December 22, 2009

In the News/Random Musing: SAG Nominations '10

Ah, and now the Oscar race intensifies. The Screen Actors' Guild has released their nominations for the best actors of the past year in cinema, and with this second phase of awards season, pundits begin sweating as they anticipate the selections of the AMPAS, which will finally come next month. In fact, many of the SAG voters will also vote for the Academy, so this round of nominations becomes crucial for those guessing next month's Oscar nominations. For now, let us analyze SAG's decisions and consider what the future will bring, courtesy of the Academy...

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

JEFF BRIDGES /Bad Blake - "CRAZY HEART" (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

GEORGE CLOONEY /Ryan Bingham - "UP IN THE AIR" (Paramount Pictures)

COLIN FIRTH /George Falconer - "A SINGLE MAN" (The Weinstein Company)

MORGAN FREEMAN /Nelson Mandela - "INVICTUS" (Warner Bros. Pictures)

JEREMY RENNER /Staff Sgt. William James - "THE HURT LOCKER" (Summit Entertainment)

Renner replaces Tobey Maguire from the Golden Globe Best Actor nominations. I still think Firth will take this category, though, as long as voters do not experience a pang of guilt and vote instead for Jeff Bridges, whose long, unrewarded career (to-date) began with an Oscar nomination (Best Supporting Actor, "The Last Picture Show," 1971).

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

SANDRA BULLOCK /Leigh Anne Tuohy - "THE BLIND SIDE" (Warner Bros. Pictures)

HELEN MIRREN /Sofya - "THE LAST STATION" (Sony Pictures Classics)

CAREY MULLIGAN /Jenny - "AN EDUCATION" (Sony Pictures Classics)


MERYL STREEP /Julia Child - "JULIE & JULIA" (Columbia Pictures)

Emily Blunt is edged out by Meryl Streep for the SAG Award nomination. I continue to think Sidibe will win, but it is very interesting to think that Sandra Bullock might be getting her very first Oscar nomination next month. It is also interesting to think that next month might bring Streep's sixteenth Oscar nomination.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

MATT DAMON /Francois Pienaar - "INVICTUS" (Warner Bros. Pictures)

WOODY HARRELSON /Captain Tony Stone - "THE MESSENGER" (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER /Tolstoy - "THE LAST STATION" (Sony Pictures Classics)

STANLEY TUCCI /George Harvey - "THE LOVELY BONES" (Paramount Pictures)

CHRISTOPH WALTZ /Col. Hans Landa - "INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS" (The WeinsteinCompany/Universal Pictures)

No change from the Globes. My opinion on the winner has not changed either.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

PENÉLOPE CRUZ /Carla - "NINE" (The Weinstein Company)

VERA FARMIGA /Alex Goran - "UP IN THE AIR" (Paramount Pictures)

ANNA KENDRICK /Natalie Keener - "UP IN THE AIR" (Paramount Pictures)

DIANE KRUGER /Bridget Von Hammersmark - "INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS" (The WeinsteinCompany/Universal Pictures)


Diane Kruger substitutes for Julianne Moore's nomination in this category at the Globes. While I am thrilled by Kruger's nomination, I cannot help but feel some remorse that it is not Mélanie Laurent's performance as Shoshanna in "Inglourious Basterds" that is nominated, instead. In any case, I continue to believe that Mo'Nique will capture the prize.

For the rest of the nominations, click here. The 16th Annual Screen Actors' Guild Awards ceremony will transpire on January 21, 2010 and will be broadcast simultaneously on TBS and TNT.


December 21, 2009

In the News/Random Musing: The 67th Annual Golden Globe Nominations

The 67th Golden Globes ceremony will take place on January 17th, 2010. For the full list of Golden Globe nominees (including those in television), click here. The nominees for each category in film and my guesses for each winner in bold when you click "Read More"...

Best Motion Picture (Drama)
("Inglourious Basterds" is the best film I have seen so far this year, but Jason Reitman's "Up in the Air" seems to be a potential voter favorite.)

