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18 items from 2010


Oscar Update: Is the Best Picture Race Between 'Social Network' and 'The Fighter'?

20 December 2010 8:25 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

(from left) Jack Lally, Anthony Molinari, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in The Fighter

Photo: Paramount Pictures Last week was a big week for Oscar prognosticators. Starting last Sunday we had the Los Angeles and New York film critics weigh in with their best of 2010. Then the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild added their nominations. Then, just last night the Satellite Awards were announced and while they aren't exactly the best indicator of what films are going to do what, they add their own numbers to the formula. Patterns have formed and front-runners have clearly been sorted, but there are still some questions up in the air.

After the dust settled, The Social Network was the clear Best Picture front-runner. This, however, can be attributed to more than just one thing. Obviously, the critics have been all over it, but when predicting Oscar's Best Picture you have to remember »

- Brad Brevet

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Is Angelina Jolie the new Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor?

3 December 2010 4:05 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

… either way, she needs to get round to making some better films than The Tourist, says John Patterson

I can't decide: is Angelina Jolie trying to be Audrey Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor? There are some odd parallels between Jolie – beyond her adopted English accent in The Tourist – and both of her precursors in the heady world of paparazzi flashbulbs, ceaseless scrutiny, and the labours involved in being the most famous beautiful movie star on the planet.

Like Taylor, she's married to the superstar male beau of his generation, though the Brangelina coupling offers little of the alcohol- and poetry-fuelled devilry of Burton-Taylor. Like Hepburn, she is the estranged daughter of a rightwing nutcase, Audrey's Hitler-fancying pater having dived headlong into the British Union of Fascists in the 30s, while Jolie's dad Jon Voight has long since sailed off the rightward edge of the Earth.

Jolie has made almost as »

- John Patterson

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Are Bening *And* Moore All Right?

5 October 2010 10:47 AM, PDT | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

Some people are adamant that Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, the co-leads of “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features, 7/9, trailer), cannot both be nominated for the best actress Oscar this year. That’s a bunch of malarkey. Not only can they, and not only should they, but — if Focus genuinely fights the good fight for both of them, as studio insiders emphatically insist to me that they will — they will be.

Those who say that it cannot happen point to the large number of quality contenders in the category this year and insist that there isn’t room for two people from the same film. I disagree. Bening and Moore are together in virtually every scene of the film (Moore actually has a few more scenes, alongside Mark Ruffalo). Both actresses have some terrific moments in the film (especially Bening’s return to the dinner table after discovering Moore »

- Scott Feinberg

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Mad Men: the future of American film is on television | David Hare

8 September 2010 3:10 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Mad Men's immaculate re-creation of another way of life reminds us vividly of our own

In a hilariously combative interview in the London Evening Standard last March, the best-selling author Lee Child argued the superiority of thrillers over any other kind of fiction. The problem with the literary novel was that it was too easy. He could run up a Martin Amis in three weeks. The only literary writer for whom he had any respect was Ian McEwan, because McEwan was at least trying to "put a suspense dynamic into an intelligent, intellectual novel". So-called serious writers "don't quite get it" because they're usually too fastidious to accept how simple the formula is. "You ask or imply a question at the beginning of a book and you absolutely self-consciously withhold the answer. It does feel cheap and meretricious but it absolutely works."

"Cheap and meretricious" may seem an unlikely »

- David Hare

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Mad Men: the future of American film is on television | David Hare

8 September 2010 3:10 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Mad Men's immaculate re-creation of another way of life reminds us vividly of our own

In a hilariously combative interview in the London Evening Standard last March, the best-selling author Lee Child argued the superiority of thrillers over any other kind of fiction. The problem with the literary novel was that it was too easy. He could run up a Martin Amis in three weeks. The only literary writer for whom he had any respect was Ian McEwan, because McEwan was at least trying to "put a suspense dynamic into an intelligent, intellectual novel". So-called serious writers "don't quite get it" because they're usually too fastidious to accept how simple the formula is. "You ask or imply a question at the beginning of a book and you absolutely self-consciously withhold the answer. It does feel cheap and meretricious but it absolutely works."

