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Entries in Aaron Sorkin (6)

Thursday
Dec152011

Parties: Overheard at Guild / Oscar Functions

I thought for fun I'd collect several bits from conversations to share with y'all. A couple of the following bits were said directly to me, some were part of group conversations, some were merely overheard at screenings or events. All are anonymous and shall remain so of course but are fun for awards geeks and movie fanatics to think about. I am not a fiction writer so these are all actual quotes (or paraphrasals, rather, since I don't walk around with a tape recorder.) One thing that's important to remember but easy to forget about the Oscars is that the 6000+ voting members are individuals with individual taste. They are no monolithic unit though the world likes to imagine them sharing one gold plated borg-mind.

While mostly it is fun to talk with voters, one discouraging thing you quickly realize is true that I'd personally always hoped was false is this: many of the voters wait until right about now to start watching the movies. A lot of conversational roads have abrupt dead ends like "I haven't seen that yet but it's on the stack!" In short: they don't go to the movies as often as movie fanatics. Or, as one actress told me recently, "I see a lot of movies but I see them either long before they're in cinemas or long after." It made a lot of sense to me once I stopped to consider the inside mechanics of this Business we call Show. 

On to the (silent) sound bytes on My Week With Marilyn, Moneyball, The Artist, Young Adult and more.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov082011

Absolutely Linkulous

THIS JUST IN: Brett Rattner has resigned as producer of the Oscar telecast after his gay slur this weekend at a Q&A. So we don't even need to link you to Mark Harris's sharp opinion piece about why they should fire him. Good. Let us wash our hands of this one and move on... although I'm still more worried about him ruining Wicked for all time than ruining the Oscars for one year. The Oscars survive everything.

Coming Soon we're going to get a youth-centric fictional film about the adventures of the young Leonardo da Vinci.
Hollywood Reporter interviews the recipients of the upcoming honorary Oscars including Her Oprahness 
Tom and Lorenzo object to this new pictorial of Chloe Moretz
VGL Bruce Weber shoots Weekend star Tom Cullen (left). I think this is the most clothed I've ever seen a Weber shoot but beautiful pics. I hope Cullen and co-star Chris New have the offers rolling in now. (For movies, not more photoshoots!)
Buzz Feed speaking of photoshoots -- that's three links in a row. it's all about eye candy today I guess -- here's Jonathan Lipnicki the tiny tot from Jerry Maguire more than all grown up.
Empire Stephen King's bizarre "Rose Madder" novel is coming to the screen with Naomi Sheridan (In America) winning screenplay duties.

Deadline an AbFab movie to follow three television specials. Patsy and Edina will live forever
Rookie Magazine Really really fantastic interview with Joss Whedon on his Shakespeare movie Much Ado About Nothing (see previous post), The Avengers, his fascination with tough and capable teenage girlsand how Wonder Woman was a bit Angelina Jolie-ish.
Twitch Film first stills from Rodrigo Cortes Buried follow up, a thriller called Red Lights with Cillian Murphy. Robert DeNiro, Sigourney Weaver and Elizabeth Olsen co-star. 
i09 has clips from Arthur Christmas, one of our animated feature contenders, and they label it "kind of fun" 

Quote of the Day from Vanity Fair

We’ve finally answered the question, ‘Apples or oranges?’.”

The opening of David Fincher's unused Best Director acceptance speech earlier this year. Ha! Perfection. I didn't think I could love him more but I was wrong. Aaron Sorkin wrote the article that's attached to so, duh, it's a great read.

Thursday
Oct132011

the link i live in

Animation Magazine Have you heard that Steve Jobs wanted Aaron Sorkin to write a Pixar movie? It's be more interesting if he wrote a movie about Pixar. How would his sharp sometimes cynical wit mesh with Pixar's self-promoted internal cheer as the happiest workplace on earth?
Towleroad I say a few words about Pedro Almodóvar's latest
IndieWire interviews Elena Anaya on her role in The Skin I Live In. *mild spoiler alert*
New York Times "The Formula of Melodrama" brought on by Almodóvar's gripping The Skin I Live In.
My New Plaid Pants more pics from the set of Steven Soderbergh's flesh fest Magic Mike plus JA's hilarious commentary. 

Gold Derby finds fun elected trivia about Meryl Streep's upcoming nomination for The Iron Lady (what do you mean "if") 
Awards Daily pontificates about Olivia Colman's Oscar chances for Tyrannosaur. I saw the movie much earlier this year and she is brilliant in it. 
Culture Map Austin Kristen O'Brien shares memories of George Harrison, whose back in the cultural ether (not that the Beatles ever leave it) given Martin Scorsese's documentary. Love this bit about Madonna and Shanghai Surprise (which Harrison provided music for) of all things.

