Saturday, June 30, 2007
Holiday has been singing the song too long so now instead of flourishes she's just chewing on it. She's actually eating the song and laughing at her own freaky mastication "ha HA!". To keep up JHud will have to let her own rendition go berserk. This encourages the most brazen display of overacting that I've seen since... well... Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé battled it out at the Oscars or if we're talking films: since Glenn Close did Cruella, Faye Dunaway was Mommie Dearest or Billy Bob made Halle Berry feeeeellll goood!
What I love most about this song as a diva duet is that it totally subverts the meaning. It's no longer a desperate sexist 'I'm nothing without my man' plea. Now it's a lezzztastic girl brawl. By the end of the number, the Jennifers have forgotten all about the audience and it's all about Jennifer lovin' Jennifer and vice versa. Hilarious. And heavenly if you love the Divas Gone Wild subgenre of entertainment. And who among you doesn't?
Now I'm off to dream of future pairings...
- Julie Christie -Away From Her
- Ashley Judd -Bug
- Mirjana Karanovic -Fraulein
- Markéta Irglová -Once
- Molly Shannon-Year of the Dog
If the Oscar voters had to perform a similar January to June balloting, I don't think there'd be much question about the results. The studios don't offer a wide array of possiblities early on. If the year ended now your Oscar Best Actress shortlist would read exactly so:
- Julie Christie -Away From Her (the legend)
- Marion Cotillard -La Vie En Rose (the biopic)
- Katherine Heigl -Knocked Up (zeitgeist choice)
- Angelina Jolie -A Mighty Heart (the red carpet factor)
- Ashley Judd -Bug (the deglam / the comeback)
If you're talking real and eventual Oscar nods, you can safely remove two of the five theoreticals. Heigl will be a force for the Globe Comedy nomination but Knocked Up is not enough of a performance piece to break through AMPAS natural aversion to comedy. Judd made a difficult role work in Bug but it's just not the Academy's cuppa and it wasn't enough of a hit to break through their natural aversion to horror.
Though this Oscar category is kinder to early birds than the other races, the early contenders are often less typically baity (Streep in Prada, Zellweger in Bridget Jones, etc...) and get to the big show by the way of hit status and popularity. So it's surprising to see three viable and typical candidates so early. Cotillard, Christie and Jolie feel like prestige season ladies: baity topics, Oscar hooks (addiction! alzheimers! mimicry!), and starpower. All three will not make it. So who fades by year's end?
You ready to do the heavy lifting in the comments? This is tough to deduce.
[A lot more handicapping on this race at the updated Oscar Page]
Friday, June 29, 2007
- All right, here are the rules.
- We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
- Players start with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
- People who are tagged write their own blog about their 8 things and post these rules.
- At the end of your blog, you need to choose 8 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.
01 I am terrified of kangaroos. Weird but true. This is why I've never been to Australia. Well, that and the money. If someone wants to fly me out I'll come and carouse but please do not let me see one of them hoppers. K Thx!
02 In grade school whenever a teacher thought a student was cheating I always felt guilty even though I was never the one cheating. I had an overactive guilt mechanism.
03 I've always wished I was less uptight.
04 I played tennis regularly in high school. It's the only sport I'm good at.
05 I've been to LA only twice. The first time I was there I bought one of those star maps and drove with friends to Olivia Newton-John's estate. Once we got there I spoke into the security cameras at the gate and said something completely fannish and obnoxious. Later I felt guilty (see #2) since I know Olivia is scared of obsessive fans having been stalked by someone in the early 80s who claimed he was going to "marry her to God" ...creepy.
06 Remember that improbable scene in A Chorus Line where the teenage boy is so ridiculously naive that he mistakes his nocturnal emission for the "milky white discharge" of gonorrhea.
who have you been with my son?That exact same thing happened to me. I was h-o-r-r-i-f-i-e-d when I saw A Chorus Line for the first time. Let us never speak of it again.
than how can you have gonorrhea?
07 I wanted a stripper for my 30th birthday party (held on a rooftop with a gaggle of friends) so two of my buddies arranged it. The stripper cancelled the day of the event so one of them improvised and did the stripping himself much to the surprise and inebriated delight of all of our mutual friends. There are pictures. And no, you can't see them.
08 I have a pierced belly button (see #07, well actually... the night before)
½ In the middle of sentences I sometimes completely zone out and...
