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« Foreign Film Frenzy... The Finalist List | Main | Here We Go! »


Empire Bryan Singer and his writing team working on X-Men: Apocalypse already. My only objection to this article is the conditional phrase for X2 "one of the best of the franchise" I'm sorry... one of... I think they meant to type "the best by such a significant margin it's actually kind of embarrassing"
Pajiba wonders if movie reviews matter anymore 
The Wire plays goldilocks with Martin Scorsese classics and their running times: "too long, not enough or just right?"
Dorkly imagines George RR Martin (Game of Thrones) as Santa Claus  

In Contention I neglected to share the London Film Critics Circle nominations because I forgot that unlike virtually every other critics organization, they don't announce their winners a few days after the nominations and instead save it for their actual ceremony... (which begs the question: how do they get the recipients to show up? tipped off?) so in case you missed it, read away 
Deadline on the struggle to shift the dialogue on August: Osage County. I have to say that I find this piece both telling and bizarre. Telling because Tracy Letts himself refers to Barbara (Julia Roberts) repeatedly as the "protagonist"  (and yet she's "supporting?" oy!) and even how he beefed up her role to justify the new ending. Bizarre because the piece ends with the implication that Streep is doing more promotional work for this film than she usually does (I see no evidence of this but, okay?) culminating in this absolute untruth: 

...when Streep shows up for a film that has her in Oscar contention, she usually wins.

The great lady has won 3 times out of 17. And it's not like she didn't "show up" for a number of those other 14 Oscar nominated films. She is as good as any big star at promoting her work.

The Gays
People awww, Sharon Needles and Alaska from RuPaul's Drag Race broke up. But very amicably it seems so good on them
David Kawena [NSFW] the popular web artist is at it again with his Disney characters as underwear hunks. This time it's Kristoff from Frozen. What would Jonathan Groff think of this?!
Theater Mania on the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, 7 Carol Channings 

Buzzfeed 23 most important 'selfies' of the year
Hey U Guys 10 Best Comic Book Movie Moments of 2013
i09 thinks these are the best comic books of the year
The Wire Joe Reid's top ten list and...The Act of Making Them
The Dissolve's top ten list. I like seeing All is Lost and Gravity together with All is Lost slightly higher. They really do make good companion pieces. Neither will make my list so I'm not a champion of either really but I prefer the Redford. As for Her. You know, it's funny. As soon as I knew the subject matter long before we'd seen a frame of it, I just knew it would be a huge deal on critics top ten lists, topping many of them. I should've written a prediction piece on that so you could all marvel at my psychic ways.

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Reader Comments (23)

Those Carol Channing gifs are gonna halt my productivity today. Can't stop staring.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

I actually think that compared to her recent outings, Meryl Streep is totally over this film, promotion-wise. She's skipped screenings and premieres, and doesn't talk about her costars as effusively as usual ("the Diviiiiiine Emily Blunt and Darling Annie Hathaway"), hasn't worked her standard "please go see this film about WOMEN" angle at all. I actually think by her standards, it doesn't even seem like she's happy with this experience OR the final product.

It kinda makes me wonder if those rumors about Julia Roberts being insufferable on set are true.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

Which is funny because I think the material/cast alone (even with execution problems) make this the most exciting upcoming film she's had in years. She gets so worked up and passionate forcing terrible movies with bad scripts and directors on us, playfully URGING that we support them at our multiplex, IMPLORING that we give Margaret Thatcher the benefit of the doubt, DEMANDING that we learn more about Julia Child, RHAPSODIZES about how Mamma Mia! helped a whole city get over September 11. She RAVES about directors who clearly can't direct.

Meryl is SO not shy about promoting her work. She will talk your damn ear off about her work.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

Also, the caps are for emphasis in Streep's very own lecture voice.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.

I could not realistically make a Top 10 List, yet, (haven't seen Kick-Ass 2, The Wolverine or Thor: The Dark World), but there's two GENUINELY good, would have been in character in another movie, moments in Man of Steel. One they mentioned, the very ending moments. The other is, "It's not an S. On my world, it stands for hope."

