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« Our Favorite BAFTA Tradition | Main | Yes, No, Maybe So: "The Amazing Spider-Man" »
Tuesday
Feb072012

Links, Fences, Songs, Brainnnnns

Free Unqualified... The Artist = Anchorman ?
SuperPunch for your next horror movie party with friends, zombie chocolates with cherry brainnnnns! 
Carpetbagger talks to Stuart Craig on the challenges of art directing Hogwarts over eight Harry Potter films 
Antagony & Ecstacy offers up a great top ten list: ten best Oscar slates ever from 2009's animated feature to 1939's best actresses and everywhere inbetween.
Senses of Cinema looks at the question of identity in Splendor in the Grass (1961) 

Flavorwire Disney Princess tattoos. Why the hell not?
Movie|Line on Clint Eastwood vs the ever-nuttier GOP after his Superbowl commercial
Towleroad  No song performances at this year's Oscars? Christ, AMPAS really needs to call me. They could've had such a watercooler live tv moment with "Man or Muppet". I explain how.

Complex the '25 Hottest Women on Horror TV shows'. Fun list with shoutouts to two of the best TV shows of all time Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Twin Peaks 
World of Wonder three things
Empire clears up that silly rumor that Harrison Ford was going to be in the Blade Runner sequel that nobody should be making to begin with shame on you Ridley Scott do you really want to turn into George Lucas I'm just saying... 

Today's Must Read
Grantland Mark Harris writes a fabulous column on Viola Davis's extraordinary gift, the Best Actress race and Hollywood's race relations.

Faced with the peril of that archetype, Davis did the hardest job of anyone in the Best Actress category: She made the movie better — much better — without playing against it. Much of The Help is bright, candy-colored, and loud: It’s full of silly wigs and garish costumes, sitcom slapstick and shit pies, wicked old dears like Sissy Spacek, finger-snappin’ Designing Women tell-offs, and the kind of steroidal pivots from comedy to poignancy to melodrama that would shame an episode of Glee. What Davis gives the film is humanity. Aibileen is a gentle but wary woman — she’s lived long enough to know that in her world, you survive by bending, not breaking, by keeping your thoughts to yourself, by seeing and hearing everything while appearing to register very little, and by trying to apply your own sense of decency and kindness to a badly needed paying job in an often indecent and unkind world. When she’s on-screen, the hummingbird shrieks of the movie’s other characters are hushed; you’re reminded that the human toll of daily, casual racism doesn’t really get addressed by making Bryce Dallas Howard eat poo. Because Davis is a physically gifted actress who can incorporate the exhaustion and strain of being Aibileen into every motion and muscle, and also the rare performer — even in this year ofThe Artist and Max von Sydow — whose silences draw you even closer, she seems to correct The Help’s excesses without ever standing self-protectively outside it. At every turn, she un-simplifies the movie.

Nick and I keep wondering when Hollywood is going to make August Wilson's Fences (for which Viola won a Tony opposite Denzel Washington) into a movie and everyone I know who is into theater keeps wondering why this hasn't happened for Fences or really any of August Wilson's plays. So it's nice to see that subject is revived again here. Seriously what time like the present Hollywood? Get on that. How many times do we have to ask?

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Reader Comments (9)

Norman Jewison begged to make Fences in the 80s, I think, but Wilson was serious about, "It's a black director or it's a no-go." I'm still stunned there hasn't been movement since that time.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

(Re: Nathaniel's Towleroad piece on the Song category)

And to think we used to complain about those Debbie Allen numbers. Didn't know how good we had it! These days I'd take her shlocky choreography if we could have five nominees of songs people actually know.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJase

(Re: Nathaniel's Towleroad piece on the Song category)

What the frack did you do, Brian Grazer?
This seriously make me want to boycott (or occupy rather) this year's telecast. Sorry, Viola.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRic_H

As long as Hollywood doesn't allow Lee Daniels or Tyler Perry to touch it.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter//3|RT

Oh God...the thought of Tyler Perry directing Fences. I would commit suicide then and there.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

Of course, the upside of no Man or Muppet performance is that there won't be a Real in Rio performanceeither. No matter how fun MoM would have been (and it was my least favorite in The Muppets), RiR would have been a waste of three minutes and a total momentum-killer.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I'm not sure if I want those "Debbie-Allen style" numbers to return (although they always provided a handy excuse to zip over to the fridge). But didn't this catagory - or at least the notion of performances during the telecast - begin to die when they failed to let Bjork perform the full version of "I've seen it all" (which meant no duet with Thom Yorke); and then robbed us viewers of a golden opportunity in disqualifying "Come What May" from MR the next year? Even if the film had no nod, they still could have let McGregor/Kidman perform (although I Kidman doesnt have the voice for that kind of room); who says the songs performed on a given night HAVE to be the nominated ones, why can't there be "these were some of the musical highlights in film this year?"

Oh, wait - because then it would remind everyone how weak the actual nominees often are comparison. Never mind.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Mark Harris makes it sound like The Help is some campy John Waters movie...it's not that loud.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoSueMe

HBO should secure the rights to make "Fences" into a television movie. That way, assuming an Oscar win for Davis this year, both she and Washington -- again, assuming they reprise the roles -- can sweep the Emmys to become triple crowners.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.
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