[Tag you're it: Cinephilia , Low Resolution , Thomas & Co , novaslim , And Your Little Blog, Too , Anything But Poetry , I Don't Like Renée Zellweger, and Artifacts]
- Jake Gyllenhaal -Zodiac
- Glen Hansard -Once
- Samuel L. Jackson -Black Snake Moan
- Gordon Pinsent -Away From Her
- Michael Shannon -Bug
And if the Oscar voters themselves had to pick five leading men with only January to June slim pickings available? I'm assuming the lucky guys would be
- Chris Cooper -Breach (former winner and anything to avoid acclaimed but off the wall fare like the performances in Bug or Black Snake Moan)
- Glen Hansard -Once (already beloved by a tiny pocket of moviegoers)
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt -The Lookout (a nod to the future)
- Seth Rogen-Knocked Up (comedic spot & hit film)
- Adam Sandler -Reign Over Me (they like sad clowns)
Who is your choice for best so far? [My updated Oscar predix]
Falling The new film from Austrian director Barbara Albert (Free Radicals) about thirtysomething former girlfriends who are unexpectedly reunited.
Ghosts of Cité Soleil "this ain't no Hollywood movie" an acclaimed documentary on gang leaders in Haiti.
One to Another [NSFW] Randy French youth. Pierre is very close to his sister Lucie and three male friends, too. They're all very intimate. Naturally real death and not just 'little death' to follow.
Vitus Switzerland's Oscar entry last year. (Yes a lot of these have been surfacing. This will continue for another 19 months or so as 2/3rds of the the entries eventually stumble across the Atlantic or Pacific ponds. Nothing like striking while the iron is hot!)
W I D E
Evening Starry cast. Unilluminating movie. my review
Live Free or Die Hard Bruce is back
Ratatouille A rat wants to be a top chef in Paris. The teaser and trailer were lovely... which is a funny thing to say about a rat movie but there you go. No matter what my feelings about Cars may have been (dull, overlong) Pixar has never really made a bad movie. Their output is generally good to great. So the question is always "how good will it be?" Rather than "is it any good?" and isn't that a wonderful trade off of questions? Long live Pixar.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
I’ve been meaning to talk about Famousr for awhile, but it I've been too disturbed by it. The first time I went I just wanted to see how it worked. It pits actor against actor and you either guess random pairings or you look up face offs of your choice. Before long a whole hour had passed. I started by trying to guess a few rounds of “who is more famous?” and it wasn’t long before I was entirely aghast
It just kept reminding me that even if you're a bonafide legend, prone to making all time lists and the like, you can still be bested by people who are still seen on TV or magazines whose careers are wobbly or comparatively minor. Few people know toss all about movies that existed before they were say, 12.
If you've never entered that strange inquiring land of "who is more famous" approach with caution. Your mind may be blown. Even if you've accepted the bitter pill of fame's randomness, it's still really hard to wrap your mind around certain things:
- No one is more famous than Tom Cruise.
- Modern flashes in the pan are more famous than legends (the hippocampus is a cruel master --or maybe it's our nownownow pop culture that is the cruel mistress)
- Sandra Bullock is still inexplicably mega famous. She doesn’t have a particularly scandalous tabloid life. Her filmography is mostly crap. She’s never been nominated for an Oscar. She doesn’t make “all time movie star” lists. She isn’t that much more bankable than her rivals. And yet… And yet…
People will see me and cry
Speaking of sticky. This photo op. Oh the levels...
The out gay director of a very gay project that's under threat of ban by some pockets of the gay community takes his young starlet to Gay Pride. So far it makes total sense. But they brought along cutouts of their two closeted *ahem. allegedly closeted, sorry, movie stars with them? To Pride (!) ??? What was the impulse? I'm not sure whether to giggle, get snarky, or feel slightly embarassed for all. I mean couldn't the cutouts have been someone less mixed messagey? Pfeiffer, Walken, that boy who performs in high school musicals... no, wait.
(As for those wondering what I thought of Hairspray... I'll review soon but in short: a ton of fun)
Just Jared Claire Danes & Hugh Dancy. Celebrities are just like us: they wear an outfit more than once. Imagine it. (I should note that I was gonna feature Dancy as yesterday's HDH. I figured he deserved it since I barely noticed Patrick Wilson in Evening --I know! but blah blah blah... you don't need my excuses.)
<--- look. it's The Brave One poster
Focus Features a better quality preview reel than we saw before. The studio system is long gone --and with it those clear studio identities but there's something special about Focus for the most part, don't you think? [thx]
ONTD Dafoe and Hawke as bloodsuckers in Daybreakers. Ewww and, um, OK. See you there.
