Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
By the by, was that moment between Forest Whitaker and America Ferrera supremely uncomfortable? I couldn't tell if it was ad lib or scripted - Ugly Betty? America the Beautiful. Aw, shucks - but it was a little too giggly. Still, I'm so happy for both of their wins. (Even if I am pulling for an upset at the Oscars by Peter O'Toole. But more on that later.) And nice acceptance by Ferrera - short and sweet.
Ok, I could get bitchy about dresses (Ellen Pompeo! Marcia Gay Harden! What were you thinking?) or speeches (Forest Whitaker needs to get a writer, or get off the crack) or facelifts (and lack thereof). But I'm in such a good mood, 'cause the SAGSs finished up in 2 short hours, and I can watch my TIVO.... Sigh. No, really, the lack of surprise is looking like it's going to be a bit of a letdown on Oscars night. While I still think it's anyone's guess which film will win best picture (LMS has a head start, assuredly), the interest will be in the screenplays and technical awards. I'll be back in the coming weeks with analysis and predictions, so keep it tuned to the Seattle Gay Blog! And on February 23 pick up a print copy of the Seattle Gay News for some - yet-to-be-determined - extended Oscars coverage!
Eddie Murphy, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose in Dreamgirls, photo courtesy DreamWorks Distribution LLC.
The SAGs, by the way, start (tape delayed) at 8pm on TNT and TBS. If you want to maintain your surprise, then look away until about 10pm, when the (tape delayed) broadcast should be over.
For the rest of you: SPOILER ALERT!! SPOILER ALERT!!
Best ensemble: Little Miss Sunshine
Best actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Best actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
Best supporting actor: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
Best supporting actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Best Actress Mini Series: Helen Mirren, Elizabeth I
Male Actor Mini Series: Jeremy Irons, Elizabeth I
Actor, Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Actress, Comedy Series: American Ferrera, Ugly Betty
Comedy ensemble: The Office
Lead Actress, Drama Series: Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy
Lead Actor, Drama Series: Hugh Laurie, House
Ensemble Drama Series: Grey's Anatomy
Whoo hoo, Eddie & Jennifer! Whoo hoo, America Ferrera!! I'll be back later with reactions.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Like most predictors, well... I got a lot and I missed a lot. I was right about Little Miss Sunshine sneaking in to the best picture nominations, but I didn't think it would take the place of Dreamgirls. Sunshine wasn't strong enough to pull a best director nom, so that slot went to Paul Greengrass for United 93 - as I also suggested it might. Again, not in place of Bill Condon! I'm still a little aghast.
I did pretty well with the actresses - got all of the best supporting actresses, and predicted that Kate Winslet might get the nom over Toni Collette - but missed a bit on th actors. Djimon Honsou over Jack Nicholson? Leonardo DiCaprio over... uh, Leonardo DiCaprio? Guess I'll have to see Blood Diamond. (Meanwhile, yippee and hoorah for Peter O'Toole, Ryan Gosling and Jackie Earle Haley!)
In the screenplay arena, I'm okay with Borat making it in over Thank You for Smoking, and I'm almost as ecstatic as Selma Hayek for Pan's Labyrinth nomination. But how can Volver be snubbed in the foreign film category? I ask you. It's almost as bad as the Dreamgirls snub. (Go Jennifer! Go Eddie!)
Well, those are all of the reactions I can manage to pull out of my ass this early in the morning. How did you do with your predictions? I'll be back this weekend with the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Remember, Venus opens this Friday (at the Guild 45th).
And hey: remember to put February 25th on your calendar for the Seattle Gay News official Oscars Party! This year it'll be at the Purr Cocktail Lounge (1518 11th Avenue). I'll keep you posted on party times, but you'll want to get there early for a seat close to the red carpet!
Best picture: Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen.
Best director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel, Martin Scorsese, The Departed, Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima, Stephen Frears, The Queen, and Paul Greengrass, United 93.
Best actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond, Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson, Peter O'Toole, Venus, Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness, and Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland.
Best actress: Penelope Cruz, Volver, Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal, Helen Mirren, The Queen, Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada, and Kate Winslet, Little Children.
Best supporting actor: Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine, Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children, Djimon Honsou, Blood Diamond, Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls, and Mark Wahlberg, The Departed.
