"The Artist," Michelle Williams Win 2012 Indie Spirit Awards! See Complete Winners List! 


Michel Hazanavicius' "The Artist" was the big winner at the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The black-and-white silent film took home Best Feature, Director for Hazanavicius, Best Male Lead for Jean Dujardin, and Best Cinematography for Guillaume Schiffman.

In the performance categories, Michelle Williams took home the Best Female Lead award for her Marilyn Monroe portrayal in "My Week with Marilyn." Shailene Woodley, snubbed by the Academy for her memorable performance as George Clooney's daughter in "The Descendants," won Best Supporting Actress while Oscar frontrunner, Christopher Plummer, received the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in "Beginners."

Held on Santa Monica Beach and hosted by Seth Rogen, the 27th Film Independent Spirit Awards will be broadcast by IFC at 10 p.m. PST/EST.

Here's the complete list of winners (highlighted) and nominees of the Independent Spirit Awards:

Best Feature
50/50 - Producers: Evan Goldberg, Ben Karlin, Seth Rogen
Beginners - Producers: Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen, Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Jay Van Hoy
Drive - Producers: Michel Litvak, John Palermo, Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Adam Siegel
Take Shelter - Producers: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin
*** The Artist - Producer: Thomas Langmann *WINNER
The Descendants - Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Best Director
*** Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist *WINNER

Mike Mills - Beginners
Jeff Nichols - Take Shelter
Alexander Payne - The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn - Drive

Best Screenplay
Joseph Cedar - Footnote
Michel Hazanavicius - The Artist
Tom McCarthy - Win Win
Mike Mills - Beginners
*** Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash - The Descendants *WINNER

Best First Feature
Another Earth - Director: Mike Cahill, Producers: Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray, Brit Marling, Nicholas Shumaker
In the Family - Director: Patrick Wang, Producers: Robert Tonino, Andrew van den Houten, Patrick Wang
*** Margin Call - Director: J.C. Chandor, Producers: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto *WINNER
Martha Marcy May Marlene - Director: Sean Durkin, Producers: Antonio Campos, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Josh Mond
Natural Selection - Director: Robbie Pickering, Producers: Brion Hambel, Paul Jensen

Best First Screenplay
Mike Cahill, Brit Marling - Another Earth
J.C. Chandor - Margin Call
Patrick deWitt - Terri
Phil Johnston - Cedar Rapids
*** Will Reiser - 50/50 *WINNER

John Cassavetes Award

Bellflower - Writer/Director: Evan Glodell, Producers: Evan Glodell, Vincent Grashaw
Circumstance - Writer/Director: Maryam Keshavarz, Producers: Karin Chien, Maryam Keshavarz, Melissa M. Lee
Hello Lonesome - Writer/Director/Producer: Adam Reid
*** Pariah - Writer/Director: Dee Rees, Producer: Nekisa Cooper *WINNER
The Dynamiter - Writer: Brad Inglesby, Director: Matthew Gordon, Producers: Kevin Abrams, Matthew Gordon, Merilee Holt, Art Jones, Mike Jones, Nate Tuck, Amile Wilson

Best Female Lead
Lauren Ambrose - Think of Me
Rachael Harris - Natural Selection
Adepero Oduye - Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen - Martha Marcy May Marlene
*** Michelle Williams - My Week with Marilyn *WINNER

Best Male Lead
Demián Bichir - A Better Life
*** Jean Dujardin - The Artist *WINNER
Ryan Gosling - Drive
Woody Harrelson - Rampart
Michael Shannon - Take Shelter

Best Supporting Female
Jessica Chastain - Take Shelter
Anjelica Huston - 50/50
Janet McTeer - Albert Nobbs
Harmony Santana - Gun Hill Road
*** Shailene Woodley - The Descendants *WINNER

Best Supporting Male

Albert Brooks - Drive
John Hawkes - Martha Marcy May Marlene
*** Christopher Plummer - Beginners *WINNER
John C. Reilly - Cedar Rapids
Corey Stoll - Midnight in Paris

