18 items from 2012
Chicago – “October Baby,” which has generated a bit of controversy as we rarely see widely-released films that preach so directly to the pro-life choir and was recently released on Blu-ray and DVD, is an incredibly frustrating film. Laying the political hot-button issue aside (and, for the sake of disclosure, I feel like I should note that I am strongly pro-choice), there are things to like here, especially the strong performances from Rachel Hendrix and Jasmine Guy. To be honest, it’s the stuff that’s generally unrelated to the emotional/political core of the film — the non-controversial material — that is the film’s downfall. Whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, the road movie comedy and romantic drama that are shoehorned into this coming-of-age story are the parts that don’t work. When the film does allow Hendrix the emotional arc, she delivers and the tears are jerked.
Hendrix plays Hannah, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Photo: AMPAS The 2013 Oscar race feels like it has hardly begun and yet the calendar tells me we are knee deep in it. The Toronto Film Festival is now seen as a beacon that things are underway and out of it two films came away looking very strong and give us a good starting point to dig into some Oscar predictions before I kick off my official predictions next Monday, September 24. Before we begin, Nathaniel at the Film Experience takes a statistical look at the Toronto results and adds that, "10 of the 34 past winners have gone on to Best Picture nominations with 4 eventually winning the top prize (The King's Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, American Beauty and Chariots of Fire)." So there are your early odds as we move to... Silver Linings Playbook, which took home the audience prize at Toronto, and, just as importantly, was well-received by virtually every critic that saw it. »
- Brad Brevet
After his unhappy experiences filming in London and what I considered an indifferent visit to Spain in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen was approaching peak form last year exploring the subject of nostalgia and cultural tourism in Midnight in Paris. He's now moved on to a country in which a man called Oreste Lionello became nationally famous for dubbing Allen into Italian. But his presence in Rome is not to do with money alone, though that's an important incentive. It's the city most closely associated with his southern European idol Federico Fellini, to whom he has often paid homage in the past (most notably with Stardust Memories and Radio Days), and indeed the cinematic idea of "the Eternal City", as the place is referred to with half-mocking reverence, is central to his latest film. »
- Philip French
Check out the first poster for Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, based on the best-selling novel by Peter Cameron, and starring Marcia Gay Harden, Peter Gallagher, Lucy Liu and Stephen Lang. Pic comes from the producers of winners Life is Beautiful and The Kids Are All Right, so expect strong performances in this drama helmed by Roberto Faenza (I vicerè). Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You is based on the best selling novel by Peter Cameron, "Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You" is a funny and heartfelt film about a vulnerable yet precocious teenager named James (played by extraordinary newcomer, Toby Regbo) with a deep appreciation for the world and no idea how to live in it. »
The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that legendary filmmakers Bob and Harvey Weinstein, co-founders and Co-Chairmen of The Weinstein Company, will be honored with the 2013 Milestone Award. The award will be presented to the Weinsteins at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 26, 2013 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
The Milestone Award is the Guild.s highest honor recognizing an individual or team who has made historic contributions to the entertainment industry. In the past, the Producers Guild has paid tribute to such industry leaders as Clint Eastwood, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg, Walt Disney, James Cameron, Ron Meyer and last year.s 2012 recipient Leslie Moonves, among others.
“Beginning in the late 1970s with Miramax Films and continuing through today with The Weinstein Company, Bob and Harvey consistently seek out, nurture and help bring audiences the stories that others are often afraid to tell,. said Producers Guild »
- Michelle McCue
Penelope Ann Miller, The Artist As mentioned in my previous post, French president Nicolas Sarkozy has named Harvey Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company (TWC), a recipient of the 2012 Légion d'Honneur, or Legion of Honor. The honor is "in recognition of Weinstein’s contributions to cinema and his decades of work producing some of the most highly regarded films of our time," according to a TWC press release. Weinstein will be inducted with the rank of Chevalier. Although Sarkozy himself nominated Weinstein back in late July 2011, the nomination was made public only today, five days after the Weinstein Company-distributed The Artist, a French production directed by Michel Hazanavicius, won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor (Jean Dujardin). As per the TWC press release, Weinstein had requested that the honor be kept private until now "to avoid any conflict of interest" with his company's Academy Award campaign for The Artist. »
- Anna Robinson
0:00-2:00 – Introduction; more false promises about sound quality
2:00-14:20 – “Wanderlust” review
14:20-23:15 – “Act of Valor” review, including talk of a TV show called “Freedom’s Sake”
23:15-33:10 – “Gone” review, including tangents about the beauty of Portland
33:10-35:05 – Tyler Perry has a new movie, apparently?
35:05-42:35 – Qotw (which movie’s characters you would want to live on a commune with)
42:35-44:00 – Next week’s Qotw
51:55-54:50 – Kickstarter! Cannes Film Festival! Let’s do this!
