February 3, 2010
Early Tuesday morning the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out their nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards. This is the first year since 1943 (when Casablanca won) that the Academy is expanding the list of Best Picture nominees to 10, up from the traditional five. The Academy’s original goal in increasing the field of nominees was that more popular films would be nominated, rather than a handful of independent films few are familiar with. It’s safe to say, they got their wish.
Not only were predictable entries nominated, such as “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker”, but so were a few surprises that included crowd favorites such as “The Blind Side” and “District 9”. Even Pixar’s “Up” was nominated, making it the second film to ever be nominated for an Oscar. Of course, this year even if the list of Best Picture nominees hadn’t expanded, “Avatar”, the biggest box office winner of all time, was a lock for one of the slots. Read more
November 30, 2009
While we all still may be sluggish from all the turkey and stuffing on Thanksgiving, the North American box office sure wasn’t. It set a record for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend as once again “The Blind Side” surprises everyone. The Sandra Bullock movie defied expectations to earn another $40 million over the five-day period, almost topping “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” as the winner this weekend. Proof positive that Sandra Bullock is a movie star.
So is George Clooney, whose “Up In The Air” opens on Friday. According to Claudia Eller of the Los Angeles Times the film is proving to be a marketing challenge for its distributor, Paramount. Apparently the studio is afraid Jason Reitman’s humorous drama about corporate downsizing may touch a raw nerve. But how could this critically acclaimed movie be a marketing challenge? We’ve got two words that might help Paramount’s advertising campaign: George. Clooney. Sheesh, maybe we should be marketers.
Actually, maybe we should become linguistics experts instead. USC linguistics professor Paul R. Frommer was brought in by James Cameron – writer and director of a little upcoming release called “Avatar” – to develop the language of the 10-foot tall blue Smurfs – um. . . aliens – who inhabit Pandora, the setting for the film’s conflict. Read more