- indieWIRE: Peter Knegt reviews the International Documentary Association’s nominees for the 2010 IDA Documentary Awards, which will be presented at the Directors Guild Theater in Los Angeles on December 3rd as part of a ceremony hosted by the Oscar nominated doc filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”). The five distinguished feature nominees are Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” Laura Poitras’s “The Oath,” Joonas Berghaell and Mika Hotakainen’s “Steam of Life,” Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s “Sweetgrass,” and Lucy Walker’s “Waste Land.” According to IDA executive director Michael Lumpkin, “Entries to the Awards increased by nearly 20% this year, and the quality of the films vying for recognition is unprecedented.”
- “Charlie Rose”: Charlie Rose conducts the definitive interview with the actress Noomi Rapace, who portrays the title character in the Swedish film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy”: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” (the third of which will debut in American theaters on Friday). Rapace, who in real life is not masculine and goth like Lisbeth Salander, but rather feminine and classically beautiful, tells Rose that she got the part after refusing to audition but promising to “go all the way” with it. She got a license to ride a motorcycle, performed her own stunts, got the prescribed piercings, and changed the very shape of her body — just about the only thing she didn’t do, ironically enough, was get a dragon tattoo!
- Rope of Silicon: Brad Brevet says he was convinced that Lesley Manville’s performance as a “desperate yet endearing alcoholic” in Mike Leigh’s “Another Year” would be pushed by Sony Pictures Classics in the best supporting actress category, but learned yesterday during a phone call with the studio’s co-president Michael Barker that she is actually being touted as a best actress contender. Barker’s rationale, according to Brevet: “She has the largest amount of screen time in the film and… lead is the general consensus based on whom he’s spoken with.” Brevet’s rationale: “The supporting actress category is there for the taking… she would almost certainly win should the landscape remain the way it is now (I’m looking at you Melissa Leo).”
- Gold Derby: Tom O’Neil assesses the awards prospects of best supporting actress hopeful Jacki Weaver for “Animal Kingdom” in the wake of the film receiving a record-breaking 18 Australian Film Institute Award nominations on Tuesday, including one for Weaver (albeit in the best actress category). Weaver, who portrays the protagonists grandmother “Smurf” in the “modern-day film noir,” has a couple of other things going for her, as well, according to O’Neil: “(1) ‘Animal Kingdom’ was the first DVD screener sent to Oscar voters this derby season, and (2) Sony Pictures Classics has been actively tub-thumping for Weaver by sending us Oscar bloggers T-shirts with her image on the front. (Thanks, SPC! Do I have to declare this on my taxes?)”
- Movieline: S.T. VanAirsdale senses that “The Fighter” cast is falling into two very different categories this awards season. “Nobody seems to be able to move the needle” on best actor hopeful Mark Wahlberg and best supporting actress hopeful Amy Adams,” he writes, but there is a growing sense that best supporting actor hopeful Christian Bale and best supporting actress hopeful Melissa Leo are “the real deal as the real as the mother and brother/trainer… of Wahlberg’s titular Boston pugilist Micky Ward.” He jokingly adds, “The word “transformative” came up, as did the phrase “chowderhead verite”… [Geoffrey] Rush [of “The King’s Speech“] doesn’t stand a chance.”
- Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells rues the recently confirmed reports that “Avatar” director James Cameron has agreed to helm two sequels to the film, “Avatar 2” (planned for 2014) and “Avatar 3” (planned for 2015). Wells writes that he feels “vaguely bummed out” by the news, which he sees as a downer because “it’s basically a corporate cash-grab move… it’s a creatively lazy enterprise for Cameron, as it’ll be no great feat to come up with a prequel and a sequel… I’m not feeling a need to go there again… the ending of ‘Avatar’ was perfect (i.e., the opening of the transformed Jake Sully’s eyes)… and because a guy like Cameron committing to a two-movie, four-year rehash project that is primarily about making money (i.e., certainly on 20th Century Fox’s end) is a kind of capitulation to the golden-calf mentality.”
Photo: Banksy, in silhouette, in “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Credit: Producers Distribution Agency.