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1-20 of 63 items from 2007   « Prev | Next »


Lemon of the Week: Critics who choose Ryan over Blanchett for Best Supp. Actress

21 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Over the course of past two or three weeks or so, actress Amy Ryan has been getting a ton of praise for her performance in Gone Baby Gone - so much so that she has topped several lists for Best Supporting Actress in the same year that Cate Blanchett did more than just impersonate an iconic folk legend. Our Lemon of the Week goes to not the talents of the actress herself, or the role she played, but to the critic associations, circles, and groups (see the list below) who have somehow deemed Ryan's performance to be more original, weighty, significant, bold, measured, ballsy or in more generic terms 'outstanding', 'impressive' and 'awesome' than Blanchett's. The National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Boston Society of Film Critics, San Francisco Film Critics Circle, Satellite Awards, »

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'Wild' leads pack among SAG Award noms

21 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Into the Wild, Sean Penn's study of a young man who ditches civilization for a life on the road, dominates the film nominations for the 14th annual SAG Awards, which were announced Thursday morning.

It scored four noms, including shout-outs for its ensemble cast, Emile Hirsch as best actor, Hal Holbrook as best supporting actor and Catherine Keener as best supporting actress.

In the category of outstanding performance by a cast of a motion picture, "Wild" faces off against 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, Hairspray and No Country for Old Men. SAG appears to favor films that have spent weeks, if not months, in release, ignoring such titles as Atonement, Sweeney Todd and The Great Debaters, which are just hitting theaters.

On the TV side, 30 Rock, The Sopranos and Ugly Betty lead the pack with three nominations apiece.

30 Rock and "Ugly Betty" were nominated for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a comedy series, where they will compete with "Desperate Housewives", Entourage and The Office. In addition to "The Sopranos", the nominees for best dramatic ensemble are Boston Legal, The Closer, Grey's Anatomy and rookie series Mad Men.

Because the WGA has granted its union ally SAG a waiver to produce the awards show -- which will be broadcast Jan. 27 by TNT and TBS from the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles -- the SAG Awards promise to be one of the few untroubled spots in an embattled awards season.

"Wild", a Paramount Vantage release, was left in the dust when the nominations for Golden Globes were announced last week -- it picked up just two mentions for its score and Eddie Vedder's song "Guaranteed" -- but it roared back to life Thursday as Jeanne Tripplehorn and Terrence Howard announced the SAG picks at a predawn news conference at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

"Wild"'s Hirsch, who appears to starve himself in the film as he confronts a harsh Alaska winter, scored his first SAG nom and will compete for best dramatic film actor with George Clooney, who plays a troubled legal fixer in "Michael Clayton"; Daniel-Day Lewis, a ruthless oil baron in "There Will Be Blood"; Ryan Gosling, who romances a real, not-so-live doll in "Lars and the Real Girl"; and Viggo Mortensen, who goes mano a mano with the Russian mob in "Eastern Promises".

For dramatic film actress, the SAG nominating panel of 2,100 guild members stayed loyal to Cate Blanchett for again presiding over Elizabethan England in the sequel "Elizabeth: The Golden Age". Blanchett, who now has been nominated for SAG Awards 11 times, was first nominated in 1999 for "Elizabeth". She also was nominated this year for supporting actress for making like Bob Dylan in "I'm Not There".

In the best actress heat, Blanchett is surrounded by Julie Christie, who drifts off into Alzheimer's in "Away From Her"; Marion Cotillard, who embodies Edith Piaf in "La Vie en Rose"; Angelina Jolie, who plays another real-life woman, Mariane Pearl, in "A Mighty Heart"; and Ellen Page, who stars as a wisecracking pregnant teen in "Juno".

The best supporting male lineup consists of Holbrook, who appears as a lonely retiree in "Wild"; Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones, who represent opposite sides of the law in the same film, "No Country for Old Men"; Casey Affleck, who has a love-hate relationship with a celebrated outlaw in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"; and Tom Wilkinson, who suffers a breakdown in "Michael Clayton".

