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Category: Tommy Lee Jones

Oscar nominations follow guild awards as a guide

January 22, 2009 | 11:59 am

This year 18 of the 19 SAG acting nominees are repeating at the Oscars. Since double SAG nominee Kate Winslet was bumped up by the Oscars from supporting to lead for "The Reader," she was denied a lead nom for "Revolutionary Road." However, that film's Michael Shannon managed to knock SAG nominee Dev Patel of "Slumdog Millionaire" out of the supporting race.

Last year 15 of the 20 SAG nominees went on to compete at the Oscars. Two years ago, it was a staggering 19 of the 20 with the one variation coming from the same film — "The Departed" — as SAG nominee Leonardo DiCaprio was replaced at Oscar time by Mark Wahlberg.


Four of this year's five SAG-nominated ensembles appear in Oscar-nominated best pictures with SAG contender "Doubt" replaced by "The Reader." Last year only one SAG ensemble nominee — "No Country for Old Men" — made it into the best-picture race, although that film won both awards. Two years ago it was three of five, with "Little Miss Sunshine" taking the SAG prize, but losing the top Oscar to "The Departed."

All five of the lead actress nominees are competing for both awards, though Kate Winslet contends at the Oscars for "The Reader" rather than "Revolutionary Road." Last year, it was four of five as the only SAG nominee not needing a babysitter come Oscar night was Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart") whose spot went to "The Savages" star Laura Linney.

The supporting actress race matches up four to five as the promotion of Kate Winslet for "The Reader" left room at the Oscars for the addition of Marisa Tomei ("The Wrestler"). Last year, this race was also four for five with SAG nominee Catherine Keener ("Into the Wild") replaced by Saoirse Ronan of "Atonement."

Lead actor matched up perfectly. Last year, it went three for five with SAG nominees and relative newcomers Emile Hirsch ("Into the Wild") and Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl") replaced by Hollywood vets Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd") and Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah").

And, as mentioned, the supporting race is four for five with Shannon replacing Patel. Last year SAG nominee Tommy Lee Jones ("No Country") was replaced by Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Charlie Wilson's War").

The DGA picks for best director matched up with four of the five academy choices as DGA nominee Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") was edged out at the Oscars by Stephen Daldry ("The Reader"). Daldry has only helmed three films and has Oscar nods for all of them, the previous two being "Billy Elliot" (2000) and "The Hours" (2002). Last year, DGA nominee Sean Penn ("Into the Wild") lost his Oscar slot to Jason Reitman who helmed best pic nominee "Juno."

The PGA nominees for best picture also went four for five with the Oscar contenders as "The Dark Knight" was bumped by "The Reader." Last year, it was also four for five with PGA nominee "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" replaced by "Atonement."

The WGA nods for original screenplay were shut out save for Dustin Lance Black and his script for "Milk." Last year they lined up with the Oscar nominees except for "Knocked Up" which was knocked out of the competition by the team who whipped up "Ratatouille." However, the adapted screenplay race went four for five with only the WGA nominees for "The Dark Knight" bumped by David Hare, who adapted "The Reader." Last year Sean Penn, who wowed the WGA with his adaptation of "Into the Wild," was snubbed by the Oscars as was the scripter for "Zodiac." They were replaced by "Atonement" adapter Christopher Hampton and first time writer-director Sarah Polley.

The ASC choices for best cinematography lined up with the Oscar nominees except for "Revolutionary Road" shooter Roger Deakins, who was replaced by Tom Stern for "Changeling." Last year the ASC went five for five.

The ACE picks for best editing match those of the Oscars. Last year ACE nominee "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" was replaced by "Michael Clayton."

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Psssst — here's who is skipping the Oscar nominees lunch

February 2, 2008 |  5:18 pm

On Monday afternoon, the academy hosts its annual luncheon for Oscar nominees at the Beverly Hilton. Expected among the crowd of more than 100 hopefuls are all five directors who made the cut as well as all of the nominated writers. However, the acting branch will be represented by only 11 of the 19 nominees.

Double nominee Cate Blanchett will be a no-show (as she was last year), as will lead actor contenders Daniel Day-Lewis, Johnny Depp and Tommy Lee Jones, supporting actor hopefuls Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tom Wilkinson and supporting actress nominees Saoirse Ronan and Tilda Swinton.


(Photos: Paramount Vantage, Universal, Warner Independent, DreamWorks)


January 25, 2008 |  6:43 pm

Below: forecasts in the film categories. To see TV predix — CLICK HERE! Also check out the predix of our dueling forum moderators, Robert "Rob L" Licuria and Chris "Boomer" BeachumCLICK HERE! Their TV predix: HERE.

Paul Thomas Anderson, "There Will Be Blood"
X - Joel and Ethan Coen, "No Country for Old Men"
Tony Gilroy, "Michael Clayton"
Sean Penn, "Into the Wild"
Julian Schnabel, "Diving Bell and the Butterfly"

Sometimes DGA members swoon too much over celebs, as I note HERE, which means Sean Penn could pull off an upset. And what Anderson pulls off in "Blood" may strike them as a bigger, grander achievement cinematically, but everybody knows: This is the Coen Brothers' Year.


