(Photo by Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Leonardo DiCaprio Movies Ranked

Like Paul Rudd or Jennifer Aniston who would follow, Leonardo DiCaprio got his start in the business befitting all future megastars: Starring in a godawful horror movie. 1991’s Critters 3 was DiCaprio’s rite of passage, followed by a bit part in Poison Ivy the next year — and that about ended his association with the genre. By 1993, DiCaprio was applying his striking cherubic looks to dramatic features like This Boy’s Life and breakthrough What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, in which he shared the screen with already-established heartthrob Johnny Depp. Romeo + Juliet made Bill Shakespeare palatable for the mid-’90s teenybopper set, which set the stage for world-storming Titanic, which won all the awards, made all the money, and fashioned DiCaprio as a legend in his own time.

Not to rest on his laurels like on a haphazard dresser floating in the ocean, DiCaprio spent the immediate post-Titanic years seeking only to work with the best directors on edgy material, even as they were in their creative doldrums: Woody Allen with Celebrity, and Danny Boyle with The Beach. The viscerally negative reaction to Beach was enough to get DiCaprio to seemingly pull a disappearing act for what seemed like ages in the pre-Internet world. In reality, not even three years had passed when he re-appeared in Gangs of New York, igniting a rich De Niro-esque relationship with Martin Scorsese that would pay dividends with The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Beyond his conservation efforts (resulting in documentaries like Ice on Fire and Before the Flood), which have kept him from acting, DiCaprio maintains his brand and allure by making each screen performance a major event, going years between narrative films and working only with the biggest-name directors out there: Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar), Christopher Nolan (Inception), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Best Actor and Best Picture-winning The Revenant), and, most recently, Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).

Read on to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s best movies (and his worst) by Tomatometer!

#27

Critters 3 (1992)
0%

#27
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hairy little aliens make their way to a city in search of their favorite snack.... [More]
Directed By: Kristine Peterson

#26

The Beach (2000)
20%

#26
Adjusted Score: 24273%
Critics Consensus: Critics say The Beach is unfocused and muddled, a shallow adaptation of the novel it is based on. Points go to the gorgeous cinematography, though.
Synopsis: The desire to find something real -- to connect with something or someone -- is what drives Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio),... [More]
Directed By: Danny Boyle

#25

Total Eclipse (1995)
25%

#25
Adjusted Score: 25243%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Youthful poet Paul Verlaine (David Thewlis) drinks absinthe and neglects his devoted wife, Mathilde (Romane Bohringer). Arthur Rimbaud (Leonardo DiCaprio),... [More]
Directed By: Agnieszka Holland

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 32652%
Critics Consensus: Leonardo DiCaprio plays dual roles with diminishing returns in The Man in the Iron Mask, a cheesy rendition of the Musketeers' epilogue that bears all the pageantry of Alexandre Dumas' text, but none of its romantic panache.
Synopsis: The former musketeer Athos (John Malkovich) swears vengeance after despotic King Louis XIV (Leonardo DiCaprio) causes the death of his... [More]
Directed By: Randall Wallace

#23

Celebrity (1998)
40%

#23
Adjusted Score: 41716%
Critics Consensus: Entertaining, but too scattered.
Synopsis: The career and personal life of writer Lee (Kenneth Branagh) are at a standstill, so he divorces his bashful wife,... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#22

J. Edgar (2011)
43%

#22
Adjusted Score: 52641%
Critics Consensus: Leonardo DiCaprio gives a predictably powerhouse performance, but J. Edgar stumbles in all other departments with cheesy makeup, poor lighting, confusing narrative, and humdrum storytelling.
Synopsis: As head of the FBI for nearly 50 years, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) becomes one of America's most-powerful men.... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 46694%
Critics Consensus: In spite of its young leading man's heroic efforts to hold it all together, a muddled message prevents The Basketball Diaries from compelling as a cautionary tale.
Synopsis: Jim Carroll (Leonardo DiCaprio) is consumed by his life as a high school basketball star. Pressured by a wicked coach... [More]
Directed By: Scott Kalvert

#20

The Great Gatsby (2013)
48%

#20
Adjusted Score: 59522%
Critics Consensus: While certainly ambitious -- and every bit as visually dazzling as one might expect -- Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby emphasizes visual splendor at the expense of its source material's vibrant heart.
Synopsis: Midwest native Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. Nick, a would-be... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#19

Body of Lies (2008)
55%

#19
Adjusted Score: 63685%
Critics Consensus: Body of Lies relies on the performances of Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio to elevate it beyond the conventional espionage thriller.
Synopsis: CIA agent Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) hatches a bold but dangerous plan to capture terrorist Al-Saleem. With the help of... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 59107%
Critics Consensus: The Quick and the Dead isn't quite the draw that its intriguing premise and pedigree suggest, but fans of nontraditional Westerns should have some rootin' tootin' fun.
Synopsis: A mysterious woman gunslinger, Ellen (Sharon Stone), saunters into the town of Redemption looking for revenge. Her father was killed... [More]
Directed By: Sam Raimi

#17

Blood Diamond (2006)
63%

#17
Adjusted Score: 72432%
Critics Consensus: Blood Diamond overcomes poor storytelling with its biting commentary and fine performances.
Synopsis: As civil war rages through 1990s Sierra Leone, two men, a white South African mercenary (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a black... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 74782%
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly acted and emotionally powerful, Revolutionary Road is a handsome adaptation of Richard Yates' celebrated novel.
Synopsis: Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) always see themselves as far-removed from the conventionality of suburbia. Yet that... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#15

Shutter Island (2010)
68%

#15
Adjusted Score: 77037%
Critics Consensus: It may not rank with Scorsese's best work, but Shutter Island's gleefully unapologetic genre thrills represent the director at his most unrestrained.
Synopsis: The implausible escape of a brilliant murderess brings U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo)... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#14
Adjusted Score: 76797%
Critics Consensus: Baz Luhrmann's visual aesthetic is as divisive as it is fresh and inventive.
Synopsis: Baz Luhrmann helped adapt this classic Shakespearean romantic tragedy for the screen, updating the setting to a post-modern city named... [More]
Directed By: Baz Luhrmann

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 79190%
Critics Consensus: Though flawed, the sprawling, messy Gangs of New York is redeemed by impressive production design and Day-Lewis's electrifying performance.
Synopsis: Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a young Irish immigrant released from prison. He returns to the Five Points seeking revenge... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#12

This Boy's Life (1993)
76%

#12
Adjusted Score: 77587%
Critics Consensus: A harrowing, moving drama about a young boy, his single mother, and his abusive stepfather, This Boy's Life benefits from its terrific cast, and features a breakout performance from a young Leonardo DiCaprio.
Synopsis: In the 1950s, Toby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his mom, Caroline (Ellen Barkin), move to the state of Washington. There they... [More]
Directed By: Michael Caton-Jones

#11

The Revenant (2015)
78%

#11
Adjusted Score: 102654%
Critics Consensus: As starkly beautiful as it is harshly uncompromising, The Revenant uses Leonardo DiCaprio's committed performance as fuel for an absorbing drama that offers punishing challenges -- and rich rewards.
Synopsis: While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, frontiersman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack.... [More]
Directed By:

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 90851%
Critics Consensus: Funny, self-referential, and irreverent to a fault, The Wolf of Wall Street finds Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio at their most infectiously dynamic.
Synopsis: In 1987, Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) takes an entry-level job at a Wall Street brokerage firm. By the early 1990s,... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#9

Marvin's Room (1996)
84%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86580%
Critics Consensus: Marvin's Room rises above the pack of dysfunctional family dramas thanks to an impeccable cast that includes Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Synopsis: Bessie (Diane Keaton) and Lee (Meryl Streep) are sisters who have remained apart for nearly 20 years due to radically... [More]
Directed By: Jerry Zaks