Keener, who teaches Hirsch's character some hard-learned lessons about life on the road in "Wild", is nominated for supporting actress along with Blanchett; Ruby Dee, who plays the crime lord's mom in "American Gangster"; Amy Ryan, who plays another mom caught up in a crisis in "Gone Baby Gone"; and Tilda Swinton, a manipulating corporate attorney in "Michael Clayton".

On the TV side, James Gandolfini and Edie Falco, who each have won two SAG Awards as best dramatic actor and actress for their work in "The Sopranos", are again nominated in those categories for the mob series' cut-to-black final season. »

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'No Country' finds home with Canada critics

20 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TORONTO -- The Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men on Wednesday earned another critical plaudit as Toronto film critics named the crime thriller as their best film for 2007.

The Toronto Film Critics Assn. gave No Country four awards in all, including best director and best screenplay for Joel and Ethan Coen and the best supporting actor award for Javier Bardem.

The Toronto group also named Sarah Polley's Away From Her as the best Canadian film for 2007, as well as the best first feature. In addition, Away From Her co-star Julie Christie tied with Juno co-star Ellen Page for actress of the year honors.

The best actor for 2007 went to Viggo Mortensen for his star turn in David Cronenberg's Eastern Promises, and Cate Blanchett earned the best supporting actress for her portrayal of Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

The critics also named the Disney/Pixar blockbuster Ratatouille as the best animated feature for 2007.

»

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Toronto Critics favor the Maple Leaf; Ncfom tops all with 4

19 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- It's a distinctly Canadian and distinctly Coen type of 2007 year in film for the Toronto Film Critics Assn. Awards. Almost replicating the entire New York Film Critics Circle list, tons of Canuck-tied people figure prominently on this year's award list with the differences found in Best Actor which goes to the David Cronenberg film starrer Viggo Mortensen and Ellen Page shares the Best Actress award for her memorable perf in Juno. Best Canadian film went to Sarah Polley's Away From Her and best foreign went to 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.The complete list of winners is as follows:Best Picture: No Country for Old Men   Best Director: Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)Best Screenplay: Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men)   Best Actress: (Tie) Julie Christie (Away From Her) and Ellen Page (Juno)  Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)  Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett (I »

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'Into the Wild' leads Broadcast Critics' noms

12 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

With seven nominations, Sean Penn's Into the Wild, the account of a young man who leaves society behind, led the pack as the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. announced its nominees for its 13th annual Critics' Choice Awards Tuesday morning in New York.

Wild figured in the categories of best picture, best actor for Emile Hirsch, best supporting actor for Hal Holbrook, best supporting actress for Catherine Keener and best song for Eddie Vedder's "Guaranteed" and picked up a double nomination for Penn as both writer and director.

The pregnant comedy Juno followed with six noms, followed by a clutch of films -- Atonement, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd and Hairspray -- that scored five noms each.

Several actors received dual recogntion. Newcomer Michael Cera appeared twice among the nominees for best young actor for his performances as a horny teen in Superbad and an unexpected father in Juno. Cate Blanchett was hailed with a best actress nom for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and a supporting actress nom for her Dylanesque appearance in I'm Not There. Amy Adams, who plays a Disneyesque princess in Enchanted was nominated for best actress and made an appearance in the best song category for "That's How I Know" -- in the song category, the group recognizes the performer who performs a song on film.

Made up of nearly 200 TV, radio and online critics from the United States and Canada, the BFCA prides itself on its ability to foreshadow eventual Oscar noms and awards.

However, the BFCA does load up some of its categories with six nominations each to cover its bases. And for best picture, the group nominated ten films that encompassed American Gangster, Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Into the Wild, Juno, The Kite Runner, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd and There Will Be Blood.

In addition to Hirsch, the best actor heat includes George Clooney (Michael Clayton), Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood), Johnny Depp (Sweeny Todd), Ryan Gosling (Lars and the Real Girl) and Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises).

For best actress, Adams and Blanchett will face off against Julie Christie (Away from Her), Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose), Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart) and Ellen Page (Juno).

