Helen Mirren

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Road to Oscar: Labyrinth A-mazes Major Critics' Org

The National Society of Film Critics has spoken, and named Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth best movie of the year. United 93's Paul Greengrass, meanwhile, took best-director honors. Forest Whitaker and Helen Mirren (or "WhitMer," as the shippers on YouTube are calling them) claimed the lead-actor slots, with Mark Wahlberg (The Departed) and Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) sweeping supporting. read more

Acting Up on the Awards Circuit

I guess actors don’t watch The Wire, either. Today’s announcement of the Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations were a bit, well, “SAG”-gy with usual suspects (not to beat up on a woman whose talk show just got mercifully canceled, but one last nod for Megan Mullally for Will & Grace seems like such ancient history). The most aggravating snub, as it has been in the list of Producers Guild and Writers Guild nominations, is a complete shut-out for HBO’s The Wire. Tied for most disappointing is a lack of recognition by many of these artistic branches for NBC’s Friday Night Lights, a show that could really use this kind of spotlight. NBC’s small-town drama did earn a slot among the WGA’s new-series contenders. Another puzzling omission: It's as if FX (most notably Rescue Me and The Shield) didn't even exist this year.Maybe because The Wire is filmed in Baltimore, and Friday Night Lights in Texas, these shows fall off the Hollywood radar. A rea... read more

Road to Oscar: Chicago Critics Are Loopy for Departed

Stop me if you have heard this prattle before: The Chicago Film Critics Association on Thursday lauded Martin Scorsese's The Departed with honors for best picture, best director and best adapted screenplay, continuing the crime drama's veritable sweep of the pre-Oscar kudosfests. Likewise, Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker copped the top acting trophies, while Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) and Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) took supporting honors. Letters from Iwo Jima and An Inconvenient Truth won in the best foreign-language film and doc categories, while Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat, Ricky Bobby) was named most promising performer. read more

Road to Oscar: Florida Favors Departed, Queen, King

There is yet even more kudos for The Departed and Martin Scorsese, which earned best-picture and -director honors from the Florida Film Critics Circle on Tuesday. Sweeping the lead-actor categories, again, were Helen Mirren (The Queen) and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), while Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) and Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) copped supporting wins. Winning the documentary, foreign-language and animated categories were An Inconvenient Truth, Pan's Labyrinth and Monster House, respectively. read more

Globes-Trotting: Following the Buzz

The best thing you can say about the Golden Globes nominations is that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association isn't afraid about welcoming new kids to the party, especially if they've made a little noise along the way.On the plus side, that means shining some love on deserving candidates like America Ferrera and Ugly Betty, a show and a performance that would seem tailor-made to the Foreign Press's presumed concerns about diversity in entertainment. Likewise Masi Oka, who gives one of the most endearing supporting performances in all of television as Hiro of Heroes (which also got a nod as best drama series).Other freshman acts in the nominee pool include: Michael C. Hall (yay!) of Showtime's Dexter, Alec Baldwin (yay!) of NBC's 30 Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (yay!) from The Old Adventures of New Christine, Bill Paxton and Big Love from HBO (beating out The Sopranos and The Wire, among other more deserving HBO dramas; and besides, where are Paxton's wives in the grabbag supporting ca... read more

Road to Oscar: San Fran Favors Little Children

The San Francisco Film Critics Circle has given Little Children the film's first best picture and screenplay wins of the awards season. Lead-actor kudos went to Borat's Sacha Baron Cohen and The Queen's Helen Mirren, while supporting honors were reaped by Children's Jackie Earle Haley and Babel's Adriana Barraza. United 93's Paul Greengrass won for directing.And still nothing for Step Up. read more

The Road to Oscar: NY Critics Put Up a United Front

Hot on the heels of Sunday's kudos handed out by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the American Film Institute, the New York Film Critics Circle has awarded its best-picture honor to... United 93. In other categories, Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland) and Helen Mirren (The Queen) solidified their positions as front-runners in the Oscar race, while Jackie Earle Haley (Little Children) and Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls) copped supporting honors. read more

L.A. Film Critics: Eastwood's Letters Gets an A

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has picked Clint Eastwood's second WWII-themed release, Letters from Iwo Jima (in theaters Dec. 20), as the best movie of the year, while The Queen took five honors, including best actress for Helen Mirren and best director for Stephen Frears. Also on Sunday, the American Film Institute unveiled its 10 Best list. On it were, natch, Letters, Dreamgirls, United 93 and Borat. (What? No Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny?) Their best-actor prize was shared by Sacha Baron Cohen and Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland). read more

National Board of Review Loves Clint's Letters

Speaking of the awards season... Clint Eastwood's Letters from Iwo Jima, the companion film to this fall's earlier-released Flags of our Fathers, has been named best picture by the National Board of Review. Martin Scorsese was named best director for The Departed, while Forest Whitaker (Last King of Scotland) and Helen Mirren (The Queen) nabbed the top acting prizes. Volver won best foreign film, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth was declared top documentary, and Cars led the animated-entries pack. read more

The final Prime Suspect has ...

Helen Mirren, Prime Suspect: The Final Act

Question: The final Prime Suspect has been shown here in London, and it was sensational. There was a bit of swearing in it, which added to the show. Do you think, though, that the swearing will be edited or dubbed over on the U.S. version? It would be a shame, as the swearing is used rarely and at the right moment to cause impact. The FCC and Parents Television Council don't seem to understand that sometimes sex and swearing increase the dramatic quality of a TV show. Can you imagine Tony Soprano using the word "friggin'" all the time? It just wouldn't ring true. Answer: There were, according to WGBH, "a few small edits to bring the program into our usual length and editorial standards." But never fear. The integrity of this brilliant program shines through, at least judging from the review copy I saw. (I'm not sure if the edits were in that version; I didn't notice any gratuitously foul language, but then, I wasn't looking for it and don't always notice it.) As I noted in my review of read more

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Cal - Helen Mirren, John Lynch, Donal McCann [DVD, All Regions, Import, NTSC] (1984)
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Charlie Rose - Ken Feinberg / Helen Mirren & Taylor Hackford / Alan Furst (June 30, 2010)
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