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Entries in Javier Bardem (24)

Thursday
May232013

Early Bird Predix: "Best Supporting Actor"

And here we go... the acting categories you've all been very impatiently waiting for in TFE's first wave of Oscar predictions for the year.

Will Previously Honored Movie Stars With Weird Character-Actor Hairdos Rule This Year?

As faithful readers know I like to keep my crystal ball risky with the bouncing and hope it doesn't shatter. In the first wave of predictions "what if" scenarios and "wild cards" are espectially compelling in the Supporting races. I mean why not? So little is yet known about future important matters like Amount of Screen Time, Nature of the Ensemble Roles, Best in Show Scene Stealing and even Post-Production "we'll fix it in post" Switcheroos where a film is rethought to better spotlight its MVPs. This early on there's no point in making boring predictions in which Oscar favorites hog all the categories though sometimes they do -- witness last year's All Previous Winner boredom in this category. Which is why I'm taking a few big risks like imagining an implausible Tim Roth comeback in a Nicole Kidman vehicle or suspecting that stage actor Sean Mahon (so charming recently as an unexplored love interest in Higher Ground) will make the most of a key role in Philomena.

I'm betting on a field of non-winners and (Oscar) newbies. For now... That said sometimes you have to go "default" as I've done by predicting Javier Bardem. From a distance his new role as an Weirdly-Coiffed Embodiment of Evil for an Oscar-friendly Director (sound familiar) seems an awful lot like his roles in No Country For Old Men & Skyfall but considering that he almost got nominated for doing this again - in a Bond film no less ! -- I decided against pretending that his fellow actors don't just worship the ground on which he walks.  

And what of the Ensembles and Potentials For Category Fraud?

Foxcatcher has three major male roles: schizo John duPont (Stave Carell) and two wrestling brothers played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo (not pictured)

The one I'm most curious about in terms of story structure and "best in show" business is Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, it's based on a true bizarre story about a wealthy eccentric (played by Steve Carell) who was also a schizophrenic and the two Olympic wrestling brothers (Channing Tatum & Mark Ruffalo) who he became friends with which did not end well for any of them. It's a three-handed story. Channing Tatum gets top billing but the screenplay is based on that brother's unpublished? memoirs so he might be your narrator/audience proxy (a la Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby) which means that Tatum will be demoted to supporting even if he's the lead. My guess is Carell with the showiest part is lead and the other two are relegated to supporting despite very large roles. Now pedigree-wise a movie starring Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carell and Channing Tatum who have 1 nomination and a lot of obstacles to Oscary respect between them (TV fame, light comedy history, hunkaliciousness) shouldn't scream "Oscar nominations for all!" but Bennett Miller is quality. He's only made two narrative features (Capote & Moneyball) but his favored milieu (true stories about famous or infamous men) is right in Oscar's wheelhouse and both of his previous pictures won a lead and a supporting acting nomination. 

Since Hollywood is always very focused on testosterone heavy stories there are usually multiple options of acting glory for men in any given film. Take these examples: The Counselor is headlined by Michael Fassbender but my guess is the colorful supporting cast (led by Brad Pitt and Javier Bardem) will pull focus; I know nothing (yet) about the breakdown of characters in The Monuments Men but there are A LOT OF THEM so who is to say which Friend o' Clooneys (Damon, Goodman, Balaban, Murray?) was given the best role or the most camera attention?; Wolf of Wall Street is also a sausage fest but it seems more likely to be The Leo Show - Wall Street Edition than anything else; I've noticed quite a lot of "Benedict Cumberbatch for the Oscar!" mania after the August: Osage County trailer premiere and, sure, he does emote more in the context of the trailer than anyone besides Julia Roberts but that role isn't really that big or that great and the men (Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepard, Ewan McGregor, Chris Cooper) may find a hard time getting around the female driven narrative for any Oscar attention of their own in such a crowded film.

So take a look at the chart and tell me with your own crystal ball where you think mine is malfunctioning and which prophesies you also deem most likely to occur. (Up next: Best Actor)

Tuesday
Dec112012

Curio: Holiday Gift List

Alexa here. Every year I spot gifts that I can't quite find the right person for (oftentimes I just end up buying then for myself).  This year I've spotted some truly clever film-themed gifts on etsy that simply don't work for anyone on my list. Is there someone in your life who fits these profiles? If so, support these independent sellers!

1. For the fan of creepy Javier Bardem, how about this porcelain bust of Anton Chigurh?  Although I would love for there to be a companion bust of Silva, too. Bookends, maybe?

