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Entries in Oscars (11) (327)

Thursday
Dec202012

Premature Jessica Chastain Nostalgia. Is She Streep 2.0 ???

Remember when Jessica Chastain brought her grandma Marilyn to the Oscars in February?

What a sweet moment that was. Do you think she'll take her again this year?

What a difference a year makes, huh? Just last year we were wondering who she was and how she'd arrived to us so fully formed as an actress, and I had the pleasure of asking her just that shortly before she won her first nomination (Best Supporting Actress, The Help). This year she'll be fighting it out for the actual Best Actress trophy for Zero Dark Thirty.

Should Jessica be nominated in January (very very likely), one might even be tempted to think of her as Streep: The Next Generation. Meryl Streep is a tough act to be compared to but consider the similarities. Meryl Streep was a late arrival to the cinema (as actresses go) making her first motion picture in 1977 (Julia) in her late 20s after stage triumphs and degrees from Vassar and Yale. Jessica didn't arrive on movie screens until her early 30s last year though she had been filming movies since her late 20s (some of them were significantly delayed before release) after stage triumphs and an acting degree from Juilliard. By Streep's third year in the public eye she had co-starred in three Best Picture Nominees (Julia ,The Deer Hunter, and Kramer vs. Kramer -- the latter two won) and was a two-time Oscar nominee and winner and a full-fledged movie star. By Jessica Chastain's second year in the public eye she will have presumably co-starred in three Best Picture nominees (The Help, The Tree of Life, and Zero Dark Thirty) and become a two-time nominee.

The only thing missing in the comparison is a) the Oscar win for her second nomination which is a maybe at this point and b) the full fledged stardom. Chastain is definitely a known quantity now but not exactly a household name. Her films haven't had the seismic impact of Streep's breakthrough pictures -- The Deer Hunter and Kramer vs. Kramer were colossal hits of their day though The Help's box office reign last year was not unimpressive.

Jessica Chastain and her Take Shelter co-star Michael Shannon at a party for Zero Dark Thirty this week.

If Chastain wins this year, do you think she's got a triple the caliber of French Lieutant's WomanSophie's Choice and Silkwood, in her immediate future? Or is this way way way too much to ask? 

 

Thursday
Jun142012

Reunions from the Edge

Meryl Streep has been out and about celebrating co-stars this week including Postcards from the Edge mom Shirley Maclaine who was honored at an AFI celebration.

Meryl, who turns 63 next Friday, is older now than Shirley was back when she played her mom in that great showbiz comedy. Stop spinning so fast, world! Excuse me... stop twirling so fast.

And just this past Tuesday, Meryl was all smiles on the red carpet posing with friend/co-star/rival* Viola Davis at the Women in Film Awards who she handed an award to.

From EW

Davis returned the love as she accepted the award. “I have a confession,” she said, sharing how touched she was when Streep sent her a card after [Doubt] wrapped.... “Okay Meryl, I framed the card,” Davis said. “So you can never come over to the house.” 

So cute.

*honest to god when I first saw the press room photo I thought Viola's award said "WTF" but that was just my image-altering fear of the Great Streep vs. Davis Oscar Debates Resurging To Destroy My Sanity again.

 

Thursday
Apr052012

April Showers: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

In the years doing the April Showers series it's become clear that there are basically four types of shower scenes in movies: sex scenes, sight gags, horror moments when characters are at their most vulnerable and emotional cleansing moments (that the body also gets scrubbed is just a bonus). Dragon Tattoo's shower sequence is clearly the latter type, after Lisbeth's brutal rape. David Fincher famously quipped pre-release that his movie had too much anal rape for Oscar. Oscar didn't mind so much nominating it for several Oscars.

Fincher's discussion of the sequence [after the jump. NSFW] on the commentary track is interesting. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar132012

Burning Questions: What's Controversial About "A Separation"? 

Michael C. checking in with some of the aftermath of Oscar 2012. According to a report on Huffington Post, despite having previously trumpeted A Separation's Oscar win as a national triumph Iranian authorities have canceled an event to be hosted by leading Iranian film groups in honor of Asghar Farhadi's contribution to the country's cinema. Apparently, conservative hardliners and clerics, who had been celebrating Iran's first Oscar win, in particular its victory over the Israeli nominee, were displeased after being belatedly clued into the film’s content.  

So why the about-face at this late date? What subversive material somehow slipped the attention of the authorities only now to come to light? What is so controversial about A Separation?

Honestly, I was surprised Iran submitted A Separation for the Oscar at all. The image of modern day Iran in Farhadi’s film wasn’t as devastating as say, the corruption and violence ravaged country portrayed in Mexico’s submission, Miss Bala, but it is still a far cry from the picture one imagines controlling government officials would be eager to present to the world. [more after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar062012

"We have 12 Vacancies. 12 Cabins. 12 Links" 

Kill Screen imagines Downton Abbey as a card based RPG. Love the artifact "pants of modernity"
Deja View a relic brochure from a time when Disney was seeking animators.
Irish Times is pissed about Streep's Oscar win and illustrates, again, that a backlash grows. But here's the interesting part...

One can think of many star actresses...who will submerge themselves in films bigger than themselves. But Streep has to be bigger than the movie, to the point where she can become, in effect, a substitute for it.

You may recall we were talking about just this fascinating issue (within the Oscar symposium). It's hardly a Streep-Only topic. What does it mean to "carry" a movie and should an actor ever be asked to? 

Rope of Silicon has "sexy" issues with Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh in the upcoming feature Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho (omg please change the title). So do I and the first being that Scarjo, who I enjoy, is very different than Janet Leigh in body, age and looks. She might be able to summon up the contemplative paranoia mood of Leigh but otherwise it's a huge miss if you ask me.
Guardian odd lawsuit of day. Sandra Bullock is pissed that a watch company is selling a watch by comparing it to her Blind Side look.
Coming Soon Disney must've liked the response to titling Rapunzel Tangled because their next fairy tale musical will be based on The Snow Queen and it's called Frozen. Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars herself, gets lead vocal duties.
/Film
 remembers Black Swan with a new behind the scenes photo gallery. I don't remember Natalie wearing this white cloak thing onstage. Have I lost my mind or just my short term memory?
ioncinema details a new "slippery nature of truth" project called True Story starring Jonah Hill and James Franco. Brad Pitt's Plan B is producing. Pitt has good taste and this sounds interesting. 
Pajiba lists the 25 biggest animated hit (adjusted for inflation). Pixar doesn't even make the top 10!
Indiewire lists films they hope show at Cannes this summer

And even though I always try to let each year's Oscars go within a week's time of the ceremony, I find myself still reading Oscar recaps since I have emerged from my cave of silence. I did like these two overviews of the ceremony from two of my favorite online peeps, The Self Styled Siren and Glenn at Stale Popcorn. So if you also share the Oscar sickness, read 'em.