New 'Inception' Trailer!

How excited are you for this? Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page!

Indie Gems: Mysterious Skin


Mysterious skin was a hard film to make, a hard book to adapt, and a hard role for any actor to take on. When director Gregg Araki started on this film he knew he was going to have to film this very carefully, as the subject matter could be easily exploited. He cast the perfect leading man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who was fearless in this role. The way the film was shot was so careful, yet so clever. The film ended up with a harsh (and questionable) NC17 rating for subject matter, rather than the content itself.

The film follows two different boys, growing up in the same small town in Kansas. Though they only met once as boys on their little league team, it's their past that binds them. It's a total character study of how two people can react differently to such a drastic situation. Neil (Joseph Gordon Levitt) grows up to be a hustler, cocky and independent and without a care in the world. Brian (Brady Corbet) grows up a shy, fidgety young man who believes he was abducted by aliens when he was a child. We know at the beginning of the film that this is not the case. We watch these boys live their lives, and try to reconnect to each other. Brian is sure that Neil somehow has the answers to his past. He suffers blackouts, has nightmares, has extreme paranoia, and some how he knows that Neil is connected to him.

The touchy subject matter of the film is child abuse. Howeber Araki chooses not to show it, instead we get glimpses. We know what is going on, but they never go as far as to show it. Araki purposely shot the scenes this way so that the young actors wouldn't fully understand what their characters were going though. He made up a totally different story to them and had them act it out. That's good directing in my eyes, he chooses to protect them. Some people will look at this film and say "Oh I can't believe they let their kids be in this film". That's why. He kept them safe, and didn't tell them what was going on. Let them figure it out when their older and can understand the movie for the work of art that it is.



Araki puts a lot of beautiful shots in the film. The snow falling on Neil and his friend Wendy (Michelle Trachtenberg) as they stand at an empty drive-in theater. The Christmas carolers singing Silent Night as Neil and Brian realize what they had been through. Even a shot as simple as falling fruit loops on the face of a smiling child is done beautifully. Some scenes are hard to watch, but these little gems make up for the rest. If you want a good, character driven drama. This is one for you. Not to mention it's Gordon Levitt, Corbert and Trachtenberg's best work to date. If you are a fan, it's a definite must see for them.

Recommended: Yes. 4/5 stars (again, only for Mature Audiences)

Memorable Quote: "A movie of our lives, and it would end with us just standing right here" - Wendy Peterson (Michelle Trachenberg

Review: Avatar



When you think of director James Cameron, the words "epic" "expensive" and "effects" (special, that is) come to mind. This is the man that brought us 'Titanic'. The highest grossing movie of all time. He obviously knows he has a wide audience, so naturally his latest film, 'Avatar' plays to a number of different people. This 3D spectacle is visually stunning, however it's length (3 hours) and it's minimal story hurt it more than help it.

'Avatar' is about Jake Sully (Sam Worthington. Terminator: Salvation, Sommersault) he's a paraplegic marine that takes a mission to the far away planet of Pandora. Earth is suffering an energy crisis, and they want whats underneath the people of Pandora, the Na'vi's home to solve it. Jake wasn't originally supposed to go, his twin brother was. In the wake of his death, Jake is sent because his DNA matches that of his brother, so be will be able to operate his "avatar", the mirrored creature that they are going to use to get closer to the Na'vi. While he is out getting used to his avatar, he is saved by Neytiri (Zoe Saldona) the daughter of the leader of the tribe. She shows him the ways of the Na'vi, and he eventually becomes one of them. He's now torn on whether to save these people, or go along with his country's orders.

Avatar IS visually stunning. Great CGI, the 3D wasn't that noticeable, but I can see how it added to a few things for some viewers. I don't doubt the cinemetography of this movie at all. They obviously put a lot of time (and money) into it. What is really wrong with this film is the story. It is the EXACT same story line as Pocahontas.  There is absolutely nothing original about this at all. It's horribly predictable and overused. I would've liked to have seen something a bit more original coming from a film that's on it's way to becoming one of the highest grossing films of all time.

Recommended: No. 2/5 stars

Memorable Quote: "Your not the only one with a gun, bitch" - Trudy (Michelle Rodreguez)

My 10 favorite films of the decade.

I always do my 10 favorite films of the year, but seeing as we're enter a new decade of I'm sure memorable movies. I figured I would try to see if I can narrow down my long list of flick that I love in a top ten list.

This also made me realize that 1999 was a good year for movies, When I would think of a movie I wanted to include, it would dawn on me that it came out in 1999.


10) Little Miss Sunshine

This lovely little roadtrip film about a dysfunctional family taking their precious daughter to compete in a beauty pageant pulled on everyone's heart strings, and became the quirky indie that could. It was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.

9) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Another film that was a whole lot of quirky. This film was about a couple that undergo a treatment to erase their memories of each other, only to find out exactly what they had. It's got an all star cast (Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood) and they are all top notch in the film.

8) I Am Sam

This tear jerker got riveting performances out of reliable lead actor (Sean Penn) and made everyone fall in love with the immensely talented (and robbed of an Oscar nom) Dakota Fanning. It also provided for the of the best arguments of the decade: The "You never go FULL retard" from 'Tropic Thunder'.

7) The Departed

I've never been much for "crime" movies, "mob" movies, or whatever you might call them. This one is so much more than that, and that's why it rises above the rest. Martin Scorcese was FINALLY given an Oscar for directing this film. It had an awesome cast, (although Matt Damon was seriously overlooked during awards season) a great script and a killer soundtrack. It also made for a beautiful moment at the Academy Awards. When the film won best picture they cut to a shot of Scorcese standing behind the curtain after accepting his director Oscar, clapping and watching. A little gem of a moment.

6) Thirteen

There are a ton of movies out there they try so hard to capture "teen angst" but this is still the only one that gets it 100% right. Evan Rachel Wood had her breakout moment playing troubled teen Tracey. This is director Catherine Hardwicke's best film to date. The acting was great, the dialogue believable, the script, the soundtrack, the way it was shot, everything fits in so perfectly. Not to mention I had a little De ja vu when I watched the belly button piercing scene: That's exactly how my friends and I did ours when we were 13.

5) Anchorman:The Legend of Ron Burgandy

There were a ton of great comedies towards the later part of the decade. (The 40 Year Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, Hangover, Dodgeball, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) I chose 'Anchorman' as my favorite because it is definetly the most quotable. It wasn't trying to be a masterpiece, this film about newscasters in the 70's. It was relying on it's audience to laugh at joke after joke. And we did. We love Will Ferrell, Steve Carell and Paul Rudd; they've brought in the best comedies of all time. Along with Directors Adam McKay and Judd Appatow. We loved the news team showdown with cameos from Ben Stiller and Luke Wilson. I guarantee anyone who loves this movie can probably go all day with it's one liners. "I love Lamp", "Komo Esta, bitches..Spanish Language News Team!" "Look, the most glorious rainbow...do me on it!" "I love scotch..scotchy scotch scoth. There it goes down. Down into my belly. Mmm mmm mm." "I'm going to take your mother Dorothy Mantooth out for a nice seafood dinner and NEVER call her again!" See what I mean? Stay Classy.

4) There Will Be Blood

Paul Thomas Anderson's film about a man hungry for oil was one of the most intense films I've ever seen. Daniel Day-Lewis pulled us all in with his performance then proceeded to freak us out. The always talented, but sadly underrated Paul Dano did an awesome job with his character, a pastor that doesn't blend well with Day-Lewis's Daniel Plainview. The cinematography, the intense final scenes and of course the "I drink your Milkshake!" line make this one of my favorite films to date.

3) The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Although I'd have to say Return of the King was the best, I can't just include one without the others. Peter Jackson took one of the most beloved books of all time and turned it into a cinema masterpiece. The special effects were fantastic and we felt like we really knew all of the characters so well. We were really there with them on their journey.

2) Brokeback Mountain

Another movie adapted from the book. This was was more spot on then Lord of the Rings. Having read this book in college the same year the film came out, I was blown away by how close it was. Everything from the dialogue to the movements of the characters were just like the novel. Ang Lee got amazing performances out of his cast. The troubled Ennis (Heath Ledger), and love struck Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) and the troubled Alma (Michelle Willams). So many people wrote this off as "the gay cowboy movie" but it's so much more than that. It's the greatest love story I've ever seen, and not just in this decade. But of all time.

