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

 

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Entries in FYC (50)

Tuesday
Dec312013

The Thing I Ended Up Writing While Trying to Write The Review of "August: Osage County"

They do right by the first scene at least trimming the interminable opening of the Pulitzer and Tony wi. Beginning with the opening, Nathaniel, really? Do you groan audibly when someone says "That scene was so much better in the play / book / original source material" which is the culture snob's version of "FIRST!"  ok you'll need to discuss that effect but awkwwwward... EXT. Weston Family Home, Oklahoma. A car pulls int NO.  Violet Weston is a piece of work. But then, so it August: Ohmygod.. this is so not going to work.

"Eat your fish, bitch. Eat your fish.

... tempting, but where are you going to go from there if you start with Tracy Letts muscular punchy words and move on to your own dumpier nudgy ones? STOP.

You see where I'm going with this? Each time I've attempted to write about John Wells' adaptation of Tracy Lett's stage masterwork August: Osage County, barring a few brief stabs at some element of my discontent or, more likely, some reaction to its Oscar campaign and release strategy no review emergies. Obstacles of time, desire, interest, or non-diegetic usually awards season related materials surge up and scatter my thoughts when I sit down. 

Take this clever piece of FYC swag, a glorified envelope in the shape of a cardboard house.... [more]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec242013

Christmas Goodies at the Multiplex

I may have mistaken my latest FYC screener for more chocolate but in my defense American Hustle is yummy. I want to make out with it at the dry cleaners or take it dancing in a slutty dress. I know opinions vary considerably on this one but I'm a sucker for movies which let (multiple) movie stars be sexy and funny and complicated all at once so I'mma watch it again over the holiday break (not that there's ever a break from Oscar blogging)

I used to always go to the movies on Christmas day but lately, it's tougher to convince friends to head to the theater after all the food gorging. They're always like "bring a dvd".

But are you seeing a movie in theaters?

 

 

 

If not, what's your holiday movie tradition? Do you stay in and cuddle up with TCM? Head to the movies? Do you watch DVDs with friends or navigate complicated 'something for everyone' decisions with family members? I'll keep posting because there is so much to discuss (Wolf of Wall Street review tonight) but if you're offline for the next few days...

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

On a final lump of coal note, I'm sad that August: Osage County opted out of its planned Christmas opening. I can't figure why they didn't want to counter-program all the boy movies?

Also they ruined that gif I made earlier in the year by pushing back to Friday but not really arriving until January. Boo. People who really love to see dysfunctional family movies with their dysfunctional families have no other options now!

Tuesday
Dec172013

FYCs, Ours and Yours

I intended to write a couple of entries of my own "FYCs" this year for our team project but realized that's essentially what my annual FiLM BiTCH Awards double as. I'm almost ready to go ahead with those, which range from the traditional awards categories through to dozens of fun "extras". I'm fully aware that the last two years of TFE's own prizes have been a bit shaky in terms of speed and completion,  but this year I shan't drag my feet since my circumstances here have changed. I need your help, though, with the "extra categories"  and the music categories (I am always lost with Best Score) so don't let me forget any perfect gems. What should I consider in the fields of: Best Cameo, Line Reading, Action Sequence, Kiss, Sex Scene, Credit Sequence, Opening Scene, Ending, Musical Moment? 

SUBMIT YOUR FYCs IN THE COMMENTS

In the meantime, in case you missed any our "Fringe" FYCs for traditional categories, which aimed to widen the conversation and give awards voters a bit more options to think through than the 15 films they keep hearing about, please click around: Cinematography Her | Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus |  Make-up Evil Dead (no longer eligible for Oscar consideration) | Costume Design Blue Jasmine Score Ain't Them Bodies Saints Sound Editing The Conjuring | Actor Tye Sheridan | Film Editing Stories We Tell | Screenplay In a World... | Supporting Actor Keith Stanfield | Song The Great Gatsby | Score Nebraska (no longer eligible for Oscar consideration) | Costume Design Lawrence Anyways | Foreign Film Neighboring Sounds | Supporting Actress Cameron Diaz | Picture The Spectacular Now | Make-Up Warm Bodies (no longer eligible for Oscar consideration) | Sound Mixing World War Z | Director Edgar Wright | Production Design The Conjuring 

And three earlier suggestions before we formally began... Best Young Performer (for BFCA voters... though they didn't listen) |  Supporting Actor Ulysses the Cat (probably technically not eligible for Oscar consideration) | Make-Up Warm Bodies (no longer eligible for Oscar consideration).

