Archive for the The Oscars Category

AMPAS TO HONOUR VANESSA REDGRAVE & JAMES EARL JONES THIS WEEKEND

Posted in Entertainment News, The Oscars on November 9, 2011 by Miranda Wilding





FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Decades after her provocative OSCAR acceptance speech, VANESSA REDGRAVE will be honoured at the film academy’s first European tribute to an actor.

THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES said that it will honour Ms. Redgrave this Sunday in London, where she is starring with JAMES EARL JONES in the stage production of DRIVING MISS DAISY.

JAMES EARL JONES, who is to receive an honorary OSCAR Saturday at the ACADEMY’S GOVERNORS AWARDS, will fete his costar in person. The actor is skipping the GOVERNORS AWARDS ceremony in Los Angeles to continue the play’s run without interruption.

He plans to participate by video in the GOVERNORS AWARDS.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the ACADEMY will honour VANESSA REDGRAVE for her five decades in film. The legendary star has been nominated for six ACADEMY AWARDS and won for her supporting role in 1977’s JULIA, playing an anti Nazi activist murdered by the Germans. This latest honour does not involve an OSCAR statuette.

Ms. Redgrave’s win for JULIA led to one of the most startling moments in OSCAR history. The Jewish Defence League had objected to her nomination and picketed the ceremony because Ms. Redgrave had narrated and helped fund a documentary THE PALESTINIAN, which supported a Palestinian state.

In her acceptance speech, Ms. Redgrave praised the ACADEMY for not being intimidated by “a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums whose behaviour is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world and their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression.”

Her comments were met by gasps, boos and growing applause.

The ACADEMY honoured producer JEREMY THOMAS in London last year. Previous London honorees include TERRY GILLIAM, HAROLD PINTER and LEWIS GILBERT.

THE ACADEMY HONOURS SOPHIA LOREN

Posted in Awards, Phenomenons, The Oscars on May 3, 2011 by Miranda Wilding



FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

It’s a rare moment when SOPHIA LOREN doesn’t stand out. But this is one of them.

The Italian actor is posing for photos on the stage at the SAMUEL GOLDWYN THEATER at THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES, where she will be honoured Wednesday for her half dozen decades in cinema. She is enveloped in red, from the highlights in her hair to her boots to her ARMANI suit. She seems to melt into the red curtain backdrop on the stage.

But not completely. No amount of red can hide the smile, the voice, the incredible beauty.

“I love red because I think it is very nice,” she explained.

“It says Naples. It’s the vibrant life of Neapolitan people. It’s the creative side of the Neapolitan people. It’s life.”

Ms. Loren’s personal and professional lives began in Rome. She got her start in movies as an extra in the 1951 MGM epic QUO VADIS. Her breakthrough came in the Italian feature THE GOLD OF NAPLES (1954). Hollywood eventually took notice, but she didn’t truly triumph until returning to Italy and her NAPLES director VITTORIO DE SICA.

In his TWO WOMEN (1961), she played a mother who is raped while protecting her daughter in wartime. The performance earned her the first major OSCAR for a non English language performance.

The ACADEMY honoured her again in 1991, with an award for her contributions to world cinema. Nevertheless, this week’s ACADEMY tribute is clearly significant to the legendary performer.

“It means a lot to an actress who has been working such a long time in this field. Even though I have an Oscar…when they called me from this building to invite me to another big honour, it is really very moving.”

Of her work, Ms. Loren said that she is perhaps most fond of TWO WOMEN and A SPECIAL DAY (1977), the latter with frequent costar MARCELLO MASTROIANNI.

“These are the two films that really made a big impact in my career.
Anna Magnani made it very big in America, but for an American film. I succeeded in having a great success for an Italian movie, in speaking in Italian. Not in American. Not in English. So it was really a big, big thing for the industry.”

While there were periods where she slowed down a bit to raise her two children with producer husband CARLO PONTI, she really never stopped working. Her last major Hollywood feature was the musical NINE two years ago.

“The future is always something that is the unknown. Who knows? But, of course, you have dreams inside of yourself…and maybe sometimes you work for that one that you really want to make it in life. And if you think positively about it, maybe one day it will happen.”

“I am a dreamer.”