1) The Dark Knight


This decade was definetly the year of the comic book movie. We had some greats, 'Spiderman', 'Spiderman 2', 'Batman Begins', 'The Watchmen', 'Sin City', 'Ironman'. We had some downers, 'The Fantasic Four' (both of them), 'Superman Returns', 'Daredevil', 'Electra'. One that stands out above the rest, and in my opinion, the best comic book movie of all time is Chritopher Nolan's 'The Dark Knight' He took it a step up from his already awesome 'Batman Begin's and brought us a darker, more action packed sequel. He replaced the first film's weakest link (Katie Holmes) with the talented Maggie Gyllenhaal. He casted the perfect villain in the Joker (Heath Ledger) and made us want more. A lot of people say that we wouldn't be so in love with Ledger's joker if he were still alive. He wouldnt' have gotten this recognition if he were still alive. I think that's crap. I think it would've been made an even bigger deal if the late actor hadn't tragically left us so soon. He was the best part of the film. When he was on screen, he had your attention, and when he wasn't you were still thinking about him. This isn't to take away from the rest of the talented cast, Christian Bale (complete badass as Batman), Morgan Freeman (Read my 'Invitus' review, and you'll know how much I love this guy), Aaron Eckhart (he did fabulous as Two Face), Michael Cain (The perfect Alfred) and Gary Oldman.(Awesome, and even more so when you thought they killed him and then brought him back) They were all fantastic, but it's still The Joker that had you wanting more. Sadly, we won't ever get to see him again.

Screen Actors Guild Nominees

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominees:An Education (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Nine (2009)

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees:Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)

George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009)

Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009)

Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker (2008)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Nominees:Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009)

Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009)

Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009)

Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees:Matt Damon for Invictus (2009)

Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I)

Christopher Plummer for The Last Station (2009)

Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones (2009)

Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominees:Penélope Cruz for Nine (2009)

Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Diane Kruger for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Nominees:"Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000)

"Glee" (2009)

"Modern Family" (2009)

"The Office" (2005)

"30 Rock" (2006)

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Nominees:"The Closer" (2005)

"Dexter" (2006)

"The Good Wife" (2009)

"Mad Men" (2007)

"True Blood" (2008)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees:Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock" (2006)

Steve Carell for "The Office" (2005)

Larry David for "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2000)

Tony Shalhoub for "Monk" (2002)

Charlie Sheen for "Two and a Half Men" (2003)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Nominees:Christina Applegate for "Samantha Who?" (2007)

Toni Collette for "United States of Tara" (2009)

Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie" (2009)

Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (2006)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees:Simon Baker for "The Mentalist" (2008)

Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad" (2008)

Michael C. Hall for "Dexter" (2006)

Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)

Hugh Laurie for "House M.D." (2004)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Nominees:Patricia Arquette for "Medium" (2005)

Glenn Close for "Damages" (2007)

Mariska Hargitay for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (1999)

Holly Hunter for "Saving Grace" (2007)

Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife" (2009)

Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nominees:Kevin Bacon for Taking Chance (2009) (TV)

Cuba Gooding Jr. for Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) (TV)

Jeremy Irons for Georgia O'Keeffe (2009) (TV)

Kevin Kline for "Great Performances: Cyrano de Bergerac (#37.8)" (2008)

Tom Wilkinson for A Number (2008) (TV)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nominees:Joan Allen for Georgia O'Keeffe (2009) (TV)

Drew Barrymore for Grey Gardens (2009) (TV)

Ruby Dee for America (2009) (TV)

Jessica Lange for Grey Gardens (2009) (TV)

Sigourney Weaver for Prayers for Bobby (2009) (TV)

Critic's Choice Awards

Best Picture
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

An Education (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Invictus (2009)

Nine (2009)

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

A Serious Man (2009)

Up (2009)

Up in the Air (2009/I)

Best Actor
Nominees:Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)

George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009)

Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009)

Viggo Mortensen for The Road (2009)

Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker (2008)

Best Actress
Nominees:Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria (2009)

Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009)

Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009)

Saoirse Ronan for The Lovely Bones (2009)

Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)

Best Supporting Actor
Nominees:Matt Damon for Invictus (2009)

Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I)

Christian McKay for Me and Orson Welles (2008)

Alfred Molina for An Education (2009)

Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones (2009)

Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Best Supporting Actress
Nominees:Marion Cotillard for Nine (2009)

Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Julianne Moore for A Single Man (2009)

Samantha Morton for The Messenger (2009/I)

Best Acting Ensemble
Nominees:Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Nine (2009)

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

Up in the Air (2009/I)

Best Director
Nominees:Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2008)

James Cameron for Avatar (2009)

Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Clint Eastwood for Invictus (2009)

Jason Reitman for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Best Original Screenplay
Nominees:(500) Days of Summer (2009): Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber

The Hurt Locker (2008): Mark Boal

Inglourious Basterds (2009): Quentin Tarantino

A Serious Man (2009): Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Up (2009): Bob Peterson, Pete Docter

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominees:District 9 (2009): Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell

An Education (2009): Nick Hornby

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009): Geoffrey Fletcher

A Single Man (2009): Tom Ford, David Scearce

Up in the Air (2009/I): Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Best Animated Feature
Nominees:Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

Coraline (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Up (2009)

Best Young Actor/Actress
Nominees:Jae Head for The Blind Side (2009)

Bailee Madison for Brothers (2009/I)

Max Records for Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

Saoirse Ronan for The Lovely Bones (2009)

Kodi Smit-McPhee for The Road (2009)

Best Action Movie
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

District 9 (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

Best Comedy Movie
Nominees:(500) Days of Summer (2009)

The Hangover (2009)

It's Complicated (2009)

The Proposal (2009/I)

Zombieland (2009)

Best Foreign Language Film
Nominees:Los abrazos rotos (2009)

Coco avant Chanel (2009)

Chi bi (2008)

Sin Nombre (2009)

Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009)

Best Documentary Feature
Nominees:Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008)

Capitalism: A Love Story (2009)

The Cove (2009)

Food, Inc. (2008)

This Is It (2009)

Best Song
Nominees:Crazy Heart (2009): T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham("The Weary Kind")

Everybody's Fine (2009): Paul McCartney("(I Want To) Come Home")

Nine (2009): Maury Yeston("Cinema Italiano")

The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman("Almost There")

Where the Wild Things Are (2009): Karen Orzolek, Nick Zinner("All Is Love")

Best Composer
Nominees:The Informant! (2009): Marvin Hamlisch

The Princess and the Frog (2009): Randy Newman

Sherlock Holmes (2009): Hans Zimmer

Up (2009): Michael Giacchino

Where the Wild Things Are (2009): Carter Burwell, Karen Orzolek

Best Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) (TV)

Grey Gardens (2009) (TV)

Into the Storm (2009) (TV)

Taking Chance (2009) (TV)

Best Cinematography
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

The Lovely Bones (2009)

Nine (2009)

Best Art Direction
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

The Lovely Bones (2009)

Nine (2009)

A Single Man (2009)

Best Editing
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Nine (2009)

Up in the Air (2009/I)

Best Costume Design
Nominees:Bright Star (2009)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Nine (2009)

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

The Young Victoria (2009)

Best Makeup
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

District 9 (2009)

Nine (2009)

The Road (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

Best Visual Effects
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

District 9 (2009)

The Lovely Bones (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

2012 (2009/I)

Best Sound
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

District 9 (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Nine (2009)

Star Trek (2009)

En Route to Oscars (Gold Globe Thoughts)

The "FTW" edition. I'm going to go over each category with my opinions and who I think will win each category, and who deserves to win (sometimes they are not the same person.



Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominees:Avatar, Precious, The Hurt Locker, Inglorious Basterds, Up in the air


The only one that surprised me was "Avatar" I really thought 'The Lovely Bones' would be in there. I'm happy to see Inglrious Basterds as that movie was awesome, and I'm excited to see 'Precious'. I'm going with 'Precious' FTW.


Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:(500) Days of Summer, The Hangover, Nine, Julie and Julia, It's Complicated

(500) Days of Summer has been one of the best movies I've seen all year, I'm glad it's getting love outside the indie circut, and how awesome is 'The Hangover' being nominated? You have to admit that when you first saw the previews for that, you thought it would be "just another stupid bacholor movie". Myself, along with the rest of the world were happily proved wrong. This movie was gold. I figured 'Julie and Julia' would be in there, 'It's Complicated' isn't really my kind of film. 'Nine' even though it had lukewarm reviews still managed to get in there. Daniel Day Lewis does that to people. I'm going with the much deserving (500) Days of Summer FTW.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart. George Clooney for Up in the Air. Colin Firth for A Single Man. Morgan Freeman for Invictus. Tobey Maguire for Brothers (2009/I)

All very predictable, except for Tobey Maguire, it's nice to see him in there. (Which reminds me I really need to post a review for 'Brothers').I'm going to go with Morgan Freeman (for his awesome turn in 'Invictus') FTW.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominees:Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria. Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side. Helen Mirren for The Last Station. Carey Mulligan for An Education. Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

I got to see snipets from 'The Young Victoria' this weekend and Emily Blunt is awesome in it. I'm disappointed that Abbie Cornish didn't make the cut for 'Bright Star', same with Soarise Ronan for Lovely Bones but I'm going to have to go with the charming Carey Mulligan FTW.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Matt Damon for The Informant! Daniel Day-Lewis for Nine.Robert Downey Jr. for Sherlock Holmes.Joseph Gordon-Levitt for (500) Days of Summer. Michael Stuhlbarg for A Serious Man (2009)

It's pretty obvious how stoked I am to see Joseph Gordon Levitt in this category. He's SO underrated, it's good to see him getting praise. Lets hope it goes all the way to the Oscars. It's nice to see Robert Downey Jr in here as well, he sure is having a hell of a few years. I'm (biastly) going for Joseph Gordon-Levitt FTW. He deserves it the most

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Sandra Bullock for The Proposal. Marion Cotillard for Nine.Julia Roberts for Duplicity.Meryl Streep for It's Complicated.Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)

Meryl, Meryl Meryl! Julia Roberts for Duplicity is random, then again the Globes love the star power (How else do you explain Tom Cruise's nom for 'Tropic Thunder' and John Travolta's for 'Hairspray'?) Good to see the extrenely talented Marion Cotillard in there, and box office champ Sandra Bullock. I'm going with Meryl Streep FTW. She's the best. Hands down.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominees:Matt Damon for Invictus. Woody Harrelson for The Messenger. Christopher Plummer for The Last Station. Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones.Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds

Oh Look! The Lovely Bones actually got some love! Alot of people said this category was predictable, I didn't think it was. The only for sure shot I saw was Christoph Waltz...FTW, by the way.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominees:Penélope Cruz for Nine.Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air.Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air. Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.Julianne Moore for A Single Man

This was predictable. I really need to see 'Up in the Air' because I've only seen Anna Kendrick in the autrocity that is "Twilight" and I'm ready to see her in something else. I never thought I'd say these words: Mo'Nique..FTW (weird, isn't it?)

Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominees:Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker.James Cameron for Avatar.Clint Eastwood for Invictus.Jason Reitman for Up in the Air.Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds

Does anyone else think it's hilarious that Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron used to be married? I do. Cameron was a gimmie, he made the (rumored) most expensive movie in history, he had to be nominated. I loved 'Thank you for Smoking' and 'Juno' so I'm glad to see Reitman in there. I'd love to see Tarintino win, but I'm going to go with Kathryn Bigelow, FTW.

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Nominees:District 9 : Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchel The Hurt Locker: Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino
It's Complicated: Nancy Meyers
Up in the Air: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

No Precious? No An Education? What? That almost makes me lose some of my happiness that was brought on by 'Discrict 9' being nominated. Again, I'd love Tarintino to win, but I think this one will go to Up In The Air. FTW

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Nominees: Avatar:James Horner, Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell("I Will See You")
Brothers: U2, Bono("Winter")
Crazy Heart: T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham("The Weary Kind")
Everybody's Fine: Paul McCartney("(I Want To) Come Home")
Nine: Maury Yeston("Cinema Italiano")

No Yeah Yeah Yeahs for 'Where The Wild Things Are'? I'll hope for the Oscars. I don't care what anyone says, but 'Cinema Italiano' was a horrible song. I'n woing with Paul McCartney FTW.

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Nominees:Avatar : James Horner
The Informant!: Marvin Hamlisch
A Single Man: Abel Korzeniowski
Up: Michael Giacchino
Where the Wild Things Are: Carter Burwell, Karen Orzolek

There are my Wild Things! FTW, by the way.

Best Animated Film
Nominees:Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Princess and the Frog
Up

Coraline was my favorite animated film this year (Haven't seen Mr. Fox yet though) however I think this category is as predictable as last year's. Up - FTW.

Best Foreign Language Film
Nominees:Los abrazos rotos
Baarìa
Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte
La nana
Un prophète

This is an important category in my opinion, and unfortunetly I never get a chance to see these films until after Oscar season, which is a shame because I would like to catch them before all the hype. I can't pick a winner here, because I haven't gotten the chance to view them.

Best Television Series - Drama
Nominees:"Big Love"
"Dexter"
"House M.D."
"Mad Men"
"True Blood"

Ok, Rant time! Where is 'Rescue Me'? and WHERE is 'Breaking Band'? Hands down two of the best dramas on television, and their omitted. Most people are outraged because 'Sons of Anarchy' didn't make the cut, I'm not. That show doesn't hold a candle to the nominees. This is a tough category as all these shows are good. I like that 'Big Love' made it in there. I'm going to go with Dexter, FTW. This season was the best of them all, although I bet they give it to 'True Blood' again.

Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:"Entourage"
"Glee"
"The Office"
"Modern Family"
"30 Rock"

WHERE is 'The Big Bang Theory'? It's insulting that 'Modern Family' made it in there instead. "Weeds" didn't make it either which is disappointing. Alot of people are happy 'Glee' made it. Good for them, they have die-hard fans, and when something (that isn't Twilight) has fans like that, they deserve to be awarded. I'm going with 30 Rock, FTW. Again.

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Georgia O'Keeffe
Grey Gardens
Into the Storm
"Little Dorrit"
Taking Chance

I don't really have much to say here. 'Into The Storm' was good. FTW.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Kevin Bacon for Taking Chance
Kenneth Branagh for "Wallander"
Chiwetel Ejiofor for Endgame
Brendan Gleeson for Into the Storm
Jeremy Irons for Georgia O'Keeffe

Brendan Gleeson is the man. Brendan Gleeson FTW. 'nuff said.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Joan Allen for Georgia O'Keeffe
Drew Barrymore for Grey Gardens
Jessica Lange for Grey Gardens
Anna Paquin for The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
Sigourney Weaver for Prayers for Bobby

The ladies of 'Grey Gardens' did excellent, but I'm going to go with my personal favorite, Anna Paquin FTW.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock"
Steve Carell for "The Office"
David Duchovny for "Californication"
Thomas Jane for "Hung"
Matthew Morrison for "Glee"

The omission of Jim Parsons for 'The Big Bang Theory' is sad (step up, SAGs) I'm surprised that Charlie Sheen didn't make it! We have our deserving regulars, Duchovny, Baldwin and Carell. I'm going to go with Alec Baldwin FTW

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Toni Collette for "United States of Tara"
Courteney Cox for "Cougar Town"
Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie"
Tina Fey for "30 Rock"
Lea Michele for "Glee
"
The fact that Courteney Cox got in for 'Cougar Town' and Mary Louise Parker didn't for 'Weeds' is pathetic. I have a feeling Toni Collette will pull a surpsing win (see: Emmys) from Tina Fey this year. Toni Collette, FTW.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Nominees:Simon Baker for "The Mentalist"
Michael C. Hall for "Dexter"
Jon Hamm for "Mad Men"
Hugh Laurie for "House M.D."
Bill Paxton for "Big Love"

Again, No Denis Leary for 'Rescue Me' and no Bryan Cranston for 'Breaking Bad'. Sad. I'm going for the super deserving Michael C. Hall, FTW.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Nominees:Glenn Close for "Damages"
January Jones for "Mad Men"
Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife"
Anna Paquin for "True Blood"
Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer"

This was pretty predictable. They swapped Sally Fields for Julianna Margulies. I'm gonna go with my girl Anna Paquin FTW again.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Michael Emerson for "Lost"
Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother"
William Hurt for "Damages"
John Lithgow for "Dexter"
Jeremy Piven for "Entourage"

William Hurt is SUCH a good actor, this makes it hard. I'm going to have to go with Neil Patrick Harris, FTW. Sorry Jeremy Piven, but after watching you host WWE's Monday Night Raw with "Dr. Ken" I don't ever want to see you on my tv screen again.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Jane Adams for "Hung"
Rose Byrne for "Damages"
Jane Lynch for "Glee"
Janet McTeer for Into the Storm
Chloë Sevigny for "Big Love"

Like I said before, I haven't seen 'Glee' but I LOVE Jane Lynch. I'm going to go with her FTW just on principle. Jane Lynch is hilarious.