Best supporting actress: Adriana Barraza, Babel, Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal, Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine, Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls, and Rinko Kikuchi, Babel.
Original screenplay: Babel, Letters from iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine, Pan's Labyrinth, and The Queen.
Adapted screenplay: Borat: Cultural Learnings..., Children of Men, the Departed, Little Children, and Notes on a Scandal.
Best foreign film: Denmark: After the Wedding, Algeria: Days of Glory, Germany: The Lives of Others, Mexico: Pan's Labyrinth, and Canada: Water.
Best animated film: Cars, Happy Feet and Monster House.
Sheesh! I think I got 'em all right. I'll get you a link as soon as it's available, and then I'm probably going back to bed. Dreamgirls was robbed!
Monday, January 22, 2007
I'm shocked as hell that China's Curse of the Golden Flower isn't on the shortlist. As much as I didn't care for Zhang Yimou's latest, I was sure it would make it to the ballot. Anyway, here's my prediction for the final five:
Given the buzz behind Guillermo Del Toro's Labyrinth and Pedro Almodovar's Volver, they're locks for nominations. Thanks to Albert Rodriguez for the link!
Volver photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classics.
Christina Aguilera, James Blunt, Carrie Underwood, Mary J. Blige, and Ludacris have been added to the performers lineup at this year's Grammy Awards ceremony. They'll join the Dixie Chicks, Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Gnarls Barkley.
As mentioned before, there is a solid block of Grammy voters living in Seattle and each year they attend an invite-only party on Grammy night. I've attended twice, and both times I've bumped into well-known area musicians and industry folks.
Remember, Grammy night is February 11.
The nominees for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal are:
My Humps - The Black Eyed Peas
I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Over My Head (Cable Car) - The Fray
Is It Any Wonder? - Keane
Stickwitu - The Pussycat Dolls
Will win: Over My Head (Cable Car)
Grammy voters usually go for a radio-friendly pop-rock hit in this category (i.e. Maroon 5's "This Love" (live version), Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven" , No Doubt's "Hey Baby"), and The Fray's monstrous ballad seems to fit the pattern.
Should win: I Will Follow You Into the Dark
The good news for Death Cab for Cutie, who interviewed with Seattle Gay News back in December 2005, is that 2 Grammy nominations this year and 1 last year proves they've out-grown their indie band sneakers. The bad news is they have to share a category with a pair of embarrassing nominees, the tasteless "My Humps" by the Peas and the very icky "Stickwitu" by the Dolls ("Buttons" would have been a better choice). If Grammy voters actually listen to the songs in this category, they'll recognize why DCFC's acoustic gem is the standout of this bunch.
Photo of Death Cab for Cutie, courtesy of Atlantic Records.
- The Departed
- Letters from Iwo Jima
- The Queen
Letters hasn't been out long, so it might slip under the Academy's radar - despite being one of the best-reviewed films of the year. Given the number of nominations in the SAGs and Globes, and its win from the Producer's Guild of America, it's very possible that Little Miss Sunshine will fill that spot instead.
- Bill Condon, Dreamgirls
- Clint Eastwood, Letters from Iwo Jima
- Stephen Frears, The Queen
- Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Babel
- Martin Scorsese, The Departed
I'm sticking with Gonzalez Inarritu over Paul Greengrass (United 93), mainly because I think at least one of the three amigos needs to be nominated (the other two being Alfonso Cuaron for Children of Men and Guillermo Del Toro for Pan's Labyrinth), but don't be too surprised if Greengrass sneaks in. United 93 lost its buzz, but the Academy has been known to have a long memory, as with last year's Crash. I'd love it if Robert Altman were nominated for Prairie Home Companion, but it's the longest of long shots.
Best original screenplay:
- Letters from Iwo Jima
- Little Miss Sunshine
- The Queen
- United 93
Best adapted screenplay:
- The Departed
- Little Children
- Notes on a Scandal
- Thank You For Smoking
Again, I'm counting on the Academy's long memory to nominate the much-loved Thank You For Smoking, which was released last spring. Alternates to TYFS might be The Devil Wears Prada or Prairie Home Companion.
Aaah. That's a relief. I doubt that I'll be up at 5:30 tomorrow morning, but I promise to give you a good reaction to the AMPAS nominations asap. Then I'll be back next Sunday for the Screen Actors Guild awards!
