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Entries in The Thin Man (3)

Tuesday
Feb182014

12 Days Til Oscar: Best Picture Nominations by the Dozen

Tim here, with your daily dose of Oscar numerology. We’re now in the third year of the Academy’s undoubtedly well-intentioned "some random number that always turns out to be nine" approach to selecting Best Picture nominees, and for some of us, this is irritatingly arbitrary. But it could be so much worse. Think of how awful it must have been to been a rabid Oscar fanatic in the first decade of the award’s existence: depending on the year, there were anywhere from three to twelve Best Picture nominees, until it was finally nailed down at a nice, round ten at the 9th Academy Awards, for the year 1936.

The magic number of the day being 12, I'd like you to join me, for a closer look at 1934, the first of two years with 12 nominated films (for space reasons, I am alas compelled to leave 1935 to fend for itself) - the first year, as well, that the awards corresponded to a single calendar year. What can we learn about the Academy’s tastes and habits down the decades from each of these?

BEST PICTURE It Happened One Night (released by Columbia)
What It Is: One of the greatest of all screwball comedies, in which the sexily odd-looking pair of Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable cross country and banter.
The Slot It Fills:
The long-abandoned "comedies are a valid form of artistic expression like anything else" spot. But, of course, the period in which the film came out was unusually good at producing top-notch comedies starring the best movie stars of the day.

Only 11 more slots to fill after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov212011

"baby, you are going to miss that link"

Please tell me how to feel about the proposed Before Sunset (2004) sequel. I don't mean to shirk my duties as an "opinion maker" *snort* but sometimes I just don't have one. A definitive opinion, I mean. See, when the magical Sunset was first announced it sounded like an iffy idea at best and a terrible idea at worst chasing such a fleeting wisp of enchantment like Before Sunrise (1995), one that purposely left the future up to our collective or, rather, individual imagination.

But then Before Sunset arrived and it turned out that a second encounter with Jesse and Celine was not just a good idea, but a great one. It was as if the stars and the Richard Linklater, the writer/director, had not just matured nine years in the interim but that they're maturity combined had tripled that depth of their real time spell-casting. What an incredible film. But if a third film were to triple the depth and power of the second, we would have to count it among the greatest films of all time and what are the chances of that happening? 

Do you want to know what happened to Jesse & Celine or are you more than content to imagine for yourself what came after the fade out?

Links!
fourfour "the diva chain" love it. 
The Playlist awww, damnit. No The Fly sequel for David Cronenberg after all.
AV Club on the new muppet "Walter".  
Rope of Silicon talks to Michel Hazanavicius on Tati, Chaplin and The Artist. Can you believe he's never seen The Thin Man?!
The Wrap Weird News Of Day Alert: Rocky is being musicalized. I've always thought there was great crossover between boxing fetishists and musical theater lovers... uhhhh
The Awl Mary & Natasha are all "!!!!!" on all things The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part 1 "I CANNOT EVEN" myself but maybe not in the same way. 

Finally... Hollywood Elsewhere reveals a big "No" on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close screenings for NBR and NYFCC awards voters. Stephen Daldry's latest just won't be ready by their crazy-early deadlines (November 28th and 29th respectively) It is a bit ridiculous that people are trying to vote on "best of the year" in November. But, then again, it's kind of ridiculous that so many movies don't want to show themselves until December. Lots of magazines have deadlines for "best of year" pieces that have always required long lead looks. November expectations for December offerings are nothing new behind the scenes.

Tuesday
May102011

Cast This: Johnny Depp's "The Thin Man" Remake

Let's talk about Johnny Depp for a moment. Is anyone busier?

Depp sneaking away from all original movie ideas.

He seems to be rivalling Michael Fassbender (rising star division) and Leonardo DiCaprio (first dibs 30something division) on "most films in the pipeline". Aside from signing on for endless Pirates of the Caribbean films (we thought one was enough but oh how we loved it at the time), there's Tim Burton's Dark Shadows adaptation (I almost typed Dark Habits there are no druggy horny nuns in that one) and The Lone Ranger (which Depp says will be significantly rework the Tonto/Ranger dynamic), he and Rob Marshall are prepping a remake of the 30s classic The Thin Man for 2013.

What is with Depp's weird insistence on only doing remakes and sequels? That such an original performer would give himself over so completely to repetition and revisions is eerily similar to the "no more original material!" edict that seems to have consumed his once very original favorite collaborator as well (That's right, Mr. Burton, we're talking to you!)

A remake of The Thin Man (1934), one of the first feature "franchises" is a pretty terrible idea for a number of reasons and not just for the totally norm reason that the original is just fine the way it is.

There are two enormous hurdles to surmount in relaunching that franchise and the unbeatable William Powell / Myrna Loy chemistry is numero uno. Depp is a wonderful actor but when has he ever had chemistry that fine with a co-star? Think hard. Yep, he's something of an island actor. Problem dos is that though the 1930s should technically have been more backwards in terms of gender equality, it's pretty tough to beat the leading ladies of the 1930s in terms of gender equality starpower. Loy was a real lulu and who the hell will ever be able to top her impressive juggling of loving wife, comic sparring partner and elegant diva?

You're going to need an actress who can keep Depp on his toes whilst staring him straight in the eyes and simultaneously never dropping the witticisms from her lips. As much as Hollywood will want to cast a 20something woman in the this role, Johnny Depp will be 50 when the movie comes out so the Nora to his Nick should at least be in her 30s, but hopefully early 40s. (To be anal about it, there was a 13 year age difference between the original Nick and Nora Charles so we'll allow for an actress as young as 35. We're generous that way.) Remember you're looking for an equal in every way.

The last woman to hold her own opposite Depp with enough force to suggest that she absolutely did not believe she was billed below him was Anne Heche in Donnie Brasco (1997). But we all know that they're not going to cast Anne Heche. Who would you go with?