Archive | February 2011

lct awards 2010: TV results

Amidst the recaps, predictions, and reviewing hoopla of Oscars 2010, I figured I’d continue announcing the winners from my very own little awards show, the LCT Awards.  Having taken place last Thursday, I’m bringing part three of the winners to you.  (Feel free to review with the TV Movie/Miniseries and Music results.)  It proved a big night for two shows in particular – one coming into its own as a superb comedy and the other coming late in the game with a swan song surge.  But in the end, it was the comedy, at its finest hour in the second half of season two, Parks and Recreation that bested the wonderfully addictive football drama Friday Night Lights for the top prize of Best Show.

The acting winners proved (mostly) no-brainers.  In the Lead Actress category, a notoriously difficult one for me to choose annually, it came down to a showdown between last year’s winner and still comedy MVP Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), a top-10 all-time favorite actress of mine Laura Linney (The Big C), and the backbone of the team Connie Britton (Friday Night Lights), with Britton taking down the competition.  Lead Actor seemed all locked up for six-time nominee (and loser) John Krasinski (The Office), but the dream of a long-awaited win was dashed by Kyle Chandler’s effortless performance as Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights.  The supporting categories became much more straightforward for choosing winners.  Merritt Wever excelled as the impressive scene-stealer in the wonderfully written Showtime series Nurse Jackie – her biggest competition came from the comedically masterful Sofia Vergara (Modern Family).  And Nick Offerman’s portrayal of gruff Ron Swanson (Parks and Recreation) was too tough to pass up, though co-star Chris Pratt came awfully close.

As for the remaining slew of categories, the guest acting trophies (which were hotly contested this year) came down to James Franco’s body-pillow-loving self-portrayal on 30 Rock and Kathy Bates’ no-nonsense new boss Jo Bennett on The Office.  Franco faced a run for his money from creepy vamp James Frain (True Blood) and Bates had to take out audience favorite Betty White (Saturday Night Live) and beloved character actress Celia Weston (Modern Family).  The brand-new writing categories were not altogether predictive of the top prize this first time out – Parks and Rec may’ve won the comedy writing award, but Mad Men grabbed up drama, it’s only nomination for the night – the show has “The Suitcase” to thank solely for that prize.  See the full list of winners below (click to enlarge)…

oscars 2010: the mediocre, the bad, and the okay…

Well it brings me no pleasure to say that this year’s Oscar telecast was sort of a bust.  And I’m not talking about the ridiculously predictable winners (those should come as no surprise to any viewer who’s been around for the past few years).  It’s the fact that in my 17 times watching the Oscars, this was easily the most uneven, confusing, and poorly put together telecast thus far.  But, let’s start with the good moments…

Top 5 Best Moments of Oscars 2010
#5 – Presenters Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law
As most of the hosts’ banter went from painfully uninspired to just plain bizarre, it was refreshing to see some more old pros on the stage.  Downey Jr.  was charming as ever presenting Best Visual Effects with Jude Law, and it reminded (hopefully) the producers why you never leave the show in the hands of the kids…

#4 – Kirk Douglas gives the Oscar to Melissa Leo
In one of the more deserving wins of the night (in my humble opinion), Melissa Leo’s bad press was superseded by her great performance.  And thank goodness they were able to pull out at least some stops by featuring an actual legend during the telecast.  Kirk Douglas was charming and witty throughout, and Melissa Leo’s f-bomb at least provided some surprise for the evening…

#3 – Billy Crystal saves the day
Mr. Crystal (probably the all-time best host, in my book) put the flailing and unfortunate Franco/Hathaway duo to shame by appearing mid-way through the show to talk about Bob Hope.  He has just as much finesse and style as he did the last time he hosted.  The biggest downside to his typically hilarious and flawless appearance?  It just made me wish that he’d been hosting all along.  (Sorry Anne and James – Billy’s much more of a natural at this.)

#2 – Jeff and Sandra present the lead trophies
At last the show managed some prestige and some class.  Thanks to the eloquent words of Mr. Bridges and the effervescent charm and humor of Ms. Bullock, it felt like the Oscars again at last.  I’m just going to put it out there – if they insist on hiring celebrity actor duos as hosts, can we go for a Bridges/Bullock ticket next year?  They’re so natural on stage, and they’ve actually worked with many of the audience members.   I think the chemistry would be fantastic.