Flick Filosopher savors the worst dialogue of 2007.
Go Fug Yourself a shocking "well played" -Bai Ling?
look, the Margot @ poster --->
ModFab crazy ass price tag shock for those hoping to see Young Frankenstein on Broadway. This makes me sick. Mel Brooks is such a greedy problem for me.
MTV Sam Raimi is losing it. Wants yet more villains for Spidey 4. Remember when one was enough in Spider-Man 2 and it was the best superhero film. Those were the days...
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
- Hugh Dancy -Evening
- Jeff Daniels -The Lookout
- Robert Downey Jr, Anthony Edwards and Mark Ruffalo -Zodiac
- Irfan Khan -A Mighty Heart
- Paul Rudd -Knocked Up
- Kurt Russell -Grindhouse
- Don Cheadle -Reign Over Me (they love a co-lead)
- Hugh Dancy -Evening (alcholic)
- Michael Murphy -Away From Her (mental impairment = Oscar crack)
- Gordon Pinsent -Away From Her (another lead)
- Paul Rudd -Knocked Up (comedic spot & hit film)
Do you have a favorite 2007 supporting actor yet? Make a case for someone in the comments --or help determine who was strongest in Zodiac.... that movie I swear [My updated Oscar predix]
So as the spokesperson for this word that needed to be invented decades ago, I feel I must warn all my fellow actressexuals: Evening may sound like an orgiastic turn-on -- "Streep. Danes. Close. Redgrave. Collette. Richardson" admit it: you're hot just hearing the names pressed so tightly together -- but it's a cold shower of a disappointment. My review is up @ Zoom In
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
PTA is often compared to Robert Altman and though I think the comparison is a little simplistic, he invites it too. He’s often cited Altman as an influence and he even helped out with A Prairie Home Companion (Altman needed a standby auteur should his health prevent completion –thankfully it didn’t)
I’m cheating here because there were too many performances to choose from (these are huge consistenly excellent ensembles) plus I’m Apple obsessed and still miffed about that breakup. I love all the videos he made with her including "Limp", "Fast As You Can", "Paper Bag" and "Across the Universe"
Her enemy combatant interview with Cruise is a marvel –my second or third favorite scene in the movie. No matter what one thinks of Tom Cruise as an actor, it’s hard to match his intensity in any given scene. Gwenovier is so formidable a scene partner (without doing much) that doesn’t it feel like even Frank TJ Mackey has to overreach to fight her off? And can someone get Grace more movie roles?
08 Mary Lynn Rajskub as “Elizabeth” in Punch-Drunk Love
07 Philip Baker Hall as “Sydney” in Hard Eight.
I’ll admit that I don’t remember this movie, PTA’s first that well. I sought it out after being stunned by Boogie Nights and Magnolia and I recall immediately understanding what PTA always saw in this character actor mainstay. Gwyneth Paltrow is also quite good in this film.
06 Heather Graham as “Rollergirl” in Boogie Nights
03 Burt Reynolds as “Jack Horner” in Boogie Nights
02 Mark Wahlberg as “Dirk Diggler” in Boogie Nights
Not just the best performance in PTA's fine filmography but one of the best of the past couple of decades. It deserves at least a 1000 words, not just a few sentences. too many things (to say)... too many things.
Light a firecracker, collect some pudding, or throw some frogs around in the comments...
Black Snake Moan Ricci writhes, Jackson lectures and Timberlake cries. One of the most interesting films of 2007. I'm not sure it has enough ideas for its provocative collisions but it least it has ideas --more than most movies can say. And Christina Ricci shows signs that she's finally getting her groove back (surely worth tentative rejoicing) whilst diving into character for this sweaty druggy vulgar hellion
La Jetee / Sans Soleil Criterion Collection release of Chris Marker's influential films. I have been meaning to see La Jetee forever ...
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Smart horror fans seem to love this - like our buddy MNPP
Peaceful Warrior A gymnast has an accident and meets a stranger (Nick Nolte) who helps him heal. Would you want Nolte as your spiritual guide --hasn't this kid seen those mug shots?
Pride Terrence Howard & the swim team. This comment is nothing particularly directed at this movie (I haven't seen it) but I'm getting the sense that someone needs to warn Howard about saying yes to every offer. It's very Michael Caine / Gene Hackman / Samuel L Jackson in their 'can't say no' workaholic mode. Struggling actors have to do this. Established types... why? Overspending? Delusional "I'll never work again" actorly panic?
