Sunday, January 31, 2010

Producers and Directors Guilds Hurt Avatar

While Avatar keeps making and breaking box office records, it's The Hurt Locker that's been getting all of the awards love in the form of the guilds since the billion-dollar-grossing movie upset the smaller film at the Golden Globes a couple of weeks ago.

Both movies were a non-entity at the Screen Actors Guild Awards with The Hurt Locker going 0 for 2 and Avatar not even being nominated at all. The following week was when the race came into focus as The Hurt Locker, in somewhat of an upset, took the Producers Guild Award. Many had predicted a shoe-in win for Avatar especially considering this award more than any other is usually tied to box office performance and Avatar is all about its box office performance. Avatar losing was shocking, but to lose to a film that only grossed $12.7 million is sending a message especially considering all of their other likely choices with Inglourious Basterds, Up in the Air, and Precious all at least cracking $45 million at the box office. Here is a list of the PGA winners/award recipients:

Motion Picture: The Hurt Locker
Television - Drama: Mad Men
Television - Comedy: 30 Rock
Non-Fiction Television: 60 Minutes
Live Entertainment and Competition: The Colbert Report
Long Form Television: Grey Gardens
Animated Motion Picture: Up
Documentary Motion Picture: The Cove
Milestone Award: Sony Picture's Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton
Norman Lear Achievement Award: Mark Burnett
David O. Selznick Achievement Award: John Lasseter
Vanguard Award: Joss Whedon
Stanley Kramer Award: Precious

After that surprising win, all eyes were on what the Directors Guild would do. Before the hoopla that was the Golden Globes and the PGA, everyone was ready to bet their house that Kathryn Bigelow would take the win and in the process be the first woman in the DGA's 62-year history to win. Then a lot of people, perhaps wanting to create a sense of a horse race, started predicting that James Cameron could upset his ex-wife. Of course this was for naught since Bigelow did win and did make history last night. The winners/award recipients at the DGA:

Feature Film: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
TV Drama Series: Lesli Lina Glatter, Mad Men
TV Comedy Series: Jason Winer, Modern Family
TV Movie/Mini-Series: Ross Katz, Taking Chance
Documentary: Louie Psyhoyos, The Cove
Musical Variety: Don Mischer, Obama Inaugural Celebration
Reality Programs: Craig Borders, Build it Bigger
Daytime Serials: Christopher Goutman, As the World Turns
Children's Programs: Allison Liddi-Brown, Princess Protection Program
Commercials: Tom Kuntz
Lifetime Achievement Awards: Norman Jewison and Roger Goodman
Honorary Life Member Award: Robert Iger
Frank Capra Achievement Award: Clebe Landsberg
Frankling J. Schaffner Achievement Award: Maria Jimenez Henley

Sure there's still the WGA and the BAFTAs where both Avatar and The Hurt Locker are going head-to-head once again, but is there any way The Hurt Locker doesn't win the Oscars come March? Wins at the Critics Choice Awards, the PGA, and the DGA alone would almost guarantee it, but odder things have happened en route to Oscars and Avatar (and Inglourious Basterds, Up in the Air, Precious) can still pull of the upset. Bigelow, however, will win Best Director.

Australian Open: The Finale

It was the top top players of the past decade who came out on top in the first Grand Slam of the new one. Both pushing 28, old in tennis, Serena Williams and Roger Federer added another Grand Slam trophy to their already legendary careers solidifying their standings amongst the greats of the game. For Serena, she gets #12 to tie with her idol Billie Jean King. For Federer who already had the all-time record of major wins, it was sweet #16 to distance himself from the rest of the men.

Federer was able to retake this title for his 4th Australian Open title after losing to Novak Djokovic in the semifinals in 2008 and to Rafael Nadal last year in a heartbreaking 5-set final that brought him to tears. This year he defeated British no. 1 Andy Murray in straight sets 6-3 6-4 7-6(11). This was Murray's second Grand Slam final, meeting Federer in the 2008 US Open where he also lost in straight sets. It was Murray's serve that let him down, making only 57% first serves in and winning only 51% of his second serves. Meanwhile, Federer was steady and focused throughout especially in the dramatic third set tiebreak where he was able to stave off 5 set points for Murray to take it to a fourth set.

This was the first time Serena has defended an Australian Open title having won four times prior in consecutive odd-numbered years. En route to her fifth Australian Open title, the most for a women in the Open Era, she defeated former champion Justine Henin who was making a comeback to the game after retiring two years ago. Henin showed her champion heart in the second set reeling off 20 of 22 points after losing the first set to take it to a deciding set. It was Serena, however, whose served was more potent and consistent throughout the match but especially in the final set, who took command winning the match 6-4 3-6 6-2. A day prior she also successfully defended the Women's Doubles title with her sister Venus Williams for their 11th Grand Slam doubles title. Another pair of American siblings won the Men's Doubles title as the Bryan Brothers took their 8th Grand Slam win.

But back to Serena and Roger who also both won last year at Wimbledon. What is there really left to say about the two reigning number one players in the world? Just that between the two of them they have 28 Grand Slams singles titles and they both show no sign of stopping any time soon. With these two on top and the others wanting and waiting to dethrone them, 2010 looks to be a memorable year in tennis.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Australian Open: Final Fab Four

The women's final is set to begin down in Melbourne in only a few hours from now. Just enough time for me to talk about the fab four to make it to the finals.

Defending champion and world no. 1 Serena Williams is seeking her 5th Australian Open win and her 12th Grand Slam trophy, tying her with legendary Billie Jean King. Former champion and currently unseeded Justine Henin will look to get her 8th Grand Slam win. Both players had to fight off a couple of Chinese players, Li Na and Jie Zheng, to make it to the finals. This will be the first time these two champions have met one another in a Grand Slam final.

Historically, Serena leads their H2H 7-6 dismantling Henin in their last meeting in 2008 at Miami 6-2 6-0. In hard courts, Serena leads 4-1, but in Grand Slams Henin takes the lead at 4-1. Serena's serve has been the biggest factor in the tournament for her and it'll set the tone during the final. Henin had the much easier semifinal match and had more time to rest, but the Belgian has been more streaky.

