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Review: Beauty & The Beast (2017)

"I found much of this version charming, diverting and moving. But it's not a patch on the 1991 masterpiece" -Ian O

"I begrudge the decision of executives when it comes to casting a movie like this. They didn't need a 'star' to fill the seats. They needed someone who could elevate the material..." -Jones

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« Little Shop of Horrors Slated For Big Screen Remake | Main | Kirk Douglas Centennial: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea »
Wednesday
Dec072016

Podcast: Critics Awards, Elle, Hacksaw Ridge, More...

This week a bifurcated podcast. In the first half Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel continue their discussion of Elle. Then Katey joins us to talk about the recent surge of critics awards. 

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 A little more on Elle, Huppert, and provocateur auteurs
13:00 Bleed For This, The Fighter, Hidden Figures
19:20 Katey joins us & Nick goes to New Zealand
23:00 Critic prizes, Critics Choice Nomination, NBR, the lack of transparency, and Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge
40:00 A bit on Hell or High Water

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments. On the next podcast: Manchester by the Sea and Reader Questions Answered! 

Critics Award Rush...

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Reader Comments (13)

No link!

December 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

Yaaaay!

That is all. :)

December 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Would love to listen to the podcast if you could kindly provide a link.

December 7, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

OOPS. sorry guys the link is added. Also available on iTunes as well.

December 7, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yessss. My prayers have been answered.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Loved this discussion on Elle! Saw it for the first time a week ago, and I had some many questions about it afterwards.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterbeyaccount

Whoever is responsible for the gay gasp at the mention of Holly Hunter's beach deserves an award.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve

Oh my god, completely agreed on HACKSAW RIDGE, Nathaniel.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterHideki

Elle is so obviously about emasculation, you no wonder see some of the Verhoevian usual tools (scissors, anyone?) to illustrate that. That's a motif that has pervaded Verhoeven early movies, as well. Only this time, i think Huppert takes control on her character and refuses to take her as a straight up bitch or impossible sociopath. She's manupulative, but NOT an assasin or a black widow like a Catherine Trammel. She says herself so early on: "I was a victim!"
She's obvs more ambiguous, more hard to pin down, even for herself. And I think that's the point. She reacts as she goes along with the "game", even though she knows she's playing with fire every time. That's the kind of things that keeps her going on. Pushing the boundaries. I think her backstory couldn't be any more traumatizing, so she's learnt to control of everyone's hatred and expectations on her all her life. And the result is an amusing thing to see.
It woulda been easy to see a whiny and screaming bitch under her circumstances. Wiselyenough, the script reserved that role to her daughter-in-law. A spoled teenager who has everything she wants (and more!)
I also think she's kind of sympatetic to her dimwit son: the only character she look after besides her best friend Anna . But the difference is that she thinks Anna is strong enough (a woman!) to cope with a cheating, but her male protagonists (son, ex-husband) are not!
So she throws them a bone every now and them. Everyone else for her is game.
I don't know if this is post-feminist, as Huppert claims. I think this woman takes the role of complicated male (like her own father) and subverts it buy trying (and often failng) to be sympathetic with the ones she perceives as weak: even though it doesn't stop her from being bitter with her ex with some "pranks". She knows she's flawed herself.
Finally, I see emasculated femininity as all that's wrong with male upbringings or "flawed male role models". It's sort of a vengeance to her father on other man and the prize is being "un-loved" by one. Being alone. It's kind of a clichè, but you can tell Michèle didn't have a woman role mother to look after to (her mother!). Except her odd appetite for sex. So the backstory is necessary. Past and present. And Huppert builds, rather amazingly, a flesh and blood character out of all this trash material. So kudos to her. And hopes she gets the overdue nomination we know she deserves!

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I didn't see Hawksaw Ridge. I won't, either. Funnily enough, I find Mel Gibson's movies kind of alt-right responses to A. Gonzàlez Iñàrritu's more progressive ones. They both soaked in melodrama and suffering and excesses (miserabilism, abjection) of all kinds. Fiction narrative or nuance not on their cinematic languagesI. Everything HAS to look real.
And I don't buy the "conscience objector" story from someone like Mel, without having seenbefore a bloodbath spectacle for all of us to stuck in awe( in my case, always cringe) and the on you're face religiosity. Call me prejuduced. I am with his movies!
Iñàrritu wouldn't use crucifixes and otheriChristian-like allegories. Rather, he prefers cheap new-ageisms symbology like in The Revenant.
They may have different idiologies, but I find them quite similar in a lot of things. Both posers with a helluva ego and not a hint of humour, irony or sarcasm in any frwaking frame. They're too seriuos filmmakers to allow such crime happen.
So I'll pass on that one, sorry. I've had enough with both.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

One more thing:

If you want this year's Oscar to make a statement about all things political, then I'll look after SULLY. Unlike Gibson, Eastwood is not only a better filmmaker but someone who doesn't let his conservative agenda permeate his movies more often than not (take American Sniper out of the equation, please. You can have a slip or two.) But in Letters From Iwo Jima he allows the POV of the Japanese, for instance. And in the rest of his movies the collective experience is what shines out the most: the camaraderie and help in Space Cowboys, jJrsey Boys; the difficult but very dignified decision of Francesca in Bridges of Madison County, etc) And, especially in SULLY he's at his most humanist. I am not American and I can't believe people there are eager to mix things between what his cinema is (classical, always classical in the John Ford or late Spielberg terms) and what he stands for (expertise and the "human factor" as values worth cherish for) So it is to my surprise this most excellent film, one of his best, is perceived as otherwise. I think of this man (Sully) and the way Eastwood portrays him as what's the best in Americans: someone who's prepared, noble, and willing to get interested in the people he tried to protect, instead of the bureocrats who tried to corral him with technology hypotheses; all of them put-ups to save their interests. So the expertise, preparation, responsibility and human factor wins over the charlatans, selfishness and demagogues. Just fit in the blank which candidates represent one thing or the other. Plus, knowing the final and all, the film's still manteining the suspense and procedures with expert craft, not unnecesary and cheap pirotecnics or allegories, and a big human heart behind it all. What's not to like?
I don't understand American critics. At all.

December 8, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Hacksaw Ridge is such a bizarre movie. I am flummoxed that some award shows are gravitating towards it even without the added layer of Mel Gibson's ickiness. The scenes in "Virginia" are so awkwardly made - you truly could have had the exact same scenes from a film from the 1940s. And being filmed in Australia is so obvious. Maybe only if you've lived here, but I was always having to remind myself that they weren't Australian characters with bad accents, but Americans because of how clearly not-in-america it was.

And being about a pacifist but also revelling in blood is so Trumpian. Saying it's about patriotism and respect and dignity when in fact it's just about blowing up limbs and piles of intestines and bullets ripping through flesh.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Glenn

And being about a pacifist but also revelling in blood is so Trumpian. Saying it's about patriotism and respect and dignity when in fact it's just about blowing up limbs and piles of intestines and bullets ripping through flesh.

THANKS. Couldn't be more predictable Mel, ain't he? Another good reason not so see this added.by you. I imagined this. His thirst for abjection is infinite and tasteless. Nevermind his political stance (which intermingles with his contradictions). Eastwood is indeed an humanist compared to him. Nor every conservative is a total ass***.

December 9, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

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