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Jennifer Lawrence, best actress, Winter’s Bone: “I had already done my screaming and jumping because John Hawkes had been nominated and he got announced before, so I was just kind of still out of breath, heart still beating from that,” Lawrence tells THR of listening for her own name to be announced after her Winter’s Bone co-star’s nom. “I didn’t really feel anything at first and then when I was looking at the TV and I heard my name and saw my face on the television screen, I just kind of snapped. All my friends and family started jumping up around me and started screaming so I followed suit and started screaming.” The nomination comes a week after the young actress’ appeared on THR‘s cover. “It’s one of the only magazines that I’ve bought that I was in,” says Lawrence. “I can’t remember the last time, but I really loved that picture.”
Javier Bardem, best actor, Biutiful: ‘I am truly honored for this nomination. And deeply thankful to the Academy members for their trust and support. Also to all of those who showed their support to my work in Biutiful I express my heartfelt gratitude. I am very happy for Alejandro (González Iñárritu) and everyone who has made possible the special movie we made together. It’s really a huge honor to have been nominated in a non-English speaking performance and in the name of all my colleagues in Spain and mine I want to show my gratitude to the Academy for support and a recognition in this nomination for the movie Biutiful.”
Jesse Eisenberg, best actor, The Social Network: Eisenberg didn’t have to be woken up to hear about his best actor nomination, The Social Network star has been having trouble sleeping. “I pretended not to think about it, but my heart was racing,” he tells THR of Tuesday morning’s announcement. Getting the only acting nom for the much-lauded film came as quite a surprise. “This is such an ensemble movie,” says the actor, who was quick to share the accolade. “My acknowledgement is a testament to the entire ensemble, most notably Andrew Garfield.”
Eisenberg who’s currently in the midst of rehearsing for his Jan. 29 Saturday Night Live hosting gig, adds that though Network has received awards buzz from day one, the recognition still doesn’t feel real. “It’s very nice to be included and involved, on the other hand I feel like I’ll never be in any of these rooms again, so you feel a little bit like you crashed the party,” he says, joking, “I’m just trying to eat as much food as I can until they find me.”
Amy Adams, best supporting actress, The Fighter: Though she’s nominated for best supporting actress beside her Fighter co-star Melissa Leo again, Adams insists Leo’s Golden Globe win hasn’t ignited a rivalry, “There’s no one I’m happier to duke it out with than Melissa. She’s amazing and awesome and I’m super happy for her too.”
This is Adams’ third Oscar nomination (she was previously recognized for Doubt and Junebug), but the actress says she still feels the same sense of surprise, “I couldn’t have ever dreamed to be there once, so to get to be there three times, I’m really excited and so flattered.”
David Fincher, best director, The Social Network: “I’m very grateful and humbled by the nominations for The Social Network. I’m incredibly proud of the work of my wildly talented collaborators in front of and behind the camera — all of whom gave the best of themselves and their talents in service to a film about a ground-breaking American innovation. This directing nomination represents the sum of the work of all of us, and I want to acknowledge the vast contributions to this film of all of my good friends and creative partners. The success of our movie belongs to many people, and this nomination is theirs to share.”
Mark Wahlberg (producer), best picture, The Fighter: “It has been such an incredible journey with The Fighter and one that I am grateful to share with David O. Russell, Christian (Bale), Melissa (Leo), Amy (Adams), my fellow producers and the Ward and Eklund families, who are the heart and soul of the film. Thank you to the Academy for this tremendous honor.”
Nicole Kidman, best actress, Rabbit Hole: “What an extraordinary journey this film has taken me on! Rabbit Hole has been a labor of love and I’m so thankful to John Cameron Mitchell, David Lindsay-Abaire and the brilliant cast. This nomination reflects all of the heart and soul that these people have put into it and I can’t thank them enough.”
Jeremy Renner, best supporting actor, The Town: Tonight Jeremy Renner will be “raising a glass to lightening striking twice” in celebration of being nominated by the Academy two years in a row (his first nom was for last year’s best picture winner, The Hurt Locker). But, this morning, the best supporting actor nominee for his role in The Town (the film’s only nomination) had just one plan: “I’m gonna have a pot of coffee and some eggs,” he told THR.
Renner, who is currently filming Mission: Impossible in Vancouver — a film he calls “intense in a different way”–says it was director (and star) Ben Affleck’s support that helped him create his authentic Bostonian tough-guy character. “He let me loose to fail and succeed. He trusted me.” Not to mention the city itself. “Spending time and shooting in Boston was certainly the biggest reason why I could have even done the accent or understand the character.” And while his phone and email began going off first thing this morning, Renner hadn’t had time to pick it up. “My sister called immediately,” he said, joking, “It’s nice to see that they were up this morning, but I’ll get to the family later.” First things first: coffee and eggs.
