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Entries in Sandra Bullock (32)


Tuesday Top Ten: Melissa McCarthy Line Readings in The Heat

Amir here. For no other reason than to celebrate one of the year’s funniest films -- consider it a Golden Globe FYC -- here’s a top ten list of Melissa McCarthy’s line readings in The Heat.

Rewatching the film, you notice that the humor is much more dialogue based in the first half and situational in the second, but it’s consistently hilarious. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in for a ride. Without further ado:

10. I got it on eBay. It was supposed to be bigger and different. I’m gonna bad-feedback his ass up.

Yes, one of these items is what she’s talking about!

9. I am balls deep in boredom.
Undeniably the most quotable line in the film.

Click to read more ...


Where My Girls At: Post-Halloween Edition

TWO DAYS LATER... I've sucked at Halloween lately which is why I'm having trouble letting it go this weekend. I mean I really have. It was once my favorite official holiday (I'm still petitioning for Oscar Night to be a Federally recognized holiday because, duh, that's the best one) but for the past couple of years I haven't dressed up or celebrated and just haven't been feeling it. So Imma have to start planning my costume for 2014 now just so there's no backing out. If you've ever lost the love for a holiday and reclaimed it, do help me out in the comments. What to do???

Since the clock falls back one hour tonight (daylight savings endeth) I'm using that an excuse to pretend time and calendares are completely fluid/meaningless and it's not too late to post these pictures of two of TFE's most favorite ladies/actresses/divas/witches Nicole Kidman and Angela Bassett doin' the holiday up... and Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy co-starring again post The Heat for a little trick-or-treating

Click to read more ...


Golden Globes: Got Any Comedy/Musical Predictions?

a comedy?Despite bold statements every year about who is campaigning in which Golden Globe category, the news is usually fluid so don't get too attached to anything you hear. Awards strategists are free to change their mind. As it stands now, August: Osage County and Before Midnight are planning Comedy campaigns and Blue Jasmine is aiming for drama. Curious, right? Dark laughs are flexible, don'cha know, and they can find traction in either category. We here at The Film Experience have long mourned the death of the Comedy or Musical category in the way we also mourn the death of the Supporting Oscar categories in that they too rarely serve their original purposes: which was to honor achievements that would otherwise be overlooked in the annual awards-focus on prestige drama and movie stars, respectively. It says a lot about the Comedy Acting categories for example that you can only make room for actual comedic triumphs IF a prestige drama with a few laughs or songs opts out.

The two most likely to succeed players IF they're deemed comedies though some feel they won't be are  Emma Thompson and Dame Judi Dench for Saving Mr Banks and Philomena respectively. Regardless, I think you can ink in Julia Louis Dreyfus for Enough Said, the year's most acclaimed romcom. If August's current campaign plans hold, you might see Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep taking up the entire rest of the category for their bitter duel! Why Julia? Well, supporting campaigns sometimes get promoted in this category if its a movie star who is actually a lead (see Catherine Zeta Jones nom for Chicago) and nobody thinks of megawatt Julia as a supporting player. But if you account for all five of those women (which you might not need to given rumored drama campaigns for Philomena & Saving Mr Banks -- which are the type of properties that could easily swing either way) there's no room left! Speaking of category confusion... if it's not Julia, the Globes could go with another actress they've been known to love with abandon. Remember that weirdass nomination for Scarlett Johansson for A Love Song For Bobby Long in 2004? (It's okay. nobody else does either) She could surprise here given that revelatory comic sparkle in Don Jon. And that would not be an unworthy call.

Potential Spoilers: If they're willing to lean pure comedy they've got a ready made nominee set in Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy from The Heat but it's tough to say which of those two might win favor since the HFPA often ignores pure laffers when sorta-funny dramas are around and votes could easily split anyway. McCarthy has the reviews and that new stardom (with two big hits in 2013) but Bullock has the Gravity and is arguably the biggest star of all at this moment. Plus, you know how they love double dipping! Greta Gerwig's Frances Ha or Julie Delpy's Before Midnight would be a really smart worthy choices but neither seem like the type of actor that the magpie-like HFPA, always looking for super-shiney-famous, would lock right up for a nomination. Paulina Garcia in Gloria, should the film win a qualifying run, would be another brilliant choice but it seems so unlikely given all of the beloved big names in the mix.