Best Cinematography
Joel Hodge - Bellflower
Benjamin Kasulke - The Off Hours
Darius Khondji - Midnight in Paris
*** Guillaume Schiffman - The Artist *WINNER
Jeffrey Waldron - The Dynamiter

Best Documentary
An African Election - Director/Producer: Jarreth Merz
Bill Cunningham New York - Director: Richard Press, Producer: Philip Gefter
*** The Interrupters - Director/Producer: Steve James, Producer: Alex Kotlowitz *WINNER
The Redemption of General Butt Naked - Director/Producers: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion
We Were Here - Director/Producer: David Weissman

Best International Film
*** A Separation (Iran) *WINNER
Melancholia (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany)
Shame (UK)
The Kid With a Bike (Belgium/France/Italy)
Tyrannosaur (UK)

Piaget Producers Award
Chad Burris - Mosquita y Mari
*** Sophia Lin - Take Shelter *WINNER
Josh Mond - Martha Marcy May Marlene

Someone to Watch Award
Simon Arthur - Silver Tongues
*** Mark Jackson - Without *WINNER
Nicholas Ozeki - Mamitas

Truer Than Fiction Award
*** Heather Courtney - Where Soldiers Come From *WINNER
Danfung Dennis - Hell and Back Again
Alma Har'el - Bombay Beach

Robert Altman Award
Margin Call - Director: J.C. Chandor
Casting Director: Tiffany Little Canfield, Bernard Telsey
Ensemble Cast: Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci

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Not Doing Anything Oscar Night? I'm Inviting You PLUS All Your Oscar Needs -- Complete Predictions, Full Nominations, Nifty Ballot!  


That's right! I'm inviting you to join me and blog the night away! We'll make fun of the outfits, applaud the winners, console the losers, and worship Angelina Jolie's lips!

SAVE THE DATE! Come back here around 4pm on Sunday, Feb. 26, we'll have full hour of red carpet goodness before the 84th Academy Awards. You can also join me on my Facebook page on www.facebook.com/MannyTheMovieGuy

Grab your favorite drink (imbibe, imbibe!), and your favorite fatty food, and arm yourself with your keyboard and go, go, go!

Here's all you need to prepare for the 84th Academy Awards (click on links):

*** Oscar Nominations
*** Complete Oscar Predictions
*** Complete Oscar Presenters List
*** Downloadable Oscar Ballot (Thanks Fandango!)

Have fun! And see you back here this Sunday!

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Movie Reviews -- "Gone" and Tyler Perry's "Good Deeds" 


Two big films are opening this Oscar weekend -- we have the action-thriller “Gone” starring Amanda Seyfried, and the romantic drama “Good Deeds” from Tyler Perry. In “Gone,” Seyfried stars as Jill, an ordinary college student whose life takes a turn for the worse when her sister vanished. She suspects the serial killer who abducted her before is the culprit, but the big problem? No one believes her. They all think she’s crazy. Heitor Dhalia directs from an original script by Allison Burnett. Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan, and Wes Bentley co-star.

In “Good Deeds,” Tyler Perry stars, writes, directs, and produces the romantic drama featuring Gabriella Union, Thandie Newton, and Mrs. Claire Huxtable herself, Phylicia Rashad. Perry stars as Wesley Deeds, a rich, smart businessman who’s engaged to Union’s Natalie. He seems to have it all until he meets Lindsey (Newton), the down-in-the-dumps mother who changes Wesley’s life. The one good deed he commits becomes the way to finding his true identity.

So which film should you see first? Take a look:



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"Bully" Loses MPAA Appeal By One Vote, Much-Needed Documentary Cannot Be Shown to Young Students 


We first told you that The Weinstein Company's (TWC) new anti-bullying documentary, "Bully," was given an R rating and that Harvey Weinstein is being joined by Alex Libby, one of the bullied children documented in the film directed by Lee Hirsch, to appeal the MPAA rating today.

