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Category: TomCruise

Did Rob Pattinson's hair rescue Tom Cruise's career at the MTV Movie Awards?

June 6, 2010 |  9:45 pm

Ah, not too long ago, Tom Cruise was a heartthrob coddled and cooed over at the MTV Movie Awards. Between 1993 and 2005, Cruise was nominated a dozen times and won twice: best male performance of 1997 ("Jerry Maguire") and 2001 ("Mission: Impossible II"). But now that his career looks like it's had all the blood sucked out of it, a vampire swooped down to Cruise's rescue at the awardscast tonight: stud du jour Robert Pattinson ("Twilight: New Moon"). Here's a replay of their memorable vignette.

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'The Dark Knight' dominates Saturn Awards with 11 nods while 'Twilight' is almost shut out

March 11, 2009 |  4:39 am

"The Dark Knight" dominates the competition at the upcoming Saturn Awards, leading with 11 nominations, including a best picture bid as well as acting nods for leads Christian Bale and Maggie Gyllenhaal and supporting players Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart. Three years ago, "Batman Begins" won three of its nine Saturn Awards races — fantasy film, lead actor (Christian Bale), and writing (Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer).

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This 35th annual edition of the awards honors films across four genres — sci-fi, fantasy, horror and action/adventure/thriller. That last catch-all category is where "The Dark Knight" is competing against "Changeling," "Gran Torino," "Quantum of Solace," "Traitor," and "Valkyrie."

"Valkyrie," directed by sci-fi veteran Bryan Singer, earned mixed reviews but did surprisingly well in terms of the Saturns. Besides that best picture bid, the film's seven Saturn nods include one for leading man Tom Cruise and another for Singer. Cruise is a previous seven-time Saturn nominee with one win for "Vanilla Sky" back in 2001, while Singer is a five-time contender winning for "X-Men" in 2000.

As the acting races span all four genres, Cruise's competition besides Bale (a two-time nominee) includes Oscar nominee Brad Pitt, who picked up his third Saturn nod with his bid for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." That epic time-traveling fantasy earned nine nods in total. Sci-fi hit "Iron Man" scored eight including a lead actor nom for Robert Downey Jr., who won this award in 1993 for "Heart and Souls" and had one other nod. Harrison Ford contends for his work in the sci-fi romp "Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," which has six nominations in total. Ford won lead actor for "Raiders of the Lost Ark" in 1982 and has now been nominated for all four films in the franchise.

Heartthrob Robert Pattinson was snubbed for his leading role in "Twilight." Did past four-time nominee Will Smith, who won the award last year for "I Am Legend," edge him out with his nod for "Hancock"? That critical flop but commercial hit also landed a bid for best fantasy film as well as a second supporting actress nod for Charlize Theron. The only nomination for "Twilight" came in the fantasy film race where it faces off against "Hancock" as well as "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian," "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "The Spiderwick Chronicles" and "Wanted."

Pattinson's "Twilight" love interest, Kristen Stewart, was likewise left off the list of lead actress nominees. Oscar contender Angelina Jolie competes here as "Changeling" earned her a third Saturn nod. Among her competiton are two other Oscar winners — Cate Blanchett, who picked up Saturn nod No. 4 for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and Gwyneth Paltrow, who landed her second Saturn nom for "Iron Man" — as well as four-time Oscar nominee Julianne Moore, who is now a four-time Saturn nominee with her bid for "Blindness," newbie Emily Mortimer ("Transsiberian"), and one-time past Saturn nominee Gyllenhaal.

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'Valkyrie' to 'Heil Razzies'?

November 26, 2008 |  9:44 am

Looks like the Razzies are confident in their prophesy that "Valkyrie" will land in their next derby, which commences on Jan. 21 when noms are unveiled. Last year the Razzie ceremony ended with big photos on stage of films they expect to see next year. Tom Cruise in that eyepatch got the biggest play — and the most howls, guffaws and applause from the audience.

Now check out the far left column of their website and follow the link to Courtney Hazlett's "'Scoop" column at MSNBC.com. She gives her tattle report on a screening of "Valkyrie," which notes, "A scene where Cruise's character, Claus Von Stauffenberg, is forced to give the infamous 'Heil Hitler' salute. 'It's an unsettling scene but you almost start to laugh,' a source says. 'His character is resisting it but you never forget it’s Tom Cruise saying 'Heil Hitler.' It's funny and shocking at the same time . . . . 