Jeff Bridges, best actor, True Grit: “YEE HAW!”
Jacki Weaver, best supporting actress, Animal Kingdom: Weaver has two reasons to celebrate this morning. In addition to her best supporting actress nom for Sony’s Animal Kingdom, the Aussie actress is also celebrating Australia Day (the country’s national holiday). “It’s so nice to have received this lovely present today,” Weaver said. “I’ve been so worried that everyone at home would be disappointed, but now I think they’re probably thrilled for me!” Weaver – who received news this morning about the nom from her ex-husband – hopes to represent her homeland by hitting the Oscar red carpet in a Australian-designed gown: “As a little girl, I always watched the Oscars from 12,000 miles away. To find out that I’m a part of it is beyond imagination.”
Tom Hooper, director, The King’s Speech: “I am absolutely overwhelmed by the twelve Oscar nominations for The King’s Speech. I am so grateful to the Academy. I am incredibly proud of my extraordinary cast and crew. This is a day I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Lee Unkrich (director), best picture and best animated feature, Toy Story 3: The film achieved two rare feats this morning: It is only the third animated movie to earn a best picture nomination and it is also in the unusual position of being a nominated sequel.
“My head is spinning. We had a ‘3’ in the title. We made a decision very early on that we wanted to make a sequel that was worthy of sitting beside the first two Toy Story films. We wanted it to resonate.
“I hope to see more animated films in the best picture category,” he added when asked about the top category. “The move to 10 certainly didn’t hurt, though I suppose we’ll never know (if Toy Story would have received a nomination if five were in the category). Animation is as vital to cinema as anything else being made out there. This was a meaningful nomination for us.”
Is the time approaching that an animated movie could claim a best picture prize? “You never know–it took us many decades before Beauty and the Beast got the first nomination. Now we’re two in a row (Up was nominated a year ago). It could happen; I’d love to see it happen.”
Michael DeLuca (producer), The Social Network: “I’m deeply grateful to the Academy for recognizing The Social Network with eight nominations. It’s a recognition for every single one of the many many people who had a hand in bringing this film to life – both in front of and behind the cameras. I’m so incredibly proud to be a producer on this film. The mirror it holds up in terms of underscoring the universal, timeless human need for love, friendship and acceptance is a testament to Aaron Sorkin’s brilliant script and David Fincher’s masterful direction. Every producer in his career wants to be a part of a film like this one. Making the film, and being a part of it continues to be an incredible gift.”
David Hoberman (producer), best picture, The Fighter: “On behalf of everyone associated with The Fighter, we are deeply honored by the Academy’s recognition of our film. This has been a labor of love for us and an incredible, rewarding journey that continues with this nomination.”
Todd Lieberman (producer), best picture, The Fighter: Lieberman actually teared up when he watched The Fighter, which he produced along with David Hoberman and Mark Wahlberg, snag seven nominations.
“It’s so hard to get a movie made, and then you strive to get the best version of that movie made, and then when the movie you make exceeds any version of what you thought it could have been, and you’re watching the Academy Awards nominations, and you hear your movie, I don’t knows not to sound cheesy, but you get a tear swelling in your eye. It’s an emotional thing.”
Lieberman does wish, however, that Wahlberg received some notice for the acting skills he displayed in the movie. “The hardest thing to play is that understated role so that everyone around you can play a character. And I think that sometimes those roles get overlooked because they are not as flashy. His performance, in my mind, should be recognized. I think he deserves to be nominated as an actor, I’m thrilled he’s nominated with us as a producer.”
Lieberman will now go from Oscar mode to Disney mode, and join fellow Oscar-nominee Amy Adams on the Universal backlot where he and Hoberman are shooting Disney’s new Muppets movie.
Stuart Blumberg, original screenplay, The Kids Are All Right: “Try as I could to act cool and not care, as soon as I heard our names called, I started crying like a little kid. Pardon the cliche, but this truly is a dream come true. I want to thank the Academy for this most phenomenal honor.”
Colleen Atwood, achievement in costume design, Alice in Wonderland, “I am thrilled to be nominated. Alice was a labor of love for all of us, and to be recognized for the work is really the frosting on the cake.”
Ken Ralston, achievement in visual effects, Alice in Wonderland: “The nomination is wonderful because working on Alice in Wonderland was one of the best creative experiences of my entire career. Tim Burton trusted us with his vision and the work on the screen is the result of an amazing collaboration with hundreds of brilliant artists, including my fellow nominees and a great team on set. You hope to have an experience like this at least once in career and I am so happy that our peers recognized the extraordinary complexity, detail and accomplishment that the visual effects in Alice in Wonderland represent.”
