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Entries in Ryan Murphy (3)

Friday
Jan042013

Mine is the Way of the Link ♫

Buzzfeed Young Christopher Walken looks just like Scarlett Johansson
Where the Day Takes You 140 still-living actresses who were born before 1930! 
Coming Soon the Carrie remake pushed back several months to October release... same weekend as Malavita so I get JMoore and MPfeiffer on the same weekend. ayyiiieeeeee
Backstage a plea to the Academy to dump Nicole Kidman and choose Ann Dowd. Ugh, people... you can have both. Just don't nominate Amy Adamzzz or Maggie Smith (she's better on Downton Abbey anyway!). But FWIW Kidman is genius so this article is suspect ;) 

Pajiba lists 10 FYC Ads least likely to be "considered" by Oscar. Sad really because I guarantee youse that the one for On the Road praises two performances that will inevitably be better than something that will be nominated instead of them. 
MNPP watch JA squirm his way through Les Miz. He just can't deal with the all the singing. The constant singing!!!

Speaking of Lez Misérables, Buzzfeed has a funny character guide that is so so so true. I love the recurring Cosette gag. Here's Javert...


TV
Playbill YAY. Sutton Foster will be back on your TV on Monday with the return of "Bunheads". Watch it with me!
Slate Even bigger YAY. Downton Abbey is back on Sunday. With Shirley Maclaine joining the cast
Gawker shares the best thing on TV this week (apparently)... Jessica Lange doing "the Name Game" for American Horror Story. A twitter follower asked me if I'd watched it but I had to admit I hadn't. I can't deal with Ryan Murphy television: so erratic in plot/characterization/quality... even within single scenes! 

Finally...
Have you seen the Jennifer Lawrence issue of Vanity Fair? I kind of love Jennifer Lawrence as a celebrity even if I don't love her performance in Silver Linings Playbook (though that's almost the definition of "celebrity" in terms of performance, it's so look at me sparkly and charismatic) but I'm starting to remember how very young she is with some of her quotes. Like this one:

 Not to sound rude, but [acting] is stupid,” Lawrence says. “Everybody’s like, ‘How can you remain with a level head?’ And I’m like, ‘Why would I ever get cocky? I’m not saving anybody’s life. There are doctors who save lives and firemen who run into burning buildings. I’m making movies. It’s stupid.’

Ugh, I hate it when actors are "above" acting. Blargh. Acting is an art. And art is important. Be proud of your craft. Actors are magicians of embodiment, sculpters of emotion, and channellers of human truth. Or they can be when they're doing it right.

Tuesday
Oct092012

12 Word Reviews: Pitch Perfect, Gayby, Frankenweenie...

The screenings are everywhere. It's harder and harder to keep up. Herewith some twelve word reviews of things I've seen recently in order to catch up. Naturally, I cheat (sort of) a couple of times. Twelve words is so few... just you try it!

Gayby (OPENS FRIDAY!)
Best friends from college, gay Matt and straight Jenn, decide to have a baby together... the old fashioned way. Hilarity ensues. Personal lives get confused.


12WR:  Plotty but very funny. Celebrates rather than regurgitates stereotypes. Awesome Showgirls joke! B+
Oscar? Not weighty enough even for Spirit Awards but warm and funny enough to age well on DVD shelves despite the "now" topic. It's best hope for awards is turning itself into a sitcom for the Emmys. I'd totally watch this crowd weekly (and it'd be way better than The New Normal which suffers from Ryan Murphy's now familiar Preachy Bull in Broadly Caricatured China Shop voice)

Pitch Perfect
College freshman Beca (Anna Kendrick) joins an acapella group The Bellas. They need to break free of their lame repertoire if they ever hope to win a competition. 
I loved this one while I was watching it and didn't love it in the morning so two reviews...
12 WR (Positive) Weak story, weaker filmmaking; FUN anyway. Key cast shines with great lines. B
12 WR (Negative) Lazily constructed on vastly superior Bring it On template. Funny quick fade. C
Oscar? It's 'Aca-Awkard' to even bring that up. No.

Frankenweenie
Young science-loving Victor resurrects his dead dog Sparky in a Frankenstein like experiment. Once the word gets out the townsfolk lose it.
12 WR: Inventive setpieces, surprises, awesome character design ("Whiskers!") justify expansion of classic short. B/B+
Oscar? It would surprise me if it wasn't nominated for Best Animated Feature and it could also feature into sound categories but the lukewarm response at the box office has me suddenly doubting its frontrunner status.

Our Children
Belgium's Oscar submission! A bicultural family slowly crumbles through dependency and depression.
12 WR: Fascinating thematic subtext undermined by miserabilist March-Toward-Doom structure. Suffocating close-ups. C+
Oscar? I doubt it as its very dour without much in the way of catharsis. But I've been wrong before about this always fascinating category.

Secret Life of Arrietty
Arrietty is a "borrower" a little person living inside a house. Will a new sickly human living in the house expose her and her family?
12 WR: Delicate, lovely, quiet... but too much so! Needs more pizazz. Limited characterizations  B-
Oscar? Ineligible for the Animated Feature race

Saturday
Aug062011

Ryan Murphy's "Normal Heart"

Looks like it'll be television giant Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck, Glee) in the directing chair for the first film version of Larry Kramer's AIDS drama The Normal Heart. That righteously angry 80s play, which has long flummoxed would be adapters (most famously Barbra Streisand), was all the rage on Broadway this past season during its revival (I was less impressed than most but boy did the Tonys love it).

According to Playbill Murphy is planning on going with Mark Ruffalo in the lead role of Ned Weeks and wants his Eat Pray Love diva Julia Roberts in the awards-magnet supporting part of "Doctor Death". That part won Ellen Barkin the Tony and throat pains (we're guessing. It's very shouty!) but apparently not enough renewed career heat to get her an offer for the film version. Between this role and "Barbara" the eldest daughter in August: Osage County Julia seems to cornered the market on famously angry/exhausted stage-to-screen female roles. 

But before we scream "Oscars all around in February 2013!", it's wise to remember (always) that that stage-to-screen teleportation magic is an eternally difficult trick to master. Murphy is enjoying great success with Glee but both of his films thus far, Eat Pray Love (2010) or Running With Scissors (2006), have had mixed results critically and at the box office. One of the dangers of success is that artists get spread very thin and that could obviously be a problem here with Glee still going strong despite its own occasional  "spread to thin" feel.

on the set of Eat Pray Love

But we wish him good luck. He was once the president of a Meryl Streep fan club ferchrissakes. And though I couldn't find the copy that interview that Playbill is quoting he supposedly recently expressed regret that he had to turn down writing the Annie remake meant for Willow Smith, saying: 

So now she's got Emma Thompson who is 50 million times better than me. LOVE HER.

So, see? Murphy really loves actresses and musicals. The Film Experience officially has no choice but to root for him.