Monday, February 28, 2005

Fashion Jamboree

The rundown of the night is up for those who want to see and read my thoughts on the ubiquitousness of pale dresses, bad hair, and Melanie Griffith's desperation. (Note to Swank: This is your future!)


So glad that's over. The party/viewing here was quite fun. The awards themselves, though? Ugh. It's always a little hard when the most loved movie is one you just don't really respond to. Then you're left shaking your head going "why?" Best Moment -Charlie Kauffman finally winning. Worst moment -Hilary Swank at the podium --STILL campaigning even though she'd just won. 'i'm just a poor girl from a trailer park. blah blah blah.' Still hogging the night, refusing to go as she shouts out names like she hasn't had the opportunity to thank people for months now at other awards showsHate her. I would like to say "at least she'll go away now" But who knows? I mean, she improbably came back this time. And, I remember full well that she was a media fixture then, desperately clinging to every ounce of her newfound fame after she won the first time. Showing up at EVERYTHING, hosting fashion awards on VH1, cutting ribbons at grand openings, hosting blooper shows...whatever. You invited her for spotlight time, she was there in a jiff! I swear though that if she lands another Oscarbait role in another 5 years -and campaigns as desperately as she did this year and defeats someone like Kate Winslet or Julianne Moore who still haven't won by that time, there will not be drugs powerful enough to contain my rage.

Yes, I'm bitter. But I have to release it for catharsis reasons. Must purge myself of the Swank hating.

But on to next year...

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Party Favors

Panic mode is setting in. So much to do... so little time in which to do it. I keep thinking some of my hunches that I didn't quite go with (like Swank losing) are going to happen. But I have to remind myself that that's typical day before psyche-outs. Everyone en masse usually SUDDENLY thinks anything is possible (like people thinking Crouching Tiger could beat Gladiator even though it was a Taiwanese entry. But it wouldn't make sense for M$B to be shut out and I don't see how it wins best picture without acting prizes (since it's not going to win much else) --However I do think it's possible that it loses pic & dir and ONLY wins acting.

I wanted to predict Clive Owen -feeling sudden heat for him in the air and having always felt that one of the two from Closer could take something home. But I keep thinking back to Kate Winslet at the SAG suddenly stopping the interviews on E! in order to profess her love for his work. Kate -freaking- Winslet who is a better actor than just about everyone idolizing someone else? So I keep thinking it has to be Freeman. But Clive. Clive. Clive. Why can't I let it go?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Final Predictions

It's a bitch this year. I could score as low as 50% I feel like a ton of the races are just teetering on a knife's edge between two or even three candidates. So, I just tossed up my hands. You can read the final predictions at the link above.

Or, you can give up on reality altogether and join me in my fantasy lineup of winners... And the "imaginery -making Nathaniel happy-winners are..." Picture -Sideways * Director -Mike Leigh * Actress -Annette Bening or Imelda Staunton * Actor -(no preference really. not into their nominees... maybe Cheadle?) * Supporting Actor -Clive Owen * Supporting Actress -Virginia Madsen * Screenplay -Eternal Sunshine * Adaptation -Sideways * Costumes, Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Sound -The Aviator or Spider-Man 2 * Score -(no preference) * Song -The Chorus or Motorcycle Diaries (no real preference) * Animated Film -The Incredibles * Visual Effects -Spider-Man 2 * Foreign (no preference have only seen one :(

Thursday, February 24, 2005



Do not read this if you haven't watched the last episode of Project Runway that aired three times last night on Bravo.

OK. Those of you who are still with me.

Go away if you TIVOed and haven't watched it.

OK. still with me?

Last night the expected frontrunner, the professional and confident Kara Saun showed quite a line with gorgeous color, perfect execution, storytelling skills, and said the whole thing was inspired by seeing The Aviator. "Fantasy Fly Girl" "The Aviatrix" these were some of her descriptions of the collection. And then ...she lost! She had won a bunch of the "precursors" --4 contests in all throughout the series. Jay McCarroll, the eventual champion, hadn't won much of anything through the 12 challenges. But he had showed remarkable consistency, his personality was a major winner, and he had his own very specific vision.