OSCARS’ BEST DRESSED 2011: MY OWN PERSONAL GALLERY

Posted in The Oscars on March 1, 2011 by Miranda Wilding





















Of all the glamorous people that attended last night’s ceremony, here are the men and women that really did it up right…

NATALIE PORTMAN
SCARLETT JOHANSSON
FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA
JENNIFER LAWRENCE
JAVIER BARDEM & JOSH BROLIN
HALLE BERRY
ANNETTE BENING & WARREN BEATTY
HAILEE STEINFELD
HELEN MIRREN

THE ACADEMY AWARDS (2011)

Posted in The Oscars on March 1, 2011 by Miranda Wilding











FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

THE KING’S SPEECH was crowned BEST PICTURE Sunday night. The monarchy drama won four OSCARS. The predicted favourites also claimed acting honours.

The Weinstein brothers resumed weaving their spell over the official awards season and spinning critical acclaim into box office gold.

THE KING’S SPEECH reaped the biggest benefit from ticket sales among the 10 contenders for BEST PICTURE — $57 million — since it garnered 12 nominations a month ago.

BOB and HARVEY WEINSTEIN, the backers of the film through THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY, have played this card before — like when they rode nominations for THE ENGLISH PATIENT to a global gross of $232 million in 1997 as the heads of MIRAMAX, where they pulled in 17 BEST PICTURE nominations and four wins.

This year, the tale of a stuttering English monarch became the first BEST PICTURE they have won as heads of THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY since starting it in 2005, but it fit a pattern they have helped establish.

The OSCARS proved again that good taste has its own rewards.

Released in just four theatres back in late November, THE KING’S SPEECH grew through critical acclaim and smaller awards to play in 1,680 locations in the U.S. and Canada on January 21, four days before the OSCAR nominations. The studio bumped the count to 2,557 immediately after.

The movie’s take nearly doubled, rising from $58 million in ticket sales to $115 million through the weekend of the OSCARS over a period in a film’s life that usually finds box office receipts dwindling quickly. It’s now made $221 million in theatres worldwide.

“You’ve got to give them credit,” said TOM SHERAK, president of THE ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES.

“Once something catches on with both the critics and word of mouth, it starts to morph…They’re good at it.”

The Weinsteins’ campaign got another boost on Friday, when the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings board granted a more tame PG-13 rating to an alternate version of THE KING’S SPEECH, in which many of the F bombs have been muted. The original got an R rating for the multiple swears unleashed by King George VI, played by COLIN FIRTH, while he struggles to overcome his speech problem.

The rating means more families will consider taking their children to see it, substantially widening the audience. The decision was unprecedented in the ratings system’s 43 year history because the board granted a waiver of a 90 day waiting period meant to prevent confusion in the marketplace.

The ruling allows the studio to immediately replace the R rated version with the PG-13 version as long as it does so in one fell swoop.

COLIN FIRTH as stammering British ruler George VI in THE KING’S SPEECH earned the BEST ACTOR prize, while NATALIE PORTMAN won BEST ACTRESS as a delusional ballerina in BLACK SWAN.

The boxing drama THE FIGHTER claimed both supporting acting honours, for CHRISTIAN BALE as a boxer turned drug abuser and MELISSA LEO as a boxing clan’s domineering matriarch.

THE KING’S SPEECH also won the directing prize for TOM HOOPER and the ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY OSCAR for DAVID SEIDLER, a boyhood stutterer himself.

“I have a feeling my career’s just peaked,” COLIN FIRTH stated.

“I’m afraid I have to warn you that I’m experiencing stirrings somewhere in the upper abdominals which are threatening to form themselves into dance moves.”

COLIN did express some frustration over the new cut of THE KING’S SPEECH, which is being re released with a PG-13 rating instead of an R.

“I don’t take this stuff lightly. But in the context of this film, it could not be more edifying, more appropriate,” he told reporters while holding his trophy backstage.

“It’s not vicious, it’s not an insult or it’s not in any of the contexts which might offend people.”

“Really, it’s about a man who’s trying to free himself through the use of certain words. I still haven’t met the person who would object, so I think the film should stand as it is.”

“Thank you so much. This is insane…and I truly sincerely wish that the prize tonight was to get to work with my fellow nominees. I’m so in awe of you,” NATALIE PORTMAN remarked in her acceptance speech.

MELISSA LEO’S OSCAR victory for THE FIGHTER was expected. KIRK DOUGLAS’ touchingly comic presentation of the award wasn’t.