"Cheap and meretricious" may seem an unlikely »

- David Hare

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Elizabeth Taylor Was Reluctant to Star in Butterfield 8, Which Won Her Her First Oscar

23 August 2010 12:05 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Elizabeth Taylor on TCM: X, Y And Zee, A Place In The Sun Elizabeth Taylor was reluctant to star in Daniel Mann‘s Butterfield 8 (1960), the film that was to eventually win her a Best Actress Academy Award. (Taylor would win her second Oscar statuette for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) "It’s a terrible mean thing they’ve done to me," the MGM contract player told Upi. "They have the power to keep me off the screen for the next two years unless I agree to do Butterfield and it looks as if that’s what they’re going to do." Taylor finally agreed to star as the tragic high-class sex worker Gloria Wandrous so she could be free to travel to Rome to film Cleopatra for 20th Century Fox. Her co-stars in Butterfield 8 were Laurence Harvey, nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for Room at the Top (1959), and Eddie Fisher, »

- Andre Soares

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Elizabeth Taylor on TCM: X, Y & Zee, A Place In The Sun

23 August 2010 12:04 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor in George StevensA Place in the Sun Elizabeth Taylor can be found in 11 movies to be presented on Turner Classic Movies on Monday, Aug. 23, as part of TCM’s "Summer Under the Stars" series. [Elizabeth Taylor schedule.] Curiously, even though Taylor is one of the biggest movie stars ever, she did appear in a few (to the best of my knowledge) still hard-to-find titles. Is Franco Zeffirelli‘s Young Toscanini (1988) available on home video in the Us? Are Night Watch (1973) and Ash Wednesday (1973) easily available? Unfortunately, none of those titles will be shown on TCM, but there’s one that most people probably haven’t heard of despite its stellar cast: Brian G. Hutton‘s X, Y & Zee (1971), a bizarre psychological drama in which Taylor co-stars with Michael Caine and Susannah York. Though hardly what I’d call a great film, X, Y & Zee is [...] »

- Andre Soares

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Mm@M: Ever sneak out of work for a movie matinee?

21 June 2010 4:23 PM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Mad Men at the Movies investigates the film references in the Emmy winning series.

Episode 2.3 "The Benefactor"

Two film moments in this episode. In the first Betty is at the stables where she rides when she and her friend spot Arthur (Gabriel Mann) the prettyboy fiance of one of her wealthy peers. Betty won't admit her attraction.Sarabeth Carson: He looks like a little boy.

Betty Draper: I guess.

Sarabeth: He reminds me of Monty Clift in A Place in the Sun, learning how to ride so he can worm his way into the upper crust.

Betty: Somewhere there's a pregnant girl floating in a lake.

Sarabeth: I'm from the South. There are such people.Gabriel Mann doesn't look much like Monty except for that arguably little boy lost quality. The actor, who you might recognize from High Art or the Bourne trilogy, certainly doesn't look his age (38).

While several »

- NATHANIEL R

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A Place in the Sun: Home or Away | TV review

18 June 2010 3:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

A holiday home in Yorkshire or in Tuscany – no-brainer, right? Not according to this Scottish couple

So this nice couple from Scotland on A Place in the Sun: Home or Away (Channel 4) want to buy themselves a holiday home. They've got two places in mind, one of which is the Yorkshire Dales. Eh? If you live in Scotland, why would you want to go on holiday in Yorkshire? Isn't that more of the same, only to a lesser extent? You drink champagne every day, and for a special occasion you have a bottle of … Jacob's Creek chardonnay. No, that suggests Scotland is champagne. You drink Irn-Bru every day … never mind, you know what I mean.

The alternative is Tuscany. Duh, that's a no-brainer isn't it? Especially as Iain and Mary love Italy and all things Italian. Looks like it's going to be prosecco, then.