Shooter Mark Wahlberg in action hero mode. I was just watching I Heart Huckabees the other day and damn he is awesome in that movie. Wahlberg's gift is clearly comedy or at least comedic beats fused into dramatic characterization. See also: Boogie Nights and The Departed
Standing Still For all of you who've wondered whatever happened to the film careers of yesterdays up & comers: James Van Der Beek, Mena Suvari, Xander Berkeley, Ethan Embry, Adam Garcia, Jon Abrahams, Lauren German and Melissa Sagemiller. Meerkat-loving Amy Adams is also in this post-college wedding drama. (She, too, has the Terrence Howard problem but hopefully that'll level itself off once the pre Junebug contracts are over)
Wedding Wars The only reason I even list this is because I tried to watch it and feared my eyes would fall out --the worst thing about being gay, he says jokingly, is all the bad movies you have to endure to see glbt topics. John Stamos plays a gay wedding planner who goes on strike for gay marriage during the buildup to his brothers wedding. Stamos is still a Dorian G
Dead Silence Another horror about dolls/dummies. Vasts swaths of people must have had really traumatic childhoods for this subgenre to stay popular. A 21% RT rating. Ouch
Monday, June 25, 2007
QTA wishes the amazing Larry Kramer a happy 72nd
Variety Betting on quality with Pixar. God, I love Pixar. Disney don't deserve... Now let's just pray those awful direct to DVD Disney sequels really do go the way of the dinosaur
SOB Tarzan won't be a Broadway swinger for much longer
Coming Soon More problems for Tom Cruise (Re: Bryan Singer's Valkyrie) though I kinda wish people would start leaving him alone now. Religious crazies get even loonier when they feel they're being persecuted. Cruise don't need no more crazy!
.......speaking of crazy, NY Mag has a fine interview with the awesome auteur Werner Herzog
Despite the frequent narration in Blade Runner by Deckard (Harrison Ford), the "hero" --or anti-hero depending on how you view it -- he isn't much of a gabber. The replicants do most of the gabbing. In this scene Deckard only grunts and screams while Roy Batty chatters away. I've lifted the dialogue from this online script but I don't have the movie handy --where is that damn thing? --so, it could differ from the actual spoken dialogue a bit. Page to screen transfers being so unpredictable and all.
Not very sporting to fire on an unarmed opponent. I thought you were supposed to be good. Aren't you the good man? Come on Deckard. Show me what you're made of. Proud of yourself, little man? This is for Zhora. This is for Pris.
Come on, Deckard, I'm right here, but you've got to shoot straight.Deckard misses on account of his hand being kinda crushed by Batty. That'll throw off your aim any day. Batty is just cruelly taunting him.
Straight doesn't seem to be good enough. Now it's my turn. I'm gonna give you a few seconds before I come. One, Two. Three, Four. -- Pris... [Roy begins howling like a wolf] (singing) I'm coming. -- Four, five. How to stay alive. -- I can see you! -- Not yet. Not... [puts spike through his hand, screaming] Deckard-- Yes... [puts head through wall.] You better get it up, or I'm gonna have to kill ya! Unless you're alive, you can't play, and if you don't play... Six, seven. Go to hell, go to heaven.I had completely forgotten that Catwoman's awesome final breakdown in Batman Returns pays homage to this performance. The best villian of the 90s references the best of the 80s. Nice touch.
At this point Deckard finally gets a blow in. Deckard with the lead pipe on the rooftop.
Good, that's the spirit. That hurt. That was irrational. Not to mention, unsportsman-like. Ha ha ha. Where are you going?
Quite an experience to live in fear, isn't it? That's what it is to be a slave.
Deckard falls from the roof but Roy catches him with one hand, saving him and the fight abruptly ends. Rutger Hauer locks Roy's place up in the cinematic rogues gallery hall of fame with his sudden expiration.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain.Time to watch this again. It's always a thrill to experience Rutger Hauer and science fiction filmmaking hitting their prime together.
Time to die.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
But first, a few thoughts on where we've been and the sidelined women who helped us get there. If I voted today on my film bitch awards, the five Supporting Actresses would be drawn from this group of eleven. Evening pulls into harbor very soon with about that many actresses in tow. But I don't feel like waiting...