"The film just isn't a thriller at all," said one 'Valkyrie' viewer. 'It's a bunch of white guys in Nazi uniforms. It's too bad. And Tom doesn't speak with a German accent — though they did add a voiceover of him speaking German to the beginning of the film. Still, it's as if he could say "I complete you" at any time. This is not his Oscar moment."

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Photo: United Artists


Will winning 'Sexiest Man Alive' lose 'Australia' hunk Hugh Jackman the Oscar?

November 19, 2008 |  3:16 pm

This has been quite a week already for Hugh Jackman and it is only Wednesday. On Monday, he got good reviews from his hometown papers when the long-awaited epic "Australia" world premiered in Sydney. And today, People magazine named him the "Sexiest Man Alive." However, while those critical hurrahs help Hugh in his first serious Oscar campaign, being hailed as a himbo won't win him many votes.

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Indeed, older male academy members have a long-standing tradition of slapping the stud of the moment when it comes time to hand out hardware. (Read all about my Slap the Stud Oscar Theory.) Jackman certainly checks all the boxes when it comes to qualifying as a stud: rugged good looks, those abs, a dreamy accent, a lovely blonde wife. And he won't be winning over any of those old-timers by playing the romantic cowboy who rides to Nicole Kidman's rescue in "Australia."

While Kidman benefitted from the Babe Factor when she won best actress six years ago for "The Hours," her ex-hubby Tom Cruise has seen his Oscar hopes dashed three times. Old-timers who have been put out to pasture still love the young fillies, but they resent these handsome bucks. Their message to Hollywood heartthrobs: "You already have it all — fame, fortune and females aplenty. So, sorry, pal, no Oscar for you just yet."

The solution? Just like the pretty women who de-glamourize themselves (Marion Cotillard, "La Vie en Rose"; Charlize Theron, "Monster") to win an Oscar, so too can the handsome hunks who pack on a few pounds, a la two-time Sexiest Man Alive (1997, 2006) George Clooney in 2005's "Syriana." Last year, Javier Bardem was the hunk du jour whose unflattering Buster Brown bowl cut in "No Country for Old Men" probably helped him win the supporting actor award. And this year, two-time Sexiest Man Alive (1995, 2000) Brad Pitt hides his good looks under layers of latex in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Last year, with Clooney reverting to his usual movie-star-handsome-self in "Michael Clayton," the Slap the Stud Syndrome put Daniel Day-Lewis ("There Will Be Blood") back in the winner's circle, just as it had in 1989 when his performance in "My Left Foot" edged out first-time nominee Cruise up for "Born on the Fourth of July." Cruise had to make do with winning the 1990 Sexiest Man Alive title. Last year's other pretty-boy nominee — Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") — was the 2003 Sexiest Man Alive.

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Should Oscarologists be leery of that wacky Tom Cruise in that sneaky Nazi flick?

October 31, 2008 |  3:29 pm

United Artists insists that Tom Cruise's next flick "Valkyrie" is not an Oscar contender. Studio execs claim it's just a great, old-fashioned popcorn thriller that just so happens to showcase an Oscar-overdue superstar in a film opening up at peak Oscar time: Dec. 26. That's the same day that top derby contender "Revolutionary Road" debuts and, curiously, one day after another lead pony, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," hits the track running.

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Do we believe UA? Should we write off "Valkyrie"? Or are the studio chiefs just downplaying Oscar expectations to dodge humiliation if the controversial Cruise gets snubbed? No such Oscar pooh-poohing went on early this year when "Valkyrie" was still scheduled to debut in theaters at the start of Oscar season — Oct. 3. However, when the trailer came out in summer and some bully bloggers mocked Tom Cruise for using a Yankee accent to portray a Nazi, "Valkyrie" suddenly got pushed out of the derby entirely. Its release date got bumped to next February.

But then later, quietly, it got moved back onto the 2008 calendar and we Oscarologists must now wonder: Should we watch that sneaky Nazi flick closely? "Valkyrie" has a lot of Oscar-friendly elements and, if it's as good as its early buzz (which is strong), it could take us by surprise and break out as a major contender if Hollywood suddenly decides that this is the moment to forgive Cruise for all past craziness. In recent months, he has been handling his PR rehabilitation admirably.

