Randy Newman and Trent Reznor scoop Oscars

Randy Newman picked up the award for Best Original Song at the 2011 Academy Award ceremony for his composition of We Belong Together which featured in Toy Story 3. The songwriter was in a self-deprecating mood as he collected his 2nd award in 20 nominations; highlighting the inconsistency in category nominations as he did.

“Cinematography has five. What? They couldn’t find a fifth song?” he asked with tongue firmly planted in cheek. A grateful Newman delivered the punch line added that if there had been a fifth contender they’d most certainly have beaten him.

Whilst reporters frantically huddled around a composed Newman after the awards were over he told them that he thought the song was “not the most consequential” piece he’d ever written and that he felt that his music for previous films such as A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2 and Awakenings had much more impact on the movie’s atmosphere.

“Last year I knew I wouldn’t win,” Newman offered as he rightly predicted a win for T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham. “This time I thought I might have a chance. I still didn’t prepare!”

Toy Story 3 picked up the award for Best Animated Feature Oscar along with Newman’s Best Song award.

Elsewhere in music Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross collected the Best Original Score award for their collaboration on the soundtrack to The Social Network. Reznor was more hmble in his acceptance speech than Newman however.

“Wow. Is this really happening?” Quizzed an astounded Reznor.

[adsense]”When we finished work on ‘The Social Network,’ we were very proud of our work and happy to just be involved in this film, and to be standing up here in this company is humbling and flattering beyond words.”

Later during post award interviews Reznor was quick to praise David Fincher’s vision in defining how he wanted the score to sound, citing Vangelis’ atmospheric and iconic sounding Blade Runner soundtrack as a point of influence.

“A side of my music with Nine Inch Nails was going instrumental so it was not a huge leap or stretch to try this,” said Reznor on his first foray into the world of movie scores. “The biggest challenge was working with a picture. David Fincher knew exactly what he wanted. It was one of the best experiences of my life from start to finish.”

Please share your thoughts on the wins for Randy Newman and Trent Reznor by leaving a comment.

Read more about Oscar winners, The King’s Speech, Luke Matheny’s God of Love, Natalie Portman and Trent Reznor’s Golden Globe award.

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Jill Clayburgh's life is heralded at the 2011 Academy Awards Ceremony

Jill Clayburgh, actress and two time Academy Award nominee was remembered at the 2011 Oscar ceremony last night. She was listed amongst several other well known names who passed away last year, in a fitting tribute to her life’s work on the big and small screen.

The Kodak Theater was the setting for the 2011 Oscar ceremony last night, and Clayburgh’s life was heralded during the In Memoriam segment of the awards.

Jill Clayburgh remembered during In Memoriam

The In Memoriam segment began running in 1993 and has become one of the most anticipated parts of the awards, but is not without controversy. Many years have seen popular actors omitted from the three minute section and this years ran to five minutes; still unable to please all of the people.

Criticism is being levelled at the producers this year for failing to recognise others who died in 2010 such as Corey Haim of Lost Boys fame; Peter Graves of Airplane 1 & 2; Betty Garrett of the classic 70’s and early 80’s TV show, Laverne and Shirley; and Maria Schneider of Last Tango in Paris.

Jill Clayburgh’s career spanned over five decades and her passing came last year as she succumbed to leukaemia, aged just 66.

Her most lauded role came in the 1978 film An Unmarried Woman in which she portrayed a divorcee who finds a new lease of life and sexual adventure with a young artist in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, after breaking free of 16 years spent in a dowdy marriage. This role won her a nomination for Best Actress which was eventually won by Jane Fonda.

Her other nomination came for the film Starting Over, a comedy which saw her opposite Burt Reynolds.

[adsense]Her final big screen appearance was in Love and Other Drugs in which she played the mother of Jake Gyllenhaal’s character.

Her battle with leukaemia lasted 21 years and finally claimed her life on Novermber 5th, 2010. She died at her home in Lakeville, Connecticut with her loved ones at her bedside.

Please share your thoughts on Jill Clayburgh or last night’s Academy Awards by leaving a comment.

Read about the Oscar winners, The King’s Speech, God of Love, Natalie Portman, and Jill Clayburgh‘s untimely death last year.

