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Entries in Wes Anderson (23)

Thursday
Jan152015

Best (Male) Directors - The Chart!

I wish I had time to sketch Wes Anderson riding to the Oscars on a bicycle made of antique tuba parts (thanks Tina & Amy) but alas. It's nomination day. No time for goofing around.

Manly men and the men who love them and direct them and vote for them to win miniature idols of gold men.

The Best Director chart is now up with details on the nominees and gives you the opportunity to vote for your favorite (the poll will be up until two days before the Oscars). If you fuse all the Best Directors together this year into one über Frankenstein director you get a 6 foot tall white brown-haired American man with some Norwegian/Mexican blood in him who's rapidly approaching his half century mark and who has made about 7 movies in his career all told. (There's no way to fuse these five men's temperaments and styles though... despite being very similar in age, height, and Oscar favor they have very different aesthetics and concerns as filmmakers)

On the new Nominated Directors chart, you'll aso learn how each man got his nomination*. Besides having penises that is. That goes without saying in this category so we left their penises off the chart.

• How much did Birdman's showbiz navel-gazing help Inarritu?
• Which was more important for Linklater: conception or execution?
• How crucial was that spring release to Budapest's overall success?
• And did Morten Tyldum benefit from Oscar's World War II fetish?

Find out on the chart! (More charts to follow)

* for entertainment purposes only you understand. We can't know what lurks in the hearts and minds of voters but we love pretending to!

Thursday
Jan152015

Why Wes, Why Now?

Michael C here. Wes Anderson’s films haven’t been ignored by awards season in the past, so much as they have been relegated to flitting around the edges. His films have received three total Oscar nods, two for Original Screenplay for Royal Tenenbaums and Moonrise Kingdom and one animated film nod for Mr. Fox. His most high profile wins have been a Gotham Award for Best Film for Moonrise and two Indie Spirit wins for Rushmore for Best Director and for Best Supporting Actor for Bill Murray who is in nearly all of his films.

Wes & Tilda on the set

Now that has all changed with Grand Budapest Hotel. No longer the strange side dish, Anderson’s nostalgic remembrance of a Europe that never quite existed has just finished a rampage through the precursors that culminated with Anderson’s first DGA nomination. Over the past few weeks buzz for Budapest grew steadily from “It might pick up a few nods” to “It looks like a lock for a Best Picture slot” to “Hey, it just might snatch the screenplay Oscar away from Birdman”. And today, incredibly, it LEADS the Oscar nominations with nine (tied with Birdman)

For those of us who have been on board with Anderson since the 90’s and have grown used to Anderson being underappreciated it’s hard not to wonder what exactly has changed. Why did Wes break through now when his films have been as good or better in the past? 

Five theories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan132015

Top Five Golden Globes Speeches 

Margaret with more on Sunday's Golden Globes...

Awards show speeches are weird and wonderful things. They’re awkward and rushed, they hold the weight of hundreds of peoples’ expectations, and they are bound to disappoint or offend somebody no matter what they contain.

Since the Golden Globes are the first big ceremony of awards season (People's Choice A-whats? Haven't heard of 'em), the winners have their work cut out for them to be memorable and charming and humble enough to make their new statuette the first of many.

Below we have a roundup of my picks for best movie-category speeches of the night, plus some speculation about whether they might influence the Oscar race. (For wins, not nominations, since the voting is closed and they're now set in stone.)

Honorable mention goes to Just-Keep-Simmons for his amusingly gruff speech ("I think I only have 45 seconds, so shut up").

5. Wes Anderson – Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Grand Budapest Hotel)

Oh, Wes Anderson. Never change! I mean, look at him. Look how uncomfortable he is, how his eyes are locked to his notes. Look at that slightly crooked bowtie. So many ‘um’s and ‘uh’s. He does not want to be the center of attention. If we needed any proof that he’s not the awards-campaigning type, we have it now. It’s lovely to see a Grand Budapest Hotel win, and that could mean that it's got a more solid shot at an Best Picture Oscar nomination than most of us dare hope... but then again, the HFPA often marches to the beat of their own drummer.

4. Julianne Moore – Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama (Still Alice)

Remember when we never got to watch Julianne win anything? Judging by her adorably delighted reaction, the thrill is a fresh one. She shares a lovely dictum from her mother (“a happy person is someone who has work and love”) and gets choked up thanking her family. On the cynical side, the speech hit all the right marks. People love their frontrunners (especially women—boo) to be humble and surprised and emotional when they win. A good move towards Oscar.

3. Michael Keaton - Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy (Birdman)

Sure, it’s a little long (more obvious since it came near the end of the late-running program), but he’s telling a story instead of listing off names, and in the dynastic industry that is Hollywood it’s refreshing to hear from people who were born far from the business. Also: he produced actual tears as he choked out a touching tribute to his son (“Two things I wasn’t gonna do—cry, and give air quotes—damn”), and we all know Oscar loves a good manful cry. This may have pushed him into winner territory.

2. Patricia Arquette - Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Boyhood)

The win was an expected one, but it was no less enjoyable for that. She’s concentrating so hard on getting all her written words out (“Sorry I’m the only nerd with a piece of paper”), but you can just see the immense feeling threatening to bubble out as she gives sweet, genuine thanks to her movie family. It’s clear that the role and the film mean very, very much to her. No major shakeups from this speech; it seems pretty clear she’s headed straight to the Dolby podium.

