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In Contention's Kris Tapley and I weigh the impact of year-end releases on the Oscar race. Will Another Year's Lesley Manville squeak into best actress contention, is Nicole Kidman hurt by the weak performance of Rabbit Hole? And what about frontrunner Natalie Portman's new pregnancy? What would it take to push Biutiful's Javier Bardem or I Am Love's Tilda Swinton into the race? We examine the impact of the WGA's exclusion of eligibility for The King's Speech, Blue Valentine, Toy Story 3 and Winter's Bone, as well as the Oscar music branch's decision to exclude Carter Burwell's elegiac score for True Grit. Toy Story 3's Randy Newman never submits his scores, for some reason. With the WGA, DGA and PGA nominations coming up, we make »
year in review
Kurt here from Your Movie Buddy, getting honest about choking up. I live to cry at the movies, but it's so, so rare. It's like genuine belly laughs: they're great, but they just don't happen that much, especially for frequent, discerning filmgoers. My strongest recent memory of getting all sniffly would probably be during the candlelight vigil scene at the end of Milk. Such a powerful sight. I don't discriminate, though: I'm not afraid to admit I fell victim to the climax of the DeNiro weeper Everybody's Fine. Tearducts play by their own rules. Here's what gave mine a workout this year:
9. “Because it's important to you,” Date NightIt's no must-see, but Date Night scores major heartstring points as a valentine to long-term commitment. In the end, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey (let's call them “Stina”) have a lovely breakfast scene in which Steve throws in this affecting, »
- Kurtis O
By Tom O’Neil
hollywoodnews.com: Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood) and I agree that Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) and Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”) are the Oscar front-runners to win Best Actress, but we also take seriously a third rival: Nicole Kidman (“Rabbit Hole”).
Beware: Nicole could prove to be the spoiler in this Oscar contest if she first upstages Natalie at the Golden Globes. Can’t happen, you think? Think again. Nicole is beloved by Globe voters (she’s won three times). She’s good pals with many members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (56 of them attended her “Rabbit Hole” press conference — that’s a Huge turnout considering there are only 88 members). If Nicole pulls off an upset at the Globes, that could give her serious momentum heading toward the Oscars. Then what?
Video of “Tom & Pete on Oscar’s Best Actress Race: Can Nicole Upset? »
Everybody's got a theory, but not everybody's theory makes sense. The theory du jour: Nicole Kidman ("Rabbit Hole") can upset both Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") and Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right") and win the Best Actress Oscar. That's what Tom O'Neil and Pete Hammond argue, anyway. I agree that this race is a little more open than it seems (and I'd add that Jennifer Lawrence isn't out of it, either), but I'm not ready to get in line behind Tom's theory, which depends on Kidman first winning the Golden »
- Sasha Stone
Top Ten Movies of 2010
I feel as if 2010 marked a turning point in movies. Sure, we had our share of blockbusters with Alice in Wonderland crossing $1 billion worldwide and Iron Man 2 and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse joining it as the three lone live-action films to cross $300 million. However, after Inception and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the only other films to cross the $200 million mark domestically were animated features -- Toy Story 3, Despicable Me, Shrek Forever After and How to Train Your Dragon. What does that say about this year's crop of films?
