Love these two SO much. "Hathaway/Blunt 2016"... who wouldn't vote for them? (Besides Miranda Priestley)
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What did you see this weekend?
"I watched Clouds of Sils Maria. I wanted even more Kristen Stewart, which is a testament to how great she was in it." - JEFF
"9 to 5 was on tv so I watched it to see all the best shots. My favourite part was the opening with all the ladies heading off to work set to the song. Stuff like that always makes me want to pack it up and become an independent lady in New York City."-SVG
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Love these two SO much. "Hathaway/Blunt 2016"... who wouldn't vote for them? (Besides Miranda Priestley)
Manuel here with some casting news. I had this fabulous idea of celebrating Leo DiCaprio’s casting in that 24 multiple personality film with a list of the 24 various personalities he’s already played. But once I started listing them alongside one another I realized Leo definitely needs to spice it up; lately, when he’s not playing a grieving wifeless man he’s playing a wealthy soulless man. Why not embrace another full-on comedic role? His turn in Catch me if You Can is still one of his best. Why so dour lately Leo?
Instead, let’s focus on a film that’s become more of an actressexual dream than any of us ever hoped for. Did you hear that The Huntsman film now boasts Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt and Jessica Chastain?
I’m secretly hoping the trio of actresses will make The Huntsman more of a Witches of Eastwick type film, or maybe they can all band together against the eponymous protagonist in a 9 to 5 style workplace comedy? I mean, none of us would complain about a tied-up Hemsworth, now would we? Or perhaps they can work in a fun musical number a la The First Wives Club? The mind boggles imagining this trio of ladies making the film crackle with wit and chemistry; perhaps this is much too optimistic for what is presumably another tentpole blockbuster. I mean, are they even bringing back Colleen Atwood?
What other actress trio would you love these gals to channel in this sure to be pretty (and pretty drab?) spinoff?
The Wrap Emily Blunt is joining Charlize Theron to double the evil sorceress perfection that terrorizes Chris Hemsworth in The Huntsman. Now I suddenly want to see it.
MNPP Whatever happened to Sean Maher (Firefly). Jason has the answer
Vulture John Travolta without his hairpiece. Ditch it permanently, John. Bald is beautiful. Or at least more beautiful than pretending you have hair (you did have a great head of it) when you no longer do.
THR Michael Keaton in talks to star in a "gritty" drama from John Lee Hancock (who, tbh, we don't associate with "gritty" since he made The Rookie and The Blind Side*) called The Founder about the rise of McDonalds and behind the scenes shady business. It sounds like there are three good male roles so I wonder who will join Keaton? Can I put in a request for Edward Norton. I want them to become a new movie duo - so great together!
THR Good idea, Tom Cruise. Reuniting with your Edge of Tomorrow director Doug Liman. That was your best movie in ages
The Stake on the 10 most profitable movies of 2014: horror, comedy, YA and even two heavily CG movies
Wired fact-checking Oscar morning outrage tweets
The Dissolve the "Critics Choice" Awards righting Oscar wrongs. (But, in fairness, true fact: we voted before the nominations so these achievements are entirely accidental)
Cinesnark is angry about the Selma snubbings -- a feeling which is going around and which will definitely in the future, no fuck that, RIGHT NOW make the Academy look bad -- though I would actually disagree on one point: I don't actually think the Screenplay deserved a nomination in that, I think there were five better. The movies power is in its direction, staging, cast, and feelings of immediacy despite being from the past. I think the screenplay actually has a few clunky bits.
Interview Jennifer Lawrence interviews Eddie Redmayne. I love this bit:
REDMAYNE: Do you ever watch dailies?
LAWRENCE: No. Unless I keep getting the same note and I'm obviously not getting it, then I'll watch it again on the monitor. But, oh my God, did you watch rushes of this?
REDMAYNE: We sort of had to, because we were jumping in and out of all these different time periods and trying to track the illness and the physical decline. I had an iPad with all the documentary footage of Stephen and then we had the dailies. I kept hoping that the two things were going to meet, but obviously they never did. [laughs]
It's fun to remember occasionally that big stars are actually directed and get 'ur doing it wrong' notes, isn't it?
Old But Not Stale!
Slate details how a bad Jennifer Aniston movie turned into an Oscar Cinderella story. Really interesting piece except for that this Cinderella got stuck living with the stepmother Prince Oscar never found her with that one shoe.
Nick's Flick Picks I never read Nick's annual liveblog until I've fully moved on from my Globe coverage because it's just too intimidatingly funny. It's my dessert that I have to force myself to wait to devour. This is my favorite part at the moment:
8:56: I feel like it's brutal to transition immediately from the Affair producer's advocacy for "how important our marriages are" to Catherine Zeta-Jones's entrance. But CZJ does brutal plenty well herself. "They're having a well-deserved party" is unmistakably a Welsh phrase meaning, "These bitches need to get out of my light!"
*This is not meant as snark. I liked The Rookie a lot. It's just meant as "he's not a gritty director"
Did you want the Critics Choice Movie Awards last night? That accounts for my radio silence. I had the extreme good fortune of sitting at Jessica Chastain's table. No, I couldn't believe it either for which I must thank A24 profusely. It's true The Film Experience has been kinda nuts about their movies here from Spring Breakers to Under the Skin to the already weirdly underappreciated A Most Violent Year (opening in late late December is so hard for movies that are small and aren't directed by Clint Eastwood) but it was still an unbelievably kind gesture.
