Saturday, December 20, 2008

Link Side Stories

Film Ick is disappointed in how The Hobbit (2012?) and The Green Hornet (2010?) are shaping up... or not shaping up as the case may be
Club Silencio can't wait for the banana ranch action in Gael García Bernal's latest
ProBlogger If Marilyn Monroe was a blogger... advice from movie stars on blogging? I love it
ModFab on Obama's first terrible move (before he's even in power. argh)
In Contention 'it's nice to be wrong' Interesting piece but how could anybody not have known that Kristin Scott Thomas as a powerhouse before now?
Nick's Flick Picks a splendid defense of Howards End (and Merchant/Ivory films in general)
Scanners top five cinematic dogs of the year. The good kind of dog
The Daily Have you heard? David Hudson is leaving Daily GreenCine for IFC starting Jan 1st

Finally, the West Side Story obsessive in me is having a mini revival. And just in time: Tapeworthy sees the pre-Broadway run of West Side Story in DC for not much $ and speaks highly of it. Click for details. For those of you who haven't heard they're going for a grittier and more realistic take. The gangs are supposed to be scarier and half the cast (Maria, Anita, Bernardo, The Sharks) will be performing in Spanish. Since WSS is my favorite film ever, I sometimes get nervous about seeing stage productions of it (the last one I saw was ... not so good) but I'm quite excited for this... even if I'll miss half of the prime wit of Sondheim's lyrics since I don't habla español. Another thing I didn't know as I've been out of the theater loop a bit: Cody Green from the reality show Step It Up and Dance is playing Riff.


Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for a great year of blogging, Nathaniel! (I think i must have passed my 1 year anniversary of reading your blog sometime, recently)
I also wanted to ask a rather delayed question which should really have gone in the SAG discussion.
I know you said that Benjamin Button is not really an actors film, but i'm curious (no pun intended)as to why you predict it to win the SAG for Best Ensemble.


oh... just because it's got a huge cast some of whom (Pitt, Blanchett, Swinton) are revered actors rather than unknowns (slumdog)...

and you're welcome. ;)

adam k. said...

I don't think Button is the type of film to win that award. Your prediction there kind of surprised me.

I haven't seen it yet - I don't live in NYC and I'm not a critic - but you don't hear anyone talking up the ensemble of this film. You hear "not an actors' film" and "cold, restrained". The only way that kind of film ever wins here is if it's an undisputed frontrunner for best picture, which, thanks to Slumdog (which I DID just see... meh), it's not.

I think, given their gushing response to Doubt, that it's headed for an easy win here. If not Doubt, then Milk, which has about as much chance for best pic as Button, but has a more highly touted ensemble cast. And honestly I think Slumdog may even have a better chance to win than Button, if it starts sweeping everything and everyone loves it hysterically.

That said, Button did better than I thought here, so it certainly has a shot. I just don't see it as a frontrunner, or even as a runner-up, to be honest.

vinci said...

Howards End is one of my favorite films. I wish it had won BP.


vinci me too. me too.

gabrieloak said...

I hate the idea of WSS being performed half in Spanish. Are they going to have subtitles?

I know they think this will make the story more realistic but I don't think this will work.

And WSS is such a stylized show anyway that to make it more realistic seems wrong-headed. Just my opinion.

gabrieloak said...

I'm a big fan of Howards End, A Room with a View, Maurice, and The Remains of the Day. These are films in which Merchant-Ivory outdid themselves. I also like Heat and Dust though I haven't watched it recently.

ajnrules said...

"I hate the idea of WSS being performed half in Spanish. Are they going to have subtitles?"

Yeah, they have monitors next to the stage that have subtitles. It is a bit of an annoyance because you don't want to take your eyes off the stage, but in reality only 10-15% of the performance was in Spanish. And if you know all the songs (or at least I Feel Pretty and A Boy Like That/I Have a Love) by heart, you really don't need to look at the subtitles. They're the same as what they've always been. The Spanish is definitely gimmicky, but it's an awe-inspiring production either way.

Oh, you may already know this, but the Playbill states that Cody Green is going to have a role as a featured dancer in Benjamin Button.


ajn huh. i've seen BENJAMIN BUTTON and don't remember seeing him.

ah well. there are a lot of dancers in Blanchett's middle movie scenes.

Hayden said...

So I have a Film Bitch FYC for you that really hadn't occurred to me until now: Best Actress in a Limited or Cameo Role, Patricia Clarkson, Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

She was fantastic in her little role, especially in the scene where she pulls Rebecca Hall aside to talk.

Hayden said...

I think my personal Best Ensemble (so far) would look something like this:

1. Rachel Getting Married
2. Vicky Cristina Barcelona
3. The Dark Knight
4. Frozen River
5. Burn After Reading

This is without seeing some of the bigger prestige pieces I don't have access to.


i would hope that some of those would hold their positions. The only reason none of them are getting nominations for ensemble is these voters are so freaking lazy and are just taking whatever hollywood gives them as "prestige"

there's no way RACHEL... or BURN AFTER READING for example are not exemplary ensembles... certainly better in terms of each performance and each performance contributing to the whole than something like FROST/NIXON which is really only interesting in the two-hander way (though yes there are a lot supporting characters... they just don't have much of anything interesting to do) or BENJAMIN BUTTON (which is also basically the Brad & Cate show with Taraji as the only particular vivid supporting performance.

Rick said...

Just to note... West Side Story is my all-time favorite musical. I Was a professional dancer at the time, and I also taught dance ... I "stole" many of the steps from the movie!!


rick --i imagine you weren't alone. :)

gabrieloak said...

Re: Burn After Reading. I kept feeling sorry for the classy ensemble cast wishing they had a better script and more developed characters to play. So they deserve some kind of award for make the film seem better and more coherent than it actually was.

Certainly Milk had a notable ensemble cast. Any film that makes you want to see more of all the actors on the screen is doing a good job.

Happy-Go-Lucky also had a fine ensemble.

Now I haven't seen Synedoche, New York, which has been impossible see where I live, but it sounds like it has a cast I want to watch.

And for most hammy ensemble in need of a better director, the award has to go to Mamma Mia.

Guy said...

Yeah, John's take on Kristin Scott Thomas baffled me too.

But then, I didn't like Kate Winslet for years, so maybe I shouldn't talk ;)