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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it



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Entries in Shirley Maclaine (15)


Golden Globe Predictions (+ Shirley Maclaine's Third Jack)

The Golden Globes are tomorrow night, so I'll surely be here tweeting or live-blogging. One wonders if any of the HFPA's oft wined and dined members were treated to Christmas carols from one Jack Black over the holiday break? If not he missed quite an opportunity. If you've seen Bernie you know the man can sang. Though I doubt anyone can work around what's shaping up to be a Silver Linings Celebration tomorrow night (The Globes do love their Weinstein Co. product) the Comedy/Musical categories are typically home to the biggest Globe surprises throughout the years so Jack Black as a surprise winner has crossed my mind a time or two during the season. Remember when Sally Hawkins and Colin Farrell won in 2008? No one was expecting that! If Silver Linings were a little less beloved I'd assume that the Comedy or Musical prize would be going to "24601" himself Hugh Jackman but I'm guessing that now it's Bradley Cooper's to lose.

But back to Black. The comic's awards campaign for Bernie started fairly early-- there's something to be said for early launches -- and when I met him very briefly da few months ago he was so completely casual he almost seemed like a member of the press himself, just there for the free food which he kept recommending. I immediately broached the topic of working with Shirley Maclaine because, well, I am me. They bonded over the musical genre and Jack implied that Shirley kinda takes credit for Bob Fosse's film career basically under the from her movie clout at the time 'I'll do Sweet Charity but I want Bob Fosse to direct it!' I was told that Shirley referred to Jack Black as "My Third Jack"  

Me: Fine company to be in. LEMMON. NICHOLSON. Nerve-wracking! Or maybe you're confidently okay with it?
Jack Black: Not too shabby. I'm okay with it! It's hard to choose between the two. Lemmon kicks so much ass in "The Apartment"... but Nicholson in "Cuckoo's Nest"!

It didn't occur to me until his Globe nomination arrived that both of the performances he name checked were Golden Globe Winners in their days. Coincidence or subliminal sign of his nomination to come?!

Is it annoying that I always bury the lede? Golden Globe predictions are after the jump

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If you can... link it here ♪ you'll link it... ♫ anywhere

Moviefone looks back at the troubled release of Martin Scorsese's New York New York for its 35th anniversary
Awards Daily someday my prince will come... or not. On Brave and more in 2012
Serious Film gets into spoilers to revel in the whiteboard of terrors in Cabin in the Woods 
Movie|Line Magic Mike already making Broadway transfer plans. Huh. 
The Incredible Suit happy third birthday to this fun blog 

Rope of Silicon applies Pixar storytelling rules to Brave to see where it went wrong... um. If you think it went wrong. It's not a perfect movie but I'm surprised by how much some people don't like it.
Vulture first look at Shirley Maclaine in Downton Abbey. Yes! 
How Are You I'm Fine Thanks illustrates the Scooby Doo gaga at the beach. Great stuff. 
GQ interviews Elisabeth Moss on Peggy's Journey in Season 5 of Mad Men... and Season 6 
Empire spreads the rumor that three Avatar sequels will shoot back to back. I can think of better things for Sigourney Weaver to do with her time and I loved Avatar.
TMZ more old footage of Channing Tatum's stripper days


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.



Juliette or Guilietta?

Have you heard that Juliette Lewis will be starring in a film called The Days of Mary (2013?) loosely based on Federico Fellini's Oscar-winning Nights of Cabiria (1957)? It feels like her first lead role in ages so we hope it actually happens.



It's now in Reno -- practically Rome's twin ! (kidding) -- and Juliette is a girl looking for love in, we presume, the wrong places. Bad things tend to happen in movies where Juliette is entangled romantically: mass murder (NBK), end of times chaos (Strange Days), thumbsucking (Cape Fear) but this project doesn't feel as shocking / sacrilegious when you remember that Nights of Cabiria has already been reimagined once as Sweet Charity (1969) starring Shirley Maclaine.

Okay, wait, we need to remake reboot reimagine that poll now...



Have you seen Nights of Cabiria and Sweet Charity? If not, get on that, will ya?


Links: Dujardin Sings, Madonna Votes, Camp Dies

Cats on Film Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) as experience by Jonesy the ginger tom.
New York Observer Good piece on 'the death of camp' and the new Broadway musical TV series "Smash" (which I do mean to write about soon).
Socialite Life teaser for Season 5 of True Blood. Ugh. If it really is about the return of King Russell, I think my love for the show will die. Repetition is so dangerous for good television and the show FINALLY wrestled its way out of the endless Sookie/Bill/Eric loop.
Empire Online has their annual "Done in 60 Seconds" competition. One minute amateur films spoofing on famous movies. Watch some and vote! Film Experience reader Jack made #20 on The King's Speech. Congrats for making the semi-finals, Jack! I haven't had the chance to watch any of this yet but they're 60 seconds long. I can squeeze a few in.