At 46, Tom Cruise is at a crossroads career-wise. His action movies are not the guaranteed hits they once were and his last serious film, "Lions for Lambs," was slaughtered by critics. However, after three losing Oscar bids ("Born on the Fourth of July," "Jerry Maguire," and "Magnolia"), some may consider Cruise overdue to win. His latest role certainly ticks a lot of boxes on the acting checklist.

Tom Cruise plays a true-life WW II hero, as did past acting champs Adrien Brody ("The Pianist") and William Holden ("Stalag 17"). This hero has a physical handicap (covered by that eye patch) just like past winners Al Pacino ("Scent of a Woman") and Daniel Day-Lewis ("My Left Foot"). However, just as his "Lambs" co-star Robert Redford chose not to attempt an accent while portraying an Englishman in "Out of Africa," Cruise chooses not to sound too German as an officer plotting to kill Hitler. His other "Lambs" co-star, Meryl Streep, could have reminded Cruise that, if a foreign accent is successfully employed, it can boost a star's odds to be nominated, but he didn't want to chance it. Perhaps wisely. As a payoff for pulling off a Danish lilt in "Out of Africa," Streep received one of the 11 nominations reaped by the eventual best picture champ of 1985. However, costar Robert Redford got skunked.

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No Tonys hope for Katie Holmes in 'All My Sons' on Broadway

October 17, 2008 |  2:10 pm

Katie Holmes now shares something more with Nicole Kidman than just being another Mrs. Tom Cruise. Both debuted on Broadway to a less-than-warm welcome. A decade ago Kidman played five parts and even appeared naked in "The Blue Room," a sizzling new adaptation by David Hare of Arthur Schnitzler's "La Ronde." While she earned decent reviews and even won a Theater World award, Kidman was snubbed by the critics' kudos and the Tony Awards.

Apparently, the same fate awaits Holmes, who opened Thursday night to so-so notices in a secondary role in Arthur Miller's "All My Sons," with John Lithgow and two-time Oscar Broadway_holmeschamp Dianne Wiest as the parents of her now-dead World War II pilot boyfriend and past Tony nominee Patrick Wilson as the surviving brother.

While reviews for these theater vets were generally good, both Holmes and the director, Simon McBurney, came in for some sharp criticism. (In the surprisingly small world of show biz, McBurney, who also acts, was as one of Nicole Kidman's minions in "The Golden Compass.")

Back in 1947, "All My Sons" won Tonys for both the playwright and the director, Elia Kazan, as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle award, edging out Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh." It's not known if Lois Wheeler, who originated the role of Ann Deever in that first production, was even considered for a Tony Award. Only winners were announced until 1956 when the Tonys began to name nominees. (In that year's supporting category, Patricia Neal won best featured actress of 1947 for "Another Part of the Forest.") When "All My Sons" was first revived in 1987, Jayne Atkinson, now known for her work on "24," made her Broadway debut as Ann Deever, but was not nominated. However, that production did win best play revival and Richard Kiley and Jamey Sheridan, as the feuding father and son, were both nominated.

Weighing the current production, Elysa Gardner of USA Today says, "At best, Holmes exhibits a girlish exuberance that could serve her well in certain stage roles, provided she finds a director who can ease her obvious self-consciousness and get her to focus on the often-intricate process of character development. Sadly, Simon McBurney, who helms this production, is not that director." Gardner did think Lithgow "painfully convincing," that Weist "offers a witty, heartbreaking portrait," and that Patrick Wilson "movingly traces the disillusionment of their surviving son."

Linda Winer of Newsday thought the leads "shattering" but dismissed Holmes as "earnest and pretty, like a talented girl in a school play."

Michael Kuchwara of the AP found Holmes "a striking physical presence, although not much vocal variety. She may be acting under the constraints of McBurney's direction, which encourages high-voltage pronouncements." While Ben Brantley of the New York Times loved Lithgow, he thought Wiest misdirected and that Holmes missed the mark completely as she "delivers most of her lines with meaningful asperity, italicizing every word." And Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune thought, "Holmes does not embarrass herself in any way. But you wish she channeled a little more of her modest origins in Toledo, Ohio, and a little less of her current heightened reality."