So, this is not good cosmic-collective subconscious-wise for The Aviator at the Oscars, I think... I was still tempted to predict Scorsese's epic having assumed that a good portion of the Million Dollar Baby buzz is media/journalist created. And I do still believe that the enormity of the buzz is false. But the buzz is still there. I think the race is much tighter than anyone suspects but seeing Kara Saun lose just made me feel like the Howard Hughes flight, however skilled, gorgeous, and classy it was, was going down.

On the other hand I totally agreed with Jay winning on "Project Runway" and I totally don't agree with Million Dollar Baby winning at the Oscars ... so the mental connection ends there. But what am I gonna do? No sense in crying anymore over that lovely bottle of milk that's about to be spilt.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This, That, Other Things

aaaah. S-T-R-E-S-S.
I can't really describe how full my life is right now. Not "full" as in the joyous 'What a full like he led!' But in the overstuffed way. Any helpful suggestions for coping when it's all overwhelming would be appreciated.

Interesting that Alexander Payne won in a landslide in my best director poll about the last few years of filmmaking. I thought Clint Eastwood was the "greatest living filmmaker" (snort)? Before I get hate mail I do want to say that I think he's a talented director. But my gripe with the hype is this: making two very respected films in the past two years does not suddenly elevate you to the best in the business bar none. And I think the PR people responsible should be ashamed of themselves and should also get promotions and hefty bonuses ! ;)

I went to the opera at the Met last night -- "samson et dalila" premier starring Jose somebody (who was --aaaaaiiieyyyaah Bravo!). I am not well-versed / knowledgeable about Opera... the only things I've ever seen so far were PBS things, a children's opera of Hansel and Gretel, and Baz Luhrmann's Broadway/Opera pop collission La Boheme. So, last night was my first true Opera experience and all I can say is "WOW" Talk about spectacle. How is opera not more well loved/talked about? Maybe ticket prices? Because even for a non-opera person I found it very accessible and visually remarkable. (Please note: I'm fully aware that this might have sucked. It's possible that this is like someone who knows nothing about Broadway thinking Phantom of the Opera or other embarrassments like Brooklyn: The Musicalare great musical theater but for a first experience, I loved it.)

I also saw The Gates recently in Central Park. It's sorta divisive I'm hearing lots of dismissals and such but taken for what it is, a happening... a whimsical colorful thing... I found it well worth a visit. The cumulative effect of walking through it is much stronger than the initial sight of it.

I rented "It Should Happen To You" starring Judy Holliday recently too (from 1954) --no one ever talks about this George Cukor comedy but it's really funny, it features Jack Lemmon's debut and if you're in the mood for a whimsical black and white comedy with two great performers by all means give it a look.


Sunday, February 20, 2005

Countdown is Progressing

So, ONE WEEK TO GO. I still feel like so many races are tight but will probably end up tipping to the frontrunner anyway. True surprises are rarer than we all pretend each year when we get caught up in the anticipation.

Anyway. On the site now there's daily crazy additions (like the Kinsey Scale and the Super Powers of the Best Picture nominees...) and there'll be new stuff each day until after the Oscars when the 05/06 early bird Oscar predictions arrive.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Next Time Won't You Sing With Me

I started a personal life breather a couple of days ago that will probably continue for most of this week. After which, on Sunday February 20th the site will have daily Countdown to Oscar updates all the way until Hollywood's High Holy Day comes and goes a week later. At which point we will have the annual wrap up, the early bird predictions for next year (which are maddeningly difficult to do but funfor some speculative obsessive compulsive reasons that I don't wish to explore) --you know the drill, general Film Bitch ballyhoo from 02/19 to 03/04.

