One of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed actors of her generation, Kate Winslet has been in movies that have collectively grossed more than a billion dollars and she’s three-fourths of the way to an EGOT — and although this weekend’s Triple 9 won’t get her any closer to that hallowed achievement, it offers us the perfect occasion to take a fond look back at some of the brightest critical highlights in a filmography full of them. It’s time for Total Recall!


Heavenly Creatures (1994) 93%

Director Peter Jackson’s impressively violent early work might have made him a natural fit for a movie about the grisly true-life tale of two teenage girls (played by Winslet and Melanie Lynskey) whose obsessive relationship leads to a shocking act of brutality — but few of his fans could have been prepared for Heavenly Creatures, an absorbing, assured film that blended elements of drama, science fiction, and romance while drawing beautifully compelling performances from its leads. Ultimately nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar at the Academy Awards, Creatures vaulted Jackson and his partner Fran Walsh to international acclaim, jump-started Winslet’s film career, and wowed critics like David Rooney of Variety, who wrote that it “Combines original vision, a drop-dead command of the medium and a successful marriage between a dazzling, kinetic techno-show and a complex, credible portrait of the out-of-control relationship between the crime’s two schoolgirl perpetrators.”

Watch Trailer


Sense and Sensibility (1995) 97%

Jane Austen’s books have inspired countless films, but with 1995’s Sense and Sensibility, director Ang Lee proved there was still cinematic gold yet to be spun from her stories. Working from an Oscar-winning screenplay by Emma Thompson (who also starred as the noble Elinor Dashwood), this adaptation offered a faithful representation of Austen’s 1811 novel about the financial and romantic aftershocks that reverberate through a landed British family after their patriarch passes away. Bolstered by an excellent ensemble cast that also included Winslet, Hugh Grant, and Alan Rickman, Sensibility resonated with Jeanne Aufmuth of the Palo Alto Weekly, who echoed the sentiments of the vast majority of her peers when she asked, “Enduring love, heartbreak, undying passion and bitter betrayal. What more could you ask from Jane Austen, and for that matter, from a film?”

Watch Trailer


Jude (1996) 82%

Thomas Hardy’s novel Jude the Obscure got the big-screen treatment with this 1996 adaptation courtesy of director Michael Winterbottom, who cast Winslet and Christopher Eccleston as the tormented couple at the heart of the story. The tale of 19th-century cousins who attempt to build a life for themselves in spite of many cruel obstacles imposed by class, culture, and religion, Jude is decidedly dark stuff, with a final act that packs a gut-punch even by the standards of Victorian-era arthouse pictures. If watching it isn’t exactly easy, it was well worth the effort according to most critics — including James Berardinelli of ReelViews, who wrote, “This is a film of tremendous scope and emotional depth that uncovers the soul of a novel and brings it to life on the screen.”

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Hamlet (1996) 95%

Try adapting Hamlet for the screen after all these years, and you’d better bring something special to the table — and to his credit, that’s exactly what writer/director/star Kenneth Branagh did with his 1996 take on the classic Shakespeare play, leaving no dramatic stone unturned in a sprawling four-hour epic boasting the acting talents of an equally hefty cast that included Winslet, Jack Lemmon, Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Richard Attenborough, Judi Dench, Charlton Heston…you get the idea. Although they’d seen it adapted countless times before, critics couldn’t help but be impressed by Branagh’s Hamlet; as James Berardinelli wrote for ReelViews, “I have seen dozens of versions of this play (either on screen or on stage), and none has ever held me in such a grip of awe.”

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Titanic (1997) 89%

Take one of the most infamous seafaring disasters in history and overlay it with a tragic love story between two beautiful people, and what do you have? Titanic, otherwise known as the blockbuster that sent millions of moviegoers fumbling for their Kleenex while Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio fought for their lives aboard the titular capsizing ocean liner. It wasn’t the first Titanic film — or even the first one named Titanic — but James Cameron’s iceberg-bound romance certainly struck a chord with audiences, setting sail to the tune of more than $1.8 billion in worldwide grosses. And it’s a good thing, too: at $200 million, it set a new record for the most expensive film ever made, causing many an ulcer on the Fox executive board (and ultimately earning Cameron a hefty chunk of money through his percentage of the profits). And oh by the way, while audiences were filing into the 194-minute Titanic in droves, critics were lining up to give it praise — including Newsweek’s David Ansen, who called it “big, bold, touchingly uncynical filmmaking.”

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Iris (2001) 79%

Acting opportunities don’t come much meatier than Iris, a dramatization of literary critic and writer Jim Bayley’s memoirs about his life with novelist Iris Murdoch — and director Richard Eyre lined up a cast more than willing to make the most of it. Both Winslet, who stars as Murdoch as a younger woman, and Judi Dench, who portrays the author in her later years, earned Academy Award nominations for their work — as did Jim Broadbent, who played the elder Bayley. “It’s not only that Murdoch and Bayley had just that kind of kinship over the span of a 40-plus year marriage,” marveled Kenneth Turan for the Los Angeles Times. “It’s that the actors manage an identically close and intimate relationship both to each other and to the characters they play.”

Watch Trailer


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) 92%

It would take a special kind of heartbreak to make a person want to completely purge their memories of a former love — and it’s very much to Winslet’s credit that she managed to convincingly embody just that sort of tempestuous, bewitchingly unobtainable affection in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Starring opposite Jim Carrey, Winslet played one-half of a star-crossed couple whose agonizing ups and downs lead them to seek out a groundbreaking therapy that will rid them of their pain…and that’s when things get really weird. A mindbending, critically beloved love story as well as one of the most eye-catching films of the early aughts, Sunshine finds director Michel Gondry (working from a script by Charlie Kaufman) riddling the drama with stunning visual effects that, depending on what you want out of the movie, either deepen its metaphorical layers of meaning or are simply really cool to look at. It’s admittedly too strange and/or chilly to appeal to everyone, but at its heart, the movie lives up to Mariko McDonald of Film Threat’s assessment of it as “fresh, heartfelt and ultimately heartbreaking in its honest portrayal of a modern relationship.”

Watch Trailer


Finding Neverland (2004) 83%

Sticklers for accuracy bristled at the liberties it took with J.M. Barrie’s life story, but Finding Neverland was still good enough for audiences — who made it a $100 million-plus hit — and the Academy, which bestowed Johnny Depp with a Best Actor nomination for his work as the playwright and Peter Pan author. Neverland finds Barrie nursing his wounds after the failure of his most recent play, befriending a widow (Kate Winslet) and her young boys, and taking inspiration from their unorthodox friendship — even as helps cost him his own marriage and puts him at odds with the boys’ grandmother (Julie Christie). “Plenty of narrative liberties have been taken,” admitted Jason Blake of the Sydney Morning Herald, but argued that “It doesn’t matter a jot. At heart, this isn’t a biography anyway, it’s an ode to the power of the imagination.”