George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"
X - Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
Ryan Gosling, "Lars and the Real Girl"
Emile Hirsch, "Into The Wild"
Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"

George Clooney holds a SAG I.O.U. — they snubbed him the year he won for "Syriana," preferring shlubby Paul Giamatti, who they probably viewed as more of an actors' actor. That proves that voters don't fall for the matinee dash of celebrityhood, so Clooney is in big trouble again with his guild peers this year. He's up against The Ultimate Actor's Actor — a guy who famously goes to ridiculous lengths to immerse himself in his roles. Daniel Day-Lewis won several years ago for "Gangs of New York," (Adrien Brody beat him at the Oscars), so he should have an easy time of it again.


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Your Oscars cheat sheet: Let's predict the nominees!

January 21, 2008 | 12:42 am

Finally, those rascally, confounding, elusive Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday morning. Who'll make the cut?

Oscarnoms_cheat_sheetBEST PICTURE
"Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
"Michael Clayton"
"No Country for Old Men"
"There Will Be Blood"

"American Gangster"
"Into the Wild"

"Diving Bell," "Clayton" "No Country" and "Blood" were all nominated by BOTH the directors' and producers' guilds, so they look strong. Of those two guilds, the directors' choices have the best predix rate. This year DGA's fifth choice was "Wild," but that may just be because those helmers are fawning over another actor-turned-director (Sean Penn). They actually swoon more shamelessly over actors in that category than Oscar voters! Everybody seems to be swooning MOST over the fifth choice of the PGA — "Juno" — so that's why it rounds out my list, but beware of "Gangster," too. It's the highest-grossing "serious" movie of the year and that's usually a guarantee of a nom. Also, Universal is blitzing L.A. with "FYC" ballyhoo, which proved successful for its past ponies "Ray" and "Seabiscuit."

"Atonement" won the Golden Globe and leads with the most BAFTA bids, so it's a major player, too. After all, it began derby season as the early frontrunner to win and hasn't really tripped up. Reviews have been strong — raves from the L.A. Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter — and b.o. has held up ($30 million in limited release, up until this past weekend anyway). Still, perception is that it's fallen faaaaaar behind. Like my poor, beloved "Sweeney Todd."


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Updated Oscars predictions from our experts

November 8, 2007 |  2:28 pm

Check out the latest Oscar predix from our Buzzmeter panel of pro pundits. CLICK HERE, then click on "Individual Panelists' Rankings" and use the dated drop-down menu to switch back and forth between last week and now so you can note how fickle we all are.


First, checking out the roundup views of the top categories: Tommy Lee Jones ("In the Valley of Elah") kicks Tom Hanks ("Charlie Wilson's War") out of the number five slot for best actor. Promo around the DVD release of "A Mighty Heart" helps Angelina Jolie arrive on the best-actress list.

Indidvidual predix: EW's Dave Karger is unfazed by the gangbusters impact "American Gangster" just had on the box office. His top five ranking for best picture remains the same. Variety's Anne Thompson moved up "Gangster" from her fourth to second notch. "E.T.'s" Clay Smith rams it up to the top of his list, booting "Sweeney Todd." Speaking of "Sweeney," I was happy to see it emerge midway in Kris Tapley's list. Smart move, Kris!

Oscars frontrunners list: Your ultimate, updated cheat sheet

October 19, 2007 |  6:43 pm

Oscar_frontrunnersBEST PICTURE
"American Gangster"
"Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"
"Charlie Wilson's War"
"The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
"The Great Debaters"
"Into the Wild"
"The Kite Runner"
"Lions for Lambs"
"Michael Clayton"
"No Country for Old Men"
"Sweeney Todd"
"There Will Be Blood"
"3:10 to Yuma"

Casey Affleck, "Gone Baby Gone," "Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
Mathieu Amalric, "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"
Christian Bale, "Rescue Dawn" / "3:10 to Yuma"
Josh Brolin, "No Country for Old Men"
Don Cheadle, "Talk to Me"
George Clooney, "Michael Clayton"
Russell Crowe, "3:10 to Yuma"
John Cusack, "Grace Is Gone"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
Benicio Del Toro, "Things We Lost in the Fire"
Johnny Depp, "Sweeney Todd"
Richard Gere, "The Hoax"
Ryan Gosling, "Lars and the Real Girl"
Tom Hanks, "Charlie Wilson's War"
Emile Hirsch, "Into the Wild"
Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" / "The Savages"
Frank Langella, "Starting Out in the Evening"
Tommy Lee Jones, "In the Valley of Elah"
James McAvoy, "Atonement"
Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"
Jack Nicholson, "The Bucket List"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Reservation Road"
Brad Pitt, "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"
Sam Riley, "Control"
Mark Ruffalo, "Reservation Road"
Denzel Washington, "American Gangster" / "The Great Debaters"

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Will 'Elah' pull a sneaky DVD ploy in December?

October 18, 2007 |  2:00 pm

He calls it just "reckless speculation," but Lou Lumenick of the New York Post thinks Warner Independent may rush out the commercial DVD of "In the Valley of Elah" before Christmas as part of its Oscar push.