Alan Menken, original song, “I See the Light” from Tangled (music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Glenn Slater): “I’m happy with the success of the movie. I take the recognition of the song as recognition of the work everyone did the on the picture and I share it with the directors and the team. A nomination is always a credit to the entire picture.”
Kevin Spacey (producer), best picture, The Social Network: “It’s a fantastic morning,” Spacey tells THR of Social Network‘s eight nominations. “I’m enormously proud of the film and incredibly delighted that we were able to be so luck to get Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher to pair up, and for Sony to have stepped up and said, ‘Yes, we’ll produce a movie that doesn’t have any explosions or car crashes or gunfights, or any real sex.”
Having gone through the awards circuit 13 years ago with American Beauty (for which he won his second Oscar, Spacey notes one big change. “Thirteen years ago, Dana (Brunetti) started working for me as my assistant and now he’s going to the Academy Awards as a nominated producer,” he says, adding, “It’s an amazing story.” And, true to form, the actor is planning to take to his Twitter page later today. “Tweeting will happen after coffee.”
Jeffrey Levy-Hinte (producer), best picture, The Kids Are All Right: “We are overjoyed that the Academy gave our film four nominations — what a journey, from years getting the movie together to Sundance last year to the Kodak Theatre next month! We made the film because we had something to say about the power of love, and I want to thank the Academy members from the bottom of my heart for showing us their love!”
Mike Leigh, best original screenplay, Another Year: “I’m thrilled to bits.”
Darla K. Anderson (producer), best picture and best animated feature, Toy Story 3: Anderson, who works at Pixar, said it was a surreal experience listening to the nominations being announced,”My heart was pounding. When you hear your name being called off with the other nominees, you feel completely honored. We don’t take anything for granted.”
Michael Arndt, adapted screenplay, Toy Story 3: “I’ve spent my whole life being inspired and moved by the work of the screenwriters of the Academy, so to be recognized by the writers branch this morning is deeply gratifying and profoundly humbling. While I wish I could hog all the credit for myself, I would have gone nowhere and done nothing without the collective brilliance of the entire creative community at Pixar, who have always maintained that ‘story comes first’ and who are crazy enough to actually believe it.”
Susanne Bier (director), best foreign-language film, In a Better World, “I am so thrilled about this nomination! It means so much for the film and for Denmark! I love what I do and this is an incredible affirmation!”
Teddy Newton (director), best animated short film, Day & Night: Where and how Newton learned of his film’s Oscar nomination is unusual to say the least, “I was in the hospital when I found out. I just had a baby with my wife. Actually it was the baby that woke me up, more than the producer. So, I was already awake when I found out.” He continues, “I was actually even more excited that so many people from Pixar were also nominated, because that means we all go together which makes it more fun I think.”
Reactions continue on the next page.
Dean DeBlois (writer-director) best animated feature, How to Train Your Dragon: “I’m looking at it as a promising sign,” chuckled DeBlois, as Tuesday morning the Canadian was on his way to a U.S. immigration center for a step in becoming a U. S. citizen. “Maybe they’ll let me stick around.”
Going into the nominations, there was also some speculation of it being a dark horse best picture contender. “We see the animation category as one to be treasured,” he said. “The fact that it was also mentioned in (best picture) circles is a huge compliment.
“It’s getting harder to ignore animation,” he said of animation in general. “In terms of box office and critical reviews, Toy Story and Dragon were right up there. Animation is earning in place in the zeitgeist of our American culture. I think there is a turn, and it is being driven by the fact that filmmaker are concentrating on adult audiences as well as child audiences, with broad appeal.”
Alexandre Desplat, original score, The King’s Speech: When I was growing up the Oscars weren’t on TV in France. Canal Plus started showing it in the mid-80s I think. From then on there were two American shows I would watch: The Oscars and the Super Bowl. So it was in my teens that I started to be aware of what the Oscar means to the cinema industry. I started watching Maurice Jarre’s career and Georges Delerue’s career and John Williams and I started become aware of just how important an Oscar can be to a composer.
Hans Zimmer, original score, Inception: After nine nominations Zimmer says this one is different thanks to the unconventional nature of Chris Nolan’s mind-bending blockbuster. “This feels special because this is a very special movie,” he says. “Everyone was firing on all cylinders. Working with Chris is such a pleasure. We were making this rather weird art house movie that was a huge commercial success. And I think that’s really important.” Zimmer admits to being “slightly miffed” that Nolan was left off the best director list, adding that it’s a “tremendous oversight. This is a true auteur movie. It’s like Fellini’s Amarcord without Fellini.” Still wrestling with the death of longtime publicist Ronni Chasen, Zimmer says he continues to miss her unique presence. “We always used to go on these journeys together, she was part of my life for such a long time,” he says. “Everybody knows that a great dame has left the building. I just loved having her around to tell me to tuck in my shirt.”