Nominated for best supporting actor are Holbrook, Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Javier Bardem (Country), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Charlie Wilson's War) and Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton).

Seven directors appeared among the BFCA's six nominations for best director, thanks to a shared nomination for brothers Joel and Ethan Coen for Country. Their competition embraces Penn, Tim Burton (Sweeney Todd), Sidney Lumet ("Before the Devil Knows Your Dead"), Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell) and Joe Wright (Atonement).

In the best writer category, the nominees are Penn, Diablo Cody (Juno), the Coens (Country), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Nancy Oliver (Lars) and Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson's War).

Bee Movie, Beowulf, Persepolis, Ratatouille and The Simpsons Movie will all compete as best animated movie. »

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Broadcast critics trek with 'Wild'

11 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

UPDATED 10:35 p.m. PT Dec. 11, 2007

UPDATED 8:30 a.m. PT Dec. 11, 2007

With seven nominations, Sean Penn's "Into the Wild", the tragic, true-life account of a young man who lights out for the territory, led the pack as the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. announced its nominees for its 13th annual Critics' Choice Awards on Tuesday in New York.

Paramount Vantage's "Wild" figured in the categories of best picture, best actor for Emile Hirsch, best supporting actor for Hal Holbrook, best supporting actress for Catherine Keener and best song for Eddie Vedder's "Guaranteed" while also picking up a double nomination for Penn as writer and director.

The pregnancy comedy "Juno" followed with six noms, followed by a clutch of films -- "Atonement", "Michael Clayton", "No Country for Old Men", "Sweeney Todd" and "Hairspray" -- that scored five noms each.

Several actors received dual recognition. Newcomer Michael Cera appeared twice among the nominees -- for best young actor for his performances as a horny teen in "Superbad" and an unlikely father-to-be in "Juno". Cate Blanchett was hailed with a best actress nom for "Elizabeth: The Golden Age" and a supporting actress nom for her Dylanesque appearance in "I'm Not There". Amy Adams, who plays a Disneyesque princess in "Enchanted" was nominated for best actress and made an appearance in the best song category for "That's How I Know" -- in the song category, the critics' group recognizes the performer who sings a song on film.

Made up of nearly 200 TV, radio and online critics from the U.S. and Canada, the BFCA prides itself on its ability to foreshadow eventual Oscar noms and awards.

However, the BFCA does load up some of its categories with six nominations each to cover its bases. And for best picture, the group nominated 10 films: "American Gangster", "Atonement", "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Wild", "Juno", "The Kite Runner", "Michael Clayton", "No Country", "Sweeney Todd" and "There Will Be Blood".

In addition to Hirsch, the best actor heat includes George Clooney ("Michael Clayton"), Daniel Day-Lewis ("Blood"), Johnny Depp ("Sweeney Todd"), Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl") and Viggo Mortensen ("Eastern Promises").

For best actress, Adams and Blanchett will face off against Julie Christie ("Away From Her"), Marion Cotillard ("La Vie en Rose"), Angelina Jolie ("A Mighty Heart") and Ellen Page ("Juno").

Nominated for best supporting actor are Holbrook, Casey Affleck ("The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"), Javier Bardem ("No Country"), Philip Seymour Hoffman ("Charlie Wilson's War") and Tom Wilkinson ("Michael Clayton").

In the supporting actress category, Blanchett and Keener are surrounded by Vanessa Redgrave ("Atonement"), Amy Ryan ("Gone Baby Gone") and Tilda Swinton ("Michael Clayton").

Seven helmers appeared among the BFCA's six nominations for best director, thanks to a shared nomination for brothers Joel and Ethan Coen for "No Country". Their competition consists of Penn, Tim Burton ("Sweeney Todd"), Sidney Lumet ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"), Julian Schnabel ("Butterfly") and Joe Wright ("Atonement").

In the best writer category, the nominees are Penn, Diablo Cody ("Juno"), the Coens ("No Country"), Tony Gilroy ("Michael Clayton"), Nancy Oliver ("Lars") and Aaron Sorkin ("Charlie Wilson's War").