The 94 year old, aided by a cane, took a moment to flirt with ANNE HATHAWAY before announcing the winner Sunday. “Where were you when I was making pictures?” he asked her.

Then he impishly delayed opening the envelope further, calling it, “The moment we’ve all been waiting for” several times, then adding, “I will never forget this moment.”

Finally, he called MELISSA’S name. The actor dropped to her knee before him and then directed him to “pinch me,” which he obligingly did.

Once she took the stage, he remarked to her, “You’re much more beautiful than you were in The Fighter.”

“You’re pretty good looking yourself. What are you doing later on?” she asked him.

MELISSA, who won for her role as the tough talking mother of two boxers (MARK WAHLBERG and BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR winner CHRISTIAN BALE), brought a bit of her character to the OSCAR podium.

“I know there’s a lot of people who said a lot of real nice things to me for several months now but I’m just shaking in my boots here. When I watched Kate (Winslet) two years ago, it looked so fucking easy,” stated MELISSA.

Backstage, she apologized to anyone offended with the word she said was inappropriate for the occasion, adding, “There is a great deal of the English language that is in my vernacular.”

MELISSA, who was a regular on TV’s acclaimed HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET a decade ago, rebounded with two OSCAR nominations, one for THE FIGHTER and another for FROZEN RIVER in 2008.

CHRISTIAN BALE earned the same prize his BATMAN costar, the late HEATH LEDGER, received posthumously two years ago for THE DARK KNIGHT. At the time, CHRISTIAN had fondly recalled a bit of professional envy as he watched HEATH perform on set like a whirlwind as the diabolical JOKER while the film’s star had to remain clenched up as the stoic, tightly wound BATMAN.

THE FIGHTER gave CHRISTIAN his turn to unleash some demons as DICKY EKLUND, a boxer whose career unravelled amidst crime and drug abuse. CHRISTIAN delivers a showy performance full of tics and tremours, bobbing and weaving around the movie’s star and producer MARK WAHLBERG, who plays DICKY’S stolid brother boxer MICKY WARD.

TOM HOOPER, a relative big screen newcomer, known for classy TV drama, took the industry’s top filmmaking prize over Hollywood veteran DAVID FINCHER, who had been a strong prospect for his Facebook drama THE SOCIAL NETWORK. The prize was presented by last year’s winner KATHRYN BIGELOW, the first woman to earn a directing OSCAR.

“Thank you to my wonderful actors, the triangle of man love which is Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and me. I’m only here because of you guys,” TOM HOOPER said, referring to his film’s male stars.

He wasn’t addressing a nation preparing for war, but DAVID SEIDLER’S acceptance of a screenwriting OSCAR represented a crowning achievement for a man who overcame a debilitating stutter as a child.

He penned the script for THE KING’S SPEECH, a film whose story of a British monarch overcoming his stutter to rally a nation to war mirrors in many ways the British writer’s own life.

“I say this on behalf of all the stutterers in the world: We have a voice. We have been heard,” the screenwriter said.

Telling the story of King George VI was a lifetime ambition for DAVID SEIDLER, who overcame his own stutter nearly 60 years ago. He was born in 1936, seven months before George took the British throne and was forced to overcome his vocal difficulty to rally the empire to face Nazi Germany.

He conquered his stammer in adolescence after undergoing many of the speech therapies portrayed in THE KING’S SPEECH, including stuffing marbles in his mouth and reciting while listening to music on headphones.

Much like the king, profanity helped him overcome his speech difficulties, which appeared in 1940 as he and his family travelled by boat to the United States.

George VI, known to friends as Bertie, curses in the film to score a breakthrough in his therapy.

“I’d like the thank Her Majesty the Queen for not putting me in the Tower Of London for using the Melissa Leo F word,” he said.

There were no tongue tie ups Sunday night when DAVID SEIDLER accepted his award and he used his speech to try to empower others with speech difficulties.

“People still have the archaic notion that we stutterers are feeble minded simply because it is difficult for us to articulate our thoughts,” he said backstage.

The OSCAR for ADAPTED SCREENPLAY went to AARON SORKIN for THE SOCIAL NETWORK, a chronicle of the birth of Facebook based on BEN MEZRICH’S book THE ACCIDENTAL BILLIONAIRES.

At the podium, he said: “Roxy Sorkin, your father just won the Academy Award. I’m going to have to insist on some respect from your guinea pig.”

