Roman Polanski Wins Best Director at 60th Berlin International Film Festival 


Roman Polanski won the Best Director Silver Bear for "The Ghost Writer" at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. The still-incarcerated director sent a message through one of his producers saying, "Even if I could come, I wouldn't because the last time I went to a festival to accept an award, I ended up in jail."

Meanwhile, "Honey," the heart-warming drama from Turkish director Semih Kaplanoglu won the Golden Bear for best film. Romania's Florin Serban's juvenile delinquent drama "If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle" took home the Silver Bear Jury Prize. It also won the Alfred Bauer award, named after the Berlinale's founder.

Grigory Dobrygin and Sergei Puskepalis tied for Best Actor Silver Bears for Alexei Popogrebsky's "How I Ended This Summer" while Japan's Shinobu Terajima won the Best Actress Silver Bear for Koji Wakamatsu's "Caterpillar."

To see the complete list of winners at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival, click here.

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Kathryn Bigelow Wins Director Trophy at London Critics Circle Awards 


Kathryn Bigelow won the Director of the Year Award for "The Hurt Locker" at the 30th Annual London Critics Circle Awards. Oscar and BAFTA nominees Colin Firth and Carey Mulligan were named British actor and actress of the year for their respective roles in "A Single Man" and "An Education."

Meanwhile, Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Film, "A Prophet" won Film of the Year, while Oscar frontrunners, Mo'Nique ("Precious") and Christoph Waltz ("Inglourious Basterds") won Actress of the Year and Actor of the Year awards, respectively.

"Inglourious Basterds" director Quentin Tarantino was awarded the Critics' Circle's highest honor, the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence for his outstanding contribution to cinema.

Here's the complete list of winners of the 30th Annual London Critics Circle Awards (to see the full list of nominees, click here)

FILM OF THE YEAR

* A Prophet

THE ATTENBOROUGH AWARD: BRITISH FILM OF THE YEAR

* Fish Tank

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR

* Let the Right One In

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

* Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker

BRITISH DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR

* Andrea Arnold – Fish Tank

ACTOR OF THE YEAR

* Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds

ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

* Mo’Nique – Precious

BRITISH ACTOR OF THE YEAR

* Colin Firth – A Single Man

BRITISH ACTRESS OF THE YEAR

* Carey Mulligan – An Education

BRITISH ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

* Michael Fassbender * – Fish Tank

BRITISH ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

* Anne-Marie Duff – Nowhere Boy

SCREENWRITER OF THE YEAR

* Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche – In

THE NSPCC AWARD: YOUNG BRITISH PERFORMER OF THE YEAR

* Katie Jarvis – Fish Tank

BREAKTHROUGH BRITISH FILM-MAKER

* Duncan Jones – Moon

DILYS POWELL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN CINEMA

Quentin Tarantino

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31st Annual Young Artist Awards Nominations 


The nominees of the 31st Annual Young Artist Awards have been announced. "Hotel for Dogs," "Twilight Saga: New Moon," and "My Sister's Keeper" are among the nominees.

The Young Artist Awards benefits the Young Artist Foundation -- a non-profit organization which awards scholarships to financially and/or physically challenged young people seeking a future in the entertainment industry.

Winners will be announced at a gala be held on Sunday, April 11, 2010 at the Beverly Garland, Studio City, California.

Nominees of the 31st Annual Young Artist Awards (feature film categories):

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURE FILM

Leading Young Actor


Jake T. Austin “Hotel For Dogs”
Jimmy Bennett “Alabama Moon”
Max Records “Where The Wild Things Are”
Taylor Lautner “Twilight Saga - New Moon”
Devon Bostick “Adoration”

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURE FILM

Leading Young Actress


Emma Roberts “Hotel For Dogs”
Abigail Breslin “My Sister's Keeper”
Jolie Vanier “Shorts”
Yara Shahidi “Imagine That”
Saoirse Ronan “The Lovely Bones”

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURE FILM

Supporting Young Actor


Brennan Bailey “My Sister's Keeper”
Alex Ferris “The Time Traveler's Wife”
Brandon Soo Hoo “G.I Joe”
William Cuddy “Amelia”
Chandler Canterbury “Knowing”
Jake Cherry “Night at the Museum 2”
Jae Head “The Blind Side”
Ty Wood “The Haunting in Connecticut”
Chase Ellison “Fireflies in the Garden”
Jason Spevack “Sunshine Cleaning”