Watch Trailer


Little Children (2006) 80%

Winslet earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her work in Little Children, a harrowing ensemble drama that explores how outside events can nudge even the most well-worn domestic orbits wobbling off their axis. With writer/director Todd Field at the helm, this adaptation of the Tom Perrotta novel looks at a suburban community whose beautiful facade masks untold conflicts — and whose carefully calibrated order is disrupted by the arrival of a registered sex offender (Jackie Earle Haley). It’s the kind of yarn that’s been spun countless times over the last few decades, but many critics still took fresh pleasure from this particular telling — including J.R. Jones, whose Chicago Reader review argued, “the characters are drawn with such compassion their follies become our own and their desires seem as vast as the night sky.”

Watch Trailer


Steve Jobs (2015) 85%

By the time Steve Jobs premiered in 2015, audiences had already seen a number of films about the Apple co-founder, both documentary (Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, released earlier in the year) and narrative (2013’s Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher). This Steve Jobs needed something special, in other words, to overcome the familiarity of its subject; fortunately, it boasted several unique ingredients, including direction from Danny Boyle, a script from Aaron Sorkin, and a cast that included Michael Fassbender as Jobs and Winslet as Apple marketing exec Joanna Hoffman. All that talent still didn’t do much to move the needle with a moviegoing public that might have been pretty Jobsed out at that point, but it had the desired effect with critics who applauded Steve Jobs as the definitive Steve Jobs biopic. As Bob Mondello argued for NPR, “The film feels so electric while you’re watching, it’s hard to believe that after two hours, it doesn’t even get to the iPod, let alone the iPhone.”

Watch Trailer

Expect to see a whole lot of Watchmen updates over the next several months. And here’s one: Jackie Earle Haley, Matthew Goode, and Malin Akerman have signed deals to appear in Zack Snyder’s Alan Moore adaptation.

(Obviously you don’t need me reminding you that Snyder gave us the kick-ass Dawn of the Dead remake — as well as that mega-wild 300 flick.)

Haley, who made a big impact (years ago) with The Bad News Bears and Breaking Away, and made a huge comeback last year with Little Children and All the King’s Men, has been cast as “Rorschach.” Latino Review also seems absolutely positive that the lovely Malin Akerman has been locked to play a character called Silk Spectre. (And also that Billy Crudup will be playing Dr. Manhattan.)

Although best known (so far) for her work in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Ms. Akerman has a whole bunch of high-profile projects on the way. Including this one.

Also, IESB.net informs us that Matthew Goode (as “Oxymandias”) and Patrick Wilson (as “Night Owl”) have been confirmed by their sources. Whew.

As all our source point out, we can probably expect a lot of the Watchmen casting to be shared / confirmed at this week’s mega-geek-tastic Comic Con event. Looking forward to it.

Source: Latino Review, IESB.net

He did great work in both "Hard Candy" and "Little Children," so now it might be time for Patrick Wilson‘s shot at the comic book material.

While discussing his latest film ("Evening") with ComingSoon.net, Mr. Wilson was asked about his possible involvement in Zack Snyder‘s "Watchmen" adaptation. And while the actor didn’t exactly confirm that news, well, he also kinda did:

Quote:


I would blab my mouth ’cause I certainly haven’t been told to keep quiet. It’s just out of respect for them trying to get everybody else on board before I go ahead and blab my mouth, but it’s pretty cool. It’s exciting stuff.


I don’t know much about the "Nite Owl" character that Wilson seems slated to play, but the guy’s a darn good actor, so I say it’s a good pick.

Source: ComingSoon.net

Known as a big predictor of what’ll go down Oscar night, the Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony took place last Sunday to a rapturous Hollywood crowd without a hitch (or surprises or upsets). Check out the full winners list below, along with analysis on how the SAG results affect the Oscar nominees’ chances.

The SAG Awards frequently mirror Oscar nominations and wins. And this year, they’re more similar than in recent memory. Of the 25 Acting and Best Picture nominations, the SAG and Oscar disagree only twice: the SAG reserved a Supporting Actor nom spot for Leonardo DiCaprio, while the Academy has eyes for Mark Wahlberg (both for "The Departed"). And in the Best Picture category, the SAG had "Bobby" whereas the Oscars have "Letters from Iwo Jima."

"There appears to be a developing unanimity about the year’s best actors," writes Hollywood Reporter’s Gregg Kilday. Indeed, who doubted that Forest Whitaker (Male Actor winner for "The Last King of Scotland"), Jennifer Hudson (the Supporting Female Actor winner for "Dreamgirls"), or Helen Mirren (Outstanding Female Actor for "The Queen") wouldn’t be going home empty-handed? They’ve dominated all the other awards shows prior to the SAG Awards.


"The Queen": Helen Mirren phones it in.

However, it’s hard to say that "Dreamgirls‘" Eddie Murphy, who took home the Outstanding Supporting Male Actor award, is guaranteed the same Oscar reward. According to OscarWatch, every actor nominated for the Supporting Actor Oscar have won roughly the same number of awards as he has.

The same can be said for the Best Picture Oscar. "Little Miss Sunshine" won Best Ensemble Acting (the SAG’s Best Picture equivalent), but the other Best Picture Oscar nominees have just about the same number of accolades. And "Little Miss Sunshine’s" directors snub from the Academy can be another problem. Risky Biz Blog points out that only twice has a Best Picture winner not also have its director(s) nominated (1932’s "Grand Hotel" and 1989’s "Driving Miss Daisy").


Eddie Murphy is SAGacious in "Dreamgirls."

Kilday also notes that "no one film has dominated the best picture race this awards season." Oscar nominess "The Departed," "Babel," "Little Miss Sunshine," and "The Queen" have all been accumulating accolades at about the same rate. "Letters From Iwo Jima", however, lags far behind.


The cast surveys the scene in "Little Miss Sunshine."

And in the case of "Little Miss Sunshine," it can also be said that comedies almost never win the Best Picture. Then again, stranger things have happened. Remember when a neurotic little dude single-handedly took down the Death Star?

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

"Little Miss Sunshine"

"Babel"
"Bobby"
"The Departed"
"The Queen"

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Forest Whitaker for "The Last King of Scotland"

Leonardo DiCaprio for "Blood Diamond"
Ryan Gosling for "Half-Nelson"
Peter O’Toole for "Venus"
Will Smith for "Pursuit of Happyness"

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Helen Mirren for "The Queen"

Penelope Cruz for "Volver"
Judi Dench for "Notes on a Scandal"
Meryl Streep for "The Devil Wears Prada"
Kate Winslet for "Little Children"

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Eddie Murphy for "Dreamgirls"

Alan Arkin for "Little Miss Sunshine"
Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Departed"
Jackie Earle Haley for "Little Children"
Djimon Hounsou for "Blood Diamond"

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Jennifer Hudson for "Dreamgirls"

Adriana Barraza for "Babel"
Cate Blanchett for "Notes on a Scandal"
Abigail Breslin for "Little Miss Sunshine"
Rinko Kikuchi for "Babel"

The expected heavy hitters made the grade — Scorsese, Whitaker, "Dreamgirls" — but there were a handful of surprises…let’s just say, if you thought you’d never read "the Oscar-nominated ‘Borat’" in print, think again! The nominees for the 79th annual Academy Awards are in!

