Entertainment behind the scenes
from AxisMundi Jerusalem:
In one of the biggest surprises on Oscar night, the animated Israeli documentary Waltz with Bashir did not walk away as many expected with the famed statuette in the Foreign Film category, which instead went to Japanese film Departures.
Even the star of Departures acknowledged he was expecting Waltz with Bashir to win the Academy Award.
The hype in Israel surrounding the movie- which won a Golden Globe earlier in the year - had provided a spark of optimism in the country where politics, regional relations and the economy have been weighing heavily on the public mood.
Some are already suggesting the failure of Waltz on Hollywood's biggest night was some form of censure for the recent Israeli offensive in Gaza.
***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.
(Writing by Lisa Baertlein)
Glamour ruled on Hollywood’s biggest night, and “Slumdog Millionaire” star Freida Pinto was brilliant in a blue John Galliano gown, supporting actress winner Penelope Cruz donned a 60-year-old Balmain and best actress winner Kate Winslet dazzled in a one-shoulder number from Yves Saint Laurent.
Stars like Heidi Klum and Natalie Portman added splashes of color, but many stars including Anne Hathaway, Cruz, Taraji P. Henson and Evan Rachel Wood wore white and other light colors.
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.
Kate Winslet, who is nominated for an Oscar for best actress in ”The Reader,” has been happy to take her clothes off for the sake of her art.
But those days may be over.
“I think I won’t do it again: a) I can’t keep getting away with it, and b) I don’t want to become ‘that actress who always gets her kit off,’” Winslet told Time magazine, in a profile that ran on its website on Thursday.
After recently speaking to Kate Winslet about “The Reader,” (click here) we remembered this small item about the British star who is favorite for a best actress Oscar at the weekend for her portrayal of a former concentration guard in “The Reader”.In an episode of the spoof TV series ”Extras” in 2005, the 33-year-old played an actress playing a nun in a Holocaust drama. Asked why she had accepted the role, her character – and it should be said Winslet was playing it firmly tongue-in-cheek in keeping with the spirit of the show — replies: “I’m doing it because I’ve noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust, (you’re) guaranteed an Oscar. I’ve been nominated four times. Never won. The whole world is going, ‘why hasn’t Winslet won one?’”"The Reader,” which recalls the Holocaust, now brings Winslet up to six nominations. As yet, there is no Oscar statuette. Was the scene on Gervais’ “Extras” just a coincidence? Or, was it part of a cunning Oscar campaign plot hatched all those years ago?(Okay, it was a comedy, but you never know).The real question is, will ”The Reader” land her the big prize in the face of tough competition from Meryl Streep in “Doubt”?
Six months ago, most of Hollywood’s actors had probably never heard of the all-Indian cast members in the rag-to-riches tale “Slumdog Millionaire” by British director Danny Boyle. And then, on Sunday, the Screen Actors Guild chose them as the best film ensemble cast of the year — an award that is dear to actors because it comes from actors, arguably the toughest critics of their own craft.
Although “Slumdog” is a favorite to win best picture at the Oscars next month after winning at SAG, the Producers Guild and the Golden Globes, the SAG award came as a surprise to the four Indian actors who collected it. Anil Kapoor, a veteran Bollywood actor, said “it was overwhelming to be nominated, but to win this is unbelievable.”
British actress Kate Winslet keeps picking up awards for her 2008 film roles and admits she is struggling with her acceptance speeches.
On Sunday, she won best supporting actress from the Screen Actors Guild for her role as a German woman with a Nazi past in “The Reader,” adding to her double win at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago.
It’s that time of year again. Right about now the British media is either wringing its hands in despair over the state of UK cinema or blowing its trumpet loudly in praise of its prodigious acting and directing talent as the movie awards season gets underway.
Kicking things off was the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, and, judging by reaction on this side of the pond, we could re-name it the “Golden Gloats”. True, Brits and their films did fare pretty well this year, but I wonder if it’s not better to hold off until the big one — the Oscars.