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Entries in Eddie Redmayne (17)

Friday
Jul182014

Oscar Updates: Acting Pairs and Young Bucks

The chart updates continue. I've been thinking a lot about Foxcatcher and Love is Strange and whether or not Sony Pictures Classics will have the guts to campaign all four of those male leads as leads. Essentially they'd be asking for 80% of the category which would be extremely ballsy (no pun intended with four sets of them) but also honest. For these July updates I'm fantasizing that they will.

Eddie Redmayne, David Oyelowo, and Channing Tatum are just three of the fresh crop of leading men who might be competing for Oscar gold for real life roles

But the funny thing is: Best Actor is enormously crowded without any of that acclaimed quartet. Playing a real life character won't even get you very far because most lead actors are doing just that, thereby dulling its time-tested competitive advantage. I count at least 10 possibly major contenders this year in biographical roles: Cumberbatch, Redmayne, Oyelowo, Carell, Tatum, Spall, Boseman, O'Connell, Hill and Maguire. And that's not including Christoph Waltz who I'm now guessing will try his luck doing the co-lead as supporting thing again for Big Eyes which has worked well for him twice before; he's like the Poster Boy for Category Fraud.

The most exciting thing about the Best Actor Chart? Most of them have never been nominated so we're likely to have a real fresh quintet. With all these true stories in 2014 Supporting Actor may well be filled to bursting with real life, too, albeit without as many newbies in the mix. Good luck to the originals I say who have to create three-dimensional characters from whole cloth and the never nominated who are eager to be let in throughthe golden door.

Breaking Jack O'Connell?
On Emmy nomination morning this new trailer emerged for Angelina Jolie's Unbroken, a World War II drama which is likely to be a major breakthrough event for its lead actor Jack O'Connell, especially given that he's already shown true star charisma according to everyone who has seen his raw prison drama Starred Up (also due this year). But there are three potential obstacles to a presumed Best Actor run.

1. The man he's playing, Louis Zamperini, just died and those can be tricky waters to navigate in terms of film releases and campaigning without seeming exploitative about it (see Mandela's tip toe last year)

2. AMPAS is not as predictable these days with what we might well call 'classic Oscar bait'. They've been getting friskier with their choices for some time now (think of that 2006 win and then the entire 2007 lineup and so on through the now: Amour? Beasts of the Southern Wild? etcetera) . Old school 'triumph of the human spirit' epics and glossy WWII pics are no longer sure things. 

3. Jack O'Connell turns 24 next month. That's extremely young for Best Actor. For some context should O'Connell be nominated for this role with lots of hooks (crying, real life character, accent, weight loss, heroism) he will be the 2nd youngest nominee of the modern era, just a shade older than John Travolta was for his zeitgest 1977 blockbuster Saturday Night Fever. (Mickey Rooney and Jackie Cooper were even younger for their noms but that was back in the 30s and early 40s). Only one actor in his 20s has ever won the top prize and that was Adrien Brody for The Pianist, three weeks shy of his 30th birthday.

updated Oscar charts
BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESSSUPPORTING ACTOR, SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Friday
May162014

Lukewarm Off Presses: Danish Girls, True Americans, Murderous Scots

Three stories we didn't get around to posting about this past week or so when they were newer. Giving them but one sentence each in a link roundup seemed somehow inadequate. 

01 MACBETH POSTERS
Do we love these posters because they're good designs or merely because we love Fassy & Marion?  The internet doesn't know the difference. But those faces are mesmerizing onscreen and the opportunities to see these two play-act the violent ambitious Scotsman and his manipulative Lady (who seems to be sporting Princess Leia buns) are the draw. Is it just me or does this Michael pictured almost look like a Shannon rather than a Fassbender? Maybe it's the haircut and the camera angle. [True Confession: whenever I see a male actor with war-paint on, I shudder, fearing worldwide bloodlust adulation of Braveheart style machismo rather than any sort of interest connection to the drama or themes to come. Love of violent men seems ever insatiable.]

02 TRUE AMERICAN 
Speaking of machismo, Kathryn Bigelow's latest violent testosterone fueled drama will be based on the non-fiction book "True American: Murder & Mercy in Texas." Tom Hardy headlines as Mark Stroman, a man who attempts to kill three immigrant after 9/11 and the other Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a former Bangladesh Air Force officer, his only surviving victim, who wants to visit Stroman on Death Row. No word yet on who plays Bhuiyan but it's a big potentially Oscar friendly role so expect everyone to pretend whoever plays him is supporting for Oscar purposes ;) 

03 THE DANISH GIRL 
This movie, based on the novel by David Ebershoff which was itself inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einar Wegener (who would later become Lili... predating the famous sex change procedure of Christine Jorgensen) and his relationship to his wife through the transition was once going to be headlined by not one but two huge female movie stars (Theron & Kidman). The project vanished from the "upcoming film" conversation a couple of years ago. It's baaa-aaack. Only this time it's a rising male star who is headlining, charismatic ginger Eddie Redmayne.

