April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: screenwriter

The Oscars® were no enormous shame, a few good jokes, no great shocks

I’m a big fan of Ellen DeGeneres and her understated, often brilliant humor. This was most evident when she hosted the 2001 Emmy Awards after the horrific events in New York and Washington that year. The show was postponed twice, and when it finally aired a couple of months later the big question was how it could be entertaining?
Almost from the outset Ellen delivered. To paraphrase what she said, it was something like the terrorists could not break our spirit. Then she paused and deadpanned that only network executives could do that.

It was funny, unexpected yet absolutely true. It related to the events just passed, but broke the ice and allowed the show to go on to its true purpose after the long delay.

The Oscars Rate a B-Minus.
I wish I could say Ellen’s performance last night rose to that occasion. Though it generally retained the dignity and glamour that audiences expect, something lost in last year’s show hosted by Seth MacFarlane, it was mostly bland with repetitive jokes and occasional good moments. Having said that, I cringed a bit when Ellen repeated out loud and very slowly a compliment to Nebraska supporting actress nominee June Squibb, whom Ellen had termed the oldest Oscar nominee ever, as if the actress were almost deaf and needed careful attention to hear her remarks.

Throughout the ABC show, Ellen drew from a past playbook and redid bits from the last time she hosted in 2007, often appearing in the audience, talking with this celebrity or that and taking photos. In one segment she asked if anyone was hungry, which drew very few responses and went on much too long. However, when a pizza man arrived later in the show, though only with three pizzas, it was amusing to see how many celebrities accepted a slice, including Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Harrison Ford. And that no one initially responded to Ellen’s request for donations to pay the man.
To read Michael Russnow’s latest book, “Hollywood on the Danube,” go to www.createspace.com/4497564

I’d thought sometime later it would have been funny if the delivery man, denied payment, started taking back the pizza slices from Meryl, Julia and the others. However, they eventually paid the bit off when Ellen passed a hat into which producer Harvey Weinstein threw two hundred dollars and several celebrities forked over twenty or more dollars each. By my count that was over three hundred [...]

Celebrating “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” 25th anniversary

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will present a new digital restoration of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” in celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary on Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The evening will feature a post-screening onstage discussion with director Robert Zemeckis and members of the cast and crew, including actress Joanna Cassidy, voice actor Charles Fleischer, supervising animator Andreas Deja, screenwriter Peter S. Seaman and associate producers Don Hahn and Steve Starkey. The panel will be moderated by director Rich Moore, who received an Oscar® nomination for Animated Feature Film for “Wreck-It Ralph” this past year.
A masterful blend of live-action filmmaking and classic animation, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” boldly announced the rebirth of the Disney animation studio. The film endures as an inventive tribute to animation’s golden age that also set a new standard for what the medium could achieve.
“‘Roger Rabbit’ brought together the greatest animators, the most skilled technicians, and the finest talent of the day,” said Zemeckis. “It’s good to have this chance to show our work to both those who remember the film as well as to a new audience.”
“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988) received Oscars® for Film Editing, Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects, and a Special Achievement Award for Richard Williams’s animation direction. It also was nominated for Art Direction, Cinematography and Sound.
This digital restoration is provided courtesy of the Walt Disney Studios. The Disney restoration team used the original 35mm picture, VistaVision optical work and original sound elements to create this pristine digital version.
Tickets for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID, and may be purchased online at oscars.org, in person at the Academy box office, or by mail. The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. All seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit oscars.org.
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ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards–in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners–Academy presents a diverse year-round slate [...]

Oscars: Our 2012 Hollywood Film Awards Favorites!

This year should be no different. At the Hollywood Film Awards(r) last October 22, 2012, special honors went to Richard Gere for career achievement; Bradley Cooper for actor; Marion Cotillard for actress; Robert De Niro for supporting actor; Amy Adams for supporting actress; Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and the cast of “Argo;” John Hawkes for breakout performance; David O. Russell for director; Dustin Hoffman for breakthrough director; Quentin Tarantino for the screenwriter award; Quvenzhané Wallis for the New Hollywood Award; Samantha Barks, Bella Heathcote, Tom Holland, John Magaro, Ezra Miller, and Kelly Reilly with the Spotlight Awards; Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner for producers; Wally Pfister for cinematographer; Dylan Tichenor for editor; Sarah Greenwood for production designer; Peter Ramsey with “Rise of the Guardians” for animation; and Jeff White with “The Avengers” for visual effects.

