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Entries in Tom Hooper (14)

Thursday
Aug132015

Eddie Redmayne starts his Oscar Campaign

Here's Murtada on the first major magazine cover of the 2015 Awards Season.

Our current best actor winner is ready for his second straight nomination. Eddie Redmayne is starting his Oscar campaign for Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl more than 3 months before the movie’s release. This week he covers OUT magazine’s fall preview issue with a lengthy interview that touches on everything from where he keeps his Oscar, to his privileged upbringing, to playing transgender artist Lili Elbe.

Perhaps what people are most curious about is how he handles the potential minefield of his casting as a transgender woman. Elbe, who had sexual reassignment surgery in 1930s, was one of the first known transgender people to transition and a movie about her life has been in the making for more than a decade.

Redmayne and his handlers are obviously trying to get ahead of any potential controversy. Hence the careful choice of the publication to which he gives his first interview about the film, and the inclusion in the article of advocates from the trans community like Paris Lees and Lana Wachowski. Lees is quoted and says about Redmayne's casting “Politically, it makes me groan. But if anybody’s going to do this justice, then I’m happy it’s Eddie. We had a good chat about everything”.

The interview is a good read and he handles some of the thornier issues with deft and careful thought. He comes through as humble while acknowledging his luck and privilege. He recognizes how divisive his portrayal of Elbe might become.

People were so kind and generous with their experience, but also so open. Virtually all of the trans men and women I met would say ‘Ask me anything.’ They know that need for cisgender people to be educated. I felt like, I’m being given this extraordinary experience of being able to play this woman, but with that comes this responsibility of not only educating myself but hopefully using that to educate [an audience]. Gosh, it’s delicate. And complicated.”

As for the movie itself, the verdict will be out soon. It plays at both the Venice and Toronto film festivals in early September. Venice comes first and that will be our first indication whether or not that nomination is happening as we’ve seen many an Oscar campaign start at the Biennale.

In the last 10 years, 8 men and 3 women have won the Volpi Cup for English language performances, a big percentage. Of those performances David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck), Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix (who won jointly for The Master) went on to land Oscar nominations. Michael Fassbender (Shame) came close but ultimately missed. However the only winner this decade at Venice who went on to win an Oscar is Helen Mirren (The Queen).

Are you looking forward to The Danish Girl? Do you think Redmayne is a good choice to play Elbe?

Saturday
Aug012015

First Poster: The Danish Girl

[UPDATE: We have been asked to remove the posters] 

I currently have the film predicted in all five top categories (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress) as well as three more craft categories. Is this putting too much faith in it, too little or just right? How bullish are you feeling about this one? It's certainly timely in the year of Caitlin's coming out party.

Can Eddie Redmayne can be the first actor to pull off consecutive wins since Tom Hanks 21 years ago? 

Thursday
Feb262015

Eddie is a Danish Girl

Straight from the Oscar stage to the hair and makeup room...

In case you've forgotten The Danish Girl, which had a difficult development period going through different stars and directors (it went through, I kid you not, FIVE Oscar winning actresses before and three directors) is coming out late this year though we had originally been told 2016. That's presumably to give Eddie Redmayne a chance at back-to-back Oscars (I know it's so gross to mention this already. It can't be helped!). The biopic is from Tom Hooper (The King's Speech and Les Miserables) and is the story of transgender Einar Wegener and her transition and surgery to become Lili Elbe "The Danish Girl" with the encouragement of her then wife Gerda. Alicia Vikander, the wonderful Swedish actress from Anna Karenina and A Royal Affair, is playing Gerda so watch for her in Best Supporting Actress. NooooOOOoooooooooo Oscar talk. It can't be helped.

So let's see it's another biopic about a complicated marriage where the wife has to stand by her man who becomes not what she expected him to be after she falls in love with him? Way to mix it up, Eddie Redmayne! I kid I kid. I hope it's good and I hope Eddie is more sensitive and better at handling the difficult press that comes with this sort of thing (especially now that we have real trans actors playing trans roles on TV) than Jared Leto was. The film is really piling on the gorgeousness because Eddie & Alicia's co-stars are Amber Heard, Ben Whishaw and Matthias Schoenaerts. Costumes are by the superb Paco Delgado who was Oscar nominated for Les Miz and also did genius work on Blancanieves and fun subversive stuff for Pedro Almodóvar a couple of times.

Tuesday
Jan082013

Nom Nom Nom: The DGA's.

Hey, lovelies. Beau here, with the announcement of the DGA Nominees for 2013 whilst Nathaniel lunches with one of them.

  • Ben Affleck, Argo 
  • Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
  • Ang Lee, Life of Pi
  • Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

And so, the open spot goes to Tom Hooper, a recent recipient a couple years back for his work on The King’s Speech. If anything must be said about Les Miserables, it is that it is indeed a director’s vision; the intimacy of the camera superseding the largeness of the story in an effort to maximize the full emotional impact of the musical.

While I have many issues with the film, Hooper’s vision does lend itself well to Hathaway’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’, the strongest scene in the film. Observing despair and bottling it in a shot that would have made Bergman proud, his attention to detail in Hathaway makes for something profoundly intimate and personal. That the rest of the film never lives up to this moment is not really surprising; its pacing and its reticence to self-edit do it a disservice, as the film never really gives its audience a moment to breathe and take in the considerable emotional toll. 

