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Entries in My Week With Marilyn (14)

Tuesday
Jan312012

Curio: Oscar Unsheets, Part I

Alexa here.  Announcement of the Oscar nominations brings about a flurry of poster creations by design geeks around the net, something I love to follow.  Screenwriter John August has called them unsheets (a play on the term onesheet), and the label seems appropriate, especially since so many of these indie designs are now influencing real onesheets (like those Iron Lady campaign posters, for one).  With so many great designs out there, I'm devoting my Curio posts leading up to the Oscars to unsheets made from the nominated films.  This week I'm focusing on designs from films nominated outside of the Best Picture category, say for acting, Best Foreign Language Film, etc.  Enjoy the design candy!

Beginners by Sondy Bojanic.
A Separation by Pendar Yousefi.

click for more, including Albert Nobbs and Marilyn...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jan062012

BAFTA Long List Losses

I've said it before and I'm forced to say it again. I'm *so* glad that the American Academy does not publish a long list. i.e. the semi-finals. You see, It's so much more bearable / engaging when you can imagine that straight up great achievements or achievements you really responded to personally but you knew might have trouble rallying huge swaths of support were in 6th or 7th place or 10th place in voting. The way BAFTA does it, however, you are forced to understand that Oscar buzz is everything and Super Size Mediocrities will always triumph over critical darlings or more challenging Art.

Take the Best Picture categories for a prime example. Notice that Weekend for example, a very British and very acclaimed film is not one of their "outstanding" homegrown products (they might want to check the reviews again) and notice that auteurist films frequently called masterpieces by their fans (The Tree of Life and Melancholia) are also absent. Other films ignored because you have to have space for The Lukewarmly Reviewed Biopics About Lady Actresses and Lady Politicians are... no, no. It's too horrible to start listing them!

Best Film The Artist, The Descendants, Drive, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Help, Hugo, The Ides of March, The Iron Lady, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, My Week with Marilyn, Senna, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, War Horse, and We Need to Talk About Kevin 

Outstanding British Film Arthur Christmas, Attack the Block, Coriolanus, The Guard, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Iron Lady, Jane Eyre, My Week with Marilyn, Senna, Shame, Submarine, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Tyrannosaur, War Horse, and We Need to Talk About Kevin 

BAFTA voters went crazy 4 My Week With Marilyn, longlisted many many times

Film Not in the English Language  Abel, As If I Am Not There, The Boy Mir – Ten Years in Afghanistan, Calvet,  Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries), Incendies, Little White Lies, Pina, Post Mortem, Potiche, Le Quattro Volte, A Separation, The Skin I Live In, Tomboy and The Troll Hunter

More long list looniness with commentary after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec262011

Box: Office - Ghostly Christmas

One of my favorite traditions when I was a kid and later a visiting adult was picking the movie to watch on Christmas day with the family. It was usually me making the final decision since I was the one forcing keeping the tradition alive. My favorite of these as an adult was Titanic (1997) because even my Dad loved it and he never loves movies. This Christmas evening movie-going tradition maybe isn't as strong as it once was with American families since the weekend didn't jingle merrily with box office change.

Nevertheless, it was definitely crowded with new releases, week old releases and all of those frustratingly shy Oscar hopefuls who refuse to go wide enough for audiences to enjoy them. The weekend was won by Ghostocol which you could categorize as a big hit were it not for that super-sized budget. Whose idea was it to give it a budget that was even higher than the domestic gross of its predecessor five years ago?

