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Category: Darren Aronofsky

Golden Globe predictions: 'King's Speech' or 'Social Network' to reign?

Golden_globe_set_2008Predicting the Golden Globes is hard because the awards are bestowed by such a quirky group of foreign journalists with unusual tastes. But let's try it anyway. First the film categories.

-- Tom O'Neil

X = predicted winner

PICTURE (DRAMA)
"Black Swan"
"The Fighter"
"Inception"
"The King's Speech"
X - "The Social Network"

PREDICTION: This is a close contest between "King's Speech" and "Social Network." Members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. often like foreign-set films, especially when they involve the British aristocracy, as evidenced by past victories here by "Atonement," "The English Patient" and "Sense and Sensibility." But sometimes the foreigners strive to do the opposite – to prove how in tune they  are with hip Yankee fare such as "Avatar" last year – and "Social Network" this year? I think so, yes.


PICTURE (COMEDY/MUSICAL)
"Alice in Wonderland"
"Burlesque"
X - "The Kids Are All Right"
"Red"
"The Tourist"

PREDICTION: "Kids" is the only movie on this list that has any hope of an Oscar nomination for best picture, so it'll probably prevail. But is it really a comedy?


DIRECTOR
Darren Aronofsky, "Black Swan"
X - David Fincher, "Social Network"
Tom Hooper, "The King's Speech"
Christopher Nolan, "Inception"
David O. Russell, "The Fighter"

PREDICTION: Unlike Oscar voters, Globe voters often spread the wealth and reward helmers of films that don't win best picture. But I don't think that's going to happen this year.


ACTOR (DRAMA)
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
X - Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
James Franco, "127 Hours"
Ryan Gosling, "Blue Valentine"
Mark Wahlberg, "The Fighter"

PREDICTION: Firth hasn't lost a single award yet this season – and he's not going to lose this one, or any other, en route to the Oscar crown.

 

Continue reading »

'The Social Network' wins Critics' Choice Movie Award for best film

Social network 
 
As expected, "The Social Network" won the Critics' Choice Movie Award for best film of 2010 on Friday evening, along with the best director award for David Fincher, best adapted screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and best score for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The drama about the birth of Facebook has won the majority of critics honors this year, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics. It's nominated for six Golden Globe Awards and earlier in the week earned nominations from the Producers Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America and the Directors Guild of America.

However, it was not the evening's biggest winner by trophy count.  That distinction went to Christopher Nolan's enigmatic thriller "Inception," which took home six awards from the Broadcast Film Critics Assn.: best action film; cinematography for Wally Pfister; art direction for Guy Henrix Dyas, Larry Dias and Doug Mowat;  editing for Lee Smith; and for visual effects and sound.

Best actor went to Oscar front-runner Colin Firth for "The King's Speech." The historical drama also won best original screenplay for David Seidler. Natalie Portman took best actress honors for the psychological thriller "Black Swan." Christian Bale and Melissa Leo won best supporting actor and actress for their work in "The Fighter," which won the best ensemble award. And 14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld's breakout work in "True Grit" landed her the best young actor/actress award.

"Toy Story 3" won best animated feature, and "Easy A" took home the best comedy honors. Tim Burton's box office hit "Alice in Wonderland" won best costume design for Colleen Atwood as well as best makeup.

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" earned best foreign-language film honors, while "Waiting for 'Superman,' " was named best documentary.  Best song honors went to "If I Rise" from "127 Hours,"  music by A.R. Rahman and lyrics by Dido Armstrong and Rollo Armstrong. The sole TV honor -- best television movie -- went to HBO's miniseries "The Pacific."

The awards were handed out at the Hollywood Palladium and telecast on VH1.

— Susan King

 

Photo: Jesse Eisenberg, Brenda Song and Andrew Garfield in "The Social Network." Credit: Merrick Morton/Columbia Tristar.


Will 'Black Swan's' crossover from art house to mainstream portend higher Oscar hopes?

Blackswan 
You know a film has officially hit the mainstream consciousness when it's spoofed on "Saturday Night Live." That happened last weekend when Jim Carrey played an oafish black swan in full leotard, tutu and even the white-faced makeup of the Darren Aronofsky film "Black Swan." My colleagues over at Culture Monster write about it here.

The film is also hitting the mainstream at the box office. Starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, the psychological thriller landed in fifth place last weekend, its highest spot since it debuted at the beginning of December.

Now in wide release, the film crossed the 1,000-theater mark in mid-December and is capturing a wider swath of the moviegoing public than the art house audience it initially focused on. And its gross keeps on trucking, losing only 9% of its box office this past weekend for a total take of $61 million. Similar to the Coen brothers' "True Grit," "Black Swan" marks Aronofsky's most commercial release, far surpassing 2008's "The Wrestler," which scored two acting Oscar nominations and earned $26 million two years ago.

Aronofksy also landed a DGA nomination in addition to the film's various nods from the PGA, SAG and the Golden Globes. The film is practically a shoo-in for multiple Oscar noms, including for Portman, who is sure to be a strong competitor in the lead actress race. Does it get more love from academy members because of its strong box office?

It may at least encourage any reluctant voters to watch the movie if it hadn't yet risen to the top of their screener pile, but voters never seem to be all that swayed by box office muscle. As we all know, they chose the $17-million grossing "The Hurt Locker" over the $1-billion grossing "Avatar."

