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Yes No Maybe So: CREED, SECRET IN THEIR EYES, STEVE JOBS

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Entries in Helen Hunt (19)

Friday
Jan112013

The Twenty: Your Acting Royalty... Until Next Year

I sometimes like to think of each year's Official Oscar Nominees as pageant winners or an ambassadorial relay team representing the Arts. In my imagination they reign for exactly one year until they have to pass on the tiara or the torch. This is probably why the old tradition of having the previous year's winner present the corresponding opposite sex category feels so satisfying on Oscar night and why it's so alarming when they mix it up (I wonder about Best Actor this year. Meryl Streep has supposedly never presented a competitive Oscar category -- can that be true? -- and if so will she finally do so next month?).

This is all a fancy way of saying I've updated the charts and republished. You can pretend you have a ballot and vote on these categories! So check out the charts...

"Anne" & "Hushpuppy" (Emmanuelle & Quvenzhane)BEST ACTRESS
Emmanuelle + Jennifer + Jessica + Naomi + Quvenzhane
We knew the media would eat up the spectacle of the Oldest (Emmanuelle Riva) and Youngest (Quvenzhane Wallis) Best Actress nominee in history sharing a category but I was surprised to see that that factoid got even more screen time than the Beauty Queen Showdown to come in Naomi vs. Jennifer vs. Jessica on these stupid infotainment shows that I watch approximately thrice a year (generally around the oscar noms, golden globes, and sag awards). I'm always interested to see whether the braindead infotainment shows even mention the arthouse nominees each year -- what on earth will they make of Amour? I guess this.

BEST ACTOR
Bradley + Daniel + Denzel + Hugh + Joaquin
Two alcoholics, one crazy person, one poor soul who stole a loaf of bread and never stopped paying for it, and a President of the United States when they weren't so United. Can anyone beat Daniel Day-Lewis? I personally think that's a less worthy topic than this: how on earth did we get a category with this many stupendous performances in it? Even if one of your favorites was left off -- this isn't my exact lineup though it's close -- it would be churlish to complain. It might be my favorite full shortlist since 2003 (Ben + Bill + Johnny + Jude + Sean) without a dud or even an underachieving performance in the bunch. If only certain other categories *cough*thenextone* would have followed suit.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan + Bobby + Christoph + Philip + Tommy Lee
Presenting the only acting shortlist ever in the entire 85 year history of the Oscars that is composed entirely of previous winners. Several shortlists have eventually been composed only of Oscar winners as Joe Reid nerdily researched but that was all after the fact. Increasing the sting for those who like fresh blood at the Oscars, these performances aren't the most exciting. It's basically "good job, sir" and everyone moves on. For what it's worth this will be the category least like my own awards (I usually announce before the nominations but Oscar  threw me by announcing so early)

remember THR's actress roundtable? 5 of their 7 invitees were nominated

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy + Anne + Helen + Jacki + Sally 
Another year, another set of whores, longsuffering wives, and concerned moms. Oh Oscar, you do love your types! In fact, had I stopped to remember Oscar's favorite types in this category (which I've researched and talked about so much in the past that it became common knowledge -- 'longsuffering wife, she's in!' )  I wouldn't have done so poorly in my predictions for this particularly category this year. I somehow forgot everything I knew in the face of the blinding brilliance of Charlotte Bless & such. Now, you might argue that Helen Hunt is a new type and her character makes a point of explaining that she's not a hooker. But that's splitting hairs for Oscar when you're onscreen receiving money for sex.

I bring Helen Hunt up because Thomas Williams on twitter caught an error on the page earlier. I had accidentally copied and pasted and under her photo it read...

Despite an often bizzare and thorny relationship with celebrity, no one can doubt his gift."

Thomas wrote "even though this caption was meant for Joaquin Phoenix, I actually think some of it works here too :-)" Ha! I would agree with that. 

