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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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TWO OPINIONS ON MAPS TO THE STARS
Nathaniel's Julianne Spazzing & Glenn's Cronenberg Finger Wagging 

"There is a great movie in Maps of the Stars and that is the one Moore stars in, not the one the screenplay insists in bringing to the front." - Mr Goodbar

"If I had to guess why Cronenberg went with a largely "invisible" or even non-style style, I'd say it has to do with his approach to the narrative, which is kind of a bait and switch, setting us up for a hollywood satire and then giving us a final act that plays more like a myth or a fairy tale." -Roark

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Entries in Oscars (11) (327)

Friday
Apr012011

2011 Oscar Contenders. Did I Miss Any?

UPDATED W/ SUGGESTIONS - FIRST WAVE CHART PREDIX (04/01 THROUGH 04/08)

As you can see over at the Oscar chart pages, I'm setting up the charts for Oscar's 84th year. This takes me awhile, alas. But here are some films I'm pondering for the "April Fool" predictions. i.e. not truly a prank but still foolish to try and guess this far in advance. I'll be filling in the pages all week. I never get this done in one day's time. Bear with me. Am I missing any 2011 films of note?

BIGGIES
These are the films that only have to be "good". Some will be much better than that and others will be worse but they'll get plenty of attention no matter what.

  • CARNAGE Roman Polanski adapts the terrific one set/four character darkly comedic stage play. Can Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, Kate Winslet and John C Reilly pull this off?
  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2 Will Oscar take this opportunity to reward the series as a whole or will they figure a couple of nods here and there were reward enough? 
  • THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET Martin Scorsese tries his hand at adapting a children's book, a Caldecott winner too.
  • J. EDGAR Clint Eastwood's Hoover biopic is supposedly a 2012 film. But Clint is fast and they've been filming for some time. I'd be very surprised if it wasn't December 2011.
  • SUPER 8 JJ Abrams tries to become the new Spielberg with this child's eye sci-fi
  • THE TREE OF LIFE Terrence Malick's mysterious 50s-era (sort of) drama. Even if people don't love it, they'll pretend that they do.
  • WAR HORSE It's been six years since Steven Spielberg was enmeshed in an Oscar race (Munich). Will this WWI drama return him to AMPAS's good graces (not that he ever left. Can we please let someone else present Best Picture goddamnit.)

Many more after the jump. What am I missing? Save me from my own forgetfulness!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar222011

"Carnage" Cometh

With filming wrapped on the stage-to-screen God of Carnage excuse me Carnage (I guess they shortened the title) from Roman Polanski we get our first still of the feuding couples played by Jodie Foster & John C Reilly (what a weird combo) and Kate Winslet & Christoph Waltz.

This is either during the arrival scene or during one of the we're leaving (only no one actually leaves) scenes. I am happy to hear that they have not adjusted the main time frame. It still takes place in real time in one evening, yay. I guess Polanski is confident enough with his craft (as well he should be) and with the play's terrifically verbal bite to not worry too much about people saying it's "stagey".

Though this statement from Jodie Foster worries me a little.

Kind of like Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, but a little funnier. There’s a lot of wit.

Foster absorbing directing tips from Polanski?

Er. I'm not sure you want to compete with Edward Albee in the wit department. Just saying. Few people seem to ever remember how hilarious Virginia Woolf is until they're watching it. It is a bit like being kicked in the stomach while you're laughing so maybe that's why people don't remember the funny ha-ha? God of Carnage... excuse me Carnage... is quite funny and biting and it's true that it bears a passing resemblance to Woolf? in that black comedy four character claustrophobic all in one night way. But it's less genius than Woolf? Woolf? minor maybe. But still Woolf? is so many millions of times better than most everything else in the world that being a minor version of it is still pretty damn hot.

If they've pulled it off expect Oscar nominations come January.

Saturday
Mar122011

Yes, No, Maybe So: "Super 8"

We already did this once during the Superbowl but here's the full trailer to J.J. Abrams Super 8, a clear attempt to recapture 80s Spielbergania. Disturbingly hypey things are flying cross the internet like 'a Best Picture nomination is all sewn up!' uh... from 2 minutes of footage? It's not like its a Holocaust drama or a biopic and looks particularly fetching. History is littered with trailers that looked awesome, the movies proving less so. We shall see. The other disturbing thing I read was that the internet had 'a collective boner'. Call me old fashioned but the only way I'd ever be interested in a collective boner was if I could handpick the orgy members. Ewww. But those caveats aside the trailer IS good. I'm a "yes." But let's play our game anyway.

Yes It certainly looks intriguing... and all the things that worked in the 30 second version (the mystery, the borrowed music, the "gee whiz it's 80s scifi!" feel) are expanded and gain in oomph at 2 minutes. Surely a good sign for the next (two hour) expansion, right?

