Oscar History

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Entries in Drive (32)


I Wanna Be Linked By You... Just You...

Self Styled Siren graphs a two line fever chart on My Week With Marilyn.
Guardian Great actress Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer) on what she sees in the mirror. (It only makes us love her more.)
My Portis Wasp offers 8 reasons you should watch American Horror Story, the new series from Ryan Murphy (Glee, Nip/Tuck)
Low Resolution has issues with Lars von Trier's miserabilist smugness in Melancholia.
Fanboy Gamer [nsfw] a Rice Krispies Human Centipede.

Stale Popcorn nice piece on What's My Number? and Crazy, Stupid Love and the necessity of "charm" in the ever flailing rom-com genre.
La Daily Musto did you know these celebrities were only children?
Fandor starts a conversation about the Chicago International Film Festival. I hadn't even heard of this other Marilyn Monroe related picture Nobody Else But You.

Drive. I loved it so much I had to illustrate my review!

Finally, have you heard this dumbass story of a Michigan woman so upset about the misleading trailer for Drive that she filed a lawsuit?:

Drive bore very little similarity to a chase, or race action film ... having very little driving in the motion picture".

God, imagine what she must have thought of P.T. Anderson's There Will Be Blood ! If you ask me there's more than enough driving in Drive. There are three car chase scenes that are ALL better than about 30 years worth of other movie car chases and they're all in the same movie!  But, it's true that there's all that "European" movie around them. Critics love it. She thought it was shit. 


Curio: The Driver

Alexa here.  After seeing Drive this past weekend I am now one of the legions of obsessives screaming about how cool it is all over the internet.  So, of course, I found myself on a search for some original poster designs for the film.  To me, its 80s stylings and rich atmosphere scream for visual homage (it even got Nathaniel sketching again!).  

Here are some recent designs I spotted.  I'm hoping to see more soon.

Poster by Cory Schmitz and Maré Odomo.

Two more from the series.


Click to read more ...


Link Basket

La Daily Musto turns out Lourdes is in her mamma's movie W.E.
Deadline does a post-mortem on Drive's box office failure. Young men didn't show up. Can we all agree that I'm a genius for my sure to be prophetic "people will love it ten years from now" post? Get back to me in 2021. 
Movie|Line talks to director Jose Padilha about his Brazilian Oscar entry Elite Squad 2 and the rumors of Michael Fassbender becoming Robocop

HF Magazine talks to Miles Teller (Footloose). Kidman & John Cameron Mitchell have high praise from Rabbit Hole.
Tom Shone Ten great things about Moneyball
Frankly My Dear Jamie Foxx sending Will Smith a fruit basket for pulling out of Django Unchained
Hark! a Vagrant, my favorite web comic, begins a Wuthering Heights adaptation just in time for the revival of Brontë Sisters fever in the film world. P.S. what's that about exactly? The renewed fever I mean. I know what Wuthering Heights is about ;)

Bizarre Caption Alert!
I'd seen the new Anne Hathaway as Catwoman photo a few times around the net and didn't think to share it (you've already seen it no doubt) but for whatever reason I actually read the caption at Daily Mail...

Um... Catwoman was famous before most of us were alive and before La Pfeiffer was even a tween. Just sayin'. (Don't think Julie Newmar or the ghost of Eartha Kitt would be pleased.)


Never Compromise, The Iron Linky

Feast your eyes on the first poster for The Iron Lady... [via]

I admire the concept of this poster but I think more of her face should have been showing for aesthetic reasons before it began to bled into the Parliament.  As it is it's weirdly torn up.  But perhaps you'll feel differently. You'll tell me, won't you?

Antagony & Ecstasy Nick started a real trend with those 'year so far' awards
My New Plaid Pants "Thursdays Ways Not To Die" takes on Disney's Finding Nemo and you can't argue with that pie chart.
Mr Hipp Strikes! Remember when I said that Drive is one of those movies that will eventually inspire cult devotion. It's already obviously begun.
GQ Natasha VC (whose tumblr i just lurve) on Terminator 2: Judgment Day (one of my favs). Though... apparently she's pissing off some cinephiles with this.

