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Academy Awards : Oscar Winners For 2011

Best Picture: “The King’s Speech”

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Colin Firth for “The King’s Speech”

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Natalie Portman for “Black Swan”

Best Director: Tom Hooper for “The King’s Speech”

Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale for “The Fighter”

Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo for “The Fighter”

Best Art Direction: “Alice”

Best Cinematography: ‘Inception’

Best Animated Short: ‘The Lost Thing’

Best Animated Feature: ‘Toy Story 3′

Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for “The Social Network.”

Best Original Screenplay: David Seidler “The King’s Speech.”

Best Foreign Film: ‘In a Better World’ from Denmark

Best Documentary Feature: “Inside Job”

Best Documentary Short: “Strangers No More”

Best Live Action Short: “God of Love”

Best Original Score: “The Social Network”

Best Original Song: Randy Newman – “We Belong Together” for Toy Story 3

Best Sound Mixing: “Inception”

Best Sound Editing: Richard King – “Inception”

Best Film Editing: “The Social Network”

Best Costume: “Alice”

Best Make-up: “The Wolfman”

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in AWARDS, hollywood

 

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aamir khan aur remakes ki daastaan – part 1 of 2

Today, 14th March, is Aamir Khan’s birthday. I wish him a very Happy Birthday.

https://i2.wp.com/oorrkut.com/bollywood/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/aamir-khan.jpgI have wanted to write this article from a long time, to be precise after the release of Mann. Eventually, after the release and the super-success of Ghajini I have got down to writing it. There is something with Aamir and movie remakes, he has consistently been a part of movies which are remakes. Its definitely not his fault that he has featured in them, its the writer-director who were looking for a quick and readymade storylines  and of course the producer for easy money. And let me also say that he is not the only star to feature in remakes, as we all know, but the quality of the remakes is what differentiates him from the rest. Why I have analysed him is because, out of the 40 odd movies that he has made, nearly 10 of them have been remakes which is like 25%. Let me go ahead and write down about these movies in a chronological manner of their release wrt Aamir’s filmography.

1. It Happened One Night – 1934 : Clark Gable played the male lead Peter, he even went on to win the Oscar for the Best Actor. It was a
heart-warming movie with a smiple storyline. A small time reporter Peter is looking for a big story and he meets a high-browed lady Ellie
[Claudette Colbert] who has escaped from the clutches of her dad and is on the run to meet her beau. How they both make the journey from
Florida to NY, the small squabbles that they have and how they eventually fall in love with each other is what the movie is about.The
movie went on to win 5 Oscars; apart from Clark Gable, Claudette won the Best Actress, Frank Capra won the Best Director, it was awarded
the Best Movie and Best Writing/Adaptation.

The formula was a sure-shot success, and so in 1956 a movie named ‘Chori Chori’ starring Raj Kapoor and Nargis was released. Raj Kapoor
played the struggling reporter named Sagar while Nargis was Kammo. The highlight of this movie was the songs and especially the puppet-act of
Raj and Nargis. The movie had some brilliant compositions from Shankar-Jaikishan like ‘Panchhi Banoo Udti Phiroon’, ‘Aaja Sanam Madhur Chandni Mei Hum’, ‘Jahan Mai Jaati Hoon Wahin Chale Aate Ho’ and ‘Rasik Balma’. SJ won the Filmfare for Best Music Director.

If you watch Mehmood’s Bombay To Goa, you can see the same theme where Aruna Irani is trying to escape to meet her lover Shatrughan Sinha and is guided all the way by Amitabh Bachchan. But it was dished out in a different way, they changed the screenplay totally and added the
comedy angle to it. This occured to me just now, wonder why I did not think of it earlier.
Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin
Anyways, the person who did not deviate from the original screenplay was the Robin Bhat-Mahesh Bhat duo. They stayed faithful to IHON and
in 1991 came Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin starring Aamir Khan as Raghu Jaitley and Pooja Bhatt as Pooja. Aamir exuded the same kind of charm
as Clark Gable. In fact, he went a few notches up in the emotional sequences where he could neither stop Pooja from meeting her lover nor
could he tell her that he has fallen for her. Aamir played the role with gusto beginning with the telephone-booth sequence, then the
request-for-lift scene and ending it with the elopement. The entire journey was fantastic, but the magical moment has to be the one where
he starts humming ‘Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke’ with a cigarette between his lips and Pooja in his arms. Only after this does he realise that he
has started liking Pooja. The movie received 4 Filmfare nominations, for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Comedian [Anupam Kher playing
Pooja’s father] and Best Female Singer. Anuradha Paudwal took home the award for the title track, while the rest just remained nominated.

