Academy Awards To Stay At Hollywood & Highland Complex

It was announced yesterday that the Academy Awards will be staying at the Hollywood & Highland complex and will now be known as “Dolby Theater”. There was some speculation this year on what the award show was going to do for future events as the contract the CIM Group, who owns the theater, was up for negotiations with the previous company.

Dolby will start its enhancement of the 180,000-square-foot, 3,400-seat theater first by installing Dolby Atmos, a breakthrough audio technology that delivers the most natural, life-like sensory experience.

The company will continue to update the Dolby Theater with the newest technologies, making it a coveted host for the world’s top premieres and launch events.

84th Academy Awards Nominations Announced

If you were crazy enough to be up early this morning, then you might have caught the 84th Academy Awards Nominations being announced this morning. While I could list every single nomination, I will stick with the ones most people are looking for. Below is a small list of the nominations.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Demián Bichir in “A Better Life” (Summit Entertainment)
  • George Clooney in “The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight)
  • Jean Dujardin in “The Artist” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (Focus Features)
  • Brad Pitt in “Moneyball” (Sony Pictures Releasing)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Kenneth Branagh in “My Week with Marilyn” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Jonah Hill in “Moneyball” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • Nick Nolte in “Warrior” (Lionsgate)
  • Christopher Plummer in “Beginners” (Focus Features)
  • Max von Sydow in “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Glenn Close in “Albert Nobbs” (Roadside Attractions)
  • Viola Davis in “The Help” (Touchstone)
  • Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • Meryl Streep in “The Iron Lady” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Michelle Williams in “My Week with Marilyn” (The Weinstein Company)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Bérénice Bejo in “The Artist” (The Weinstein Company)
  • Jessica Chastain in “The Help” (Touchstone)
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids” (Universal)
  • Janet McTeer in “Albert Nobbs” (Roadside Attractions)
  • Octavia Spencer in “The Help” (Touchstone)

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “A Cat in Paris” (GKIDS) Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
  • “Chico & Rita” (GKIDS) Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
  • “Kung Fu Panda 2” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount) Jennifer Yuh Nelson
  • “Puss in Boots” (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount) Chris Miller
  • “Rango” (Paramount) Gore Verbinski

Best motion picture of the year

  • “The Artist” (The Weinstein Company) A La Petite Reine/Studio 37/La Classe Américaine/JD Prod/France3 Cinéma/Jouror Productions/uFilm Production, Thomas Langmann, Producer
  • “The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight) An Ad Hominem Enterprises Production, Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Producers
  • “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” (Warner Bros.) A Warner Bros. Pictures Production, Scott Rudin, Producer
  • “The Help” (Touchstone) A DreamWorks Pictures Production, Brunson Green, Chris Columbus and Michael Barnathan, Producers
  • “Hugo” (Paramount) A Paramount Pictures and GK Films Production, Graham King and Martin Scorsese, Producers
  • “Midnight in Paris” (Sony Pictures Classics) A Pontchartrain Production, Letty Aronson and Stephen Tenenbaum, Producers
  • “Moneyball” (Sony Pictures Releasing) A Columbia Pictures Production, Michael De Luca, Rachael Horovitz and Brad Pitt, Producers
  • “The Tree of Life” (Fox Searchlight) A River Road Entertainment Production, Nominees to be determined
  • “War Horse” (Touchstone) A DreamWorks Pictures Production, Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, Producers

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” (Warner Bros.) Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson
  • “Hugo” (Paramount) Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
  • “Real Steel” (Touchstone) Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
  • “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox) Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
  • “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (Paramount) Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay

  • “The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight) Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
  • “Hugo” (Paramount) Screenplay by John Logan
  • “The Ides of March” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
  • “Moneyball” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin Story by Stan Chervin
  • “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (Focus Features) Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan

Original screenplay

  • “The Artist” (The Weinstein Company) Written by Michel Hazanavicius
  • “Bridesmaids” (Universal) Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
  • “Margin Call” (Roadside Attractions) Written by J.C. Chandor
  • “Midnight in Paris” (Sony Pictures Classics) Written by Woody Allen
  • “A Separation” (Sony Pictures Classics) Written by Asghar Farhadi

Celebrities Voice Their Opinions at the 2011 “Night of 100 Stars” Oscar Viewing Party

It was a night of glitz and glamor on Sunday as I attended the 2011 “Night of 100 Stars” Oscar viewing party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. While there was much talk of who people think would win the Oscar for best more or best actor, many celebrities came and voice their opinions about world news that is currently happening.

