Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, the Golden Globes, the Oscars…it’s the most wonderful time of the year again (in Hollywood only). Awards season is upon us, and 2009′s critically acclaimed films have introduced us to a new pack of uber-talented actors who are about to go from unknowns to A-Listers. We’ve got the 11 stars to watch as award nominations start rolling in, so that when they’re up onstage blubbering through their 10-minute acceptance speech, you’ll be able to say you knew who they were way back when.
- Saoirse Ronan is the 7th youngest actress to be nominated for an Oscar for her work in Atonement. Next up, Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones.
- Quinton Aaron is a relative newcomer, who scored the lead in The Blind Side opposite Sandra Bullock.
- Michael Stuhlbarg – This Julliard-trained, Tony-nominated Broadway star is scoring serious buzz for his work in the Coen Brothers‘ A Serious Man.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a former child star turned indie darling, who made the world swoon in 500 Days of Summer. Also, he did back flips on “Saturday Night Live.” Nuf’ said, right?
- Jeremy Renner‘s work in The Hurt Locker just snagged the actor his second Independent Spirt Award nomination.
- Gabby Sidibe - The Precious star – who was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award – exuded confidence in a recent interview on the “Oprah Winfrey Show.” Said the newcomer and Harlem native, “One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body.”
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie brought their oldest son Maddox to the LA premiere of Invictus last night. The couple rarely get to take the kids along to their own films—what with all the sex and violence and everything—but pals Matt Damon and Clint Eastwood‘s a new film about courage, human rights and soccer in South Africa that was just perfect for a family night out. Also attending were Michelle Monaghan (looking packed in the back thanks to her drapey dress) and the ever-informal Kenny Chesney, who could have been mistaken for a barrier-breaking fan standing next to the dapper Morgan Freeman.
With its prestigious pedigree and positive message, Invictus has a good chance of scoring a trophy or two at the Critics’ Choice Awards this January. See more of the stars in the gallery below.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Just as award season gets underway and Critics Choice Movie Awards buzz spreads about Robert Downey, Jr.‘s performance in Sherlock Holmes, Paramount has released the official poster art for the sequel to his 2008 blockbuster action movie, Iron Man. In the sequel, aptly titled Iron Man 2, Scarlett Johansson makes her superhero debut as the Black Widow, donning skin tight leather. We’re not complaining. [Photo: Paramount Pictures]
Check out more brand new production stills from Iron Man 2, as well as some previously-released shots below.
George Clooney would appreciate it if you’d take his romance with Elisabetta Canalis seriously. Sure, he’s been enjoying on-and-off affairs with countless beautiful ladies following his 1993 divorce, once claiming he’d never marry again. But the Italian model must mean more than most to the superstar, or he wouldn’t be posing at Up In The Air‘s LA premiere with both Canalis and his mother, Nina Warren Clooney. This might be the one, guys…if he and mama hadn’t posed with then-girlfriend Lisa Snowdon at the Ocean’s Twelve premiere five years ago. Dude better hope Elisabetta doesn’t find out about that.
Also attending the fete were Clooney’s co-stars Anna Kendrick, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman, Danny McBride, Melanie Lynskey and Zach Galifianakis, as well as well-wishers like Cindy Crawford. Watch them shake their Oscar-baiters in the gallery below.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Between his back-to-back Emmy wins for 30 Rock and lead role in the upcoming Meryl Streep comedy It’s Complicated, you’d think Alec Baldwin would be feeling really good about his career right now. But in fact, the Hunt For Red October star is calling his film career a “complete failure.” “I don’t have any interest in acting anymore,” he told Men’s Journal. “Movies are a part of my past. It’s been 30 years. I’m not young, but I have time to do something else.”
