The nominations for the 82nd Academy Awards are in! BU’s Paul Schneider, Chairman of the College of Communication Department of Film & Television and a member of the Directors Guild of America, shares his predictions for who may be going home with a statue on March 7th:
“The Academy seems to have achieved one of their goals, which was to get more commercially successful films into contention and, they hope, to increase interest and ratings. Based on best picture noms for Avatar, UP and The Blind Side, they have three of the top grossers of 2009. This may provide a larger slice of the movie-going audience something to root for and a reason to tune in. Overall, this is quite a good, quality list and showcases a balance of genres and formats from intimate personal stories to huge action/ special effect blockbusters, as well as an animated feature. There is something for everyone here.
The best director nominations also have built-in drama. Ex husband and wife, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow are both nominated. Although the budgets of their two films, Avatar and The Hurt Locker are over $200 million apart, they both garnered nine nominations. When you add to the mix the fact that Kathryn Bigelow is a woman director working in a genre (war film /action) that used to be considered a ‘man’s game,’ you have the ingredients for a very interesting evening. A win by Bigelow is certainly a real possibility. I would be surprised if someone either than Cameron or Bigelow wins, even though the other nominees are worthy and deserving contenders.”
Contact Paul Schenider, 617-353-5031, email@example.com.
The life and work of legendary film director Robert Altman will be celebrated at a symposium tonight at 5:30 PM, marking the publication of a new Altman biography and the 40th anniversary of his seminal film, “M*A*S*H.” Favorite Altman actors Elliott Gould, Sally Kellerman, and Michael Murphy will be joined in a panel discussion by his widow, Kathryn Altman, Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr, and BU Prof essor Mitchell Zuckoff, author of “Robert Altman: The Oral Biography” (Knopf) followed by a screening of “M*A*S*H.” Open to the public ($10 for adults, $5 for children), the evening is sponsored by the BU College of Communication in concert with the BU Alumni Association’s Winterfest Weekend and co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Core Humanities. It is taking place at the Tsai Performance Center (685 Commonwealth Avenue).
The George Clooney-led serio-comedy “Up in the Air” led the Golden Globe nominations, but will that translate into Academy Award noms later this season? Hard to tell, says Film & TV Department Chairman Paul Schneider, though he expects considerable overlap.
“‘Invictus’ did not get a picture nomination but Clint Eastwood did – so that is a minor surprise. On the other hand, ‘Precious’ was nominated but the director, Lee Daniels, was not. So, it seems the movie directed itself. This happens occasionally at the Oscars as well and always has people shaking their heads.”
Contact Paul Schneider, 617-353-5031, firstname.lastname@example.org
With the Ron Howard film “Frost/Nixon” opening nationwide, BU journalism professor Bob Zelnick reflects on his role as a producer hired by British talk-show host David Frost for those historic interviews with the disgraced former president.
“Before each one of them, I would marshal all the material we had, digest it, and try and anticipate the way Nixon would respond. After briefing David, I would sit in the chair and pretend to be Nixon, and he would ask me exactly the questions we had in mind for the next day.
“Nixon was a tough adversary. The interviews show how tough a core Nixon had, and how strategic his every move was. Nixon thought one step, two steps, three steps ahead. He had an objective firmly in mind. He was his own best lawyer.”
Zelnick, a former long-time ABC News correspondent, is played in the movie by actor Oliver Platt.
The Boston University Women’s Studies Program and the Humanities Foundation will welcome Hilary Brougher, award-winning director of the 2006 film festival favorite Stephanie Daley, for a lecture and discussion of her work on Wednesday, November 19 from 4-6 pm. The groups will also host a screening of the film on Monday, November 17 from 3-5 pm.
Stephanie Daley Event Flier.