Actor Phil Morris, who many know from playing Martin Manhunter on “Smallville“, gave me his thoughts about Egypt and what social media did in the revolt, “I think it breaks down barriers; whether they are religious or political, I mean there are agendas of all types. I’m not downing politics or religion, but it gives the populous knowledge that they didn’t have before. It gives them access to truths that they didn’t have before”.

I also got a chance to talk to Actor Gary Busey, who many know from the movie “Lethal Weapon“. When asked about what he thought about the protests in Wisconsin, he said “I think America is finally learning how to turn the dump over and get rid of the bull and put it on the people who celebrate the destruction”.  When also asked about his thoughts on Egypt he replied “Who cares, I think we should be a concern for our country. We need to stay out of the messes those guys are creating”.

Actor Ed Asner, from the animated movie “Up“, said “It’s ridiculous. We have these billionaires financing this joke of a governor. Its people like that destroys the communal effort that this country is capable of.” when asked about the Wisconsin protests.

Entertainment Lawyer Gloria Allred, who had a lot to say about the Charlie Sheen fiasco “I have long been concern that he may be a risk of harm to himself or others. I’ve sad that I’ve written that in open letter to Charlie Sheen and now he hurt more than 200 people who are out of work because of his conduct”.

For more information about the event check out  www.nightof100stars.com

Hollywood Celebrates the Oscars at the 2011 “Night of 100 Stars” Viewing Party

I got a chance to attend the annual “Night of 100 Stars” Oscar viewing party at the glitzy Beverly Hills Hotel here in Southern California. As an entertainment blogger, I always get excited about the Hollywood award season. The red carpets are rolled out in style and we get to see some amazing films. But what is even cooler are the Oscar parties.

As the press and I camped out in the Hotel on the red carpet, we waited for the 187 celebrities planning to attend this year’s annual viewing event. To give you an idea of what the viewing party is all about, “Night of 100 Stars” is considered the biggest party for the number of celebrities that attend and is considered the third biggest Oscar party in Hollywood.

As celebrities began to arrive I got a chance to talk to Actor Keith David, who many know from such movies as “Platoon” and “Crash”. When asked about his favorite Oscar-nominated movies, he said “I loved ‘The King’s Speech’ and ‘The Fighter’. I hope they win tonight”.

Later in the evening, I interviewed the beautiful and talented Actress Taylor Cole who plays Vicky Roberts on NBC’s “The Event”. We got a chance to talk a little about what’s coming up on the show, she said jokingly “If I told you I’d have to kill you”. But she went on to say “There is going to be a bunch of different characters that haven’t worked together yet that come together. So we get to see new dynamics on the show. There is also going to be a lot of twists, a lot of answers, and a lot of new questions”.

Also walking the red carpet was Actor Jake Busey, who many know from “Starship Troopers”. When asked about what he was up to nowadays, he said “I’m developing a film called a sweet ride, it’s a romantic comedy. That I will be directing and it takes place in NY. It’s actually sort of a remake of an old classic. I’m very excited to be moving into directing films and not just acting.  It’s something that I have always wanted to do”.

For more information about the event check out www.nightof100stars.com

2011 Academy Award Winners

This past Sunday all of Hollywood had their eyes on the 83rd Annual Academy Awards. The battle this year was between “The Social Network” and “The King’s Speech” and while both were good the Colin Firth, who also won for Best Actor, the movie took home the top honors as “The King’s Speech” was the winner of the night.

What was interesting to me was how “The Social Network” and “True Grit” took home very few if any award home at all. Both were great movies with an amazing cast, so what was it? Personally, I think there is something of a popularity contest to it. But if you have seen “The King’s Speech” you know what I am talking about then and earned its self the awards it took home.