SEE THE CHARTS AND VOTE YOUR VOTES. Unless you have something left to see. The polls will remain up until the Friday before the Oscars so you have some time if you have to catch up on your screenings. (I will be adding to the charts as we go so they're not boring to revisit. Hope you enjoy.)

Thursday
Nov222012

THR Actress Roundtable Final Thoughts

But what she really wants to do is laughSee Part One for the full video and commentary on first half hour

The Hollywood Reporter's Actress Roundtable has become an event I impatiently await more than any other non-awards part of the season. It's how I used to feel about Vanity Fair's Hollywood issue before too many dud covers and too many other types of issues using that template. But I digress. Though I am deeply thankful for actresses on every day of the year it IS Thanksgiving so I'm eager to get to the festivities with my family of friends. So just a few quick final notes on each actress before turkey and pie!

Naomi Watts
Her palpable terror about auditions is fascinating when you pause to connect it with the exact moment that essentially made her a star: her persona-switching audition scene in Mulholland Dr. Unlike Anne Hathaway my tendency is not to go pollyanna and I completely don't believe that 'everything happens for a reason' as most people are so fond of saying in a soothing way when bad things happen but maybe those years of career trauma were worth it because Mulholland Dr just wouldn't have been so special without her absolute genius in that dual role. (I do not find her amnesia about I ♥ Huckabees amusing. That movie is so great and she is quite funny in it. "Fuckabeeeees!")

Helen Hunt
The Sessions star flips the questioning on to the reporters who completely lie through their teeth 'Yes, we'd ask the men the same questions'  LOL. (I've never heard that 'when were you last victimized?' school of questioning toward male actors that the "when did you feel forced into doing something you didn't want to do?" question belongs to.)

Helen Hunt is a smart one. "would you ask the same question of the men?"

Sally Field

It's cute the way she's so embarrassed about how much she hogs the conversation but if you're a good raconteur, as she is, hog away. I'm desperate to see this spy movie that Anne Hathaway wanted to write for her and how random is that?!

Anne Hathaway & Marion Cotillard
I will think of little else for the next hour than which movies they were talking about when they expressed that they were in over their head and can't even watch it (Anne) and so miserable and in hate with the director that they couldn't perform (Marion)... though I suppose Marion's will be easy enough to figure out given the clues.

Amy Adams
Still looking like she doesn't want to be there in this Part 2. What gives?

Rachel Weisz
The most surprising contender in the roundtable and, quite possibly, the most fun to have a drink with afterwards. I'm really pissed to hear that the studios responded with "no one makes movies like that" about her proposed very solitary Julia Butterfly-Hill movie. Um... Cast Away? 127 Hours?

Let's end with a poll.

Each actress was asked to share a role she really wanted to play or write or make happen somehow. Which of their imagined movies do you most want to see?

"I would like to play a monster. Like the Gollum."

 

Thursday
Nov222012

THR Actress Roundtable - Part 1

Live Blogged via Tape Delay! Woot 

I've embedded the whole hour at the bottom of this post. Please to enjoy.

00:01 Photoshoots. We begin with a lot of hand to throat or chest or hair gesturing. And... pose! This year's models in order of first solo shot in the montage: Marion Cotillard, Sally Field, Naomi Watts, and Amy Adams, Anne Hathaway and Helen Hunt . Weirdly Rachel Weisz does not get a solo shot. Don't they negotiate every second of these things: "AGENT!!!"

00:38 One thing that's immediately clear about this latest edition of the Hollywood Reporter Actress Roundtable -- now one of the best Oscar traditions -- is that they're upping their game. The camera work is more expressive, and the spacious well designed interior with white couches is less corporate bland than I remember and more conducive to the group therapy session that follows. Psssh, it is so group therapy!. I mean they start with a question about fear and move straight into rock bottom trauma of careers the "should I give up?" moment before the big break. 

