As usual, BAFTA delivered a few surprises this morning. While nothing in their nominee list is as far off the Oscar radar as, say, "Drive"'s hefty haul last year, they've muddled up the hierarchy a little among the leading awards players, as two of the three leading nominees found their directors frozen out -- and not even in favor of certain underperforming British hopefuls, as might have been expected.
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I am fascinated by Los Angeles and its history, and chances are if there's a book or a film about the city, I've read it or watched it. In particular, the history of law enforcement and its failures here is something that I've been obsessed with for years. When you list the very best of what's out there, you have to include "Chinatown," a canny piece about the way water and blood were used to build what we think of as modern LA, as well as the books by authors like Walter Mosely and James Ellroy.
"Gangster Squad," liberally adapted from the non-fiction book by Paul Lieberman by real-life-LA-cop-turned-screenwriter Will Beall, is never going to be considered a classic of the genre, but the film has a certain pop cartoon charm that makes it enjoyable, if slight. Gangster Mickey Cohen has been portrayed on film a few times before. Harvey Keitel played him in Barry Levinson's "Bugsy" and was rewarded with an Oscar nomination for his work. And in "LA Confidential," Cohen makes a small appearance with Paul Guilfoyle playing the part.
In "Gangster Squad," Cohen's been promoted to the main protagonist, and Sean Penn attacks the part with a manic energy that I found wildly entertaining at times. He looks like a "Dick Tracy" villain, exaggerated and feral, and the film focuses on a period at the end of the '40s when Police Chief Parker (played by a Henson Muppet Studios version of Nick Nolte that is remarkably lifelike) decided to authorize a group of his officers to set aside strictly legal methods to bring down Cohen's operations. Basically, this is a stripped down and slicked-up version of "The Untouchables," with Josh Brolin starring as Sgt. John O'Mara, the honest cop who is put in charge of putting together his team of trustworthy men to help him.
The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons, Taylor Swift, Rihanna and fun. will perform at the Feb. 10 Grammy Awards.
The Grammys tweeted the first round of performers late Monday night.
All of the artists are up for awards for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. Mumford & Sons, fun., and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach lead the pack with six nominations each.
Swift, who co-hosted Grammy Nominations Concert Live, in December, is up for two awards while Rihanna got the nod in three categories.
The Grammy Awards will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.
"Lincoln" led this morning's BAFTA nominations with 10 mentions, followed closely by "Life of Pi" and ""Les Misérables" with nine each -- but in something of twist, only one of those field-leading Best Film nominees managed an accompanying Best Director nomination, as Steven Spielberg and Tom Hooper, both nominated yesterday by the DGA, were frozen out by the British Academy. Less compromised success was enjoyed by "Argo," with seven nominations -- indeed, BAFTA took such a shine to Ben Affleck's film that they became the first group to nominate him for Best Actor too.
"Skyfall," the highest-grossing film in UK box-office history managed eight nominations, including ones for Judi Dench and Javier Bardem -- but Best Film, perhaps surprisingly, was not among them. Meanwhile, the year's other home-grown box office sensation, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," earned a solitary nomination in the Best British Film category, with even BAFTA darling Maggie Smith left on the sidelines. Ouch. Full list of nominees after the jump.
"Cougar Town" is back, now on TBS instead of ABC, and I have a quick review of the season premiere coming up just as soon as I try to change the definition of "junk in the trunk"...
If you're reading this, you may be among the millions of otherwise level-headed individuals who are convinced that the "Twilight" series is one of the greatest achievements in the history of cinema. Enter the Razzie nominating committee, who are here to tell you that you're wrong.
When the Academy announced it was shifting its nomination date forward, nowhere else was the 'Simon says' effect more blatantly evident than in BAFTA's decision to move theirs up a week or so -- squeezing in just one day before the Oscar nominations call time on the first stage of the season.
Since 2000, when the British Academy rearranged their calendar to precede their American counterpart, the BAFTAs have prided themselves on their status as the last major precursor before the Oscars -- one that has, on several occasions, foretold late-breaking shifts in momentum.
The professionally adorable Emma Stone had it turned up to high this weekend, as usual, when we sat down to discuss her work in "Gangster Squad," the period drama that was delayed from its original release date last fall.
She's one of those people who you can tell decides that they're going to have fun doing their press, no matter what. She can't help but tease and joke and just plain laugh at the process. She started by comparing our diet sodas, which are obviously working out differently for the two of us. She look like she weighs about as much as one of my legs.
Towards the end of our interview, I decided to ask her about returning to play Gwen Stacy in "The Amazing Spider-Man" sequel. It feels like they just barely got finished with doing publicity for the first film, and now they're already gearing up for work on the sequel.
One of the things that's going to be interesting about this ongoing series is the way they're taking elements from the first three films and from the comics and putting a new spin on them. After all, we're getting a Harry Osborne in the sequel, played by Dane DeHaan, and we're getting a new Mary Jane Watson, played by Shailene Woodley, and I suspect they'll play very different roles in the life of Peter Parker than they did in the Sam Raimi movies.
FOX pulled together some of their sitcom line-up's top talent --- Ike Barinholtz, Mindy Kaling, Jake Johnson, Zooey Deschanel, Nat Faxon, Echo Kellum, Lucas Neff and Shannon Woodward -- to talk about their shows ("The Mindy Project," "New Girl," "Ben and Kate," "Raising Hope") with a possibly punchy group of journalists at press tour. The results, while not sitcom-worthy, were often amusing and, less frequently, informative.
Things started off slowly. When questions were slow to start, Deschanel ("New Girl") started pointing to people in the audience. "Am I supposed to call on people?" she asked.
Nelly Furtado takes you around the world in black-and-white in her new video for "Waiting for the Night."
The clip itself works through some geographic discplacement, as Furtado and her team of dancers don the looks of Dia de los Muertos revelers, and working their way through the tango, flamenco and tribal dance. That poor accordionist only has to sit there, the dear.
Perhaps its with my own bias that I request that all divas-in-wait blast the hell out of their songs with their vocals, but Furtado seems unchallenged in this dance-driven bit. She hangs out around Madonna range, which drives a little fear into me that this song ought to have just been sung by Madonna.
No matter: "Waiting for the Night" is already out and on Furtado's latest "Spirit Indestructible."
It's been one of the most competitive Oscar seasons in recent history, and that competition has also spread to the Best Director category. Five lucky helmers made it through with the Directors Guild today, but left off the list were talented craftsmen like Quentin Tarantino ("Django Unchained"), Paul Thomas Anderson ("The Master"), Wes Anderson ("Moonrise Kingdom") and Michael Haneke ("Amour"), as well as shepherds of awards season successes such as David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook"), Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild") and Sam Mendes ("Skyfall"). A very good year indeed.
All of this morning's nominees have released statements reacting to their good fortune today. The work ranges from CIA thrillers to journo-cinema, Presidential epics to bombastic musicals, and a little 3D razzle dazzle thrown in for good measure. Read what they all had to say below.
The 65th annual DGA Awards will be held in Hollywood on February 2, 2013.