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Christopher Nolan omission only shock in unsurprising Oscar nominations

In many ways 2011 has had a belligerent start, with shocking events in the news leading to fear and suspicion amongst the planet’s populace. Perhaps then it’s something of a relief that, by contrast, this year’s Oscar nominees are nothing short of reliably predictable.

While that may upset some of you, the nominations for the award ceremony to be held on February 27th are an indication of the state of the film industry and lack of quality it is producing these days. The old Hollywood guard seems to continue grabbing the headlines and plaudits, pushing out bloated, big production extravaganza’s that rely heavily on eye candy with little to offer in the way of plot or dialogue; while just a layer beneath that the rest of the film industry scraps away for a leg up to the top echelon, soul contracted to Satan for all eternity.

Only 8 nominations for Nolan but not for Best Director

Yes, the Oscar nominations for 2011 were delivered in the usual no-frills fashion at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills by Academy President Tom Sherak, but his announcements brought nothing in the way of shocks or surprises – except perhaps with one exception.

Christopher Nolan has been forging a reputation as a serious, intelligent film maker and his latest offering, Inception, backed up by the excellent reinvention of Batman in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as portrayed by the wooden Christian Bale (his rigidity suits the Batman role – don’t fret); adds strength to an incredibly impressive CV. His omission from Best Director is an odd call, given that film was applauded for its direction.

And onto the predictables.

While the Coen Brothers always seem to entertain, is a remake of an already classic western really worthy of an Oscar? True Grit is an all time classic, Clint Eastwood portrayed the central character flawlessly, so why remake it? Remakes cheapen the film industry and it’s a shame that the Coen Brothers have stooped so low.

The King’s Speech and The Social Network are also in line for Oscars which is fair enough I suppose, although enough people spend their lives tinkering about with Facebook, I have to ask if a film about it is really necessary.

[adsense]Elsewhere it’s great to see Josh Fox’s homemade documentary Gasland up for an award. The subject matter is something which could ultimately affect us all, as big corporations plunder the countryside and water supplies in the name of extracting natural gas – a process called fracking – and this endorsement by the Academy Awards can only help to spread his good message further.

As per usual the Oscars will be broadcast in flamboyant fashion and we’ll get to see the final outcome on February 27th, hopefully they can even muster a few surprises.

Please share your thoughts on the Oscar nominations by leaving a comment.

Read about the Best Picture nominations, Josh Fox’s Gasland, Batman and the Joker‘s psyche, as well as Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman role in forthcoming The Dark Knight Rises.

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The 83rd Oscar nominations race hots up at the Academy Awards Ceremony

The Oscar battle is once again upon us as film makers, musical directors, actors, script writers and a whole host of other titles relating to the movie industry slug it out for a coveted Oscar Award.

As always, there will be surprises, triumphs and gripes; but the Oscar Award Ceremony is always an exciting affair for lovers of films everywhere.

So what’s happening so far and who is in the running?

Up for grabs - the much coveted Oscar

It looks like The King’s Speech, which sees Colin Firth depicting a rather stuttery King George VI, is currently heading the pack in the race for Best Picture, although keen competition is being provided by True Grit, the remake of the classic western which originally starred Clint Eastwood.

Hot on their heels are Inception, the sci-fi thought provoker about dream manipulation, and The Social Network which tells the controversial tale of Mark Zucherberg, founder (and in some opinions, thief) of Facebook.

The Fighter is another film in the shake up, and both Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale will be hoping to receive some recognition for their respective parts, not to mention the drastic changes they made to their bodies.

Here’s a list of the top 10 nominations for Best Picture:

Best Picture
• “Black Swan”
• “The Fighter”
• “Inception”
• “The Kids Are All Right ”
• “The King’s Speech”
• “127 Hours”
• “The Social Network”
• “Toy Story 3″
• “True Grit”
• “Winter’s Bone”

Check back tomorrow for a full update on the winners, losers and also-rans from this year’s Oscar Award Ceremony, but for now let us know who you’d like to see nominated by leaving a comment.

Read about the Golden Globes, Trent Reznor‘s surprise award, Anne Hathaway turning lesbian with Glee, and The Golden Raspberries.

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