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Entries in NYC (58)


Anne Hathaway Sings "She's Me Pal" to Meryl Streep

The Kennedy Center Honors were a good hagiographic time last night on CBS (unless you were expecting something different in which case... where ya been? This is how lifetime tributes are). Musical theater fans would have had to enjoyed that endless Parade of Amazement when they trotted out a healthy cross section of Broadway's best female voices for the Barbara Cook homage (Sutton, Rebecca, Kelli, Patti, Audra + Glenn Close doing "Losing My Mind" !) but as for me.... as for me...

I got both my musical theater kicks and my 80s nostalgia and my Streep Mania and a current actress obsession (Hi, Annie!) all rolled up in one gift as Hathaway repurposed Streep's most indelible moment from Ironweed* (1987) to serenade Streep herself.

The line "her heart is as big as a ham" is accompanied by the splits, marking Anne Hathaway once again as a true kindred spirit PERFORMER/actress -- both ladies woulda been in vaudeville if they'd been born 100 years ago.


I love that Hathaway can make her eyes well up with tears totally on cue. Acting is magic. The complete video is below. Hathaway comes in at the 11:40 mark.



*Ironweed was a flop in its day and I know so few people who have seen it but I still remember sitting in the movie theater absolutely electrified / paralyzed when Meryl belted out that "He's Me Pal" number for Jack Nicholson. At the time Meryl's musical-theater chops were a complete shock! It's easily one of my favorite moments from her entire lauded filmography.



top o' the linkin' to ya  

Sydney Morning Herald production halted on The Great Gatbsy (briefly). Baz Luhrman hit on head just before Christmas. Ouch.
Listen Eggroll Mike D'Angelo's Christmas movie viewing history. Hee.
Rope of Silicon on that revolving director chair for Thor 2. What will it mean for the movie?
Indie Wire Ninety-seven Original Scores that are eligible for Oscar this year. Only five can be nominated of course. A notable omission is Alexandre Desplat's work on The Tree of Life but we figured that would get disqualified due to the abundance of non-original music in the film. As Hans Zimmer promised, he did not submit his wonderful Rango score. (sigh)

Coming Soon Charlize Theron discusses her role in Prometheus
Wider Screenings [NSFW]  in terms of budget to profit ratio the most successful film of all time is... Deep Throat.
Horror Asylum the Whedon-less reboot of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is apparently dead. Yay!
Scene Stealers Trey Hoch really hates War Horse. He's not playing around with the hate.
The Wrap finds a silver lining in some not-so-great 2011's fare: good characters in forgettable movies.
THR Scott Feinberg's top ten. 
Hollywood Elsewhere on the strange omen of movie poster defacement in NYC, Mark Wahlberg's Contraband in this case. I also believe in this theory. The more a poster is defaced the more angry or irritated people are with its star or existence for any number of reasons.
Guardian has a Q&A with Samuel L Jackson. His greatest fear is "not working" which explains a lot about his film choices! 


War Horse Premiere. Oscar Updates Soon.

Just a quick note that tonight -- er, last night -- was a big night. It was the World Premiere of War Horse here in NYC. After I sleep on it, I'll finish updating the Oscar charts for the week. The red carpet was long but, as you know, most of the War Horse cast are relative newcomers.

And most of them took to the stage to introduce the film. It was particularly exciting to see Emily Watson looking great and Tom Hiddleston being ridiculously sexy in what I think was a velvet suit (?). Steven Spielberg apologized that he didn't bring the horse "Joey" on to the stage to introduce the movie but joked that it would not be fair since several horses played the role.  The audience was filled with luminaries as well. Spotted: Phyllicia Rashad, Tyler Perry, Celia Weston, Stephen Daldry (adorably huggy with David Kross who he directed in The Reader and who appears in War Horse), Stephen Lang, Cathy Moriarty and many more but the names or faces are escaping me since there was free liquor. What?

Yesterday it was The Iron Lady. Today War Horse. Tomorrow, it's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo... though as you may have heard online today that one is under strict tetchy embargo. So we'll just pretend I'm not seeing it yet, okay? In short: It must be December. So many movies. So little time to write about them but I'll get to everything as soon as I can! Thanks for your patience.

What did you see this weekend? 


The Scarlet Linker

Hollywood Reporter on the highlights from the Gotham Awards. Patton Oswalt and Elizabeth Olsen were apparently big hits.
Tom Shone Best Performances of 2011. Love this fluid quick take annual feature.
I Need My Fix Is Christopher Meloni joining True Blood for Season Five? Could that show possibly contain yet more explosive sexiness?
GQ interviews director Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes Game of Shadows) and yes he actually talks about Madonna and the divorce.... which...
Lainey Gossip has an interesting take on what he means when he says "I'm glad I made money" in the interview with which I would totally agree if that's what I was sure he meant. But it seems highly interpretable to me. Maybe that's not what he meant at all. 
Stale Popcorn Glenn speaks out on Meryl Streep's anti-auteur tendencies and what's going on with the quest for that third Oscar. Good piece.