Backstage, AARON had some positive words for Mark Zuckerberg, whose creation of Facebook is the basis for the film. The movie views Mark Zuckerberg from a variety of perspectives and doesn’t always place the young billionaire in the kindest light.

“He’s been an awfully good sport about this. You know, I don’t think there’s anybody here who would want a movie made about things they did when they were 19 years old. And if that movie absolutely, positively had to be made, you would want it made only from your point of view and you wouldn’t want to include also the points of view of people who have sued you for hundreds of millions of dollars and, you know, had a visceral emotional reaction to you. But that is the movie that we made.”

THE SOCIAL NETWORK also won BEST MUSICAL SCORE for TRENT REZNOR and ATTICUS ROSS.

The sci fi blockbuster INCEPTION, which came in with eight nominations, tied with THE KING’S SPEECH with four OSCARS, all in technical categories: VISUAL EFFECTS, CINEMATOGRAPHY, SOUND EDITING and SOUND MIXING.

MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM THE EVENING

“My father always said to me I’d be a late bloomer. I believe I’m the oldest person to win this award. I hope that record is broken quickly and often.” — DAVID SEIDLER, winning BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY for THE KING’S SPEECH

“In a room full of talented, inspirational people, what the hell am I doing here in the midst of you?” — CHRISTIAN BALE, winner of the OSCAR for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

“I should’ve got a haircut.” — LUKE MATHENY, winner of the OSCAR for LIVE ACTION SHORT for GOD OF LOVE

“If it wasn’t for [the visual effects people], your closest association with a superhero would’ve been in 2001 when you got busted in a cheap hotel with a woman dressed as Batgirl.” – JUDE LAW taking ROBERT DOWNEY JR. to task

“Forgive me. I must start by pointing out that three years after our horrific financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive has gone to jail…and that’s wrong.” — CHARLES FERGUSON, winner of BEST DOCUMENTARY for INSIDE JOB

LIST OF WINNERS IN SELECTED CATEGORIES

BEST PICTURE: THE KING’S SPEECH

BEST ACTRESS: NATALIE PORTMAN – BLACK SWAN

BEST ACTOR: COLIN FIRTH – THE KING’S SPEECH

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: MELISSA LEO – THE FIGHTER

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: CHRISTIAN BALE – THE FIGHTER

BEST DIRECTOR: TOM HOOPER – THE KING’S SPEECH

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: AARON SORKIN – THE SOCIAL NETWORK

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: DAVID SEIDLER – THE KING’S SPEECH

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: IN A BETTER WORLD (DENMARK)

ANIMATED FEATURE: TOY STORY 3

ART DIRECTION: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

CINEMATOGRAPHY: INCEPTION

ORIGINAL SCORE: TRENT REZNOR & ATTICUS ROSS – THE SOCIAL NETWORK

ORIGINAL SONG: WE BELONG TOGETHER – TOY STORY 3

COSTUME DESIGN: ALICE IN WONDERLAND

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: INSIDE JOB

FILM EDITING: THE SOCIAL NETWORK

VISUAL EFFECTS: INCEPTION

Previously presented honorary OSCARS: director/producer FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA, actor ELI WALLACH, director JEAN LUC GODARD and film historian/preservationist KEVIN BROWNLOW

THE GLAMOROUS LIFE: REFLECTIONS ON OSCAR CEREMONIES PAST

Posted in The Oscars on February 23, 2011 by Miranda Wilding



FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

The glamour, the gowns, the limos, the worldwide audience…and all those superstars.

THE ACADEMY AWARDS is Hollywood’s grandest pageant – and no matter how celebrated one’s stardom, a trip to the OSCARS is unforgettable.

Especially the first one.

NICOLE KIDMAN’S initial walk on the red carpet was back when she was still married to TOM CRUISE. She remembered being wowed by the scene and the sound of the screaming photographers. < So was MARCIA GAY HARDEN’S.

SOFIA COPPOLA was a little kid. JOSH BROLIN first went to the OSCARS as the guest of his nominated wife DIANE LANE. And once again this year, new performers such as 14 year old SUPPORTING ACTRESS nominee HAILEE STEINFELD are likely to log their own unforgettable memories.

Before she was nominated for MOULIN ROUGE and won for THE HOURS, NICOLE KIDMAN attended the OSCARS with then husband TOM CRUISE: “He was nominated. And I remember I got to wear this really short Valentino velvet dress and I was absolutely stunned. It was like the biggest thing I had ever seen. I couldn’t believe how loud the photographers were.”

