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Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International   |   Dec. 12, 2002 at 3:00 AM
"LOVELY & AMAZING' GRABS 6 SPIRIT NOMS

"Lovely & Amazing," "Far From Heaven" and "The Good Girl" were among the films nominated for multiple Independent Spirit Awards Wednesday.

"There was an astonishing range of excellent work this year, with a particular emphasis on exploring complicated, deeply flawed characters. It made the committee's job even harder than usual," said committee chair Bill Condon.

Dawn Hudson, executive director of IFP/Los Angeles added: "You can see the evolution of the independent film world in these nominations: more films written or directed by women, more films made with digital technology, more outstanding films made on micro-budgets; and, this year, unfortunately, more excellent films with little or no distribution. The nominations represent an amazing spectrum of talent; we are proud to put the spotlight on all of them."

2003 IFP INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS

BEST FEATURE (Award given to the Producer)

"Far From Heaven"

Producers: Jody Patton, Christine Vachon

"The Good Girl"

Producer: Matthew Greenfield

"Lovely & Amazing"

Producers: Anthony Bregman, Eric d'Arbeloff, Ted Hope

"Secretary"

Producers: Andrew Fierberg, Amy Hobby, Steven Shainberg

"Tully"

Producers: Hilary Birmingham, Annie Sundberg

BEST DIRECTOR

Joe Carnahan

"Narc"

Todd Haynes

"Far From Heaven"

Nicole Holofcener

"Lovely & Amazing"

Bernard Rose

"ivans xtc."

Gus Van Sant

"Gerry"

BEST SCREENPLAY

"The Good Girl"

Mike White

"Lovely & Amazing"

Nicole Holofcener

"Roger Dodger"

Dylan Kidd

"Thirteen Conversations About One Thing"

Jill Sprecher and Karen Sprecher

"Tully"

Hilary Birmingham and Matt Drake

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director)

"The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys"

Director: Peter Care

"Interview with the Assassin"

Director: Neil Burger

"Manito"

Director: Eric Eason

"Paid In Full"

Director: Charles Stone III

"Roger Dodger"

Director: Dylan Kidd

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

"Hysterical Blindness"

Laura Cahill

"Igby Goes Down"

Burr Steers

"Interview with the Assassin"

Neil Burger

"Kissing Jessica Stein"

Heather Juergensen and Jennifer Westfeldt

"Secretary"

Erin Cressida Wilson

BEST DEBUT PERFORMANCE (Actors in their first significant role in a feature film)

Bob Burrus

"Tully"

America Ferrera

"Real Women Have Curves"

Raven Goodwin

"Lovely & Amazing"

Artel Kayaru

"Dahmer"

Nia Vardalos

"My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Viola Davis

"Antwone Fisher"

Jacqueline Kim

"Charlotte Sometimes"

Juliette Lewis

"Hysterical Blindness"

Emily Mortimer

"Lovely & Amazing"

Julianne Nicholson

"Tully"

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Alan Arkin

"Thirteen Conversations About One Thing"

Ray Liotta

"Narc"

Dennis Quaid

"Far From Heaven"

John C. Reilly

"The Good Girl"

Peter Weller

"ivans xtc."

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Jennifer Aniston

"The Good Girl"

Maggie Gyllenhaal

"Secretary"

Catherine Keener

"Lovely & Amazing"

Julianne Moore

"Far From Heaven"

Parker Posey

"Personal Velocity"

BEST MALE LEAD

Graham Greene

"Skins"

Danny Huston

"ivans xtc."

Derek Luke

"Antwone Fisher"

Jeremy Renner

"Dahmer"

Campbell Scott

"Roger Dodger"

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

"Far From Heaven"

Edward Lachman

"Gerry"

Harris Savides

"Interview with the Assassin"

Richard Rutkowski

"Narc"

Alex Nepomniaschy

"Personal Velocity"

Ellen Kuras

BEST FOREIGN FILM (Award given to the director)

"Bloody Sunday" - Ireland

Director: Paul Greengrass

"The Fast Runner" (Atanarjuat) - Canada

Director: Zacharias Kunuk

"The Piano Teacher" (La Pianiste) - France

Director: Michael Haneke

"Time Out" (L'Emploi du temps) - France

Director: Laurent Cantet

"Y Tu Mama Tambien" - Mexico

Director: Alfonso Cuaron

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director)

"Bowling for Columbine"

Director: Michael Moore

"The Cockettes"

Directors: Bill Weber and David Weissman

"Devil's Playground"

Director: Lucy Walker

"How to Draw a Bunny"

Director: John Walter

"Stevie"

Director: Steve James

Selected from more than 190 submissions, the winners will be unveiled at the IFP Independent Spirit Awards ceremony on March 22, 2003. Director John Waters returns for a third consecutive year as Master of Ceremonies for the event, which is held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif.