2. Breaking Away – 1979 : This was a really nice movie about a good-for-nothing dude Dave Stoller [Dennis Christopher] who has no aim
or ambition and leads a non-chalant life. His parents keep reminding him about his responsibilities but he just loves spending time with
his friends and riding the bicycle. He has a chance meeting with a beautiful girl Katherine [Robyn Douglass] and to make friends with her he fakes his identity to be a guitar playing Italian exchange student. While he is dating Katherine an entourage of Italian bikers happen to come to his town for a Little500 race. He loves watching them pratcise and shows his talent with the bicycle. He hopes to get close to them by showing that he can keep up to their pace, but he beats them in a friendly dash; but instead of lauding his effort they just push him into a ditch. That really breaks Dave’s herat and he loses all respect for the Italian cyclists. He decides to take part in the Little500 race wearing the ‘Cutters’ jersey; referring to the lesser privileged people who are not able to complete their education but take pride in hardwork. He ofcourse goes on to win the race and create history. The movie won the Oscar for Best Writing, Screenplay; but it lost in the 4 other categories Best Director, Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Music.

https://i2.wp.com/www.musichouseltd.co.uk/shop/images/JO%20JEETA%20WOHI%20SIKANDAR%20DVD.JPGIn 1992, Mansoor Khan took a lot of inspiration from this movie and made Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. I have used the word ‘inspiration’ because the movie was not a scene-to-scene remake. Lots of new things were introduced, but the plot, storyline and the spirit of the original was kept intact. Mansoor wrote a brilliant screenplay and dialogues by Nasir Hussain were really good, they breathed a life into the Sanjaylal character played by Aamir Khan. They retained the sub-plot of Aamir faking his identity and calling himself a Xavier student so he can go around with Devika[Pooja Bedi] and ultimately she gets to know the truth. The friendship of Sanjaylal and Anjali[Ayesha Jhulka] was handled with maturity and utmost honesty. Mansoor Khan introduced an emotional quotient attaching a prestige to the Annual Cycle Race and added the nostalgia of Sanjaylal’s dad[Kulbhushan Kharbanda] having won the race once upon a time. And the burden of bringing home the cup rested on Ratanlal [Mamik], Sanjay’s elder brother. But when Ratanlal is severely injured from an accident inflicted upon by the Rajput College boys, Sanjaylal takes it upon himself to bring home the coveted honor and take revenge against the Rajput College boys. The movie won the Filmfare for Best Film. Aamir was excellent in the movie, to say the least.

3. Houseboat – 1958 : This movie starred Carry Grant as Tom Winters, who works in the state department of Washington and Sophia Loren as
Cinzia who is the daughter of an Italian conductor. The movie is about Tom whose estranged wife dies in a car crash and he decides to raise the 3 kids, but the kids despise him. In his effort to befriend the kids he takes them to a concert, but the youngest kids get bored and goes out to have some fresh air and play his harmonica. The kid runs into Cinzia who has runaway from home after a small squabble with her dad. Cinzia is able to strike a chord with the kids and since she has nowhere to go, she accepts Tom’s offer of being their housemaid/nanny. After some wandering around and having seen their travelling house [home on wheels] getting destroyed due to a speeding train; they finally move into a houseboat. Tom’s sister-in-law who has a crush on him tries to woo, but slowly and surely Tom finds himself falling for Cinzia. How they get married and how the kids finally accept their dad and new mom is what the rest of the movie is about.

https://i1.wp.com/s.chakpak.com/se_images/13474_-1_564_none/hum-hai-rahi-pyar-ke-wallpaper.jpgIn 1993 a movie titled after a popular Dev Anand song released, the movie was Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke. It was again the combination of Robin Bhat-Mahesh Bhat who systematically copied the movie scene-by-scene. The only thing that they changed was that, the kids were Aamir Khan’s nephews and nieces and not his own. And Aamir becomes the caretaker of the kids after the sad demise of his sister and brother-in-law in a car crash. They also introduced the character Mishraji [Mushtaq Khan] who had returned from Japan after getting trained in assembly-line production; and they made use of this by adding the twist of having to deliver the bulk order of 1 lakh shirts. Apart from this, rest of the movie remained faithful to the original. It was so faithful that the Cinzia character’s Italian dialogues were translated to suit Juhi Chawla’s tamil character Vyjayanthi. The concert, mouth-organ playing kid, taking the kids to visit the museum, Vyjayanthi’s advise of treating the kids with maturity were all the same as in the original. All the kids did a great job, especially Kunal Khemu who went onto become an actor. Aamir was also the Assisstant Director of this movie, in fact this was the phase when Mahesh Bhat was considered to be the most busy director, so busy that he was supposedly giving instructions over the phone; that was the reason for Aamir to step-in as Assisstant Director. This did not stop the movie from winning the Filmfare for Best Actress, Best Film and Best Lyricist[Sameer].

4. Kramer Vs Kramer – 1979 : It was a movie about a marriage gone wrong and a divorce case ending up in a courtroom. Dustin Hoffman as
Ted Kramer, a workaholic from advertising industry marries Joanna Kramer, played by Merly Streep. One day when he returns home after being given a big assignment with a new client, he finds his wife walking away. She wishes to walk-out on him, leaving behind her son Billy. Now, its upto Ted to look after Billy. He does so with some help from Margaret, his neighbour. One day, as they sit around the park while the kid is playing, Billy has a minor accident and is bleeding profusely. Ted makes a mad rush to a hospital amidst the traffic and speeding cars. A year and half later, Joanna returns to seek custody of Billy and this is where a bitter court battle ensues. There is a lot of bad blood and lot of vicious remarks being made about Ted’s carelessness in taking care of the baby. Finally, Joanna being a mom, wins the battle on emotional grounds and Ted is left alone. The movie won 5 Oscars, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Picture and Best Writing, Screenplay.

