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Entries in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (25)

Tuesday
Jan072014

DGA Howls for Scorsese, Russell and Three First-Timers

The Directors Guild of America, more commonly referred to as simply DGA, have announced their nominees for the film year, and the expected nominees prevailed… with the possible exception of the final slot, alphabetically and most in doubt, which went to Martin Scorsese for his controversial satire.

The nominees are…


  • Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity (first time DGA nominee)
  • Paul Greengrass, Captain Philllips (first time DGA nominee)
  • Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave (first time DGA nominee)
  • David O. Russell, American Hustle (second DGA nomination though curiously not honored in 2012 when Silver Linings Playbook was all the rage)
  • Martin Scorsese, The Wolf of Wall Street (12th DGA honor*)

In the past DGA nominees were literally the surest indication of which five movies would be nominated for Oscar’s Best Picture, even moreso than accurate bellweathers of what would happen in the director race itself. But since the upheavals in Academy voting since 2009, it’s tough to say what they mean anymore since Best Picture nominations are so much easier to come by. But whatever it means it is certainly not good news for the Coen brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), or Spike Jonze (Her) all of whom have been nominated by the DGA in previous years.

In the past four years (2009-2012) of the DGA nominations 15 of 20 of their selections went on to be Oscar nominated in the same category with 2012 being famously divisive between the two awards groups – only 2 of the DGA’s choices made it to the Oscar lineup in a real surprise shake-up. But despite those disagreements only 1 of the DGA’s 20 selections in the past four years did NOT receive a Best Picture nomination (David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo which won five Oscar nominations and 1 actual statue) so all five of these movies are likely to be Best Picture nominated

… yes, even The Wolf of Wall Street despite the defensive game it’s been playing the media. The Wolf of Wall Street’s current situation has been compared to Zero Dark Thirty’s last year (both here and elsewhere) and Zero Dark Thirty, like Dragon Tattoo, went on to five Oscar nominations and 1 win. So smart money…and by smart money I mean “people who believe in crazy coincidences of Oscar numerology” should expect 5 nominations and one win for Wolf, though not in Best Director and maybe not in Best Picture. In short: we know not a damn thing about how this will play out!

* It’s worth noting that Martin Scorsese is a beloved icon to the Directors Guild of America, having won television, narrative feature, and documentary honors. They’ve been slightly more generous with him over the years than Oscar has. As with Oscar he’s only won their top prize once (also for The Departed) but they’ve given him a lifetime achievement prize as well as nominating him for two pictures that Oscar did not recognize him for: Taxi Driver and The Age of Innocence. The only time the Oscars recognized him when the DGA didn’t was for The Last Tempation of Christ.

Sunday
Jan202013

Raven Haired "Mama" 

Jose here. By the time this weekend's over, Jessica Chastain will have finished taking over the world her latest movies in the first and second spots of the box office (help me out here, has this happened before?), which might not mean she's a money-making sensation (at least not yet) but will undoubtedly expose her brilliance to a broader audience. The Oscar nominated Zero Dark Thirty, whose commercial success is undoubtedly owed to the torture controversy, dropped to second place, while the horror movie Mama is set to open as number one with a figure in the mid-twenty millions

http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2013/1/20/raven-haired-mama.html

The Guillermo del Toro-produced movie seems to be a good 'ole "mediocre January horror flick" but it's actually not half bad. I saw it earlier today and was shocked upon realizing I hadn't rolled my eyes a single time. The Chastainite in me wants to say the movie owes itself to her, but in reality, the direction and cinematography seem like a breath of fresh air compared to what this genre has given us lately. [More Chastain after the jump...]

 

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Wednesday
Oct242012

c'mon. take another little piece of my link, babe

Next Movie Evan Rachel Wood & Juliette Lewis would rather they play Janis Joplin than Amy Adams! Agree?
Hark! A Vagrant stops for Quiz Time with Queen Elizabeth. If only Elizabeth: The Golden Age was this (intentionally) funny!
Stale Popcorn loves the costumes of Argo (as do I) 
Playlist will we see a Fincher-helmed sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. So many questions. So few answers but I am going to say a hard "yes" on my guesswork on this one. I have my reasons. 