 

 

But here's the problem. In the intervening years there has been an inarguable rise in consciousness about transgender issues and the trans community has gotten a lot more politically brave and some might say strident. Note, if you will, all the criticisms LGBT champion RuPaul has received for his continued enjoyment of words like tranny and she-male that other LGBT citizens would like to give up. There was a lot of anger about Hollywood going with a straight male actor (Jared Leto) for a trans role last year (Dallas Buyers Club) when there are actual trans actors around. I've never liked to hem actors in this way -- actors, by their very craft and nature, are not meant to only play what they are --  so Jared Leto had a point when he said as much. The problem with his point is that it isn't the strict truth. Hollywood doesn't cast people like him for such distinct roles because they're "the right person for the job" but because they're a name and Hollywood is risk averse. It's the same reason they used to not let black actors play black characters (think Showboat) fearing loss of revenue and the same reason they keep white washing Asian roles when the time comes to cast them. But with the somewhat steady rise in actual trans celebrity (Alexis Arquette, Chaz Bono, Candis Cayne, etcetera) and the recent rise of gifted actress Laverne Cox on Orange is the New Black (a trans woman playing a trans woman, and beautifully which is the important point when it comes to acting) it has started to seem a little suspect that very few trans roles go to trans actors.

Like Leto, I don't like to see actors pinned down into one kind of character, but if more people were cast true to their ethnicity, sexuality, abilities, and gender identification, I think people would probably be okay with it when an actor played something so removed from him or herself. If there was more balance "being right for it" wouldn't sound like a copout and might actually be accepted as the truth.

Redmayne is a fine actor but expect this noise to continue and get very loud WHEN the media calls him "brave" for playing it (they're such suckers for that word which is seemingly always used offensively, as if to imply the actor is slumming by playing someone "gay" or "trans" or "disabled" or whatnot) and IF he starts winning prizes for it.

Tuesday
Apr012014

Yes, No, Maybe So: Jupiter Ascending

For April Fools Day a Yes No Maybe So on a trailer promoting a movie that could well be a folly.

Though I am on record at having loathed Cloud Atlas I appreciate movies that operate from the outer edges of sanity. I'm always curious when the Wachowski Siblings make a movie despite a despairing qualitative free fall: their first was their best (Bound), their second their second best (The Matrix) but it's been a precipitous drop each and every time so at this rate they'll make the worst movie of all time soon. Will it be Jupiter Ascending

I realized this trailer arrived a week ago but it's been busy chez moi. I made a wee bit of time today because... well, you'll have to see why in the Yes column after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar282013

Les Miz *WINNERS*

It's Reader Appreciation Month so I'm playing Santa with gifts.

I'm so sorry I didn't announce this sooner! I do get backed up here. I know those of you who entered the Les Miz contest are dying to just buy the new blu-ray/dvd combo pack if you didn't win. This contest had a great response. I asked interested Red & Black revolutionaries to answer three questions:

• Which kind of bread would you bake Valjean so he doesn't steal another loaf?
• Which movie hooker other than Fantine should've had a death bed song?
• Bring Him Home: Jackman, Redmayne, Tveit or Crowe?

I had much fun reading the often creative answers. But the three winners, chosen randomly, are...

ROB S in Palm Springs who writes:

  1. BREAD: Pain de campagne, which I hope Hugh will stick around to enjoy as pain perdu.
  2. HOOKER: Mildred, from Of Human Bondage....Bette Davis croaking it out as she croaks.
  3. MAN TO TAKE HOME: Eddie Redmayne for sure. IMO the MVP of Les Misérables

'pain perdu'. teehee. Although I just realized that Rob is basically announcing with his answers that he's taking both Jackman and Redmayne home. Greedy!

JEREMY E in New York who writes:

  1. BREAD: Gotta be pumpernickel for Hugh.  Hard on the pump, light on the nickel
  2. HOOKER: Hands down, "Kit de Luca", Julia Roberts best friend in Pretty Woman---if only to hear her sing "Cinder-fucken-rella" in a tenor voice.
  3. MAN TO TAKE HOME: Hugh

ROBERTA L in New Jersey who writes: 

  1. BREAD: I would bake Hugh Jackman Sweet Buns, of course. Although Fruitcake is a strong contender. Because hello, he plays on your team, not mine. I don't care who his wife is.
  2. HOOKER: So difficult! Barely-a-teen Brooke Shields? Jon Voight? What's-her-head in Risky Business? Nahh, it's obvious. Barbra Streisand in Nuts
  3. MAN TO TAKE HOME: Fine. Jackman. I mean that's my type, isn't it?  

Roberta was one of only two contestants brave enough to sing her heart out for extra contest entries. So here she is in this audio clip doing her best Eponine for "On My Own". Nice job!

Roberta sings !

Tuesday
Feb262013

Red Carpet Oscar Pt. 2: "Aaron Tveit Yourself"

Oscar Night in Review: Fun ArrivalsWinner's List , Seth's Hosting, Funniest Tweets, Jennifer Lawrence in the Press Room...

Today's Guest: Guy LodgeWe just talked Red Carpet Best Actress, so now we move on to the men.

NATHANIEL: Welcome back to Red Carpet Convos, Guy Lodge! I'm not even sure where to begin with this one. So many men. Abundant tuxes. We can't possibly discuss them all so here's a random assortment I'm tossing out at you. If we don't do it, who will? Nobody else ever covers the men.

GUY: Well, I think some of the men looked pretty great. So let's hear it for the boys!

NATHANIEL: I hear, via Twitter, that you were just on BBC. "Who" were you wearing?

GUY: I was indeed. Suit by Paul Smith. Socks by Uniqlo. As for who dressed me... er, myself

NATHANIEL: I was on CNNi this week albeit not all of me so you win -- even your socks in frame! I was shot just from the chest up, blue shirt by somebody or other. But chest up is fine. This way I didn't have to worry about how long it's been since I bought any new clothes.

GUY: By the look of his suit, neither does Tommy Lee Jones!

Most Oscar Winner, 2 Time Winner, Winner, 2 Time Winner, Hugh Jackman

NATHANIEL: Yes, let's do start with the nominees. [15 Men After the Jump]

Click to read more ...