Prediction: Serena Williams in 3

Three-time champion and world no. 1 Roger Federer has now reached the finals 18 times out of the last 19 Grand Slam tournaments and has now reached this level 22 times! Pretty mindboggling especially when coupled with the fact that he extended his monumental streak of Grand Slam semifinals to 23 by soundly defeating 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. British no. 1 Andy Murray reaches his second Grand Slam final and hopes to get his first Grand Slam title ending the decades-long wait for a British Grand Slam champion. He took down Marin Cilic in four sets.

Federer and Murray has met each other 10 times all in hard courts with Murray leading their H2H 6-4. It's important to note, however, that the only time they've met each other in the Grand Slam tournament, 2008 US Open final, Federer won in straight sets. Federer also won their last two meetings and will be extra motivated to keep that mini-streak going as well as get #16. Both have done exceptionally well this tournament with Federer losing only two sets and Murray only the one against Cilic. Their all-court skills promises a high-quality match not to be missed.

Prediction: Roger Federer in 4

Just a note that I did predict Federer and Serena to reach the finals all the way in the beginning. I mean they weren't exactly risky choices, but they've proven themselves over and over and over. I'm not shocked to see Henin or Murray reach the finals and it's pretty fitting to see them go up against the world no. 1s especially since the sometimes contentious history between Serena-Henin and between Federer-Murray will add that extra level to the finals.

I say game on.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Reminder: Dollhouse Series Finale

The last episode of Joss Whedon's maligned, but masterful Dollhouse airs tomorrow night on FOX at 8PM. I stopped posting about the last few episodes, not because I thought they were less good. Just the opposite is true actually since with every episode, the show just got better and the stakes were raised higher.

And we'll see it all end tomorrow with the appropriately-named episode "Epitaph Two: Return" which harks back to the first season's unaired finale, "Epitaph One." Looking forward to some great performances from everyone, but mostly from Fran Kranz. His character most of all benefited from this miraculous second season. Once an annoying fringe character is now arguably the heart of the show. How did THAT happen?

Also hoping to see Amy Acker do her usual awesome thing. So everyone, watch it tomorrow - FOX, Friday 1/29, 8:00PM - or Whiskey will cut you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Australian Open: Quarterfinals Report

Upsets! Injuries! Retirements! Epic 5-setters! Incredible comebacks! High drama! History made! Just your typical run-of-the-mill Grand Slam quarterfinal round.

But in all seriousness, I don't think I've witness a more volatile quarterfinal round in all the years I've been watching this sport. Every single match seems to have twists and turns and more importantly high drama and frankly I don't even know where to begin, so I'll just recap the results in the order the matches were played.

Justine Henin d. Nadia Petrova[19] 7-6(3), 7-5

Nadia Petrova defeated the current US Open champion and French Open champion to get to the quarterfinals. The serve was a bit of an issue for both and it was Justine Henin the six time Grand Slam champion who edged out a win. Unseeded here, she is two wins away from equaling fellow Belgian accomplishment at her first Grand Slam after retirement.

Jie Zheng d. Maria Kirilenko 6-1, 6-3

Maria Kirilenko beat two fellow top Russians players to set up a seemingly good quartefinal match against Chinese Jie Zheng. Zheng is the first Chinese woman to reach the semifinals at a Grand Slam when she did it back in 2008. With ease, she matched her performance there to be the first Chinese woman to reach the Australian Open semifinals. To be continued...

Marin Cilic[14] d. Andy Roddick[7] 7-6(4), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3

Both players had to endure tough five-set matches prior to their quarterfinal meeting. When Marin Cilic had the two set lead and with Andy Roddick feeling the effects of a shoulder injury, it looked to be an easy day on court for Cilic. It was then that Roddick found his game and it was Cilic who lost focus. In the fifth set, Cilic regained his focus to reach his first Grand Slam semifinals. Is he this years surprise finalist?

Andy Murray[5] d. Rafael Nadal[2] 6-3, 7-6(2), 3-0 Ret.

The biggest injury issue of last year was Rafael Nadal's knees because since then he's been title-less and has a 1-10 against top ten players. While he has relatively cruised through the quarterfinals, playing Andy Murray would tell a lot about his progress. He played aggressive and brilliant tennis for the first two sets, but so did Andy Murray. Midway through the second game of the third set, Nadal called for a medical timeout. He was broken and Murray held serve to go up 3-0. It was all she wrote as Nadal decided to retire for fear of aggravating it some more. What does this mean for Nadal's 2010? We'll see.

Na Li[16] d. Venus Williams[6] 2-6, 7-6(4), 7-5

Not many gave Na Li a chance especially after a masterful first set from Venus Williams. Venus was two points away from winning the match in the second set before Li forced it to a tiebreak which she won. The final set was all Li as she joins her compatriot to the semifinals. This is the first time two Chinese woman are in the semifinals of a Grand Slam. Can they both do one better and make it the first all-Chinese Grand Slam final? Stay tuned.

Serena Williams[1] d. Victoria Azarenka 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2

Coming into this match, Serena Williams was the only player in the draw to not lose her serve once. She was broken FIVE TIMES in the first two sets by Victoria Azarenka and was frankly playing like an old ripe mess. Before you knew it Serena was down a set and down 0-4 in the second. And still somehow Serena was able to lift her level while her opponent stayed at the same level and Serena went on to dominate for a win.

