerun staples such as "The Brady Bunch." THE ENVELOPE

24-logo-1Kiefer Sutherland just wrapped the finale of "24," but he is already talking about a movie version of the 2006 Emmy champ for best drama series. The real-time crime drama is signing off May 24 after eight event-filled years. And says Sutherland, screenwriter Billy Ray ("State of Play") has finished a film script that may be more in keeping with the spirit of the early years of the TV show. "It doesn't have to be a bomb. It can be something personal that people understand." IGN

• The much-delayed Broadway musical "Turn Off the Dark," based on Spider-Man, has lost its villain with Tony Award winner Alan Cumming ("Cabaret") committing to a regular role on TV's freshman hit "The Good Wife" instead. The tuner, first announced in early 2009, had already lost its leading lady, Evan Rachel Wood ("The Wrestler"). Only newcomer Reeve Carney, who is to play the webbed crusader, remains on board. The tunes are by Bono and the Edge of U2 with two-time Tony winner Julie Taymor ("The Lion King") helming the big-budget production. PLAYBILL

Top photo: "Mad Men" logo. Credit: AMC

Middle photo: "Curb Your Enthusiasm" logo. Credit: HBO

Bottom photo: "24" logo. Credit: Fox


Drama League nominates 9 news plays, 9 new musicals ... and 57 performers!

Let's peek inside HBO's Emmy campaign packages

Oops! Sandra Bullock, please return your Razzie (you can keep the Oscar)

Gold Derby nuggets: ACMs still win night with lower ratings | ABC finds five hours for 'Lost' finale

'Glee' and Adam Lambert hit high notes at GLAAD Awards

Michael Bublé wins big at Junos while Justin Bieber is shut out

Why was Taylor Swift skunked at the ACM Awards?

Will Daniel Radcliffe cast a spell over Tony Awards voters?

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' only 2-D on DVD for now | Peter Jackson on 'The Hobbit' | Drew Barrymore's fashion faux pas

Emmy predix: Best lead comedy actor

Emmy predix: Best supporting actor in a drama series

Cannes film festival competition short on Oscar contenders

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'Bosom Buddies' Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari reuniting on TV Land Awards

April 5, 2010 |  1:26 pm

Bosom Buddies Thirty years ago, Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari were cast as the title characters in "Bosom Buddies." While that ABC sitcom was short-lived, the two men have stayed friends throughout the ensuing decades. They and "Bosom Buddies" cast mates Donna Dixon, Thelma Hopkins and Emmy winner Holland Taylor will reunite publicly for the first time since the show left the airwaves in 1982 to accept the Anniversary prize at the 8th annual TV Land Awards. These kudos -- emceed by Hanks' "Toy Story" costar Tim Allen -- tape Saturday, April 17, on historic Stage 15 of the Sony lot and air Sunday, April 25, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on the cable net.

Hanks has reached the greatest heights in Hollywood -- starring in a string of blockbusters, winning back-to-back Oscars for "Philadelphia" and "Forrest Gump,"  and serving as an academy governor. Over the years, Scolari has worked steadily in TV and theater. For his work on "Newhart," he picked up three consecutive Emmy nominations for supporting actor from 1987 to 1989 but was part of that show's complete shut-out at the Emmy Awards.

Scolari appeared in Hanks' first film as a director -- 1996's "That Thing You Do" -- as a TV host and is slated to be in his sophomore effort -- "Larry Crowne" -- as well. Scolari was also directed by Hanks for an installment of the 1998 Emmy-winning miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" and the pair appeared together as animated versions of themselves in 2004's "The Polar Express."

On "Bosom Buddies," Hanks and Scolari played bachelors Kip and Henry who were forced to move into a hotel for women after their apartment is condemned. Kip is motivated by his lust for Dixon's character while Henry thinks their misadventures will make a great book. Spending half the show in drag made for much merriment.


Gold Derby nuggets: John Forsythe dies at 92 | Oscar shorts go long

40 years ago today: 'Patton' was released, then slapped Oscar

Flashback: 'Clash of the Titans' lost best picture to 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' … at the Saturn Awards

Emmy gamble: 'Mad Men' star Elisabeth Moss drops to supporting

Poll: Does Miley Cyrus deserve a Razzie for 'The Last Song'?

