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Countdown to Oscars

Friday, October 29, 2010
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  • Movie Line: Mike Ryan reacted to the news that “Saturday Night Live” will be hosted by best actress hopeful Anne Hathaway (“Love and Other Drugs”) on November 20 and best actor hopeful Jeff Bridges (“True Grit”) on December 18 by asking, “Can the added buzz from hosting ‘SNL’ actually help the chances of a win or even a nomination?” Seeking the answer, he “dug back through 35 years of Oscar nominees and ‘SNL’ hosts to see how often a nominee or winner hosted that same year,” and found that “27 future Oscar nominees have hosted [‘SNL’] during the same season that they were nominated or won. (Nine more… hosted during the season, but after the ceremony — call those a victory lap.) Of that 27, seven have gone on to win the award he or she was nominated for — most recently Forest Whitaker.”
  • OscarWatch: Dave Karger reports that Disney has released this awards season’s first “For Your Consideration” trade ad, suggesting that voters consider nominating “Alice in Wonderland” for best picture and in 16 other categories, including best director (Tim Burton), best actor (Johnny Depp), and best supporting actress (Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway). Karger adds, “I’m told the studio’s major goal is a nomination in the best picture (comedy or musical) category at the Golden Globes… though the eye-popping film could end up factoring into some of the Academy’s technical races.”
  • The Odds: Steve Pond shares the story behind one of the year’s most “imaginative and bracing film scores,” the one composed by Nine Inch Nails’s frontman Trent Reznor and producer Atticus Ross for “The Social Network.” Pond, a former music critic, writes that their effort captivates audiences with “piano-rooted, synthesizer-drenched work that is by turns plaintive and assaultive, and always adventurous and unconventional,” which was unlike anything on which the two had previously collaborated. He also reports that Reznor, upon being offered the job, initially said yes; then said no; then felt bad, so he called to apologize for saying no; and, at that point, learned that the job was still available and took it.
  • Hollywood-Elsewhere: Jeff Wells issues a mea culpa regarding Roger Michell’s “Morning Glory,” the awards prospects of which he previously disparaged after finding its one-sheet to be lacking, now that he has actually seeing the film. He says it’s “much better than what Paramount’s marketing has so far indicated,” describing it as “a notch or two above [screenwriter Aline Brosh] McKenna’s ‘The Devil Wears Prada’” (referring to McKenna’s hit rom-com from 2006) and “close to ‘Broadcast News’-level” (referring to the classic 1987 comedy about people who work in television), while adding that it features “Harrison Ford’s best performance in years” — one that he feels even “has a shot at best supporting actor recognition.”
  • YouTube: There’s nothing quite like a Stephen Holt interview, as demonstrated by this one with best supporting actor hopeful Geoffrey Rush (“The King’s Speech”), which was apparently conducted during September’s Toronto International Film Festival but was only posted online yesterday. Rush’s face is priceless throughout, not least after he says he’s been going through a “king period,” having appeared in both a play (“Exit the King“) and now a film with “king” in the title,” to which Holt responds, “I’m in my queen period, but it’s lasted an awful long time!”
  • RogerEbert.com: Roger Ebert gives three out of four stars to the third and final installment of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy,” “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” Ebert makes a point of praising the performance of Noomi Rapace, who has portrayed Lisbeth Salander all three films, and calls the character a “transfixing heroine… formidably smart and deeply wounded… [and] too good a character to suspend after three films.” He adds, “My guess is there must be sequels [still to come, even if Larsson is found not to have written any himself].”
  • Vancouver Sun: Kat Angus and Leah Collins celebrate the aforementioned “tattooed and pierced rebel girl” Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) as “easily one of the most compelling female characters of the past several years,” noting that “society may brand the Gothically inclined as misfits, but when it comes to movies, audiences just can’t get enough.” To prove their point, they share a gallery of “10 other movie Goths who have already won their hearts.” Among them: Allison (Ally Sheedy) in “The Breakfast Club” (1985), Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) in “Edward Scissorhands” (1990), Lydia Deetz (Winona Ryder) in “Beetle Juice” (1988), and Wednesday Addams (Christina Ricci) in “The Addams Family” (1991).
  • FSLC: The Film Society of Lincoln Center will pay tribute to legendary dancer/choreographer/filmmaker Stanley Donen, who is now 86, by screening a number of his most memorable works — including “On the Town” (1949), “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952), and “It’s Always Fair Weather” (1955), which he co-directed with Gene Kelly, and “Funny Face” (1957), “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954), “Charade” (1963), “Arabesque” (1966), and “Two for the Road” (1967), which he independently directed — from November 3-10. On the first evening of the series, Donen will participate in a Q&A that is to be moderated by none other than director Mike Nichols.

Photo: “SNL” host Ellen Page (who was a recent Oscar nominee for “Juno“) and cast member Andy Samberg (portraying Diablo Cody, the screenwriter of the film) during the opening segment of the show’s March 1, 2008 episode. Credit: NBC.

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