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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Les Misérables (56)

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

Sunday
Jan132013

Multiple Zeroes. Dark Thirty

With a post Oscar nominations wide expansion into movie theaters Zero Dark Thirty won a strong $24 million opening weekend. $24 million is chump change for superheroes and cartoons but it's a big deal for contemporary dramas without bankable stars. Put it another way: that's well over what The Hurt Locker earned in its entire theatrical run here in the States. The torture controversy may have soiled ZDT's Oscar winning prospects somewhat (including that surprise snub for Bigelow) but it hasn't hurt it at the box office.

The Top Five This Weekend

Chart repurposed / visually adjusted from Box Office Mojo

Gangster Squad grossed less than the cheapo laughs of A Haunted House once again confirming that the earth is doomed and also that filling your movie with stars doesn't necessarily help (which also means the earth is doomed... at least for those of us who like our movies with movie stars in them.) That said it took Brad Pitt a long time to be considered "bankable" and Ryan Gosling is inching ever upwards. This is his second best opening (after Crazy Stupid Love, which was also jam-packed with fellow stars) though he has yet to star in a $100 + million hit.

Meanwhile Django and Les Miz continue to prove that their hit status is bonafide. With only three weeks in theaters both are well over $100 million and are on their way to very healthy profits, with or without Oscar statuettes.

Fantine may be impoverished and unemployable but Anne Hathaway now has her SEVENTH $100+ million hit.

I've noticed that that really tired annual meme that Oscar hates blockbusters and that general audiences don't like "Oscar-Bait" movies has died this year thank God! That death rattle lasted forever. Your Best Picture lineup this year is more proof that that's only ever been partially true at best and is often misleading. The average gross from this year's crop is $76 million and it's going up every week. Among the nine only (arguably) Silver Linings Playbook has underperformed given it's box office friendly stars / genre but that's only because they opted to pretend it was a tough arthouse sit with that crawling release pattern. Even after the Oscar nominations its still in less than 900 theaters. 

Do you support Oscars economy each year by seeing the nominees in the theaters?
 

Sunday
Jan132013

Terms of EnLinkment

E! Online Jessica Chastain sings Happy Birthday to Marc Malkin and sounds damn fine doing it. Laughs about the now broken 'Chastain Curse'. 
Vanity Fair looks back at their photos of our new Oscar Nominees
Self Styled Siren watches old movies with her mom over the holidays 
Timothy Brayton on Silver Linings Playbook. Lots of salient points in this mixed review which never once BELLOWS like the movie does.
The Hot Blogs Look what the Life of Pi team will be wearing to the Globes 

Just Jared Jennifer Lawrence and Nicholas Hoult are both available again. You're free to ask them out... well, separately I mean.
Pajiba an all female (photoshopped) Avengers - have you seen Alison Brie as Captain America?
The Geek Twins every Superman logo for the past 75 years. Oh yeah, I somehow didn't notice that Man of Steel is arriving for Superman's 75th Anniversary year. Good timing. 
Carpetbagger talks to Jacki Weaver who admits she didn't cast an Oscar ballot this year
The White House's legit, official, and officially hilarious response to the petition to build a real Death Star.  

Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?

Touchy Touchy Touchy - Everyone Gets So Touchy This Time of the Movie Year
In Contention Kris Tapley speaks his mind about the "Critics Choice Awards". I agree with almost all of this. The BFCA have always had a problem in trying to feel superior to the Globes but in practice being inferior or at least equally shameless about what they're actually up to with celebrity fawning. Trust that I understand the celebrity fawning impulse but I hope it gets better. Why not be a "principled alternative"?
IndieWire filmmaker Alex Gibney defends his attacks on Zero Dark Thirty 
Huffington Post Scott Mendelson is up in arms about the treatment of Kathryn Bigelow by the media
THR Quentin Tarantino thinks he's above criticism when it comes to discussions of violence in film
Film.com 'I don't agree with the Quvenzhane Wallis nomination'
Oscah Fevah "this has been a visual review of Les Misérables"

On Les Miz, please to note: I no longer cringe at the hyperbolic hate. That got boring after two weeks. I've officially turned a corner and I now find people's overwhelming loathing of Les Miz terribly amusing in all its narcimasochistic performativity -- if only one of the legion of haters would actually gouge their eyes out instead of just saying they'd rather do that or wanted to while watching it, than we'd have a story. Come on, people. COMMIT ! Tom Hooper did ;) Hating Les Miz is now the run amok mob equivalent of that nun orgy scene in Ken Russell's The Devils. And I love The Devils so I'm good here. Let it all out. Work yourself into a point-of-no-return frenzy!

Shirley Maclaine visit Downton Abbey

I Forgot to Mention This Weeks Ago
Michael Musto says that Shirley Maclaine's daughter has written a tell all. Good timing since Shirley Maclaine has been resurrecting her stardom lately with small movie roles (I wish she had more to do in Bernie) and a showcase television gig (sparring with the stuffy Brits of Downton Abbey... though her dialogue is bizarre, no?). So this book... Mommie Dearest 2.0? Uh oh.

Which movie star's parenting skills would you love to read about?

Tuesday
Jan082013

Final Nomination Predix: Big Day Ahead for Lincoln, Life, Les Miz

And here we are again.

I was amused to find myself named one of the 'Nate Silvers of the Oscar Race' today on Salon but Thursday morning will undoubtedly make the comparison less apt even if though we'll still share a first name (Nathaniel... why do people go by "Nate"?). In my soon-to-be needed defense it's a lot harder to successfully predict 120ish nominees in 24 categories that dozens of different groups are voting on (nominees, though not winners, are determined only by peers: actors voting for actors, directors for directors and so on) than it is to read an electoral map with only two candidates. Nor is their endless polling to guide us. Oscar voters aren't supposed to tell people who they're voting for. And even when they're willing to, filling out a weighted multi-named ballot is a lot different than checking a box for Candidate A or Candidate B when it comes time to let slip your favorites.

But I digress. Whatever the chaotic, agenda-driven, polarizing and exhausting race to Oscar nominations has in common with politics (quite a lot) we'll ditch the analogy now in order to dig in. I've never been one to care too deeply about statistics apart from the generalities they underline. So in the end I play my hunches.

PICTURE
Locks: Lincoln, Argo, Les Misérables, Zero Dark Thirty, Silver Linings Playbook

But What Else Will Be Nominated?
 infinite hand-wringing after the jump....

Click to read more ...