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURE FILM

Supporting Young Actress


Sofia Vassilieva “My Sister's Keeper”
Chloe Moretz “(500) Days of Summer”
Evana Lynch “Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince”
Jessica Carlson “Vampire's Assistant”
Raini Rodriguez “Paul Blart - Mall Cop”
Kiernan Shipka “Carriers”

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A FEATURE FILM

Young Ensemble Cast


“Shorts” - Warner Brothers
Jimmy Bennett, Jake Short, Devon Gearhart, Leo Howard, Jolie Vanier, Trevor Gagnon

“Aliens in the Attic” - 20th Century Fox
Megan Parker, Henri Young, Regan Young, Austin Robert Butler, Carter Jenkins

BEST PERFORMANCE IN AN INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

Leading Young Performers


Denis Sukhomlinov (Russia) “Shenok” (Puppy)
Nick Romeo Reimann (Germany) “Die Vorstadtkrokodile” (Suburban Crocodiles)
Tom Russell (Australia) “Last Ride”
Fouad Habash & Ibrahim Frege (Israel) “Ajami”
Leonard Proxauf & Leonie Benesch (Germany) “Das weiße Band” (The White Ribbon)

To see the complete list of nominees including TV, DVD, and live theater, click here.

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You've Read It, Now Watch My Movie Review of "Shutter Island" 


Here's more info on "Shutter Island" from Yahoo (for my written review of the movie, click here):

Two U.S. marshals, Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule, are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island's fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane.

Genres: Action/Adventure, Thriller and Adaptation

Running Time: 2 hrs. 18 min.

Release Date: February 19th, 2010 (wide)

MPAA Rating: R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity.

Distributors: Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing International (SPRI)

Cast and Credits

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Produced by: Dennis Lehane, Laeta Kalogridis, Louis Phillips (II)

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"Shutter Island" Secrets! See Films Scorsese Showed to Inspire Cast and Crew 


Being a true film buff himself, Martin Scorsese inspired cast and crew with a series of nighttime screenings of films that called forth the themes and styles used in "Shutter Island."

Some of the films are classics, some are obscure, but they're definitely worth a look to see what movies inspired the greatest living American director while making "Shutter Island" starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Here's the list of films according to the movie's production notes:

OTTO PREMINGER'S "LAURA" -- How love can be the most dangerous thing to ever happened to a woman.

JACQUES TOURNEUR'S "OUT OF THE PAST" -- the film's tagline says "A MAN - Trying to run away from his past... A WOMAN - Trying to escape her future!"

EDWARD DMYTRYK'S "CROSSFIRE" -- "Shutter Island's" paranoia theme involving DiCaprio's wartime hero mirrors this film's sentiments.

NICHOLAS RAY'S "ON DANGEROUS GROUND" -- this is a police drama about a cop sent to investigate the murder of a young girl.

KARL MALDEN'S "TIME LIMIT" -- Malden's intense directorial debut about a military investigation

ORSON WELLES' "THE TRIAL" -- Based on Franz Kafka's novel, "The Trial" or "Le procès" is a surreal film about a man being detained for an unknown crime.

JOHN HUSTON'S WARTIME DOCUMENTARIES "SAN PIETRO" AND "LET THERE BE LIGHT"

Scorsese is also a horror buff, and he showed the following influential scary films for inspiration:

ROBERT WISE'S "THE HAUNTING" -- proving the existence of ghosts can be a very tricky experience

JACK CLAYTON'S "THE INNOCENTS" -- Deborah Kerr plays a governess who believes that the house and grounds are haunted!

Scorsese also showed many horror films from producer Val Lewton including:

MARK ROBSON'S "THE SEVENTH VICTIM" -- Slave to SATAN! Yikes!

And perhaps, the most telling film that Scorsese showed to his cast and crew was FREDERICK WISEMAN'S "TITICUT FOLLIES," a controversial documentary that was banned in 1967. The film explores the treatment of inmates at a hospital for the criminally insane called Titicut Follies which is very similar to "Shutter Island's" Ashecliffe Hospital. This documentary showed the cast and crew the deplorable conditions suffered by asylum patients in the '50s and '60s.

This list of films shows that even when Scorsese goes "Hollywood" with a typical psychological thriller, the maestro still hearkens back to the good old days of Tinseltown.

That's why his films, even with a pedantic theme like "Shutter Island," still work! Now, run to your nearest video store or put these movies in your Netflix queue.

Check out my written review of "Shutter Island" right here.

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