Tilda Swinton

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Posted by kaori 03/06/2009 @ 22:09

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Swinton performance riveting as Julia Harris - Hürriyet
LOS ANGELES - Tilda Swinton gives a brash and unflinching performance as a lonely, self-destructive alcoholic woman who makes some questionable choices in 'Julia'. "Julia" requires an enormous amount of its star, and of its audience....
Tilda Swinton to Talk About Kevin - Artistdirect.com
Tilda Swinton, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in Michael Clayton, is re-teaming with Clayton producer Jennifer Fox for We Need to Talk About Kevin, the big screen adaptation of Lionel Shriver's novel....
Popcorn Panel: Limits - National Post
At least Tilda Swinton seemed to be having a bit of fun. Bil I haven't seen much of Jarmusch's work so I can't call myself a fan (yet), and I was fighting some late night fatigue while watching Limits, but I wanted it to keep going....
Jim Jarmusch film 'Limits of Control' spares words but not story - The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
by John Petkovic/ Plain Dealer Reporter Who: Stars Isaach De Bankole, John Hurt, Gael Garcia Bernal, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray. Written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. "Sometimes, I like it in films when people just sit there, not saying anything," says...
Lush Life: Tilda Swinton Heads Out of Character - Women's Wear Daily
by Vanessa Lawrence Sitting in a nondescript conference room in a flatiron office building, Tilda Swinton looks a bit out of place. Like a foreigner making a brief pit stop in the Land of Modern Marketing before returning to a life spent on a higher...
Tilda Swinton drinks deep for role as 'super-wrecked' Julia - USA Today
By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY By Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY NEW YORK — For someone who so convincingly embodies a ferociously dedicated alcoholic in Julia, Tilda Swinton has a surprising confession to make. "I can't drink....
Tilda Swinton joins 'Talk About Kevin' - Hollywood Reporter
By Stuart Kemp CANNES -- Tilda Swinton is attached to take the lead in Lynne Ramsay's big-screen adaptation "We Need to Talk About Kevin." The movie, based on Lionel Shriver's novel, tells the story of a smart, educated New York mother who does her...
13 Things You Want To Know About Tilda Swinton - Indie Wire
John Cameron Mitchell's aunt lives in Tilda's hometown, Nairn, in the far north of Scotland “I saw her last Friday,” she said to Mitchell after blowing him a kiss to give to his aunt the next time he saw her. 4. She has her own film festival in said...
"Limits of Control" a study in the journey of film craft - Denver Post
By Lisa Kennedy Tilda Swinton and Isaac de Bankole in Jim Jarmusch's "The Limits of Control." (Focus Features) Visually mesmerizing, sonically splendid, "The Limits of Control" is as much about an artist and his muses as it is about the crime story...
2009 Cannes Film Festival kicks off in style: Tilda Swinton flies ... - Catwalk Queen
Tilda Swinton was also there on opening night, commanding the cameras in a bordeaux silk skirt and suede jacket ensemble by Haider Ackermann, whom she also accompanied. Also causing quite a stir was Robin Wright Penn, who glided along the red carpet in...

Tilda Swinton

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Katherine Mathilda "Tilda" Swinton (born 5 November 1960) is an Academy Award, BAFTA, and Coppa Volpi award-winning British actress known for both arthouse and mainstream films.

Swinton was born in London, England. Her mother, Judith Balfour (née Killen), was Australian, and her father, Major-General Sir John Swinton of Kimmerghame, Berwickshire, KCVO, is Scottish. The Swinton family is an ancient Anglo-Scots family that can trace its lineage to the ninth century. Swinton attended West Heath Girls' School (the same class as Diana, Princess of Wales), and also Fettes College for a brief period. In 1983, she graduated from New Hall (now known as Murray Edwards College) at Cambridge University with a degree in Social and Political Sciences. She has two Honorary Doctorates: one from Napier University in Edinburgh, received in August 2006 and one from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) in Glasgow, received July 2006. She was a contributing editor to the literary magazine Zembla.

Recent years have seen Swinton move towards more mainstream projects, including the leading role in the American film The Deep End (2001), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. She appeared as a supporting character in films such as The Beach (2000), featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, and Vanilla Sky (2001) with Tom Cruise and, as the archangel Gabriel in Constantine (2005) with Keanu Reeves. Swinton has also appeared in the British films The Statement (2003) and Young Adam (2003), and sat on the jury of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2005, Swinton performed as the White Witch Jadis, in the film version of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and as Audrey Cobb in the Mike Mills film adaptation of the novel Thumbsucker. Swinton later had a cameo in Narnia's sequel.

Swinton has recently collaborated with artist Patrick Wolf on his forthcoming album Battle, contributing four spoken word pieces.

Swinton appeared at the 81st Academy Awards for a special appearance for her win at the 80th Academy Awards for the win of Best Supporting Actress, she was announced and appeared along with Eva Marie Saint, Goldie Hawn, Anjelica Huston and Whoopi Goldberg. She was the one who announced the winner for Best Supporting Actress, which Penelope Cruz won.

In August 2006 she opened the new Screen Academy Scotland production centre in Edinburgh.

On July 2008 she founded the film festival Ballerina Ballroom Cinema Of Dreams. The event took place in a ballroom in Nairn in the Scottish Highlands in August. Swinton and Marc Cousins, who co-created the festival, have now launched the website www.cinemaofdreams.co.uk, on which they will select movies for members to watch and blog about on website. These films will generally be available to watch on freeview uk.

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White Witch

Tilda Swinton as Jadis, the White Witch. Her collar is made from Aslan's mane, taken during his sacrifice.

Jadis, commonly known as the White Witch, is the main villain of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first published book in C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia series, and the second chronologically. Jadis also appears at length in The Magician's Nephew, which concerns her origins and the origins of Narnia. She is the Witch who froze Narnia in the Hundred Years Winter.

