Stuttering Foundation Gives "The King’s Speech" A Hero’s Welcome 

Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech" dominated the 2011 Oscar nominations with twelve nods (see complete Oscar nominations right here), and now, the Stuttering Foundation is giving the film a hero's welcome.

In the movie, Oscar front-runner Colin Firth portrays King George VI, a ruler who must overcome his stuttering problem to unite his country during World War II.

Jane Fraser, President of The Stuttering Foundation, issued the following reaction to today’s Oscar nominations:

“The Stuttering Foundation gives a hero’s welcome to The King’s Speech, which has brought overwhelmingly positive attention to the plight of people who stutter. The King’s Speech, with its 12 Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress nominations, continues to put a much-needed spotlight on stuttering. For the stuttering community, there are few, if any, more accurate portrayals of the anguish faced by people who stutter, or of the hardship it places on family and friends, than in this movie. Stuttering is most often the province of comic relief, and never of the hero. The King’s Speech gives the stuttering community a hero who inspires and a movie that promotes understanding and acceptance of the complexities of stuttering. We congratulate the directors, producers, writers and actors for their work, and their humanity in helping millions of people who stutter with understanding and hope.”

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Christopher Nolan NOT Nominated for Best Director Oscar! See Other Glaring Omissions!  

The 83rd Academy Awards nominations announcement was at once exciting, and frustrating. Exciting because as a movie buff, it’s quite exhilarating to see your favorite films get nods. But at the same time, it was frustrating because some of the movies and the people that worked in these films were ignored.

(Check out complete 2011 Oscar nominations right here)

So here are my complaints, frustrations, and thoughts on the Oscar nominations revealed this morning. Who and what did the Academy ignore?

In the Best Actor category, Robert Duvall was bumped out of the race to give way to Javier Bardem. Duvall was nominated for a SAG award for his performance in “Get Low” but the Academy gave the slot Bardem for the foreign language-nominated film, “Biutiful.”

Hilary Swank, who received a SAG award Best Actress nomination for “Conviction,” was ignored. In her place is the much-deserving Michelle Williams for “Blue Valentine.” BUT, Williams’ co-star, Ryan Gosling, did not receive a Best Actor nomination for his performance in the movie.

In the Best Supporting Actress category, SAG-nominated Mila Kunis for “Black Swan” gave way to the excellent Jacki Weaver for “Animal Kingdom.” And I love, love, love that newcomer Hailee Steinfeld received a nomination for her memorable performance in “True Grit.”

While “Inception” received 8 nominations -- Best Picture, Art Direction, Cinematography, Music (Original Score), Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects, Best Original Writing – the guy behind it all, Christopher Nolan, was left out for Best Directing! Sure, he’s nominated for Best Original Writing, but the Academy relegated his excellent mind-boggling film to the technical categories.

YET, “Inception” did not receive a Best Film Editing nod. In my humble opinion, the movie’s jumping narrative sequence would not have worked if not for Lee Smith’s great editing skills for the movie. But the film that squeezed into its place is equally deserving. Jon Harris’ editing work for Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” is also truly commendable.

Speaking of omissions, Ben Affleck’s fantastic film, “The Town” was largely ignored by the Academy. The film failed to get a Best Picture nomination, but at least, Jeremy Renner received a Best Supporting Actor nod for his work on the film.

In Costume Design, I love that the Academy did not forget Antonella Cannarozzi’s work in “I Am Love” yet the Italian movie failed to receive a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.

Going back to the Best Directing category, while I love all the nominees – Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”), David O. Russell (“The Fighter”), Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), David Fincher (“The Social Network”), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen (“True Grit”) – it’s interesting to note that the great Coen brothers were ignored by the Director’s Guild (where Nolan was nominated for “Inception”), but at the Oscars, the game of musical chairs was played in this category. Buh-bye Nolan, Hello Coen brothers.

