85th Oscars® To Feature Special Celebration Of James Bond

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The 85th Academy Awards® will include a tribute to the James Bond movie franchise, which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, the telecast’s producers announced today.
“We are very happy to include a special sequence on our show saluting the Bond films on their 50th birthday,” said producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “Starting with ‘Dr. No’ back in 1962, the 007 movies have become the longest-running motion picture franchise in history and a beloved global phenomenon.”
The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

ABOUT CRAIG ZADAN AND NEIL MERON
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies, series, and Broadway productions. Their feature films include “The Bucket List”, “Footloose”, “Hairspray”, and “Chicago”, which won six Academy Awards including one for Best Picture. For television, they’ve produced films of “Steel Magnolias,” “Life with Judy Garland,” and “A Raisin in the Sun,” among many others and the series “Smash” and “Drop Dead Diva.” They recently returned to their roots in live theater by producing Broadway revivals of the Tony-winning “Promises, Promises” and the Tony-winning 50th Anniversary revival of “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2013/20130104.html

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Most of the things I’m going to talk about here are not original ideas (meaning that though they are my opinions, I’m not the first and only person to voice these comments).  I try my best to be original, but alas, others might not be more original, but they are QUICKER with getting their opinions out there.  I’m digressing…here are my thoughts on the 84th Oscar nominations announced on Tuesday, January 24th and to be presented on Sunday, February 26th
I was ECSTATIC about Demian Bichir in A Better Life getting a Best Actor nomination and even though a lot of people wanted poor Leonardo DiCaprio to get a nod for J. Edgar, watch both A Better Life and J. Edgar and I dare you to tell me that Leo was robbed! (Be prepared with your pillow for J. Edgar!)
No Young Adult nominations, especially none for potential Best Actress Charlize Theron.  This one, I disagree with…I think Charlize deserved a nod here for this tough, honest performance about life after high school. 
I also disagree with no David Fincher nomination for Best Director for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  Instead, Terrance Mallick for The Tree of Life gets the nomination.  Really?  Has the Academy seen The Tree of Life?  Can they explain it to me?  Yes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not a perfect film, but it is highly stylized and exceptionally shot.  The Tree of Life is just exceptionally dull, confusing and BLAH. 
No Best Supporting Actress nomination for Shailene Woodley from The Descendents…rather Janet McTeer got a nod for Albert Nobbs.  Haven’t see Nobbs yet, but I think Shailene Woodley doesn’t have much to be upset about.  She’s young and has a full career as an exceptional actress ahead of her.  She’ll get a nomination one day. 
No Drive nominations, including nothing for much-talked-about Best Supporting Actor candidate Albert Brooks.  Instead, in this category, the Academy honored Jonah Hill from Moneyball and Max von Sydow from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I haven’t seen Drive or Extremely Loud so I cannot speak about those, but I did see Moneyball and I fail to see what is the big deal about Jonah Hill’s performance.  Brad Pitt, I understand, but Hill is just so-so.  Any actor could have played this part.  There is nothing exceptional in that performance. 
Lastly, I have a MAJOR bone to pick with only ONE nomination for The Ides of March for Adapted Screenplay — notably missing is a Best Picture nod.  The BRILLIANT (sarcasm) Academy decided to give Best Picture nods to instead to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and My FAV (sarcasm) The Tree of LifeThe Ides of March is a strong film.  It is a thriller, a drama, a political statement, a moral dilemma, and a statement of the current political situation in this country.  It is not dull and confusing and mind-boggling, ala The Tree of Life.  Again, I have yet to see Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close so I cannot speak of that one, but NO IDES OF MARCH is a travesty.  The Academy was very proud of themselves when they announced in 2011 that there would not be a set number of Best Picture nominations…that the amount of Best Picture noms would be based on percentage of votes.  Well, there must be a VERY LARGE percentage of the Academy sniffing glue! 

OK – enough of me complaining.  Here are the MAJOR categories with who I think is going to win IN BOLD and who I would love to see win IN RED.  Where there is a just a RED pick, that means what I want to win and what I think will win are one in the same!

BEST PICTURE
‘The Artist’
‘The Descendants’
‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’
‘The Help’
‘Hugo’
‘Midnight in Paris’
‘Moneyball’
‘The Tree of Life’
‘War Horse’

BEST DIRECTOR
Woody Allen, ‘Midnight in Paris’
Michel Hazanavicius, ‘The Artist’
Terrence Malick, ‘The Tree of Life’
Alexander Payne, ‘The Descendants’
Martin Scorsese, ‘Hugo’

BEST ACTOR
Demian Bichir, ‘A Better Life’
George Clooney, ‘The Descendants’
Jean Dujardin, ‘The Artist’
Gary Oldman, ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’
Brad Pitt, ‘Moneyball’

BEST ACTRESS
Glenn Close, ‘Albert Nobbs’
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Rooney Mara, ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’
Meryl Streep, ‘The Iron Lady’
Michelle Williams, ‘My Week With Marilyn’

