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Category: Javier Bardem

'Miral' screening tonight to be hosted by Javier Bardem

Miral 

The Weinstein Co. has taken a page out of last year's popular Oscar campaign strategy wherein a prominent actor/actress hosts a screening of a friend's film. Both Julia Roberts and Sean Penn did so for Javier Bardem's Oscar contender "Biutiful." And now Oscar nominee Bardem is playing host Tuesday evening for his friend Julian Schnabel, and his new film, "Miral." Schnabel directed Bardem in "Before Night Falls," which earned the Spanish actor his first Academy Award nomination.

The film, starring Freida Pinto as the titular character, centers on a young Palestinian woman growing up during the intifada, and depicts the complex relationship with her Israeli neighbors. Hosting the screening suggests that Bardem is endorsing the film, and he will be participating in a post-screening reception with Schnabel. There won't, however, be a question-and-answer session such as those that were so popular during awards season.

Distributor Harvey Weinstein has marketed this film masterfully since acquiring it last June prior to the film's worldwide debut at the Venice Film Festival. The company has said it was Schnabel's decision to woo the United Nations into hosting the film's U.S. premiere, but Weinstein had to know how effective such a decision would be. The controversial film, which many Jewish organizations find offensive for its negative portrayal of Israelis, garnered a slew of publicity thanks to the screening last week at the U.N. (A handful of Jewish organizations, such as the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, came out against the U.N.'s decision to screen the film in the General Assembly hall. A couple of other groups, including Jewish Voice for Peace and American Jews for a Just Peace, supported the film.) Now it should gain even more attention from Bardem's endorsement.

The movie, which has received middling reviews from the festival circuit, bows Friday in limited release. It will be interesting to see if the additional attention placed on the movie translates to a stronger box-office performance.

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Freida Pinto and Omar Metwally in "Miral." Credit: Jose Haro / The Weinstein Co.


Poll: Was a male-male kiss censored at the Oscars?

Controversy rages over a scene not shown on the Oscars telecast: Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin kissing and dancing while en route to the podium to bestow the award for adapted screenplay. As the duo appeared on stage, dressed in matching white tuxedos and ties, TV cameras briskly cut away to a shot of Bardem's wife, Penelope Cruz, beaming in the audience.

Oscars gay kiss 2The Oscars have been accused of homophobia in the past, of course -– like when "Brokeback Mountain" lost best picture to "Crash." Gay roles win acting honors when they're played by obviously straight actors (translation: they don't mean what they're doing, though to be sure, that's the same vein Brolin and Bardem were mining), and usually when they meet a tragic end. Tom Hanks died of of complications from AIDS in "Philadelphia"; Sean Penn was assassinated in "Milk." This year, in "The Kids Are All Right," Annette Bening portrayed a healthy, normal lesbian who doesn't die -– and she lost.

But Oscarcast producer Bruce Cohen insists that Brolin and Bardem's intimate interaction wasn't censored. He told AfterElton: "It [the dance and the kiss] was unscripted, and the plan in the truck was always to cut to Penelope in the audience applauding Josh's and Javier's introduction, so that is what happened, just as they were starting to dance. Josh and Javier’s moment (I saw them start to dance, but, to be honest, I have no idea if they kissed — that’s the first I've heard of that) would have made a great TV moment, but since no one knew it was coming, we cut to the gorgeous Ms. Cruz as planned. By the time we cut back from her close-up, Josh and Javier were walking to the podium."

If ABC truly censored the moment, noted gay activist Andy Humm (Gay City News, "Gay USA") thinks everyone should be outraged. He tells Awards Tracker: "By censoring a male-male kiss, ABC is telling the world that same-sex affection is one of the most disgusting, vile things in the world -- worse than all the violence and infidelity they show every day of the week to make money. We've been trying to tell gay kids this past year that it gets better, but ABC is proving that it gets worse at network TV. The whole community and our allies have to unite in telling ABC to stop treating our love as something offensive."

