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6 items from 2004

Christmas in Tinseltown: 'Fockers,' 'Lemony,' 'Albert' battle

23 December 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

With the arrival of Christmas weekend, it's Hollywood's last chance to open a boxoffice bonanza or two before the calendar year ends. Universal Pictures' family comedy Meet the Fockers, which opened Wednesday, already has staked its claim in hopes of attracting big audiences -- many of them presumably fleeing from the tensions of seasonal family gatherings. On Christmas Day, 20th Century Fox will make a bid for younger audiences -- as well as nostalgia freaks -- when it bows its live-action comedy Fat Albert. Dimension Films, counterprogramming against the seasonal merriment, is betting on the horror thriller Darkness, while, in more limited release, Warner Bros. Pictures is unleashing the musical adaptation Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. »

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Broadcast Critics pour 8 noms on 'Sideways'

16 December 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Continuing to charm the critics, Fox Searchlight's Sideways scored eight nominations, including best picture, as the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. announced its nominees for its 10th annual Critics' Choice Awards. Once again, Sideways led the pack, as it did earlier this week when it received seven Golden Globe nominations. Its closest competition was Miramax Films' Finding Neverland, a portrait of Peter Pan creator J.M. Barrie, with seven noms, followed by Martin Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator, a Miramax/Warner Bros. production that Miramax is distributing in the United States. It scored six nominations. The group, composed of 194 critics from around the country, nominated 10 films for best picture. In addition to Sideways, Finding Neverland and Aviator, they are Collateral, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Hotel Rwanda, Kinsey, Million Dollar Baby, The Phantom of the Opera and Ray. »

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Satellite orbits 6 films for best drama

10 December 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

At the ninth annual Satellite Awards, Maria Full of Grace, Kinsey, Hotel Rwanda, Kill Bill-Vol. 2, Vera Drake and The Aviator will compete in the best drama category. Nominees for best comedy/musical are Ray, The Merchant of Venice, Sideways, Napoleon Dynamite, The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou and The Phantom of the Opera. The Satellites, voted by the International Press Academy to recognize film and TV in 34 categories, will be awarded Jan. 23. »

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Rossum's Humiliating Backside Exposure

9 December 2004 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Teen actress Emmy Rossum learned an important lesson on the set of The Phantom of the Opera - always check your backside isn't on show before leaving your dressing room. The 18-year-old beauty - who plays Christine in the movie version of the stage show - was left red-faced after realizing she'd filmed an entire scene with her rear exposed. She recalls, "I got back to my dressing room and realized the whole back of my dress had been ripped off and everyone had been watching my bare behind for the past hour. "It taught me a lesson that in future I should always check my butt." »

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Finding Neverland Named Best Picture by National Board of Review

1 December 2004 | IMDb News

Clap if you believe in movie awards! This year's awards season got underway today with the National Board of Review's announcement of Finding Neverland as their choice for Best Film. However, it was the only award that the J.M. Barrie biopic picked up, as the erstwhile awards group, made up of film historians, students and educators, spread the wealth around generously, giving just one award to all movies except Sideways, which nabbed the Adapted Screenplay award and a Supporting Actor nod for Thomas Haden Church. Oscar shoo-in Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for Ray (the first of many such awards, no doubt), while Annette Bening was named Best Actress for Being Julia; Supporting Actress honors went to Laura Linney (Kinsey), and Closer won the group's ensemble acting award. In the directing categories, Michael Mann was named Best Director for Collateral, and Zach Braff won the Directorial Debut award for Garden State; the very original Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind picked up the Original Screenplay award. Other winners included The Sea Inside (Foreign Film), Born Into Brothels (Documentary), and The Incredibles (Animated Film). Interestingly, two of the year's most polarizing movies, The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 9/11, both received the awkwardly-worded honor of "Special Recognition of Films that Reflect the Freedom of Expression," along with Conspiracy of Silence.

In addition to their year-end awards, the National Board of Review also names a top ten list for the year, led by their winner for Best Film. This year's list is (in order): Finding Neverland, The Aviator, Closer, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways, Kinsey, Vera Drake, Ray, Collateral, and Hotel Rwanda.

The full list of the 2004 National Board of Review awards:

Best Film: Finding Neverland

Best Foreign Language Film : The Sea Inside

Best Documentary : Born into Brothels

Best Animated Feature: The Incredibles

Best Actor: Jamie Foxx, Ray

Best Actress : Annette Bening, Being Julia

Best Supporting Actor : Thomas Haden Church, Sideways

Best Supporting Actress : Laura Linney, Kinsey

Best Acting by an Ensemble : Closer

Breakthrough Performance Actor : Topher Grace, In Good Company and P.S.

Breakthrough Performance Actress : Emmy Rossum, The Phantom of the Opera

Best Director : Michael Mann, Collateral

Best Directorial Debut : Zach Braff, Garden State

Best Adapted Screenplay : Sideways , Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor

Best Original Screenplay: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Charlie Kaufman

Outstanding Production Design : House of Flying Daggers

Career Achievement : Jeff Bridges

Special Filmmaking Achievement: Clint Eastwood, for producing, directing, acting, and composing the score of Million Dollar Baby

William K. Everson Award for Film History : Richard Schickel

Producers Award: Jerry Bruckheimer

Special Recognition of Films that Reflect the Freedom of Expression : Fahrenheit 9/11, The Passion of the Christ, Conspiracy of Silence »

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Valenti upped to Warners exec vp

28 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Courtenay Valenti has been promoted to executive vp production at Warner Bros. Pictures. She will continue to report to president of production Jeff Robinov as she acquires, develops and supervises the production of movies for the studio. Valenti joined Warners in 1989 as a creative executive and became vp production in 1991, eventually moving up to senior vp production in 1996. She has overseen the development and production of such Warners releases as You've Got Mail, A Walk to Remember, The Iron Giant and Queen of the Damned. Upcoming films in which she is involved include A Very Long Engagement, The Phantom of the Opera, Duma, Class Action, Happy Feet and The Ant Bully. "Courtenay is a tremendous executive and a great asset to our company," Robinov said. "She's got great taste in material and a gift for bringing out the best in filmmakers throughout the creative process. Her relationships and judgment have been invaluable to us, and I'm happy to congratulate her on this well-earned new title." Valenti began her career at Lehman Bros. in New York and segued into entertainment as an assistant to filmmaker Tony Bill. »

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