TV Break
Gold Derby Remember how weird it was when Mad Men lost everything but Best Drama at the Emmys on Sunday. Turns out it's not so weird. 
The Critical Condition loves the new drama Revenge which features the return of the wonderful Madeleine Stowe. So do I and I only watched it to see Stowe again. Interesting that he brings up Ringer in his review because the whole time I was thinking: how come Sarah Michelle Gellar couldn't get a decent expensive show like this to headline? Ringer is just a mess and she's a much bigger star than Emily VanCamp. 

You can head on over to Towleroad to read my interview with writer/director Andrew Haigh. His debut (scripted) feature Weekend, is a real wow, beautifully observed, well acted, consistently engaging and expressively shot... all the things that no-budget gay cinema usually lacks. There's more to this interview since our conversation spilled over past our alloted time so I might share a few more nuggets later on if I see cause. I'm hoping the film does well on the coasts and prompts further expansion. It's very good.  



Links: 2011 Lists, Avatar Rides, W.E. Edits, Drive Colors, 

The Wrap have you heard this big news? Florida is getting an Avatar theme park. Florida is just overrun with theme parks, yes? How can they work in the hair sex thing? 
Movie|Line Madonna's W.E. will be reedited following festival savaging.
In Contention Now officially moved to the HitFix family. Check it out.
Movie|Line the movie Brad Pitt wants to be remembered for is... ??? Really? A personal pick I see.
Fuck Yeah Dementia I loled at this reworked moment from The Shining. [via]
Ultra Culture on Crazy, Stupid, Love. It's okay to want to f*** Ryan Gosling. Society says so! 

My New Plaid Pants discovers the Evil Gay (Rob James Collier) in the Emmy winning Dowton Abbey. And loves him.
Han Cinema we've been wondering if we'd see any foreign animated films in Oscar's weak animated eligible pool this year? Wonder if this could be one King of Pigs from South Korea. 
The AV Club and PopWatch both wonder if it isn't time that we all let go of Star Wars. As someone who grew up with them, seeing them in first release, I understand this issue too well.
Low Resolution, taking Nick's Flick Picks cue, is making a best of the first 50 he saw this year. Interesting and fine choices for acting honors including my Higher Ground gals (see previous interview
Some Came Running on Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method and the notion of what's cinematic. Interesting read for sure though I quit halfway through as it'll be better once i've seen the movie in question. My online reading is increasingly developing this pattern so my link lists are becoming cataloguing lists given that bloggers tend to write about movies so far in advance of your ability to actually see them.

Finally... since we're obsessed with Drive this week

Her breasts aren't real! Just sayin'.

Scanners I was just about to post this very framegrab from the Drive trailer. I hadn't noticed it until I accidently freeze-framed at this moment the other day and saw all the blurry breasts. LOL. It's a very breasty setpiece in the movie (and one of my favorite scenes; the strippers collective zombie like performances are perfection) But here it kicks off a host of observations about the color palette of Drive: teals, pinks, oranges and its orgasmic but nonsexual relationship with red.


Christina Hendricks on "Drive", Acting During Car Chases and That Scene

Michael C. here. I missed Margo Martindale's work on Justified, but judging by the response to her Emmy win, and by the consistently stellar level of her work, the award was no doubt well-deserved. All the same, it was hard not to mutter a curse under your breath when a name other than Christina Hendricks was called out. For four seasons on Mad Men Hendricks has been the epitome of a what a great supporting performance can accomplish. Her nuanced, deeply felt performance as Joan Holloway prevented the character from being the period caricature it could have been in lesser hands, and raised the bar for the rest of the show.

Christina Hendricks as "Blanche" in DRIVE (2011)

Now with Drive, in the small but crucial role of Blanche, Hendricks is taking that skill for finding the heart underneath flashy surfaces to the big screen. I got to chat with Hendricks recently at a press event where she arrived bright and enthusiastic fresh from the set of Mad Men. Here are some of the highlights from the event where I was able to get a few questions in:

On her confrontation with Ryan Gosling…

Christina Hendricks: We shot that very intense scene the very first day of shooting. None of really knew each other, and we were in this hundred degree creepy little hotel room. And so Nicolas came up to us and said, “I’m the kind of director - I will shoot and shoot and shoot until you tell me not to shoot. So be vocal with me and let me know if you feel comfortable with what we’ve already got” No director ever does this. It’s really a nice thing to hear.

He was just very collaborative and very understanding; because it was really intense stuff we were shooting. And because I really didn’t know Ryan yet, it was this very real feeling of fear in this very uncomfortable hot room. So it was intense to shoot, but I think it lead to a successful scene. We all got to know each other by the end of the day [laughs] All sweating together.