------

Well that wraps it up! Please let me know what you think.

Golden Globe Nominations!

All I can say is Yay for Joseph Gordon Levitt, and boo for ignoring Rescue Me, Breaking Bad, and The Big Bang Theory! I'll post a blog of my opinons on the noms later.




Best Motion Picture - Drama
Nominees:Avatar (2009)

The Hurt Locker (2008)

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Up in the Air (2009/I)

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:(500) Days of Summer (2009)

The Hangover (2009)

It's Complicated (2009)

Julie & Julia (2009)

Nine (2009)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominees:Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart (2009)

George Clooney for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Colin Firth for A Single Man (2009)

Morgan Freeman for Invictus (2009)

Tobey Maguire for Brothers (2009/I)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Nominees:Emily Blunt for The Young Victoria (2009)

Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side (2009)

Helen Mirren for The Last Station (2009)

Carey Mulligan for An Education (2009)

Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Matt Damon for The Informant! (2009)

Daniel Day-Lewis for Nine (2009)

Robert Downey Jr. for Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt for (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Michael Stuhlbarg for A Serious Man (2009)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Sandra Bullock for The Proposal (2009/I)

Marion Cotillard for Nine (2009)

Julia Roberts for Duplicity (2009)

Meryl Streep for It's Complicated (2009)

Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia (2009)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominees:Matt Damon for Invictus (2009)

Woody Harrelson for The Messenger (2009/I)

Christopher Plummer for The Last Station (2009)

Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones (2009)

Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Nominees:Penélope Cruz for Nine (2009)

Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Mo'Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (2009)

Julianne Moore for A Single Man (2009)

Best Director - Motion Picture
Nominees:Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2008)

James Cameron for Avatar (2009)

Clint Eastwood for Invictus (2009)

Jason Reitman for Up in the Air (2009/I)

Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture
Nominees:District 9 (2009): Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell

The Hurt Locker (2008): Mark Boal

Inglourious Basterds (2009): Quentin Tarantino

It's Complicated (2009): Nancy Meyers

Up in the Air (2009/I): Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner

Best Original Song - Motion Picture
Nominees:Avatar (2009): James Horner, Simon Franglen, Kuk Harrell("I Will See You")

Brothers (2009/I): U2, Bono("Winter")

Crazy Heart (2009): T-Bone Burnett, Ryan Bingham("The Weary Kind")

Everybody's Fine (2009): Paul McCartney("(I Want To) Come Home")

Nine (2009): Maury Yeston("Cinema Italiano")

Best Original Score - Motion Picture
Nominees:Avatar (2009): James Horner

The Informant! (2009): Marvin Hamlisch

A Single Man (2009): Abel Korzeniowski

Up (2009): Michael Giacchino

Where the Wild Things Are (2009): Carter Burwell, Karen Orzolek

Best Animated Film
Nominees:Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)

Coraline (2009)

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

Up (2009)

Best Foreign Language Film
Nominees:Los abrazos rotos (2009)

Baarìa (2009)

Das weisse Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (2009)

La nana (2009)

Un prophète (2009)

Best Television Series - Drama
Nominees:"Big Love" (2006)

"Dexter" (2006)

"House M.D." (2004)

"Mad Men" (2007)

"True Blood" (2008)

Best Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:"Entourage" (2004)

"Glee" (2009)

"The Office" (2005)

"Modern Family" (2009)

"30 Rock" (2006)

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Georgia O'Keeffe (2009) (TV)

Grey Gardens (2009) (TV)

Into the Storm (2009) (TV)

"Little Dorrit" (2008)

Taking Chance (2009) (TV)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Kevin Bacon for Taking Chance (2009) (TV)

Kenneth Branagh for "Wallander" (2008)

Chiwetel Ejiofor for Endgame (2009)

Brendan Gleeson for Into the Storm (2009) (TV)

Jeremy Irons for Georgia O'Keeffe (2009) (TV)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Joan Allen for Georgia O'Keeffe (2009) (TV)

Drew Barrymore for Grey Gardens (2009) (TV)

Jessica Lange for Grey Gardens (2009) (TV)

Anna Paquin for The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler (2009) (TV)

Sigourney Weaver for Prayers for Bobby (2009) (TV)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock" (2006)

Steve Carell for "The Office" (2005)

David Duchovny for "Californication" (2007)

Thomas Jane for "Hung" (2009)

Matthew Morrison for "Glee" (2009)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy
Nominees:Toni Collette for "United States of Tara" (2009)

Courteney Cox for "Cougar Town" (2009)

Edie Falco for "Nurse Jackie" (2009)

Tina Fey for "30 Rock" (2006)

Lea Michele for "Glee" (2009)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
Nominees:Simon Baker for "The Mentalist" (2008)

Michael C. Hall for "Dexter" (2006)

Jon Hamm for "Mad Men" (2007)

Hugh Laurie for "House M.D." (2004)

Bill Paxton for "Big Love" (2006)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama
Nominees:Glenn Close for "Damages" (2007)

January Jones for "Mad Men" (2007)

Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife" (2009)

Anna Paquin for "True Blood" (2008)

Kyra Sedgwick for "The Closer" (2005)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Michael Emerson for "Lost" (2004)

Neil Patrick Harris for "How I Met Your Mother" (2005)

William Hurt for "Damages" (2007)

John Lithgow for "Dexter" (2006)

Jeremy Piven for "Entourage" (2004)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Nominees:Jane Adams for "Hung" (2009)

Rose Byrne for "Damages" (2007)

Jane Lynch for "Glee" (2009)

Janet McTeer for Into the Storm (2009) (TV)

Chloë Sevigny for "Big Love" (2006)

Review: Invictus

A lot of sports movies borderline with being inspirational or campy and over the top. 'Invictus' is a breath of fresh air, the acting is to notch, it focuses on an interesting sport (rugby) and not something overdone like football.

'Invictus' (meaning invincible) is based on the true story of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman), a man elected to be the president of South Africa while the country is on the verge of civil war. He takes a unique approach with his new power and tries to help the country's Springbok rugby team (led by Matt Damon as Francios Pienaar) to win the world cup. His hope is that uniting the mostly white rugby team with everyone else in the country, no matter the color will bring them all together.

Morgan Freeman (Mandela) is a tremendous actor. He's so good that I actually find myself getting legitimately annoyed when people are mean to him on screen. He embodies Mandela and instantly makes you believe in him. Watching Freeman in that role made me think about politics today, it made me wish everyone could get behind a leader the way South Africa eventually got behind Mandela.

Clint Eastwood does a fine job of directing. He really captured the 'togetherness' of the film. Little scenes like Mandela's bickering body guards playing a make shift rugby game outside his meeting. A scene with a young black boy picking up trash trying to listen in on two white police officer's radio of the World Cup. It starts with the mean shooing him away, then cuts to him listening, eventually to sitting on the hood of the policemen's car to sharing a soda with them to eventually celebrating with them, hoisted high on the policeman's shoulders.

Parts of the film get a little carried away, the constant shots of the obvious CGI crowd looked a little fake, and a scene with an airplane that will leave you scratching your head for a minute. Over all the film is good. Where it couldve gone cheesy, it went enlightening. Where we could've gotten forced acting we got brilliant, real performances. I definitely see this as being an awards contender this year. DonKt forget the Golden Globe noms are on Tuesday, with the SAGs following on Thursday.

Recommended: yes 4/5 stars

Memorable quote: "It's working, I need to be angry tomorrow" - Francios (Matt Damon)

Indie Gems: Thirteen

This movie made waves back in 2003 when it released. The low budget film saw it's stars Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed break out, and earned supporting actress Holly Hunter an Oscar nomination.

"Thirteen" follows Tracey (Wood) a typical goody two shoes thirteen year old. On her first day of junior high she sees another girl her age, Evie (Reed) and she's everything Tracey wishes she could be. Gorgeous, has cool clothes, attitude, and most of all, every guy's attention. Tracey takes some series steps to get into Evie's circle and eventually becomes her best friend. We slowly watch Tracey as she falls through a downward spiral of drinking, drunks, sex, etc. "Normal adolescence behavior" so to speak.

