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Jessica Lange's Triple Crown 

"This article sums up why Jessica Lange is one of the best actresses ever to grace the screen. " - heikoS

 "Still think her two best performances are Men Don't Leave and Music Box. So disappointed in her Ryan Murphy collaborations." -Charlie G

 "Lange and Streep were born in the same year, won Oscars in the same year, and their immense talent has carried them through" -Jono

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Tuesday
Dec022014

Tweets o' the Week: Prada Reunion, Ill Juli, Flu Season

I have no idea if y'all like this now weeklyish roundup but I do so I'ma Keep On Keepin On. One fun thing that doesn't lend itself to highlighting elsewhere is reply conversations. So if you're interested in 'Bad Movies We Love' you should check out all the fun suggestions for favorite turkeys when I asked over Thanksgiving. I haven't seen several of the ones cited so I must get on that.

Anywhere here we go...

Tweets That Amused/Enlightened This Week, Non-Celebrity Division
Just for fun and with a smidge of Instagram...

 

LOL. "Starlog". Who is old enough to remember that magazine? Nathaniel asks while raising his hand sheepishly.

Best Broadway Trivia Ever

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec022014

Curio: Cinema Greetings

Alexa here with your weekly arts and crafts break. Every year around this time I hunker down with a good cup of tea (possibly spiked), some DVDs and a reliable pen so that I can start addressing all those holiday greetings.  Although I curse at having to address 100+ envelopes, I do love getting all the lovely mail in return. I am still waiting for someone to come up with a good Bad Santa greeting but here are some of the cooler handmade film-themed greetings spied this year.

Mark Darcy's jumper card available here.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec012014

Gotham Awards 2014. The Winners...

Will it be Birdman, Boyhood, Love is Strange, Grand Budapest Hotel, or Under the Skin tonight? Read on for the winners and commentary.   

8:01 Uma Thurman the awards host is even more mannered than Uma Thurman the actress. Who knew? (I love Uma so I can say that. If you're no Umaphile you'd best shut it! 

8:14 IFP is bragging about IFP. Which is okay. This is the raison d'etre of Awards Bodies essentially.

8:18 First Uma, now Heather Graham? It's getting very 90s up in herrre.

8:20 I've been pronouncing "Riz" wrong in "Riz Ahmed" as it turns out. Breakthrough Actor goes to Tessa Thompson in Dear White People. P.S. She's also really good in Selma. I love that they announce the juries. This prize was given by Shane Carruth, Michael B Jordan, Ron Simons and two actresses we love up in herre Famke Janssen & Brie Larson

8:25 Ana Lily Amirpour wins Breakthrough Director for A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. The other much-raved debut horror film from a woman this year (The Babadook wasn't nominated). Her acceptance speech is awesome. 

Tilda Swinton here and I'm like... GODDESS! Maybe if I can meet her and take a photo with her...

8:30 Meryl Streep is here to talk up Foxcatcher and give it a special prize for ensemble. She seems to really love it. Calls Channing Tatum a...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec012014

Beauty vs Beast: Woody and His Sisters

Jason from MNPP here wishing a happy Monday afternoon to everybody -- tis the time for our weekly fix of "Beauty vs Beast." Today's the 79th birthday of Woody Allen so I figured we'd dive into his back-catalog of rich characters for today's face-off, but where should we head? Villains in his films aren't easy to come by - I considered ScarJo vs Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Match Point but I haven't seen that film in too long; I briefly wandered towards the marital-bloodbath of Husbands and Wives but, well, let's leave Woody versus Mia off the table for the time being. No, it's his most recent success (I don't think anybody can consider Magic in the Moonlight a success) that I think gives us a good cloudy bout of good versus not-so-good to tango with.

 

Both ladies were Oscar nominated but only one stormed away with the gold - you've got seven days to decide who gets your personal gold star.

PREVIOUSLY True story: After dinner this weekend my boyfriend wandered into a strange bar to grab a beer and it turned out to be a scary hole in the wall and we each got to trot out our "What a dump" impersonations; it was awesome. So it would seem that like the rest of you, our big drunken hearts belong to Team Martha. Said Rick:

"Oh, hell...Martha seems like she's having way more fun than anyone else!"

Monday
Dec012014

The 2014 Annie nominations

Tim here, with the second wave of the day's "the year is ending! give out all awards right away!" news. ASIFA-Hollywood announced the nominees for the 42nd Annie Awards, honoring achievments in theatrical, telvision, and now video game animation. With 36 categories, we don't have space to look at nearly all of them, but here are three that matter for future awards prognostication:

Best Animated Feature
BIG HERO 6
THE BOOK OF LIFE
THE BOXTROLLS
CHEATIN'
HOW TO TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
THE LEGO MOVIE
SONG OF THE SEA
THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA