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh, ‘My Week With Marilyn’
Jonah Hill, ‘Moneyball’
Nick Nolte, ‘Warrior’
Christopher Plummer, ‘Beginners’
Max Von Sydow, ‘Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close’

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo, ‘The Artist’
Jessica Chastain, ‘The Help’
Melissa McCarthy, ‘Bridesmaids’
Janet McTeer, ‘Albert Nobbs’
Octavia Spencer, ‘The Help’

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
‘Midnight in Paris’
‘Margin Call’
‘A Separation’
‘The Artist’
‘Bridesmaids’

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
‘The Descendants’
‘Hugo’
‘The Ides of March’
‘Moneyball’
‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’
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Well, the show was OK — not great, but not awful. All in all, I would say that James Franco will NEVER be asked back — though Anne Hathaway might, since she seemed excited to be there. Franco seemed to be back in NYC in school rather than on one of the greatest stages in the world. I have been to the Kodak Theater in Hollywood myself and even took a tour. We were able, on the tour, to stand on the stage and look out to the seats like Franco and Hathaway did on Sunday night. No, the Kodak was not all glitzed and glammed up like it was Sunday, but I still felt that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Also, I have held an Oscar — not at the Kodak but at the Shops at North Bridge on Michigan Avenue. The lavish mall, where the Nordstroms is, holds an annual venue where people can come and get their picture taken with an actual Oscar statue. They also ha

ve photos from some of the previous ceremonies and other information on the awards. It’s like a mini-Academy Awards museum for filmies around the Chicagoland area! It was a blast. So, even though I probably will never hold an Oscar up on the stage of the Kodak Theater, I can at least say I have been there, done that…though in two different cities and two different years!

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Performance by an actor in a leading role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Best animated feature film of the year
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3” Lee Unkrich

Achievement in art direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“True Grit”

Achievement in cinematography
“Black Swan” Matthew Libatique
“Inception” Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit” Roger Deakins

Achievement in costume design
“Alice in Wonderland” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres

Achievement in directing
“Black Swan” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network” David Fincher
“True Grit” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Best documentary feature
“Exit through the Gift Shop”
“Gasland”
“Inside Job”
“Restrepo”
“Waste Land”

Best documentary short subject
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”

Achievement in film editing
“Black Swan” Andrew Weisblum
“The Fighter” Pamela Martin
“The King’s Speech” Tariq Anwar
“127 Hours” Jon Harris
“The Social Network” Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

Best foreign language film of the year
“Biutiful”
Mexico
“Dogtooth”
Greece
“In a Better World”
Denmark
“Incendies”
Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)”
Algeria

Achievement in makeup
“Barney’s Version”
“The Way Back”
“The Wolfman”

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“How to Train Your Dragon”  John Powell
“Inception” Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong”
“I See the Light” from “Tangled”
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours”
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3”

Best motion picture of the year
“Black Swan” (Fox Searchlight)
“The Fighter” (Paramount)
“Inception” (Warner Bros.)
“The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features)
“The King’s Speech” (The Weinstein Company)
“127 Hours” (Fox Searchlight)
“The Social Network” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
“Toy Story 3” (Walt Disney)
“True Grit” (Paramount)
“Winter’s Bone” (Roadside Attractions)

Best animated short film
“Day & Night”
“The Gruffalo”
“Let’s Pollute”
“The Lost Thing”
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey
Diary)”

Best live action short film
“The Confession”
“The Crush”
“God of Love”
“Na Wewe”
“Wish 143”

Achievement in sound editing
“Inception” Richard King
“Toy Story 3” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable” Mark P. Stoeckinger 

Achievement in sound mixing
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“Salt”
“The Social Network”
“True Grit”

Achievement in visual effects
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1”
“Hereafter”
“Inception”
“Iron Man 2”

Adapted screenplay
“127 Hours” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3” Screenplay by Michael Arndt
“True Grit” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Original screenplay
“Another Year” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech” Screenplay by David Seidler

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As with other films, the background I have about this film was limited. South Africa — nada. Rugby — less than nada. But, it’s an Eastwood film and it has two of my favorite actors, so what the heck. And, boy, what a great film. Morgan Freeman does a spectular job of playing Mandela…he’s less about the looks of the Nobel Prize winner and more about the persona. So, at the start of the film in the early 1990s, Mandela gets out of jail and is elected to president. Apartheid is over. Mandela sees rugby and it’s “whites” only popularity as a way to try and help some of the white South Africans that he determined to unite his racially divided country. Matt Damon plays the rugby team captain who is in awe of the inspiring Mandela. Some believe (both black and white) that Mandela’s focus on rugby as a uniting tool is fooling. The blacks want to know why he is focusing this much attention on a white sport. And the whites don’t believe he is sincere and feel he has some sort of ulterior motive. South African politics are a big part of this film, as is rugby. Knowing next to nothing about those subjects did not hinder my enjoyment here. The story is intense and passionate enough sustain interest throughout. This film is about heart and friendship. It’s about determination and spirit. It’s a movie for all — not only political or sports junkies.

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