At the star-studded Academy Awards on Sunday, Martin Scorsese's mob epic "The Departed" won best picture, earning the filmmaker the directing prize that had eluded him throughout his illustrious career.
"Could you double-check the envelope?" said Scorsese, who had been referred to as the greatest living American filmmaker without an Oscar. He also had never delivered a best-picture winner before, despite crafting such modern masterpieces as "Raging Bull" and "Goodfellas."
Scorsese received his Oscar from three contemporaries and friends, Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. "So many people over the years have been wishing this for me," Scorsese said.
In a possible Academy indication, 'Little Miss Sunshine' won four Independent Spirit Awards, including best feature, in ceremonies Saturday February 24, in Santa Monica, California.
Founded in 1984, the awards were originally known as the FINDIE ("Friends of Independents") Awards. In 1986, the awards were renamed the Independent Spirit Awards.
In addition to the top feature prize, 'Sunshine' also won a directing award for Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, a first-screenplay prize for Michael Arndt and a supporting actor trophy for Alan Arkin.
This year is the 79th Annual Academy Awards (Feb. 25th), or more commonly known as the Oscars. Big winners from previous award shows (Babel, Dreamgirls, Departed, and Little Miss Sunshine) are expected to do well, and some late arrivals (Blood Diamond and Notes on a Scandal) just might sneak away with a couple awards. Regardless, it will make for an entertaining awards show as so many quality films are in the running. Listed below is a recap of the nominees by category for the Oscars, and they are as follows:
Performance by an actor in a leading role:
Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson” (THINKFilm)
Peter O’Toole in “Venus” (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Council)
Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)
The buildup to the Oscars continues, with the Screen Actors Guild Awards held Sunday, January 28th. Top movie releases and television shows vied for yet another piece of hardware to throw in the trophy case. Also at stake, another stab at swaying Academy voters' last second ballots.
The ceremonies were attended by film and television’s leading actors at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center. The honorees were selected by the active Guild membership nationwide.
Released by the SAG website, Julie Andrews was presented with Screen Actors Guild’s highest honor, the 43rd Annual Life Achievement
Honored with individual awards were Jennifer Hudson, Helen Mirren, Eddie Murphy and Forest Whitaker for performances in motion pictures and Alec Baldwin, America Ferrera, Jeremy Irons, Hugh Laurie, Helen Mirren and Chandra Wilson for performances in television.
They are finally in! The stars soon will be getting all done up to walk the red carpet. The Oscars are a nominee favorite not only due to the prestige, but also for the attendee gift baskets. These babies feature everything from pda handhelds to luxury hotel vouchers to estee lauder cosmetics (typically valued around $40,000 per basket!!!).
Meanwhile, the hit movie "Dreamgirls" led Academy Awards contenders with eight nominations, but surprisingly was shut out in the best picture category after being considered a potential front-runner.
The sweeping ensemble drama "Babel" was close behind with seven, including best picture and acting honors for two newcomers to U.S. audiences, Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi.
Other best-picture nominees were the bloody crime saga "The Departed," the World War II spectacle "Letters From Iwo Jima," the road-trip comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" and the monarchy-in-crisis chronicle "The Queen."
Following is a list of all of the nominees and the categories for which they represent.