#8
Adjusted Score: 121490%
Critics Consensus: Thrillingly unrestrained yet solidly crafted, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tempers Tarantino's provocative impulses with the clarity of a mature filmmaker's vision.
Synopsis: Actor Rick Dalton gained fame and fortune by starring in a 1950s television Western, but is now struggling to find... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#7

The Aviator (2004)
86%

#7
Adjusted Score: 93426%
Critics Consensus: With a rich sense of period detail, The Aviator succeeds thanks to typically assured direction from Martin Scorsese and a strong performance from Leonardo DiCaprio, who charts Howard Hughes' descent from eccentric billionaire to reclusive madman.
Synopsis: Billionaire and aviation tycoon Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a successful public figure: a director of big-budget Hollywood films such... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#6

Django Unchained (2012)
86%

#6
Adjusted Score: 98832%
Critics Consensus: Bold, bloody, and stylistically daring, Django Unchained is another incendiary masterpiece from Quentin Tarantino.
Synopsis: Two years before the Civil War, Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave, finds himself accompanying an unorthodox German bounty hunter named... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#5

Inception (2010)
87%

#5
Adjusted Score: 101387%
Critics Consensus: Smart, innovative, and thrilling, Inception is that rare summer blockbuster that succeeds viscerally as well as intellectually.
Synopsis: Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#4

Titanic (1997)
89%

#4
Adjusted Score: 101430%
Critics Consensus: A mostly unqualified triumph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama.
Synopsis: James Cameron's "Titanic" is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#3
Adjusted Score: 93943%
Critics Consensus: It's sentimental and somewhat predictable, but those are small complaints, given the tender atmosphere and moving performances at the heart of What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
Synopsis: Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) is a small-town young man with a lot of responsibility. Chief among his concerns are his... [More]
Directed By: Lasse Hallström

#2

The Departed (2006)
90%

#2
Adjusted Score: 102528%
Critics Consensus: Featuring outstanding work from an excellent cast, The Departed is a thoroughly engrossing gangster drama with the gritty authenticity and soupy morality we come to expect from Martin Scorsese.
Synopsis: South Boston cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack... [More]
Directed By: Martin Scorsese

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 101697%
Critics Consensus: With help from a strong performance by Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life wunderkind con artist Frank Abagnale, Steven Spielberg crafts a film that's stylish, breezily entertaining, and surprisingly sweet.
Synopsis: Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) worked as a doctor, a lawyer, and as a co-pilot for a major airline --... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

This week on streaming video, we’ve got some a popular Hulu original series, a horror classic, some well-received TV on Netflix, a handful of worthy older films, and some brand new titles on FandangoNOW, including a pair of Oscar nominees (announced just this morning). Read on for the full list.


New on Netflix

 

Bates Motel: Season 4 (2016) 100%

Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore star in this reimagining of Norman Bates’ teenage years, before he took over the family business and had to deal with constant nagging from his mother.

Available now on: Netflix


Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 2 (2017) 100%

Dreamworks Animation’s reboot of the classic 1980s cartoon about a team of heroic pilots who control robot lions is available exclusively on Netflix, and they’ve just added the entire second season.

Available now on: Netflix


Closet Monster (2015) 82%

This drama centers on a teen whose efforts to come to terms with his sexual identity are complicated at home and on the job.

Available now on: Netflix


Everything Must Go (2010) 73%

Will Ferrell and Rebecca Hall star in this adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story about an alcoholic car salesman who loses his job, gets kicked out of his home, and camps out in his front yard, selling off his possessions.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Hulu

 

The Path: Season 2 (2017) 75%

Aaron Paul and Michelle Monaghan star in Hulu’s original drama about a family living within a cultish religious community. Watch season 2 when it premieres on Wednesday.

Available 1/25 on: Hulu


New on Amazon Prime

 

Rosemary's Baby (1968) 96%

Roman Polanski’s chilling adaptation of Ira Levin’s novel stars Mia Farrow as a young wife who moves with her husband (John Cassavetes) into a new apartment building populated by peculiar tenants, becomes pregnant, and suspects that her child may not be entirely human.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Where to Invade Next (2015) 79%

Michael Moore’s Certified Fresh documentary finds the controversial filmmaker visiting various countries to glean fresh ideas on solving hot-button issues in the US.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Me Without You (2001) 67%

Michelle Williams and Anna Friel star in this period coming-of-age drama about two girls navigating their complicated friendship through the 1970s and into adulthood.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Pillow Book (1996) 67%

Vivian Wu and Ewan McGregor star in this steamy drama about a Japanese writer with a penchant for nude calligraphy who moves to Hong Kong and meets a kindred spirit in an Englishman.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Blood Diamond (2006) 63%

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly star in this drama about a South African mercenary’s quest to track down a rare pink diamond during the bloody 1990s civil war in Sierra Leone.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on FandangoNOW

 

The Handmaiden (2016) 95%

South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s period drama based on the Sarah Waters novel Fingersmith follows a young thief who is assigned by her boss to be the handmaiden for a wealthy Japanese aristocrat, with secret plans to defraud her of her fortune.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Loving (2016) 88%

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga (nominated for a Best Actress Oscar today) star in Jeff Nichols’s fact-based period drama about an interracial couple who went to court to fight for their right to marry.

Available 1/11 on: FandangoNOW


The Lovers and the Despot (2016) 79%

This Certified Fresh documentary tells the stranger-than-fiction story of a South Korean film star and her director husband, who were both kidnapped by Kim Jong-il and forced to produce 17 films for him before they escaped.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Trolls (2016) 75%

Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake lend their voices to this animated adventure based on the popular toys from the 1980s. The film was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar today.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Light Between Oceans (2016) 61%

Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander star in this drama about a couple whose marriage is haunted by the husband’s painful past and their shared grief over being unable to have children.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


Almost Christmas (2016) 49%

Danny Glover and Kimberly Elise star in this holiday family comedy about a patriarch who attempts to bring several generations of his kin together for a celebration.

Available 1/13 on: FandangoNOW


Inferno (2016) 23%

Tom Hanks returns for the third installment of Ron Howard’s globetrotting mystery series based on the novels of Dan Brown; this time he’s joined by Felicity Jones, as his Robert Langdon races to prevent a global pandemic with ties to Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Available now on: FandangoNOW

It may not have been quite the box-office phenomenon that its predecessors were — and critics may have disliked it enough to keep it down at 20 percent on the Tomatometer — but that didn’t stop Rush Hour 3 from emerging as the top DVD rental of 2007.

The third Rush Hour racked up over $70 million in rental revenue, roughly half of what it took in at the box office, and besting another third installment, The Bourne Ultimatum. Count down the rest of last year’s DVD-rental top 25 below!

1. $71.2 Rush Hour 3 ($140.1M box office)
2. $69.7 The Bourne Ultimatum ($227.5 box office)
3. $66.4 The Kingdom ($47.5 box office)
4. $64.3 Superbad ($121.5 box office)
5. $57.2 Live Free or Die Hard ($134.5 box office)
6. $56.7 The Simpsons Movie ($183.1 box office)
7. $55.3 Night at the Museum ($250.86 box office)
8. $54.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix ($292 box office)
9. $51.8 Shrek the Third ($322.7 box office)
10. $51.2 The Heartbreak Kid ($36.8 box office)
11. $50.6 The Pursuit of Happyness ($163.57 box office)
12. $49.0 The Departed ($132.38 box office)
13. $47.5 Borat ($128.51 box office)
14. $47.5 Transformers ($319.3 box office)
15. $45.0 Blood Diamond ($57.38 box office)
16. $43.8 Spider-Man 3 ($336.5 box office)
17. $43.7 300 ($210.6 box office)
18. $43.0 I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry ($120 box office)
19. $42.9 Casino Royale ($167.45 box office)
20. $42.7 Disturbia ($80.21 box office)
21. $42.6 The Holiday ($63.22 box office)
22. $41.8 Knocked Up ($148.8 box office)
23. $40.8 Deja Vu ($64.04 box office)
24. $40.5 Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer ($131.9 box office)
25. $40.5 The Good Shepherd ($59.95 box office)

Source: End of Boredom

New Line hopes to breathe some life into the North American box office with the launch of its pricey adventure film The Golden Compass which stands as the frame’s only new wide release. Directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy), the PG-13 film aims to capture a large crowd including the family audience and fans of sci-fi and fantasy. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, who proved in the summer flop The Invasion that their names only carry so much commercial weight, reunite to star in the effects-heavy film.