Yes, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" stole a nomination for best adapted screenplay, and will compete against "Children of Men," "Notes on a Scandal," "The Departed," and "Little Children" in that category. High Five!

Fans of Ryan Gosling will be happy to know that he made the Oscar list for his work in "Half Nelson," joining company like Leonardo DiCaprio ("The Departed"), Peter O’Toole ("Venus") and Forest Whitaker ("Last King of Scotland") in the lead actor category. The fifth nominee? The Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith ("Pursuit of Happiness").

Golden Globe winner Martin Scorsese is also up for the best director Oscar in a near-rematch of that race. This time, the Academy’s given only one nod to Clint Eastwood ("Letters From Iwo Jima") to make room for "United 93" director Paul Greengrass.

"Little Miss Sunshine" tot Abigail Breslin has a nomination for supporting actress and will face off with "Babel" twosome Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi, "Notes on a Scandal"’s Cate Blanchett, and "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson. Breslin’s ten years old. Is that a new youngest-ever nominee?

"Dreamgirls" nabbed noms in both supporting categories (Golden Globe winners Jennifer Hudson and Eddie Murphy, respectively), as well as art direction, costume design, and three of the five Best Song nominations. We’ll see if voters can differentiate between "Listen," "Love You I Do," and "Patience" or if they’ll split their "Dreamgirls" votes and send the Oscar to Melissa Etheridge’s "Inconvenient Truth" song or Randy Newman’s ditty from "Cars."

And then, the other awards. Those categories that enable certain sub-performing films to call themselves "Oscar-nominated."

  • The Oscar-nominated "Black Dahlia" (36 percent Tomatometer), for best cinematography
  • The Oscar-nominated "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (53 percent Tomatometer), for achievement in sound mixing and visual effects
  • The Oscar-nominated "Poseidon" (32 percent Tomatometer), for achievement in visual effects
  • The Oscar-nominated "Click" (31 percent Tomatometer), for achievement in make-up

Tune in Sunday, February 25 at 5pm PST/8 pm EST for the awards ceremony telecast on ABC!

Read on for the full list of Oscar Nominations!

Performance by an actor in a leading role

Leonardo DiCaprio in "Blood Diamond" (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling in "Half Nelson" (THINKFilm)
Peter O’Toole in "Venus" (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Council)
Will Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness" (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Forest Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland" (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Alan Arkin in "Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
Jackie Earle Haley in "Little Children" (New Line)
Djimon Hounsou in "Blood Diamond" (Warner Bros.)
Eddie Murphy in "Dreamgirls" (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Mark Wahlberg in "The Departed" (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Penélope Cruz in "Volver" (Sony Pictures Classics)
Judi Dench in "Notes on a Scandal" (Fox Searchlight)
Helen Mirren in "The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada" (20th Century Fox)
Kate Winslet in "Little Children" (New Line)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Adriana Barraza in "Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Cate Blanchett in "Notes on a Scandal" (Fox Searchlight)
Abigail Breslin in "Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
Jennifer Hudson in "Dreamgirls" (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Rinko Kikuchi in "Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

Achievement in directing

"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu
"The Departed" (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese
"Letters from Iwo Jima" (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood
"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears
"United 93" (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

Best animated feature film of the year

"Cars" (Buena Vista) John Lasseter
"Happy Feet" (Warner Bros.) George Miller
"Monster House" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Gil Kenan

Achievement in art direction

"Dreamgirls" (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Art Direction: John Myhre
Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

"The Good Shepherd" (Universal)
Art Direction: Jeannine Oppewall
Set Decoration: Gretchen Rau and Leslie E. Rollins

"Pan’s Labyrinth" (Picturehouse)
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero
Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" (Buena Vista)
Art Direction: Rick Heinrichs
Set Decoration: Cheryl A. Carasik

"The Prestige" (Buena Vista)
Art Direction: Nathan Crowley
Set Decoration: Julie Ochipinti

Achievement in cinematography

"The Black Dahlia" (Universal) Vilmos Zsigmond
"Children of Men" (Universal) Emmanuel Lubezki
"The Illusionist" (Yari Film Group) Dick Pope
"Pan’s Labyrinth" (Picturehouse) Guillermo Navarro
"The Prestige" (Buena Vista) Wally Pfister

Achievement in costume design

"Curse of the Golden Flower" (Sony Pictures Classics) Yee Chung Man
"The Devil Wears Prada" (20th Century Fox) Patricia Field
"Dreamgirls" (DreamWorks and Paramount) Sharen Davis
"Marie Antoinette" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Milena Canonero
"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Consolata Boyle

Best documentary feature

"Deliver Us from Evil" (Lionsgate)
A Disarming Films Production
Amy Berg and Frank Donner

"An Inconvenient Truth" (Paramount Classics and Participant Productions)
A Lawrence Bender/Laurie David Production
Davis Guggenheim

"Iraq in Fragments" (Typecast Releasing)
A Typecast Pictures/Daylight Factory Production
James Longley and John Sinno

"Jesus Camp" (Magnolia Pictures)
A Loki Films Production
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

"My Country, My Country" (Zeitgeist Films)
A Praxis Films Production
Laura Poitras and Jocelyn Glatzer

Best documentary short subject

"The Blood of Yingzhou District"
A Thomas Lennon Films Production
Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

"Recycled Life"
An Iwerks/Glad Production
Leslie Iwerks and Mike Glad

"Rehearsing a Dream"
A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production
Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon

"Two Hands"
A Crazy Boat Pictures Production
Nathaniel Kahn and Susan Rose Behr

Achievement in film editing

"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise

"Blood Diamond" (Warner Bros.)
Steven Rosenblum

"Children of Men" (Universal)
Alex Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón

"The Departed" (Warner Bros.)
Thelma Schoonmaker

"United 93" (Universal and StudioCanal)
Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson

Best foreign language film of the year

"After the Wedding" A Zentropa Entertainments 16 Production
Denmark
"Days of Glory (Indigènes)" A Tessalit Production
Algeria
"The Lives of Others" A Wiedemann & Berg Production
Germany
"Pan’s Labyrinth" A Tequila Gang/Esperanto Filmoj/Estudios Picasso Production
Mexico
"Water" A Hamilton-Mehta Production
Canada

Achievement in makeup

"Apocalypto" (Buena Vista) Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
"Click" (Sony Pictures Releasing) Kazuhiro Tsuji and Bill Corso
"Pan’s Labyrinth" (Picturehouse) David Marti and Montse Ribe

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Gustavo Santaolalla
"The Good German" (Warner Bros.) Thomas Newman
"Notes on a Scandal" (Fox Searchlight) Philip Glass
"Pan’s Labyrinth" (Picturehouse) Javier Navarrete
"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Alexandre Desplat

