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The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies

'American Hustle' wins big at Golden Globes

Posted: 12 Jan 2014 09:05 PM PST

Jennifer Lawrence wins another acting award, this time for her role as a ditzy housewife in American Hustle.

Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron won best director for his existential space thriller, Gravity, a film starring Sandra Bullock as an astronaut tumbling through space that has won praise for its groundbreaking technical advances. Director Spike Jonze took home the Globe for best screenplay for his quirky computer-age comedy Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix.

The Golden Globes, under the purview of some 90 journalists in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), have outsized clout in the awards race as buzz around these first honours influences members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in their voting for the Oscars. Oscar nominations will be announced on Thursday, but voting has already concluded.

Leto (left) and Christoph Waltz. -- AFP

The Globes have a mixed record when it comes to predicting the Oscar best picture, though last year's best drama winner, Argo, did go on to win the Academy Award for best movie. The show, telecast live on Comcast Corp's NBC, was hosted by comic actors Tina Fey and Amy Poehler and reunited Hollywood's A-listers and its powerbrokers, who all took playful pokes from the duo in their second straight gig at the Globes.

The HFPA honoured Woody Allen with the Cecil B. DeMille award recognising outstanding contribution to the entertainment field. Famously averse to awards shows, the 78-year-old Allen sent one of his favourite actresses, Diane Keaton, to stand in for him. — Reuters

Here are the winners at the 71st Golden Globe Awards:


Best film, drama: 12 Years A Slave

Best comedy or musical: American Hustle

Best actor, drama: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Best actress, drama: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

Best actor, comedy or musical: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf Of Wall Street

Best actress, comedy or musical: Amy Adams for American Hustle

Best supporting actor: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Best supporting actress: Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle

Best director: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity

Best foreign language film: The Great Beauty, Italy

Best animated film: Frozen

Best screenplay: Spike Jonze for Her

Best original score: Alex Ebert for All Is Lost from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Best original song: Ordinary Love from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, by U2

Cecil B. DeMille award: Woody Allen


Best drama: Breaking Bad

Best comedy: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Best actor, drama: Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad

Best actress, drama: Robin Wright for House Of Cards

Best actor, comedy: Andy Samberg for Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Best actress, comedy: Amy Poehler for Parks And Recreation

Best TV film or miniseries: Behind The Candelabra

Best actor, TV film or miniseries: Michael Douglas for Behind The Candelabra

Best actress, TV film or miniseries: Elisabeth Moss for Top Of The Lake

Best supporting actor, TV film or miniseries: Jon Voight for Ray Donovan

Best supporting actress, TV film or miniseries: Jacqueline Bisset for Dancing On The Edge

Woody Allen (left) directing Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. The filmmaker received the Cecil B. DeMille award at the Golden Globes, while Blanchett won the best actress in a motion picture (drama) prize. 

Goofy duo: Jimmy Fallon "receiving" Melissa McCarthy's clutch as a prize at the awards. -- EPA

Vibrant colours at the Globes

Posted: 12 Jan 2014 09:55 PM PST

Stars showed their individuality on the red carpet at this morning's awards.

Bold reds, shimmering metallics and vibrant floral hues blossomed on the Golden Globes red carpet earlier today, as the world's biggest stars shirked trends in favour of individual statements on one of the most watched Hollywood runways.

Red hues, sometimes avoided for being too similar to the red carpet, were represented in a variety of silhouettes, such as American Hustle best film comedy actress nominee Amy Adams in a plunging halter Valentino in an homage to the 1970s style of the film, saying "I am kind of influenced by my character."

Newcomer Lupita Nyong'o, nominated for best supporting actress in a film for 12 Years A Slave, stunned fans with her fitted red Ralph Lauren gown with caped sleeves. Other stars opting for the bold hue included Berenice Bejo in a lace Giambattista Valli gown, Nebraska nominee June Squibb in a beaded velvet Tadashi Shoji, and Emma Watson spinning a twist on the traditional gown with a red Christian Dior tunic and pants combination.

Emma Watson in Christian Dior. -- EPA 

Well, hello there, pants. -- AFP

"The dress has pants, which I thought was the coolest thing ever. I feel so comfortable," Watson told Reuters.

Vibrant hues also came in the form of a jade green column dress on Reese Witherspoon, pregnant Olivia Wilde donned a form-fitted sparkling emerald Gucci gown, and Scandal actress Kerry Washington, also pregnant with her first child, opted for a mint green Balenciaga. 

Meanwhile, Masters Of Sex actress Caitlin FitzGerald wore a turquoise blue Emilia Wickstead gown, while Modern Family star Sarah Hyland opted for a peach Georges Hobeika dress.

"I was very impressed with the diversity, by the lack of trend and the somewhat unconventional choices on the red carpet this year. No one colour or shape or designer dominated," Hal Rubenstein, InStyle's editor-at-large, told Reuters.

Emilia Clarke in Proenza Schouler. -- AFP 

Pale golds and silvers were dotted among the vibrant tones. New Girl best TV comedy actress nominee Zooey Deschanel wore a pale gold beaded flowing Oscar de la Renta dress, and Downton Abbey best TV drama actress nominee Michelle Dockery also wore a strapless silver and gold beaded gown by the designer. 

Mila Kunis rocked a sleeveless Emilio Pucci beaded silver gown, while Breaking Bad actress Anna Gunn wore a blush gold Donna Karan Atelier gown and actress Sally Hawkins from Blue Jasmine wore a vintage cream beaded Dior gown from the design house's archives.

House Of Cards star Robin Wright picked up the best TV drama actress award in a shimmering gold Reem Acra gown. "If you're going to do a shiny dress with sparkle, it has to be understated, or else it'll look garish. If you're going to go glittery, you have to pare it down," Rubenstein said.