Edited by Lorelei at 12:35 pm.
Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt in Babel, photo courtesy Paramount Classics; Jack Nicholson and Martin Scorsese from The Departed, photo courtesy Warner Bros; Ken Watanabe in Letters from Iwo Jima, photo courtesy Warner Bros; Eddie Murphy, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose in Dreamgirls, photo courtesy DreamWorks Distribution LLC.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
- Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
- Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
- Peter O'Toole, Venus
- Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness
- Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
This was a difficult category to whittle down because there were so many great performances. I think Cohen's a lock for a nom, but look for Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson) to sneak in, maybe ousting Will Smith.
- Toni Collette, Little Miss Sunshine
- Penelope Cruz, Volver
- Judi Dench, Notes on a Scandal
- Helen Mirren, The Queen
- Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
As hard as it was to narrow down the actor list, it was equally difficult to fill this category. Toni Collette's role was really more supporting than lead (as was Streep's, but don't even get me started on that), but someone has to fill the 5 slots. Had Little Children received more kudos all-around, I'd have Kate Winslet in her place.
- Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine
- Jackie Earle Haley, Little Children
- Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
- Jack Nicholson, The Departed
- Brad Pitt, Babel
- Adriana Barraza, Babel
- Cate Blanchett, Notes on a Scandal
- Abigail Breslin, Little Miss Sunshine
- Rinko Kikuchi, Babel
- Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Another weak category, except for Hudson and Blanchett. Not that Barraza, Breslin or Kikuchi gave weak performances - quite the opposite. It's just that the Academy is more likely to go with big names. Carmen Maura (Volver) might sneak in, but it's doubtful.
I know I've played it safe, and I've hedged my bets by providing an alternate for each category. Sigh. I'll be back later with my predix for best film and director; I might even have a look at the screenplay categories. Eek! I'd better get on it!
Peter O'Toole and Jodie Whittaker in Venus, Helen Mirren in The Queen; photos courtesy Miramax Films. The cast of Little Miss Sunshine, photo courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures. Rinko Kikuchi in Babel, photo courtesy Paramount Classics.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Hutcherson had submitted Initiative 375 last November that sought to "remove references to 'sexual orientation' or 'sexual preference' including heterosexuality, homosexuality, Bisexuality, gender expression, identity, appearance and behavior from the state's law against discrimination..." However, Hutcherson's effort was seen largely as political maneuvering for a possible filing at a later date.
A similar effort by Tim Eyman, Referendum 65, failed to receive the 112,440 valid signatures needed to qualify for last November's ballot. For Hutcherson's latest effort to appear on the ballot, he will need to collect 224,880 valid signatures by July 6, 2007.
Hutcherson is no stranger to the region's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Hutcherson's church had gathered signatures to support the Eyman's referendum. He took credit for bullying Microsoft into temporarily withdrawing its support of pro-Gay legislation and organized the 2004 "Mayday for Marriage Rally" at Safeco Field. He is also an advocate of "ex-Gay" therapy and offers it at his church, a practice condemned by every mainstream medical and psychological organization.
Hutcherson's initiative hasn't been assigned a number, nor has it been made available online at the Secretary of State's website. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State said the initiative had not yet been scanned.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
If you happen to be up late tonight, be sure to catch Joshua Radin on "Last Call with Carson Daly", airing at 1:30am (PST).
Radin, whose debut release We Were Here was selected amongst the Top Ten Albums/CDs of 2006 by Seattle Gay News, begins a national headlining tour next week on the East Coast. His itinerary includes a Seattle date, February 13 at The Triple Door. Look for a preview of that performance in the Seattle Gay News on February 9.
Ear-sample music by Joshua Radin at www.joshuaradin.com, or check him out on The Last Kiss and Catch & Release film soundtracks.
Photo of Joshua Radin, courtesy of Sony-BMG Records.
Monday, January 15, 2007
First let's talk about the lack of surprise in the film categories, both in the nominations and the wins. People have predicted these performances and movies would be the big awards winners since last October. The exceptions, in my opinion, are Dreamgirls and Babel, as they could have easily gone to Little Miss Sunshine and The Departed. Speaking of Dreamgirls, how fabulous that this is the film that walks away with the most awards! Well deserved by both Murphy and Hudson; I kinda wanted to hear the producer sing "And I am Telling You I am Not Going" when they tried to pipe him off during his acceptance speech. Sucks to be those nay-sayers who surfaced last week, disparaging the movie's recent box office "slip." ('Oo-oo-oo! Dreamgirls can't hold 800 million screens at capacity for longer than 3 weeks! It's losing Oscars ground!' Puh-lease.)
