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Entries in Kathryn Bigelow (12)

Friday
May162014

Lukewarm Off Presses: Danish Girls, True Americans, Murderous Scots

Three stories we didn't get around to posting about this past week or so when they were newer. Giving them but one sentence each in a link roundup seemed somehow inadequate. 

01 MACBETH POSTERS
Do we love these posters because they're good designs or merely because we love Fassy & Marion?  The internet doesn't know the difference. But those faces are mesmerizing onscreen and the opportunities to see these two play-act the violent ambitious Scotsman and his manipulative Lady (who seems to be sporting Princess Leia buns) are the draw. Is it just me or does this Michael pictured almost look like a Shannon rather than a Fassbender? Maybe it's the haircut and the camera angle. [True Confession: whenever I see a male actor with war-paint on, I shudder, fearing worldwide bloodlust adulation of Braveheart style machismo rather than any sort of interest connection to the drama or themes to come. Love of violent men seems ever insatiable.]

02 TRUE AMERICAN 
Speaking of machismo, Kathryn Bigelow's latest violent testosterone fueled drama will be based on the non-fiction book "True American: Murder & Mercy in Texas." Tom Hardy headlines as Mark Stroman, a man who attempts to kill three immigrant after 9/11 and the other Raisuddin Bhuiyan, a former Bangladesh Air Force officer, his only surviving victim, who wants to visit Stroman on Death Row. No word yet on who plays Bhuiyan but it's a big potentially Oscar friendly role so expect everyone to pretend whoever plays him is supporting for Oscar purposes ;) 

03 THE DANISH GIRL 
This movie, based on the novel by David Ebershoff which was itself inspired by the true story of Danish painter Einar Wegener (who would later become Lili... predating the famous sex change procedure of Christine Jorgensen) and his relationship to his wife through the transition was once going to be headlined by not one but two huge female movie stars (Theron & Kidman). The project vanished from the "upcoming film" conversation a couple of years ago. It's baaa-aaack. Only this time it's a rising male star who is headlining, charismatic ginger Eddie Redmayne.

 

 

But here's the problem. In the intervening years there has been an inarguable rise in consciousness about transgender issues and the trans community has gotten a lot more politically brave and some might say strident. Note, if you will, all the criticisms LGBT champion RuPaul has received for his continued enjoyment of words like tranny and she-male that other LGBT citizens would like to give up. There was a lot of anger about Hollywood going with a straight male actor (Jared Leto) for a trans role last year (Dallas Buyers Club) when there are actual trans actors around. I've never liked to hem actors in this way -- actors, by their very craft and nature, are not meant to only play what they are --  so Jared Leto had a point when he said as much. The problem with his point is that it isn't the strict truth. Hollywood doesn't cast people like him for such distinct roles because they're "the right person for the job" but because they're a name and Hollywood is risk averse. It's the same reason they used to not let black actors play black characters (think Showboat) fearing loss of revenue and the same reason they keep white washing Asian roles when the time comes to cast them. But with the somewhat steady rise in actual trans celebrity (Alexis Arquette, Chaz Bono, Candis Cayne, etcetera) and the recent rise of gifted actress Laverne Cox on Orange is the New Black (a trans woman playing a trans woman, and beautifully which is the important point when it comes to acting) it has started to seem a little suspect that very few trans roles go to trans actors.

Like Leto, I don't like to see actors pinned down into one kind of character, but if more people were cast true to their ethnicity, sexuality, abilities, and gender identification, I think people would probably be okay with it when an actor played something so removed from him or herself. If there was more balance "being right for it" wouldn't sound like a copout and might actually be accepted as the truth.

Redmayne is a fine actor but expect this noise to continue and get very loud WHEN the media calls him "brave" for playing it (they're such suckers for that word which is seemingly always used offensively, as if to imply the actor is slumming by playing someone "gay" or "trans" or "disabled" or whatnot) and IF he starts winning prizes for it.

Saturday
Jan262013

Seven Link Paths

Pop Matters excellent piece about the Oscar snubs - were they just "body blind" this year? 
Pajiba 30 brain bleaching moments from Movie 43 that you can't unsee -- i'm so glad I read a third of this post so that I know that i'll have to avoid this like the plague despite it having so many great stars in it that I've otherwise been a completist about
Daily Mail oh so Jessica Chastain speaks sign language too with adoring fans? Will her wonders never cease? 

In Contention Kathryn Bigelow continues to defend Zero Dark Thirty, this time on the cover of "Time"
Playbill Phantom of the Opera celebrates its 25th birthday TODAY on Broadway. Will it ever close? That is too long for a show to hog one theater!
Awards Daily the costume designers in the Academy finally get their own branch
Carpetbagger The Weinstein Co would like to pull a Streep for Robert De Niro's third Oscar.  I doubt this "living legend who hasn't won in 30+ years" thing is going to work for him though. If you compare what he'd been doing for those non winning years to what Streep had been doing in hers. Yeesh. You sure you wanna go there?

Thursday
Jan172013

Link-o-logy

Indiewire Robert Redford on whether or not he'd start the Sundance Film Festival again today
Gold Derby on Leo DiCaprio's slightly odd Oscar history 
Los Angeles Times Kathryn Bigelow pens an editorial on torture and her depiction thereof
Stale Popcorn on the Hitchcock meets Lynch vibe of the Bates Motel posters 
Observations on Film Art has a passionated detailed essay for fans of The Hobbit
CHUD Trey Parker and Matt Stone have lots of money. And now a movie production company to spend it.


