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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd


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Amy Adams for Janis Joplin

"It's baffling to me that Amy Adams will potentially have as many nominations as Blanchett, Winslet, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave, Thelma Ritter, Deborah Kerr, Sissy Spacek, and Glenn Close. This is weird, right?" -Aaron

"What is happening with Nina Arianda's Janis film with Sean Durkin? It's still listed as "announced" on her IMDB. Are we to assumed that it is a lost cause?" -Ryan


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Entries in critics awards (23)


Critics Choice Award Winners & After Party

Quickie post to give you more of an opportunity to discuss the CCMA winners. I salute all those with strong enough multi-tasking skills to both attend and cover events simultaneously. I've just arrived in Park City for the Sundance Film Festival and before I stuff my face, it's catch up time!

Arriving at the CCMAs - Seating Chart?

When I arrived at the Critics Choice Awards last night -- excuse me, last afternoon (awards ceremonies start so early on the West Coast!)-- I had no idea where I'd be seated so I was just goofing in the photo above and pointing randomly to the space as if to say "There! I'm sitting there" Well there was within stumbling over into the American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave tables which were right next to that open walk way to the stage. This is not where I was sitting. You're doing it wrong, Nathaniel! 

with commentary 

Click to read more ...


"Witches of Eastwick" Week!

Starts now!  Happy 25th Anniversary to The Witches of Eastwick (1987). Normal blogging will run concurrently but we'll pop on over to that supernatural New England town at least once a day this week. We'll discuss the famous vomiting scene, Michelle Pfeiffer's fruitful loins, Cher's sculptures and more. We'll also look for fun Witches-related articles online this week to share. 

But first... FUN FACTS

Title: The Witches of Eastwick (1987)
Director: George Miller of Mad Max fame. He directed every feature in that franchise and will also direct the reboot Mad Max: Fury Road to star Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron.
Release Date: June 12th, 1987
Based on: the novel of the same name by John Updike. I haven't read it but from my understanding it isn't what you'd call a "faithful" adaptation.
Legacy: The Witches of Eastwick has since been adapted into a television series a remarkable three times (only one version went to series, though) as well as a stage musical.
Movie's Running Time: 118 Minutes
Star Billing Hierarchy:

  1. Jack Nicholson
  2. Cher
  3. Susan Sarandon
  4. Michelle Pfeiffer
  5. Veronica Cartwright
  6. Richard Jenkins | Keith Jochim [shared title card]
  7. "And Carel Struycken as Fidel"

Switcheroo: Cher's "Alexandra" role was supposed to be Susan Sarandon's and it was given to Cher without Sarandon's knowledge prior to shooting, leaving Sarandon with "Jane" instead. Sarandon was initially angry and coverage at the time suggested a very tense set. Yet Sarandon was the only Eastwick star to work with Miller again; they reteamed 5 years later for Lorenzo's Oil which won Susan her third Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Box Office: The tenth highest grossing film of 1987, just ahead of Dirty Dancing (Nobody puts These witches put Baby in a corner!)  Just below Lethal Weapon. i.e. as popular in its year as, like, Thor or Rise of the Planet of the Apes last year. It's the 2nd biggest hit movie about witches ever behind only The Blair Witch Project (1999).
Box Office Rank For Each Star's Whole Career: Jack's tenth biggest hit, Cher's second biggest hit (Moonstruck in the same year being #1), Sarandon & Pfeiffer's 5th biggest hit.

Are you ready, ladies?"

Oscar attention: 2 nominations for Score (John Williams) and Sound. Cher won the Oscar for Moonstruck released six months later and this movie couldn't have hurt; it was Her Year as they say (two #1 movies and a new platinum comeback album inbetween them titled simply "Cher")
Oscar-less: Only LaPfeiffer is Oscar-less now of the principal quartet.
Acting Kudos: Jack Nicholson took home Best Actor from the twin towers of critics awards: LAFCA and NYFCC (shared with Ironweed for which he was Oscar nominated). Nicholson, Sarandon and Cartwright all won Saturn Award nominations, too. Oddly there was zero attention from the Golden Globes despite the film being a hit prestige all star Comedy aimed at adult audiences.

Name your favorite personal "fact" about this movie in the comments. When did you first see it?