But there's a problem. »

- Sam Wollaston

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The Alternative World Cup Guide, Part Two

17 June 2010 9:40 PM, PDT | TV.com | See recent TV.com news »

If you're one of few English folk who doesn.t feel flustered about tonight.s ball-kicking match against Algeria (because, hey ho, you just don.t care), then you.ve come to the right place. And that goes for anyone desperate to escape football mania. Read on for the second instalment of our World Cup-free TV guide.

While most of the world will want to see how Fabio.s boys hold up in their second match of the group stage (coverage from 7pm on ITV1), anyone who doesn.t give a flying kick can find amusement elsewhere.

From 7.30pm on Channel 4, A Place in the Sun helps torn couple Debbie and Iain decide between holiday properties in Yorkshire Dales and Tuscany. Afterwards, there.s a repeat of the explosive Glee...  More >> »

- Ruth Margolis

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Double denim only looks good on Marilyn Monroe

6 June 2010 1:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

For everyone else, the matching jacket-and-jeans combo is no-no

Is double denim ever acceptable?

Sarita, by email

Yes. If you are Marilyn Monroe, and only if you are filming the final scene of The Misfits. It is a scientifically proven fact that it is only in those specific circumstances that Dd looks anything other than cheap, nasty and just downright lazy. So how strange that the most beautiful woman to have ever existed should have looked at her second most radiant, her second most gorgeous (her most gorgeous photos, of course, as all good Marilynologists know, are from before she became famous, when her name was still Norma Jeane, her hair was still red and her skin still freckly) when she wore officially the most hideous outfit of all time.

Maybe it's like that diet I read about in a magazine the other day that claimed that if your "weight »

- Hadley Freeman

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Gay Actors vs. Newsweek. The Controversy Continues

12 May 2010 9:59 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

So that controversial Newsweek article "Straight Jacket" -- which suggests that no gay actor can ever successfully play a straight character -- is still rocking the internet. Or at least Twitter. The article's author Ramin Setoodeh is also the Oscar blogger for Newsweek and I swear my fury at him has nothing to do with the fact that I'm terrific at Oscar blogging and have been for a decade but I never get employed by household name magazines to write about them ;) I swear it. I didn't actually know he was their Oscar blogger until today.

Mr. Setoodeh is gay himself -- as he and his new enemy Kristin Chenoweth were both quick to point out -- but that's really neither here nor there in this discussion because homophobia knows no sexual orientation. It can exist in anyone. And whether or not he intended the cynical piece to be self-serving »

- NATHANIEL R

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MTV's Spring Break Flashbacks With Sisqo, Lit, Tweet And Mighty Mighty Bosstones

22 March 2010 2:45 PM, PDT | MTV Newsroom | See recent MTV Newsroom news »

It may be raining at MTV headquarters in New York, but it's sunny, warm and lively in Acapulco where MTV is celebrating Spring Break 2010. This year's party was highlighted by some stellar performances by the likes of Ludacris (who teamed up with Young Money member Nicki Minaj for a killer run through "My Chick Bad"), Drake (who knocked out his latest single "Over") and Trey Songz (who brought out his hit "I Invented Sex"). The party continues with music from B.o.B., Pitbull and more members of the Young Money crew. You can catch all the excellent music (as well as the scantily-clad revelers in Acapulco) on mtvU all week.

Spring Break has been tradition at MTV for over two decades, and the parties have hosted live performances from some of the biggest artists of all time. But not everybody who played to the beach bums became legends — some »

- MTV News

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Revised Experience: 78 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Elizabeth Taylor's Birthday

27 February 2010 1:00 PM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

It's Eye Candy Weekend. 8 Days until Oscar!

Be great. Be beautiful. Ride a horse. Get married. Get divorced. Act like a total diva. Wear something spectacularly sexy, preferrably white. Make people want more.