Meanwhile, the foregin category is kind of iffy for me this year. A win by Letters from Iwo Jima may have cemented an Oscar nom in the feature film category, but my fingers were crossed for Pan's Labyrinth (El Labarinto del Fauno). I'd have been happy for Almodovar's Volver, too; both ranked higher on my top 20 list than Letters. And: yippee for Sacha Baron Cohen, who also might have cemented an Oscar nom. Best acceptance speech ever, but I'll best the Academy is shaking in its boots, worried that he might make it up the steps of the Kodak Theatre's stage on Feb. 25th.
P. S.: Could Warren Beatty or Meryl Streep blow any harder? I thought they'd bring on the hook.
I have a lot to think about before I make any predictions as to who will receive Oscar nominations. Those noms happen early next Tuesday, so I will have my list for your dissection sometime this weekend. Check out this Friday's print edition of the Seattle Gay News for my list of suggested nominees - 'cause I'm sure the Academy members have forgotten a few gems, and need to be reminded by moi.
Eddie Murphy, Beyonce Knowles, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose in Dreamgirls, photo courtesy DreamWorks Distribution LLC; Doug Jones and Ivana Baquero in Pan's Labyrith, photo courtesy Picturehouse.
Spoiler!!! Spoiler!!! Spoiler!!! Look away if you want to continue watching the Globes with (some) surprise:
- Best picture, drama: Babel
- Best picture, musical or comedy: Dreamgirls
- Best actor in a drama: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
- Best actress in a drama: Helen Mirren, The Queen
- Best actress in a musical or comedy: Meryl Streep, The Devil Wears Prada
- Best actor in a musical or comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
- Best director: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
- Foreign language film: Letters from Iwo Jima
- Supporting actor: Eddie Murphy, Dreamgirls
- Supporting actress: Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls
Whew! Oh, you want the tv winners, too? Go to http://www.imdb.com/! Lazy!
'K, since I just got back from vacation to discover my power went out over the weekend, I now have to go around my apartment and reset all of my clocks. See how I care? The Globes come first!! I'll come back to comment later.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Hi, it's Albert at the Seattle Gay News on a very chilly night. If you're hitting the clubs tonight, be careful driving or walking - it's really slick out there.
Leading up to the Grammy Awards on February 11, I'll be posting updates on what to expect on music's biggest night. And, I'll be posting predictions and personal picks for awards in several categories. There are a lot of Grammy voters in Seattle, believe it or not. Let's hope the most deserved nominees walk away with the hardware this year. Look for a Grammy preview in the SGN on February 9.
Thus far, the Dixie Chicks, Gnarls Barkley, and Red Hot Chili Peppers have been confirmed as performers. Justin Timberlake is also performing on the live telecast with a nationally selected contest winner included in his background posse.
The nominees for Best Pop Vocal Album are:
Back to Basics - Christina Aguilera
Back to Bedlam - James Blunt
The River in Reverse - Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint
Continuum - John Mayer
Futuresex/Lovesounds - Justin Timberlake
Will win: Futuresex/Lovesounds
Grammy voters love John Mayer, by proof of his Song of the Year win for "Daughters" and his mysterious inclusion in the Best Rock Album category for a jazz-blues experimental project (Trio). But Timberlake is a pop superstar who continues to surprise those who dig him, and those who don't. Two smash hits, "SexyBack" and "My Love", should give him the edge over Mayer. The surprise could be Aguilera, another Grammy favorite and well-respected by her peers for attempting something different.
Should win: Futuresex/Lovesounds
Mayer and Aguilera went outside of the box and delivered career-bests last year. But Timberlake's hip-pop collaboration with Timbaland gets my vote; if not for its irresistable beats and dance floor shout-outs, then for delivering sexy back from wherever it had wandered off to.