Celebrities and Hollywood notables who attended the Hollywood Awards included Eddy Hartenstein, Los Angeles Times Publisher and Tribune Company CEO, Chris Evans, Tom Ford, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Hillcoat, Helen Hunt, Melissa Leo, Ray Liotta, Tony Mendez, Christopher Nolan, Edward Norton, Eric Roth, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Shankman, and Kerry Washington, among others.
“We are very proud to be the first stop of the awards season. In the last nine years, a total of 85 Oscar nominations and 32 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Film Awards,” said Festival and Awards Founder, Carlos de Abreu.

The gala awards presentation was hosted by Nancy O’Dell of “Entertainment Tonight” and attendees were treated to the music of Johnny Crawford and his Orchestra.
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Lindsay Lohan apparently slacking on the job again

HollywoodNews.com: Lindsay Lohan has apparently been slacking off on her work lately as it is rumored that she bailed on some voiceover work for her new film ‘The Canyons.’
Screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis has reportedly commented that Lindsay flaked on her Automatic Dialog Replacement session this week, states TMZ. “Patrick Bateman has just headed over to Lindsay Lohan’s hotel to confront her as to why she missed her f**king ADR on ‘The Canyons’ today…,” Bret posted on Twitter.
Patrick Bateman is the character from Bret’s book ‘American Psycho.’
Lindsay has not yet commented on the situation.
Do you think she’s going to get it together?
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Zooey Deschanel brought new beau to Emmys

HollywoodNews.com: Zooey Deschanel didn’t go home a winner last night at the Emmys, but she was plenty happy at the show as she debuted her romance with screenwriter Jamie Linden.
Deschanel reportedly sat at the show with her new boyfriend and looked awfully sweet as they held hands, states UsMagazine.com. The two have allegedly only been dating about three months, but they already seem pretty smitten with each other.
Deschanel ended her marriage with Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard in December 2011.
Do you like her with this new guy?
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Hollywood lost a significant voice – Nora Ephron

Hollywoodnews.com: Hollywood lost a significant voice. Screenwriter/director Nora Ephron, a three-time Oscar nominee, lost her battle with leukemia. She was 71.
A prolific writer, Ephron’s first credits stretched back to the 1973 television series “Adam’s Rib.” Ten years after, she struck it big on the silver screen when she collaborated with screenwriter Alice Arlen on Mike Nichols’ “Silkwood,” earning Ephron the first of three Oscar noms.

Though she continued to write, penning such scripts as “Heartburn,” “Julie & Julia” and “When Harry Met Sally.” Ephron transitioned to the director’s chair in 1992 with the Julie Kavner vehicle “This Is My Life.” She’d have arguably her biggest hit the following year with 1993′s “Sleepless in Seattle,” starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
“Nora was an era,” Ryan said of her director, in a statement. “We pictured ourselves inside her dreams and they became ours. All wisdom, wit and sparkle lights, what a treat she was, what a blessing. I marvel again and again, what a life… To have created simple happiness in people, to have added to the sum of delight in the world.”
Ephron is survived by her two sons, Jacob and Max Bernstein, and her third husband Nicholas Pileggio.
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Zooey Deschanel linked to a new man

HollywoodNews.com: Although Zooey Deschanel just filed for divorce from Ben Gibbard at the end of last year, it seems she might be ready to move on.
Deschanel is now being linked to screenwriter Jamie Linden who penned ‘Dear John’ and ‘We Are Marshall,’ states RadarOnline. The two reportedly showed up together at the after party for the premiere of ‘Magic Mike.’
It is rumored that they were holding hands throughout the night.
Things are apparently new, but Deschanel and Linden are reportedly pretty happy with each other.
Do you think this will last?
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George Clooney, Brad Pitt reportedly starring in Prop 8 play

