Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Julia's Men: Broken Billy and Brother Eric

A steep box office drop off for Eat Pray Love (which opened well thanks to Julia Roberts and the memoir's popularity) or its generally blah reviews could easily kill it, but Richard Jenkins has a slam dunk Best Supporting Actor Type part, don't you think? Yeah, you know that category has its types.

For me though, the character I keep thinking about is Stephen (Billy Crudup). Crudup made a vivid impression in just a couple of scenes so I wrote him up for my "Best in Show" column at Tribeca Film. He's like a little boy whose heart Julia stomped on till it broke. So sad.

I have to start my spreadsheets for the 2010 Film Bitch Awards now lest I forget something (I've usually started them by now. Eeep). Are than any cameos or limited roles this year that wowed you that you want everyone else to love? If so, share them in the comments. (Here's who I went with last year in those "limited" categories.)

Speaking of men Julia Roberts may or may not have clobbered emotionally, apparently Eric (her older brother) and she have mended their previously tense relationship. The Daily Beast has an interview with Eric Roberts about his career and their relationship. Like his friend Mickey Rourke he isn't one to mince words and I love that in celebrities even if their handlers do not. He just flat out admits that he gave up chasing a certain kind of career after his Oscar loss.
When you hand in great performances in Star 80 and Runaway Train and the Oscar goes to Don Ameche, it kind of bums you out.
Brutal honesty plus shameless self regard. Love it! (To be fair he is just fantastic in Star 80 and should be proud of himself.) I also get bummed out about the Cocoon love. But if anyone but Ameche was going to win that particular Oscar, it would have been Klaus Maria Brandauer in Out of Africa.
*

36 comments:

Volvagia said...

Eli Wallach in The Ghost Writer. If the Oscar had a category recognizing such a small achievement, I think he'd be a nominee. Best in show with a 3 minute part.

Seeking Amy said...

Is Yaya Dacosta as Tanya in The Kids Are All Right too big of a role for "limited"? I think she's terrific with the little she has to do.

cinema adventurer said...

I thought the best thing about the overwrought Shutter Island was Robin Bartlett's tiny little performance. Utterly convincing and really lifted the movie to a chilling level that it was never able to capitalize upon. You mentioned her and her great work in Postcards from the Edge a few weeks ago and I was thrilled.

Speaking of Eric Roberts (who Nolan used so well in The Dark Knight), I'd also suggest Tom Berenger in Inception. What a great screen presence!

SoSueMe said...

After Ruffalo, Crudup is the next handsome character actor on Oscar's overdue list. I mentioned on the other EPL post he was incredible in the divorce proceedings scene. Jenkins, on the other hand, had the luxury of that outrageous rooftop monologue...I hope he gets his second nom (although it should be his third - his first should have been for North Country).
And Julia rocked out...I would be pleased if she made the final five come Oscar time.

Dean said...

The gardener in The Kids Are All Right.

Volvagia said...

I think Jenkins is out. The Academy rarely goes below 60% on Rotten Tomatoes, and considering they're going more "festival" and "quirky" these days, they can easily find 5 nominees in better receieved movies including (cross fingers), Kieran Culkin, especially if word of mouth bolsters Scott Pilgrim's second weekend gross. (It's not so much that I want that specific movie to be successful, but if it grosses over $100 million, maybe Hollywood will start getting riskier with their comic book movies. (Sorry Kevin Smith, but Big Hollywood wouldn't really be interested in a parody of superheroes like Bluntman and Chronic. See also: Lionsgate, the new kid on the block, distributed Kick-Ass.))

Alison Flynn said...

Richard Jenkins was really good in EPL. But he's really excellent anyway. I haven't seen all of his filmography but I've liked him in everything I have seen.

And yeah, this is definitely a Best Actor Supporting nod waiting to happen. He cries and everything.

I didn't hate EPL but I didn't really love it either. There were problems with the pacing and a lot of it just wasn't executed as well as it might have been. I haven't read the book so I can't speak to whether it was a good, bad or indifferent adaptation. However, I thought all of the actors were good.

Anonymous said...

OFF TOPIC NEWS:

Need your Angelina Jolie fix? Sony has announced THE TOURIST, a thriller co-starring Johnny Depp, will be released Dec. 10, 2010.

Source: https://twitter.com/ERCboxoffice

Volvagia said...

Personally, I question why it's not a rule for them to check the RT scores before they fill out their ballots. In the major categories of the past 10 years, they've gone below 60% 4 times. (Unfaithful, (a special case), The Lovely Bones, I Am Sam and Elizabeth: The Golden Age.) Out of 400 nominations, that indicates that the weak link of the Academy is the actors.

josiane said...

SInce when a 23m$ is a good opening when you're Julia Roberts ?

Kidman's Bewitched opened at 20m$, only 3m$ less and it was not "her" genre. On the other hand, EPL is a romance, which is Roberts' forte.

