December 2006 Archives

"It's a scary month"

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That's how film executives describe January, as Sundance begins and Oscars loom, in this article from the Variety trade mag.

So, what, a purple vest a tails is inappropriate?

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An amusing New Year's Eve diversion: Etiquette columnist MIss Manners chastizes the Oscars for obliterating time-honored rules for formal wear. For her, it's a black-and-white issue ...

Chicago critics 'Departed' for best pic pick

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Martin Scorsese's "The Departed" was named the year's best picture Thursday by the Chicago Film Critics Association. The film topped the annual balloting with three prizes, including best director (Scorsese) and adapted screenplay (William Monahan). The only other movie to win multiple honors was "The Queen," cited for best actress (Helen Mirren) and original screenplay (Peter Morgan). Clint Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima," a Japanese-language companion to his "Flags of Our Fathers," was named best foreign-language film.


WASHINGTON — As Rocky Balboa makes his big-screen comeback, the movie that launched the franchise 30 years ago and made Sylvester Stallone a household name was among 25 films named to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress on Wednesday. ...

AFI looks at 2006 "Moments of Significance"

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With a farewell tip of the hat to Robert Altman and a special commendation for Clint Eastwood, the American Film Institute completed its review of 2006 on Wednesday by highlighting what it calls the AFI’s Moments of Significance. ...

New Year's Eve awards-show recap on TV Guide!

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This is what we live for here at The Gold Rush. On New Year's Eve, the TV Guide channel will be airing a 15-hour marathon of all the awards shows from 2006. It's Joan and Melissa Rivers' "Red Carpet Rewind Marathon," starting at 10 a.m. Sunday. What better way to get revved up for the upcoming season than to relive the shock and awe of "Crash"?!

Hindsight on Oscar's best actresses

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Edward Copeland on Film has launched another of his annual Oscar surveys. Last year, it was which were the best and worst winners of the Best Picture Oscar. This year, it's who did and didn't deserve her Best Actress award. ’Cause, really — Julia Roberts? Cher?

Chicago homegirls Oprah, Fey get award-show props

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Only because this is a Chicago-based blog: Check out this odd little news item about our homegirl Oprah. Apparently, even though she's a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and thus an Oscar voter, she is being allowed to voice her editorial support for certain movies on her show — despite Academy rules forbidding voters to do just that.

Also, from the same site, more Chicago homegirl news: Tina Fey will host the 59th annual Writers Guild of America Awards on Feb. 11.

Grammy viewing parties at Hard Rock Cafe

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Choose one of the following. I want to watch the Grammys:

(a) at home, alone, voicing my barbed wit and critical comments to my cat.
(b) while enjoying free food with a bunch of other music freaks and hollaback girls.

If you (wisely) chose (b) ...

We have our first Best Picture prediction!

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If you believe the stats, the Dallas/Ft. Worth film critics are the best at forecasting each year's Best Picture winner. (OK, they missed "Crash" last year, but who didn't — except the Sun-Times' Roger Ebert ...?) In this article, you might be surprised by their pick this year: "United 93."

Oscar attack ads?!

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What if movie studios took a page from political campaigns and went negative in their pre-Oscars advertising? For your consideration, The Envelope looks at how probable such a turn of events might be: "The two worlds are eerily similar. When it comes to winning an Oscar or an election, shrinking violets need not apply."

Oscars telecast director announced

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Producers have announced that director Louis J. Horvitz will return to direct the 79th annual Academy Awards telecast. He's an old pro: This will be Horvitz's 11th time directing the Academy Awards show. In August, he won an Emmy for directing last year's broadcast. He has received a total of eight Emmy nominations and four Emmy Awards for his Oscar telecast work.

In this intriguing consideration of the Oscars race, L.A. Times writer Greg Braxton looks at the fairly recent colorization of films and roles in Hollywood. He writes: "Almost a year after the racially tinged "Crash" scored a best-picture upset at the Academy Awards, deep explorations of nonwhite cultures have dominated the silver screen as have ethnic performers who have delivered penetrating, emotional portrayals."

And the post-Oscars timeslot goes to ...

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Mediaweek reports that ABC is turning over its post-Oscars broadcast (not the PRE-Oscars telecast, as many online outlets are erroneously reporting) to a live special by its talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Last year, Kimmel's after-Oscars special drew 4 million viewers.

Why we're so in love with Oscar

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Why are we here, devouring all this Oscars hype on The Gold Rush? ABC News considers what makes the Oscars such an alluring and addictive spectator sport. "I'm a newcomer to the red carpet," says David Carr, who runs the New York Times' excellent Carpetbagger pre-Oscars site. "I've covered city politics in some rugged cities. But there is nothing more ferocious than that red carpet. Like those little fashion reporters, they don't mind dropping a heel right into your soft shoe or a sharp elbow into your beer gut. … You better come to play."