Ryan Kavanaugh (producer), best picture, The Fighter: The film is especially near and dear to Kavanaugh. When the project stalled out at Paramount, Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media rescued it, produced and put up the financing. “It’s awesome,” Kavanaugh said from Los Angeles after the movie picked up seven top nominations, including best picture and best director for David O. Russell. “We want the film to be the underdog and come from nowhere with the hard punch,” he said.
Paramount is distributing and marketing The Fighter, but Kavanaugh said Relativity has paid for most of the awards campaign. With Paramount’s True Grit also receiving top noms, Kavanaugh said it will be Relativity’s job to make sure The Fighter gets the standalone attention it needs. “I couldn’t be happier for David O. Russell. He really delivered with this movie,” said Kavanaugh, noting The Fighter resonates so much because it’s an inspirational story. “People walk out and forget their daily struggle,” Kavanaugh said.
Josh Fox (director), best documentary, Gasland: “I’m sitting here with a bottle of champagne. It’s remarkable and amazing and my family is flipping out, and I haven’t really processed it yet. I woke up at 3 a.m. and started pacing and by 5:30 my producer called me and was talking so much I didn’t understand what the hell she was saying.” As amazing as the nomination is, Fox was sure to note his campaign against natural gas drilling is far from over, “We are not out of the woods in any way. I am very much fighting for my home and we have enormous pressure form this industry who has been on the attack against the people in the film, against myself and we are in a daily battle.
He added the Academy’s recognition validates the experience and fight of the families in the film, “I think they have been struggling in the dark for years. They are getting sicker and feeling like nobody was listening to them and that the Academy has acknowledged what they are going through is immense and actually makes me incredibly happy to see that. It’s just been the greatest experience of my life to meet America this way.”
Dana Brunetti (producer), best picture, The Social Network: It’s fitting that Dana Brunetti, president of Kevin Spacey’s Trigger Street Productions which helped produce The Social Network, would have his Facebook and Twitter pages overrun with congratulations after the movie’s eight Academy Award nominations were announced this morning. “My phone blew up after the [Golden] Globes,” he tells THR. “My phone blew up this morning. My Facebook, Twitter text messages and email go absolutely bonkers. It’s amazing to see so many people be able to instantly connect with me.”
Though, the direct access may be more of a curse than a blessing. After going through to ‘like’ every Facebook comment on his profile page, Brunetti then made sure to respond to every email he received during after the Golden Globes. “It was close to 500,” he reveals. If history is any indicator, he’s got a lot of typing in his future. Which may mean it’s a good thing he isn’t planning on attending any parties this evening while in Sundance to take meetings. “I doubt I’d get in.”
Sebastian Junger (director), best documentary, Restrepo: This has been one of the few times in my life that I have been totally speechless. I was with my wife, Angela, and moments later Tim Hetherington walked in the door and we just had a big hug. Then the dog piled on as well because she knew something was up. It was really quite a collision of animals and people.
Junger said the soldiers in the war are the real heroes, “It’s a tremendous honor to be the filmmaker and to be nominated, but most of all it’s a testimony to the soldiers. Those are the guys we were with and that fought and some of them died defending this country in the Korengal Valley. For me, that’s probably the most powerful feeling that this generates right now. He added that bringing the war into our homes has only begun, “Tim and I are heading straight back to Afghanistan to continue covering the war. We wanted to make a film that brought the war into people’s living rooms so they didn’t forget. We are going back there to keep reporting. We will be getting shot at by April at least.”
Wally Pfister, cinematography, Inception: “I’m thrilled that people appreciated the visual interpretation of Chris’ wonderful direction and screenplay,” said the longtime Chris Nolan collaborator, who called THR from a noisy airport after receiving his forth Oscar nomination (others were The Dark Knight, The Prestige and Batman Begins), this time for his inventive cinematography on Inception, which mixed formats and techniques.
“I was surprised,” Pfister admitted on Nolan not receiving a nomination for direction. “From my personal perspective, Inception is all about direction. My work was under his careful guidance and eye. Without him my work wouldn’t have been was it was. I was pleased he was nominated for screenplay and as a producer, though there is something lacking without his name for direction.” Another surprise was that editor Lee Smith didn’t make the cut in the editing competition. “That was a shock. His work was phenomenal. It was such a huge part of the film.”
Lucy Walker (director), best documentary, Waste Land: For Waste Land to bring us from the world’s largest landfill to the biggest red carpet in the world through the redemptive magic of art with Vik Muniz and the catadores who pick recyclable materials every day with their bare hands is the most beautiful dream that could ever come true. This is the loveliest honor for our entire team. Thank you and muita obrigada to the Academy’s documentary filmmakers who are our heroes, to the women filmmakers who are my inspiration, and to our entire team especially the catadores who recycle all of our spirits. We dedicate this nomination to the 1% of the developing world’s urban population who live by informal recycling and who deserve fair wages, safer working conditions, and respect.”