54:50-57:30 – iTunes reviews; what Bayer and Snider say at poker games
57:30-1:00:55 – Bayer’s needlessly complicated Oscar-predicting contest; what shall Bayer and Snider’s wager be?
1:00:55-1:02:05 – Our lunch sponsor, Hank & Bullit’s Canine Adventures in Park City! It’s really a thing! »
- Jeff Bayer
In accepting her Oscar, Meryl Streep claimed to hear people all over America say: her? Again? Whatever! That might be a good way of describing the form of an Oscar ceremony: the again-whatever syndrome, the final iteration of a consensus that has been exhaustively rehearsed in all the other ceremonies that precede the Academy Awards.
The big win for The Artist – is it a novelty one-off, like the once garlanded and talked-about Life is Beautiful or The Crying Game? Or will it herald a renewed interest in the silent genre? Could it, conceivably, generate a desire among other directors to make silent movies: that is to say, silent movies on some subject other than the death of the silent movie? »
- Peter Bradshaw
With the 2012 Oscar ceremony taking place tonight, I’ve rounded up the 25 worst Academy Awards decisions of the past quarter century to feed filmgoers collective rage. Many of these are outright bad winners, but I’ve also reserved special spots in this countdown for blunders in production, nominations, and existing in the first place.
So take a deep breath, go watch I Saw the Devil to get in the right mood, and dig in.
25. Fifty-Nine Years of Rocky History
I did not want to imply that the Academy was all sunshine and roses before 1988; so a brief history of their ineptitude seems in order. In fact, history is a perfect lead in because, even though this is reason number twenty-five, it underlies the basic principle that caused this list to manifest. The Academy never learns from its mistakes. It never changes.
There is plenty of fodder here for several »
- Phil Aram
The saying goes: If Hollywood is really the movie capital of the world, then Oscar night is the world’s biggest wrap party, and like all parties, each event comes with unwelcome guests, embarrassing situations, strange fashions and controversial moments. In fact, controversy and the Oscars seem to go hand in hand and despite the fact that the Academy Awards are, for the most part, an elegant and tightly controlled affair, some very strange things do occur. Let’s take a look back through the history of the Academy Awards, and some of it’s strangest and more controversial moments – which sadly were also the most memorable.
For the 2007 ceremony, producers hired the dance troop Pilobolus to recreate famous images from that year’s most popular films.
Richard Gere was last asked to present in 1993 when he interrupted the ceremony to give a long speech attacking »
- Kyle Reese
It still provides a chuckle
The history of The Academy Awards is littered with strange and inexplicable happenings: Revealed shortcomings, spontaneous pushups, "The winner is Paul Newman," Sandahl Bergman's interpretive dance to "Eye Of The Tiger" (admittedly, one of the highlights of my life).
And of course ... Snow White rolling on the river.
But aside from the odd ceremony moments, and the fashion drama on the red carpet, it's the Oscar errors in judgment that we remember the most.
A few weeks ago we discussed the Oscar nomination Sins Of Omission, so let's now take a look at the performers who actually won, and how The Academy still blew it.
The 2005 nominees for Best Actor were:
David Strathairn in Good Night and Good Luck
Terrence Howard in Hustle & Flow
And The Oscar Went »
Say what you will about Harvey and Bob Weinstein — and, at this point, pretty much everyone has, and a great majority of it's negative — but they certainly know how to wring as many dollars out of their films. Take this new multiyear licensing agreement they just signed with Netflix, which gives the streaming company exclusive rights to broadcast "foreign-language, documentary, and certain other movies" before cable TV. From the brothers' point of view, it's the perfect deal at the perfect time. Every few years, a foreign-language movie crosses over and becomes a legitimate hit in America. In 2006, it was Pan's Labyrinth. In 2000, it was Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. 1998 had Roberto Benigni's Life is Beautiful. The crossovers are consistent, but not predictable, so when you have an entity like this year's The Artist, which has a viable shot at sweeping the Oscars, you [...] »
The Nick Nolte movie that earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination this year was Gavin O'Connor's Warrior. In the photo, Nolte, among whose movies are The Deep, 48 Hrs., Hotel Rwanda, and Arthur, is seen at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Oscar Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, on Monday, February 6, 2012. Meryl Streep can be seen applauding him in the — upper left — background. Nolte, by the way, turns 71 on Feb. 8. (Photo: Greg Harbaugh / ©A.M.P.A.S.) Nick Nolte Nick Nolte has two previous Academy Award nominations, both in the Best Actor category. His first was for the Barbra Streisand-directed melodrama Prince of Tides (1991), in which he plays a highly dysfunctional man with a troubled family history. Streisand is his therapist. Nolte's second Oscar nod was for Paul Schrader's Affliction (1998), in which he plays a highly dysfunctional man with a troubled family history. »
