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Tag: Best Actor Oscar (61-70 of 106)

Oscar nominations announced: 'Avatar,' 'Hurt Locker' lead with nine each

Here are the nominees in the 10 major categories for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. Avatar and The Hurt Locker each scored nine nominations. The winners will be announced on March 7. In the meantime, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Academy Award updates between now and the Oscar ceremony.

Best Picture
The Blind Side
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air

Eight of the 10 Producers Guild nominees repeated here. Invictus and Star Trek were replaced by A Serious Man and, in one of the morning’s biggest surprises, The Blind Side, which had received no guild nominations or critics prizes other than for Sandra Bullock’s performance. Clearly all the Sandra love buoyed the film. As expected, The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Inglourious Basterds (8 nods), Precious (6 nods), and Up in the Air (6 nods) led the pack, while Up becomes only the second animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture. Star Trek, meanwhile, did score a total of four nominations but just couldn’t muscle into Best Picture. That’s the best news for Avatar, which still may have a hard time beating The Hurt Locker.

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Morgan Freeman, Invictus
Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

These are the five SAG nominees, so nothing surprising here. Morgan Freeman was the only possible weak link, but none of the guys on the bubble—Viggo Mortensen, Matt Damon, Ben Foster, Robert Downey Jr.—had enough oomph. How can Jeff Bridges lose? I’d say Jeremy Renner is the only one who can upset him (like Adrien Brody for The Pianist).

Best Actress
Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Another repeat of the SAG nominees. The Young Victoria‘s Emily Blunt had a shot at displacing Helen Mirren, but clearly the older voters responded well to The Last Station. The Blind Side‘s Best Picture nomination (compared to no other nods for Julie & Julia) means Bullock has the edge. Who’da thunk it?

Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon, Invictus
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Christopher Plummer, The Last Station
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

A bunch of talented gents were overlooked here: Alec Baldwin, Christian McKay, Alfred Molina, Peter Sarsgaard, and Anthony Mackie, to name just five. As I’ve stated before, this race was over before it ever began.

Best Supporting Actress
Penélope Cruz, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mo’Nique, Precious

Here we have the only variance from SAG in the individual acting races, as Maggie Gyllenhaal stole Diane Kruger’s slot. And even though Julianne Moore failed to earn a SAG nod for A Single Man, I’m still surprised the Academy didn’t give her a fifth career nomination.

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Lee Daniels, Precious
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

The five DGA nominees repeated here, fending off competition from the likes of Neill Blomkamp and Lone Scherfig. But these five films are so far out in front that no one else really had a shot. It’s Bigelow’s to lose.

Best Original Screenplay
Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, A Serious Man
Pete Docter, Bob Peterson & Tom McCarthy, Up
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds

As with Titanic, James Cameron failed to earn a screenplay nomination for Avatar. The Messenger duo stole the fifth slot from the adorable (500) Days of Summer guys. With Hurt Locker and Basterds in the running, this may be the tightest major race of the year.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche, In the Loop
Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell, District 9
Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious
Nick Hornby, An Education
Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

If there’s a shock here, it’s the inclusion of the little-seen In the Loop over Fantastic Mr. Fox. But the writers branch often goes for a sharp British indie, so maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised.

Best Animated Film
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
The Secret of Kells

Best Foreign Language Film
El Secreto do Sus Ojos (Argentina)
Un Prophete (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
Ajami (Israel)
The Milk of Sorrow (Peru)

The rest of the categories are after the jump.


Oscar nominations: What will be the biggest surprise?

Now that we’re less than 24 hours away from the Oscar nominations announcement, I thought I’d resurrect perhaps my favorite post from last year, where I tried to imagine what the biggest surprises of the nominations might be. (A few of them, like The Reader bumping out The Dark Knight for Best Picture, or Kate Winslet landing in Best Actress instead of Best Supporting Actress for that film, actually ended up happening.) This year contains many sure things — The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Up in the Air, Inglourious Basterds, and Precious will claim half of the Best Picture slots, for instance — but there’s also a lot that’s up for grabs. So here are 10 possible shockers we may be talking about tomorrow.

1. With the exception of An Education, the other five Best Picture slots all go to $100-million-plus grossers: some combination of Up, District 9, Star Trek, The Blind Side, and The Hangover.

2. Though Precious scores a Best Picture nod, director Lee Daniels is overlooked, in favor of District 9‘s Neill Blomkamp.

3. Avatar‘s Zoe Saldana muscles into Best Actress over The Last Station‘s Helen Mirren, becoming the first actor ever to earn a nomination for a motion-capture or voice performance.

4. The Hurt Locker‘s Anthony Mackie scores a supporting-actor nomination after being ignored by the Broadcast Critics, Golden Globes, and SAG.

