Oscar History

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Entries in Dane DeHaan (11)


Lord of the Tweets

A sobering reminder before we hit a sillier survey of most amusing tweets o' the week. Topics include but are not limited to: Tulip Fever mania, Laura Dern action figures, mother! enthusiasms, that stupid news that there's going to be an all female Lord of the Flies movie (that doesn't even make sense -- women aren't that stupid!), Judith Light, Ridley Scott and more. It's all after the jump...

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Five Lessons Learned from Valerian 

By Spencer Coile 

Although Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is not particularly good (see Dan's review), it is at least somewhat fascinating. Luc Besson's world-building is admirable if bloated, and there is definitely a lot of thought behind the action. It would be easy to detail all of the film's shortcomings but instead, let's talk takeaways.

Five Notes on Valerian

01. Laureline really knows Valerian's name
You could turn the number of times Laureline says Valerian's name in one scene into a very dangerous drinking game. In every line she utters she repeats his name in case we've forgotten it or the film's title. The film's title was initially Valerian and Laureline and was later changed to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It's not enough that the demoted Laureline must say Valerian's name constantly, but must bombard us with his importance, too...

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Valerian in the shadow of The Fifth Element

by Dancin' Dan

Luc Besson's comic adaptation Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a mess. But so was his magnum opus The Fifth Element, and that Bruce Willis-starrer went on to become something of a modern-day sci-fi classic. Only time will tell if Valerian will go on to a similarly charmed afterlife, but for my money it suffers under the weight of expectations.

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Demented Beauty in "A Cure for Wellness"

By Spencer Coile 

We have successfully reached that lull in the film year, where many of us are playing catch-up with the films we weren't able to see earlier in the year. It is both daunting and exciting. There is so much to see, but sometimes, a film will come along and take our breath away -- in scope, in storytelling, in its sheer visual spectacle. Perhaps it is a mix of everything. 

Gore Verbinski's A Cure for Wellness is not a perfect movie. Its characters are paper-thin, the twists and turns oftentimes feel haphazard, and the writing leaves much to be desired in the suspense department. However, as I caught up with the critically divided feature, I couldn't help but be swept up into this world that Verbinski created. In many ways, it is so different from anything I have seen this year that it was easy to forgive and forget some of the film's flaws, because it is so beautiful. And rather than dive into a critique about the movie and nitpick everything it does wrong, it might be more beneficial to share with you some of the film's most elegantly shot moments -- to demonstrate the sheer artistry taking place. 

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HBO’s LGBT History: In Treatment (2008-2010)

 Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions...

Last week we looked back at the 1990 1989 Oscar ceremony (it took place in 1990 but celebrated the best of 1989) and got to see an unfazed Jessica Lange and a blustered Charlton Heston, both things which are equally entertaining to watch. This week, we’re tempering our nerves over Haynes’s Oscar snub with a visit to In Treatment’s Dr. Paul Weston (Gabriel Byrne).

Developed by Rodrigo García (who we talked about briefly since he directed Six Feet Under’s “A Private Life”), this HBO show is an American adaptation of the Israeli series BeTipul. Aired as a five-night series, every episode follows a session with Dr. Weston. For today we’re looking at season three’s “Week 1: Jesse” where we meet Dane DeHaan’s character Jesse. And boy is he a testy one!

Playing an aloof New York City privileged gay teen is a balancing act: one false move and you teeter right into a stereotype. Thankfully, DeHaan is more than up to the task. His Jesse is the type of teen who mistakes his own self-awareness for introspection and the actor's cadence is spot on, every sentence oozing a put-on air of self-importance undercut by his nervous need for validation. The episode, which hints at his past troubles (selling drugs at his school) and his current unraveling (he’s just gotten a voicemail from his birth mother), are a perfect example of an LGBT character on screen whose arc is dependent but not exclusive to his sexuality. [More...]

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Lukewarm Off Presses: Ben-Hur, Bourne-Again, Baz Junior?

Catching up with some stories we've missed of late.