"Bee Movie", "Beowulf", "Persepolis", "Ratatouille" and "The Simpsons Movie" will all compete as best animated movie. »

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Washington Film Critics Assn: No Country for Old Men grabs top honors

10 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Assn. have selected "No Country for Old Men" as best film of 2007 with the Coens grabbing the best directing award and the film winning acting ensemble and supporting actor for Javier Bardem. The Washington, D.C. Area Film Critics Assn. is comprised of 39 D.C.-based film critics from television, radio, print and the Internet. The only real threat to Cate Blanchett's winning Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars this year comes from Amy Ryan’s perf in Gone Baby Gone. Here is the complete list of winners below:… Best Picture: No Country For Old Men   Best Actor: George Clooney for Michael Clayton   Best Actress: Julie Christie for Away From Her   Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men   Best Supporting Actress: Amy Ryan for Gone Baby Gone Best Ensemble: No Country for Old Men   Best Breakthrough Performance: Ellen Page »

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New York Film Critics Online: Diving Bell and There Will Be Blood tied for Best Film

10 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- West coast favorite There Will Be Blood became an east coast winner in  the New York Film Critics Online awards. The Gotham-based group of 24 web-based reviewers and three print critics choose Paul Thomas Anderson's film for Best Picture tied with The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It appears that Zodiac is getting zero love in year-end attention even among the online critics, but Sarah Polley's early entry is getting plenty of attention which boosts well for long-term profits for the Lionsgate drama. Here is the complete list of winners: Best Picture Best Picture: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (tie) There Will Be Blood      Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis for There Will Be Blood  Best Actress: Julie Christie for Away From Her  Best Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem for No Country for Old Men    Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett for I'm Not There  Best Breakthrough Performance: Ellen Page for »

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Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. back There Will Be Blood

10 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. championed one of their own in Paul Thomas Andersons' There Will Be Blood. The Paramount Vantage epic is proving to have a filming-lot base full of supporters with Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell and the Butterfly proving to be a popular second place choice. The anomaly here is: where is Ncfom among the list of winners and noms? What the last 24 hours is telling curious award season onlookers is the Coens and PTA are canceling each other's film out: each year-end critic associations are compelled to go with one or the other and rarely are we seeing both films part of the same list of season kudos.  What this list below tells us is that Amy Ryan in Gone Baby Gone has a legitimate shot at bigger awards - her huge amount of support means that Cate's chances are dwindling little by »

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'Romulus,' 'Home Song' top Aussie film awards

7 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

SYDNEY -- Two films that deal with Australian immigrant stories -- Romulus, My Father, set in the postwar era, and The Home Song Stories, set in the 1970s -- shared the spoils with three awards apiece at Thursday's Australian Film Institute Awards.

Romulus, Richard Roxburgh's directorial debut, took home best film, though Roxburgh couldn't beat out Tony Ayres for best director for Home Song. Ayres also won best screenplay, and Joan Chen -- who reportedly came out of semi-retirement to play Shanghai nightclub signer Rose as she struggles to deal with two children in 1970s Australia -- won best actress. The wins gave Home Song eight AFI Awards; it received five craft awards in a separate ceremony Wednesday.

Romulus' other wins includes best actor for Eric Bana and best supporting actor to Martin Csokas.

Kodi Smit-McPhee, 10, who played Romulus' son Raymond, won the AFI Young Actor Award.

The best supporting actress nod went to Emma Booth for playing the feisty vixen Jill in Cherie Nowlan's Clubland.

With Geoffrey Rush hosting and stars including Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana and Anthony La Paglia presenting, the awards are billed as a celebration of Australian film. »

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65 Revisited

5 December 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Pennebaker-Hegedus Films

More than four decades into his performing career, Bob Dylan has become a veritable film genre unto himself.

On the heels of Todd Haynes' cinematic fantasia "I'm Not There" and Murray Lerner's recently seen The Other Side of the Mirror is this assemblage of outtakes from D.A. Pennebaker's landmark documentary "Don't Look Back." While 65 Revisited, which runs a little more than an hour, essentially feels like the DVD extra it was designed to be, it nonetheless well deserves its exposure on the big screen. It is receiving its theatrical premiere engagement at New York's IFC Center.

