Oscar History

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Months of Meryl: THE RIVER WILD

"Great post and comments. Yes, Streep had to navigate the rough waters of being in her 40's! I do think she smashed through the glass ceiling for women since she persevered and then became an even bigger star in her 50's." - Sister Rona

"One of my favourite movies from my teen years - I'm shocked at how long ago this was released. It was Meryl that sold this movie for me and is the reason I saw it. At the time, and I still feel this way, she is the reason to watch and believe this film." -Filmboymichael

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What Did You Watch This Weekend?

There was not a pot of gold at the top of that beanstalk... or rather there was but it had already been raided to build said beanstalk in the first place.

Box Office WIDE
02 IDENTITY THIEF  $9.7 (cum. $107.4)
03 21 AND OVER  *NEW* $9.0
05 SNITCH $7.7  (cum. $24.4)

Given Jack the Giant Slayer's gargantuan budget ($200 million), and the loss of the family audience next weekend when Oz: The Great and Powerful cuts it off at the knees beanstalk (har-de-har-har), this has to be a regarded as a face plant (plant. get it, I... never mind). Unless its overseas take is significantly better.

01 THE GATEKEEPERS $.2 (cum. $.6)
02 STOKER *NEW* $.1 Review 
03 NO $.1 (cum. $.3) Review
04 HYDE PARK ON HUDSON  *$.04 (cum. $6.2)
05 STAND UP GUYS $.1 (cum. $3.2)

Though Stoker had a non-spectacular 'highest-per-screen-average of any movie' claim this weekend, I always wonder why genre efforts with famous stars don't open wider to begin with. I mean, seven theaters??? Sure this is an art horror film rather than a easy-sell slasher but remember when Bug opened wide and they pretended it didn't have critically acclaimed roots? It was hardly a hit but it made $3 million in its opening weekend and $7 million in total. If you hide Stoker for long enough, it won't even get to $7 million because the buzz will warn away the people who are scared of anything non-generic... which is obviously a lot of people if you look at box office receipts for horror films where interchangeable slashers tend to reign.

One unreported story of the box office this winter season is surely that the non-bankable Oscar bait failures like Quartet and Hyde Park on Hudson still somehow managed to earn non-embarrassing grosses. Especially Quartet which nearly equalled Beasts of the Southern Wild's take with about .1% of its publicity - the power of the Dowager Countess!?! 

What did you watch this weekend? I took in Stoker, Jack the Giant Slayer and a couple of 1930s movies

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Reader Comments (44)

There was nothing good that I haven't already seen playing near me this weekend (damn you, Stoker, opening in limited release!), so I had a relaxing weekend in with Netflix to keep me company. At my man's insistence, we broke up the Breaking Bad marathon (hot DAMN, but that show is good!) with Ingrid Bergman's second Oscar win: Anastasia, which I had never seen and found rather enjoyable, in that old-school-Hollywood way.

I also re-watched The Wizard of Oz so I could make my selection for this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, which ended up being surprisingly easy considering how many great shots are in that film.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I watched Francois Ozon's Dans La Maison (which I've reviewed) and a 2006 short TV Series - The Lost Room (which I'm going to review)

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNika

I caught Stoker and really, really enjoyed it. And now, while I wait for the release of Emperor, The Monk, and Oz the Great and Powerful this Friday, I'll be revisiting Shadow of a Doubt thanks to it.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDevin D

Demme double-bill: Rachel Getting Married and Married to the Mob. Like them both a lot, even if Modine is severely miscast in MttM. Pfieffer, as a brunette (!!), carries those scenes between them.

Altman's The Long Goodbye. Gould is an awesome, funny Marlowe and that ending is perfect. Also, latter Sterling Hayden is fantastically off-beat.

Punch-Drunk Love. Not considered among PTA's best but even in a love story his point of view with his characters could not be clearer. It oddly does tie to The Master on some level.

Catching up on The Americans which for me is everything Homeland is not in the best way possible.