Coming Soon Lizard concept art from The Amazing Spider-Man 
Alt Screen get yourself to Film Forum over the next two months and bone up on the silent film masterpieces they're showing.
Liz Smith shares a funny e-mail from showbiz widow Tita Cahn about J. Edgar.

Worst line ever spoken between two men in a movie -  'will you be my number two?' "

Hee. That's just one piece of it.

Telegraph TFE friend Tim Robey pays tribute to the one and only Ken Russell, remembering their last encounter at a screening of The Devils
Perez Hilton Wow. Apparently Meryl Streep donated her Iron Lady salary to the National Women's History Museum
Movielicious offers up this poster comparison, Zhang Yimou's The Flowers of War (which I'm not hearing good things about) and Angelina Jolie's In the Land of Blood and Honey (which I am).


My New Plaid Pants Have you heard about this reboot of The Munsters. I'm trusting JA to keep me informed as he's knowledgable on all things Bryan Fuller (Pushing Daisies, Wonderfalls) one of the best and most idiosyncratic TV minds out there.
MTV Charlize Theron's 2011 Tour of Comedic Movie Star Amazement continues whilst discussing Snow White and the Hunstman.

I haven't really worked with [Kristen]. I've done some small things with her, but we're about to shoot our big showdown, and fingers crossed for me. It's the big battle. I'm just really, really, really hoping I get to kill her. That is how the story ends up, right?"

[For more on her awesome Tour of Tours check out the Actress Roundtable post and the DGA screening of Young Adult.]


 Movie|Line has a great interactive Shame map. You can follow Brandon's ritual around the city. It beats an expensive trip to the Museum of Sex here in NYC. 


NYFCC. (Ready, Set, Go: Awards Season!)

Here we go... 

Actress MERYL STREEP (The Iron Lady)
Actor BRAD PITT (Moneyball and The Tree of Life)

• Big day for The Artist (top two prizes and also the leader at the Spirit Award nominations) and The Tree of Life (three prizes) and Moneyball (two prizes)
• So pleased to see Brad Pitt rewarded for two very different but totally compelling and soulful performances. Pitt's awards history has been strange so it could well be time for career honors.
• They first listed Meryl Streep's win as for "The Lady". Do you think Michelle Yeoh got her hopes up for a  minute? This is Streep's fifth win from NYFCC. They also gave her the title for Julie & Julia, A Cry in the Dark, Sophie's Choice and a multiple films win in 1979.

Supporting Actor ALBERT BROOKS (Drive)
Supporting Actress JESSICA CHASTAIN (Tree of Life, The Help and Take Shelter)
Screenplay STEVEN ZAILLIAN and AARON SORKIN (Moneyball)
Cinematography EMMANUEL LUBEZKI (The Tree of Life)

• Happy for Lubezki & Moneyball. Fine choices and NYFCC had me worried at the beginning.
• Does this mean they thought Jessica Chastian sucked in The Debt and Coriolanus? If you're going for multiples go for multiples. P.S. Chastain's best performance this year was in The Help. It's true and you know it!

Foreign Film A SEPARATION (dir. Asghar Farhadi)
Documentary CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (dir. Werner Herzog)
Animated Film no prize this year? we're awaiting confirmation...
First Film MARGIN CALL (dir. JC Chandor)
Special 2011 Prize a posthumous honor for filmmaker Raoul Ruiz 

• I wish Sony Pictures Classic would push A Separation harder and release it earlier. It shouldn't be content with just a few foreign film wins here and there.
• More bad news for Martha Marcy May Marlene after its empty-handed night at the Gothams, it loses best first feature this morning.
• Is the Herzog vote in documentary a "take that, Oscars!" jab... (it didn't even make the finalists with Oscar. They have intermittent Herzog allergies over there in California) or their genuine favorite? 

To give you a little more perspective on the New York Film Critics Circle, herewith a list of previous top awards they've handed out over the past 15 years.

Click to read more ...


Gotham Award Winners

The Gotham Awards are going on at Cipriani's even as I type this. As you know Charlize Theron, Gary Oldman, David Cronenberg, and Tom Rothman are being honored with career tributes but competitive prizes are also being handed out.  

Tilda, Charlize, and Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) glam up the event

Breakthrough Actor Felicity Jones (Like Crazy)  
Breakthrough Director Dee Rees (Pariah
Ensemble Performance Beginners 

So it hasn't been a good night for Martha Marcy May Marlene which was nominated for all three of those prizes despite no Best Feature nomination.