Box Office Top Fifteen (Estimates)
          ~ over 2000 theaters
01 MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - GHOST PROTOCOL  $29.5  (cum. $61.9)
02 SHERLOCK HOMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS $20.2  (cum. $79)
03 THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO  $12.7 (cum. $21.1) 
04 ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED $12.6 (cum. $49.5)
05 THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN $9.7 (cum. $17.7)
06 WE BOUGHT A ZOO  $9.4 christmas day only
07 WAR HORSE $7.5 christmas day only [STAGE VS. SCREEN]
08 NEW YEARS EVE $4.9 (cum. $34.2)
09 THE DARKEST HOUR $3 christmas day only 
         ~ under 2000 theaters
10 THE MUPPETS $2.1 (cum. $75.7)
11 THE DESCENDANTS $2.1 (cum. $32.3) 
12 ARTHUR CHRISTMAS $2.1 (cum. $43.5)
13 HUGO $2 (cum. $43.6)
14 THE SITTER $1.8 (cum. $22.3)
15 YOUNG ADULT $1.7 (cum. $7.1)

Talking Points
Pina, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy had the best per screen averages. I was at a Christmas party yesterday and the latter was definitely a movie people were talking about. The conversation frequently swerved to Benedict Cumberbatch (People knew him as the other new Sherlock Holmes -- the not Robert Downey Jr Holmes) and there were at least a couple of "I didn't understand what was going on!"s uttered. But the point is that people are interested in it. They should've opened wider. 

You could finally give the gift of Marilyn. But did the wide release come two weeks too late?Same goes for My Week With Marilyn. It doubled its screen count, finally going wide this weekend for the holiday, but the widening came too late. The movie's moment, if you will, was definitely back around Thanksgiving time when competition was slightly less severe and it had that new girl sparkle in a weekend that was otherwise all about the little kiddies. Now it's competing with other adult appeal movies and it's not entirely fresh news in our fast-paced pop culture. The big expansion five weeks later saw dwindling revenues and it landed on the worst opening weekend chart. Did they not think Marilyn was a brand? Movies are obsessed with selling us the familiar and there's no way that MARILYN didn't have enough branding to open wider earlier. It isn't a French film without dialogue with no stars, after all.

Did you hit the theater and does your family always do this on Christmas?

 

Monday
Dec192011

It's Michelle/Marilyn for Dallas, Florida, Vegas and Chicago

The critical map continues to unfold with only three films scoring repeatedly: The Artist, The Descendants and The Tree of Life. All of them recently picking up another "best of year" prize. I had expected Hugo to feature more prominently after its high profile NBR win but that hasn't come to pass. But isn't it awfully nice to see a year with three major critical players even if you don't much like one of them (for me that's The Descendants). In short: Death to sweeps!

Michelle Williams is dominating the critics awards

While she's not quite a sweeper Michelle Williams is going to be on a lot of airplanes if she intends to attend all of these critics ceremonies that plan to honor her work in My Week With MarilynAfter the jump prizes from... Chicago and St. Louis who both just announced, Dallas Ft Worth, Florida, and Las Vegas (which I missed last week oopsie).

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec152011

Parties: Overheard at Guild / Oscar Functions

I thought for fun I'd collect several bits from conversations to share with y'all. A couple of the following bits were said directly to me, some were part of group conversations, some were merely overheard at screenings or events. All are anonymous and shall remain so of course but are fun for awards geeks and movie fanatics to think about. I am not a fiction writer so these are all actual quotes (or paraphrasals, rather, since I don't walk around with a tape recorder.) One thing that's important to remember but easy to forget about the Oscars is that the 6000+ voting members are individuals with individual taste. They are no monolithic unit though the world likes to imagine them sharing one gold plated borg-mind.

While mostly it is fun to talk with voters, one discouraging thing you quickly realize is true that I'd personally always hoped was false is this: many of the voters wait until right about now to start watching the movies. A lot of conversational roads have abrupt dead ends like "I haven't seen that yet but it's on the stack!" In short: they don't go to the movies as often as movie fanatics. Or, as one actress told me recently, "I see a lot of movies but I see them either long before they're in cinemas or long after." It made a lot of sense to me once I stopped to consider the inside mechanics of this Business we call Show. 

On to the (silent) sound bytes on My Week With Marilyn, Moneyball, The Artist, Young Adult and more.

Click to read more ...