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What did you see this weekend?

"Summer 1993. Just beautiful." - Sarah

"I saw Hereditary and honestly thought it was a masterpiece. Fun that it's so divisive." - Philip H

"The best movie I saw this weekend was on PBS' Man with the Orange Shirt a great romantic gay film" - Jaragon


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Les Linkábles

Auteuse Theory has co-written a book on Mamma Mia! of all things "Mamma Mia! The Movie: Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon"
Gawker Audrey Plaza has a nude painting of herself on full display in her home 
The Wrap the best and worst performances by the same actor this year. Interesting concept but SO annoying to pretend Anne Hathaway is anything less than stupendous in Les Misérables 
Badass Digest Here's something unexpected. A piece on the vineyards of France and drinking in the time of Les Miz.

My New Plaid Pants obsession with Amanda Seyfried's 'magical slutty powers' is one of my favorite things on the internet, month in and month out.  I know everyone was excited to read me interviewing my Nicole but I'd honestly pay good money to watch a sit down with JA & Amanda
ME Says is disappointed with Jessica Chastain in The Heiress. This seems to be going around! That won't hurt but can't possibly help her Best Actress bid in Zero...
Awards Daily Sasha crunches numbers on Best Director and predicts doom for Tom Hooper without the Globe nod. Which might well be the case. But the thing I don't quite get, from other pundits, is why everyone has such sudden enthusiasm for Quentin Tarantino's chances. Tarantino movies ALWAYS open with a flurry of people crying "masterpiece" but that's because critics and bloggers are big stans of Quentin (with good reason but I hope you here my point.) Is this "late surge" for Django Unchained real or just a product of Weinstein Co's goodwill with the Globes?

The Playlist The NRA is blaming the movies again for all these gun massacres. I'd LOL if it weren't so terrible. Way to hang on to your destructive agenda in the face of ever more damning proof that it's just that! They are seriously a hideous blight on America. Speaking of...
Penny Arcade has a fine comic about this

Click on the image for more of the comic...

Pop Matters I am embarrassed for all my film friends who love Cloud Atlas but I have to link to Matt Mazur's top ten anyway because otherwise it's interesting!
Critic Wire asks film critics to share the best pieces of film criticism they've read this year. Lots of articles name-checked worth checking out
AV Club best scenes of the year
Pajiba has a great list of enjoyable supporting performances that won't win any awards... let alone Oscars
Screen Crave on the most disappointing films of the year from Django Unchained to The Avengers
Slate ten best of 2012 from How To Survive a Plague through Zero Dark Thirty 

And here is Kevin B Lee's 12 Best of the Year Video Essay from Fandor. (I keep meaning to do more video work and never get around to it. Argh.)

Even most of my critic friends love Silver Linings Playbook. I just don't get the love! But at least it's not a hideous bloated blight on the good name of cinema like Cloud Atlas

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Reader Comments (28)

Wasn't Elizabeth Banks best performance in "People Like Us"?? I thought she was on par with Pfeiffer

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

Wasn't QT nominated for Inglorious Basterds? From reading reviews, it seems like Django Unchained is even more well-liked. Also, Django reviews are better than Les Mis reviews too. By no means is he a lock, but he's a decent bet.

The "late surge" happened when people actually started seeing the thing, it's definitely real IMO.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

^ I agree

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

@ Nathaniel R, when people disagree with you, sometimes you can be quite vicious.

I watched “Les Misérables” 3 days ago and I wanted to enjoy it but simply could not;

It annoyed me immensely quite quite often. I gave it a 6 on IMDb and I still think I was generous.

About Anne, I think she was solid, but in my humble opinion that's one of those performances that get a massive praise, you hear about it, you end up watching the performance and you think "oh, that's it?"

And about the:

"hammy, grimacing, oxygen-sucking, back-balcony-playing, self-serving, eyelid-fluttering, oh-so-noble death scene as she belts out “I Dreamed a Dream”?"

comment on The Wrap, I actually do find a fair amount of truth in it and from reading reviews and hearing reactions, I'm not the only one.

Again, I liked her in the film, but for me and obviously for many others, it's not the landslide act of genius some fans of the film (you especially) want it to be.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor


December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVince Smetana

Thanks to that AV Club link I've just revisited my favorite scene of the year. It's the one from The Deep Blue Sea. Runners-up would be Holy Motors and Rust and Bone. I love when songs get that sort of royal treatment. Almodóvar is the master in that area.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

anonny -- he was nominated for Inglorious yes. but i fail to see what that proves. Inglorious was a major hit across the board. Django just barely came out and the reviews are not *all* raves. Quite a few people think it feels like lesser Tarantino or at least like unfinished Tarantino. I guess i've just been surprised that people have interpreted the Globe nominations as the be all and end all and the Globes aren't really that with Oscar. And most years these same pundits understand that. It's hardly a 1:1 ratio with the Globes. But the Globes enthusiasm for Django is NOT being written off as a Weinstein thing -- whereas every time pundits don't like a sudden flurry of nominations for a Weinstein thing they claim it's just the Weinstein thing.

I hope I'm making sense.

Yavor -- scratching my head and trying to figure out what's "vicious" here. Maybe a little irritated but vicious ?

Vincent -- what is your one word comment referring to? thanks

December 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Maybe it's just my love for Beasts shining through, but I just don't know how any best scenes of 2012 list could be complete without the scene with Hushpuppy at the floating brothel. Crushing, beautiful, funny, surreal. Just perfect in every way.

