While other pretty boy young actors concern themselves with music side projects, James Franco is getting bookish. The Milk star started grad school in creative writing at New York University last fall, and now he's sold a short story collection to Simon & Schuster. No word on how much they paid for Franco's stories, and while his celebrity will certainly help sell books, Simon & Schuster is a well-respected imprint.
Franco's next big film role is also literary. He's set to play Allen Ginsberg in the upcoming film Howl, about the obscenity trial over the beat poet's famous poem. Posted 03.04.09 by reelz
Sean Penn, who next to Best Original Screenplay winner Dustin Lance Black, made the most political statements in his acceptance speech, was asked mostly political questions backstage after his Oscar win. Both Penn and Black were asked what they think President Obama should do about gay rights in America. Penn felt confident that gay rights would change:
We know his public position as far as the specific issue of gay marriage has not been, let's say, officially supportive of that. I would like to believe that that's a political stand right now and not necessarily a future one or a felt one. Because it's not a luxury, it's a human need, [Obama]'ll adapt. I'm more focused in letting him know that we will support him in taking those kinds of initiatives.
Earlier, Black was also vocal about gay rights after he accepted his Oscar:
There's a few things that I would love him to do immediately, which is to repeal "don't ask don't tell," and DMA, Defensive Marriage Act. But I do think that for inspiration for the gay community, we need to look not to Proposition 8, but dream bigger and look back to 1964 and the Civil Rights Act, because no group has ever won full civil rights in this country going state by state or county by county. I think it is time for the gay and lesbian community to have a federal civil rights act for full civil rights.
As for Mickey Rourke, Penn continued to be complimentary to the actor he took the Oscar from:
I've known Mickey for over 25 years. He had me almost throughout The Wrestler, weeping. Comebacks are funny, and we talk about it with [Rourke], but everyone in this room has to make a comeback every day. I think what's sensational about him is what's always sensational about him; he's one of the great poetic talents in acting that we have. Posted 02.23.09 by Ryan
Posted 02.22.09 by reelz
8:02 Heath Ledger's family spoke backstage about the late actor's Oscar going to his daughter Matilda. According Heath's father, Kim Ledger: "With the Oscar you're all aware what they do in this specialcircumstance for somebody when somebody passes away, then the nextof kin, in this case Matilda, will be the recipient really. But shecan't sign for it until she's 18, so it stays in trust here or inAustralia. We'll work that out, but possibly in trust here untilMatilda turns 18." Onstage, Slumdog wins for the 6th time, this time with Best Song winner "Jai Ho."
8:08 Backstage, Richard King, winner in Sound Editing for the Dark Knight said those who worked on the movie "wanted director Chis Nolan to be nominated." Onstage, Japan's Departures wins for Foreign Language Film. Domo Arigato again, Mr. Roboto. Wherever you are.
8:15 Resul Pookutty, Sound Mixing winner for Slumdog, talked about the "history" he spoke of in his acceptance speech. "No technician from India has been nominated," he said. "I am the first technician from India to be nominated and to win. It is an honor." Another feel-good story from the feel-good movie on a hot streak of wins.
8:23 Best Director presenter Reese Witherspoon, whose dress made it look like she was wearing a backpack, gave out the award to...Danny Boyle for his incredible work on 28 Days Later, er, Slumdog Millionaire, making the tally a strong 7 awards, clearly the movie with the most awards. Sorry, Button. There's still the Actor in a Leading Role and Best Motion Picture awards.
8:29 Time for the big run-out of awards, with both Leading Actor and Actress awards, and Best Motion Picture. First up, Leading Actress. And the Oscar goes to...Kate Winslet for The Reader, winning over 15-time nominee Meryl Streep."I'd be lying if I didn't say I'd practiced this speech before, I think I was probably eight years old and staring into the bathroom mirror. This [the Oscar] would have been a shampoo bottle. Well, it's not a shampoo bottle now," said Winslet.
8:37 Now it's time for the men. This year's version of clips from the actual performance, the round table of big name presenters, here included Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley, Robert DeNiro, Anthony Hopkins and, well, Adrian Brody, as well. Sitting behind Mickey Rourke is Twilight's Robert Pattinson, who could not look more bored. And the award went to...Sean Penn for Harvey Milk. "You commie, homo-loving sons of guns," Penn told the crowd. " Then Penn went political, talking about the "signs of hatred" which were held by protesters near the Oscars saying such loving quotes as "God Hates Obama" and had no love for the gay community. Penn ended with a shout-out to "brother" Mickey Rourke, who many thought would be the winner tonight, a small reward for the upset.
8:50 The Best Motion Picture category went back to clips, before handing the award to the clear favorite...Slumdog Millionaire. Hope you enjoyed a great Oscars. Stay tuned to Reelz.com for Oscars wrap-up! Posted 02.22.09 by Ryan
4:58PM Hey, Ryan here live in the press room at the Academy Awards. The show has yet to officially start, with a half hour of red carpet interviews left before the show begins, plenty of time to get your Oscar Bingo Cards ready.
5:39 With the red carpet portion of the show done, it's time to see what Hugh Jackman can do as host of the Academy Awards. Plenty of jokes about his home country, and the usual host opening number. He might not be a comedian, but I can't imagine Billy Crystal pulling off the dancing so well.
5:43 Now that Jackman's obligatory Wolverine plug is over , it's time to see an Award, starting with Actress in a Supporting Role. And the award goes to...Penelope Cruz for Vicky Christina Barcelona.
5:52 Time to award the writers. Dustin Lance Black wins for Original Screenplay for Milk with an emotional and politically-minded speech. The Oscar for Adapted Screenplay is next, with Simon Beaufoy's script winning for Slumdog Millionaire, in what could be the first of many Slumdog Oscars.
6:05 The fairly new catagory of Best Animated Feature Film is next, with three whole movies nominated: WALL-E, Bolt and Kung Fu Panda. And the winner, no surprise to anyone, is...Bolt. I'm kidding! Of course, it's WALL-E.
6:10 An early favorite for best speech of the night goes to Japan's Kunio Kato, winner for Animated Short Film, who thanked a variety of people including "Mr. Roboto." Cue the band with STYX! No? Oh, ok. Well, anyway, great speech, Kunio.
6:24 With 10 nominations for Slumdog Millionaire and 13 for Benjamin Button, the running tally for the two most nominated movies stands as 1 for Slumdog to 2 for Button after Button wins for both Achievement in Art Direction and Makeup.
6:25 Twilight sighting! I couldn't tell what was happening when Robert Pattinson was on stage due to all the high-pitched screaming in the press room.
6:30 Emotions still run high backstage for Dustin Lance Black. "Harvey gave me his story and it saved my life," he said. The same could be said for Penelope Cruz, however, she continued where she left off at the end of her acceptance speech, speaking mostly in Spanish. If she had said "The library is green" I definitely would have understood it, but I'm pretty sure she didn't. Wait, she spoke in English! Cruz mentions that she wondered about the "tone" of Vicky Christina Barcelona, but "never doubted the genius of Woody Allen."
6:34 Make that 2 to 2! Slumdog wins another, this time for Cinematography. Posted 02.22.09 by Ryan
Echoing its own underdog plot, Slumdog Millionaire came out on top with five "Bests" at the Critics' Choice Awards tonight: Picture, Director, Writer, Young Actor/Actress, and Composer.
The only other multiple award winner was Sean Penn (Milk), who received critical nods for Best Actor and Best Acting Ensemble. For more details, see 14th Annual Critics' Choice Awards Winners. Posted 01.08.09 by reelz