Gold Derby nuggets: Matt Damon guesting on '30 Rock' | 'Law & Order' updates | Emmy-winner David Mills dies at 48

'Glee' and 'Modern Family' win Peabody Awards

Again, Showtime ships first campaign mailer to Emmy voters

Can 'Avatar' crush 'Twilight: New Moon' at the MTV Movie Awards?

Photo: "Bosom Buddies" Season 1 DVD cover. Credit: ABC

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Gold Derby nuggets: 'Avatar' DVD in 2-D | Rock and Roll Hall of Famers | 'Boardwalk Empire' bows promo

March 16, 2010 |  3:33 pm

Avatar DVD • A 2-D DVD and Blu-ray release of "Avatar" has been announced for April 22 by Fox. That just happens to be the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which coincides nicely with the eco-friendly message of the film. Buzz is that the studio will re-release the movie in 3-D later in the year, with additional footage, and that a 3-D home version of the film will follow.

• All of the above will add millions more to the coffers of all involved. Bloomberg estimates that Fox will reap at least $350 million from "Avatar." Fox also picks up a distribution fee for the film which could gross $3 billion worldwide. In an interview last month, writer-director James Cameron said the record receipts are, "well beyond our wildest dreams, we were hoping for sort of brea keven plus 10%, which would have been a high number but well south of $1 billion." BLOOMBERG

Steve Pond tracks down why Stephen Colbert's comic rant against the Oscars, which included clips from the kudocast, has gone missing from "The Colbert Report" website. Turns out, "for the first day after the Academy Awards telecast, other media outlets are allowed to show three minutes of footage from the show.  For the second through the seventh day, they're permitted to show one minute. And after seven days, no Oscar footage can be used without special permission from the Academy." THE ODDS

Phil Collins Rock and Roll Hall of FameDavid Bauder recaps Monday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of ABBA, Jimmy Cliff, Genesis, the Hollies, and Iggy Pop and the Stooges. Also feted during the ceremony at Gotham's Waldorf Astoria hotel were one-time record exec David Geffen and seven songwriters from the 1950s including Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," "On Broadway"), Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry ("Leader of the Pack," "Be My Baby"), Otis Blackwell ("All Shook Up," "Don't Be Cruel"), Mort Shuman ("Save the Last Dance for Me,") and Jesse Stone ("Sh-Boom," "Money Honey").  AP

• As for the ceremony itself, Randy Lewis suggests that the inductees by saluted by those who know their music best -- tribute bands. As Randy writes, "What to do when you’re being admitted into the halls of pop music history and only half your group is there? Tribute bands! It’s one of the few corners of the otherwise flailing music business showing growth. Just check the entertainment guide for Las Vegas: They’re everywhere." POP & HISS

• "The Pacific" drew 3.1 million viewers to a heavily hyped premiere Sunday. As James Hibberd reports, "that's 22% higher than than the debut of HBO's last miniseries, 'John Adams,' and 'The Pacific' tally grew to 4 million with its encore airing. Still, HBO has to be somewhat disappointed with this number. 'The Pacific' is the biggest production in the network's history and this is only 69% higher than the time period norm." THE LIVE FEED

Boardwalk Empire • HBO used the Sunday premiere of its showpiece mini-series of the year -- "The Pacific" -- to promote the paycaster's marquee series for 2010 -- "Boardwalk Empire." Oscar winner Martin Scorsese ("The Departed") is executive producing the series about bootleggers in 1920s Atlantic City and directed the first episode that is featured in the promo running on HBO. HBO

Terence Winter -- who adapted Nelson Johnson's novel "Boardwalk Empire" -- won two Emmys for scripting episodes of "The Sopranos" and another two when that HBO hit won best drama series in 2004 and 2007. One of the stars of that show -- Edie Falco -- won three Emmys for her performance as the matriarch of the mob family. When asked Monday if there will ever be a "Sopranos" reunion, Falco, who now stars on the Showtime comedy "Nurse Jackie," showed her funny side by responding she’s open to it if she could play Tony and James Gandolfini could play Carmela.


Poll: Will 'The Pacific' win the Emmy battle?

New soap opera engulfs GLAAD Awards

Peter Graves: Winning an Emmy seemed like a mission impossible

Gold Derby nuggets: 'Titanic' to sail in 3-D | 'The Pacific' to sail for free

So what did we learn from this year's Oscars?