Grammy announces this year's lifetime honors

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Recipients of the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys were announced today by The Recording Academy. Joan Baez, Booker T. & The MG's, Maria Callas, Ornette Coleman, the Doors, the Grateful Dead and Bob Wills will receive the lifetime honors.

Edward Copeland on Film; Chicago Film Critics noms

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The punchy film blog Edward Copeland on Film is a great source for film raves and pre-Oscars tidbits. Check out Ed's latest round-up of other critics group awards, including the Chicago Film Critics nominations, just announced.

Oscar poster has lines on designs

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LOS ANGELES — The new Oscar poster was unfurled today, and there are lines everywhere — famous lines from 70 years of famous films. ‘‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’’, ‘‘I’m the king of the world!’’, ‘‘I’m ready for my close-up’’ and ‘‘Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn’’ are among the quotes that share space with an image of the Oscar statuette on the 79th annual Academy Awards poster.

Keeping 'Veil' under pre-Oscar wraps?

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The director of "The Painted Veil" is claiming his studio his dragging its feet on finishing his film in time for this year's Oscar consideration, saying it "wants the film buried" in favor of other Oscar contenders "The Departed," "Letters From Iwo Jima" and "Happy Feet."

No more Oscar/Globe gift baskets??!!

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The New York Daily News reports that the Oscars and Golden Globes are scrapping their swag-stuffed celebrity gift baskets! Each year, we media folk love to run the annual "what absurdly expensive stuff is in the gift baskets" story. We'll have to do without in ’07. Two reasons cited: (1) The IRS was sniffing around, and (2) actor Ed Norton complained about the needless extravagence. Yeah, but ...

In Cindy Pearlman's interview with Beyonce Knowles, in today's Sunday Show section of the Sun-TImes, the singer-actress poo-poos the rumors of a feud between her and "Dreamgirls" co-star (and Chicago native!) Jennifer Hudson. “These rumors that I’m in a catfight with Jennifer are just absolutely ridiculous,? Knowles says. “I’m already a star. I have my Grammys. I know I can sing. I wanted people to know I can act." Hudson is getting early raves for her role in “Dreamgirls? opposite Beyonce, who also is getting good reviews for her less showy role. “These rumors of a rivalry between me and Jennifer hurt my heart. It’s so cliched.? Read the whole interview.

Awards Tracker!

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The Oscars are almost as much about momentum as the films themselves. Here’s a list of what honors the top movies are winning so far this awards season:

The Recording Academy isn't just looking back on 2006, it's looking ahead to see who's the next music star. The organization, which puts on the Grammys, announced "My GRammy Moment" today — an opportunity for unsigned artists to vie for a performance with Justin Timberlake at the 49th annual Grammy Awards in February. Fans will choose the lucky performer online at Yahoo! Music.

Golden Globe nods truly global

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The Golden Globes were truly global Thursday, with the international drama ‘‘Babel’’ leading contenders with seven nominations and such foreign-themed films as ‘‘Letters From Iwo Jima,’’ ‘‘Apocalypto’’ and ‘‘Borat’’ among key nominees.

‘‘Babel,’’ a tale of families on three continents linked by tragic events in the North African desert, was nominated for best dramatic film, along with the Robert Kennedy ensemble tale ‘‘Bobby,’’ the cops-and-mobsters thriller ‘‘The Departed,’’ the suburban comic drama ‘‘Little Children’’ and the British royalty saga ‘‘The Queen.’’

A Golden morning for some stars

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Here are some reactions from a few of those nominated this morning for the upcoming 64th annual Golden Globe Awards:

Legendary film composer to receive honorary Oscar

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LOS ANGELES — Ennio Morricone, the prolific film composer who created music for more than 300 films, such as the memorable coyote-howl theme from ‘‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,’’ is finally getting an Oscar. Morricone, who has been nominated for five Academy Awards but never won, will receive an honorary Oscar at the Feb. 25 awards.

List of Golden Globe nominees

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The complete list oif nominees for the 64th annual Golden Globe Awards announced today in Beverly Hills, Calif.:

Already three safe bets in Oscar guessing

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LOS ANGELES — If the victory of best-picture champ ‘‘Crash’’ over front-runner ‘‘Brokeback Mountain’’ last winter proved one thing, it’s that nothing is ever certain at the Academy Awards. Yet with two and a half months to go before the Oscars on Feb. 25, three seemingly sure picks and a wildly eclectic lineup of potential and long-shot contenders have emerged for Hollywood’s top prize. ...

BY DAVID GERMAIN Associated Press

LOS ANGELES---- If the victory of best-picture champ ''Crash'' over front-runner ''Brokeback Mountain'' last winter proved one thing, it's that nothing is ever certain at the Academy Awards.

Yet with two and a half months to go before the Oscars on Feb. 25, three seemingly sure picks and a wildly eclectic lineup of potential and long-shot contenders have emerged for Hollywood's top prize.

Grammys picture gallery up

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Check out our photo gallery of the Grammy nominations announcements!