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

"I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth"
(Paramount Classics and Participant Productions)
Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge

"Listen" from "Dreamgirls"
(DreamWorks and Paramount)
Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler
Lyric by Anne Preven

"Love You I Do" from "Dreamgirls"
(DreamWorks and Paramount)
Music by Henry Krieger
Lyric by Siedah Garrett

"Our Town" from "Cars"
(Buena Vista)
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

"Patience" from "Dreamgirls"
(DreamWorks and Paramount)
Music by Henry Krieger
Lyric by Willie Reale

Best motion picture of the year

"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
An Anonymous Content/Zeta Film/Central Films Production
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, Producers

"The Departed" (Warner Bros.)
A Warner Bros. Pictures Production
Nominees to be determined

"Letters from Iwo Jima" (Warner Bros.)
A DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures Production
Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, Producers

"Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
A Big Beach/Bona Fide Production
Nominees to be determined

"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
A Granada Production
Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

Best animated short film

"The Danish Poet" (National Film Board of Canada)
A Mikrofilm and National Film Board of Canada Production
Torill Kove

"Lifted" (Buena Vista)
A Pixar Animation Studios Production
Gary Rydstrom

"The Little Matchgirl" (Buena Vista)
A Walt Disney Pictures Production
Roger Allers and Don Hahn

"Maestro" (Szimplafilm)
A Kedd Production
Geza M. Toth

"No Time for Nuts" (20th Century Fox)
A Blue Sky Studios Production
Chris Renaud and Michael Thurmeier

Best live action short film

"Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)"
A Peliculas Pendelton and Tus Ojos Production
Javier Fesser and Luis Manso

"Éramos Pocos (One Too Many)" (Kimuak)
An Altube Filmeak Production
Borja Cobeaga

"Helmer & Son"
A Nordisk Film Production
Soren Pilmark and Kim Magnusson

"The Saviour" (Australian Film Television and Radio School)
An Australian Film Television and Radio School Production
Peter Templeman and Stuart Parkyn

"West Bank Story"
An Ari Sandel, Pascal Vaguelsy, Amy Kim, Ravi Malhotra and Ashley Jordan Production
Ari Sandel

Achievement in sound editing

"Apocalypto" (Buena Vista)
Sean McCormack and Kami Asgar

"Blood Diamond" (Warner Bros.)
Lon Bender

"Flags of Our Fathers" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount)
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

"Letters from Iwo Jima" (Warner Bros.)
Alan Robert Murray

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" (Buena Vista)
Christopher Boyes and George Watters II

Achievement in sound mixing

"Apocalypto" (Buena Vista)
Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Fernando Camara

"Blood Diamond" (Warner Bros.)
Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ivan Sharrock

"Dreamgirls" (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton

"Flags of Our Fathers" (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount)
John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" (Buena Vista)
Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes and Lee Orloff

Achievement in visual effects

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" (Buena Vista)
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall

"Poseidon" (Warner Bros.)
Boyd Shermis, Kim Libreri, Chaz Jarrett and John Frazier

"Superman Returns" (Warner Bros.)
Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould, Richard R. Hoover and Jon Thum

Adapted screenplay

"Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" (20th Century Fox)
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer
Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips

"Children of Men" (Universal)
Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby

"The Departed" (Warner Bros.)
Screenplay by William Monahan

"Little Children" (New Line)
Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta

"Notes on a Scandal" (Fox Searchlight)
Screenplay by Patrick Marber

Original screenplay

"Babel" (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Written by Guillermo Arriaga

"Letters from Iwo Jima" (Warner Bros.)
Screenplay by Iris Yamashita
Story by Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis

"Little Miss Sunshine" (Fox Searchlight)
Written by Michael Arndt

"Pan’s Labyrinth" (Picturehouse)
Written by Guillermo del Toro

"The Queen" (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Written by Peter Morgan

Sound the alarms! Tonight’s telecast (8pm EST) of the 64th Annual Golden Globes Awards signaled the real start of Oscar mania, so check out our list of winners…and weigh in with your own two cents on who won, who should’ve won, and who definitely should not have worn what. RESULTS IN NOW!!

Royal thesps Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker took home Best Actor nods (for "The Queen" and "The Last King of Scotland," respectively) as expected, and "Dreamgirls" re-cemented its still-potent Oscar power with three wins (Jennifer Hudson for Best Supporting Actress, Eddie Murphy for Best Supporting Actor, and "Dreamgirls" for Best Picture – Comedy/Musical).

"The Departed" director Martin Scorsese capitalized on his recent Awards Season favor by nabbing Best Director, while fellow nominee Clint Eastwood collected a Globe for Best Foreign Film (the Japanese-language "Letters From Iwo Jima").

"The Queen" also won for Best Screenplay, written by Peter Morgan; limited release period flick "The Painted Veil" threw its name into the public eye by winning the award for Best Score.

Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Best Comedy Actor win for "Borat" was one of the night’s highlights, with an acceptance speech that gave new meaning to the term "Golden Globes."

The show’s capper — presented by the Governator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger (he used to be in the movies, right?) — awarded the Best Drama trophy to surprise pick "Babel," instantly renewing that film’s chances come Oscar time.

Find out who else won the hearts of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association Monday night [scroll down for full list of winners and nominees]…

And check out Rotten Tomatoes’ Awards Tour for winners and nominees of this season’s other film awards and critics’ group picks (plus our handy-dandy Buzz chart combining Tomatometer, Awards Won, and Box Office numbers into an Oscar guide for you prognosticators)!

And the nominees for the 64th Annual Golden Globes Awards are (Winners in bold):

Best Original Song

44% Bobby
80% Dreamgirls
76% Happy Feet
23% Home of the Brave
66% Pursuit of Happyness

Best Supporting Actress, Drama



Adriana Barraza for Babel
Cate Blanchett for Notes on a Scandal
Emily Blunt for Devil Wears Prada
Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi for Babel

Best Animated Film



76% Cars
76% Happy Feet
74% Monster House



Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy

Annette Bening for Running with Scissors
Toni Collette for Little Miss Sunshine
Beyonce Knowles for Dreamgirls
Meryl Streep for Devil Wears Prada
Renée Zellweger for Miss Potter

Best Supporting Actor, Drama

Ben Affleck for Hollywoodland
Eddie Murphy for Dreamgirls
Jack Nicholson for Departed
Brad Pitt for Babel
Mark Wahlberg for Departed



Best Screenplay

Todd Field, and Tom Perrotta for Little Children
Guillermo Arriaga Jordan for Babel
Patrick Marber for Notes on a Scandal
William Monahan for Departed
Peter Morgan for The Queen

Best Foreign Language Film

65% Apocalypto
93% Letters From Iwo Jima
94% Lives of Others
97% Pan’s Labyrinth
90% Volver



Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat for The Painted Veil
Clint Mansell for The Fountain
Gustavo Santaolalla for Babel
Carlo Siliotto for Nomad
Hans Zimmer for The Da Vinci Code