 

Channing Tatum, Les Miz and more after the jump 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov122012

Review: "Skyfall"

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

Skyfall arrived on US screens Friday with such multiplex flattening hype that you'd be forgiven for thinking the title literal. The Cubby Broccoli estate, which controls the adventures of the super spy, was pulling no stops for the 50th anniversary installment of the granddaddy of film franchises. We've been inundated with Bond Mania for months now. So you'd think at this point that the actual film would be an afterthought. Not so.

The 23rd official Bond film delivers… and not just the five mandatory goodies no Bond film is complete without: Action (Particularly the Opening Setpiece), Theme Song, International Villain, 007 Himself and the Bond Girl. Unlike most modern franchises, the Bond series favors stand-alone storylines with only the five-pronged Bond template uniting them. Even Bond himself changes though Skyfall happily sticks with Daniel Craig's impossible zombie handsomeness and dangerously erotic icy blues.

Five mandatory goodies and Daniel Craig's sexual pull AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov092012

Skyfall (The Ultimate James Bond Fan Review)

[Deborah Lipp, author of "The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book", has been counting down to Skyfall right here with 007 lists (best films, songs, femme fatales, secret codes) and after last night's midnight screening, fresh off the presses, her review! - Editor] 

This is one of many reviews of Skyfall I will ultimately write. At some point, there will be a spoiler-laden analysis. At some point soon, I'll see the movie again and have further thoughts. At some point, I'll sleep. But for now, what you're getting is the 10 a.m. review of the movie I left at 3 a.m. So, before I get too punchy or too detailed, here's the part you want to know: You're going to love this movie.

There's a lot to love about Skyfall, but what's going to make you sing its praises is the overwhelming feeling of Bond is Back. MORE...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct052012

007 Things That Excite / Concern Me About "Skyfall"

Hi, all. I'm Deborah Lipp, half of the Lipp Sisters team at the Mad Men site  Basket of Kisses and author of six books, including The Ultimate James Bond Fan Book.*

Between today, which happens to be International James Bond Day, and the U.S. release of the 23rd official James Bond movie, Skyfall (opening November 9th!), Nathaniel has asked me to deliver a series on the subject of James Bond. We'll focus on lists of seven things — any seven things, provided they relate to James Bond, agent 007 of Her Majesty's Secret Service. And, because I'm generous to a fault, I'm going to start you off, this first time out, with a bonus list. So, without further adieu, here are 007 Things That Excite Me About Skyfall as well as 007 Things That Concern Me About Skyfall.

*Note: If you want a copy of the book, please, please contact me directly

007 Things That Excite Me About Skyfall

001 It's a James Bond movie. Let's get serious: If the buzz for the movie was terrible, if Ebert used both his thumbs to pan it, if it got the lowest rating in history on Rotten Tomatoes, I'd still be there on opening night, and probably the next night as well. And maybe the following week. And there would be vodka martinis chilling at home, and I know how to make them right.

It's a James Bond movie. Bond has been with me through my entire life, a guarantee of adventure, excitement, sex, and escape. I am, frankly, addicted to these movies, they are like a drug to me.

002 The return of Q. Bond movies have a tradition, and repeating certain formulaic aspects is a delight. Sure, some people want Thanksgiving without turkey, but some of us love the repetition of form, and for us, the return of a beloved character who has been there from the beginning matters a lot.

Q Trivia, Judi Dench, and terrible blonde villains after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb222012

Counsel Me This

.
JA from MNPP here. Have you been following the rumor-mill over Ridley Scott's next movie? Until recently just the name "Ridley Scott" had become too encumbered by bad movies for me to get excited about what he was up to.  The last movie of his that I like without reservations is Thelma and Louise, 21 years old now. So I have worried that "the Ridley Scott of today" is on a fool's errand, returning to the world of the Alien franchise... does he have anything of that caliber in him now? But that trailer for Prometheus is so good, you guys. So good! I've seen it about a dozen times and it still sends chills down my spine. Granted it's only a trailer - the movie could still be a mess. But it's been enough to draw me back into Ridley-Scott-sville.
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Aiding in me caring about what Ridley's doing next is the fact that what he's doing next is the first movie script written by The Road and No Country For Old Men author Cormac McCarthy, and that the actor circling the lead has been Michael Fassbender. That's a double-pow of awesomeness that trumps any misgivings I might have regarding Ridley. The film's to be called The Counselor, and they're selling it as "No Country For Old Men on steroids." So basically this thing will ejaculate in your eye and then slap you across the face. It's that manly! From its brief synopsis it sounds like Breaking Bad or Weeds to me, only with a fancy-pants lawyer getting in over his head with the drug-business instead of a high school teacher or sassy widow. 
.
Deadline reported last night that Fassbender has signed on for sure, and the actors they're looking at for the villain - and they can't help but foolishly conjure Javier Bardem's iconic turn as Anton Chigurh (don't set the bar so high right out of the gate, you guys) - are Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt. I'm Team Pitt all the way. He needs another good bad guy role right about now, and I'd love to see him go toe to toe with his Basterds co-star. What says you?
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Thursday
Nov032011

