Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Linkella

Defamer has excerpts from Kathleen Turner's upcoming tell-all. Y'all know I'm a Kathleen Turner nut so I can't wait to read that thing. I hope it's 4,000 pages long.
Lazy Eye Theater has a tribute to Kurt Russell's killer year
Aerien loves Mrs. Lovett (Sweeney Todd) in four different ways
Drawn! looks at the film nominated for Best Animated Short @ the Oscars
Towleroad first look at Josh Brolin in Milk
Nicks Flick Picks has a brief but stunning remembrance of Heath Ledger
Popnography also gives brief thanks for Ennis Del Mar
Variety reports on the fourth film to sell @ Sundance. Isn't four kind of a low number given that we're a week into the snow festivities?
StinkyLulu is willing to throw himself on the sword for our amusement. Go vote for which Razzie nominee he should give the "Supporting Actress Sunday" treatment, to. Fun right? I voted for Julia Ormond because I just need to read about I Know Who Killed Me since I will never ever ever see it for myself.

And finally...The Projectionist takes on the Oscar nominations with considerable griping about Juno and various acting snubs. I love David Edelstein's writing but this article reminded me why I myself receive hate mail regularly. When an opinion is stated too much like fact (in this case Frank Langella being deserving of the Oscar itself) it can read as condescending if not garden variety irritating. I haven't talked about Starting Out in the Evening because I didn't have much to say and I often feel churlish about dissing movies that are labors of love. It feels different to slam a threadbare indie than a soulless studio behemoth. Langella is certainly good in the film, but I kept waiting for the revelation that you'll sometimes find in low key performances and it never came. I don't think he belongs in that unusually strong Best Actor lineup. Mostly though I found the movie housing him to be hopelessly uncinematic. After all the raves, I was surprised to find a stilted uncomfortable page-to-screen transfer where a movie was supposed to be. And I still haven't forgiven the movie for giving me a bad Lauren Ambrose performance. How is this possible? But I didn't believe one word coming out of her mouth --not one.

One other small note: Edelstein states that there was snickering at a local critics award events when he voted for Ashley Judd in Bug for Best Actress. I hope he held his head high. Will someone fire those heckling critics on the spot and replace them with movie writers who can look at Bug with a straight face? That's their job and --more to the righteous fury point-- that's a transfer that knows it's now a movie. And Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon are both better at unravelling while codependently intertwining than Frank Langella is in refusing to.
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28 comments:

adam k. said...

I was disappointed not to see Bug in any of your year-end awards... I was hoping it had a chance in actor, actress, director, or screenplay. But I guess there were stronger choices in all those categories.

Anonymous said...

ooh before the oscars can we decide what scenes they should show (in case there IS a ceremony) i really enjoyed reading that from a couple of years ago

NATHANIEL R said...

yes i fear Bug is in that spring, summer fall winter and spring place where it just is never making the categories. GAH

Anonymous said...

turner.

i already can't wait for the unabridged "read by the author" version on audible.

-ryansumera

lylee said...

Well, I'm hardly unbiased on the subject of Frank Langella, but don't you think Edelstein's swipes at "Juno" are a lot more condescending than his touting of Langella? Not that I don't agree with him to some extent on "Juno," which I think is good but not THAT good (ditto Ellen Page).

I'm obviously not unbiased on "Starting Out in the Evening," either, considering it made my top 5 this year, but I will admit I do think Lauren Ambrose is the weak link in that movie. I don't think, though, that Langella's performance needed a "revelation." His character's arc is super-subtle: he has a brief late "flowering" followed by an abrupt return to the reality of his old age. But then, I always did like the quiet performances better (still think Ralph Fiennes was criminally overlooked for his turn in "The Constant Gardener"). Though having seen "There Will Be Blood," even I must bow before the power that is Daniel Day-Lewis.

Carl said...

Okay, last and only on this...thanks, Edelstein, for vindicating my faith in picking this performance in my Actress Contest five. Now, if only we coulda got a few million more folks to go along with us to either of the theaters that showed it.

adam k. said...