Working in its favor is the fact that all other studios have avoided programming their major offerings onto this weekend’s schedule. In fact it is quite rare to see two consecutive frames with only one national opener each. Media attention is concentrated on it this week and with multiplexes dumping their aging November flops, Compass will secure extra screens. The studio’s marketing push has been powerful and awareness is high which makes sense as New Line is hoping for a new fantasy franchise that can keep the cash rolling in for years to come. Teens and young adults who frequent the multiplexes the most should come out in solid numbers since they’ve seen every other worthy film already. Older adults will be a little harder to reach since holiday shopping is a major distraction on weekends right now plus reviews for Compass have not exactly been stellar.

Although the property will target many of the same folks who have dropped billions on fantasy smashes like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia, the source material is not as popular plus there is already backlash from some in the religious community for the anti-Christian material in the Philip Pullman books. Reaching the $65.6M opening of Narnia from this very weekend two years ago will be impossible. Instead, a debut closer to the $27.5M of Beowulf last month could be in order since there may be much overlap. Compass has more appeal for younger kids and females so a bigger bow should result. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, The Golden Compass might premiere to the tune of $33M this weekend.


Nicole Kidman in The Golden Compass

With most of the big boys taking the weekend off from releasing films wide, indie distribs will once again seize the opportunity to platform their end-of-year pics and begin limited runs for possible kudos contenders. By law, you can’t have an awards season without at least one costume drama so Focus Features joins forces with Keira Knightley with Atonement which bows on Friday in 26 sites. The R-rated period piece also stars James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave and has already grossed $31M overseas with over two-thirds of that total coming from the U.K. since its launch there in early September.


James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in Atonement

Fox Searchlight counters in seven theaters with its teen pregnancy comedy Juno starring Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, and Ellen Page in the title role. The PG-13 coming-of-age pic opened on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and is director Jason Reitman‘s follow-up to Thank You For Smoking which grossed $24.8M for Fox Searchlight in the spring of 2006. Reviews have been strong across the board for both Juno and Atonement.


Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby in Juno

After back to back stints of wearing the box office crown, the princess comedy Enchanted is now preparing to take a step back this weekend thanks to the arrival of Queen Kidman. The Disney hit will see some formidable competition for kids, but the overall drop should not be too large. A 35% slide to around $10.5M could result. That would give Enchanted a charming $83M after 19 days of play.

With girls lining up for Giselle and company, their brothers have been taking a historical adventure with the computer-animated action pic Beowulf which has been holding its own since its debut. Golden Compass will also be a threat since there is much audience overlap. But Beowulf‘s good legs suggest that a drop of 35% could be in order here as well. That would leave the Paramount project with about $5M pushing the cume up to $76M.

Sony’s holiday reunion film This Christmas and Fox’s assassin thriller Hitman both witnessed larger sophomore declines so a fall of 40% each should occur this weekend. Christmas would take in just under $5M for a $42M total while Hitman should bank $3.5M for a $36M sum.

LAST YEAR: Mel Gibson scored his second straight number one opening for a historical foreign language film he directed with Apocalypto which debuted on top with $15M. The Buena Vista release went on to capture a solid $50.9M. Three-time champ Happy Feet was bumped down to second with $12.9M in its fourth frame. Sony’s romantic comedy The Holiday bowed in third with $12.8M for Sony. The Cameron DiazKate Winslet pic went on to gross $63.2M domestically and a stunning $200M worldwide. Studio stablemate Casino Royale slipped to fourth with $8.9M. Warner Bros. launched its action thriller Blood Diamond in fifth with a mediocre $8.6M on its way to $57.4M from North America and $171M globally. Opening in seventh was the studio’s other new wide release of the frame, the family comedy Unaccompanied Minors, with only $5.8M leading to a weak $16.6M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

There’s two ways to predict the Oscars: (1) dissect the awards buzz, attempting to get a feel for the fickle machinations of the Academy voter. Or (2) use your powers of geek math to crunch box office numbers and awards statistics for some cold, hard facts. With both methods in full swing, here’s a rundown of the Internet’s major Oscar predictions.

Best Picture
As usual, the nominees have settled into their niches: two big flicks ("The Departed" and "Babel"), one major underdog ("Little Miss Sunshine"), and two wallflowers ("The Queen" and "Letters from Iwo Jima"). FilmJerk, having combed the last 28 years of Oscar winners for meaningful statistics, posits "The Departed" has history on its side. The Envelope, L.A. Times’ one-stop hub for Hollywood buzz, agrees.

But it ain’t over yet. After polling readers from over 20 blogs, Vizu Answers reveals that 54 percent believe "Babel" will emerge victorious. And in our own unofficial Rotten Tomatoes research of the past 15 or so Oscar ceremonies, we discovered that the best-reviewed nominee never wins, along with the ones that make less than the average gross of all the nominees combined. This knocks "Babel" out of the race and pits "The Departed" against "Little Miss Sunshine."


Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio with hats in "The Departed."

Best Director
Martin Scorsese.

All signs point that this is going to be his year (more so than the other million times that statement’s been made). And what if another nominee (probably that Iñárritu guy) swoops in? People will be angry, more Hitchcock comparisons will be made, Scorsese will make a quip and then go back to work.


Martin Scorsese in a "Departed" powwow.

Best Actor and Best Actress
Statistically, Leonardo DiCaprio has a lead on the Best Actor race for "Blood Diamond," but no one is expecting him to win. Peter O’Toole, always the rascal, might pull off an upset. But based on the strong reader and industry insider buzz, it’s hard to imagined the award won’t be going to Forest Whitaker for "The Last King of Scotland."

As for Best Actress, statistics argue that Meryl Streep in "The Devil Wears Prada" has an advantage. Everything else is pointing towards heavy favorite Helen Mirren for "The Queen."


Peter O’Toole is old in "Venus."

Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress
The Supporting races are the the most unpredictable ones this year. The Envelope recently bumped "Dreamgirls"’ Eddie Murphy down, replacing him with "Little Miss Sunshine"’s Alan Arkin as favorite to take home the statue. But blog readers want Murphy to win and the numbers also slightly favor him.

Jennifer Hudson looks to be a shoo-in for her performance in "Dreamgirls." But the buzz has been almost too good; something’s got to backfire at some point. Abigail Breslin from "Little Miss Sunshine" seems an unlikely contender, but the Academy does like to hand out the tot votes (Haley Joel Osment’s nom for "The Sixth Sense" and Anna Paquin’s win for "The Piano" being recent examples).


Jennifer Hudson hitting high notes in "Dreamgirls."

Best Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
"Babel" and "The Queen" are contenders, though the talk of the town is that the award’ll probably go to "Little Miss Sunshine." Recently, this category’s become the designated play area for quirky indie films ("The Squid and the Whale" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" anyone?). "Lost in Translation" won Best Screenplay but lost Best Picture in 2003, so if "Little Miss Sunshine" doesn’t nab Best Picture, it’ll get this consolation prize.