Boy Culture Magic Mike's Matt Bomer and Joseph Mangianello were friends in college (who knew?) and give great advice for male cast bonding.  
Serious Film top 10 overlooked performances of the year
Antagony & Ectasy doles out The Antagonists. I live for personal ballots. They're so much more interesting than consensus nominations. Yeah, yeah. I know I need to finish my awardage.
Vulture Best TV news ever? Shirley Maclaine joining the cast of Downton Abbey!
The WOW Report Channing Tatum signin' autographs and looking good 

24 Frames Madonna's vote for Best Picture (yes, she's an AMPAS member) sounds like it's going to The Tree of Life. Who knew?

I think it’s a spiritual, deeply profound movie. My mouth was hanging open the entire time I was watching it"

Flavorwire Harvey Weinstein's own take on The Artist. You win no points for predicting that he loves it! 
Focus on Women's Filmmakers has a Streep Oscar Chart that plays into all of my biggest pet peeves about awards season including the implict suggestion that it's wrong that she's the only thing ever recognized from her movies (um, what if the movies aren't good?) and including my #1 pet peeve, suggesting that she was the supporting actress in several movies. The modern awards campaign circus has completely destroyed collective understanding of narrative and now if you aren't the movies POV , you suddenly aren't a lead? Soon people will be --- NO, I CAN'T. MUST STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS TOPIC EVERY YEAR. [Breathe, Nathaniel. Breathe]
Guardian Awww, happy face. The original Eponine and Jean Valjean are joining the cast of Les Misérables... albeit not in their starring roles. 

Jean Dujardin sings after the jump!

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Distant Relatives: The Apartment and Sideways

Robert here w/ Distant Relatives, exploring the connections between one classic and one contemporary film.
Nice Guys Who Don't Finish At All
Consider the Romantic Comedy as made for men. In this day and age, the genre is so associated with being poor in quality and aiming only for a female demographic, you could easily forget that they used to make 'em good and with male protagonists. Of course, Hollywood making movies by men for men shouldn't be a surprise. And even today, most romantic comedies made to appeal to women are made by men (which is one small part of why they're so bad). That said, the male hero of a Romantic Comedy is quite different from the male hero of any other kind of movie. "Nebbish" is the word that comes to mind. Possibly also "schmuck." Both 1960's The Apartment and 2004's Sideways subscribe to this setup. Both Jack Lemmon's C.C. Baxter and Paul Giamatti's Miles are serious sad sacks, and both films play hard with the "nice guy finishes last" dilemma painting our heroes as upstanding men smeared merely by the actions of their peers, those cads who would seek to give all men a bad name. But the reality in both cases isn't as simple, and these films know it.
As The Apartment opens, C.C. Baxter is one of many nameless office clerks. But what sets him apart is a sly deal he's cut for himself. By lending out his apartment for the affairs and liaisons of his superiors, he's set himself up to ascend the corporate ladder with ease. The rub comes when he discovers that Miss Kubelik (Shirley MacLaine) the adorable lift operator for whom he pines has been regularly visiting his apartment with his boss, cad of cads, Mr. Sheldrake. In Sideways, Miles too is one of the nameless lonely who trips through life toward increasingly vanishing dreams. He's a writer but not quite fit for success. He's a wine connosieur but not quite enough to be a pro. When his friend Jack suggests he open a wine store, he scoffs. When Jack compliments his writing, he shrugs it off. By comparison, Jack isn't particularly talented in anything other than picking up women which he does... lots. Jack and Miles head for California wine country on a two-man Bachelor Party for Jack where Jack anticipates and finds plenty of tail. Miles, not anticipating it, finds Maya (Virginia Madsen), perhaps his perfect woman.
Turning a Blind Eye to the Not-So-Nice Guy
So what happens to our nice guys? Does C.C. Baxter steal Miss Kubelik away from Sheldrake? Does Miles woo Maya without complications from Jack? First they must overcome a truth of themselves that the women in their lives are sure to discover, and that we the audience slowly come to realize after their charming patheticness wears off. These two nice guys aren't all that nice, not really. Oh they're not terrible people or anything. Theirs are sins of omission. Heck, theirs are lives of omission. Miles and Baxter don't do anything bad because they don't do anything, period. If they seem like nice guys it's often only by comparison. Under the looming shadow of Jack and Sheldrake, Miles and Baxter seem perfectly gentlemanly, but they are really enablers of the behaviors of the men whose lives they seem to eye with jealousy. Not that they want to lie to and betray women. They'd just prefer to not finish last. But they've given up the race, conceded victory to the cheaters and stopped caring about who gets used up on the way to the finish line.
With both of these films ending on an ambiguous note, it can't definitively be said that these are stories of the guys who get the girl. More accurately perhaps, these are stories of guys who, with the help of the women they want, come to understand and overcome their own timid failings. They realize that their inaction is in fact approval of all the action being gotten around them. In what may be a telling difference of expectations after forty-four years of cinema, Baxter is asked by his film to make major alterations to his life and abandon his sly apartment deal. Miles isn't expected to overtly reject Jack or any element of his life, just to understand, and to make a choice. Whether the choices these men make eventually finish them ahead (or at least not last) in the race of life is unknown. But at least they come to learn the difference between being a good person who fails and being an ambivalent person who fails to try.
Other Cinematic Relatives: Cyrano de Bergerac (1950/1990), The Graduate (1968), Broadcast News (1987), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)