Best Film Not Playing in a Theater Near You Scenes of a Crime directed by Blue Hadaegh and Grover Babcock
Audience Choice Girlfriend directed by Justin Lerner 
Best Documentary Better This World

The tie between Beginners and Tree of Life is a strange development. According to IndieWire the jury debated for 2½ hours. Though I am against ties on a fundamental level, it couldn't have happened to nicer movies ;) and it's kind of a great tense way to kick off the season. Let more strange "we can't decide!" developments follow. Total agreement for 3 consecutive months is B-O-R-I-N-G.

Eeep, we're here. It's happening again. Awards season has begun. Tomorrow morning the New York Film Critics Circle announces their honorees.


The Family of "Hugo" Cabret

Last night I had the privilege of seeing Hugo a second time at my favorite* NYC theater, the Ziegfeld. It's an enormous "Old Hollywood" feeling place, one of the last of its kind so it couldn't have been a better setting for an all guild screening of a movie that's obsessed with the history of the movies just like Martin Scorsese himself. Let's call him "Papa Scorsese" today since he brought along nearly his entire movie "family" apart from cinematographer Robert Richardson (referred to as "Bob") who Scorsese joked was  'off filming a movie with this new guy called Quentin somebody (?)'

3-time Oscar winners Thelma Schoonmaker and Sandy Powell await their cue © Nathaniel Rogers

Everyone else was there: Legendary art director Dante Ferretti, legendary editor Thelma Schoonmaker, legendary costume designer Sandy Powell... well you get the idea...


Dante Ferretti, Art Direction
His job didn't change much in 3D, he revealed. He joked that the room we're sitting in is 3D. It took him six months to build the sets. He and his team built everything: the station, the glass movie house, even Papa Georges's (Ben Kingsley) apartment. With the look of the film they were attempting to base it not on realistic research but on images from the cinema and French cinema of the period specifically.

Ellen Lewis, Casting
She had not seen The Boy With Stryped Pajamas when the casting search for the lead role of Hugo began in New York, London and Los Angeles simultaneously. Someone sent her the movie and she met with Asa Butterfield the first week she was in London.

She added:

Many times, oddly, in casting children you find the child you're looking for in the first week or the last week. I don't know how to explain why."

They decided to have everyone speak in British accents after casting Asa because they didn't want to alter his voice and he was the first actor cast. 

Visual Effects
The visual effects supervisor -- his name escapes me in. Apologies -- had this to say about George Melies as the originator of special effects?

He didn't have anything to refer to besides his own imagination. Before I started the movie I had only seen Voyage to the Moon and I thought it was okay but then I started to really study his films, like that clip where he throws his head up into the stanza of music. That's genius. I had to play it back three or four times to figure out how he did it. He did this in 1905 so I felt rather small."  

Costume recreations, Scorsese joking about budgets and more after the jump.

Click to read more ...


One Hundred Years of Linkitude

24 Frames a glowing profile of Shailene Woodley in The Descendants who is looking more and more like a real Supporting Actress contender. Alexander Payne even compares her to a young Debra Winger. 
Empire fun investigation of the parallels between Joss Whedon's The Avengers and the Whedonverse itself (Buffy and the like)
Animation Magazine digs into the Oscar race for Best Animated Film
NY Post Apparently Terrence Malick is a comedy loving Ben Stiller fan. Who'da thunk it. 
Variety Weird but true. Scarlett Johansson directing a Truman Capote novella 

Rope of Silicon likes the cinematography of We Need To Talk About Kevin, Rampart and Shame... and I come away singing Fiona Apple...

But he's been pretty much yellow
And I've been cryin' blue
But all I can see is
Red, red, red, red, red now
What am I to do

Ugh, I miss Fiona Apple so much some times. What happened to her?

Cinema Blend watch an artist transform Rooney Mara to Lisbeth Salander with one finger on his iPad.
Scene Stealers lists the best Twilight parodies online.
Socialite Life Mila Kunis kept her promise and attended that Marine Corps Ball. Good on her.
Coming Soon more Spider-Man set photos
Gothamist Edward Scissorhands on the F train
Tom Shone turns out not everyone loves Martin Scorsese's Hugo.
Guardian UK readers can see A Separation on DVD/BluRay now. By all means, get to it. I love this quote from the Guardian capsule:

It's not so much world cinema as world class." 

Tom Munro check out his awesome photoshoot of Madonna and Andrea Riseborough for W.E.  

Off Cinema
TV|Line Elisabeth Shue has been put out to pasture in the land of procedural television. Nathaniel wept. 
Salon unveils their People-adjacent list of the year's sexiest men. No movie stars or Bradley Cooper allowed though we're very pleased to see the wonderful director Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) on the list. I was also happy to see Marcus Samuellson, star chef, make the list. He touched our table the very first time we ate at his new restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem. It's delicious and afforable, a combo that you can't beat. Try it if you're ever in NYC. 
Towleroad More divalicious links over there... if you want this link party to keep on rolling...

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