And Best Adapted Screenplay? Reader and Hollywood buzz and historical statistics are in favor for "The Departed." And why not? "The Departed"’s popular with critics, audiences, and picky "Infernal Affairs" fans. And it was written by only one guy (compare with "Children of Men"’s and "Borat"’s five apiece) so we won’t have to sit through a really long acceptance speech.


Steve Carrell and Toni Collette action pose for "Little Miss Sunshine."

Best Foreign Language Film
A strong crop have been nominated this year, including "Water," "Days of Glory," and "The Lives of Others," all Certified Fresh. But the award is likely to go to the critically lauded, record breaking "Pan’s Labyrinth." Since a "Pan" win for Best Screenplay isn’t going to happen, Academy members are going to want to pay their respects and dogpile the votes here.


A charming "Labyrinth" inhabitant.

Best Animated Feature
For the first time in maybe ever, Pixar doesn’t look to be a sure-fire bet. "Cars," despite being Certified Fresh and grossing nearly $250 million, in relative Pixar terms, it wasn’t a huge success like "Toy Story 2," "Finding Nemo," or "The Incredibles." The other big nominee, "Happy Feet," however, was a surprise hit, much like that other penguin movie. Academy voters are probably still thinking fondly about "Happy Feet," while "Cars" has the Ghost of Pixar Movies Past looming over it.


Owen Wilson as an unhappy car.

Best Documentary Feature
Each of the four major nominees have big positives going for them. "Iraq in Fragments" is timely and "Deliver Us From Evil" has a perfect Tomatometer. "An Inconvenient Truth"
may win on the sheer number of people who have seen it as opposed to the other nominees. "Jesus Camp" was an underground, word-of-mouth hit and actually resulted in the closure of the titular camp. You can’t buy better buzz and publicity than that.


Solidarity in "Iraq in Fragments."

Source: FilmJerk, The Envelope, Vizu Answers

Making the News
Jennifer Connelly talks Blood Diamond exclusively with RT-UK’s Joe Utichi

Blood DiamondOscar-winning actress Jennifer Connelly has none of the usual interview-phobia associated with Hollywood’s finest; instead she bursts into the room full of life and greets Rotten Tomatoes UK with a beaming smile.

From her acting debut in Sergio Leone’s Once Upon a Time in America right through to her latest role in Blood Diamond, for which we’re here to talk to her today, she’s proven herself capable of tackling just about any kind of material, from the light family fantasy of Labyrinth through the blockbusting fare of Hulk to challenging drama such as Requiem for a Dream.

As conflict-zone journalist Maddy Bowen in Blood Diamond, she’s sent into Africa’s shady diamond-smuggling underbelly to investigate the operations of Leonardo DiCaprio’s Danny Archer.

RT-UK: How are you enjoying London?

Jennifer Connelly: I love being in London. It’s always so nice…

RT-UK: And cold…

JC: It’s freezing! [Laughs]

RT-UK: A question for you to answer very carefully; did you draw on personal experience in your role as a ruthless journalist?

JC: [Laughs] No, you know I had meetings with women who had been in Sierra Leone at the time actually writing stories on conflict diamonds so what I did was very much informed by those meetings and those conversations. I thought they were fabulous; I loved them. I had enormous respect for their courage and tenacity and it was all for the right reasons.

RT-UK: I can’t imagine doing that job myself…

JC: It’s so remarkable what these people do. I was astounded by it and had the utmost respect for them. I really, really tried hard to make Maddy a faithful and respectful representation of the sort of woman that I met with.

RT-UK: Did you sense their frustration that they were putting these pieces together only to have them cut down or out of their respective broadcasts?

JC: Yeah, I heard stories like that and I also spoke to women who struggled with a similar sort of thing Maddy struggles with when she’s talking about feeling like she’s benefiting personally from someone else’s suffering and that ultimately, really, it’s not affecting that much change and it feels like exploitation which is what she’s striving to counteract. I had women speak to me about that sort of conflict as well.

RT-UK: What’s interesting about Maddy’s relationship with Danny – Leo’s character – is that there’s clearly something going on there but you never actually consummate the relationship you have which is somewhat untraditional these days…

JC: I liked it as well; I liked that the way it was written and it was interesting trying to find a realistic journey for them to take together. To find a place for them to get to together where one feels invested, you know, and it feels realistic that they’ve made an impact on each other but it doesn’t go so far that you go, “Come on, that’s impossible; how could people who start out so politically opposed wind up going that far.” So it was something we tried to be very careful with and Leo and I had a lot of conversations about just where to mark changes and how to try and make a shape for it. But I was really happy that, in the end, Ed felt quite strongly because we kept on thinking, “Oh God, we better wait for those rewrites. There’s going to be that sex scene on a beach or something!” [Laughs] But it never came, to Ed’s credit.

RT-UK: How did you get on with Leo on set?

JC: I had a wonderful experience working with him. We didn’t hang-out – we have such different personal lives and set-ups what with me with my family there and everything. We didn’t spend any time really aside from work. But he was one of the most generous actors that I’ve ever worked with; it was really a great experience for me. And I’m not just saying it, I mean literally we would have conversations after work or at lunch or in the trailer every morning, we were always talking about the scenes that we had to do and what we could bring to them and in what ways we needed help. It was very collaborative which is such a treat for me.

RT-UK: Changing tack slightly, I remember reading a story a while back about some incident at your hotel room while you were on location…

JC: [Laughs] We had baboons in our hotel room which was kind of fabulous; they raided the minibar! [Laughs] Literally, they did. They ate candy bars… We came back and they were bouncing on the bed leaving little footprints all over the couch!

RT-UK: I believe you suffered for your art in the making of this movie too…

JC: Yeah, I was wearing a neck brace for about six weeks. I got a blow to the head in the back of the car when the car is crashing through the jungle; just as it goes into the ditch. I got a concussion and a disc herniation in my next. It’s horrible. And I had to take the neck brace off for scenes and put it back on so it was difficult. Like that scene at the end on the phone was challenging because I was in a tonne of pain but didn’t want to take painkillers. When I first injured myself I took the painkillers and it was really disastrous – I really embarrassed myself thoroughly! It was horrible, I went to some group dinner and was just talking complete nonsense because I just didn’t take seriously the “don’t drink” instructions.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: This didn’t coincide with the minibar raiding incident by any chance, did it?

JC: [Laughs] No, that was another time; I wasn’t making that up! But I had wonderful physical therapy on my neck and I’ve had subsequent scans and it’s fine.

RT-UK: Plus it’s a good story for interviews…

JC: [Laughs] Is it? Good to know! I’ll bring it up if no-one asks me!

RT-UK: Were you expecting the shoot to be this rough?

JC: No, I don’t really have many action sequences and there was very little to do, really. But it was fun. It was fun running through the jungle!

RT-UK: How did you juggle the work with your two kids in tow?

JC: Well they came with me. My husband Paul [actor Paul Bettany] and my younger son Stellan were there for most of the shoot. Stellan was there the whole time with me and Paul had Da Vinci Code out at that time so he left a few times to do some press but other than that he was there with us the whole time. And my older son, Kai, that was fairly complicated with his dad being in New York and school at his age now, he was there for six weeks in the middle. He stayed home for a month with his dad and then he came to us for about six weeks and went back for the last month which was ghastly. It was the longest time I’d ever spent away from him and I was really struggling with it. But it was wonderful to have him there for those six weeks.

RT-UK: Does being a mum make seeing what’s going on out there with child soldiers and orphanages even harder?

