Tuesday 20 February 2018

Popcorn: Oscars lowdown and Razzies dazzle

Joe Griffin

I'm sure you've seen the Oscar nominations already: nine each for Avatar and The Hurt Locker, and four Irish nods (The Secret of Kells, Granny O'Grimm, The Door and Rickey Beneham who worked on Avatar).

But what was overlooked? Well, Saoirse Ronan's tragic, sweet performance in The Lovely Bones (right) is probably the most conspicuous non-nominee this week, but the list doesn't end there. In a more fair and just world, the overrated An Education would have been booted off the 10 Best Picture nominees to make room for Star Trek, In the Loop or Moon, and I'd have ditched Carey Mulligan's nominated turn in An Education to clear space for Ronan. The Academy also could have made room in the Best Supporting Actress category for Lorna Raver's barnstorming turn in Drag Me to Hell, and in the documentary category, Anvil richly deserved a mention.

Cameron's greatest competition is his ex wife

Avatar was beaten by The Hurt Locker at the Directors' Guild Awards (DGA) last weekend when Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director. The DGA is very astute at predicting Oscar winners, which means that it's a very close race now between Avatar and The Hurt Locker. At this rate, Bigelow might be the first woman to pick up the Best Director Oscar and, because she and Avatar's James Cameron used to be married, it's certainly the first time a former husband and wife have been competing for that award.

Sandra Bullock earns 'Razzie' nominations

More award milestones: Sandra Bullock (right), whose performance in The Blind Side is Oscar-nominated, has also been short-listed for a Golden Raspberry award for Worst Actress for All about Steve. This means (deliciously) that she could win a Worst Actress Razzie one day before winning a Best Actress Oscar. Nominees for Worst Picture include Transformers 2, All about Steve, Land of the Lost, Old Dogs and GI Joe.

Miramax 1989-2010

Miramax closed its shutters for good last weekend, and it's hard to understate the effect the company had on American and world cinema. They distributed Pulp Fiction and shepherded that little crime movie through to record-breaking box office; they launched Good Will Hunting (and, with it, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck) and they gave an international platform to countless other foreign and independent projects.

Spielberg to make sweet music?

There are plenty of rumours online (including on the reputable Deadline.com) claiming that Steven Spielberg's next project will be a biopic of George Gershwin starring Zachary Quinto as the great composer. The actor is best-known for playing Sylar in Heroes and Spock in the recent Star Trek, and filming could begin as soon as April.

Jeff Bridges season in the IFI

The IFI are holding a season of films starring the mighty Jeff Bridges, from February 7 to the 28. Selections from his remarkable career will include The Last Picture Show, Tron, The Big Lebowski, The Fabulous Baker Boys and the underrated Cutter's Way.

Irish Independent

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