Entries in Julianne Nicholson (5)
The BFCA's sibling, the BTJA (Broadcast Television Journalist Association) has released their nominations for the 2014/2015 television season. Let it serve as your annual reminder that for as much as the world likes to complain about official industry-insider nominations each year, sometimes critics don't improve it a whole lot. I mean this is a whole separate organization and they still can't bother to nomination RuPaul for reality television categories? The Shade of It All. They're still nominating Jessica Lange for American Horror Story even though she looked fairly bored to be there this year doing the same ole thing (faded has been beauty desperate to hold on to her glory) in a show that's meant to give its actors new characters to play each year. They also skipped on Mad Men's final season which is pretty unforgiveable if you ask me given how excellent it's been. But perhaps with the nominations hitting this early, they voted before they had seen much of it.
The best thing I can say for them is that they don't seem to be trying to predict the Emmys at all (witness the low showing for Game of Thrones and Modern Family for example) which we can only hope will happen one of these years with the BFCAs in relation to the Oscars. Their nominations, which you've already guessed horrify me beyond a surprise nod for horrified Eva Green are after the jump...
Here's Andrew to celebrate the release of last year's embattled August: Osage County newly arrived on DVD. Significant spoilers ahead.
Each year there's at least one film which wins middling to good reviews and manages Oscar nods but is promptly forgotten as soon as it's released. August: Osage County was 2013's victim of that unfortunate annual tradition. Sure, it earned those two acting nominations it seemed assured early on but no one was particularly interested in talking about any aspect of August: Osage County, but for its Oscar belly-flop elsewhere and the Oscar queen at the centre. Perhaps, it was an automated response to Meryl Streep usually being at the centre of films with little else to offer than her star turn (The Iron Lady, Julie & Julia, Music of the Heart, etcetera). It's a shame because the former awards’ hopeful had so much more to celebrate than just the fire-breathing matriarch in the middle.
The strongest asset was undoubtedly that excellent cast. Aside from Streep and Roberts, only a few players picked up significant praise and even then the one most deserving was the one afforded hardly any attention: Julianne Nicholson as middle-child Ivy.
I would like to personally thank Anne Marie for being an awesome L.A. tour guide, personal GPS, and screening companion during my week long trip. Here's her first of two roundups from the festival that just wrapped. I'll have more to say myself over the weekend - Nathaniel
Last week AFI invaded Hollywood Blvd for the 2013 AFI Fest, a free film festival presenting a handful of buzzworthy features and old classics. Though it may not be the largest festival in Los Angeles, it is one of the flashiest given the star-studded evening galas and tributes, and it made good use of the newly renovated and renamed TCL Chinese Theater. This, my first festival on the job, saw me running up and down Hollywood Blvd like a film-obsessed Alfred P. Doolittle yelling, “Get me to the Chinese on time!” By the time I’d wiped the glitter from my eyes and caught my breath, I’d seen 9-ish movies in 7 days. Not bad for a neophyte with a day job! Here’s what I saw:
Day 1: Saving Mr. Banks - A Disney movie about a Disney classic is going to be heartwarming and sweet in all the ways you’d expect. Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks have delightful chemistry. Considering how long we’ve been missing these two (am I the only one who feels like Emma Thompson’s been mostly absent since at least An Education?), having both Thompson and Hanks triumphantly return together in the same film is a Disney-manufactured miracle. Nathaniel actually chatted with Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell, so he can fill in the rest.
Day 2: August: Osage County - I saw the play in 2008, and I’m still wondering if that helped or hurt my viewing of the film. Tracy Letts blessedly adapted the play to the screen, so the biting language that made the original so good remains intact. There’s a definite nomination in store for him. Of course the most buzz surrounds the actresses: Meryl is Meryl is Meryl so enough said there. Continuing this year’s trend of strong performances from actresses I don’t usually like (the first being Sandra Bullock in Gravity), Julia Roberts gives her best performance in a long while. I think that fact is what might be overshadowing Margot Martindale buzz-wise, which is unfortunate because Martindale rips through her role like a tornado on the prairie.
As for the sisters: I was partial to Julianne Nicholson, while Nathaniel seemed to prefer Juliette Lewis. One thing on which we both agreed was that nobody does the film festival dress like Juliette. Hot. Damn.
Day 3 Part 1: Cleo From 5 to 7 - The Godmother of the New Wave Agnes Varda was AFI Fest’s honored icon this year. Here's more on her pre-screening interview. But I would like to take this opportunity to say again that Cleo From 5 to 7 remains a masterpiece. If you haven’t seen it already, watch it while you’re waiting for the rest of these movies to open.
Day 3 Part 2: Out of the Furnace - The second film by Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper is a relentlessly bleak portrait of the death of smalltown America. Christian Bale and Casey Affleck play two blue-collar brothers, one imprisoned for a mistake and the other out of the army and into illegally boxing for money. Both play their parts admirably (assisted by Zoe Saldana and Forrest Whitaker) but are overshadowed by the shockingly terrifying Woody Harrelson playing a sociopathic redneck. Harrelson’s performance, as well as haunting desaturated cinematography and gritty production design, made this a movie that stuck with its audience after the film ended.
Day 3 Part 3: When Evening Falls on Bucharest or Metabolism - A happy accident led me to this film by Romanian writer/director Corneliu Porumboiu. I stood in the wrong line, and was surprised to find myself watching a movie perfectly suited for people who are on their fourth movie in twenty-four hours. When Evening Falls… is a simple movie framed in unbroken master shots: a fictional director and his lead actress discuss nudity in film, eat together, have sex, and argue over a single wordless scene they’re supposed to shoot the next day. The motivations of the scene are so constantly debated back and forth - why would she eavesdrop coming out of the shower? why does she put on clothes? - that the audience is primed and waiting. Eventually, the much-debated action happens in reverse - the director steps out of the shower to eavesdrop on her - and the audience comes to its own conclusion. As concept films go, this is the simplest I’ve watched in a while, and I appreciated it for its simplicity.
Thus concluded the first half of AFI Fest. Old Hollywood and New in Part 2!
Well, lookie here. It's our first official photos from August: Osage County. Albeit tiny blurry ones.
UPDATE: What the text on that page says
This glossy promotional item with photos of Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Julianne Nicholson, and Ewan McGregor and The House (!) where it all goes down was emailed to me by a reader who is currently attending the American Film Market.
Streep with dark hair always makes me think of Silkwood which is never an unpleasant thought and coincidentally also takes place in Oklahoma. If A:OC is anywhere close to Silkwood's quality everyone wins.
P.S. I'm wild for Juliette with red locks.
P.P.S. Back to this year's Oscar race!