Link Crumbs Trail

Mike Myers Oscar BuzzLinks. I Know These People Edition
<-- This Had Oscar buzz is a new tumblr from Joe Reid. I was totally giggling gawking at it earlier. It's all true! It's all true!
Pajiba Joanna on Michael Fassbender Penis Expert
Do Dump or Marry is but one of me pal JA's great features on My New Plaid Pants but I particularly enjoyed the latest all ladies 9 to 5 edition. 
Critical Condition looks at five stars who squandered their goodwill.
Nicks Flick Picks have you been following Nick's Best Actress Birthday party? It's amazing. Next up Patricia Neal and Geena Davis 
In Contention Kris Tapley is a Sundance Virgin. Virgin!
Slant Kurt interviews Steven Soderbergh 

Awards, Special Interest Edition 
The NAACP has released their Image Award nominees and Awards Daily is pleased to see the Cicely Tyson mention in supporting actress. That's all well and good as she was quite touching in the movie but it seems utterly bizarre to have FIVE actresses nominated from The Help for acting prizes and no sign of Jessica Chastain. It's Viola, Octavia, Cicely, Emma... and Bryce!?! Pariah, which is finally in theaters, also did very well in their nominations. Congratulations to the nominees especially Regina King who was nominated for Southland... so underrated. 

Team "Help" when the Oscar buzz was but a whisper at their world premiere.

And though I forgot to mention it a few days back, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (aka GALECA) gave both of their best film prizes --the standard best film plus the best gay film prize -- to Andrew Haigh's Weekend. Michael Fassbender won the "We're Wilde About You Rising Star Award". We Were Here, a documentary about the early years of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, took their Best Documentary honors. It's also an Oscar finalist this year.

Overseas the London Film Critics Circle took their cue from Nathaniel (kidding) splitting their prizes between his two favorite films of the year The Artist (Picture, Director) and A Separation (Screenplay, Foreign Film, Supporting Actress). And back here in the States the Iowa Film Critics yearned for Hawaiian vacations with The Descendantszzzs


"It's Her Year"

I think you have to hand it to both Meryl Streep and Viola Davis during this pre-season. The former co-stars (Doubt) and friends are constantly being pitted against each other by eager awards gurus and Oscar fans alike but they're both staying classy in regards to what may or may not be an epic upcoming battle for the Best Actress crown. Perhaps one of them will take the lead this week and never let it go starting at the Critics Choice (Thursday) and Globes (Sunday) but last night at the New York Film Critics Circle dinner they were their usual classy selves. Viola presented Meryl her Best Actress prize.


It’s a testament to her that she’d do this in this year, which is her year."

Meryl reportedly said when accepting the honor

"It's his/her year"

We hear that each and every year though the faces change. It's fascinating that it looks like it's coming down to Meryl or Viola when they're such gracious vocal fans of each other. Meryl even asked Hollywood to give Viola a big role when she won prizes for Doubt. Here we are a few years later...

Whose year is it anyway? 


With This Post, I Thee Link

Daily Mail the rumors are heating up yet again that Jamie Bell and Evan Rachel Wood are tying the knot. Remember when he was a little boy dancer (Billy Elliott) and she was a little girl anorexic (Once and Again)?!? If they have a baby soon I will officially feel as old as Luise Rainer who turns 102 this week! OMG. 
The Playlist Steven Soderbergh's The Side Effects will star Blake Lively (yes, they're still trying to make her happen), Jude Law and Channing Tatum. Funny how Soderbergh is more prolific than ever despite all that "retirement announcement" nonsense.
La Daily Musto hears a crazy story I've never heard about Rosemary's Baby. 

MUBI details the current controversy about The Artist appropriating a piece of Vertigo's score. Kim Novak is really really upset about it.
THR ...thinks she's taking her complaints way too far. 
The Playlist Yay. Katee Sackhoff, who we're always rooting for since she has more charisma than many whole casts combined, gets a big movie role... albeit in a tired franchise. Ready for another Riddick movie?
Scene Stealers Kansas City critics pick The Descendants as best picture (yes, I'm done writing up critics awards. Sorry!) and the NSFC may have given them the courage to go with Kirsten Dunst as Best Actress for Melancholia. I don't mean to suggest that smaller critics groups can't find their own courage but it seems fairly obvious on a year to year basis that a win for an off kilter choice from one of the three biggies (NYFCC, NSFC, or LAFCA) can often result in a chain link of appreciation. It's just too bad that Dunst's heat came so very late in the game.