Lightstorm Entertainment; Twentieth Century Fox

The Hurt Locker
Voltage Pictures; Summit Entertainment

Inglourious Basterds
The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures/A Band Apart/Zehnte Babelsberg GmbH Production; The Weinstein Company/Universal Pictures

Precious: Based On The Novel Push By Sapphire
A Lee Daniels Entertainment / Smokewood Entertainment Group Production; Lionsgate

Up In The Air

Paramount Pictures; Paramount Pictures

Best Motion Picture (Comedy)

(500) Days Of Summer
Watermark Pictures; Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Hangover
Warner Bros. Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures

It's Complicated
Relativity Media, Scott Rudin Productions; Universal Pictures

Julie & Julia

Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing

The Weinstein Company/Relativity Media/Lucamar Productions/Marc Platt Productions; The Weinstein Company

Best Performance - Drama
(The winner in the Actor category will depend on if voters want to reward the old guard (Bridges) or bestow victory on the most critically hailed performance (Firth).)

Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Tobey Maguire - Brothers

Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Helen Mirren - The Last Station
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious

Best Performance - Musical or Comedy

Matt Damon - The Informant!
Daniel Day-Lewis - Nine
Robert Downey, Jr. - Sherlock Holmes
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - (500) Days of Summer
Michael Stuhlbarg - A Serious Man

Sandra Bullock - The Proposal
Marion Cotillard - Nine
Julia Roberts - Duplicity
Meryl Streep - It's Complicated
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Performance

Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Christopher Plummer - The Last Station
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Penelope Cruz - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Mo'Nique - Precious
Julianne Moore - A Single Man

Best Director
(Whoever wins Best Picture will win Best Director.)

Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
James Cameron - Avatar
Clint Eastwood - Invictus
Jason Reitman - Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Best Screenplay

District 9
The Hurt Locker
It's Complicated
Inglourious Basterds
Up in the Air

Best Original Score
(James Horner - always a fan favorite.)

The Informant!
A Single Man
Where the Wild Things Are

Best Original Song

"Cinema Italiano" - Nine
"(I Want To) Come Home" - Everybody's Fine
"I See You" - Avatar
"The Weary Kind" - Crazy Heart
"Winter" - Brothers

Best Animated Feature Film

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog

Best Foreign Language Film

Baarìa - La porta del vento • Italy
Broken Embraces • Spain
The Maid • Chile
A Prophet • France
The White Ribbon • Germany


In the News: Brittany Murphy

It is always tragic to lose someone way before his or her time, and today, we are rattled by the loss of Brittany Murphy at age 32. Murphy was pronounced dead of natural causes at 10:04 a.m. at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a hospital spokeswoman said. Murphy was transported to the hospital after the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a call at 8 a.m. at the home she shared with her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, in the Hollywood Hills.

Murphy rose to fame in the 1990s as a quirky brunette in small roles in television shows such as "The Torkelsons" (also known as "Almost Home"), "Boy Meets World," and "Sister, Sister." Her breakout role was in playing Tai in the smash hit, "Clueless" (1995). Murphy went on to appear in films such as "Girl, Interrupted" (1999), "8 Mile" (2002), "Uptown Girls" (2003), and "Little Black Book" (2004). After providing the voice to Gloria in "Happy Feet" (2006), Murphy's filmography slowed a bit, but she was involved in projects up until her untimely death - including a role in Sylvester Stallone's new film, "The Expendables," due out next year. (However, Perez Hilton reported at the end of last month that Murphy had been recently fired from another project in Puerto Rico.)

For more information on Brittany Murphy's passing, click here. For speculation into diabetes and/or a thyroid condition resulting in Murphy's death, click here. For an interesting reflection on Murphy's "different" career, click here.

Goodbye, Brittany Murphy. May you rest in peace.

UPDATE (12/21/09) - Quoted directly from Yahoo! News: "Brittany Murphy was ill with flu-like symptoms in the days before her death and prescription medications were taken from her home, the Los Angeles Coroner's office said Monday." More information as it becomes available.