VIRGINIA MADSEN also brought her mom – and the night is seared into her memory: “Oh, I remember every detail. I mean, I was Cinderella and I didn’t have to go home at midnight. I brought my mom with me and everything about that night was perfect. Everything was a dream come true – as I imagined it when I was five years old. I mean, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was really beautiful.”

MARCIA GAY HARDEN, who won for her role in POLLACK, also had crystal clear recollections: “It strikes me still with the clarity of a lightning bolt, that the first time I went there, I was graced to win…given the opportunity by Ed Harris to be in a great movie to play a real transformational character that caught the votes from some voters. And the glory of the night was that my dad was alive. My mom was alive. Ed was thrilled. My husband was there. It was surreal.”

Director SOFIA COPPOLA was just a kid when she attended her first OSCAR ceremony with her father FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA: “I must have been 7 or 8. I had a tuxedo dress. But I have vague memories. It was a lot of glamorous grown ups.”

MARISA TOMEI had a guardian looking over her shoulder when she was nominated and won BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS for MY COUSIN VINNY: “I remember Mary McDonnell was sitting behind me and she was so sweet. She just kept tapping my shoulder and being like, ‘How are you doing, honey?‘…I was scared and she was very motherly towards me and it was a nice little crowd that I was sitting with.”

JOSH BROLIN, who was nominated in 2008 for his supporting role in MILK, first came to the OSCARS with wife DIANE LANE when she was nominated for her lead performance in UNFAITHFUL: “There was a massive possibility that she was going to be up there soon accepting an award. But then you learn after a while that it is more about the get together and the appreciation of your peers nominating you and saying, ‘We really liked your performance.'”

Songwriter CAROLE BAYER SAGER, who has been nominated six times, remembered her first with mixed feelings: “I was at the Oscars with Marvin Hamlisch. We had both written a song called Nobody Does it Better, recorded by Carly Simon and it was for the movie The Spy Who Loved Me. And I remember trying to put that title in the lyric, and I found the line: Like heaven above me/The spy who loved me/Is keeping all my secrets safe tonight. Nobody does it better…And we lost. I don’t remember to what song. And I knew, at that moment, that the best part is being nominated because losing didn’t feel so good.”

JEFF BRIDGES, nominated for the sixth time for TRUE GRIT, said his most memorable trip to the show was last year: “It’s so exciting, you know, being recognized by your guys, saying, ‘Atta boy, Jeff. Good job.‘ Everybody standing up and all that. Oh, God, it is so thrilling. Then, to share it with my wife, who was there through the whole thing. It was a magical, magical evening for me.”

SCREENWRITER DAVID SEIDLER: PERSONAL JOURNEYS & THE KING’S SPEECH

Posted in Film, The Oscars on February 17, 2011 by Miranda Wilding


FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Telling the story of the stammering King George VI has been a lifetime ambition for DAVID SEIDLER, ever since he subdued his own stutter nearly 60 years ago.

Born seven months after George took the British throne in 1936, the screenwriter grew up paralyzed by the same impediment he depicts the monarch struggling to overcome in THE KING’S SPEECH, the BEST PICTURE favourite at this year’s ACADEMY AWARDS.

From just before his third birthday to age 16, he stumbled and sputtered over his syllables so badly that he lived in terror of speaking in class, talking to girls or even answering the phone.

“I had huge trouble with the H sound. So when the telephone rang, I would break into a cold sweat because I couldn’t say hello,” he said in an interview.

“I don’t know if school still works this way, but in those days you had set places and the teacher worked up and down the rows. If I could see her working towards me and she was just going to miss me that day, I would fake sick the next day so I didn’t have to go to school – because it was so terrifying to be called upon. There came a period when I was actually excused from responding in class. I didn’t have to speak in class. It was that bad.”

Born in Britain, DAVID SEIDLER developed a stammer in 1940 on a boat to the United States, where his family moved during World War II. He had an uncle with a boyhood stammer and thinks that his own began from the trauma of German bombs, the sea voyage and abrupt separation from his beloved nanny.

As George VI rallied his country, the young DAVID heard the king valiantly struggling through his radio addresses and hoped he might one day master his own speech troubles.

He eventually did – in his mid teens – not long after George VI died in 1952 and the crown passed to his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II. Soon after that, the desire to one day chronicle the king’s tale came to him. He had decided he wanted to be a writer while still afflicted with his stutter.