#1 – Cate Blanchett chimes in
After a series of missteps and odd choices in presentations and blips, Best Makeup provided a surprising breath of fresh air as Oscar vet Cate Blanchett gave her two cents following a particularly graphic clip from The Wolfman – “That’s gross.”  Definitely caused the biggest laughs of the night at our get-together.

…and the less fortunate portions
As for the reasoning behind the frustratingly hard-to-love ceremony, it seems to rest solely on choices made by the production team.  Where last year’s ceremony embraced the allure and elegance of the history of the Oscars with homages and speeches that had dignity and grace, the focus on youth culture this time around was a major backfire.  The Oscars should just come to realize that young Twitterers and Twihards will not be watching no matter what.  But us lifelong Oscarphiles will, so try catering to your demographic.

As much as I hate to say it, as Anne Hathaway and James Franco are wonderful actors, the two were a mess as hosts.  Between the awkwardly written banter and Franco’s apparent stoned state throughout, their moments on stage were a little too uneven for my taste.  In fact, as suggested by our roomful of viewers, Hathaway probably would’ve been better working solo, as her lone bits were far superior.  Franco really missed an opportunity by what appeared to be nerves, perhaps?

Aside from the hosts, who aren’t solely to blame, the camera work was a little strange.  Who were those random teenagers that kept showing up on screen?  Were they someone’s kids?  Whatever the reason, the night’s audience shots became a game of trying to locate any recognizable faces in a given frame.  One particular one had about a dozen folks in it, and the only one I knew was Kathryn Bigelow, tucked away in a corner.  And the Coen Bros. nose-picking fiasco was the pinnacle of the poor camera choices.  The whole night seemed to be going off without so much as a rehearsal beforehand.  All too messy and flaky it seemed.  And I will never forgive them for spending more time catering to kids with questionable taste by spending a good two or three minutes paying tribute to Twilight and then left the lifetime achievement recipients a mere few seconds of waving onstage before rushing to commercial.  That’s gross.

**How did you feel about this year’s awards?  Was I crazy to think they kind of stunk from a production standpoint?**

oops! oscar predictions!

I know I’m terrible for waiting this long, but it truly slipped my mind!  Here are my hurried Oscar predictions for the night…

Best Picture The King’s Speech
Best Director – Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
Best Lead Actress – Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Best Lead Actor – Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
Best Supporting Actress – Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Best Supporting Actor – Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Best Original Screenplay The King’s Speech
Best Adapted Screenplay The Social Network
Best Foreign Film – Incendies
Best Costume Design The King’s Speech
Best Cinematography True Grit
Best Art Direction The King’s Speech
Best Film Editing The King’s Speech
Best Visual Effects Inception
Best Makeup The Wolfman
Best Original Score The King’s Speech
Best Sound Mixing Inception
Best Sound Editing Inception
Best Original Song – “We Belong Together” (Toy Story 3)
Best Animated Feature Toy Story 3
Best Documentary Feature Wasteland
Best Documentary Short – Strangers No More
Best Animated Short Madagascar, A Journey Diary
Best Live Action Short – Na Wewe

bloggers’ choice awards 2010: the WINNERS

Well the polls have closed, and with the Academy Awards arriving in just a few hours, it seems only fitting we slide in with the Bloggers’ Choice Awards winners before the blessed event.  After a mock-Academy ballot procedure to settle on nominees and a couple weeks of voting for winners, we have our finalized list of honorees.  While Black Swan led the win count with eight trophies, The Social Network‘s second-place finish with five included the top honor…

Best Picture
The Social Network – **WINNER**

Best Director
David Fincher (The Social Network) – **WINNER**

Best Lead Actress
Natalie Portman (Black Swan) – **WINNER**

Best Lead Actor
Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine) – **WINNER**

Best Supporting Actress
Mila Kunis (Black Swan) – **WINNER**

Best Supporting Actor
Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) – **WINNER**

Best Adapted Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) – **WINNER**

Best Original Screenplay
L. Cholodenko & S. Blumberg (The Kids Are All Right) – **WINNER**

