HFPA propels The King's Speech into awards race elite
The King’s Speech confirmed its robust awards potential today [Dec 14] as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association rewarded it with seven nominations, ahead of The Social Network and The Fighter on six apiece. Paramount’s Western remake True Grit from the Coen brothers was completely shut out.
The King’s Speech’s US distributor The Weinstein Company and its producers will now feel reassured that they have in the period drama a firm favourite for Academy Awards consideration alongside The Social Network, Sony’s Facebook chronicle that has been an early favourite with critics’ groups. Tanya Seghatchian, head of the UK Film Council’s Film Fund, said: “This is fantastic result for The King’s Speech and points to a very successful awards season for this brilliant British film.”
Relativity Media’s exuberant family saga The Fighter has been winning hearts and minds with a series of rousing screenings in the US and earned its reward today as it emerged as a strong awards season prospect in film, director and acting categories. David Hoberman of Mandeville Films, one of four producers on the film alongside business partner Todd Lieberman, Relativity’s Ryan Kavanaugh and Mark Wahlberg, said the six nominations were “more than we could have hoped for.” Kavanaugh added: “All the actors were incredible and David [O Russell] accomplished an impossible task.”
Fox Searchlight/Cross Creek Pictures’ Black Swan, Warner Bros’ Inception and The Kids Are All Right, which Focus Features acquired for distribution at Sundance 2010 and must be regarded as favourite in a weak comedy or musical category, each earned four nominations.
Fox Searchlight/Pathe’s 127 Hours received three nods for writing, director and actor for James Franco and Warner Bros’ The Town inspired a supporting actor nod for Jeremy Renner, the only reward for the otherwise overlooked crime drama.
A strong director category highlights David Fincher for The Social Network, Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech, Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan, Christopher Nolan for Inception and David O Russell for The Fighter. Danny Boyle is the obvious omission for 127 Hours but could well figure in upcoming critics groups awards and the Oscar nominations, as could Lisa Cholodenko for The Kids Are All Right.
Many consider the adapted screenplay Oscar Aaron Sorkin’s to lose, but he faces a stiffer challenge here because the HFPA votes for an overall screenplay category that dispenses with the adapted-original distinction. Thus Sorkin will come under pressure from original screenplay writers David Seidler for The King’s Speech and Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg for The Kids Are All Right.
The dramatic acting categories are strong and present a possible blueprint for Academy votes, although Oscar voters may be kinder to Robert Duvall for Get Low and Jeff Bridges for True Grit. Halle Berry (Frankie & Alice) is the wildcard in the dramatic actress race and may lose out when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 25 to Annette Bening, nominated today in the comedy or musical category for The Kids Are All Right.
Acting nods for Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams from Blue Valetine brought further joy for Harvey Weinstein on top of the pride he will take from The King’s Speech. Weinstein, his corporate woes seemingly behind him now that the company is reconstituted, is well and truly back in the awards game and his company also distributes France’s foreign language nominee The Concert.
The animated section contains the five most admired works of the year while the foreign film contenders includes Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s dramatic heavyweight Biutiful and Luca Guadagnino’s sumptuous I Am Love.
The 68th Annual Golden Globe winners will be announced at the awards gala on January 16, 2011. See earlier story on Screendaily for full list of nominees.
There follows a list of reactions from some of today’s nominees:
Dana Brunetti, producer, The Social Network: “A huge thank you to the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I am thrilled and extremely grateful that The Social Network has been acknowledged. I am eternally grateful to David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin for creating a film of which we are all so proud.”
Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, producers, The King’s Speech: “This time last year we were knee deep in snow in a small town in the Midlands shooting scenes to accompany Colin Firth’s final speech. A year later to be nominated for seven Golden Globes is truly incredible. We all hope to be better versions of ourselves and that’s what makes The King’s Speech timeless. Audiences are connecting with Bertie’s struggle and his enduring friendship with Logue at a time when we can easily forget what is important in life.”
David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, producers, The Fighter: “It’s the little movie that could. This is more than we could have hoped for. I cried when I saw the first cut that was two hours and 20 minutes long, and I don’t cry easily, so I’ve known for some time that we had something special. It’s so gratifying given the long journey of this film and the great work Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and David O Russell did.”
Ryan Kavanaugh, producer, The Fighter: “It’s pretty amazing that the HFPA agrees with our belief in The Fighter. We have some projects that are our babies and this is one of them. All the actors were incredible and David accomplished an impossible task. We went to him with 100 pages of notes, we cut the budget in half and gave him 33 days to shoot it – and he did it in a way that will deliver not only commercial success but critical acclaim too.”
Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, producer, The Kids Are All Right: “It is particularly gratifying to be nominated for a Golden Globe Award, since the HFPA has the rare ability to reflect both insightful critical opinion as well as the popular feeling towards films.”
Christopher Nolan, writer-director-producer, Inception: “I’d like to thank the HFPA for recognising all of our hard work on Inception. It is particularly gratifying to be recognised for a film you’ve carried with you so long, and shared with so many incredible artists and craftsmen across six countries. It is a great honour and we are thrilled to be apart of such a prestigious group of nominees.”
