Oscar History

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Entries in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (20)


Linker, Donor, Oscar, Bye

By now you've heard the rumor, which some sources say is closer to actual fact, that Eddie Murphy will be hosting next February's Oscar ceremony. That's a major get if true since Murphy hasn't performed live in years and years and is the kind of Household Name that Oscar always prefers. I'm sure we'll talk more about this if it pans out. 

Lorell and Jimmy are through-oooooooooh 

No matter how great Eddie is -- should he host -- I know I won't be fully satisfied because what are the chances he'd invite Anika Noni Rose (who you know we love) onstage for something. TRUE STORY: Every single time I hear "Eddie Murphy" since 2008 I hear Anika Noni Rose's glorious voice in my ear. I included the sound clip that plays in my head every time in the post. You better listen!

Have you seen Paul Smith's limited edition beautiful posters for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy? They're minimalism and its most gorgeous and they're charitable too. All proceeds go to cancer.

This is my favorite from the batch.

I keep staring at it. But then I love minimalistic art. I think I must need room for my own projections of what an image, movie, or thing might be.

Ashley Judd & Michael Shannon & the aphidslinks!
Sunset Gun revisits Bug, mincing no words: "a masterpiece". I like this movie too but if you ever have a chance to see it on stage, that's where it really wows. So claustrophic and crazy and weirdly expectant of your co-dependency.
In Contention on George Clooney's tribute at Telluride. What a star that man is.
Awards Daily Sasha thinks Glenn Close has a real shot at the Best Actress Oscar with Albert Nobbs as career capper. She also likes The Descendants.
Super Punch stop motion recreation of the Johnny Quest opening credits. "WOW" and also: "What on earth for?" 
Terry Richardson has been shooting Jared Leto again. Those two. 
Movie|Line Stephanie Zacharek with a beautiful ode to Michael Fassbender in Shame and a funny jab at Al Pacino in Wilde Salome.

Today's Must Read
The Sheila Variations on Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre. Can we just cut and paste this whole write-up into her Best Actress FYC ads? Hopefully Focus Features takes a look at it.

Even if you haven't seen Jane Eyre (2011) it's an expansive essay taking on various schools (and limitations) of acting and it even has two beautiful shout outs to two of Nathaniel's all time favorite characterizations: Meryl Streep in Silkwood and Kathleen Turner in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? So I'm sensing that Sheila is a kindred spirit.

Oh and... uh... Happy Labor Day Weekend! 
I tried to take a vacation from blogging this week -- as i hinted in the "best of august" post -- and have now realized that I am unable. Constitutionally unable. Which is why you should all sign on as "subscribers" (in sidebar -- i've added a cheaper option for the brokest among you) so that I can keep blogging from here to eternity. I'm not suited for other types of work because I spend too much time dreaming about the movies.



I'm not sure what I'll do next weekend when I will actually not have an internet connection and must stare at actual friends all day...and not through a computer screen? GROSS.

Diesel Sweeties designed the perfect t-shirt for people like me -- and maybe you -- who can't stop working.




Toronto & Venice Lineups: Full of Contenders & Sleepers

Robert here (of Distant Relatives) with some thoughts on the lineups for the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals which were announced Wednesday morning. And Oh Canada (and Viva Italia!) are they impressive.

Let's begin with Venice since it's up first.


First up, the many films that will be vying for awards and spots on prestigious top 10 lists at the end of the year. I mention them first because while there's much to anticipate about them all, there's not too much left to say. They've staked their claim and now we must wait for word to start rolling in. So we can see if Roman Polanski's late career semi-resurgence can continue with the impressive cast of Carnage, or whether Steven Soderberg's Contagion can live up to that buzzy trailer. Meanwhile David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method sets out to prove that just because he doesn't make movies with gynelogical tools that look like alien lifeforms anymore, he's still a master of psychosexual pathos. George Clooney's The Ides of March will try to be more than Primary Colors redux and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (from Let the Right One In's Tomas Alfredson) may finally get Gary Oldman some recognition in the form of little statues. And of course Madonna reinvents herself yet again, this time as feature film director with W.E.