Best Director

Clint Eastwood for Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood for Letters From Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears for Queen
Alejandro González Iñárritu for Babel
Martin Scorsese for Departed

Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy

Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Johnny Depp for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Aaron Eckhart for Thank You For Smoking
Chjwetel Ejiofor for Kinky Boots
Will Ferrell for Stranger Than Fiction

Best Motion Picture, Musical/Comedy

91% Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
76% Devil Wears Prada
80% Dreamgirls
92% Little Miss Sunshine
86% Thank You For Smoking

Best Actress in a Drama

Penélope Cruz for Volver
Judi Dench for Notes on a Scandal
Maggie Gyllenhaal for Sherrybaby
Helen Mirren for The Queen
Kate Winslet for Little Children

Best Actor in a Drama

Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond
Leonardo DiCaprio for Departed
Peter O’Toole for Venus
Will Smith for Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland

Best Motion Picture, Drama

70% Babel
44% Bobby
93% Departed
82% Little Children
98% Queen

Best Television Series – Drama

"24"
"Big Love"
"Grey’s Anatomy"
"Heroes"
"Lost"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Patricia Arquette for "Medium"
Edie Falco for "The Sopranos"
Evangeline Lilly for "Lost"
Ellen Pompeo for "Grey’s Anatomy"
Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Patrick Dempsey for "Grey’s Anatomy"
Michael C. Hall for "Dexter"
Hugh Laurie for "House"
Bill Paxton for "Big Love"
Kiefer Sutherland for "24"

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

"Desperate Housewives"
"Entourage"
"The Office"
"Ugly Betty"
"Weeds"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Marcia Cross for "Desperate Housewives"
America Ferrera for "Ugly Betty"
Felicity Huffman for "Desperate Housewives"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "The New Adventures Of Old Christine"
Mary-Louise Parker for "Weeds"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock"
Zach Braff for "Scrubs"
Steve Carell for "The Office"
Jason Lee for "My Name Is Earl"
Tony Shalhoub for "Monk"

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

"Bleak House" (PBS)
"Broken Trail" (AMC)
"Elizabeth I" (HBO)
"Mrs. Harris" (HBO)
"Prime Suspect: The Final Act" (PBS)

Best Performance By An Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Gillian Anderson for "Bleak House"
Annette Bening for "Mrs. Harris"
Helen Mirren for "Elizabeth I"
Helen Mirren for "Prime Suspect: The Final Act"
Sophie Okonedo for "Tsunami, The Aftermath"

Best Performance By An Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

André Braugher for "Thief"
Robert Duvall for "Broken Trail"
Michael Ealy for "Sleeper Cell: American Terror"
Chiwetel Ejiofor for "Tsunami, The Aftermath"
Ben Kingsley for "Mrs. Harris"
Bill Nighy for "Gideon’s Daughter"
Matthew Perry for "The Ron Clark Story"

Best Performance By An Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Emily Blunt for "Gideon’s Daughter"
Toni Collette for "Tsunami, The Aftermath"
Katherine Heigl for "Grey’s Anatomy"
Sarah Paulson for "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip"
Elizabeth Perkins for "Weeds"

Best Performance By An Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Thomas Haden Church for "Broken Trail"
Jeremy Irons for "Elizabeth I"
Justin Kirk for "Weeds"
Masi Oka for "Heroes"
Jeremy Piven for "Entourage"

Hosted right here at the illustrious Rotten Tomatoes is the official website of the Online Film Critics Society, an international group of flick analyzers who put their heads together every December to come up with their favorite films, performances and components of the year. And as a proud member of the OFCS, I’m pretty happy with our picks this year … even if (almost) none of my choices happened to win.

BEST PICTURE: "United 93"

BEST DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese – "The Departed"

BEST ACTOR: Forest Whitaker – "The Last King of Scotland"

BEST ACTRESS: Helen Mirren – "The Queen"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jackie Earle Haley – "Little Children"

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Abigail Breslin – "Little Miss Sunshine"

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Guillermo del Toro – "Pan’s Labyrinth"

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Alfonso Cuaron, Timothy J. Sexton, David Arata, Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby – "Children of Men"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubeski – "Children of Men"

BEST EDITING: Clare Douglas, Richard Pearson and Christopher Rouse – "United 93"

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Clint Mansell – "The Fountain"

BEST DOCUMENTARY: "An Inconvenient Truth"

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "Pan’s Labyrinth" (Mexico)

BEST ANIMATED FILM: "A Scanner Darkly"

BREAKTHROUGH FILMMAKER: Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris – "Little Miss Sunshine"

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER: Sacha Baron Cohen – "Borat"

(So what do you guys think? Good picks or lame?)

In this week’s Ketchup, The much anticipated return of "Indiana Jones" is confirmed, and the "National Treasure" sequel gets a flashy title.

Also, "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" heads to the small screen (again), and we’ve got another trailer for "Spider-Man 3" and "Transformers" (anyone sensing a pattern here?). Read on.

This Week’s Most Popular News:

"Indiana Jones" Returns…Again!

Action-adventure fans rejoice! Producer George Lucas has announced that "Indiana Jones 4" (sequel #3, if you’re counting) will begin filming in 2007!

"National Treasure" Sequel Gets a Title and Release Date

We know most of the crew is returning for a sequel to "National Treasure," but what’s the movie going to be called?

"Mr. & Mrs. Smith" Make the Leap to the Small Screen

Director Doug Liman and screenwriter Simon Kinberg are about to bring their "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" to network television — only I wouldn’t expect Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie to reprise their roles. (Funny but true: There was a "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" series a few years ago; it starred Scott Bakula and Maria Bello, and it went nowhere fast.)

First Official TV Spot for "Spider-Man 3"

We’ve all watched the "Spider-Man 3" trailer about 19 times by now, so here’s something new: The very first TV spot! Hey, we’ll take what we can get…

Spielberg and Bay Say Konnichi-wa, Japan with New "Transformers" Trailer!

In addition to a couple of character shots not included in the US trailer, watch the Japan-only "Transformers" teaser to see Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay hurdle over the language barrier and address their Japanese audience…in Japanese!


What are the odds of getting another "Transformers" teaser next week?

In Other News:

  • THINKFilm has acquired rights to "War Dance," a documentary that will premiere at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
  • Hank Azaria will make his feature directorial debut on the comedy "Outsourced," for Columbia Pictures.
  • The script of the sci-fi romance "The Time Traveller’s Wife" is reportedly undergoing a rewrite, with Bruce Joel Rubin ("Deep Impact," "Ghost") undertaking the project for New Line.
  • The Weinstein Company has acquired North American and U.K. rights to "I’m Not There," the biographical film about legendary singer Bob Dylan.
  • Corbin Bernsen is writing, directing and producing the Christmas comedy "3 Day Test" which will begin filming in February in Kipling, Saskatchewan.
  • "Heroes" star Masi Oka is in negotiations to play a supporting role in Columbia Pictures’ casino-thriller "21."
  • New Line Cinema has acquired Les Firestein’s script for a comedic take on the "Indecent Proposal" theme, in which the rich man will proposition a married man.