A short biographical sketch added to the books by later editors has led some readers to conclude that Jadis and the Lady of the Green Kirtle from The Silver Chair are the same person; but there is no suggestion to that effect in Lewis's writing.

The White Witch was born before the creation of Narnia, Narnian year 0, and died in battle in Narnian year 1000.

In The Magician's Nephew, Jadis is revealed to be a native of Charn, a different world entirely from Narnia. She descended from a long line of kings and queens. This line began well, with honorable, decent-hearted people, but it grew evil and malevolent over many generations. Charn's final queen, Jadis, a powerful sorceress, fought against her sister in a bloody war which almost ended in her own defeat. Rather than submit to her sister, Jadis spoke the Deplorable Word and left Charn devoid of life. She passes through the Wood between the Worlds, an endless forest filled with pools of water that act as portals to other worlds, including the worlds of Earth and Narnia. Charn is destroyed so utterly that when Jadis leaves its pool in the Wood, the pool dries to nothing. While in the Wood, she appears to lose health, strength, and magical ability. Through the reckless actions of Digory Kirke, Jadis is transported to the world of Narnia at its creation, and she immediately starts scheming to become its mistress. She eats the Fruit of Everlasting Life, acquiring immortality and her white-colored skin; she then travels to the North to develop her magic anew, becoming the first of the "Northern Witches".

In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, set 1000 years after the events of The Magician's Nephew, Jadis has usurped power over Narnia, having magically forced the land into an "endless winter" during her reign, which as the book opens had lasted for a hundred years. Though it is always winter, she prevents Christmas from ever coming.

During her reign, the White Witch is styled "Her Imperial Majesty Jadis, Queen of Narnia, Chatelaine of Cair Paravel, Empress of the Lone Islands". She makes two claims to buttress her authority to rule over Narnia. The first is that she is a human from Earth (a "daughter of Eve"). At the beginning of Narnia, Aslan gave "sons of Adam and daughters of Eve" dominion over all the beasts and magical creatures of Narnia. (Narnian dwarfs are not considered to be human, even though they can and do reproduce with humans; they are called "Sons of Earth".) Although the White Witch appears human (despite her irregular skin color and abnormal height), Narnian rumor holds that she descends from Adam's first wife, Lilith, and was half-Jinn and half-giantess, and thus not even partially human. The Magician's Nephew, by contrast with this slander, recounts her origin on Charn; but whether the people of Charn are human is never addressed.

The White Witch's second claim is that she is a servant of the Emperor-Over-the-Sea and rules with his blessing. This is at best a half-truth: she is the first to rebel in Narnia, and by the workings of the Deep Magic she is given ownership of all traitors and the right to kill them. For this reason, Mr. Beaver characterizes her as the Emperor's hangman (though Aslan rebukes him for saying this). The White Witch favors the Stone Table for her executions.

When the Pevensie children arrive in Narnia via Digory's magical wardrobe, it is explained to them that, according to an ancient prophecy, when two sons of Adam and two daughters of Eve fill the four thrones at Cair Paravel as Kings and Queens of Narnia, the reign of the White Witch and the endless winter would end. Jadis is aware of the prophecy, and employs spies to tell her of any human that comes to Narnia. While there are other humans in the world of Narnia at the time of the first book — humans descended from the original King Frank and Queen Helen populate Archenland, Calormen, and the island kingdoms — humans are completely unknown in occupied Narnia, to the extent that the Narnians think them mythological.

The White Witch's most notorious deed, aside from uttering the Deplorable Word that destroys Charn, is killing Aslan on the Stone Table (as a surrogate for Edmund), her right by the Deep Magic. Aslan returns to life by Deeper Magic, and in the subsequent battle, Aslan kills the witch, ending her reign of terror.

In Prince Caspian, 1,300 years later, Nikabrik (a dwarf), a hag, and a wer-wolf (to use Lewis's spelling) plan to bring the Witch back using black sorcery in their bid to defeat King Miraz. Caspian X and Trumpkin protest against this, stating "Wasn't she a tyrant ten times worse than Miraz?". Their plan backfires when they are killed in a fight with Caspian and his allies.

The Witch does not appear in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, though the stone knife she used to kill Aslan at the Stone Table is found on Ramandu's island by three of the Seven Great Lords of Narnia. Disagreeing on what course to take, one of them took the knife and tried to use it against the other lords, causing them to fall into an enchanted sleep.

In The Silver Chair, 1,356 years after the event of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, she is called one of the "Northern Witches", along with the Lady of the Green Kirtle, who Glimfeather (the Owl) speculates may be "of the same crew" as the White Witch, though Jadis was the only survivor of Charn.

In her own dominion, Charn, Jadis is formidable; but she finds her magic largely useless in other worlds. She eventually strengthens her powers and usurps the throne of Narnia, using her magic to cast the land into perpetual winter. Her most feared weapon is her wand, whose magic is capable of turning people into stone. The petrified remains of her enemies decorate the halls of her castle.

An extraordinarily beautiful, tall and imposing woman, Jadis' beauty enchants Digory Kirke, Andrew Ketterley and Edmund Pevensie on first encounters. She is also physically powerful and amazonian, capable of breaking iron with her bare hands and lifting human beings off their feet. Unlike her magic, she retains her superhuman strength in other worlds (except in the Wood between the Worlds). She is seven feet tall, as were all members of the Royal Family of Charn, and once she has eaten the Fruit of Everlasting Life, her skin becomes as white as paper. A natural-born sorceress and a cunning strategist, Jadis is arrogant and cruel, considering herself above all rules and viewing others as tools to be used or obstacles to be demolished. Her callousness is most clearly demonstrated when she uses the Deplorable Word in Charn to vanquish her sister, even though the Word would eradicate all life in that world but her own. She prefers to destroy that entire world than submit to her sister's authority, and afterwards shows a remorseless pride in her actions.

