Turner Classic Movies' annual "31 Days of Oscar" slate of acclaimed films begins Sunday morning with one of our favorites, Peter O'Toole playing a hilarious drunk in "My Favorite Year." Clear that DVR -- this year's schedule groups the movies in themed blocks, such as Architecture of Ancient Rome (Feb. 3, including "Julius Caesar," "Bn-Hur" and "A Funny Thing Happened ..."), Ornithology (Feb. 11, including "The Pigeon That Took Rome" and "The Birds"), an Speech and Language Development (Feb. 19, including "Pygmalion," "My Fair Lady" and "Singin' in the Rain"). Here's the schedule as a Flash page online or a PDF download.
One of our favorite bloggers, Edward Copeland, has this to say about the SAG Awards last night:
These opening "I'm an actor" bits are getting really old. Thank God for Will Arnett and Steve Carell...Was there an overriding theme to that Trailblazers montage? Someone explain to me the connection between topical TV episodes of "Maude" and "All in the Family" and films such as "Milk" and "Boys Don't Cry" and sci-fi and horror films such as "Planet of the Apes" and "Frankenstein" ... Every time "30 Rock" cleans up at an awards show, it makes me feel more strongly like never watching it ... Damn, I was hoping Alan Rosenberg would resign for his mismanagement of the union ... Do all award voters fear Kiefer Sutherland will waterboard them if they don't keep nominating him for "24"? ... I didn't realize Robert Doqui had died. The living members of the "Nashville" ensemble grows smaller and smaller ... If "Slumdog" even wins ensemble, you know it's a lock for best picture.
Actress Meryl Streep accepts the award for outstanding performance by a female actor in a leading role for "Doubt" on Sunday at the 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles.(Jae C. Hong/AP)
Meryl Streep of the Roman Catholic drama "Doubt" and Sean Penn of the Harvey Milk film biography "Milk" won lead-acting honors Sunday at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The prize for overall cast went to the rags-to-riches saga "Slumdog Millionaire," while Heath Ledger of the Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight" and Kate Winslet of the Holocaust-themed drama "The Reader" took supporting honors.
The Chicago Music Awards finally posted the winners from this year's ceremony, held Jan. 18. If you have as much difficulty reading the site as we do (someone please get this organization a decent graphic designer), the top nods are:
Pop Entertainer of the Year: Jennifer Hudson
R&B Entertainer of the Year: Kwiet Storm
Best New Entertainer: Divine Inspiration
Best Female Vocalist: Syleena Johnson
Best Male Vocalist: Ben One
"Slumdog Millionaire" director Danny Boyle is understandably thrilled this morning. "I'm ecstatic!" he says. "Thank you to the Academy from the cast and crew here in Mumbai where the film was made and where it's being premiered tonight. It feels like you've given us a billion nominations!"
Here are some other reactions from the nominated ...
The headlines for today's Oscar nominations depends on who your readers are.
In India, of course, they're all cheering for "Slumdog Millionaire," the film that swept the Golden Globes and "brought recognition to India." At least movie fans there will get to see the film before Oscar time -- it finally opens in India tomorrow!
In the UK, the headlines focus on their revered Kate Winslet -- with the Telegraph pointing out that this nod brings both excitement and anxiety: "Pleasure because her turn as Hanna Schmidt has been one of the acting highlights of the last year. Anxiety because this is not the first time she has been nominated. She was up for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in 'Sense and Sensibility' (1995) and 'Iris' (2001), and for Best Actress in 'Titanic' (1997), 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' (2004) and 'Little Children' (2006). On each occasion she was overlooked."
Rolling Stone's vantage point is: "Oscars snub Springsteen" -- and they have a point: "Bruce Springsteen's 'The Wrestler' didn't even get a nod despite winning the Golden Globe, as the Best Original Song category only includes three nominees: Peter Gabriel's 'Down to Earth' from WALL-E and a pair of Slumdog Millionaire songs: M.I.A. and A.R. Rahman's 'O... Saya' and Rahman's 'Jai Ho.' It's surprising that the Academy only went with three songs, also ignoring Clint Eastwood's 'Gran Torino.' "
Nominees for best picture don't always make the most dough at the box office -- certainly not this year with the "Dark Knight" snub.
Here are the figures for North American box-office performance as of Monday for the new Oscar best-picture nominees, compiled by AP:
-- "Frost/Nixon," Universal, five nominations, $8.8 million, released Dec. 5.
-- "Milk," Focus, eight nominations, $20.5 million, released Nov. 26.
-- "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Paramount, 13 nominations, $103.6 million, released Dec. 25.