And really, the Academy voters, bless their hearts, could not dare to nominate a woman! Sure, Kathryn Bigelow won last year for “The Hurt Locker” and made history, but one can argue that she received the Best Director trophy for a film that’s largely a part of the male-oriented genre. This year, two excellent films, both nominated for Best Picture Oscar, are dramas and were directed by brilliant women. There’s Debra Granik for “Winter’s Bone” and Lisa Cholodenko for “The Kids Are All Right.” Were they nominated for Best Director? Of course not!

In the Documentary (Feature) category, where’s “Waiting for Superman?” Davis Guggenheim’s exploration of our failed public school system received the Producers Guild Award for Best Documentary but was nowhere in sight in the Oscar nominations. I did like that both “Restrepo” and “Exit Through the Gift Shop” made the cut though.

And just between us, I’m kind of glad that “Burlesque” did not receive a single nomination in the Music category. The songs sounded strained, and I’d rather hear Dido sing “If I Rise” from “127 Hours” than see Cher and Christina Aguilera duke it out on stage…again.

One more thing, I’m glad that “Winter’s Bone” is getting all the love – four nominations including Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence, Best Supporting Actor for John Hawkes, Best Picture, and Best Adapted Screenplay for Granik & Anne Rosellini.

Speaking of the Best Adapted Screenplay category, where was “Toy Story 3” adapted from? Was it because it’s a threequel and all the characters were based on the first two films? Really? I thought this category was for a film that has previous incarnations as either a book or a play but not a sequel. Hhhmmmmm.

“127 Hours” was based on a book “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Aron Ralston, “The Social Network” was based on a book by Ben Mezrich, “True Grit” came from Charles Portis’ novel, and “Winter’s Bone” was based on Daniel Woodrell’s book.

“Toy Story 3?” An original story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, and Lee Unkrich. So the film should have been nominated in the Original Screenplay category right?

Last thing, I’m also happy that “Another Year” by Mike Leigh was nominated for Best Original Screenplay. But I think it’s a crime that Lesley Manville, the talented actress that won my heart in “Another Year” was ignored! Oh well, perhaps another year.

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Complete List of 2011 Academy Award Nominations, "The King's Speech" Receives 12 Nods! 

The granddaddy of the awards season, the Academy Awards, has unveiled its nominations for the 83rd Oscars! While the usual suspects were given nods, there were still a few surprises. Academy Award-winner Javier Bardem squeezed in and bumped Robert Duvall out from the Best Actor category. Duvall's performance in "Get Low" is nominated for a SAG award but the Academy chose Bardem in his foreign-language nominated film, "Biutiful."

Tom Hooper's "The King's Speech" garnered 12 nominations including Best Picture. The riveting film will compete against "The Fighter," "Inception," "The Kids Are All Right," "127 Hours," "The Social Network," "Toy Story 3," "True Grit," and "Winter's Bone."

Yes, Ben Affleck's "The Town" was ignored except for Jeremy Renner's Best Supporting actor nomination. He will duke it out with front runner, "The Fighter's" Christian Bale, and John Hawkes ("Winter's Bone"), Mark Ruffalo ("The Kids Are All Right"), and Geoffrey Rush ("The King's Speech").

Tuesday morning, Academy president Tom Sherak and last year's Best Supporting Actress winner, Mo'Nique ("Precious") read the nominations.

We will know the winners on Feb. 27 for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. Halle Berry, Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Marisa Tomei and Oprah Winfrey will be among the presenters, and Anne Hathaway and James Franco will do hosting duties.