Roger Federer[1] d. Nikolay Davydenko[6] 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, 7-5

Nikolay Davydenko has defeated Roger Federer the last two times they have met, so this was a dangerous opponent for Federer. And it showed in the first set as Federer was blown off the court. In the second set, already down a set and a break, Federer lifted his game similar to what Serena did in her prior match and reeled off 13 straight games en route to serving Davydenko a bagel set. Davydenko staged a mini-comeback in the fourth set, but Federer held strong to break Dabydenko at 5-5 and to serve out the match at love. With this win, Federer extends his unbelievable streak of reaching the semifinals at Grand Slams to 23 and also clinches the #1 ranking after the tournament.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga d. Novak Djokovic[3] 7-6(8), 6-7(5), 1-6, 6-3, 6-1

This is a rematch of the 2008 final where Novak Djokovic was able to win his maiden Slam title. Since then, however, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has defeated Djokovic in other ATP events. Riding that wave, Tsonga was able to beat Djokovic in this roller coaster of a match that saw Djokovic call for a medical timeout due to nausea and vomiting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Australian Open: Fourth Round Report

The favorites on the men's side to win the title moved on relatively easily in the fourth round. Top seed Roger Federer made it into his 23rd consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinals after blanking Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets. Defending champion Rafael Nadal lost a set, but was able to break the big serve of Ivo Karlovic three times to win. In the meantime, 2008 champion Novak Djokovic took advantage of his cakewalk draw while Andy Murray has not lost a single set yet.

The other matches went the distance. Marin Cilic defeated US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 in the fifth set. Andy Roddick posted similar results against former finalist Fernando Gonzalez as the American had to win it 6-2 in the fifth. Another former finalist, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and 6th seed Nikolay Davydenko were both up 2 sets to love before losing the next two sets to their respective opponents. Both had to dig deep to win in the fifth set. It was Tsonga's first five-set match.

Both Williams sisters move through, Serena Williams having an easier time than her older sister. Serena also has not dropped her serve so far this tournament. US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki, former world no. 1 Dinara Safina, and two-time Grand Slam winner Svetlana Kuznetsova were defeated this round with Safina retiring due to a back injury.

The Justine Henin comeback train rolls on as she defeats fellow Belgian Yanina Wickmayer. She will now have to fend off Nadia Petrova who dismantled Kim Clijsters two rounds ago.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

SAG Awards Winners

No big surprises at the SAG Awards tonight. In fact, one could've just copied and pasted the winners from last week's Golden Globes ceremonies and no one would be the wiser (which is why I just took the winner's portraits from last week's Golden Globes for the image above). The only differences are Inglourious Basterds winning the Best Ensemble which is their Best Picture equivalent and Tina Fey taking home Best Actress in a Comedy. Avatar and Toni Collette won those respective awards at the Globes.

The other winners are:

Best Ensemble: Inglourious Basterds
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Ensemble, Drama: Mad Men
Best Ensemble, Comedy: Glee
Best Actress, Drama: Julianna Marguilies, The Good Wife
Best Actress, Comedy: Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Best Actor, Drama: Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Best Actor, Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Best Actress, Miniseries: Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
Best Actor, Miniseries: Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance

It's hard to really say what this means for the TV winners, but for the film winners, this is just another step to the Oscars. Winners of a SAG award almost always go on to get nominated and more often than not, win at the Oscars. And the four acting winners have won other big awards before this, so watch out for all of them to not only reap nominations, but perhaps their first Oscar statue.

The only real wildcard, if you really want to call her that, is of course the great Meryl Streep. She tied with Bullock at the Critics Choice Awards and won Best Actress in a Comedy at the Globes (Bullock won Best Actress in a Drama). The SAG Awards was supposed to be the unofficial tiebreaker especially with Bullock not eligible at the BAFTAs. So will Meryl Streep go yet another year without nabbing her third Oscar? Who knows really, but Bullock definitely has the momentum right now.

Australian Open: Men's Second Week Preview

Roger Federer (1) v Lleyton Hewitt (22)
Nikolay Davydenko (6) v Fernando Verdasco (9)
Novak Djokovic (3) v Lukasz Kubot
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (10) v Nicolas Almagro

Andy Roddick USA (7) v Fernando Gonzalez CHI (11)
Juan Martin Del Potro ARG (4) v Marin Cilic CRO (14)
Andy Murray GBR (5) v John Isner USA (33)
Rafael Nadal ESP (2) v Ivo Karlovic CRO

The men's draw has been holding to form as 9 of the top 10 players have made it through. Andy Murray is the highest seed to not have lost a single set, but the top four above him have shown grit and moments of brilliance.

Speaking of Murray, he seems to be heading into a blockbuster quarterfinal match with defending champion Nadal. Both of them have to get through big servers. In the same half, Roddick and Del Potro look to meet in the quarterfinals. Nursing an injury, Del Potro has yet to find his top form and will be severely tested by Cilic.

In the top half, it's all about the potential quartefinal matchups between Federer-Davydenko and Djokovic-Tsonga. The latter will be a rematch of the 2008 Australian Open final while Federer tries to stop the string of losses he has against Davydenko. Federer will also need to get through the Russian (and of course Hewitt first) to extend his Grand Slam semifinals streak.

Prediction: I'm not going to change my initial predictions from last week. Roger Federer will beat Novak Djokovic while Rafael Nadal will beat Andy Roddick. Federer and Nadal will then go head to head with a rematch of last year's final except with Federer coming out on top.

Australian Open: Women's Second Week Preview

Serena Williams (1) v Samantha Stosur (13)
Victoria Azarenka (7) v Vera Zvonareva (9)
Caroline Wozniacki (4) v Na Li (16)
Venus Williams (6) v Francesca Schiavone (17)

Justine Henin BEL (W) vs. Yanina Wickmayer BEL (Q)
Nadia Petrova RUS (19) vs. Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS (3)
Alona Bondarenko UKR (31) vs. Jie Zheng CHN
Maria Kirilenko RUS vs. Dinara Safina RUS (2)

Everyone is keeping an eye out for a possible all-Williams semifinals in the top half of the draw while the Belgians and the Russians are still all over the bottom part of the draw despite some huge upsets earlier in the tournament in the form of Elena Dementieva, Kim Clijsters, and Maria Sharapova.

Serena is in top form losing only three games in her first three matches. She's not the only top seed to not lose a set since Safina, Wozniacki, and Venus have also not dropped a set. Safina especially as the #2 seed has flown pretty much under-the-radar.

The story, however, is Justine Henin and her comeback. This is just her second tournament and she's in the round of 16s. She should be able to win against her compatriot, but then most likely need to go up against two top 4 players before meeting a Williams sister in the finals.