JC: I can’t imagine that it isn’t heartbreaking for anyone to look at those images. I think knowing that there are, they estimate, something like 300,000 children engaged in armed conflict around to world, to me that’s unconscionable. And I would imagine for anyone who knows those statistics it’s the same. It’s unfathomable and really horrendous and I don’t think one needs to be a parent to really feel how horrific that is.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: Looking back over your career, there was a time when you weren’t getting the roles you’re getting now. Did you ever feel that the good work might never present itself again?

JC: Yeah and, you know, I’ll probably feel that way again given the way this business goes! [Laughs] But, yeah, absolutely I got to a point where I just didn’t like the movies that I was able to make and I started to think, “Oh God, do I really want to make a movie that I’m going to be embarrassed about?”

RT-UK: What changed?

JC: Who knows what changed. I did this film Requiem for a Dream which I think helped me a lot and that was a struggle to get – I think I auditioned three times for that job. I wanted to do something that I felt passionate about and it got to the stage where I didn’t want to work unless I felt really strongly about what I was going to do.

RT-UK: So what did your plan B look like?

JC: Honestly, I hadn’t really gotten that far… When I went to university the second time – because I went, left and then went back – I was studying Environmental Sciences as an Earth Systems major. But that was then, I don’t know about now…

RT-UK: Going back even further now – have you shown your kids Labyrinth yet?

JC: Actually, yes. Paul showed Stellan, our little one, Labyrinth, and unfortunately he really likes it! [Laughs] Unfortunately because now sometimes it’s playing in the house and I can’t bear to hear it! I can’t bear to see myself at that age! I know it’s a well-loved movie, but can you imagine having to see yourself when you’re thirteen or fourteen? I’m like, “Oh my God! Listen to my voice! Look at me, I’m a bratty little kid!”

But, yeah, Stellan really likes it. [Laughs] They had him doing this project in school – he’s at Nursery School. They’re studying owls, and I don’t know if you remember but David Bowie turns into an owl in the movie. So they were making owls and writing owl poems and his owl was named David Bowie! [Laughs] That was so funny!

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: Does Once Upon a Time in America seem like a distant memory now?

JC: Oh yeah, I was eleven when I made that film which, unfortunately, feels like a very long time ago! [Laughs] It’s a very adult movie which isn’t to say that I was an adult making it, I was a very lucky kid in a very grown-up fancy milieu that I wasn’t even aware of at the time really; the kind of film that it was. I thought, “Oh, I really love this guy with the octagonal-shaped glasses and he’s so nice to me and isn’t Italy great,” but looking back on it I realise it’s probably one of the best films – if not the best – that I’ve been involved with.

RT-UK: You’re working with Terry George soon on Reservation Road aren’t you?

JC: Yeah, we actually just finished a while ago. I haven’t seen it yet but it was a great experience. Terry was fantastic. Bless him, he did such a good job. It’ll be very interesting to see what he makes of it; it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done hands down. It just gutted me and about a week into I thought, “I cannot believe that I decided to do this film!” [Laughs] I play a woman who loses her son, who is my son’s age, and it was just horrific working on it. Terry George was so great because I was so emotional the whole time. There’s an accident that happens at the beginning of the film and pretty much everything that happens is the aftermath. He was so good at managing everyone’s moods and emotions, because literally they’d say, “OK, we’re going to shoot scenes in a different order today,” and I’d be crying and saying I couldn’t do that! I was on edge the whole time and he was just marvellous really.

Diamond Mining
Djimon Hounsou talks Blood Diamond exclusively with RT-UK’s Joe Utichi

Blood DiamondDjimon Hounsou’s career needs little introduction. Born in Benin, West Africa, he moved to Paris at the age of 13 and began a career as a male model. He first rose to international prominence, though, with roles in Stargate, Amistad and Gladiator, his performance in 2002’s In America earning him plaudits from all corners of the media.

That role nabbed him an Oscar nomination. His role in Blood Diamond has gained him another, and Rotten Tomatoes UK is introduced to Hounsou on the day of that nomination. As he waited for the news we sat down with him to talk Africa, the illegal trade in conflict diamonds and Edward Zwick.

RT-UK: Was that a real diamond you were using in those scenes where your character finds it?

Djimon Hounsou: [Laughs] No! Are you kidding me? You think I’d be here?! [Laughs] It’s like putting a piece of fish on a table and asking a cat to look after it for you – you don’t do it!

RT-UK: Can you imagine what it’d be like to be in that situation?

DH: I can somewhat imagine but, joking aside, we were making a film that had so much to do with the greed of mankind so it wouldn’t be wise to do it with a stone like that because you’re putting your life in danger. Making this film involved so many people and so many entities that, you know, eventually somebody could get the wrong idea.

RT-UK: Having been away from Africa for so long, is there a certain part of you that did think, “This is Africa,” when you came back to shoot this movie?

DH: Of course, I had teary eyes before we even started shooting. I always hope for the better for the continent and what I know comes from Africa. Living in the West we feel like we’re so removed from the continent that we can somewhat shut off. And the news doesn’t necessarily help shine light on some of the issues that the continent is facing on a daily basis so it was harsh at times; I was all over the place emotionally.

RT-UK: Can you tell us about your relationship with Kagiso, who played your on-screen son? Did you shoot the emotional stuff at the end at the beginning of shooting?

DH: We did because of the location. We started the film in South Africa but a lot of it was taking place in Mozambique which was where my village, Solomon’s village is. So we had to shoot that in South Africa and that was pretty early in filming. I mean, needless to say, it was very difficult to do that and I certainly wanted to make Kagiso quite comfortable and having so many people around… to try and do that scene and tap into the emotions necessary for that particular scene it was very, very challenging to do.

RT-UK: How did you manage to get close to him?

DH: Well he’s a kid, you know. He loves to play, like any kid, and I was once a kid as well so… I spent a lot of time dining with him and just being playful. Not really having to talk about the scenes, necessarily, it was just about making him comfortable around me in a way that is playful in a way that could be about brothers or, indeed, father and son playing together. It wasn’t about going into the scenes at first. I think that did it, essentially, but either way it was a very difficult scene to do.

RT-UK: Did you play football together?

DH: Yeah, we did and he’s an amazing dancer so there was a lot of music talk and so forth.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: You’ve had a long career, where do you place Blood Diamond? Is it important for you?

DH: Oh, very important. Probably quite high. I think Amistad and Blood Diamond are probably sharing the number one position. When I first heard about the story which happened to be an extremely powerful human story for me in the sense that it touches on so many issues that have been affecting the continent of Africa for so long and it’s so rare to have a film that, in dealing with the one issue, taps into so many different issues affecting the continent. So in that sense it was an amazing project for me and I was literally begging for the role.

RT-UK: Begging? You were camping out in front of Ed Zwick’s house?

DH: [Laughs] Of course not! I have a bit of integrity! But I wanted to do it and because I never got a clear “yes” from the studio and from Ed I was a bit concerned. It’s such a powerful story and I knew that there were several big actors in Hollywood who were looking for it.

RT-UK: You’ve played a wide variety of roles in your career; has that been the luck of the draw or have you been able to make those choices?

DH: Well thanks for saying that because some people feel like I’ve been playing the same roles! I mean I’m still trying to figure out exactly what they mean by that but, again, I think it’s very difficult when you’re in this industry because it’s supposed to be somewhat creative and I think we lack creativity somewhat in this industry. We’re so concerned about the economic factor of making movies so we tend to tap into the generic productivity in terms of actors. Whether the film does well or doesn’t do well, which actors can make the box office go up? And so I’ve struggled through that and eventually, slowly, it’s paying off.

RT-UK: Do you ever find yourself regretting any choices you make later down the line?

