5 items from 2016
Approaching the first episode of a series as mammoth as The People v. O.J. Simpson is a daunting prospect, like opening a roomful of Pandora's boxes. Quite apart from the details of the actual case, which had plenty of its own twists and turns, the entire affair was a cultural flashpoint on race, class, police misconduct, celebrity justice, and the insatiable maw of 24/7 cable news. And that’s just for starters. So for simplicity’s sake, let’s begin with four moments that neatly encapsulate the show’s wide-ranging, near-miraculous appeal.1. "This is a crime scene." Three detectives poke around O.J. Simpson's estate, following up on the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, at Brown's home in Brentwood. Simpson isn't there, but following a tip from a seriously baked Kato Kaelin (Billy Magnussen), the famed freeloader who was living in Simpson's guest house, »
- Scott Tobias
"Fame is fleeting," Robert Kardashian tells his kids in an early episode of FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (it debuts tomorrow night at 10). "It's hollow. It means nothing at all without a virtuous heart." Young Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, and Rob look at their father like he's speaking some long-dead language they have no hope of understanding. Their dad is on TV, and getting priority seating at overbooked restaurants, all because he's famous — and only famous, at that, because his best friend happens to be Simpson, the world's most famous accused murderer. Of course fame means everything to these kids. The People v. O.J. — the first installment of a new FX anthology series from Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story, Glee), and not to be confused with ABC's similarly-titled anthology series American Crime — isn't really a Keeping Up with the Kardashians origin story. The kids only appear »
- Alan Sepinwall
Despite clouds and the threat of rain, San Francisco spreads gloriously before director George Nolfi and the cast and crew of “Birth of the Dragon.” From their perch high atop Twin Peaks, they are shooting the climactic shot of the “kung fu fable” — their Steve McQueen-ish hero riding his motorcycle off to a new life.
When the sun shoots suddenly through the gloom, Nolfi shouts for another take: “Get the motorcycle down here! There’s light on the city!” And, indeed, just as doubles for Billy Magnussen and his girlfriend (played by Jingjing Qu) roar past, sunlight splashes across the panorama and the golden dome of City Hall behind them.
“That was great, right?” the usually more reserved director Nolfi calls across the hillside. “That was bad ass!”
- James Rainey
One of the people to emerge on a first-name basis with America after the O.J. Simpson trial was none other than well-maned sidekick Kato Kaelin, and with the impending premiere of The People v. O.J. Simpson February 2, expect to hear a lot more from the Ur–reality star. In a piece for the New York Daily News, Kato fact-checks the FX production, and it turns out he has some quibbles! (1) The limo driver waiting to take O.J. to the airport wasn't waiting alone outside, but rather talking to Kato in the driveway. (2) In another scene, Kato, played by Billy Magnussen, is seen eating a hamburger, but in real life, he had actually sworn off red meat for years. "Perhaps a small detail to some of you," Kaehlin says, "but it makes me wonder if they can't get the facts right, how much creative license will the series take »
- E. Alex Jung
Refresh your screen for updates as we add to the list. If you suspect you've seen a statistic worth shouting about, put it in the comments.
Records Broken This Year
Jennifer Jones (Duel in the Sun, age 27) vs Jennifer Lawrence (Joy, age 25)• Jennifer Lawrence (who is 25 years old) breaks Jennifer Jones's record of quickest actor to 4 nominations. Jones had held that record -- she accomplished 4 nominations by the age of 27 -- since 1947. But no more.
• Carol becomes the Most Nominated Film in the modern expanded Best Picture field era to not receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. The previous record was a three way tie between The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Skyfall (2012) and Foxcatcher (2014) which each received 5 nominations but were not included in Best Picture. [Aside: The all time record holder, from back when there were only 5 Best Picture nominees and more room for this sort of "achievement" in not quite making it, is They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969) which received 9 nominations. Of these four other pictures, all but Foxcatcher won at least one Oscar. So we'll see on Carol.
2015 Specific Records
• Tom Hardy and Domnhall Gleeson are the most ubiquitous faces from the Best Picture lineup. Each actor appears in two »
- NATHANIEL R
5 items from 2016
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