The chief stylistic difference between the previous film and this one is that 65 Revisited pays more attention to the music. While "Don't Look Back" mainly featured truncated performances and snippets, this effort features full renditions, onstage and off, of several Dylan classics and some relative obscurities.

Thus, we are treated to stunning onstage performances by the shaggy-haired performer (who bears a striking resemblance to Cate Blanchett) of such songs as "It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)" and "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," and more casual renditions of numbers like "It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry" and Laddie (the latter a duet with Joan Baez.)

There also are more scenes of the singer interacting with worshipful fans and members of the press, though in this footage he mostly displays a more lighthearted, less surly demeanor. Among the other figures on prominent display are Baez, tour manager Bob Neuwirth, Dylan's manager Albert Grossman, and in a cameo, Nico.

Particularly fun is the film's capper, a rooftop-set variation of the classic cue-card flipping routine during "Subterranean Homesick Blues". »

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Control sweeps British Independent Films Awards

29 November 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- No surprises at this years' 10th British Independent Film Awards - Anton Corbijn's Ian Curtis biopic Control took home a total of five awards including Best film. The only surprise of the evening seems to be the acting awards - Sam Riley losing out to Viggo Mortensen took Best actor for his take on a Russian undercover agent posing as a mobster and Judi Dench won for a film role that feels like it came out ages ago (Notes on a Scandal). Below is the full list of winners and noms (winners in double **)   Best British Independent Film    * And When Did You Last See Your Father?    ** Control     * Eastern Promises    * Hallam Foe    * Notes on a ScandalBest Performance by an Actress in a British Independent Film    * Anne Hathaway for Becoming Jane    * Tannishtha Chatterjee for Brick Lane    * Sophia Myles for Hallam Foe    * Kierston Wareing for It's a Free World...    ** Judi Dench »

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Spirit nominations announced

28 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

UPDATED 5:21 p.m. PT Nov. 27, 2007

Film Independent's 2008 Spirit Awards took on an international accent as nominees were announced Tuesday. Best feature noms went to the French-language "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and the Pakistan-set "A Mighty Heart", while the starring duo of Tony Leung and Tang Wei of the Shanghai drama "Lust, Caution" both figure in the top acting categories.

But Americana also ruled as "I'm Not There", Todd Haynes' kaleidoscope deconstruction of the work of Bob Dylan, led the field. With four nominations, including best feature, director and supporting noms for Cate Blanchett and Marcus Carl Franklin, it also was named the inaugural winner of the Robert Altman Award, recognizing Haynes, casting director Laura Rosenthal and the ensemble cast.

While the Spirit Awards focus on American independent film, a film can qualify if at least one U.S. citizen or permanent resident is credited in two or more of the categories of writer, director or producer, which opened the door for this year's globetrotting noms.

In addition to "I'm Not There", "Diving Bell", a film told from the point of view of a stroke victim, and "Mighty Heart", the dramatization of the search for kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl, the other contenders in the best feature category are "Juno", a comedy about an unintended pregnancy, and "Paranoid Park", the account of a teen who accidentally kills a man.

Four of the best film nominees saw their helmsman nominated for best director: Haynes ("I'm Not There"), Jason Reitman ("Juno"), Julian Schnabel ("Butterfly") and Gus Van Sant ("Paranoid"). But instead of Michael Winterbottom for "Mighty Heart", the fifth slot went to Tamara Jenkins -- who also was nominated for best screenplay -- for the family drama "The Savages".

"There wasn't a dominant genre or even a film. It was a mix of emerging filmmakers and veteran filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes. I felt like it was a wide spectrum of talent in all areas," FIND exec director Dawn Hudson said at the ceremonies that Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff hosted at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles.

"You want all these films to gain some momentum," she added. "There's such a glut of films this season that you hope that this will shine a spotlight on these lower-budgeted films that are so deserving."