Humm's "Gay USA" costar Ann Northrop adds, "They look good from the side kissing. What ABC should have censored is the head-on view of the two of them looking hideous in those inappropriate white dinner jackets."

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Josh Brolin, left, and Javier Bardem. Credit: Mark Terrill / Associated Press


Oscars: Colin Firth wins for lead actor

Colin Colin Firth won the Oscar for lead actor for his performance in “The King’s Speech” at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday night. The 50-year-old British actor was the odds-on favorite to pick up his first Oscar. He portrays England’s Prince Albert, who struggles to stop his stuttering before being crowned as King George VI.

Firth breezed through the award season, collecting a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA (the British equivalent of the Academy Award), as well as top honors from the majority of critics’ groups.

Firth was competing against Jesse Eisenberg for “The Social Network,” Oscar co-host James Franco for “127 Hours,” Jeff Bridges for “True Grit” and Javier Bardem for “Biutiful.”

The Academy Awards are taking place at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and are being televised live on ABC. We'll carry all the breaking news and reaction here on Awards Tracker.

-- Susan King

Photo: Colin Firth with his actor Oscar. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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Oscars: Behind the scenes at rehearsals

Swank bigelowJeff Bridges gave a lead actress Oscar to Natalie Portman on Saturday afternoon at the Kodak Theatre. "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" Bridges shouted, signaling that Portman's acceptance speech was running long. Two minutes later, Bridges gave the same Oscar to Nicole Kidman. "Oh, you're Nicole Kidman? Hi, Nicole," Bridges said.

Neither actress was offended by Bridges' informal manner, since  neither was actually there. Bridges, who is nominated for lead actor this year for his performance in "True Grit," was one of dozens of stars who arrived to rehearse their roles in Sunday's Academy Awards, with the help of a small army of stand-ins. Celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Robert Downey Jr., Halle Berry, Javier Bardem, Reese Witherspoon, Hilary Swank, Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Hudson practiced key skills like teleprompter reading, crossing the stage without tripping and pronouncing the foreign language nominees' names.

Some had pieces of their wardrobe along -- Swank brought some steep crystal-encrusted heels to try out, and her co-presenter for best director, Kathryn Bigelow, carried her gold shoes -- while most kept it casual.

"We're movin' around! We're everywhere!" said a hoodie-and-jeans-clad Kunis as she practiced her stage walk and waved at a very enthusiastic seat filler, who turned out to be Hudson's 18-month-old son.

Timberlake moonwalked downstage between takes.

"A pop-up mike?! That's cheeky," said Brand, as he practiced announcing with Mirren. "Don't stand over that, Russell," Mirren cautioned him with a wink.

"Do you want your publicist to have this or do you want it?" Downey was asked about his Oscar credential, which had a photo of the actor. "I want my hairdresser to have it, to duplicate that look," Downey said, before stepping into place to rehearse.

"They changed my words!" Bardem said, while squinting into the teleprompter. Told teasingly to breathe, he said, "I can't breathe in this," smoothing his hands over his blazer.

By day's end, the real Nicole Kidman had turned up. Dressed in a slinky red dress, Kidman, no stranger to the Academy Awards as a previous winner, got some direction on one of Oscar's new wrinkles. "We have substantial envelopes this year, so you can get a feel for them," Kidman was told, as she was handed her rehearsal prop.

Gazing out into the crowd, Kidman looked for her seat and smiled when it was finally pointed out to her. She'll be sitting in the front row.


 -- Rebecca Keegan

Photo: Hilary Swank, left, and Kathryn Bigelow on Saturday practice presenting for the Oscars. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times


Oscars: Bardem, Mirren and McConaughey added to list of presenters

JavierII 

Three more presenters for the Academy Awards were announced Wednesday by Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer.

