- Variety: Dave McNary shares the news that the Directors Guild of America, which earlier this week announced its five DGA Award nominees in the feature film category, has now unveiled its five DGA Award nominees in the documentary category. They are: Lixin Fan for “Last Train Home,” Charles Ferguson for “Inside Job,” Alex Gibney for “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer,” Davis Guggenheim for “Waiting for ‘Superman’,” and Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger for “Restrepo.” All are first-time DGA nominees except for Gibney, who was previously nominated for “Taxi to the Dark Side” (2007), which went on to win the best documentary (feature) Oscar. McNary notes that only three of this year’s DGA-nominated docs — “Inside Job,” “Restrepo” and “Waiting for ‘Superman’” — also made it onto the Academy’s shortlist of 15 docs from which its documentary branch will ultimately select five nominees. Last year’s DGA winner, Louis Psihoyos for “The Cove” (2009), went on to win the best documentary (feature) Oscar.
- The Hollywood Reporter: Alex Ben Block reports that the Publicists Guild of America has announced the nominees for its 48th annual Maxwell Weinberg Showmanship Award, which honors “the creativity and enterprise that entertainment publicists apply to attract the largest possible audiences for program they represent,” according to awards committee chairman Henri Bollinger. The nominees for the award in the film category (there is also one for television) are “Despicable Me” (Universal), “Inception” (Warner Brothers), “The Social Network” (Columbia), “Toy Story 3” (Disney), “Waiting for ‘Superman’” (Paramount), and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (20th Century Fox). The winner will be announced at a luncheon on February 25. (I’d like to offer my congratulations to all of the nominees.)
- New York Post: Claire Atkinson claims that sources have told her that Sony has spent $55 million to promote “The Social Network” — a film that is being distributed by its subsidiary Columbia Pictures, for which it has grossed $199.8 million worldwide, thus far — including a staggering $5 million on its awards campaign. (“A typical Oscar campaign costs between $2 million and $3 million,” she writes.) These costs reportedly cover everything from “the usual pre-Oscar nomination ads in Hollywood trade magazines to the unusual move of re-releasing the film in 603 theaters this past weekend ahead of its DVD debut.” It is believed that Sony is spending so much money on this effort because Columbia hasn’t produced a best picture Oscar winner in the 21 years since Sony purchased it in 1989; its last winner was “The Last Emperor” (1987) 23 years ago.
- Boston Globe: Mark Shanahan learns that Alice Ward, the 80-year-old mother/former manager of the professional boxers Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund (as well as their seven sisters) who is portrayed by Melissa Leo in the recently-release film “The Fighter,” is “fighting for her own life in a Boston hospital” right now. According to Shanahan, Ward “went into cardiac arrest Wednesday and stopped breathing for more than 30 minutes… [and] was eventually placed on life support… [remarkably, however, she] regained consciousness and is now able to speak.”
- Awards Tracker: Nicole Sperling passes along the news from the Broadcast Film Critics Association that the presenters at Friday night’s Critics Choice Movie Awards — which will air live on VH1 at 9pm EST — will include Josh Brolin, Jon Hamm, Khloe Kardashian, Kim Kardhasian, Kourtney Kardashian, Julianne Moore, Joan Rivers, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kevin Spacey, Emma Stone, and Sofia Vergara. Meanwhile, Emily Blunt and Jimmy Kimmel will present Matt Damon with the Joel Siegel Award, Tim Roth will present Quentin Tarantino with the inaugural Critics’ Choice Music+Film Award for his creative use of music in his movies, and Maroon 5 will be the house band for the night.
- The Wrap: Steve Pond describes the Academy’s foreign language category as one that is “full of scandal and controversy” and “snubs and surprises,” all despite years of “taking dramatic, sometimes unprecedented steps to deal with those controversies.” Pond writes that producer Mark Johnson, a member of the Academy’s board of governors who has overseen the category for a decade, has implemented changes which “have resulted in the creation of a unique three-step nominating process that puts the final decision in the hands of a carefully-chosen committee that in recent years has included actors Ryan Gosling and Keanu Reeves, directors Jonathan Demme and Nora Ephron, writer Dustin Lance Black, composer Harry Gregson-Williams, editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and cinematographer Wally Pfister, among many others.” But, Pond ponders, “by turning the major decision over to his hand-picked committee, has Johnson cut regular voters out of the process and taken too much power for himself? Or has the result — better, smarter nominations in the estimation of many — justified the tinkering?”
- W Magazine: Lynn Hirschberg snags “an exclusive first look from the set of the year’s most anticipated film,” the English-language adaptation of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” The film’s director, David Fincher, and star, Rooney Mara, previously collaborated on “The Social Network.” Fincher tells Hirschberg, “On ‘Social Network,’ I didn’t really agree with the critics’ praise. It interested me that ‘Social Network’ was about friendships that dissolved through this thing that promised friendships, but I didn’t think we were ripping the lid off anything. The movie is true to a time and a kind of person, but I was never trying to turn a mirror on a generation… ‘Social Network’ is not earth-shattering.”
Photo: Daisy in “Waiting for ‘Superman.’” Credit: Paramount.