Well, the verdict is in, and "Bully" loses its MPAA appeal by merely one vote! Now, the film retains its R rating and TWC is considering taking a leave of absence from the MPAA.

You know what sucks? This documentary that MUST be shown in middle schools and high schools everywhere will now have a limited showing because young kids are not old enough for its R rating!

The MPAA could not even give this film a PG-13 rating! Why the R rating? Because of its strong language! Strong language is used, I'm sure, to prove a point, and not in an obscene kind of R-rating way!

Argh! Here's the complete press release I received from TWC, and click here to see the trailer:

Los Angeles, CA, February 23, 2012: Following a hearing this morning, The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced that it has lost an appeal of the R rating given to its forthcoming documentary BULLY by the Motion Picture Association of America. The MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration originally bestowed the R on the basis of some language that is used in the film, an urgent and intimate look at America's bullying crisis by award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch.

Although more than half of the appeals board felt that the movie should be rated PG-13, the MPAA rules stipulate that a two-thirds vote is necessary to overturn. The final tally was one vote short of the number needed to reverse the decision.

The appeal board's decision eliminates the potential for BULLY to reach a mass national audience of students through screenings at U.S. middle and high schools, where the film could be used as a tool to stop an epidemic of physical, psychological and emotional violence. BULLY is scheduled for release on March 30, 2012.

TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein led the appeal and was joined by Alex Libby, one of the bullied children whose experiences are documented in BULLY. The hearing was held at the MPAA's Sherman Oaks screening room, with Motion Picture Consulting LLC's Ethan Noble assisting The Weinstein Company.

Following the decision, Weinstein released the following statement:

As of today, The Weinstein Company is considering a leave of absence from the MPAA for the foreseeable future. We respect the MPAA and their process but feel this time it has just been a bridge too far.

I have been through many of these appeals, but this one vote loss is a huge blow to me personally. Alex Libby gave an impassioned plea and eloquently defended the need for kids to be able to see this movie on their own, not with their parents, because that is the only way to truly make a change.

With school-age children of my own, I know this is a crucial issue and school districts across the U.S. have responded in kind. The Cincinnati school district signed on to bus 40,000 of their students to the movie; but because the appeals board retained the R rating, the school district will have to cancel those plans.

I personally am going to ask celebrities and personalities worldwide, from Lady Gaga (who has a foundation of her own) to the Duchess of Cambridge (who was a victim of bullying and donated wedding proceeds) to First Lady Michelle Obama (whose foundation has reached out to us as well), to take a stand with me in eradicating bullying and getting the youth into see this movie without restriction.

Tomorrow morning, BULLY director Lee Hirsch will participate in a Q&A session with students at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, following a screening of BULLY at 9:00am. Approximately 150 students from grades 9-11 are expected to attend. Said Hirsch, "Tomorrow's screening means even more to me in the wake of the decision by the MPAA today.

To say that I am disappointed and distressed would be a grave understatement. It is my great hope that BULLY reaches the audience for whom it was made: kids, the bullied and the bullies and the 80% of kids who can make the most impact by becoming upstanders rather than bystanders. I am gratified that Harvey Weinstein and TWC share my commitment to getting BULLY into America’s schools, where it most needs to be seen."

SYNOPSIS:

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Safe and Drug-Free Schools estimates that over 13 million American kids will be bullied this year, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the nation. In the new documentary BULLY, award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch (AMANDLA! A REVOLUTION IN FOUR-PART HARMONY) brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families. Filmed over the course of the 2009/2010 school year, BULLY opens a window onto the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy "kids will be kids" clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities and in society as a whole.

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes, including Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH, winner of four 2011 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture.

Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; and SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D. Currently in release are MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE ARTIST; THE IRON LADY; CORIOLANUS; W.E.; and UNDEFEATED. Upcoming releases include BULLY and THE INTOUCHABLES. Recently wrapped was SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and currently in production is DJANGO UNCHAINED.


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Watch Oscar Etiquette -- Mike Myers Has Never Been This Funny in Recent Years! With Help from Kevin Kline! 


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