-- "The Reader," Weinstein Co., five nominations, $7.8 million, released Dec. 10.
-- "Slumdog Millionaire," Fox Searchlight, 10 nominations, $43.9 million, released Nov. 12.
Oscar nominations expected any minute now. Updates and full lists coming here and to Roger Ebert's site soon! We'll be Twittering them, too.
In the meantime, everyone's wondering if "The Dark Knight" will make a showing beyond Heath Ledger's supporting actor bid, or whether Oscar voters will turn their nose up at the commercial superhero hit -- and thereby cement their alienation from mainstream America. Here's a good analysis of this conundrum.
The SAG Awards are this weekend -- 7 p.m. Sunday on TNT and TBS. -- and they're usually worth watching because of their Globes-like party atmosphere and mixture of TV and film honors. But this year's show could be really interesting, given the feuds still brewing within the actors' union over a prospective strike.
Will some actors use the acceptance speech to blast their fellow celebs? Will we have on-air cat fights? Oh ... please, can we have some on-air cat fights ... ?
Voters for 2008's worst movies love Mike Myers. They really love him.
Myers' comedy flop "The Love Guru" led the field Wednesday for the Razzies with seven nominations, among them worst picture and worst-acting slots for Myers, Jessica Alba, Verne Troyer and Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley.
The number of nominations for "Love Guru" was appropriate given what a personal project it was for Myers, who not only starred but also co-wrote and produced the movie, said John Wilson, founder of the Razzies, an Oscar spoof that dishes out "dis-honors" for the lousiest stuff Hollywood dredged up the previous year.
Fandango, the online movie ticket broker (because why not pay a little extra for movie tickets?!), launched its own awards-show site today -- with the results of a curious lil' poll. For a few weeks they asked their readers what their biggest Oscars pet peeves were. More than 7,00 people responded with these results ...
Kate Winslet after the Golden Globes, clutching both her acting awards. Should one of them really be for supporting actress?(AP file)
Thank you, Robert Osborne, for bringing to light what's been nagging at us about Kate Winslet's thrilling but shocking double-win at Sunday's Golden Globes. The nut of the nag: How could she possibly be called a supporting actress for "The Reader"?
Lil Wayne, the Jonas Brothers, Coldplay, Kenny Chesney and Katy Perry are the first performers announced for the 51st annual Grammy Awards, to be held Feb. 8 at Los Angeles' Staples Center and broadcast on CBS.
So ... was Tina Fey joking or not? In her acceptance speech for best actress in a TV comedy, she called out Internet blog posters by name, telling them -- who had allegedly bashed her in comments on sites such as The Envelope -- to "suck it."
Here's what she said from the stage:
"I want to say thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press. I'll always love the Hollywood Foreign Press and have all the Hollywood Foreign Press action figures. Thank you, Will Arnett, for that joke. But I want you to really know how lucky I am to have the year I've had this year and, if you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet! You can find a lot of people there who don't like you! I'd like to address some of them now! BabsonLacrosse, you can suck it. DianeFan, you can suck it. Cougar Letter, you can really suck it 'cause you've been after me all year. And to my husband, Jeff, I love you. Thank you very much! "
Was that a gag, or does she really read these blogs and take it personally?
Apparently she does read them, because when asked backstage in the press room after that speech, she recited exactly what some of those online posters has written about her ...
Drew Barrymore (center) mingles with "The Office" actors B.J. Novak and Mindy Kaling on Sunday night at the HBO Golden Globes after-party in Beverly Hills, Calif.(Dan Steinberg/AP)
Two years ago, several Golden Globe Awards after-parties raged at once at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, with movie and television stars co-mingling, braving the chilly night air and sometimes waiting in line for hours to get into lavishly decorated bashes.
On Sunday night, a year after the writers' strike shut down the awards show ceremony and its onsite parties, the weather was much warmer and alcohol flowed again throughout a spate of shindigs at the hotel, though fewer than before and not quite so extravagant.
Still, the current economic recession didn't stop post-Globe revelers from indulging in booze, food and the sheer will to make merry.
Clutching a tumbler of whiskey, his hair askew, "Mad Men" actor and nominee Jon Hamm grinned next to his wife, surrounded by cast members at an intimate, exclusive bash for the AMC '60s-themed show, which won a best TV drama trophy for the second year in a row. Retro tunes blasted overhead as guests ate mashed potatoes served in martini glasses. Decorations were minimal.
"To win again is great. We're going to light the lamp. We're going to party until late," said Hamm, a little unsteady on his feet.