Meanwhile I feel like the lineup has reminded me of how many films have fallen under the radar so far this year. Did you know Jonathan Demme has made a post-Katrina documentary entitled I'm Carolyn Parker? Underachiever James Franco has found time to direct a film about Sal Mineo called Sal. Todd Solondz is back at it with the romance Dark Horse, which I'm sure will be more fun for the whole family. Further representing the ladies are Marry Harron who jumps into the vampire fray with The Moth Diaries, Andrea Arnold who gives us a new version of Wuthering Heights, and Marjane Satrapi of Persepolis fame who, with co-director Vincent Paronnaud presents her sophomore effort Chicken With Plums.

If that weren't enough there's Shame, Steve McQueen's follow up to 2008's Hunger which pairs Michael Fassbender with Cary Mulligan. If you liked 2007's sweetly sad The Band's Visit, director Eran Kolirin presents The Exchange. And if you liked last years not-so-sweetly sad Dogtooth, Giorgios Lanthimos is back with Alps. Plus new films from Philippe Garrel, Abel Ferrera, William Friedkin and more. Exhausting. The full list is available for your perusal at The Guardian.


Now on to TIFF, the official unofficial start of award season. Along with some films from Venice that will be here too (The Ides of March, The Dangerous Method, W.E.), we'll get our first look at "Sad Clooney" in Alexander Payne's The Descendants, "Angry Woody" in Oren Moverman's Rampart, and "Mathy Brad" in Bennett Miller's Moneyball. Rodrigo Garcia's Albert Nobbs rings the bell on the Glenn Close/Meryl Streep steel cage Oscar match we're all looking forward to and/or feeling conflicted about. Meanwhile Francis Ford Coppola continues the "we hope this one will be his big comeback" era of his career with Twixt.

Of course, Toronto could be comeback central. Fernando Meirelles is premeiring 360 in an attempt to put Blindness out of sight. Lasse Hallstrom is back (actually I can't remember if he went anywhere or if we all stopped paying attention). Anyway if he has his way the title Salmon Fishing in the Yemen will be on all of our lips. Also did you know that Roland Emmerich has apparently grown tired of destroying the world and made a film about Shakespeare called Anonymous... seriously. And his subtler and more stylish French counterpart Luc Besson has maybe put thrillers on hold for The Lady.

The list seemingly never ends, but I must. So I'll finish off with two films you might be anticipating if you enjoyed 2004's My Summer of Love and 2007's Away From Her. Pawel Pawlikoski is back with The Woman in the Fifth and Sarah Polley returns to the director's chair for Take This Waltz. As usual there's still plenty more and The Guardian has that list too.

Once your head has stopped spinning with the promise of a busy end of the year sound off. Which of these are you looking most forward to? Which are you having trouble getting worked up for?



GWB finds Raúl Esparza all villainous

big screen
 Raul Esparza, one of our favorite song & dance men, channels his inner gangster for the new film GWB
Pajiba the fifth annual "most bangable celebrities" list. Fun writeups on everyone from Tom Hardy to Emma Stone to Fassy, who tops the list.
In Contention fans can finally choose between Magneto & Professor X for the X-Men First Class Blu-Ray. Nice covers but obviously I'd have to go with Michael Fassbender.
Scene Stealers chooses a top ten of movie super soldiers to celebrate Captain America's arrival. Hey, that's probably what I'm watching right as you're reading this. Wheeeee.
Little White Lies interviews director Mike Mills on his personal and beguiling film Beginners. I love this bit on whether he's nostalgic for old time Hollywood...