I can't believe this is online but this is my favorite 2 and a ½ minutes of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo ... the film that may finally cause all Oscar pundits, professional and amateur, to accept that Oscar is no longer wary of remakes, even instantaneous ones that no one has any excuse for making but for money.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Opening Titles from Onur Senturk on Vimeo.


Off Cinema
Tech Crunch more web-only TV series with bigger stars are coming.
Insider Chris Colfer and Lea Michele will stay on Glee somehow. I'd say "uh oh" but for the continual shark jumping of that show. It defies the very notion of shark jumping since there are sharks in each episode and this season... "Sharks" with "Jets". [groan. sorry]
Broadway Buzz Alan Cumming gets remarried to his man. Tells Rick Santorum to eat it. 


"Melancholia" it is for the NSFC

Bucking 2011-focused critical tradition thus far, which has divvied up the best picture prizes between The Tree of Life, The Descendants, Drive and The Artist. The National Society of Film Critics have gone with Lars von Trier's epic sci-fi depression metaphor Melancholia (TFE's top ten list) for their Best Film. 2011 precursor season continues to be a delight with its wide spread of honors. We're especially pleased for Kirsten Dunst though their backing comes far too late to improve her neglible Oscar traction. But Oscar isn't everything. This is a beautiful way for the resurgent actress to close out 2011 which will undoubtedly be a pivotal year for her career. 

The year began with the afterglow of terrific reviews for All Good Things (interview) and peaked with a Cannes win for Best Actress. Meanwhile with goodwill for her career finally restored, she lined up or filmed a completed work on a handful of new movies. Well done Kiki!

Picture Melancholia (ru: The Tree of Life and A Separation)
Director Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life (ru: Martin Scorsese for Hugo and Lars von Trier for Melancholia)
Actress Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (ru: Yun Jung-Hee for Poetry and Meryl Streep)
Actor Brad Pitt, for Moneyball and The Tree of Life (ru: Gary Oldman and Jean Dujardin)

Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain, for Tree of Life, Take Shelter and The Help  (ru: Jeannie Berlin for Margaret and Shailene Woodley for The Descendants)
Supporting Actor Albert Brooks, Drive (ru: Christopher Plummer and Patton Oswalt)
Screenplay A Separation (ru: Moneyball and Midnight in Paris)
Non Fiction Film Cave of Forgotten Dreams (ru: The Interrupters and Into the Abyss)
Foreign Film A Separation (ru: Mysteries of Lisbon and Le Havre)
Experimental Film Ken Jacobs for "Seeking the Monkey King"

Film Heritage Prizes
• BAMcinématek for its complete Vincente Minnelli retrospective
• Lobster Films, Groupama Gan Foundation for Cinema and the Technicolor Foundation for Cinema for the restoration of the color version of George Méliès’s “A Trip to the Moon.”  
• New York’s Museum of Modern Art's Weimar Cinema retrospective
• Flicker Alley's box set “Landmarks of Early Soviet Film.”
• Criterion Collection's DVD package “The Complete Jean Vigo.” 


Oklahoma & Phoenix & The Supporting Actress Traffic Jam

The Artist, Albert Brooks, Michelle Williams and The Tree of Life's cinematography continue to assert dominance in the regional critics prizes as two more circles & societies weigh in. How long until we have 60 US critics organizations, one for each state plus a handful of redundant consolidating regional groups and another handful of national groups?

11 perfs by 9 women have divvied up Critics Supporting Actress prizes in North America

Meanwhile Supporting Actress --which is a real clusterf*** to predict with 6 women doing superbly in precursors and 2 more super lauded performances waiting eagerly for a miracle stumble from one of those 6 -- continues to be a total free for all among critics groups as I've illustrated with this map of the prizes thus far... so exciting! Would that more races would inspire this much healthy difference of opinion, art being subjective and all.

I've been discussing the Best Supporting Actress race with other pundits recently and I'm finding it amusing how "obvious" everyone claims it is despite no one agreeing on who is out front or who gets dumped. How then, can it be obvious? Even the statistics don't solve this equation as will be noted after the jump...

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