No word yet if his biopic will feature mostly unintelligible dialogue.

Much has been made lately of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan‘s demands to screen the Weinstein Co.’s upcoming Oscar hopeful, but it’s only the latest in a growing trend of troubling rumors surrounding the Edie Sedgwick biopic.

"Factory Girl" has been buzzed about as Sienna Miller‘s big break, the role that could send the British actress from "Layer Cake" eye-candy to breakout star. Distributor Weinstein Co. even pushed the flick towards a last-minute December 29 release to qualify for awards season; months ago, Hollywood Elsewhere‘s Jeffrey Wells rough cut rave hailed it as a contender (and suggested there’s Oscar potential in both Miller’s star turn and co-star Guy Pearce‘s portrayal of Andy Warhol).


Miller as Sedgwick in "Factory Girl"

The film, directed by documentarian George Hickenlooper ("Hearts of Darkness," "Mayor of the Sunset Strip"), chronicles the up-down trajectory of Warhol celebutante Sedgwick, the pixie-headed model-actress who was briefly a member of the Factory in the 1960s, dated Bob Dylan, and died of a drug overdose in 1971. Miller herself is a dead-on doppelganger for Sedgwick and stars alongside Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Ileana Douglas, Mary-Kate Olsen, Jimmy Fallon, Mena Suvari, and various members of Weezer.

It’s Christensen’s character, "Billy Quinn," that has drawn the ire of Dylan and his lawyers; though the name is different, the character bears enough resemblance to the folk legend and implies that their break-up inadvertently led to Sedgwick’s demise. From the LA Times: "[The character] has Dylan’s mannerisms and sports a checked scarf like the one Dylan sports on the cover of his classic "Blonde on Blonde" album — on which, legend has it, Sedgwick inspired two songs, "Just Like a Woman" and "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat."


Sedgwick (Miller) with Andy Warhol (Pearce)

Consequently, Dylan is demanding the film’s release and all early screenings be cancelled until he can view it and give his approval — or else producers Bob Yari and Holly Wiersma will be sued for defamation. (Coincidentally, Yari is the guy who was embroiled in a lawsuit around this time last year over snubbed producing credits for "Crash" and is currently in a public sparring match with Warner Bros. over what he considers a flawed Oscar campaign for his upcoming film, "The Painted Veil.")

Add that to recent rumors of Weinstein-mandated re-shoots and "Girl" champions might have cause to worry about the flick (and it’s stars’) chances come February. And then there’s the message board shouting match over at Cinematical about the Hickenlooper film, a failed competing Edie Sedgwick project, and a quite entertaining, if hard to follow, ensuing war of words from supporters of both camps (scroll down to the comments, it’s worth it!).

Elsewhere in Indie News

Sharon Stone To Play Jimmy Fallon’s MILF in Indie Pic


Stone in last year’s "Broken Flowers"

Jimmy Fallon and Sharon Stone are teaming up for the indie drama "Eliot Rockett." The film, which will begin shooting in February, tells the story of a workaholic/commitment-phobe man returning to his hometown due to a family illness; a reunion with his mother (Stone) rekindles his feelings of dysfunction. "Eliot Rockett" marks the directorial debut of co-screenwriter Patrick Sisam.

Lionsgate to Show Crowe’s "Tenderness"


Crowe earning his Golden Globe in "A Beautiful Mind"

The Russell Crowe-starrer "Tenderness" has been picked up by Lionsgate. The indie drama, which also features the talents of Laura Dern, Jon Foster, and Sophie Traub, tells the story of a cop on the trail of a serial killer, who’s become a bit too friendly with a local girl. The film is currently in post-production, and will likely hit theaters in late 2007.

Judge Unleashes "Alpha Dog"


"Alpha Dog": Coming to theaters before going to trial

It’s finally a go for teen crime flick "Alpha Dog," the Nick Cassavetes-helmed biopic based on the life of a young drug lord known as Jesse James Hollywood that premiered at Sundance nearly a year ago. Thanks to a federal judge’s ruling, Universal can release the film as planned this January; Hollywood’s defense attorney still maintains that releasing the flick will infringe upon his client’s right to a fair trial (to take place next year) and will continue to seek legal restraints.

The pic, starring Emile Hirsch, Justin Timberlake, Sharon Stone, Bruce Willis, and a lot more young Hollywood thesps, details the kidnapping and murder of a young man allegedly orchestrated by Hollywood, who consequently became the youngest person on the FBI’s most wanted list. The wealthy, fast-living criminal fled to Brazil, where he was apprehended in 2005.

Tomatometers for Last Week’s Limited Releases


Sarah Polley in Isabel Coixet’s "The Secret Life of Words"

Also playing this week in limited release: "The Secret Life of Words," starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley in a tale of high drama on an oil rig, is at 76 percent with 25 reviews; "Automatons," a zero-budget dystopian sci-fi flick, is at 67 percent with 6 reviews; "Breaking and Entering," a story of the tangled webs weaved after a burglary starring Jude Law and Juliette Binoche, is at 50 percent with 36 reviews; "The Good German," Steven Soderbergh‘s "Casablanca"-esque drama set in post-WWII Berlin starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, is at 33 percent with 70 reviews; and "Home of the Brave," about the trials of vets returning home from Iraq starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Biel, and 50 Cent, is at 21 percent with 33 reviews.

Top Performing Limiteds



Penelope and Pedro, still going strong…

In the indie box office battle last week, Pedro Almodovar‘s "Volver" again claims the top spot, taking in a per screen average of $6,965 of 45 screens in its seventh week of release for a total of just under $2.9 million. The runner-up was the debut drama "The Secret Life of Words" starring Tim Robbins and Sarah Polley; it took in $5,309 in one theater. The suburban drama "Little Children" starring Kate Winslet came in third, claiming $3,695 on 21 screens in its 11th week of release (for a total of just over $2 million). The theatrical adaptation of "The History Boys" finished fourth, taking in $2,889 on 76 screens in its fourth week of release for a total of $795,000. Finally, the Bollywood drama/adventure, "Kabul Express," made $2,852 on 50 screens in its first week of release, for a total of $142,000.

"Babel"’s back in the game as this year’s Golden Globes nominations were announced, including many expected Oscar pics — and a few smaller surprises.

Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu‘s multi-lingual drama had been praised by critics (and stands Certified Fresh at 70 percent on the Tomatometer) but had not been thought of an obvious contender for awards season, let alone the nominations leader with seven Golden Globes nods. Among the noms, "Babel" is in contention for Best Picture – Drama, Best Director (Innaritu), Best Actor (Brad Pitt) and two Best Supporting Actresses (Rinko Kikuchi and Adriana Barraza).


Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt in "Babel"

Also representing in force this year is Martin Scorsese‘s gangster pic, "The Departed," which nabbed the second-most nominations with six, including Best Picture – Drama, Best Director, Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and two competing Best Supporting Actors (Mark Wahlberg and Jack Nicholson).