Prediction: I'll stick with my initial prediction of Serena Williams winning against Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals. I have to adjust my bottom half prediction since my semifinal prediction between Clijsters and Jankovic was sort of derailed. Instead Justine Henin will beat Dinara Safina. Serena vs. Justine in the finals with Serena gutting it out.

Conan Exits Tonight Show

Here are the final words of Conan O'Brien as the host of the Tonight Show on NBC. He thanks his fans, NBC, and is hopeful for whatever the future brings. His last episode aired last night.
"Before we end this rodeo, a few things need to be said. There has been a lot of speculation in the press about what I legally can and can’t say about NBC. To set the record straight, tonight I am allowed to say anything I want. And what I want to say is this: between my time at Saturday Night Live, the Late Night show, and my brief run here on The Tonight Show, I have worked with NBC for over 20 years. Yes, we have our differences right now and yes, we’re going to go our separate ways. But this company has been my home for most of my adult life. I am enormously proud of the work we have done together, and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible.

Walking away from The Tonight Show is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Making this choice has been enormously difficult. This is the best job in the world, I absolutely love doing it, and I have the best staff and crew in the history of the medium. But despite this sense of loss, I really feel this should be a happy moment. Every comedian dreams of hosting The Tonight Show and, for seven months, I got to. I did it my way, with people I love, and I do not regret a second. I’ve had more good fortune than anyone I know and if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-Eleven parking lot, we’ll find a way to make it fun.

And finally, I have to say something to our fans. The massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming. The rallies, the signs, all the goofy, outrageous creativity on the Internet, and the fact that people have traveled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain to be in our audience, made a sad situation joyous and inspirational.

To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I’ll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism — it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen. As proof, let’s make an amazing thing happen right now."

Australian Open: Third Round Report

The third round is the first time seeded players can meet one another. For the men, things more or less went according to plan with 9 of the top 10 men still alive. Things are heating up though especially with two retirements including Marcos Baghdatis who down 0-6, 2-4 to Lleyton Hewitt before he called it quits and one walkover by 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny putting unseeded Lukasz Kulbot into the fourth round for the first time. The only other upset other than Youzhny came at the hands of John Isner who used his ferocious serve to knock off 12th seed Gael Monfils.

It was a bit more dramatic for the women with a couple of major upsets happening this round. The biggest and most shocking was probably US Open champion Kim Clijsters going down to lower-seeded Nadia Petrova 0-6, 1-6 posting her worst defeat in years.

Clijsters had company though as Jelena Jankovic (8), Agnieska Radwanska (10), and Marion Bartoli (11) all fell to lower ranked players with Bartoli the only one who seemed to put up any sort of fight. The Justine Henin Don't-Call-It-A-Comeback Train is still rolling as she fought to defeat 27th seed Alisa Kleybanova after being down a set and a break.

The second week and thus the fourth round begins tonight. This is where the top players are set to meet one another. I'll post second week previews for both the men and the women later today.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

BAFTA Nominations

The British are coming! So, you may or may not believe that there is a strong British contingent with the Academy. I think it's a bit of a myth really, but it really does pay off to pay attention to what the BAFTAs have to say. And here's what they said...

Best Film
  • Avatar
  • An Education
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air
Best British Film
  • An Education
  • Fish Tank
  • In the Loop
  • Moon
  • Nowhere Boy
An Education expectedly doubles up showing up in both film categories. It also leads the field with eight nominations along with Avatar and The Hurt Locker. All three should easily make it in the Oscar Ten. Precious and Up in the Air are safe bets there too. Great to see In the Loop and Moon in the mix even though it was largely expected with this crowd.

Best Director
  • James Cameron, Avatar
  • Neill Blomkamp, District 9
  • Lone Scherfig, An Education
  • Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
  • Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Really liked how different it is compared to their Best Film lineup. Bigelow and Cameron are the front-runners both here and for the Oscars, but it's nice to see other names especially Scherfig and Blomkamp. Can one of them break up the DGA-nominated directors come Oscar nomination morning? Still could happen.

Best Actor
  • Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
  • George Clooney, Up in the Air
  • Colin Firth, A Single Man
  • Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
  • Andy Serkis, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
Best Actress
  • Carey Mulligan, An Education
  • Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones
  • Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
  • Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
  • Audrey Tautou, Coco Before Chanel
Best Supporting Actor
  • Alec Baldwin, It’s Complicated
  • Christian McKay, Me and Orson Welles
  • Alfred Molina, An Education
  • Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
  • Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress
  • Anne-Marie Duff, Nowhere Boy
  • Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
  • Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
  • Mo’Nique, Precious
  • Kristin Scott Thomas, Nowhere Boy
The British contingent is strong especially with the nominations of Serkis, Ronan, McKay, Molina, Duff, and Scott Thomas. The front-runners are all still here though with Sandra Bullock the only one not making it in since her film was ineligible. Bridges, Streep, Mo'Nique, and Waltz will most likely win, but don't underestimate the British actors nominated alongside them.

Best Original Screenplay
  • The Hangover
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • A Serious Man
  • Up
Best Adapted Screenplay
  • District 9
  • An Education
  • In the Loop
  • Precious
  • Up in the Air
Believe it or not there are no big surprises here. If you're thinking "But what about The Hangover?!" Well it was also nominated by the Writers Guild so watch out for it.

Best Foreign Language Film
  • Broken Embraces
  • Coco Before Chanel
  • Let the Right One In
  • A Prophet
  • The White Ribbon
Best Animated Film
  • Coraline
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Up
Best Cinematography
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • The Road
Best Production Design
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Inglourious Basterds
Best Costume Design
  • Bright Star
  • Coco Before Chanel
  • An Education
  • A Single Man
  • The Young Victoria
Best Film Editing
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Up in the Air
Best Makeup & Hair
  • Coco Before Chanel
  • An Education
  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
  • Nine
  • The Young Victoria
Best Music
  • Avatar
  • Crazy Heart
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox
  • Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll
  • Up
Best Sound
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Star Trek
  • Up
Best Special Visual Effects
  • Avatar
  • District 9
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Star Trek
I don't really have any real comments on the various tech nominees. Avatar will most likely clean up, but it's also a pretty good showing for District 9 matching every tech nomination that the billion-dollar grossing movie got. Hoping David gets at least one win against Goliath, you know?

