Deadline contributor Diane Haithman filed this report.
Despite some earnest lobbying by director Martin Scorsese, the little dog from The Artist tonight snatched the Golden Collar Award for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film away from the big dog in Scorsese’s Hugo. That’s right — scene-stealer Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier who barks silently in The Artist, proved that at least for dogs, the cute comic canine tends to win out over a serious actress like Blackie, who portrays the scary Doberman guard dog who hounds the children in Hugo.
This has indeed been a big year for dogs, if not a year for big dogs, in movies. The other nominees in this category included Denver, who played Skeletor in 50/50, Hummer as Dolce in Young Adult; Cosmo as Arthur in Beginners. Uggie was a dual nominee: he also played Queenie in Water For Elephants. It’s hard to say whether Hollywood was paying much attention to Dog News Daily’s First Annual Golden Collar Awards until Scorsese started a catfight. READ MORE »
NEWS, NOTES AND ANALYSIS FROM AWARDS SEASON:
Today’s narrowing to nine finalists out of 63 entries puts the Academy’s Foreign Language process back in the spotlight. Although there were surprising omissions — notably Finland’s Aki Kaurismaki’s brilliant and clever Le Havre, one of several Cannes competition entries snubbed by the Acad’s foreign-language committee (perhaps its position as the first of the 63 films shown back in October kept it out of mind in the end) — there likely won’t be any raging controversy over these mostly admirable choices. Controversy was the reason the Academy switched to its new system a few years ago where the larger, mostly older and more mainstream volunteer committee would get their six top vote-getters in and the Acad’s Foreign Language executive committee — headed by Oscar-winning producer Mark Johnson — would get to choose three more generally edgier movies with strong international reputations whose omissions might have caused an outcry. That was the case in the past when movies like City Of God were bypassed in favor of more conventional fare.
This year’s list generally jibes with what I had heard coming out of the committee over the past three months and in conversations with some exec committee members. The entries from Canada, Denmark, Germany, Iran, Israel and Poland were all much-buzzed-about contenders. Belgium’s Bullhead, Morocco’s Omar Killed Me and Taiwan’s 4 1/2-hour epic Warriors Of The Rainbow: Seediq Bale all played in the final 10 days of the three-month screening process, likely to much smaller groups of voters who ranked them very high. In fact, I heard Warriors’ Saturday morning screening January 7 was sparsely attended but enthusiastically received. It causes a problem for this weekend’s final nine screenings (to a committee of 20 members in LA and another 10 in New York) who will be blurry-eyed at the end of the process of viewing all these contenders. Poland’s In Darkness is just under 2 1/2 hours itself. Read More »