https://i0.wp.com/www.musichouseltd.co.uk/shop/images/Akele%20Hum%20Akele%20Tum.jpgMansoor Khan could not resist this movie as well. In 1995 he remade this movie and titled it ‘Akele Hum Akele Tum’. He just changed the fields of interest, i.e., Aamir Khan as Rohit is a promising singer who sings for a club and awaiting his opportunity to sing in a movie. His love interest Kiran, played by Manisha Koirala, is learning classical music. She is a fan of Rohit and she makes it to one of his New Year shows where they meet and falling in love seems inevitable. Soon after the breezy romance they get married and realise that life is not easy. Kiran is ambitious and she is not willing to sacrifice her singing so she walks out on him, leaving Rohit with his son Sunil, played by Aadil. How Rohit and Sunil manage  together and how Kiran comes back into their lives to reclaim Sunil forms rest of the courtroom drama. Aamir gave a very well restrained performance but the same cannot be said of Manisha. The movie had some good songs but was marred by plagiarism where Anu Malik lifted the famous Last Christmas song of George Michael. Also, there was a rubbish spoofing of Nadeem-Shravan duo; Shafi Inamdar and Harish Patel played the crook music directors Amar-Kaushal, who are after Rohit’s composition. I am not sure whose idea it was, TIPS guys or Anu Malik but it was in bad taste. Anyways, the movie bombed at the box-office. Only Aamir and Adil’s performance added some value to the otherwise dull movie.

5. Godfather – 1972 : How does one even start-off talking about a movie like ‘Godfather’. I shall not go into the plot and drama because its totally unnecssary. And I will not be able to say anything that has not already been said.

In 1975 Feroz Khan paid tribute to Godfather with his version named Dharmatma. But he twisted the plot towards the second half, where instead of allying with his father and their forces Feroz plays against them. Feroz Khan repeated the same concept in Jaanbaaz and Yalgaar without much success. In 1992 a movie named Zulm Ki Hukumat was released. The movie starred Dharamendra as Pitamber Kohli and Govinda played Pratap Kohli aka Michael of Godfather. This was one of the first proper remakes of Godfather. The movie fared pretty well and I liked Govinda’s perfromance.

https://i0.wp.com/content6.flixster.com/movie/10/85/20/10852076_pro.jpgEven after all this, we still had Aamir in line to pay tribute to Godfather. So, he acted his part in Atank Hi Atank which released in 1995. He played the role of Michael, which Al Pacino had played. In fact, it was quite fascinating to see Aamir with a moustache and his wet-hair all combed back, he looked like he meant business. This movie had Rajnikanth playing Sonny, I think the only time that Aamir and Rajni have ever worked  together. But none of this could save the movie at the box-office.

to be continued …

Click here for part 2 of 2

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Posted by on March 14, 2010 in bollywood, hollywood, movies

 

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Oscar Winners’ Acceptance Speeches

https://i0.wp.com/newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40755000/jpg/_40755131_trophy203.jpgThe most interesting aspect of any award ceremony is the acceptance speech. Sometimes the acceptance speech becomes far too political, like what Sean Penn did when he went left-liberal and included the communists along with gays in his  speech, sometimes the winners become far too emotional like Gwyneth Paltrow and Halle Berry, sometimes it brings out the gymnast in them like Roberto Benini, sometimes they are humorous; but thankfully most of the times the winners remain calm and composed. I am compiling a small list of some of the most memorable and best winning acceptance speeches.

Resul Pookutty, Best Sound Mixing-Slumdog Millionaire,2009
I come from a country and a civilization that given the universal word. That word is preceded by silence, followed by more silence. That word is Om. So I dedicate this award to my country.
Thank you, Academy, this is not just a sound award, this is history being handed over to me.

Woody Allen
Thank you very much. That makes up for the strip-search.

Julia Roberts, Best Actress, 2000
[with reference to 45 sec time limit] I’m so happy, thank you. A girl’s got to have her moment. Everybody tries to get me to shut up. It didn’t work with my parents and it didn’t work now.

Cameron Crowe, Best Original Screenplay, Almost Famous
If they say, ‘I don’t like your movie,’ it’s kind of like saying, ‘I didn’t like your life.’ And then they say, ‘By the way, it was a little too long.’

Kate Winslet, Best Actress, 2009
I’d be lying if I haven’t made a version of this speech before I was 8 years old and staring into the bathroom mirror. And this would have been a shampoo bottle. Well, it’s not a shampoo bottle now.

Valli O’Reilly, Best Make-up, Lemony Snickets
I’d like to formally apologize to all the actors for making them look so unfortunate. But it was worth it, wasn’t it?

Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress, The Aviator
I don’t have a sense of entitlement or that I deserve this. You’d be surprised at the lack of competition between nominees – I think a lot of it’s imposed from the outside. Can I have my champagne now?

Pedro Almodovar, Best Foreign Film, All About My Mother
Right now I don’t know if I have dreamt about this or not. But when you are in the ocean you must swim. Being on the race for the Oscars, logically I want to win.

Ben Affleck
Losing would suck and winning would be really scary. And it’s really, really scary.

Hilary Swank, Best Actress, Million Dollar Baby
The truth is, after Boys Don’t Cry, I realized how few and far between the great roles are. I am beyond thankful for finding Million Dollar Baby.

