Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun Film Fact 1/31/12

Adrian Rawlins, the actor who plays James Potter (Harry's father), in the Harry Potter film series has the same birthday as the character James Potter in the books- March 27th. Clearly the casting was meant to be!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Fun Film Fact 1/30/12

Happy 82nd Birthday to the great Gene Hackman!!

Here's a fun fact about him:

Hackman studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse where he and a classmate were voted "Least Likely to Succeed." The other classmate was Dustin Hoffman.

Hackman and Hoffman in Runaway Jury (2003):

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fun Film Fact 1/18/12


Many high-end designers allowed their clothing and accessories to be used in the movie, making it the most expensively-costumed film in history. After the film, Meryl Streep donated her wardrobe to a charity auction.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fun Film Fact 1/17/12


Melissa McCarthy, who plays Megan, and Ben Falcone, who plays Air Marshall Jon, are married in real life.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Golden Globes 2012 Predictions

The Golden Globe Awards celebrate excellence in both film and television. The group of voters is called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HPFA). The HPFA is made up of working journalists who cover the United States Film Industry in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. The first Golden Globes ceremony was held in 1944, so this year is the 69th Annual Golden Globes.

The Golden Globes is considered a very prestigious awards ceremony, but there is often a fair amount of controversy surrounding the nominations. Many believe the Golden Globes has become a popularity contest. Now, that can be said of almost any awards show (Sandra Bullock winning an Oscar for The Blind Side?), but it is most prevalent at the Golden Globes.

The HPFA loves big movie stars. They love having as many huge faces as possible in their audience. Because of this, many famous actors receive nominations that they might not have gotten if they were less well-known. For example, last year Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp both received acting noms for the film The Tourist which was widely acknowledged as one of the worst films of the year. The HPFA has a bit of a love affair with Depp. He has received 10 nominations in the last 11 years.

That being said, the HPFA and the Golden Globe Awards are still highly respected. In Hollywood, being a Golden Globe winner is second only to being an Oscar winner.

Now for my predictions:

The Golden Globes cover a lot of ground. They are for both films and television (which means shows, miniseries, and made-for-TV films), and there are separate categories for Drama and Comedy or Musical.

Now, I don't watch very much television, so I'm not going to predict every category. For example, there is no way for me to make an informed decision for "Best Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television" because I haven't seen any of the nominees.

And one final disclaimer: I'm usually not very good at predicting the Golden Globe winners for two reasons:
1) The minds of the HPFA members are totally different from that of an American teenager and their choices are often baffling to even Hollywood experts.
2) I have only seen about half of the these films. I usually use the Golden Globe winners as a guide for what films to see before the Oscars next month.

So, here we go. I've put my number one choice in green and my runner-up in purple.

Best Motion Picture- Drama

The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
War Horse

Best Motion Picture- Comedy or Musical

The Artist
Midnight in Paris
My Week With Marilyn

Best Director

Alexander Payne, The Descendants
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best Actor- Drama

Brad Pitt, Moneyball
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March

Best Actress- Drama

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin
Rooney Mara, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Viola Davis, The Help

Best Actor- Comedy or Musical

Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
JeanK Dujardin, The Artist
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love

Best Actress- Comedy or Musical

Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

Best Supporting Actor

Albert Brooks, Drive
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Kenneth Brannagh, My Week With Marilyn
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method

Best Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Animated Film

Arthur Christmas
Puss in Boots
The Adventures of Tintin
Cars 2

Best Screenplay

The Descendants
The Ides of March
The Artist
Midnight in Paris

Best Foreign Language Film

The Flowers of War
In the Land of Blood and Honey
The Kid With A Bike
A Separation
The Skin I Live In

Best Original Score

Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Abel Korzeniowski, W.E.
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, The Girl WIth The Dragon Tattoo
Howard Shore, Hugo
John Williams, War Horse

Best Original Song

"Hello Hello" Gnomeo and Juliet
"The Keeper" Machine Gun Preacher
"Lay Your Head Down" Albert Nobbs
"Living Proof" The Help
"Masterpiece" W.E.

