January 2007 Archives

Oscar ballots in the mail today

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — More than 5,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will soon get their official ballots for the 79th Academy Awards. The 5,830 ballots were mailed today and must be returned to Pricewaterhouse-Coopers by Feb. 20. The ballots list nominees in 19 categories.

Ballots for certain categories will not be sent until members have verified their attendance at mandatory screenings. These include best documentary feature, documentary short subject, foreign language film, animated short film and live action short film.

And, for a look at who handles and counts those ballots, and how it's done ...

Hype has started talk of a 'Departed' sequel

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With the massive bloodletting at the climax of ‘‘The Departed,’’ you’d think it might be hard to make a sequel. Well, a domestic take of $125.2 million is making Warner Bros. Pictures and director Martin Scorsese think not. ...

Is 'Sunshine' the movie to beat for best picture?

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By TY BURR

If the upcoming Oscar race actually were a race, Queen Elizabeth II would be haughtily sprinting neck and neck with the bickering internationals of ‘‘Babel’’ while the Boston mobsters of ‘‘The Departed’’ took running potshots at the Japanese soldiers of ‘‘Letters From Iwo Jima.’’ And then, seemingly out of nowhere, a dented yellow VW mini-bus would break through the front line, its broken horn bleating in triumph.

One year after it stormed the Sundance Film Festival and six months after it conquered the nation’s art houses, ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine’’ is starting to look like the film to beat for best picture. ...

But where was Bjork's swan dress?

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By SANDY COHEN

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Barbra Streisand. Cher. Elizabeth Taylor. Sharon Stone. Each made style history at the Academy Awards. Who can forget Streisand’s seemingly see-through sequined pantsuit at the 1969 Oscar show, or the certainly see-through sparkling creation Cher wore in 1988? How about Taylor’s 1970 periwinkle chiffon gown that matched her eyes, or the Gap T-shirt Stone built an outfit around in 1996?

These red-carpet contributions — and those of two dozen other stylish female stars — were recognized Tuesday at the film academy headquarters with ‘‘A Celebration of Oscar Fashion,’’ a retrospective of iconic Oscar wear. The private runway show, curated by Andre Leon Talley of Vogue magazine, was designed to inspire this year’s nominees and presenters to express their personal style and ‘‘create their own memorable moment’’ at the Oscars, said telecast producer Laura Ziskin. ...

Chicago Music Awards winners up

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The Chicago Music Awards were Sunday night at Park West. The list of winners has been posted on the event's site — two awards to R. Kelly?! — and here are some snapshots from the event.

LOS ANGELES — Part of the producing teams that helped launch the Academy Award-nominated films ‘‘The Departed’’ and ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine’’ will have to watch from their seats if either movie should win the best picture Oscar next month. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ruled that only Graham King will get the credit for the crime drama ‘‘The Departed,’’ leaving Brad Pitt and Paramount Pictures studio chief Brad Grey out in the cold. Similarly — as reported in today's column by Bill Zwecker — the academy decided that Ron Yerxa and Chicago's Albert Berger did not meet its guidelines for inclusion as producers of ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine,’’ which has already won top honors from the Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild. ...

Police reuniting at Grammys!

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After weeks of speculation, the Police confirmed today that the band will reunite to open the 49th annual Grammy Awards Feb. 11 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The group has not performed live since its 2003 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the Grammy appearance is widely expected to kick off a year’s worth of reunion shows throughout the world. ...

First area Oscar party announcement!

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An Oscar party announcement from the folks at FitzGerald's, 6615 W. Roosevelt Road in Berwyn ...

MADRID, Spain — Pedro Almodovar’s ‘‘Volver’’ won best picture and earned Penelope Cruz the best actress award Sunday at the Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars. ...

'Water' finally flowing in India

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MUMBAI, India — Oscar-nominated Canadian movie ‘‘Water’’ will be shown in India this spring, seven years after angry Hindu nationalists stormed the sets, forcing its Indian-born director to stop filming. This time, promoters say, they don’t foresee any trouble.

By GREG RISLING

LOS ANGELES — Crews rigged up the lights, on-air ‘‘talent’’ went over last-minute changes and the carpet was rolled out, setting the stage for Hollywood’s biggest night. And we had front row seats.

OK, so the grand gala — the Academy Awards — was down the block. But our room overlooked the pool at the trendy Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, where it appeared that preparations were underway for a posh aftershow. ...

Leo not concerned with Oscar nod

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Leonardo DiCaprio, nominated in Oscar's best actor category for his film "Blood Diamond," reacts to his nomination to StarPulse: "I am quite young. The Academy Awards don't necessarily go to good work. They are a nice bonus and a lot of people think they are some plateau you need to reach in your work. But you have no control over that. To determine how an audience or Academy members are going to feel about your performance is a losing battle."

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 this awards season:

Oscar Insider: The producer's web

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By SANDY COHEN

CULVER CITY, Calif. — Spider-Man and Oscar have some things in common. Both are iconic figures: Spider-Man can climb buildings and spin webs; Oscar can make an actor’s asking price climb and also spin a web of excitement. Spidey and Oscar also share another thing: producer Laura Ziskin. ...

Backstage at the SAGs: It's heavy!

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By SANDY COHEN

LOS ANGELES — Winners of the Screen Actors Guild Awards shared a similar reaction when they collected their trophies backstage: ‘‘Wow, this is heavy.’’ They may have been speaking figuratively about being honored by their peers, but the meaning was more likely literal: the bronze ‘‘Actor’’ statuettes weigh a hefty 12 pounds each. ...

Rays of 'Sunshine' for Oscars hopes after SAGs

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By CHRISTY LEMIRE

LOS ANGELES — Another week, another awards show, and the Oscar situation looks as up in the air as ever. "Little Miss Sunshine," took the Screen Actors Guild's ensemble prize Sunday night, the group's equivalent of a best picture award. Top acting honors, however, went to obvious front-runners Forest Whitaker, Helen Mirren, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson. ...