Salon wonders if horror has reached a new golden age and whether European (Spanish to be precise) cinema is to blame. 
i09 Wally Pfister, the Oscar winning cinematographer of Chris Nolan's filmography will direct his own feature now. Johnny Depp to star.
/Film Zero Dark Thirty and Stand Up Guys have adjusted their release plans to barely show in 2012 but still be Oscar players. Oy... I hate this part of the otherwise glorious last quarter of each year. In related news: yes, I'm fully aware that I need to add Jessica Chastain to my Actress chart. Updates this weekend!
Playbill Whatever happened to that Soapdish remake? Never mind, it's now being adapted into a musical. Quite a starry lineup they're gathering for a reading: Kristin Chenoweth & Jane Krakowski? Blonde musical comedienne sensation x 2 !

Gawker 'my pussy is the temple of learning' Madonna's Sex and Erotica turn 20 years old this week. I love them both muchly. If only they were movies I would devote the whole week to them. Please do not say "Body of Evidence" as its the only embarrassing part of that Madonna 92/93 trifecta that's no cause for celebration. (Should I write about them anyway and just force the film connections?)
Cinema Blend Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone for Cameron Crowe's next movie? 
Pajiba on the Empires of the Deep trailer. Hmmm Errrr. The only recognizably non-computerized thing in it is one shot of Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) One senses this won't be her Resident Evil poor thing. 
In Contention talks to the very busy very awesome character actor John Goodman  

 

Wednesday
Jun272012

Nora Ephron (1941-2012)

Goodbye NoraScreenwriter, director and all around wit Nora Ephron passed away yesterday at 71 from a long battle with leukemia. The Ephron movie I hold most personally dear (with the exception of Silkwood which is more of a Nichols/Streep thing for me) is Sleepless in Seattle (1993). When it came out on video I was in college working in a video store / pizza place. We always put movies on and they had to be safe for families so it was all G & PG titles. I'd play old movies and musicals and whatnot in the morning when people wouldn't complain about them but when it would get busier you'd have to have the new titles playing while they stuffed their faces full of hot melted cheese. Sleepless in Seattle was popular in heavy rotation. Loved that movie and always got a little heartsick right along with Meg Ryan, listening to that radio in her car.

My last Nora specific memory was the tickling experience of reading her brief spoof of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo in The New Yorker. I remember my smile turning to audible laughter (aka LOL'ing ) a third of the way through and increasing in frequency as its brilliance sank in. There was an after pang - "If she's still this funny, how come we don't get another When Harry Met Sally?"

Alternate title for Nora Movies: "You've Got Relatlonships"

I didn't know at the time that she had already been sick for a few years. And even if her filmography contains its fair share of head-scratchers, on the whole its a good one. Her reputation has only been unfairly diminished by the shortsighted modern disdain for the rom-com genre which she ruled for a time. (While it's true that this genre is currently at its nadir, some of the greatest films ever made belong to it - think screwball.)

This morning my thoughts turned to Ephron's screen muses. While she worked with Tom Hanks, John Travolta, and Steve Martin multiple times I wondered sadly how Meryl Streep and Meg Ryan, her two most prominent interpreters, were feeling today. I have no idea what their personal friendships were actually like -- though Ephron's amazing AFI tribute speech to Streep suggests that theirs might have been filled with nonstop hilarious banter.

Since Ephron wrote so well and often about romantic relationships, I like to frame the collaborations in that way. Let's call her screen romance with Meryl Streep (Silkwood, Heartburn and Julie & Julia) an "amorous friendship" -- one of those mostly chaste things with occassional "what if...?" flarings of passion. The screen romance with Meg Ryan (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Hanging Up) on the other hand can only be interpreted as "marriage" --unmistakably public, fruitful and life-changing for both.

Nora ♥Meryl, Nora ♥ Meg

What's your favorite Nora & Meg movie? What will you most miss about Ephron's best work?

Recommended Reading
The New Yorker The Girl Who Fixed the Umlaut by Nora Ephron
Lists of Note "What I won't and will miss" by Nora Ephron 
...and my two fav Ephron tributes: NPR's Monkey See and Stale Popcorn.

Thursday
Apr052012

April Showers: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

In the years doing the April Showers series it's become clear that there are basically four types of shower scenes in movies: sex scenes, sight gags, horror moments when characters are at their most vulnerable and emotional cleansing moments (that the body also gets scrubbed is just a bonus). Dragon Tattoo's shower sequence is clearly the latter type, after Lisbeth's brutal rape. David Fincher famously quipped pre-release that his movie had too much anal rape for Oscar. Oscar didn't mind so much nominating it for several Oscars.

Fincher's discussion of the sequence [after the jump. NSFW] on the commentary track is interesting. 

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