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Entries in The Descendants (4)

Saturday
Feb252012

Oscars 2012: Too Close to Call?

Jamie McCarthy/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) -- Blame it on the expanded best picture race, on the films themselves or on the guilds that honored a variety of movies: This year's Oscar race is still too close to call in some categories.

"There is a little tension going into Sunday," Yahoo! Movies contributing editor Thelma Adams told ABCNews.com. "I know who I should be saying is in the lead, and then I think there is still a little bit of mystery left."

ABC News' Oscars Stock Market Index, a collaboration with Bluefin Labs, which provides a real-time snapshot of social sentiment, what's trending and the collective assessment of entertainment industry experts, shows just how much uncertainty there is going into Sunday's ceremony.

At the final guild awards before Sunday's Oscars ceremony, The Descendants and Midnight in Paris got a boost but not the presumed front-runner The Artist.

The black-and-white, mostly silent homage to the era before "talkies" was excluded from last Sunday's Writer's Guild Awards because its writers are French. Instead, Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, another film set in the 1920s, won for best original screenplay, while The Descendants earned the trophy for best adapted screenplay.

Earlier in the year, the producers guild gave The Artist their top prize, while the film's director, Michel Hazanavicius, was hailed as the year's best by the directors guild.

On ABC News' Oscars Stock Market Index, Hazanavicius overtook Alexander Payne who directed The Descendants and Martin Scorsese who directed Hugo as of 7 a.m.

Also on the index, Descendants star George Clooney seemed to be hanging on to the lead in the best actor category, with Jean Dujardin from The Artist coming in a close second.

Clooney's pal Brad Pitt who starred in Moneyball followed behind in third place.

"These front races are so close," Adams said, "there is a little wiggle room."

Iron Lady Meryl Streep was keeping her lock on the best actress race, but Viola Davis, star of The Help, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara were closing the gap.

"The issue is how much people love The Help versus The Iron Lady," Adams said, believing the race is between Davis and Streep.

Supporting actor Christopher Plummer and supporting actress Octavia Spencer were still holding onto the lead in their respective categories on the index.

Ultimately, the winners will be decided by the nearly 6,000 Academy members, which, according to a recent report by the Los Angeles Times, are overwhelmingly white and male, with a median age of 62.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan252012

Hollywood Expands Theater Screenings for Oscar Contenders

Ryan McVay/Photodisc(LOS ANGELES) -- Good news for moviegoers who haven’t seen many of the films nominated for an Academy Award.  The Hollywood Reporter says several studios have announced plans to expand the number of theaters showing their Oscar contenders. 

The Fox Searchlight film The Descendants, will move into 1,700 theaters on Friday, up from the current 650. Paramount, the studio behind Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, will add nearly 300 theaters Friday, upping the total to 944.

The Artist had been screening in 216 theaters before being boosted to 662 on the eve of the Golden Globes ceremony.  In the wake of its Oscar nominations, several hundred more theaters will be added this Friday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Jan152012

Nominees Excited for Ricky Gervais Jabs Ahead of the Golden Globes

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Who’s afraid of Ricky Gervais? Not “Modern Family’s” Manny, actor Rico Rodriguez. “Last year he was funny,” he told ABCNews.com at Saturday’s GBK gift lounge at the L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills. “He’s going to bring it back, he’s going to, woo!” Rodriguez said, swinging his fist through the air as if to demonstrate all the egos the insult-happy comic will punch.

Eric Stonestreet, who plays Cam on “Modern Family” and is up for a best supporting actor Globe Sunday night, agreed with his on-screen nephew. “I think he’s great, awesome, and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say,” he said. “I’m not worried about it in any way. He’s a comedian. I think we all should be able to laugh it off.”

First time attendee Shailene Woodley, who’s nominated for a best supporting actress Globe for “The Descendants,” went so far as to say Hollywood should take a beating from Gervais year-round.

“I’m excited for Ricky Gervais and I think he should be the host for every awards show,” she said. “Even the Oscars.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec022011

Movie Review: 'The Descendants'

Fox Searchlight(NEW YORK) -- In the film Hustle and Flow, Terrence Howard's Djay writes a hit rap song called It's Hard Out There for a Pimp.
 
If George Clooney's Matt King wrote a similar rap song for The Descendants, it would be, "It's hard out there for a Hawaiian land baron."
 
Matt is a lawyer, a descendent of a well-to-do Hawaiian family that owns about a billion dollars worth of virgin land. He's the executor of that land and has final say on whether he and his family will sell it, and to whom. With the decision pending, his wife is involved in a horrific boating accident that leaves her on life support in a vegetative state.
 
And that, believe it or not, is where the fun begins.
 
Matt has spent the majority of his life adult life devoted to his practice, leaving it to his wife to raise his daughters Alex (the amazing Shailene Woodley) and Scottie (the spunky Amara Miller). Pre-teen Scottie has been acting out at school since her mom's accident, while Alex hasn't even bothered to return home from boarding school.
 
When the doctor tells Matt it's time to disconnect his wife from life support, he has to retrieve Alex from school and figure out how to break the news to his daughters. Perhaps dropping in on Alex unannounced wasn't the best idea.  Matt finds her outside with a friend -- drunk, and a bit defiant.  She also drops the biggest bombshell yet on her father, telling Matt: "Mom was cheating on you."
 
Like I said, it's hard out here for a Hawaiian land baron.
 
The Descendants features an outstanding cast, each of whom has their stand-out moment.  Shailene Woodley's sweetly belligerent performance as Alex is an excellent introduction to her, and may well land the actress an Oscar nomination.  Matthew Lillard, perhaps best known to most as lovable schlub Shaggy in the live-action Scooby Doo movies, is rediscovered in The Descendants as Brian, the real estate agent with whom Matt's wife was having her affair.  Judy Greer as Brian's wife Julie delivers one of the year's best moments in film, followed moments later by Clooney delivering one of his best-ever on-screen moments. If you have a hunger for great film acting, this sequence is delicious.  
 
Indeed, if you have a hunger for great acting, The Descendants is a feast.  Led by George Clooney in the most well-rounded performance of his career, it manages to strike that rare balance between funny and heartbreaking.
 
Four-and-a-half out of five stars.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio