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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Downey Jr.’

Friday January 4th, 2013

The 10 Most Surprising Oscar Nominations Of The Last 10 Years

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor
And Scott Feinberg
The Hollywood Reporter

***

The morning of the Oscar nominations is always an interesting time for me. A full year of predictions, hunches and plain old guesses comes down to an announcement that either humbles or validates all of my work.

Sometimes, it does both at the same time, and often, it just plain puzzles me. Once in a while, though, there are some real surprise Oscar nominations that come down the pike and take nearly everyone by surprise.

For this Top 10 list, I’m teaming up with the namesake of this site, Scott Feinberg, to tackle a piece on some of the most surprising Oscar nominations of the last 10 years. With the Academy Award nominations just around the corner on Jan. 10, we’re writing this post to remind people that there’s simply no such thing as a slam-dunk with these awards. Does the name Dreamgirls ring a bell?

We’re only going to be looking at the big six categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress, but as a bonus, Scott picked a special 11th choice. Consider this a super-sized Top 10 list!

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Thursday August 16th, 2012

Another Year, Another Controversy Over Who Will Host the Oscars

By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist

Although the Academy Awards are still more than six months away, we’re about to find out our first winner – in the race for Oscar host. And, from what I can gather, the run-up to this selection has been as bizarre as any real awards season, if not more so.

The current controversy

Last week, Jimmy Fallon, the emcee of NBC’s late-night talk show, was approached to host the 85th Academy Awards, but he passed, telling the Today show, “No, I’m not doing the Oscars. It’s an honor to be asked, but it’s not my year.”

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Wednesday February 16th, 2011

TRIVIA QUESTION: WIN “IRON MAN 2″ ON DVD!

Question: What were the two years in which none of the four acting Oscars honored performances from films that were nominated for the best picture Oscar?

Prize: The first person to correctly answer this question in the comments section below will win the DVD of “Iron Man 2,” for which Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Daniel Sudick, and Ged Wright are nominated for the best visual effects Oscar. (Be sure to provide your email address so that we can contact you for your mailing address in the event that you win!)

CONTEST OVER: The first person to identify 1969 and 1995 was Emaildants, who will be contacted shortly — congratulations!

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Wednesday February 9th, 2011

“DEEP VOTE” ON “CASINO JACK,” “HEREAFTER,” AND “IRON MAN 2″

Deep Vote,” an Oscar winning screenwriter and a member of the Academy, will write this column — exclusively for ScottFeinberg.com — every week until the Academy Awards in order to help to peel back the curtain on the Oscar voting process. (His identity must be protected in order to spare him from repercussions for disclosing the aforementioned information.)