No Sometimes when people (J.J. Abrams) try to be someone else (Steven Spielberg) they feel like jpgs that have been saved at lower resolutions. Or they miss the mark and end up like some weird amalgam (Spielberg + Shyamalan ÷ Abrams = ?) The proof, one way or the other, will be in the full 2 hours.

Maybe So I know that this is about the kids but wouldn't it be appropriately wondrous if Coach Taylor knocked a plum supporting role out of the park and had a big screen career and/or an awesome TV offer to follow his Friday Night Lights perfection since that stellar show has filmed its last scenes.

Here's the new trailer

Yes No or Maybe So people?
Okay okay, I'll bite on the overhype. Let's discuss Oscar prospects, too. A few techs or much more?

Friday
Mar042011

"you'll have your links, your pretty face...♪ "

My New Plaid Pants on Jake Gyllenhaal's next project.
Pajiba on the myth of the ugly-hot woman in Hollywood; they're all hot. There is no female equivalent to Steve Buscemi.
Comics Alliance Annie Leibovitz has more of those Disney with celebrity portraits including what looks like an entirely computer generated portrait of Queen Latifah as film experience obsession Ursula. Does this mean we're supposed to imagine her battling Julianne Moore who was Ariel for Liebovitz last time? It's the 2002 Best Supporting Actress Oscar race all over again.

Wait? The Oscar are over?
Zap2It
Potty-mouthed Kate Winslet F***ing loves Melissa Leo's Oscar speech
Alt Film Guide
Somehow I missed both this trivia and this stupidity: Natalie Portman is the first pregnant unmarried Oscar married and Republican Mike Huckabee has already expressed his dismay at her morality!
A Socialite's Life Our first totally silly 2011 Oscar story!  People  are pretending that Justin Bieber's documentary Never Say Never could be in the Oscar race next year. Note to the gullible: Hollywood is a powerocrocacy, anyone will suck up to someone they perceive as important at a party. It doesn't mean they'd ever vote for their movie to be nominated for an Oscar.


P.S.

I'm meeting with Ludivine Sagnier in a couple of days. She's one of my favorite French actresses with quite a few popular or must-see films under her belt: 8 Women, Peter Pan, Love Songs, A Girl Cut in Two, Swimming Pool, Water Drops on Burning Rocks, etcetera. Any questions you think I should ask her? What's your favorite Ludivine movie?

Monday
Feb142011

On the Set: Leo & Jude

For no particular reason other than that I saw the photos back to back, two of the world's most familiar stars filming their new movies... all star movies at that.

Leo & Jude. Not in the same movie.

Which movie are you most looking forward to? Clint Eastwood's biopic taking on the fascinating  J.Edgar Hoover with stars Leonardo Dicaprio, Armie Hammer, Judi Dench, Naomi Watts and Josh Lucas OR Steven Soderbergh's CDC thriller Contagion starring an accidental Talented Mr Ripley reunion Jude Law + Gwyneth Paltrow + Matt Damon and a bunch of other stars, too: Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jennifer Ehle, Laurence Fishburne and John Hawkes?

I realize that J. Edgar is claiming that it's a 2012 movie but we all know how fast Clint Eastwood works and he's already filming. I expect it in theaters this December.

Tuesday
Feb082011

Meryl Streep is... Iron Lady

The first picture of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher is out. Courtesy of the BBC.

Meryl Streep and Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady

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I worry about this biopic given that the director of Mamma Mia! is helming. Hopefully she learned what a camera was and what editors do and somesuch on that practice run. I'm also curious about what drew Streep to the project. I don't know a lot about British politics but I know enough to know that Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister, was no friend to the liberal artsy set (i.e. Meryl's people) and I've heard Thatcher vilified in films like Hunger (2008) and in various songs from the likes of  Sinéad O'Connor. Anyone remember that kick off to Boy George's "No Clause 28" which was fighting against anti-gay legislation at the time?

[Thatcher impersonator] "The aim of this government is to make everyone as miserable as possible!" ♫

I'm sure there are more examples of famous progressives publicly hating on her or at least the politics she embodied as Conservative Leader.

But back to Streep. What I really want to know is why Meryl so rarely works with the great auteurs? Imagine the potent combo. I mean think of Daniel Day-Lewis paired with P.T. Anderson or Emily Watson with Lars Von Trier. If Meryl ever faced a director on her level the earth might spontaneously combust from the artistic fire.

Remember that awesome speech Nora Ephron gave about Meryl Streep playing you? So so funny. Here it is again just for kicks. The best comedy bit that Nora Ephron ever wrote?