» In a move that genuinely brought a smile to our faces, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that Jon Stewart will be hosting this year’s Academy Award ceremonies. That move alone should make the telecast much more watchable than usual. (Reminder: Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 31, so you only have about four weeks left to see all of the expected nominees and brag to all of your friends and co-workers that you’ve seen them all, even The Squid and the Whale.)
» Brokeback Mountain earns four Screen Actors Guild nominations: Best Cast, the SAG’s highest honor; Heath Ledger, Best Actor; Jake Gyllenhaal, Best Supporting Actor; and Michelle Williams, Best Supporting Actress. With those nods, Brokeback now has to be officially considered the Oscar front-runner. As much as we can appreciate and support that fact–we haven’t seen it yet, but those we know who have seen it have validated its awesomeosity–we’re afraid for the hateful gay-bashing uproar and warnings of the collapse and demoralization of society sure to come from ultra-conservative quarters when the movie starts getting more and more attention as we get closer to Oscar time.
Other SAG nominations that make us gleeful (whether because we like the movies or the actors): Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line; Philip Seymour Hoffman for Capote; Ziyi Zhang for Memoirs of a Geisha; Felicity Huffman for Transamerica; Don Cheadle for Crash; George Clooney for Syriana; and Paul Giamatti for Cinderella Man. And in the TV category, nominations for the casts of “Lost” and “Arrested Development” made us particularly happy.
» Also today, the Writer’s Guild of America released their 2006 award nominations. Not too many surprised on the list–except for the nomination of Judd Apatow and Steve Carrell for The 40-Year Old Virgin. We’ve heard good things and all, but seeing that still took us aback a little. Hooray for recognizing how hard it is to write good comedy!
» It looks as if we might be subjected to an Ocean’s Thirteen. As much as we loved Ocean’s Eleven, we say “subjected to” another sequel because Ocean’s Twelve made it painfully obvious that replicating the breezy fun of the first one would be very, very, very difficult to do.