DH: Well not really. I look at some of the pictures that are out, certainly this year, and one of them is Last King of Scotland which is doing really well, you know, I couldn’t possibly imagine myself playing that role. So as much as we are of a certain talent and want to be creative we all have certain limitations and so it’s important to acknowledge that and know what you can do and you can’t do. I’m not quite sure what those limitations are, but when I read a story I always know if I don’t belong in it. I have to look at the character, the story itself and me within that.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: Did you read Last King?

DH: I did, it was quite an interesting piece. Obviously I knew about Idi Amin and what I knew of him really was the deciding factor. Idi Amin was, by no means, a great figure for Africa.

RT-UK: We’re coming into awards season now; do you think this film will have an effect on people who’ll be turning up at The Oscars dripping in diamonds? Do you think it’ll make them stop and think?

DH: To be honest, really our idea and certainly my hope is not for people to stop wearing diamonds or to be self-conscious about wearing diamonds because at the end of the day it’s not productive for Africa and those countries that rely on diamonds for trade to sales of diamonds to cease. I hope Hollywood continues to wear their diamonds, in fact, but it’s the way they’re going about it and the way the diamond industry is going about it to ensure that the stone they’re wearing is conflict-free.

RT-UK: It’s clear that the film is touching a nerve, at least…

DH: Oh absolutely it is. First of all we made the film to entertain and to tell a tragic story about how unfairly some of these companies are doing business in Africa and so I think it did touch nerves and hopefully in a good way. Films, nowadays, are educating as much as entertaining and I hope that continues and that we’ve done that.

RT-UK: How was Leo to work with?

DH: If ever you go on a journey of this nature in such a deprived environment and such a harsh environment you hope you go with a great personality. Someone who’s not so much about himself but certainly is about the overall look of the picture and we were extremely lucky to have Leo and his personality and his coolness coming on set day in and day out without too much on his shoulders. He just came in and offered so much more than I expect any actor to offer. It was really about the whole film for him, not just his character or his performance, so he asked the right questions whether they had to do with his scene or any other scene, it really didn’t matter. He’s so much more aware than one would think. He’s a cool guy.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: Your characters are at odds for most of the film; how does that dynamic work on set?

DH: Well that’s exactly the point; it’s very hard to do that and I found it difficult to be playing a character that had to be submissive for three quarters of the film. Even though it doesn’t have anything to do with you but rather the character you’re playing, it would still get to you and it always does. Thank God for Leo’s personality and his coolness because it wouldn’t be possible otherwise. You’d either kill each other or go mad. We survived it with a lot of respect and kindness.

RT-UK: Is making an Edward Zwick film as fun as watching an Edward Zwick film?

DH: Well it was fun but fun does not neglect that we’re working in very hostile environments and if you’re not careful you’re going to get hurt. There were some extremely challenging moments within the making of this film. The physicality of this film and the emotional content of it was just overwhelming day in and day out and not only that, you know, at the end of the day we were left with the livelihood of the people that were helping us create the film. It’s very hard to take in sometimes.

RT-UK: Do you feel a sense of accomplishment, then, when you come to watch the film and you see how worthwhile that effort has been?

DH: Absolutely. The first time you see the film it takes you right back to those times and those moments. It’s very difficult to be objective about the work because you really have to remove yourself and see it a couple of times before you can really involve yourself in the story.

Blood Diamond arrives in UK cinemas on January 26th. It is out now in the US.

The Star of Africa
Leonardo DiCaprio switches continents for Blood Diamond and speaks exclusively to RT-UK’s Joe Utichi

Blood DiamondNine years ago, we’re reckoning, the hour that we spent with Leonardo DiCaprio recently wouldn’t have been possible. Titanic had just come out and Leo-mania saw a bumper year for security guards. In the time that followed DiCaprio seemed keen to grow up, tackling ever more challenging and rewarding roles. He hadn’t contemplated retirement after Titanic, as was “revealed” earlier this week; instead, he tells us, he just wanted to take a break to, in his own words, “let that ship pass by.”

This month sees the release of Blood Diamond, directed by Edward Zwick and co-starring Jennifer Connelly and Djimon Hounsou. In the film, DiCaprio plays a South African diamond smuggler who becomes involved in an operation to move a giant pink conflict stone across the border for sale on the international market. So for sixty minutes he graciously agreed to sit down exclusively with Rotten Tomatoes UK – while in LA his name was being announced as a Best Actor nominee for this years Oscars – and tell us about the film and his role.

RT-UK: So the Oscar nominations are out in half an hour; did you get any sort-of advance warning or will you learn at the same time as us?

Leonardo DiCaprio: No advance warning. I’ll take a lunch break and see what happens; it’s on at half-past one, right? But I have no idea. I think no-one knows; I guess the excitement and the fun of that awards ceremony all together is that it’s the unpredictability of what may happen either with the nominations or who’ll win that gets people excited, you know.

RT-UK: Does it still get you excited? You’re a bit of a dab hand at this stage, aren’t you?

LD: Yeah, I mean, definitely. It’s something, though, that I’ve learned more and more you have absolutely no control over. But sure, you know, it’s not something that I’m going to reject if it happens, for sure!

Honestly, it’s a bad answer but it’s the truth, it’s a nice thing to be recognised like that. It really is. Truly, to put a lot of hard work and effort into a character like this and then for it to be recognised, how can it not be nice? It’s certainly not something I expect by any means, or that we strive for through the pre-production process, or even the filming process. It’s one of those things that the more I’ve acted I’ve realised I a) have no control of and b) no way of really quite understanding how people will react to anything I do or any movie I do. If every actor, every studio had that magic formula we’d all be making critically acclaimed multi-billion-dollar hits every time we made a movie. There are so many intangible forces that come into play when making a film. I honestly have no idea what the public will ultimately thing of something I’ll do, let alone critics. It’s something I think continues to mystify all of us!

RT-UK: Which of your two roles would you rather be up for nomination?

LD: I couldn’t possibly say that! To be honest, I couldn’t be more proud of these two roles I’ve done, the release of which has come about I guess as a result of Scorsese’s editing process, he has a really long one, they’ve coincidentally come out at the same time. And it’s happened before; I did Gangs of New York and then I did Catch Me if You Can and I think they came out in the same month. Here I did The Departed and then went off to Africa and did a whole other movie and they came out at the same time because Scorsese has a very, very long editing process.

RT-UK: With this role and The Departed do you feel that you’ve finally shed the more romantic, heart-throb image that’s followed you for a while?

LD: You know, I’m never really conscious of saying, “I’m going to take on a specific role to combat a certain image in the public eye.” I think that’s pretty manipulative and transparent to the public anyway. And I’m, by the way, open to doing any kind of role and any kind of genre as long as it’s interesting and as long as I feel it could be a great character to play. I never take into my own personal opinions or my own public image into account when I chose movie roles.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: Was it refreshing being able to walk around parts of Africa where people don’t know you?

LD: Certainly I was more anonymous there, for sure, but I did get recognised there as well. Ultimately I hate even complaining about it, I hate complaining about paparazzi, I hate complaining about being recognised, because if I ultimately didn’t want to be an actor or in the public eye, I would quit doing what I do. That’s not the reason I do it, but I love the work so much that it’s worth it. But yeah, in Africa I was definitely more anonymous.

RT-UK: How long did you spend in Africa?

LD: I spent five or six months in Africa. I wanted to go there as early as I possibly could. I’d never spent more than a month in Africa, I went to a place called Jabuti which was the hottest inhabited place on earth. I was there for one week. Going to South Africa was an incredibly experience for me. Not just learning about the history and the culture, the attitudes of the people there… I had to go there early. It would have been a complete disaster if I’d tried to do that type of research with reading material or over the phone, I had to kind-of immerse myself in that environment otherwise I wouldn’t at all have been able to capture any kind of reality with this guy.