Red Carpet Convo: Glamour Casual, Festival Orgy, Namesake Pets 

Nathaniel: It says "Jose is busy. You may be interrupting."
Jose: I'm lying about my status.
Nathaniel: Pants on fire! You are never too busy for fashion. This week's red carpet lineup is kind of scattershot. That's how I feel right now with four festivals seemingly happening simultaneously this week.
Jose: That we know of. Film festivals are the Starbucks of the movie world.
Nathaniel: One for every zip code. 


Nathaniel: So...this first batch is a mix of Deauville (Kate Bosworth, Shirley Maclaine, Emma Stone), Venice (Keira Knightley) and a regular ol' boring premiere somewhere (Marion Cotillard). 
Jose: I recognize the dress so it was NYC.
Nathaniel: See. I'm not even here I've already fled town mentally if not physically... yet.
Jose: I have always wondered how movie stars lose their baby fat so freaking fast. What has Marion been eating after petit Marcel was born?
Nathaniel: She's no longer eating for 2 but ‪½ ... actresses, you know.
Jose: Hopefully Guillaume is feeding the wee lad tons of baguettes and souffles but then again said baby isn't the face of Dior and Mommy is.

Nathaniel: Kate Bosworth eats for ‪⅕ so lets start with‬ her. 
Jose: lol. Remind me again, why is she famous for?
Nathaniel: I can't remember... OH the worst Lois Lane. And a surfer movie, I think.
Jose: Oh true. Also for bicolored eyes and for dating Alexander Skarsgård. 
Nathaniel: If you have to live on next to nothing there are worse things to nibble on.
Jose: She's totally doing a Pam face. He should get her a gig on his show.

Nathaniel: I think this dress is kind of pretty but she is soooo tiny and the dress so delicate that it gives the impression that the tiniest gust of wind -- even something as little as the wind currents coming off another speeding luminary passing her on the red carpet -- would all but knock her over.  
Jose: Kate is pretty but god am I bored trying to say something about her.
Nathaniel: So let's talk about Shirley Maclaine. She was there to be honored for her entire career. I think they showed the ballet epic The Turning Point (1977) of all things. This outfit looks appropriate glitzy and shiny and I love Shirley Maclean Beaty but how can she not afford a better wig? 
Jose: lol. Blame her colorist? This totally reminds me of that Sex and the City episode when Samantha follows her ex BF in disguise wearing a wig from the Raquel Welch collection.

The Many (Great) Faces of Shirley Maclaine

Nathaniel: Jose, it needs to be asked. In the cable system of your mind, are Sex & The City repeats running on like 400 of the 1000 stations? 
Jose: No, but Shirley and I both own the DVDs.
Nathaniel: Anyway, she looks really happy and she certainly deserves lifetime achievement plaudits. It's really a wonder to me that more young actresses don't hold her up as an icon. Her career was stellar, longlasting, and full of interesting movies and classic. And there are so many pixie types. But I guess none of them have a personality even remotely as large as hers. Which is maybe the problem. You can be merely elegant and fashionable and pretend you're the next Audrey Hepburn and people will go along with it for 5 minutes but to try Shirley Maclaine...
Jose: Amen. Anne Hathaway maybe when she grows up? 

Nathaniel: So Emma Stone. Stunning again. This color is gahsome on her. But I have to say... I still don't have a bead on her personal style at all. 
Jose: Her style is "Go with the greatest working designers and blow mortals' expectations every single time."
Nathaniel: Way to narrow it down.
Jose: Remember when I complained about Kate Winslet's structural obsession *fashion nerd alert*?
Nathaniel: Yes?
Jose: Well Emma is doing it right. She went with Roland Mouret, known the world over for his love of structure BUT he does structure with delicacy.
Nathaniel: I'm assuming "the world over" meaning "fashion nerd world"?


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