Film Notes: Oscar nominees and former winners joining the party
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Three Oscar nominees and four best actress winners have been added to the roster of presenters for the 85th Academy Awards.
Ben Affleck, one of the producers of best picture nominee "Argo," and best actress contenders Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence will present on the Oscar telecast, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced Thursday. Earlier in the week, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon were added to the show.
They will join presenters Mark Wahlberg and Ted (the talking teddy bear from the comedy of the same name); "Marvel's The Avengers" cast members Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner and Mark Ruffalo; returning 2011 Oscar winners Jean Dujardin, Christopher Plummer, Octavia Spencer and Meryl Streep; and "Chicago" cast members Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Listed as special guests are Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Daniel Radcliffe, Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron. Adele, Shirley Bassey, Norah Jones and Barbra Streisand are scheduled to perform on the telecast.
Actress Kristin Chenoweth, Entertainment Weekly managing editor Jess Cagle and "Good Morning America" anchor Lara Spencer will host "The Oscars Red Carpet Live" on ABC before the ceremony. It will start at 7 p.m. Feb. 24.
The announcement was made Thursday via a series of tweets that included the news that "GMA" anchor Robin Roberts will be making a special appearance. She is scheduled to return to work Wednesday after months of medical leave.
Local tie to Oscar nominee
A former Pittsburgher, Michael Peterson, had a hand in the Oscar-nominated documentary short "Mondays at Racine."
Directed by Cynthia Wade and produced by Ms. Wade and Robin Honan, it chronicles chemotherapy patients who take advantage of free services offered once a month at the Long Island salon, Racine.
Mr. Peterson, who grew up in Point Breeze and now lives in Brooklyn, is a 2003 graduate of Central Catholic High School and a 2007 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he majored in film, television and theater, plus political science.
The filmmakers shot more than 150 hours of footage during a two-year period, and he served as assistant editor of the 39-minute short.
"Making a documentary almost always involves a similar shooting ratio (the ratio of footage shot to the final cut) because you really want to take the time to discover the story as it exists, and not how you presuppose it to be," he said in an email exchange Thursday.
Due to severely limited tickets, Mr. Peterson will not be attending the ceremony, but he encourages people to see "Monday at Racine" for a couple of reasons.
Ms. Wade is a past winner in the same category and, he added, "The film really presents a unique look on a disease that a lot of people are forced to deal with, in finding the humor in it, and on surviving. I'm proud to have been a part of making it."
It and the other four nominees are playing at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave. in Oakland. They will be shown at 7:30 p.m. today, at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday, with an intermission.
If you want to catch up with the live-action and animated shorts (two of the other Oscar categories), they are being screened at the Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown, through Thursday. Separate tickets required.
AARP crowns winners
AARP the Magazine has named "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" the best movie for grown-ups.
Winners of the 12th annual Movies for Grown-ups Awards were announced in the February/March issue of the magazine. They honor films with story lines, performances and filmmaking with distinct relevance to the 50-plus audience.
The magazine's cover boy is Dustin Hoffman, recipient of the Breakthrough Accomplishment award for his directorial debut of "Quartet."
The other winners are:
Actress 50-plus: Judi Dench, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."
Actor 50-plus: Denzel Washington, "Flight."
Supporting actress: Jacki Weaver, "Silver Linings Playbook."
Supporting actor 50-plus: John Goodman, "Flight."
Director 50-plus: Steven Spielberg, "Lincoln."
Screenwriter 50-plus: Ben Lewin, "The Sessions."
Grown-up love story: "Hitchcock."
Intergenerational movie: "Silver Linings Playbook."
Documentary: "Searching for Sugar Man."
Foreign film: "Amour."
Buddy picture: "Robot & Frank."
Best time capsule: "Argo."
Best movie for grown-ups who refuse to grow up: "Moonrise Kingdom."
Music-soaked movie to show
"Guitars Over Cancer ... A Concert Film" will be shown for free at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave. in Oakland. Doors open at 7 p.m., and seating is limited.
Originally set to premiere in April 2011, it documents the "Guitars Over Cancer" benefit concert June 13, 2010, at the Altar Bar produced by Lee Kann, a radio producer and disc jockey who goes by the name Mr. Lee.
That show raised more than $12,000 for cancer-related charities and paid tribute to Warren King, the Silencers/Houserockers/Mystic Knights of the Sea guitarist who died of cancer in January 2010.
The film documents the concert (remarkably pulled off without a rehearsal) but also honors King through archival clips and provides a showcase for a host of Pittsburgh musicians such as Norman Nardini, Billy Price, Gil Snyder, Don Hollowood, James Dougherty and Shari Richards.
Free teen workshop
Steeltown Entertainment Project will hold a free "Take a Shot at Changing the World" filmmaking workshop for teens from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 24.
In addition to exploring the robust Pittsburgh-Hollywood connection, it's part of a contest awarding $10,000 to middle and high school students in the region for short videos about social change.
• This is quite a week for "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."
The made-in-Pittsburgh film arrived on DVD on Tuesday. On Sunday, author turned director/screenwriter Stephen Chbosky will be competing for the best adapted screenplay honor at the Writers Guild of America ceremonies.
The awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio and promotional writing, and graphic animation. They will be presented during simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.
"Perks" is in the same adapted screenplay category as: "Argo," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln" and "Silver Linings Playbook."
• The Harry Potter books are getting a makeover, the Associated Press reports. Scholastic Inc. announced Wednesday that new covers have been commissioned for U.S. trade paperback editions of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster series.
The first new cover, for "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," replaces Mary GrandPre's iconic sandy-colored design of Harry in flight with a purplish-blue street setting by graphic novelist Kazu Kibuishi.
The GrandPre illustrations will still be used for hardcovers and mass market paperbacks.
• The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is accepting entries for its 2013 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition. As many as five $35,000 fellowships will be awarded in November.
Online applications, deadlines, rules and other details are available at www.oscars.org/nicholl.
Last year's competition drew a record 7,197 entries. Since the program's inception in 1985, 128 fellowships -- including to a Pittsburgher in 2006 -- have been awarded.
• The West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival will show "Experyment 6" on March 16 at the WVU Creative Arts Center. Pittsburgh filmmaker and director Michael Lies will field questions from the audience.
The 23-minute sci-fi film takes a whimsical look at how some of the other planets in the solar system might view the shortcomings of humanity. It had its premiere at The Andy Warhol Museum and the famed Odeon Theater in Florence, Italy. It has also been showcased at numerous theaters worldwide.
• A March 22 DVD, Blu-ray and on-demand date for "Les Miserables" has been announced.
First Published February 15, 2013 12:00 am