Live-Blogging the Bond 23 "Skyfall" Press Conference

I couldn't begin to tell you why I do the things I do but rather than make you watch all 28 minutes of the Bond 23 conference, I'm watching it for you; I'm a giver.

007 by way of 11/03

50th Anniversaries on their way!

0:01 As the press conference begins we're reminded that it's exactly 50 years ago today Sean Connery was officially announced to play James Bond in Dr. No (1962). Fun, trivia right?

1:15 The confirmation of the worst kept secret in London: the title is "Skyfall"... They don't mention this but that make Skyfall the second shortest Bond title ever (after Dr. No). The longest title is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. #uselesstrivia

2:02 EDITED TO REMOVE COMPLETELY GARBLED NONSENSICAL SENTENCE WHICH IS WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU LIVE BLOG. The film will take place in London, Shanghai, Istanbul, and has a heavy Scottish component. 

3:21 Not present at the conference but in the film Sam Mendes tells us are wispy wonderful Ben Whishaw and Ralph Fiennes who are described in virtually the same way as playing...

a part I can't tell you about in scenes I can tell you nothing about"

4:25 The stars come out Berenice Marlowe, Naomie Harris, Dame Judi Dench (Mendes makes a funny "you won't have heard of her but i think she has a very promising career ahead of her"), Javier Bardem will play the villain and of course Daniel Craig as Bond, James Bond 007.

5:53 Sam Mendes says he was a huge fan of Bond films (English schoolboys grow up with him) and he says the first one he saw was Live and Let Die (1973) which is, incidentally, one of the Roger Moore titles.

press conference attendees: Bardem, Marlowe, Mendes, Dench, Craig, Harris, Broccoli and Wilson

6:30 Lots of mutual back patting. Mendes loves Craig (he doesn't mention it but he gave Craig one of his first big American movie roles in Road to Perdition), the Broccoli estate loves Mendes, etcetera. Everyone loves everyone. 

7:35 Producer Michael G Wilson "No one really thought we'd get 50 years of Bond, let alone 23 pictures." They mention 23 a lot but it depends on how you count the films.

8:30 They will start shooting today... BOND GIRLS & SHIRTLESS BOND AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul102011

488 Days Until "Bond 23"

It's been three years since we last saw Bond, James Bond but his licence to kill never expires. Neither financial difficulties --such as those experienced by his parent studio -- nor frequent cosmetic surgery (Connery to Lazenby to Moore to Dalton to Brosnan to Craig) can retire 007. His licence will be renewed all over again on November 9th, 2012 or thereabouts. That's the tentative release date for the as yet untitled Bond 23.

Thankfully everyone's favorite secret agent will still look like Daniel Craig when he returns (and presumably Judi Dench will still be giving him orders). Javier Bardem will be the new supervillain. Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris are also supposedly joining the cast in roles both new and familiar (Yay "Moneypenny"!).

No word yet on the number of or identity of the new Bond Girls but they'd better be sensational if they're hoping to pull any attention from that very formidable quintet. 

Sam Mendes (Revolutionary Road) will direct and though he isn't a director that's known for using the same cast frequently, he has worked with his Bond before. Oscar-philes will note that Mendes was one of the earliest directors to give Craig a mainstream attention-grabbing part in Road to Perdition (2002).

It's all so fucking hysterical.
-Daniel Craig as Connor Rooney in Road to Perdition

It must have been hard to cast for Paul Newman's son given the legendary blue eyes. Craig's are crueler than Newman's but good call nonetheless, don't you think?

Are you excited for that the new Bond is back on track? What's your favorite of the 22 films? I've always been partial to Dr. No (1962), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997 but mostly for Michelle Yeoh) and Casino Royale (2006).