Lemmen said...

It's kind of unfortunate the reviews for EPL are so mixed because quite honestly I thought Julia, Jenkins and Crudup were all deserving. The movie has a ton of problems, I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. Still, Jenkins' rooftop monologue, Crudup in the divorce proceedings and Julia on the bathroom floor praying was just really good work. I don't think any of them will get in however.

I agree with Eli Wallach in Ghost Writer

Anonymous said...

@Josiane
EPL isn't a romance, it's a drama. Have you seen the movie? The 'romance' doesn't even come in until the last 30 minutes of the movie. 23 million is a great opening for a movie that is only geared towards women over the age of 35. That's a better opening than movies that are geared towards four different demos, EPL is a movie for one demo and still opened better than the average, it's a one quadrant film really.

josiane said...

Anonymous,

a romance can have dramatic elements, I didn't say it was a rom com, there's a difference.

What I'm saying is that it's not a great opening by any mean, I mean it's a very popular book and it stars the biggest female stars of the 90's.

All in all Jolie is the winner of this summer. And don't start me with Di Caprio. Inception is not marketed only on his shoulders. On the other hand Salt is in your face Jolie. Salt is a test, since it has neither an original premise neither a hot-right-now director or co-star. Salt's opening but Eat Pray Love's to shame.

Anonymous said...

OT: The BLACK SWAN trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jaI1XOB-bs

I'm starting the campaign for Portman NOW

NATHANIEL R said...

josiane -- action films are always easier gets than dramas.

i'm not much of a box office guy (i don't care much beyond the normal being sad when a great film flops and being happy when a great film plays well with audiences) but anne thompson's piece on how good the opening was for a star that hasn't really been asked to open a movie for 8 years was, and one without a strong multi-quadrant appeal.

of course box office is always spinnable just like politics one could say it took 12 over the hill action stars to beat 1 slightly past her prime Julia Roberts in which case she won the weekend with ease ;)

Volvagia said...

In my opinion, the absolute best actor without an Oscar nod. And is this how long Christian Slater actually has to wait for great material? I only ask because they have similar career arcs (Promising beginnings (Baby Doll, The Magnificent Seven and The Misfits for Wallach, The Name of the Rose, Heathers and Pump up the Volume for Slater), leading up to a comparative dry spell (How the West Was Won, Act One and Genghis Khan for Wallach, Young Guns II, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and Ferngully for Slater) soon followed up by a masterful thriller (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly for Wallach, True Romance for Slater), ending with a dip into mostly forgettable movies with one notable exception (Girlfriends for Wallach, The Contender for Slater), only to claw out decades later, (This year for Wallach with The Ghost Writer and Wall Street 2, and a turn toward decent "thriller" TV for Slater, because anything's better than another Uwe Boll.) Y'know what? Maybe they have the exact same career arc.

LovelyLady said...

@josiane

Is this a competition? Jolie did well, but she opened an action flick. Action flicks almost always do better than dramas and under MPAA, "Eat Pray Love" is listed as a drama. If anyone from the film was nominated for a Golden Globe it would be in the drama category, not comedy/musical. The technical category for the film is drama. Salt is a four quadrant action film, great for Jolie but it appealed to a much bigger audience than Eat Pray Love does.

23 million is a very good opening for the type of film that it is. A drama about the spiritual journey of a recently divorced woman? Does that sounds like a blockbuster to you? Popular book or not, its not an easy sell and Julia opened it well. That 23 million is better than Julie & Julia, Bounty Hunter, Killers, Knight & Day, Letters To Juliet, Hot Tub Time Machine, Get Him To the Greek, The Back-Up Plan and it was on par with the comedy (which always does better than dramas) Dinner For Schmucks.

I'd like to know how many actresses can open a drama about the spiritual journey of a woman that caters only to women over the age of 35 to $23 million dollars.

Volvagia said...

I was referring to Wallach in the first sentence.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I'm a different Anonymous who posted The Tourist news.

Murtada said...

For small roles mention, Zosia Mamet for her delivery of the line "sperm donor dad, stone cold fox" in The Kids Are All Right. Of course I could just be influenced by her great turn in this week's Mad Men as Peggy's new friend Joyce.

OtherRobert said...

I'm still laughing at Alison Pill's sarcastic one-liner's in Scott Pilgrim four days later. She's awesome in a tiny part.

I'd say Emily Mortimer or Jackie Earle Haley for Shutter Island, but then I'd have to drop Patricia Clarkson from my Supporting line-up for also being a one-scene wonder. And then what do you do with Michelle Williams? It's a difficult film to categorize shy of DiCaprio-Lead, Ruffalo-Supporting.

If they actually release Husk this year (pretty please? I'd love to see it with the corrected color), there's a pair of performances that fit this category perfectly. I somehow doubt it's getting out of post-preview screening hell any time soon. That's what happens when you don't finish your CGI work before a screening and forget to tell the audience until after the surveys are in.