Here's the complete list of the nominees of the 83rd annual Academy Awards (Check our Awards Avenue for complete winners/nominees for all award-giving bodies):

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King's Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter's Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King's Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter's Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King's Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

Art Direction

“Alice in Wonderland”
Production Design: Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Karen O'Hara
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
“The King's Speech”
Production Design: Eve Stewart; Set Decoration: Judy Farr
“True Grit”
Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister
“The King's Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King's Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres

“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King's Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop” Banksy and Jaimie D'Cruz
“Gasland” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name” Nominees to be determined
“Poster Girl” Nominees to be determined
“Strangers No More” Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Sun Come Up” Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
“The Warriors of Qiugang” Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

Film Editing
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King's Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful” Mexico
“Dogtooth” Greece
“In a Better World” Denmark
“Incendies” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)” Algeria

“Barney's Version” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon” John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer
“The King's Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3" Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Best Picture
“Black Swan” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King's Speech” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán Chaffin, Producers
“Toy Story 3” Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter's Bone" Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let's Pollute” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession” Tanel Toom
“The Crush” Michael Creagh
“God of Love” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Sound Editing
“Inception” Richard King
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Mixing
“Inception” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King's Speech” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter's Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson;
Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King's Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

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Paramount Pictures Acquires Worldwide Rights for "Like Crazy" at Sundance 

Another day, another Sundance deal, this one's for "Like Crazy" starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, and Jennifer Lawrence. Paramount Pictures and Indian Paintbrush announced the worldwide acquisition of the film set for release this year.

The Super Crispy Entertainment production from co-writer and director Drake Doremus (“Douchebag”), producers Jonathan Schwartz (“The Way Back,” “Douchebag,” “Funny Games”) and Andrea Sperling (“Kaboom,” “Sympathy For Delicious”) of Super Crispy Entertainment, and executive producers Audrey and Zygi Wilf had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.

Here's the rest of the press release:

Starring Anton Yelchin (“Star Trek,” and “Terminator Salvation”), Felicity Jones (“The Tempest”) and Jennifer Lawrence (“Winters Bone”), LIKE CRAZY was written by Doremus and Ben York Jones (“Douchebag”). The story follows a British college student who falls for an American student, only to be separated from him when she's banned from the U.S. after overstaying her visa. Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum said of the movie “Young love has rarely been so palpable or looked so real,” while Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said “Like Crazy" brings a compelling intimacy and heart-stopping delicacy to showing the push and pull of love, longing and regret.”

Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group and Matt Brodlie, Senior VP of Productions and Acquisitions for Paramount, along with Indian Paintbrush’s President of Production Mark Roybal negotiated for the rights with the film’s reps Rich Klubeck and David Flynn from UTA, along with Schwartz and Doremus' attorney Lawrence Kopeikin from Morris Yorn.

Said Goodman, “Along with our partners at Indian Paintbrush, we are extremely pleased to be a part of such a great movie, and look forward to working with Drake, Jonathan, Andrea and a tremendous cast of actors.”

A spokesperson for Indian Paintbrush added, "Drake is a brilliant filmmaker, who has crafted a fresh, iconic film. With Paramount's unrivaled production and marketing teams, Drake, Jonathan, Andrea and their amazing cast are in great hands to share this jewel of a film with the world."

"Paramount and Indian Paintbrush’s passion and commitment towards the film is incredibly exciting," said Super Crispy Entertainment President and producer Jonathan Schwartz.

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Elizabeth Olsen's Sundance Darling Gets Distributor 

Elizabeth Olsen, the younger sister of Mary Kate and Ashley is cementing her status as the ingenue of the year! Her film, "Martha Marcy May Marlene," written and directed by Sean Durkin is making waves at the Sundance Fest and has just been acquired by Fox Searchlight Pictures, home of "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Black Swan."

Co-starring Sarah Paulson, John Hawkes, and Hugh Dancy, "Martha Marcy May Marlene" follows Olsen's Martha, a damaged woman haunted by painful memories and increasing paranoia, who struggles to reassimilate with her family after fleeing a cult.

Fox Searchlight is planning to release the film sometime this year.

According to Fox Searchlight Pictures Presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula, “We were all captivated by the compelling performances and the expert craftsmanship of Sean Durkin."

Meanwhile, Durkin said, "We are excited to be working with Searchlight, a company that has consistently embraced new voices and unique storytelling.”

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