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Best Actress -- Who will be nominated?
Davis? Blunt? Adams? Chastain?

"I'm glad everyone is cheering Fences on, but I feel that people are overestimating its Oscar potential. The furor reminds me of when people were going ga-ga for August: Osage County. " - Jes

"Davis  in Fences. I saw it on Broadway ... it is a true blue supporting role." - Charlie G

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Entries in zoology (66)

Saturday
Apr162016

Q&A: It's a zoo in here.

Hello! It's your host Nathaniel checking in from a screening frenzy. I'm at the Nashville International Film Festival briefly to serve on their New Directors jury but coming back to you, dear readers, on Monday night. Meanwhile here in New York, Jason and Manuel have already lept into Tribeca Film Festival reporting.

For this week's Q&A column I asked readers for a few animal questions since Monty, my baby boy and the world's first Oscar predicting cat (unfortunately he was never a very committed pundit), has been ill. While he's on the mend (hopefully) it's hard to pull my thoughts away from our four legged friends. Herewith 9 reader questions, some animal themed some not...

JAMES: Ever named a pet after an on-screen animal (or human)? 

My cat is named after Montgomery Clift and unfortunately the name suited him because he has been quite a moody thing from his teensiest days until now. He was found in the streets of the Bronx, as far as I know, as a tiny mewling mama-less thing and I got him way too young from the shelter. But even grumpy as he is, he is always right next to me no matter what room I'm in and every once in a while he looks at me like I'm Elizabeth Taylor and snuggles up and it's all worth it. 

(I was actually going to get a second cat years ago and name it Liz but for various reasons it didn't happen.)

HAAJEN: Which animal should be paired with Julianne Moore, Juliette Binoche and Jennifer Law in a movie?

What a weird freaking question that I love. It's like when Kidman's familiar was a monkey in The Golden Compass. So I'm going to say black panther for Julianne, seagulls for Juliette (I always picture her in the salty air near water -- is this a ghost image of Lovers on the Bridge (1990)?) I would also pay to see JLaw in the Clint role in a remake of Any Which Way You Can (1980) if only because I can't imagine the outcome of an absolute war to steal scenes between JLaw and an Orangutan. 

Naturally I have no photos to support this so please enjoy this photo of Idris Elba with a fake tiger.

It is extremely easy to enjoy. 

PEARL: What are your thoughts on Barbra Streisand and Barry Levinson embarking on yet another production of Gypsy for a start up studio? My spirit animal (fox) says they likely face a difficult and painful journey.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar292016

A "Zootopia" Top Ten

We've never even discussed Zootopia! What's wrong with us? (Don't answer) What follows is an off the cuff top ten. But consider this intro a number eleven plus: the joy of the movie is that it's not frontloaded at all continuing to offer delights all the way up to its concert finale in its fleet 108 minutes. So don't let this list feel complete: share your favorite things about it in the comments.

(This is assuming you loved it because everyone seems to)

TOP 10 DELIGHTFUL THINGS ABOUT "ZOOTOPIA"

10 Size Matters (in Comedy)
Lt. Judy Hopps, our heroine, would argue that it doesn't but it does. The animators and writers and filmmakers spin multiple jokes from the disparity in size of so many of the characters. And they've really worked the scale out. Few images in the movie radiated more comic bliss then watching a parade of conformist lemmings lining up for hundreds of miniature sweets made from one elephant sized dessert scoop.

09 Bunny Jokes
That throwaway line "your 275 brothers and sisters" and Judy's sly math joke later on "we're good at multiplying!"

8 more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar252016

Curio: "we went skinny dipping and did things that frightened the fish!"

Yes. that's a quote from Steel Magnolias. I apologize as this is entirely unrelated. It happens.

Are you familiar with "Fish Love"? It's a not-for-profit company from Nicholas Röhl and the actress Greta Scacchi. The goal? I'll just quote them here:

to raise awareness of the unsustainable fishing practices that are destroying the the earth's marine ecosystem. Since then, the Fishlove images have succeeded in bringing the subject of over-fishing to the front covers and pages of the world's media many times over. 

This year's catch is the adorable Emma Thompson and Greg Wise shot by photographer Jillian Edelstein to promote the endangered. But there's more (slightly nsfw) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb032016

Interview: 'Rams' Director Grímur Hákonarson on Working with Sheep and Icelandic Idiosyncrasy

In Grímur Hákonarson’s darkly funny Rams, two brothers who haven’t spoken in decades must unite forces to save their legacy when the government demands all their livestock must be slaughtered to contain a disease. Hidden behind long beards and stubbornness, Gummi (Sigurður Sigurjónsson) and Kiddi (Theodór Júlíusson) take on the impossible task of trying to outsmart the government, making for a fascinating allegory about the things we lose in the name of progress. After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the top prize in the Un Certain Regard category, Rams went on to being chosen as Iceland’s Foreign Language Oscar submission. As the film opens in the US, I got a chance to sit down with Hákonarson who spoke about how his childhood shaped the film, how Cannes changed his life, and shared interesting trivia about sheep.