Gold Derby nuggets: Katherine Heigl exiting 'Grey's Anatomy'? | Banned 'Hurt Locker' picks up Oscar | Extended 'Avatar' in the works?

What movies are the next Oscar front-runners?

Gold Derby nuggets: Gabourey Sidibe's film future? | Exploring 'The Cove' | Steve Pond ponders Oscars

How 'Casablanca' beat nine other nominees to win best picture at the 1943 Oscars

'The Hurt Locker' ranked lucky 13 on Rotten Tomatoes Oscars countdown

Gold Derby nuggets: 'The Hurt Locker' expands screens | 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' in primetime |'Mad Men' gets Barbie makeover

Complete list of Oscar winners

Top photo: "Avatar" DVD cover. Credit: Fox

Middle photo: Phil Collins at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony. Credit: Getty Images

Bottom photo: Steve Buscemi in "Boardwalk Empire." Credit: HBO

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Could 'Angels and Demons' bedevil Ron Howard with another Razzie nod?

May 15, 2009 | 11:42 am

Three years ago, reviews for "The Da Vinci Code" were savage, with the film adaptation of the Dan Brown bestseller rating only 46 at Meta Critic and a jaw-dropping 10 among the top tier of reviewers surveyed by Rotten Tomatoes. Tom Hanks was ridiculed for growing long tresses to play the part of crime-solving professor Robert Langdon. And helmer Ron Howard came under attack for his handling of the fanciful plot.

Tom Hanks Angels and Demons Ron Howard Indeed, the Oscar-winning director ("A Beautiful Mind") received the only Razzie nomination of his career for "The Da Vinci Code." In an ironic twist, he lost this dubious honor to M. Night Shyamalan, who had helmed "Lady in the Water," which featured Howard's actress daughter Bryce Dallas Howard in the title role. Shyamalan would win a record four Razzies that night as he also wrote, produced and costarred in this dud.

Howard had the last laugh as his film took in  $217 million in the U.S. — to rank fifth for the year – and a staggering $540 million in the rest of the world. "The Da Vinci Code" even landed a 2007 People's Choice Award nomination though it lost the title of favorite movie drama to the No. 1 domestic box office draw "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."

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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."


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.


Will Oscar winners return to the race next year?

Cheers and boos for the Oscars show

Oscars TV ratings bounce back with Hugh Jackman as host

'Slumdog Millionaire' wins Oscars' triple crown like half of the last 20 best pix

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Sean Penn goes gay — dying for another Oscar?

November 29, 2008 | 10:33 am

Good news for Sean Penn fans: At the end of "Milk" — SPOILER ALERT — you get to watch your hero get blown away by gunfire.

Sorry, but that seems to be the price Penn must pay if he wants to win another Oscar to match the chunk of academy gold he nabbed for 2003's "Mystic River." That's because gay roles that win Academy Awards for actors almost always must suffer ghastly deaths.


No star has ever won an Oscar for portraying a gay, lesbian or transgender person who lives happily ever after. The character of Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman) gets to live, yes, at the end of "Capote," but we know that he'll end up croaking from booze and pills someday while stumbling around Joanne Carson's house in Beverly Hills.

The five other roles that paid off with Oscars have horrible ends on screen: Tom Hanks dies of AIDS in "Philadelphia," Hilary Swank gets beaten to death in "Boys Don't Cry," Nicole Kidman commits suicide in "The Hours," Charlize Theron is executed in "Monster," and William Hurt gets shot — much like Sean Penn — in "Kiss of the Spider Woman."

If you don't count roles that just hint at a character's homosexuality (Paul Newman in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" or Tom Courtenay in "The Dresser"), I've tallied up 28 gay, lesbian and transgender roles that have been nominated for Oscars. (Have I missed any? If so, click the comments link below.)

Nine get killed off. Some snuff themselves: Kathy Bates uses a pistol in "Primary Colors," Ian McKellen drowns himself in "Gods and Monsters," Ed Harris jumps out a window in "The Hours, " Javier Bardem dies of AIDS in "Before Night Falls."

The fact that Sean Penn is heterosexual in real life hikes his Oscar hopes significantly. No gay person has ever won an Academy Award for playing gay, and only two openly homosexual actors have been nominated for portraying someone with a lavender lilt: James Coco and Ian McKellen. Coco wasn't officially and fully "out" of the closet, but he was candid about his private life to friends and colleagues and frequently flaunted a flamboyant nature in public.

