Film.com Our friend Joe Reid debuts his Oscar column and explains why Oscars are good for us
Winnipeg Free Press interviews Kim Morgan on her Marilyn Monroe essay for Playboy
Huffington Post will Les Misérables virgins enjoy the film? Mike Ryan did.
Actors & Crew the best iPhone apps for filmmaking
Natasha VC Feel all your feelings about James Spader (now appearing in Lincoln)
NY Times extensive audio & text piece on the sound design of Killing Me Softly. I love educational web goodies
The Atlantic worries that the conversion to digital will cost us deeply when it comes to the classics. Some of them may never look or sound the way they were intended to again. (With commentary from the brilliant editor Thelma Schoonmaker)
In Contention Can Beasts of the Southern Wild return to the Oscar fray?
In Contention The "Oscar Bait" got good
Coming Soon photos from the set of R.I.P.D. with Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds. They don't look much like zombie police officers to me?
Movieline Did you know that Steven Spielberg was once turned down when he asked to direct James Bond!?
The Carpet Bagger is back and looking at how the new Oscar schedule may change release dates and campaign strategies
Linds & Tricks
Gawker the wordless acting of Lindsay Lohan in Liz & Dick
TFE Mean Girls predicted the future!
PopWatch the best lines from Liz & Dick
Huffington Post 100 Twitter Reactions... their layout is really messy/annoying but if you scroll down the post title can be found in a slide show that looks like an ad... but it's actually the content of the post after a long intro.
And no... I haven't yet watched Liz & Dick. I know. I didn't have the energy, wasn't in the right mood to see Liz defiled (easily among the top five best celebrities who ever lived -- in multiple senses of "best") and maybe you had to be there at the online viewing internet party anyway!
Alexa here. Kathryn Bigelow turns 61 today (really?), and she is just all kinds of awesome, no? Determined and intelligent while blowing past all considerations of gender, she makes films with meticulous pace and atmosphere that always rise above the mass. Zero Dark Thirty, her latest, opens on December 19th but is already enjoying rave reviews. I'm simultaneously glad she was the first woman to win a directing Oscar and appalled that it took that long for a woman to win one.
To wish this most formidable lady a happy birthday I dredged up some celebrations of her two best-known films.
Curio objects (not posters) celebrating Point Break (1991) are after the jump
Buoyed by Twilight & 007 fanaticism, an abundance of newish Oscar contenders, and even a dusty remake for the crowd that doesn't care about Twilight or the Oscars or, you know, quality, there was something for everyone this Thanksgiving weekend! Moviegoers came out in droves for the biggest Thanksgiving at the movies ever.
So it's an extra long box office list today.
Box Office Top Twenty - Actuals
01 THE TWILIGHT SAGA FINALLY ENDS $43.6 (cum $227.3)
02 SKYFALL $35.5 (cum. $221.1) Review & Deborah's Review
03 LINCOLN $25.6 (cum. $62.8) Podcast Discussion
04 RISE OF THE GUARDIANS $23.7 *NEW* (cum $32.3) Capsule Review
05 THE LIFE OF PI $22.4 *NEW* (cum. $30.5)
06 WRECK-IT RALPH $16.5 (cum. $149.2)
07 RED DAWN $14.2 *NEW* (cum. $21.6)
08 FLIGHT $8.4 (cum $74.7) Review
09 SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK $4.3 (cum $6.2) Beau's Review
10 ARGO $3.8 (cum $98)
11 TAKEN 2 $.9 (cum. $136.4)
12 ANNA KARENINA $.8 (cum. $1.5) Capsule Review
13 PITCH PERFECT $.7 (cum. $62.5) Capsule Review
14 THE SESSIONS $.7 (cum $3.9) Review
15 JAB TAK HAI JAAN $.5 (cum. $3)
16 HERE COMES THE BOOM $.5 (cum. $42)
17 CLOUD ATLAS $.4 (cum $25.7)
18 THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER $.3 (cum $16.3) Capsule Review
19 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA $.3 (cum $143.5)
20 LOOPER $.3 (cum. $65.5) Review
What did you see this weekend? If it's Here Comes The Boom, Red Dawn or Taken 2 eight weeks into its run please spend some time in the corner thinking about your life choices. If it was Hitchcock (just outside this list) my review is here but really I have to confess that I'm so deeply ashamed of it because JA wrote the most brilliant possible review anyone could have ever written about it. For real - read it!
You inspire him"
-Amy Adams to Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
Did The Gotham Awards inspire more faith in the possibly fadingg Oscar prospects of The Master? They did not. The following films competed for Best Picture in NYC's sort-of answer to The Spirit Awards:
- The Loneliest Planet
- The Master
- Moonrise Kingdom
- Middle of Nowhere
(Yes, The Beasts of The Southern Wild was already famously snubbed here when the nominations were announced last month though it had other nominations and the team was in town for the ceremony and to beat their Oscar drum.)
Audience Award ARTIFACT. Jared Leto accepted the documentary about his band and a lawsuit.
Don't hate me because I beat that other film."
Breakthrough Director BENH ZEITLIN for Beasts of the Southern Wild
It's no time to sit around crying like a bunch of pussies. Make more movies."
Breakthrough Actor EMAYATZY CORINEALDI in Middle of Nowhere
(Beasts of the Southern Wild seemed to be having as rough a night as Gotham's Live Feed which sorely disappointed. But things turned around for it. The movie, not the live feed.)
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You
(Incidentally my favorite idea for an award category ever)
AN OVERSIMPLIFICATION OF HER BEAUTY by Terence Nance
Bingham Ray Prize
BENH ZEITLIN for Beasts of the Southern Wild
YOUR SISTERS SISTER
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGUE
Michael made a For Your Consideration plea for Moonrise Kingdom in Best Picture a short time ago right here at The Film Experience. I've not been confident on its Oscar prospects mostly because the film skews so young in its narrative (Oscar isn't that enamored of childhood tales outside of the Foreign Film category) and because excessively stylized pictures tend to be a tough sell for many voters. But the Gotham win is heartening.
Are you happy with the outcomes this year? Do they inspire you?
This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad
The first thing HITCHCOCK gets right about Hitchcock is the humor. Director Sacha Gervasi's serio-comic adaptation of the book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho" starts with a playful dodge, beginning not with a shot of that infamous house on the hill or the Bates Motel or even a Hollywood soundstage but in the rather humble yard of a Wisconsin farm. It's home to Ed Gein, the gruesome 1950s killer who inspired Psycho. The camera pans away from Gein's (fictional) murder to reveal the iconic plump suited figure of The Master of Suspense cooly observing him (Sir Anthony Hopkins in Sir Alfred Hitchcock drag).
Hopkins addresses the camera directly as if he's welcoming you to a very special edition of television's "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" or recording a promo for his latest cinematic thrill ride. He'll break the fourth wall again to bookend this film with an even better visual joke that's absurdly hokey.