Oscar History

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Entries in Lawless (5)


Review: "Lawless"

The article originally appeared in my column at Towleroad

A terrible performance... or a great one? You decide.

Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) doesn't believe the tall tales about the outlaw Bondurant Boys especially the ones about Forrest (Tom Hardy). Local Virginia legend has it that Forrest can't be killed, that he's immortal.  "Have you ever seen what a tommy gun does to 'immortal'?" Rakes sneers in a (successful) effort to terrorize the town's Forrest-fearing men into submission. Rakes then beats the youngest Bondurant brother Jack (Shia Labeouf) into a blubbering pulp. But, as it turns out, the Bondurant brothers are resilient enough to inspire tall tales. Forrest and his brothers make their living as moonshiners in this Depression-era Western and with Prohibition empowering organized crime, everyone is looking to be the top boss. The brothers value their autonomy but the guns are out and if an actual crime lord (Gary Oldman's "Floyd Banner") don't get them, then the even more crooked law enforcement (Pearce's Deputy) just might.

Such is the bloody conflict of John Hillcoat's Lawless, based on the historical novel "The Wettest County in the World" which was written by a grandson of the Bondurants (all childless during the movie) suggesting straightaway that at least one of them is going to make it out of the movie alive. Not that the film is shy about spoilers given its heavy handed foreshadowing and the past-tense narration. (You gotta Live to Tell).


Click to read more ...


Chastain @ Cannes

I was thrown for a giddy loop while watching the Lawless trailer last week when Jessica Chastain strolled into frame with this sassy rhetorical question:

Well... do I get the job?"

Oh, Jessica. You get every job.

Quoth Movie|Line two weeks back when she finally turned down a role (in something as fame-boosting as Marvel Studio's billion dollar superheroes franchise (Iron Man 3 to be exact):

Asked for their reactions, every other young actress in Hollywood sighed in unison, "Finally.

When I interviewed Jessica Chastain this past Oscar season she was name dropping international auteurs like Olivier Assayas and Michael Haneke as dream directors, as a true cinephile and would be auteur muse would. I guess when you kick things off with stellar co-stars and Terrence Malick you have license to dream big. Will she actually court them (or vice versa) while in the South of France?

Or maybe she's recalibrated to pursue Jacques Audiard (extremely worthy target) who has a festival hit with Rust and Bone. What do you think Jessica Chastain is doing at this EXACT moment over in Cannes? It's 2:15 AM there at this very moment but it's not like anybody sleeps during the festival.


Yes, No, Maybe So In a Man's Man's Man's Man's World

Trying to catch up here so herewith, a quartet of big groups of male actors committing daring crimes/heroics in two minutes flat so that you can see the best parts* of the movies for free. 

*that's how it works, right?

We'll break Argo, Expendables 2, Lawless and Ganster Squad down into quick threes via our infallible Yes No Maybe So™ system after the jump.

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Oscar Prediction Updates & Calendar

As someone who is absolutely not feeling it today -- why do some days torment us, so? -- I thought I'd best *finally* finish updating the Oscar predictions. So I'm working on it. As ever I'm sure you'll tell me exactly where I'm right and wrong.

Even though I'm not technically feeling it today, I am most definitely feeling it in terms of the Oscars this year. It's SO exciting for once. Lots of confusion in each category I think. Just the way we like it. If predictions aren't difficult, they aren't fun.

Picture I'm guessing 8 nominees though I think Moneyball is stronger and War Horse weaker than my chart suggests. Though perhaps this is wishful thinking? 
Director If Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen and Steven Spielberg are all nominated here, that would be madness. I need to do the statistics but I am pretty sure that that would be the most previously nominated group ever assembled in Best Director since they're the 3 most nominated living / working directors. But as of this writing I don't think Spielberg is in.
Actress Tilda and Glenn aren't invulnerable for very different reasons. Rooney Mara was surging while ballots went out but it's not really an Oscar type role so who knows? And then there's still Charlize (just interviewed) sneering at all of them in her Hello Kitty shirt. Everyone else is toast.
Actor I'm taking a risk because I keep hearing Michael Shannon's name even though his movie is basically gone. But then so is Leo's.

