Entries in Les Misérables (57)
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
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.
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?
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!
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?
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.
Imgur Les Miz synopsis with emoticons.
Salon "welcome to the new civil war" On Lincoln, Django Unchained and modern political divides
MNPP 10 little reviews. It's the only way to keep up this time of year. The Perks of Being a Wallflower really does grow on you. I liked it so much better a month after watching it!
The Envelope on the continuing difficulties inherent in the Best Foreign Language Film category: so much French language, preferenced true stories, never any Asian films.
Timothy Brayton plans to review every English language feature-length adaptation of Les Misérables. Bon chance, Tim!
Boston Globe Ty Burr's top ten with many of the usual suspects but a nice honorable mention shout out to Leslye Headland's Bachelorette
I'm so far behind. Lots more coming soon. Have patience!
I'm trying to decide how much to alter some of my current predictions when I post my final predictions (Tuesday night). Here are some things I'm pondering. Ponder with me in the comments. It's a Ponder Party!
The Academy ♥ Tarantino? OR...
The Internet ≠ The Academy
The Globes ≠ The Academy
Quentin Tarantino is indisputably a god of the internet. Were the internet a person it would be his insatiable whore, his dresser, his boyservant, his entire yes man entourage. But the Academy is not the internet. They never have been. (If they were Chris Nolan would have five directing nominations and not zero and The Social Network and Brokeback Mountain would have trounced The King's Speech and Crash). Consider: zero nominations for Kill Bill Vol. 1 (my choice for his best film and unarguably worthy in technical fields even if you don't much care for it as a whole). Zero nominations for Kill Bill Vol. 2. One measly nomination for Jackie Brown. "But they loved Pulp Fiction (7 nods, 1 win) and Inglorious Basterds (8 nods, 1 win)" - shouts everyone in the universe. They did, it's true. [more...]