It turns out though that sitting at a table with some of the honored stars (Jenny Slate, also at the table, took home Best Comedy Actress) that is smack dab in the center (Wild table to the left, Theory of Everything and Unbroken to the right, Selma tables --plural, that's a big cast behind you) is rather terrifying and chaotic. Because I had the back to stage seat, the cameramen were running up to squat or stand hovering over me carrying loads of equipment to point the camera at Jessica and Jenny for reaction shots and for their wins. [More...]
Forbes a curious realization. Nearly half of the 20+ sequels coming in 2015 are sequels to 2012 films from Magic Mike XXL to Pitch Perfect 2 and beyond
Erik Lundegaard great movie quotes of the year
Film Stage unused concept art for an Alien film from Neill Blomkamp (of District 9 fame)
Deadline talks to rising DP star Bradford Young (Selma, A Most Violent Year) about lensing black films
Variety Selma will be screened for free in its titular city
/Film Yes, Emily Blunt is aware that the internet would like her to play Captain Marvel in the upcoming Marvel film
LA Times on Robert Elswit, another fine cinematographer with two films this year (Nightcrawler, Inherent Vice)
Boy Culture Mark Wahlberg pic (the headline for pic is A+)
The Feminist Spectator is justifiably miffed that Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game can't be bothered to pay more attention to women or pass the Bechdel Test (though I actually think Theory of Everything technically does due to that unintentionally hilarious "you should go to church. bye" scene)
YouTube Avengers: Age of Ultron commercial. I know this is par for the course now but it never fails to amaze and amuse and depress me that commercials (all trailers are commercials) now get their own commercials (premiering on January 12th!) when they themselves are sequels to commercials (third trailer!). What a world. FWIW this ant-size commercial for the upcoming Ant-Man commercial is pretty clever.
a few more 'best of' lists
Kyle Turner's top 14 from Mommy to Gone Girl
Scott Feinberg's unusual top ten, critical hits of various ilk and... Magic in the Moonlight?
Pop Culture Crazy's "foolhardy" top ten construction from Life Itself on upward
Happy New Year NPH
Oscar Campaign Pot Holes
Pretty much every website is writing about Mark Schultz absolute freak out over Foxcatcher (that links takes you to the fullest recap I've seen with his "Die! Die! Die! deleted tweets and all) so I figure it doesn't need its own post. But it is the juiciest current movie explosion going on now that the Sony e-mail hack story has slowed down. The former Olympian didn't seem to have a problem with the film in which Channing Tatum plays him until several months after he first saw it. Interestingly his U turn happened during Oscar voting. Hmmmm. He says he is contractually obliged to support the film making this very public rage even more complicated. His about face appears to stem from a delayed realization of the film's homosexual subtext... which we only very recently discussed on our podcast and weren't all that impressed with as a choice. Schultz has since apologized for the outburst but is sticking with his claims of total inaccuracy.
Variety suggests that what's going on with Imitation Game and Selma is smear campaigns but is it really? Disputes about accuracy of biographical pictures are plentiful throughout history no matter the subject or Oscar heat. But for what it's worth people are saying that Selma's depiction of LBJ is problematic (sorry Tom Wilkinson - not what we needed disputed if we want to avoid that Robert Duvall nomination!). Now even a former Presidential aide to LBJ is chiming in on the controversy. For what it's worth, director Ava DuVernay, who used to be a publicist so knows this game, is very smart about dodging these attacks and keeping a cool head with her statements.
Disputes over Selma's screenplay credit aren't half as gripping, if only because this just happened last year with 12 Years a Slave and it seemed a lot bitchier then. Remember Steve McQueen's airclapping when the screenwriter won his Oscar?
This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad
Once upon a time Stephen Sondheim wrote a musical classic Into the Woods. The first act brings together classic fairy tale characters into one comic misadventure and the second act debunks the “happily ever after” myth and transforms the whole play into a masterpiece about virtually all the Big Stuff: growing up, parenting, marriage, death, rebuilding after great loss.
When it comes to lines we can repurpose to talk about the prospects of a film version, Little Red said it best:
It made me feel excited. well, excited and scared.
Isn’t that how devotees of the movie musical feel each time a new one arrives? A bit of background to justify the high-anxiety. The live-action movie musical died alongside Bob Fosse's alter ego in All That Jazz (1979). The genre was six feet under for two full decades despite intermittent attempts at excavating its exquisite corpse (Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, Newsies). The Disney animation renaissance of the 1990s renewed interest and the genre was successfully reborn at the turn of the century by the one-two-three-four punch of Dancer in the Dark, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Moulin Rouge! and Chicago. That's a four consecutive high quality film run that this ancient-newborn genre has yet to match since. And why is that exactly? Some people blame the lack of strong directors who are skilled in the form, others the resistance to new blood (nearly all modern musicals are adaptations). Still more culprits are Hollywood’s frequent miscasting since musical skill is considered optional.
But The Witch (Meryl Streep) would like us to stop bitching and get on with this review...