- Laura Dern and Regina King -Year of the Dog
- Ljubica Jovic Fraulein
- Leslie Mann -Knocked Up
- Rose McGowan and Marley Shelton -Planet Terror
- Archie Panjabi -A Mighty Heart
- Sylvie Testud - La Vie En Rose
- Olympia Dukakis or Kristen Thomson -Away From Her
- Sigourney Weaver -The TV Set
- Dukakis -Away From Her (former winner)
- Fonda -Georgia Rule (legend. they'd demote her to support)
- Mann -Knocked Up (comedic spot & hit film)
- Thomson -Away From Her (empathetic ... and to avoid the genre perfs)
- Weaver -The TV Set (comedic spot & celebrity)
But let's be real. The AMPAS voters don't vote halfway through the year and none of these women will survive to make the Oscar cut come January. The fates of supporting performers are very dependent on the overall reception of the picture they appear in and the lead performances they enhance. We haven't seen one of our Best Pictures yet.
Do you have a favorite 2007 supporting actress yet? If so sing her praises in the comments. Make your case. [My updated Oscar predictions]
P.S. StinkyLulu & gang are also talking supporting actress (albeit for 1978). It's a real sibilant spectacle: Stinky's Seventies Smackdown: Streep. Stapleton. Smith. Check it out. I hope to return to that smackdowning party next month.
It's Gay Pride in NYC today hence the selection of this image. Not that Brian Slade and Curt Wild are flag wavers or even all that gay -- though they're queer fer sure. But this is actually how I feel about the gay pride parade zzzzz You can only see so many floats filled with muscle boys alternating with floats filled with drag queens in your lifetime before you become very sleepy. NYC's parade is so long (I'm talking hours) that you can actually store up the float visions from one single Pride Day to drink for years afterwards. Like a camel.
Next @ the Film Experience: Oscar Predix Updates (The Year So Far), Blade Runner, All That Jazz, and maybe even a little ABBA (whaaa...?)
Saturday, June 23, 2007
The best thing about the first FF was Chris Evans as Johnny Storm but he's phoning it in here. Newsflash Evans: it's too early in your career to coast. Jessica Alba meanwhile makes Berry's Catwoman star turn seem rangey and nuanced (I just threw up). Alba was never a strong actress but she's getting worse. You're supposed to get better with practice... Jessica Alba: dyslexic with talent. Yeah, yeah, the Silver Surfer looks great but there's more than one effect in this movie. D
P.S. I realize I'm a week late seeing this and it's so disposable that everyone has already moved on. I put it off hoping to quell the child within who was just so desperate to see Norrin Rad on that intergalactic surf board. Once I was myself again I went in with exceedingly low expectations and it still managed to disappoint. That's Marvels new superpower.
A rough view of Marvel's track record (I skipped Blade sequels, The Punisher & Ghost Rider)
"A"s Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man
"B"s X-2: X-Men United, Hulk, X-Men
"C"s Spider-Man 3, Blade, X-Men: The Last Stand
"D"s Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer
"F"s Daredevil, Elektra
Good luck Iron Man. You'll need it
and now, zeeee links
Sunset Gun top 10 trilogies -cool but where is Baz' 'Red Curtain'?
WOW Rufus Wainwright's "Rules & Regulations" video
Michelangleo Signorile Travolta / Hairspray queer scientology controversy
Kenneth in the (212) drools on Daniel Craig's Interview shots
ONTD Kate Winslet's new ads for Lancôme
Crumb by Crumb offers Ewan Macgregor the best 3 words of advice ever
Friday, June 22, 2007
Since we last spoke in late April, the following women have gained points: Molly Shannon hosted SNL (+2), Julie Christie, Angelina Jolie & Marion Cotillard's Oscar bids for Away From Her, A Mighty Heart and La Vie En Rose have opened (+1 each) and so far, given the reviews they've all got something to work with for their Oscar campaigns. Jane Fonda, Lindsay Lohan, Ashley Judd, and Keri Russell also opened their films and nabbed a box office point (+2 each). Unfortunately the Cannes festival gave no candidate any points and we've yet to have point-giving magazine covers for any of your picks. Three months down, seven left to go.
Remember, we're only talking about those that were predicted to be Oscar nominated next January by at least one of our participants --thus no points for Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up) since no one predicted her. Once again the current totals.
Black Sheep Horror comedy
Broken English It's hard to trust pre-release PR hype but word has it that Parker Posey delivers with a "startling and mature performance" (not sure if that's Coming Soon's own words or a PR summary) although anyone who doubts Posey's ability to render complete characterizations instead of just seizing big laughs musta missed Personal Velocity. This indie also stars Gena Rowlands, Melvil Poupaud, and Drea DeMatteo.