Vignettes from the SAGs

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By BETH HARRIS

LOS ANGELES — From her 1953 Broadway debut to voicing the queen in "Shrek 2," Julie Andrews watched as her career of more than 50 years was highlighted Sunday night when she received the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement award. ...

List of SAG winners!

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A complete list of winners of the 13th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards ...

O'Toole may not show to Oscars?!

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Virgin reports that Peter O'Toole's health may prevent him from coming to the big show — just a few years after he hesitated to accept the lifetime achievement Oscar because he insisted he could still win an award outright!

Third producer's the charm for Academy rules

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Kismet, Cate? Yeah, keep dreaming ...

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Down under, they really want Cate Blanchett to win an Oscar. But we know Chicago's Jennifer Hudson is all over that. Still, the southern Pacific papers are keeping Cate's hopes up, and following what she'll be wearing.

SAG Awards tonight a template for Oscars?

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By DAVID GERMAIN

LOS ANGELES — This year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards appeared to be a dress rehearsal for the Academy Awards. Nominees in the four film-acting categories for tonight's 13th annual guild awards were virtually identical to contenders announced at the Oscar nominations last week, including front-runners Helen Mirren, Forest Whitaker, Eddie Murphy and Jennifer Hudson. With 19 of the 20 SAG nominees also earning Oscar slots, the guild awards are poised to give winners a chance to practice their academy thank-yous for Hollywood’s top prizes Feb. 25. ...

The mettle of Oscar's metal

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In a Q&A column in today's Sun-Times Home LIfe section, the answer involves a certain kind of metal with this factoid attached: "Today, one of the most visible uses of Britannia metal is in the Oscar statuettes handed out each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Under all that gold, silver, copper and nickel plating, there is ordinary Britannia metal."

Presidential hopefuls court pre-Oscars celebs

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Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker reports today that Sen. Barack Obama "will be the star attraction at the upcoming Feb. 20 pre-Oscars fund-raiser at the Beverly Hilton, hosted by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Katzenberg already has officially endorsed Obama, but longtime Clinton friends Spielberg and Geffen still could support her, even though they're co-hosting this Obama event." (Obama was a Grammy-nominee last year, don't forget!) Sen. HIllary Clinton, too, is heading to Hollywood to dip into deep pockets.

Oscar is going gray

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The AARP was quick to point out this week, in a statement: "Despite Hollywood’s obsession with youth, 40 percent of this year’s Oscar nominees in the acting and directing categories are over the age of 50." And here's an interesting story about that very fact. And another one from CBS.

Wear my dress, Ms. Celeb! No, wear mine!

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By JOELLE DIDERICH

PARIS — Paris couture may be reserved for a handful of wealthy clients, but Giorgio Armani on Wednesday gave the whole world a glimpse of his exclusive creations by becoming the first designer to broadcast an haute couture collection live on the Internet. ‘‘Now through the democracy of the Internet, we can provide a front row seat for everyone,’’ the 72-year-old Italian said in a statement.

The Armani Prive display capped a week of extravagant catwalk shows, signaling the start of a frenzied campaign by top fashion houses to dress Hollywood stars for the Oscars. ...

Is Bill O'Reilly praising Al Gore here?!

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Some banter between Fox talking head Bill O'Reilly and commentator Dennis Miller, from a partial transcript of yesterday's "The O'Reilly Factor." ...

Oscar facts no one really needs to know

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The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette rounded up these interesting Oscar factoids you can drop at parties or while buying popcorn at the multiplex, courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences:

This year’s host: First-timer Ellen DeGeneres
Most popular host: Bob Hope, 19 host appearances
Suggested length of acceptance speech: 45 seconds
Number of voting members: 5,830
Kodak seating capacity on Oscar night: 3,300
Seat fillers: Approximately 250
Ushers/ticket takers: 40
Outdoor bleacher seats: 612
People who work in the production office: Approximately 300
Production vehicles/trailers, including for press and catering: About 100
Cameras used during the show: 14 high-definition cameras for the pre-show, 20 for the show
Crew members: Roughly 130 during pre-show, 350 during telecast
Date of first televised show: March 19, 1953
Longest televised show: 74th Academy Awards, in 2002, at 4 hours, 23 minutes
Shortest televised show: 31st Academy Awards, in 1959, at 1 hour, 40 minutes
Latest telecast date in past 20 years: April 11, 1988
Earliest telecast date in past 20 years: Feb. 25, 2007

Trio performance at Grammys

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John Legend, John Mayer and Corinne Bailey Rae will team for a performance of an as-yet-unannounced song during the Grammy Awards, to be handed out Feb. 11 at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and broadcast live on CBS. Beyonce, the Dixie Chicks, Gnarls Barkley, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, Justin Timberlake and Carrie Underwood will also play. Blige leads the field of nominees with eight. The Chili Peppers earned six, while James Blunt, Dixie Chicks, Danger Mouse and Prince are among eight artists with five each.

Grammy Career Day coming to Chicago

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Grammy Foundation today announced the schedule for its 2007 Grammy Career Day events, a national program that brings top music industry professionals together with high school students to present an insider's perspective on working in the music and recording industries. This extraordinary program, now in its 21st year, kicked off last week in San Francisco, and it continues throughout the school year — coming May 16 to Chicago's Columbia College. Grammy Career Day is presented by Gibson Foundation and is completely free of charge.

Al Gore: movie star (of sorts)

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Speaking at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Tuesday night, Al Gore — whose documentary film, "An Inconvenient Truth," scored two Oscar nominations yesterday — said he won’t let the star treatment change him. He said his model will be Rin Tin Tin, because the dog was the same after his TV show as he was before it.

In a private meeting earlier with students from Augustana and area high schools, one asked Gore how it felt to be a movie star, of sorts.

‘‘What do you mean 'of sorts?’ ’’ he fired back.