(X = Winner)
Estelle Parsons ("Rachel, Rachel") (1968)
Peter Finch, "Sunday Bloody Sunday" (1971)
Al Pacino, "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)
Chris Sarandon, "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975)
John Lithgow, "World According to Garp" (1982)
Marcello Mastroianni, "A Special Day" (1977)
James Coco, "Only When I Laugh" (1981)
Robert Preston, "Victor, Victoria" (1982)
Cher, "Silkwood" (1983)
X - William Hurt, "Kiss of the Spider Woman" (1985)
Bruce Davison, "Longtime Companion" (1990)
Tommy Lee Jones, "JFK" (1991)
Jaye Davidson, "The Crying Game" (1992)
X - Tom Hanks, "Philadelphia" (1993)
Greg Kinnear, "As Good as It Gets" (1997)
Ian McKellen, "Gods and Monsters" (1998)
Kathy Bates, "Primary Colors" (1998)
X - Hilary Swank, "Boys Don't Cry" (1999)
Javier Bardem, "Before Night Falls" (2000)
Ed Harris, "The Hours" (2002)
X - Nicole Kidman, "The Hours" (2002)
Julianne Moore, "The Hours" (2002)
X - Charlize Theron, "Monster" (2003)
X - Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote" (2005)
Felicity Huffman, "Transamerica" (2005)
Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain" (2005)
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Brokeback Mountain" (2005)
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal" (2006)

Photos: TriStar, Island Alive, Miramax, Fox Searchlight

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Will Kate Winslet become Oscar's biggest loser among actresses?

July 8, 2008 |  5:59 pm

While Kate Winslet made Oscar history by racking up five nominations before she was 32, this English beauty has yet to win. If, as expected, she gets a nod for one of her upcoming performances in "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader" and loses again, she will have tied the dubious achievements of lead Deborah Kerr and supporting player Thelma Ritter with six losses. And if, as some in the forums are speculating, she pulls off that Oscar rarity and reaps nominations for both roles and remains winless she would stand alone as Oscar's biggest loser among actresses. (Peter O'Toole is the biggest loser among actors with eight defeats).


To perform that Oscar double act means Winslet will have to decide which role is leading and which supporting as performers cannot compete twice in the same category. And the debate in the forums about which role is which is fierce. To date, Winslet has had no luck in either race with two losing supporting nods – "Sense and Sensibility" (1996) and "Iris" (2002) and three losing lead bids – "Titanic" (1998), "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (2005) and "Little Children" (2007).

"Revolutionary Road" reunites Winslet with her "Titanic" leading man Leonardo DiCaprio under the direction of her Oscar-winning husband Sam Mendes ("American Beauty"). This domestic drama set in the '50s has a glossy look about it but one wonders whether it is all style and no substance. With the recent news that Mendes will not even begin the final polish of the film till September, this puts it out of the running for launching at one of the film fests –- Venice, Toronto and New York –- that are gaining in importance as starting off points for Oscar campaigns. Rather, the movie will open in the last week of December but this may well be too late to build momentum given the accelerated nominating schedule as of late.

On paper, Winslet's other December release, "The Reader" certainly seems like the kind of prestige production that gets showered with Oscar nominations. Adapted by David Hare from the bestselling novel (and Oprah book club pick) by Bernard Schlink, the film is directed by Stephen Daldry ("The Hours") and co-stars Ralph Fiennes.


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How gutsy and 'authentic' will HBO's 'John Adams' really be?

March 10, 2008 |  8:09 pm

Hurry, weekend! I can't wait to see HBO's new miniseries "John Adams," which commences at 8 p.m. ET this Sunday, then continues through seven installments at 9 p.m. every subsequent Sunday till April 20. See the full TV sked HERE plus background info at the program's special website — HERE.

What looks great about this inevitable future winner of the Emmy Award for best miniseries is that it takes a leisurely pace to tell the tale of American independence through the perspective of our least statuesque, most bungling, most bizarre and most interesting founding father.


Produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman ("Band of Brothers") for $100 million, it was directed by Tom Hooper ("Longford," "Elizabeth I") and written by co-exec producer Kirk Ellis ("Into the West") based upon David McCullough's Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller. It stars Paul Giamatti as Adams and Laura Linney as his firebrand wife, Abigail. Timespan covered: Boston Massacre of 1770 to Adams' death in 1826.