Brian Oliver, producer, Black Swan: “We are so thankful to the HFPA for recognising our film, which in the beginning bore some skepticism. Even so, I loved the film and was confident that it had broad appeal. Darren is a creative mastermind who we knew could take the story above and beyond to turn it into what you see on screen. The work that he, Natalie, Mila, and everyone involved put into the film was extraordinary, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the film’s presence at this year’s awards.”
Celine Rattray, producer, The Kids Are All Right: “Today is particularly sweet. I am so grateful to my fellow nominated producers Jeff Levy-Hinte, who believed in The Kids Are All Right enough to stick by it for so many years, and Gary Gilbert. And I am beyond delighted that the talented Lisa, Stuart, Annette and Julianne are all Golden Globe nominees.”
Scott Rudin, producer, The Social Network: “I couldn’t be more thrilled for my colleagues that we were recognised so richly this morning. Huge thanks to the HFPA for a big vote of confidence in our film — we’re very grateful and very honoured.”
Tanya Seghatchian, head of the UK Film Council’s Film Fund, on The King’s Speech: “This is fantastic result for The King’s Speech and points to a very successful awards season for this brilliant British film. We are proud to have played a part in helping it to get made and congratulate everyone connected with the film.
Gareth Unwin, producer, The King’s Speech: “I am deeply honoured and very thankful to the HFPA to see the film, our director, its cast, the script and score recognised with these seven nominations. We are all immensely proud of the film we have made and seeing it recognised in this way is really quite humbling. “
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech: “I am absolutely thrilled with all the nominations for The King Speech and hugely grateful to the Hollywood Foreign Press. I am so delighted for our entire cast, composer Alexandre and for David Seidler, whose journey towards making this film started as a small boy listening to King George VI on the radio. I am so grateful to my extraordinary cast and crew for helping to bring this unlikely story of friendship to life. Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press for supporting our film and making me very happy at two in the morning in Melbourne, Australia!”
Simon Beaufoy, co-writer with Danny Boyle, 127 Hours: “It was a huge challenge and not just because it’s a one-man film with a man who hardly moves. The challenge was making people forget that they know what happens to the guy. Somehow we had to make people live in each moment so they forgot it all ends happily and indeed that he [James Franco, playing trapped rock climber Aron Ralston] gets out. Of course Aron was alive and well and was reading every draft of the script, so it was a great responsibility because it was the defining moment of his life. Actuality can be a messy business, so we always had to fall on the side of the facts. I spent a long time talking to [Ralston] about facts and actuality and emotional truth. We felt if we could get the emotional truth we could tell the story, but to do that we had to get Aron to trawl around in some of the less complementary parts of his character and that allowed the film to be greater than the sum of its parts. It’s more than [a story about] aperson trying to get out of a difficult situation; it’s about a person learning there’s more to live than himself. People are important.”
Lisa Cholodenko, co-writer with Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right: “I’m so grateful that the Hollywood Foreign Press has recognised The Kids Are All Right with four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture and for both Julianne Moore and Annette Bening’s phenomenal performances. I’m also thrilled to be able to share a screenwriting nomination with Stuart Blumberg, after years of writing – and rewriting! – this movie together.”
David Seidler, The King’s Speech: “It seems such a very long time ago I started on this journey, and there’ve been so many speed bumps along the way, it seems miraculous to have this reached fulfillment and see it so generously received. I was privileged to work with a perfectionist of a director who fully honours the collaborative process, and to be blessed with such a magnificent cast. That this quiet tale of hope, courage, friendship, and duty has found an audience is the greatest reward of all.”
Aaron Sorkin, screenplay, The Social Network: “I’ve had the time of my life working alongside my colleagues on The Social Networkand I’m grateful to the HFPA for recognising their great, hard work. On a personal note it’s humbling to be nominated alongside six of the best screenwriters in town.”
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right: “Seeing our movie getting so much recognition makes me proud. And being nominated alongside Julianne Moore is the best!”
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network: “It was an honour to be part of this wonderful movie and we’re so glad it was acknowledged by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.”
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech: “I’m truly grateful to be recognized by the Hollywood Foreign press for this film, and euphoric to be in the company of so many of my colleagues.”
Paul Giamatti, Barney’s Version: “Thank you to everyone at The HFPA. It’s a great thrill to be honoured for this performance. I believe Richard made a lovely movie, and I am really happy for the film to be recognised. I share this with Rosamund, Dustin and all the cast and crew, who were a joy to work with.”
Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine: “I am very grateful to the HFPA. I also would like to thank them for acknowledging Michelle Williams for her incredible performance. Without the 12 years of director Derek Cianfrance’s unwavering vision and commitment none of this would have been possible. I share this nomination with both of them.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone: “Working on Winter’s Bone with such talented people was an incredible experience, and never did I dream that it would lead to this moment. I’m so proud of this movie and words can’t describe being in the company of these extraordinary actresses. ‘Thank you,’ is the best I can do right now.”
Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right: “I was busy putting towels in the dryer this morning and didn’t hear my phone ring, so when my friend called a little later I was pretty sure she was consoling me. I am so thrilled to be nominated.”
Natalie Portman, Black Swan: “I’m very honoured by the HFPA nomination, and to be included in this group of actresses I so admire. The experience of filming Black Swan with Darren Aronofsky and our incredible crew is already the most fulfilling experience of my career. The audience appreciation of the film is only furthering how grateful and proud I am to be part of the film.”
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine: “This nomination is an honour and I am thrilled to share it with my friend, my co-conspirator, and my favorite dance partner, Ryan Gosling. Thank you so much to The Hollywood Foreign Press, The Weinstein Company and of course to the inestimable Derek Cianfrance, whose vision led and sustained us all.”
Amy Adams, The Fighter: “What an exciting morning for our film, especially when you consider what a terrific year it was for movies. Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press Association for this honour and also for recognising Mark, Melissa, Christian and David’s great work. I am deeply proud of the film and to be honoured for it is icing on the cake.”
Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech: “I’m very happy to get a nomination for The King’s Speechon the eve of my daughter’s birthday; it means I get a prezzie as well. If it reminds any producer, director, writer in the profession that I’m alive and kicking and available for work, then job well done. Thank you Hollywood Foreign Press and everyone that made me look good in The King’s Speech.”
Michael Douglas, supporting actor, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps: “To be selected with these extraordinary nominees is an honour and boy was I ready for some good news!”
Andrew Garfield, The Social Network: “I’m very touched to have been nominated by the HFPA this morning and am thrilled that The Social Network has been recognised, as well as David, Aaron, Jesse and Trent. The process of making this movie was an incredibly creative and joyous experience and to see the film honored in this way is truly a thrill and is something for which I’m very grateful.”
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech: “Playing an Australian commoner called upon to teach a reluctant English King some life lessons for me was fascinating in itself. To have it embraced by American audiences and to be so honoured by the HFPA only endorses how global this story has become. Seeing a small scale project play into an international arena makes this all the more worthwhile. I’m very proud to be a part of this film and thrilled for my colleagues who were also nominated in such illustrious company.”
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom: “The words ‘thrilled’ and ‘delighted’ just don’t seem to cut it to describe how elated I feel about receiving the Golden Globe nomination. I feel like I’ve been launched into space and landed on another planet. This whole adventure with Animal Kingdomhas been such an unexpected pleasure. Just working with David Michod, an extraordinary film-maker, born story teller, a true auteur and a visionary, would have been enough reward for me. But now to have such wide recognition so far from home is incredibly satisfying. I’m a grateful woman.”
Susanne Bier, director, In A Better World: “I love what I do and this nomination is a great acknowledgement that I am doing the right thing! I can’t wait to begin the next project but for now I am going to enjoy this moment!”
Luca Guadagnino, director, I Am Love:“It is an incredible honour and joy to be embraced with such warmth and appreciation by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the work and sacrifices we made on I Am Love. I am humbled that in Hollywood and America in general - as well as the international community - this film has enjoyed an acclaimed and embraced theatrical release. It is truly unexpected and further strengthens my belief in the power of the language of film. I celebrate this amazing result by thanking my partners in First Sun, all my producers and of course with my wonderful star Tilda Swinton. Thank you.”
Sylvain Chomet, director, The Illusionist: “It’s a thrill and an honour to be nominated for a Golden Globe. I’m obviously delighted The Illusionist is getting recognised on the highest of global platforms - but more than that - I am deeply touched by how people are taking this wonderful film to their hearts.”
Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, directors, Tangled: “Tangled has been a labor of love since its beginning, and the passion and dedication of our crew shows in every frame,” said Howard.
“It’s a true highpoint in our careers to have Tangled acknowledged by the Hollywood Foreign Press.The nomination is a real thrill and an incredible way to honour Walt Disney Animation’s 50th feature film,” added Greno.
Lee Unkrich, director, Toy Story 3: “I remember while we were making it completely dismissing thoughts of awards because I though nobody would honour a movie with a ‘3’ after it. The fact that it’s happening now is truly thrilling. People appreciate the honesty of it. I tried to be as truthful as I could in the telling and the emotions. I didn’t want it to be maudlin in any way. I wanted it to be emotional and I wanted the emotion to be earned. It’s funny and scary at times and there aren’t that many films that can do that.”
Alexandre Desplat, The King’s Speech: “This nomination for The King’s Speech reminds me of the wonderful time I spent writing and recording the music close to Tom Hooper’s brilliance. Merci, again HFPA members for following my work with such benevolence.”
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network: “We are incredibly flattered by the recognition we’re receiving for our work scoring The Social Network. Working with David Fincher and his team ranks among the most rewarding creative experiences either of us have experienced, and we are thankful for the opportunity. Being part of a team and watching a project you truly believe in resonate with the outside world is its own reward, but this feels pretty great, too.”