Lewis almost certainly based Jadis on Rider Haggard's She: in a review of that novel Lewis simultaneously expresses his fascination with the story and his dislike of the character. Like Jadis, "She" is compellingly beautiful, is initiated in occult knowledge, seeks immortal life through unlawful means and claims absolute superiority to the demands of morality. Haggard's later book She and Allan sometimes calls her "the white witch".

For the name 'Jadis', Lewis may have taken the French word jadis (IPA: ), which means "of old" or "once upon a time" — a customary opening in French fairy tales. It has also been suggested that the source may have been the Turkish word cadı IPA:  which means "witch". (Compare also Persian جادو jâdu 'witchcraft', جادوگر jâdugar 'witch'.) Though not closely resembling "Jadis" in pronunciation, this word might be another of Lewis's Turkish imports, like aslan (lion) and tash (stone).

In the 1988 BBC miniseries The Chronicles of Narnia, the White Witch was played by Barbara Kellerman. In a later episode, Kellerman was cast in the role as the Lady of the Green Kirtle, as the limited budget of the miniseries caused the BBC to re-use several other actors and actresses in multiple roles. Due to this, some readers believe that the White Witch and Green Lady are the same person, especially due to a lack of back story given to the Green Lady. However, this was never explicitly supported in Lewis's writings. After her wand was broken, she ran up the ravine only for Aslan to arrive and roar enough for the ground to shake and the White Witch to lose her balance and fall.

Tilda Swinton was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain for her performance as the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Swinton reprised her role as the White Witch in the 2008 sequel The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. In a scene exclusive to the film, the hag, werewolf and dwarf that planned to resurrect The White Witch in the novel manage to conjure up an apparition of her within a mystical wall of ice. The White Witch says that she needs a drop of "Adam's blood" to live again, which she tries to coax from Caspian and then from Peter with promises of lending her great powers to their cause against King Miraz once she is made whole. However, Edmund shatters the ice before the Witch can obtain the drop of blood, and she is sent back into oblivion.

It is yet unknown whether Swinton will return to play the character in a film adaptation of The Magician's Nephew, though she has expressed interest.

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80th Academy Awards

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The 80th Academy Awards ceremony honored the best films in 2007 and was broadcast from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California on ABC beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST/8:30 p.m. EST, February 24, 2008 (01:30 February 25 UTC). During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories. Gil Cates was the producer, making it his 14th show, a record. Jon Stewart hosted the show, his second time. He previously presided over the 78th Academy Awards. The ceremony was notably received as the lowest rated and least watched telecast to date, despite celebrating 80 years of the Academy. The telecast was nominated for a 2008 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program category.

The nominees were announced on January 22 at 5:38 a.m. PST (13:38 UTC) by Academy president Sid Ganis and actress Kathy Bates, at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the Academy's Beverly Hills headquarters. No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood each received eight nominations.

No Country for Old Men dominated by winning four awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Adapted Screenplay (both awards for Joel and Ethan Coen), and Best Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem). For the first time since the 37th Academy Awards (1964), the Academy presented all four of the acting awards to non-American actors. The latter were: Daniel Day-Lewis (British) for There Will Be Blood (Best Actor), Marion Cotillard (French) for La Vie en Rose (Best Actress), Javier Bardem (Spanish) for No Country for Old Men (Best Supporting Actor), and Tilda Swinton (British) for Michael Clayton (Best Supporting Actress). This ceremony also continued trends of recent years, with no film winning more than four awards, the honors for non-documentary features being spread among 13 different films, and major acting honors going to a biographical film.

This is a breakdown of winners of major awards categories only. For a complete list of nominees and winners, see 80th Academy Awards nominees and winners.

The following 21 films received multiple nominations.

The following four films received multiple awards.

Note 1: In a taped segment, the four nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject were named, and the winner announced, by six U.S. military servicemembers stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. (Four versions of the winning announcement were recorded, with the appropriate version indicated to the program's video engineer at the live event.) After the announcement of the winner, Tom Hanks presented the award to the winner in the theatre.

For the fourth consecutive year, the field of major nominees did not include a bona fide blockbuster at the U.S. box office, with the nominees for Best Picture performing even more poorly than those of the previous year, although slightly better than in 2005.

None of the five Best Picture nominees was among the year's top 30 releases in box office at the time of the nominations; at the time of the announcement on January 22, Juno was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $87.1 million in domestic box office receipts (the film was the only Best Picture nominee of the five to earn more than $100 million before the ceremony date). The film was followed by No Country for Old Men which earned $48.9 million, Michael Clayton with $39.4 million, and Atonement with $32.7 million. There Will Be Blood rounded out the Best Picture nominees with $8.7 million. Out of the top 50 grossing movies of the year (prior to announcement), 30 nominations went to 11 films on the list. Only Ratatouille (11th), American Gangster (19th) , Juno (32nd), and Charlie Wilson's War (40th) received nominations for best picture, directing, acting, or screenwriting. The other top-50 box office hits that earned nominations were Transformers (3rd), Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (4th), The Bourne Ultimatum (7th), Norbit (30th), The Golden Compass (38th), Surf's Up (42nd), and 3:10 to Yuma (45th).

For the third consecutive year, a majority of the Best Picture nominees were rated R (under 17 requires accompanying adult). Of the 88 nominations awarded to non-documentary feature films (apart from the Foreign Film category), a slight majority of 50 went to R-rated films, 29 to films rated PG-13, 4 to PG-rated films and 5 to a G-rated film. There was a remarkable rating-related division among the nominations: R-rated films captured 24 of the 40 nominations for Best Picture, directing, screenwriting and acting; while non-R-rated films received 26 of the 45 nominations in the remaining categories, primarily those in "below the line" areas.

Many news organizations have pointed out that numerous films nominated focused primarily on deeply grisly subjects such as greed, corruption, and violence. Films that prominently featured dark subjects included No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd, and Michael Clayton.

Host Jon Stewart observed this trend in his opening monologue when he asked "Does this town need a hug?" In another reference to the four darker, dramatic films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, he commented "Thank God for teen pregnancy," a reference to the comparatively lighter theme of Juno.