Best Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
  • Stuart Hazeldine (writer/director), Exam
  • Duncan Jones (director), Moon
  • Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, Elizabeth Morgan Hemlock and David Pearson (directors and producers), Mugabe and the White African
  • Sam Taylor-Wood (director), Nowhere Boy
  • Eran Creevy (writer/director), Shifty
Rising Star Award
  • Jesse Eisenberg
  • Nicholas Hoult
  • Carey Mulligan
  • Tahar Rahim
  • Kristen Stewart
This is put to a public vote. Beware of the public. Can being in Skins or in one episode of Doctor Who help beat out all those Twilight fans who are surely voting like their life depended on it?

Best Short Film
  • 14″
  • I Do Air
  • Jade
  • Mixtape
  • Off Season
Best Animated Short
  • The Gruffalo
  • The Happy Duckling
  • Mother of Many

Australian Open: Second Round Report

The most anticipated second round match in either the men's or women's draw was Olympic gold medalist Elena Dementieva going against former champion Justine Henin. The serve let both women down, but in the end it was the unseeded Belgian who toppled the 5th seed Russian 7-5, 7-6(8).

The women's draw saw six other seeds fall in the second round including struggling former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic (20), Flavia Pennetta (12), Sabine Lisicki (21), Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (24), Elena Vesnina (28), and Kateryna Bondarenko (30).

The second round for the men saw less upsets, but more marathon matches. Only three seeds fell--David Ferrer (17), Tomas Berdych (21), and Viktor Troiki (29). Ferrer was beaten by former finalist Marcos Baghdatis who will meet Lleyton Hewitt in the next round.

While most of the top men cruised in straight sets, 8 of the 32 matches went the distance including 4th seed Juan Martin Del Potro who defeated James Blake 10-8 in the fifth set.

The king and queen of tennis met the future king of England. Prince William stopped by the Australian Open during his tour. He watched the end of Roger Federer's second round match before meeting Federer and Serena Williams off-court.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Australian Open: First Round Report

Rain delayed many matches on the first day of the Australian Open, but the weather held up on the second day when most of the first round matches were completed. Most of the men's top seed rolled on in the first round with relative routine three-set wins apart from top seed Roger Federer and 4th seed Juan Martin Del Potro. Both needed a fourth set to move on to the next round.

Seven seeds were taken out in the opening round headlined by the shocking exit of French Open finalist and 8th seed Robin Soderling losing in five sets after winning the first two sets. Other seed casualties include Radek Stepanek (13), Tommy Robredo (16), Juan Carlos Ferrero, (23), Sam Querrey (25), Jurgen Melzer (28), and Jeremy Chardy (32).

Two other notables matches in the first round include former top ten player Richard Gasquet losing to 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny after being up two sets to none and 14th seed Marin Cilic defeating Fabrice Santoro in straight sets. Santoro retired last year, but decided to play here to be able to say that he has played across four decades of Grand Slams, an admirable feat.

There's been slightly less drama in the round for the women side with the top players, including 15th seed Kim Clijsters and unseeded Justine Henin, moving forward, mostly in straight sets, with a few even doling out bagels and breadsticks on the way.

Five of the seeds fell, most notably 14th seed and former champion Maria Sharapova losing in a marathon match against Maria Kirilenko. Other fallen seeds include Virginie Razzano (18), Dominika Cibulkova (23), Anabel Medina Garrigues (25), and Elena Vesnina (28).

16th ranked, but unseeded Yanina Wickmayer had to get through qualification before getting into the main draw due to being suspended when the seeds were set. She barely made it into the second round edging out Alexadra Dulgheru 1-6, 7-5, 10-8. Finally, here's a wacky scoreline: Francesca Schiavone d. Alize Cornet 0-6, 7-5, 6-0.

Monday, January 18, 2010

End-Of-Year: In-Between Films

I've already posted which films I thought were the worst films I saw the past year a couple of days ago. So before I get to my favorite films of the year, here are the middle-of-the-road films that were neither stupendously heinous nor fantastically amazing hence I've decided to call them the "in-between films."

I've roughly ranked these films relative to one another and even divided them into three groups. Don't have much to say about most of these, but I do comment on some. So without further a due...

#56 Humpday
#55 I Love You, Man
#54 Funny People - If this was an hour shorter, it would have been a much better movie.
#53 Dare - Based on a great short film, the film version doesn't know what it wants to be.
#52 Confessions of a Shopaholic
#51 Watchmen - Had got to be the most joyless comic-book based film I've ever seen. Until I saw X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
#50 State of Play - Based on a fantastic British miniseries, the film version got rid of the best characters and storylines and left us with a boring version.
#49 Adventureland
#48 Cheri
#47 Angels & Demons - Better than the previous film, but that's not saying much. The books have been much better.

#46 17 Again - I had way more fun with this movie than I would like to publicly admit.
#45 Every Little Step
#44 Everybody's Fine - A critic called this an "old man movie" which is not too far from the truth. The cast is fantastic and I wished they all had more to do.
#43 Hollywood, je t'aime
#42 Sugar
#41 Trucker
#40 The Lovely Bones - Saoirse Ronan and Stanley Tucci are wonderful in this overly directed, but beautiful film; also where I got the phrase "in-between."
#39 Rudo y Cursi
#38 Terminator Salvation - Much better than I expected and Sam Worthington was a bit of a revelation.
#37 The Soloist

#36 Two Lovers - Had no expectations, but it was a delight for Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow to remind us why they've won acting awards in the past.
#35 Sunshine Cleaning
#34 The Young Victoria - I wished I liked this movie more because (a) love Emily Blunt and (b) British period pieces. It's good enough, but a tad lazy.
#33 Sherlock Holmes - Reminded me of The DaVinci Code and Pirates of the Carribean. Make of that what you will.
#32 Adam
#31 Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
#30 It's Complicated - Meryl Streep can do no wrong and with a strong and hilarious ensemble, this movie worked way more than it should.
#29 The Time Traveler's Wife - This movie needed time to grow for me. Didn't know what I thought of it when I first saw it, but I now fondly remember it.

