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Category: Tom Hooper

Oscar nominations: 'King's Speech' director Tom Hooper basks in the glow

Hooper
Tom Hooper, director of “The King’s Speech,” normally doesn’t get up at before dawn. But on Tuesday, Oscar nominations day, he rose with the sun at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood and now is basking in the warm glow of a director nomination (as well as 11 others for the film).

“I watched the telecast and then sat on the balcony and watched the sunrise as I called my mom, dad, Colin [Firth], Geoffrey [Rush] and Helena” Bonham Carter, he said. ”My mom was the reason this whole thing’s happened,” he noted, because she first went to a reading of David Seidler’s play about King George’s VI stuttering problem and said it would make a good movie.

Firth was nominated for actor in a leading role, while Rush and Bonham Carter received nominations in the supporting actor and actress categories. The movie was also nominated for best picture.

As for why “The King’s Speech” is resonating, Hooper said:  “This fear of losing our ability to communicate is very common to people. There’s that recurring nightmare when you can’t shout out in a dream or you scream for help or you lose your voice. It taps into that. I think that must be connecting in a deep way.”

This is the first time that Hooper has been nominated for an Academy Award. Although in hindsight “The King’s Speech” may look like a quintessential Oscar nominee, when the film was in development, it didn’t feel like that, Hooper said.

“There was that sort of moment when there was this idea that this was a cynical attempt to make a film to get this kind of attention. It didn’t seem to be particularly obvious to anyone when we were trying to finance it,” he said. “It had a precarious birth. There were many times when I thought, ‘Oh, God, this is gonna fall apart.’ ”

Whether or not he wins, Hooper said he’s grateful.

“Whatever happens to the movie, it’s unbelievable the journey we’ve been on,” he said. “The greatest gift is the way audiences respond. The greatest reward is how emotional it seems to make people feel.”

-- Rebecca Keegan

Photo: "The King's Speech" director Tom Hooper is flanked by actors Colin Firth, left, and Geoffrey Rush at the American Film Institute's AFI Fest in Los Angeles in November. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press


In an upset, 'The King's Speech' takes Producers Guild Award

Kings speech In a startling upset, the Producers Guild of America gave its top prize to “The King’s Speech” Saturday night, handing front-runner “The Social Network” its first loss of the awards season and making the race for the best picture Oscar all the more interesting.

Until the PGA Awards, “The Social Network,” the acclaimed drama about the Harvard undergrad founders of Facebook, seemed unstoppable, winning the majority of critics honors as well as the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Movie Award for best film.

By inflicting this first chink in the armor of “The Social Network,” “The King’s Speech,” a moving drama from director Tom Hooper about King George VI’s efforts to conquer his stuttering, is now a serious contender for the Oscar that had seemed all but destined for the edgier David Fincher movie. The PGA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have agreed on best picture winners the past three years.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, to be held next week, could also deviate from the “Social Network” track, with a best ensemble in a film nod to “King’s Speech” or possibly David O. Russell’s boxing film, “The Fighter,” which has a number of lauded acting performances.

“King’s Speech” producers Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin were the recipients of the PGA award, called the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures.

The 22nd annual Producers Guild of America Awards, which took place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, gave the Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures to Darla K. Anderson for “Toy Story 3,” while Lesley Chilcott won the documentary feature category for “Waiting for ‘Superman.'"

On the television side, producers Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Jeff Morton, Dan O'Shannon, Jason Winer, Bill Wrubel and Danny Zuker won the Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic TV-Comedy for ABC's “Modern Family.” The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic TV-Drama went to Lisa Albert, Scott Hornbacher, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Blake McCormick, Dwayne Shattuck and Matthew Weiner for AMC's “Mad Men.”

Winners of the David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form TV were Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Eugene Kelly, Todd London, Cherylanne Martin, Bruce C. McKenna, Steven Shareshian, Steven Spielberg, Tony To, Tim Van Patten and Graham Yost for HBO's “The Pacific.”

Thom Beers, Jeff Conroy, Sheila McCormack, Ethan Prochnik and Matt Renner received the Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction TV for the Discovery Channel's “The Deadliest Catch.” Winner of the Award for Outstanding Producer of Live Entertainment and Competition TV went to Meredith Bennett, Stephen T. Colbert, Richard Dahm, Tom Purcell, Allison Silverman and Jon Stewart for Comedy Central's “The Colbert Report.”

Several special awards were also handed out: James Cameron received the Milestone Award; Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman earned the Norman Lear Achievement Award in TV; Scott Rudin received the David O. Selznick Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures; Laura Ziskin was given the Visionary Award; Sean Penn picked up the Stanley Kramer Award and RealD earned the Vanguard Award.

-- Susan King

Photo: Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech." Credit: The Weinstein Co.


Envelope Directors Roundtable: When a scene doesn't work

What does a director do when a performance just isn't working? Recasting the part could be "calamitous," one filmmaker says.

How honest should you be when a scene -- or an entire performance -- just isn't working? Do you go with honesty is the best policy or soft-pedal the hard truth a little?

For one director, it all comes down to this: "Don't cast a brain surgeon to play a brain surgeon."

At the Envelope Directors Roundtable, Ben Affleck ("The Town"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), Ethan Coen ("True Grit"), Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") addressed those questions, with some often entertaining answers.

RELATED:

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Actor-director relationships

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Ben Affleck on being an actor-director

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Shaping the story [Video]

Envelope Directors Roundtable: The managed compromise

Envelope Directors Roundtable: Fighting for your film

-- John Horn

 


Envelope Directors Roundtable: Actor-director relationships

Being a director, it seems, means being half filmmaker and half therapist to a cast of actors. Some of them you can let go and watch them fly, and some take a lot of hand-holding. Either way, you do whatever they need to be free, even the ones that make you want to pull out your hair. 