Well, first off, I think we all know a film doesn't need to make over $200 million at the box-office for it to be deemed "good." And this year it wasn't as much about the big blockbuster films as much as it was about the little guy that could, and smaller, indie films hit quite a stride. »
- Brad Brevet
“The Social Network” (Columbia, 10/1, PG-13, trailer)
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company, 11/26, R, trailer)
“The Fighter” (Paramount, 12/10, R, trailer)
“Inception” (Warner Brothers, 7/16, PG-13, trailer)
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight, 12/1, R, trailer)
“True Grit” (Paramount, 12/25, PG-13, trailer)
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight, 11/5, R, trailer)
“Toy Story 3” (Disney, 6/18, G, trailer)
“Blue Valentine” (The Weinstein Company, 12/29, R, trailer)
“Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions, 6/11, R, trailer)
“The Town” (Warner Brothers, 9/17, R, trailer)
“The Ghost Writer” (Summit, 2/19, PG-13, trailer)
“Shutter Island” (Paramount, 2/19, R, trailer)
“Another Year” (Sony Pictures Classics, 12/31, PG-13, trailer)
“Rabbit Hole” (Lionsgate, 12/17, Tbd, trailer)
“Waiting for ‘Superman’” (Paramount Vantage, 9/24, PG, trailer)
“Secretariat” (Disney, 10/8, PG, trailer)
“Alice in Wonderland” (Disney, 3/5, PG, trailer)
- Scott Feinberg
Pete Hammond (Deadline Hollywood) and I agree that Natalie Portman ("Black Swan") and Annette Bening ("The Kids Are All Right") are the Oscar front-runners to win Best Actress, but we also take seriously a third rival: Nicole Kidman ("Rabbit Hole"). Beware: Nicole could prove to be the spoiler in this Oscar contest if she first upstages Natalie at the Golden Globes. Can't happen, you think? Think again. Nicole is beloved by Globe voters (she's won three times). She's good pals with many members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (56 of them attended her "Rabbit Hole" press conference -- that's a Huge turnout considering there are only 88 members). If Nicole pulls off an upset at the Globes, that could give her serious momentum heading toward the Oscars. Then what? Tune in below to find out, then watch Pete and I slug it out over the Best Picture battle here while powwowing at the Hollywood Museum. »
Nicole Kidman has insisted that her satisfaction with motherhood discourages her from accepting more film roles. Speaking to The AP, the Rabbit Hole actress noted that she finds raising her children more rewarding than tackling a challenging acting role. "I'm in a place where I just don't want to take on too much," she said. "It's not about, 'Oh my gosh, I've got to get all these things for myself', because I love being at home." Kidman further explained that it is often her mother Janelle and husband Keith Urban that encourage her to return to her work. "But (more) »
- By Justin Harp
These end of the year lists are always tricky. It's impossible to see every film out there, so while I did my best to see as many films as I could in preparation for this Best Films of 2010 list, chances are I may have missed one or two that you feel should have made the list. (I, for one, am bummed I couldn't manage to see Blue Valentine.) Plus, these things are incredibly subjective, so even among the films I did see, there are going to be films that some of you enjoyed more than I did. (I'm already bracing myself for comments from the pro-Shutter Island crowd - I'm sorry, but I just wasn't a huge fan of that film.)
Still, just know that a great deal of thought and a lot of love was put into this list. And I really do welcome the comments and the debate. »
- Joel Murphy
Check out a brand new movie poster featuring Nicole Kidman and Aaaron Echkart in the film “Rabbit Hole” directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) from a script by acclaimed playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, adapted from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The cast, led by Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman (The Hours, Actress in a Leading Role, 2002) and Golden Globe nominee Aaron Eckhart, includes two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest (Hannah and Her Sisters, Actress in a Supporting Role, 1986; Bullets Over Broadway, Actress in a Supporting Role, 1994), Tammy Blanchard, Miles Teller, Giancarlo Esposito, Jon Tenney and Sandra Oh. Synopsis: Rabbit Hole is a vivid, hopeful, honest [...] »
- Brian Corder
Darren Aronofsky's "Black Swan" topped the Online Film Critics Society Nominations. The drama/thriller set in the ballet world starring Natalie Portman scored seven nods including Best Picture, Director (Aronofsky), Actress (Portman), Supporting Actress (Mila Kunis), Original Screenplay, Cinematography, and Editing.
Here's the complete list of nominees (Check our Awards Avenue for complete winners/nominees for all award-giving bodies):
Danny Boyle, 127 Hours
Best Lead Actor
James Franco, 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine
Nicole Kidman has had to toughen up as global women's organisation UNIFem's goodwill ambassador - so she can sit and listen to rape victims' stories without sobbing.
The Aussie actress admits she was overcome with emotion when she took her first overseas assignment with the United Nations offshoot group in Kosovo, and she had to be taken aside by aid workers and told to stop crying.
The Oscar winner recalls, "I'm a terrible person sometimes for this because I can become so emotionally involved.
"In Kosovo, I had to be taken aside and told, 'This is gonna be a very emotional path for the rest of your life. You're gonna see and hear things you should never see or hear.'"
Kidman tells CNN the victims themselves have given her the strength to cope with the terrible stories she hears while visiting shelters.