We honestly didn’t have much time, we were shooting constantly and rehearsing constantly, but I did get to go on a couple of safaris which was pretty incredible. It was amazing to see, you know, two male lions devour a wildebeest carcass and having these cubs come out of the bush and surround this carcass like ants on a bit of candy was unbelievable.

RT-UK: What was being there and witnessing first hand the harsh realities of the continent like?

LD: Growing up in the Western World and seeing some of the things we saw – not to mention the immense natural beauty of Africa – but to see the conditions people live in there everyday and how they’ve somehow maintained to have such an amazingly positive attitude and outlook on life was pretty inspiring for all of us. We all have our own private stories and feelings on the matter but to put it bluntly it was the spirit and the feelings of the people that was the most astounding and moving for me as a person to witness. We shot in areas of Mozambique where four out of ten people had the HIV virus. There was poverty everywhere; no-one had clean water. And yet they maintained an attitude of just being happy to be alive. It’s a place that deserves the Western World’s support as much as possible.

RT-UK: Did being in South Africa give you some sense of – for want of a better word – the plight of white South Africans? They’re seeing their privilege taken away at the moment, really…

LD: It continues to be a very confusing issue to me; South Africa and the culture there. Through truth and reconciliation, which I think is a very therapeutic thing for everyone involved, I think they’re still learning to coexist right now. This is that period and time that will determine how the future’s laid out. But all I have to say is it was a very foreign environment for me and some of the things that I saw there were very jarring. I’ll keep some of my thoughts personal but it was an environment I wasn’t comfortable with.

RT-UK: Was it tough dealing with material that sees your character provoke and condescend Djimon Hounsou’s character? Is that related to feelings of role-playing in South Africa?

LD: Certainly. Being in an environment like that where you’re surrounded by people who are still suffering from the economic instability there, and still suffering from the class structure, to play a character who is taking advantage of another African man, surrounded by an entirely African crew, posed some uncomfortable moments. Even as much as you’re in character, and you’re trying to become that guy, it’s weird, not to mention my affinity and kinship and the brotherhood I have with Djimon as a human being, and the friends that we’d became, it posed some very surreal, uncomfortable moments for us as actors. Fundamentally, we understood we were making a movie at the end of the day, and this other side, the negative side, needed to be portrayed realistically – and that was the case.

RT-UK: Djimon is obviously from Africa – what was it like for him to be back to shoot this movie?

LD: Well, you know, being an African man who moved to America and then went back to Africa to make a movie of this subject matter there was a certain pathos that I think he naturally embodied; a certain instinct and passion that I certainly felt from him as an actor. That’s not to say, of course, that the man didn’t do a certain amount of work in learning the local accent and transforming himself but there was a certain instinct that I certainly felt being around him every day and working alongside him that was very carnal, you know, and deep-rooted. It came from the gut and I think it shows up on screen.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: Does location work, as I’d imagine formed the bulk of Blood Diamond, lend itself to the relationships you guys share on-set? It seems like you bonded closely with both Djimon and Jennifer Connelly…

LD: There is a certain element of camaraderie, I think, that exists on location when you’re forced to be in each other’s space constantly. The film takes centre-focus with everyone and you don’t go back home to your comfortable lifestyle and your daily ritual. Certainly in a place like Africa, not just the environment but the political landscape was surrounding us all the time and the issues were there; we could draw upon stories from other people and I felt that we were constantly sharing information about the place that we were filming in. I think that affected all of our characters and affected our relationships with each other as characters, too.

RT-UK: How significant was taking on the South African accent in terms of leading you into the character?

LD: It was a completely foreign and alien sound for me, the South African sound. I went early because, having not spent a lot of time in Africa, I needed to lock down the accent as best I could and try and get the general attitudes of some of these mercenaries; these soldiers of fortune. These men that fought wars in Angola, have seen some of the atrocities we’re displaying to try and capture their bitterness and mixed-emotions towards the continent that they’re from. I think that spending a lot of time with these guys absolutely, fundamentally shaped the character for me. It was their stories that I tried to embrace and take on as my own for Danny.

RT-UK: How did you gain the soldiers’ confidence? Was it about getting down and dirty with them?

LD: You hit the nail on the head, yeah! Initially going there there’s a hardened shell that surrounds most of these guys. And, you know, I was pretty surprised coming from America and I think I incorporated a line, “You Americans love to talk about your feelings,” from my experiences hanging out with these South African folks. Because it was very hard for them to divulge anything about their attitudes about Africa or their mixed emotions about the politics there or their experiences at war and what it was like for them and what they were feeling. It did take a certain amount of taking them out to various bars and, you know, getting them drunk and rehashing past demons. That was some of the most beneficial stuff for me; it helped me shape my character and made me understand some of the emotional turmoil that my character had gone through?

RT-UK: Was it an undercover operation in a way because of your fame?

LD: You mean did I go in disguise?

RT-UK: Yeah, were you smuggled in?!

LD: Smuggled into a bar? No, I just kinda walked in!

RT-UK: This is your first “political” movie – are you looking for other projects like this? Does the fact that you’re making these kinds of movies perhaps reflect the end of a personal journey of yours?

LD: You know the truth of the matter is this; I never look for films specifically… First off, let’s backtrack and say that it’s very hard to impose your beliefs or a specific message about any given movie. I think that audiences always extract what they want from a film even if something isn’t overtly political. They may or may not get it, and it’s hard to control that. But that being said, I never look for a movie specifically for that reason, because ultimately if the fundamentals of the character and the script and the director aren’t there, it makes it a moot point.

I would love to do a movie about environmental issues. I would love to do a movie about global warming, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to rush out and go do a film just because that’s the theme. It has to be a quality piece of art. That being said again, I would love to do another movie with more of a modern political message like this. And if this movie breaks even around the world, or does financially well, that will only encourage studios to take more chances with films that have very topical, pertinent issues.
And hopefully the film goes into enough profit to the point where studios will feel comfortable doing more movies and develop more projects like this, because I think this really is a great outlet to get people to be educated about issues.

People all the time ask me about even this movie, “Do you think it’s made any difference?” And my answer is, “It already has.” Even before the movie came out, diamond companies have been more transparent in their talks about how the way businesses run. The Kimberley process has been re-examined and in the media it’s a hot topic.

Blood Diamond
A still from Blood Diamond

RT-UK: Have you ever bought diamonds for anybody? If so, were you aware of their origins?

LD: Sure, I’ve bought diamonds in the past. Before learning about conflict diamonds and their devastating impact on places like Sierra Leone I basically knew the tagline of what a conflict stone was or the term, “blood diamond.” I was pretty-much unfamiliar with the ramifications of some of the events that have gone on and I the devastating impact that it’s had on countries in Africa. Millions of people have been displaced, you know, millions of lives lost. If you see the movie you obviously see there’s some pretty horrific events and, by the way, I’d like to mention none of it is glorified or exaggerated by any means.

Would I ever buy a diamond again? If I were ever to buy a diamond again I’d make sure it’s a conflict-free diamond and I would get it certified by the dealer I bought it from, that’s for damn sure.

RT-UK: Did what you learned and saw make you want to take action?

LD: Yes, and I have since. I’ve done work with Save Our Souls, the organisation out their in Mozambique. I’ve contributed to them and I think we’re all continuing to work with organisations like Amnesty International and Global Witness to get the message out there about conflict diamonds. Jennifer and Djimon, I know have a long history of work in Africa.

Blood Diamond arrives in UK cinemas on January 26th. It is out now in the US.

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



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"

Box office heavyweight Will Smith scored his sixth consecutive number one opening this weekend with his new rags-to-riches drama "The Pursuit of Happyness" which raced past two new kid movies to claim the top spot.