1. Common and John Legend - Best Original Song in a Motion Picture (Selma)

Potent, stirring, beautifully put.  What every awards speech should be if it possibly can. Common did almost all of the talking, more about Selma itself than the winning song, and put the focus back where it should be: “Selma has awakened my humanity… Selma is now.” If there’s any justice (there isn’t), this would be making the rounds among all the people crying “historical inaccuracy!!” and giving them something else to think about. Good for their awards chances as songwriters, good for the film as a whole. Bonus points for making Oprah cry. 

What were your favorite speeches of the night? Who didn't win that you'd like to hear a speech from soon?

Saturday
Jan102015

Who you gonna call? Linkbusters

Vanity Fair Melissa McCarthy and other funny ladies in talks for Ghostbusters reboot. I'm rooting for Jillian Bell myself who is mentioned. Yay.
Buzzfeed a definitive ranking of Disney Prince butts - as great as it sounds though I'd place Prince Phillip higher because my imagination works (I love that former Prince BD Wong even replied to his ranking on Twitter)
Vulture let us all worship Charlize Theron who has demanded (and been given) equal pay to her male co-star for The Huntsman. It's not like people went to the first movie for Hemsworth...Insane. Sexism by the numbers.
The Film Grapevine Birdman and the unexpected virtue of Contrivance
A Socialite Life Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone photobomb someone actually trying to take a photo of them

Slate on why Wes Anderson movies have never been popular with the Academy Awards before (presumably) now. Fairly good reasoning
MNPP Wet Hot American Summer will become a Netflix series and the original cast is all returning
RogerEbert.com on the women in Selma: the unsung heroines of the movement
THR Samuel Goldwyn Jr dies 
Theater Mania The Color Purple is coming back to Broadway (already?) with Jennifer Hudson as Shug 

Good Long Reads
IndieWire great piece on the definitions of patriotism and exceedingly pro-gun messaging of American Sniper. Please do not let this film be nominated for Best Picture. It's just not what we need right now...especially given how many people have been killed by guns lately in the States...and still no gun reform.
Grantland Wesley Morris on Selma. Love this sprawling, provocative review / thinkpiece. I've been totally appalled and confused myself at the way the media has latched on to the Lyndon B Johnson depiction but Morris makes a great point here that helps clarify, for me, the anger and nitpicking:

A quick survey of film history suggests that the depiction of racial themes in America has always been the province of white directors, whether it’s something as spectacularly diabolical as D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation or the antebellum revenge of Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained. These great-man movies tend to reflect the aspirations and identities of the people who make them, which is how so many stories ostensibly about black life wind up with white interpolators. DuVernay understands the fraught, imbalanced legacy a film like this pulls her into, and she’s been as fair as she needs to be. This is not a film that undermines or questions Johnson’s ultimate contributions to the improvement of black life in this country. (It very easily could have mentioned the two decades in Congress he spent opposing civil rights legislation.) Inasmuch as there are villains, they are Wallace, Hoover, and Selma’s sheriff, Jim Clark. But because this isn’t Johnson’s story, those accustomed to seeing the president as hero (or protagonist) ultimately seem dismayed by how little of the president there is here.

The bold is mine, not Morris's. People who are angry about Lyndon B Johnson's depiction really ought to look beyond the myth and think about reality. And once they do, rather than be disappointed, they should be as generous as DuVernay is who depicts him as an imperfect man who makes a great progressive decision which changes history.

Tuesday
Aug262014

Curio: Back to (Film) School

Alexa here.  Each year at this time I'm a little nostalgic for the school supply run of yore.  I'm old enough to remember the original Trapper Keepers, and personalizing them with my own doodles and stickers. So in the back-to-school spirit I've been scouring for the best film fan notebooks, pencils and stickers to use for journaling or reviewing.  For that dream trip I'll take some September to TIFF, maybe?

Let's start with Wes Anderson. More, including Pitch PerfectAmelie and Banksy are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr202014

Easter Podcast: Noah, Under the Skin, Budapest Hotel

SEASON PREMIERE
Ready for another year of the podcast? The gang is back: Nathaniel R, (The Film Experience), Joe Reid (The Wire), Katey Rich (Vanity Fair) and Nick Davis (Nick's Flick Picks) reunite to discuss this unusually robust auteur spring at the movies. 

This week's topics: Darren Aronofsky's peculiar muddy vision for Noah starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly & Emma Watson; Jonathan Glazer (Birth) and Scarlett Johansson's Under the Skin; and Wes Anderson's biggest hit The Grand Budapest Hotel. Did we want to check in and stay?

Under Noah's Skin at the Budapest Hotel
00:00 Noah (story diversion, auteur vision, character work)
18:45 Under the Skin (visual storytelling, interpretation, Scarlett)
29:00 Noah and Under the Skin (in communication)
36:30 The Grand Budapest Hotel (inside & outside friction, accepting Wes, art direction)
44:30 Ralph Fiennes and the movies Oscar buzz
49:00 Other movie recommendations: Le Week-end and Blue Ruin.

You can listen to the podcast at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.me, I Heart Huckabees, Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambíen, 

Under Noah's Skin at the Budapest Hotel