Best Cinematography
Black Swan – **WINNER**

Best Art Direction
Black Swan – **WINNER**

Best Makeup
Black Swan – **WINNER**

Best Original Score
The Social Network – **WINNER**

Best Costume Design
Black Swan – **WINNER**

Best Original Song
“You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” (Burlesque) – **WINNER**

Best Foreign Language Film
I Am Love – **WINNER**

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3 – **WINNER**

Best Documentary Feature
Exit Through the Gift Shop – **WINNER**

Best Visual Effects
Inception – **WINNER**

Best Sound Mixing
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – **WINNER**

Best Sound Editing
Black Swan – **WINNER**

Best Film Editing
Black Swan – **WINNER**

lct awards 2010: MUSIC results

The LCT Awards results continue with the seven music categories.  Taking home the big award of the night – but missing out on any other wins (they were also nominated in Best Group) – was indie band April Smith and the Great Picture Show.  Record of the Year was named the group’s peppy ditty “Colors,” beating out some stiff competition from nominees “F**k You” by Cee Lo Green, “Telephone” by Lady Gaga and Beyonce, “When My Time Comes” by Dawes, and “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart” by Alicia Keys.”

In the rest of the categories, Lady Gaga repeated her win last year with a consecutive trophy for Album of the Year for The Fame Monster, edging out Maroon 5’s Hands All Over and Robyn’s Body Talk Pt. 1.  Best Male Artist was a landslide victory for R&B master Cee Lo Green, destroying the competition with the littlest of surges from fellow nominees Brandon Flowers and Taio Cruz.  Best Female Artist was a big toughie, but Lady Gaga – and a slew of mainstream cohorts including Katy Perry and Alicia Keys – was toppled by Europop superstar Robyn, though gospel songstress Patty Griffin proved the biggest competition.  And in Best Group, Album of the Year nominees The Weepies pulled off a victory over April Smith and Co., leaving indie bands Dawes and The Lower 48, as well as three-time nominee in this category Maroon 5, in the dust.  Full results below (click to enlarge)…

last chance to vote in the mock oscar poll!

Hello all – a reminder to all of you readers out there:  if you haven’t voted in the mock Oscar ballot poll yet, you have until midnight tonight to do so!  The winners will be announced tomorrow prior to the Oscar telecast.  If you want your voice heard for this first-ever Bloggers’ Choice Awards, then cast away!

100 favorite film actors: #90-#81

The countdown continues with the next men who rank amongst my favorite film actors.  If you need to do some catching up, check out Nos. 100 thru 91, and come back here to analyze this newest installment.

90. Cillian Murphy
Key Role(s): Jim (28 Days Later)
Pieter (Girl with a Pearl Earring)
Dr. Crane/Scarecrow (Batman Begins)
Jackson Rippner (Red Eye)
Patrick ‘Kitten’ Braden (Breakfast on Pluto)
Damien (The Wind That Shakes the Barley)
Robert Fischer (Inception)

89. Steve Martin
Key Role(s): Roger Cobb (All of Me)
Lucky Day (Three Amigos!)
Orin Scrivello (Little Shop of Horrors)
Charlie Bales (Roxanne)
Gil Buckman (Parenthood)
George Banks (Father of the Bride)
Adam (It’s Complicated)

88. Steve Buscemi
Key Role(s): Mr. Pink (Reservoir Dogs)
Buddy Holly (Pulp Fiction)
Carl Showalter (Fargo)
Cornell (28 Days)
Seymour (Ghost World)
Randall Boggs (Monsters Inc.)
Nebbercracker (Monster House)

87. Oliver Platt
Key Role(s): Neil Bleene (Postcards from the Edge)
Paul Bunyan (Tall Tale)
Harry Rex Vonner (A Time to Kill)
Jim Burns (Pieces of April)
Bob Zelnick (Frost/Nixon)
Alex (Please Give)

86. Albert Finney
Key Role(s): Tom Jones (Tom Jones)
Mark Wallace (Two for the Road)
Hercule Poirot (Murder on the Orient Express)
Daddy Warbucks (Annie)
Sir (The Dresser)
Ed Masry (Erin Brockovich)
Ed Bloom (Big Fish)

85. Josh Brolin
Key Role(s): Brand Walsh (The Goonies)
Greg Earlinger (Melinda and Melinda)
Llewelyn Moss (No Country for Old Men)
George W. Bush (W.)
Dan White (Milk)
Tom Chaney (True Grit)