At the Envelope Directors Roundtable, Ben Affleck ("The Town"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), Ethan Coen ("True Grit"), Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") addressed those issues -- in the video clips above and below.

The trick, they say, is to have your anxieties privately until you see what it is the actor is doing, but even then, you may have to recast the role.

 RELATED:

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Ben Affleck on being an actor-director

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Shaping the story [Video]

Envelope Directors Roundtable: The managed compromise

Envelope Directors Roundtable: Fighting for your film

-- John Horn


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.
 

Continue reading »

Envelope Directors Roundtable: Fighting for your film [Video]

It's a leap of faith. It's a bet against the odds. It's how you get movies made.

There are any number of forces that conspire against a film coming together: You might be weeks from starting production and find out that the money has vanished.

How do directors handle such setbacks? How do they march onward against so many obstacles?

At the Envelope Directors Roundtable, Ben Affleck ("The Town"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), Ethan Coen ("True Grit"), Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") addressed those questions, with some often surprising answers.

 -- John Horn

RELATED:

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Ben Affleck on being an actor-director

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Shaping the story [Video]

Envelope Directors Roundtable: The managed compromise

 

 

 

 


Envelope Directors Roundtable: Ben Affleck on being an actor-director

It's no surprise that as a director, veteran actor Ben Affleck has some ideas about how to get a good performance from his cast; he's been in enough movies to see how other directors do it.

But how much freedom should you give actors and how do you earn their trust?

There are no easy answers, according to the panelists at the  Envelope Directors Roundtable, which included Affleck ("The Town"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), Ethan Coen ("True Grit"), Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech").

— John Horn

Directors Roundtable Recent and related:

Envelope Directors Roundtable: Shaping the story

Envelope Directors Roundtable: The managed compromise

 


Envelope Directors Roundtable: The managed compromise of filmmaking

Judging by the reaction they received from reviewers and ticket buyers, you might think that the makers of six of 2010's best films would consider their films pretty close to perfection. But directing a movie, the filmmakers say, involves making a series of compromises, all in the hope that the smart decisions don't outweigh the bad ones.

At the Envelope Directors Roundtable, Ben Affleck ("The Town"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), Ethan Coen ("True Grit"), Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") discussed how they live with what they get on film.

Related: The Envelope Director's Roundtable: Shaping the Story

— John Horn


Envelope Directors Roundtable: The managed compromise of filmmaking

Judging by the reaction they received from reviewers and ticket buyers, you might think that the makers of six of 2010's best films would consider their films pretty close to perfection. But directing a movie, the filmmakers say, involves making a series of compromises, all in the hope that the smart decisions don't outweigh the bad ones.

At the Envelope Directors Roundtable, Ben Affleck ("The Town"), David Fincher ("The Social Network"), Lisa Cholodenko ("The Kids Are All Right"), Ethan Coen ("True Grit"), Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and Tom Hooper ("The King's Speech") discussed how they live with what they get on film.

Directors Roundtable Recent and related:

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Shaping the story

The Envelope Directors Roundtable: Ben Affleck on being an actor-director

— John Horn


'King's Speech' dominates BAFTA nominations

King's Speech 

"The King's Speech" dominated the nominations for the Orange British Academy Awards on Monday evening,  scoring 14 nominations, followed by "Black Swan" with 12, "Inception" with nine and "127 Hours" and "True Grit" with eight. "The Social Network," which has won the major critics awards this season, as well as the Critics Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globe for best film, received six nominations.
 
Besides best film, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts gave "King's Speech" nominations for lead actor for Colin Firth, who just won the Golden Globe; supporting actress for Helena Bonham Carter; supporting actor for Geoffrey Rush; director for Tom Hooper; original screenplay for David Seidler, as well as for best British film, cinematography, costume design, editing, makeup and hair, original music, production design and sound.
 
Joining "King's Speech" in the best film category are "Black Swan," "Inception," "The Social Network" and "True Grit."

The other best director nominees are Danny Boyle for "127 Hours," Darren Aronofsky for "Black Swan," Christopher Nolan for "Inception" and David Fincher for "The Social Network."
 
Along witjh Firth in the best actor category are Javier Bardem for "Biutiful," Jeff Bridges for "True Grit," Jesse Eisenberg for "The Social Network" and James Franco for "127 Hours."
Leading actress nominees are  Annette Bening and Julianne Moore for "The Kids Are All Right," Natalie Portman for "Black Swan," Noomi Rapace for "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and Hailee Steinfeld for "True Grit."
 
Nominated in the supporting actor category are Christian Bale for "The Fighter,"  Andrew Garfield for "The Social Network," the late Pete Postlethwaite for "The Town,"' Mark Ruffalo for "The Kids are All Right" and Rush.

Joining Bonham Carter in the supporting actress category are Amy Adams for "The Fighter," Barbara Hershey for "Black Swan," Lesley Manville for "Another Year" and Miranda Richardson for "Made in Dangenham."

Notably missing from the list of nominees were "The Fighter" and its director, David O. Russell, Oscar best actress contender Jennifer Lawrence for "Winter's Bone" and supporting actress contender Melissa Leo, who just won the Golden Globe, for "The Fighter."
 
The nominees for animated film are "Despicable Me," "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Toy Story 3."

The awards will be handed out Feb. 13 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in London.
 
For a complete list of nominees go to http://www.bafta.org.

-- Susan King

Photo: BAFTA nominees Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter in "The King's Speech." Credit: The Weinstein Co.

 



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