Klimt John Malkovich plays the artist in this biopic
White Palms This gymnastics drama (pictured right) was Hungary's entry in last year's Oscar race for Best Foreign Film
Sicko NY is getting Michael Moore's latest a week early. Can't wait to see it but I don't have health insurance right now so I know it's going to upset me. And I also really wonder about the people attacking Michael Moore left and right. You mean you don't want people to talk about how f***ed up America's healthcare is? Yes, let's bury our head in the sand on account of our petty vendetta's against a loudmouth. Smart move, talking heads, smart move.
You Kill Me is a comedy from John Dahl (Joy Ride, Red Rock West) about a hitman (Ben Kingsley) trying to quit drinking. I wonder when Gandhi will go back to playing good guys? And I wonder why the hit man is such an enduring character for movies -- certainly one of the most glamourized or ubiquitous screen professions. Weird, right?
W I D E
1408 John Cusack enters a haunted room dreamed up by Stephen King, famously talented horror novelist yet inexplicably awful Entertainment Weekly columnist. But if you're looking for psychological horror why haven't you seen Bug yet? Go before it leaves the cinemas.
Evan Almighty Steve Carell collects two of every beast and builds an ark. I think the trailer is quite possibly the worst I've seen in years, utterly killing any previous desire I had to see it. And yes I once had said desire. I'm not sure what's wrong with me either, don't ask.
A Mighty Heart Angelina Jolie's Oscar bid. She plays the wife of slain journalist Daniel Pearl. Best Actress Updates coming real soon people. Patience.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
a) rehearsing their Hairspray lines
b) making fun of Marissa Jaret Winokur & Harvey Fierstein
c) undergoing couples counselling...with props
d) auditioning for Todd Haynes next feature
e) none of the above (explain in the comments)
She is among the newest invitees to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Oscar voters) which means somewhere down the road, Jennifer Hudson will help determine if the next challenging virtuoso turn (like Naomi Watts's in Mulholland Dr or Isabelle Huppert's in The Piano Teacher) is shunned or honored. She'll judge whether or not Meryl deserves her third Oscar or Kate Winslet her first.... and both of those women will undoubtedly have tough competition in future races. They'll certainly be up against some media friendly babes frumping it up for attention: the "Jessica"s are only five to seven years away from seeking out those "deglam" opportunities... mark my words.
I don't mean to rag on JHud. I love her I do. She's my favorite person to ever emerge from the otherwise bar lowering entertainment phenom known as... never mind. I'm sick of saying the name. I can't wait to buy her first CD. She's certainly a better choice as an Oscar winner than several before her. But I think it's worth discussing: Is she qualified to know who is and isn't crafting delicately nuanced portraits or boldly stylizing their star turns?
[I'm playing devil's advocate here --we all feel qualified to do this or else there wouldn't be so much discussion about who is or isn't deserving. But shouldn't the Academy have to be more qualified ;) ]
Does she know the difference between a performance that just underlines the script or one that elevates the material? I have to ask because she has almost no experience. (Note: They did not invite Michelle Williams or Rinko Kikuchi, recent nominees who have been acting a lot longer.) Yes, Jenny just won the Oscar ... it makes Academy sense. But I'm just saying.
She might excel at the job. She's risen up to other tasks. But, to me, Hudson's co-nominee Adriana Barraza (the nanny in Babel), who was also invited to join the ranks, makes more sense as a voting member. I hope she accepts their invite. She's a well regarded acting teacher when she isn't onscreen. My guess is she has practice discerning the success of various components within any given performance. If she doesn't her former students should ask for their money back.
In other invitation news... The rest of the AMPAS newbie list reads like their usual mix of apologies (sorry Daniel Craig! we love you we do), celebrity worship (Jennifer Aniston --an Academy member? WHY??? Seriously. What would the reason be?), people you thought were already members (Christopher Plummer), head scratchers (Peter Berg in the directors branch after only a few pictures and only one of them, Friday Night Lights, gets talked about. J.J. Abrams in the writing branch when his chief claim to fame is Lost --a television series. There's another Academy for that, people. Geez) and extremely random if not unpleasant names (William Fichtner, Maribel Verdu).
You can see the whole list at Awards Daily. It's fun to see these lists but it sure does make you wonder about the Hollywood networking game...