00:43 Helen Hunt's "I'm thinking about the question" face is hilarious. PONDERING in all caps. [Lots more after the jump.]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct292012

Review: Free Pass for "The Sessions"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad...

When Madonna's "Sex" book turned twenty last week, a common thread of blog coverage was 'tame by today's standards' and I wondered which new standards other people were living by that I wasn't privy to? I'm not talking about private culture -- people have been seeing strangers naked long before Grindr or easily clickable pornography -- but about mainstream entertainment. Which mainstream female celebrity has been running around aggressively in her birthday suit lately? We've hardly made great strides at accepting female sexuality since then. Proof positive: the current political debates. The male body has, on the other hand, become more commonly objectified two decades on but penis sightings are still as rare as they were in the "Sex" book and people continue to make a big flaccid point of being shocked whenever they're visually reminded of their existence... especially in the movies. Find even one article about Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Eastern Promises or Shame that doesn't mention Jason Jr,  Viggo Jr. or The Fassmember; tough assignment. 

This longwinded preface isn't as off-topic as it sounds for a review of THE SESSIONS. The sexually-minded lightly funny new drama stars Oscar nominee John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) as Mark O'Brien, a paralyzed man who dreams of losing his virginity from the discomfort of his iron lung. 

more...

 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct192012

Interview: On Casting and Politics of Sex with the Director of "The Sessions"

Amir here. TIFF has been over for more than a month but I still have one interview left to share with you. With The Sessions opening in theaters today, it was the perfect time to share my chat with Ben Lewin, the film's director. We touched upon everything from the politics of sex and nudity in Hollywood to the influence of his own experience with polio on building the character of Mark O'Brien. It's a film I encourage everyone to see because it's surprisingly funny and incredibly heartfelt, and features two of the strongest lead performances of the year. (In case you missed these back in September, here's my review of the film and my interview with one of its stars, William H. Macy.)

 

Amir for TFE: I can’t think of a better place to start the interview than nudity.

Ben Lewin: Neither can I!

Amir: Because, in general I’ve been accustomed to seeing certain types of people have sex on screen in Hollywood films and everyone else’s sex life is barely ever shown, as if, you know, people in their 40s or black people don’t have sex. It’s unbelievable and I really appreciate that we get to see something very different here. Was the film always so explicit since the idea was conceived in your head?

Ben: I think if you read Mark O’Brien’s article, there’s no other way. The essence of it was that he was learning the ABCs, what goes where, what do you do, and I think the explicitness is part of revealing his naiveté and how childlike he was when it came to sex. I was only keeping faithful to his original work, which was really what inspired me. Every time I felt like I was losing my way in the script, I’d go back to his text and rediscover what turned me on in the first place. The first thing that struck me when I read it was the frankness. The explicitness doesn’t make it sexier, it just makes it more ordinary.

My point exactly! Everybody at every age does it. You don’t have to look like a star.

I’d never imagined myself going there though...[MORE]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct142012

Podcast: Lincoln, Pitch Perfect, and the Supporting Actress Oscar

Weeeeee're ba-aaack.

Katey and Joe attended the sneak Lincoln preview at the NYFF and lived to tell the cel-phone free tale. Nick forces yours truly, Nathaniel, into an aca-awkward confession and the only movie that everyone has seen is Pitch Perfect which is clearly 100% appropriate for an Oscar-focused podcast. Certain to sweep!

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Anna Kendrick being so over it in Pitch Perfect.
  • Sally Field being over the top of it in Lincoln.
  • Helen Hunt being on top of it (John Hawkes) in The Sessions.
  • Nicole Kidman killing it in The Paperboy.
  • Supporting Actress doubling up on it.
  • Elle Fanning giggling through it for Ginger & Rosa
  • Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Molly Ringwald (???) and More!

You can download the podcast on iTunes or listen to it right here. The more the merrier in this conversation so join in in the comments.

Pitch Perfect, Lincoln, Supporting Actress