Best TV Series- Drama

American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Game of Thrones

Best TV Series- Comedy or Musical

Modern Family
New Girl

Best TV Actress- Drama

Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

Best TV Actor- Drama

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammar, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Damain Lewis, Homeland

Best TV Actress- Comedy

Laura Dern, Enlightened 
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for TV

Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family


Friday, January 13, 2012

Fun Film Fact 1/13/12

The return of the Fun Film Fact!!!

Today is Orlando Bloom's 35th birthday, so here's a fun fact about him:

Orlando Bloom originally auditioned for the part of Faramir in The Lord of Rings trilogy. The part went to David Wenham, but Bloom was asked to audition for Legolas instead. He found out he won the part of Legolas two days before he graduated from drama school and thus began his film career.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Favorite Awards Show Acceptance Speeches

Awards Season is upon us!

I am an awards show junkie. I love the glamour and spectacle of it all-- the fashion, the stars, the hosts, and, of course, the winners. I watch every awards show that is televised: the Oscars (film), Golden Globes (film and television), Emmys (television), Grammys (music) and Tonys (Broadway).

Every awards show has a few memorable moments that people will be talking about for days and even years afterwards: Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry as he accepted his Oscar...

...or Melissa Leo dropping an F-bomb during her Oscar speech for The Fighter...

...or Mickey Rourke thanking his dogs in his Golden Globes speech.

So, I thought I'd take some time to highlight some of my favorite acceptance speeches from past awards shows. I chose speeches that range from funny to emotional, heartfelt to serious, and beautifully written to wonderfully spontaneous.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite acceptance speeches:

Anna Paquin's speech when she won Best Supporting Actress for The Piano at the 1994 Academy Awards:

This is the definition of "speechless." Paquin was just 11 years old when she won. She was so young in fact, that she had not been allowed to see the film due to the R-rated material. Film critic Roger Ebert called her performance, "One of the most extraordinary examples of a child's acting in movie history." Her excited, astonished reaction to hearing her name called is so genuine. I absolutely love the look on her face as she turns towards the audience holding her Oscar. It takes a solid twenty seconds for her to catch her breath and start talking. She delivers a short, simple speech with the poise of someone much older. I also love the reactions of Emma Thompson and Holly Hunter. They are so excited for her. Hunter was nominated for two different films that year, The Firm and The Piano. Later that night she won Best Actress for her performance alongside Paquin.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's speech when they won Best Original Screenplay for Good Will Hunting at the 1998 Academy Awards:

Ben Affleck was 25 and Matt Damon was 27 when they won this award. Both had already established fairly successful acting careers at this point, but Good Will Hunting is the movie that put them on the map. When they were trying to sell the screenplay, they made the genius move of selling themselves with the script. They sold the script on the terms that any studio or director who bought the script also bought Affleck and Damon in the lead roles. I love this speech because it starts out with Ben Affleck trying to be calm, cool and collected, and eventually that just goes out the window and they both start shouting the names of they people they want to thank. You can tell that the audience loves the speech because they start cheering and applauding before the speech is over. It makes me laugh when Ben says, "I know we're forgetting someone!"

Julie Andrews winning Best Actress for Mary Poppins at the 1965 Academy Awards.

Julie Andrews is so poised and classy during this speech. She thanks Walt Disney, but then spends the rest of her speech thanking the American film industry for making her feel so welcome. Mary Poppins introduced Andrews to Hollywood and you can tell how genuinely happy she is to win. I also really love Dick Van Dyke clapping in the audience at 2:01.

Chris Colfer winning Best Supporting Actor for the television show Glee at the 2011 Golden Globes:

Believe it or not, this speech was not written or rehearsed. In a later interview Colfer said he was certain that Eric Stonestreet was going to win, so he didn't prepare anything. It's always awesome when you can see that the winner of an award is truly shocked to hear their name called. Colfer looks so dazed. His cast members have to pull him up and send him on his way. There's not a false step in this entire speech. He starts off with a funny quip, thanks his cast and crew, and then delivers a beautiful, heartfelt thank you to the fans of the show.

Dustin Lance Black winning Best Original Screenplay for Milk at the 2009 Oscars:

Milk is the true story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office. Dustin Lance Black was just 24 when he won this award and his speech is so moving. He talks about how personal Harvey's story is to him and he talks about his hopes that one day there will be nation-wide gay rights. Milk is fantastic movie and a movie that I think had to be made at this time in our country.

