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4 items from 2006

Broadcast Film Critics Association noms

12 December 2006 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Promoting themselves as a barometer for Oscar predictions – this pretty much group all the favorites and safe picks. Leading the pack are “Babel," "The Departed," "Dreamgirls" and "Little Miss Sunshine" each with seven nominations each. Now its in 12th year, the Critics Choice Award is voted on by film critics from almost 200 television, radio and online critics. The 12th annual Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony will be held on Friday, January 12, 2007, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Best Picture Babel Blood Diamond The Departed Dreamgirls Letters From Iwo Jima Little Children Little Miss Sunshine Notes on a Scandal The Queen United 93 Best Actor Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson Peter O'Toole - Venus Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland Best Actress Penelope Cruz - Volver Judi Dench - Notes »

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Truth: 'Borat' will hurt 'Fiction'

10 November 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Poor Will Ferrell. The popular comedic actor and proven boxoffice draw has taken a big risk with Stranger Than Fiction. Playing against type as Harold Crick, a sad sack who hears voices in his head, Ferrell has received high marks in early reviews, as have co-stars Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman. But a little movie called Borat is likely to steal the thunder from Ferrell and Fiction. 20th Century Fox's Borat -- on its way to becoming a comedic phenomenon considering its stellar opening bow of $26 million from just 837 theaters -- has created something of a black hole for all other films bowing this weekend.

Expanding to 2,566 theaters today, Borat also is likely to eat up some of the grosses that would have gone to Fox's new entry, Ridley Scott's A Good Year, starring Russell Crowe. Industry insiders are pegging the second-week grosses for Borat in the $30 million range. Coming off a phenomenal first-weekend bow that saw a per-theater average of $31,607, the R-rated film surely will dominate the boxoffice. Starring Sacha Baron Cohen, who has been likened to a modern-day combination of Peter Sellers and Andy Kaufman, Borat's midweek numbers have remained strong, averaging

$3 million each day.

That's not to say that Sony Pictures isn't trying with Fiction. Directed by Marc Forster and based on a screenplay by Zach Helm, the film won early accolades at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Bowing in 2,264 theaters, the PG-13 film centers on Crick, an IRS auditor who suddenly finds that his thoughts and actions are being narrated by a voice in his head. Praised for its smart script and strong performances, the film could open decently and hold on through a crowded end-of-year moviegoing season. Insiders are predicting the film will bow in the $8 million-$10 million range but could get into the low teens.

That's about the same number many are predicting for A Good Year. Crowe also plays against type as a romantic lead in the PG-13 drama set in Provence, France. Opening in 2,066 theaters, the Fox 2000 film centers on a high-powered British trader (Crowe) who learns that his uncle has left him a vineyard in France. Year, which co-stars Albert Finney, Freddie Highmore and Archie Panjabi, is based on the novel written by Scott's friend and Provence neighbor Peter Mayle. It evokes similar themes to Buena Vista's Under the Tuscan Sun, which bowed to $9.7 million in 2003. Expect similar numbers for the beautifully photographed Year.

Focus Features will open Rogue Pictures' The Return in 1,986 theaters. Starring horror queen Sarah Michelle Gellar, the PG-13 film from Asif Kapadia (The Warrior) centers on a woman who is troubled by vivid nightmares about the murder of a woman she has never met. It is expected to bow to single-digit millions.

MGM is going to be busy this weekend. The distributor will open Bauer Martinez's Harsh Times in 956 theaters. A high-profile acquisition out of last year's Toronto fest, the film comes from Training Day screenwriter David Ayer, making his directorial debut, and stars Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez. The gritty, R-rated drama centers on an Iraq War vet (Bale) who, upon being turned down for a job with the LAPD, recruits his childhood friend (Rodriguez) for a joyride through Los Angeles. Eva Longoria co-stars.

MGM also will open Copying Beethoven in limited release. The PG-13 film, from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, stars Ed Harris as the composer in the last year of his life. Agnieszka Holland directs, and Diane Kruger co-stars.

Picturehouse will open Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus on four screens in Los Angeles and New York. The film from director Steven Shainberg (Secretary) stars Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr. »

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Thompson in Pie-Throwing Fracas

26 January 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Emma Thompson sparked a pie-throwing melee during her appearance on talk show Late Show With David Letterman Tuesday night when she hurled a creamy dessert at the veteran host. The Howards End Oscar-winner threw a pie at co-star Angela Lansbury in her latest film, Nanny McPhee, and was explaining to Letterman what the experience was like. She recalls, "Proudest moment of my acting career, really. I didn't know that pie-throwing was so cathartic. It's heaven throwing pies. But they have to have weight to them - heavy cream." Letterman stunned the actress by producing a cream pie and challenged her to test her skills by throwing a pie at his face. The shocked actress stood up, took aim and threw, managing to cover half of the host's face with the pie, while the show's house band played Rule Britannia in the background. Thompson set off a chain reaction of cream pie throwing involving bandleader Paul Shaffer, the show's announcer and a cue card holder, which ended with Thompson herself getting a pie in the face from Letterman. »

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Thompson Keeps Oscars in the Bathroom

17 January 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Emma Thompson keeps her two Oscars in her bathroom because she is embarrassed to show them off in a more prominent position in her home. The 46-year-old won the Best Actress Academy Award in 1993 for her role in Howards End and a Best Screenplay statuette for her 1996 Sense And Sensibility script, adapted from Jane Austen's classic novel. She says, "They look far too outre anywhere else. They're great big, gold, shiny things. They're up there tarnishing quietly along with everything else I own, including my body." »

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