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GENDER WATCH: The Telling Ignorance of THR's Directors Roundtable

We don't blame Women and Hollywood for being outraged at THR's careless and condescending approach to their 2011 Directors Roundtable. While we agree that Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"), Steve McQueen ("Shame"), Bennett Miller ("Moneyball"), Mike Mills ("Beginners"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants") and Jason Reitman ("Young Adult") are well worth interviewing, there are plenty more who could easily be sitting there with THR's Matthew Belloni and Stephen Galloway -- including several women. At the same time as THR's Directors Roundtable should be thoughtfully curated, it should be representative of the year in film--whether it's an Awards publicity tool or not. Consider this specific portion of the roundtable:
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 17, 2011 4:29 PM
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  • 37 Comments

Cocktails for the Academy: Eddie Murphy, Brett Ratner, and Billy Crystal Honored with Libations

In their "Buy You a Drink" column, GOOD magazine's mixologists create beverages for newsmakers. This week, the bartenders fashioned twisted cocktails in honor of the mishaps casting 2012's Oscar award ceremony. It's not only the drinks that make digs at the celebrities; the instructions are where the real insults come in. For the "Brett Ratner," one is asked to "pour out a little for our departed friend," while the drinker is asked to serve Schlitz "lukewarm" to make the "Eddie Murphy." A plain old 5 oz of white wine to "sip judiciously" and "fall asleep before you finish" will give you the "Billy Crystal." Only the Academy is given a proper cocktail, asking for no less than 9 ingredients--each fruity, sweet, and semi-exotic. As you can imagine, there is a bitter rant about the Oscars interspersed among the cocktail recipes.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • November 17, 2011 3:51 PM
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  • 0 Comments
More: Oscars

Cannes Actress Winner Dunst Forgives "Melancholia" Director Von Trier, Heads for Red Light Winter with Ruffalo

This year at Cannes, the person who squirmed sitting next to Lars von Trier at his notorious "Melancholia" Cannes press conference, during which the Danish writer-director offended just about everybody by calling himself a Nazi, was his star, Kirsten Dunst.  In the days to follow he apologized repeatedly for the "stupid, idiotic" comments that led to his banishment from the festival.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 16, 2011 9:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Golden Globes Want Gervais To Return as Host

Gluttons for punishment are the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who don't seem to mind the heaps of scathing contempt lathered on them by Brit comedian Ricky Gervais at last year's Golden Globe telecast. He acted like someone who was hoping to get out of having to host again. While there's no official announcement yet, Variety reports that the HFPA voted for him to come back for a third go-round. If he makes the deal, they deserve whatever vitriol he shoots at them this January.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 16, 2011 4:39 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Oscar Watch: Which Indie Outsiders Have a Shot at Best Actress?

Last night I watched Ellen Barkin act her heart out in Sam Levinson's Sundance screenplay-winner "Another Happy Day" (Phase 4, November 18), which is saddled with an unfortunate generic title. At 57, Barkin has been around the block a few times, and while the movie opens with her two younger sons debating whether or not she is hot, the actress shows wear and tear, which never hurts with the Academy. In the movie, Barkin and her sons return to her family home for her older son's wedding, where her parents (Ellen Burstyn and George Kennedy) seem to favor her ex-husband (Thomas Hayden Church) and his new wife (Demi Moore) over their own daughter. Her troubled teen is played by creepy Ezra Miller, who also tortures his mother Tilda Swinton in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." Passed-down generational neurosis and dysfunction is the story here, and Barkin wallows in it.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 16, 2011 4:24 PM
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  • 32 Comments

Straights Who Play Gay and Die Painful Death Win the Oscar

In Gays: Dying for an Oscar, Gold Derby spells out the rules for winning an Oscar in a gay role: "Gay roles can win Oscars but only if the characters, who must die hideous deaths, are portrayed by straight people." Among the Oscar-winners included in their round up: Charlize Theron ("Monster," death by lethal injection), Best Actress, 2003; Tom Hanks ("Philadelphia," death by AIDS), Best Actor, 1993; Hilary Swank ("Boys Don't Cry," death by gun, knife), Best Actress, 1999; and Sean Penn ("Milk," death by gun), Best Actor, 2008. Colin Firth was of course nominated for "A Single Man" but lost (was death by heart attack not painful enough?). Here's the rest.
  • By Sophia Savage
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  • November 15, 2011 2:23 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Oscar Watch: Glenn Close Talks Gender Bender Albert Nobbs

  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 15, 2011 1:26 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Oscar Watch: Janet McTeer Talks Gender-Bending Albert Nobbs and Glenn Close

Janet McTeer didn't mean to steal the gender-bender drama "Albert Nobbs" from its writer-producer-star, Glenn Close, who developed and willed the $8-million period film into being. But McTeer does, partly because the tall powerful stage actress (Oscar-nominated for "Tumbleweeds") has the showier part as free-wheeling house painter Hubert. Actors will recognize the degree of difficulty for the diminutive Close, whose character is locked in a 30-year prison, passing as a man in 19th century Dublin. While Nobbs is closed in, lonely and isolated, hiding behind a mask, frightened of any disturbance in her world, Hubert owns the physicality and freedom of a man--and lives with a woman. My video interview with McTeer is below.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 14, 2011 4:28 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Inside the Academy's Governors Awards, from Oprah and Darth Vader to J.J. Abrams and Scads of Oscar Contenders

Arriving at the Governors Awards is overwhelming at first because there's a new star around every shoulder. The Board of Governors invites a swath of Oscar voters to attend the swanky Wolfgang Puck-catered dinner at Hollywood and Highland, so studio publicists make sure as many of their award contenders are on hand to work the room as possible.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 13, 2011 4:02 PM
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  • 2 Comments
More: Awards, Awards

Oscar Hell Week: Play By Play

Exactly how did all the changes go down at the Oscars last week? Well, Academy president Tom Sherak gives us the play by play.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • November 12, 2011 6:27 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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