Am I missing any possibilities?

There might be no beating Bruce Dern for Nebraska unless the Golden Globes are itching for a major movie star to reward instead of someone who has paid his dues. The only other sure thing is, I'm guessing, Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis since he covers the "musical" part and the film, if not Isaac, is really funny at times -- it was directed by the Joel and Ethan Coen after all. Will Her end be declared a comedy despite its melancholy? If so then Joaquin Phoenix for sure.

But who else? Will Will Forte join Dern for a double Nebraska nod with the dearth of possibilities or might James Gandolfini win posthumous favor for Enough Said? Will they take Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight? There's also Joseph Gordon Levitt in Don Jon, Ben Stiller in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Will Ferrell in Anchorman 2? Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man 3 or Johnny Depp in The Lone Ranger (hey they'll nominate mega-stars for anything)

Will they fill up the film category with only potential Oscar BPs: August: Osage County, Nebraska, or the either/or category types like Her, Before Midnight, Philomena and Saving Mr Banks. Or will they throw some thankyoufortheLOLs and songs honors to more straightforward comedies Anchorman 2, The Heat, Don Jon, This is the End, or At World's End and the two musicals Inside Llewyn Davis & Black Nativity. You never know how they'll swing in this category because they also might opt for charmers like Frances Ha (shut up I can dream), Enough Said, About Time or The Way Way Back.

Alternately they could always pull a Tourist like head-scratchers and go with something unacceptable (categorically) or critically planned like Oz the Great and Powerful, Red 2, The Family or The Lone Ranger!

What does your crystal ball tell you?


Remember When... We Didn't Know Who Would Star in "Gravity"?

I've been spending a great deal of time thinking about Sandra Bullock in Gravity lately. It's only natural when an actress is headlining an unqualified blockbuster that I'd do that but some of the time spent making like a contemplative Rodin-statue is my disconnect with the performance. I didn't love it or dislike it. I fall right in the middle. She's up to the task but no more or less.... to me. It doesn't remotely feel like an actor's movie to me -- though in all honesty I actually expected it to be given its one character focus. As a result I've been rather at a loss for explaining all the performance raves that have flown 'round ever since. And I've been stubbornly reluctant to concede that she was an Oscar lock. [Updated Best Actress chart]

My disconnect was aggravated by the fact that on the day it premiered and the explosion of "give her a second Oscar!" tweeting began... I had such a hard time imagining Cate Blanchett's hurricane force work in Blue Jasmine as a runner-up in this "versus!" contest in terms of quality. What's more Sandra's star turn wasn't even among the five best performances I had seen that month... let alone the whole of the year. While everyone was enjoying Sandra's survivalism on opening weekend I was still: reeling from Luminita Gheorghiu's savage mom in Child's Pose which would be a film-carrying nomination threat if it were in English along the lines of a Anjelica Huston in The Grifters (...and if it were being released in time); marvelling at Marion Cotillard's technique in The Immigrant which would be a threat if Oscar had shown any interest in Marion post-Oscar win (...and if it were being released in time); and falling head over heels in love with Paulina Garcia in Chile's Oscar entry Gloria, a performance so good that it'd be a threat to win the statue if it were in English, and if Oscar loved leading ladies over 50 (they don't)... and, say it with me now... if it were being released in time. That's too many "if"s, I know. 

So I asked on Twitter, Guy Lodge thought too aggressively!, what people saw in Sandy's performance that I was missing. Why were they so enthused? (And I probably should have asked the lot of you as well!)

The most common answers I received were for 'selling the illusion' and for her 'game physicality'... both of which are valid points, I concede. But I find that the performance is lacking in vocal nuance and in the eyes (beyond terror). I just didn't feel like it transcended the simplistic characterization in the screenplay in any way and when you're talking FIVE BEST OF THE YEAR you'd better transcend! Otherwise just enjoy solid respectable "we love you, you superstar" reviews and leave it at that. Joe Reid was teasing me earlier today with the internet's binary thinking that this makes me a Sandra hater and no one should ever believe that i've ever enjoyed her in anything. But I have! I've just never though she was a "great" actor, only -- and this is not an insult -- a super likeable and talented one. She's the kind of star for whom global popularity and bottomless coffers of gold coin feel like just rewards. 

