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Entries in Christoph Waltz (13)

Thursday
Feb062014

Meet the Berlinale Jury

The 64th Berlinale begins today in Germany - a press conference for Grand Budapest Hotel is streaming right now. It's the second of the six most powerful and premiere-heavy festivals each year, which schedule like so: Sundance -January; Berlin -February; Cannes - May; and the September glut of Venice, Telluride & Toronto. Like most of the biggies Berlinale has multiple juries for multiple types of awards, major and niche. But here's the main competition jury presided over by former Focus Features chief James Schamus. 

The Jury, The Competition Films, and Oscar History after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb012014

Maximillian Schell (1930-2014)

The most famous Austrian born actor prior to Schwarzenegger, and Oscar's favorite Austrian/Swiss actor ever, died overnight at 83. Maximilian Schell film debut came with the German anti-war film  Kinder, Mütter und ein General (Children, Mother, and the General) but it wasn't long before Hollywood came calling. 

He won a role supposedly through a misunderstanding/accident in the Brando/Clift vehicle Young Lions (1958). Global fame was just a few years away when he co-headlined the mega-star cast of the seminal Oscar Bait giant Judgement at Nuremberg (about Nazi war crime trials) with Hollywood legend Spencer Tracy and they were both were nominated for Best Actor - it's a oft-repeated fallacy of modern Oscar campaigning that people say that splits your vote and prevents you from winning; see also Amadeus. Schell also won the Golden Globe for that film. (As Rhett from Dial M for Movies pointed out on Twitter this morning, his death makes William Shatner (!!!) the sole surviving credited cast member from the courtroom classic)

Schell was quite gracious in his Oscar win and his acceptance speech is well worth watching. I'd argue he was fully aware of why he won ("honoring the movie"*) and I love that he doesn't do just the usual cheek kiss but actually a little bow/handkissing...as diva Joan Crawford warrants. 

Schell had a fine and long run as an actor with two more nominations following his win for The Man in the Glass Booth (1975) and Julia (1977 -- and yet another example of a double nomination in the same category. His co-star Jason Robards won that time). He won his second Golden Globe as recently as 1994 for a TV miniseries and a Lifetime Achievement Bambi in Germany just 5 years ago, which coincidentally was the same ceremony wherein Christoph Waltz, a clear modern equivalent of Austrian/Oscar love, won for Inglourious Basterds.

Schell's talents were many, though, and also behind the camera. He turned to filmmaking within a decade of winning Best Actor. His first two feature films First Love (1970) and The Pedestrian (1973) were both nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category for Switzerland and West Germany respectively. And then his first documentary Marlene (1984) which was about his legendary Nuremberg co-star, was also nominated in its category. That's a lot of awards love and a long and full career worth remembering. 

*Judgement at Nuremberg couldn't really win much elsewhere. 1961 was the year of one of Oscar's true phenomenons. West Side Story made nearly a clean sweep of its nominations winning 10 of its 11 Oscar nominations! Nuremberg only bested it in the Adapted Screenplay category where musicals have historically had a very hard time winning. Only two have ever managed: Going My Way (1944) and Gigi (1958). 

Sunday
Jan262014

We Can't Wait #10: Big Eyes

[Editor's Note: We Can't Wait is a Team Experience series, in which we highlight our top 14 most anticipated films of 2014. Here's Julien Kojfer on "Big Eyes"]

Big Eyes
A drama centered on 50’s painter Margaret Keane, whose husband claimed credit for her works after she achieved phenomenal success.

Talent
Tim Burton is directing a starry cast including Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Jason Schwartzman, Krysten Ritter, Terence Stamp and Danny Husto. 

Why We Can't Wait
Sure, the perpetually disheveled auteur famously lost his mojo at the turn of the century, when his unique style suddenly froze into a soulless brand of manufactured gothic whimsy, and his name sadly became synonymous with lazy adaptations, predictably misshapen aesthetics, and the obligatory casting of Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in cadaverous makeup and improbable wigs.

Which is precisely why no one who’s ever loved Burton could fail to be excited by Big Eyes, because it doesn’t sound like anything he’s made since the 90’s. An adult drama free of fantasy elements with a female protagonist, starring actors resolutely out of his comfort zone - one a five-time Oscar nominee who’s at the very peak of her career, the other a two-time Oscar winner badly in need of stretching his (considerable?) talents. With no Depp or Bonham Carter, to boot? Count me in. And if you’re still worried that this might turn out to be Tim Burton’s Lovely Bones, consider this: the original script is the work of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, who wrote such idiosyncratic biopics as The People vs. Larry Flynt, Man on the Moon, and what many of us consider to be Tim Burton’s greatest film: Ed Wood.