Until then I leave you with a very random list.
The Alphabet of Movie Folk.
(wherein I list the first person that comes to mind for each letter of the alphabet and what I wish for them to get in 2005)

A AUDIENCE. a great AND popular movie that doesn't fit into Oscar-bait genres (like costume drama, war, biopic) but gets nominated anyway next year...
B BAY, MICHAEL. a happy retirement commencing immediately following The Island starring Ewan MacGregor and Scarlett Johansson.
C CONNIE NIELSEN. a big international audience for her lovely work in the Danish family/war drama Brothers...and for people to rent demonlover in which she is also worthy of high praise.
D DOVER KOSASHVILLI. For his follow ups to Late Marriage to get automatic and prompt US releases. I need to see more.
E EDNA MOLE. No sequels to The Incredibles if Pixar and Disney split and Disney gets rights to all the characters.
F FERRETTI, DANTE. The Oscar ...finally after umpteen nominations for his majestic production design.
G GRAVES, RUPERT. A torrid love affair (while dressed as Freddie from A Room With the View)
H HAYNES, TODD. An idea as brilliant as Far From Heaven...with a start date and top notch cast and crew in place.
I IAN MCKELLEN. Continued good health. May he live to be 100+! And another Oscar nomination. And more arm candy to take with him to the awards shows.
J JULIETTE LEWIS. A major comeback.
K KIRSTEN DUNST. sudden recognition of what a consistently fine actor she is and how much better she is than most of her peers.
L (Two names. I cheat!) LINUS ROACHE. New movie roles as good as he had in Priest and Wings of the Dove way back when. LINDSAY LOHAN. To find inner peace and balance and the discipline to concentrate on her acting talent only.
M MOORE, JULIANNE. Whatever she may desire...
N (Two names. I cheat again!) NICK PARK. For Wallace and Gromit's movie to be classic stuff and hugely successful and come out on time. And NICOLE KIDMAN. A much deserved two year hiatus so as to rejuvenate.
O OSCAR. A new producer that values his rich history and doesn't want to change something that isn't broke (like letting brilliant artists getting to give acceptance speeches for their great work in the non-acting arenas. having film clips of all the acting performances. and the songs performed by someone involved with the song from the actual movie)
P PFEIFFER, MICHELLE. The sudden desire to act regularly and with great directors to achieve a total career renaissance that will cement her place in the movie pantheon once and for all.
Q QUEEN LATIFAH. Another role as fun as "Mama Morton"
R RALPH FIENNES. Complete recovery from Maid in Manhattan. Mass remembrance of what a great actor he is.
S SWANK, HILARY. Lots of consolation phone calls for losing the Oscar on Feb 27th.
T TONY LEUNG. A torrid love affair with... me.
U UMA THURMAN. To make the Ulla role magical and hilarious in The Producers movie.
V VIOLA DAVIS. A great lead screen role to follow up her 2002 supporting role triumphs in Antwone Fisher, Solaris, and Far From Heaven.
W WOOD, EVAN RACHEL. To not get typecast after thirteen and pretty persuasion. I worry.
X XAVIER, CHARLES. To be played, again, by Patrick Stewart and before the end of the year with a great script, great cast, and great director attached.
Y YOU. Keep loving the cinema. And keep visiting the site.
Z ZADAN, CRAIG. Imitation for flattery! May more producers toil to bring great musicals to the screen like he did with Chicago.

Friday, February 11, 2005

pass it on!

Click the link above and place yourself into the timeline of cinematic history. What was all the rage when you were a pre-teen? How young do you think Haley Joel Osment is and how much of a geezer does Zsa Zsa Gabor seem from your vantage point?

David Letterman

I'm going to my first live taping in New York City! I've been here now for six years and I still haven't done this to any show. But I'm going to LAE SHOW with David Letterman. So excited. What's even better is i'm booked (well not booked --I'm not the guest ;) oh, lordy imagine) for the show immediately following the Oscars, Monday the 28th. So, there's bound to be a frontrunner in the guest line-up as they often book them for the shows following, assuming they will win.