I'm happy to see Blade Runner, Nashville, and Cabaret added. They all hold high rank in my own favorites listing. What say ye about this new lineup? (To be helpful I've added their previous AFI ranking to the right --big changes in bold)
1. "Citizen Kane" (1941) same
2. "The Godfather" (1972) 3
3. "Casablanca" (1942) 2
4. "Raging Bull" (1980) 24
5. "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) 10
6. "Gone With the Wind" (1939) 4
7. "Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) 5
8. "Schindler's List" (1993) 9
9. "Vertigo" (1958) 61
10. "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) 6
11. "City Lights" (1931) 76
12. "The Searchers" (1956) 96
13. "Star Wars" (1977) 15
14. "Psycho" (1960) 18
15. "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) 22
16. "Sunset Boulevard" (1950) 12
17. "The Graduate" (1967) 7
18. "The General" (1927) new
19. "On the Waterfront" (1954) 8
20. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) 11
21. "Chinatown" (1974) 19
22. "Some Like It Hot" (1959) 14
23. "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) 21
24. "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) 25
25. "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962) 34
26. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939) 29
27. "High Noon" (1952) 33
28. "All About Eve" (1950) 16
29. "Double Indemnity" (1944) 38
30. "Apocalypse Now" (1979) 28
31. "The Maltese Falcon" (1941) 23
32. "The Godfather, Part II" (1974) same
33. "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975) 20
34. "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) 49
35. "Annie Hall" (1977) 31
36. "The Bridge on the River Kwai" (1957) 13
37. "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) same
38. "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) 30
39. "Dr. Strangelove" (1964) 26
40. "The Sound of Music" (1965) 55
41. "King Kong" (1933) 43
42. "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) 27
43. "Midnight Cowboy" (1969) 36
44. "The Philadelphia Story" (1940) 51
45. "Shane" (1953) 69
46. "It Happened One Night" (1934) 35
47. "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) 45
48. "Rear Window" (1954) 42
49. "Intolerance" (1916) new
50. "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001) new
51. "West Side Story" (1961) 41
52. "Taxi Driver" (1976) 47
53. "The Deer Hunter" (1978) 79
54. "M*A*S*H" (1970) 56
55. "North by Northwest" (1959) 40
56. "Jaws" (1975) 48
57. "Rocky" (1976) 78
58. "The Gold Rush" (1925) 74
59. "Nashville" (1975) new
60. "Duck Soup" (1933) 85
61. "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) new
62. "American Graffiti" (1973) 77
63. "Cabaret" (1972) new
64. "Network" (1976) 66
65. "The African Queen" (1951) 17
66. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" (1981) 60
67. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1966) new
68. "Unforgiven" (1992) 98
69. "Tootsie" (1982) 62
70. "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) 46 (i still don't understand how this one qualifies as American)
71. "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) new
72. "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994) new
73. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" (1969) 50
74. "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991) 65
75. "In the Heat of the Night" (1967) new
76. "Forrest Gump" (1994) 71
77. "All the President's Men" (1976) new
78. "Modern Times" (1936) 81
79. "The Wild Bunch" (1969) 80
80. "The Apartment" (1960) 93
81. "Spartacus" (1960) new
82. "Sunrise" (1927) new
83. "Titanic" (1997) new
84. "Easy Rider" (1969) 88
85. "A Night at the Opera" (1935) new
86. "Platoon" (1986) 83
87. "12 Angry Men" (1957) new
88. "Bringing Up Baby" (1938) 97
89. "The Sixth Sense" (1999) new
90. "Swing Time" (1936) new
91. "Sophie's Choice" (1982) new
92. "Goodfellas" (1990) 94
93. "The French Connection" (1971) 70
94. "Pulp Fiction" (1994) 95
95. "The Last Picture Show" (1971) new
96. "Do the Right Thing" (1989) new
97. "Blade Runner" (1982) new
98. "Yankee Doodle Dandy" (1942) 100
99. "Toy Story" (1995) new
100. "Ben-Hur" (1959) 72
<---they're tearing him apart: James Dean lost BOTH his spots on the top 100. And Monty Clift too. Argh. The films that fell out were...Doctor Zhivago #39, North by Northwest #40, Birth of a Nation #44, From Here To Eternity #52, Amadeus #53, All Quiet on the Western Front #54, The Third Man #57, Fantasia #58, Rebel Without a Cause #59, Stagecoach #63, Close Encounters of the Third Kind #64, The Manchurian Candidate #67, An American in Paris #68, Wuthering Heights #73, Dances With Wolves #75, Giant #82, Fargo #84, Mutiny on the Bounty #86, Frankenstein #87, Patton #89, The Jazz Singer #90, My Fair Lady #91, A Place in the Sun #92, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner #99
weirdest entry: Sophie's Choice... almost never listed in any "best of", apart from Meryl Streep's astonishing performance, is in the top 100 --They collectively name it the 6th best of the entire 80s decade. Whaaaa?
lesson learned: nothing below the top 30 is ever safe. It all depends on who they poll and which way the winds blow.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Here is your birthday girl in her birthday suit...
