Entertainment Today: Showbiz News

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  Feb. 12, 2003 at 3:00 AM
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'CHICAGO' NABS 13 OSCAR NOMS

"Chicago" had 13 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, as nominees were announced in Beverly Hills Tuesday for the 75th Academy Awards.

The other nominees for best picture are "Gangs of New York," "The Hours," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," and "The Pianist."

"Chicago" -- a musical about a murderess with dreams of stardom -- earned a Best Actress nomination for Renée Zellweger, Supporting Actress nominations for Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones and a Supporting Actor nomination for John C. Reilly. It was also nominated for Best Director -- for Rob Marshall in his feature film directing debut -- and adapted screenplay, original song, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing and sound.

"Gangs of New York," Martin Scorsese's 19th century gang war epic, earned 10 nominations -- including Best Actor for Daniel-Day Lewis, Best Director for Scorsese, original screenplay, original song, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing and sound.

"The Hours," based on the best-selling novel by Michael Cunningham, received nine nominations -- including Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, Supporting Actress for Julianne Moore, Supporting Actor for Ed Harris and Best Director for Stephen Daldry. It was also nominated for adapted screenplay, film editing, music score and costume design.

"The Pianist," Roman Polanski's account of a Polish Jew who eludes capture by the Nazis in the Warsaw ghetto, earned seven nominations -- including Best Actor for Adrien Brody, Best Director for Polanski and best adapted screenplay, cinematography, costume design and film editing.

"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," the second of writer-director Peter Jackson's film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's literary classic, received five nominations in addition to Best Picture -- for art direction, film editing, sound, sound editing and visual effects.

The other nominees for Best Actor are Nicolas Cage ("Adaptation"), Michael Caine ("The Quiet American") and Jack Nicholson ("About Schmidt"). The other nominees for Best Actress are Salma Hayek ("Frida"), Diane Lane ("Unfaithful") and Julianne Moore ("Far from Heaven").

The 75th Academy Awards will be presented Sunday, March 23, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, in ceremonies to be hosted by Steve Martin and televised live on ABC.

(Thanks to UPI's Pat Nason in Los Angeles.)


SCORSESE: SENTIMENTAL FAVORITE, ME?

Martin Scorsese seemed surprised when journalists predicted he would get an Oscar nod for Best Director this year because he was the "sentimental favorite."

"The sentimental thing is very sweet. I really like that. What can I say? It's very nice. It could go the other way and they hate you and they don't want to talk to you," the "Gangs of New York" filmmaker told reporters in New York.

One of the most acclaimed directors in film history, Scorsese received his first Oscar nomination Tuesday. Although Scorsese admitted it would have been nice to have been honored by the Academy for his past efforts "Raging Bull," "Mean Streets," "Age of Innocence," "GoodFellas," or "The Last Temptation of Christ," he said he believed being snubbed at the Oscars was the price he paid for making the films he wanted to with people he liked.

"I've always said I had no problem with the trade-off," he explained. "I got to make some very interesting films and that was the trade-off, I felt. (I subscribed to the theories) cut your losses while you can and run before they can get you and to get a statuette for it, I guess that just wasn't in the cards."


DUDE, YOU'RE GETTING A CELL!

The actor who found fame hawking Dell computers on TV was arrested in Manhattan for allegedly buying a bag of pot from a teen-age drug dealer.

Benjamin Curtis, 22, a New York University drama student, was arraigned Monday on a misdemeanor drug possession charge, indicating the amount of marijuana he allegedly was caught with was not intended for re-sale. The accused dealer, 19-year-old Omar Mendez, also was arrested.

The judge who arraigned Curtis said his case would be dismissed and his record expunged if he stays out of trouble for the next year.

Curtis became an unlikely celebrity when his catch phrase, "Dude, you're getting a Dell!" started appearing on T-shirts and hats.

It is unclear at this time whether the spokes-dude will continue to represent the computer company. Dell says it is looking into the matter.


DAREDEVIL TOON BEATS AFFLECK RELEASE DATE

Just days before 20th Century Fox unleashes its live-action comic-book adventure "Daredevil," an animated version is heading for video stores.

"Daredevil vs. Spider-Man" was released by Buena Vista Home Entertainment on Tuesday, four days before "Daredevil," starring Ben Affleck, Michael Clarke Duncan, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Garner, begins its American theatrical release on Friday.

In addition to capitalizing on the live-action film's advance buzz, the DVD also rides the wave of publicity created by last year's biggest blockbuster, "Spider-Man."

In the animated version, the superheroes team up to take down their supreme nemesis, Kingpin. In addition to the 80-minute flick, the DVD is loaded with extras -- sure to make any comic-book enthusiast drool -- including the classic 1966 animated episode, "King Pinned," a "Fantastic Four" installment featuring Daredevil and an interview with comic god Stan Lee.


HAVE WE GOT A DVD FOR YOU...

If you run into Matt Damon at a screening of "Daredevil," it won't just be because his best friend plays the superhero. The "Good Will Hunting" star admits he is also a huge comic-book fan.

"I was really into superheroes (when I was a kid). I loved Spider-Man," the 31-year-old actor recently told reporters. "'Daredevil' also was a comic book character I read when I got older -- when I was about 10 or 11. I loved that guy, too. So these would probably be the guys I would dream of being... I have pictures of myself that my mom took with me with a towel around my neck constantly. From the time I was 2 until the time I was probably 10, I was running around with a towel around my neck, pretending to be Superman or Shazam -- one of those guys."

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