For the fourth year in a row, no film received more than four awards. The honors for achievements in non-documentary features were spread among 13 different films. All the acting awards were presented to performers who were born outside of the United States. The last time this happened was in 1964. Daniel Day-Lewis is a British and Irish citizen, Tilda Swinton is from the UK, Marion Cotillard is from France, and Javier Bardem is from Spain.

Marion Cotillard's win for her portrayal of Édith Piaf marked the third year in a row, and the seventh time in nine years, that the Best Actress award went to a performance in a biographical film, though the win by Day-Lewis was the first Best Actor nod in four years for playing a fictional character. Also, Cotillard became the second actress since Sophia Loren in 1961 to receive an Oscar for a non-English speaking role. Overall Cotillard is the fifth performer to win for a non-English speaking role after Loren, Robert De Niro in 1974 (for supporting), Roberto Benigni in 1998, and Benicio Del Toro in 2000 (for supporting). Cotillard became the fourth French-born actress after Claudette Colbert in 1934, Simone Signoret in 1959, and Juliette Binoche in 1996 (for supporting) to win an Oscar. She became the first to win for a French-language performance. All of the previous foreign-language winners won for Italian- or Spanish-speaking roles.

Robert F. Boyle, at age 98, became the oldest recipient of the Honorary Academy Award.

The Coen brothers' win for Best Director marks the second time the award was shared between two individuals for a single film. The first time was in 1961, when Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise earned Oscars for co-directing West Side Story.

The American telecast drew in an average of 31.76 million viewers over its length, which was down 20 percent from the previous year, and a household rating of 18.66%. Although an average of 32.61 million people watched during the first half-hour of the show, the audience diminished to an average of 25.17 million by its last half-hour. The ceremony also drew a record low 10.68 rating in the 18-49 target demographics. It surpassed the ceremony of five years earlier as the lowest rated and least watched show since Nielsen ratings were recorded for the telecast in 1967 and audience size was monitored beginning in 1974. Ratings for this ceremony were 14% lower than the previous record holder. Many were also quick to point out a big contrast between the ratings for the show and Super Bowl XLII, which attracted a record 97.5 million (three times as much as the ceremony) with 43.3% of households. According to the Chicago Tribune the Super Bowl and the Oscars (which since 2004, have usually occurred in the same month) have been usually the two big events that traditionally attract a large number of television viewers.

Many insiders and critics blame the extremely low ratings and shrunken audience size to the fact that, like the awards telecast of two-years earlier, no box office hits were nominated. Many believe that the ratings for the awards heavily depend on what films receive the nominations. During the 70th Academy Awards, an audience of 57.25 million tuned into the ceremony in which the global blockbuster Titanic won a record-tying 11 awards from its 14 nominations.

Others blamed the preceding writers' strike for the low ratings because it allotted for less time for the writers to prepare adequate material and more deeply thought humor (see below). It also may have hindered ABC (the broadcaster of the ceremony in the United States) in promoting the event for a longer time period due to doubts of the outcome of the strike.

Despite poor American ratings, the show was by far the top rated show in Canada for the 2007-08 Canadian television season.

Throughout the ceremony, there were various tributes to the 80th Anniversary of the Academy Awards ceremony. One segment recapping the previous winners of the Best Picture award. Another montage highlighted the history of the ceremony. Preceding each acting award and the best director award presentation, a montage saluting previous winners of each award was shown. Several pre-recorded segments featured past winners discussing their feelings on winning, including Barbra Streisand, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sidney Poitier, Steven Spielberg, and Elton John.

The annual "In Memoriam" tribute was presented by Oscar-winning actress Hilary Swank. The memorial list included those who died between February 1, 2007, and January 31, 2008.

The tribute included Roscoe Lee Brown, Barry Nelson, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Betty Hutton, Calvin Lockhart, Jane Wyman, screenwriter Melville Shavelson, director Curtis Harrington, Jack Valenti, choreographer Michael Kidd, director Michelangelo Antonioni, director Delbert Mann, make-up artist Monty Westmore, soundman Peter T. Hanford, stuntman Bud Ekins, screenwriter Bernard Gordon, Dabbs Greer, Jean-Claude Brialy, art director Harold Michelson, Laraine Day, Jean-Pierre Cassel, Lois Maxwell, cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, director Robert Clark, art director George Jenkins, Johnny Grant, studio executive Frank E. Rosenfelt, producer Martin Manulis, costume designer Donfeld, director Sembene Ousmane, agent Freddy Fields, agent Robert Lantz, executive Ray Kurtzman, Miyoshi Umeki, Suzanne Pleshette, Deborah Kerr, visual effects artist Peter Ellenshaw, film editor Peter Zinner, cinematographer Freddie Francis, director Ingmar Bergman, composer and songwriter Ray Evans, make-up artist William Tuttle, and actor Heath Ledger.

Like many entertainment award telecasts, the Academy Awards ceremony has suffered controversies throughout its history. However the broadcast had never before faced turmoil to the point of endangerment, as threatened by the 2007–08 Writers Guild of America strike.

The strike created uncertainty regarding the 2008 Awards. Although the strike was lifted before the date of the Awards, this occurred less than two weeks before and therefore long-term planning was difficult.

On December 18, 2007, the striking Writers Guild of America denied a waiver requested by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in connection with film clips and excerpts from previous award ceremonies to be shown at the 2008 awards. The material could have still been used though, as the denial only affected the conditions under which the clips are shown. This was not the first time the ceremony took place during a labor dispute: the 60th Academy Awards occurred 37 days after that year's writers strike began. At the time, material was already completed in anticipation for the strike, and actors were in full attendance of the ceremony.