The road to Oscar starts at Sundance

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By DAVID GERMAIN

PARK CITY, Utah — The nation’s top independent-cinema showcase has become a fertile starting point for the biggest night of the Hollywood establishment: the Academy Awards. As this year’s 11-day festival reached its midpoint this week, stars of Sundance 2006 were back in the spotlight at Tuesday’s Oscar nominations, including the makers of ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine’’ and its co-stars Alan Arkin and Abigail Breslin, ‘‘Half Nelson’’ star Ryan Gosling and ‘‘An Inconvenient Truth’’ documentary subject Al Gore. ...

Whew! That's today, here's tomorrow ...

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29 posts today, a helluva lotta news. Oscar season is officially under way. Gulp.

And coming in tomorrow's Sun-Times:
EBERT! The Sun-Times film critic extraordinaire is watching from home, still recovering from various surgeries, and in Wednesday's paper he takes a look at the year's nominations: "This year’s Academy Award nominations contain a few titles that most moviegoers haven’t seen and some they haven’t heard of. That’s perhaps an indication that the academy voters, who once went mostly for big names, are doing their homework and seeing the pictures." (p.36)

ROEPER! He files a series of Q&As from his post at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, including: "Q. Weren’t you the guy who went on 'The Tonight Show' and predicted 'Dreamgirls' would WIN best picture? A. No, that was Leonard Maltin. Actually, I did say that — but I was just voicing the conventional wisdom at the time. Although I’m surprised, I’m not disappointed about 'Dreamgirls' losing out on a best picture nomination. It wasn’t on my list of the year’s best movies." (.p37)

ZWECKER! Our celebrity columnist rounds up more reaction from the nominees, including this choice bit from Helen Mirren: ‘‘I must say, since playing Her Majesty, I do look at our money a bit differently,’’ she said with a laugh. ‘‘Her portrait there just looks different to me now.’’ (p.38)

Evaluating todays' snubs and surprises

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By CHRISTY LEMIRE

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Usually the Oscar race seems pretty much firmed up long before anyone’s name is announced as a nominee at 7:38 a.m. Not so this year — there were some wonderful surprises and surprising snubs. Among them ...

Haley bears the good news

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By BORYS KIT

HOLLYWOOD — ‘‘Jubilation. Pure unbelievable joy. This is a day of all days,’’ said Jackie Earle Haley, best supporting actor nominee for ‘‘Little Children.’’ The actor, who lives in San Antonio with his wife, said he was an emotional daze after getting a nom for his first work in 13 years; his previous movie was ‘‘Maniac Cop 3: Badge of Silence.’’

Haley was the child star of 1976’s ‘‘The Bad News Bears’’ and appeared in 1979’s ‘‘Breaking Away’’ and 1983’s ‘‘Losin’ It,’’ but he found the transition to adult roles difficult. ...

Oscars long time coming for Latinos

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By TATIANA SIEGEL

HOLLYWOOD — With Spain’s Penelope Cruz and Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, Adriana Barraza and Guillermo Arriaga all nabbing key Academy Award nominations, Oscar habla espanol this morning. Salma Hayek, who read off the nominations with Academy president, Sid Ganis, was clearly thrilled.

‘‘It has been a long time coming, especially since millions of people speak Spanish as their main language in this country,’’ said Cruz, who was singled out for her role in Pedro Almodovar’s Spanish-language ‘‘Volver.’’ ‘‘It’s great that it’s finally being reflected in movies.’’

A screenplay nomination for an improvised movie?!

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By JAKE COYLE

NEW YORK — Wa Wa Wee Wah? Borat Sagdiyev himself might have exclaimed that catch phrase upon hearing that the largely improvised ‘‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’’ had been nominated today for a best adapted screenplay Oscar.

The majority of the movie, starring Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, is fueled by Cohen’s interactions with real people — most of whom weren’t reading from a script. Needless to say, if they had been supplied dialogue, many of the unwitting actors wouldn’t have sued (as they have) over their inclusion in the film. ...

Behind the scenes of this morning's announcements

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Watched the nominations this morning? Here's a great account of Sid Ganis' pre-dawn preparation for the big news, a behind-the-scenes look at how Oscar readies for the world ...

It's official: 'Dreamgirls' snub a first

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A story at Dow Jones' MarketWatch site reports: "Academy officials said such a snub is a first since the group started handing out the awards in 1927. No film that received the most number of nominations has ever missed out on a best-picture nomination in the academy's history, a spokeswoman said."

LOS ANGELES — A United Airlines pilot announced good news at 30,000 feet to a pair of filmmakers: ‘‘The women in row 23 just got nominated for an Academy Award.’’

‘‘Everyone applauded. They brought us champagne. It was something,’’ said Rachel Grady by telephone while waiting to board a connecting flight to Santa Barbara. ...

Oscar's very young at heart

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By JAKE COYLE

NEW YORK — With her Academy Awards nomination for best supporting actress today, Abigail Breslin, the joyful 10-year-old actress at the heart of ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine,’’ entered a rich niche of trivia: Oscar-nominated child actors. ...

'Nominees to be determined'

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If you watched the announcements this morning and wondered what was up with the statement "nominees to be determined" after two of the best-picture candidates, here's a story explaining that ...

Oscar noms: The business tally

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North American box-office performance for Oscar best-picture nominees:
• ‘‘Babel,’’ Paramount Vantage, seven nominations, released October, $23.7 million.
• ‘‘The Queen,’’ Miramax, six nominations, released September, $35.6 million.
• ‘‘The Departed,’’ Warner Bros., five nominations, released October, $121.7 million.
• ‘‘Letters From Iwo Jima,’’ Warner Bros., four nominations, released December, $2.4 million.
• ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine,’’ Fox Searchlight, four nominations, released July, $59.6 million.

And for those of you keeping score at home ...

Best Oscars ever? and other tidbits ...