Criticlasm said...

I did love Crudup in EPL, but everyone was good. It was also a good spot the b'way or little known awesome actor film with Sophie Thompson, Michael Cumpsty and Mary Testa. I think the only issue with the film is that internal self-searching can be identifiable in a book, but when boiled down to only action starts to just feel like self-involvement. Still liked it.

And I LOVED Kieran Culkin in Scott Pilgrim, but he'd be a Globe if they did comedy as a separate supporting. Jenkins is a shoe-in because of that scene on the roof and his other nomination. Done. Fait accompli.

I would nominate Tom Hardy for being so hot he actually knocked out my ability to process speech for a minute or two. Really, I couldn't understand what he was saying.

And for supporting, the most surprising, stealth perf for me this year has been Maria Paiato as Ida the maid in I Am Love - that last scene with Tilda was a-stound-ing. Complete shock. She probably won't get a nod, but Tilda will for sure get a nom, if not the Globe. Though it's only August, so something could come along and wipe all this awya....

NATHANIEL R said...

CRITICLASM -- i love Mary Testa so you know i was like "yay!" at her scene (though from the trailer i expected she was actually going to be a friend of Liz's and not -- well, that was the entire role!)) i will never ever eever ever ever forget her performance off broadway in SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE.

She would have been a shooin for the Tony had it been a Broadway show. Just such a powerhouse show stopper, that one.

MURTADA --I didn't actually make that connection. how fab.

SoSueMe said...

EPL was for sure a romance...those scenes in Italy...and the music and the food...it was a very sensual experience.

Glenn said...

Consider this. Eat Prey Love opened with $23mil. The Mexican in which she co-starred with Brad Pitt? Debuted to $20mil. This opening is directly in her central range. Erin Brockovich opened to $28mil, Notting Hill opened to $21mil, Stepmom opened to $19mil.

As for cameo/bit parts? Brandon Routh in Scott Pilgrim and Robin Bartlett in Shutter Island would be the ones I'd stump for most of all.

bacio said...

23 M $ - could have been bigger, I guess. But it´s a one quadrant film aimed at women, and they re the one who care most about reviews. And reviews were mixed to negative. So, opening to 23 M $ is actually quite an achievement.

Volvagia said...

Except you've got to consider inflation and the higher price of tickets, Glenn. $27.7 million 11 years ago is at least $35 million now. Staying at the same bracket of opening unadjusted is actually a sign of decline.

bacio said...

well, you have to consider the rise of internet and DVD. And obviously, with movie tickets more expensive, people are less inclined to actually go to the movies. Unless they expect something really big and awesome (say action and CGI). So, 23 M US-$ for a critically panned drama is pretty good.

NATHANIEL R said...

see what i mean about spin?

i think it's a good opening period but there are lots of ways to look at it. btu I doubt it will have the legs it needs.

Glenn said...

"Staying at the same bracket of opening unadjusted is actually a sign of decline."

Or, as Bacio also mentioned, it means more people are waiting for DVD instead of buying an expensive movie ticket. I genuinely think the inflation/adjusted stuff is a load of rubbish since there are more avenues to make money in this day and age.

MRRIPLEY said...

I bet julia doesn't give a shit, anyway she proved herself,she was the only woman who could compete with the big boys solo from 1990 - 2001.

Bill_the_Bear said...

I definitely second Maria Paiato as Ida in "I Am Love."

Sebastian said...

My favorite character in "Eat Pray Love" was Ketut. But I totally get the buzz on Richard Jenkins. He was one of the few bright spots in that film. I'd never call Billy Crudup the best in show there though.

For my vote in limited performance so far, it's still Patricia Clarkson in "Shutter Island." It looks like everything about that film won't be remembered come Oscar time (and Leo has his new horse with "Inception"), but she was so great in her one scene. I'd love to see her in the running for supporting actress again.

Urey said...

Random Don Ameche bitterness! Love that!

sp said...

Since we are on the topic of Crudup & Ruffalo, why can't they have bigger careers ?! It is unbelievably rare to find theatre - trained actors with range , versatility, and talent- added with incredible good looks ( and sex appeal) . Why can't film executives and Hollywood agents nuture their careers properly- give them more film opportunities ( both commercial & independent films) ? I just feel it is such a waste of talent ( and eye candy) to see these actors not receive the push and access to great material .

A young Marlon Brando showed you can be on top of your acting game , influence many thespians, portray different characters, and still be incredibly hot & sexy. He helped pave the way for Paul Newman, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, etc...

P.S. Hottie Hugh Jackman has had incredible box -office success, but he has yet to convey his full potential on film ( just on stage).

Anonymous said...

Great movie The Dark Knight
Thanks for this post Thanks
I have some movies with Christian Bale - Equilibrium and I'm Not There best actor )
Does someone agree with me?