Best actress nominee Kate Winslet has already said she's sick and tired of putting on the Game Face and piling up Oscar losses, five in all. How about a win, already? But nobody does awards outrage better than Stephen Colbert.
Not only was he railing Wednesday night about being passed over for the WGA Award for best comedy/variety series (the trophy went to the resurgent Tina Fey-fueled "Saturday Night Live") and the Grammy for spoken-word album ("An Inconvenient Truth" beat his "I Am America and So Can You").
But the world wasn't finished kicking him in the Golden Globes, he said.
His dander is really up about losing the Westminster Dog Show to a 10-year-old Sussex Spaniel named Stump. Oh, the indignity.
At least he still has his Peabody and his Emmys to keep him warm.
Cast members of the Emmy-, Golden Globe- and SAG-winning series "Mad Men" were back at their Rat Pack best in Vegas this week with '60s-era songs, fan dances and Sammy, Dean and Frank-esque onstage patter.
Glad to see the NATPE convention still believes in its high-powered entertainment.
For a full account of the event -- can't you almost smell the bourbon? -- go here.
Of these three actors, who's really in a supporting role -- Philip Seymour Hoffman in "Doubt," Kate Winslet in "The Reader" or Josh Brolin in "Milk?"
The answer, of course, is Michael Sheen in "Frost/Nixon."
Just seeing if you're all awake on this Friday morning before a holiday weekend. Weren't ready for that pop quiz? Don't despair. We'll help you, with the kickoff of a new Gold Rush mini-series that will attempt to unravel some of the complicated rules and minutiae surrounding the Oscars.
Let's call it Academy Arcana and hope we don't get sued for unauthorized use of a really famous trademark for our own selfish, wiseass purposes.
Today, we'll do a quickie study on the origin of supporting actor Oscars, which film historian, THR columnist and uber fan Robert Osborne says was created in 1936 specifically to pay homage to those who had less screen time than the title-billed actors.
In the eight Oscar races before that, everybody got tossed into the same two lead acting pots, which made it rough going for players like Franchot Tone who had to compete against Clark Gable in 1935 (they were both in "Mutiny on the Bounty" but they both went on to lose to Victor McLaglen in "The Informer").
Studio bosses, who used to control everything including what hair-dos and lifestyles their stars could adopt, used to decide which actors would race in which categories. Even though it seems like they still do -- there's about a billion dollars worth of "For Your Consideration" ads to back up that assumption -- they don't.
Ultimately, the voters decide, as they have for decades now.
In other words, if Academy members think new double-Golden Globe winner Winslet is a lead actress for "The Reader," which of course she is, they can vote for her accordingly. But she can't get nominated twice in the same category -- ie for "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader."
But that's another rule, and you'll have to come back for that.
Expect the bellyaching about the foreign language film race, and the new-and-not-so-improved rules, to continue this year as the Italian mafia tale, based on the best-selling book by Roberto Saviano, was left off the list of nine Oscar finalists released today.
Kris Tapley at awards blog InContention: Tell us how you really feel about the folks at the Academy who call this race. (Hint: The words "vile" and "bozo" came up).
Here are the contenders for the five nominations, to be announced Jan. 22 with all the other nods: "The Class," from Laurent Cantet, France; "Waltz with Bashir," Israel; Austria's "Revanche," directed by Gotz Spielmann; Canada's "The Necessities of Life" (Benoit Pilon); Germany's "The Baader Meinhof Complex" (Uli Edel); Japan's "Departures" (Yojiro Takita); Mexico's "Tear This Heart Out" (Roberto Sneider); Sweden's "Everlasting Moments" (from previous Oscar nominee Jan Troell); and Turkey's "3 Monkeys" (Nuri Bilge Ceylon).
All the heat at the moment is around the Israeli animation/memoir hybrid "Bashir," which just picked up a Golden Globe, but it could very well be a two-horse race, considering the multi-culti Cannes Palm d'Or winner "The Class" remains a critical darling.
Why give Kate Winslet two awards when you can mush a couple of her performances together and call it "best actress?"
Wonder if the trophy's twice as big.
Vancouver film critics gave new double-Golden-Globe-holder Winslet their best actress honor for both "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader." They also mismatched their choices, much as a number of critics and guild groups have been doing (Oscar foreshadowing!), by picking "Milk" for best film, but not its director Gus Van Sant (they chose David Fincher instead for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button).
Obvious choices: Sean Penn for best actor and Heath Ledger for best supporting. Not so obvious but well-deserved: Rosemarie DeWitt for best supporting actress in "Rachel Getting Married."
Hat tip to Awards Daily for the Vancouver results, and for the just-released Costume Designers Guild nominations, which include Deborah Hopper for "Changeling," Patricia Field for "Sex & the City" and Lindy Hemming for "The Dark Knight."
It's six weeks until the Oscars and veteran blogger David Poland over at Movie City News is bored. Bored stiff!
Why? Because there weren't that many good movies in '08, to start with, and even a "surprise" nomination for Clint Eastwood and/or his good-neighbor drama "Gran Torino" would fail to get Poland's blood circulating.
Expected nods for Anne Hathaway, Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, even newcomer Viola Davis -- no shockers among that crew, Poland says. "WALL-E" in the best picture category, Richard Jenkins for best actor and Michael Shannon for best supporting -- now that's something to get excited about.
Since we have both Gold Rush Q&A victims Jenkins and Shannon among our Oscar nominees -- looking at this race, as we do, from as much a fan perspective as an "official" prognosticator -- we agree with Poland on that score. But not on his overall, overwhelming sense of ennui.
We think there's still plenty of juice left in this derby.