Enlightened finished up with one of the best seasons of TV ever. Laura Dern fans, seek this out, please. Also watched Girls which I still think is in an identity crisis but I still enjoy watching it each week.

Stoker is not coming up here until around my birthday. I really need to stay away from reviews. I am an unabashed Park Chan-Wook fan so nothing is keeping me away but I want to be surprised.

And as far as bummer watches, Jiro Dreams of Sushi bored me to tears. Quit twenty minutes in when I streamed it on Netflix. Worth trying to re-watch again?

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Also, Beyond the Hills is coming out this weekend. How often do we get to choose which movies we'd rather go and see in early March? It's all very exciting.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDevin D

Finally saw Looper...shocked it wasn't nominated for anything...not even the editing, the screenplay, or its innovative score!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSo Sue

I watched The Last Exorcism Part II (woof), Quartet (so sweet and charming, perfect for a classically trained musician like me), and The Frankenstein Theory (bless their hearts, at least they tried to do a smart monster movie on a shoestring budget). Quartet was a pretty packed screening for a 10AM matinee and the audience was really responsive; compare that to my private screening of The Last Exorcism Part II which already had such bad word of mouth out of the midnight screenings that no one bothered to show up who wasn't writing about it or a die hard fan of the original.

I also finally saw The Paperboy and am pissed I didn't get to evangelize it leading into awards season. Loved it. The Master still eludes me on a second viewing and I think I just need to let it go at this point.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I ended having an impromptu 'cult following' weekend. I watched 'Oldboy' for the first time, 'The Room' for 342nd time, and 'The Wizard of Oz' synched up with 'Dark Side Of The Moon' for the second time. 'Wizard Of Oz' becomes a cult film when synched with psychedelic music, right? Also, I was trying to remember if 'The Room' has ever been featured on this site before. I think it has. I am one of the guilty that finds new pleasures in it every time that I watch it. I love it more and more every single time.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCory Rivvard

Repeats: (courtesy of local library and VOD)
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Secret Lives of Bees (I adore Queen Latifah)

And, new to me:
Everything or Nothing, James Bond documentary (really interesting; didn't know that there was this OTHER dude who claimed rights to Bond and then produced the 4th movie, Thunderball. And totally forgot that Benecio Del Toro was in License to Kill!)

Bummed that I will have to wait until the fall for Susanne Bier's two new films because there's not much out I want to see right now (except Stoker, but I'll wait for DVD on that one). Thought that Burt Wonderstone might be a good comedy until I saw the horrendous trailer. Eeesh.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I finally watched The English Patient (I'm hopeful for more retrospective podcasts as mentioned a few podcasts ago). Beautiful film, but I'm not so hot on the ending. I seem to remember someone once saying how sad it was that Binoche won for that and I agree. She's done so much that was far more challenging and worthy of her talents. On the plus side, Ralph Fiennes is a fox.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I finally caught up with Quartet and loved it. Write up here: Quartet

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I had to snicker when I saw The Last Exorcism Part ll on the box office list. That has to be one of the dumbest movie titles I've ever seen.

We went and saw Stoker and I rented Take Shelter. Michael Shannon was brilliant, and what can I say about La Chastain that hasn't been said here at least once a day? Quite lovely.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

where's your "smash" recap?
as awful as that show continues to be (unfortunately), it's fun to whine about it here.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I saw "No" and you were right. It's so good!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Actually I finally got around to watching "Holy Motors" and "Take This Waltz" this weekend. Waltz was sad and superb and I only wish I caught more of the cinema references Carax inserted in the film; second viewing needed.

Unrelated, I really enjoyed the latest installment of the podcast Nathaniel!

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

marcelo--i'll have to double up on wednesday afternoon as i didn't manage last week with smash.

peggy sue -- yyou doubted me? for shame! ;)

CMG -- unfortunately for you the trailer for STOKER shows every surprise but 1 (albeit in semi-confusing fashion/order) so if you've seen that...