The script was written by both Reed and director Catherine Hardwicke. It was loosely based of events that had happened in Nikki's life. That's what made it all feel so real. I could see myself at thirteen doing some of the same things (though not as extreme, mind you) and it gives you a good look at how some teens (no matter how much we want to disagree) act and dress. Tracey's character was fragile from the beginning, she was a closet cutter, had occasional anger outbursts and smoked at times. Watching her fall so easily in with Evie is almost scary because you know where it's going. Evan Rachel Wood gives a strong, strong performance. Still her best, and she deserved all the credit she got. Veteran actress Holly Hunter added a lot as Tracey's confused mother, and Nikki obviously fit in perfectly because she wrote it. Catherine Hardwicke's early films (this one, 'Lords of Dogtown') have what her newer films (Twilight) do not: Realism. The way they were shot, with the handheld camera and the quick cuts and awesome soundtrack set the tone for the movie. My favorite little tidbit is during the last scene, the color seems to fade to gray. Like Tracey's life is now fading into obscurity.

I think it's an important film to watch. Not just for film buffs, but for teens. If you want a film that's going to shock something into a teen's mind, this one is it. It could even be watched with parents, a mother daughter thing to see it from both sides. Not to mention if you rent the DVD watch it with the audio commentary as well, very interesting stuff. Also a killer soundtrack.

Recommended: Yes 4.5/5 stars

Memorable Quote: "It's happening so fast" - the film's tag line. One of my favorites

Out of Competition Sundance Lineup

Thanks pronetworks! (http://www/pronetworks.org)

Abel / Mexico, USA (Director: Diego Luna; Screenwriters: Diego Luna and Agusto Mendoza)-A peculiar young boy, blurring reality and fantasy, assumes the responsibilities of a family man in his father's absence. Cast: Jose Maria Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragon, Christopher Ruiz-Esparza, Gerardo Ruiz-Esparza. World Premiere

Cane Toads: The Conquest / USA (Director and screenwriter: Mark Lewis)-In 3D, Mark Lewis explores one of Australia's greatest environmental catastrophes as he follows the unstoppable march of the cane toad across the Australian continent. World Premiere

The Company Men / USA (Director and screenwriter: John Wells)-Three company men attempt to survive a round of corporate downsizing while trying to fend off its effects on their families and their identities. Cast: Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Rosemarie DeWitt. World Premiere

The Extra Man / USA (Directors: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; Screenwriters: Robert Pulcini, Jonathan Ames and Shari Springer Berman)-A down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan's Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. Cast: Katie Holmes, John C. Reilly, Paul Dano, Kevin Kline, Alicia Goranson. World Premiere

Get Low / USA (Director: Aaron Schneider; Screenwriters: Chris Provenzano and C. Gaby Mitchell)-A film spun out of equal parts folk tale, fable and real-life legend about a mysterious, 1930s Tennessee hermit who plans his own rollicking funeral party... while still alive. Cast: Robert Duvall, Bill Murray. U.S. Premiere SALT LAKE CITY GALA FILM

Jack Goes Boating / USA (Director: Philip Seymour Hoffman; Screenwriter: Bob Glaudini)-A limo driver's blind date sparks a tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and grace centered around two working-class New York City couples. Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Ryan, John Ortiz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Tom McCarthy. World Premiere

The Killer Inside Me / USA (Director: Michael Winterbottom; Screenwriter: John Curran)-Deputy Sheriff Lou Ford is a pillar of the community in his small Texan town; patient, polite and well liked, until he starts killing people. Cast: Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Simon Baker, Elias Koteas. World Premiere

Nowhere Boy / United Kingdom (Director: Sam Taylor Wood; Screenwriters: Julia Baird and Matt Greenhalgh)-A teenage John Lennon confronts wrenching family secrets and finds his musical voice in late 1950s Liverpool. Cast: Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Thomas Sangster, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey. International Premiere

Please Give / USA (Director and screenwriter: Nicole Holofcener)-In New York City, a husband and wife butt heads with the granddaughters of the elderly woman who lives next door. Cast: Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Catherine Keener, Sarah Steele. World Premiere

The Runaways / USA (Director and screenwriter: Floria Sigismondi)-In 1970s LA, a tough teenager named Joan Jett connects with an eccentric producer to form an all-girl band that would launch her career and make rock history. Cast: Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, Scout Taylor-Compton, Michael Shannon, Alia Shawkat, Tatum O'Neal. World Premiere

Shock Doctrine / USA (Directors: Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross)-Closely based on the book by award-winning journalist Naomi Klein, Shock Doctrine exposes how shock is used to implement economic policy in vulnerable environments. North American Premiere

Twelve / USA (Director: Joel Schumacher; Screenwriter: Jordan Melamed)-A chronicle of the highs and lows of privileged kids on Manhattan's Upper East Side involving sex, drugs and murder. Cast: Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, 50 Cent, Zoë Kravitz. World Premiere CLOSING NIGHT FILM

Untitled Duplass Brothers Project / USA (Directors and screenwriters: Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass)-A recently divorced guy meets a new lady. Then he meets her son who is, well...interesting. Cast: John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, Catherine Keener. World Premiere


NEXT (<=>)
A new section composed of eight American films selected for their innovative and original work in low- and no-budget filmmaking.


Armless (Director: Habib Azar; Screenwriter: Kyle Jarrow)-In this off-kilter comedy, a woman comes to terms with her husband's strange secret. Cast: Daniel London, Janel Moloney, Keith Powell, Laurie Kennedy, Matt Walton. World Premiere

Bass Ackwards (Director and screenwriter: Linas Phillips)-After ending a disastrous affair with a married woman, a man embarks on a lyrical, strange and comedic cross-country journey in a modified VW bus. Cast: Linas Philips, Davie-Blue, Jim Fletcher, Paul Lazar. World Premiere

Bilal's Stand (Director and screenwriter: Sultan Sharrief)-Bilal, a Muslim high school senior in Detroit juggles his dysfunctional family, their taxi stand, and an ice carving contest in his secret attempt to land a college scholarship. Cast: Julian Gant. World Premiere

The Freebie (Director and screenwriter: Katie Aselton)-A young married couple decides to give each other one night with someone else. Cast: Dax Shepard, Katie Aselton. World Premiere

Homewrecker (Director: Todd Barnes and Brad Barnes; Screenwriters: Todd Barnes, Brad Barnes, Sophie Goodhart)-The last romantic in New York City is an ex-con locksmith on work release. Cast: Ana Reeder, Anslem Richardson, Stephen Rannazzisi. World Premiere

New Low (Director: Adam Bowers)-A neurotic twentysomething struggles to figure out which girl he really belongs with: the best one he's ever known, or the worst. Cast: Adam Bowers, Jayme Ratzer, Toby Turner, Valerie Jones. World Premiere

One Too Many Mornings (Director: Michael Mohan; Screenwriters: Anthony Deptula, Michael Mohan, Stephen Hale)-Two damaged young men recover their high school friendship by awkwardly revealing to each other just how messed up they've become. Cast: Anthony Deptula, Stephen Hale, Tina Kapousis. World Premiere

The Taqwacores (Director: Eyad Zahra; Screenwriter: Michael Muhammad Knight)-When a Pakistani-Muslim engineering student moves into a house with punk Muslims of all stripes in Buffalo, New York, his ideologies are challenged to the core. Cast: Noureen DeWulf, Dominic Rains, Rasika Mathur, Tony Yalda, Anne Marie Leighton. World Premiere


SPOTLIGHT
New for 2010, the Spotlight section is a tribute to the cinema we love. Regardless of where these impressive films have played throughout the world, the Sundance Film Festival is thrilled to light a marquee for them.