In anticipation that the strike would continue through Oscar Night, the Academy developed a Plan B show that would not have included actors accepting their awards. It would have included the musical numbers, but would have relied heavily on historic film clips, emphasizing the 80th anniversary of the awards. Nevertheless, the strike was lifted on February 12, as a result of a deal reached by the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers introduced three days earlier. Therefore, the fear of picketing writers and boycotting actors (as a result of solidarity by the Screen Actors Guild) was eliminated, and the ceremony proceeded as normal.

Many analysts still suspect that the strike affected the amount of time for writing preparation and promotion for the ceremony itself.

One Oscar-related casualty from the strike aside from the ceremony were the cancellation of several entertainment parties in support of the strike, including one held by Vanity Fair and another by Entertainment Weekly.

Brad Renfro was not among those mourned in the In Memoriam tribute, although he had died in January 2008. Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger responded to criticism by stating, "Unfortunately we cannot include everyone. Our goal is to honor individuals who worked in the many professions and trades of the motion picture industry, not just actors." Also among those omitted was costume designer Marit Allen, who was among the year's nominees for her work on La Vie en Rose. Ulrich Mühe, the star of the German film The Lives of Others (which won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2006) was not mentioned, and also excluded were the French mime artist Marcel Marceau and Edward Yang, the Cannes-fêted Taiwanese director acclaimed for humane films including Yi Yi and A Brighter Summer Day. Also left out was Maila Nurmi (aka "Vampira"), who starred in such films as The Beat Generation, I Woke Up Early The Day I Died and the infamous cult classic Plan 9 from Outer Space, though she was later mentioned in the memoriom montage for the 81st Academy Awards.

Also, many TV viewers observed that during the montages honoring the 80-year history of the awards, highlights from four-time host Whoopi Goldberg and two-time host Steve Martin were notably absent from the montage (though Goldberg was acknowledged in another segment recognizing previous Best Supporting Actress winners). On the talk show The View the following morning, Goldberg's co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck pointed out the omission, to which Goldberg responded, "Undoubtedly, I pissed somebody off once again. You know what, I don't--I don't know". Co-hosts Hasselbeck, Sherri Shepherd, Joy Behar and Barbara Walters then embraced Goldberg and praised her for her accomplishments. Producer Gil Cates issued an apology to Goldberg three days after the ceremony.

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Michael Clayton (film)

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Michael Clayton is a 2007 American dramatic film written and directed by Tony Gilroy and produced by Sydney Pollack. It stars George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, and Sydney Pollack. It chronicles the attempts of attorney Michael Clayton to cope with a colleague's apparent mental breakdown and the corruption and murderous intrigue of a major client of his law firm being sued in a class action case involving toxic agrochemicals.

The story opens as Michael Clayton (George Clooney), an attorney with a gambling problem, leaves a late night poker game. He works for the prestigious New York City law firm Kenner, Bach & Ledeen as a "fixer", someone who rectifies difficult situations, often through unconventional or expedient methods. Clayton is summoned to meet with an anxious client who believes he has struck a pedestrian with his car and left the scene. After Clayton leaves, he pulls off to the side of the road after some aimless driving. He climbs a hill to look at some horses, gazing at them, when his car suddenly explodes.

The story flashes back to four days earlier, when Clayton received news that he owes $75,000 to organized crime figures represented by loan shark Gabe Zabel (Bill Raymond), due to a failed attempt to open a bar with his brother Timmy (David Lansbury). Then he is called with the news that one of the firm's leading attorneys, Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), suffered a bizarre mental breakdown in the middle of a crucial deposition in Milwaukee involving a class action lawsuit against the firm's largest client, United Northfield (or U-North), an agricultural products conglomerate. Dispatched to fix the situation, Clayton gets Edens out of jail and learns that his friend, who is a manic-depressive, has stopped taking his medication. Clayton plans to take Edens back to New York for medical care, but Edens flees and reaches New York on his own.

Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton), U-North's general counsel, retrieves Edens' briefcase and discovers that he obtained an internal U-North memorandum documenting the company's culpability for manufacturing a cancer-causing herbicide, the subject of the lawsuit. When Crowder learns that Edens refuses to cooperate and cannot easily be committed to a mental health institution, she decides to hire two operatives (Robert Prescott, Terry Serpico) to follow him, including tapping his phone and installing bugs in his apartment. This surveillance and the firm's review of documents in Edens's office reveals that he is building a case against U-North, his own client. Crowder tacitly instructs the two operatives to murder Edens, which they set up to look like a suicide.

Clayton is distraught at Edens's death, but becomes suspicious when he accidentally learns that U-North was planning to settle the lawsuit and that Edens had purchased a plane ticket to New York for one of the plaintiffs, Anna (Merritt Wever). Clayton breaks into Edens's apartment and discovers a receipt for a large copy store order. At the store, he discovers that Edens had ordered one thousand copies of the memo incriminating U-North. Clayton takes a copy and leaves, but the two hit men are tailing him and, having obtained their own copy of the memo, inform Crowder of the situation. Clayton is about to show his boss, Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), what he has discovered, only to be confronted with an offer of a contract renewal and an $80,000 bonus that will cover his debt; Clayton holds the check in one hand and the memo copy in the other.

As Clayton plays poker that evening, returning to the film's proper opening, one of the hit men is seen rigging his car with a bomb. As Clayton leaves the game he receives a phone call summoning him to a meeting with the client in Westchester County who committed a hit-and-run. He is followed by the hit men, who have trouble tracking him. Knowing that he is nearby, but not his exact location, the hit men detonate the bomb. An unharmed Clayton runs back to his car and throws his personal effects into the fire. He later gets a ride back to New York with his estranged brother Timmy.

Later, at a U-North board meeting, Crowder proposes approval of a new settlement agreement. Clayton is waiting for her when she steps out of the conference room, and he tells her he has access to copies of the U-North memo and that he knows about her role in Edens's murder and the attempt on his own life. Admitting that he himself "sold out" Edens for personal gain, he demands to be paid off personally by her for his continued silence for $10 million. Crowder reluctantly agrees. Clayton then reveals the live cellphone in his pocket and walks away as police officers arrest Crowder and U-North's chairman (Ken Howard). His brother, the NYPD detective, had been covertly listening to their entire conversation. Clayton leaves the building and gets into a taxi. He tells the driver, "Give me $50 worth. Just drive." After a few minutes his face reveals a hint of a smile and then the film cuts to credits on black.