Thus far, he has shared his thoughts in column 1 about his general preferences; column 2 about “Solitary Man” (Anchor Bay Films, 5/21, R, trailer) and Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions, 6/11, R, trailer); column 3 about Alice in Wonderland” (Disney, 3/5, PG, trailer), Mother and Child” (Sony Pictures Classics, 5/7, R, trailer), and Toy Story 3” (Disney, 6/18, G, trailer); column 4 about Get Low” (Sony Pictures Classics, 7/30, PG-13, trailer), “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features, 7/9, R, trailer), and “The Social Network” (Columbia, 10/1, PG-13, trailer); column 5 about “127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight, 11/5, R, trailer), “Biutiful” (Roadside Attractions, 12/17, R, trailer), and “Shutter Island” (Paramount, 2/19, R, trailer); column 6 about Inception” (Warner Brothers, 7/16, PG-13, trailer), “Made in Dagenham” (Sony Pictures Classics, 11/19, R, trailer), and “Somewhere” (Focus Features, 12/22, R, trailer); column 7 about Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/29, PG-13, trailer), “Fair Game” (Summit, 11/5, PG-13, trailer), and “Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate, 12/17, PG-13, trailer); column 8 about Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company, 12/29, R, trailer), “The Fighter” (Paramount, 12/10, R, trailer), and “True Grit” (Paramount, 12/22, PG-13, trailer); column 9 about The Ghost Writer” (Summit, 2/19, PG-13, trailer), The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company, 11/26, R, trailer), and “The Town” (Warner Brothers, 9/17, R, trailer); column 10 about Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight, 12/3, R, trailer), “Conviction” (Fox Searchlight, 10/15, R, trailer), and “I Am Love” (Magnolia, 6/18, R, trailer); column 11 about his nomination ballots; column 12 about All Good Things” (Magnolia, 12/3, R, trailer), “Animal Kingdom” (Sony Pictures Classics, 8/13, R, trailer), and “The Way Back” (Newmarket, 12/29, PG-13, trailer); column 13 about Barney’s Version” (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/3, R, trailer), “Love and Other Drugs” (20th Century Fox, 11/24, R, trailer), and “Tangled” (Disney, 11/24, PG, trailer); and column 14 about The Illusionist” (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/25, PG, trailer), “Inside Job” (Sony Pictures Classics, 10/8, PG-13, trailer), “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Warner Brothers, 11/19, PG-13, trailer), and “How to Train Your Dragon” (DreamWorks Animation, 3/26, PG, trailer).

This week, he assesses three more films: “Casino Jack” (ATO Pictures, 12/17, R, trailer), “Hereafter” (Warner Brothers, 10/22, PG-13, trailer), and “Iron Man 2” (Paramount, 5/7, PG-13, trailer). The first brought Kevin Spacey a Golden Globe nomination for best actor (drama); the latter two are nominated for the best visual effects Oscar.

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Friday January 7th, 2011

INTERVIEW: SAM ROCKWELL, AN ACTOR WITH CHARACTER (AND “CONVICTION”)

On Tuesday afternoon, I had the opportunity to chat by phone for about 30 minutes with the veteran character actor Sam Rockwell, who has generated some of the best reviews of his career — and not inconsiderable buzz for a best supporting actor Oscar nod, which would be his first in any category — for his performance in Tony Goldwyn’s “Conviction.”

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO AUDIO OF OUR CONVERSATION!

Rockwell, 42, portrays Kenny Waters, a real person with a checkered background who was sentenced to life in prison for a murder that he — and, to an even greater degree, his sister (Hilary Swank) — insisted he did not commit. (It’s a part, he tells me, that Eric Bana, Colin Farrell, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and John C. Reilly all passed on!) Though some have argued that the film plays like a Lifetime TV movie or an extended episode of “Law & Order,” precious few have had anything but kind things to say about Rockwell, who convincingly portrays Waters as both a young and carefree rabble-rouser and 18 years later as an aged and hardened convict whose will to live is slipping away.

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Tuesday December 14th, 2010

BREAKING DOWN THE GOLDEN GLOBE NODS: KEY STATS, INCLUSIONS, SNUBS

To see a full list of the film nominees, click here!

Key Factoids

Noteworthy Inclusions

  • The Tourist” may have bombed at the box-office and been panned by critics, but that didn’t stop the HFPA from recognizing it in all three major categories in which it was eligible: the film for best picture (musical or comedy), Johnny Depp for best actor (musical or comedy), and Angelina Jolie for best actress (musical or comedy). How could the HFPA resisted that kind of star power?!
  • Halle Berry, returning to the screen after a three-year absence, was a surprise nominee for best actress (drama) for her performance as a woman with multiple personality disorder in “Frankie and Alice.”
  • Emma Stone, the 22-year-old actress who will next be seen in the reboot of the “Spider-Man” franchise, is now a certified member of Hollywood’s A-list thanks to her nomination for best actress (musical or comedy) for “Easy A.”
  • It was rumored that HFPA members really liked the unusual action flick “Red,” and indeed the film was nominated for best picture (musical or comedy), if not for the performances by its aging cast.
  • Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, the stars of the controversial indie “Blue Valentine,” were nominated for best actor (drama) and best actress (drama), respectively. These nominations were anything but assured.
  • Both female stars of “The Kids Are All Right,” Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, were nominated for best actress (musical or comedy). There was certainly a dearth of options in the category this year, but this could pre-sage a rare double-nomination at the Oscars.
  • Many people speculated that even if “The Fighter” did well, its director David O. Russell, who still bears scars from a YouTube shouting incident from years ago, would be left behind. This was not the case. Indeed, “The Fighter” was nominated in every major category in which it was eligible — the film for best picture (drama), Mark Wahlberg for best actor (drama), Christian Bale for best supporting actor, both Amy Adams and Melissa Leo for best supporting actress, and, yes, Russell for best director.