This might mean I get to spend some quality time with my current punching bag Swank (luv ya, Hil' no hard feelings OK?) or maybe Jamie Foxx? Or maybe I'm just dreaming and the whole world doesn't in actuality revolve around the Oscars?

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Gimmicks Trump Performance

This is my last word on the Swank as frontrunner phenomenon... if it had just been one or two years it would roll off my back. But after six to eight years, enough is enough. If only some Academy voters would listen to my astute psychological profiling ;)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


'anonymous' (hey, I don't know names -y'all need to sign your comments) asked earlier if I would add a best title category to next year's FiLM BiTCH Awards. My answer is probably not since at 42 categories, it's already way too unwieldy. My own doing I know. (My next great dilemma is when I try to do the retrospectives, do I take only a few bites or attempt he whole enchilada?)

But are there enough good titles a year to justify a category? Seems to me for every "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" there's a ton of titles so generic that they're maddening and instantly confusing. which movie is that again? And a lot of the great titles come from books. "Sideways" is a perfect title but it's based on a book.

Gil Cates is the Devil

I was going to make an entry about the horrible decision of the Oscar honcho Gil Cates to limit the face time of the designers this year but my friend Nick said it much more humorously and emphatically than I could have managed at this point so I"m just directing you to him.

You know what would warm my heart? If some of these movie stars who the Oscars are so concerned with focusing on would stand up and be counted as true collaborative professionals and make it known that they're opposed to the people who make their performances look like a million bucks being shut out of their own moments of glory. If I were Leonardo DiCaprio or Cate Blanchett or Alan Alda for instance... I'd be furious that Sandy Powell (costumes), Dante Ferretti (production design) and Thelma Schoonmaker (editor) were being treated this way.

You should be too. Hollywood should collectively be in a uproar. Not just the Oscar watchers.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


And so it is...that I finally finished the FiLM BiTCH Awards nominations. Which took me much longer than I was expecting this year. You can now read the whole damn thing if you're so inclined.

In 42 categories, Eternal Sunshine led the pack with 15 nominations. Kill Bill Volume 2 is close behind with 13 despite missing on most of the traditional Oscar categories. The Aviator and Spider-Man 2 are the only other double digit nominees with 11 and 10 nominations each.

The best film to fare the worst in my awards is spring, summer, fall, winter... and spring which is my 6th favorite film of the year but only received 1 nomination. (???) Of films which I did not find recommendation worthy, De-Lovely scores the highest with 4 nominations. Of my bottom ten films of the year, 3 received nominations --those lucky devils were The Passion, Troy, and Team America).

And the best 2004 films to be entirely snubbed in the FiLM BiTCH Awards were The Five Obstructions and The Bourne Supremacy. Weird how films you actually like quite a bit sometimes end up on the cutting room floor.

I hope you enjoyed reading them as much as I enjoyed compiling and writing about them. Medals (Gold, Silver, and Bronze) will be announced in each category on February 26th, 2005

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Pain The Pain

So how is this for a sick cosmic joke. I have to read all sort of upsetting stuff about my great country going to hell in a handbasket under this current corporation--I mean, administration, sorry. I also have to witness Million Dollar Baby continue to win things. Hilary Swank just WON'T go away. I have to do both of these things while in total pain. I threw my back out yesterday.

By my calculations this is the 1,139th time I've been bent over in pain like I was a granny with a walker since I was 16 (the first time I remember my back declaring mutiny) . Yes, this happens to me a lot. But it doesn't normally happen during weeks in which George Bush is throwing parties and Hilary Swank is electing Clint Eastwood to replace Jesus as the holy savior of mankind) Last night watching the SAGs I was in so much pain and so immobile that I caught myself wishing I were as spry as Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, James Garner, and that 100 year old actor who sent a video message to the SAG ceremony. Oh to be young again like them...

