This year’s Oscars, billed as “the biggest movie event of the year,” is one of the hardest to predict in recent Academy Awards history. Sure, “Slumdog Millionaire” has been crowned the Oscar frontrunner, but all the other top prizes are up for grabs. There’s no clear-cut favorite.
And if you’re putting all your money on “Slumdog Millionaire,” be very careful. In 2005, “Brokeback Mountain” was considered the one to beat, winning all the critics and industry awards. But on Oscar night, “Crash” emerged as the victor beating the Heath Ledger-Jake Gyllenhaal romantic drama.
But Ledger may get the last laugh because his scene-stealing turn as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” is the only sure thing to win. One thing’s for certain, I will be paying close attention to the Oscar telecast to see how producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark revamp the show, and to size up Hugh Jackman as the host.
(CLICK FOR FULL OSCARS NOMINATIONS LIST)
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Yes, I’m very careful in choosing this film for Best Picture. Besides all its accolade, the movie’s other advantage is the audiences’ fervor. Moviegoers identify with “Slumdog Millionaire’s” theme of hope against oppression.
Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire” – Boyle already picked up the Director’s Guild of America award, and that’s a good sign. Besides, Boyle’s passionate film seemed to be the hardest to make, overcoming principal shooting in Mumbai, India.
Sean Penn, “Milk” – Penn is the favorite in this category, but, “The Wrestler’s” Mickey Rourke comes very close. Honestly, it will be a very joyful evening for me, if both win the trophy.
Kate Winslet, “The Reader” – I really want “Frozen River’s” Melissa Leo to win this category, but the hoopla is stronger surrounding Winslet’s performance. Plus, the Academy will give this award to Winslet for turning in two great performances this year (One is from the much better “Revolutionary Road”).
“Doubt’s” Meryl Streep comes very close, but I just don’t think it’s a great performance from the greatest living American actress. Besides, Winslet aged in the movie, and the Academy loves watching actors grow old right before their eyes.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight” – Hands down, Heath Ledger will win! But I admire the Academy for nominating Michael Shannon from “Revolutionary Road” and Robert Downey Jr. for “Tropic Thunder.”
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona – My heart says Viola Davis should win from “Doubt.” Anybody who can outshine Meryl Streep deserves an award! And Davis did it all in less than 12 minutes screen time!
But “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” director, Woody Allen, has a great batting average in this category. Allen has directed past Best Supporting Actress winners Dianne Wiest (“Bullets Over Broadway”) and Mira Sorvino (“Mighty Aphrodite”).
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
“Milk” – Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black will win this category! “Milk” is one of those rare films that is both cerebral and emotional. Black’s script celebrates Harvey Milk’s legacy without pandering to its subject.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“Slumdog Millionaire” – Based on a novel by Vikas Swarup, Simon Beaufoy’s “Slumdog Millionaire” script will win this category. Beaufoy has already amassed trophies from the Screenwriters Guild of America and the Critics’ Choice Awards, and he better leave a room on his mantle for his Oscar trophy.
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The Queen of Pop can reinvent herself to look goth (her "Frozen" video for example) to satisfy any "twihard" but will she be in the "Twilight" sequel, "New Moon?"
I've officially heard the strangest rumor, Madonna to be in "New Moon!"
What prompted this internet chatter?
Guy Oseary, Madonna's bff and manager, is one of the producers of the franchise. Hence, it does make sense!
But as Christine Spines reports in EW.com, the pop superstar MAY just provide songs for the film:
Widespread Internet chatter that Madonna may participate in some capacity in the Twilight sequel, New Moon, may be only partly true, a source close to the production tells EW. Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the movie series, has no plans to cast the pop star and sometime actor in New Moon. However, because Madonna's manager, Guy Oseary, is a producer on the project, there is some talk of her providing songs for the sequel. Still, no deals have been made yet, and the plans haven't progressed beyond the that'd be cool stage. (Reporting by Christine Spines)
And if there's a hint of "truthiness" to this rumor, what role will Madonna play?
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Uwe Boll, perhaps the most hated contemporary director, wants your money! The guy, dubbed as the new "Ed Wood," wants you to donate your hard-earned money, during these tough economic times, so he can finance his latest flick, "Blackout."
According to the Hollywood Reporter:
German director Uwe Boll has found a new way to finance his genre output -- going to the Web to draw in "co-producers" willing to cough up 33 euros ($49) each to back his latest, the terrorist disaster tale "Blackout."
Boll hopes to raise $18.5 million, 50 bucks at a time, for "Blackout" through the film's Web site, TheBlackoutFilm.com. Participants who sign up, and transfer the money, are promised a limited-edition DVD of the film plus a chance to win a trip to the set and other prizes.
The site will be open till March 31. If the planned budget is not reached by then, but at least 43% of the desired cash has been collected, Boll may elect to make the movie with a smaller budget. If not, he says he will return most of the cash to investors. The site claims that at least 27 euros ($40) from each payment will be returned should the film not get made.
Known as "the Ed Wood of Germany," Boll has been consistently trashed by critics for his adaptations of popular video games including "Alone in the Dark," "BloodRayne" and the Dungeon Siege film "In the Name of the King."
He is now shooting the apocalyptic thriller "The Storm" starring Lauren Holly and Luke Perry and has several genre titles in the pipeline as producer, including "BloodRayne 3" and "Zombie Massacre."
There's something quite endearing about this, but the big question -- will you give Boll cash?
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As we told you last week, FOX blanketed its network with a massive campaign for "X-Men Origins: Wolverine." FOX showed 1 minute clip a night for 3 nights.
First was Sunday, during "Family Guy," then Monday for "House," then Tuesday during "American Idol."
All I can say is, doesn't Hugh Jackman look hot in the above picture? And, I haven't heard yet, but, did FOX buy TV ads for this Sunday's Oscar? Because you know, our own Wolverine is hosting it.
But, I was able to gather all the clips for you, so you can watch them all here, and piece the "Wolverine" puzzle!
FIRST CLIP: OUTCASTS
SECOND CLIP: BROTHERS
THIRD CLIP: LEGENDS
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THE CREDIT CRUNCH!
Really? "Sex and the City's" cousin, "Confessions of a Shopaholic" tried that approach, and I think, it's not that endearing! But like I said, Isla Fisher saved the film in a big way!
Now, Sarah Jessica Parker, Miss Carrie Bradshaw to me and you, revealed that yeah, it's going to be about the credit crisis.
Even our lovely SATC pals feel the pinch!
Parker revealed to The Sun that:
“How do we address these economic times in a franchise that has a lot to do with luxury and labels?”
“How do we do that well? And how do we do that in a not lazy way?
“There is a lot that we have to think about because times are very different. So these are nice challenges, these are good challenges.”
But still, credit crisis notwithstanding, the sequel will be fun!
“I think we want this one to be a romp. The last one, we got to tell a really mature sophisticated story that had real heartbreak in it, and this time, I think we want a romp. We want our audience to have a massive romp.”
Okay. The last film wasn't that fantastic, so I'm relying on Parker and the gang to give us a fun romp no matter how dire our global economic picture has been shaping up!
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