Second Eastwood film complicates Globes outlook

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And the clock just keeps ticking. With nominations for the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s 64th annual Golden Globe Awards just days away — announcements are set for the early morning hours of Dec. 14 — a clear front-runner has yet to emerge for one of the ceremony’s top two prizes, namely the best drama of the year. Unlike the musical/comedy race, which will surely fete Paramount/DreamWorks’ big-screen adaptation of the award-winning Broadway production ‘‘Dreamgirls,’’ the dramatic categories remain decidely murky, and almost no one is willing to go on record supporting any particular movie as a lock for a best picture trophy. That said, a handful of films — specifically Miramax’s ‘‘The Queen,’’ Paramount/DreamWorks’ ‘‘Flags of Our Fathers’’ and Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘‘The Departed’’ — finally seem to be emerging as likely favorites for a nomination.

Look! It's Lupe! DeRo looks at Grammy noms

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The long-reigning Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was crowned anew Thursday when nominations for the 49th annual Grammy Awards were announced in Los Angeles and Mary J. Blige led the pack with eight nods for her 2005 album "The Breakthrough." But the big news locally was Lupe Fiasco, who followed in Kanye West's footsteps and made Chicago hip-hop history by claiming three nominations for his debut album "Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor." So says Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis in his Grammys analysis today.

Who from Chicago is up for Grammys?

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Nominations for the 49th annual Grammy Awards were announced this morning by The Recording Academy, reflecting a year in which some artists did it all, collaborations were numerous and diverse, and breakout music makers ran the genre gamut. Chicago R&B, rap and gospel performers were recognized amidst top musicians in their category this morning. Local musicians received accolades for their work with 15 nominations, including, Best Gospel Song, Best Gospel Performance, Best Rap Solo Performance, Best Rap Song, Best Polka Album and Best Chamber Music Performance. ...

Grammy nominations list

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Here's the list of Grammy nominees (below the story), along with a video link to the announcements this morning. (Or check the list at the Grammys site!)

Oh, Mary! Blige leads Grammy nominations

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LOS ANGELES — At this time last year, Mary J. Blige was at a career crossroads. She was about to release a new album of material after her previous effort met with disappointing sales. There were whispers that after 12 years in the business, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was losing her throne to younger artists. But on Thursday, the Recording Academy reconfirmed Blige’s place in music royalty, showering her with eight Grammy nominations, including record and song of the year for her hit ‘‘Be Without You,’’ off her album ‘‘The Breakthrough.’’

Oscar contenders will become clearer this week

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During the next week or so, we'll have a better idea who the frontrunners are in the race for Oscar gold, as a key group of film awards is announced. Here's a good article from down under framing the situation and looking ahead at what's coming.

Chicago's own music awards show

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Did you know Chicago had its own "Grammys"? The 26th annual Chicago Music Awards announced its annual slate of nominees today (hit the link, then click on "nominees" for the full list) at the Velvet Lounge. The top award, Pop Entertainer of the Year, includes such luminaries as probable Oscar contender Jennifer Hudson, plus Joan Hammel, Kanye West, Ladi Lyke and R. Kelly. The awards ceremony is Jan. 28 at Park West.

The most powerful man in hollywood? He's hot

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Ever look at all those people crammed into the Kodak Theater on Oscar night and wonder if it ever makes the fire marshal nervous? Here's an interesting profile of that very man — one of the most powerful men in Hollywood...

Streep given Hollywood leadership award

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Actress Meryl Streep has Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes. Now she can add the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award to her collection.

Lansing presented Streep the award today at the Hollywood Reporter's Power 100 breakfast at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The annual event honors the most influential women in entertainment.

Much-a Blige at Billboard Music Awards

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Earning a whopping nine awards, R&B veteran Mary J. Blige dominated the field at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards, held tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas . The 35-year-old singer nabbed a number of R&B/hip-hop honors, including album ("The Breakthrough") and song ("Be Without You") of the year, as well as Hot 100 airplay song of the year. ...

Polanski honored at Europe's Oscars

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WARSAW, Poland — Roman Polanski was honored with a lifetime achievement award in the country of his childhood at the 19th annual European Film Awards. "It's a moving moment for me, of course, to receive this award, and particularly to receive it in Warsaw," the 73-year-old filmmaker said.

Polanski was given the award for creating what the academy said "were some of the most unforgettable moments in cinema" with films such as "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown" and "The Pianist." He won a best director Oscar for 2002's "The Pianist."

Jessica didn't exactly "work" Dolly's classic

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Blogs are abuzz today about Jessica Simpson's underwhelming performance of Dolly Parton's "Nine to Five" during last night's Kennedy Center Honors (to be aired on TV later in December). But she apparently was just waaaaaay nervous.

Paris Hilton backs out of Billboards

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Paris Hilton may have bowed out of her appearance at tonight's Billboard Music Awards, but Gwen Stefani is still scheduled to perform, along with a host of other artists, including Ludacris, Mary J. Blige, the Fray, the Killers andJanet Jackson — making her first major television performance since the infamous wardrobe malfunction.

Awards calendar

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