Noteworthy Snubs

  • True Grit,” the last major awards contender to be released this year, has been greeted warmly by critics, but was completely snubbed by the HFPA. There was always some doubt about whether Hailee Steinfeld, who arguably gives it finest performance, would be left behind due to category confusion (the HFPA wanted her in lead and Paramount wanted her in supporting), but several other nominations still seemed likely — the film for best picture (drama), Ethan Coen and Joel Coen for best director; Jeff Bridges for best actor (drama), and Matt Damon for best supporting actor.
  • The British dramedy “Made in Dagenham” was thought to be a serious contender in several categories — the film for best picture (musical or comedy), Sally Hawkins for best actress (musical or comedy), and possibly even Miranda Richardson for best supporting actress — but it wound up with zero nominations.
  • Love and Other Drugs” was denied a best picture (musical or comedy) nomination even though both of its stars were nominated — Jake Gyllenhaal for best actor (musical or comedy) and Anne Hathaway for best actress (musical or comedy).
  • A number of HFPA favorites from years past were denied nominations this morning: seven-time nominee/one-time winner Leonardo DiCaprio was not nominated in the best actor (drama) category for either of the two performances for which he was eligible, the one in “Inception” (even though the film was nominated for best picture, best director, best screenplay, and best original score) or the one in “Shutter Island”; six-time nominee/two-time winner Jim Carrey was not nominated in the best actor (musical or comedy) category for his performance in “I Love You Phillip Morris”; and five-time nominee/two-time winner Robert Downey, Jr. was not nominated in the best actor (musical or comedy) category for his performance in “Due Date.”

Photo: Halle Berry in “Frankie and Alice.” Credit: Freestyle Releasing.

Thursday November 25th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 11/25/10