The mythical adventure "Eragon" opened well in second place while the family film "Charlotte’s Web" debuted in third with a modest launch. The one-two punch of "Pursuit" and "Eragon" kicked in a combined $50.5M and for only the second time in box office history, two December films opened to over $20M each on the same weekend.

Proving once again how strong his pull is with moviegoing audiences, Smith conquered the charts with an estimated $27M bow for "The Pursuit of Happyness" which on Thursday picked up two Golden Globe nominations including one for Best Actor in the drama category. Averaging a stunning $9,467 per theater in 2,852 locations, the PG-13 film tells the real-life story of a San Francisco man and his young son who become homeless and must try to get back on their feet. The former fresh prince’s real son Jaden plays his on-screen son in the uplifting, feel-good story.

With mixed reviews and no famous director or co-stars, "Pursuit" succeeded solely on the starpower of Smith and followed his last five films "Hitch," "Shark Tale," "I, Robot," "Bad Boys II," and "Men in Black II." Those five hits all opened at number one and went on to gross a jaw-dropping combined haul of $1.7 billion worldwide. With such a strong start, Will Smith should easily be able to score the tenth $100M domestic blockbuster of his career.

For Sony, "Pursuit" marked its record 13th number one opener of 2006 from a jam-packed slate of 27 releases. Sony also broke its own all-time studio box office record by crossing the $1.57 billion mark in domestic ticket sales with two full weeks still to go and three titles remaining in the top ten. The previous record was set by Sony in the "Spider-Man"-fueled year of 2002.

Opening in second place with some strength of its own was the dragon tale "Eragon" with an estimated $23.5M. Playing in 3,020 sites, the PG-rated film averaged a stellar $7,765 per theater. Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Djimon Hounsou, and Rachel Weisz star in the mythical adventure which was based on a teen author’s story. Driven by special effects, "Eragon" carried a reported production cost of more than $100M. With no "Lord of the Rings," "Harry Potter," or "Narnia" films this holiday season, fantasy audiences had nothing else to rally behind and so Fox took advantage of the opportunity by placing its actioner into the pre-Christmas slot. With school kids leaving for their holiday breaks in the days ahead, the dragon pic aims to soar towards the land of nine digits.

The only other time two December openers bowed to more than $20M each on the same frame was on this very weekend in 1997 when "Titanic" debuted at number one with $28.6M followed by the launch of the James Bond flick "Tomorrow Never Dies" with $25.1M. This weekend’s two new releases also helped to keep the overall box office within striking distance of last year’s colossal frame when "King Kong" ruled with a $50.1M opening and "Narnia" in its second weekend contributed a stellar $31.8M. Despite not having any film of the same magnitude, the marketplace this weekend had great breadth and saw the Top 20 dip only 7 percent versus last year.

Paramount got off to a slow start with its big holiday season offering for families "Charlotte’s Web" which bowed to an estimated $12M from 3,566 theaters for a mild $3,372 average. Based on the popular children’s book, the G-rated film stars Dakota Fanning and features voices from Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey, and John Cleese. Studios never want to see an opening weekend average lower than its theater count, but Paramount is hoping that the upcoming school holidays will allow the well-reviewed film to have legs. Recent kidpics that the studio opened in mid-December went on to make six to seven times their opening weekend grosses. These include 2002’s "The Wild Thornberrys" with a $6M bow on its way to $39.9M and 2001’s "Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius" whch debuted to $13.8M and reached $80.9M. "Web," which cost over $80M to produce, hopes to follow and capture the attention of parents and their smaller children in the days and weeks ahead when they have more available time.

The penguin blockbuster "Happy Feet" followed with an estimated $8.5M, down just 34 percent, for a $149.4M sum. The Warner Bros. smash now ranks number eight among 2006 films and should climb into the top five after the holiday season. Sony’s Cameron DiazKate Winslet comedy "The Holiday" dropped only 36 percent in its second weekend to an estimated $8.2M pushing its ten-day cume to $25.3M. Overseas grosses for the films rose to $59.7M and $28.5M, respectively.

Last weekend’s number one film "Apocalypto" tumbled down to sixth place with an estimated $7.7M. Dropping 49 percent, the Mayan adventure has grabbed $27.9M for Buena Vista in ten days but also suffered the largest decline of any film in the top ten. Fellow sophomore "Blood Diamond" fared better in its second weekend sliding only 28percent to an estimated $6.3M. Earning its star Leonardo DiCaprio one of his two Golden Globe nominations this year for Best Actor – Drama, the Warner Bros. title has mined $18.4M in ten days. "Blood Diamond" got off to a slow start, but is now showing that it could have the legs to go the distance over the holiday season.

The James Bond actioner "Casino Royale" grossed an estimated $5.7M, off 36 percent, to put its total at $137.6M for Sony. New Line’s Biblical drama "The Nativity Story" once again enjoyed the smallest drop in the top ten dipping a mere 18percent to an estimated $4.7M for a $23.1M cume. The family comedy "Unaccompanied Minors" followed in the ten spot with an estimated $3.7M, off 37percent, giving Warner Bros. a poor $10.2M to date.

Opening to spectacular results, thanks in part to its $25 ticket price, was the big-budget musical "Dreamgirls" from DreamWorks and Paramount with an estimated $360,000 from only three theaters for an unprecedented $120,000 average. Winner of five Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture in the comedy/musical category, the PG-13 pic was given a special exclusive release in solo houses in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For the extra cash, ticket buyers were given a Broadway-style experience with reserved seating and a limited-edition program book. At a more standard adult ticket price of $10, that would translate to an average of about $48,000 which is still phenomenal. The studios reported that all 21 shows over the weekend were sold out. Starring Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls" opens nationally on Christmas Day in over 800 theaters.

Also platforming this weekend was the George Clooney starrer "The Good German" which opened to an estimated $79,000 from just five locations for a solid $15,800 average. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the R-rated film co-stars Cate Blanchett and Tobey Maguire and follows an American war reporter’s escapades in Germany.

Three films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. Denzel Washington‘s action thriller "Deja Vu" fell 50 percent to an estimated $3M in its fourth assignment putting the total at $57.8M. Buena Vista should find its way to the neighborhood of $65M. Opening just five days after rival action pic "Casino Royale" has proven to be a major obstacle for "Deja Vu" which will end up with less than half the gross of the better-received Bond flick.

Fox’s holiday comedy "Deck the Halls" has also faced stiff competition for its target audience. The Danny DeVito pic took in an estimated $2M this weekend, down 50 percent, for a $32.9M cume. A $40M final seems likely. Disney’s "The Santa Clause 3" dropped 43 percent to an estimated $1.9M giving the studio $79.8M thus far. Tim Allen and pals should reach the $85M mark, or about 40 percent below the $139.2M of "Clause 2" from four years ago.

Elsewhere below the top ten, Golden Globe nominees for Best Picture posted good numbers. Fox’s "Borat," nominated for both Picture and Best Actor in the comedy/musical category, slipped 39 percent to an estimated $1.6M for a $122.8M total to date. The raunchy comedy had fallen by more than 45 percent in each of the last two weekends. Miramax’s "The Queen" slipped only 22 percent to an estimated $685,000 for a $25.7M cume in its eleventh consecutive weekend in the Top 20. Fellow Best Picture nominee in the drama category "Babel," which led all films with seven total Globe nominations, saw its weekend gross inch up 7 percent to an estimated $490,000 despite losing over one-third of its theaters. Paramount Vantage has taken in $18.3M so far and hopes that the nominations will allow the ensemble film to remain a relevant box office player through the holidays.

The top ten films grossed an estimated $107.3M which was down 10 percent from last year when "King Kong" opened at number one with $50.1M; but up 13 percent from 2004 when "Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events" debuted in the top spot with $30.1M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

"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

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