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So it's shaping up to be a down-to-the-wire contest in many categories. As this writer at Studio Daily put it, in his insights today about the nominations: "If your idea of a great Oscar night is one where none of the oddsmakers has any clear picture of who the frontrunners are, this could be a banner year."

Some other curious Oscar links from today's news, updated as we go...

Leo and Marty's blanket responses

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We're crossing our fingers hoping this is the year Martin Scorsese thanks the Academy. Today, in light of his nomination for "The Departed," the acclaimed director says: “I am very pleased that 'The Departed' has been honored with five nominations for this year’s Academy Awards. I am particularly happy that the hard work of the entire cast and crew has been rewarded with a Best Picture nomination and that the specific contributions of Mark Wahlberg, our screenwriter William Monahan, and my longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker have been recognized with nominations, as well.” ...

On the red carpet: Al Gore!

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NEW YORK — Former Vice President Al Gore may fare better when the Oscar ballots are counted than he did in the disputed 2000 presidential election when he lost to George W. Bush by several hundred votes in the pivotal Florida recount. "An Inconvenient Truth," Gore's film on the perils of global warming, scored two Oscar nominations today — for best documentary feature and best original song.

More 'tap dancing' reactions to noms

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"The biggest effect it's having on little kids is they all want to go to tap-dancing lessons." — George Miller, director of animated feature nominee "Happy Feet."

More reactions from nominees and other, to be updated here throughout the day ...

Wahlberg: 'I thought the house was on fire'

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Despite a scene-stealing performance, Mark Wahlberg's nomination for best supporting actor was unanticipated considering he performed opposite such top-billed actors as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson and Matt Damon. DiCaprio did earn a best-actor nomination for "Blood Diamond."

"I wasn't expecting it at all. I can't believe it. I was sound asleep. My agent called and was screaming," said Wahlberg, who plays a caustic, wisecracking cop. "I thought the house was on fire or something."

More...

By Cindy Pearlman

Jackie Earle Haley, the star of "Little Children," is having a big moment in his life. A long-shot for best supporting actor who was denied most critics prizes or even a Golden Globe nomination, he got a nice wake up call from Oscar. Haley says that his nomination in that category is a dream come true. "I feel like I'm dreaming. I almost can't believe what has been happening to me. I can't even believe I'm talking to the Chicago Sun-Times about being in this movie." ...

Fun fact about surprise nominee Gosling

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from Cindy Pearlman...

How the mighty have risen. Ryan Gosling, nominated for best actor for "Half Nelson," began his career on the "Mickey Mouse Club" and during that time even lived with Justin Timberlake and his mother. Don't laugh. He had to beat out 17,000 kids for the shot on the show.

Mirren, 'Little Miss' reactions

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from Sun-Times columnist Cindy Pearlman...

You have to love "Little Miss Sunshine," who says that she was sleeping when the nominations came out. "My Mom woke me up," says Abigail Breslin, nominated for best supporting actress. When asked by the morning shows if an Oscar nomination was better than Christmas, she gave the honest answer of any kid. "Wellllll...." she hedged. "I guess so." By the way, she isn't the youngest ever to be nominated. Tatum O'Neal was six months younger when she got the nom for "Paper Moon."

Helen Mirren was on set in England when she received the good news of her Oscar nomination for "The Queen." When asked why playing queens has been very very good to her, the always lovely Mirren set the record straight. "Queens have been very good to me. I was also below the stairs as the housekeeper in 'Gosford Park.' I've been above the stairs and below the stairs."

Big Picture News Inc.

Actor, picture categories exclusive

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Interesting analysis from Edward Copeland this morning: "This may well be the first time where four out of the 5 nominees for best actor are the only nominations for their films and no nominee comes from a best picture nominee."

True, none of the films in the best actor category are up for best picture:

BEST ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio (Blood Diamond)
Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson)
Peter O'Toole (Venus)
Will Smith (The Pursuit of Happyness)
Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)

Jen Hudson: 'I did it!'

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ABC's interviewing Jennifer Hudson right now, via satellite — she's in London, where she just attended the British premiere of "Dreamgirls" — and she's fumbling for words, stumbling, speechless. She sounds a lot like Forrest Whitaker on Golden Globes night.

Some quotes ...

I am telling you they aren't going

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The absence of "Dreamgirls" from the big-picture category has everyone's mouths agape this morning. Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America" said the show's studio audience gasped. Astonished headlines have run on Fox and CNN. The movie tops The Envelope's list of who got snubbed, just posted. Bloggers like Edward Copeland are musing: "Has there ever been a time when the nominations leader (Dreamgirls with 8) wasn't up for best picture?" The Carpetbagger just posted: "The absence of a best picture nod for 'Dreamgirls' had reporters in the auditorium leaning into each other and asking if they heard right. Everything old is suddenly new and the sprint to the finish line should be brutal."

Also noteworthy: Three of "Dreamgirls' " eight nominations came in a single category — for original song.

But at least our Chicago favorite, Jennifer Hudson, followed her Golden Globe win with an Oscar nomination for supporting actress.

AP also notes the other shut-out of the morning, this one only surprising now because of his Golden Globe win: "Prim Oscar voters maintained their track record of ignoring over-the-top comic performances, snubbing Sacha Baron Cohen for his Golden Globe-winning role in the raucous "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.""

Nominations most diverse ever

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With five blacks, two Hispanics and an Asian, it was the most ethnically diverse lineup ever among the 20 acting nominees. After decades in which the Oscars were a virtual whites-only club, with minority actors only occasionally breaking into the field, the awards have featured a much broader mix of nominees in the last few years.

Black actors in particular have come into their own, with Oscar wins by Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman, and three of the four acting front-runners this year.

Asians and Hispanics still lag behind, though nominations for Penelope Cruz, Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi are signs that Hollywood is making strides toward greater diversity.