Yeah, Nate, what's happening with the scores in the actress contest? Obviously there are other concerns now, but I'm just expressing my interest in seeing how that pans out eventually.

I had picked Jolie, so I'm sure I took a bit of a hit in the final tallies.

and OMG how terrible would it be if Heath never got his "in memorium" spot cause there was no ceremony this year? Ugh.

Derek said...

I was extremely disappointed to see Ashley Judd missing from the Film Bitch Best Actress nominees. If anyone other than me was going to give it to her, it would have been you :( I guess I'm all alone.

NATHANIEL R said...

I know this isn't "fair" per se but I suspect the reason that I'm a BUG fan but not a 100% movie fan of it is that I saw the original stage production and the original actress and so on and so on so i know i'm judging it from a unique angle that not many will be.

but i'm so proud of Judd for really challenging herself and i hope we see more of that from her.

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

I really liked Judd in this movie; but this year was a really strong year for actresses, I felt. I couldn't bear to shove any of my top five out of their list.

Like you mentioned in your Year in Review; I think the marketing is to blame at least partially. If it had been marketed correctly, maybe it would have been better received by critics. Thankfully, I came into the movie without seeing a trailer; based on just the buzz on Judd and Shannon, and was completely wowed by it.

Also: I love Kathleen Turner in pretty much anything. I especially have a small spot in my heart for her guest turn on Friends as Chandler's Dad. I'm a horrible person, cearly.

Anonymous said...

God, that guy you linked is an a******. I'm happy when something I liked gets in and he is just able to bitch about everything he didn't like. Helloooo, it happens ALL the time! And Juno is not winning. No way.
By the way, I wouldn't give Juno anything but best actress nom. I think Ellen had to try her best to let people think this screenplay is actually that worthy.

Middento said...

I say *yawn* to Edelstein in general. I lost all respect for him when his review on Fresh Air for Babel had so many factual errors that could have easily been checked by, oh, a simple Google search.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel too bad for Frank Langella, b/c I think he's going to have a great upcoming season of his own with "Frost/Nixon", but hearing that Lauren Ambrose in "Starting Out" was awful here really hurts. I thought that she was the best part of "Six Feet Under" and am still waiting for her to fulfill that promise in upcoming projects. This will probably just be one of those wait for it on cable kind of films for me, but I'll keep my fingers crossed anyways.

NATHANIEL R said...

i don't know that you'll think she's awful. I mean it's at least a "performance" in that you can feel her consciously going for a character unlike anything she's played. But I just don't think it was at all successful... and it hurt since the last time I saw her she was shockingly great (romeo + juliet in central park)...

but then, more power to her for experimenting with her range.

Piper said...

I'm with edelstein. Juno was a mess and I'm getting a little tired of Oscar falling in love with movies that just because they don't suck should somehow get an Oscar.

Jimmy said...

first off - ashley judd should never ever be forgiven for "De-Lovely." How awful was she?!!! OK, the Kathleen Turner book....when does it come out? Did you read the part about Raquel Welch possibly replacing her on Broadway in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"....during an audition Raquel showed her claws & meowed!!!! How GREAT is that!!! Plus Kathleen hates Burt Reynolds & tells all....I'm getting happy again after a horrible day yesterday. thank god for my 15% Barnes & Noble card.

Sammy Jo said...

Finally...someone who feels like I do about this over hyped overrated "little movie that could" Juno.
Have we forgotten what a great movie is? Have we forgotten what great acting is?
I truly agree with his comments about Linney, and I said the same thing after I saw The Savages.The acting looks real and feels like eavesdropping, so it won't be seen as special. I also thought the script was superior to Juno, It told all without having to say it, or shout it.
I will shoot my t.v. if Page actually wins.

Anonymous said...