JOSE: Your parents used to send you to the country to work during the summers. Did you ever think of this as a punishment in any way?

interview after the jump

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan212016

come with me if you want to link

Huffpo The story of the first trans Oscar nominee, Angela Morley in the 1970s
Gothamist This will be such a sad day in Manhattan. The last remaining gala premiere type single screen movie theater in Manhattan is closing in a couple of weeks for good. Goodbye Ziegfeld Theater where I first saw Michelle Pfeiffer in the pflesh, where I first laid eyes on Moulin Rouge!, where so many filmmakers and actors premiered their films.
The Film Stage Taylor Sheridan who wrote Sicario is looking to make his directorial debut with his new screenplay Wind River 


Variety Ettore Scola, the Italian director has died at 84 years of age. Among his best known films were three Foreign Language Film Oscar nominees: A Special Day (1977), The Family (1987) and Le Bal (1983) 
Coming Soon Jennifer Lawrence will star in Marita about Fidel Castro's young lover who became involved in an assassination attempt on his life. (Finally a role she's basically the right age for!)
AV Club Kevin Spacey to play JD Salinger's mentor in a Rebel in the Rye (what a title, eh)
MNPP David Lynch's surreal use of animals in his work - damn my favorite one is missing. The talking bird from Twin Peaks. "Leo, no!" 
BuzzFeed The Hateful Eight as the meanest film in Tarantino's filmography. I haven't actually read this piece -- I'm so tired of this movie -- but people keep tell me it's the best piece on the film. 
/Film The polar bear cartoon Norm of the North is our first 0% of 2016 on Rotten Tomatoes. Everyone hates it!
Guardian Kenya thinks Netflix will lead to 'declining moral values'. (I mean... tif you bingewatch bad tv and movies then, sure, yes)

Franchise Watch
Guardian Terminator Genysis sequels have been cancelled. Be grateful for small miracles. That franchise's first two films were amazements but diminishing returns with all the xeroxing
Decider can Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn save the DC film universe from its self? (That's a lot to place on one ensemble player, even if she does carry a baseball bat) 
/Film Christmas 2017 showdown: Avatar 2 and Star Wars VIII now scheduled to open on the exact same day. But the hilarious thing about this article is they call Avatar 2 an "unmovable force" even though James Cameron never makes his release dates. LOL. Expect that one to movie for sure. 

Today's Watch
The Sky in Sicario. Do we think there's any chance Emmanuel Lubezki doesn't win for The Revenant (which would be his third consecutive win -- which has never happened before -- and if so) 

 

Sky in "Sicario" from Ordog on Vimeo.

 

Wednesday
Dec232015

Menagerie '15: Best Animals in the Movies

Personality Assessment. Go...

• Do you feel guilty (like me) about missing White God, Hungary's acclaimed drama about a pack of wild dogs?

• Were you puzzled when Susan Cooper was embarrassed by her crazy cat lady disguise in Spy?

• Would you put on a bee suit to hang with Mr Holmes

• Would you adopt Paddington after he defiled your toothbrushes? 

If you answered yes to any of those questions you might be an animal person or a crazy cat lady like your host Nathaniel. This list (updated from a halfwaymark celebration) is for you!

TOP 15 ANIMALS FROM 2015 MOVIES
after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov122015

AFI Fest: 5 Reasons to See 'The Lobster'

Margaret here, reporting from AFI Fest in Los Angeles..

The Lobster is the first English-language film from director Yorgos Lanthimos, Academy Award nominee for unsettling black comedy Dogtooth. The buzz since it debuted at Cannes (where it won the Jury Prize) has largely focused on its eyebrow-raising premise: in a society where being part of a couple is mandatory, the perpetually or recently single are rounded up and sent to The Hotel where they must either pair off or be turned into an animal. It's offbeat and biting and not for everyone, but it's also captivating and dryly hilarious. Here are five reasons you should check it out:

1) A bonkers premise improbably well-executed. The setup is so very odd that its ambition alone would make it worth seeing; the fact that the movie sells it without ever straining under the weight of exposition is masterful. In Lanthimos' bizarro world, where existing social rituals around courtship are both flattened and taken the extreme, lonely people scrutinize and reject each other with laughably trivial reasons and deadly serious consequences. Interactions are stilted, and many scenes sound for all the world like they've been dubbed over with a foreign-language translation, except what we're hearing are the actual words coming out of the actors' mouths. But the universe feels fully realized: odd as the relationship dynamics are, they're both internally consistent and recognizably human.

four more reasons after the jump...

Click to read more ...