  • Deadline Hollywood: Nikki Finke says that her sources at Disney and its rival studios both believe that “Tangled,” Disney’s 50th animated motion picture, had a huge opening day yesterday and will greatly exceed most box-office projections for the 5-day holiday weekend. Analysts had forecasted a cumulative take of $35-$40 million, but a Disney competitor said that early data shows that the number will be “much bigger than expected,” and sources at Disney believe that it will wind up in the high $60s when all is said and done on Sunday.
  • The Wrap: Dominic Patten reports the latest twist-and-turn in the investigation into last week’s murder of Oscar publicist Ronni Chasen. Yesterday, TMZ, the gossip site, posted footage from October 28 — captured by a private investigator who was looking into an unrelated matter and videoing “people entering and leaving Chasen’s luxury high-rise building on Wilshire” — that appeared to show Chasen driving a vehicle that was not her own, raising the obvious question of whose it was and why she was driving it. TMZ removed the video from its site, though, after friends of Chasen told The Wrap that it could not have been Chasen, as she was in Europe on that date. The mystery continues.
  • 24 Frames: Steven Zeitchik notes that mothers have historically been portrayed in a favorable light on the big screen — with a few noteworthy exceptions like “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962), “Mommie Dearest” (1981), and “Precious” (2009) — which is why he was surprised to find that in 2010 films, “All those good mothers have gone and a host evil ones have come to take their place.” Among the examples that he cites: Claire Bloom’s repressing Queen-mother in “The King’s Speech,” Barbara Hershey’s overbearing stage-mother in “Black Swan,” Melissa Leo’s manipulative agent-mother in “The Fighter,” and Jacki Weaver’s conniving grand-mother in “Animal Kingdom.”
  • The Playlist: Kevin Jagernauth posts author/Entertainment Weekly columnist Stephen King’s list of this year’s top 10 films, which, as always, is among the first to be released and includes many more horror/populist selections than most critics’ lists. His picks are: 1. “Let Me In,” 2. “The Town,” 3. “Inception,” 4. “The Social Network,” 5. “Takers,” 6. “Kick-Ass,” 7. “Splice,” 8. “Monsters,” 9. “Jackass 3D,” and 10. “Green Zone.”
  • Ministry of Gossip: Matt Donnelly shares video of Monday night’s episode of “Chelsea Lately” on E!, during which the talk show host Chelsea Handler interviews the actress Gwyneth Paltrow about the upcoming film “Country Strong,” in which Paltrow portrays a recovering drug addict. Interestingly, Paltrow tells Handler that she called upon her “Iron Man” co-star Robert Downey, Jr., a recovering drug addict himself, for advice — “I actually e-mailed [Robert], who has been sober for a long time. He wrote me the most amazing e-mail and helped me understand it.”
  • The Awards Insider: Nicole Sperling observes that “Harry Potter” is “the most successful film franchise in box office history” — its first seven installment have brought in more than $5.8 billion internationally, thus far, including the recently released “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” — but has yet to register in a serious way with the Academy. (The few nominations that the franchise has received have been in categories such as art direction, costume design, and visual effects, and none have resulted in wins.) It’s unlikely that the most recent installment will do much better, but Sperling explains how a strong final installment in July could result in a stronger showing, with voters “essentially honoring the eight-picture series for its overall achievement.”
  • Inside Movies: Dave Karger considers the possibility that Oscar voters might reward “Black Swan” with Oscar nods for both best actress hopeful Natalie Portman (who is already a “foregone conclusion”) and Mila Kunis (who is still very much on the bubble). Karger also posts an exclusive clip from the film, which will debut in theaters a week from Friday.
  • Cartoon Brew: “The Brewmasters” shares the Academy’s recently-released list of 33 films that “have fulfilled the qualifications necessary to be considered in the category of best animated short for the 2010 Academy Awards.” They note that members of the Academy’s short films and feature animation branch “will vote on a shortlist of ten films from this list” and that a second round of voting will subsequently “narrow it down to the five nominees.” It is of note that only three filmmakers involved with these 33 films — Tomasz Baginski, Don Hertzfeldt, and Bill Plympton — have previously been nominated for an Oscar.

Photo: “Tangled.” Credit: Disney.