Friday, January 12, 2007
- Best Director & Film: Martin Scorsese, The Departed
- Best Actor: Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
- Best Actress: Helen Mirren, The Queen
- Best Documentary Feature: An Inconvenient Truth
- Best Soundtrack & Song, Best Supporting Actor & Supporting Actress: Dreamgirls, "Listen" (Beyonce); Eddie Murphy, Jennifer Hudson
- Best Composer: The Illusionist, Philip Glass
- Best Animated Feature: Cars
- Best Acting Ensemble, Writer. Young Actor & Young Actress: Little Miss Sunshine, written by Michael Arndt, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin
- Best Comedy movie: Borat...
- Best Family Film (Live Action): Charlotte's Web
I'm a little surprised that Little Miss Sunshine did so well ... happy, but surprised. Dreamgirls really made out, as did Scorsese & The Departed. He just might get his Oscar! If you want to see the entire list of nominees, here's a link to the Broadcast Film Critics' Association: http://www.bfca.org/NomineesWinners.asp
So, what did you think of my top 10 list? What do you mean, what do you mean? You did pick up a print copy of the Seattle Gay News today, right? Discuss. And check out next week's edition, where I'll propose a few names for the Academy to consider for the nominations. Well, beg, really. (Please, Mr. Oscar -- Forget Streep in The Devil Wears Prada - that was in no way a leading role. But Gretchen Mol so-o-o-o deserves recognition for The Notorious Bettie Page!)
I'm out of town this weekend, so I must leave you until Monday's Golden Globes. I'll blog when I return (around 9 pm) with what went down. Coming up on Oscar Watch: Oscar predictions and a wrap on the Guild nominations.
The Departed's Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio & Matt Damon; courtesy Warner Bros.
Thursday, January 4, 2007
So far so boring - no surprises in the noms. I'm pleased that Rinko Kikuchi, a veritable unknown, continues to gain recognition for her performance as a deaf mute in Babel. I'm not sure she has a chance against those shaping up to be her competition: Cate Blanchett in Notes on a Scandal and Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls. And as brilliant as Forest Whitaker was in The Last King of Scotland, I'm really pulling for Peter O'Toole (in Venus). Here's a legendary actor who's never won an Oscar despite 7 nominations. He received an honorary Oscar last year, and he responded with a handwritten letter saying he was "enchanted" at the thought, but that he was "still in the game, and might yet win (the award) outright." Between this SAG nom and the Globes nom, he's pretty much guaranteed an Oscar nomination, if not an outright Oscar!
A complete list of SAG noms can be found at http://www.sagawards.com/PR_070104.htm; PGA noms are at http://www.producersguild.org/pg/awards_a/. And check out next week's print version of the Seattle Gay News for my own 2006 top 10 list of films!
I'll return to the blogosphere next Tuesday with the Directors' Guild nominations and the National Board of Review winners; then Friday it's the BAFTA noms and Critics' Choice Awards. The clock is ticking - faster and faster, it seems - until the Oscars nominations are announced on January 23rd!
Rinko Kikuchi in Babel, photo courtesy Paramount Classics; Peter O'Toole and Jodie Whittaker in Venus; photo courtesy Miramax Films
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Seattle Gay News is pleased to feature a 1-on-1 interview this week with Albert Hammond, Jr., guitarist for globally known rock band The Strokes and now a fine solo artist in his own right.
Hammond, Jr. begins a five-week tour with Incubus this weekend in the Northwest. In fact, he may be en route to Seattle for a last-minute rehearsal at this very moment. His debut release Yours to Keep hits store shelves on March 6, but you can ear-sample cuts from the CD by visiting http://www.myspace.com/alberthammondjr.
Pick up a copy of the Seattle Gay News on Friday, January 5 and kick off 2007 by hanging out inside "The Music Lounge" with Albert Hammond, Jr.
Photo of Albert Hammond, Jr. (pictured left), courtesy of Rough Trade Records.
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Kevin Patrick Shaw (pictured) was found inside his parked red Porsche Boxster on the morning of on October 21, 2004. His naked body had been wrapped inside two sheets and a garbage bag and was discovered slumped over the front passenger seat.
According to the Medical Examiner, Shaw's death was caused by a penetrating wound to his head. Shaw had recieved other wounds before his death, including strangulation, a broken back, blunt force trauma and lacerations caused by the binding of his ankles.
Phone records, DNA evidence, and items recovered from Maiava's residence link the suspect to the crime. Witnesses also reported seeing a red Porsche Boxster parked near the suspect's home around the time of the murder.