I am in a horrid mood right now (so please forgive if this message annoys) but I will try to cheer up (Lortab -save me!) and think of something else to say rather than describing my distaste for Hilary Swank for the 36th time in as many days. But before I go right this moment while my spine sends hateful messages to my brain I do want to stop and say that I think Swank is really pretty (people keeps saying she's ugly which I don't get) and maybe she should play Wonder Woman because she has that sort of brawny tawny Amazonian beauty going on. Also if she plays a superhero maybe everyone will laugh at her and her career will nosedive? That's how I got rid of Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry! Oh wait they're still working. Damn, I hate my life.

*this message can be blamed on excruciating pain. don't be a hater. wish me get well soons!*

Saturday, February 05, 2005


I'm kinda bored because the dresses are bad this year and I'm not into many of the series or movies nominated... but the speeches tonight have been very good. No long list of names but funny, heartfelt statements and stories. Nice.

Kate loves Morgan

So, Kate Winslet was just telling Star Jones that she wants to be as good as Morgan Freeman when she's his age. Um, Kate... you're already like.close to the best actor on the planet. No worries. Big kiss!

SAG predictions

So... I'd rather use the time I have to comment on the awards themselves later tonight than update my SAG page today so here are my PREDICTIONS

Cate Blanchett -The Aviator. If Cate loses here it's over for her. She's been called the frontrunner for a while but she has yet to win anything significant. Surprising, no? She's seated without a seatbelt with a malfunctioning overhead bin on that Aviator plane... she needs to win this.

spoiler: Virginia Madsen. If she wins this I think the Oscar is hers and it's a Jennifer Connelly sweep type of thing. (Only with a deserving performance this time)

Thomas Haden Church -Sideways. The reason I'm going with Church over Freeman is the makeup of the SAG voting body which encompasses a far wider membership than the Academy and includes boatloads of television actors and Church has a firm foundation there and has crossed over without getting too popular. There won't be any envy. There'll only be congratulations. That's my theory at least. Plus he's hilarious and they have to reward at least one comedic thing, right?

spoiler: Morgan Freeman -Million Dollar Baby. Could begin his Oscar run here because he, like Blanchett, is a frontrunner without a lot of steam.

Hilary Swank -Million Dollar Baby. This will cause everyone to say "she's locked to win the Oscar!" But she isn't really. The competitors may be the same but the issues and the voting body are different. The SAG seems to go about 50/50 with their four winners in terms of the Oscars. I can't really see Hilary losing here but if she does she's definitely NOT winning the Oscar. She should be able to take this easily given the current Swank-a-thon in the media despite being the least deserving of the five nominees. And the SAG voters usually go for the totally in-the-moment thing (think Renee Zellweger for Chicago instead of Nicole Kidman for The Hours.

Spoiler: None.

Jamie Foxx -Ray. It's a Julia Roberts type of juggernaut. There's no stopping him.

Spoiler: None.

Sideways. I know it's out of vogue after a great December followed by backlash. But I think the actors will probably be drawn to the film that relies most on its actors to deliver it's laughs and heart. And that has more than three cast members: see below.

Spoiler: This category is a tough call. If they use it to reward the "ensemble" like it's called the spoiler is probably the Aviator. If they're thinking of it as best picture which they often do, they might ignore the 3 people don't really make an ensemble problem and give it to Million Dollar Baby.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

For adult fans of Lindsay Lohan only!

Do not click on the link above if vulgarity (of the sexual/profane varieties) bothers you. But if it doesn't and you love yourself regular 'La Lohan' fixes this is a must.