"I don't think any film that's been done about this all-important part of our [national] story has ever been done with such authenticity," McCullough boasts in the promo video below.

Oh, yeah? That's what I hope to see, all right, but am skeptical. From the trailer and early PR info, this looks like the classic, butt-smooching, flag-waving treatment instead. First off, why, oh, why did they cast Giamatti? Sure, he has a schlubby, everyman quality about him, which Adams did too, but that was a secondary characteristic of America's second president. Adams was widely loathed and despised because he was insufferably smug, lording over everyone with cartoonish pomposity. I don't see any of that coming through in the video trailers below.

Nor have I heard that this miniseries bothers to show us Adams' creepy dark side — why his enemies believed he was a dangerous buffoon who secretly plotted to wipe out democracy in favor of a Federalist aristocracy that could rule with absolute, unchecked power.

CLICK HERE to Continue Reading MORE!


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POLL - VOTE: Who should host next year's Oscars?

February 27, 2008 |  4:35 pm

Which Oscars will Clooney, Hanks and Miley Cyrus (!) present?

February 14, 2008 |  2:04 pm

Today's announcement of the first wave of presenters and performers at the 80th annual Oscars included both the expected (all four of last year's acting winners will be on hand) and the somewhat surprising (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in a tux).

It is easy enough to predict that last year's Oscar-winning quartet of actors will be bestowing awards on their opposite sex counterparts this year (i.e., Forest Whitaker will hand out best actress, Helen Mirren best actor, and Alan Arkin and Jennifer Hudson the supporting gongs). In a year when so many of the winners seem obvious, it is more of a guessing game to figure out who will be giving them their awards.

While a trio of two-time Oscar winners are scheduled to appear -- Tom Hanks (an Academy governor to boot), Denzel Washington, and Hilary Swank –- it could well be Harrison Ford who hands out the best picture award. He has done it twice in the past –- first in 1993 when his pal Steven Spielberg's "Schindler's List" won as expected and then in 1998 when Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" was pipped at the post by "Shakespeare in Love." Hanks has handed out this honor only once, in 2001, when his pal Ron Howard's "A Beautiful Mind" prevailed.

With Martin Scorsese there to possibly present best director, Hanks could be handling the "In Memoriam" segment or perhaps a tribute to the first eight decades of the Academy. Regardless, it would be surprising of these double Oscar winners — along with a pair of one-time winners who are nominees this year, George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, and previous winners Nicole Kidman and Renee Zellweger -- did not dole out the top tier of prizes. Washington and Swank could preside over the screenplay awards while Kidman and Zellweger, one-time co-stars in "Cold Mountain," present best foreign film and "The Good German" stars Blanchett and Clooney could award cinematography and editing.

For Clooney, the other option might be to present the clip from best picture contender "Michael Clayton." With Josh Brolin there for "No Country for Old Men," James McAvoy "Atonement," and Jennifer Garner "Juno," only "There Will Be Blood" is without a representative.

Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz seem like a good fit for costume design and art direction while another beauty, Jessica Alba, will be recapping the technical Oscar ceremony she presided over last weekend.


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Film reviewers clash over 'Charlie Wilson's War'

December 21, 2007 |  1:33 pm

A day after being snubbed by the SAG awards, this A List project is doing well with a good critics' score at Rotten Tomatoes (78 was based on 90 notices), but less Cww1 so at Meta Critic, averaging 66 based upon 23 reviews.

Among those who enjoyed the movie most was Lou Lumenick of the New York Post who thought, "Oscar winners Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Mike Nichols, with the help of 'West Wing' scribe Aaron Sorkin, find considerable laughter in this allegedly fact-based mission improbable."

Writing for AP, Christy Lemire calls the film, "a crisp, biting satire that confidently mixes sex and politics, glides along so smartly and smoothly, it makes you wonder how it's possible that director Mike Nichols and writer Aaron Sorkin have never teamed up before." She says, "When you're thinking about a Scotch-guzzling, good ol' boy bachelor, Hanks may not immediately spring to mind, but he finds the sweetness within Wilson's legendary charisma. (Amusingly, one of the many women Wilson dated over the years was Nichols' current wife, Diane Sawyer.) He and a brash, breezy Roberts enjoy some appealing flirty exchanges, if not much sexual chemistry. But then Hoffman, a force of nature in every character role, storms in and blows away everyone in his path."


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