She adds, "They have such courage... They have big dreams. I wanna help... (but) I certainly feel and it brings me to my knees." »
New posters have gone online for The Other Woman, Rabbit Hole, and The King's Speech. Starring Natalie Portman, The Other Woman sees the actress make a turn as a newlywed lawyer who must deal with the loss of a newborn daughter. The drama is based on the Ayelet Waldman novel Love and Other Impossible Pursuits and the poster on display here is solid enough while featuring a pastel colored Portman set against a hand drawn city backdrop. As for Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart's Rabbit Hole, while it's not too hard on the eyes, I have to say that it pales in comparison to previous marketing efforts from the film (a top 10 studio poster of the year, if you ask Matt). Finally, in regards to the latest offering from Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush's The King's Speech, my first reaction says that it lies somewhere in between the »
- Jason Barr
Armie Hammer, The Social Network Kim Hye-ja, Catfish, Dogtooth In; The King's Speech Out: Online Film Critics Surprises Best Picture Black Swan Inception The Social Network Toy Story 3 True Grit Winter's Bone Best Foreign Film Carlos Dogtooth The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Mother A Prophet Best Director Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan Danny Boyle, 127 Hours Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, True Grit David Fincher, The Social Network Christopher Nolan, Inception Best Actor Jeff Bridges, True Grit Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network Colin Firth, The King's Speech James Franco, 127 Hours Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine Edgar Ramírez, Carlos Best Actress Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right Kim Hye-ja, Mother Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone Natalie Portman, Black Swan Best Supporting Actor Christian Bale, The Fighter Andrew Garfield, The Social Network John Hawkes, Winter's Bone Mark Ruffalo, The Kids are All Right Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech Best [...] »
- Steve Montgomery
Adapted from David Lindsay-Abaire’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, “Rabbit Hole” ferries us down into the blackest void of parental despair and bravely leaves us without a sturdy rope to climb back out.
Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) are an affluent married couple half-heartedly pursuing the American dream somewhere in the gorgeous Northeast. After their young son, Danny (Phoenix List), is killed by a car, they fight to hold on to his memory, and each other, without letting the future slip away. While anxiously reshaping the physical and social landscapes around her, Becca makes contact with Jason (Miles Teller) — a burgeoning comic-book artist and the teen driver who’s car killed her son — and begins to find meaning in her life again through his creativity and heart-felt confessions.
Very few films that strive for poignancy and profundity ever achieve their aim. Solemn-looking actors staring longingly through windows, cool-hued lens »
- Eric M. Armstrong
December 27, 2010 – The Online Film Critics Society (Ofcs), the international professional association of Internet-based film reviewers, has announced the nominations for its 2010 Ofcs Awards.
The award winners will be announced on January 3, 2011. The Ofcs is online at www.ofcs.org.
The nominees for the 2010 Ofcs Awards are:
Danny Boyle — 127 Hours
Colin Firth — The King’s Speech
James Franco — 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling — Blue Valentine
Edgar Ramírez — Carlos
Kim Hye-ja — Mother
Jennifer Lawrence — Winter’s Bone
Best Supporting Actor
- Eric M. Armstrong
The ballots for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards have been mailed today, beginning the all-important three-week-long period before they’re due on Jan. 14. Not much has changed in the past week since my last round of predictions (I am now putting Natalie Portman above Annette Bening for Best Actress, though I think the race is still too close to call). But I have been interested to watch as many of my Oscar-prognosticator colleagues have changed their predicted Best Picture winner from The King's Speech to The Social Network. Several of you have wondered in the comments why I haven’t switched my No. »
- Dave Karger
Weekend Box Office: Christmas Weekend In a Christmas weekend marked by low attendance, specialty debuts like Somewhere and The Illusionist showed strong numbers. “Somewhere,” Sofia Coppola’s drama about a Hollywood actor (Stephen Dorff) attempting to reconnect with his young daughter (Elle Fanning), won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival and has been riding a wave of critical accolades ever since with some bumps along the way for being deemed "too European". Focus Features released it in only seven theaters over the Christmas weekend, but averaged $20,286 (marking yet another weekend where the specialty market has shown promising signs amidst the studio slump). While Sony Classics’ “The Illusionist only saw a $16,867 average in three theaters, the animated film from France could get some much needed attention come awards season after its recent Golden Globe nomination. While studio pictures like “How Do You Know” and “Yogi Bear” have »
The Online Film Critics Society — to which Bad Lit belongs — has released today their nominees for their 2010 Awards. Nominees were chosen by members during a first round of voting. Now, the members have to go back and pick the winners from the below list. Winners will be announced on Jan. 3.
So, now I’m off to go vote and I’ll post the winners up next year! (You can see a full list of Ofcs members who will also be voting here.)
Danny Boyle (-) 127 Hours
Colin Firth (-) The King’s Speech
James Franco (-) 127 Hours »
- Mike Everleth
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