Oscar History

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Entries in Oscars (12) (290)


Yes, No, Maybe So: Anna Karenina

Hello Happy Peppy Cineastes. Beau here again (I recently wrote about The Exorcist) at the request of Nathaniel to discuss the delicious new trailer of Joe Wright's Anna Karenina starring pretty British people in fur coats.

I like Joe Wright. With the exception of The Soloist, which didn't grab me, he has delivered a fairly fascinating filmography. Pride and Prejudice sauntered across the screen, lackadaisically, in love with the prospect of love. A true achievement, it managed the rare feat of cinematic adaptations of beloved novels by satisfying the devoted Austinphiles, while causing those of us less inclined to 19th century romantic literature to swoon in spite of ourselves. Atonement, a much more problematic feature, still holds in my memory thanks to its exquisite craftsmanship (that emerald dress!) and the sweltering chemistry between McAvoy and Knightley. Even Hanna proved to be a fascinating film... [more after the jump]

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The Diary of Peggy Siegal

High Powered Publicist Peggy Siegal's has just released her Cannes Diary at the Huffington Post. Better three weeks late than never. Peggy throws great Oscar shindigs here in NYC where much handshaking and FYC vote counting happened right before my very eyes last season (remember that party for The Help I wrote about? - that was one of my favorite pieces last year).

Can't wait for the festivities to begin again! For Peggy of course they already have.

Peggy @ Cannes with Michel Hazanavicius & James Woods

My favorite days of the name-dropping diary (Frank Langella would be proud) both happen to be Thursdays.

May 17th. Jacques Audiard's screening of Rust and Bone at the Palais is packed. Marion Cotillard portrays a marine-park trainer who loses her legs to a killer whale. Stop. It's a love story. A street fighter, played by Belgian Matthias Schoenaerts, literally sweeps her off her digitally-erased feet and I promise you, she is walking into the Oscars this year in a Dior Haute Couture.

Peggy promises! Translation: Take note.

Hey, it's not a bad bet. Even if Rust & Bone proves to outré for the bulk of AMPAS voters there's always Cotillard's other juicy lead role in the tentatively titled Low Life in which she plays a reluctant immigrant prostitute. If The Weinstein Company opts to give that one an Oscar qualifying 2012 release. (Oscar voters do love the world's oldest profession.) 

Kidman and Cotillard, both Oscar winners, won fresh buzz at Cannes last month. Will they snag their fourth and second nominations respectively?

Thursday May 24th is my favorite entry. It begins like so.

Lee Daniels shows the The Paperboy. Nicole Kidman is a trailer park Brigitte Bardot. Zac Efron, all grown up, lusts after Nicole wearing underpants. Matthew McConaughey is a hunky gay journalist and John Cusack is the crazy inmate on death-row in this erotic thriller set in1960s Florida.

Lee unabashedly announces at the press conference that his deep understanding of the nutty and violent characters are taken from his personal experience. As he says, "I know these people. My brother is in jail for 18 years for murder." He had Nicole interview seven real women who have long-term relationships with men in jail, adding insight to her stunning performance.

Arriving on Lady Joy, Denise Rich's 170-foot yacht, appropriately disheveled but always chic, Denise whisks me off to her stateroom and instructs her professional hair and make-up staff to fluff me up.

Famous love birds Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are staying on the boat and have just come up from their bedroom for lunch. Kim and I stare at each other's makeup as I sit as close as possible without invading her space. Her skin is like butter. She is quite beautiful.

I rant about every film I have seen. It's a tad too early for Kanye and Kim to digest all this information. Soft-spoken Kanye tells me about his short art film Cruel Summer. Filmed in Qatar, the short is inspired by theRomeo and Juliet-esque classic Middle Eastern tale Antar and Abla.

David Geffen sends the "Rising Sun's" tender, which is larger than my New York Park Avenue apartment to pick me up for lunch. At 453-feet, I board the sixth largest yacht in the world built by Larry Ellison for over $200 million and redesigned by Geffen. From sea level, I climb four flights to greet David. I have three words for him, "Not big enough."

Lunch is with Keith Urban and Wendi Murdoch on an outdoor deck. Again I rant about every film but to a more astute reception. David tells me he never leaves the boat. Would you, if you had a basketball court on board?

On the tender back to shore Keith tells me Nicole and he are moving to the South of France in September for three months while she films Grace of Monaco, a drama about thesp-turned-princess Grace Kelly.

My head is spinning from trying to imagine Kim Kardashian conversing about art movies though I have no trouble imagining the follow up with Keith Urban - he is married to our Nicole after all. But that's Cannes for you - an improbable mix of Household Name Celebrities Famous Just Because They're Famous who might never have set foot in an arthouse in their lives and films made by Household Names if your household happens to be composed entirely of cinephiles. (In which case, can I come over for dinner?)

Believe it or not, this is but a tiny sample. It's a must read. Poor Clive Owen even gets stuck in an elevator with fans for 20 minutes! 

P.S. Yes, I'll update the Oscar charts soon.


Yes, No, Maybe So: "Django Unchained"

If Quentin Tarantino can make us wait an average of 2 years and ten months between each movie (I'm counting Kill Bill as one and assuming Django Unchained will arrive on schedule. But will it?) than you can all forgive me for not jumping on every piece of Tarantino news-- even the excitement of a trailer -- the minute it arrives. 

What's your name?"

His name is Django. The D is silent. Let's stay silent no more about the trailer ... or the teaser the teasler... the traiser? Aren't teasers support to be 1 minute long? We'll break this traiser into three pieces as we do.


  • Things that are off the chain: the shot of the blood sprayed cotton, the self-aware zoom-in on Leonardo DiCaprio casts gleefully against type, Django throwing off his coat, the shot reverse shot of Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington in the water (dream sequence?). More after the jump...

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Review: "Snow White and the Huntsman"

This article was originally published in my movie column at Towleroad

"Fairy tale revisionism" has been rapidly climbing the Hollywood idea chart. In the past few years we've seen Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel in Tangled, Red Riding Hood, and Snow White in Mirror Mirror (reviewed here).  There are several more on the way including Angelina Jolie as Maleficent terrorizing Sleeping Beauty Elle Fanning. This weekend Snow White returned to theaters for the second time in three months. Her timing is apt since the apple-munching princess is celebrating her 75th big screen anniversary (Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937). Why so many fairy tales? Modern Hollywood thrives on branding so the more familiar the movie before it arrives the better. And what's more familiar than fairy tales?

Tale as old as time. 
True as it can be…  ♫

Oops wrong fairy tale. Regret to inform that Snow White and the Huntsman does not have a theme song sung by Angela Lansbury but let's borrow that song anyway as framing device. Snow White and the Hunstman does have a theme song but it's a less catchy dirge-like ballad. One of the seven dwarves coughs it out at a funeral until Florence and the Machine take over on the soundtrack as the heroes rise up against evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) in montage. 

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. If you can suspend your disbelief that Kristen Stewart is "the fairest of all them all" in a beauty contest with Charlize Theron, read on...

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Yes, No, Maybe So: "Les Miserables"

Q: You know what I always wanted for Christmas?
A: A miserabilist musical epic about whores, convicts, slum lords, revolutionaries and starving street urchins in 19th century France.

Thanks, Santa!

And thanks, Baby Jesus! Even though your dad was not as forgiving as Fantine (Anne Hathaway) dreamed. Les Misérables trailer and discussion after the jump

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