"A December DVD release would allow 'Elah' to ride on the publicity coattails of Tommy Lee Jones' other (and probably more popular) new movie, 'No Country for Old Men,' which Miramax will begin platforming out in November, along with a best supporting actor campaign for Mr. Jones," note Lumenick at his blog CLICK HERE. "Warner Independent is pushing Jones for best actor for 'Elah,'' and releasing the flick on DVD just 90 days or so after its theatrical opening would allow the studio to flood award voters (notably the huge Screen Actors Guild) with DVD screeners without fear of piracy. This strategy was famously employed with Best Picture winner 'Crash,' which just happens to have the same director as 'Elah,' Paul Haggis."

Is 'In the Valley of Elah' 'powerful' or 'lacking in imagination'?

August 31, 2007 |  9:29 pm

A major new flick by Paul Haggis, the writer/director of one Oscar best picture champ ("Crash") and writer of another ("Million Dollar Baby"), is huge news to Oscarwatchers like us. But is "In the Valley of Elah" another masterpiece or a dud? Hollywood Reporter loves it. Variety blasts it.


First, the Hollywood Reporter: "Paul Haggis has not only avoided the dreaded sophomore slump, but the director and co-writer of the Oscar-winning "Crash" has returned with another bona-fide contender.

"Ostensibly a murder-mystery set against the backdrop of the war in Iraq, 'In the Valley of Elah' is a deeply reflective, quietly powerful work that is as timely as it is moving.

"Further graced by an exceptional Tommy Lee Jones lead performance that would have to be considered one of the finest in the 60-year-old actor's career, the Warner Independent release is getting a little preliminary festival exposure at Venice and Toronto before opening in limited engagements on Sept. 14." READ MORE

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Is Tommy Lee Jones' 'Three Burials' dead and buried?

January 24, 2006 |  3:02 pm

What happened to "Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" in this year's Oscar derby? Does anyone have a theory? If so, click on the "Comments" link below and share it with all of us, please.

Three Burials

It's worth discussing. Tommy Lee Jones' directorial debut began this kudos season as an early front-runner after becoming a breakout hit at the Cannes Film Festival where it won awards for best actor and screenplay. When savvy kudos seer Pete Hammond saw it on the Croisette, he sounded loud Oscar warning bells and when I caught up with it at the Toronto Film Festival a few months later, I thought Pete was really onto something.

"Three Burials" was such a superb, chilling drama that excited film critics yapped about it all over Toronto with the same intense enthusiasm as those other fest faves, "Capote" and "Brokeback Mountain." But "Three Burials" had something extra going for it. It's something Oscar voters are usually suckers for: "Three Burials" marked the successful crossover of a studly actor to director.

That worked for George Clooney ("Good Night, and Good Luck") this year, but not Jones. Why? A few industry pros I ran into up in Toronto warned me that it might happen. One of them admired "Three Burials” but said, "It won't catch on because half of its script is in Spanish and its title is unpronounceable."

Those were the same reasons blamed for the fact that it arrived in Toronto without a distributor, something that baffled all of us waiting north of the border to see what all of the early hype was about. How could an award-winning Cannes hit that had so much pre-Oscar buzz still not have a distributor as late as September? What's wrong? One much-whispered rumor claimed that Tommy Lee Jones wanted too much money and was making too many demands on courting studios.

Regardless of the reason for the delay, "Three Burials" was scooped up at the fest by Sony Pictures Classics. One snide Oscar marketer told me at the time, "Forget about it. Sony Pictures Classics doesn't do well at the Oscars." But that's not true. Look at the success of its "Capote" this year. It'll probably score lots of Academy Award nominations — maybe even one for best picture — and its star Philip Seymour Hoffman is the one to beat for best actor. Heck, Sony Pictures Classics has even earned Oscars for foreign-language films "All About My Mother," "Talk to Her" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." So what's the big deal about Spanish being spoken in some parts of "Three Burials"?

So forget that theory. Perhaps the studio got control of the film too late in the gold derby? Or maybe "Three Burials" had a flawed release schedule? Sony gave it a qualifying run in New York and L.A. for a week in mid-December, then yanked it in favor of going wide after Oscar nominations come out. That's rarely a winning strategy. It worked for "Pollock's" Marcia Gay Harden, but what other films? "Three Burials" will be released nationally on Feb. 3.

"Three Burials" was backed by a hefty blitz of "For Your Consideration" ads in the trade papers. It was screened widely to the industry and critics, receiving rave reviews from the L.A. Times, N.Y. Times, Variety and Hollywood Reporter. The L.A. Times declared: "Incisive yet supple, wrenching yet deeply pleasurable, 'The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada' easily ranks among the year's best pictures."

Are "Three Burials" Oscar chances now dead and buried? Or do you think there's a chance it could pop up among nominees to be announced on Jan. 31? If not, tell us what you think went wrong. Click "Comments" below and pipe in!

Photo: "Three Burials" had lots of full-page "For Your Consideration" ads like this one, which appeared in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
(Sony Pictures Classics)



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