"Juno" doesn't deserve that kind of mudslinging. I'm thrilled that a smart and engaging female-driven comedy could become the hit that it has in the world of "Superbad"'s and such. So what if Diablo Cody took things a bit too far in places? It's still a great screenplay, and I'll be elated when she wins her Oscar next month. Best picture? I was prepared for that since I had it in my predictions. Jason Reitman shouldn't be anywhere near best director, but okay, what's to be done about that. Ellen Page? I'll give her all the credit in the world for making something like this fly, but best actress? Not to me, but good for her in getting the nomination.

mrripley said...

I HATE THE WAY EVERY EPRSON IN THE FILM SPEAKS CODY HIPSTER SPEAK FOR JUNO AND HER FRIEND TO HAVE THIS FINE BUT MUM AND DAD TOO PLEASE.



plus ruby dee has 3 mins and 21 secs of screen time how is that best supp actress material sure her 3 major scenes esp her last were great but come on there was a wealth to choose from,i think she got nommed for slapping denzel that was a wow moment in a medicore film she also seemed to be the only 1 playig a real person,i think denzel elt her down in that scene but although i do not agree with her nom i can see why.it's mortensen i have a huge huge huge issue with over riley,mcavoy,del toro leung & gosling no no no no!!!!

Anonymous said...

Every character in "Juno" doesn't speak "hipster speak". That's just flat-out wrong.

Carl said...

On that subject...does anyone know what the shortest amount of speaking screentime is that led to a Best Supporting nomination in either category? I know QE I in "Shakespeare in Love" must be close to the shortest.

NATHANIEL R said...

do you include singing as speaking? cuz doesn't JOEL GREY *only* sing in CABARET?

though he's onscreen a lot..

Piper said...

Anon,

The mudslinging isn't directed at Juno, it's directed at all the critics who have said it's one of the best movies of the year. I don't think it is. If I hadn't heard all that, I would have thought that Juno wasn't bad. But best picture of the year? No way. And I agree with all your commentary Page and Reitman. It's all a bit too much.

And Nat,

As always, thank you for your linkage.

mrripley said...

thanks that's what i meant,i would have liked juno a lot more if page was juno with her way of speaking and all but even the store guy was at it "home skillet" what was that all about,"hipster" speak is exactly what it is,it's like friends god they are all 6 so witty never a pun lost,it becomes unreal and the moment simmons and janney started it all became contrived and unreal and took me out of situation and made page real annoying,the only person whom i liked was garner at least she acted,page merely aggrivated if she steals julie c's expected oscar it will not be right in a world of wrongs.

Anonymous said...

Well piper, I think that "Juno" is one of the best pictures of the year, and just b/c it's a wise-ass comedy shouldn't automatically derail its chances, nor should it be the reason for critics like Edelstein to take a collective dump over it just b/c of the acclaim. No one's forced anyone to like this film or give it more praise than they think it should have -- I think the response has been a genuine one of people who have found great worth in "Juno". This is usual and tired backlash that happens all the time with the "populist" picks, and I for one am sick of that crap.

jimmy said...

i think beatrice straight had the shortest amount of screen time - she won supporting actress for network in '76. i believe she was only in one scene, about 5 minutes, max. on another note....i think everyone / critics & the public were desperate for a "sideways" or "little miss sunshine" this year - juno came the closest. juno wasn't near as good. i could watch "sideways" & Littel miss sunshine over & over.

Sammy Jo said...

Hey, I have nothing against a female driven comedy being a big success like Knocked Up or Superbad, bigger even...BUT, we're talking Oscar here. That's all I'm saying. I just want to keep the standards higher, and make it less of a popularity contest.

There are so many great films that don't even get a mention or remembered long enough to be included, why is that?

And the best marketing and campaigning goes to...

Carl said...

Nathaniel ;

Yeah, since "Cabaret" is a musical, singing should be counted. The real thrust of the question was to see which nominee has, in the sense this thread implies, 'gotten away with murder' by giving a micro-cameo that kept other, more traditional (read: longer) performances off the shortlist. I tend to agree the Dame Judi and Beatrice Straight pretty much set the opening bids on this one.