5. Stanley Tucci earns his first career nomination…but for Julie & Julia instead of The Lovely Bones.

6. Inglourious Basterds standouts Diane Kruger and Mélanie Laurent both make it into the supporting actress race over Julianne Moore and Samantha Morton.

7. Invictus gets completely shut out of the nominations.

8. Ed Helms’ Hangover ditty “Stu’s Song” steals a Best Song nomination away from Nine.

9. Jeff Bridges’ momentum buoys Crazy Heart into the Best Supporting Actress (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and/or Best Adapted Screenplay (Scott Cooper) categories.

And finally…

10. The Hurt Locker ties Avatar for the most nominations, with 9 each.

Can you see any of these taking place tomorrow? What surprises are you hoping for? Follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar news and updates for the rest of the season.

Image credit: Frank Masi

Oscars: Dave Karger predicts the nominees

Here are my latest predictions for who’ll get nominated in the eight main Oscar races on Feb. 2. My Best Picture picks are immediately below; the other seven categories are after the jump.

Best Picture
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up in the Air

Oh, how much easier this would be if there were only five Best Picture nominees this year: It’d be Up in the Air (which won the National Board of Review prize), The Hurt Locker (winner of the Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and Broadcast Film Critics awards), Golden Globe and box-office champ Avatar, film-festival winner Precious, and SAG Award victor Inglourious Basterds and we’d call it a day. It’s those other five slots that are tougher to suss out. An Education has strong support from actors (witness its SAG nod for best cast) and across-the-pond voters. Invictus has the necessary prestige to make the cut, while Best Animated Feature front-runner Up should manage to break out of the cartoon ghetto. If voters want to go the populist route, the top contender is the adult romance It’s Complicated. But since it’s the No. 1 and No. 2 votes on the Academy’s ranked ballots that truly count, films with a smaller cult of enthusiastic followers—think District 9 and Star Trek—is poised to become a spoiler. Which means the flashy, filled-with-Oscar-faves musical Nine may fall victim to its nasty reviews and lackluster box office. I’m also increasingly worried for the Coen brothers’ A Serious Man, which seems to be fading a bit. As for Golden Globe winner The Hangover, it’s now an outside contender for one of the 10 slots but by no means a sure thing.

Check out the rest of my predictions after the jump.


Dear Santa: Get these long shots nominated!

On this Christmas day, my wish list includes Oscar nominations for the following five dark horse contenders. Are you listening, Santa? (Or at least, Academy members?)

Best Picture: Brothers
I’m well aware that Jim Sheridan’s latest drama has as many haters as it does fans. But to me it felt real and true from the first frame. It also contains the strongest performance of Natalie Portman’s career and the best kid acting I’ve ever seen.

Best Actor: Matt Damon, The Informant!
At this point, Damon seems like a good bet for a supporting nod for Invictus. And that’s fine. But his more impressive work was as the world’s worst whistle-blower in Steven Soderbergh’s out-there comedy. Bonus points for Damon’s impeccable voice-over work in the film.

Best Actress: Maya Rudolph, Away We Go
Playing a conflicted mom-to-be, Rudolph was as quiet and introspective as she was riotously funny impersonating Whitney or Oprah on Saturday Night Love.

Best Supporting Actor: Alec Baldwin, It’s Complicated
I’m flabbergasted that Baldwin’s scene-stealing performance opposite Meryl Streep isn’t gaining more traction. He’s witty, sympathetic, and nude: What more should Oscar voters want?

Best Supporting Actress: Mariah Carey, Precious
Okay, let the hateful comments begin, but I insist that Carey is a deserving contender for her brief turn as a dowdy social worker. Carey’s costars Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique are well on their way to scoring nominations. Considering their most memorable moments are with Carey, she should get in there too.

My other holiday wish? That you’ll follow me on Twitter (@davekarger) for Oscar updates throughout the season. What long-shot nominations are you wishing for?

Image credit: Damon: Claudette Barius; Baldwin: Melinda Sue Gordon

Golden Globe nominee Jeff Bridges: What can't he do?

I had the strange experience of meeting Jeff Bridges for the first time in front of millions of people on the Today show couch this morning. Afterwards I had a few minutes to chat with the Crazy Heart star (and Globe nominee for Best Actor).

EW It’s a little gutsy to show up on the Today show on a nominations morning, since it can be awkward if your name doesn’t get called. Did you have to be talked into it?

Jeff Bridges Whatever they wanted me to do, this is a movie that I want to support. I love the way it came out and want to turn people on to it. A small movie like this can’t afford commercials so any chance I get to promote it, I’m really up for it.