The best actress contenders are Angelina Jolie for portraying Mariane Pearl in "Mighty Heart"; Sienna Miller, seen as a soap actress facing off with a journalist in "Interview"; Ellen Page, who appears as the pregnant teen in "Juno"; Parker Posey, who finds herself embarking on an affair in "Broken English"; and Tang, who becomes entangled in love and espionage in "Lust".

Nominated as best actor are Pedro Castaneda, who plays an undocumented farm worker "August Evening"; Don Cheadle, who stars as a radio host in "Talk to Me"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose character struggles with an ailing father in "Savages"; Frank Langella, who appears as the older half of a May-December relationship in "Starting Out in the Evening"; and Leung, who plays a spy in "Lust".

Still, several performances that have excited critics failed to make the cut: Among the missing were Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl"), Laura Linney ("Savages"), Nicole Kidman ("Margot at the Wedding"), Keri Russell ("Waitress") and John Cusak ("Grace Is Gone").

Along with Blanchett, who seems to channel Dylan in "Not There", the nominees for best supporting female are Anna Kendrick ("Rocket Science"), Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Margot"), Tamara Podemski ("Four Sheets to the Wind") and Marisa Tomei ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead").

Best supporting male nominee Franklin plays a young musician who calls himself Woody Guthrie in "Not There". In the nominees circle, he joins Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Talk to Me"), Kene Holliday ("Great World of Sound"), Irfan Khan ("The Namesake") and Steve Zahn ("Rescue Dawn").

Screenplay nominees are Ronald Harwood ("Butterfly"), Jenkins ("Savages"), Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner ("Starting Out"), the late Adrienne Shelly ("Waitress") and Mike White ("Year of the Dog").

In the adjoining category of best first screenplay, the nominees are Jeffrey Blitz ("Rocket Science"), Zoe Cassavetes ("Broken English"), Diablo Cody ("Juno"), Kelly Masterson ("Devil") and John Orloff ("Mighty Heart").

The Spirits also recognize films made for less than $500,000 with its John Cassavetes Award. »

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Spirit nominations announced

28 November 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

UPDATED 6:36 p.m. PT Nov. 27

Film Independent's 2008 Spirit Awards took on an international accent as nominees were announced Tuesday.

Best feature noms went to the French-language "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" and the Pakistan-set "A Mighty Heart", while the starring duo of Tony Leung and Tang Wei of the Shanghai drama "Lust, Caution" both figure in the top acting categories.

But Americana also ruled as "I'm Not There", Todd Haynes' kaleidoscope deconstruction of the work of Bob Dylan, led the field. With four nominations, including best feature, director and supporting noms for Cate Blanchett and Marcus Carl Franklin, it also was named the inaugural winner of the Robert Altman Award, recognizing Haynes, casting director Laura Rosenthal and the ensemble cast.

While the Spirit Awards focus on American independent film, a film can qualify if at least one U.S. citizen or permanent resident is credited in two or more of the categories of writer, director or producer, which opened the door for this year's globetrotting noms.

In addition to "I'm Not There", "Diving Bell", a film told from the point of view of a stroke victim, and "Mighty Heart", the dramatization of the search for kidnapped journalist Daniel Pearl, the other contenders in the best feature category are "Juno", a comedy about an unintended pregnancy, and "Paranoid Park", the account of a teen who accidentally kills a man.

Four of the best film nominees saw their helmsman nominated for best director: Haynes ("I'm Not There"), Jason Reitman ("Juno"), Julian Schnabel ("Butterfly") and Gus Van Sant ("Paranoid"). But instead of Michael Winterbottom for "Mighty Heart", the fifth slot went to Tamara Jenkins -- who also was nominated for best screenplay -- for the family drama "The Savages".

"There wasn't a dominant genre or even a film. It was a mix of emerging filmmakers and veteran filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Todd Haynes. I felt like it was a wide spectrum of talent in all areas," FIND exec director Dawn Hudson said at the ceremonies that Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff hosted at the Sofitel Hotel in Los Angeles.

"You want all these films to gain some momentum," she added. "There's such a glut of films this season that you hope that this will shine a spotlight on these lower-budgeted films that are so deserving."

