Oscar History

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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD

"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael

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Box Office Blather: Rango, Poetry, Gods/Men, Robbers

Bereft of inspiration today, Nathaniel turns to box office, the thing everyone else talks about elsewhere on the interwebs. Endure it! I have questions.

Top Ten
01 new RANGO $38
03 new BEASTLY $9.8
04 HALL PASS $8.8 (cumulative: $26.8)
05 GNOMEO & JULIET $7.2 (cumulative: $84)
06 UNKNOWN $6.5 (cumulative: $53)
07 JUST GO WITH IT $6.4 (cumulative: $88.1)
08 THE KING'S SPEECH $6.2 (cumulative: $123.5)
09 I AM NUMBER FOUR $5.7 (cumulative: $46.4)
10 JUSTIN BIEBER: NEVER SAY NEVER $4.2 (cumulative: $68.8)

Because I am finally free of Oscar season time constraints, I'll let you choose which new release from this week and next I should watch next to remount the "right now" movie horse. Obviously I need no push to get to JANE EYRE (Fassy! Mia!) so I left it off the list. Which other one should I write about?



Also how sad is it that a movie no one seems to like at all (Just Go With It) will now be one of Nicole Kidman's highest grossers in many years? The world -- and by world I mean movie theaters. Duh! -- would be an infinitely better place if this and Rabbit Hole ($2 million) switched cumulative grosses. Imagine the ripples in Hollywood moviemaking if female-led dramas with tremendous performances won default ticket purchases and sexist lazy comedies had to earn Oscar nominations to win any attention at all! Heh.

Other new releases: Take Me Home Tonight ($3 million), Happythankyoumoreplease ($35,000) and Uncle Boonmee reviewed ($27,800) which had a great first weekend take for a difficult movie that waited 10 months to capitalize on its Cannes hoopla. It should easily outgross Apichatpong Weerathesakul's biggest US market hit which was Tropical Malady (2005) which didn't earn that much until its fifth week in theaters.

Top 10 Foreign Films This Year (Thus Far)
01 BIUTIFUL w/ Javier Bardem $4,200,000+
03 OF GODS AND MEN $818,000+
05 7 KHOOM MAAF $268,000+
06 EVEN THE RAIN w/ Gael García Bernal $230,000+
07 IP MAN 2 $182,000+
08 WHAT WOMEN WANT w/ Gong Li and Andy Lau $123,000+
09 THE HOUSEMAID $117,000 +
10 POETRY $114,000+ don't miss it!

Asian hits of 2011

So happy that people are noticing South Korean's actressy cinema (#9 & #10) post Mother (2009).

At the subtitled speciatly box office we continue to see that if you want to make any money at all it helps to be a Bollywood feature (even with zero media attention you can earn money. See: #2,4,5). The second easiest way to sell tickets is to have a beloved star in the lead role.

Of Gods and Men's terrific opening and Even the Rain's pretty solid one suggests -- at least to this foreign film Oscar enthusiast -- that they should not have waited for a nomination for release. If there was this much interest despite snubs, imagine how much extra sympathy press they would have gotten had they already had "hit" status and then got snubbed. Of Gods and Men obviously didn't need the Oscar buzz to sell tickets and Even the Rain always had Gael García Bernal and instant recognition factor (Christopher Columbus related) going for it... Meanwhile, below this top ten lay the remains of other Oscar snubbees who waited to see how the Academy would treat them before sticking a toe in the US market: Argentina's Carancho ($39,000) German's When We Leave ($19,000) and Romania's If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle ($12,000). The biggest foreign flop this year has to be Ong Bak 3 right? The first film in this Tony Jaa muay thai trilogy was a major art house hit earning nearly  $5 million stateside and $20 million worldwide but the novelty wore out fast and/or they waited way too long to capitalize on interest and/or the sequels weren't very good? For the record I suspect it was a lethal combo of all of the above. I enjoyed the first one a lot and couldn't stomach the second which flopped in the US but it surprised me how long it took for them to make a sequel. For a year there in the mid Aughts I totally thought Tony Jaa was going to be the next international action star but then... crickets.

Heartbeats cast: Dolan, Schneider and ChokriIn other news, just because I like the film quite a lot, Xavier Dolan's Heartbeats has earned $18,000 to date but is still in theaters and available on demand. I feel like this would have done much better had his debut film I Killed My Mother had a real release in the States to build awareness of the new auteur. (I still read conflicting reports about whether or not it actually ever opened in the US and if it's that hard to know...).