Vocal Delivery

No, this post is not about Emmy Rossum wowing the Parisian set with her sappy "Think of Me" debutante number in Phantom of the Opera. It's rather about individual line readings. My winners for this year are posted at the website. Now, awardage is not an exact science of course and I'm sure that I forgot some really worthy contenders --or I leave them out because it's impossible to select one line because every reading is a gem (see Daryl Hannah in Kill Bill, Vol 2 among others) or every line is classic (Brad Bird as Edna Mode in The Incredibles) but since I get a surprising amount of mail about this category every year I thought I'd just explain how I come up with the nominees.

It's a simple matter of things that get trapped in my head. Sometimes it's just a great line that the actor in question delivers perfectly. Sometimes it's an absolute throwaway that the actor makes memorable solely by their delivery. Mostly it's just a matter of things that get stuck, like mini mpegs in my head ...The voices I hear (accurately and with precision like the movie is still playing) in my head when I think about the movies.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Galactic Snubs!

Very funny. As always. Gotta love that FameTracker

CATE is great (?)

I've noticed that many people are still calling Cate Blanchett the frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress for her "Katharine Hepburn" in The Aviator. And I'm wondering why.

She didn't win the NBR. Didn't win the Globe. Didn't win the BFCA. She lost the three major critics awards (NYFCC, LAFCA, and NSFC). Yet, people still proclaim her the frontrunner. Hmmmm. Conspiracy of wishful thinking or good common predictive sense about her connection to a majorly nominated film and the film's no-chance status in the other acting races?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Most Likely to Repeat?

If past years are any indication one of this year's nominees will be nominated again in another 11 months. So, for those with a film lined up for next season, who is it?

ANNETTE BENING -Mrs. Harris / Running with Scissors (Two meaty roles for this delectable actress)
JOHNNY DEPP -Charlie & the Chocolate Factory / The Libertine / Rum Diary
LEONARDO DICAPRIO -The Departed (Remake of Infernal Affairs w Scorsese again. Costarring Matt Damon)
JAMIE FOXX -Jarhead (for Sam Mendes)
MORGAN FREEMAN -Edison / Batman Begins / Lucky Number Slevin / An Unfinished Life
LAURA LINNEY -The Exorcism of Emily Rose / Jindabyne / The Squid and the Whale
VIRGINIA MADSEN -the Wrong Element (thriller with Harrison Ford)
SOPHIE OKONEDO -Aeon Flux (sci-fi with Charlize Theron & Frances McDormand)
CLIVE OWEN -Savage Grace (with Julianne Moore) / Derailed (thriller) / Sin City
NATALIE PORTMAN -Paris Je T'Aime / V for Vendetta / Star Wars Episode 3 / Free Zone
IMELDA STAUNTON -Nanny McPhee (with Emma Thompson)
HILARY SWANK -The Black Dahlia (for Brian dePalma)
KATE WINSLET -Romance and Cigarettes (with Susan Sarandon and James Gandolfini)

Cry Me a River

Sympathy votes. How sentimental is Oscar feeling? This is a major question this year. And this question affects at least four races...

Can Morgan Freeman ride "due" sentiment all the way, overcoming the fact that everyone knows he could have given his charming performance in Million Dollar Baby in his sleep? Or will people throw a bone to Sideway's hilarious Church or bow down to the potency of Clive Owen's work (it's not impossible to win for vulgar hateful characters... it's just harder). I've met no one anywhere who doesn't feel that Owen gives less than a great performance --it has a unanimous factor that none of the other performers have when discussing their merits.

Will Hilary Swank ride the sentimentality of playing the sweet and likeable 'underdog' to her second win or will sentiment go the other way entirely. Will voters feel it is cruel to allow Swank to beat Annette Bening twice? Or will voters cast sentiment aside altogether and vote for someone like Imelda Staunton who has near universal raves (see, it's the same problem as Best Supporting Actor)

Do sympathy votes go to Million Dollar Baby now that it's feeling the backlash? Or are sympathy votes unwaveringly for Scorsese who looks like the most shunned world class director to have come out of Hollywood when it comes to Oscar.

If they're feeling sentimental, who does it benefit? The question is more difficult to answer than it first appears.