“If you’re born with two conflicting traits — in my case, I was a born ham, but I was a stutterer — and if you want to be the centre of attention but you can’t talk, you find another channel and that’s writing.”

After college, he tried playwriting, then worked in advertising, Australian television and journalism. He came to Hollywood at age 40, “which, of course, is when any writer with any common sense is leaving Los Angeles.”

His credits include FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA’S TUCKER: THE MAN & HIS DREAM, the animated feature QUEST FOR CAMELOT and ELIZABETH TAYLOR’S TV movie MALICE IN WONDERLAND.

It was not until a bout with throat cancer in 2005 that DAVID SEIDLER finally started on the story of George VI, known as Bertie to his family.

He had wanted to begin the project in the early 1980s, but Bertie’s widow, Elizabeth the Queen Mother, politely asked him in a letter, “Please, Mr. Seidler. Not during my lifetime.”

Elizabeth was in her 80s then, so he figured he would have to wait no more than a few years. But she lived to be 101, dying in 2002.

The film is built around the unlikely friendship between BERTIE (COLIN FIRTH, expected to win BEST ACTOR this year) and unconventional speech therapist LIONEL LOGUE (SUPPORTING ACTOR nominee GEOFFREY RUSH). HELENA BONHAM CARTER, a SUPPORTING ACTRESS contender, plays the Queen Mother, Bertie’s wife.

Though he had researched Bertie’s life for decades, DAVID SEIDLER also drew on his own experiences in speech therapy. He underwent many of the tricks depicted in THE KING’S SPEECH — having his mouth stuffed with marbles, reciting while listening to music on headphones.

THE KING’S SPEECH director TOM HOOPER first heard of the project from his mother, who attended a reading of a stage version that the screenwriter had created. Afterwards, she called her son and told him she had found his next project.

“It’s clearly the best script of his life,” the director stated.

“He’s really writing about his own childhood experiences through the guise of these two characters.”

DAVID SEIDLER shared another experience in his youth that Bertie undergoes in the film — when the king unleashes a torrent of cuss words in a burst of anger that momentarily frees him from his stammer.

At age 16, he experienced his very own F bomb cure.

“Adolescence had hit. Hormones were raging. I couldn’t ask girls out for a date, and even if I could and even if they said yes, what was the point? I couldn’t talk to them on a date. This was the 50s. You did talk on dates.”

Fury over his condition grew to the point that he was jumping up and down on his bed, bellowing profanity. He found it empowering.

“‘If I am stuck with this stutter,'” he recalled saying to himself, ”’you all are stuck with listening to me. I am a human being…and I’m going to talk and you’re going to have to F word listen.'”

With that psychological turn, his stutter largely faded in a few weeks, to the point that he won a small part in the school play ANDROCLES & THE LION.

(“I played a Christian being eaten by a lion in the Colosseum and I didn’t stutter as I died.”)

The front runner to win the OSCAR for BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY, he now faces the prospect of addressing a global audience the way George VI did.

What does the former stutterer feel about that?

“Terror. Abject terror. Not so much of stuttering. I’m not really concerned that I will stutter on that occasion. I think it’s more that I could easily become the new Sally Field. I could easily blubber because it’s been such a long journey and it’s such a meaningful one to me. Such a personal journey. I hope I don’t disgrace my 21 year old daughter, who’s my date for the Oscars. She’ll be sitting there mortified if her dad stands up there and can’t speak…and weeps.”

“But it would be a momentous occasion.”

THE OSCARS: 10 BEST PICTURE WINNERS THAT SHOULD HAVE LOST

Posted in The Oscars on February 17, 2011 by Miranda Wilding



LISA SCHWARZBAUM and OWEN GLEIBERMAN – EW’S esteemed film critics – have selected ten BEST PICTURE winners that should have lost to their respective competition.

Don’t get me wrong. I genuinely like some of these movies. But BEST PICTURE is BEST PICTURE…and some of the alternatives were much more worthy.

LISA makes compelling cases for:

PULP FICTION over FORREST GUMP
GOODFELLAS over DANCES WITH WOLVES
REDS over CHARIOTS OF FIRE
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN over CRASH

OWEN carries the torch for:

MOONSTRUCK over THE LAST EMPEROR
GIANT over AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS
E.T. over GANDHI
CITIZEN KANE over HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY

To get the gallery, please go here