DiCaprio is one of the year’s double-nominees, as he faces off with himself for Best Actor for his performances as an undercover cop in "The Departed" and a mercenary in "Blood Diamond."


DiCaprio in "The Departed"

Another filmmaker competing with himself for Golden Globes honors is Clint Eastwood, who is nominated twice for Best Director — first, for helming his World War II drama "Flags of Our Fathers," and again for its Japanese-language companion piece, "Letters From Iwo Jima." "Letters" is also an entrant in the Best Foreign Language category, qualifying because it was filmed in Japanese, much like another American-made film in the running — Mel Gibson‘s Mayan-language "Apocalypto."

But for all of these expected big-budget nominees, there were a few surprise picks from the film festival set. "Sherrybaby," for which Maggie Gyllenhaal is nominated for Best Actress, might be the smallest pic in the running; the film debuted at Sundance and played theatrically in only thirteen theaters during its release.


Gyllenhaal in "Sherrybaby"

Tobacco industry send-up "Thank You For Smoking," a $6.5 million project which built momentum from last year’s Toronto and Sundance fests into $38 million gross worldwide, is in the running for Best Picture – Comedy and Best Actor (Aaron Eckhart). The feature-film debut of director Jason Reitman scored well with critics and stands at an impressive 87 percent on the Tomatometer.

Sacha Baron Cohen‘s "Borat," the comedic sensation of 2006, was rewarded as well with two nominations (Best Picture – Comedy and Best Actor).

In a year of unusual multiple nominees, some performers racked up Globes noms with their television work as well. Helen Mirren, long-though to be the Best Actress front-runner for Brit biopic "The Queen," is up for two additional awards in the Best Actress in a Mini-series or TV Movie category where she’ll compete against herself (for performances in "Elizabeth I" and "Prime Suspect: The Final Act").


Mirren in "The Queen"

Mirren will also face off against another dual nominee, Annette Bening, in this category (Bening’s up for the TV pic "Mrs. Harris" and her film "Running With Scissors"). Thesps Chiwetel Ejiofor, Toni Collette, and Emily Blunt are also competing for both film and television Globes.

Further surprises came at the inclusion of devastatingly rotten films like the super-budget bomb of the summer, "The Da Vinci Code" (24 percent on the Tomatometer), which can now boast a Golden Globe nomination thanks to Hans Zimmer’s Original Score.


"The Da Vinci Code": Golden Globe winner?

Emilio Estevez‘s ensemble piece "Bobby" is also rotten at 43 percent, yet will inexplicably vie for the Best Picture award against "Babel" (70 percent), "Little Children" (83 percent), "The Departed" (92 percent) and "The Queen" (98 percent).

Darren Aronofsky‘s sci-fi romance "The Fountain" split critics at 50 percent on the Tomatometer, but its score courtesy of "Pi" and "Requiem for a Dream" composer Clint Mansell captured the attentions of HFPA voters in the same category.

And that other unknown film in the running for Best Original Score? "Nomad," a Kazakh language, Kazakhstan-set historical epic starring Jason Scott Lee and Jay Hernandez that has only yet been released in Switzerland and — yep — Kazakhstan.

The 64th Golden Globes Awards will take place January 15, 2007. Read on for the full list of film nominees.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

"Babel"
"Bobby"
"The Departed"
"Little Children"
"The Queen"

Best Performance By An Actress in A Motion Picture – Drama

Penelope Cruz, "Volver"
Judi Dench, "Notes on a Scandal"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "Sherrybaby"
Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
Kate Winslet, "Little Children"

Best Performance By An Actor in A Motion Picture – Drama

Leonardo DiCaprio, "Blood Diamond"
Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Departed"
Peter O’Toole, "Venus"
Will Smith, "The Pursuit of Happyness"
Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

"Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
"The Devil Wears Prada"
"Dreamgirls"
"Little Miss Sunshine"
"Thank You For Smoking"

Best Performance By An Actress in A Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

Annette Bening, "Running With Scissors"
Toni Collette, "Little Miss Sunshine"
Beyonce Knowles, "Dreamgirls"
Meryl Streep, "The Devil Wears Prada"
Renee Zellweger, "Miss Potter"

Best Performance By An Actor in A Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical

Sacha Baron Cohen, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"
Johnny Depp, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest"
Aaron Eckhart, "Thank You For Smoking"
Chiwetel Ejiofor, "Kinky Boots"
Will Ferrell, "Stranger Than Fiction"

Best Animated Feature Film

"Cars"
"Happy Feet"
"Monster House"

Best Foreign Language Film

"Apocalypto" (USA)
"Letters From Iwo Jima" (USA/Japan)
"The Lives of Others" (Germany)
"Pan’s Labyrinth" (Mexico)
"Volver" (Spain)

Best Performance By An Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Adriana Barraza
, "Babel"
Cate Blanchett, "Notes on a Scandal"
Emily Blunt, "The Devil Wears Prada"
Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
Rinko Kikuchi, "Babel"

Best Performance By An Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Ben Affleck, "Hollywoodland"
Eddie Murphy, "Dreamgirls"
Jack Nicholson, "The Departed"
Brad Pitt, "Babel"
Mark Wahlberg, "The Departed"

Best Director – Motion Picture

Clint Eastwood, "Flags of Our Fathers"
Clint Eastwood, "Letters From Iwo Jima"
Stephen Frears, "The Queen"
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, "Babel"
Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Guillermo Arriaga, "Babel"
Todd Field & Tom Perrotta, "Little Children"
Patrick Marber, "Notes on a Scandal"
William Monahan, "The Departed"
Peter Morgan, "The Queen"

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplat, "The Painted Veil"
Clint Mansell, "The Fountain"
Gustavo Santaolalla, "Babel"
Carlo Siliotto, "Nomad"
Hans Zimmer, "The Da Vinci Code"

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

"A Father’s Way" – "The Pursuit of Happyness"
Music by: Seal and Christopher Bruce
Lyrics by: Seal

"Listen" – "Dreamgirls"
Music & Lyrics by: Henry Krieger, Anne Preven, Scott Cutler, Beyonce Knowles

"Never Gonna Break My Faith" – "Bobby"
Music & Lyrics by: Bryan Adams, Eliot Kennedy, Andrea Remanda

"The Song of the Heart" – "Happy Feet"
Music & Lyrics by: Prince Rogers Nelson

"Try Not To Remember" – "Home of the Brave"
Music & Lyrics by: Sheryl Crow

It’s that time of year again: Right before the fancy awards are doled out, all the different critics’ groups chime in with their favorite flicks of the year. Here we have the picks from the New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) for your perusal.