Sylvain Chomet (director), best animated feature, The Illusionist: “The Academy Award nominations this year for the best animated film category are all the more prestigious due to the fact there were only going to be three of them. I am obviously thrilled and proud that The Illusionist is among those nominated and can be considered alongside the best of the big budget studio films. It’s a testament to the skill and the dedication devoted to this film by a very talented team of artists. And of course I sincerely hope that Jacques Tati would be proud of what we have achieved with his marvellous story.”
Charles Ferguson (director), best documentary, Inside Job: “I am, of course, very honored and totally delighted that Inside Job has been nominated for the Academy Award for best documentary feature. It was an amazing experience to make the film, to work with such amazingly gifted and committed people, and to see the film’s reception by the world. I hope that the nomination will enable the issues raised by the film to receive wider discussion, all the more so because the effects of the financial crisis are still with us, and I also hope that the great people who worked on the film are able to make more movies.”
Scott Franklin (producer), best picture, Black Swan: Franklin, who is Darren Aronofsky’s producing partner at Protoza, said the Oscar nominations were a “shot in the arm for all of us,” especially since Aronofsky has never received a best director nom before. “Knowing how difficult the film was to make, and how hard everybody worked on such a small budget, it’s really rewarding for everybody,” Franklin says. “And Natalie Portman owned that role. I’ve never worked with an actor or seen an actor bring so much to the set everyday,” he said. Franklin spoke from Brooklyn, where Protozoa is based. “It’s a good day.”
A.R. Rahman, original score and original song, 127 Hours: Though he won two Oscars for original score and song in 2009 with Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman was still taken aback to receive two nominations (in the same categories) for his work on 127 Hours. “We were expecting maybe one, but I was surprised to see two nominations,” he tells THR. He was disappointed about Danny Boyle’s best director omission, however, “I miss Danny’s direction nomination, but I’m grateful that he got so many nominations for the movie.” And though he’s Indian born and bred, the composer says he had no trouble connecting to the tale of an American hero. “American culture is multi-cultural. So I’ve been living with Hollywood movies for almost 20-30 years. I have Indian culture and I have this culture too.” Rahman, who spoke to THR after landing in Geneva, Switzerland to receive the World Economic Forum’s crystal award, said he’s most looking forward to sleep later today, adding, “I’m terribly jetlagged.”
Tom Douglas, original song, “Coming Home” from Country Strong (music and Lyrics by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey): “We are thrilled by the news of our nomination this morning. Troy Verges, Hillary Lindsey and I met with director Shana Feste in the early script stages of Country Strong and she really gave us an inside look into the motivation behind the ark of the characters in the film. We instantly fell in love with the story and were taken with how respectful the filmmakers were of Nashville and country music. This entire process has been quite a creative ride, and the nomination is a real honor.”
Denis Villeneuve (director), best foreign-language film, Incendies: “I never want to have the night I just experienced twice,” a relieved Villeneuve told journalists in a conference call from Sundance about the pressured build-up to Tuesday’s Oscar nominations. “I really can’t believe that I’m even talking to you about this. For me the prize is the nomination. Just to be among those other people is a huge honor.”
Paul Tamasy and Eric Johnson, original screenplay, The Fighter: “We’d like to thank the Academy for this recognition. It’s truly an honor to be in the company of so many talented artists. We’re thrilled for everyone involved in The Fighter, but are especially happy for the Ward/Eklund family who were gracious enough to open up their lives to all of us.”
Celine Rattray (producer), best picture, The Kids Are All Right: “It took 7 years, 13 financiers, and a 23-day shoot to make our film a reality. By recognizing Kids, the Academy has not only honored us but has given hope and inspiration to the independent film community.”
Guy Hendrix Dyas, art direction, Inception (Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat): “I thought it was great,” he said of Inception‘s eight nominations, though admitted his was probably repeating others in adding, “I think it was a little sad not to see Chris Nolan nominated for his amazing directorial work and also the editorial slot seemed a little empty without Inception. The others I thought were very well represented. Chris provided us with such an original story and canvas to work with, it was quite frankly our duty to do a really nice design job on this film. The main protagonists are architects. The architecture had to become an additional character.”
He talked about the collaboration of the creative team, and joked that nominated director of photography Wally Pfister is “the guy who does the guitar solos in the band. I was very happy to see Wally nominated, he is a true talent.”
Dyas and his wife are expecting a baby in May. “(The nomination) makes it a doubly special year.” His next project is Robopocalypse.