Morgan Freeman was the first cast member announced for the remake of Best Picture winning Ben-Hur (1959) which was itself a remake of the silent epic of the same name in 1925.  Freeman will play the role of a wise old man who gives advice like a Pez Dispenser with Morgan Freeman's face on it. Can Morgan Freeman do anything else? Shame that a once very gifted actor now plays EXACTLY the same role in everything. Maybe he doesn't care to stretch? Jack Huston of Boardwalk Empire fame (who seems to be in the running for everything these days -even if he hasn't booked the high profile stuff until now) will play the lead Charlton Heston role. But good luck trying to best William Wyler's Oscar winning classic (one of 'em rather). I shudder to think how they'll handle Messala, previously slyly interpreted by Stephen Boyd on the DL.

In a weird case of "WAIT. I changed my mind!" Matt Damon is getting back into the Bourne franchise along with previous director Paul Greengrass (who is also possibly doing an Olympics bombing true story movie) and delaying Jeremy Renner's already begun takeover. The same thing happened with Jeremy Renner's assumed takeover of the Mission Impossible franchise until Cruise wanted back in. This will and already has prompted think pieces on Jeremy's failure to become a star but nobody would be griping on him if his agent (and maybe the man himself) hadn't gotten so greedy. How many franchises does one actor need?(Bourne, MI, Witch Hunters, Avengers, etcetera) Especially an actor that good with two Oscar nominations already?

But if we're going to start interrupting reboots with original casts, can we shelve the next Amazing Spider-Man movies and just get Tobey Maguire back in tights? P-L-E-A-S-E. That'd free up Andrew Garfield to be a real actor again and to say "you better lawyer up asshole" if they drop his surely unending contract. 

I don't mean to be snarky about newbie director Diesel Schwarze, a Baz Luhrmann protege, because it's quite possible that he'll be his own brilliant artist. But I needed another "B" for alliterative blogging, what. SO, anyway, he's doing an original musical that uses pre-existing songs (a la Moulin Rouge!) called Ziggy and Dane DeHaan and Rooney Mara are earmarked to star in it. Can they sing? It's not quite Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman exciting even in terms of in context 2014 vs 2000 stardom levels at press release time, but it's still interesting. Especially since it sounds weird...

Dehaan will play a hunchback in NYC who falls for a beautiful woman already mixed up with a powerful man -- you know how singing hunchbacks do!


LFF: Kill Your Darlings

Dave is at the London Film Festival, plotting how best to avoid the hoardes of Daniel Radcliffe fans who'll be coming for him soon.

In writing you must kill all your darlings."

The dilemma of how to literally take William Faulkner’s melancholy quote is the central crisis point of John Krokidas’ debut feature Kill Your Darlings. The film is a playful, confident but messy tale of Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) and his obsessive friendship with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), a fellow student at Columbia University. Krokidas makes this relationship the heart of his film, aesthetics and narrative bound up in their complex bond, relying heavily on the two young leads who have reached this point in their careers by markedly different paths. Despite the presence of some more seasoned hands in the cast - Ben Foster, Jennifer Jason Leigh, David Cross - this is a strikingly youthful film, effectively matching the burgeoning talents it explores.

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Review: "The Place Beyond the Pines"

This review was originally published in my weekly column at Towleroad

Handsome Luke at the Fairgrounds

The opening shot from THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, is a stunner. And not only because it starts with a view of a well-muscled and inked masculine torso. The camera follows the man (we don't see his face) as he paces back and forth, plays with a knife and then walks through a fairground where he turns heads and prompts amateur snapshots. Finally the camera catches his face. It's "Handsome Luke" (Ryan Gosling), a daredevil motorcylist about to defy death and gravity in a round metal cage. As soon as we've seen 'Handsome Gosling,' though, Luke throws a motorcyle helmet on depriving us of his Movie Star mug and enters the cage to perform miraculous stunts. As I recall there aren't any edits in this shot and I have no idea how it was filmed unless Ryan Gosling moonlights as a stuntman in addition to his many many other talents (like naming his body parts, and inspiring hilarious fandom and popular internet memes).

This lengthy continuous shot with its 'now you see him, now you don't' movie-star tease is a pretty apt description of the movie to come which is something of a bait-and-switch with a prominent throughline. [more]

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