The best actress contenders are Angelina Jolie for portraying Mariane Pearl in "Mighty Heart"; Sienna Miller, seen as a soap actress facing off with a journalist in "Interview"; Ellen Page, who appears as the pregnant teen in "Juno"; Parker Posey, who finds herself embarking on an affair in "Broken English"; and Tang, who becomes entangled in love and espionage in "Lust".

Nominated as best actor are Pedro Castaneda, who plays an undocumented farm worker "August Evening"; Don Cheadle, who stars as a radio host in "Talk to Me"; Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose character struggles with an ailing father in "Savages"; Frank Langella, who appears as the older half of a May-December relationship in "Starting Out in the Evening"; and Leung, who plays a spy in "Lust".

Still, several performances that have excited critics failed to make the cut: Among the missing were Ryan Gosling ("Lars and the Real Girl"), Laura Linney ("Savages"), Nicole Kidman ("Margot at the Wedding"), Keri Russell ("Waitress") and John Cusack ("Grace is Gone").

Along with Blanchett, who channels Dylan in "Not There", the nominees for best supporting female are Anna Kendrick ("Rocket Science"), Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Margot"), Tamara Podemski ("Four Sheets to the Wind") and Marisa Tomei ("Before the Devil Knows You're Dead").

Best supporting male nominee Franklin plays a young musician who calls himself Woody Guthrie in "Not There". In the nominees circle, he joins Chiwetel Ejiofor ("Talk to Me"), Kene Holliday ("Great World of Sound"), Irfan Khan ("The Namesake") and Steve Zahn ("Rescue Dawn").

Screenplay nominees are Ronald Harwood ("Butterfly"), Jenkins ("Savages"), Fred Parnes & Andrew Wagner ("Starting Out"), the late Adrienne Shelly ("Waitress") and Mike White ("Year of the Dog").

In the adjoining category of best first screenplay, the nominees are Jeffrey Blitz ("Rocket Science"), Zoe Cassavetes ("Broken English"), Diablo Cody ("Juno"), Kelly Masterson ("Devil") and John Orloff ("Mighty Heart").

The Spirits also recognize films made for less than $500,000 with its John Cassavetes Award. »

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'I'm Not There' Leads Spirit Nominations

28 November 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Director Todd Haynes' quirky, all-star Bob Dylan-inspired movie I'm Not There is set to be the toast of the IFC Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Los Angeles in February, after landing the event's first Robert Altman Award. Announced at the Spirit Awards last year, the honor is given to the director, casting agent and cast of an outstanding indie movie. In I'm Not There, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere and Cate Blanchett are among the actors who conjure up the spirit of Dylan at different stages of his life for the offbeat biopic. The movie was also nominated for the Spirits' Best Film prize, where it will compete with Julian Schnabel's The Diving Bell And The Butterfly, Juno, A Mighty Heart and Paranoid Park. Blanchett and Marcus Carl Franklin earned Best Supporting Actress and Actor nods respectively for their portrayals of Dylan, and Todd Haynes is a Best Director nominee. Other four-film nominees are acclaimed coming-of-age film Juno, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly and The Savages. Meanwhile, Ang Lee's controversial Lust, Caution is also a multi-nominee; the film's stars Tony Leung and Tang Wei are up for Best Actor and Actress honors, while Rodrigo Prieto's cinematography is also under consideration. French actress Julie Delpy's 2 Days In Paris earned her a First Feature nomination; she'll be up against Jeffrey Blitz's Rocket Science, which garnered three nominations. In the lead acting categories, Angelina Jolie is an immediate favorite for her role as grieving Mariane Pearl in A Mighty Heart. Jolie will compete against Sienna Miller (Interview), Parker Posey (Broken English), Ellen Page (Juno) and Tang Wei. Leung will be up against Pedro Castaneda (August Evening), Don Cheadle (Talk To Me), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Savages) and Frank Langella (Starting Out In The Evening) in the Best Actor category. The nominations were announced on Tuesday morning by Lisa Kudrow and Zach Braff. »

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2007 Indie Spirit Nominations: commentary & predictions!