84. Dennis Quaid
Key Role(s): Mike (Breaking Away)
Willis Davidge (Enemy Mine)
Jack Faulkner (Postcards from the Edge)
Nick Parker (The Parent Trap)
Arnie Metzger (Traffic)
Jimmy Morris (The Rookie)
Frank Whitaker (Far From Heaven)

83. George C. Scott
Key Role(s): Claude Dancer (Anatomy of a Murder)
Bert Gordon (The Hustler)
General Turgidson (Dr. Strangelove)
General George S. Patton (Patton)
Dr. Bock (The Hospital)
McLeach (The Rescuers Down Under)

82. Richard Dreyfuss
Key Role(s): Matt Hooper (Jaws)
Roy Neary (Close Encounters of the Third Kind)
Elliot Garfield (The Goodbye Girl)
The Writer (Stand By Me)
Dr. Leo Marvin (What About Bob?)
Glenn Holland (Mr. Holland’s Opus)

81. Martin Landau
Key Role(s): Leonard (North by Northwest)
Abe (Tucker: The Man and His Dream)
Judah Rosenthal (Crimes & Misdemeanors)
Bela Lugosi (Ed Wood)
Robert Malone (Lovely, Still)

The ’70s are up next – stay tuned!

lct awards 2010: MINISERIES/TV MOVIE results

Let the barrage of results posts begin!  (Okay, so it’ll probably be kept to four total, so don’t be too worried.)  The LCT Awards winners have officially been announced as of about 9:15 tonight, so it’s free to expose the truth to the rest of you out there on the world wide web.  We’ll start with the group of categories that began the night, the TV Movie/Miniseries grouping.  It seemed that goodwill from “prequel” to The Queen only helped The Special Relationship to topple its own HBO competitors (You Don’t Know Jack, The Pacific, Stuart a Life Backwards, Temple Grandin) in the Best TV Movie or Miniseries category.  It was officially named the best of the year, in a field that was almost exclusively limited to HBO and PBS (and sometimes co-BBC) effors – why don’t the networks make telefilms anymore?

As far as the acting categories, it should come as no shock that I’m on the Claire Danes bandwagon – and it truly was head and shoulders above any potential competition in the Lead Actress category.  She toppled her closest rivals, Emma‘s title star Romola Garai and the quaint Return to Cranford spinster Judi Dench.  The Lead Actor category proved a more difficult choice, with Michael Sheen’s return as Tony Blair in The Special Relationship and Al Pacino’s dead-on Dr. Kevorkian in You Don’t Know Jack losing out to Tom Hardy’s troubled homeless person in Stuart, A Life Backwards.  Michael Gambon had Supporting Actor all locked up, as his portrayal of Mr. Woodhouse in Emma bested the closest competition, John Goodman’s turn as friend to “Dr. Death” in You Don’t Know Jack.  And it was impeccable nuance and poise (and that fantastic voice work) that won Hope Davis the Supporting Actress award for The Special Relationship, over co-star Helen McCrory and heavy competition with You Don’t Know Jack gals Susan Sarandon and Brenda Vaccaro.  Full results below (click to enlarge)…

lct awards: the YOUNGEST and OLDEST records

Well as this year’s LCT Awards near – the big show is taking place tomorrow night (if you’re not familiar, please refer to any of the handful of people that come on an annual basis!), and in honor of it’s presence, I thought I’d take a look at some history of the awards, which date back to 1984 (my questionable and ever-changing taste can be attributed to my aging from a young viewer to an adult one – so consequently, please be kind).  So let’s see who landed in the youngest and oldest Top 20s of the LCT Award film acting nominees – and see where some of the 2010 folks landed in said lists…

Oldest film acting nominees Tandy, Guilbert, Tandy, and Duvall
Well the biggest thing to learn from taking a look at my choices amongst the oldest film acting nominees is that 2010 proved to be a successful year for octogenarians.  Only four people have been nominated into their eighties, and two of them happen to be among this year’s group.  And there’s a record that could be broken – though Jessica Tandy’s nod for Fried Green Tomatoes outages Ann Guilbert’s for Please Give by a few months, a win from Guilbert would break the all-time oldest winner record.  As far as the most difficult of the four categories to win if you’re 55 and above?  It’s surprising – Best Lead Actor.  It turns out not one AARP-card-carrying member has won in the category, the closest being Anthony Hopkins’s win in 1991 for The Silence of the Lambs at age 54.

