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!
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.