While Cruz's "Volver," from Spanish director and past Oscar darling Pedro Almodovar, was shut out for foreign-language picture, another Hispanic film scored well. Mexican director Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" had six nominations, including foreign-language film, screenplay, cinematography and score.

"If each one of them got nominated on their own, that would be great, but the fact that they all did ... that's just too much for one little girl this early in the morning," said Salma Hayek, an Oscar nominee for 2002's "Frida," who helped announced the nominees this morning.

Mexican filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu earned a best-director nomination for "Babel."

AP

List of Oscar noms!

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Complete list of the 79th Annual Academy Award nominations announced today at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills, Calif.:

Early nominations considered

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The peppy "Dreamgirls" leads Academy Awards contenders announced this morning with eight nominations, but surprisingly was shut out in the best picture category after being considered a potential front-runner. The sweeping ensemble drama "Babel" was close behind with seven, including best picture and acting honors for two newcomers to U.S. audiences, Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi. ...

Best picture nominees

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Babel
The Departed
Letters From Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

Double takes

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Salma Hayek is one of the announcers at the press conference. When Academy president Sid Ganis announces Penelope Cruz as a best actress nominee (for "Volver"), Salma pumps her fists and cries, "Yes!"

Leo DiCaprio nominated for best actor — for "Blood Diamond," not "The Departed."

Clint Eastwood nominated as a director for "Letters From Iwo Jima," not "Flags of Our Fathers."

No 'Dreamgirls'?!

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"Dreamgirls" gets eight nods but is shut out for best picture, best director for Bill Condon.

Here they come...

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Oscar nominations coming momentarily, with further yakking and analysis throughout the day...

Catch up with Grammy noms on CD

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Tomorrow is the nationwide release date for this year's Grammy compilation CD. It's a total marketing-driven money-grab, sure, but these discs are helpful for those who want to stay in touch with what's hot and in the spotlight. Film buffs try to see all the nominated films before Oscar night, so music fans can spin these discs to hear the hot tracks in categories they might not ordinarily buy from. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "The 2007 Grammy Nominees CD" will benefit the MusiCares Foundation and the Grammy Foundation. ...

Oscar's birthplace: Chi town!

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Did you know that each Oscar trophy is made right here in Chicago? Here's a photo essay looking at how the blobs of raw materials are shaped into Oscar gold.

Rounding up the crystal balls

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Don't miss this great pre-Oscar noms interview with Sid Ganis, president of the Academy. He'll be up at 4 a.m. tomorrow. Will you?

Plus, here are several other good reads, most of them post-Globes ruminations on how wins and losses at that show will translate to tomorrow's Oscar nominations. ...

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 this awards season:

We love this consideration at PopMatters, asking the question: What if Borat ran the Oscars? We like this answer the best: "Don’t let Warren Beatty give an acceptance speech." Viva Borat!

Worst of the worst, and worst of the best

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Edward Copeland on Film has posted the results of his latest survey, asking which actresses did the worst job despite winning a best actress trophy? (The top 5: Helen Hunt for "As Good As It Gets," Gwyneth Paltrow for "Shakespeare in Love," Elizabeth Taylor for "Butterfield 8," Julia Roberts for "Erin Brockovich" and Halle Berry for "Monster's Ball." There's also a list of the best best actresses. And if that weren't enough, this morning — as is the case each year the day before Oscar nominations go public — candidates for the Razzie Awards were announced, honoring the worst pictures and performances of the year ...

Globes winners get weekend box-office bumps

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LOS ANGELES — The dance flick ‘‘Stomp the Yard’’ retained its top spot at the box office for a second week, but a handful of small films were boosted by their success at the Golden Globes. ...

LOS ANGELES — The offbeat, dark comedy ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine’’ was the surprise winner of the top feature film award presented by the Producers Guild of America. The film beat back tough competition from such films as ‘‘Babel,’’ ‘‘The Departed,’’ ‘‘Dreamgirls’’ and ‘‘The Queen’’ — all considered likely to receive Oscar nominations when they are announced Tuesday. ...

The acceptance sppech is the toughest gig

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By GREGG KILDAY

A successful movie star is a full-time performance artist. George Clooney, for example, effortlessly navigates the media gauntlet, playing the genial, self-deprecating charmer who still is able to rise to a serious occasion. Tom Cruise, on the other hand, has struggled in recent years as the gung-ho boyishness he projects — which served him well earlier in his career — has come to look too forced. With awards season in full swing, the winning stars face one of the toughest challenges in their ongoing performances: the acceptance speech. ...

More Grammy performers announced

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Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Ludacris, Justin Timberlake and Carrie Underwood have joined the performance lineup for the 49th annual Grammy Awards, to be handed out Feb. 11 live on CBS from Los Angeles’ Staples Center. They join previously announced performers Beyonce, the Dixie Chicks, Gnarls Barkley and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Also new to the show are presenters the Black Eyed Peas, Ciara and Nelly Furtado; Terrence Howard, Samuel L. Jackson, P!nk and Rihanna were previously announced for that role. Blige leads the field of nominees with eight. Timberlake’s performance will feature the winner of a contest sponsored by Yahoo! Music.

Billboard

Chicago Music Awards next week

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The 26th annual Chicago Music Awards are coming up Jan. 28 at the Park West, 322 W. Armitage. Tickets ($35-55) are available at TIcketmaster.

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 this awards season:

10 great performances Oscar will ignore

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When the Oscar nominations are announced next week, they will undoubtedly omit some of the year’s most fun and lively performances. Among them are these suggestions, plus this list ...

Grammy picks contest finalists

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — After narrowing down thousands of entries, The Recording Academy announced the Top 5 finalists in the "My Grammy Moment" program today. It now places in the hands of music fans the historic opportunity for unsigned artists to vie for a special performance slot on the 49th annual Grammy Awards with multi-Grammy nominee Justin Timberlake. The public can log on to Yahoo! Music, to view the video submissions, bios and photos of all five hopefuls, and vote for their favorite. ...

