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Entries in Les Misérables (53)

Thursday
Jan242013

Which musical performances will we see at the Oscars?

Though the Academy has officially announced that Adele will be singing "Skyfall" (her first time performing it live) on Hollywood's High Holy Night, we still don't technically know if there will be Best Original Song performances as there often used to be on Oscar night. The Academy had previously announced a 50th anniversary celebration of the James Bond franchise and it's probable that Adele's soulful warbling will be folded into that, whether or not the whole category is represented. We also don't know if she'll be singing before or after her Oscar win*.

There's also been rumors that some permutation of the Les Misérables cast will be performing live but unless they're doing a choral version of "Suddenly", that doesn't necessarily equate to Best Original Song performances either since a cast performance sounds more like a "One Day More" type situation.

But, if you ask me, they'd be crazy not to just have five Original Song performances this year since that'd give you the opportunity to have four superstars on stage at various points: Scarlett Johansson ("Before My Time"), Adele ("Skyfall"), Norah Jones ("Everyone Needs a Best Friend") and Hugh Jackman ("Suddenly") plus a gorgeous little outreach for a little world music ("Pi's Lullaby") on the side.

I know that people think the Best Original Song category is silly but if you look back through the history of the Oscars it has often provided great water-cooler moments or at least tuneful bathroom breaks. 

*the night's biggest lock?

Tuesday
Jan222013

I Could've Linked All Night

Boy Culture shares photos of 25 stars first and last appearances onscreen. Fun randomness. Greta Garbo & Marlene Dietrich transformations are big whoas.
FilmDrunxx has a funny piece on declining Rotten Tomatoes scores (in this case: The Last Stand with Schwarzenegger). Be warned sensitive Steven Spielberg fans: there's a jab at him at the tail end.
Guardian is asking for mocked up movie posters with title casting and soundtrack suggestions for JJ Abrams proposed Lance Armstrong biopic. My guess is their inbox is already full.

Pajiba looks at 20 interesting facts about Joss Whedon and The Avengers -- I'm not sure what brought this on, now, in January but I enjoyed reading it. 
The Sun Benedict Cumberbatch teases his legion of crazed fans by joking about how tight his Star Trek Into Darkness costume is

You can almost see what religion I am." 

CHUD famed poster artist Drew Struzan has been asked about doing posters for the next three Star Wars films. I approve. Weirdly the article refers to Strusan as "the director"... um... the director of his airbrush and cintiq?
Vogue UK has Miucci Prada sketches for The Great Gatsby costumes 

Small Screen
Pajiba b*tch rankings with Downton Abbey
Advocate recommends FBI vs serial killer show The Following which is supposedly slightly gay-ish horror. Doesn't American Horror Story already cover anyone jonezing for that? 

Devil's Advocate
David Edelstein 'why i hate the Oscars'... the piece, though anti-awards, is much richer than the dumb headline
Telegraph 'why I walked out of Les Misérables' it's another attack piece but I'm linking up because there is stuff of note: like voice goddess Marni Nixon's (Sound of Music, West Side Story, My Fair Lady) feelings on live-singing. This piece has further convinced me that people, in general, whether they love musicals or not, have a really hard time dealing with musicals of any kind, being satisfied by them, knowing even what they expect of the form. I'm still not sure why the genre has such difficulties with audiences given the absolute suspension of disbelief afforded every other genre in modern times. The silver lining for the ongoing Les Miz debate for me though is that more and more people seem to be saying 'why can't they just cast great singers and let them sing great songs' which is reductive but correct and also what I've been bitching about for my entire lifetime since I wasn't alive in that mythical time (post-silent cinema - pre Cabaret) when people loved musicals without shame and without so many hard-to-navigate hangups, caveats and ever-mutating conditions.

Friday
Jan182013

Best of the Year: Nathaniel's Top Ten

Previously: The Honorable Mentions

Often during the calendar-straddling list-making frenzy of "top ten season" a scene or a line of dialogue or even a whole film will refuse to dislodge itself from any internal conversation you may have with oneself about the year. That moment for me this year was Kylie Minogue's cameo late in Holy Motors when she arrives in a trenchcoat, like some lost Casablanca love, to sing:

Who were we. When we were. Who we were back then?

It'd be ineloquent bathos, too crudely and redundantly stated, if it weren't sung. But this heightened musical longing for a lost identity, lifts and soars with pathos instead. The year's best films kept reinforcing this most interior of questions as they wrestled with their past selves towards an uncertain future.

Nathaniel's Top Ten of 2012
From all movies screened that received US theatrical releases...

ZERO DARK THIRTY (Kathryn Bigelow)
Sony/Columbia. December 21st 

[SPOILERS FOLLOW] My favorite exchange in Mark Boal's dense script occurs between a government official and a CIA operative. "What the fuck does that mean?" "It's a tautology". I laughed at the wordplay in the film but wasn't expecting the widespread tautological eruptions that followed the film's premiere as everyone bent themselves into self-affirming pretzels to debate its portrayal of torture in the film's opening scenes as if there were only one way to look at the damn movie... as if torture were the only thing worth discussing about the film! To Zero Dark Thirty's credit, though I too was discomfited by its suggestion that torture yielded useful intel, there's nary a comfortable or pandering moment in the film. Like The Hurt Locker before it, ZDT attempts something like an apolitical stance though how successful that is (or ever can be) will be left to each viewer to decide. In my mind, Bigelow doesn't suggest that you're meant to enjoy torture or even embrace the mission's success, exactly...

more on Zero Dark and 9 more triumphs after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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.

Wednesday
Jan162013

Proof Positive That Not All of 'Les Miz' is Shot in Close-up