Entertainment behind the scenes
Hugh Jackman brought his singing and dancing act to the Oscar awards ceremony and “Slumdog Millionaire” walked off with a leading 8 Oscars.
***Veteran showman Hugh Jackman pulled out all the stops in his first stint as Oscar host, gamely singing and dancing his way through the night’s five best picture nominees with rarely seen Broadway flair.
In the musical number that traditionally kicks off the awards ceremony, Jackman — deadpanning that the Academy had cut back on the glitz this year because of the recession — pranced between cut-outs illustrating the reverse-aging of Benjamin Button; sat at a bare-bones set of the fictional quiz show in “Slumdog Millionaire”; roped in an ostensibly bemused Anne Hathaway to recreate the “Frost/Nixon” interview; stood on a “soapbox” Milk-crate; and, finally, stood on the top ropes of a make-shift wrestling rink as paper Oscars unfurled on either side.
The choice of Hugh Jackman to host the Oscars on Sunday has generated plenty of talk, because he is no comedian and Hollywood is wondering how a song-and-dance man like Jackman will fare at the high-pressure job, which usually goes to funny men and women such as Billy Crystal, Jon Stewart or Whoopi Goldberg.
But average folks on the Web think the Australian actor will do just fine. In a poll on celebrity news site PopEater.com, 85 percent of respondents think he will do either “great” or “OK”. Only 15 percent of the 31,000 respondents expect Jackman will be “terrible” at hosting the Oscars.
It was perhaps the biggest snub of the Oscar nominations, actor/director Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” was overlooked by voters at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with no — zero — nominations. Or, was it?
The studio behind Batman movie “The Dark Knight” has set Jan. 23 as the date for the movie’s re-release in IMAX and conventional theaters.
Studios often re-release movies in the lead-up to the Oscars, and “The Dark Knight” has been talked about for a number of trophies.
Hollywood’s movie awards season got seriously underway with the Golden Globe nominations on Thursday. But have those who pick the best movies and actors of the year got it right?
Some pundits are already crying foul over the absence of Australian actress Cate Blanchett, Brad Pitt’s co-star in ”The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, from the Golden Globe contenders, not to mention the fact that the San Francisco gay drama “Milk” got just one nomination, for actor Sean Penn.
Give audiences a blockbuster Batman movie called “The Dark Knight” with zany villains, and all of a sudden everyone’s a casting director.
A survey by movie rental company Blockbuster has found Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie — in that order — are the top two favorites of fans for starring roles in an expected next Batman film.
Keith Leopard, director of film product for Blockbuster, said Depp or Jolie could really bring a Batman villain to life. However it will be up to Warner Bros, the studio behind the film, to cast the next Batman movie.
The survey also listed fans most requested villains for the next Batman movie are: The Riddler (a clue-giving criminal); Harley Quinn (a Harlequin jester); Cat Woman (Batman’s bad girl love interest); The Penguin (a mobster with a penchant for umbrellas); and Bane (a muscle-bound foe).
Several of those characters have appeared in Batman movies since Warner Bros launched the modern version of the movie saga in 1989. Notably, The Penguin was played by Danny DeVito in 1992 and comedian Jim Carrey took a turn as The Riddler in 1995.
“The Dark Knight” has made nearly $1 billion worldwide since it opened on July 18, and the late Heath Ledger has been talked about as a possible Oscar contender for his role as The Joker in the film.
The hype around Friday’s release of the “The Dark Knight” has reached a fever pitch, with Heath Ledger’s dark turn as the Joker generating an avalanche of posthumous Oscar buzz.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone has called Ledger’s performance “mad-crazy-blazing brilliant,” while the sequel’s director Christopher Nolan has raved in the New York Times that Ledger’s portrayal of the sadistic makeup-caked villain is “stunning” and “iconic”.
The new Batman movie “The Dark Knight” has already impressed critics in advance of its Friday opening, but at its New York premier, the family of late Australian actor Heath Ledger gave the film their mark of approval.
The performance of Ledger as Batman’s nemesis The Joker has sparked speculation among critics that he could win an Oscar posthumously.
Kim Ledger attended the premier of his son’s movie in New York on Monday with his wife, Ines, who was Heath’s step-mother. The actor’s mother, Sally Bell, and his sister, Kate Ledger, also attended. The only close family not there was Ledger’s former partner Michelle Williams, and mother of his daughter, Matilda.
After the movie, the Ledgers released a statement quoted in various media outlets saying: “‘The Dark Knight’ is everything we hoped it would be and more. Heath loved the experience of creating this character and working on the film. We are so proud of our boy.”
Kim Ledger also reportedly gave a thumbs-up sign at the premier when asked what he thought of “Dark Knight.”
Ledger, 28, died alone in his Manhattan apartment in January from an accidental overdose of prescription medications. If Ledger is nominated for an Oscar for his role as The Joker, it would not be his first. He also won a nomination for his role as a gay cowboy in the 2005 film “Brokeback Mountain.”