Well, I’m obsessed with history. We are the latest chapter in a long story and if we want to figure ourselves out of get out lf the prisons that we’re in then you need to figure out the past. So I’m always looking back. And I do love Louise Brooks and I do love old Hollywood through the teens, ’20s and ’30s, because it was being invented then, it was like this whole new entrepreneurial world that was just being discovered. ...I like these cultures that were born from punk, too. I was around and I watched these things make themselves a little bit and I related a lot to that. Actually Louise Brooks was a fucking punk, man. She was a really interesting, subversive person.

That she was.

Have you seen this new poster for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy?

It's nifty, yes?

I like that it feels secret messagey and that it isn't loud. But perhaps mileage will vary. I still don't know what to make of it in the Oscar predictions but it's an interesting wild card sight unseen.

small screen
My New Plaid Pants
 Black Book's wondrous Carice van Houten will play the sorceress Melisandre in Game of Thrones. I wish I loved Game of Thrones because between them giving Sibel Kekilli a plum role and now this (Melisandre is a totally sick character) it's like they're trying to fill their cast with my foreign film harem. Who's next: Franka and Ludivine?
Vulture Lisa Kudrow talks about Web Therapy which she's bringing to regular TV now. My greatest related dream is that she convinces Meryl Streep to reprise her sex-crazed reparative therapist Camilla Bowner because it's so topical now what with those crazy anti-gay Bachmanns flitting about on the news.
Towleroad Where in the world is Anderson Cooper?


Yes, No, Maybe So: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

One more Yes, No, Maybe So to take you into the holiday weekend. This one is the espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy adapted from the bestseller of the same name by John LeCarre. The movie arrives in September. Let's break it down.

The trailer is quite riveting. I blame the intriguing imagery, the cold precision of the editing and those musical trills (not sure if that's the right word) in the score. (Though with scoring in trailers it's always a bad idea to get excited because chances are it's another score entirely in the film. Turns out this score is Danny Elfman from The Wolfman) The trailer is also smart about setting up the central dilemma 'there's a long term mole in our ranks and it's one of these five men!' without fussing too much over the details... or even which five cast members, exactly, that we're talking about. I understand from plot descriptions of the novel that the main character George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is pulled back from semi-retirement to uncover the mole so you've got your old hoary trope in there too. One Last Job!

It's 2011 and knowing the internet, we'll hear who the mole is any second now, let alone waiting for the big reveal within the film in September while we're watching it. Not the film's fault of course but it hasn't taken some of the electricity out of all genres that use mystery and twists for their thrills. Then there's a more personal thing: Two hours without any actressing to speak of though... in a genre I can take or leave. Speaking of personal pecularities: though it pains me to say it for fear of the virtual retribution, I've really never been one for Gary Oldman. No, I am secretly not a member of AMPAS but they've really never really been into him either: Note the  "BAFTA Winner" above his name during the cast shuffle before the "Academy Award Winner" for Colin Firth; Oldman has never been nominated for an Oscar. Will this year be different? (Best Actor Predix - updating in a few days)

The director Tomas Alfredson made the remarkable Let The Right One In (which we were just reminded of) and he's brought back some of the same team for this one which means it will, at the very least, be strongly moody with sticky images. That's a big plus for any thriller. The cast is also sharp. Tom Hardy gets a lot of face time in the trailer but there's also Mark Strong, Toby Jones and John Hurt (among others). It'll be interesting, too, to see if Colin Firth can keep up the remarkable momentum he built from A Single Man and The King's Speech. Will that prove a two year peak or will he have another couple more years up top of the "must-cast pile"?

And finally: how the hell will this fare with Oscar? It's so hard to say since the genre and filmmaking team are not Oscar Bait in and of themselves. When you aren't carrying obvious bait, you've got to have strong golden hooks (excellent reviews, showy performances, surprise hit status) if you hope to catch Oscar.

The Trailer in Question...

Are you a yes, no, or maybe so? Break it down in the comments

Previously: Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol, War Horse, Moneyball, Footloose, and A Dangerous Method

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