Morgan Freeman, Best Supporting Actor, Million Dollar Baby
Getting a standing ovation was kind of humbling that so many people are so happy that I have been named for this award. A lot of people say you’re due – maybe you are, maybe you aren’t – it’s an accolade.

Kim Basinger, 1998
I just want to thank everybody I’ve ever met in my entire life.

Steven Spielberg, Best Director, Saving Private Ryan
Am I allowed to say I really wanted this? This is fantastic.

Angelina Jolie, Best Supporting Actress, Girl, Interrupted
I’m in shock. And I’m so in love with my brother right now, he just held me and said he loved me.

Sean Connery
You know, the Oscar I was awarded for The Untouchables is a wonderful thing, but I haven’t changed and I can honestly say that I’d rather have won the US Open Golf Tournament

Jack Nicholson
I guess this proves there are as many nuts in the Academy as anywhere else.

Grace Kelly, 1954
This is one night I wish I smoked and drank.

Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting
It’s like winning the golden dude. A great honor. Before I didn’t have the chance of the Jamaican Bobsled team of winning now I do. [After thanking everyone else]Most of all, I want to thank my father, up there, the man who when I said I wanted to be an actor, he said, ‘Wonderful. Just have a back-up profession like welding

James Cameron, Best Director, Titanic
I am the king of the world!

Penelope Cruz, Best Supporting Actress,2009
Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one. Thank you so much to the Academy.

Tan Dun, Best Original Score Oscar for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
My music is to dream without boundaries. Tonight, with you, I see boundaries being crossed. As a classic musical composer, I am thrilled to be honored here.

Brad Bird, Best Animated Feature, The Incredibles
Animation is about creating the illusion of life. And you can’t create it if you don’t have one.

George Clooney, Best Supporting Actor, 2006
I didn’t really work on anything, because I thought there were four others who were going to win, so… strange.

Hilary Swank, Best Actress, Million Dollar Baby

I don’t know what I did in this life to deserve all of this. I’m just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream.

Louise Fletcher, 1976
I’d like to thank Jack Nicholson for making being in a mental institution like being in a mental institution. I loved being hated by you.

Bob Dylan, Best Original Song for Things Have Changed, Wonder Boys
I want to thank the members of the Academy who were bold enough to give me this award for this song which, obviously, is a song that doesn’t pussyfoot around or turn a blind eye to human nature. God bless you all with peace, tranquility and good will. Thanks.

Steven Soderbergh, Best Director Academy Award, Traffic
Suddenly, going to work tomorrow doesn’t seem like such a good idea.

Maurice Jarre, Best Score, Passage to India, 1985
I was lucky Mozart was not eligible this year.

Jessica Yu, Best Short Subject Documentary, 1997 Academy Awards
What a thrill. You know you’ve entered new territory when you realize that your outfit cost more than your film.

Michael Caine, Best Supporting Actor, The Cider House Rules
I was watching all the others [nominees] and thinking back when I saw all the performances… thinking how the Academy has changed the phrase from, ‘And the winner is’ to ‘the Oscar goes to.’

Daniel Day-Lewis
My deepest thanks to the members of the Academy for whacking me with the hansomest bludgeon in town

Rick Baker, Best make-up artist, How the Grinch Stole the Christmas
I learned on my own face, that’s why I look like this.

Steve Box, Best Animated Feature Film, 2006
Somebody once said if you make a bad film, you make it alone. If you make a great film, everybody made it with you.

Richard Attenborough, Gandhi, 1983
Gandhi simply asked that we should examine the criteria by which we judge the manner of solving our problems. That surely in the 20th century, we human beings, searching for our human dignity, could find other ways of ultimately solving our problems than blowing the other man’s head off. He begged us to reexamine that criterion.

Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress, The Aviator
Thank you to Martin Scorsese. I hope my son will marry your daughter.

John Dykstra, Best Visual Effects, Spider-Man 2
Boy, am I glad there wasn’t a fourth episode of Lord of the Rings.

Jack Lemmon
I’d rather make the cut in the Crosby than win another Oscar.

Cate Blanchett, Best Supporting Actress
Thank you to the Academy, who know Katharine Hepburn so well and are so intimately acquainted with her work. This is an indescribable surprise.

Chris Rock
[while referring to black actors] It’s always good to see some color in the room that doesn’t have mops.

Reese Witherspoon, Best Actress, 2006
Oh my goodness! I never thought I would be up here in my whole life.

Dianne West, Best Supporting Actress, Hannah and Her Sisters
Gee!, this isn’t like I imagined it would be in the bathtub.

Sally Field, 1985
I haven’t had an orthodox career, and I’ve wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it, and I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!