Michael: How much of that intensity were you ready for and how much did you experience for the first time on the day?

Christina Hendricks: I think the night before we rehearsed it so we could get the blocking down but we didn’t rehearse it emotionally. We knew where we were going to be standing. Cause we knew it was going to be a long day and we knew it was going to be hard with the entire crew in there. So we all got together the night before and said, “We’ll walk here and here and then you’ll go down and the money bag will be here.” So I wasn’t quite ready for this strong leather glove on my face and I remember my heart being like “Ba-boom! Ba-boom!” He [Gosling] is such an extraordinary actor it felt real and very much in the moment. We did that scene over and over and over, so I was an emotional wreck by the end of the day. I was crying for twelve hours straight.

Michael: It comes across. Just watching it is draining.

Christina Hendricks: It was heavy. Nicolas would be like, “Can you do one more?” and I would be like “[gasping sobs] Hold on.” And Ryan was like, “Who are you? How can you keep doing this?”

 On choosing Drive...

Christina Hendricks: I choose a project based on who’s involved and my faith in them and the script and the rest you just let go. I’d seen Nicolas’s film Bronson before we met and I was so impressed by it and so excited by it that I was like, “This guy’s going to do something cool." The end result was kind of what I imagined he would do. It was stylish and rich in color and scary and heartfelt and all these different things that I knew that he would do. I had a lot of confidence in him.

(From this point forward we could not avoid getting into SPOILERS -so read on if you've seen the movie)

Click to read more ...


Review: The Self Possession of "Drive"

There's 100,000 streets. You don't need to know the route."

The Driver is alone in a hotel room. Looking out over the city at night, negotiating on a cel phone he'll abandon immediately. We never learn his name. We don't need to know it.

His face is Ryan Gosling's, but even so it's a less familiar landscape than you'd think. With Drive, the actor erases any doubts (were there any?) that he's the most exciting young movie star on this side of the Atlantic. For the driver, his face has taken on a new mask-like stillness which twice in Nicolas Winding Refn's brilliant new movie, is covered (redundantly) by an actual mask. There is no knowing this driver; if we were given his name we'd forget it anyway or doubt its authenticity. Even the underscore, a brilliantly retro synth score, that memorably features Kavinksy's "Nightcall" just as we're being introduced keeps us at a certain remove, a hypnotized female voice singing "There's something inside you. It's hard to explain." Indeed.

To summarize the plot of Drive would immediately reduce it to a standard nihilistic noir or crime drama. If you must know -- though I hope you've already seen it because it's best seen cold without knowing the following details -- the driver is a stunt driver for the movies and also a mechanic and also quite willing to be your getaway for crimes. He won't ask questions and you shouldn't either. He just drives. His mechanic boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston, excellent) and his quiet neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan, excellent) and her child Benico (Kaden Leos, also excellent... you'll be sensing a trend here) are the three people in his life that he seems to care for, despite his dangerously self-possessed aura. In the course of Drive, this walking loner archetype is gradually humanized whether through narrative emotional connections or performance choices. Both the neighbor and the boss have troubled histories including people who are Trouble and the driver's very tight social circle is soon forcibly opened by crowbars, shotguns and handshakes. The cast expands to include a wealthy investor/criminal Bernie (Albert Brooks... seeking Oscar), his mouthy colleague Nino (Ron Perlman, delighted to show off) a lesser criminal Cook (James Biberi) and his associate Blanche (Christina Hendricks, memorably put-out in stilettos), and Irene's ex-con husband with the perfect name of "Standard" (Oscar Isaac, just terrific). Needless to say, shit goes down both in and out of cars. Very violent, exquisitely directed shit goes down. 

To Refn and Gosling's credit, the unknowable driver doesn't stay a mere Embodiment of Something (like, say, Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men) which helps the movie immeasurably. The few times the driver's humanity peaks through, his voice trembling, a flash of fear across his face, or even a moment of tenderness are genuinely unnerving; the untouchable man is touched. Even the stoic loner, who loves only driving and barely speaks, can't escape the violent messy pull of humanity. His choice to dehumanize again, donning the mask a second time, is a genuinely frightening image that I haven't been able to shake since seeing the movie. 