The original inspiration for Michael Clayton came to Gilroy during visits to New York law firms when he was doing research to write the screenplay of The Devil's Advocate. Gilroy recalls "Wandering through the streets these giant New York law offices, I was struck by how much goes on behind the scenes. Every firm had vast, back-of-the-house departments running twenty-four hours a day to keep them afloat".

In developing the script, Gilroy spent time talking to a gamut of law office personnel, including attorneys, paralegals and partners. Gilroy notes "I heard a story about a firm involved in a huge corporate litigation that had gone on for almost a decade. The case had been essentially settled, and the firm had prevailed. The settlement was over a billion dollars. Things were so far down the line that the firm had begun clearing out the document rooms that had housed all the filings and paperwork. Two days before the final signing, at four o' clock in the morning, a third year associate found a document that had never been placed in discovery. It was a very bad document, which would've meant a complete reversal of the case. The document never saw the light of day, and that associate had the fastest partner promotion in the history of the firm.

Having enjoyed success as a screenwriter, Gilroy stepped up to the challenges of directing his first feature film, including the formidable task of working with a main cast of seasoned actors, two of whom are acclaimed directors.

Samuels adds, "Tony just exudes confidence. He really does. You can see it in his eyes. But he's honest about where he is, what he knows and what he doesn't know. Above all, he is not afraid to push new boundaries for himself".

Behind the positive first impressions, Gilroy admits, "The thought of directing my first feature with such a high-caliber team was intimidating. Fortunately, I've had great support from a group I really trusted and relied on. Everyone from George and Tom to Sydney and Tilda; from Jennifer, Steven and Kerry to Robert Elswit, Kevin Thompson and my brother, John Gilroy; there was so much brain power and talented on this project that there wasn't much room for fear".

The railroad bridge where Clayton's car explodes is the Moodna Viaduct in Cornwall, New York, which is actually in Orange County, not Westchester. Washingtonville, where Clayton is said to have graduated from high school and where his father's birthday party takes place, is where writer and director Tony Gilroy himself attended high school.

The film premiered August 31, 2007, at the Venice Film Festival and was shown at the American Films Festival of Deauville on September 2, 2007, and at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 7, 2007. It opened in the United Kingdom on September 28, 2007, and at the Dubai Film Festival in December 2007. The film opened in limited release in the United States on October 5, 2007, and opened in wide release in the U.S. on October 12, 2007. The film grossed USD $10.3 million on the opening week. It was re-released on January 25, 2008. As of February 8, 2008, the film has grossed $45 million domestically. The film in total grossed $92.6 million worldwide.

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 19, 2008. The DVD contains deleted scenes and a commentary by writer/director Tony Gilroy. On March 11, 2008 the movie was also released on HD DVD.

The film received strongly positive reviews from critics. As of November 2008, the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 90% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 183 reviews, some of whom thought it was a dramatization of a true story. Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 82 out of 100, based on 36 reviews. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave it an 'A' saying that it was "better than good, it just about restores your faith." Roger Ebert gave it a 4-star review and Richard Roeper named it the 'best film of the year.' It was also Richard Schickel's top film of 2007, and he called it “a morally alert, persuasively realistic and increasingly suspenseful melodrama, impeccably acted and handsomely staged by Tony Gilroy". The reviews on Box Office Mojo give the movie a normal B. Time magazine said that "Michael Clayton is not an exercise in high-tension energy; you'll never confuse its eponymous protagonist with Jason Bourne. But it does have enough of a melodramatic pulse to keep you engaged in its story and, better than that, it is full of plausible characters who are capable of surprising—and surpassing—your expectations".

The film appeared on many critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2007.

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Michael Clayton was released on September 25, 2007 on the Varèse Sarabande label.

Although the album was panned by some critics, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Score.

All tracks composed by James Newton Howard.

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Burn After Reading

Burn After Reading is a 2008 black comedy film written, produced and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The film stars John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, George Clooney & Brad Pitt. It was released in the United States on September 12, 2008 and it was released on October 17, 2008 in the United Kingdom. The film had its premiere on August 27, 2008 when it opened the 2008 Venice Film Festival. The film is the brothers' first to follow their Academy Award winning Best Picture, No Country for Old Men.

Osborne Cox (John Malkovich) is a CIA analyst who quits his job at the agency after being demoted because of a drinking problem. He then decides to write a memoir about his life in the CIA. His wife, pediatrician Katie Cox (Tilda Swinton), wants to divorce Osborne and, at the counsel of her divorce lawyer (J.R. Horne), she copies many of his personal and financial files off his computer and onto a compact disc. The lawyer's receptionist accidentally leaves the disc at Hardbodies, a health club. After her husband is served with divorce papers, Katie changes the locks to keep him out of their house.

An employee of the gym, Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt), obtains the disc from the gym's custodian. Seeing the content of the memoir, he assumes that it is highly classified information and the financial data is some sort of cipher. Initially Chad only wants to give the disk back to Osborne hoping for a reward. But after a confusing phone conversation due to lack of communication between the two and a high temper on Osborne's part, Chad and Linda, who wants the money to pay for cosmetic surgery, decide to blackmail him. Chad meets Osborne, who refuses to pay and punches Chad in the nose. Then Linda decides to take the information to the Russian embassy. At the embassy, she hands the disk over to the Russians, promising that she will give more information afterwards. Because Linda and Chad don't have any more information, they decide to break into Osborne's house.

Katie has been having an affair with Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney), a womanizing Treasury agent. By chance he has recently met Linda online and begun an affair with her as well. Chad stakes out Osborne's house and breaks in when he sees Harry and Katie leave. Harry, however, comes back, finds Chad, and accidentally shoots him in the head. Chad is not carrying ID and the labels are cut out of his clothes; when Harry sees this, he thinks Chad is a spy and disposes of the body.

