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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

Beauty vs. Beast

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If you don't vote for Nomi, she'll cut you!


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Entries in The Artist (40)

Saturday
Sep012012

European Film Awards. You've Always Wanted to Visit Malta, Right?

Each year the European Film Awards move to a different location and this year for their 25th anniversary they'll be in Malta. If you vote on their Audience Award prize starting September 1st (today!) you become eligible to win a trip to the ceremony on December 1st (today in 3 months!). Voting closes at the end of October.

vote now

The audience prize nominees, an eclectic bunch, are...

 

I'm baffled about the inclusion of The Iron Lady as it certainly doesn't fit any "crowd pleaser" definition previously known to man. Unless by crowd you mean the entire population of StreepStanistan. Obviously in any "people's choice" situation the film that has been the most widely seen has the edge, so this prize is probably going to The Intouchables ($363 million globally) given its global phenom status. The Artist ($133 million globally), and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ($131 million globally) look like the only possible spoilers.

Lest you dismiss the European Film Awards outright through headscratching over this particular list, please to remember that it's only their audience prize. Their regular nominations don't arrive until early November. Last year they were the only awards body to give the great Melancholia multiple statues.

In related Ocean-Crossing news, The Oscar Foreign Film Submission Charts are now up to detail the official Academy submissions as well as rumors of which films might compete:

 

Sunday
Feb262012

Oscar Night is Here. Live-Tweeting

Each year we stress ourselves out with live blogging of all the big events but for Oscar... Since it's my favorite holiday I usually throw a party and recap later right here. Tonight I'm taking a cue from the fatigue I see all over the red carpet. As I turned on the TV Berenice Bejo had the microphone in her face. Why are the Oscars so special?

Because it's the last one."

While that's a genuine truth, "the last one" came out with something like a squinting faraway desperation for a week in bed. The cast and crew of The Artist have been working it for months you have to admit.

They're so committed I wouldn't be surprised to have seen them helping to roll out the red carpet. Bejo's high heel imprints are still faintly visible on red carpets all over the state.

I am party-less so I'll be live tweeting. Something more low key. I miss so much when I'm typing and photoshopping and polling and everything all at once. And I don't wanna miss the Oscars. I'll update this post a few times during the night with my tweets as guide so refresh your screen.

Red Carpet

• I was hoping that Michelle would come as Marilyn but she's very Michelle.

• Tate Taylor (The Help) so handsome. And I just noticed for the 1st time this morning that he's one of Steenburgen's sycophants in The Help.

• E! Claims "Total Departure!" for Rooney Mara because she's in white not black. Get back to me when she's in a pink ball gown
It's a little chilly"
-Rooney Mara
... weather and personality.
• Best Actress Fashion Watch. Thus far Davis > Close > Williams > Mara. Not exactly the order I expected. Where's Streep?


• Tate Taylor (The Help) so handsome. And I just noticed for the 1st time this morning that he's one of Steenburgen's sycophants in THE HELP

• "the man who loved best actresses too much" that'll be the title of my self-help book if i ever get help.

• Jessica Chastain looks amazing but better than the dress is that unexpectedly girlie bouncy personality . she brought her Nana!
"I love the energy, the light, the american faces and the cinammon rolls"

-Jean Dujardin

• It'll be hard to top Jean Dujardin's red carpet quote about his awards season experience.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb242012

Final Oscar Predictions: Oui, It's "The Artist" 

We'll talk more this weekend but I want to get this posted. I'll be applauding loudly when The Artist wins. Everyone always complains that Oscar doesn't appreciate comedies and then when they do, everyone always screams "trifle!" with holier than thou disgust; the Academy can't win! But this (presumed) winner is a beauty. All twinkly-eyed, big hearted and (mostly) light on its feet. The only real question seems to be how many Oscars will it win. I'm guessing seven... though three of those guesses are easy to see flopping (Actor, Costumes, Cinematography). I don't see it any scenario where it wins Art Direction, Supporting Actress or Screenplay so I'm guessing seven is the maximum. Since you can make such a viable argument for literally any of the five nominees to win Costume Design, I'm guessing the showiness / baitiness of all of them will tip things ever so slightly into the Artist column, which is also I think what's going in Cinematography. I just can't quite believe that "El Chivo" will finally win the gold he's deserved for so long (the latest chance being with The Tree of Life). I've highlighted the true nailbiter categories in red; if you get them right you win the Office Pool.

Best Picture
Will Win: The Artist
SpoilerThe Descendants and The Help are the only films with spoiler heat but even if you try and talk yourself into them, you think you're lying right?
Should Win: Haters gon' hate but The Artist is a beautiful funny rare gift. 

Best Director
Will Win: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Spoiler: Martin Scorsese started precursor season strong with Hugo but the movie has been cooling so I have to wonder if it isn't Alexander Payne in second position for The Descendants
Should Win: I'll clap loudly for Hazanavicius but if they decide not to give the Artist everything, a surprise career win for Terrence Malick would be delicious

all categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Feb212012

Curio: Oscar Unsheets, a Final Roundup

Alexa here.  Even though my excitement over the Oscar nominees this year is a bit thin, the films are enlivened for me when I see them through the eyes of other artists. (Another reason the Academy should follow the lead of the BAFTAs and hire some illustrators already). In last week's Curio I posted some of the more interesting unsheets (a creative term for fan poster art) popping up on the web for Best Picture nominees The Help, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Moneyball, and The Descendants.  Without further ado, here are the best unsheets I've spied for the remaining nominees Hugo, War Horse, The Tree of Life, Midnight in Paris, and The Artist. Happy Oscar all!