Youngest film acting nominees Lipnicki, Majorino, Whitman, and Breslin
Inversely on the other side of the spectrum, it proved that much like the 55-plus crowd, the under-30 crowd is mostly relegated to the supporting categories.  The easiest one to break into for youngsters appears to be Best Supporting Actress, which seems rather fitting.  In looking at the numbers, though, I found that it’s far easier to win an LCT Award for acting if you’re under 30 than if your over 55.  Go figure.  I guess I’m inadvertently ageist.  Tina Majorino ranks as the all-time youngest winner at 9 years old, with Haley Joel Osment as the youngest male winner at 11.  The only 2010 nominee to crack the top 20 is Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In), who’s 14 years old, at No. 18.

If you’ve made it this far – (a) thanks for humoring me, and (b) what are you favorite 55+ or pip-squeak performances since 1984?

100 favorite film actors: #100-#91

It’s been quite a while since my 10-part countdown of my all-time favorite movie actresses, so I thought it was about time that I get going on the guys.  So without further adieu, here’s the first part of my humble list of my 100 favorite male movie stars.

100. Djimon Honsou
Key Role(s): Cinque (Amistad)
Juba (Gladiator)
Mateo (In America)
Solomon Vandy (Blood Diamond)
Caliban (The Tempest)

99. Jamie Bell
Key Role(s): Billy Elliott (Billy Elliott)
Smike (Nicholas Nickleby)
Dean (The Chumscrubber)
Jimmy (King Kong)
Ralph Ignatowski (Flags of Our Fathers)
Asael Bielski (Defiance)

98. Nathan Lane
Key Role(s): Timon (The Lion King)
Albert Goldman (The Birdcage)
Vincent Crummies (Nicholas Nickleby)
Max Bialystock (The Producers)

97. Sean Astin
Key Role(s): Mikey Walsh (The Goonies)
Rudy Ruettiger (Rudy)
Gary (Bulworth)
Samwise Gamgee (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy)

96. Hugh Grant
Key Role(s): Clive Durham (Maurice)
Reginald Cardinal (The Remains of the Day)
Charles (Four Weddings and a Funeral)
Edward Ferrars (Sense & Sensibility)
William Thacker (Notting Hill)
Daniel Cleaver (Bridget Jones’s Diary)
The Prime Minister (Love Actually)

95. Billy Crystal
Key Role(s): Morty the Mime (This is Spinal Tap)
Miracle Max (The Princess Bride)
Larry (Throw Momma from the Train)
Harry Burns (When Harry Met Sally…)
Mitch Robbins (City Slickers)
Dr. Ben Sobel (Analyze This)
Mike Wazowski (Monsters, Inc.)

94. Sam Neill
Key Role(s): Harry Beecham (My Brilliant Career)
Michael Chamberlain (A Cry in the Dark)
Captain Vasili Borodin (The Hunt for Red October)
Alisdair Stewart (The Piano)
Dr. Alan Grant (Jurassic Park)

93. Daniel Craig
Key Role(s): John Ballard (Elizabeth)
Connor Rooney (Road to Perdition)
Ted Hughes (Sylvia)
XXXX (Layer Cake)
Steve (Munich)
James Bond (Casino Royale)

92. Stanley Tucci
Key Role(s): Khamel (The Pelican Brief)
Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
Frank Nitti (Road to Perdition)
Frank Dixon (The Terminal)
Nigel (The Devil Wears Prada)
Paul Child (Julie & Julia)
George Harvey (The Lovely Bones)
Dill (Easy A)

91. Samuel L. Jackson
Key Role(s): Mister Senor Love Daddy (Do the Right Thing)
Stacks Edwards (Goodfellas)
Gator Purify (Jungle Fever)
Tat Lawson (Menace II Society)
Ray Arnold (Jurassic Park)
Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction)
Ordell Robbie (Jackie Brown)
Charles Morritz (The Red Violin)
Lucius “Frozone” Best (The Incredibles)
Neville Flynn (Snakes on a Plane)
Paul (Mother and Child)

Stay tuned soon for the next 10!