On this last visit to Friar Park we met first to view footage from the film Shanghai Surprise. I joined Dad to watch the dailies with Harrison and the principal actors in the film, Madonna and Sean Penn. After the screening, we went back to Friar Park for dinner. However, before dinner was served, we gathered in the TV room so that Madonna could get Harrison’s feedback on her latest as-yet-unreleased video. It was "Live to Tell," and she shyly played it for all of us, looking earnestly to George for his approval. After the video we watched The Muppet Show, and I remember thinking it was funny, but yet perfectly natural, to be sitting here with Madonna laughing over Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog.


CBR has a list of unproduced superhero movie screenplays that might make good comic books. Though I knew that Tim Burton and Michelle Pfeiffer wanted to do a Catwoman movie after Batman Returns... I didn't realize that an actual screenplay was turned in (and rejected). Either that or I've just forgotten to block out the pain. 
Keyframe Nick, Timothy and Kevin (three of my four favorite Chicagoans) are arguing over the Chicago Festival fare in this ongoing conversation including The Kid With a Bike, Miss Bala, My Week With Marilyn, and The Artist, and Melancholia. I'm happy to see Nick appreciated Melancholia as much as I did. Where is my review? Funny you should ask. Why am I procrastinating it so? 

Finally, if you're young musical theater performer type -- I know TFE has readers of that persuasion -- you might want to consider auditioning for The Glee Project Season Two. In the past I've always been violently opposed to reality shows which cast productions of anything. Casting should not be a democracy. It should be left to the experts or the people who have to work with the people that are auditioning. I had NO intention of watching this show but I stumbled on it one day and was surprised at how interesting it was. The audience couldn't vote (yay!) and it became this behind the scenes expose (albeit heavily edited and undoubtedly self-censoring) of how show creators react to talent who would love to work with them, and what does or doesn't factor into their hiring decisions. It reminds you of how true it is that talent will only get you so far (i.e. a foot in the door) but there are so many intangibles in showbiz.

Friday
Sep092011

TIFF: Biopic Boys will be Boys

Paolo here in Toronto. My first TIFF movies are about real-life men who customarily look nothing like the attractive actors who play them on the big screen.

Edwin Boyd is a step in the right direction for Canadian cinema, since making a heist film like this is both relatively cheap and lucrative. It's about the WWII veteran turned 1950's Torontonian bank robber of the same name played by Scott Speedman. Speedman puts an athletic sensitivity to the role, whether Edwin is inside a singing booth or jumping over the counter to get the loot he wouldn't have gotten in his former job as a kind-hearted bus driver. The story covers him facing and indulging temptations, his addiction to the wrong kind of attention as well as to robbing banks, which he and his gang continue to do despite multiple arrests. There are clichés here, the biggest one is the golden-hearted criminal who also likes to get drunk and play music while celebrating his jackpots. I will give credit to the film's capability on whetting the audience's appetite on period specificities. It's also a treat to watch its grey and white cinematography, capturing the rough surfaces of the city's architecture or his snowy escape from authorities. The supporting cast includes Kevin Durand as Edwin's right hand man and Brian Cox as the protagonist's father.

Also took in the Brad Pitt vehicle Moneyball which is about the baseball team Oakland Athletics in their 2002 season.

The film's first half is has a problematically distinct voice from its second, making it difficult to forget that two writers are responsible for its script. The first, which I'll call the Steve Zaillian half, has Pitt portraying the A's general manager Billy Beane. The script makes him have the same conversation with other people, telling his financier, other GM's, his precocious daughter, her mother (Robin Wright) and her mother's boyfriend (Spike Jonze) that he's fine even if both parties know, through local and national news, that his team is having board room and locker room problems. The A's are having trouble finding 'stars' like Jason Giambi who have left the team. Fortunately, Billy meets Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), a fictionalized version of Paul de Podesta who introduces the idea that instead of buying 'stars,' the team has to 'buy runs.' It's a method that, to someone like me who knows nothing about sports, sounds like cheating.

The underlying tension in many scenes in the film's first half is in anticipating Billy to squirm or get angry under all of these people's microscopes. This half also allows its audience to think about what might have happened if the person originally slated to direct this movie, Steven Soderbergh, had done so. Hopefully I'm not the only person who can see Soderbergh's skills in satire, and he would have highlighted these characters' callousness and childlike stubbornness. 

The second half, when the A's fate turns around, belongs to a writer with a more distinct voice, brainy frat boy Aaron Sorkin. Just like Charlie Wilson's War or Studio 60, this movie has its share of Abbott and Costello-like telephone or office conversations. He also tends to romanticize whatever he's writing about, which is baseball this time around. He even makes Peter, a generally scientifically minded character in the first half, seem emotional later on. But admittedly it still works better here than the affected humanity in The Social Network. Director Bennett Miller, with the help of his male dominated cast (including the surprisingly capable Hill) also negotiates and sutures these two voices well.

 

Wednesday
Feb162011

Link in Sixty Seconds

Carpetbagger Oscar envelopes get a makeover. Er... it looks like McDonalds is handing out the prizes.
AV Club Michel Gondry is adapting Philip K Dick's Ubik. I predict that before the end of civilization every sentence Philip K Dick ever wrote will be put on the big screen.
The Wrap Adrianne Palicki will be TV's next Wonder Woman. I wish nothing but happiness and success for everyone who has ever been on Friday Night Lights. I do.
Just Jared another collaboration for Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio. They just won't stop!
i09 Zach Snyder's Superman may be in trouble.
fourfour "wagon wheel watusi" Oh, Burlesque.
My New Plaid Pants the moment I fell for.... Andrew Garfield
Scott Feinberg is still pushing Melissa Leo for the gold. Here are some statistics to consider.

Finally Empire Online is hosting a "Done in 60 Seconds" contest in which readers have submitted one minute films spoofing some of hte greatest movies of all time. There are 20 finalists, one is even made by a regular Film Experience reader (who alerted me to the contest -Congrats!). Quite a few of them show real ingenuity but my favorites are the ones that don't merely recreate but remold the film in some other image. There's a spoof of The Terminator that cleverly uses Toy Story characters. It obviously cost nothing but, then, neither did the original Terminator. Ghost is similarly lowfi with teddy bears but totally works and I loved the voicework even if it did seem to be taking its cue from those 30 second bunny films.  The Wizard of Oz short is really more of a redo of a trailer of a hugely popular 90s movie (I'll leave you to guess which one). And there's two Social Network films. One of them (contestant #9) is an amusing send up of Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher rather than the movie itself.

Did you like Benjamin Button? Do you wanna go back to that?

It totally had me giggling. The last musical cue is hilarious. So, that's the one I voted for. Are you going to vote?

Friday
Feb112011

RCL: London Film Critics Circle

I know you. I know what you woke up thinking. "Yeah, yeah, The Social Network won another Best Picture prize at the latest awards ceremony but WHAT WAS RUTH SHEEN WEARING?!?" As the resident eccentric (crazy cat lady?) of awards blogs, we shall provide the answer. 

We will also talk about the winners, but first the Actresses . (Photos repurposed from Zimbio for our Red Carpet Lineup pleasure.)

Thomas, Williams, Pike, Manville, Sheen

Kristin Scott Thomas wore what looks like leopard print and she does get a little animalistic in her sex scenes (have any of you seen Leaving?). Despite her primal force and sexiness onscreen in her 50s, this dress is a smidge dowdy (looks better with the jacket off). In brighter news, they claim her career tribute acceptance speech was quite amusing.

Olivia Williams and Rosamund Pike wore form fitting black and white respectively. Onscreen Olivia always seems dangerous and Pike like a heavenly angel (Made in Dagenham) even when she's a devilishly decadent (An Education) so it seems right.

Another Year's Lesley Manville and Ruth Sheen also showed in black gowns (I love Sheen's shimmery wrap). I have a bone to pick with Sony Pictures Classics. I don't understand what they did with Another Year at all. It's like they weren't even trying and sometimes they try very hard with worthy adult-friendly movies. But barely releasing it and waiting until everyone was all obsessed with noisy Christmas blockbusters? Bizarre non-strategy if they were hoping to get people interested. Wouldn't September have been a nice spot for a melancholy four seasons Mike Leigh film?

Oh the winners?
Yes yes...

Film The Social Network
British Film The King's Speech
Foreign Film Of Gods and Men
Director  David Fincher, The Social Network
British Director Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
Breakthrough British Filmmaker Gareth Edwards, Monsters
Screenplay Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Actress Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
British Actress Lesley Manville, Another Year
Actor Colin Firth, The King's Speech
British Actor Christian Bale, The Fighter (
British Supporting Actor Andrew Garfield, The Social Network 
British Supporting Actress Olivia Williams, The Ghost Writer 
Young British Performer Conor McCarron, NEDs
Excellence in Film KRISTIN SCOTT-THOMAS


Wouldn't it be HILARIOUS if American film prizes started divvying up their prizes like "Best American Film" and "Best Picture" wouldn't the nominees all be the same since America loves itself so much?

About the winners: The only title/person I'm unfamiliar with is NEDs. Any British readers want to let us know if McCarron was worthy of the honor? Annette Bening wasn't present. Busy season. You can't be everywhere. Aaron Sorkin picked up all four of The Social Network's trophies. Was Andrew Garfield too busy web-swinging or something?

BAFTAs are Sunday. They are broadcast tape-delayed here in America. 8 PM EST on BBC America so by the time they air, we'll already know the winners. But I so prefer to find out while watching! I haven't yet decided how to cover it due to this time lapse. Any suggestions?