The Artist by Gideon Slife.


The Artist by Hunter Langston.

The Artist by Ramin Kohanteb.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb202012

Monologue: "My name is Charlene. What are you wearing?"

Time for our Monday Monologue...

Missi, Uggie and Jean DujardinOne of the unexpected joys of this year's edition of Endless Awards Season has been the presence of the very funny, very talented Missi Pyle. She's kind of blink and you'll miss her as "Constance" the 'Lina Lamont' silent star archetype in The Artist. But she's been everywhere at the events. That's oddly appropriate given that she always seems to be blink and you'll miss her in movies but she makes the best of it. Often when I see her in that big ball of joy that is the cast and crew of The Artist (winning makes the joy part a lot easier) I think back to my favorite moment in her filmography to date.

She was the comedy MVP of the oft-delayed and then underseen and weirdly trashed Spring Breakdown (2009) which is much funnier than it gets credit for. Her MVP status says a lot since the three leads Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, and Rachel Dratch have been known to wring laughs from even the weakest material. Somehow Pyle steals the show out from under them.

Pyle plays Charlene a Spring Break junkie well past age appropriateness for the Endless Summer cruising and bingeing. She takes this trio of new girls under her drunken wing.

After a particularly booze-fueled night she stumbles home with her new friend Gayle (Amy Poehler) and goes all weepy pontificating drunk. 

Every spring this place she flares up like a cold sore and I'm back for more, you know? The kids and the sex and the booze. And you think it'll go on forever but it's like one of those videos, you know, of a fireplace that you put on your TV.

 

And, like, no matter how close you get to the screen it's never going to warm you up."

Suddenly then, she's all nonsequitor.

Her moods tilt and slide around like formerly coherent thoughts sloshing around in alcoholic waves.

I just wanted to be a stylist to the stars.

[Suddenly high pitched] 'You think so?' 

 

Oh hello there fine fella! Who is this?

 

She veers towards... a tree.

"Oh honey, that's a tree," Gayle tries to stop her but Charlene is already making her move. 

[To the tree] My name is Charlene. What are you wearing?

[Glancing to the side. Suddenly crying] I love him!

 
[To Gayle] Don't touch me. Please touch me. Thank you.

Let's just stay here for awhile.

Pyle keeps this comic train hilarious, frisky and sharp even as it jumps right off the tracks careening towards its next blackout: Crying jags, weird bursts of horniness, pickled blood stream, and yet she's weirdly touching.

It's comic magic.

It's hot mess tragic. 

Her name is Charlene. I love her!


Wednesday
Feb152012

Interview: The Man Behind "Puss in Boots" Is A Dog Person!

Monty and PussMonty meows and leaps up on the chair beside me. Cats always know when something is up. In this case, what's up is a phone call to Chris Miller the director of Puss in Boots, who is still reeling from his first Oscar nomination last month when Puss in Boots won itself a slot in the Best Animated Feature race. "Oh my god, it's insanity," Miller admits. "That day is a blur. I've never been through this before so I was pretty overwhelmed at the scope of it."

Monty does a little spin and settles in. If my cat understood any words beyond "treat", "Monty" and "no"*, he might be incensed by Miller's next confession when I ask him about his own pet situation. "Technically I'm more of a dog person. I can't lie about that."

* There is still some debate about whether or not Monty understand this word.

Miller is sadly pet free himself at the moment, still in mourning for the loss of a beloved pug. But this past year in cinema has been a dog person's dream and Miller is enjoying it. Martin Scorsese's plea for a write-in vote for "Blackie" at the inaugural Golden Collar Awards made him laugh and, like the rest of the world, Miller is crazy about "Uggie" from The Artist. He sheepishly admits that the main reason he attended a recent screening and Q&A of Oscar's frontrunning film was Uggie-related. "I thought 'I wonder if Uggie will be there. Oh I hope the dog shows up' I'm being totally honest!"

He was surprised and thrilled about Antonio Banderas open letter which added to the Golden Collar fuss by speaking out about Puss's snub. Puss in Boots, the character, has been in Miller's life for nearly ten years and it's the one cat he loves as much as dogs. "That cat was my favorite from the onset," he says recalling his years with the Shrek franchise. He loved Puss' intrigue. "He came with some history already. Or at least you knew he had some incredibly history. "

"Fear me. If you dare!

NATHANIEL: I'm curious about the career track for animation directors. You've done a lot of voicework and story art? How did you graduate to directing?

CHRIS MILLER: I was involved in story early on in my career and the writing end of it. With Antz and the Shrek movies we were given a lot of latitude to come up with material, characters and dialogue.
A lot of times we'd be sort of given an idea and sent off to come up with something. You share it with the producers and the directors and you sell it a bit. In doing that you get a little taste of everything in cinema. You're writing, you're composing shots, you're blocking out scenes, coming up with character interaction. You're really getting a first crack at visualizing a sequence. Looking back it was a great training ground for direction.

[Improvisation, Oscar madness, and moviemaking from your bedroom after the jump]

Click to read more ...