This is all a long way of saying that I'm happy for Sandra's success since she seems like such a good person and she's so likeable, but that I still don't get why she's now an "Oscar Actress" as opposed to a Beloved Movie Star. Sometimes those things should go totally hand in hand of course, don't misunderstand. But in this case...?

Why am I bringing this up now, three weeks after Gravity has conquered the world and has the loudest Oscar fanbase this year?

Well, while looking for something else entirely in the Vaults of The Film Experience I came across this old post about the casting of Gravity after Angelina Jolie passed in 2010 and this strange "what if" visual detail...

actual reported studio interest when they were trying to find Gravity's female lead in 2010


These women were all actually mentioned in the trades as viable Angelina Jolie replacements!  It's hard to imagine Gravity with most of these girls (if not quite all of them) in the role. Funny, right, that the studio were so invested in the futures of Blake Lively, Abbie Cornish, and Sienna Miller... or that they thought Scarlett or Natalie were old enough to play a scientist with expertise that the space program needed, or that they allowed for the possibility that Naomi Watts or Marion Cotillard might be bankable enough?

Now that Gravity has settled in as our possible nomination leader, how are you feeling about it? And Sandra's place in the Best Actress race? Whether you think I'm crazy or only half-agree, do chime in. 


12 Links Today

Cinema Blend 50 Shades of Grey might go with Alexander Skarsgård (and a new screenplay)  now that it lost its leading man. Skarsgård has to be anxious for True Blood to wrap given the movie offers coming his way.
Ultra Culture the exhaustive list of Xavier Dolan's credits... in his own movies.
Xavier Dolan ...oh and he's started film #5
Pajiba has an awesome take down of the recent resurgence of "boohoo it's hard to do female characters" quotes and articles -- I can't even with those comments from the animators of Frozen!

Popcorn Taxi Tom Hiddleston doing Owen Wilson doing Loki. wtf? (and also LOL)
Coming Soon Netflix has ordered a new family secrets thriller series from the creators of Damages
Variety Paul Rudd and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are said to be Marvel's top choices for upcoming superhero flick Ant-Man
Variety Weird. Susan Sarandon and Eva Amurri may star in a mother/daughter sitcom. I can't say I predicted a sitcom for Sarandon and isn't "Mom" already on TV?
i09 the weirdest vampire movies ever made
The Playlist new images and clip from 12 Years a Slave 
MNPP 250 words or less on Captain Phillips 

my favorite Best Actress win of the 1970sFinally...
Movie Mezzanine seemingly asked everyone but me to compile their "top ten" of the 1970s without commentary. I dont know why lists without commentary are fun to read but they are. It's fun to see which movies dominated their massive roundup (The Godfather is the expected winner, topping 6 lists and it's nearest rivals - more interesting -- are tied for 3 #1 ranks each:Annie Hall, Days of Heaven and Taxi Driver). I've already done this particular top ten in an earlier post but if I were to redo it it'd maybe look like so. And weirdly no one they polled had my #1 as #1 though it appears on a few lists. 

1) Manhattan 2) Nashville 3) Cabaret 4) Apocalypse Now
5) Network 6) All That Jazz 7) Carrie 8) Taxi Driver 9) Annie Hall
10) Dog Day Afternoon 11) Cries and Whispers 12) The Conversation
13) Three Women 14) Jaws 15) The Godfather 16) The Way We Were
17) Klute 18) McCabe and Mrs Miller 19) Star Wars
and 20) Grease (for the nostalgia. shut it)

Okay I cheated with a top twenty but the astonishing thing about that decade is that everyone's lists look completely reasonable because great films can be seen wherever you choose to look in your 70s film education. You know? 

Exit Music
How about a little "Chopsticks" with Oscar bound (again) mega-stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock? So crazy that today's new adults (Happy 18th, 1995 babies!) were born into a world where Hanks and Bullock were ruling the box office and today here we are again. Talk about legs (and I don't mean Bullock's literal ones but wow those gams)