"The Descendants" has been crowned Best Picture with the Houston Film Critics Society. Nicholas Winding Refn received his second Best Director prize of the day (following an award from the Las Vegas Film Critics Society) and Michael Fassbender was recognized for "Shame." Check out the full list of winners below.
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Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey” is stirring the initial rumblings of critical praise as well as a bit of controversy. The mix feels oddly fitting given the trajectory of the filmmaker's own relationship with the public.
Earlier this week producers were faced with a potential lawsuit from James Braddock, a Croatian author claiming that the script plagiarized his 2007 novel “The Soul Shattering.” He has since withdrawn his motion for a restraining order against the film.
Meanwhile, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that the film will be honored with the 2012 Stanley Kramer Award at the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony. As the PGA explains it, the award was established in 2002 to honor a motion picture, producer or other individual whose achievement or contribution illuminates provocative social issues in an accessible and elevating fashion.
For some reason, we're getting a Very Special Episode of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" on a Tuesday night, though this isn't actually a Very Special Episode for any other reason than yes, we're watching it on a Tuesday night. I was hoping for some big catfight or maybe Kim popping out a second baby she didn't realize was in there, but instead this is a fairly sedate episode, though I think it's safe to forecast some turbulent waters ahead, specifically for Sheree.
It's been a pretty relentless week for precursor announcements, and we're not over the hump yet: tomorrow brings the Screen Actors' Guild nominations, Thursday the Golden Globe list, and then we can all go more or less into holiday mode until the other guilds reignite the conversation in January. (Well, out of loyalty, I must point out that the London Critics' Circle, of which I am a member, announce their nominations next week.)
Some of you have requested a space to offer your own predictions (or wishlists, as you prefer) for the SAG and Globe nominees; as always, we aim to please, so here it is. I've got the ball rolling with my own SAG predictions after the jump -- I haven't the energy to take on the Globes, but maybe I will tomorrow. I'm particularly intrigued to see how SAG fills out its ensemble category: they tend to veer between using it to honor genuine ensemble pieces and lazily checking off supposed Best Picture frontrunners, regardless of the ensemble quality. Will "Hugo" and "War Horse" feature, despite not being major acting showcases? We'll see. Either way, I expect "The Help" to have a good morning. How about you?
We've written before about how the Palm Springs International Film Festival tends to stick very closely to the presumed template of surefire Oscar contenders when picking their honorees. So they've at least gone slightly out on a limb by handing their Vanguard Award for "outstanding creative ensemble" to Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" -- a film already on the fringes in the three awards categories it's aiming for, and one far outside the Best Picture conversation. Reitman took the same award four years ago for a far more broadly popular film, "Juno"; "Little Miss Sunshine" is another previous winner.
I'm not sure how exactly the festival organizers define "creative ensemble," though I do hope the award covers more than just the director, writer and two principals. There's smart supporting work, for example, from Elizabeth Reaser as the homely, unwitting romantic rival of Charlize Theron's protagonist; on the technical front, as I wrote yesterday on the category's Contenders page, the elegantly character-defining costumes by David C. Robinson are thoroughly worthy of recognition.
Early tomorrow morning the Screen Actor's Guild will get a jump on the HFPA and announce the nominees for the 2012 SAG Awards. Unlike the Golden Globes, the SAGs are held in much higher esteem by most actors because they are being honored by their peers. Of course, with such a large group of voters on the nominating committee(4,200 randomly selected members) you're bound to get a few strange nods here and there. Moreover, as the largest branch in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, how the actors (er, SAG) falls is generally (but not always) a good indicator of where the Academy Award nominations will land. That being said, before you get up bright and early to hear Regina King and Judy Greer announce this year's nods, keep these 10 things in mind.
In an interesting turn of events, Seth Rogen (who just last month indicated that he would have no interest in following his friend James Franco’s lead to one day host the Oscars) is set to host the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The 27th annual ceremony will again be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 25 and will air later that evening at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.
Rogen’s own film, “50/50,” is well-represented with nominations for Best Feature, Anjelica Huston for Best Supporting Female, and Will Reiser for Best First Screenplay. The actor co-produced and co-stars (indirectly as himself) in the film alongside indie (and now big budget) favorite Joseph Gordon-Levitt. So, Rogen is indeed taking a feather from Franco’s cap in that there is the potential for him to walk away as both host and honoree should “50/50” secure the Best Feature win.
Describing it as “kind of Black Sabbath meets Nick Drake,” the members of Mumford & Sons says their second album will build on the musical tone set on 2010’s “Sigh No More.”
"[It's] certainly more mature, I’d say," bassist Ted Dwane told Rolling Stone. says. "The second record is just a reflection of our mindsets, where we’re all at. It’s doom folk.
The multiple Grammy nominees, including for record and song of the year, just finished their last show of the year on Sunday at KROQ’s Acoustic Christmas in Los Angeles.
[More after the jump...]
The Las Vegas Film Critics Society dished out their kudos today, and they fell right in line. "We'll take 'The Artist,' please."
More interesting is their choice for Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn for "Drive." As noted in today's Off the Carpet column, it's intriguing how much staying power the film has this season. Maybe it can parlay some of these notices into more serious Academy consideration, but it'll take some more campaign wind in the sails.
Elsewhere, Melissa McCarthy nabbed yet another Best Supporting Actress prize for "Bridesmaids," and I just don't get it. But congratulations to her. It's a real coming out this year and maybe -- given how rocky the category is -- she can manage an Oscar nomination when all is said and done. I'm sure Zach Galifianakis is wondering if he was chopped liver two years ago.
Check out the full list of winners from Vegas below. (And always bet on black.)
Garbage’s reunion is definitely a reality. The Shirley Manson-led band has announced the first two dates of their 2012 world tour. The quartet, whose last release was 2005’s “Bleed Like Me,” will start their global jaunt in Russia in St. Petersburg on May 11, followed by Moscow on May. 12.
In a note on their Facebook page, the band members wrote in a post entitled “Buckle up and away we go: All aboard”:
"We are beyond thrilled to revisit Russia where we have played to incredible and memorable crowds over the years, where we have seen so many wonderous things and met so many lovely fans.
These are the first dates to be confirmed on our world tour of 2012 but we rush to assure Garbage fans all over the world that there are many more dates yet to be announced. Stay tuned. We will announce them here as soon as they are confirmed.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support. It is the outpouring of such incredible enthusiasm that propelled us to make this new record and to get back out on the road to play for you all again.”