EW Your performance is something of a last-minute addition to the awards race since Fox Searchlight decided late in the game to release the film this year as opposed to next spring. Did you care when it came out?

Bridges I think it’s really wise of them to release it when they are. We made it quite a while ago and I was kind of chomping at the bit for this thing to come out.

EW Can you be objective about your career and say whether you think this performance is the best or one of the best you’ve given?

Bridges I don’t know about objectivity. Subjectively, I really love this movie. It’s the kind of movie that I really enjoy. The director [Scott Cooper] is kind of staying ahead of the audience, so it’s not turning out how you think it’s going to turn out.

EW You act, you sing, and you take great photographs. Can you make us all feel better and name some things that you’re really bad at?

Bridges Let me see. God. I tend not to do things that I’m real bad at. That’s something right there. I’m bad at doing things I’m bad at.

EW Like, are you a bad skier or something like that?

Bridges I’m a fair skier.

EW Basketball?

Bridges I’m okay, pretty good. My brother Beau played with UCLA.

EW Juggling?

Bridges I can juggle.

EW I give up.

Photo credit: Lorey Sebastian

Golden Globe nominee Colin Firth on his 'Single Man' nude scene

It wasn’t exactly a surprise, but it was still good to see Colin Firth recognized with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Drama for his impeccable performance in A Single Man. (Julianne Moore and the film’s score were also recognized.) In Part 3 of our OscarWatch interview, Firth lightens up a bit as we discuss Moore’s flawless British accent and his own on-screen flesh-baring.

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Colin Firth on being directed by Tom Ford

After wowing audiences at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, Tom Ford’s sumptuous drama A Single Man opens tomorrow, at which point the awards buzz for Colin Firth should raise a few notches in volume—particularly when he lands a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor this Tuesday. In Part 2 of our OscarWatch interview, in which Firth talks about working with Ford. Check back here next week for Part 3.

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'The Road': Viggo Mortensen and his precocious costar

I’ll admit I was a little surprised when Viggo Mortensen showed up to our scheduled interview at the Toronto film festival with his young costar from The Road, Kodi Smit-McPhee. And I was a bit thrown when I realized they were wearing matching hockey shirts. But once we started talking, I realized why Mortensen wanted Smit-McPhee around: After the intense shoot of The Road, they’ve clearly become blood brothers. Here’s our interview, where we discuss, among other things, their love of the Montreal Canadiens and who smelled worse on set.

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George Clooney and Matt Damon: The double showdown

George-Clooney-and-Matt-Damon_lOnly two men in Oscar history have ever received acting nominations for two different performances in the same year: Al Pacino (for 1992’s Scent of a Woman and Glengarry Glen Ross) and Jamie Foxx (for 2004’s Ray and Collateral). Though I don’t expect anyone to join that list this year, I do find it funny that good buddies George Clooney and Matt Damon are competing against each other in this season’s Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor categories. In the lead race, Clooney headlines Up in the Air with a quintessential star turn, while Damon shows off his droll comedy stylings in The Informant! And in the supporting contest, there’s Clooney’s goofball performance in The Men Who Stare At Goats, while Damon gets serious as a South African rugby player in Invictus. I’ve only seen three of these four performances, but my hunch is that Clooney’s stronger shot is for Best Actor while Damon seems a better bet for Best Supporting Actor. But that doesn’t mean a little trash-talking isn’t in order. Back in Toronto, Damon told me how he plans to take down his pal as the awards season progresses.

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Image credit: Richard Young/

Jeff Bridges' 'Crazy Heart' to shake up the Oscar season

crazy-heart_lEarlier this week I posted about a trio of last-minute Best Actress contenders. Now Fox Searchlight is throwing an exciting wrench into the Best Actor race by deciding to release its country-music drama Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges in what’s said to be a career-best performance, in mid-December for awards consideration. Bridges is a four-time past nominee (his first nomination was 37 years ago for The Last Picture Show) and seems like the kind of guy who’s due for major recognition. And early screenings of the film have indicated that Bridges’ turn as an alcoholic crooner could just do the trick.

So what will this news mean for the Best Actor competition? Up in the Air‘s George Clooney and A Single Man‘s Colin Firth are the closest things we’ve got to locks at this point, while Morgan Freeman’s role as Nelson Mandela in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus seems quite promising as well. If Bridges is as much of a shoo-in as I’m hearing, then that leaves only one slot for the taking, meaning that most of the other top contenders—Nine‘s Daniel Day-Lewis, The Hurt Locker‘s Jeremy Renner, A Serious Man‘s Michael Stuhlbarg, and The Informant!‘s Matt Damon—could very well end up without an invite to the big show.

My colleague Nicole Sperling has the scoop on Crazy Heart‘s official release date.

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