Narrative films screening in the Festival's Spotlight are:

Bran Nue Dae / Australia (Director: Rachel Perkins; Screenwriters: Reg Cribb, Rachel Perkins, and Jimmy Chi)-In the summer of 1965, a young man is filled with the life of the idyllic old pearling port Broome - fishing, hanging out with his mates and his girl. Cast: Rocky McKenzie, Jessica Mauboy, Geoffrey Rush, Ernie Dingo. U.S. Premiere

Daddy Longlegs / USA (Directors and Screenwriters: Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie)-A swan song to excuses and responsibilities, to fatherhood and self-created experiences, and to what it's like to be truly torn between being a child and being an adult. Cast: Ronald Bronstein, Sage Ranaldo, Frey Ranaldo. North American Premiere

Enter the Void / France (Director and Screenwriter: Gaspar Noé)-A drug-dealing teen is killed in Japan, after which he reappears as a ghost to watch over his sister. Cast: Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind, Jesse Kuhn. U.S. Premiere

I Am Love (Io Sono L'amore) / Italy (Director and Screenwriter: Luca Guadagnino)-A tragic love story set at the turn of the millennium in Milan. Cast: Tilda Swinton, Edoardo Gabbriellini, Pippo Delbono, Alba Rohrwacher, Marisa Berenson. U.S. Premiere

Louis C.K.: Hilarious / USA (Director: Louis C.K.)-Sharp-tongued comedian Louis C.K. pulls no punches in this visceral concert experience. World Premiere

Lourdes / Austria, France, Germany (Director and Screenwriter: Jessica Hausner)-A woman in a wheelchair travels to Lourdes in an attempt to escape her isolation. Cast: Sylvie Testud, Léa Seydoux, Bruno Todeschini, Gilette Barbier, Gerhard Liebmann, Irma Wagner. U.S. Premiere

Mother & Child / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Rodrigo García)-The lives of three women - a physical therapist, the daughter she gave up at birth three decades ago, and an African American woman seeking to adopt a child of her own - intersect in surprising ways. Cast: Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Kerry Washington, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson. U.S. Premiere

New African Cinema / A collection of short films from multiple countries

* Pumzi / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Wanuri Kahiu)-A Sci-Fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III, "The Water War." Cast: Kudzani Moswela. North American Premiere

* Saint Louis Blues (Un Transport En Commun) / France, Senegal (Director and Screenwriter: Dyana Gaye)-Along the journey from Dakar to Saint Louis, seven passengers of a taxi meet each other and tell their lives through songs. Cast: Umban Gomez de Kset, Bigué Ndoye, Adja Fall, Yakhoub Ba, Abdoulaye Diakhaté. U.S. Premiere

* The Tunnel / South Africa (Director and Screenwriter: Jenna Bass)-When her father vanishes in 1980s Zimbabwe, young Elizabeth believes he has dug a tunnel to the city. Only by facing reality will she discover the truth behind his disappearance. Cast: Sibulele Mlumbi, Finch Moyo, Patricia Matongo, Anthony Watterson, Pakamisa Zwedala, Vuyisile Pandle. World Premiere

A Prophet (Un Prophète) / France (Director: Jacques Audiard; Screenwriters: Thomas Bidegain and Jacques Audiard)-An engaging examination of a seedy, gangster-driven underworld set in a French prison. Cast: Tahar Rahim, Niels Arestrup, Adel Bencherif, Hichem Yacoubi, Reda Kateb.

Women Without Men (Zanan-e bedun-e mardan) / Germany, Austria, France (Directors and Screenwriters: Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari)-A dissection of Iranian society at the time of the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overturned the nationalist government of Mohammed Mossadegh and installed the shah in power. Cast: Pegah Ferydoni, Arita Shahrzad, Shabnam Tolouei, Orsi Tóth. U.S. Premiere


Documentary films screening in the Festival's Spotlight are:


8: The Mormon Proposition / USA (Director: Reed Cowan)-An examination of the relationship between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the promotion and passage of California's Proposition 8 denying marriage rights for Gay and Lesbian couples. World Premiere

Catfish / USA (Directors: Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman)-When a young New York City photographer is contacted on Facebook by an 8-year-old painting prodigy from rural Michigan, he becomes deeply enmeshed in her life, even falling in love with her older sister--that is, until a crack appears in her story. World Premiere

Climate Refugees / USA (Director: Michael Nash)-An over-consuming, crowded world, with depleting resources and a changing climate is giving birth to 25 million climate refugees resulting in a mass global migration and border conflicts. World Premiere

Countdown to Zero / USA (Director: Lucy Walker)-A fascinating and frightening exploration of the dangers of nuclear weapons, exposing a variety of present day threats and featuring insights from a host of international experts and world leaders who advocate total global disarmament. World Premiere

Life 2.0 / USA (Director: Jason Spingarn-Koff)-More than an examination of new technology, the film is foremost an intimate, character-based drama about people whose lives are dramatically transformed by the virtual world called Second Life. World Premiere

Teenage Paparazzo / USA (Director: Adrian Grenier)-A 13-year-old paparazzi boy snaps a photo of actor Adrian Grenier, leading Grenier to explore the effects of celebrity on culture. World Premiere

To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America / Bangladesh, USA (Director: Gayle Ferraro)-Tapping into the success of Muhammad Yunus after winning the Nobel Peace Prize (2006), Grameen America has opened in Queens, NY replicating the banking model program Yunus first started in Bangladesh. World Premiere

Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks / USA (Director: Dan Klores)-Reggie Miller single-handedly crushed the hearts of Knick fans multiple times. But it was the 1995 Eastern Conference Semifinals that solidified Miller as Public Enemy #1 in New York City. World Premiere


PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
Home to horror films and crazy comedies, Black Dynamite, The Blair Witch Project and Saw are among the films that have screened here.


7 Days / Canada (Director: Daniel Grou; Screenwriter: Patrick Senecal)-A doctor seeks revenge by kidnapping, torturing and killing the man who murdered his young daughter. Cast: Rémy Girard, Claude Legault, Fanny Mallette, Martin Dubreuil, Rose-Marie Coallier. World Premiere

Buried / Spain, USA (Director: Rodrigo Cortes; Screenwriter: Chris Sparling)-A U.S. contractor working in Iraq awakes to find he is buried alive inside a coffin. With only a lighter and a cell phone it's a race against time to escape this claustrophobic death trap. Cast: Ryan Reynolds. World Premiere

Frozen / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Adam Green)-Three skiers are mistakenly stranded on a chairlift, forced to make life-or-death choices that prove more perilous than staying put and freezing to death. Cast: Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers. World Premiere

High School / USA (Director: John Stalberg, Jr.; Screenwriters: Erik Linthorst, John Stalberg, Jr., and Stephen Susco)-A random drug test coincides with a high school valedictorian's first hit of pot. Cast: Sean Marquette, Matt Bush, Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Colin Hanks, Mykelti Williamson, Andrew Wilson, Yeardley Smith, Michael Vartan, Curtis Armstrong, Erica Phillips, Adhir Kaylan. World Premiere

The Perfect Host / USA (Director: Nick Tomnay; Screenwriters: Nick Tomnay and Krishna Jones)-A criminal on the run cons his way into the wrong dinner party where the host is anything but ordinary. Cast: David Hyde Pierce, Clayne Crawford, Helen Reddy, Nathaniel Parker. World Premiere

Splice / France, Canada (Director: Vincenzo Natali; Screenwriters: Vincenzo Natali, Antoinette Terry Bryant, and Doug Taylor)-Clive and Elsa are young, brilliant, and ambitious. The new animal species they engineered has made them rebel superstars of the scientific world. In secret, they introduce human DNA into the experiment. Cast: Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chaneac, David Hewlett. North American Premiere

Tucker & Dale vs. Evil / Canada (Director: Eli Craig; Screenwriters: Eli Craig and Morgan Jurgenson)-Two West Virginian hillbillies go on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin, but their peaceful trip goes horribly awry. Cast: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss. World Premiere

The Violent Kind / USA (Directors and screenwriters: The Butcher Brothers) A group of rowdy young bikers party it up at a secluded farmhouse when, tormented by a mysterious force, things take a turn for the worst. Cast: Taylor Cole, Christina Prousalis, Tiffany Shepis, David Fine, Joseph McKelheer. World Premiere.


NEW FRONTIER
This program highlights work that explores the limits of traditional aesthetics and the narrative structures of filmmaking.


All My Friends Are Funeral Singers / USA (Director and screenwriter: Tim Rutili)-A fortune teller lives and works in and old house crowded with ghosts. When a mysterious light appears in the woods, the ghosts realize they are trapped and begin to rebel. Cast: Angela Bettis. World Premiere

Double Take / Germany, Netherlands (Director: Johan Grimonprez)- Alfred Hitchcock is unwittingly caught up in a double take on the cold war period. As television hijacks cinema, and Khrushchev debates Nixon, sexual politics quietly take off and Hitchcock himself blackmails housewives with brands they can't refuse. Cast: Mark Perry, Ron Burrage. North American Premiere

Memories of Overdevelopment / USA (Director and Screenwriter: Miguel Coyula)-Live action mixes with animation and newsreel footage of historical events to form a collage that emulates the way personal memory works for a misanthropic Cuban intellectual. An adaptation of a novel by Cuban author Edmundo Desnoes. Cast: Ron Blair. World Premiere

ODDSAC / USA (Director: Daniel Perez)-An earthy, psychedelic experimental narrative infused with the band, Animal Collective's aural and musical sensibilities. World Premiere

Pepperminta / Austria, Switzerland (Director: Pipilotti Rist; Screenwriters: Pipilotti Rist, Chris Niemeyer)- A magical and visually stunning contemporary fantasy about a young woman with an anarchist imagination. Together with Pepperminta's best friends, colors and strawberries, she sets out to fight for a more humane world. Cast: Ewelina Guzik North American Premiere.