Drive is one of those movies. It makes you think in and of its images. I generally take notes when I watch films though I can't always understand them afterwards, the danger of scribbling in the dark. My notes for Drive... are strange. The standard illegible chicken scratches appear but there are also crude images scribbled in, attempts to capture the movies indelibe compositions, use of color and general mise-en-scene. (I've recreated two of them here for you since my scanner is broken).

I'm not sure why i wrote red all over this one. Stills show that it's more orange.

Drive is just one of those movies, the kind that unfold with such individuality and confidence and sense of possibility that you can almost imagine the celluloid standing up and strutting right past you, knowing full well you're going to turn and look. Yeah, I'm hot shit, it might say, if it weren't so emphatically the strong and silent type. One could argue, as I did with myself on second viewing, that the movie does boast about its own coolness in just this way and too often. If there's something to be said against Drive beyond its nasty nihilism (the extent of the violence is... uneccessary) it's just that. The movie stops in its track a few times and whether or not you're hypnotized (I was absolutely) it's clearly showing off. Let's just say that Nicolas Winding Refn is the most exciting Mad Dane to arrive in the movies since Lars von Trier... and knows it, too.

Though Drive's initial retro impression with the synth score, glistening cityscapes and practically neon hot pink titles immediately is that it's paying homage to the 1980s and Michael Mann, Drive very quickly becomes only its own memorable self. But because it's so emphatically a movie, so possessed by the motion in its pictures  --even its frozen tableaus are alive with suggested movement, promised ugly futures you fear you'll lunge towards without warning -- it can't help but recall the great tradition of cinema's coolest movies.  Leaving the movie the first time (I've already seen it twice) I thought most of Pulp Fiction. Not Pulp Fiction as we know it now -- annoyingly replicated never duplicated -- but Pulp Fiction back when it first took the world by storm; they aren't much alike but for that blast of intoxicating fresh air in the theater. A/A-

Recommended Further Reading
The Film Experience - "People Will Love It Ten Years From Now"
Nick's Flick Picks - a coiled python
Serious Film -"atmosphere. neon glow and moments that hang in the air..."
My New Plaid Pants "Chrissy Hendricks, Stiletto Wobbler
In Contention "the finest layer of B-movie grime that time and money can buy

Have you seen Drive? If so do sound off in the comments. 


The Girl With the Drive-By Linkings

Film School Rejects 33 things we learned from David Cronenberg's commentary on The Fly (1986)
Slant Ed Gonzalez unleashes his Prime Time Emmy predictions
Wow Report a funny run in with young actor Logan Lerman
Awards Daily Sasha Stone (aka David Fincher's #1 Fan*) loves loves loves the early footage of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


And while we're on the subject have you seen the fun Muppets parody of it's "feel bad" trailer?

Alt Screen on the Gus Van Sant retrospective at MOMI
IndieWire on the director of Norwegian Oscar submission Happy Happy, Anne Sewitsky
Antagony & Ecstasy travels back in time to the gender-flipping anxiety of Mr Mom (1983)
Pink is the New Blog Madonna unleashing a Truth or Dare perfume next year. The Brand ever expands... and if that reminds one person to check out Truth or Dare, it's done the world a service. Best music doc evah.
IndieWire in non-news news Tom Ford has his A Single Man follow up planned but has no intention to make it in the next couple of years ??? I post this only as a reminder of what passes for news on the future-obsessed blogosphere. Let's discuss films that actually exists! Anyone? Anyone? ;) 

Broadway Blog No Way! A Meryl Streep interview from 1977. "I think she's going to be the next Carole Lombard" HEE. Her laugh and breathy intakes are exactly the same 31 years ago. Now go read what Broadway Blog has to say about her.
Cinema Blend more trouble for Netflix. This worries me so. Nobody should wish death on DVD services since Netflix had such a better selection than most services and any service that has more films is good for film buffs. The scarcity of older films is so scary.

Drive I Said
My New Plaid Pants recorded a Q&A with Drive's director Nicolas Winding Refn for you. Go watch it if you got a spare 37 minutes.
Self Styled Siren on Drive. I haven't read this yet because I haven't yet written my review and you shouldn't either unless you've seen the film. But if you have The Siren is always worth a read.

Just for fun
Business Pundit interesting map of the USA that renames states as foreign countries with similar GDP. 

*I mean this in the most endearing way because David Fincher is the man.