Movie|Line looks at Bradley Cooper's showbiz past including a nude beach humiliation?
In Contention wants Argo to win Best Picture
Salon wonders what the Golden Globes mean to us, culturally, and to the industry they celebrate
Unreality looks at a study of the colorology of movie trailers. Turns out blue and orange are the winners. I could've told you that without the study. Most overused colors ever in the movies.  
The Advocate has an odd story about anti-gay harassment at a movie theater. At a Barbra Streisand Guilt Trip no less. (Wrong crowd, asshole.)
The Envelope Fox Searchlight will rerelease Beasts of the Southern Wild this weekend in about 70 theaters to celebrate its Oscar nominations. If you haven't seen it, go. It deserves the big screen treatment 
Broadway.com is Miss Julie next for über busy Jessica Chastain? 
Guardian Shortcuts  Les Misérables provoking buckets of tears

Finally... did you hear that the cast of Les Misérables will  be singing at the Oscars? Yes, the whole cast! Which either means they're reworking Original Song nominee "Suddenly" as a rousing choral piece or Hugh Jackman gets to take the stage twice. Either way, we win.

Tuesday
Jan152013

Best Celebrity Tweets on Globe Night

I ♥ celebrities. Always have. Always will. Even when I find them insufferable I have to stargaze. Having met so many of them now I'm fully aware that they are only people just like you and me that but for one lucky break or important connection or family wealth or extraordinary quirk of DNA or once-in-a-lifetime talent or deals with Beelzebub or being in the right place at the right time or any number of reasons, they'd be on this side of the 'net obsessing on celebrities just like you and I. Well, actually in the age of twitter, the lines are ever blurring and who is on what side anyway. Everyone loves celebrity. Even celebrities. Here's a sampling of some celebrity or celebrity-adjacent tweets I enjoyed from this year's very memorable Golden Globes. 

ZACHARY LEVI (Chuck)

 

 

Wiig and Ferrell did really have the crowd roaring. Wiig is dependably hilarious but they worked so well as a team riffing on one single joke across five nominees. (P.S. After Tangled, shouldn't Hollywood be asking Levi to work in musicals?)

MATT OSWALT (Puddin' strip)

 

LOL

Tommy Lee jones was enormously grumpy. It's true, internet. It's true. 

 

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan102013

10 Big Surprises of Nomination Morning: From Batman to Ben

Before you can ever delve deep into the nominated fields, you have do the requisite double takes to process the surprises. Herewith the most shocking turns of events this morning. If I haven't included something you found truly eyebrow-raising and faith-shaking ('how can I ever turst the pundits again?!') make sure to share it in the comments. 

 

 

10 The Supporting Actor List is All Previous Winners
In the entire history of the Oscars, I can't recall any acting category having been composed entirely of men or women who already had Oscars. At least one newbie always manages to join the celebrated. Other than that it's not a surprising list really given that all five of the men had precursor support (typical) and two are leads masquerading as supporting (typical) and all are veterans (typical). This is the kindest category to acting veterans and the most impervious to actual excitement. Year in and year out, it's the dullest major Oscar category even when the field to choose from is brimming with electricity. And to think we could have had a rising star playing an android, a rising star singing and crying his heart out, a rising star shaking what his mama gave him while stoned in Mexico, an A list reaching a career peak with nothing but a G string and a great great performance, and a baker turned actor among the dozens of possibly more thrilling choices.

The Legend Ends... and so do Batman Oscar Dreams09 The Dark Knight Rises with Zero Nominations
It's a beautiful symmetry. Batman f***ed Oscar over by sending them into a tizzy of low-confidence voting rule changes after the infamous 2008 snub (presumably to include more populist choices in Best Picture) and now Oscar has f***ed Batman over by ignoring The Dark Knight Rises altogether -- this despite the series being very popular with voters since long before Chris Nolan took over.  

Eight more increasingly startling morning alarms after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan082013

Nom Nom Nom: The DGA's.

Hey, lovelies. Beau here, with the announcement of the DGA Nominees for 2013 whilst Nathaniel lunches with one of them.

  • Ben Affleck, Argo 
  • Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
  • Ang Lee, Life of Pi
  • Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

And so, the open spot goes to Tom Hooper, a recent recipient a couple years back for his work on The King’s Speech. If anything must be said about Les Miserables, it is that it is indeed a director’s vision; the intimacy of the camera superseding the largeness of the story in an effort to maximize the full emotional impact of the musical.

While I have many issues with the film, Hooper’s vision does lend itself well to Hathaway’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, the strongest scene in the film. Observing despair and bottling it in a shot that would have made Bergman proud, his attention to detail in Hathaway makes for something profoundly intimate and personal. That the rest of the film never lives up to this moment is not really surprising; its pacing and its reticence to self-edit do it a disservice, as the film never really gives its audience a moment to breathe and take in the considerable emotional toll. 

That being said, this is the lineup many have been predicting for quite some time now, give or take Hooper in place of Russell or Tarantino.  We’ll just have to see if Oscar feels the same way come Thursday morning.

Until then, dears. xo, Beau

Monday
Jan072013

A Proposal For Kathryn Bigelow's Next Picture

I snapped this pic in my last hotel room and forgot to share it.

I lol'ed like a crazy person at the time alone in a hotel bathroom because my brain immediately went here:

Breaking: KATHRYN BIGELOW to direct Invitation To Tea starring Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Joan Plowright and Dame Julie Andrews. 

No matter what the plot is. I'm in.

Oscar likes to reward people for 'playing against type' but they wouldn't reward Bigelow for doing so in a million years. There's a reason she's the only woman who ever won Best Director (Jane Campion & Sofia Coppola movies are way too girly for Oscar wins) and will be the first to win a second directing nomination as soon as this Thursday.