In this morning’s roundup of Oscar news ‘n’ notes from around the web, Spirit Awards jurors get some help, and you can’t keep the Weinsteins down.
They’re baaaaack, says the L.A. Times – they, in this case, being Harvey and Bob Weinstein, who have weathered the storm that caused them to slash staff at the Weinstein Company, secured new financing for their company, and perhaps improbably emerged with a batch of strong awards movies, including one of the frontrunners in “The King’s Speech.” Claudia Eller and Ben Fritz talk with Harvey about the reboot – “Miramax 2,” Harvey says, referencing his and his brothers’ former company – and how the Weinstein Company was initially mismanaged after its formation five years ago. “I was a bad CEO,” admits Harvey, who adds that he’s now focusing on doing what he does well: reading 15 scripts a week and backing movies like “King’s Speech” and “Blue Valentine.” And while bashing the guy who transformed Oscar campaigning has a cottage industry of sorts in Hollywood, even Weinstein’s former detractors are now admitting that a revitalized TWC is pretty good news for indie film: “I think any activity by Harvey Weinstein in the independent film sector is a positive development,” concedes one. (The Los Angeles Times)
Dave Karger provides a hand to the juries who are choosing the Film Independent Spirit Awards nominees, which will be announced next week. He offers three “long shots” for their consideration – though I think one of them, the Australian film “Animal Kingdom” for Best Foreign Film, should be a no-brainer. His other picks: Dermot Mulroney for Best Actor for the little-seen indie “Inhale,” and Ann Guilbert (left) for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Catherine Keener’s cranky neighbor in Nicole Holofcener’s “Please Give.” (Oscar Watch)
He made a movie that started getting awards buzz long before anybody saw it, and she made a movie that won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival but has managed to elude most awards talk altogether. But Joel Coen (“True Grit”) and Sofia Coppola (“Somewhere”), both of whom can occasionally be reluctant talkers, did a Q&A (he interviewed her) at the Directors Guild in New York after a screening of Coppola’s film, an austere, deliberately-paced, European-style meditation on a successful actor and his 11-year-old daughter. Keith Staskiewicz reports on the conversation, during which Coppola told Coen that the idea of “Somewhere” was “to do something from a guy’s point of view” and go minimalist after the extravagance of her last film, “Marie Antoinette.” She also told him that she turns to her father, Francis Ford Coppola, for advice … though she hesitates to say that he serves as her creative, um, godfather. (EW.com)
With Thanksgiving looming, Kris Tapley offers thanks to a slew of folks to whom he’s grateful: filmmakers (Mike Leigh, Peter Weir, Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, and the list goes on), actors (Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Natalie Portman, Javier Bardem, Robert Duvall, Sally Hawkins, Mark Ruffalo, etc.), craftsmen and publicists and journalists and friends and family. Manville, Wahlberg and “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” get photos, for what it’s worth. (In Contention)