HollywoodNews.com: George Clooney and Brad Pitt are apparently doing what they can to take a stand in regard to Proposition 8 as they will be starring in a play about the overturning of Prop 8.
The two will reportedly be performing in the March 3rd production of screenwriter Dustin Lance Black’s play, ’8,’ states UsMagazine.com. Pitt will reportedly play Prop 8 opposer U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker while Clooney will play David Boies, an attorney who sought to overturn the ban.
Prop 8 was a ban on same-sex marriage that was recently overturned.
Do you like that they’re involved?
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Top line-up of Hollywood talent set to present honors at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards

HollywoodNews.com: Executive Producer Spike Jones, Jr. and Talent Producer Carole Propp have confirmed a top line-up of Hollywood talent set to present honors at the 2012 Writers Guild Awards L.A. ceremony coming up on Sunday, February 19, at the Hollywood Palladium. This year’s West Coast show will feature writers, actors, and directors who’ve collaborated to create memorable films, television series, videogames, new media, and other written programs.
In addition to previously announced 2012 WGA Hollywood show co-hosts Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) and Joel McHale (Community, The Soup), this year’s Writers Guild Awards presenters will include: Parks & Recreation star Amy Poehler with Parks & Recreation co-creator Michael Schur, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston with Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, 2 Broke Girls star Kat Denning with 2 Broke Girls co-creator Michael Patrick King, Web Therapy star/co-creator Lisa Kudrow with Web Therapy co-creator Don Roos, actor-comic Patton Oswalt (Young Adult) with director-screenwriter Brad Bird (MI4: Ghost Protocol, Ratatouille), Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner with Mad Men co-star Kiernan Shipka, who portrays daughter Sally Draper on the AMC series, Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, and the three-generation comic writing dynasty of Academy Awards telecasts writer Buz Kohan, $#**! My Dad Says co-creator David Kohan, and Weeds creator Jenji Kohan.
Academy Award-nominated actresses Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer (The Help) will present the Guild’s Paul Selvin Award, given to a writer whose script embodies constitutional rights and civil liberties, to The Help screenwriter-director Tate Taylor.
Deadwood and Luck creator David Milch will present the WGAW’s Laurel Award for Screen to Academy and Writers Guild Award-winning screenwriter Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), plus a special taped message from director David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Via a special taped message, Academy and Writers Guild Award-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis (Crash) and Emmy and Writers Guild Award-nominated writer Winnie Holzman (My So-Called Life) will help present the WGAW’s Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award for Television to Emmy and Writers Guild Award-winning writers Marshall Herskovitz & Edward Zwick (thirtysomething).
Emmy-winning animation writer Mike Reiss (The Simpsons) will also present the WGAW’s Morgan Cox Award to Emmy and Writers Guild Award-winning writer and former WGAW President Patric M. Verrone (Futurama) for his service to the Guild.
More updates to talent line-up to be announced closer to show date.
In addition to Jones, Jr. (Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards) and Propp (Primetime Emmy Awards, Tony Awards), the 2012 Writers Guild Awards’ West Coast ceremony will [...]

Charlize Theron in first “Young Adult” trailer – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: “Young Adult” marks the reunion of Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody and her “Juno” director, Jason Retitman (“Up In the Air”).
And while that powerful pairing will help lure people to theaters this December, it looks like Charlize Theron’s no-holds-barred performance as the “psychotic prom-queen bitch” returning to her home town to steal back her ex-boyfriend is what people will be talking about all Oscar-season long.
Here’s the film’s first trailer, which you can see in HD on Apple’s site. (I’m waiting for a proper YouTube embed).
If there’s an Oscar dark horse in the “Young Adult” mix, it could be Patton Oswalt, who looks to be playing the sarcastic soundboard to Theron’s unhappy character, the angry loner who will commiserate with our lead. If Cody wrote memorable dialogue for Oswalt, the comedian potentially could steal scene after scene and get himself into a currently cloudy Best Supporting Actor race.
But we won’t know anything for sure until we get a look at “Young Adult,” which is due un theaters on Dec. 16.

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.
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