Oscar History

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Extremely Link

Weinstein Co a live chat today with The Artist team (4:30 PM EST)
Gold Derby "Oscar nominations we're rooting for"
Deadline exciting sounding project alert. Gyllehaal mama Naomi Foner, who wrote the brilliant Running on Empty (1988) is making her directorial debut with Very Good Girls. Elizabeth Olsen and Dakota Fanning to star as best friends just out of high school eager to lose their virginity.
Nicks Flick Picks' Best Actress Birthday Parties are getting more and more festive. I died at one particular one-liner in the Piper Laurie Tim review and now I simply must see the movie. 

Slash Film Remember that biopic Big Eyes about artist-marrieds Margaret and Walter Keane which was supposed to star Kate Hudson years and years ago? No? Well, it's back in development only this time with Reese Witherspoon. I don't know how you make a movie called Big Eyes and cast anyone but Our Miss Hathaway though. 
AD Jameson How many movies can you see? An obsessive discussion about what's feasible or worthwhile.
By Ken Levine "guys are not going to want to f*** her" on pursuing a role in TV pilots. A scary read for actors!

Fun videos with Charlize, Fassy & Viola after the jump...

The Daily Beast has 10 clips from Newsweek's Oscar Roundtable but alas not the whole video. Assembled are Christopher Plummer, Charlize Theron, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, and Viola Davis.

Here are the three I like best:

1. Fassy impersonating Quentin Tarantino and Charlize speaking Afrikaans.


2. Viola & Fassy & Charlize talking about writing "biographies" for their characters and process

3. The actors talking about the problems of casting -- how is The Help Viola's only lead role? -- and the loss of an adult audience.

One last "Worst" before the Oscars
Vulture has finally unveiled their "Worst of the Year" critics poll. I participated. Some of the critics love to bad mouth other critics or throw ridiculous desperately provocative firebombs which is unfortunate, but year-end critical surveys always come with some degree of dick measuring. Job hazard. Three of my favorite comments as a sample:

War Horse. Ponderous banalities delivered like graven tablets from on high.
-Richard Brody, The New Yorker

I Am Number Four. Harder to follow than a 4-year-old on a Skittles high, and less fun.
-Michelle Orange, Movieline

The Green Lantern. And ten minutes of exposition is usually such a good sign.
-Alynda Wheat, People 

Hee times three.

The year's weirdest film for me in terms of critical response is Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Obviously this topic will never get a free pass from critics, particularly if it's going for spiritual uplift, but the violence of the reaction is interesting. See, I am the most easily agitated person I know when it comes to this topic to the point where I wish my skin was a lot thicker. I always have to change the channel. This year I planned a vacation without internet or TV access on the weekend of the anniversary just because I knew I wouldn't be able to bear the anniversary obsessing. I was living in New York City already on the worst day and since then, and even within a week's time actually, I have felt vomitous nearly every time I've seen the subject broached in art or heard it discussed in public. It nearly always feels emotionally pornographic to me, charged with that queasy 'rubbernecking to stare at carnage' feeling. I have no idea why my general allergies have suddenly transferred to all these critics (I don't remember this sort of response to, say, World Trade Center which was just... ugh) for a film that I watched and curiously never once felt vomitous about.

I didn't like the film enough to want to revisit it to find out why I didn't have my normal reaction and why so many other people did. But I suspect it is merely this year's recipient of the semi-annual prize called "Easy Target Oscar-Bait Movie That Opened Right When People Need Something To Hate Or A Place To Channel Their General Oscar-Bait Loathing". And surely there's also some pile-on from past Daldry-resentments happening. Just as some filmmakers get free passes because they've made several good films, other filmmakers get savaged when they make something average after something that pissed people off. 

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Reader Comments (14)

I truly hated EL&IC (for reasons that really had little to do with 9/11 sensitivity), but I think Thomas Horn gave a pretty accomplished performance. If you put me in a room with Oskar Schell, I might go to town on my wrists with his precious key, but for what Horn was tasked to do, I thought he delivered fine work.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKurtis O

I always love when you say 'hee.' lol

I've been waiting for the Oscar roundtable!!!! Good lord. At least we have something now.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Here I was thinking critics would dislike Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close for being very uneven in tone, pacing, and style. There are moments in that film that made me sit up in my seat and almost start applauding. Then there are moments where I was rolling my eyes and waiting for the film to end. I honestly got scared in the first fifteen minutes that the 9/11 drama I'd been dreading would suddenly become my Number 1 film of 2011.

The 9/11 content rang honest to me, which is why it didn't trigger my anxiety and flash me back to where I was when I learned what was happening. It was the subplots with the Renter and the mother that left me questioning the direction of the film.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

Screw all the critics, I loved Extremely Loud, it's my number three favorite of the year.

The climax with Sandra made people in my theater WAIL and MOAN and practically sob on the floor, I've never seen anything like it and I couldn't blame any of them cause it was very powerful.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDean

Dean, the climax to the end was fantastic. I hated the film (in the best way possible) for pulling out that much emotional heft in the present story. The beginning scenes with Tom Hanks were just as strong. I just wish the film could have maintained that level the entire time. I wouldn't trade having seen it in theaters for anything in the world, even if I'm not as enthusiastic about the whole product as you.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I thought 'Extremely Loud' was interesting, insofar as how it dealt with a child who is either not neurotypical, or mentally ill, or both, and how the parents related to him. It was a great portrayal of a family dealing with it in a constructive way.

Also, Viola Davis and Jeffrey Wright.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

My favorite things in the entire month of awards season are:

The look at 0:32 in Video #5 that Swinton gives to Ansen and Setoodeh after Clooney tells her to fuck right off about Batman


The unbelievable sexual charge between Theron and Fassbender all the way from 1:10 to 1:25 in Video #6, while he talks about trailers. If Mavis had made that kind of play for Buddy, Young Adult would have ended differently, is all I'm saying. That is a scope. out.

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShelley Duvall

Shelley Duvall? Shut the front door!

Just as I loved Marsha Mason in 'Max Dugan Returns,' so I loved you *even more* in 'Faerie Tale Theatre'. (Although, girl, you were not born to play Rapunzel or the miller's daughter in Rumplestiltskin -- and I love your ass for it!)

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

P.S. Sorry, I was a child of the (early) '80s...with grandparents...who owned a video store (and had Showtime).

January 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Also, I think that's interesting - a possible good film choice for Reese Witherspoon. She hasn't made one of those in a long time.

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Does Clooney have to hijack EVERY conversation?! Good god, this man needs a time out. Enough with your smugness!

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAD

I also fully approve of any behind the scene shenanigans going on between Charlize and Fassy. I like these two together a little too much.

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAD

Yes definitely some attraction going on between Theron & Fassy, am I right in thinking her ex was from Ireland? Fassy loves those slick suits doesn't he. I kept thinking one of those creaky chairs might collapse at any moment.

January 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersuzysue

AD, you are so right. George Clooney is annoying, and he is full of himself. Plus, he is not the nice guy that he portrays. Any man that consistently jumps from one woman to the next, and he uses them and dumps them when he is bored, Usually these ladies are D-list celebrities or not celebrities whatsoever, because he couldn't do this to A-list celebrities. This is not the act of a classy gentleman.

PS, Clooney is not a great actor- not even a talented actor. Sadly, George received a undeserved Oscar nomination. I have to give credit to George, he knows how to schmooze and play the Hollywood game.

January 29, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpenny
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