Shannon got one nomination by surprise. Can he pull off surprise #2?

Supporting Actress I still think this category is VERY difficult to predict. Someone with a lot of precursor attention isn't going to make it. People always say it's easy to predict this one until you remind them that six women have won plentiful precursor attention. Six ≠ Five.
Supporting Actor totally diffuse if you ask me beyond the Branagh-Plummer-Brooks triangle. Wouldn't it be a hoot if Corey Stoll or Viggo Mortensen made it in?
Screenplay Original is still super crowded and impossible to figure with at least five major contenders ineligible for the recent Writer's Guild noms. Adapted is easier but not completely simple.

Today, I got the hugest package in the mail. I mean it was enormous. And this thin calendar to your right was all that was inside. HA! Here's to killing trees for nothing! But it did immediately remind me that I need to nail down my calendar for 2012. I want it to be the best year ever here at The Film Experience. I really do. The Bext Exotic Marigold Hotel promisese to open on May 4th. In worse news, The Wettest Country has been moved back AGAIN. Now they're saying August. Let's face it: that movie is never going to open. If both do open as intended who knows. Oscar 2012? The Help, The Tree of Life and Midnight in Paris, all summer releases, are still in play for 2011's race.

Here's some dates you should know about as we move forward into our busiest month.


  • Sat. 7th National Society of Film Critics... ending critic prizes.
  • Mon. 9th Directors Guild Nominations ... which was once the most accurate predictor of anything-ever as to what would be Best Picture nominated. The last few years have made those statistics useless with all the changes as to # of nominees.
  • Thur. 12th BFCA "CRITICS CHOICE" AWARDS (yes, we'll live blog or something)
  • Fri. 13th Oscar Ballots due. Nothing on this day or forward can affect who gets nominated. 
  • Sat. 14th LAFCA Awards Ceremony (not televised)
  • Sun. 15th GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS (yes, we'll live blog or something)
  • Mon. 16th ACE Eddie Award Nominations (Editing) and we'll do Oscar chart updates .
  • Wed. 18th BAFTA nominations - not the fake ones.
  • Thurs. 19th Costume Designers Guild Nominations
  • Sat. 21st Producers Guild Award Ceremony (not televised)
  • Sun. 22nd FOLLIES closes on Broadway... heading to Los Angeles but without Bernadette Peters. *sniffle* Do not miss it! Oh and also this is the day when we'll post our final predictions for nominations in all Oscar categories.
  • Sun. 29th SCREEN ACTORS GUILD AWARDS (Yes, we'll live blog or something)

 What are you looking forward to? 
Oscar Prediction comments? 



Five Linky Pieces

But You're, Like, Really Pretty has fun reimaginings of all those actresses once rumored for the Lisbeth Salandar role like Evan Rachel Wood. Mia Wasikowska is actually the closest to a Rooney Mara look and Anne Hathaway is just so wrong. (My what big eyes she has!)

The Hollywood Reporter looks at the 'Contender Cast-Offs'. Those films we kept wanting to put into Oscar lists but which kept not having release dates like Wettest Country and On the Road

The Atlantic thinks A Better Life made a stunning case for immigration reform. (That movie sure is keeping itself in the spotlight well past its summer run!)

The New York Times has a fun piece on the personal angst of top ten lists by Dan Kois.

Empire grills celebrities on movies they enjoyed this year. Zac Efron likes "freaky" movies like The Skin I Live In and Shame (who knew?) and Emma Stone is a walking FYC for Bridesmaids which she calls a "game-changer". Patton Oswalt, who I can vouch for as a movie maniac since I've heard him gab about movies casually in person with fellow industry types loves The Tree of Life and Bellflower