- Zac Gille
The Holocaust/WWII film genre has given birth to cinematic masterpieces (The Pianist, Schindler’s List, Sophie Scholl), maudlin excursions into fantasy (Life Is Beautiful) and serious-minded films that reach a bit too far (Black Book). To even think that such events could be recreated again and again within the confines of a film genre, which is inherently subject to its own clichés and devices, is a bit cringe-inducing. But from great horror often springs great art, and there are important stories of courage and survival, as well as the most base human depravity, that have yet to be told. Famed »
“Couples” is a Korean remake of Japanese director Kenji Uchida’s popular 2004 offbeat romantic comedy “A Stranger of Mine”, helmed by Jeong Yong Ki, who previously enjoyed success with commercial fare such as “The Righteous Thief” and “Once Upon A Time in Corea”. Like the original, the new version is by no means a straightforward genre outing, following a series of overlapping tales of various couples whose lives intersect thanks to bank robberies, car crashes and a variety of deceptions. Headlined by popular actor Kim Joo Hyuk (“In Love and the War”), the film is very much an ensemble piece, with support from a host of recognisable faces including Lee Si Young (“Meet the In-Laws”), Lee Yoon Ji (“Dream High”), Gong Hyung Jin (“Life is Beautiful”), and Oh Jung Se (“Petty Romance”). The film kicks off with café owner Yoo Suk (Kim Joo Hyuk) having a particularly bad day, experiencing financial difficulties, »
- James Mudge
Harrison Ford in Andrew Davis' DGA- (but not Oscar-) nominated The Fugitive (top); Madeleine Stowe, Tim Robbins in Robert Altman's Oscar- (but not DGA-) nominated Short Cuts (bottom) DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards 1980s: Odd Men Out Roman Polanski, Kenneth Branagh, David Lynch 1990 DGA Barry Levinson, Avalon Giuseppe Tornatore, Cinema Paradiso [the 1988 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar winner; ineligible for the 1990 Academy Awards] AMPAS Stephen Frears, The Grifters Barbet Schroeder, Reversal of Fortune DGA/AMPAS Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather Part III Martin Scorsese, Goodfellas 1991 DGA Barbra Streisand, The Prince of Tides AMPAS John Singleton, Boyz n the Hood DGA/AMPAS Jonathan Demme, The Silence of the Lambs Barry Levinson, Bugsy Ridley Scott, Thelma & Louise Oliver Stone, JFK 1992 DGA Rob Reiner, A Few Good Men AMPAS Martin Brest, Scent of a Woman DGA/AMPAS Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven Robert Altman, The Player James Ivory, Howards End Neil Jordan, The Crying Game 1993 DGA Martin Scorsese, »
- Andre Soares
As Oscar season approaches and odds are weighed, "The Artist" has become the favorite to win. But we've been here before: in 1999, "Life is Beautiful" -- another foreign-born film redistributed as an American awards success by Harvey Weinstein -- stormed the Academy Awards. Which makes you wonder: Is 'Artist' star -- and potential Best Actor winner -- Jean Dujardin the new Roberto Benigni?
The animated Italian actor made history twice during the 71st Academy Awards: he was the first male performer in a non-English-speaking role to win the gold and, when "Life is Beautiful" won for Best Picture, he freaked out. Like, really freaked out. And we've never really forgotten it since.
Unfortunately, Benigni's seat-walking cheer-fest did not yield a fruitful career, post-"Life is Beautiful." He went on to star in two not-so-warmly received films ("Pinocchio" and "The Tiger and the Snow"), while also appearing in a segment of »
- Jessie Heyman
The DGA Awards vs. the Academy Awards: Usually But Not Always a Match. [Photo: Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider in Last Tango in Paris.] Since 1970, when the DGA instituted the five-nominee limit, a mere ten directors of (at least mostly) non-English-language films have received DGA nods: Lina Wertmüller (Seven Beauties, 1976), Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, 1982), Ingmar Bergman (Fanny and Alexander, 1983), Lasse Hallström (My Life As a Dog, 1987), Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso, 1990), Michael Radford (Il Postino / The Postman, 1995), Robert Benigni (Life Is Beautiful, 1998), Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, 2000), Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly), and Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 2009). The above list can be expanded to twelve if you include Bernardo Bertolucci for Last Tango in Paris, which has a sizable amount of English dialogue, and Michel Hazanavicius' French-made but Hollywood-set The Artist. During that same period (excepting 2011, as Oscar nominations will be announced only later this month), 21 directors of non-English-language films received Academy Award nominations. (Twenty-two if you »
- Andre Soares
18 items from 2012
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