Brian Oliver (producer), best picture, Black Swan: Oliver certainly picked right in deciding to co-finance Black Swan with Fox Searchlight. It’s the first film from his newly formed Cross Creek Partners. He said scoring an Oscar nomination “feels great. It’s one of those things you never expect.” At the same time, he isn’t so surprised. “We always had faith in the movie, and in Darren [Aronofsky],” Oliver said.
Christian Colson (producer). best picture, 127 Hours: Colson, Danny Boyle’s producing partner, was home in London when he learned the film received six Oscar nominations, including for best picture and best director. “Six is a pretty good spread. We got above the line and we got below the line. It implies there’s a kind of breadth of support within the Academy for the film,” Colson said. He said he was especially pleased that the adapted screenplay was recognized. “Because 127 Hours is based on a true story, it’s very easy for people to forge how beautifully written it is.”
Chris Sanders (director), best animated feature, How to Train Your Dragon: “It’s amazing. Dean (DeBlois) and I came into the film late,” he said, noting that as is the case with many animated films, there was rewriting involved. “We started with a children book that had the seeds of the story, written for younger readers. We wanted to make sure anyone (including adults viewers) would be taken on an incredible ride. “I don’t think any studio except Dreamworks would have let it go as far as it did. We took risks–Hiccup was cleverly injured by the end of the movie. It feels more real in that our film had a believable ending; he didn’t come out of it unscathed.”
On a personal note, Sanders recalled that growing up, “my grandmother was a huge fan and watched every Oscars–I think about her. I hope she is watching.”
Adrien Morot, makeup, Barney’s Version: “It was one of those dream projects you get where all of the stars aligned themselves for a make-up artist,” Morot tells THR. The Canadian makeup artist, who heard the news of his nomination after his son left for school in Montreal, says aging the film’s characters over a 35-year time period was challenging. “You don’t want your makeup to be the showcase and take away from the actor’s performances. So it needs to be subtle enough not to distract the audience, but effective enough to convey the story,” he says. It was that subtlety that made his nod so surprising. “I’m really excited that the voting members of the Academy kept a keen eye and remembered what was going on with the progression,” says Morot, who is hoping the recognition will generate jobs. “If the producers out there see the movie and enjoy the work, I hope that’s gonna lead to a few more phone calls.
Gary A. Rizzo, sound mixing, Inception, (nominated with Lora Hirschberg and Ed Novick): “Everyone at Skywalker Sound is ecstatic,” Rizzo said, noting that various members of the Skywalker team were also nominated for films including Toy Story 3, Tron and The Social Network. “It is breathtaking to be on a nomination list with so many other talented people–I have heroes and friends on this list.”
He echoed his fellow Inception nominees in admitting surprise that the film was passed over in the direction and editing categories. “Chris is an incredibly talented director. I fall into the group that was hoping that he would get nominated (for direction). Lee Smith is an exceptional editor and the editing was incredibly complex with all of the layers of the dream, that made it a real challenge.”
Andrew Weisblum, editing, Black Swan: “When we were driving around looking a dailies on a laptop, I didn’t think the movie would be received the way it did,” Weisblum said. “You never know if something is going to connect with audiences. Darren is a unique storyteller with a unique vision. And with this he did it. The movie is entertaining, scary, and has great performances. There is so much. Darren brings out the best in all his collaborators. It is excited to be a part of it with Darren and see him get the attention.”
Eve Stewart, art direction, The King’s Speech (production design Eve Stewart, set decoration Judy Farr): “I am elated that all the hard work by my department put in on The King’s Speech has resulted in such a treat,” says Stewart. “Working with director Tom Hooper is challenging, exacting and inspiring. He is a real friend. He pushes everybody to do their best work. My fellow nominees are brilliant. I’m just so honored to be considered among them. This seems so unreal when I’m over here on a rainy English day in my Wellington boots. It’s hard to believe this is happening.”
Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, editing, The Social Network: “Wow. We are honored and blessed to have had the opportunity to work on a film with this level of creativity and collaboration. David’s (Fincher) direction, Aaron’s (Sorkin) script, and performances by an amazing group of actors created the perfect storm for making a great film. Thanks to the producing team, everyone at Sony, and to the Academy for the gracious nomination. We are incredibly excited and honored!”
Reactions continue on the following page.
Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, sound editing, Tron: Legacy (with Addison Teague) “The mood is fantastic here, it’s a Northern California success story,” she said from Skywalker Ranch, where she is mixing her next film, Rio.
She shared hugs, phone calls and emails with other nominees from Skywalker Sound. “(Among them) I gave Gary Rizzo (Inception) a huge hug, Tom Myers (Toy Story 3) a big hug. I traded emails with Michael Semanck and Ren Klyce (The Social Network). … I love and respect them. It is fantastic.”