5. "It's not an S", Man of Steel
4. "Welcome to the Planet", Man of Steel
3. Airplane Rescue, Iron Man 3
2. Iron Legion, Iron Man 3
1. Trevor, Iron Man 3

5 Worst:

5. Tony tells his address on air, Iron Man 3 (it's thread bare as a misstep, but I haven't seen all of them either. More character arrogance than actual error.)
4. Jonathan Kent says to "maybe" let the kids die, Man of Steel (Again, there's arguments for and against this character action, but I'm someone who sees the DCAU Superman as the best Superman. Why? The DCAU Superman could have Jor-El be lock, stock and two smoking barrels crazy and Superman WOULD NOT CHANGE THAT MUCH as a character.)
3. The Metropolis Fight, Man of Steel (I'm sorry, but viscerality is not the same thing as quality. If I want anything close to this level of raw destruction, I'll go to Godzilla, Hulk or Pacific Rim, thank you.)
2. The Product Placement fight, Man of Steel (It's just really gross. IHOP, 7/11, U-Haul AND Sears in the space of two minutes? I know that our world is littered with this stuff and it's more "realistic", but that doesn't make it less shameless.)
1. Truck Crucifix, Man of Steel (Does ANYONE defend this? There are people who defend those first two listed Man of Steel problems, but I don't think anyone defends this act of unjustified malice. So he was a jerk to a woman in a bar and threw something at you. That doesn't exactly mean he deserves to go broke and hungry, dude. If you want to commit an act of visceral punishment, why not just break ONE of his fingers or something?)

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

That deadline article is some seriously misguided propaganda.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBia

Streep seems to be promoting a lot now. Give the woman a break... She was in the middle of filming 2 movies!

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 86th Academy Awards®. Seventy-six films had originally been considered in the category.

The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

Belgium, "The Broken Circle Breakdown," Felix van Groeningen, director;

Bosnia and Herzegovina, "An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker," Danis Tanovic, director;

Cambodia, "The Missing Picture," Rithy Panh, director;

Denmark, "The Hunt," Thomas Vinterberg, director;

Germany, "Two Lives," Georg Maas, director;

Hong Kong, "The Grandmaster," Wong Kar-wai, director;

Hungary, "The Notebook," Janos Szasz, director;

Italy, "The Great Beauty," Paolo Sorrentino, director;

Palestine, "Omar," Hany Abu-Assad, director.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcio

no brazil :(
and no "le passé" too.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

And no Wadjda more importantly.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMusa

Carol Channing dancing gifs? God bless us, everyone!

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

And no The Past-the shortlists are really heading in all diretions this year. Man of Steel misses Visual Effects, Wadjda misses Foreign Film, basically every frontrunner misses Makeup.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Darn! I was really pulling for WADJDA. And, compared to the others I've seen, THE GRANDMASTER just isn't that strong.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

she's doing less promotion, yes, but I don't think that means it was a bad experience or she didn't like the movie. and she has talked many times about bonding with margo at least.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

If Streep were less enthusiastic about promoting this film (and I'm not saying she is), it would be with good reason. Still, I'm disappointed that she was un___ to attend the SAG screenings in LA last month.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Streep, as Jamie has already stated, has been doing 2 movies abroad ... a person can be in only so many places at once...

No ... she has not been campaigning for the movie or herself ..

Personally, I don't think she wants to win again.. if you remember her speech when she won 2 years ago ... she said , You won't see me up here again, etc and she thanked her husband mainly!!!!

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I hate that they changed the end of the play ... it was so powerful as it stood...

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Pam- You saw the Weinstein cut that removed a lot of crucial elements, particularly Ziyi Zhang's screentime despite rocking that role. WKW's cut that was a hit in Hong Kong got submitted to the Foreign Film category.

:( I loved Sharon and Alaska.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I'm glad The Hunt made the short list - and if it wasn't for such a strong Actor field this year, Mads Mikkelsen might have gotten a nomination.

I just hope Christian Bale doesn't get nominated. His performance just screams 'Look at me Oscar - this time I GAINED weight to show how serious I am".

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Just saw Streep on The View and Good Morning America... And cannot count how many Q and A sessions are on you tube after screenings....

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I saw August:OC at a SAG screening on Monday and was ok with the ending, mainly because Julia really sells it. It does complete her character arc and she goes out on a wonderful grace note. BTW- Julia is fantastic in the picture overall and I hope she gets a nomination in whatever category they put her in. Everybody at my screening was raving about her. I didn't love Streep in this. The ticks and the mannerisms are just too much. However, she is wonderful in the "boots" scene. I had bigger issues with the direction. The climactic throw down evidenced on the poster is a mess. You can't tell what the hell is going on. It's worse than any Christopher Nolan directed action sequence. I did enjoy the simple, but effective, score by Gustavo Santaolalla as well as the Kings of Leon song over the end credits.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStan

I still hate to see a great play changed ... just to satisfy an actress!!??

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Mark, it wasn't changed for the actress. Letts thought that ending was best for his CHARACTER of Barbara. It still ends the same for the character of Violet. Note: this is the same ending that was in the shooting script from Day 1 so all those claiming Julia orchestrated some shenanigans to have the ending changed for her are full of it.

December 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStan

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