Tag Archives: annette bening

The 2010 Gotham Independent Film Award Nominations Announced: Who Made The Cut?

21 Oct

The Film Award Season has officially began with the nominations announcement of the 20th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards , ceremony that will take place on Monday, November 29th at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City, where winners will be announced.

Indie film “Winter Bones”, “The Kids Are All Right” and Lena Dunham’s “Tiny Furniture” led the nominations with each garnering two total.  “Bone” took three nominations, including best feature, best ensemble performance (for Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, and Kevin Breznahan), and best breakthrough performance (Lawrence).  In the best feature category, the film was joined by Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan,” Derek Cianfrance’s “Blue Valentine,” Lisa Cholodenko’s “The Kids Are All Right,” and Matt Reeves’ “Let Me In.”

The big snubs were Annette Bening for “Kids” and Portman for “Swan”, both of which are said to be front runners for the Academy Awards.

The 2010 nominees for the 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards are:

Best Feature
Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky, director; Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Brian Oliver, Scott Franklin, producers (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Blue Valentine
Derek Cianfrance, director; Jamie Patricof, Lynette Howell, Alex Orlovsky, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Kids Are All Right
Lisa Cholodenko, director;  Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Celine Rattray, Jordan Horowitz, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Philippe Hellmann, producers (Focus Features)

Let Me In
Matt Reeves, director; Simon Oakes, Alex Brunner, Guy East, Tobin Armbrust,  Donna Gigliotti, John Nording, Carl Molinder, producers (Overture Films)

Winter’s Bone
Debra Granik, director; Anne Rosellini, Alix Madigan-Yorkin, producers (Roadside Attractions)

Best Documentary
12th & Delaware
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, directors/producers (HBO Documentary Films)

Inside Job
Charles Ferguson, director; Charles Ferguson, Audrey Marrs, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Oath
Laura Poitras, director/producer (Zeitgeist Films and American Documentary/POV)

Public Speaking
Martin Scorsese, director; Martin Scorsese, Graydon Carter, Margaret Bodde, Fran Lebowitz, producers (HBO Documentary Films)

Sweetgrass
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash, directors; Ilisa Barbash, producer (Cinema Guild)

Best Ensemble Performance
The Kids Are All Right
Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson (Focus Features)

Life During Wartime
Shirley Henderson, Ciarán Hinds, Allison Janney, Michael Lerner, Chris Marquette, Rich Pecci, Charlotte Rampling, Paul Reubens, Ally Sheedy, Dylan Riley Snyder, Renée Taylor, Michael Kenneth Williams (IFC Films)

Please Give
Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall, Ann Guilbert, Lois Smith, Sarah Steele, Thomas Ian Nicholas (Sony Pictures Classics)

Tiny Furniture
Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe, Merritt Wever, Amy Seimetz, Alex Karpovsky, David Call,  Jemima Kirke, Sarah Sophie Flicker, Garland Hunter, Isen Hunter (IFC Films)

Winter’s Bone
Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Lauren Sweetser, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan (Roadside Attractions)

Breakthrough Director
John Wells for The Company Men (The Weinstein Company)

Kevin Asch for Holy Rollers (First Independent Pictures)

Glenn Ficarra and John Requa for I Love You Phillip Morris (Roadside Attractions)

Tanya Hamilton for Night Catches Us (Magnolia Pictures)

Lena Dunham for Tiny Furniture (IFC Films)

Breakthrough Actor
Prince Adu in Prince of Broadway (Elephant Eye Films)

Ronald Bronstein in Daddy Longlegs (IFC Films)

Greta Gerwig in Greenberg (Focus Features)

Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone (Roadside Attractions)

John Ortiz in Jack Goes Boating (Overture Films)

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
Kati With An I
Robert Greene, director; Douglas Tirola, Susan Bedusa, producers

Littlerock
Mike Ott, director; Frederick Thornton, Laura Ragsdale, Sierra Leoni, producers

On Coal River
Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood, directors; Jillian Elizabeth, Adams Wood, Francine Cavanaugh, producers

Summer Pasture
Lynn True and Nelson Walker, directors/producers; Tsering Perlo, co-director/co-producer

The Wolf Knife
Laurel Nakadate, director/producer

Have you seen any of these films?