But We Do Have To Wait
A marital drama set in the 1950’s art world, starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz? Sounds like classic Oscar material to me, so that means we’ll probably have to wait till the end of the year.

Previously: #11 The Last 5 Years | #12 Gone Girl | #13 Can a Song Save Your Life |  #14 Veronica Mars | Introduction

Friday
Sep272013

Percussion. Strings. Winds. Links

For Musical Nerds
BuzzFeed definite proof that The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric was a homo 
The Exploding Kinetoscope best words I've ever read about Judy Garland's For Me and My Gal
Pajiba more of those new photos from Into the Woods

Miscellania
Sillof's Workshop look at these AMAZING custom toys, If Dr Seuss wrote Jurassic Park
Grantland Mark Harris joins me in my eternally losing war against Category Fraud (this time with Daniel Brühl in Rush) and talks Enough Said, too 

The Film Doctor five notes on Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, now on DVD
L Magazine see, I'm not the only one that thinks Cuarón's Gravity is a disappointment!
/Film wait they're making Fargo into a TV series and it's the William H Macy role that's the lead? Don't they know that people loved that movie because of Chief Marge Gunderson?

Elephantitis
Finally, MNPP reminded us that we can all get our Alexander Skarsgard loincloth dreams back on since his Tarzan flick is no longer (apparently) in development hell. Word is that Christoph Waltz is the villain now. Many will greet this as very good news but this makes me sad. It's not that Waltz isn't a good actor but remember how lame it was the last time he was a threat to pachyderms?

Who wants to go back to there? I do not. And I even kinda liked that movie more than most but Waltz was not the why. How about a few more surprises in casting, Hollywood? Aren't there literally a hundred famous actors in Waltz's age range that might be a fun curveball as the villain? But instead we're going to get somebody who already abused elephants. (sigh)

Wednesday
Apr242013

Ladies and Gentlemen and Kidmaniacs, I Give You The Cannes Jury

Cannes is just three weeks away and the final jury lineup has been announced. We knew Steven Spielberg would head the jury but his team was still semi-secret. They are...

Just months after competing for an extra Oscar, they'll be discussing other people's movies

Competition Jury

  • Daniel Auteuil (French actor/director)
  • Vidya Balan (Indian actress)
  • Naomi Kawase (Japanese director)
  • Nicole Kidman (Australian actress/producer)
  • Ang Lee (Taiwanese director/producer/scriptwriter)
  • Cristian Mungiu (Romanian scriptwriter/director/producer)
  • Lynne Ramsay (British scriptwriter/director/producer)
  • Steven Spielberg (American director) PRESIDENT OF JURY
  • Christoph Waltz (Austrian Actor)

 

Only one thing is certain about the outcome based on the composition of the team: By May 26th, Nicki's auteur lust will devour their collective imagination and they'll surely be competing for her hand in filmmaking. Which one of these directors will she work with next? (I mean, besides Steven Spielberg who Kate Capshaw aside, isn't particularly excited by actresses.) Can her first Romanian picture be far off? I'd most love to see what Lynne Ramsay could wrangle out of Kidman but I assume that Ramsay might have difficulty getting funding for her next picture given the ugly fallout from her sudden departure from Jane Got a Gun

Some years ago I made this visual and it still applies. But you just change the names as the years go by and Kidman recalibrates her attacks. Always plotting for legacy, that one!

Despite the media blitz that accompanies Cannes headliners, the competition jury is never the only jury at Cannes. It's just the one with all the headliners. There are multiple less glitzy but not necessarily less talented juries overseeing other prizes as well. 

Short Films Jury

  • Maji-da Abdi (Ethiopian actress/producer)
  • Jane Campion (New Zealand, director) PRESIDENT OF JURY
  • Nandita Das (Indian actress/director)
  • Semith Kaplanoglu (Turkey, writer/director/producer)

Un Certain Regard Jury
This jury decides who to spotlight in the realm of up-and-coming filmmakers (the ones Cannes isn't yet ready to include in the Competition lineup. Last year their prize went to the Mexican feature After Lucia which Amir wrote about here.) This jury lineup has not yet been announced but Thomas Vinterberg that handsome Dane who made the dogme masterpiece Festen (A Celebration) in the late 90s and whose current  feature The Hunt is winning him the best reviews he's seen since that startling debut will preside over this jury.

Can't wait to see which films they all embrace... and which auteurs win Nicole Kidman's hand.