Denise Robert, Best Foreign Language Film
We’re so thankful that The Lord of The Rings did not qualify in this category

Dustin Hoffman, 1980
[while looking at the statue] He has no genitalia and he’s holding a sword. I’d like to thank my parents for not practicing birth control. I’m up here with mixed feelings. I’ve been critical of the Academy … and for reason. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to be able to work. I’m greatly honored for being chosen by the producer Stanley Joffe and the director Bob Benton, and to have worked in a family with them. And with Meryl, and with Justin, who if he loses again, we’ll have to give him a lifetime achievement award. And to Jane Alexander, and to Jerry Greenberg, and to Nestor, and to the crew on the film, who was part of that family. And to the crews, and to the directors, like Bob Fosse, and Mike Nichols, and John Schlesinger, that I have worked with before. We are laughed at when we are up here sometimes, for thanking, but when you work on a film, you discover that there are people who are giving that artistic part of themself that goes beyond a paycheck. And they are never up here, and many of them are not members of the Academy, and we never hear of them. But this Oscar is a symbol, I think. And it is given for appreciation from those people who we never see. They are a part of our life. I refuse to believe that I beat Jack Lemmon, that I beat Al Pacino, that I beat Peter Sellers. I refuse to believe that Robert Duvall lost. We are a part of an artistic family. There are 60,000 actors in this Academy, pardon me, in the Screen Actors Guild, and probably 100,000 in Equity. And most actors don’t work, and a few of us are so lucky to have a chance to work with writing and to work with directing. Because when you’re a broke actor, you can’t write, you can’t paint … you have to practice accents while you’re driving a taxi cab. And to that artistic family that strives for excellence, none of you have ever lost. And I am proud to share this with you, and I thank you.

AR Rahman, Best Original Score – Slumdog Millionaire, 2009 Before coming I was excited and terrified. The last I felt like that was doing my marriage… uummm… there is this dialogue from a Hindi film called mere pass ma hai …which means I have nothing but I have my mother…so mother’s here… her blessings are there with me.

By the way, I had done a small write-up on the Oscar winners from India, just in case you are interested.

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Posted by on March 11, 2010 in AWARDS

 

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Academy Awards : Oscar Winners For 2010

Best Actress: Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

Best Actor: Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

Best Foreign Language Film: El Secreto de Sus Ojos, Argentina

Best Film Editing: Bob Murawski and Chris Innis, The Hurt Locker

Best Documentary Feature: The Cove

Best Visual Effects: Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Beneham and Andrew R. Jones, Avatar

Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino, Up

Best Cinematography: Mauro Fiore, Avatar

Best Sound Mixing: Paul N. J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett, The Hurt Locker

Best Sound Editing: Paul N. J. Ottosson, The Hurt Locker

Best Costume Design: Sandy Powell, The Young Victoria

Best Art Direction: Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg and Kim Sinclair, Avatar

Best Supporting Actress: Mo’nique, Precious

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, Precious

Best Makeup: Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow, Star Trek

Best Live Action Short Film: Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson, The New Tenants

Best Short Subject Documentary: Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett, Music by Prudence

Best Animated Short Film: Nicolas Schmerkin, Logorama

Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker

Best Original Song: Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett, ‘The Weary Kind’, Crazy Heart

Best Animated Feature Film: Up

Best Picture: The Hurt Locker

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker

Click here for the nominations

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2010 in AWARDS, hollywood

 

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Academy Awards : Oscar Nominations For 2010

Actor in a Leading Role

Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
George Clooney in Up in the Air
Colin Firth in A Single Man
Morgan Freeman in Invictus
Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker

Actor in a Supporting Role

Matt Damon in Invictus
Woody Harrelson in The Messenger
Christopher Plummer in The Last Station
Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds

Actress in a Leading Role

Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
Helen Mirren in The Last Station
Carey Mulligan in An Education
Gabourey Sidibe in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia

Actress in a Supporting Role

Penélope Cruz in Nine
Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
Mo’Nique in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire

Animated Feature Film

Coraline: Henry Selick
Fantastic Mr Fox: Wes Anderson
The Princess and the Frog: John Musker and Ron Clements
The Secret of Kells: Tomm Moore
Up: Pete Docter

Art Direction

Avatar
Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith

Nine
Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim

Sherlock Holmes
Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

The Young Victoria
Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

Cinematography

Avatar: Mauro Fiore
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: Bruno Delbonnel
The Hurt Locker: Barry Ackroyd
Inglourious Basterds: Robert Richardson
The White Ribbon: Christian Berger

Costume Design

Bright Star: Janet Patterson
Coco before Chanel: Catherine Leterrier
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus: Monique Prudhomme
Nine: Colleen Atwood
The Young Victoria Sandy Powell

Best Director

Avatar: James Cameron
The Hurt Locker: Kathryn Bigelow
Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire: Lee Daniels
Up in the Air: Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)

Burma VJ: Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
The Cove: Nominees to be determined
Food, Inc. Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
Which Way Home: Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)

China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province: Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner: Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
Music by Prudence: Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
Rabbit à la Berlin: Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing

Avatar: Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
District 9: Julian Clarke
The Hurt Locker: Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
Inglourious Basterds: Sally Menke
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire: Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film

Ajami: Israel
El Secreto de Sus Ojos: Argentina
The Milk of Sorrow: Peru
Un Prophète: France
The White Ribbon: Germany

Makeup

Il Divo: Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
Star Trek: Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
The Young Victoria: Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

Avatar: James Horner
Fantastic Mr Fox: Alexandre Desplat
The Hurt Locker: Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
Sherlock Holmes: Hans Zimmer
Up: Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)

Almost There from The Princess and the Frog: Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Down in New Orleans from The Princess and the Frog: Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
Loin de Paname from Paris 36: Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
Take It All from Nine: Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) from Crazy Heart: Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best Picture