— Nicole Sperling

 "Black Swan" photo from Fox Searchlight.


Directors Guild nominations: Tom Hooper's 'wonderful surprise'

Tom hooper Just a few hours after hearing of his Directors Guild nomination, Tom Hooper spoke excitedly of the news. "I am so thrilled about the DGA nomination," said the director of "The King's Speech."

"It is such a big deal," he said by phone from New York. "It's where your peers vote for you. I got a call after midday from [DGA President] Taylor Hackford. I knew it was coming up, but I had forgotten about it.  It was such a wonderful surprise. You can't take anything for granted. It's pretty exciting. "

Vying with Hooper for the DGA's top prize are Darren Aronofsky for "Black Swan," David Fincher for "The Social Network," Christopher Nolan for "Inception" and David O. Russell for "The Fighter."

The award will be presented at the DGA ceremony on Jan. 29.

Susan King

Tom Hooper photo by Matt Sayles / Associated Press.


Directors Guild nominations: David O. Russell gets emotional

DORussell "You have no idea how emotional I am today," says David O. Russell about his first Directors Guild nomination for feature film for "The Fighter," which was announced Monday.

"I am really, really grateful," he says by phone from a plane jetting him from Los Angeles to New York, where he will present an award to one of the film's stars, Melissa Leo.

"I cried," says Russell, about receiving the news while driving to LAX. "There are a lot of great filmmakers this year and it's very humbling to be included. I feel like our film and myself are underdogs, so I was moved," said Russell.

"The Fighter" stars Mark Wahlberg as the Boston-based professional boxer "Irish" Micky Ward who gets a second chance at the welterweight title, and Christian Bale as his half-brother, Dicky Eklund, a former boxer deep in the abyss of drugs. Leo plays their mother.

Ironically, Darren Aronofsky, who is also nominated for a DGA for "Black Swan," was at one point set to direct "The Fighter."

Joining Russell and Aronofsky in the DGA nominations are David Fincher for "The Social Network," Tom Hooper for "The King's Speech" and Christopher Nolan for "Inception."

--Susan King

Photo of David O. Russell by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images


DGA nominates five: David Fincher, Tom Hooper, Darren Aronofsky, David O. Russell and Christopher Nolan

FincherDavid Fincher just added a new accolade to the many he's collected this award season: The filmmaker was among five directors who earned a DGA Award nomination for outstanding achievement in feature film Monday morning, with Fincher being recognized for "The Social Network,"  the drama about the creation of Facebook.

"I am very grateful to the Directors Guild of America for recognizing 'The Social Network' and extremely proud of my collaborators for their hard work and talent," Fincher said in a statement Monday morning. "Im honored to be included in a group of filmmakers I so admire."

This is the second nomination for Fincher, 48, in this category. Two years ago, he was a contender for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." He won the  2003 DGA commercial award for "Speed Chain," "Gamebreakers" and "Beauty for Sale."

He's already been feted for his work on the Aaron Sorkin-penned film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics, as well as nominations for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award.

Three of the DGA nominees are first-timers in the feature film award category: Darren Aronofsky, 41,  for his psychological thriller, "Black Swan";   Tom  Hooper, 38, for the historical drama "The King's Speech" (Hooper was previously nominated for a DGA Award for movies for television/miniseries for  2008's "John Adams"); and David O. Russell, 52, for his boxing drama, "The Fighter."

Rounding out the five nominees is Christopher Nolan for his surreal, enigmatic thriller "Inception." Nolan, 40, was previously nominated for 2008's "The Dark Knight" and 2001's "Memento."

There were no real surprises among the nominees. All five are also nominated for a Golden Globe for best director. But missing from the five are Danny Boyle, who won two years ago for "Slumdog Millionaire," for "127 Hours," and Joel and Ethan Coen, winners three years ago for "No Country for Old Men," for "True Grit," as well as Ben Affleck for "The Town" and Lisa Cholodenko for "The Kids Are All Right."

The DGA Awards are considered one of the most reliable bellwethers for the best director Oscar. In fact, in the last 62 years, the DGA and the academy have differed in their final selection only six times. Last year's DGA winner, Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker," went on to receive the Academy Award.

The winner will be named at the 63rd annual DGA Awards dinner on Jan. 29 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland. The DGA also will launch at the ceremony its yearlong 75th anniversary celebration. Past DGA winners like Bigelow, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, the evening's co-chairs, will offer special presentations during the evening that spotlight "game-changing" moments  in DGA history.

Susan King

Photo: David Fincher. Credit: Dan Steinberg/Associated Press


Directors Guild Award nominees named

Director David Fincher just added to the numerous critics' awards for his work on "The Social Network," which include wins from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics, as well as nominations for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award.

On Monday, he earned a Directors Guild of America award nomination for the drama about the creation of Facebook.

Vying with Fincher for the DGA Award are Darren Aronofsky for "Black Swan," Tom Hooper for "The King's Speech," Christopher Nolan for "Inception" and David O. Russell for "The Fighter."

The DGA Awards are considered one of the most reliable bellwethers for the best director Oscar. In fact, in the last 62 years, the DGA and the academy have differed in their final selection only six times. Last year's DGA winner, Kathryn Bigelow for "The Hurt Locker," went on to receive the Academy Award.

This year's winner will be named at the 63rd annual DGA Awards dinner on Jan. 29 at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland.

-- Susan King



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