It seems like a century ago that she was just a frizzy haired nobody marrying into Hollywood but that wasn't even 20 years ago. And it's only been 12 years since her star really began to sparkle with To Die For (1995). My how quickly true talent, lucky breaks, uncanny auteurist instincts and a twofer like Moulin Rouge! (yes!) and The Others (quite so) can change things.
As the curtain opened on this new century she established herself as the most important actress working. In the theater in my head, 2004 (Dogville & Birth) functioned as her showstopping first act finale. The past couple of years have been quiet. I'm so ready for Act Two.
I realize I'm impossible to please. I beg for my favorite stars to work more and then I demand that they take a breather once I see their face too much. I cried uncle and begged Nicole to take a well earned vacation. Now I desperately want her back, projected several stories high on the silver screen. I know I'm not alone.
Here are the trailers to The Golden Compass and The Invasion.
They can't come quickly enough.
Spank Nicole's bottom in the comments!
or click on her name below for earlier FE ravings including the very popular "Find Your Inner Kidman" quiz.
Anne Thompson Diego Luna & Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien) to reunite for the first picture under that Cha Cha Cha umbrella
Zoom In -I'm dissenting / agreeing with the Forbes Celebrity 100 Power List
<--Keira Daily great pics from Atonement.
NewNowNext Cheyenne Jackson update: he's joining the cast of Broadway's Xanadu. Now my excitement is renewed
popbytes goes wild for Hairspray. I'm seeing it next week. Wheeeee!
Steve on Broadway on the Young Frankenstein feud between 81 years young Cloris Leachman and 81 years old Mel Brooks. She wants to reprise her role in the Broadway version. He thinks she's too old to be on stage.
and yes... it's Nicole Kidman's birthday. More on her later. Hold yer horses.
Twin screengrabs from the 20th minute and 7th second of related movies
[singing] Give me a career as a buccaneer It's the life of a pirate for me Oh, the life of a pirate for me!
Two stills from films about the boy who never grew up. One is the widely seen Disney musical from '53. Fifty years later PJ Hogan directed a faithful book-to-screen version, which as you'll see here, takes just a wee bit longer to get us to Neverland. If you're just joining us (in which case --where ya been?) Wendy & Tink' got a write up last week. Even if you've read it you might want to click over. There were a few late entries to the "Action Heroine" celebration (including a Gallery of the Absurd painting) bringing the end total to a whopping 53 articles.
Please Note: Thanks for your enthusiasm and frequent commenting on the "20:07" project. This particular series is going on hiatus for at least a couple of weeks. But there's always something to see and read here at the experience. Stay tuned.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
This & That
Longford -Jim Broadbent (yes) and Samantha Morton (amen!) co-star in this true story about a compassionate Earl and the jailed murderess he befriended. Presumably stupendous riveting acting follows. Adding it to the queue.
Reno 911! Miami -I have the screener DVD sitting right here -- hope to watch soon.
The Lucille Ball Collection -A box set of five of Lucy's movies but it doesn't include Douglas Sirk's Lured which is the only Lucy movie I've liked (among the few I've seen). It does include her offkey musical performance in Mame. One of my best friends loves this movie but I love him anyway. In his defence, "Bosom Buddies" is pretty bitchy/hilarious as musical comedy numbers go.
The Secret of Nimh -The only movie about rodents that I've ever enjoyed. I haven't seen it since the 80s. Does it hold up?
Bridge to Terabithia - I never knew what this was but apparently when it came out I was supposed to have known. Oops.
A Plague On All Our Houses
Miss Potter -This movie, about the author Beatrix Potter and her delightful picture books, gave me hives all over. Consider that a "proceed at your own risk" PSA. She Who Must Not Be Named gives another excruciating cutesyfussylookatme performance. Ewan Macgregor and Emily Watson are also onhand to conquer the itching. They're like a soothing oatmeal bath ... but why risk hives in the first place? [my initial outbreak]