Baldwin reaffirmed his plans to retire as soon 30 Rock is canceled or when his contract expires in 2012. “I consider my entire movie career a complete failure. The goal of movie-making is to star in a film where your performance drives the film, and the film is either a soaring critical or commercial success, and I never had that. And now, the movies I’ve been in, I never give them a moment’s thought. Every movie I’ve ever been in, I just avoid.” Did he take his upcoming Oscar co-hosting gig with Steve Martin out of masochism or what? Sounds like even if Complicated is a hit, he’ll just credit that to Streep. No shame in being a great supporting actor, Alec! If you call your then-12-year-old daughter a “thoughtless pain-in-the-ass pig” and everyone still loves you, that has to count for something.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Natalie Portman exploited her gamine physique in an old-fashioned flapper dress at the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards in NYC last night, where she took home a lifetime achievement award…despite not even being 30! Natalie is an early contender to be nominated for Best Actress for her role in Brothers at awards shows this season, including the Critics Choice Movie Awards, The Golden Globes and the Oscars.
Also receiving career tributes were Stanley Tucci and director Kathryn Bigelow, whose film The Hurt Locker also snagged Best Film and Best Ensemble Performance. See who else attended in the gallery below.
Jake Gyllhenhaal and Reese Witherspoon are not splitting up, despite rumors to the contrary. People announced that the couple, who met on the set of Rendition in 2007, were finished on Sunday afternoon, crediting a source close to the Oscar-winning actress. Unfortunately for single ladies everywhere, reps from both sides denied the story in a matter of hours (“It’s not true…they’re still together”). How about they seal the deal by having one host SNL again soon and the other show up in a skit? Nothing says “happy couple” in Celebrity-land more than that.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Katie Holmes made a rare solo appearance on the red carpet to promote the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which helps underprivileged kids get dance training, in Hollywood last night. Tom Cruise is off in Europe filming Knight And Day with Cameron Diaz, and it looks like he took her assistant with him—her white jacket and short black skirt were stylish enough, but her hair was giving her grief on stage and off. Marrying Cruise is supposed to make you more glamorous, Katie!
Though E! says Holmes is eager for her hubby to judge alongside fellow Dizzy Feet backer Nigel Lythgoe on So You Can Think You Dance, her quote (“He would be great…he really would”) is vague enough we’re guessing she isn’t the one who brought it up. It’s not like she even knows when she might be back on the show. “I don’t know [if I'll be on again]…I don’t know, but it was a great time.” If only Tom was there to field these hard questions.
[Photos: Getty Images]
The actors and royalty who mixed yesterday at the world premiere of Peter Jackson‘s The Lovely Bones wore sophisticated, glamorous outfits that fit the somber nature of the movie. But not Sophia Hyat. Apparently, Sophia’s the Phoebe Price of England. A semi-celebrity who has a penchant for wearing outlandish outfits to wherever there might be a paparazzo, Sophia graced the carpet in a hot white dress with the words “Honour Killings” scratched across her chest in blood red lipstick. We understand that honor killings are very real and very heinous. But is this about drawing attention to the cause? Or to her bosom? Or maybe a bit of both?
As for bigger celebrities in attendance, Susan Sarandon and Saoirse Ronan rubbed elbows with Prince Charles and Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall. Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and Stanley Tucci, whom all have big roles in the tearjerker, were absent. The Lovely Bones premieres in the U.S. on Jan. 15. [Photos: Getty Images, Splash News Online]
Former teen screamers who think they’re too old for New Moon—some must exist—might consider a classier (albeit grammatically challenged) pic coming out, Me And Orson Welles. The Richard Linklater (Dazed & Confused) film romantically pairs High School Musical‘s Zac Efron with Claire Danes, whose run on My So-Called Life could teach Kristen Stewart a thing or two about teen angst. The pair were in Manhattan to screen the film last night, joined such stars as Danes’ husband Hugh Dancy, Amber Rose and Danes’ fellow ’90s MTV mainstay Courtney Love. Check out their red carpet fashion in the gallery below.
[Photo: Getty Images]