On Tron: Legacy, she said the team aimed to create an homage to the original, but still make it its own film. “I was very surprised,” she said of Tron‘s visual effects’ failure to earn a nomination. “I though it was gorgeous — the whole movie was VFX. I think Digital Domain did a tremendous job.”
Ben Snow, visual effects, Iron Man 2 (nominated with Janek Sirrs, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick): “I think it is great that we get more recognition for visual effects. If you look at the top 10 films, I think all had a large number of CG or VFX components,” said the thrilled nominee of the Academy’s move to nominate five films for VFX this year.
Of the recent change, he raised a question if in the future there might be consideration to shortlist more than seven films so that the bake off — which this year occurred on Jan. 20 — would involve more than two eliminations. “The bakeoff really highlights the work,” he said of the annual event. “All of the shortlisted films were really worthy. What’s great about five nominations is it means that films like Hereafter–who the Visual Effects Society nominated for supporting VFX–get a look, which is encouraging.”
“(The omission of) Tron did surprise me. It’s hard to speculate why, though I have to say the films that did get nominated were worthy.” Asked about his nomination being a sequel, he pointed out that sequels such as Spider-Man 2 and Pirates 2 have won the category. “It could work in our favor if people respect the work in both films. We set out to improve upon what we did for the first film (for example by) increasing our reliance on the CG suits. … the suits are part of the characters.”
Simon Beaufoy, adapted screenplay, 127 Hours (nominated with Danny Boyle): Beaufoy was pacing his Oxford-based office, doing a mental dance of whether he should watch the announcements. “I didn’t want to watch online live, but then I didn’t not want to watch it live. I felt it would jinx it if I took too much interest,” he said. He took it as a good sign when his British agent called, screaming. One group not too happy about his nomination will be his children. “They take a very dim view of the Academy Awards. They’ll say daddy’s away on trips and away again. I, however, am delighted.”
Beaufoy, who’s enjoying his third nomination, admitted it was a very competitive year for directors but felt sad Danny Boyle didn’t get a best director nom. “(127 Hours) has all the other crafts and departments working at their maximum. If ever there was a film that was a director’s film, it’s this. Someone who had the boldness to say I’m going to take a one-man story, who doesn’t move, and I’m going to turn it into an action movie. That comes from the director. And the six nominations is a testament the strength of the direction anyway. I just wished he could have squeezed in there.”
Randy Newman, original song, “We Belong Together,” Toy Story 3: If you think Newman has become jaded after 20 Oscar nominations, think again. “It feels good – it always does,” says the legendary songwriter and composer. “Any time I get noticed for this I’m happy about it.” Indeed, despite fighting a cold Newman sounded genuinely grateful for the acclaim his latest collaboration with Pixar has brought him. “It’s not often that a trilogy is as good as this is. It’s actually never. Working with the Pixar people, they say what they want and I do it. They’re the most successful studio of all time. They’re insistence on story — they work on story for years — I think that has something to do with it. I hope they continue to do it.”
Often hilariously acerbic in his solo work, Newman says he welcomes the opportunity to break character with the upbeat tunes he writes for Woody and company. “I’m grateful to get the opportunity,” he says, adding that he finds the process “therapeutic.” “It’s good for me. It gets me out of myself a little, which is a good thing.”
John Powell, original score, How to Train Your Dragon, “Any kind of recognition like this is wonderful. And to tell you the truth, one of the most important things about this is that I’m hoping it means Jeffrey (Katzenberg) will give me a slightly easier time on Kung Fu Panda 2.
Rachid Bouchareb (director), best foreign language film, Outside the Law: In Paris to prepare for his next project, Bouchareb says landing a foreign language nom for Outside the Law is gratifying on a personal level, but it’s especially important to a small market like Algeria. “It’s always exciting because it’s something very important,” he says. “For Algeria it’s wonderful. It’s important for France too. In Algeria they don’t have a big cinema industry – not a lot of movies get made. It’s like going to the World Cup. This will give the industry more energy to make movies. I think it helps a lot. Next year, I hope, we can make more movies.”
A big fan of American directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and the Spike Lee, Bouchareb says he’s looking forward to meeting some of his heroes at the Oscar telecast next month, reserving special enthusiasm for the Coen Brothers. “I’ll be happy to meet them at the ceremony – why not?!”
Mark P. Stoeckinger, sound editing, Unstoppable, “It feels great, I’m still searching for the words. It’s an honor.” Stoeckinger noted that the nod represents a team. “There was a lot of creative work done on Unstoppable. The mixing team sadly didn’t get nominated, but they were a huge part of it.” He said of the other nominees in the sound editing category: “I’m happy to be included in this creative group that I respect so much. There are a lot of people doing great work.”