To be eligible for consideration, submitted films must have shown at a commercial theater during the 2002 calendar year or have played at one of the following seven film festivals: the IFP Los Angeles Film Festival, New Directors/New Films, New York, Seattle, Sundance, Telluride or Toronto.

Last year's IFP Independent Spirit Award winners include "Memento" for Best Feature, Christopher Nolan for Best Director and Best Screenplay ("Memento"), Tom Wilkinson ("In the Bedroom") for Best Male Lead, Sissy Spacek ("In the Bedroom") for Best Female Lead, and "Amelie" for Best Foreign Film.


GRANT REVEALS BULLOCK'S CHARMING 'DEFECTS'

Hugh Grant says Sandra Bullock's "puerile" sense of humor reduced him to giggles many times on the set of their new romantic comedy, "Two Weeks Notice."

"She has, of course, enormous personality defects," Grant joked with reporters in New York recently. "You've probably met her. She's incredibly charming... She's got a touch of what my ex-girlfriend has -- this amazing delusion that they can actually do everything, and I'm not sure that's entirely true. If you said, 'My tooth really hurts,' they would say, 'I can fix that' and try to do it themselves. I think she's got a touch of that. But otherwise, what can I tell you about her?

"She has a very puerile sense of humor, which appeals to me very much. One of our main problems was just old-fashioned giggling at the most pathetic things. There's that scene in the restaurant where I think I pick beans out of her salad. I can't remember if it's still in the film, but she used to pick ice out of my glass, and just the plopping sound that the ice made into the glass, how funny is that? A 5-year-old would laugh at that. We had to do, I think, 50 different takes," Grant explained.

Asked if he hopes to continue playing romantic leads like he has done so well in "Two Weeks," "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and "Notting Hill," Grant pondered a change in career path, declaring, "I think I'd be a very good cowboy."

He elaborated: "I always thought I bring a certain menace to the screen, a danger, a mystery. Listen, I've experimented with those things. I don't think I'm terrible at them, I just think someone else does them better, and what's the point? Life's too short to do something that you're sort of medium at. You tend to want to do things you feel you can do quite well. You have a particular ability with...

"Finding scripts you particularly enjoy, it's quite enough of a challenge to do light comedy. I feel that doing deep, dark drama, or riding on a horse or shooting up people is more of a challenge than that. In fact, I imagine it might be less," he continued.


LEO COMPARES CURRENT FILM ROLES

When it comes to filmmaking, you can't get two more different projects than Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York" and Steven Spielberg's "Catch Me if You Can." So how does the star of both compare them?

"You have to take into account that ('Gangs')was an epic, and ('Catch Me') was almost like a road movie. One was like a fast-paced independent film," Leonardo DiCaprio told United Press International.

"I don't know how Steven Spielberg works on an epic film. I haven't had that experience, and vice versa. I think that what Spielberg has on set is this unique ability to get everyone, every department and everyone working around him, bring the best out of people. I think the energy of 'Catch Me if You Can,' he wanted to have sort of an extreme pace. That's very much what my character was going through, he lived in a very fast world... 'Gangs of New York' felt more like an old-style epic, a 'Ben-Hur,' something like that."

The "Titanic" star insists one role wasn't more difficult to play than the other, noting both men were completely different characters. (In "Gangs," he plays a 19th century Irish-American fighting for freedom on the streets of New York, while in "Catch Me," he portrays a modern charismatic con man.)

So, are there any drawbacks to having two big-budget films released in the same month?

"The pros and cons?" DiCaprio mused. "People will see two different, two completely different characters, and that's representational of me as an actor. That's a good thing. I don't know what the cons are. I don't think there are any cons. I think that a lot of actors in the past, way back in the day in old Hollywood, would have four films come out in the same year, sometimes two come out in the same weekend. We'll see. I don't know, I've never experienced it."

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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