By DAVID GERMAIN

LOS ANGELES — The Golden Globes, trade unions, film critics and just about everyone else in Hollywood have weighed in on 2006’s best film achievements, helping to solidify the Academy Awards picture — and muddy it up a bit, too. With Oscar nominations due out Tuesday, a few clear front-runners and some intriguing wild cards have emerged, along with an unusually open race for the top prize. Still to come are honors by the Directors Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild, whose nominations came out earlier this month. Those awards should help sort out the much of the Oscar outlook, but unlike most years, when a solid favorite often emerges, the best-picture category could remain up for grabs right up to awards night Feb. 25. ...

Foreign film contenders whittled down

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Nine foreign-language films are a step closer to Oscar. For the first time, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences unveiled a short list of potential nominees from 61 qualifying films in the category. The nine movies in the running: ‘‘Days of Glory’’ from Algeria, ‘‘Water’’ from Canada, ‘‘After the Wedding’’ from Denmark, ‘‘Avenue Montaigne’’ from France, ‘‘The Lives of Others’’ from Germany, ‘‘Pan’s Labyrinth’’ from Mexico, ‘‘Black Book’’ from the Netherlands, ‘‘Volver’’ from Spain and ‘‘Vitus’’ from Switzerland. From among the nine, a committee of voters in Los Angeles and New York will select the five Academy Award nominees. (One excluded director responds, plus The Envelope notes that Asian films were snubbed ... again.)

'24' doesn't have Jack on Globes ratings

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The Golden Globes telecast got the best of Jack Bauer on Monday night. In the ratings, that is. The Globes, on NBC, grabbed 20 million viewers, while Fox’s ‘‘24’’ pulled in 15.7 million. It was the second year in a row the awards show came out on top.

'Children' still growing

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We're still hoping "Children of Men" has a chance on Oscar night. To that end, the following report buoys our hopes ...

Globes: The morning-after speculation

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Some people probably are still partying in Beverly Hills after last night's Golden Globes hootenanny. Meanwhile, journalists and critics and Oscars soothsayers are already plugging the Globes data into their various oracles to see what's in store ...

'This is, whew!' Quotes from around the Globes

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A collection of quotes from tonight's Golden Globes madness ...

Golden Globes winners list

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A complete list of winners at tonight's 64th annual Golden Globes presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in Beverly Hills, California:

Golden Globes: The Show!

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[ This post will be updated continually throughout tonight's Golden Globes ceremony. ]

We're watching the show. Are you? Read on ...

The Beatty bruhaha

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — It's been 45 years since the Hollywood Foreign Press Association pulled Warren Beatty from near obscurity, and presenter Tom Hanks wouldn't let anyone forget those years long ago. Beatty, who will be 70 on March 30, was presented the association's Cecil B. DeMille Award by Hanks for his "outstanding contribution to the entertainment field."

Fashion revolutions at Golden Globes

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Sun-Times columnist Paige Wiser has been watching the red carpet tonight. Here's her report, and see the photos right here, right now and in tomorrow's Showcase section ...

Seen and heard on Golden Globes night

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Vignettes from Golden Globes night ...

(And enjoy the seen-’n'-heard bits gathered up by The Envelope.)

Golden Globes night!

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It's an international night at the suitably titled Golden Globe Awards, under way in just a few moments. "Babel," "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland," "Borat" — how far and wide will these trophies go tonight?

We'll post here at The Gold Rush throughout the show. One post ("Golden Globes: The Show!") will be continually updated throughout the ceremony; others will follow the fashions and other news that emerges during the evening. Of course, for a running list of nominees and winners, hit the Golden Globes site.

Rush to The Gold Rush on Globes night

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We'll be here, watching and blogging throughout the show, with news and comments from Sun-Times columnists, yours truly, and news from around the world.

Oprah set for Oscar telecast

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Move over, Baba Wawa: Oprah Winfrey will host a prime-time Oscar special for ABC. The special will air Feb. 22, the Thursday before the Academy Awards ceremony Feb. 25 on ABC.

Your dream host for the Oscars: David Beckham?!

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They're not even settled in Los Angeles yet, but David Beckham and his Posh wife are already the target of celebrity hounds seeking to sign them up for gigs: A poll found that of all the people out there, David Beckham is the person you most want to see host the Oscars. Uh, OK, sure.

Why we watch

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A sociologist at NIU explores the fascination of these awards shows, from the Globes and the Oscars on down, in Friday's Courier News.

Also, here's another interesting look at why these awards shows cause such hubub..

Helen Mirren needs a bigger trophy case

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LOS ANGELES — Oh, to be Helen Mirren this weekend. It started Friday morning, when Mirren got word that her film ‘‘The Queen’’ topped the list of nominees for the British Academy Film Awards, the British equivalent of the Academy Awards. On Friday afternoon, the American Film Institute honored another Mirren movie, ‘‘Elizabeth I,’’ as one of the year’s 10 best television productions. ...

'Little MIss' shines at Critics' Choice Awards

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine,’’ the heartwarming story about family dysfunction, and the musical ‘‘Dreamgirls,’’ led winners at the 12th annual Critics’ Choice Awards on Friday night. Both films earned four awards, though ‘‘The Departed’’ took home top prizes for best picture and best director. ...

Actors chew scenery at the AFI luncheon

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LOS ANGELES — Abigail Breslin and her stuffed Curious George doll had lunch with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee at the American Film Institute’s annual awards ceremony. The 10-year-old star of ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine’’ mingled with Hollywood heavyweights with the ease of an industry veteran. Her mom, Kim Breslin, held onto Curious George while Abigail posed for photos. Friday’s AFI luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel was the latest stop on Abigail’s awards-season travels. She was at the Palm Springs Film Festival last week and on Monday she heads to the Golden Globes, where she may be the youngest wearer of Harry Winston diamonds. ...

