Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31, 2011
by Janet Lawler

New Year's Eve 2011  Photo: Janet Lawler
As the clock ticks closer today to the New Year of 2012, I want to thank you for reading The NY Screenwriting Life blog throughout 2011.   Thanks for following on Kindle and Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

It's been a blast reviewing movies, TV shows and discussing writing in the arts... special thanks to writers Leslie Dixon "Limitless", Angelo Pizzo "Rudy" and Steven Pressfield "The War of Art" for their interviews here in 2011. 

Tonight, I'll be in Times Square when the ball drops.  Crazy, huh?  As a native New Yorker and member of the press, I've done it several times  -- and nothing is more thrilling than when that clock starts counting down and the ear-popping TICK, TICK, TICK reverberates throughout Times Square... your heart pounds with anticipation... the crowd cheers... the mega-sized screens countdown the numbers from 60... down to 1 at the final minute of the year.  And then...

... HAPPY NEW YEAR! CONFETTI... LIGHTS... Auld Lang Syne plays from giant speakers... and New Yorkers, tourists and cops hug -- reflecting on the year past (highs and lows) and hopeful for the new year ahead.  A clean slate.

And then, the melancholy music seques into Frank Sinatra singing New York, New York... 

... and there's barely a dry eye in the city.  If you're from New York, you're filled with pride... if you're not from New York, you're an honorary New Yorker at that very second.  

It gives me chills every time.  As one tourist said on TV the other night, Times Square on New Year's Eve is the center of the universe. We can't stop time... but that countdown is the closest we come to it.

Janet Lawler
The past few years have been a challenge for America economically, but we still have an awful lot to be thankful for as this year winds down.  We can work toward new goals, improve our lives and those of others -- even if by just being more positive in what we say each day at work, school, home -- and reaching for our dreams.  

It was a great year for me personally... I got married in NYC this past summer to my partner Carolina!... finished my new play and a screenplay... and am working in the greatest city on the planet.  I'm thankful to all my friends and family who make each day of the year joyful.

Lady Gaga performs
Happy New Year, All!  Go after what you want in 2012.  Hug someone tonight at midnight -- even a complete stranger -- and hope and strive for the very best to come.

Big online hug to you and yours.  HAPPY 2012 -- peace, good health and love.

Until next time. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

The 2012 Golden Globe Awards Picks
by Janet Lawler

Hey, it's that time of year again for eggnog and Christmas cookies... and the Golden Globes and Ricky Gervais in your living room.  Yes, it's Golden Globe season!  

Damian Lewis in Homeland
It looks like an exciting year for movies and TV.  Some of my favorite picks made the list.  I'm rooting for Homeland to win best television series.  Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are up for their thrilling performances each week as the C.I.A. agent and Marine hero-possibly-turned-terrorist.  They have strong competition with Boardwalk Empire and Breaking Bad.

The Artist
The Artist will no doubt win for best musical/comedy.  It's a delightful movie (even if a tad long) but very clever and original.  It reminds us of why we love movies.  It's magical.  The leads actor and actress (Jean Dujardin and Bernice Bejo) chew the scenery on the big screen in black and white  and do a great job making a silent film so captivating in 2011.

I liked the dog too in The Artist!  He stole many scenes.  What, no nomination for Best Animal in a Supporting Role?
Kristin Wiig
I love Kristin Wiig in Bridesmaids ("Let's get ready to PART-TAYYYYY!") and would be over the moon if she wins for best actress in a comedy/musical, but then she's up against Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn... and Williams is truly stunning as Marilyn Monroe (she sings and dances as well as acts)  Not easy portraying an icon and bringing something fresh to it.

The best motion picture category for comedy/musical is solid with The Artist, Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, My Week with Marilyn and 50/50.  I think The Artist will win and rightly so.  It's got Hollywood written all over it.  But I have a sweet spot for Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen is nominated for best director and Owen Wilson for lead actor.)  Midnight is the biggest box-office success for a Woody Allen film.  Try to see it if you can.  If you're a writer, you'll swoon over it.

The Help
As for lead actress -- Meryl Streep is back with The Iron Lady.  Need I say more.  But, Viola Davis is also nominated for The Help.  Both actresses starred together a few years back in the movie Doubt.  The Help received solid nominations, especially for supporting actresses Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer.  The movie peaked in the summer, but let's not forget what a super cast that movie had and how it touched our hearts.

