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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


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

 

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Entries in Edward Norton (11)

Saturday
Jan172015

If you fused two Hulks together could they smash J.K. Simmons?

That's the question I keep asking myself about Best Supporting Actor. My Oscar-clogged brain works like that, taking flights of fancy when it finds true facts too boring to contemplate any further. J.K. Simmons could only lose the Oscar if he suddenly became a different person before ballots were due and was unmasked as a terrorist or a serial killer or what not. He's going to win because in addition to giving a big beloved performance, he is also very well liked. As with Patricia Arquette, it's churlish and unbecoming to root against a long time actor finally getting the role people will remember them by. 

In any other year, though, this particular Oscar race would be a weird superhero collision between two very fine famous actors who both happen to get green when they're angry. Former Hulk Edward Norton vs. Present Hulk Mark Ruffalo. Both would have tremendously strong narratives for a win in that "They haven't won yet? But they're always great!" kind of way. But they'll both lose.

Silver lining: Perhaps if you tally the final votes in a month's time, their combined totals would beat Simmons? No never mind. He's too far ahead even for that.

See the Best Supporting Actor chart here! Find out how they got nominated*, how many films they've made, and vote on the poll for who "should" win - it's Reader's Choice.

*theorizing for entertainment purposes only - we can't read voter minds

Monday
Jan122015

J.K. ("Just Keep-On") Simmons Still Leading. Final Predictions!

Last night's Golden Globes did nothing to change the long since frozen Best Supporting Actor race. It's so frozen that I think everyone even agrees on the order or support for each player (which is fairly unheard of). So get your place in line for the coronation parade for everyone's favorite shouty music professor. Especially after a strong acceptance speech. Barring a total shock on Thursday morning our line up will look exactly like it's been looking for some time now in the year's least contested acting category (seriously. People are still trying to make Best Actress that but it is SO not)

Best Supporting Actor Final Predictions
Robert Duvall, The Judge (5th place)
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood (4th place)
Edward Norton, Birdman (2nd place)
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher (3rd place)
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (1st place)

So what happened to Josh Brolin (Inherent Vice)?
Paul Thomas Anderson's film came out too late. Though Brolin is by far the best thing in it, the material is "far out" enough to keep people talking about a ton of other elements for far too long for the hazy discussion and fog to clear and leave the buzz to coalesce around him. When it hits DVD and cable people will surely say "How did Brolin NOT get nominated for this?" and they'll probably say it for years to come. 

So what happened to Tom Wilkinson (Selma)? Heated objections to Selma, which came quite quickly and suspiciously given the lack of scrutiny of the other "true stories" in the race, ALL centered around its portrayal of LBJ.

So what happened to Chris Pine (Into the Woods)? It would have taken Into the Woods being a Best Picture sure thing rather than a 'bubble' film to pull the cartoon Prince in. People do love him in it but you need Picture buzz or a different kind of career than he has at the moment, to win a nomination for such a broadly comic part. Not that this particular category objects to comedy.

See the Oscar chart here.

If you're a Norton or Ruffalo voter in this category make sure to vote in the "Would You Rather?" poll. Hey, it was Tina & Amy's idea, not ours.

Monday
Jan122015

Would You Rather, With Tina and Amy

JA from MNPP here, taking the bait since Tina and Amy were nice enough to ask and there's not much we enjoy more than playing silly games involving good-looking celebrity fellows. First off, the Colins...

 

 

(Those pictures up top are via the Globes official Instagram btw; lots of great pictures over there.)  And secondly...

 

Sunday
Nov022014

Podcast: Birdman, Pride and Nightcrawler

In this episode of the podcast, Nathaniel, Nick, Joe and Katey are charmed by Pride's ensemble balancing act and political smarts. Then we're adamantly split on the merits of Birdman and but (mostly) thrilled by its craft wizardry. The acting also impresses with special attention paid to Michael Keaton's closeups, Andrea Riseborough's surprise facility with "fun" and Nick's Edward Norton problem. We wrap up with Nightcrawler's duet between eye-popping Jake Gyllenhaal (who splits opinion) and Rene Russo who deserves more good roles immediately. "Get it bitch!"

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download on iTunes tomorrow (it generally takes 24 hours to show up there). Continue the conversation in the comments! 

Birdman & Nightcrawler

Sunday
Oct192014

Review: Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

An abridged version of this review was originally posted in Nathaniel's weekly column at Towleroad. It is reposted here, with their permission.

 

A card in the bottom right hand of the star's mirror reads:

"A thing is a thing. Not what is said of that thing." 
-Susan Sontag

Which immediately complicates or maybe simplifies celebrity and art, two major themes (among a handful) of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's one of a kind new film experience. It's destined for major Oscar nominations and you should see it immediately. The movie has the simple and then complicated title of Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as befits its duality perfectly. This quote is never addressed in the film but it's always stubbornly lodged there in that mirror, defying or playfully encouraging conversation about what this movie actually is. And what is film criticism or its more popular cousin, after-movie conversation over dinner drinks or online other than conversation that attempts to interpret and define?

Critics are often treated with petulant hostility in movies about show business, as if the filmmakers have an axe to grind and need to do that with grindstone in hand while their critical avatar/puppet hangs there limply, waiting to be struck with the sharpened blade. Birdman is no exception, immediately insulting its formidable theater critic Tabitha (Lindsay Duncan) as having a face that 'looks like she just licked a homeless man's ass,' before she's even spoken a line. But Tabitha is a slippery mark, portrayed as a voice of integrity in one scene and then a vicious unprofessional monster in another. This calls into question the reality of her scenes altogether

... which is not unusual in Birdman.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct122014

Birdman Conference & Party: Egos, Creative Challenges and "A Critical Presence"

Choosing Birdman as the closing night film of the 52nd New York Film Festival was a smart move. Premiering in the slot right after it would have been a truly humbling experience for another film. Not that I wish to inflate Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu's ego any further.

Iñárritu, Norton, Watts and Amy Ryan at the premiere

In the press conference that immediately followed our screening yesterday he admitted that it's already enormous. "Inquisitor. Tyrant. Dictator" are just three of his names for his own ego and the idea for Birdman was to explore the inner struggle with ego and the creative process. Innaritu says he starts most creative projects thinking  "This is great, fantastic, very genius!" and shortly thereafter has a bipolar switcheroo "You're a stupid asshole. This is a piece of shit, no one would care about it!" He thought this creative struggle would  be a cool thing to dramatize on film though he didn't mean it to be specifically about the ego of actors. He actually thinks they don't have big egos. "Politicans have bigger egos...even my dentist!" he added spontaneously to much laughter in the room. "He's an asshole. He makes me suffer and I pay him."  

Michael Keaton's internal creative struggle takes a slightly different turn "I go through, 'Oh you're the greatest, you're wonderful. And then 20 minutes later... no, you're actually more than that Michael!"

Throughout the conference the actors found ways to keep the mood light and funny. Somehow Naomi Watts became the favorite member of the cast to tease, which was interesting because the actress she plays onscreen is riddled with insecurity. [More...]

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