Reality mogul takes over MTV Movie Awards

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LOS ANGELES — Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett is a self-professed fan of the MTV Movie Awards but says they’ve gotten a bit staid — something he plans to change as executive producer of this year’s ceremony. ‘‘They’ve become so well-produced that it doesn’t feel as MTV as in the early days,’’ Burnett said Thursday. ‘‘MTV invented brevity in television, quick-cutting and [the idea] that anything could happen.’’

British Oscar noms announced: Bond vs. Queen

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LONDON — ‘‘The Queen’’ and ‘‘Casino Royale’’ led the nominations for the British Academy Film Awards announced today, with Helen Mirren among the nominees for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II and Daniel Craig cited for his performance as James Bond. ...

The secrets to red-carpet style success

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By SANDY COHEN

LOS ANGELES — With Hollywood’s awards season under way, fans will see plenty of stunning gowns, sculpted bodies, flawless skin and camera-ready coifs on red carpets around town.
What they won’t see are the industrial-strength girdles, silicone nipple covers, fake hair and skin treatments beneath those flawless facades.

Stylists work overtime during the six-week stretch from the Golden Globes to the Oscars, and it typically takes a team to ready stars for their stroll down the red-carpet runway. Some of Hollywood’s most-coveted image experts took time out to share their best style secrets: ...

Ebert won't attend Oscars

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Still recovering from various surgeries over the last several months, Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert says he'll watch the Oscars on TV like the rest of us.

Will Peter Morgan win BOTH screenplay Oscars?!

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By JAKE COYLE

NEW YORK — Peter Morgan’s Midas touch for portraying the intimate drama of the powerful has made the screenwriter — unknown to Hollywood a year ago — a sudden two-pronged Oscar candidate. The 43-year-old British writer stands an excellent chance for an Academy Award nomination not only for his original screenplay for ‘‘The Queen’’ but also for adapting ‘‘The Last King of Scotland’’ to the screen. (The stars of both films — Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II and Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin — are both widely considered the front-runners in the best actress and best actor categories.) ...

Saturday is the Oscars deadline!

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a press release today — a reminder to all voting members: Nomination ballots are due on Saturday.

Don't forget these stand-out performances

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We know a lot fo the frontrunners for Oscar consideration. But what about the great performances that slipped under the radar? Are they in danger of being overlooked? USA Today critics offer some reminders of who Oscar voters shouldn't forget this season. Also, keep an eye on their Oscar Oracle.

Writers Guild nominates films for screenplays

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LOS ANGELES — The palace drama ‘‘The Queen,’’ the crime epic ‘‘The Departed,’’ the road-trip comedy ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine’’ and the satiric ‘‘Borat’’ were among Writers Guild of America nominees today for best screenplay.

Grammy performers announced

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Beyonce, the Dixie Chicks, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Gnarls Barkley will all perform at the 49th Grammy Awards, to be broadcast live Feb. 11 on CBS from Los Angeles’ Staples Center. Pink, Rihanna and actors Terrence Howard and Samuel L. Jackson will serve as presenters. ...

Grammy spins more records into hall of fame

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The Recording Academy announced the newest additions to its Grammy Hall of Fame today, adding 44 recordings to a timeless list that now includes 728 titles. ...

Globes follows Academy, nixes gift bags

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By SANDY COHEN

LOS ANGELES — The Golden Globe gift basket is no more. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the annual Golden Globe Awards, announced today that it had reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy past tax obligations on the plush gift packages given to awards-show presenters. The end result: No such swag will be handed out at this year’s show, to be held Monday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, said HFPA president Philip Berk. ...

By STEPHEN GALLOWAY

Pinpointing the five best picture nominees has become as much a sport for the industry as predicting weekend boxoffice grosses, but that doesn’t mean that entertainment’s well-heeled populace doesn’t enjoy a good mystery now and then. ...

Through the lens: Oscar director hopefuls

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By STEPHEN GALLOWAY

He was the front-runner, the all-but-certain Oscar winner, the man widely acknowledged as America’s greatest living filmmaker, who mysteriously had never taken home a directing statuette. But somehow, Martin Scorsese lost his chance at a best director Oscar for the fifth time at the 77th Academy Awards. ...

By DAVID GERMAIN

LOS ANGELES — Academy Awards watchers like to turn Hollywood’s season of film honors into a showdown between two main contenders. Monday’s Golden Globes could play into that: The winner of the Globes for best drama and best musical or comedy might end up duking it out at the Oscars. ...

NAACP award nominations singing 'Dreamgirls' tune

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‘‘Dreamgirls’’ hit yet another high note by garnering eight NAACP Image Awards nominations Tuesday, including one for best motion picture. ‘‘Dreamgirls’’ star Beyonce Knowles led the individual nominees with five nods. ...

LOS ANGELES — ‘‘Casino Royale’’ and ‘‘The Queen’’ are more than just two of 2006’s most favorably reviewed films — on Wednesday they became winners of the eighth annual Golden Tomato Awards.

Let ’em eat cake: The People's Choice Awards

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LOS ANGELES — The movie swashbuckler ‘‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest’’ and its stars Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley led winners during tonight’s 33rd annual People’s Choice Awards. Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Nickelback, Justin Timberlake, Eva Longoria and Patrick Dempsey were also favorites. ...

Voting begins for 'My Grammy Moment' contest

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The Recording Academy today announced the 12 finalists in the "My Grammy Moment" campaign, in which unsigned artists vie for a special performance slot on the 49th annual Grammy Awards with Justin Timberlake. Now the public can vote ...

Bookies betting big on Brits for Oscars

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This Scottish source reports: "The bookies are already betting on the Oscars, and it looks like it's going to be a good year for the British contenders."

Make-up Oscar shortlist revealed

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The shortlist of films eligible for the Oscar nomination in the Best Make-Up category has been revealed.

By SANDY COHEN

LOS ANGELES — One dress is not enough for Oscar producer Laura Ziskin. Even 30 of the most iconic dresses ever worn on Oscar’s red carpet are not enough. Ziskin wants more.

