Posted tagged ‘Joker’

Oscar Nominations Announced

January 22, 2009

The nominations for the 81st annual Academy Awards were announced early this morning, with “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” nabbing 13 nods to lead all films.

From CNN:

The movie, about a man who ages in reverse, is a big film (almost three hours long) with big themes (death and love) and earned nominations for best picture, best director (David Fincher), best actor (Brad Pitt), best supporting actress (Taraji P. Henson) and best adapted screenplay along with eight nominations in other categories.

“This is a great honor for the movie, and I’m especially happy for David Fincher, for without him there would be no Ben Button,” said Pitt in a statement. The film, based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story, has been a project of Fincher’s for years.

However, despite eight Oscar nominations, “The Dark Knight” — 2008’s box-office king — only picked up one in a major category, that for Heath Ledger’s performance as the villainous Joker. The late actor, who died exactly one year ago Thursday, is nominated for best supporting actor, the same award he won posthumously at the Golden Globes almost two weeks ago.

“The Dark Knight” had made the short lists for the producers’, directors’ and writers’ guilds, but those honors weren’t enough to qualify it for a best picture Oscar nomination.

“Slumdog Millionaire,” the sleeper hit about a Mumbai orphan who seeks fame and love through the Indian version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”, earned 10 nominations, including best picture, best director (Danny Boyle) and best adapted screenplay. The film, which struggled to find a U.S. theatrical distributor after its initial studio folded, has dominated the awards season thus far and is considered the front-runner for best picture.

In a mild surprise, “The Reader,” based on the best-selling novel about a postwar German boy who has an affair with an older woman with a secret, took home nominations for best picture, best actress (Kate Winslet) and best director (Stephen Daldry). “The Reader” comes from the Weinstein Co. — the studio headed by producer and master Oscar player Harvey Weinstein.

“I’m extremely happy to have been nominated. And very fortunate. Playing Hanna Schmitz will always remain one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever been blessed with,” Winslet said in a statement.

The other best picture nominees are “Frost/Nixon” and “Milk.”

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Heath Ledger Wins Golden Globe For Best Supporting Actor

January 11, 2009

Nearly one year after his death, the late Heath Ledger has won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his role of the Joker in the Batman blockbuster “The Dark Knight.”

Unbelievable portrayal of The Joker in this film. He’s a talent who will be missed!

From the Associated Press:

Ledger, who died last January of an accidental drug overdose, was honored posthumously Sunday as best supporting actor at the 66th annual Golden Globe Awards.

“It’s always beautiful to think of him and remember him,” co-star Aaron Eckhart said on the red carpet before the show.

The crowd rose to its feet as Ledger was named, the first standing ovation of the night inside the glitzy Beverly Hilton ballroom. “Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan, who accepted the trophy on behalf of Ledger, said the award came with an “awful mixture of sadness but incredible pride” and said that Ledger’s untimely death represented “a hole ripped in the history of cinema.”

“He will be eternally missed, but he will never be forgotten,” Nolan said.

Ledger has long been considered a likely supporting actor Oscar nominee, but his Golden Globes victory increases the likelihood of an Oscar win for Ledger, who’s also been lauded for his “Dark Knight” role from several film critics associations, including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Boston Society of Film Critics. He also won Critics’ Choice and People’s Choice awards for the role, and is nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award.

Balloting for the Oscars closes Monday.

“I’m really happy to see that ‘The Dark Knight’ is making a last-minute run at recognition,” director and Cecil B. Demille Award winner Steven Spielberg said backstage. “I was really happy to see Heath win tonight. I’m looking forward to some more momentum. I think that balances everything out.”