In a few days, I'll post my Top 28 films of 2009 and then maybe I can finally look ahead to 2010!

Golden Globes Winners

My earlier predictions didn't pan out so well and I may have jinxed some of my favorites. I went 5/14 in the film categories and 5/10 in the TV ones. The only predictions I got right were for Avatar, Mad Men, Glee, Up, Meryl Streep, Christoph Waltz, Mo'Nique, Michael C. Hall, Toni Collette, and Kevin Bacon.

Here are all of the winners:

Best Motion Picture, Drama: Avatar
Best Motion Picture, Comedy: The Hangover
Best Director: James Cameron, Avatar
Best Actress, Drama: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Best Actress, Comedy: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Best Actor, Drama: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Actor, Comedy: Robert Downey Jr., Sherlock Holmes
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Animated Film: Up
Best Foreign Language Film: The White Ribbon
Best Screenplay: Up in the Air
Best Score: Michael Giacchino, Up
Best Song: "The Weary Kind," Crazy Heart

Best TV Series, Drama: Mad Men
Best TV Series, Comedy: Glee
Best Actress, Drama: Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Best Actress, Comedy: Toni Collette, United States of Tara
Best Actor, Drama: Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Best Actor, Comedy: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Best Actress, Miniseries/TV Movie: Drew Barrymore, Grey Gardens
Best Actor, Miniseries/TV Movie: Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance
Best Supporting Actress: Chloe Sevigny, Big Love
Best Supporting Actor: John Lithgow, Dexter

The Hollywood Foreign Press decided to spread the wealth a bit with no one movie or TV program dominating. Avatar, Up, Crazy Heart, and Dexter got the most trophies with two wins each. Avatar was the night's big winner as it nabbed Best Drama Picture and Best Director. James Cameron accepted the wins for his billion-dollar-grossing film briefly mentioning ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow who was thought of as the frontrunner to win the Best Director award.

Most of the film acting awards went according to script with Christoph Waltz, Mo'Nique, Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, and Sandra Bullock repeating their earlier wins at the Critics Choice Awards. The latter two look to resume their award rivalry next at the SAG Awards and finally at the Academy Awards.

The TV awards mostly went for fresh blood as seven of the ten winners were first-time winners. Finally, verdict on Ricky Gervais? I don't know. He had a few good zingers, but for the most part he seemed a bit nervous and the pacing of some of his jokes didn't work. Oh well.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Golden Globes Predictions

The Golden Globes airs on NBC tonight with Ricky Gervais as host. Below are my not-too-confident predictions which is a good thing since it means that most of the categories can go any which way. Sure Meryl Streep and Kathryn Bigelow will probably win along with Mad Men and Up in all of their respective categories. But for the most part, I can see a lot of different combinations of winners.

Click here to see my thoughts on the nominations: Film Nominees and TV Nominees.

Best Motion Picture, Drama: Avatar
Best Motion Picture, Comedy: Nine
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Actress, Drama: Carey Mulligan, An Education
Best Actress, Comedy: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia
Best Actor, Drama: George Clooney, Up in the Air
Best Actor, Comedy: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Animated Film: Up
Best Foreign Language Film: A Prophet
Best Screenplay: Inglourious Basterds
Best Score: Avatar
Best Song: "Winters," Brothers

Best TV Series, Drama: Mad Men
Best TV Series, Comedy: Glee
Best Actress, Drama: Glenn Close, Damages
Best Actress, Comedy: Toni Collett, United States of Tara
Best Actor, Drama: Michael C. Hall, Dexter
Best Actor, Comedy: Steve Carrell, The Office
Best Actress, Miniseries/TV Movie: Sigourney Weaver, Prayers for Bobby
Best Actor, Miniseries/TV Movie: Kevin Bacon, Taking Chance
Best Supporting Actress: Jane Lynch, Glee
Best Supporting Actor: Neil Patrick Harris, How I Met Your Mother

Note that the above are predictions and not who I necessarily want to win. There's really only a handful of people I'm rooting for to win--Meryl Streep, Neil Patrick Harris, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Jane Lynch. As you can see, I've predicted all of them to win as well. I feel as if I'm jinxing them by doing that, but hey sometimes you got to go with your heart. I'm also rooting for Modern Family and (500) Days of Summer to win Best Comedy in TV and Film, but I'm predicting their flashier musical rivals to win over the HFPA. We'll see what happens!

Australian Open: Women's Preview

Defending champion and world no. 1 Serena Williams is looking to successfully defend her Australian Open title for the first time, not doing so the previous three times. She is nursing a minor injury, but on paper she should be able to make it into the semifinals. Last year's quartefinalist Carla Suarez Navarro is a possible third rounder with Aussie favorite Sam Stosur waiting in the fourth round. According to seeding, Williams can then face Victoria Azarenka in the quarters but more likely it will be former finalist Ana Ivanovic or last year's semifinalist Vera Zvonareva.

On the same side of the draw as Serena is her sister and 6th seed Venus Williams. She has a tough first round match with former quarterfinalist Lucie Safarova. 10th seed Agnieszka Radwanska awaits her in the fourth round. They are in 4th seed and US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki's quarter. She should get into the second week pretty easily with a potential matchup with Shahar Peer in the third round and either Daniela Hantuchova or Na Li in the fourth round. Other names to watch out for is American sensation Melanie Oudin and Anabel Medina Garrigues.

Belgians and Russians rule the other half especially in 3rd seed Svetlana Kuznetsova's quarter. Her most likely fourth round opponent will be US Open champion Kim Clijsters. 5th seed Elena Dementieva and former Australian Open champion Justine Henin look to meet in the second round. They are meeting so early because Henin is playing in her first Grand Slam tournament since retiring less than two years ago and is therefore unseeded. Henin could potentially meet Clijsters in the quarters for a rematch of their Brisbane finals. A few other players to consider are Virginie Razzano, Flavia Pennetta, and Nadia Petrova.