Nomination leader THE BOXTROLLS

Best Animated Short Subject
CODA (on the Oscar shortlist)
THE DAM KEEPER (on the Oscar shortlist)
DUET (on the Oscar shortlist)
FEAST (on the Oscar shortlist)
INSIDE HOMER - The Simpsons Couch Gag, Episode #549
ME AND MY MOULTON (on the Oscar shortlist)
THE RAVEN
SILENT

Animated Effects in a Live-Action Production
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
EDGE OF TOMORROW
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (yep, the one from last year)
NOAH
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

The nominators were enormously kind to Laika and The Boxtrolls: that film comfortably leads the pack with 13 nominations (with multiple nominations in a handful of categories). Next up is How to Train Your Dragon 2 with 10, while Big Hero 6, Song of the Sea, and The Lego Movie come up with 7, 7, and 6, respectively. That could easily be your ultimate Oscar slate, though I expect critics groups to split between The Lego Movie and The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, which netted just three nominations.

Monday
Dec012014

NYFCC Loves Legos, Nuns, and Boyhood

The NYFCC (New York Film Critics Circle), one half of the two crucial critics prizes for each film year (the other half being the LAFCA who announce soon) gathered this morning for prize time. Their annual game of combative rounds winnowing their choice down to one (usually) in their categories resulted in big wins for Boyhood and really important gets for two key actors.


PICTURE Boyhood
It could well be a steamroller with critics groups. Unless Selma and Birdman get scrappy
DIRECTOR Richard Linklater, Boyhood
We can safely call him locked up for his first Oscar nomination in this category after two nominations for writing
SCREENPLAY The Grand Budapest Hotel
This is the only category that Wes Anderson has ever had real luck in with awards bodies. Can Budapest find a way to slip into the Best Picture Oscar field and change that?

ACTRESS Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant & Two Days, One Night
An enormously important get for Cotillard who has found it a real struggle to connect with awards bodies since her Oscar win for what ironically is an arguably lesser performance than the ones she's been trotting out regularly lately
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
So pleased that this grounded affecting performance has garnered such praise this year. It's a real treat coming from an actress that hasn't been overused overpraised much in her career.

ACTOR Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner
Another enormous "must have" for the preliminary rounds. Spall is up against a super tight Best Actor field and every mention counts towards keeping his name out there. They really should have released this movie earlier. I struggle to understand Sony Pictures Classics preference for late December which often kills "small" films with too little too late push
SUPPORTING ACTOR J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Looks likely  march to the Oscar with no problem. Which is sad for Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) and Edward Norton (Birdman) who are both still waiting and both so worthy this year

CINEMATOGRAPHY Darius Khondji, The Immigrant
So underappreciated
ANIMATED FILM The LEGO Movie
Unsurprising and I expect all the flyover state critics prizes to go the same way. The real question as precursor season heats up is which littler film gets some mentions.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Ida
If Ida dominates this field in the precursors might we see it pop up in one or two additional Oscar categories? Wouldn't that be neat?
DOCUMENTARY Citizenfour
A possible steamroller for the non-fiction prizes
FIRST FEATURE Jennifer Kent, The Babadook
Don't miss our interview with this hot new talent. I told her we were wondering about her future and she said "I'm wondering about my future, too!"

Monday
Dec012014

10 Questions I had while staring at that pic of Jake Gyllenhaal

Manuel here voicing the various queries I had upon staring at this new pic from Jake Gyllenhaal’s upcoming Antoine Fuqua directed flick, Southpaw.

 

  1. Did the Prince of Persia get on a shredding regimen?
  2. Is Jake the new Christian Bale in terms of weight loss/gain yo-yoing?
  3. A troubled teenager, a paranoid reporter, a gay cowboy, an easily scared interviewee, a James Baldwin connoissieur, and now a jacked middleweight champion; is there anything Jake can’t do?
  4. Is Jake still this ripped? Will he look like this as he makes his Broadway debut?
    Related: do you think the Gyllenhaal siblings made it a point to be on Broadway at the same time?
  5. Between Prisoners, Enemy, Nightcrawler and now Southpaw, will we need to come up with a portmanteau for his resurgence? Jakeaissance? Gyllenhawakening?
  6. Where are his co-stars Naomie Harris and Rachel McAdams?
  7. Related: why does IMDb’s “star meter” (also: what is IMDb’s star meter?) rank McAdams higher than Gyllenhaal in the Southpaw credits?
  8. Will Fuqua’s Southpaw follows the likes of The Fighter, The Wrestler, Ali, Million Dollar Baby, Rocky and Raging Bull at the Oscars and nab Jake a nomination? Weinstein is behind the pic so Oscar is bound to factor into the conversation to some extent.
  9. Is this Jake’s version of stealth campaigning, showcasing his range after picking up an Indie Spirit nom for Nightcrawler?
  10. And of course, I can’t not leave you with this question from Glenn:

 

 

 

I honestly would stick with Jarhead Jake, but I’m curious where everyone else lies: do you like Gyllenhaal’s latest look? I can’t be the only Gyllenhaalic in the room so, do you have any answers for my questions above?