Steven Spielberg (left), winner of the Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement award, and Martin Scorsese pose backstage Sunday at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards.(Mark J. Terrill/AP)
Movie audiences have two train wrecks to thank for the epic visions of Steven Spielberg -- a big one, and a little one.
Whether it's killer sharks, man-eating dinosaurs, or the horrors of Omaha Beach on D-Day, Spielberg said Sunday night it was all in some way inspired by a train wreck filmed by director Cecil B. DeMille for his movie, "The Greatest Show on Earth."
Spielberg accepted a lifetime achievement accolade that bears DeMille's name during the Golden Globes. His acceptance speech traced his own history in Hollywood, as many of those who he had directed helped heap on the thunderous applause.
Recalling co-star Heath Ledger's tragic death still chokes up Maggie Gyllenhaal, even during the excitement of the Golden Globes.
"It's so hard to really feel how sad it is with the lights and the television and everybody screaming, but you know it's also very sad," Gyllenhaal, her voice choking, said on the red carpet before tonight's Globes.
Mingling, meandering, drinking and no seat-fillers: The Golden Globes are different from the Academy Awards in that the atmosphere inside is more dinner party than awards show.
AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen has a seat at a table this year. Here are just a few things that she's seeing from the rear of the Beverly Hilton ballroom, stage left -- and everywhere she roams ...
Musicians are getting in on the Golden Globes fun. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association says Sting and Sean "Diddy" Combs will be among the presenters at Sunday's ceremony at the Beverly Hilton hotel. Other presenters announced today: Johnny Depp, David Duchovny, Eva Longoria Parker, Megan Fox and Mark Wahlberg.
The guild's best-director nominees today also included Danny Boyle for the rags-to-riches tale "Slumdog Millionaire," David Fincher for the romantic fantasy "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Ron Howard for the Richard Nixon saga "Frost/Nixon" and Gus Van Sant for the Harvey Milk film biography "Milk."
Actress Anne Hathaway poses on the red carpet Tuesday night at the 20th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in Palm Springs, Calif.(Chris Pizzello/AP)
The world economy is in dire straits, but you sure wouldn't know it from the red carpet at the 20th-annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala. The actresses were dripping with jewels, actors donned high fashion, and logos of jeweler Cartier and automaker Mercedes-Benz loomed large behind all as they posed for photographers.
"I'm just doing what I know how to do, and that's make movies and hopefully get people to go see them so I can continue to make more movies," said actor Leonardo DiCaprio, when asked if he felt uncomfortable in this setting, given widespread financial woes.
Yegods, they're doing the My Grammy Moment gimmick again at this year's show.
Remember these? Two years ago it was win a chance to sing on stage with Justin Timberlake, and last year it was win a chance to perform in the orchestra (rolling eyes here) with Foo Fighters. This year's hapless music celebrity who must share a stage with an "Idol" wannabe is ....
Grumpy Brit journalist Toby Young trashes the Golden Globes in a missive fired yesterday from the Independent web site. He attempts to deconstruct why the Globes are the "standing joke" of awards season, and accuses the Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc. -- the paltry 81 of them -- of being "completely starstruck" and easily bribed with gifts ...
The Batman blockbuster "The Dark Knight," slighted in earlier Hollywood honors, is among best-picture nominees today for the Producers Guild of America Awards.
Other best-picture nominees were Brad Pitt's romantic fantasy "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," Ron Howard's Richard Nixon saga "Frost/Nixon," Sean Penn's Harvey Milk film biography "Milk" and Danny Boyle's rags-to-riches tale "Slumdog Millionaire."
Each year, the Grammys dish out a CD right before the big show -- a round-up of the songs nominated for the year's music awards. Regardless of whether you watch the show or not, the CD's always a nice way to catch up with what's popular (OK, it's no 'NOW") ... if you haven't been tuned in.
John Travolta's attendance at this weekend's Golden Globes is doubtful now, as he mourns the death of his son. He was scheduled to appear since his latest movie, the animated "Bolt," is up for two awards -- best animated feature and best original song for his duet with co-star Miley Cyrus, "I Thought I Lost You."
"Waltz with Bashir" is an animated documentary from the Middle East.
"Waltz With Bashir," a groundbreaking animated documentary about Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon, won the National Society of Film Critics' 2008 best picture award Saturday.
But "Happy-Go-Lucky," Mike Leigh's tale of a die-hard optimist whose worldview is put to the test, came away with four of the 10 awards for 2008 films. It won best director and best screenplay for Leigh, best actress for Sally Hawkins and best supporting actor for Eddie Marsan.