Kristin Chenoweth winning Best Supporting Actress at the 2009 Emmys:

I just find everything about this woman adorable. It's crazy how much talent can fit into a 4' 10" woman. Chenoweth is mostly known for her work on Broadway (Glinda in Wicked, Sally in You're A Good Man Charlie Brown). She won this award for the television show Pushing Daisies, which had been cancelled by the time the Emmys rolled around. I love how surprised she looks. She immediately bursts into tears when she hears her name called. Her already high-pitched voice is even higher because she's crying. The best part of this speech is when she says that she's unemployed and starts listing the shows she wants to be on. I also like it when she keeps saying "This is really heavy," referring to the statuette.

I love this picture of Tina Fey and Jon Hamm presenting her with the award because I think it looks like Lord of the Rings. Chenoweth is SO tiny, she looks like a hobbit next to Hamm and Fey.


David Seidler winning Best Original Screenplay for The King's Speech at the 2011 Oscars:


There's such a great story behind this award. Seidler had a severe stutter as a child that he accredited to the emotional trauma of World War II and seeing his grandparents murdered during the Holocaust. He found the story of King George VI very inspirational as a child. He had wanted to write this movie for years, but when he asked the Queen Mother for permission in the early 80's she said, "Yes, but not in my lifetime," citing that the memories were too painful. Little did Seidler know, the Queen Mother would live to the age of 101. So almost 30 years later, the film was made. Seidler, at the age of 73, is the oldest person to date to win this award, hence his line, "My father always said to me I would be a late bloomer."

Tom Hanks winning Best Actor for Philadelphia at the 1994 Oscars:

This speech is just downright beautiful. I love every second of it. He thanks the people who are important to the film and then he thanks two of his acting mentors which he calls, "Two of the finest gay Americans." If you haven't seen the film (which everyone should because it's amazing), Hanks plays a gay man with AIDS who is fired from his job due to his homosexuality. Hanks' performance in this film is extraordinary. It's possibly one of the single greatest film performances of all time.

And finally, Tina Fey's acceptance speeches. Ever since her television show 30 Rock premiered in 2006, it seems like not an awards show has gone by without Tina Fey winning for some aspect of the show, whether it be acting, writing, or producing. Her speeches are always full of comedy zings, but she is also genuinely thankful.

First, her acceptance speech at the 2008 Emmys for Lead Actress in a Television Series:

The best line is "I want to thank my parents for somehow raising me to have confidence that is disproportionate with my looks and abilities. Well done, that is what all parents should do."

30 Rock winning for Best Comedy Series at the 2009 Emmys:

Who doesn't love Bob Newhart? His little monologue at the beginning is a little self-serving, but he's Bob Newhart. A comedy genius like that can be a little narcissistic at the Emmys. If you don't want to hear him, skip to 2:08. Again, the speech is funny and heartfelt. It's a fairly recent thing that when a show or movie wins the top prize, everyone involved gets onstage. I really that because it gives the audience a chance to see how many people it takes to make a show work.

Tina Fey winning Best Actress at the 2009 Golden Globes:

Tina Fey has won SO many times that she has given a lot of speeches, so it's awesome how she makes each one unique. And this is by far the most unique. She thanks the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is the group that votes for the Golden Globes, and then she addresses the people on the internet who hate on her. It's daring and hilarious and just quintessential Tina Fey humor.

So, there you have it: Some of my favorite awards show acceptance speeches. There are tons more, but I thought I'd spare my readers from a post that would take an hour to read.

If you do want to watch some more great speeches, look up:
Sean Penn's speech for Milk at the 2009 Oscars
Kate Winslet's speech for The Reader at the 2009 Oscars
Sutton Foster's speech for Anything Goes at the 2011 Tonys
Michael Caine's speech for The Cider House Rules at the 2000 Oscars
Tim Hanks's speech for Forrest Gump at the 1995 Oscars

If you're an awards show junkie like me, here is when they will be on TV:

Golden Globes: Sunday, January 15, 8pm on NBC
Screen Actors Guild Awards: Sunday, January 29, 8pm on TNT and TBS
Academy Awards: Sunday, February 26, 7pm on ABC