Avatar: James Cameron and Jon Landau
The Blind Side: Nominees to be determined
District 9: Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham
An Education: Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey
The Hurt Locker: Nominees to be determined
Inglourious Basterds: Lawrence Bender
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire: Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness
A Serious Man: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Up: Jonas Rivera
Up in the Air: Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman

Short Film (Animated)

French Roast: Fabrice O Joubert
Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty: Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte): Javier Recio Gracia
Logorama: Nicolas Schmerkin
A Matter of Loaf and Death: Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)

The Door: Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
Instead of Abracadabra: Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
Kavi: Gregg Helvey
Miracle Fish: Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
The New Tenants: Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing

Avatar: Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
The Hurt Locker: Paul N J Ottosson
Inglourious Basterds: Wylie Stateman
Star Trek: Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
Up: Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing

Avatar: Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
The Hurt Locker: Paul N J Ottosson and Ray Beckett
Inglourious Basterds: Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
Star Trek: Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J Devlin
Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen: Greg P Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects

Avatar: Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R Jones
District 9: Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
Star Trek: Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

District 9: Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
An Education: Screenplay by Nick Hornby
In the Loop: Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire: Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
Up in the Air: Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)

The Hurt Locker: Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino
The Messenger: Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman
A Serious Man: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Up: Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy

Click here for the winners

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2010 in AWARDS, hollywood

 

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slumdog millionaire – a true story

AR Rahman picked up 2 Grammy awards today for Slumdog Millionaire

This is an astounding achievement. Slumdog Millionaire sweeping the Oscars, just as it had done at the GG and Baftas. Its a true story of survival, of destiny and of dreaming big.

I am not talking about Jamaal and Saleem, I am talking about Rahman and Resul and all other Indians involved with this movie. These guys, from a humble background, on the dint of their hardwork, committment and dedication to the art, grit and determination, went on to win international awards and accolades. And unlike Jamaal, who took a wild guess at the last answer to become a millionaire, they have come up the hard way.

AR Rahman – We all know of Rahman’s struggling days, how after death of his father his family had to put musical instruments on hire to make ends meet. Here’s your true story of a boy who starts playing those very instruments to make a living, who converts to another faith to make peace with himself and find solace, who starts off as a musician creating jingles, then gets a big break in Mani Ratnam movie, moves to Hindi film music, then conquers the imagination of west with his Bombay Dreams and finally wins the GG, Bafta and Oscar … there’s your movie. A man with love in his heart, music in his soul, dreams on his mind and destiny on his forehead. AR Rahman, the flagbearer of Indian film music, winning two Oscars, one for Original Score and the other for Original Song, this is a dream come true.

Resul Pookutty– an FTII product, who moved to Mumbai to work in sound-mixing and did some great work in Black, Bluffmaster, Saawariya, Gandhi My Father[his self-confessed best work until now] and finally SDM. From anonymity to stardom, but it has not changed him a wee bit. He won the Oscar for Sound Mixing, shared the honors with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke.

Gulzar – a poet, a wordsmith, a man with some brilliant thoughts and the conviction with which he pens his thoughts, is one of the best writers that Inida has produced. He started his career way back in 1960’s, assissting Bimal Roy, writing dialogues, penning lyrics, then went onto write some fantatsic stories which he directed and brought to light with his wonderful screenplay. His volume of work speaks for itself, ranging from social issues to political battleground to soft and sensitive children’s movie to the subtle romantic moments which we remember long after time has faded all other memories. His command of urdu, phaarsi and hindi is just amazing. From winning a dozen awards back home to winning an Oscar for Original Song, he shared the honors with AR Rahman, he come a long way.

Anil Kapoor – born in a chawl in Tilak Nagar, Bombay in 1958. He was educated in Chembur. His father was a film producer and so was his brother, but they always seemed to be unlucky with their production house becasue they bandked on the wrong movies. After tasting success with Mr.India and other works like Lamhe, Tezaab etc they produced RKRCKR which was a disaster. To make-up for the financial losses he made some really crappy movies like Andaz and Mr.Azad. But he came out of that bad patch with some really good movies like 1942ALS, Virasat, Taal etc. He has seen the ups and downs of the film industry, the dust behind the stars. Though he was neither nominated nor won any award, he danced and celebrated the most whenever SDM picked an award. His enthusiasm was rubbing off on everybody and created really good vibes.

Irfan Khan, Saurabh Shukla – fantastic actors in their own rights. Irfan said in some interview that his role in SDM was chopped for the benefit of the movie, that’s how non-interfering and unselfish he is, just lets his work do the talking. A brilliant actor who has made his mark in the west as well, with movies like The Warrior and Namesake. Saurabh is a terrific writer himself, and his effortless acting is wonderful. Whether he is playing kallu mama of Satya or the chomping-glory boss in Dasvidaniya, he does it with such ease and finesse. Their contribution in the movie might have been small, but was noticeable.

Dev Patel, Freida Pinto – they have just started out and this comes as a shot in the arm for them. From hereon, they can choose their career and movies, as well as their bf’s and gf’s.

And finally, Danny Boyle, the man who made all this possible. Though I have my own issues with the movie, nevertheless, he deserves every bit of the success that has come his way. He made it possible to bring together these talents under one cinematic vision. Although I do believe that, had the movie been from an Indian production house, it would not have been noticed so much, but yet, its the content that matters too. He took his chance, shot the movie in India with total conviction, over-played a few things, but still the end-product was endearing. Its a proof that hardwork always pays off, albeit a little late. The moment his name was associated with the movie, it started going places. His credibility drove the movie, brought-in the audiences, entralled the masses and the critics and made history.