Other big winners of the night was “The Fighter” which took home top prize in both the Best Support Actor and Best Supporting Actress category. Both were well-deserved wins. While  “Toy Story 3” took the Best Animated Feature category. For a full list of winners check out www.oscars.org.

BEST PICTURE – The King’s Speech

BEST ACTOR –  Colin Firth “The King’s Speech”

BEST ACTRESS – Natalie Portman “Black Swan”

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – Christian Bale “The Fighter”

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE – Melissa Leo “The Fighter”

BEST ANIMATED PICTURE –  “Toy Story 3”

BEST DIRECTOR –  Tom Hooper – “The King’s Speech”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – “The King’s Speech”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – “The Social Network”

2011 Academy Award Predictions

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you know the 83rd Annual Academy Awards are tonight and I feel compelled before I go get ready to cover an Oscar party, to put my two cents into who I think will win some of the categories tonight.

Best Picture

I really believe that “The King’s Speech” is going to take home the Oscar. It is an amazing movie with a spectacular cast who all give award-winning performances.

Actor In A Leading Role

Hands down the academy should give it to Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech”. While the other nominees when really good. You have to give Firth some serious respect as through the entire movie he has to act like he is stuttering, which looks amazingly hard.

Actor In A Supporting Role

I would be really surprised if Christian Bale didn’t win this award for “The Fighter“. Whether you like him or hate him, he really is a remarkable actor who gives 100% to every role he’s in. If you have seen “The Fighter” then I am pretty sure you’ll agree that he stole the show.

Actress In A Leading Role

While watching “Black Swan ” was confusing at times, I really think it was Natalie Portman’s best work. You couldn’t help but watch her character fall deeper on to the crazy train.

Actress In A Supporting Role

This is the toughest category to choose a winner. While I loved Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech” and Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit“, I am going to have to go with Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”. Her performance was exceptional and rivaled Christain Bale’s performance in the same movie.

Directing

This is another tough category, but I really think “The Social Network” could take this award. Anyone who has seen it knows how great the movie is. I expect to win at least a few awards.

Adapted Screenplay

Hands down “The Social Network” will take this for the win. It won at the Writers Guild Awards. So it’s safe to say it has this award locked in.

Original Screenplay

This is an easy category as ‘Inception“, one of the most original movies I have seen a while, will win the Oscar. Like “The Social Network” also won big at the Writers Guild Award.

Animated Feature

Toy Story 3” will sweep this award. I mean who didn’t cry or tear up when watching it?

The Best Oscar Acceptance Speeches

As the 83rd Academy Awards are coming up this Sunday, I felt compelled to look back at some of the best Oscar acceptance speeches that actors, directors, and screenwriters have given over the years.

Each year it seems that the Oscars become even a hotter ticket in tinsel town and with the award season even bigger today than it was in the past, current nominees like Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) and Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) should take notes and learn from past winners and how they gave their winning speech. So thanks to YouTube here are my top three choices for best Oscar acceptance speeches of all time.

In 2010 Director Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director for “The Hurt Locker” and gave the audience what a classy acceptance speech looks like. While everyone was thinking “Avatar” was going to sweep that year, as both movies were battling it out, she came out on top with the victory but was a gracious winner and it was well deserved.

In 1998 a young Ben Affleck and Matt Damon won Best Original Screenplay for “Goodwill Hunting”. Just starting out in their career, anyone could tell that they were just happy to be on stage and with a “kid in a candy store” smile on both of them, one could only guess how long they were both on cloud nine for.

Though my most favorite and probably the best acceptance speech by far, trust me when I say I watched a whole lot of them online, was in 1997 when Cuba Gooding Jr. won Best Supporting Actor for “Jerry Maguire”. Everyone in life gets their moment in the spotlight and this was his. Sending his praises, “I love you” and jumping up and down brought the room to a standing ovation.

So what can the 2011 Oscar nominees learn from these three Oscar acceptance speeches? Well if anyone of them is reading this, when getting up on stage this Sunday in front of millions don’t forget to be gracious, be excited you’ve earned it, and remember this is your moment, take it all in because you may not get it again.