Javier Bardem, who won the supporting actor Academy Award three years ago for "No Country for Old Men" and is nominated for lead actor this year for "Biutiful";  Helen Mirren, the lead actress Oscar-winner for 2006's "The Queen" and Matthew McConaughey, have been added to the list of presenters at the 83rd Academy Awards this Sunday evening.

The Academy Awards will be telecast live on ABC from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood and Highland. James Franco, a lead actor nominee for "127 Hours," and Anne Hathaway are the co-hosts.

 

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--Susan King

Photo: Javier Bardem, who just won the Goya Award for "Biutiful," will be a presenter at the Academy Awards. Credit: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images


BAFTA Award: Colin Firth wins for best actor

Colin Bafta Colin Firth won the leading actor trophy for his performance as King George VI in "The King's Speech" on Sunday at the Orange British Academy Film Awards.

Firth, who won the same honor last year for his role in Tom Ford's "A Single Man," is considered the front-runner for the Oscar in the same category. The top British film award and the Oscars have aligned fairly closely in recent years.

His competition was Javier Bardem for "Biutiful," Jeff Bridges for "True Grit," Jesse Eisenberg for "The Social Network" and James Franco for "127 Hours."

The awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, were handed out  at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden in London.

--Susan King

Photo of Colin Firth from Getty Images.


Javier Bardem needs a translator -- not for English, for Jeff Bridges

Bridges 
Javier Bardem loves watching the work of his fellow actors. Paul Giamatti’s piss-and-vinegar performance in “Barney’s Version” deeply moved him, and he dug Kevin Spacey in “Casino Jack” and Michael Douglas’ turn in “Solitary Man.”

And the star of "Biutiful" has, of course, seen and enjoyed the work of his fellow lead actor Oscar nominees. Well … with one exception. He couldn’t understand what the heck Jeff Bridges was saying through much of the Coen brothers’ “True Grit.”

"Jeff Bridges is one of my idols," Bardem says. "He is one of those actors who has never done anything wrong. And he has done a lot of movies! But I saw it and it’s so thick, the accent that he has in the movie. So it was not easy for me to ... " Bardem pauses and lets out a groan, " ... get in there."

The pain is, yes, literally audible. Because Bardem not only loves Bridges, he also loves the Coens, having won an Oscar with them playing the stone-cold killer in "No Country for Old Men."

Bardem even asked his "No Country" costar Josh Brolin if it was just him or was Bridges' raspy Rooster Cogburn hard to decipher.

"He told me, ‘It’s not just you, Javier. Those accents are strong. That’s the way they speak,' " Bardem relates.

But the Spanish actor isn’t giving up. He plans to revisit "True Grit" once he returns home to Madrid.

"Then I can see it with subtitles and understand what’s going on," he says, smiling. "I’m looking forward to it."

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: Jeff Bridges in "True Grit." Credit: Paramount Pictures


The new Bond villain? Javier Bardem is intrigued

Javier Bardem 
 
Oscar nominee Javier Bardem is notoriously difficult when it comes to getting him to commit to a film, but he admits he has just been offered a part that will be hard to turn down.

Bardem recently met with director Sam Mendes to talk about playing the villain in the next James Bond film, temporarily titled “James Bond 23” and set for a Nov. 9, 2012, release.

The actor, who is Oscar-nominated for his lead work in the Spanish-language drama “Biutiful” and who won in 2008 for another villainous role in "No Country for Old Men," hasn’t said yes to Mendes -- yet. He wants to read the screenplay first. But, judging from the grin on his face when we spoke on Monday, he’s very open to the idea.

“I’m a huge fan of the James Bond saga,” Bardem says. “When I was little, I went watching Mr. Connery doing James Bond with my father. Who in the world would think I’d be in one of those movies?”

The deal breaker for him, if there is one, will be, as always, if the material doesn't hold up. But Bardem says he was intrigued by what Mendes told him at their meeting.