Also madly in love with JA's Amanda Seyfried obsession. His choice rantings about her harem of man stars is everything that is good in the world. The screencaps of said man stars don't hurt either.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTB

I can't picture a best scenes discussion without even a mention of the surgery scene from Prometheus. People's thoughts on the movie aside it was just so well done.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJames

You haven't reviewed Cloud Atlas, have you? Just saw you gave it an F on your reviews page and, well, you know, ouch! I think I'm equally bewildered at people who think this is a great movie, or even a particularly good movie. I'm not in the "hideous bloated blight camp" either, but would enjoy reading a review from that perspective just to counter the fanboy gushings. If, of course, you can bear to relive the experience. :)

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Oddly enough, I couldn't decide which movie I hated the most this year: Cloud Atlas or Holy Motors. Both are unbridled gimmicks, but the horses may have to determine their fate when all the after glow begins to fade. I think it is a toss-up. As for the equus, I hear they hate empty calories with their carrots.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLevi

I certainly do not agree with the NRA, but I do think if Movies, Music and Books can inspire us or influence us to do something great then I certainly don't think that it's impossible that they can negatively influence or inspire us.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I'm going to do a write up on why I think Cloud Atlas is the best film this year just to piss you off, Nat. :)

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

I've heard that Anne Hathaway is over the top in Les Mis, like she's in a theater playing to the cheap seats.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Long-time fan here, but I have to agree with Yavor that the Cloud Atlas digs are a little rough. Tons of people are saying the exact same thing about Les Miz to much (deserved) dismay on this site. Let people like what they like-- there's no reason to be "embarrassed" for someone who disagrees with us.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

The Deep Blue Sea is such a beautiful film, and Rachel Weisz absolutely deserves a Best Actress nomination!

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVanessa

Evan -- well, i guess I was feeling bullied -- i seriously can't believe the mud that people have flung online about people who love Les Miz. and maybe i'm bullying back. I know it's bad form but some people who like Garbage Atlas which is shamelessly overacted, overcostumed overscored overdesigned atrociously structed and torturously edited are trying to tell ME that Les Miz is "bad filmmaking"?

Ugh. okay. got it out of my system. I'll shut up until my worst of year list :)

December 22, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Tell it, Nat. Cloud Atlas is a disaster from start to finish. The Wachowskis, with their complete inability to put forward a theme in any manner aside from brute-force didacticism, should never have been allowed near a story like that.

Of course, the fact that every other part of the movie is borderline inept, and nearly three hours long to boot, doesn't do its noble intentions any favors.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

But then I did like Silver Linings Playbook a lot so I guess we must all be mindful of subjectivity :)

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrew

Drew: Cloud Atlas was probably way too short to be subtle. I think something 2-3 times longer would be the ONLY way to do it right.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia


Over the years that I have read your blogs, I do not always ( but mostly agree with your insightfulness ).... when we have agreed to disagree, I never remember a time when you were vicious.. Any other bloggers have I noticed that trait in you...

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I love Amanda Seyfried, and I think Anne Hathaway could've learned a lot from her on this recent press tour. She's so loose and fun, very Jennifer Lawrence, although Jennifer isn't big into the sex talk the way Amanda is. I hope she continues to have more success. I would've never expected her to be one of the ascendents from the Mean Girls crew.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Nat --- Sorry. You know how you read one thing and then your mind decides what it is you just read? In your post, you wrote "real" or "just a product of Weinstein Co's goodwill with the Globes?" My mind was lazy and decided to write "imagined" instead of "just a product ..." forgetting that you never wrote "imagined." RE: the expression "real or imagined."

Whatever the case, my vote is for the buzz being, "Not real" and a figment of the Tarantino fanbase's imagination. I guess I'll know for sure on Christmas.


December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVince Smetana

I have to agree with Rick. You're all class, Nat.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVince Smetana

At the top of my list this year are two enormously divisive films this year, and I couldn't more grateful for their coming to fruition. They are not easy films, but they are incisive, fascinating ones.

December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

"a hideous bloated blight on the good name of cinema"


December 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I would like to add one more name to supporting actors/actresses that will not be nominated for anything (that the pajibans didn't include): Kirsten Scott Thomas for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen! She is hilar and what makes the movie a comedy and I'd like to believe she surely would have been nominated at the globes if they had a comedy category for supporting roles.

December 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbuttface

I swear I will be rich woman, every time an Anne Hathaway hater comes out the cracks to trash her- whether they saw her performance or not. Anne is absolutely wonderful in Les Miserables, and their is a reason why she is winning most of the critic awards. I saw this movie at an industry event, and everyone praised Anne's performance.

Bia, I was at a Les Mis Q & A screening event. Hathaway, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne delighted me because they are smart , articulate, funny, and charming. Now, Amanda Seyfried was so insecure and shy , that Hathaway had to force her to talk. So, no, I wouldn't want Anne ( or any entertainer ) to learn anything from Amanda, when dealing with the press. I truly believe performers need to be taught how to deal with the media. Several courses need to be taught at least once a year. I can't stand watching the unbearable Michelle Williams, and the very awkward Kristen Stewart do television interviews. It is not cool to act as if it is too painful to talk or the interviewee act as if she ( or he) is suicidal during a tv interview. I am serious about this, it is scary to watch their televised interviews.

December 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbeverly

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