Smile Pinki was another entrant which won the Best Documentary/Short Subject award. They made it to the red carpet all the way from UP, fairytale stuff. Awesome stuff !

Its a red-letter-day for us, we should mark this day in the annals of film history and otherwise…3 oscar winners bring glory to India, make us proud. Jai Ho !!!

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2010 in AWARDS, bollywood, movies

 

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A.R.Rehman!!! Jai Ho!!

Today, 6th Jan, is AR Rahman’s birthday!

I shall pick from where Ratnakar left off, in his fantastic tribute to AR Rahman. I had actually started writing this post much earlier, the day after the Oscar ceremony, but when I found that such a beautiful tribute was already adorned to the Mozart from Madras, I changed track and decided to write a sequel starting from post-2001 phase.

So, Lagaan was out and Rahman won the National Award for his mesmerizing music. He had rasied the bar for himself and he was no more competing with any body but himself. The year 2002 was a great mix of fantastic contemporary music as well as classical stuff from the master. For the younger generation there was Saathiya which had the wonderful vocals of Sonu Nigam in the title track, we had Adnan Sami crooning Aye Udi Udi, Sadhna Sargam sang the melodious haunting Chupke Se, while Rahman himself lent his voice to the Mera Yaar Mila De song; all songs written from the magical pen of Gulzar. Rahman was being played all over the place, songs like Humdum Suniyo Re and Chori Pe Chori were being aired repeatedely on radio. Then, there was The Legend Of Bhagat Singh which brought back old memories of freedom struggle. Its always tough to re-create music for songs that have been in public memory for ages, but Rahman was able to carve a niche of his own with his version of Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna and Mera Rang De Basanti Chola. Apart from the patriotic songs like Des Mere Des Mere and Pagdi Sambhal Jatta, there was the romantic touch with smooth numbers like Mahive Mahive and Jogiya Jogiya. While his songs were played with gusto in up-North, down-South was no different where he created a consternation with the music of Baba which sold a million copies off the shelf within a week due to the combo of Rajnikanth and music of Rahman; and his sensitive and touching music in Mani Ratnam’s heart-warming Kannathil Muthamittal for which he won another National Award was excellent.

Rahman was not quite himself in 2003, not many of his albums did well. Although he gave some very good music in movies like Boys and Tehzeeb, it did not live upto the expectations. Meherbaan was one of the songs from Tehzeeb that actually stayed on people’s mind for sometime, but rest of the songs were as forgetable as the movie itself. Even the movie Boys was quite a let down, not many people connected with the movie, the songs were scattered genius, but could not really take-off. The year also saw the release of Rahman’s first international album which was the soundtrack for a Chinese movie called Tian Di Ying Xiong, named Warriors Of Heaven And Earth. The movie had 16 tracks, in which the theme song Mirage was recorded in 3 languages…Mandarin, English and Hindi. After the release of the movie, the soundtrack was released in a separate album titled Between Heaven And Earth.

After 1994 wherein Rahman had 10 music releases, 2004 was his next busiest year with release of another 10 albums, the best one being Swades. The movie was brilliant and the soundtrack was an amazing mix of patriotism, romance, lullaby, dramatic stuff in the form of ram-leela. Ye Jo Des Hai Tera, wonderfully sung by Rahman, is one of the best songs that I have heard; it has pain, patriotism, emotions and the pangs of separation from motherland. The lorie Ahista Ahista starts off softly and beautifully and ends in a crescendo with Udit Narayan doing total justice to the lullaby. The ram-leela song Pal Pal Hai Bhari gives the feeling of a live drama and the lyrics complement it very well. Both the romantic songs, Saawariya and Dekho Na, had its heart in the right place. And Yuhi Chala Chal is a typical road-song which moves from preachy to passionate lyrics. All the songs were penned by Javed Akhtar who did a terrific job with the lyrics and the thought process behind them.

Yuva also released in the same year. The song Fanaa had a dizzying feel to it while Khuda Hafiz felt like a dip in the pool of music. Kabhi Neem Neem and Badal Jo Aye were soft and sweet numbers while Dhakka Laga Buka and Dol Dol were fast paced numbers. The beauty of Rahman’s albums is the mix that he comes up with, there is always something for everybody. While Yuva and Swades had some great songs, Meenaxi-A Tale of Three Cities and Lakeer-Forbidden Lines were just lack-lustre. Ye Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Chinnamma Chilakkamma was hummable but did not have the same Rahman feel to it. While the music of Lakeer and Dil Ne Kise Apna Kaha was indifferent. Rahman did a small guest number in Subhash Ghai’s Kisna and gave, the otherwise dull movie, one good song in the form of Hum Hain Iss Pal Yahan and a good theme music. Rahman also had a couple of Tamil releases, best of them being New. The film took a great opening, but ran into controvery in 2005, with the Madras High Court banning the movie on the grounds that it aroused sexual feelings in youngsters. Nevertheless, the music was a runaway success.