Days later, paranoid since he killed Chad, Harry leaves Osborne's house after a discussion with Katie. On his way out, he tackles a man who has been trailing him for some time, thinking the man works for the CIA or some other government agency. Harry discovers instead that the man works for a divorce firm hired by his wife, whom it is later revealed has been cheating on him as well. Harry is devastated and goes to see an agitated Linda, who confides in Harry that her friend Chad is missing; he agrees to try to help.

The next morning, Harry and Linda meet in a park and she provides him with more information about Chad's disappearance. When Harry realizes that Chad is the man he killed, he becomes more paranoid and flees in terror, assuming that Linda is also a spy. Linda then turns to Ted Treffon (Richard Jenkins), the manager of Hardbodies, who has feelings for her. Believing that the Russians have kidnapped Chad, he agrees to look for more information in Osborne's computer. But Osborne, finding that Katie has emptied their bank account, decides to break into his own house with a hatchet to take her jewelry. Finding Ted at his computer, Osborne shoots him. Ted survives and runs out of the house, but Osborne grabs the hatchet and kills him in broad daylight.

The movie ends at CIA headquarters, where an official (David Rasche) and his director (J.K. Simmons) are trying to sort out what happened: Chad is dead, Ted is dead, Osborne is in a vegetative state after being shot by a CIA operative who had been tasked with observing him. The agent felt he could not stand by while Osborne was killing a man (Ted) in broad daylight. Harry and Linda have been arrested. Harry was caught trying to board a flight to Venezuela, but the director decides to let him go to get him out of their hair. Linda promises to remain silent if the CIA will finance her plastic surgery. The baffled CIA agents agree to her terms, but decide that they have learned their lesson: they will never repeat whatever it is that they did in this case, though they are still not clear what it is they actually did.

Working Title Films produced the film for Focus Features, which also has worldwide distribution rights.

Burn After Reading is the first original screenplay penned by Joel and Ethan Coen since their 2001 movie, The Man Who Wasn't There. Ethan Coen compared Burn After Reading to the Allen Drury political novel Advise and Consent and called it "our version of a Tony Scott/Jason Bourne kind of movie, without the explosions." Joel Coen said they intended to create a spy movie because "we hadn't done one before," but he feels the final result was more of a character-driven movie than a spy story. Joel also said Burn After Reading was not meant to be a comment or satire on Washington D.C.

Parts of the Burn screenplay were written while the Coens were also writing their adaptation of No Country for Old Men. The Coens created characters with actors George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich and Richard Jenkins in mind for the parts, and the script derived from the brothers' desire to include them into a "fun story." Ethan Coen said Pitt's character was partially inspired by a botched hair coloring job from a commercial the actor filmed. Tilda Swinton, who was cast later than the rest of the cast, was one of the only major actors whose character was not written specifically for her. The Coens struggled to develop a common filming schedule among the A-list cast.

Production Weekly, an online entertainment industry magazine, falsely reported in October 2006 that Burn After Reading was a loose adaptation of Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors, and Secret Intelligence, a memoir by former U.S. Director of Central Intelligence Stansfield Turner. Although both stories involve the Central Intelligence Agency and derive their titles from the top secret classification term, the Coen brothers script has nothing to do with the Turner book; nevertheless, the rumor was not clarified until a Los Angeles Times article more than one year later.

Principal filming took place around Brooklyn Heights, as the Coens wanted to stay in New York City to be with their families. Other scenes were filmed at Paramus, New Jersey, Westchester County, New York and Washington, D.C. Filming began on August 27, 2007 and was completed on October 30, 2007. John Malkovich, appearing in his first Coen brothers film, said of the shooting, "The Coens are very delightful: smart, funny, very specific about what they want but not overly controlling, as some people can be." The film premiered in the Venice Film Festival, where it was not among the 21 films entered into competition for the festival's Golden Lion.

Joel Coen said the machine built by George Clooney's character was inspired by a machine he once saw a key grip build, and by another machine he saw in the Museum of Sex in New York City.

The National Board of Review named Burn After Reading to their list of the Top 10 Movies of 2008. Noel Murray of The A.V. Club named it the 2nd best film of 2008, Empire magazine named it the 3rd best film of 2008, and Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly named it the 7th best film of 2008.

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $19.1 million in 2,651 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #1 at the box office. As of December 8, 2008, it has grossed $60.3 million in the United States and Canada and $81.8 million in foreign countries adding up to $142.1 million.

Burn After Reading was released on DVD and Blu-ray disc on December 21, 2008 on Region 1. The Region 2 version was released on February 9, 2009.

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The Beach (film)

The Beach film.jpg

The Beach is a 2000 drama film by the Trainspotting team of writer John Hodge, producer Andrew Macdonald and director Danny Boyle based on The Beach, a 1996 novel by Alex Garland. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Robert Carlyle, Virginie Ledoyen and Guillaume Canet.

Richard (Leonardo DiCaprio), a young American backpacking in Thailand, has come to Southeast Asia with the intention of experiencing something radically different from the life he is used to. He hears of an island that is supposed to be paradise but is commonly held to be mythical. On this island there is supposed to be a secret community of travelers who have left behind their former lives. Richard initially dismisses the island's existence, but later meets a man, Daffy (Robert Carlyle), who tells Richard that he is a former inhabitant, and who gives him a map to the island. Shortly afterward, Daffy commits suicide.

Richard then meets the very beautiful Françoise (Virginie Ledoyen) and her handsome boyfriend, Étienne (Guillaume Canet), and convinces them to accompany him to the island. They travel a great distance from Bangkok to the shores of Ko Phangan, in the Gulf of Thailand. While there, he also befriends a pair of American surfers, Sammy and Zeph, staying in the hut next-door, who tell him of the legend of the island paradise. He does not admit to them that he knows where the island is, but the next day he makes a copy of the map and slides it under their door.