“They’re changing the whole thing, the whole dynamic,” Bardem says. “I’d be playing Bond’s nemesis, yes, but it’s not that obvious. Everything is more nuanced. It’s very intriguing.”

And the escapism of the Bond franchise would seem a solid fit for an actor newly determined to leave his work behind when he goes home at night.

“But who knows? Maybe I will go back home saying, ‘I have the world in my hands,’” Bardem laughs. “Evil can be very seductive.”

-- Glenn Whipp

 Photo: Javier Bardem in "Biutiful." Credit: Roadside Attractions


Oscar nominations: Javier Bardem expresses his gratitude

Bardem 
Javier Bardem was an unexpected Oscar nominee Tuesday morning. Not that his performance in Alejandro Gonzales Inarittu's "Biutiful" wasn't remarkable; it just wasn't on everybody's lips since it's a small Spanish-language release. Bardem was delighted by the attention, he said in a statement:

"I am truly honored for this nomination. And deeply thankful to the academy members for their trust and support. Also to all of those who showed their support to my work in 'Biutiful' I express my heartfelt gratitude. I am very happy for Alejandro and everyone who has made possible the special movie we made together. It's really a huge honor to have been nominated in a non-English-speaking performance, and in the name of all my colleagues in Spain I want to show my gratitude to the Academy for support and recognition in this nomination for the movie 'Biutiful.' "

Photo: Javier Bardem, left, and Alejandro González Iñárritu'. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times

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Photo of Javier Bardem, left, and Alejandro González Iñárritu' by Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times


My 100% perfect Oscar nomination predictions

Oscar Silhouette1 question Oscar nominations will be unveiled next Tuesday. Below: my predictions in the top six Academy Awards races.

BEST PICTURE
1. "The Social Network"
2. "The King's Speech"
3. "The Fighter"
4. "True Grit"
5. "Black Swan"
6. "Toy Story 3"
7. "Inception"
8. "The Town"
9. "127 Hours"
10. "The Kids Are All Right"

The top seven films on this list are locks for nominations. Mystery looms over what will nab those bottom three rungs where four films jockey for inclusion. "Winter's Bone" is the one not shown here, but could break in.


BEST DIRECTOR
1. David Fincher, “The Social Network”
2. Christopher Nolan, “Inception”
3. Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
4. Tom Hooper, “The King’s Speech”
5. David O. Russell, “The Fighter”

Fincher will win, of course. The only suspense surrounds who'll be nominated. The above five are the DGA nominees. One of them (but not Fincher) might be bumped for Joel and Ethan Coen ("True Grit") or Danny Boyle ("127 Hours"). There's a remote chance Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right") could squeak in now that a woman finally won here for the first time last year.


BEST ACTOR
1. Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
2. James Franco, "127 Hours"
3. Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
4. Robert Duvall, "Get Low"
5. Jeff Bridges, "True Grit"

Colin Firth will win, James Franco and Jesse Eisenberg are guaranteed nominations. Duvall and Bridges are vulnerable and could be bumped by Javier Bardem ("Biutiful"), Mark Wahlberg ("The Fighter") or Ryan Gosling ("Blue Valentine").
 

BEST ACTRESS
1. Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
2. Annette Bening, "The Kids Are All Right"
3. Nicole Kidman, "Rabbit Hole"
4. Jennifer Lawrence, "Winter's Bone"
5. Hilary Swank, "Conviction"

Some pundits doubt that Swank will make the list, but she scored a SAG nomination and that's always a great omen. Otherwise, expect Julianne Moore ("The Kids Are All Right") or Michelle Williams ("Blue Valentine") to sneak in. Outside shot: Lesley Manville ("Another Year"), who won National Board of Review. Some pundits believe Hailee Steinfeld ("True Grit") will be nommed in lead even though she campaigned in supporting. That happened just two years ago with Kate Winslet ("The Reader"), but I don't see that scenario repeating now.
 

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