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

There was nothing new out here in the sticks, so it was a home video weekend. Skyfall, Lawless and Priest (yeah, but I like that sort of stuff once in a while and Karl Urban was in it). Also caught up on some tv that was clogging the dvr when not out fighting the snow.

I've seen Tom Hardy many times (and will continue), but this was only the second time I had seen a Chastain performance (ZD30 the other). I was struck by her nude scene and how unnecessary it was (she hardly had to get naked to get his attention and into his bed) and the letter from the female exec who said an actress who wouldn't do nude couldn't get work.

I've got a pile to watch this week--Paperboy, Anna K, Killer Joe etc. Interested in Stoker (more so since your review) if it ever gets out here.

Nat, loved the puns. Thanks

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

There's so much to see in cinemas these days (even if "Stoker" doesn't hit Montréal until the 15th, and "No" doesn't arrive until the 22nd).

Last weekend, I saw a French film called "Les Saveurs du Palais" (which the Weinsteins will be releasing in the States in August under the title "Haute Cuisine"). Ultimately, it was a slight little trifle, loosely based on a true story about a country woman chosen to be the personal cook to the French President. Catherine Frot in the lead role was good (and I do like her a lot), but the rest of the story was merely sketched in.

I also went back to see "Amour" for a second time, with a friend who wanted to see it. Had I not gone with him, I would likely have seen "The Gatekeepers" (just opened here), or one of two new Québécois films, "Roche Papier Ciseaux" or "Les Manèges Humaines."

And...I've seen "Barbara" twice since it opened the weekend before last, and think that it should have been one of the Oscar nominees. (I much preferred it to "A Royal Affair.")

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBill_the_Bear

I watched Buddies, a Brazilian comedy that might be Brazil's next choice for the Academy Awards. It was funny and ok, nothing brilliant. The theme and the cinematic references may grab many enthusiasts.

I also watched Barbara, a German drama that won direction and actress in Berlin/2012 and is so so. Its lack of emotions and a more developed screenplay made me kind of... "ok, it's a good movie, but nohting, nothing, great'.

Marcelo - Brazil.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcelo

Didn't feel like taking a trek into the city this weekend, and No and Stoker are both a week or two from opening in the 'burbs, and nothing at the multiplex really jumped out at me (though I might give in and check out Jack the Giant Slayer later this week), so I watched Frankenweenie and caught up on TV. Did not much care of Frank. Its fun to see a black and white stop motion cartoon, but it all felt so paint by numbers - boringly so for the first forty minutes - that I couldn't help but come away disappointed. Who would've thought that Dark Shadows would end up being the better of the two 2012 Tim Burton movies?

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I saw "Identity Thief" -- my friend's choice, not mine -- which I enjoyed more than I had a right to. Both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy deserve much better, however. The depth McCarthy brings to her horribly written character shows that she is far too talented an actress and comedienne to relegate herself to portraying fat, crass, sartorially challenged punchlines.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

Well, sometimes... I did like Quartet. I even cried a little bit at the end.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

YAY for living in LA. I saw Stoker and love love loved it. Despite it's ending which I'm still ambivalent about.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin

@CMG -- I'll agree with you that Jiro Dreams of Sushi starts off a little slow, but it gets a lot more interesting as you go along. His obsession with his work is fascinating; just goes to show that being the best in your field pretty much makes you a borderline lunatic.

Like many of you, I'm really looking forward to watching Stoker, terrible reviews notwithstanding. The main issue seems to be with the script which would make sense since Park Chan-wook didn't write it and perhaps something (or everything) got lost in translation.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMDA

i saw Blanco Elephante (i live in France) and i like it much http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2132324/

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfrench girl

And there is that scene with that guy and he is like 'I think I know what the quartet is!'

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRami

I watched SINISTER on redbox. Not bad as far as Horror movies go. Ethan Hawkw pretty good...

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I saw Before Sunrise and Before Sunset for the first time. Such amazing films! Up until about five years ago I had a very sheltered movie watching upbringing. Now I'm desperately trying to catch up on a vast array of cinema that I barely knew existed.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

@frenchgirl: Glad you liked Elefante Blanco!