Utopia in Four Movements / USA (Director: Sam Green)-In this "live documentary" Sam Green's live narration blends with Dave Cerf's soundtrack to explore the battered state of the utopian impulse at the dawn of the 21st century. World Premiere

Sundance annouces it's 2010 lineup!

Sundance Film Festival organizers have announced their 2010 competition line up in the US and World Narrative and Documentary Features catagories. The movies offer quite a range of material, and it should make for a very interesting festival.

State Of Independence will be covering Sundance, as well as Slamdance, in January here on the site, on the State of Independence podcast, and also on Subject:CINEMA's Fourth Annual Fethival Of Film Fethivals, and the PNR Blogs will do our best to keep up with all the news for you. In the meantime, here's the list of films announced today:

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Blue Valentine (Director: Derek Cianfrance; screenwriters: Derek Cianfrance, Cami Delavigne, Joey Curtis). A portrait of an American marriage over time. Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Mike Vogel, John Doman.

Douchebag (Director: Drake Doremus; screenwriters: Lindsay Stidham, Drake Doremus, Jonathan Schwartz, Andrew Dickler). On the verge of getting married, Sam insists he escort his younger brother, Tom, on a wild goose chase to find Tom's fifth grade girlfriend. Cast: Andrew Dickler, Ben York Jones, Marguerite Moreau, Nicole Vicius, Amy Ferguson, Wendi McClendon-Covey.

The Dry Land (Director-screenwriter: Ryan Piers Williams). A U.S. soldier returning home from war struggles to reconcile his experiences abroad with the life he left in Texas. Cast: America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Ethan Suplee, June Diane Raphael, Melissa Leo.

happythankyoumoreplease (Director-
screenwriter: Josh Radnor). Six New Yorkers negotiate love, friendship and gratitude at a time when they're too old to be precocious and not ready to be adults. Cast: Malin Akerman, Josh Radnor, Kate Mara, Zoe Kazan, Tony Hale, Pablo Schreiber, Michael Algieri.

Hesher (Director: Spencer Susser; screenwriters: Spencer Susser, David Michod). A mysterious, anarchical trickster descends on the lives of a family struggling to deal with a painful loss. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Natalie Portman, Rainn Wilson, Devin Brochu, Piper Laurie, John Carroll Lynch.

Holy Rollers (Director: Kevin Tyler Asch; screenwriter: Antonio Macia). A young Hasidic man, seduced by money, power and opportunity, becomes an international Ecstasy smuggler. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Bartha, Danny A. Abeckaser, Ari Graynor, Jason Fuchs.

Howl (Directors-screenwriters: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman). A nonfiction drama about young Allen Ginsberg finding his voice, the creation of his groundbreaking poem and the landmark obscenity trial that followed. Cast: James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels.

The Imperialists are Still Alive! (Director-screenwriter: Zeina Durra). Juggling the abduction of her childhood sweetheart as well as a blooming love affair, a French Manhattanite makes her way as an artist in a hostile world. Cast: Elodie Bouchez, Jose Maria de Tavira, Karim Saleh Karolina Muller, Marianna Kulukundis, Rita Ackerman.

Lovers of Hate (Director-screenwriter: Bryan Poyser). The shaky reunion of estranged brothers takes a turn for the worse when the woman they both love chooses one over the other. Cast: Chris Doubek, Heather Kafka, Alex Karpovsky, Zach Green.

Night Catches Us (Director-screenwriter: Tanya Hamilton). In 1978, political and emotional forces are set in motion when a young man returns to the race-torn Philadelphia neighborhood where he came of age during the Black Power movement. Cast: Anthony Mackie, Kerry Washington, Jamie Hector, Wendell Pierce, Jamara Griffin.

Obselidia (Director-screenwriter: Diane Bell). A lonely librarian believes love is obsolete until a road trip to Death Valley with a beguiling cinema projectionist teaches him otherwise. Cast: Gaynor Howe, Michael Piccirilli, Frank Hoyt Taylor.

Skateland (Director: Anthony Burns; screenwriters: Anthony Burns, Brandon Freeman, Heath Freeman). In the early 1980s in small-town Texas, dramatic events force a 19-year-old skating-rink manager to look at his life in a new way. Cast: Shiloh Fernandez, A.J. Buckley, Ashley Greene, Brett Cullen, Ellen Hollman, Heath Freeman.

Sympathy for Delicious (Director: Mark Ruffalo; screenwriter: Christopher Thornton). A newly paralyzed DJ gets more than he bargained for when he seeks out the world of faith healing. Cast: Orlando Bloom, Mark Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney, John Carroll Lynch.

3 Backyards (Director-screenwriter: Eric Mendelsohn). A quiet suburban town becomes an intense emotional terrain for three residents over the course of one curious autumn day. Cast: Embeth Davidtz, Edie Falco, Elias Koteas, Rachel Resheff, Kathryn Erbe, Danai Gurira.

Welcome to the Rileys (Director: Jake Scott). On a business trip to New Orleans, a damaged man seeks salvation by caring for a wayward young woman. Cast: James Gandolfini, Kristen Stewart, Melissa Leo.

Winter's Bone (Director: Debra Granik; screenwriters: Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini). An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Lauren Sweetser, Kevin Breznahan, Isaiah Stone.

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Bhutto (Directors: Duane Baughman, Johnny O'Hara; screenwriter: Johnny O'Hara). A journey through the life and work of recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister.

CASINO JACK & the United States of Money (Director: Alex Gibney). An investigation into the lies, greed and corruption surrounding D.C. superlobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cronies.

Family Affair (Director: Chico Colvard). A documentary that examines resilience, survival and the capacity to accommodate a parent's past crimes in order to satisfy the longing for family.

Freedom Riders (Director: Stanley Nelson). The story behind a band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South.

Gas Land (Director: Josh Fox). A cross-country odyssey uncovers toxic streams, dying livestock, flammable sinks and weakening health among rural citizens on the front lines of the natural gas drilling craze.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (Director: Tamra Davis). The story of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Directors: Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg). A glimpse into the comedic process and private dramas of the legendary comedian and pop icon.

Lucky (Director: Jeffrey Blitz). The story of what happens when people hit the lottery jackpot.
My Perestroika (Director: Robin Hessman). Tracking the lives of five Muscovites who came of age just as the USSR collapsed.

The Oath (Director: Laura Poitras). Filmed in Yemen, the story of two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Restrepo (Directors: Sebastian Junger, Tim Hetherington). Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington's year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan's most strategically crucial valleys reveals insight into the combination of back-breaking labor, deadly firefights and camaraderie.

A Small Act (Director: Jennifer Arnold). A young Kenyan's life changes when his education is sponsored by a Swedish stranger.

Smash His Camera (Director: Leon Gast). Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, and Marlon Brando broke his jaw. The story of notorious, reviled paparazzo Ron Galella.

12th & Delaware (Directors: Rachel Grady, Heidi Ewing). The abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on an unassuming corner in America.

I'm Pat _______ Tillman (Director: Amir Bar-Lev). The story of the professional football star and decorated U.S. soldier.

Waiting for Superman (Director: Davis Guggenheim). Examines the crisis of public education in the U.S. through multiple interlocking stories.

WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Enemies of the People (Directors: Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath). A young journalist whose family was killed by the Khmer Rouge befriends the perpetrators of the Killing Fields genocide. (Cambodia, U.K.)