Not to wear, but to share.

Ziskin is transforming the annual Oscar fashion show, which typically forecasts what styles might grace the red carpet on the big night, into a retrospective of memorable outfits from the past five decades of Academy Award galas.

‘‘A Celebration of Oscar Fashion’’ will feature dozens of groundbreaking gowns for a private audience of press, stylists and stars on Jan. 30. But Ziskin and the show’s curator, Vogue editor-at-large Andre Leon Talley, still hope to collect a few other pieces. ...

DGAs noms — Is Eastwood getting shut out?

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Directors Guild of America president Michael Apted today announced the five nominees for the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2006. The winner will be announced at the 59th annual DGA awards dinner on Feb. 3 in Los Angeles. ...

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 this awards season:

Your wives and girlfriends aren't watching!

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Here's a mythbuster from a story in Media Life: "It’s long been held that the Academy Awards are the Super Bowl for women, but that’s incorrect. The Super Bowl actually draws more female viewers than the Oscars, according to an analysis done by Horizon Media in 2005, and by a large margin."

More critics awards in New York narrow the field

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The New York Film Critics Circle Awards on Sunday narrowed the field of predictable Oscar shoo-ins to four films — but then awarded a surprise (perhaps) as its Best PIcture: "United 93."

In another unexpected top pick: ‘‘Pan’s Labyrinth,’’ a gothic fairy tale directed by Guillermo del Toro and set against the backdrop of 1940s fascist Spain, was named best picture of 2006 by the National Society of Film Critics at the group’s annual meeting. ...

Another Oscar category shut-out

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The race for this year’s Oscar for best animated feature film just got significantly tighter. Although Luc Besson’s ‘‘Arthur and the Invisibles’’ had appeared on the list of 16 films competing for this year’s animated feature Oscar that was released Nov. 13, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has dropped the film from consideration. ...

Oscar, Grammy party planning? Some ideas

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By ALISON LAPP

Who said Saturday night was the best time to party? Three of the nation’s highest-profile events, the Super Bowl, the Grammy awards and the Oscars, are all scheduled to take place on Sunday nights in February, and each one provides a great excuse to throw a fabulous themed party. You can watch all three at home with friends, serve great food and drinks, and play games to guess the winners. Invite your guests to come dressed in a ball gown worthy of the red carpet, and put together some easy decorations or centerpieces, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a fun evening. Here are some tips for the Grammys and Oscars ...

Scientific Oscars announced

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The Oscars ceremony is long enough as it is, so the techies get their trophies in a separate gala. And those winners were just announced.

Beyonce at least can't lose at the Oscars, since she's not eligible to win. And, in another story about Oscar shut-outs, Brad Pitt joins her on the ineligible bench next month at the Kodak Theater.

Online Film Critics nominations out

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The Online Film Critics group have set their nominations for 2006. The list isn't yet up on their site, but Edward Copeland's got it here.

MovieWeb predictions listed today

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The folks at MovieWeb have made their Oscar predictions today. Chalk up another Best Picture prediction for "The Departed."

This interesting article at Slate examines why certain filmmakers occasionally operate under pseudonyms (he's Steven Soderbergh when he directs, but when he's a cinematographer he's Peter Andrews, and when he edits he's Mary Ann Bernard) — and how it affects Oscars and other awards.

Grammy noms stick to Latin Grammys picks

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By AYALA BEN-YEHUDA

Scan the list of Latin nominees for this year’s Grammy Awards, and you’ll find it hews closely to those vying for Latin Grammys last fall — with some exceptions. Though differing eligibility periods explain most of the discrepancies, this year’s Grammy slate does yield some notable candidates. ...

Christian acts humbled by nominations

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By DEBORAH EVANS PRICE

One of the things I love most about Grammy Award nominations are those intriguing surprises that make industry folks scratch their heads and ask, ‘‘What?’’ In the Christian music community, there were a few pleasant surprises, like Kenny Bishop’s nomination for best Southern, country or bluegrass gospel album for his self-titled Daywind release. Bishop exited the music industry a few years ago to work with Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher. This marked his return to Southern gospel music, and it topped my list of the best albums in 2006 on billboard.com. ...

Grammys profile: Keane

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By MARK SUTHERLAND

History may not judge screenwriter Colin Welland’s ‘‘The British are coming!’’ rallying call at the 1981 Academy Awards too kindly, but don’t be surprised if someone reprises it at the 2007 Grammy Awards. The U.K. biz is enjoying its biggest nominations haul in years. From hitmaker James Blunt to alternative darlings Arctic Monkeys, from Paul McCartney to the cutting-edge electronica of Goldfrapp, every aspect of British pop is represented. At least one band, however, is happy just to be there. Keane has survived the drama of singer Tom Chaplin’s stint in rehab — which caused an American tour to be scrapped in September — to earn a best pop performance nod for ‘‘Is It Any Wonder?’’ from sophomore album ‘‘Under the Iron Sea’’ (Interscope).

Grammys profile: Corrine Bailey Rae

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By JONATHAN COHEN and GAIL MITCHELL

On Grammy night, U.K. newcomer Corinne Bailey Rae hopes to waltz through the door her soulful pop colleague Norah Jones kicked open in 2003, when she won for best new artist, album of the year and three other awards. Rae, whose self-titled debut was released by EMI internationally in February and via Capitol in June stateside, is nominated this year for best new artist, as well as for record and song of the year for the irresistible ‘‘Put Your Records On.’’ Although the track stalled at No. 64 on The Billboard Hot 100, it reached the top 15 at triple-A, adult top 40 and adult contemporary radio. ...

The man to beat the Grammys: Rick Rubin

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By TODD MARTENS

There is one common thread through three of the five Grammy album of the year nominations — producer Rick Rubin. The Dixie Chicks, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Justin Timberlake all enlisted the help of the veteran producer with their 2006 projects. ...