Last year's finalist and 2nd seed Dinara Safina will again begin her quest to nab that maiden slam. Based on past results, she should get through to the fourth round where she will either face Dominika Cibulkova or more likely former Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova. Whoever gets to the quaterfinals will have to contend with Jelena Jankovic who is also trying to get her first Grand Slam title.

Serena Williams d. Caroline Wozniacki
Kim Clijsters d. Jelena Jankovic

Kim Clijsters d. Serena Williams

Australian Open: Men's Preview

World no. 2 Rafael Nadal will look to successfully defend a non-clay title for the first time. Title-less for the past eight months mostly due to knee problems, Nadal should cruise to the fourth round where he can meet 13th seed Radek Stepanek, 24th seed Ivan Ljbucic, or big-serving Ivo Karlovic. If he makes it through to the quarterfinals, he'll face John Isner, 12th seed Gael Monfils, or most likely 5th seed Andy Murray for a blockbuster match.

US Open champions Juan Martin Del Potro and Andy Roddick are in the same side of the draw as Nadal and can meet each other in the quarterfinals. Del Potro could meet former quartefinalist James Blake in the second round and either Swiss no. 2 Stan Wawrinka or 14th seed Marin Cilic in the fourth round. Cilic will face off against almost-retired Fabrice Santoro in the first round. Roddick, in the meantime, can book an All-American third round math between himself and 25th seed Sam Querrey. Winner of that will then face either 21st seed Tomas Berdych or former finalist Fernando Gonzalez.

On the other end of the draw, 3-time Australian Open champion and world no. 1 Roger Federer will begin his quest to take back his crown against hard-hitting Igor Andreev in the first round. He should be able to get to the fourth round though where he can meet former finalist and world no. 1 Lleyton Hewitt or 17th seed David Ferrer. His quarterfinal opponent could be tricky as he could meet the man who has defeated him two times in a row, 6th seed Nikolay Davydenko, or last year's semifinalist 9th seed Fernando Verdasco. Also watch out for former finalist, Marcos Baghdatis who very recently won a title.

Finally, former Australian Open champion and 3rd seed Novak Djokovic share this side of the draw with Roger. Both of them can meet again in the semifinals, but first he must get through his own draw. On paper, his draw seems the most navigable relative to the other top seeds. His first test is perhaps a possible 4th round meeting with 16th seed Tommy Robredo or the winner of the first round match-up between Mikhail Youzhny and Richard Gasquet. Lurking in the quarterfinals are 8th seed Robin Soderling, 10th seed and former finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and 18th seed Tommy Haas.

Roger Federer d. Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal d. Andy Roddick

Roger Federer d. Rafael Nadal

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hit for Haiti

On the eve of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, some of the world's top tennis players joined together for "Hit for Haiti," an exhibition to raise money for the victims of the Haitian earthquake.

It was the brain child of world. no 1 Roger Federer who organized the the last-minute event and spoke to other players to participate. The mixed-doubles event took place at Rod Laver Arena with tickets costing $10 and all proceeds going to relief efforts.

The Red Team containing Federer, Serena Williams, Lleyton Hewitt, and Samathan Stosur won 7-6 against the Blue Team of Rafael Nadal, Kim Clijsters, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Roddick. They put on quite a show for fans who were there or watching in the live stream kindly provided by the Australian Open.

It was just really nice to see these top players relaxed and have fun for a worthy cause. Some highlights include Djokovic showing off his ass whenever he could, Federer grunting in inhuman and hilarious ways, Williams and Clijsters ganging up on Djokovic, and so much more. See some of the highlights here.

In the end, they raised about $185,000. You can make donations online with Partners in Health or Red Cross.

Hurt in the Moon Loop Performances

This past week, I finally got a chance to see three films I really wanted to see that I missed the past year. All three were quite good and will most likely make my Top 25 or so films of 2009, but since I already gave out my acting prizes nearly two weeks ago, I just wanted to spotlight a few performances that would've made my shortlist.

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker - He's not exactly a likable character, but his character's quiet strength complementing his character's outward bravado makes his absolutely fascinating to watch.

Sam Rockwell, Moon - Never mind that he had to play two different versions of himself, but to do so while also basically acting without the benefit of another actor to bounce off on. Very difficult thing to do, but he did it with ease.

Peter Capaldi, In the Loop - Maybe it's because I love the age-old stuffy British man spewing loads of curse words archetype, but Capaldi went above and beyond.

Mimi Kennedy, In the Loop - Her role was subtler than Capaldi, but equally entertaining to watch. She doesn't exactly play the straight woman to all the other insane characters, but she definitely maintains the best balance between absurdity and reality.

And speaking of In the Loop, the film definitely would've been nominated for Best Ensemble and could very well have won over Star Trek.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Critics Choice Awards

The Broadcast Film Critics Association are the last and probably most important critic group to give out their awards especially if you want to know who might just nab the Oscars in two months. Tonight they presented the awards to the winners at the Critic Choice Awards.

The winners are...

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia & Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Best Animated Feature: Up
Best Action Movie: Avatar
Best Comedy: The Hangover
Best Foreign Language Film: Broken Embraces
Best Documentary Feature: The Cove
Best Picture Made for Television: Grey Gardens
Best Acting Ensemble: Inglourious Basterds
Best Young Actor/Actress: Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones
Best Cinematography: Avatar
Best Art Direction: Avatar
Best Editing: Avatar
Best Costume Design: The Young Victoria
Best Makeup: District 9
Best Visual Effects: Avatar
Best Sound: Avatar
Best Song: "The Weary Kind," Crazy Heart
Best Score: Michael Giacchino, Up

Most of the awards went to the usual suspects with the only real surprises coming from the lead categories and even then they weren't that big of a surprise. If you ask me, Directing, Supporting, and Screenplay categories are locked and loaded. And with Avatar most likely dominating the technical awards, the only other races to follow are Picture and Lead Acting categories.

For Best Picture, it's looking like a three-film race with The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, and Avatar duking it out. They all did well tonight. Avatar nabbed the most wins with six awards besting the combined tally of Basterd and Locker. The latter two films, however, grabbed the more important awards with Basterd getting Ensemble, Original Screenplay, and Supporting Actor while Locker got the two big ones, Picture and Director. And don't completely count out Up in the Air which won Adapted Screenplay.