Befriend Michael Jackson. Watch Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? again. Watch National Velvet. Watch A Place in the Sun. Be highly quotable. Get married. Flaunt every piece of jewelry you own. Donate to an AIDS charity. Nurse a sick friend. Get divorced. Show everyone your wicked sense of humor. Fall in love with Montgomery Clift in glorious black and white (any of his movies will do). Ask your best friend to refer to you as "Bessie Mae" for the rest of the day. Get married. Scream "I was the slut of all time!" at the top of your lungs. Survive the loss of someone you loved no matter how hard that is to do. Pretend you've won an Oscar. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Spring Preview: A Repertory Calendar

19 February 2010 5:10 PM, PST | ifc.com | See recent IFC news »

Repertory theaters on the coasts are truly offering a window onto the world this spring, with Jia Zhangke and Bong Joon-ho retrospectives, as well as New French Cinema in New York, "Freebie and the Bean," "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" and Jason Reitman's favorite films invade Los Angeles, and the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin is offering a fond farewell to the video cassette. But consider this a hello to seeing classics, oddities and rarities on the big screen over the next few months.

Cities: [New York] [Los Angeles] [Austin] More Spring Preview: [Theatrical Calendar]

[Anywhere But a Movie Theater]

New York

92YTribeca

Is there a more energetic way to start the spring than with a screening of Russ Meyer's "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" (Feb. 20, with editors Rumsey Taylor, Leo Goldsmith and Jenny Jediny in attendance)? Perhaps not, but it's only the start of an exciting spring season at the 92YTribeca Screening Room, which will present several special events over the next few months. »

- Stephen Saito

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A quarter century in Albert Square offers a telling omnibus of UK politics

15 February 2010 1:00 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

EastEnders' 25 years map sweeping changes in the state of TV, and of Britain. In its 26th year, it could be used to attack the BBC

Many communications between BBC executives are intended to have only a short-term effect: arse-covering, career-enhancing. But an idea typed up in Television Centre on 1 February 1984 turned out to have astonishing long-term consequences: The bi-weekly is an ongoing ­serial about the life of a community in the East End of London … our group of characters is fiercely territorial – ­incestuous, ­almost – and reflects how life is Today in a ­disadvantaged part of the inner city …

That bi-weekly is now a quad-weekly, and the numerous social dilemmas it has reflected have indeed reached incest by the time of the 25th anniversary, to be celebrated on Friday. And, because very few TV shows reach their silver jubilee, EastEnders usefully invites comparisons between the state of TV and of Britain, »

- Mark Lawson

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Blog Wars VI: The Return of the Link

11 February 2010 11:30 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

I've illustrated this post with the new Toy Story 3 character, Ken. Because... I just can't get over it. What?! There's also a new trailer.

And Your Little Blog, Too has a fine piece on one of my favorites, A Place in the Sun

Dear Jesus skewers one of my least favorites, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers

Film Doctor thoughtful notes on Bright Star

Low Resolution finally sees that Jane Campion effort too. Why did it take people so long to get behind it. Argh. Maybe it should have opened in the Spring/ Summer and worked the Away From Her/Erin Brockovich/La Vie En Rose/Moulin Rouge! type of Oscar track?

Empire Untitled Spider-Man Reboot will be in 3-D. Look, I loved Avatar but every film does not need to be in 3D. How long will this craze last? Until a couple of mega flops arrive I guess.

/Film »

- NATHANIEL R

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Philip French's screen legends

16 January 2010 4:07 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

No 79: Montgomery Clift 1920-66

Like Marlon Brando, his close friend, fellow maverick and chief rival for the title of greatest American actor of his generation, the tall, lean Clift was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His father was an overbearing, right-wing banker and stockbroker of considerably fluctuating fortunes; his ambitious mother, an illegitimate child adopted at birth, was obsessed with establishing her membership of a distinguished patrician family from the south. Along with his twin sister and elder brother, Clift was privately educated.

At the age of 15, Monty, as everyone called him, made his Broadway debut and for the next decade was constantly employed there, usually playing handsome, sensitive sons, though with the possible exception of Thornton Wilder's The Skin of Our Teeth (directed in 1942 by Elia Kazan) none of the plays he appeared in entered the classic repertoire. For years, he rejected Hollywood offers until accepting the role »

- Philip French

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18 items from 2010


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