On the subject of teeny tiny grosses, Germany's crime drama The Robber, which I didn't particularly "like" but which was unquestionably exciting and well-made on a technical level, has earned $5,000. It's already lined up for an English language remake (possibly with Andrew Garfield) and while I can see them trumping the film on an emotional engagement level, I think they'll be hardpressed to duplicate this one's technical virtuosity and cumulative white knuckle effect. It is scary intense.

Here's the trailer for The Robber which actually does a good job of not giving the movie's best moments / surprises away.


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Reader Comments (17)

Rango is actually quite good and a very subversive "kids" movie (read: it's not a kid's movie.)

Also, that number for "Biutiful" looks quite impressive. I suspect "In a Better World" will do well for itself when it goes out into the marketplace soon.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

I chose Red Riding Hood cause I think it would be funny for you to review a film aimed at teen girls (with great actors thrown in for everyone else lol)

and omg that 'The Housemaid' poster is something else O_O

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerence

I don't think I'll ever be able to see I Killed My Mother :(((( Why must they do this to us?

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDylan

I liked Just Go With It.

I think you should review Bureau, as that's the only non-animated adult fare worth seeing.

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVince in WeHo

I live in Brazil and we already have both Dolan's movies on DVD!

March 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLouis

see rango before depp and verbinski ruin it by making a tepid yet overlong sequel (or two)

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

Wow, THE HOUSEMAID didn't muck around with that poster; great film!
I can't wait to see POETRY as I didn't see it at our film fest and regret that decision.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGJB

Ah. 'How I Killed My Mother' and 'The Robber' were two of the most fascinating films for me last year. In the former, I relived an uber exaggerate take of my teenage years and the latter was just a fun action thriller which I feel a Hollywood adaptation would only exceed it.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

If you're gonna see Rango, see it on 3D. Get a coffee beforehand. I was really tired from work when I saw that and I was nodding off. It's a pretty movie though with some plot holes.

I voted for Bureau just because the film inspires so much beautiful writing. I haven't seen it, but everyone's talking about Damon and Blunt as if they should make movies together for the rest of the decade. I wanna write what YOU think about that.

And again, I hate Xavier Dolan. This is partly from jealousy, but if you're rich and successful and depressing at the same time, go volunteer in a soup kitchen.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

I'd love to see someone write a piece about both The Adjustment Bureau and Unknown. I'm noticed a sort of fascinating mini-trend of soft action films featuring male leads of a certain age paired with significantly younger women, but it's glossed over. Matt Damon could have babysat for Emily Blunt when he was in high school and January Jones is young enough to be Liam Neeson's daughter. I'm not ageist at all, but I think it's sad that we have both these films coming out at the same time about men trying to reclaim control over their lives and get the women they love and producers and casting directors at some point decided on both projects that these stories can't be sold with a female lead who isn't significantly younger than the male lead. You would never see the reverse of this (an older woman, her much younger lover) without it being a major plot point, n'est pas? Maybe it's an issue that's already been discussed to death (sexist ageism in Hollywood), but it always bears repeating.

I didn't vote for Rango because I want to see that movie myself and I'm not as interested in a write-up about it. I didn't vote for the Adjustment Bureau because I couldn't care less about that movie. I voted for Red Riding Hood.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

You should see RANGO. The most inspirational film that i see since Inception or Black Swan.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLuis

I Killed Your Mother didn't play in the USA. Apparently, the distributor went tits-up and they don't event return Dolan et al's phone calls.


March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

That poster for The Housemaid is pretty darn sugestive. Actually it looks like bad softcore porn haha

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPedro

On partirait bien en balade avec elle ;)
A noter d'ailleurs qu'elle sera également de l'aventure du prochain long métrage de Xavier Dolan intitulé "Laurence Anyways" auquel j'ai pu apporté très modestement ma contribution, en grand fan de Dolan, en devenant coproducteur du film. Ca se passe ici :


Les services et contenus offerts ne sont pas encore connus mais à en juger le catalogue français du site, çà devrait vraiment valoir le coup (invitation avant-première, ITW exclusive, DVD, VoD, rencontre avec l'équipe du film???!).

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMathilda

Sorry for the French post.

I can't but recommend Heartbeats by Xavier Dolan. Everything in the film is just well balanced, the picture, the musics...

This young guy is definitely talented... and he's only 22 (or 21, don't remember...).

I was actually surprised to see that his next movie is on a crowdfunding website (touscoprod.ca) in order to find money to produce it ! But i joined this opportunity to help this talented director, and I really hope that he'll get more recognition with Laurence Anyways. Here is the link : http://www.touscoprod.com/ca/pages/projet/fiche.php?s_id=2

And also an interview he did in french about it (english subs in comments) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHFziRhHFJs

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMathilda

er, Paolo, "Rango" isn't being released in 3D.

March 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn
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