Tuesday October 26th, 2010

YOUR DAILY FIX OF OSCAR: 10/26/10

  • Entertainment Weekly: Rob Brunner profiles the actress Noomi Rapace, who has an outside shot at a best actress nod for her performance as Lisabeth Salander in the original Swedish version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” — a part that will be played in David Fincher’s upcoming American adaptation by Rooney Mara). The married-but-separated 30-year-old recently visited Hollywood for the first time to plot her next career moves; she met with Robert Downey, Jr., among other fans of her performance, and was subsequently cast opposite him in the upcoming sequel to “Sherlock Holmes.”
  • In Contention: Guy Lodge poured cold water all over the awards prospects of the Halle Berry vehicle “Frankie and Alice” just hours after Freestyle Releasing announced that the film would be getting an Oscar-qualifying run in New York and Los Angeles the week of December 17. Something about the news prompted Guy to dig up last year’s official list of Oscar qualifiers, among which — would you believe it — he found the film listed, meaning that it has already exhausted its Oscar eligibility! As Guy puts it, “Either the Academy or Freestyle Releasing has made an error, then. Which is it? An actress’s campaign hangs in the balance.” What say you, Academy?
  • Thompson on Hollywood: Anne Thompson reports that the notoriously reclusive filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard will not be flying in from France to claim his honorary Oscar at the Academy Governor’s Awards on November 13, despite suggesting back in September that he might. The question now is who will pay tribute to Godard in his absence and collect the Oscar statuette on his behalf?
  • Awards Daily: Ryan Adams celebrates Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy’s 84-page screenplay for “127 Hours” — which provided the basis for an unusually brief 93-minute film — as a “compact gem of narrative focus.” He notes, however, that only one movie with a shorter runtime than “127″ has ever won the best picture Oscar — “Marty” (1955), which ran 90 minutes — so perhaps we shouldn’t expect it to play the spoiler in what is shaping up to be a battle between “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech.” That being said, it isn’t even within striking distance of the shortest-running nominee for the best picture Oscar, “She Done Him Wrong” (1933), which ran just 66 minutes!
  • Variety: Dave McNary confirms that the SAG Awards — which will be given for the 17th time on January 30, 2011 — will, for the first time, be simulcast live across the nation beginning at 5pm PST on TBS and TNT. (In previous years, viewers on the west coast had to wait to see a tape-delayed broadcast; that sort of thing just doesn’t work anymore in the age of the Internet, so kudos to SAG for getting with the times!)
  • The Guardian: Tom Shone sits down with best supporting actor hopeful Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are All Right”) for a revealing conversation about the actor’s career, which, it turns out, he very nearly ended just two years ago following the murder of his brother. Ruffalo says he fired “agents, managers, people I’d been with for years,” relocated his family to upstate New York, and devoted much of his time to local political activism and protesting against the Iraq War. What brought him back? To a large extent, he says, it was being offered the plum part in “The Kids.” (He had already shot “Shutter Island,” his other 2010 film, prior to his short-lived retirement.) “That’s when I sort of came into balance and realised: I am an actor.”
  • PopWatch: Tanner Stransky notes — or I should say “noted” (we’re two weeks late to this story, but wanted to share it with you nonetheless) — that Fox recently broadcast an episode of “The Simpsons” with an extended opening sequence designed by the British underground graffiti artist “Banksy” (who also directed this year’s Oscar-contending doc “Exit Through the Gift Shop”). Stransky provides a YouTube clip, which he summarizes as follows: “The first 35 seconds of the sequence feature the near-usual credits, except for a few ‘Banksy’ tags on prominent Springfield buildings, before rather unexpectedly veering into a depressing tour of overseas sweatshop facilities, where legions of workers slave over ‘Simpsons’ animation stills, kill kittens to stuff Bart Simpson dolls, and even use a chained unicorn to punch out the center of ‘Simpsons’ DVDs,” among other things. “Apparently,” he adds, it “was a reaction to reports that the show outsources much of its animation to a company in South Korea.”
  • Twitter: Perhaps Oscar voters aren’t such a stodgy bunch after all! Last night, a single Tweet — “I’m ready for my close-up!” — alerted us to the establishment of @TheAcademy, “The official Twitter account for The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the 83rd Academy Awards.” It remains to be seen just how and how often the account will be updated, not to mention who is actually typing the Tweets on behalf of the famously guarded organization. (Our best guess: AMPAS communications director Leslie Unger.)
  • YouTube: “LexG,” a frequent presence in the comments section of Oscar blogs, has issued the first and hopefully not the last installment of a YouTube show that he’s calling “Oscar Chat.” In the intro to his Lewis Black-like rant, the hilarious, self-deprecating, natural-born-improviser states, “All I do all day — because I have no life, I have no girlfriend, I have nothing going for me at all — I just read movie blogs.”
Photo: Noomi Rapace as the title character in the Swedish version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Credit: Music Box Films.