Just seeing "The Dark Knight" get a best picture nod, even though it's seeming more and more like a foregone conclusion, will be a thrill for a number of reasons. (Topline: Comic book flicks and Major Awards don't usually mix). Watching just-christened Golden Globe winner Sally Hawkins go toe-to-toe with a veteran A-lister like Meryl Streep, which we honestly think could happen, will be a highlight of the season.
"Slumdog" vs. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?" David vs. Goliath? Come on, there's heat there.
A win by "Slumdog" director Boyle -- he of "Trainspotting," "Millions" and "28 Days Later" -- will reaffirm our faith that innovative work on beautiful "little" films that could've easily been lost in the shuffle can prevail. (Yes, he seems a lock, but for our money, that's no less a testament to what he accomplished).
And now that Mickey Rourke, fresh off his Globe win Sunday night, might have just ingratiated himself anew to Hollywood and, more important, Academy voters, there's a lot of potential for unfiltered moments of truthiness and emotion. (For an insightful rumination of Rourke, his tendency to color outside the lines, and his current better boy phase, check out this post from the Carpetbagger).
Call us pie-eyed, but we're still in. How about the rest of you?
Sure, it seems like piling on at this point, but we must share with you a bit of (good-natured?) ribbing that Jeremy Piven took on the red carpet outside last night's Golden Globes.
And from softball-thrower Tiki Barber, of all people!
David Mamet already got in his jabs about Piven's celeb-doctor-diagnosed sushi-induced mercury poisoning -- it's the reason Piven cited for dropping out of the demanding schedule of "Speed-the-Plow" on Broadway, to which Mamet replied that Piven might be on the verge of a new career as a thermometer. Then, the production started making noises about suing Piven for screwing up the play's earning power.
And he lost the best supporting actor Golden Globe to Tom Wilkinson ("John Adams").
And now this -- some pre-awards-show body blows from a football-player-turned-happy-chat-TVcaster and Piven's own boss, "Entourage" executive producer Mark Wahlberg.
No mercy for the weak and infirm? (Note: Piven's looking pretty robust to us these days. Judge for yourself).
It's Monday morning, so that must mean it's Golden Globes post-mortem time (read a good review of the show by THR's Ray Richmond here).
First, a few numbers: Your resident Gold Rusher had 17 correct picks and eight misfires, which might translate to a decent average if you ignore the fact that we missed some of the most important categories (Mickey Rourke's best actor upset -- is that why Sean Penn didn't show up? -- and Gabriel Byrne and Anna Paquin as best actor and actress in TV dramas "In Treatment" and "True Blood").
So, ignore that, will ya?
Another number: 75 seconds. That was the allotted time for each winner to fumble through his or her acceptance speech. We're glad the following people didn't pay much attention to that -- Sally Hawkins, who was genuinely joyous; Rourke, with his ode to his canine companions and his agent's cojones; and Colin Farrell, whose 2 minute, 47 second speech started with him saying, "They must've done the counting in Florida" and ended with a joke about the "insane hour" he spent with the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. (Watch it here -- it's sweet and funny and redemptive and worthwhile, just like his winning role in "In Bruges").
Seems that Tina Fey was able to get all her "suck its" in within the time frame. Hilarious and to the point.
Number of times Kate Winslet has been nominated for Golden Globes before last night: 5. Number of times she's lost: 5. But she went two for two courtesy of performances in "Revolutionary Road" and "The Reader."
People who saw that feat: 14.6 million, which is a 26% drop from the 2007 awards (last year's writers strike-induced press conference doesn't count). More ratings details here.
Number of times somebody flipped somebody off: 1, at least as far as the viewing audience knows. (That was "The Wrestler" director Darren Aronofsky putting Rourke in his place).
Winks of sleep we need after all this: a couple hundred.
It's almost gross how much we love Tina Fey. Not tired of her yet, even though we're ringside at every awards ceremony where she inevitably racks up.
For your enjoyment, her speech from tonight's Globes (and the full rundown of results here):
"I want to say thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press. I'll always love the Hollywood Foreign Press and have all the Hollywood Foreign Press action figures. Thank you, Will Arnett, for that joke. But I want you to really know how lucky I am to have the year I've had this year and, if you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet! You can find a lot of people there who don't like you! I'd like to address some of them now! BabsonLacrosse, you can suck it. DianeFan, you can suck it. Cougar Letter, you can really suck it 'cause you've been after me all year. And to my husband, Jeff, I love you. Thank you very much! "
While a polite, darling and completely accommodating Peninsula employee named Scott found a power cord for our laptop -- bless you, dear sir, we're sure you're not getting paid to crawl around the floor of the Veranda Room for our benefit -- we pondered the "Slumdog Millionaire" vs. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" conundrum.
We didn't really see it as a conundrum until tonight.
Now that the power's back on -- huzzah! -- we'll wax on for just a bit about this. (Please realize we've hit the slider bar a couple times during our "break" and the Peninsula barkeeps are awfully generous with their pours).
We've had some indication, even before Thursday at the "Critics Choice Awards," that the tide had turned. Critics have all loved it. No surprise there. So did we. Momentum is a powerful thing, and "Slumdog" seems to be the movie with all the good will. It was, after all, in danger of languishing in distribution purgatory until Fox Searchlight rescued it. It is, in itself, a story of triumph over adversity. It's charming, it's sweet, it's tragic, it's violent, it's ultimately life affirming.
Is it Oscar?
No one would be happier than your resident Gold Rusher to see Danny Boyle, Freida Pinto, Dev Patel, A. H. Rahman and the rest doing a Bollywood victory dance on the stage of the Kodak next month. Will it happen?
Or will the rather stolid Academy pick the more "American" film and give "Benjamin Button" the top prize. Thoughts? Anybody?
So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."
Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."
Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.
Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.
Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)