Fix Me (Director: Raed Andoni). When Palestinian filmmaker Raed Andoni gets a headache that won't quit, he seeks out help and insight in different forms in his hometown of Ramallah. (France, Palestinian Territories, Switzerland)

His & Hers (Director: Ken Wardrop). Seventy Irish women offer insights into the relationships between women and men. (Ireland)

Kick in Iran (Director: Fatima Geza Abdollahyan). The first female professional Taekwondo fighter from Iran to qualify for the Olympic Games struggles for recognition in a society where women still play a subordinate role. (Germany)

Last Train Home (Director: Lixin Fan). Getting a train ticket in China proves a towering ordeal as a migrant worker family embarks on a journey, along with 200 million other peasants, to reunite with their distant family. (Canada)

What Remains (Director: Yael Hersonski). Film reels uncovered in Nazi archives reveal the mechanisms used to stage Warsaw Ghetto life. (Germany, Israel)

The Red Chapel (Director: Mads Brugger). A journalist with no scruples, a self-proclaimed spastic and a comedian travel to North Korea under the guise of a cultural-exchange visit to challenge one of the world's most notorious regimes. (Denmark)

Russian Lessons (Directors: Olga Konskaya, Andrei Nekrasov). An investigation into Russian actions during the 2008 war in Georgia. (Georgia, Germany, Norway)

Secrets of the Tribe (Director: Jose Padilha). Scandal and infighting abound in the academic Anthropology community regarding the representation and exploitation of indigenous Indians in the Amazon Basin. (Brazil)

Sins of My Father (Director: Nicolas Entel).
The life and times of notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar are recounted through the eyes of his son. (Argentina, Colombia)

Space Tourists (Director: Christian Frei). A humorous view of the way billionaires depart Earth to travel into space for fun. (Switzerland)

Waste Land (Director: Lucy Walker). Lives are transformed when international art star Vik Muniz collaborates with garbage pickers in the world's largest landfill in Rio de Janeiro. (U.K.)

WORLD CINEMA NARRATIVE COMPETITION
All That I Love (Director-screenwriter: Jacek Borcuch). In 1981, during the growing Polish Solidarity movement, four small-town teenagers form a punk-rock band. (Poland)

Animal Kingdom (Director-screenwriter: David Michod). After the death of his mother, a 17-year-old boy is thrust precariously between an explosive criminal family and a detective who thinks he can save him. (Australia)

Boy (Director-screenwriter: Taika Waititi). When his father returns home after many years away, 11-year-old Boy and his little brother Rocky must reconcile reality with the fantasy dad they created in their imagination. (New Zealand)

Undertow (Director-screenwriter: Javier Fuentes-Leon). An unusual ghost story set on the Peruvian seaside. (Colombia, France, Germany, Peru)

Peepli Live (Director-screenwriter: Anusha Rizvi). A satirical look at the predicament of a poor farmer who creates a media frenzy when, beset with debt, he announces that he will commit suicide so his family can receive government compensation. (India)

Four Lions (Director: Chris Morris; screenwriters: Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong, Sam Bain). A comedy about a bunch of self-styled British jihadis. (U.K.)

Grown Up Movie Star (Director-screenwriter: Adriana Maggs). After her mother runs away, a teenage girl is left to care for her hopelessly rural father. (Canada)

The Man Next Door (Directors-screenwriters: Mariano Cohn, Gaston Duprat). Dark comedy about two neighbors sparring over a wall separating their property. (Argentina)

Me Too (Directors-screenwriters: Alvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro). A 34-year-old college-educated man with Down syndrome and his free-spirited co-worker forge an unconventional relationship. (Spain)

Nuummioq (Directors: Otto Rosing, Torben Bech; Screenwriter: Torben Bech). A young man's journey through the natural landscape of Greenland. (Greenland)

Son of Babylon (Director-screenwriter: Mohamed Al Daradji). In the days after the fall of Saddam Hussein, a young Kurdish boy and his grandmother venture through Iraq on a quest to find the remains of their missing father/son. (Iraq)

Southern District (Director-screenwriter: Juan Carlos Valdivia). In La Paz, Bolivia, an upper-class family experiences the final halcyon days of luxury. (Bolivia)

The Temptation of St. Tony (Director-screenwriter: Veiko Ounpuu). A midlevel manager who develops an aversion to being "good" finds himself confronting the mysteries of middle age. (Estonia)

Vegetarian (Director-screenwriter: Lim Woo-seong). A housewife finds herself having strange dreams that make her disgusted by meat. (South Korea)

Independent Spirit Award Nominations

Today the Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced. Below is a full list of the nominees, plus a little column with my 2 cents.

Best Feature
"(500) Days of Summer"
"Amreeka"
"Precious"
"Sin Nombre"
"The Last Station"

Best Director
Ethan and Joel Coen, "A Serious Man"
Lee Daniels, "Precious"
Cary Fukunaga, "Sin Nombre"
James Gray, "Two Lovers"
Michael Hoffman, "The Last Station"

Best First Feature
"A Single Man"
"Crazy Heart"
"Easier With Practice"
"The Messenger"
"Paranormal Activity"

Best Lead Female
Maria Bello, "Downloading Nancy"
Nisreen Faour, "Amreeka"
Helen Mirren, "The Last Station"
Gwyneth Paltrow, "Two Lovers"
Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious"

Best Lead Male
Jeff Bridges, "Crazy Heart"
Colin Firth, "A Single Man"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "(500) Days of Summer"
Souleymane Sy Savane, "Goodbye Solo"
Adam Scott, "The Vicious Kind"

Best Supporting Female
Mo'Nique, "Precious"
Dina Korzun, "Cold Souls"
Samantha Morton, "The Messenger"
Natalie Press, "Fifty Dead Men Walking"
Mia Wasikowska, "That Evening Sun"

Best Supporting Male
Jemaine Clement, "Gentlemen Broncos"
Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"
Christian McKay, "Me and Orson Welles"
Ray McKinnon, "That Evening Sun"
Christopher Plummer, "The Last Station"

Best Screenplay
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"
Michael Hoffman, "The Last Station"
Lee Toland Krieger, "The Vicious Kind"
Greg Mottola, "Adventureland"
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, "(500) Days of Summer"

Best First Screenplay
Sophie Barthes, "Cold Souls"
Scott Cooper, "Crazy Heart"
Cherien Dabis, "Amreeka"
Geoffrey Fletcher, "Precious"
Tom Ford, "A Single Man"

Best Foreign Film
"A Prophet," directed by Jacques Audiard
"An Education," directed by Lone Scherfig
"Everlasting Moments," directed by Jan Troell
"Mother," directed by Bong Joon-ho
"The Maid," directed by Sebastián Silva

Best Documentary Feature
"Anvil! The Story of Anvil"
"Food, Inc"
"More Than A Game"
"October Country"
"Which Way Home"

Best Cinematography
Roger Deakins , "A Serious Man"
Adriano Goldman, "Sin Nombre"
Anne Misawa, "Treeless Mountain"
Andrij Parekh, "Cold Souls"
Peter Zeitlinger, "The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans"

John Cassavetes Award
"Big Fan"
"Humpday"
"The New Year Parade"
"Treeless Mountain"
"Zero Bridge"

Robert Altman Award
"A Serious Man"

Acura Someone to Watch Award
Kyle Patrick Alvarez, "Easier With Practice"
Tariq Tapa, "Zero Bridge"
Asiel Norton, "Redland"

Piaget Producers Award
Karin Chien, "Santa Mesa" and "The Exploding Girl"
Larry Fessenden, "I Sell the Dead" and "House of the Devil"
Dia Sokol, "Beeswax," "Nights and Weekends"

Truer than Fiction Award
Natalia Almada, "El General"
Bill and Turner Ross, "45365"
Jessica Oreck, "Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo"

[Photos: "The Last Station," Sony Classics, 2009; "The Messenger," Oscilloscope, 2009; "Treeless Mountain," Oscilloscope, 2009; "Downloading Nancy," Strand Releasing, 2009]

Credit: http://www.ifc.com

Britt's 2 cents:

First off, I have to say how stoked I am for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's nomination for (500) Days of Summer! That has honestly been one of the best films I've seen all year (the best..actually) and he deserves it. He's a talented actor who was horribly overlooked for films such as 'Brick', 'Mysterious Skin', 'The Lookout' etc. I could go on and on, but I'm glad he's getting his due here. Hopefully the Globes and Oscar voters will take notes. Good to see 'Summer' up for best picture as well.

Another one I'm happy with is 'The Last Station'. I've been dying to see that ever since James McAvoy was announced in the cast, and this is good news. I haven't caught any reviews of it yet, but obviously it's got some people talking. 'Precious' is the front runner for the Oscars this year and it's nominations were pretty obvious. I haven't yet gotten to see that, but I've got high hopes, nonetheless. Who ever thought they'd hear 'Mo'Nique' and 'Oscar' in the same sentence?

Good to see Maria Bello up for 'Downloading Nancy', that movie sort of creeped me out a bit but it was definetly a controversial part to play. Good for her, she deserves it. Paranormal Activity deserves it's "first feature" nom as well.

Overall I'm satisfied with the noms, how about you?