27 November 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Dysfunctional loving families undergoing reality checks, a paralyzed man checking out and a checklist of Dylan figures are the film narratives that have collected the most noms for the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Sparkling Fox Searchlight titles of Tamara Jenkins’s The Savages and Jason Reitman’s Juno each grab a significant amount of noms, but it is Todd Haynes’ I’m not There and Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly that have collected the most kudos with the Dylan kaleidescope already leading 1 to zero by winning the inaugural Robert Altman award: given to one film's director, casting director and its ensemble cast (Haynes gets cred and so does Laura Rosenthal for casting Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Bruce Greenwood). As noted in the Hollywood Reporter, these American independent films have a distinct international flair »

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Portman Named Style Queen

19 November 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Natalie Portman has topped a new style list, beating best pals Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz. The Closer actress has been named number one on the InStyle magazine Style 20. Portman topped the list because "she exhibits unwavering faith in the cut and quality of a great dress." The top 10 is: 1. Natalie Portman; 2. Drew Barrymore; 3. Cameron Diaz; 4. Penelope Cruz; 5. Jennifer Lopez; 6. Anne Hathaway; 7. Cate Blanchett; 8. Sienna Miller; 9. Helen Mirren; 10. Joy Bryant.

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Blanchett Pregnant with Third Child

5 November 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Notes On A Scandal actress Cate Blanchett has put a stop to reports speculating about her expanding waistline - she's announced she is expecting her third child. The Aviator Oscar winner, 38, first sparked pregnancy rumors in October, when she stepped out to promote her latest film Elizabeth: The Golden Age in Rome, Italy, sporting a sexy new fuller figure. The star made the confession during a red-carpet appearance in Australia on Saturday, when she revealed she is four months pregnant - although she does not yet know the sex of the baby. She says, "It's early days yet. It's due in April." Blanchett already has two children with her husband, playwright Andrew Upton: six-year-old Dashiell and three-year-old Roman. »

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Corbijn's biopic takes 'Control' of the Bifa with 10 Noms

24 October 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Sam Riley and Anton Corbijn should pack lite on November 28th as Control, by far the best Brit indie film of the year, leads the way in terms of noms for the 10th at the British Independent Film Awards. And When Did You Last See Your Father? has also received a fair share of noms with 7, followed by Hallam Foe with six and Eastern Promises with five. Newcomer Sam Riley is a shoe-in for the acting and most promising newcomer awards, although it would be a treat to see Kierston Wareing take something home for her bit in Ken Loach's It's a Free World.... The jury comprises actors Hayley Atwell, Archie Panjabi, Kathy Burke, Tony Curran, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew Macfadyen; directors Annie Griffin, Menhaj Huda, Neil Marshall and Peter Webber; London Film Festival artistic director Sandra Hebron; producer Mark Herbert; cinematographer Brian Tufano; distributor Will Clarke; and musician Nitin Sawhney. »

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Brit indie film noms favor 'Control'

24 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

LONDON -- The best actor category for the 10th annual British Independent Film Awards spans the generations, with newcomer Sam Riley, Jamie Bell, Cillian Murphy, Viggo Mortensen and Jim Broadbent slugging it out for the prize, organizers said Tuesday.

The actor nod is one of 17 plaudits that will be dished out at a Nov. 28 ceremony at the Roundhouse in London.

Anton Corbijn's Control leads the main award categories with nominations for best director, British independent film, screenplay and Riley's turn in the actor category. Both Samantha Morton and Toby Kebbell occupy a spot in the best supporting actor/actress category also.

But Morton and Kebbell will have to overcome each other and strong challenges from Cate Blanchett (Notes on a Scandal); Armin Muehler Stahl, who joins Mortensen from the Eastern Promises cast; and Colin Firth, who stars opposite Broadbent in And When Did You Last See Your Father? to win that particular plaudit.

Corbijn will slug it out with David Mackenzie, helmer of Bell starrer Hallam Foe, Anand Tucker (And When), Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane) and Cronenberg (Promises) in the directing category. »

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