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Gold Derby nuggets: Oscar hopes dim (again) for Tom Cruise? | Gotham Awards to honor Penelope Cruz | See Hugh Laurie's and Michael C. Hall's Emmy eppys

August 19, 2008 |  4:03 pm

• Just days after United Artists moved the release "Valkyrie" back into derby season, thus generating renewed hope that Tom Cruise might be back in the running for best actor, comes disappointing news. Brian Kinsley of InContention.com says about Tom Cruise's role after reading the script: "I can’t Valkyrie_tom_cruise imagine (Cruise) being nod-worthy in such a packed year." Kinsley describes the flick as "seemingly more of a people pleaser than an Oscar chaser." So that means we'll probably see another one of Cruise's ex-lovers beat him to the podium. First, there was Cher, then Nicole Kidman, next Penelope Cruz . . . .

Penelope Cruz may begin her march to Oscar glory later this year when she'll be presented with a special Gotham Award Tribute at the Gotham Awards on Dec. 2 in New York City.

• Much web-howling could be heard when Jeff Wells of Hollywood-Elsewhere.com suggested that Robert Downey Jr. might be nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actor for portraying a ridiculous Oscar winner in "Tropic Thunder," but now Sasha Stone of AwardsDaily.com takes the notion seriously too.

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• The second season of "Dexter" (Emmy nominatee for best drama series) just came out on DVD. If you buy it, pay careful attention to the episode titled "There's Something About Harry" — that's the one Michael C. Hall entered in the best-actor derby. Pay attention to the episode of "House M.D. " titled "House's Head" on the new DVDs of Season 4 that just got came out. That's the one Hugh Laurie submitted to Emmy jurors in the race against Hall. Kona Gallagher of TVSquad.com calls "House's Head" one of the greatest TV episodes ever and offers video sneak peeks of the upcoming season, which starts on Sept. 16, but can be previewed HERE.

• Don't expect Michael Jackson to "join his siblings on Sept. 4 when they pick up their lifetime achievement salutes at the BMI Urban Awards," reports the New York Post. The singer, who is reportedly in a wheelcheer nowadays, "hasn't spoken to his brothers since he was acquitted of child molestation charges three years ago — even though they've been trying to reach him about money he owes them," adds the Post. "Sources say Wacko Jacko owes Jermaine, Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson $840,000 in royalties from their Jackson 5 hits."

(Photos: United Artists, Fox, Showtime)


New 'Valkyrie' date puts Tom Cruise back in the Oscars derby

August 14, 2008 |  1:56 pm

United Artist denies that Tom Cruise's film "Valkyrie" is being given a new, Oscars-friendly release date of Dec. 26 because of high kudos hopes, but now the Nazi thriller is back in the derby, like it or not.

Variety reports: "Sources close to events said the move was made for purely commercial reasons, after a screening of the film went well. The studio sees it as a holiday pic and award consideration was not a factor, they say."

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Even if you believe that party line, Oscar expectations are inevitable. It's based upon a real, heroic person in a World War II flick (think past winners Adrien Brody in "The Pianist" or William Holden in "Stalag 17"), a guy with a handicap, no less (that eye patch — voters are suckers for stars who adopt a physical or mental disability, of course, like Daniel Day-Lewis in "My Left Foot" and Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman") and it's directed by a chap who got Kevin Spacey that Oscar in the supporting slot for "The Usual Suspects" (Bryan Singer).

Originally, "Valkyrie" seemed like such obvious Oscars bait that it was set to open right at the start of derby season (Oct. 3), but then the first trailer came out and bloggers started lambasting Tom Cruise for not bothering with a German accent while portraying a Nazi officer who plots to murder Hitler. Director Singer had made that creative decision. He asked all of his actors to speak in their natural voices. But once the kvetching started, the studio pushed "Valkyrie" out of Oscar alley and moved its release to Presidents Day weekend next February where it would compete against Disney’s "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and Sony’s "Pink Panther 2."

But now it's moved back. Hmmm . . . the timing of the decision is rather curious, coming less than a day after Tom Cruise's biz partner Paula Wagner left her management job at UA. Coincidence?

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