Tuesday
Dec172013

Team FYC: Her for Best Cinematography

Team FYC lets Film Experience contributors highlight their favourite fringe contenders for awards season. Here's Amir Soltani on Spike Jonze's Her.

In recent years, the Academy's cinematography award has been handed out in tandem with the best visual effects one. It has become an inevitability: if there is a best picture nominee that can be described as a "visual spectacle" is present, it will win both awards. This year will be no exception with Gravity, and if I were to put money on it, I'd a hazard a guess that Christopher Nolan's Interstellar will be the beneficiary of AMPAS's infatuation with big, effects driven cinema in this category next year. But Dutch cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema shouldn't need to wait another year for his first Oscar nomination.

With Spike Jonze's Her, van Hoytema adds yet another impressive entry to a decade-long resume that already boasts an astonishing range of styles. The soft, colorless hues of Let the Right One In and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy are more easily recognizable as the works of the same DP, but the scrappy, hand-held look of The Fighter is almost a 180 degree turn. Her has shades of van Hoytema's collaborations with Tomas Alfredsson, but is infinitely more vibrant. Perhaps more than any other film this year, the cinematography here needs to be recognized as a collective achievement with the works of the production and costume design teams as it brings their colors and sleek, intimate designs to life, but contains them under extremely soft lighting. It is richly realized but also suitably representative of the cyberspace; think of it as beautifulhandwrittenletters.com incarnate.

In a way, Her's aesthetic is one of contrasts. It is bursting with reds and pinks but it feels melancholy. It is sensitive but equally icy. It seems perfectly appropriate for a film about "artificial" intelligence, creating a landscape that looks ethereally digital, but also oddly palpable. It's apt, because Her is as much about our future as it is about our modern condition and van Hoytema’s work captures that contrast beautifully. Will Academy voters recognize his genius? Does the strong critical response to the film tell us anything about its Oscar hopes? It is certainly possible. Then again, it wouldn’t be the first time a Spike Jonze finds favor with critics and no luck with AMPAS. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Saturday
Dec142013

Team FYC: Julia Louis-Dreyfus in Enough Said

Team FYC lets Film Experience contributors highlight their favourite fringe contenders for awards season. Here's David Upton on a sitcom star moving mediums.

Times have changed since George Clooney made the stratospheric leap into movie stardom after leaving ER. The avalanche of cable shows starring former box office headliners over the past few years have gone some way towards reducing the gulf between the two mediums. Julia Louis-Dreyfus currently plays her frantic neuroticism big on the small screen, as a harried, ambitious and fatigued vice president on HBO’s Veep. But she also side-stepped seamlessly into Nicole Holofcener’s big screen world of anxious, middle-aged, middle-class white women as Eva, a divorced masseuse in Enough Said. Next to the sharp, caustic wit of Armando Iannucci’s political sass, Holofcener’s script is a warmer, more delicate thing, and Louis-Dreyfus tones it down for the bigger screen.

While the more intimate focus of Enough Said makes for a more enjoyable, astute film than Holofcener’s recent ensemble films, it’s Louis-Dreyfus who gives the proceedings a different tone than the more bitter screen presence of Holofcener's usual leading lady Catherine Keener (in a supporting role this time). While Enough Said isn’t the type of film that calls for a star turn, Louis-Dreyfus shades Eva with her long-established persona without letting it overwhelm the film. Eva instantly makes sense as a character without being too familiar – it’s a delicate combination of persona and performance that’s much harder than Louis-Dreyfus makes it look. It’s a shorthand that she never uses as a crutch – instead, it’s a springboard she uses to etch deeper, more painful shades into Eva and her relationships with the other characters.

As ever, Julia is a generous screen partner. Her warm but nervy presence brings out new qualities in the people that surround Eva, particularly the vulnerable pride in James Gandolfini’s Albert. She aces the comic notes without making them gratuitous, instead making them organic to Eva’s neurotic, frazzled personality. JLD effortlessly gets both the size and shape of the film, she's at once luminous as its star and awkwardly humbled as Eva often feels; the emotional movements are gentle but feel seismic, because Louis-Dreyfus so openly makes Eva and the film inseparable entities. Enough Said feels so much lighter for her presence, but she assures that it lands its darkest moments with graceful power.

related post
Julia Louis-Dreyfus interviewed