Then came the music of Mangal Pandey in 2005. I loved the music of the movie, I liked the movie too. Once again, there was a heady mix of patriotism, a ballad number, courtesan song and a Holi song. The title track sung by Kailash Kher had a nice ring to it and it went to the extent of becoming a trance, such was the magic of Rahman. Tumhari Adaon Pe Mai Vari Vari was too soft to be a courtesan number, but the way Rahman used the payal-jhankar worked for it. The Holi number Dekho Ayi Holi, which also featured Aamir Khan saying a few lines, is a much under estimated Holi song. It has all the touches of a Holi number, but could not quite get the recognition because of the movie’s short stay at theatres. The ballad number O Chhalia O Rasiya was nice too, a really good attempt in this genre.

The music of Water was also released the same year. The music did not work for a lot of people because it had a strong classical touch, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The sad and haunting tracks Naina Neer Bahaye and Piyo Ho are heart-wrenching and brings a lump in the throat. Vaishnavo Janto is beautifully re-created by Rahman; the only happy songs were Shyam Rang Bhar Do and Ayo Re Sakhi; but the movie had some great background instrumental tracks. It was a collector’s album and certainly not meant for the masses.

The music that the masses swoon for, came in 2006, in the form of Rang De Basanti. Another smashing hit from Rahman with a great title track sung by Daler Mehendi, and a fantastic collection of songs ranging from sufi based Khalbali to country music of Roobaroo, from the revolutionary Khoon Chala to the romantic Tu Bin Bataye, and from the melodic Luka Chhupi to rebellious Apni To Paathshala. It also had a bonus in the form of Aamir Khan mouthing Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna with the brilliant background chorus, really inspiring. The music took the movie to another level altogether, the lyrics by Prasoon Joshi reflected the mundane, preachy, patriotic and romance so well. Rahman’s touch was evident all through the album.

Rajnikanth’s much awaited Shankar directed movie Sivaji came with a bang in 2007. This was the third album for Rajni-Rahman combo, and the album was a huge hit. The song I am white, also called Style, was much appreciated by the masses for Rajnikanth’s make-up and the parrot colored hair dyes. Athiradee featured Rajni saving a girl from a gang-bang where he makes an appearance on a bike with a guitar, Rahman lent his own voice to this song. The song Vaaji had elaborate sets, a la Bhansali, where Rajni is treated like a king. The album also had a romantic song sung by Udit Narayan and Chinmayi called Sahana. Each and every song highlighted Rajni in a different manner and Rahman struck the right chords.

In the same year came Mani Ratnam’s movie Guru. The music of this movie was not a major hit unlike his other Mani Ratnam’s movies, but it was good nonetheless. Barso Re Megha showcased Shreya Ghosal’s learnings of classical music, and Aye Hairathe Aashiqui was soothing to the ears with the delicate voices of Hariharan and Alka Yagnik. But the toast of the album was Rahman’s vocals in Tere Bina, ably supported by Chinmayi. Maiyya Maiyya displayed Rahman’s talent with Persian music and the belly-dance rhythm and Jaage Hain was another masterpiece which had such inspirational lyrics, I only wished that it went on a little longer. In the same year came Rahman’s soundtrack and background score for Elizabeth-The Golden Age in association with Craig Armstrong.

But the most important year for Rahman’s career came in 2008, wherein he was heard in 5 different albums and each from a different genre. Jodha-Akbar was a periodical tale of the Mughal story, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na was for the youth of today who appreciate peppy numbers like Pappu Cant Dance Saala, then there was Ghajini which was a typical masala movie with songs like Guzarish and Behka Mai Behka. Subhash Ghai came out with his Yuvraaj, but the sound of this movie was a little off-track. The only songs that stayed with people was Tu Meri Dost Hai and Tu Muskura. People forgot the movie faster than they forgot the songs. And then came the music of Slumdog Millionaire which won him the BAFTA and Golden Globe. Although, he has given much better music than this, fate would have it otherwise. His soundtrack won him two Oscars as well, for Original Song and Original Score.

Rahman’s strength lies in his great understanding of music from different regions. The way he grasped the pahadi touch in Kariye Na in Taal, the punjabi flavour in title track of Rang De Basanti and Pagdi Sambhal Jatta, the Bengali influence in Kabhi Neem Neem, the Persian sounds in Maiyya Maiyya, its just incredible. Whether he is producing music for Water or for Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, whether its Guru or Provoked, whether its Yuva or Swades, which are movies of different genre and different themes, but one thing that stands out is his great sense of music, his wonderful sense of rhythm and understanding the context of the movie.

I want to mention two other particular things about his music. Just listen to his Quawallis/Sufi music in Piya Haji Ali, Khwaja Mere Khwaja, Arziyan and Satrangi Re, Chhaiyya Chhaiyya and you can actually breathe the music. His deep understanding of the music for the soul is unbeatable. At the same time pick up his bhajans like O Palanhare or Eshwar Ya Allah Ye Pukar Sunle or Ek Onkar or Eshwar Allah Tere Jahan Mei or Man Mohana, and its soul-stirring. Rahman’s music is divine, a gift of God. No wonder that when he won the Ocsar he said “All my life I’ve had a choice of hate and love. I chose love and I’m here. God bless”

This post was first published on PFC

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2010 in bollywood, movies

 

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