That being said, this is the lineup many have been predicting for quite some time now, give or take Hooper in place of Russell or Tarantino.  We’ll just have to see if Oscar feels the same way come Thursday morning.

Until then, dears. xo, Beau

Saturday
Dec292012

Que Sera Sera, Whatever We'll Link, We'll Link

Roger Ebert delivers his top ten list with Argo up top. Ebert's always been a fairly mainstream Oscar-Friendly voice so it's no surprise to see three of the (presumed) top six Best Picture nominees at the very top. But it's nice to see lesser discussed titles like End of Watch and Oslo August 31st getting their due.
In Contention details a prestigious win that I didn't know about for the French film Farewell My Queen, one of my favorites
IMDb the most pirated movie of 2012 was... Project X. Huh. 


NPR ooh, I missed this interview earlier in the year. Doris Day reflecting on her life and career 
The Guardian here's a fun top ten list if you're feeling that new holiday weight: the best onscreen personal trainers from Mr Miyagi (The Karate Kid) to Pai Mei (Kill Bill)
/Film Test footage for animation/live action hybrid crimes against my childhood: Hong Kong Phooey and Marvin the Martian 

Les Línkables
Vulture Kyle and Amanda argue over Les Misérables with a side of Disneyland
Kelli Marshall pummels considers Les Miz of which she is (previously) a fan
The New Yorker on the consistent greatness of the property and "a continuity of culture" in which the old stories can still be the best
Guardian looks back on Tom Hooper's career. I always forget that the much-loathed director (at least on the internet) made so many wildly acclaimed TV films before moving to the big screen
International Business Times reports that the soundtrack is selling briskly -- I received mine yesterday (thanks Universal peeps!) -- and looks back at the most popular film soundtracks ever. Speaking of which...
Atlantic Wire the music is stuck in our heads forever... again.

Pretty soon everyone will be humming "One Day More" or "Master of the House" and will not be able to stop, and there will be nowhere to escape it. We will all become Les Mis zombies like it's the '80s or something. It might be fun for the first few days, communal and all that, but after a couple of weeks, we'll all be wishing for the same sweet sickness that sent Fantine to heaven.

It's true. Just yesterday I sang the most amazing Les Miz MegaMix in the shower.


Click on the photo if you missed my earlier post on Zero Dark's screenplay

Today's Must Read
Salon Andrew O'Hehir has written the piece on Zero Dark Thirty I've been longing to read. This provocative essay looks at all sides of the argument and the confusing evasions of Mark Boal and Kathryn Bigelow, and doesn't retreat to the frustrating polarized agendas we've been reading like "it's Reifenstahl-level evil and totally pro-torture!" or "people who think so aren't paying any attention" (Subtext: it just can't be pro-torture because I've already expressed my love for it and what does that say about me?!?)

Wednesday
Dec262012

The Deep Blue Link

Awards Daily Spike Lee won't see Django Unchained "slavery was not a spaghetti western" and Sasha is right that if he made the film he'd be crucified in the media that's now celebrating Tarantino.
E! It's a third marriage for Kate Winslet who could now legally change her name legally to "Kate Rocknroll" should she want to.
Michael Murray's hilariously inappropriate interview with Rust & Bone's "Marion Cotillard" 
Movie|Line a good interview with Tom Hooper on his Les Misérables direction... and the controversial choices he made


Coming Soon the cast of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom follow up The Grand Budapest Hotel is revealed. I'm sad that there's no Anjelica Huston (I need her in my Wes movies) but it's fun to know that some regulars will return and the newbies Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law and Saoirse Ronan, who has, according to the man himself "quite a big part" are exciting gets.
/Film wonders if Famke Janssen has a cameo in The Wolverine. Ooh, that'd be sweet.
My New Plaid Pants If I had an award for "Best Reaction Shot" I'd also give it to Kiki Dunst in Bachelorette

Today's Must Read
McSweeney's "Answers to Rhetorical Questions Posed by Movie Titles". I died. 

Rachel Weisz for Vanity Fair. Photographed by Craig McDean

Year in Review
IndieWire interviewed the 37 indie film breakthroughs of the year including our friend Leslye Headland (Bachelorette) to Gayby's Jonathan Lisecki and Middle of Nowhere's Ava DuVernay 
Towleroad Michael Musto does impressions (Angelina Jolie among them) for Village Voice's 2012 to do
Vanity Fair shares their best celebrity photos of the year
Cracked says goodbye to 13 unusual and unusually awesome creatives who died this year from Ralph McQuarrie (Star Wars wouldn't be Star Wars without him) to the guy who co-created many of Batman's villains.
Movie Screams surveys the year in horror related releases

Friday
Nov232012

I Dreamed a Dream That The Film Version of Les Miz Would Be Awesome.

It came true.

Tom Hooper, looking very confident, took the stage at Alice Tully this afternoon to welcome everyone to the screening with a Happy Thanksgiving and a confession that he had finished the film at 2:00 AM in time for today's all guild screenings, the very first! If we were sitting there "It must mean I've finished it," he quipped.

Though reviews are embargoed until December 11th, let it suffice to say (for now) that my fears about the film adaptation of the classic musical were alleviated quickly. MORE...

Click to read more ...