I re-watched A Serious Man, which is probably my favorite Coens movie after No Country for Old Men. I just find it hilarious and fascinating. I'm so glad I can call it a Best Picture nominee.

I also finally got to see The Hobbit, which I HATED with passion. Didn't experience the 48fps crap but I don't care. Other than the brilliant Gollum scene everything else was painful.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

Haha, I like your bean pun. I was a bit disappointed they didn't include more in the movie. I remember "he won't spill the bean" and "you're barking at the wrong beanstalk" and then I don't think there are any in the second part of the film. They made a silly movie like this and can't include more "bean there, done that" joke?

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Remorques (1941 French drama) and Elena (the recent Russian film). Neither bowled me over.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Regarding "Quartet", in Australia those films - "Ladies in Lavender", "My House in Umbria", etc etc - all go out in wide release and make buckets of money because distributors know there's money in the older audiences who do still enjoy going "the movies". Quartet did remarkably well and has been playing for months. It's been so successful actually that the distributor for "The Last Quartet" has been forced to change its title to avoid confusion. It's now called "Performance".

Basically, I also expect "A Song for Marion" to be huge. :/

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Nathaniel R- Well, then I will avoid the trailer like the plague. All I remember is Hitchcock homage and Nicole Kidman.

brookesboy- That is my favorite Chastain performance and Take Shelter was also my favorite movie of 2011. Look up her DP/30 interview with her, Jeff Nichols, and Michael Shannon. You can tell everybody brought out the best in each other and Jeff was so thankful an actress really tested his ability and expectations in writing a female character.

MDA- Will try again.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Started watching Friday Night Lights this weekend and FELL IN LOVE. Wow.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

@TB; Amazing show. Zach Gilford <3 <3 <3

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

It's Greer Garson night on tcm. Every Monday in March! Nirvana.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

@Sad man--WORD UP. It is embarrassing how many times I have cried over Matt Saracen this weekend. How on earth did he not get an Emmy out of that?

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

I KNOW! It's a crime. Amazing performance. Such an underrated actor. Give him a role in a Marvel movie already so he can become famous. I mean with that body and that face he can play pretty much any superhero. Have you seen Dare? He was great in that, too.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

@Roark - Saw Frankenweenie this weekend and totally agree. The animation was beautiful - the lights, the shadows, the texture and depth - all really well done. But somehow it was just kind of boring. The parts were better than the whole.

It doesn't help that I also just saw ParaNorman, which I LOVED. It so should have won over Brave.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

TB & Sad Man -- after years and years or raving about it i fi9nally convinced my best friend to watch the show. he sends me a text last night. "Thanks a lot. now deeply obsessed with a show about football. WTH?"

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

Just caught up with Magic Mike on Pay Per view. Sorry folks, but what was supposed to be so good about this movie? McConaughey was good, but there wasn't anything particularly interesting or original about the script or even the rest of the cast ... pretty much paint by numbers, throw in a strip to wake up the audience, but even that was pretty much a major snooze.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

CMG, I loved this movie. The script and performances felt so authentic. It was so refreshing. There was such a warm symbiosis among the actors. After seeing her in just three movies, Jessica has become a fave among today's young actresses. Much is being made about how she was already 34 last year. Greer Garson was the same age for her film debut. Her career was legendary.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

DJDeeJay - totally. I definitely had ParaNorman, which I loved, in mind while watching Frankenweenie, and that didn't do Frank any favors.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

brookesboy- Jessica and Michael talk about how for nearly everyday during the filming they, and the real-life deaf child who played their daughter, hung out with each other and went out for picnics to try to build an authentic family dynamic. It was good to find out that they are still friends in real life after the movie was made. I would love to see them in a movie together again, as I was a Shannon fan first but upon seeing the film I then realized this was the same 'Earth Mother' I saw in Tree of Life and in those constant promos that I saw of The Debt, and then I became a fan of her.

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

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