Jeff Bridges seem poise to grab his first Oscar as he won Best Actor over critic favorites George Clooney and Jeremy Renner. Best Actress became a three-way race tonight as the BFCA chose to ignore critic favorite Carey Mulligan to give both Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock the award. Note that last year this category was also a tie and that Streep also won. What does this say about any of these actor's Oscar chances? Beats me, but at least some of the awards are still up in the air.

Finally, Kristin Chenoweth did a fine job hosting. The writing of some of the jokes, skits, and big opening number was a bit sloppy, but I can forgive anything that has to do with Chenoweth. She can make me watch anything.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

End-Of-Year: Worst Films

Have to get going on my list of films I've seen the past year. Still finalizing the rankings on top, but for now here are the WORST films I saw this year in alphabetical order:

Bride Wars - Instead of charming, I found the women played by Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson shrill and annoying. Very unpleasant movie to watch.

Eating Out: All You Can Eat - Face it, what would've been a shock was if this movie didn't make it on this list.

Fast & Furious - Loved the original film and I do like the cast overall, but this franchise did not age well.

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past - Worst. Movie. Ever. Or at least of the past year. I expected it to be bad. It was worse.

GI Joe: Rise of the Cobra - Watching Joseph Gordon-Levitt be all evil was nice, but even he couldn't make this trash watchable.

He's Just Not That Into You - Other two one or two characters, this ensemble was wholly unlikable thus making the movie an effort to get through.

Paper Heart - I see its charms, but I didn't really connect with the film at all or the love stories featured. Maybe I was having a bad day.

The Proposal - It had its moments for sure, but for the most part I just didn't buy the two leads together.

Taken - Liam Neeson kicked ass. That much is true. Too bad everything else wasn't in the same level.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - I actually enjoyed the first film as a fun popcorn film. This one felt like I just wasted 2.5 hours of my life.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - Was it just me or was everyone just a little bit bored by this film? Even the actors seemed bored.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Critics Have Spoken

There's only one more critic group left to weigh in, the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), which is set to announce their winners later this week (view their nominees here). The other dozen or 30 have made their choices and here is the finalize tally of films and actors they loved.

The list of critic groups include the National Board of Review (NBR), Alliance of Women Journalist (AWJ), African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), National Society of Film Critics (NSFC), Online Film Critics (OFCS) as well as critic groups from the following regions: Los Angeles (LAFCA), New York (NYFCC), Boston (BSFC), Washington D.C (WAFCA), New York Online (NYFCO), Southeastern (SEFCA), Indiana (IFJA), San Francisco (SFFC), Austin (AFCA), San Diego (SDFCS), Toronto (TFCA), Dallas-Forth Worth (DFWFCA), Las Vegas (LVFCS), Utah (UFCA), Detroit (DFCS), Houston (HFCS), Chicago (CFCA), Florida (FFCC), St. Louis (SLFC), Phoenix (PFCS), Oklahoma (OFCC), Kansas City (KCFCC), Central Ohio (COFCA), North Texas (NTFC), and Vancouver (VFCC).

The winners are...

  • Inglourious Basterds - (3) SDFCS, TFCA, PFCS
  • Avatar - (1) NYFCO
  • Up- (1) DFCS
  • Hunger - (1) TFCA
  • Precious - (1) AAFCA

  • Jason Reitman - (1) DFWFCA, UFCA, FFCC, COFCA
  • Quentin Tarantino - (1) SDFCS, PFCS
  • Clint Eastwood - (1) NBR
  • Lee Daniels - (1) AAFCA
  • Pete Docter - (1) DFCS
  • Spike Jonze - (1) IFJA

  • Jeremy Renner - (5) BSFC, LVFCS, CFCA, NSFC, OFCS
  • Colin Firth - (5) SFFC, AFCA, SDFCS, DFCS, VFCC
  • Jeff Bridges - (3) LAFCA, NYFCO, AWJ
  • Morgan Freeman - (2) NBR, AAFCA
  • Viggo Mortensen - (1) UFCA
  • Nicolas Cage - (1) TFCA

  • Gabourey Sidibe - (3) LVFCS, DFCS, FFCC
  • Yolande Moreau - (2) LAFCA, NSFC
  • Melanie Laurent - (2) AFCA, OFCS
  • Michelle Monaghan - (1) SDFCS
  • Nicole Beharie - (1) AAFCA

  • Christian McKay - (2) SFFC, UFCA
  • Woody Harrelson - (1) NBR
  • Paul Schneider - (1) NSFC
  • Anthony Mackie - (1) AAFCA

  • Anna Kendrick - (5) NBR, AFCA, TFCA, HFCS, NTFC
  • Vera Farmiga - (1) VFCC
  • Samantha Morton - (1) SDFCS

  • Inglourious Basterds - (9) NYFCO, WAFCA, SFFC, AFCA, SDFCS, TFCA, KCFCC, OFCS, COFCA
  • 500 Days - (6) AWJ, SEFCA, LVFCS, FFCC, SLFC, OFCC
  • A Serious Man - (3) NBR, BSFC, NSFC
  • The Hurt Locker - (1) CFCA
  • Up - (1) PFCS


  • Fantastic Mr. Fox - (4) SFFC, SDFCS, UFCA, OFCS
  • Precious - (1) AAFCA
  • In the Loop - (1) NYFCC
  • Princess & The Frog - (1) AAFCA

  • Fantastic Mr. Fox - (7) NYFCC, LAFCA, IFJA, TFCA, LVFCS, UFCA, OFCC
  • Coraline - (1) SFFC

What's important to note, however, is that critics DO NOT choose who win at the Academy Awards. They may help in narrowing the list of potential nominees and highlighting films and performances that may have been forgotten. Do you see Avatar or District 9 on these lists? Barely, but watch out for them to get multiple nods at the Oscars. Of course critical favorites Kathryn Bigelow, Christoph Waltz, Mo'Nique, and Up seem likely to repeat their award season domination at the Oscars.