Robin Wright in Reem Acra, with Ben Foster who wore... a suit. -- AFP

Jennifer Lawrence, who picked up the first award of the night for her best supporting role in American Hustle, wore a white strapless Dior haute couture dress with tiers divided by black belts, while Australian actress Margot Robbie from The Wolf Of Wall Street donned a fitted cream Gucci gown with green crystal details. 

In contrast to the vibrant hues, Blue Jasmine actress Cate Blanchett led the stars in black, in a high-neck fitted lace Armani Prive dress, while The Good Wife star Julianna Margulies opted for a V-neck wide-skirted black gown with gold embroidery by Andrew Gn.

Saving Mr Banks actress Emma Thompson also opted for a gold and black combination with a vintage embroidered Lanvin dress. August: Osage County star Meryl Streep chose an understated satin black Vivienne Westwood dress, while her co-star, Julia Roberts, added a white-sleeved shirt to her black strapless Dolce & Gabbana dress, while Girls actress Allison Williams wore a form-fitted Alexander McQueen black and white column gown.

Rubenstein picked Blanchett, Robbie, Nyong'o, Williams and FitzGerald among his picks for best-dressed, but added that he felt everyone made an effort to look individual this year. — Reuters

Cate Blanchett is happy with her win, as well as her wardrobe choice. -- EPA

Into the other realm

Posted: 12 Jan 2014 08:00 AM PST

The cast and crew of local Chinese horror flick The Transcend share creepy tales of the things that are best left unseen.

WHAT if you could see ghosts? Would you want to have that sort of ability? How would you deal with the spirits? Local Chinese supernatural thriller The Transcend explores all this and more.

In the movie, there is a girl who can see ghosts but wishes she could not, and a guy who writes about ghosts and wishes that he could actually see them.

The girl is Le Le, a funeral troupe trainee who lives in a nunnery and has been seeing ghosts since childhood. The guy is Yan Dong, a cocky author of ghost stories who hopes to be able to see the dead to enhance his storytelling skills. Though his wish does come true, he soon finds that there is more at stake.

Since her special ability has brought her only sadness and pain, Le Le tries her best to ignore all the spooks that appear around her. Yan Dong, on the other hand, empathises with the spirits he sees and tries his best to help them achieve closure and move on.

Produced by veteran actor James Wong and directed by award-winning scriptwriter Ryon Lee, The Transcend stars Mindee Ong, Teddy Chin, Cheng Kam Cheong, Susan Leong, Yenn Teoh, Sean Lee, Koe Yeet and Wong.

James Wong (left) and Teddy Chin in The Transcend.

The movie, which took two years to make, is said to be based on real-life incidents of hauntings and ghostly sightings.

At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur to launch the movie last week, Wong and Lee divulged that they had coincidentally hired the same funeral troupe from Penang to conduct the burial rites for their dearly departed. "It was a colourful and eye-opening experience. We decided to include those scenes in the movie so that young people could learn about culture and tradition, and how these Chinese customs help us practise filial piety," offered actor/producer Wong, whose big-screen oeuvre includes The Legacy Of A Lost Love (2008) and The Cycle Of Love (2010).

As part of his research, writer/director Lee spent substantial time talking to the medium who served as the consultant on the set of The Transcend.

"He would describe all the things that one could see in the other realm, the beings and the scenery. And I would carefully take notes in order to recreate some of these scenes," shared Lee, who won Best Script for Namewee's Nasi Lemak 2.0 (2011) at last year's inaugural Golden Wau Awards, Malaysia's first Chinese-language film awards. Lee also scripted director Chiu Keng Guan's top-grossing movies Woohoo (2010) and Great Day (2011).

Why did he not just ask to have his "third eye" opened and save all that trouble?

"The sifu actually did offer to open my 'third eye' for me. But there was a long list of conditions attached. None of which I was able to fulfil. Moreover, the minimum duration was at least three months, not just three hours or even three days. That was so much more than I was prepared for. So I decided to pass," disclosed Lee.

"I remember questioning the existence of ghosts once during the filming. I walked by the room and stood at the door looking at a lighting fixture. Then I thought, 'If you do exist, then prove to me with a sign.' At that very instant, the light started to turn around and slowly move to face me," related Lee, who was so spooked by that incident that he never again questioned the existence of otherworldly beings during the shoot.

Singaporean actress Mindee Ong, who plays the female lead Le Le, reported a smooth and stress-free shoot for the film. "Armed with several Buddhist rosaries, I felt very safe at all times. Teddy, however, had a more 'eventful' time," Ong gestured to her co-star.

Prompted by Ong, local social media celebrity Teddy Chin shared his own scary stories while portraying the main character Yan Dong. "I still remember the creepy scene where I had to balance atop three coconuts at an intersection at midnight in order to see ghosts. I was only later told that it was indeed a way to see spirits," recounted Chin, who also disclosed that his encounters with apparitions in the movie were based on his own experiences.

"Just like the scenes in the movie, I'd had experiences where I only saw the mouth and legs descending from above. I regretted shutting my eyes then as the eerie whispers and heavy breathing in my ears were even creepier!" Chin recalled.

Koe Yeet, who plays one of the wraiths in the movie, revealed that she had had her own share of spooky moments. "Mine was a very scary scene, which required me to be alone inside the room, with the camera located just outside the door. That room was where babies were aborted and I was asked to stand in the exact corner said to be haunted by the spirit of a girl who died during a botched abortion," shared the young actress, who added that she rapidly wrapped up her scenes and make a quick exit.

  • The Transcend is playing in cinemas nationwide.

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