News Nuggets: Oscar season launches with the Hollywood Film Awards

Seth Rogen has a few choice words at the Hollywood Film Awards: “This is the first stop of the awards season. Or if you work in comedy, it’s known as the last stop of the awards season. This is it. This is all. We’ll lose to a musical at the Golden Globes. We all know that will happen. ‘Les Mis’ just f—ed us all … Perhaps the most amazing thing about this award show tonight is that none of these movies have come out yet. I think Quentin is still shooting ‘Django’ if I’m not mistaken. I’ve never even heard of some of these movies yet. That’s how far out they are. They don’t even have trailers. What’s ‘Rust and Bone‘? I don’t know what ‘Rust and Bone’ is but apparently it’s amazing. That Chris Pine animated movie is still being animated. Katzenberg just rewrote the whole ending I heard.” EW.COM

This is 40” director Judd Apatow among Hollywood Film Award honorees: “Seth Rogen presented the comedy award to writer-director Judd Apatow, whose film ‘This Is 40’ opens at Christmastime. ‘It’s nice because it kind of feels like these are the new Golden Globes,’ Rogen continued. ‘No one knows what it is. Who voted for this?’ Festival founders say the awards are based on ‘bodies of work and/or a film or films released during the calendar year.’ ‘No one has seen my movie,’ Apatow said as he accepted his trophy. ‘This is just based on an assumption that it’s good.'” ASSOCIATED PRESS

Scott Feinberg goes backstage at the Hollywood Film Awards: “As the 16th Hollywood Film Awards, the first awards show of the Oscar season, took place in the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton, this reporter was weaving back-and-forth between the backstage wings and green room, having been granted exclusive permission by the event’s organizers to quietly document the sights and sounds of the star-studded evening … From the moment that she arrived at the foot of the indoor red carpet with a guardian, all eyes seemed to turn to adorable nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis (‘Beasts of the Southern Wild‘), who could become the youngest best actress Oscar winner in history for her big-screen debut in the indie from Sundance, and who was on hand at what she confirmed was ‘my first awards show’ to collect the New Hollywood Award.” HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

Guy Lodge on George Clooney‘s like Oscar milestone for “Argo“: “Until I saw the film’s closing credits roll, it had somehow escaped my attention that Clooney was a producer on ‘Argo’ — together with his regular producing partner, Grant Heslov, and [Ben Affleck] … So it seems fitting rather than arbitrary that — bar some kind of finicky producers’ ruling on the Academy’s part — ‘Argo’ is poised to land Clooney his first Best Picture nomination. (You’d be forgiven for thinking he nabbed one with ‘Good Night, and Good Luck.’ in 2005, but Heslov was actually the sole producer on that one.) Moreover, that nomination will bring Clooney to a significant Oscar record: the first individual to score Academy Award nominations in six separate categories.” IN CONTENTION

Jon Weisman compares the relative merits of “Smashed” and “Silver Linings Playbook“: “‘Smashed,’ on the other hand, seemed authentic to me from the first minute to the last, and — not that they’re competing against each other — I’d put Mary Elizabeth Winstead‘s emotionally diverse performance in the lead as Kate straight up against Bradley Cooper‘s in ‘Silver Linings.’ ‘Smashed’ is a smaller, more intimate movie (and short — 79 minutes before the credits roll), but it is unceasingly human without being sentimental, a hell of a tightrope act to walk.” VARIETY

Will Oscar voters overcome their anti-franchise bias with “Skyfall“? “The Academy seems turns its nose up at franchises. Daniel Radcliffe has previously bemoaned the ‘snobbery’ that left the eight ‘Harry Potter’ movies bereft of a gong despite the A-list stars, big name directors and box office glory. But ‘Skyfall’ is already bucking the trend by generating some serious Oscars buzz, not least because the cast includes a handful of Academy favourites: Judi Dench (one Oscar, six nominations), Javier Bardem (one Oscar, three nominations), Ralph Fiennes (two nominations) and Albert Finney (five nominations). And that’s without mentioning Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes, three-time Oscar nominee John Logan, nine-time nominee cinematographer Roger Deakins and 10-time nominee Thomas Newman.” THE INDEPENDENT

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