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»Inception« wins four technical Oscars / HBO passes on Hollywood blogger comedy »Tilda« / Birthday donations
on 02/28/2011

The 83rd annual Academy Awards were held at The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA last night. Predictably, the Academy played to its own traditional typecasting and went with a film that was very much within its comfort zone. So it came as no surprise that Tom Hooper's »The King’s Speech« was the event's big winner, taking home four trophies including "Best Film", "Best Director", "Best Original Screenplay" and "Best Actor" (Colin Firth). Other big prizes went to Natalie Portman, who deservedly won the "Best Actress" award for her role as a troubled ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's »Black Swan«, as well as Melissa Leo and Christian Bale in the best supporting actress and best supporting actor categories for »The Fighter«.

Going into the evening with a total of 8 nominations, Christopher Nolan's »Inception« ruled in the technical categories. The mind-bending science fiction thriller quietly scooped up as many awards as »The King’s Speech« for "Best Cinematography" (Wally Pfister), "Best Sound Editing" (Richard King), "Best Sound Mixing" (Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick) and "Best Visual Effects" (Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb).

Wally Pfister
Richard King
Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb

I'm also happy that »Toy Story 3« won for "Best Animated Feature" since it's such a fitting and touching end to a great trilogy. And being the most popular film at the box office last year with worldwide sales of $1.1 billion, it really deserved the Oscar!

» ABC - Oscar Highlights - 27th February 2011 «

Watch video | Download
(Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 10:34 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 88,9 MB)
© ABC, Inc. All rights reserved.

A few days ago, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported that HBO has passed on the television pilot »Tilda«. The comedy, starring Ellen, Sanaa Lathan, Jason Patric and Diane Keaton as a powerful and reclusive Hollywood blogger, was one of the most-discussed projects at the pay cable network because the lead character was said to have been inspired by Deadline founder and editor-in-chief Nikki Finke.

However, the pilot seemed to be doomed from the start, as tensions with director/producer/co-writer Bill Condon on the set led to creator Cynthia Mort leaving the project early on. Although HBO tried to save the show by ordering additional scripts, adding new writers and bringing former »Six Feet Under« producer Alan Poul on board to retool the concept, »Tilda« couldn't be saved. At the same time, Deadline's Nellie Andreeva made it clear that the comedy pilot was conceived, written and developed without Nikki Finke's knowledge or involvement, which might have been another reason for HBO to pull the plug in order to avoid any legal issues. In a two-sentence statement, the American premium cable television network simply stated: "HBO has decided not to move forward with Tilda. Despite everyone's best efforts ultimately this was not the right show for us at this time." Whatever the reasons are for canceling the project, I think it's a complete bummer that it did not work out for HBO. Watching Ellen on TV on a weekly basis would have definitely been worthwile.

Now the question is coming up if the planned hipster series »Stitch N' Bitch«, which Ellen is co-writing with her friends Alia Shawkat and Har Mar Superstar, could eventually suffer the same fate. The fact is that HBO just picked up the hipster/indie themed comedy pilot »Girls« written by Lena Dunham in January 2011 and there is already a similar series called »How to Make it in America«, which follows two enterprising Brooklyn twenty somethings as they hustle their way through New York City, determined to achieve the American Dream. However, on the other hand, it's probably too early to make any real predictions at the current stage of development. We basically only know the names of the two main characters and the two locations where the story will take place. Furthermore, the situation could be completely different when the first episode is finally ready to air in late 2011/2012. As things are now, I honestly believe we shouldn't give up hope just yet!

As promised on 24thbirthday.ellenpage.org, I've donated 0.25 US dollar for each written message and 2.50 US dollar for each video contribution to the Save the Honeybee Foundation and the international 350.org campaign as a gift and tribute to Ellen and her environmental activities. Proof of donation receipts can be viewed below. Again many thanks to Emily, Renfei, Ben, Patrick, Grant, Helly and Jean for contributing a video and the 90 people who wrote their birthday wishes on the message walls!

(Click on the images to enlarge for better viewing)

Stay tuned for the trailer of »SUPER«, coming online later this week!

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