Check out “The Kids Are All Right” and my review below, definitely worth seeing!

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The Kids Are All Right – A Film Far Better Than All Right!!!

14 Aug

So far this year, it has become the year I have seen the least number of films since I started going to the movies—age 14.  Nevertheless, I don’t give up completely, as there are those little movies that from time to time pop-up, as it’s the case of the following films: The Kids Are All Right, The Disappearance of Alice Creed and Life During Wartime.  Each of these films have released over the last several weeks, but even those I am being a bit cautious about seeing.  I have heard great things about all three of them and Todd Solondz is the director of Life During Wartime, whose films I enjoy very much.

So, I went to the local theater to check out one of these films to end my curiosity, and I got tickets for Lisa Cholodenko’s new film The Kids Are Alright“. Not to be confused with the 1979 musical documentary by The Who, also called: The Kids Are Allright or their single by the same name.  Interestingly enough I don’t recall noticing this song being played during or after the film, which would have been perfect.  I did hear a couple of David Bowie songs however, which I enjoyed very much.

To my delight I ended up liking the film very much!  The film was poignant and felt very personal to the director, as Lisa herself had gone through something very similar herself, as she became pregnant in 2006 by the way of an anonymous sperm donor.

The film officially released to the general public following the LA Film Festival on July 31st, where it premiered locally.  The story centers around a lesbian couple, Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening), who each give birth to a girl and a boy respectively using the same anonymous sperm, donated by Paul (Mark Ruffalo), as we find out in the film.

Nic and Jules are in committed relationship until Paul comes back into the picture via the kids (Joni and Laser) desire to find out who their biological father was.  Their relationship is put to test indeed, as Jules—who is very insecure and dependent on Nic—realizes that something is missing in her life and that she’s bored, so she decides to just let go.  Nic on the other hand is a doctor who believes in rules and controlling the family, the breadwinner in the house.  Nic’s “exhaustingly controlling” behavior as Joni calls it becomes overbearing and begins pushing everyone away from her.  Jules’ stay-at-home mom life changes as she decides to begin her own landscape design business to start being more independent from Nic, and follow a new passion, as her children are all grown-up.  Joni is turning 18 and will be leaving for college and her little brother Laser isn’t so little anymore, as he is finishing high school soon, and will follow her shortly after.

Although Nic and Jules don’t want Paul to come into the picture, they are influenced by the kids to eventually all meet and make friends.  Little does Nic know of how much trouble this would really bring to her life?  Paul, a late 30s co-op farmer and restaurant owner comes into the picture, and the kids and Jules become very fond of him.  Nic and Jules’ relationship come to a to a point where it is fully compromised and they realize how much pain is causing one to the other once everything comes to light.  The climactic scene at the dinner table just when Nic was just beginning to feel comfortable with Paul is masterful.

Cholodenko’s subtlety is stirring, as one expects an all-out war at the dinner table, Nic just sits there in slow motion and just watches.  What the director is able to do here with this script is pure magic.  Her story is very compelling and the actors beautifully tell the story to the audience in a very organic way.  Annette Bening’s performance is a knockout!  She becomes Joni very convincingly, and mark my words; if there is any justice in Hollywood this performance should at least guarantee her a place on the Best Actress Academy Awards short list.  Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo were also very strong and delivered very solid performances.  And the kids were better than all right; they were perfectly casted, as at one moment—at the beginning of the film—they made the entire family feel like the perfect family.

The film is without doubt one of the few best films I’ve seen this year and highly recommended to anyone.  The film was released to universal acclaim since it premiered on January 25, 2010 at the Sundance Film Festival and at the 60th Berlinale festival, where the film was awarded with a Teddy award.  The nation’s top critics rate the film 96 out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes, which says a lot about the film.  I rated 90% on my Icine book and highly recommend it to anyone to go see it!

I am also going to set away some time this summer to go see Solondz film: Life During Wartime and The Disappearance of Alice Creed, so stay tuned for reviews for those films to follow soon…