To make their way to the beach itself, Richard, Françoise and Étienne first have to hop between several adjacent islands. When Richard, Françoise, and Étienne first arrive on the island, they come across an enormous marijuana plantation, guarded by local men armed with AK-47 assault rifles. They manage to escape detection by the marijuana farmers and find the community of travelers. They are seen by Keaty, who takes them into the beach community. They are interrogated by the island's leader, Sal (Tilda Swinton) regarding their knowledge of the island. Initially, the community is angry and hostile towards the trio, but when Richard informs them that he was sent by Daffy, they gradually relent, and the three are instantly integrated into the beach's laid-back yet structured lifestyle of work and play.

One night, Richard and Françoise are walking down the beach, and she tells him that she regrets not being able to spend as much time with him as she likes, since she is in a relationship, though she likes him a lot. They swim out into the ocean to look at a swarm of bioluminescent plankton. Françoise kisses Richard, and they rise for the surface where they have sex in the water. They decide not to tell anyone about their romance, but soon everyone on the island finds out, including Étienne. Although he's devastated, he says that he won't stand in their way if Françoise is happier with Richard.

At first, the island and its community seem to live up to their reputation. Richard swims out into the ocean to catch fish with a harpoon, and is attacked by a young mako shark, but he stabs it to death with a knife — which gains him much admiration. Events take a turn for the worse when Richard is chosen to accompany Sal to the mainland to acquire supplies. Back on the mainland, Sammy and Zeph see Richard, and Sal overhears the two surfers talking to Richard about the copy of the map, and confronts Richard about what she heard. He admits that he told the surfers about his plans to go to the island and that he discussed its location and how to get there. When Sal specifically asks him, he denies that he made a copy of the map. In exchange for Sal's silence and Richard's return to the island, the two engage in a sexual encounter, despite the two having respective partners.

When they return to the island, everything returns to normal, until the Swedes are attacked by a shark. Sten dies and Christo is severely injured; Karl is the only Swede unscathed by the attack. The only options for Christo are to go to the mainland to get medical help or stay on the island and take his chances, however, Sal steadfastly refuses to allow a doctor to come to the island. Christo chooses to stay, not wanting to go near the water after his encounter with the shark. Christo's condition worsens and the community becomes annoyed with it, so they take him out into the middle of the jungle to die. All of them seem fine with this decision, except for Étienne, who stays with him. Later, Sal observes that the American surfer friends of Richard are on the neighboring island. Sal is furious, and charges Richard with the task of watching them until he can obtain the map or destroy it. While he's waiting for the surfers and their friends to arrive, Françoise shows up, furious and heartbroken, saying that Sal has told everybody else about her and Richard's sexual encounter on the mainland. Richard can't cope with his task and retreats into the forest. There he becomes temporarily insane, believing that he is communing with the long-dead Daffy. He evades the other islanders and sets lethal traps in an attempt to keep them at bay, at times hallucinating that he is a character in a video game.

Meanwhile, the surfers attempt to reach the island, and are discovered and killed by the marijuana farmers. Richard returns to the community to convince Étienne and Françoise to leave the island, believing that all their lives are now in danger. Étienne refuses, not wanting to leave Christo, whose leg has become gangrenous. Richard ends up smothering him when the other two leave the tent. The farmers approach Sal, with whom they had an agreement: the travelers may continue to live on the island so long as it remains a secret. The head farmer gives Sal a pistol with only one chamber loaded, with which to use on Richard, Bugs pins Richard against the main support of the structure and she pulls the trigger, but the chamber is empty. Nevertheless, when the rest of the community see the lengths that Sal is willing to go to for the sake of the community, they leave. Sal is left behind.

The film ends with Richard returning to his former lifestyle of travel. While stopping by an internet cafe to check his e-mail, he receives an attached image from Françoise. It is a photograph of the entire beach community taken by Françoise, with the community jumping midair in unison, looking very bright and happy, taken right after Richard and Sal made their supply run to the mainland. Upon further inspection, Richard sees an animated handwritten inscription over the image: 'Parallel Universe. Love, Françoise'.

Controversy arose during the making of the film due to 20th Century Fox's bulldozing and landscaping of the natural beach setting of Ko Phi Phi Lee to make it more "paradise-like". The production altered some sand dunes and cleared some coconut trees and grass to widen the beach. Fox set aside a fund to reconstruct and return the beach to its natural state, however lawsuits were filed by environmentalists who believed the damage to the ecosystem was permanent and restoration attempts had failed.

The lawsuits dragged on for years. In 2006, Thailand's Supreme Court upheld an appeal court ruling that the filming had harmed the environment and ordered that damage assessments be made. Defendants in the case included 20th Century Fox and some Thai government officials.

After the film premiered in Thailand in 2000, some Thai politicians were upset at the way Thailand was depicted in the film, and called for it to be banned. The depiction of the drugs culture gave Thailand a bad image and a Buddha image in a bar was cited as "blasphemous".

According to the Lonely Planet's Thailand guidebook, the 2004 tsunami dramatically improved the look of Maya Bay (the actual name of the beach where the movie was filmed). This was because the high waves had cleaned up the beach and removed all the landscaping the Fox production team had added.

The film was largely panned by critics and only has 19% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes although it has a Metacritic score of 43/100.

The budget of the film was $50 million. The US box office was $39 million and the worldwide total $144 million.

The soundtrack for the film features "8 Ball" by Underworld, as well as tracks by Orbital, Moby, Blur, New Order, Faithless, Leftfield, and others. The song, "Touched" by VAST was included in the movie, but omitted from the soundtrack. The All Saints song "Pure Shores" topped the UK Singles Chart. The soundtrack was co-produced by Pete Tong.

The film score was composed by Angelo Badalamenti, and a separate album containing selections of his score was released as well.

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Source : Wikipedia