And what is a motion pictures awards show without Brad and Angie on the red carpet?  We can all breathe a sigh of relief because they will be attending the awards.  Each has a nomination of their own -- Brad Pitt for lead actor in Moneyball and Angelina Jolie directed In the Land of Blood and Honey, which received a nod for Best Foreign Language Film.  Looks like they'll need a babysitter to watch the kids.

New Girl's Zooey Deschanel
My Grab Bag PicksModern Family is my fave for Television Comedy.  I'm happy for Madeleine Stowe for her nom for Best Actress in a Television Drama for Revenge.  I'm doing cartwheels that Zooey Deschanel is nominated for Best Actress in a Television Comedy/Musical.  I love her on New Girl!  She's a riot, quirky and underrated.  So my fingers are crossed for her to win this year.

And Sophia Vergara may take home a Golden Globe for supporting actress on Modern Family.  Let's hope so.   Every week she delivers on that show.  Oh, and Mildred Pierce (HBO) received four nominations!!  I'm checking off Kate Winslet for best actress in a Television Mini Series. 

Below is the list below of all the nominations for you to peruse and make your picks.  Thank you, Hollywood Reporter for this list.   

Ricky Gervais
Enjoy your holiday fruit cake and be sure to mark your calendar to watch the 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, January 15th on NBC.  Ricky Gervais will be sure to deliver the laughs and insults for us all to enjoy after the warm glow of Christmas.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone reading!  Don't forget to follow The NY Screenwriting Life on Facebook and also to subscribe on Kindle in the new year!!

Until next time.

Motion Picture, Drama
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
War Horse

Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture  – Drama
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need To Talk About Kevin

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Drama
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Best Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
The Artist 
Midnight in Paris
My Week With Marilyn

Best Performance By An Actress in A Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Charlize Theron, Young Adult 
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage

Best Performance By An Actor In A Motion Picture – Comedy Or Musical
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Brendan Gleeson, The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy, Stupid, Love.
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

Best Animated Feature Film
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
Puss in Boots

Best Foreign Language Film
The Flowers of War (China)
In the Land of Blood and Honey (USA)
The Kid With A Bike (Belgium)
A Separation (Iran)
The Skin I Live In (Spain)

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help 
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants 
Best Performance By An Actor In A Supporting Role In A Motion Picture 
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn 
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method 
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Director – Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, The Ides of March 
Michel Hazanvicius, The Artist 
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist 
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, The Descendants
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Abel Korzeniowski, W.E.
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Howard Shore, Hugo
John Williams, War Horse

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Hello Hello” — Gnomeo & Juliet
Music by: Elton John
Lyrics by: Bernie Taupin
“The Keeper” — Machine Gun Preacher
Music & Lyrics by: Chris Cornell
"Lay Your Head Down” — Albert Nobbs
Music by: Brian Byrne
Lyrics by: Glenn Close
“The Living Proof” — The Help
Music by: Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason Jr.
Lyrics by: Mary J. Blige, Harvey Mason Jr., Damon Thomas
“Masterpiece” — W.E.
Music & Lyrics by: Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry

Best Television Series – Drama
American Horror Story, FX
Boardwalk Empire, HBO
Game of Thrones, HBO
Homeland, Showtime

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Drama
Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammer, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Damian Lewis, Homeland 

Best Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Enlightened, HBO
Episodes, Showtime
Glee, FOX
Modern Family, ABC
New Girl, FOX

Best Performance By An Actress In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

Best Performance By An Actor In A Television Series – Comedy Or Musical
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock 
David Duchovny, Californication 
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory 
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
Cinema Verite, HBO
Downton Abbey,  PBS (Masterpiece)
The Hour, BBC America
Mildred Pierce, HBO
Too Big to Fail,  HBO

Best Performance By An Actress In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
Romola Garai, The Hour
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite 
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Emily Watson, Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

Best Performance By An Actor In A Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey 
Idris Elba, Luther
William Hurt, To Big to Fail
Bill Nighy, Page Eight
Dominic West, The Hour

Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series, Or Motion Picture Made for Television 
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly Macdonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family 
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce 

Best Performance By An Actor in A Supporting Role in A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television 
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce 
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family