Jakob Schuh (director), The Gruffalo, best animated short film: “I felt disbelief for a long time and now I am very happy, but I did not really expect it. We had drinks at the studio. Most of the team is here, so I shared it with my team and we are celebrating.” Speaking from Berlin, Schuh added, “It’s just amazing to be in the company of some great filmmakers. Animation is a small world and I have a lot of friends on the shortlist and some amazing films. I’m just very excited to be counted in their company by the Academy.”
Jeff Cronenweth, cinematography, The Social Network: “Wow… this is fantastic news,” says Cronenweth. “It’s going to be a great day today; even though I didn’t sleep much last night. It’s an indescribable feeling to be acknowledged alongside Wally, Matthew, Roger and Danny – cinematographers who I admire so deeply. Working on The Social Network with David Fincher has been one of the most satisfying experiences of my career to date. Oh my God, I’m so excited!”
Liz Garbus (producer), best documentary short subject, Killing In the Name: I’m feeling great, I’m at Sundance right now with my film Bobby Fischer Against the World, which just premiered and then this happened so it’s been a thrilling week. The filmmakers were incredibly brilliant and intrepid and really went to the corners of the earth to in order to try and get dialogue going between those who believe that terrorism is bad for all of us, and those who have a lot of opinions. We are really proud of the film and we are really amazingly proud of the director and we are looking forward to that Sunday.”
Rory Kennedy (producer), best documentary short subject, Killing In the Name: I’m in L.A., so I was waking up with my children at six. I was excited. The first thing I did was check my BlackBerry. I was with my three year old, so I told him, but I’m not sure it completely registered. You know, I think it’s obviously an award that generates the most attention of probably any other award out there, and for me that’s significant obviously because it’s such an important issue that I think the film raises. It’s such a timely issue and I think this nomination will help generate more attention to that issue, so that is enormously gratifying.”
Sara Nesson (director), best documentary short subject, Poster Girl: “I got a phone call from my editor and I was standing in my kitchen. I’m still in my kitchen. I haven’t moved. I felt relief because when I started the film three and a half years ago I met all these veterans who were struggling with PTSD, but it hadn’t reached the media and its national interest at that point. I felt that I had to tell the story. It’s an opportunity to reach a broader audience. I feel that people will pay more attention to my film now that it has this honor attached to it. So, I think it’s as simple as that.
As for her celebrating her nomination Nesson said, “Of course I’m celebrating with my friends, but my family is living all over the place. So, we have a tradition on our birthdays where we get on a conference call and do a shot together. So we’re going to do a conference call shot, but instead of a birthday, we’re going to do it for my Oscar nomination.”
Christian Manz, visual effects, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (nominated with Tim Burke, John Richardson, and Nicolas Aithadi): “It is fantastic for the franchise,” Manz said. “It’s a last hurrah — a final opportunity to get recognition for the work.” While it has made regular appearances at the bake off, the Harry Potter franchise has actually never won an Oscar for VFX, and Tuesday’s nomination is only the second nomination. The other was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. “Every (Harry Potter) film gained in quality of the work. It has a lot of credibility artistically,” Manz said. “The work we did, especially with Dobby, had a lot of responsibility. Killing off one of the most loved characters–there was pressure.”
Manz spent Tuesday working on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which is due to finish at the end of May. “There was a pause for champagne, but then everyone is hard at work. It continued on,” he said. On the VFX category as a whole, he said: “I was at the bakeoff and was surprised about Tron. But it’s nice that a film like Hereafter can get nominated.”
Yorgos Lanthimos (director), best foreign film, Dogtooth: “This is very unexpected. It makes me and my collaborators extremely happy.”
David Parker, sound mixing, The Social Network (nominated with Ren Klyce, Michael Semanick and Marc Weingarten): “We are very pleased and excited to be nominated in the Best Sound Mixing category by the Academy for our work on The Social Network. We think David Fincher has made an extraordinary film and we are honored to be associated with him.”
Ren Klyce, sound mixing, The Social Network (nominated with David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten): “I am on Facebook, but I didn’t announce the nomination there,” chuckled Klyce, who said he has instead been on the phone with with fellow nominates, including Social Network producer Cean Chaffin, editors Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter, and composer Trent Reznor.
“I’m happy for the whole team, especially David,” he said, adding of Fincher’s nomination for direction, “I think this is well deserved. I have worked with David Fincher for many years and I think he is an extremely talented and dedicated filmmaking. It is wonderful to see him get this recognition.” He related that Fincher is currently in production on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and following the success of The Social Network, “He seems to be hunkering down even harder.”
Reporting by Kevin Cassidy, Carolyn Giardina, William Herbe, Borys Kit, Pamela McClintock and Lauren Schutte.
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