NY FILM CRITICS ONLINE AWARDS FOR 2006

New York Film Critics Online is composed of major reviewers in the New York area who work exclusively for online publications or for print/broadcast media with a strong online presence. The twenty-six members (NYFCO.ORG) met at O’Neal’s Restaurant, 49 W 64 Street in Manhattan on December
10th, 2006, and voted for these awards:

Picture — "The Queen"

Director — Stephen Frears – "The Queen"

Screenplay — Peter Morgan – "The Queen"

Cinematography — Dick Pope – "The Illusionist"

Actor — Forest Whitaker – "The Last King of Scotland"

Actress — Helen Mirren – "The Queen"

Supporting Actor — Michael Sheen – "The Queen"

Supporting Actress — Jennifer Hudson – "Dreamgirls" & Catherine O’Hara – "For Your Consideration" (tie)

Ensemble Cast — "Little Miss Sunshine"

Debut as Director — Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris – "Little Miss Sunshine"

Breakthrough Performer — Jennifer Hudson – "Dreamgirls"

Film Score — Philip Glass – "The Illusionist"

Documentary Feature — "An Inconvenient Truth"

Animated Feature — "Happy Feet"

Foreign Language Picture — "Pan’s Labyrinth"

Humanitarian Award — Deepa Mehta ("Water") for taking risks to create films about the difficulties of social change in India especially as it affects women.

Ten Best Pictures (Alphabetical)
"Babel"
"The Fountain"
"Inland Empire"
"Little Children"
"Little Miss Sunshine"
"Pan’s Labyrinth"
"The Queen"
"Thank You For Smoking"
"Volver"
"Water"

Helen Mirren‘s astoundingly successful biopic "The Queen" is getting some serious competition from Pedro Almodovar‘s latest, as "Volver" has emerged a frontrunner for the box-office returns (and Awards Season affections) of the artsy crowd.

"The Queen," directed by Stephen Frears, was picked up in October 2005 by Miramax, who then cited the pick-up as the desire to build "an eclectic, wide-ranging slate of specialty projects." With a good-sized (at least for a studio indie) budget estimated at $15 M, it seems Miramax’s acquisition of the quiet Brit royalty drama was a stroke of genius; since debuting in a scant three-theater limited release at the end of September, the film has built unrelenting momentum into a domestic gross of $10.1 M.

Of course, box-office recognition for "The Queen" has mirrored the response of critics, making it both a successful money-maker and a deserving prestige pic. That wave of laurels can be traced back to September, when it debuted to great acclaim at the Venice Film Festival and went on to win three of that festival’s awards (for Best Screenplay, Best Actress, and the FIPRESCI Prize; Frears lost the Golden Lion to Zhang Ke Jia‘s "Still Life").

"The Queen" is currently Certified Fresh and sitting pretty at 98 percent on the Tomatometer, only three out of 120 critics having disliked it (including Stella Papamichael of the BBC, who wrote of it "The tabloid appeal is obvious, but Morgan’s script is tomorrow’s chip paper."). Most critics, however, agree with the Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell that the picture is "led by Mirren in a title role that demands Oscar glory."

But on the whole the critics are raving; it’s no surprise, then, that Helen Mirren has been pegged for months as a shoe-in for Best Actress. She knows it, too; her steely, powdery visage on the film’s poster screams confidence — "It’s mine, all you other actresses get out of my way!" — a statuette finally in her hands, after two previous unrealized nominations (for "The Madness of King George" in 1995, and "Gosford Park" in 2002). Plus, Mirren’s on a royal roll, having just won an Emmy for playing another Elizabeth, Elizabeth I, in the acclaimed 2005 HBO miniseries.

But last weekend a contender emerged to threaten Helen Mirren’s near-lock on the Best Actress award. And her name is Penelope.

Penelope Cruz, carrying an equally strong ensemble piece, is simply luminous in "Volver," a quasi-magical tragicomedy by Spanish director Pedro Almodovar released by Sony Pictures Classics last week. Like "The Queen," "Volver" has reaped praise from critics the world over. And although it only just opened in limited release in the U.S., it’s also poised to make big bucks — and make it’s leading lady a strong candidate for Oscar.

A foreign film after all, "Volver" premiered in Almodovar’s native Spain last March and proceeded to rake in the dough on its tour across Europe, Latin America, and other markets. It also hit up the festival circuit — Almodovar is a certified auteur, and proved so by nabbing a Best Screenplay award at this year’s Cannes, (although he lost the Palme d’or to Ken Loach‘s IRA drama "The Wind That Shakes the Barley"). His film also won the festival’s Best Actress prize — a shared honor awarded to the six female leads of "Volver."

"Volver" is no slouch when it comes to the Tomatometer, either; it’s currently at 93 percent, with 60 reviews. And what of the numbers?

Since debuting this spring overseas, the Almodovar film has grossed $61.5 M worldwide; last weekend it posted "Queen"-like numbers, averaging $40,400 per screen in only five theaters (when "The Queen" debuted in three theaters this fall, it took in a similar $40,671 per site). On November 22 "Volver" will hit 20 more theaters, with more and more playdates as its platform release continues — and, you can be sure, as it keeps filling seats.

All of this is has set Oscar-watchers abuzz, as Cruz — certainly known to American audiences, albeit for eye-candy roles and the spectacle of a Spanish beauty circulating in Hollywood — seems a compelling Best Actress alternative to Mirren. As the beleaguered yet beautiful young mother Raimunda, Cruz’s performance is revelatory; IGN Movies critic Todd Gilchrist muses "she is strong, weak, tender, tough, sexy, and maternal, often all at once." Slant Magazine writer Ed Gonzalez writes "‘Mildred Pierce’ won Joan Crawford an Oscar, and Almodóvar’s quaint riff on the Michael Curtiz classic may do the same for Penélope Cruz."

The LA Times’ Gold Derby columnist Tom O’Neill calls Mirren "the Best Actress frontrunner" but also that "Penelope Cruz has The Babe Factor in a race crowded with older gals." And while these two are certainly reigning over awards contention right now, a handful of other names have been thrown into the ring, including four-time nominee Kate Winslet for "Little Children," multiple-time nominee and twice-winner Meryl Streep for "The Devil Wears Prada," and three-time nominee Annette Bening (for the critical dud "Running With Scissors."

But there’s plenty of time left in the year for more nominees, and a trio of forthcoming flicks have more potential Best Actress-worthy thesps: Dame Judi Dench, for "Notes on a Scandal" (December 25), her co-star Cate Blanchett for Steven Soderbergh‘s "The Good German" (December 15), and — surprise, surprise — Chinese actress Gong Li for "Curse of the Golden Flower," the forthcoming period epic from Zhang Yimou (December 22).

Li’s entrance into the speculative arena is the most recent, and the most interesting; with turns in her first two American movies within the last year ("Memoirs of a Geisha," "Miami Vice") Li has certainly bumped up her exposure stateside. Plus, anyone remotely familiar with Chinese cinema knows she has the skills to be in contention (see "Raise the Red Lantern," "Ju Dou," or any other films she made with director Yimou). But "Curse of the Golden Flower," to be released by Sony Pictures Classics, will have the barriers of language and culture to overcome, and while the same can be said of Almodovar, Cruz, and "Volver," it will certainly be a bigger hurdle for Yimou, Li, and "Flower."

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